April 2009 Archive

Camping 101: Knowing What to Pack

More and more baby boomers are retiring and heading back to nature after decades of material excess. We‘re no longer interested in crawling in and out of a small tent, sleeping on the ground, scrounging up a meal over a 3 inch burner, and deploying the grunge look for that week in the wilderness. But camping has an irresistible nostalgic allure, is a very affordable means of travel and unfortunately, still has many women digging in their 3-inch heels against it.

Baby boomer or not, female or male, this article is for all of you who want to camp, but can’t (or don’t want to) hack the roughing-it part.

Camping 101: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

With fuel prices being the lowest in 4 years and vacation budgets being a non-factor in a lot of people’s minds right now, the stage is set for summer camping trips to be the boon. As our inability to spend on a foreign vacation destination is pitted against our need to have a break, we have an opportunity to rediscover the campground. Camping meets our need for frugality as well as our desire for rejuvenation.

Timothy Allen

Prepare to get jealous. Timothy Allen is a brilliant photographer getting paid by the BBC to travel the world, take photos, and blog about it.

4 Ways to Help Kids Adjust to the Realities of Life Overseas

My children officially became Third-Culture-Kids (TCKs) when they stepped off an airplane into a hot dusty Saharan night in April, 2001. The stars were obscured by sand and the wind felt like it was coming off an oven, but we were all too tired to care. My oldest was nearly 6, and the twins had just celebrated their 4th birthday. In 28 hours, including layovers, we had traversed the globe, moving from Portland, Oregon (USA) to Nouakchott, Mauritania (West Africa) with 12 suitcases and one guitar. None of our luggage showed up with us.

Although I had read myriad articles and books on raising children between cultures, nothing really prepared me for that first meal of goat head; or for how I would react to children wanting to sit next to me on the couch when it was 115 degrees out and I was sweating in places I had no idea it was possible to sweat.


After quitting her job, leaving New York City and travelling the world, Sherry Ott realized that she could never go back. She now earns her pennies by teaching English and through her writing and photography, while continuing on in her travels.

The Long Horse Ride: Interview with Megan Lewis

Megan Lewis is on an 8,000 kilometre horse ride from Beijing to London.

The culmination of the 2008 Beijing Olympics marked the start of the horse ride, which is scheduled to finish in London in 2012.

The ride is designed to carry a goodwill message from Beijing to London, as well as raise funds for disadvantaged children through the work of Schoolchildren for Children.

Just before she was about to set out on the second stage of her journey, I exchanged emails with Megan about the inspiration behind this trip, and her experiences so far.

The Simple Three-Part Budget Plan for Travelling Europe

If there’s one thing budget travellers in Europe are good at it’s surviving on bread and cheese and not showering for weeks probably budgeting. Because we’re trying to leave home and keep travelling on the smallest amount of savings, every scrap of income is carefully stored and cared for until we hit the continent.

My wife and I travelled through Europe from March 2006 to September 2008. We visited over 30 countries during this time and — as well as creating the Indie Travel Podcast, an award-winning website about budget and independent travel — figured out how to keep ourselves alive while we weren’t working.

The Long Horse Ride

Megan Lewis part of the way through a horse ride from Beijing to London. Setting off after the Olympic closing ceremony last year, she plans to arrive in London in time for the 2012 Olympics.

Roaming Rachael

Rachael Hanley got tired of eyebrow-high snow in upstate New York, so she quit her newspaper job, threw away her shovel and headed off to Quito, Ecuador to try her hand at travel writing. She is currently on assignment in Nicaragua and plans to work her way up to Mexico by September.

How I Learned to Shut Up and Listen

I sat at a table of no fewer than fifteen people on the street Pio Nono, entry to Bellavista, the down-home party section of Santiago, Chile. I’d been invited to go out for a beer after the monthly critical mass bike ride, and we stacked our bikes tidily (handlebars to rear wheel) against a nearby tree and set to the matter at hand. We sat at a long series of card tables extending down the street, each of us perched on one of those ubiquitous white plastic chairs, serving ourselves beer into small glasses from the liter bottles of Escudo on the center of the tables. Some, drinkers of fan-schop (a Chilean specialty), mixed theirs with Fanta. I drank mine plain, and listened.

I arrived to Chile in 2004, with way more than a passing knowledge of Spanish. Between high school and a couple of travel and study stints in the mundo hispanohablante (Spanish-speaking world), I could express myself fairly well, if not cleverly. Hadn’t I explained the electoral college to a group of teachers in Antigua, Guatemala in the 90s? Wasn’t it me who grabbed other travelers by the hand to take them to the post office, the bus station, to get their hair cut? I enjoyed helping, expressing, being in charge. I could get you a seat on the bus, a doorstop, tape to fix a book – you name it. I could ask for it directly or circumlocute it. I spoke, and people understood. At the time, I felt that this was the only necessary linguistic accomplishment. You, listen to me. And then it was over.

  • The Guy: I think Dave and Jodi raise some very valid points and they are consistent with my perceptions based on over...
  • Jay Daviot: Epic list! There are some great blogs there. Would love to see a few more blogs from photographers though...
  • John: I’ve always wanted to hitch hike across the USA.
  • Sara Wikoff: I found your post very interesting. I am just a Freshman in college and I have not decided my major yet....
  • John: Great advice, I always buy charcoal tabs in case I get an upset tummy.
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