5 places to vagabond this summer

Warm sunshine and the open road never fail to ignite wanderlust. Long days stretch ahead, beckoning to be filled with adventure and explorations. Distant points on the map are ripe with possibility. Before you, the entire world opens up. And it's waiting for you to find it -- to "tramp a perpetual journey" as Walt Whitman says. The imagined prospects thrill your blood. You have to hit the road and, by vagabonding, find yourself. But where should you go? Perhaps a few of the corners less traveled. 1. Dubrovnik, Croatia Home to one of the 10 best preserved medieval walled… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | June 10, 2015
Category: Central America, Destinations, Europe, Oceania

New Years Eve vs. St. Stephen’s Day for fireworks in Budapest

If you’re like my husband and I, you can’t help but do a little bit of research or at least some Google-Image searching when you’re about to embark on a trip you’re particularly excited about. For instance we spent New Years Eve in Budapest, Hungary this year and made sure to get a hotel right on the river (using our IHG rewards points for a free room with an incredible view.) This was, we believed, where the New Years Eve fireworks would go off. Why did we think this? Because that's where the St. Stephen's Day fireworks had been the… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | January 8, 2015
Category: Europe

Pros and Cons of Off-Peak Europe Travel

American Airlines has some great off-peak prices for award tickets to Europe. Rather than the usual price of 60,000 miles, during off-peak a roundtrip ticket would only cost 40,000 miles. And you can get that amount of miles simply by getting the AAdvantage credit card's 50,000 mile bonus. (Learn more about these off-peak prices here.) So when is "off-peak" for Europe? According to American Airlines, off-peak for Europe is anytime between October 15 and May 15. Other airlines may have different off-peak dates. But basically off-peak exists during the colder, winter months. (US Airway's off-peak dates for Europe are extremely… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (4)  | December 18, 2014
Category: Europe, Images from the road

Traditional Christmas in Europe

Of the many things Europe does well, it’s the continent’s magnificent Christmas festivities that can charm this cynical traveler every time. From Scotland to Switzerland an extraordinary spirit of festivity, connecting this generations to others long since passed, can be felt in the wintertime air. The traditions of the season are still strong in this thoroughly modern part of the world, where bustling Christmas markets fill the main square of big cities and bucolic, half-timbered villages alike. In the cathedrals, choirs singing the great medieval Christmas hymns fill the cavernous spaces with angelic harmonies, their melodies carried to the rafters… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | December 14, 2014
Category: Europe, Notes from the collective travel mind, Travel Writing, Vagabonding Field Reports

In the Hall of the Baby Jesuses

The first time I was in Paris, I went to the Louvre and -- like a million other tourists before me -- headed straight for the Mona Lisa. Since the famous French museum houses one of the most extensive art collections in the world, I'll admit that making a beeline for a painting I'd already seen on countless refrigerator magnets and coffee mugs was a wholly unimaginative act. In tourist terms, hurrying through hallways of miscellaneous masterpieces to seek out the Mona Lisa was kind of like picking one harried celebrity from a crowd of a thousand interesting people and… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (1)  | December 6, 2014
Category: Europe, Travel Writing, Vagabonding Advice

Carpooling sites for travel in Europe

While frequent flyer miles can help alleviate the costs of flights to a destination in a game-changing way, the travel that happens once in a destination can really add up too. This is particularly true in an affluent place like Europe. But, as a continent that has a fabulous infrastructure for public transit, it should come as no surprise that even those with their own personal cars find a way to contribute to the public's transit needs. Indeed, carpooling is yet another task that the internet is revolutionizing in some way. Europe has a number of websites that exist to connect passengers… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | December 4, 2014
Category: Backpacking, Europe, Travel Tech

Veterans Day and Historic Military Sites

Veterans’ Day in the US and the UK is replete with ceremonies (concerts and parades in the US, red poppies in the UK) to commemorate those who served their country in uniform. Aside from a great opportunity to thank those that fought in foreign lands, it’s a great opportunity to remember some of the historic sites that can give testament to the events they witnessed. While some sites are now little more than quiet fields that have been reclaimed by nature, many places can still pack an educational punch that leaves the visitor still give the visitor a sense of… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (1)  | November 16, 2014
Category: Europe, Notes from the collective travel mind, On The Road, Travel Writing

The Dark Side of Travel Romance

When it comes to the ways of love and romance, no aphrodisiac is quite so potent as travel. On the road -- freed from the dull routines and restrictions of home -- you become more open, more daring, more willing to seize the moment. Away from home, the people you meet (be they locals or fellow travelers) seem sexier, more exotic, less repressed -- and this makes you feel sexy, exotic, liberated. Freed from your past, happily anonymous, and filled with a sense of possibility, you are never more willing (or able) to fall headlong into a love affair. The… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (7)  | September 27, 2014
Category: Europe, Sex and Travel, Vagabonding Advice

Finding new perspectives on familiar places

It can be difficult to find new angles through which to view places you already know well. Human nature being what is, it takes a conscious effort to see anything through new eyes. We tend to see only what we’re familiar with, and what strikes our vision on the most surface levels: the old buildings, the people, the streets, the here-and-now bustle that is so easy to get caught up in. But shifting our approach is sometimes needed if we are to really appreciate all the layers and the richness any place has to offer. As a travel writer I’m… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (1)  | September 14, 2014
Category: Europe, Notes from the collective travel mind, Travel Writing

7 paradises for 7 loves

I have recently decided that wander-lusters come in many varieties- many more than I had thought. You know, we like to find our commonalities so it is comfortable to believe that a traveler is a traveler is a traveler is a traveler. But one man's treasure is another one's trash. That is true for the non-material treasures we find out on the road just as it is in "real life" back home with material things. For instance when my husband and I were conversing about the reasons why we travel, one man said that our travel style would not be… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | August 14, 2014
Category: Asia, Europe, Images from the road, Oceania