Dec 032009
 
Dental Tourism!

“Yaaaay!” I typed to Paul, “You’re gonna have the best root canal ever!!!!”

Several weeks ago, my friend Paul was informed by his Manhattan dentist that he needs three root canals, seven crowns, and “various other stuff”. Total projected cost: over TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.

Although Paul is a semi-famous politician, like most of us he does not have ten thousand dollars to fling towards one square inch of artificial tooth polymers. [...Read More!]

Dec 022009
 
Ways to Make Buddies While Traveling

I received a lovely email from an American backpacker in Mexico recently, requesting tips on finding pals while traveling. This article is a response. Keep those emails zinging my way, readers! I like them.

(Note: the photos in this article are street scenes from Chiang Mai, Thailand. What a livable, enjoyable place! Look at how pretty the disco ball temple walls look in the glow of night traffic!)

Before [...Read More!]

Nov 302009
 
Eating Insects at the Sunday Market

Ben was only two days into his new life in Chiang Mai, and he was already eating bugs.

I met Ben and Mike in a restaurant the day after they’d left everything they’d known in Australia to move their internet marketing enterprise to Thailand.

They were joining their friend, Paul, who had come to Chaing Mai fourteen months ago and spread the word that the curry here is cheap, and the living good.

“Was [...Read More!]

Nov 282009
 
Packing Tip for Backpackers: 3 S's.

Planning on being on the road for more than a week or two? Remember these three S’s while packing your bags:

1. Small passport-sized photos (at least 20).

After three and half months of traveling, my fat stock of these official-type photos is already rapidly dwindling. Why? Because I have needed to use at least four per month. Here are some instances of when:

a) Every new country’s visa I [...Read More!]

Nov 242009
 
Thai Massage's Sexy Reputation

“A question, please,” said my classmate Olivia shyly. “In Brazil we don’t have this idea, but I hear that in America and Europe, Thai massage sometimes is, um… well… how you say…” “Linked with prostitution?” I asked. Olivia’s face lit up and then flushed bright red. “Um, yes.” “Oh absolutely!” I said, thinking of all the joke emails from friends I currently have in my Inbox in reaction to the news that [...Read More!]

Nov 222009
 
An Ode to Me-Cation Hermit Time

“We’d take a last embrace, she whispering to me, “Jesus, what am I going to do now?” …But the moment I left her my head cleared. It was another kind of music, not so croony but good just the same.”(p. 170 in Henry Miller’s “Tropic of Cancer“)

  Partially in celebration of Miller’s wise words, and partly because I really freaking needed it after three months of hardcore travel, I have been a [...Read More!]
Nov 212009
 
Budget Travel Tip: Uber-Expensive Hotels

A gloriously counter-intuitive budget travel secret: crazy expensive hotels are your friends!

Have you ever woken up in your perfectly comfortable but not exactly luxurious $7 hotel room (pictured, right) and thought, “Geez, man, I could stand to feel bit more like a Prince/Princess today.”? Of course you have.

(Okay, literally, as I was just sitting on my $7 bed writing that last paragraph, an ant crawled up the mattress and onto [...Read More!]

Nov 192009
 
...And Then the British Lass Stole his Passport

(Note: This is a seedy, spicy, shocking story that happened a few weeks ago in Laos, which I am only now at liberty to recount. Be assured, though, that the end comes with a wholesome lesson. The accompanying photos are utterly unrelated (sorry, but I couldn’t really have photos of the folks in this sketchy story!), and were taken tonight at the gorgeous Night Bazaar in Chiang Mai, Thailand: my current [...Read More!]

Nov 172009
 
On Cabbages and Condoms

“Ew, miss,” said the straight-A student from the table across the classroom, “No one uses condoms anymore.”

“WHAT?!” I screamed, choking on my tea. “NO!!!”

The conversation had started innocently enough. Two sweet students had lingered after school to catch up on homework and (let’s face it) flirt with each other. The topic of our school’s endless teen pregnancies came up, and I began to inquire about current safer sex [...Read More!]

Nov 142009
 
An Update on the Around the World Itinerary

Sheesh, folks, calm yourselves!

After posting my flight plan changes (staying in Southeast Asia until late December and postponing the Dubai/Turkey leg) I received a veritable barrage of flustered emails. Let’s answer some of the questions you posed to see if we can all soothe our souls a bit.

Q: “Why aren’t you going to Turkey or Dubai?? I really want to hear your perspective on those [...Read More!]