Social networks and travel: the hard numbers

Social networks have made a dramatic impact on travel. During my first backpacking trip in 2004, I relied on e-mail addresses to stay in touch with the new friends I was making.  I once met a girl in Paris. Later into my trip, I was shocked to run into her at my hostel in Edinburgh.  What a small world!

That kind of thing would not have happened today.  We’d have added each other as friends … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (10)  | July 29, 2011
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind, Travel News, Travel Tech

Good travel writing explores complexities in faraway cultures

“Just look what gets written about Afghanistan. In an age when journalism is becoming more and more etiolated, when articles are becoming shorter and shorter, usually lacking all historical context, travel writing is one of the few venues to write with some complexity about an alien culture. An Obama speech, a foreign policy paper or a counter-insurgency briefing minimizes differences, and the same phrases like ‘failed states’ are used to link countries which are actually … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | July 28, 2011
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

Transportation love

When traveling, I usually consider the actual form of transportation just a means to get where I’m going. Certainly, there have been experiences that stand out, but for airplanes, buses and cars—it’s usually snooze city.

Hours spent on planes or most wheeled vehicles are like pressing the pause button on my trip. I’m not here, but not there yet. If I can gaze out the windows … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (4)  | July 26, 2011
Category: On The Road, South America

It’s impossible to capture or define the “real” anywhere

“We tend to use the word “real” to differentiate what tourists see in a modern-day city or place, versus what the locals, who have a much deeper and intimate familiarity with its nuanced culture and details, know or experience. Few New Yorkers flock to Times Square for dinner on a Saturday night, just as few native New Orleans residents spend their time hanging out on Bourbon Street. They pride themselves, in fact, on knowing the … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | July 25, 2011
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

Getting started as an expat writer

Working as a writer abroad is like tackling two dreams at once: writing and travel. Tough to pull off, though especially if you want to earn a living.  Graham Holliday, an experienced journalist, laid out his strategies for success in this Slideshare presentation: Frontline Club – solo foreign correspondent.

My favorite advice was in slide #26:

Go somewhere cheap – especially if money is an issue – and … Read more »

Posted by | Comments Off on Getting started as an expat writer  | July 22, 2011
Category: Expat Life, General, Notes from the collective travel mind, Travel Writing

Vagabonding Case Study: Aaron Atencio

Aaron Atencio

Age: 31

Hometown: Buena Vista, Colorado

Quote: “ Even though I was consistently traveling to new places, it’s amazing how just having a support system of friends and and a foundation of familiarity in one place can quickly engage the feelings inside of us that make us consider a place our home.

Posted by | Comments Off on Vagabonding Case Study: Aaron Atencio  | July 20, 2011
Category: Vagabonding Case Studies

Taxi translation assistance in Colombia

Perhaps you meant to spend a little more time studying Spanish before your trip, or if you did, your mind just happened to draw a blank the second you got yourself and your bags into the taxi.

¿A dónde quieres ir?

Uh… where’s that phrasebook?

Nothing’s better than speaking the language—even if you can’t do it perfectly. But … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (3)  | July 19, 2011
Category: Languages and Culture, South America