When people hear that we’ve been traveling around the world, they often imagine the two of us relaxing on a beach, drinking mai tais and reclining under flaming tiki torches.
In reality, it’s no wonder that the word “travel” is derived from the French word travail meaning “to work hard, to toil.” While we may occasionally indulge in beachside cocktails here and there, our days are typically filled with on-the-fly problem solving in ever-changing contexts: finding decent places to sleep, negotiating safe transport, and keeping ourselves well and well-fed so that we may focus on understanding the places we visit and the people we meet.
But this makes independent travel sound like something of an exercise in endurance. Much more than that, it facilitates the development and sharpening of a rather specific set of life skills that not only come in handy on the road but also translate in the real world (you know, the place where tiki torches are replaced by fluorescent track lights). Continue Reading »
The driver carved his way across northern West Bengal through territory unknown to most, including the mapmakers. Our SUV eventually rolled to a stop at the end of a dirt road where a group of village women dressed in their best and brightest saris were seated in a semi-circle on the ground. They had been waiting for hours.
And they were waiting for us.
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What is it about the center of a land mass that seems to dull its food? Continue Reading »
As we close out our reflections on Central America (don’t worry, food comes next), we are reminded of the places and moments — the good, the bad, the idiosyncratic, the illustrative — from our zigzag chicken bus journey across Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
Let’s dig in. Continue Reading »
To say that you’ve seen the world before seeing India is like saying you know yourself before taking a good long look at your naked body in the mirror.
Evening Puja (Prayers) in Udaipur, Rajasthan. Click Fullscreen (4 arrows) and move around the panoramic image.
Author’s Note: As we begin to write about our last visit to India in greater depth, I’m reminded of my first trip there — also my first trip abroad that I took solo in 1997. Those were the days of traveler’s checks, thick stapled wads of Indian rupees, and exorbitantly priced, poor quality phone calls booked from telephone wallahs on the street. The ATM machines, internet cafes and easy-to-purchase mobile phone SIM cards of today’s India seemed only a pipe dream back then.
This is the first of a multi-part series chronicling the bizarre experiences and lessons – about India, travel and me – that first visit imparted. No other trip since has affected me in quite the same way. Continue Reading »
As we travel, it’s common for locals the world over to ask us where we are from. In Asia, the response “The United States” was usually sufficient. In Europe, they didn’t ask; they assumed.
Not so in Central America. People were curious to know the states and often the towns and cities where we grew up, where we have lived. After sharing our details, it wasn’t uncommon to hear: “I had a cousin who lived there”, “Oh, I lived [nearby] for 15 years” or “My brother lives there.”
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I’ve been out of the dating game for exactly 12 years, so maybe I’m not the best person to write about how to snag a man. However, during our recent trip to the Galapagos Islands, I observed the behaviors of various birds and something struck me: their mating habits reminded me of those dating advice columns I used to read in Cosmo.
If memory serves, it’s a cruel dating world out there. For those of you still in the game, take comfort that the animal kingdom knows no more forgiveness than our human one.
Were Charles Darwin to lead a voyage into the realm of dating advice, perhaps this is where he’d take us: Continue Reading »
We usually share photos to better relate our experiences and provide a more personal look at a country and its culture. Here we do the same, but we add a cautionary tale. Continue Reading »
Ah, the Galapagos Islands. An iconic destination if there ever was one. But what’s it really all about?
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Filed Under: Travel
by Daniel Noll
The first person to utter “shit happens” must have been a traveler.
As I emptied myself from both ends for the better part of 36 hours in the hills of northern Ecuador recently (a bad batch of cevichochos, I suspect), I was reminded that we owe our readers an accounting of how we usually manage to stay healthy while we travel. Continue Reading »