Icebreaker vs. EMU merino wool for travel – 2 months into traveling

434943498_e8e3b10e78_zMerino wool has been touted as an ideal travel clothing material thanks especially to its breathability, odor resistance and fast-drying abilities. I stocked up on a few lightweight merino wool items before leaving for my trip two months ago, and I quickly gained a favorite among the brands and also learned some other benefits of the material.

There are numerous brands of merino wool products; … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | January 27, 2016
Category: General, Travel Gear

The worst tourists in the world

14849732_740027f47a_zI read with interest a recent study by the Trans-Global Association for Travel and Tourism Commerce, which rated the behavior of tourists from all the world’s industrialized countries. Consistently ranking last in the study — bottoming out in categories ranging from airline etiquette to podiatric hygiene — were travelers from Great Britain. “This settles it,” a TATTC spokesperson was quoted as saying. “The British are … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (2)  | January 20, 2016
Category: Hospitality, Hostels/Hotels, Travel Writing, Vagabonding Advice

180 South and the quest for adventure

JOKTON6CY9“The word adventure has gotten overused. For me, when everything goes wrong, that’s when adventure starts.” -Yvon Chouinard

Quick, think of your most memorable travel experience.

Judging by the stories I hear from other travelers and the ones I tell, what sticks out for most are the moments when things went wrong, when for a little while things became uncertain and perhaps even risky.

Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | January 15, 2016
Category: Adventure Travel, South America, Travel Video

5 destinations to learn new skills in 2016

With 2016 just a few short weeks away, I find my thoughts turning towards the question: what new skills can I learn in this new year?

Confession: I’m an incurable learner. Starting new projects, learning new skills, reading about new subjects or destinations fill my veins with excitement. When the promise of 12 blank months of learning beckon, I can’t resist.

I want to fill each month with a challenge to learn something new. Toss in the possibility … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | December 31, 2015
Category: Adventure Travel, Destinations, Languages and Culture

Are Travel Bloggers Journalists?

About a year ago, I received an email from a woman whose name I didn’t know and cannot now recall. The crux of her dogmatic email was to “inform” me of the true definition of a journalist, and why a travel blogger/writer should not be so presumptuous as to use that title. I replied that I had never used that title, that I considered myself a travel writer. She replied, “Oh, I thought you were … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | December 9, 2015
Category: Travel Writing

Indonesia’s gili islands

The Gili islands consist of three small tropical paradises, each with its own personality. The islands are just northwest of the larger island of Lombok. Gili Trawangan is perfect if you’re looking to party and make new friends. Good for backpackers, Gili T has a wealth of bars, parties, and magic mushrooms. Gili Meno is in the middle, is almost deserted, and is perfect for a quiet visit if you’re looking to pass out on … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | December 2, 2015
Category: Asia, Images from the road

Review: Osprey Kestrel 48 backpack and how to choose a great backpack

backpack thumbA good backpack can make or break a trip. Drenching rain, language barriers, delayed flights — you can weather all with humor and go-get-’em attitude.

But a good backpack is the foundation upon which your trip rests. It holds your entire life in one place. It protects it. Sometimes you wear it so often it feels like another appendage.

That’s why it’s important to take some … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | November 25, 2015
Category: Backpacking, Travel Gear

The 5 lessons that travel taught me

lessons thumbI bolted through the airport, dodging slow moving people dragging rolling suitcases.

My flight left in thirty minutes. Plenty of time to get my boarding pass and navigate airport security in the quiet of an early Friday morning.

The lines to the flight check-in counters were empty. I ducked under each fabric line divider and arrived at the counter, flushed and breathless.

“I’m sorry, miss, but … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | November 18, 2015
Category: On The Road

10 small strategies that will improve your journey

About five years ago, San Francisco Chronicle travel editor John Flinn published a column called “A few things I’ve learned in a quarter-century-plus of travel.” I enjoyed his insights so much I saved the article as a text file — and I recently stumbled across it again on my laptop. Here are my ten favorite bits of advice from Flinn’s column:

1. When you’re on a lean budget, one step up from rock-bottom … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (4)  | November 6, 2015
Category: Food and Drink, Hostels/Hotels, Vagabonding Advice