Aug 042011
 
Pre-Travel Freakouts: Seventeen Days in China Edition!

Tears poured down my cheeks and into my gourmet hot dog as I sat across from my friend Meg, less than a week before my flight to Beijing and the subsequent 50-something hours of trains and buses I will take through Chongqing, Yunyang, and Shanghai.

“I’m sorry,” I choked out, “but I’m always a complete mess before international travel. Every little thing makes me freak out: an offhand remark from a friend… a [...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!]

Jul 222011
 
Mannequin Chests and Rumps Worldwide: Miami Update

Hello. Ahem. Pause ogling that photo over there for just a moment and look over here at these words, please.

The image you see to the left is a real Miami mannequin, which boasts (as you may have noticed) somewhat un-real proportions.

What you observe over there is merely one of about forty-thousand Bust-a-licious Mannequins in Miami. These top-heavy plastic ladies are in EVERY South Beach window these days!

You see, at a certain [...Read More!]

Jul 152011
 
How to Use Timeshare Pitches for Travel but Avoid Buying

Getting a cheap travel package in exchange for sitting through a Timeshare presentation is a bit like wrestling an alligator. Sometimes you escape, unscathed, and sometimes you get… caught. For that reason, this article on surviving Timeshare hard-sells without buying is accompanied by photos from an alligator wrestling show we saw in the Everglades, Florida. Logical, no? Well at the very least, let it be entertaining.

For those of you unfamiliar with [...Read More!]

Jul 102011
 
Why Miami is One of the Best Cities in America for Travel

When foreign folks ask which cities in the United States I most recommend to visit (cities, not unmissable national parks like the Grand Canyon), I always say: New York City, Boston (I’m biased on that one), Washington DC, San Francisco, and… South Beach, Miami!

Because it’s so far “down there,” a lot of people skip Miami and focus upward, but Americans and visitors, alike, if you haven’t yet been to Miami, put [...Read More!]

Jul 062011
 
A Delicious 3-Day Cruise from Florida to the Bahamas

Cruises evoke a bevy of reactions from folks.

Are cruises “Heaven on Earth,” or an “Inferno of Inauthenticity and Waste?”

Are cruises a great, money-saving deal, or are they financially foolish?

Are they “delectably relaxing,” or “straight up… wimpy?”

All these voices swirled through my noggin when my beau, Colin, revealed he’d snagged a 3-day cruise, 4-day Florida jaunt package at a discount… and we were scheduled to leave the day after we both finished [...Read More!]

Jun 202011
 
An Instant Way to Add Flair to Your Travel and Tourism

My dear friend Meg and I were sitting in an open-air Spanish restaurant in Washington DC earlier this month when we noticed it.

“Women here in DC dress well,” declared Meg as she chomped into a garlic shrimp and gazed onto the street. My friend was feeling particularly fashion-conscious that week, as an article had just come out declaring her native San Francisco one of the sloppiest-dressed cities in the U.S.

“I mean, [...Read More!]

Jun 042011
 
Short Term Classes: A Perfect Launch for Your Travels

Are you yearning to travel, but are fearful of the vast unknown?

Here’s a solution: start your journey with a two to eight-week class in the country from which you’d like to launch your travels.

Why? By starting your travels with a local class, you can get your feet under you in a new place. The moment you arrive, you will have directions or pick-up from the airport, housing, a group of new [...Read More!]

May 302011
 
The Power of One Cheesy 80s Song During World Travel

One of the few songs I had on my small, cheap computer to travel around the world for 9 months was “Rains Down in Africa” by Toto, so you can imagine how many times I listened to it.

There are some songs that, while cheese-tastic, evoke a magical glitter in the air, and for me, Toto’s “Africa” is sure one of them.

So last Thursday, standing under the soaring dome and 100-foot arches [...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!]