Aug 242011
 
A 16 Hour Fast Night Train from Beijing to Chongqing

One of the best nights of sleep I’ve had in my entire time in China has been… on a 16-hour fast train from Beijing to Chongqing!

Who knew that the key to a restful slumber was sticking yourself in a metal box hurtling hundreds of miles per hour through the most populous country on Earth?

For those of you who sometimes forget this, China is larger in area than the United States, so [...Read More!]

Aug 212011
 
Touring Beijing's Forbidden City Without Fights or Faints

“Be careful at zee Forbidden City,” our French hostel roommate warned. “Eet eez so big and so beautiful, that after a while you say: too much!”

“But look at that tiny rectangle on the Beijing map,” I protested, pointing to the box labeled “Forbidden City.” “I could walk that in like five minutes.”

The French lass guffawed heartily, said, “Well, just arrive as early as possible in zee day!” and headed off on [...Read More!]

Aug 182011
 
A Delicious China Travel Food: Old Beijing Yogurt

When I think of China, I don’t exactly think “yogurt.” Great Wall + China? Yes. Dairy products + China? No.

How wrong I was!

“I’m gonna feed you something that’ll change your life,” proclaimed Gareth the day Colin and I arrived in Beijing.

Gareth has been a Peace Corps volunteer in China for a year, now, so we figured she might know what she was talking about. We followed her through the hot back [...Read More!]

Aug 162011
 
An Epic Hike on the Best Part of the Great Wall of China

We had been in China for less than 24 hours, the moment we found ourselves high atop the Great Wall of China, giddy with happiness.

At somewhere between 3,800 and 5,500 miles in total, depending how you measure its parts, the Great Wall of China stretches longer than the entire border between the United States and Canada.

This fact not only boggles the mind, but it also makes it tough for a tourist [...Read More!]

Aug 132011
 
What to Expect on a Flight from the U.S. to China

Hello from China, all the way across the world from where I was last week!

In the five days since I arrived here, I’ve already hiked the Great Wall, reunited with my dear friend Gareth who is teaching here through Peace Corps, toured the Forbidden City and Tienanmen Square, taken a 15 hour sleeper train to the center of the country, and (continuously) stuffed myself silly on mouth-watering Chinese food. In short, life is [...Read More!]

Jul 262011
 
Danger and Glory in Everglades National Park of Florida

“I’m not sure we’re going to survive the Everglades,” I gasped, browsing the Official Everglades Website. “Just listen to these warnings. They’re terrifying!”

“Please do not bring pets on the trails. Not only do you put your pet’s life in danger, you put yours in danger as well,” I read.

“I have this image of bringing a tiny yappy dog and having it instantly whisked away in the drooling jaws of a ‘gator!” I [...Read More!]

May 212011
 
Scary Sandboarding Down Giant Sand Dunes in Peru

Perhaps you’ve heard of snowboarding, and perhaps you’ve heard of surfboarding. Both activities are adrenaline-filled and frequently televised… but neither can match the feeling of sand in your underpants that you gain from a little activity known as SANDboarding.

Several summers ago, I lived in Peru and volunteer-taught with my Boston teacher friend, Gareth, in the fish factory town of Chimbote. We lived with the family that owned the school, and got along [...Read More!]

May 122011
 
What's Changed, 1 Year After Returning from RTW Travel?

Exactly a year ago today, I returned back to America after nine straight months traveling around the world.

What a change a year makes! My life now is unrecognizable from 365 days ago… and it’s an inspiring reminder of how we never have to be stuck!

On May 12, 2010, I flew from Madrid back to Boston with no secure job, no apartment of my own, a fragmented social scene, and a small [...Read More!]

Apr 212011
 
The Unbelievable Glass Chihuly Exhibit at Boston's MFA

Normally, Boston’s famed Museum of Fine Arts is more expensive than two movie tickets put together… but it turns out that entrance is FREE every day for kids age 7-17 after 3pm, and on Wednesday evenings, it’s free for EVERYONE!

And you must go NOW. Why? Because there is an exhibit at the MFA now that may be the coolest art experience you encounter in your life: Dale Chihuly’s giant, color-saturated, twisted, [...Read More!]

Apr 132011
 
Big News About "Meet, Plan, Go!" Travel Conference 2011

“Hey Lillie,” said Sherry by Skype yesterday, “I met someone last month in Sri Lanka who knows you!”

“What?!” I gasped?

“Right!” Sherry laughed. “This guy, Brooks, is out traveling the world now because of your “Meet, Plan, Go!” 2010 Boston career-break travel conference!”

I almost swooned from happiness. Last year when Sherry Ott and Michaela Potter founded the “Meet, Plan, Go!” extended travel movement and asked me to coordinate the Boston chapter of the [...Read More!]