The dark side of travel romance

romance thumbWhen 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 … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (7)  | November 20, 2015
Category: Europe, Sex and Travel, Vagabonding Advice

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

The magic of shoulder season travel

Shoulder Season Travel

Soon after my time as a student ended, I began my career as an educator. Working at camps every summer, travel took flight over those much needed school holidays. If you were a kid in traditional school or had parents who worked in one, you may have done the same. Highest prices, hordes of crowds, long wait lines at airports and attractions … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | October 7, 2015
Category: Vagabonding Advice

Advice for the aspiring travel journalist

travel journalistAlthough I’ve assembled plenty of advice for aspiring travel writers on my websites over the years, I still get a steady stream of queries – often from college students – asking about how to land a travel writing gig. A recent inquiry comes from Maggie in Minnesota:

I am an aspiring travel journalist and freshman in college. I have decided to pursue travel journalism as … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (39)  | September 25, 2015
Category: Vagabonding Advice

Motivations in Travel

IMG_4295I took my first trip abroad when I was 22 and I was convinced I was going to change the world. I had always wanted to leave North America and when I finally did I was fresh out of university, ready to fix everything. I signed up with an organization and jetted off to Kenya hoping to make a dent in the AIDS crisis. I spent … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | September 23, 2015
Category: Vagabonding Advice

Pack a positive attitude and overcome anything

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living”

-Miriam Beard


I still vividly remember the excitement that I had as I embarked on my first ever road trip when I was four years old. It was a long ten-hour trek, but the excitement powerfully overtrumped the boredom. That trip to Florida was fun of course, but … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | July 15, 2015
Category: Vagabonding Advice

You have now entered the Tourist Zone

sadhuA few years ago, after finishing a journey in the Indian Himalayas, I traveled to the desert state of Rajasthan and visited the Hindu holy-town of Pushkar. A scenic outpost of 13,000 residents, Pushkar was famous for its Brahma Temple, its serene lake, and its annual Camel Fair. Several travelers had recommended it to me as a mellow place to relax for a few days.

From … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (2)  | April 18, 2015
Category: Asia, Travel Writing, Vagabonding Advice

Giving free travel talks—a great way to share the knowledge and ignite others’ travel dreams

As travelers, we often find ourselves talking to friends and strangers alike at parties, at work, wherever, about travel and how to do it right. We evangelize for travel, extolling its opportunities and benefits. We often go on at length about the magic of our favorite places, the addictive high that comes from filling up a passport book, and the thrill of crossing a new border and making new connections. We also find ourselves giving … Read more »

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 … Read more »

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

Explode your comfort zone…why the decision to travel is never a bad one

Growing up in Long Island, New York, my comfort zone was very small. I certainly never thought I’d leave that tiny suburban town for other coasts or other shores. After that first trip abroad everything changed. I had no idea then that harnessing fear of the unknown would be the thing that actually facilitated a growth spurt for my ever so tiny comfort zone. Little by little it started to grow and although, … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | January 31, 2015
Category: General, Notes from the collective travel mind, Vagabonding Advice