Apr 172010
 
7 Ways to Battle Homesickness and General Melancholy

Chances are, if you’re from New England and are already homesick, Europe is going to make you ache with it.

Travel in Asia and Africa is easier on the heart because it is so different from home that you can just flow with the newness.

But here in Europe? You’ll feel the tug in your soul. The curve of that column? It looks like Boston’s buildings. The glint of [...Read More!]

Apr 162010
 
The Food I Thought Was Too Good to Exist

Before he boarded the plane back to California, my brother hollered: “Don’t forget to track down that crazy chocolate thingy my friend told us about!”

“There’s no way it actually exists,” I scoffed.

“It does!” my brother asserted. “Find it.”

At the start of our Iberian week of adventure, my sibling had whispered a rumor he had heard.

“My friend told me,” he hissed conspiratorially, “that in Spain they drink this chocolate “beverage” which [...Read More!]

Apr 152010
 
Your Uterus, Travel, and Difficult Life Choices

“Shut up, biological clock, SHUT UP!!!”

This was my Twitter “tweet” which earned me the most re-tweets in a twenty-four hour span this month of any tweet I wrote. It seems people can relate!

“When you have children,” beamed the husband of one of my generous Spanish hosts, “it is amazing. You suddenly understand the full meanings of words such as “Love” and “Sacrifice” and “Responsibility” that you never fully got before.”

“That’s [...Read More!]

Apr 142010
 
Tourism to the Next Level: Mundane Saturday Errands!

“There gets to be a point,” said the somewhat smelly British traveler as he packed his backpack to move out of the hostel, “where you become so sick of famous waterfalls that you can’t bear to see another one.”

I was on a short vacation in Brazil with my best friend four years ago when we met this Around the World traveler in a Rio hostel. The man and his wife [...Read More!]

Apr 132010
 
Hot Fashion Shows and Fancy Cheese for All People!

“One thing I adore about living in Spain,” said American teacher Erin who has been living here for two years, “is that the quality of life is incredibly high for an incredibly large swath of the population. Good cheese… long lunch breaks… theater… live music… Nearly everyone, from construction workers to company presidents, can enjoy these pleasures in Spain!”

At the time, it was a challenge to concentrate on Erin’s words [...Read More!]

Apr 122010
 
When is it Worth it to Splurge on a Package Day Tour During Travel?

First, today is my eight-month anniversary of flying out of Boston to travel the world!

Second, I am essentially living a lie. On April sixth, 2010, I arrived in Spain and have been here ever since… yet everyone thinks I am still in Portugal because I’ve had such a backlog of blog articles and photos about that fine country!

Anyhoo, here is the last Portugal-based tidbit, and from now until mid-May it will [...Read More!]

Apr 112010
 
Thanks, Portugal! Europe is Cheaper Than We Feared!

My brother and I are shocked: It appears that beautiful Portugal can be rocked out for less than $50 U.S. Dollars a day, everything included!

When entering Europe after seven and a half months in Southeast Asia and West Africa, I had visions of a European ATM spouting tentacles and strangling me as it reached into the depths of my bank account to suck it dry.

But it hasn’t been quite so bad! [...Read More!]

Apr 102010
 
The Disastrous Pastry Episode of Lisbon, Portugal

My brother hurled the paper bag to the floor with a thud.

“What the heck is that?” I asked, fearful.

My brother put his head in his hands and wailed: “I had such high hopes!”

I reached into the bag and pulled out: a bright orange, seven-inch long stalagmite of sugar, egg… and what felt a lot like lead. (Visual representation to the upper right of the lead photo.)

At the entity’s [...Read More!]

Apr 092010
 
Really, What ARE The Best Hostels in the World?

“We stayed in the number one and number three hostels in the ENTIRE WORLD!” I sang out.

Whenever my brother and I declared this (and we declared it approximately seventy-eight times in one week), it was necessary to use the most dramatic booming deity voice possible. Why? Because that’s a really big deal to say something is number one in the entire world!

And it begs the question: How true are these hostel [...Read More!]

Apr 082010
 
The Magical Forests and Gardens of Sintra, Portugal

An unexpected joy of touring Portugal: the forests and parks are stunning! Just how stunning are they? They are so magical that the official informational plaque outside Sintra’s Quinta da Regaleira gardens reads like something out of a torrid romance novel.

So slip on your velvet smoking jacket, light a toasty fire and your favorite old fashioned pipe, and let’s take a nice, long read of the actual text [...Read More!]