Mister Universe

In the remote southwestern Ethiopian town of Jinka, Charles Veley and I were drinking araki sorghum whiskey in the bar of a dirt-lane guesthouse full of Mursi tribesmen and their families. Mursi women are usually recognizable by the clay disks that stretch their severed lower lips, but on this night, in an informal setting (where families had paid the equivalent of 20 cents a person to sleep on the packed-dirt floor), most of the women had removed their ocher-painted plates. Their lower lips sagged around their chins as they nursed babies in the dim light; the Mursi men, who had… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | March 21, 2015
Category: Adventure Travel

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 out advice on all matters travel, from where to find the cheapest airline tickets to where to stay and when to go. You know you… Read More...

Getting my Open Water in Thailand

Learning to dive was in the front of my mind when I started planning my trip to southeast Asia. Friends had learned in Thailand and I had heard that it was one of the cheapest places to get certified. After some research, we headed towards Koh Tao, an island in the Gulf of Thailand. I was keen to get my Open Water certification, but my husband was not. He agreed to stay on shore and I signed up for the three day course. My brain was stretched and challenged as I did my homework each night; I enjoyed learning new terms… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | February 15, 2015
Category: Adventure Travel, Asia

Two Places to Rock to in Malaysia

Travelling might be all about discovery and abandoning our comfort zones. But at times, when your comfort zone is a club with some loud music, well, it's nice to know where to find it when you are abroad. As a resident of Malaysia, I feel it is time to give justice to my acquired home talking about two places that host a plethora of local and international touring bands. They are both prominent Malaysian homes for the loudest kinds of music, and as such might not be ideal for everybody. But again, if it's about going in and out of… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | October 26, 2014
Category: Adventure Travel, Asia, Destinations, On The Road

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

Enlightening Self-inflicted Ruin Travel

The air is unbreathable, hot, and terribly humid. The air conditioner perched at the top of the wall at my right is just an empty plastic shell that reminds me that there could be some extra comfort, if someone had cared to replace the wiring. Instead, rivulets of sweat pour down my forehead and temples, sliding down my spine and flowing over the small of my back, soaking into the elastic of my underwear. I had to take my shirt off to endure this first Indonesian live test.                “Cut the set short, I can’t breathe…” Sam screams from behind… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | July 27, 2014
Category: Adventure Travel, Asia, On The Road

Lesson from Siberia: making it till morning

[caption id="attachment_21268" align="aligncenter" width="500"] (Camping in Siberia)[/caption] Earlier this year, I rode a Ural motorcycle and sidecar through Siberia, up 1800km of ice roads and ending in the Arctic Circle. It was one hell of a journey which taught me how to survive in extreme sub-zero temperatures. More importantly, it expanded my limits and showed me what I was capable of. One of the most important lessons happened on the second night of the trip - our first attempt camping out. Now, I don't know about you, but I had never camped in extreme cold before. Sure - I had… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | July 11, 2014
Category: Adventure Travel, Asia, On The Road, Vagabonding Advice

Visiting Sulawesi Indonesia: Guide recommendation for 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 fraction of what the cheapest hotels in Makassar could offer, and it has a kitchen and washing machine! He arranged an 8 seater van rental for us for the price of a much smaller car through… Read More...

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

Does travel ever scare you? 5 thoughts on finding security as a nomad.

About a week and a half ago my train pulled up to the platform in Tundla, India where a sea of Indian military men were waiting for it. There was a rush of commotion as we all pushed towards the doors- a commotion which only grew when we discovered all the doors were locked. The train sat there with its locked doors for 5 minutes while the military men grew angrier and angrier, beginning to bang on the doors with their fists, sticks, muskets, anything. I kept thinking that surely someone would open the door. We'd paid for tickets after… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (4)  | May 8, 2014
Category: Adventure Travel, Travel Health, Travel Safety

Up Cambodia without a phrase book

Image credit I am 15 minutes into my hike down the muddy little stream when a tree carving captures my attention. Sticky with sap and arcing brown across the bark, it seems to have been made recently. I drop to my haunches and run my fingers over the design. After three days of living on the Indochinese outback without electricity or running water, I feel like my senses have been sharpened to the details of the landscape. I take a step back for perspective, and my mind suddenly goes blank. The carving is a crude depiction of a skull and… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | April 19, 2014
Category: Adventure Travel, Asia, Destinations, Rolf Potts