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!]

Apr 072010
 
Rescued from the Edge of Sanity at the Edge of Europe

Gaze down. There is nothing but a hundred-foot drop and waves crashing against rocks.

Gaze out. There is nothing but weeks and weeks at sea until you finally reach the outstretched arm of America. You are at the brink, baby.

Cabo da Roca, Portugal is the Western-most tip of Europe. It is the teetering edge of land before endless miles of ocean.

As I stood there in the whipping wind [...Read More!]

Apr 062010
 
Thanks from Youth Creating Change of Ghana!

Today I swallowed my seventh and last post-exposure anti-Malaria Malarone pill. This means that it has been a full week since I flew out of West Africa and into Europe, tearfully leaving behind the wonderful Youth Creating Change of Ghana family.

But wait: nothing is ever left behind in this Internet age!

And thus I can give you the news, seven days after my Accra departure, that the donations we have collected through [...Read More!]

Apr 052010
 
Why RTW Travel Doesn't Need to be a Rich, White Thing

The wildly popular website, Stuff White People Like, has an article entitled: “Taking a Year Off.” It details the trend among rich Caucasians to flee the daily grind and jaunt around the world for a year, always thinking that they are the first to concoct such a brilliant idea.

“Give them a FAKE email address before they leave!” warns the site, or you will get nonstop annoying emails bragging about [...Read More!]

Apr 042010
 
In Praise of Airing Your Laundry, in Portugal and in Life

Word on the street is that an increasing number of cities are banning the practice of air-drying laundry outside houses.

“It looks like something country peasants would do,” city governors have sneered. “We are a developed, modern metropolis. Our people’s laundry should be dried by machines, not by the breeze. And it should certainly NOT be seen.”

But with such a law, legislators are erasing rainbows from the streets! [...Read More!]