Antarctica, uninhabitable in the truest sense of the word. No human can survive it naturally. So what is it that draws us in, makes us want to visit, explore, push the boundaries, and place it on the bucket list?
Open up the panorama below from Detaille Island, just south of the Antarctic Circle, for a clue. Continue Reading »
A few dollars here, a few dollars there. Does how you spend your money when you travel really matter? Is it possible to align your travel approach and spending decisions with your values?
In the first part of this series, The Importance of People in Travel, we explored the relationship between people and the travel experience and we spoke of serendipity and human connections. In this segment, we talk deliberate decisions and the potential impact of our travel purchases on the communities we visit, and on the world.
Goofing with local kids having breakfast in Tarija, Bolivia.
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Dawn breaks in a village above holy Lake Khecheopalri in Sikkim, a semi-autonomous state of northeast India tucked into the Himalayas. In the early morning, children stumble half asleep through the village to the Buddhist monastery school as the sun rises over the nearby mountains. Our reason for rising early on the morning this photo was taken: to grab a glimpse of the elusive peak of Mount Kangchenjunga, the world’s third highest. Continue Reading »
Amsterdam. Romantic canals, medieval trading houses, coffee shops leaking smoke and offering contact highs. A red-light district with voluptuous — or maybe voluminous — women seated in oddly-lit windows, looking bored and listless and occasionally interested. Bicycles. Tulips. Van Gogh. Art museums.
But street art?
A traditional view of Amsterdam on a crisp, autumn day.
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In pursuit of the iconic, sometimes we lose the people. Then we need to come back. Here are a few thoughts on the often overlooked importance of people to travel and the connection between travelers’ experiences, their spending decisions and the impact on the communities they visit.
So much ink is spilled, understandably so, on the budget aspect of travel — how much we spend vs. the value we receive – almost to the point of commoditizing every dimension of one’s travel experience.
One bit is often missing in this discussion, however: people. Continue Reading »
This is a story about finding love just when you’d sworn off looking for it.
In early September, Audrey and I co-presented at a conference in Monterey, California. Monterey just also happens to be the place where we’d first met almost exactly 15 years before, where our joint approach to life on the road got its start.
The driveway where it all began, 15 years later.
In the driveway, the exact spot where our lives together began, we got to thinking how best to answer another oft-asked question: “So how did you guys meet?”
This is the story, roughly and in brief, like we might tell it at a bar. His and hers, back and forth, crumpled unlined notepad paper, speckled with red wine. History, revision, and an occasional differing point of view. Continue Reading »
Almost exactly one year ago, we visited the island of Crete. The “crisis” was in full tilt, demonstrations were plenty in Athens and around Greece, and we were just into the shoulder season (mid-October). It seemed like we had much of the island to ourselves, including lonely little Arkadi Monastery perched on a hill in Crete’s Amari Valley.
The monastery facade you see in the panorama below dates back to the 16th century. Look closely, though, and you’ll see that it is strewn with bullet holes from a 150 years ago, a symbol of Cretan resistance and independence. Continue Reading »
This is the beginning of a multi-part series we’re calling “lost destinations” in which we highlight activities and destinations that we’ve experienced previously but haven’t written about extensively or enough apparently, for they surface often in conversation and in questions emailed to us by readers.
Our first taste of Vienna came in late December 1998. We’d driven across Austria after celebrating Christmas in Salzburg and we arrived in town under the most inauspicious of winter circumstances – Central European midday darkness, frigid temperatures, a biting wind from the Danube, non-existent parking, and fully-booked hotels.
Adding insult to injury, the only people willing to help: overeager men dressed in period costumes skulking around and selling tickets to “best of” classical music performances. We eventually found a place to stay in the far suburbs of town, in the home of an Austrian man holed up with the world’s largest St. Bernard. But that story is for another time.
In any event, this was Western Europe, but with an eastern look. Our relationship with Vienna: off to a rocky start. Continue Reading »
Up until our recent travels into the heart of port wine country, and despite countless glasses of the stuff under my belt, I was still tempted to consider port as a heavy drink that was quaffed by older British men with a cigar after a pot roast dinner.
Then we traveled deep into the Douro Valley in northern Portugal, the epicenter of port wine. And there, things opened up to me. Continue Reading »
Japanese food, where clean eating meets culinary artistry. Where raw fish and pickled vegetables sit astride seaweed strands and tempura sculptures. Japan, the place where you can eat blowfish sashimi, octopus balls and cow rectum one evening, then follow it all up the next day with a 15-course meal that might qualify as one of the truly greatest eating experiences of your life. Japan, the home of some of the world’s most exquisite beef, certainly its most exquisite fish.
Japan, where the dining experience is not only about the actual food consumed, but also the presentation, the design, the sheer beauty of what you’re eating. Japanese cuisine, where the food canvas employs color, where form truly follows function.
From the traditional to the modern, from the quick to the drawn-out, and from the haute to the street — with a few unusual (and necessary) ideas for limited budgets to help your yen go a bit further — this is our take on Japanese food. Continue Reading »