Around the World on a Shoestring

Whenever anyone asks me why I still travel on a shoestring at the ripe old age of 38, I usually tell them about the time I learned how to play the bagpipes in Havana. Granted, I could probably relate a more typical story about the joys of budget travel - some tidy parable of money saved and experiences gained - but when I mention learning the bagpipes in Cuba it sounds like I'm going to tell a joke, and people like jokes. The thing is, there's no punch line. My encounter with Cuban bagpipers wasn't memorable for its mere quirkiness - it… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | March 7, 2015
Category: North America, Vagabonding Advice

What adults can learn when traveling with their parents

[caption id="attachment_22666" align="aligncenter" width="500"] My dad returning to Yosemite Valley, a place he knew well as a teenager in the 60's.[/caption] While not everyone grew up in a traditional family structure, this article can apply to anyone who has a loving relationship with a family member who was part of your upbringing. For me, that was my parents, but I recognize that some people were raised by foster families, the parents of your childhood friends, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or siblings. This article still applies no matter who was an integral part of your childhood or who you consider a parent… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (2)  | December 21, 2014
Category: Family Travel, North America

Morning Rituals

  [caption id="attachment_22161" align="aligncenter" width="500"] (morning rituals - photo credit: icultist on Flickr)[/caption] The fluidity of travel is a double-edged blade. It's one of the things I love most about it - that each day is different and you don't know what to expect. It pulls you into the present, encouraging you to pay attention to everything going on around you, rather than going into auto-pilot mode. We are beings of habit, though. Our brains are wired to develop patterns of behavior, so that we're not constantly making decisions. It uses less energy and frees up our mental resources. So… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (2)  | October 24, 2014
Category: Lifestyle Design, North America, Simplicity, Vagabonding Life

Deciding to Get Off the Road (well… for a bit)

  [caption id="attachment_22144" align="aligncenter" width="500"] (photo credit: ocarchives on Flickr)[/caption] I book my bigger trips a up to a year in advance. This way I know they're set and I won't succumb to "I'm too busy, I can't do this now" syndrome. Last year I put a deposit down on a trip to Peru. Not just any trip - this was with The Adventurists. A bunch of us get together down in Piura, learn to ride old, unreliable mototaxis. Then we'll attempt to ride them across the Andes and through the jungle to Urubamba, Sacred Valley. By all accounts, one… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | October 10, 2014
Category: North America, Vagabonding Life

Reaching the bottom of the Grand Canyon

As magical as the Grand Canyon is from the top, peering down into red and purple shades of rock so far down your eyes lose an ability to judge the distance, it is yet more magical from the very bottom peering up. Perhaps because of the feeling of accomplishment that comes from a journey down, and perhaps from a feeling of quiet, peaceful seclusion from the modern world. Whatever the reason, it's well worth a trek down just to spend the night at the bottom in either Phantom Ranch or nearby Bright Angel Campground. It may not feel that way… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (1)  | September 25, 2014
Category: Adventure Travel, Destinations, North America

Vagabonding Field Report: Escaping to the real Hawaii

Catnip to adventure travellers in search of an authentic Hawaiian escape, Molokai is often referred to as ‘The most Hawaiian island’. With little other than true Aloha on offer, those who board a tiny turboprop plane in Honolulu should expect to step back in time when they land in Ho'olehua. Unlike its neighbours Molokai does not cater for the package holiday goer. There are no major chain hotels or supermarkets, no luxury resorts and very few tour operators. Without the usual selection of restaurants, activities and tours to occupy your time Molokai encourages you to connect with the heritage of… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (1)  | September 16, 2014
Category: North America, Vagabonding Field Reports

Lost in the crowd when traveling?

[caption id="attachment_21523" align="aligncenter" width="500"] (Lost in a Crowd - photo by Keoni Cabral)[/caption] This week I'm in San Francisco, after riding my motorcycle from Washington. First, I have to say - the ride down the PCH was in-damn-credible! Thanks to a friend's suggestions, I got off the PCH near Fortuna and took the Avenue of the Giants scenic route. Who would have thought that there was a scenic route to an already incredible scenic route? I'll write more about this another time. Take my recommendation, though, if you are ever in southern Oregon, take 199 West and to 101 South,… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | July 25, 2014
Category: North America, On The Road, Solo Travel

Enjoy the ride

  [caption id="attachment_21123" align="aligncenter" width="500"] (Riding past the Guadalupe Mountains)[/caption] I was planning to write about learning to throw axes during my last trip to Toronto. About how it reminded me to get out of my head and flow in the moment. That the moment I started laughing, that's exactly what would happen and my throws became more accurate. I'll write about it another time, though, because today I learned that my grandfather has passed away. He had an incredible impact on my life and is a large part of why I've become the man I am. Though he was… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | June 27, 2014
Category: General, North America, On The Road, Solo Travel, Vagabonding Life

Working on the Road: Austin, TX

[caption id="attachment_20969" align="aligncenter" width="500"] (Working on this article in Austin - Vintage Heart Cafe)[/caption] My last couple of articles have been a bit higher-level (How lessons I learned while traveling have helped me through family tragedy and Becoming a better person via the kindness of strangers). Today, though, I've decided to post something much more tactical - the places I've enjoyed working over the past couple of weeks while in Austin, TX. I'm riding my motorcycle across the western United States, in order to catch up with friends and interview them for my upcoming podcast. That means balancing a lot of… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | June 13, 2014
Category: General, North America, On The Road, Travel Tech, Vagabonding Life

Camping Hawaii

A few weeks ago I had the chance to shoot a wedding in Hawaii, and since the flight there is so long, not the mention the fact that Hawaii is my most favorite place ever, I decided to make a week long camping trip out of it. I hadn't been to the big island (Hawaii) before, so I decided to spend most of my time there. I managed to get a week's worth of clothing, a tent, sleeping bag, and a couple pairs of shoes into my larger pack, and all of my camera/computer gear into a (slightly) smaller one.… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (3)  | May 25, 2014
Category: Destinations, North America