Southeast Asia is hardly the final frontier when it comes to backpacking. Buses specially tailored for foreign tourists line every Bangkok street corner; tubing the Nam Song in Laos ends with gift shops; pancakes and spaghetti are ubiquitous even in Burma.When I first went to Koh Phangan in 2013, I was expecting this — just a few days in Southeast Asia and you quickly learn of Koh Phangan’s reputation as the go-to place for manufactured buzz and bliss.
Vagabondingauthor Rolf Potts has a new book out – Marco Polo Didn’t Go There: Stories and Revelations from One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer– and to celebrate the occasion, he’s headed out on a North American tour.Dates are still tentative, and more locations (possibly including Montreal, San Diego, Baltimore and DC) could also still be added.
It has been over one year since the eviction of Occupy Wall Street’s flagship occupation at Zuccotti Park. However, a couple hundred demonstrators still maintain homeless encampments throughout New York City.Despite my distrust of corporate America, I have never bought into the 99 vs 1 mentality. I ended up at the Occupy encampments because I was scheduled to fly from New York to Cambodia, and since I had a few days in the city before my flight, I decided to link up with an old college friend who has been part of the movement for over a year.
Matador and St. Martin’s Press announce 2014 travel book: 101 Places to Get F*cked Up Before You Die
St. Martin’s Press and Matador are stoked to announce the forthcoming publication of the book 101 Places to Get F*cked Up Before You Die.PART TRAVEL GUIDE, PART SOCIAL COMMENTARY, and part drunken cultural anthropology, 101 Places goes where no travel book has gone before. Join Matador’s crew of award winning travel journalists and ambassadors plus an all-star cast of party-crashers as we breach security, ride ill-recommended ferries, and hike miles into the wilderness to report on partying possibilities all over.
I love watching travel videos, observing the world from other people’s points of view and seeing their stories. The ten videos below go so far beyond “entertaining” or “interesting” that they can only be described as “inspiring.” I can hardly sit still watching these films because I want to get in the car, plane, train or just get my boots on for a new adventure.
This is my second piece about Jana Henychová, a Czech musher who lives in Horní Maxov with her Siberian huskies and American husband, Rodney (read the first here). Jana has won the European Dogsledding Championship twice in her category. She’s also completed the Finnmarksloppet, a prestigious endurance race in Finland, in both the 500 kilometers and 1000 kilometers categories.
My stomach lifted with the last lurch of flight as our plane finally touched ground in Bogota, Colombia. That brief feeling of weightlessness terrified me as a child. I was convinced I would die if I ever stepped foot on a roller coaster, and repetitive dreams of falling off cliffs often woke me with the impossibly imagined impact with my mattress.
These days, when I travel to Detroit it’s mostly for football games or funerals.I suppose it’s odd to call myself a “traveler” to Detroit, the place where I was born and where I lived until I was 22.Actually, let me take that back. I was born in a Detroit hospital; however, I grew up in the suburbs, and in my entire life have probably only spent a total of a few days below 8 Mile Road — yes, that is a real road, not just the name of the movie about Eminem.
YOU SEE THOSE PHOTOS OF YOUR FRIENDS frolicking around Phuket or Goa or Barra de Navidad. You decry these people as dropouts and slackers who’ve rejected modernity. They look like they’re having too much fun and not getting anything done!You are sitting at your desk eating a turkey sandwich from the cafeteria.
Cuisine is intricately woven into the tapestry of life the world over.FOOD IS JUST AS much a part of culture as language. Eating local is a big commitment for travelers, but it can serve to make any journey more memorable and unique.Sadly, traveling can sometimes be an excuse to eat quick and easy food, to walk between those ubiquitous golden arches for just one little cheeseburger.
Matador attempts to put this old international sports debate to rest.Meet our panelistsN. Chrystine Olson: From the perspective of an American football officialRugby and gridiron compete for my loyalty in September. Tri Nations winds up, American football starts. I attempted to watch both last Saturday, contacting the only sports bar known for showing “the rugby,” hoping one screen could be dedicated to the South Africa / Australia match.
Alice Driver on the anatomy of violence in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.ONE DAY, ON MY WAY to the metro as I returned home from volunteering, I saw a pale peach leg hovering above the crowd. It floated, disembodied and naked, towards the entrance to Metro Eugenia in Mexico City. I picked up my pace, pushed forward, and made my way towards the ragged man carrying the leg.
You’ve already seen them — the sleek, polished, perfectly lit photos of exotic locations, captured for the whole internet to gawk and lust over. Somehow they are taken from the exact perfect angle — the impossible kind of angle that makes you think that surely a helicopter was involved, or an incredibly expensive zoom lens.
Photo via Mountain2MountainTHE STORIES WE HEAR from Afghanistan and its people tend to be of war, poverty, and oppression. There is truth in these narratives, but they’re not the only stories from the region. While this is the daily reality for much of the country, it is merely the backdrop against which amazing stories are emerging.
Yesterday marked the Yellowstone region’s third fatal grizzly bear attack in a year.AS I WAS SETTING up my tent at a basic campground outside Gardiner, MT, last summer, buzz was still hot and anxiety high (among visitors, not so much locals) over the recent grizzly attack in Cooke City, about 50 miles due east.
“The British don’t like the French, and the French don’t like the British.”Have you ever heard this sentence uttered? Whether or not it’s true will obviously come down to personal experience and opinion, but chances are, if you’re from one of those countries, you have heard it. Just last year Cameron and Sarkozy met with the sole purpose of reminding us that the ‘Entente Cordiale’ between our two nations following centuries of colonial conflict, war, and disgruntled Eurostar immigration officers was still just as strong as it ever had been and won’t be changing anytime soon.
THERE’S A GUY in my neighborhood who dresses like Jesus Christ. He walks around Fountain, in Hollywood, just doin’ his thing — petting dogs and saying “hi” to everyone. Jesus My Neighbor, and most of the people in LA, are pretty great. I’m super lucky to know a lot of smart, kind, weird, and wonderful people in the city.
The Yacuma Pampas lie in the upper Amazon basin of north-central Bolivia. I first discovered the area as I was planning a trip to Bolivia and was perusing Google Earth images of the country’s lowlands. At first, I thought the vast open area was a result of deforestation, but on closer examination the images showed no roads, no clear-cuts, no fishbone-like networks of slash-and-burn agriculture.
I flew Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner last Wednesday on a United flight from Tokyo to Los Angeles. I’ve flown on over a thousand planes, and this segment goes down as one of my five favorite flights of my life.There is much talk about how dicey the planes are, and that they’re fraught with gremlins. My flight took off and landed on time, with no complications.
Real travelers don’t eat at McDonald’s. They grub on local delicacies at dirty tuck-aways, uncover worldly truths under the influence of homebrewed liquor, and rack up serious traveling cred in the process. They don’t eat at Pizza Hut, they don’t buy from Starbucks, and they most definitely do not frequent KFC.
People love to say “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but everyone does it anyway. We judge people by their looks, friends by their music tastes, and bands by how many commercials (or lack thereof) they’ve been featured in. It’s human nature. This tendency is magnified when travelling, as we encounter things that we know nothing about.