Airbnb and the evolution of travel

I am amazed how Airbnb has exploded around the world since its inception in the spring of 2009. It has morphed and grown at such a rapid rate, from a handful of listings in a few cities to thousands of hosts around the globe, hundreds of bookings to millions within its first three years!

Today, their website has surpassed one million listings, offering more lodging than any other hotel chain in the world … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | July 22, 2015
Category: Hospitality, Hostels/Hotels

On Baksheesh

Egyptian Train

Photo Credit: walidhassanein via Compfight cc I’m riding a second-class train up the Nile valley when a boy in an official-looking blue jacket beckons me to the other side of the carriage.

“Look,” he whispers, pointing outside. “Beautiful!”

I look out the window to see a red sun streaking the sky with bands of pink and yellow. Beyond the train tracks, … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | October 25, 2014
Category: Hospitality, Languages and Culture, Travel Writing, Vagabonding Styles

The worst tourists in the world

Paris20_6164I 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)  | August 16, 2014
Category: Hospitality, Hostels/Hotels, Travel Writing, Vagabonding Advice

Visiting Sulawesi Indonesia: guide recommendation for Dodo Mursalim

Dodo Mursalim

We spent a couple of weeks researching Sulawesi and found very little information for independent travel on the island. Then, I lucked into Dodo Mursalim’s contact details on a TripAdvisor forum.

Dodo turned out to be a gold mine of information and he bent over backwards to help us do Sulawesi our way.

He rented us his little house behind the mosque for a … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | June 17, 2014
Category: Adventure Travel, Asia, Destinations, Hospitality

Becoming a better person via the kindness of strangers

Last week, I heard that a friend of mine had been in a serious motorcycle accident in Bali. A serious accident – broken ribs, fractured pelvis, collapsed lung. He wrote about the experience – about his injuries, about being restricted to the fetal position in the hospital and now, 2 weeks later, being able to finally stand up for the first time. All amazing things to hear for someone that you care about, but what … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | May 30, 2014
Category: Asia, Ethics, Hospitality, Vagabonding Advice, Vagabonding Life

On serendipity


Serendipity is a funny thing. The mind-blowing intersections of fate and intention that lead a person down paths heretofore unconsidered is, without question, my favourite aspect of travel.  

We sat, last evening, in the formal dining room of Sir James Wallace, a Knight of the Realm, so honored for his philanthropy. How did we come to be sitting there, eating off his privately commissioned silver, … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (2)  | June 18, 2013
Category: Hospitality, Oceania, On The Road

Christmas and community on the road

This year we’re celebrating Christmas in Borneo. Last year we were on Cape Cod, in the USA, the year before that, Guatemala, the year before that, Canada, the year before that found us in Tunisia, camped in the cold on the edge of the ocean of sand.

One of the most interesting parts of our journey has been discovering the differences in celebration around the … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | December 18, 2012
Category: General, Hospitality, On The Road, Vagabonding Life

Housesitting: the perfect travel job?

Here’s the deal: free housing, living in a beautiful island and some fun work. Oh, and the boss is far away and can’t micromanage you. Sound too good to be true? That’s what Meg and Tony of the Landing Standing blog experienced in their post titled Housesitting in Thailand: live for free in paradise.

Meg described the setup here:

For 4 weeks, we were housesitting … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (4)  | December 4, 2012
Category: Expat Life, Hospitality, Notes from the collective travel mind

Couchsurfing goes smart(phone)

A couple weeks ago, giant hospitality sharing website Couchsurfing has launched his new Android application you can download for free here. I must admit, it was about time. Travelling a lot and being an active Couchsurfer, I was really stoked at the user unfriendliness of the famous website over a small smartphone screen. I am no technology geek … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | July 12, 2012
Category: Hospitality, On The Road, Vagabonding Styles

So what’s it like to Couchsurf in Asia?

A few weeks ago, Marcus Sortijas published an interesting piece on Vagabonding describing the Couchsurfing experience in the United States. As I am a Couchsurfing aficionado and have travelled more than 10 Asian countries using it, I would like to spend some words describing how this beautiful service works in another side of the world.

I would like to start introducing an important, ever present concept in Asian societies: … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | April 26, 2012
Category: Adventure Travel, Asia, Destinations, Hospitality, On The Road, Vagabonding Styles