Prague: Back to Where it Began

My life as a backpacker began in Prague. I arrived there two months into my trip. But those two months were spent staying with friends and driving across the US. It wasn’t spent in hostels or meeting travelers. Up until that time, my trip always felt like an extended vacation. But all that would change in Prague. Prague was the first place I stayed in a hostel and had to make friends with strangers in dorms, navigate on my own […]

Big Site Updates (and Something Awesome for Other Bloggers!)

I’m not giving up traveling. A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how I no longer wanted to travel long term. Many of you thought I was going to give up traveling. That’s not the case! I’m just going to be traveling in shorter bursts. In some ways, that is the essence of a nomad – you stay in one place until the seasons change and you move on.  That’s what I’m doing. I’m still a backpacker, still focused […]

How to Spend Three Days Touring San Francisco

San Francisco is one of the most eclectic cities in the United States. It’s home to liberals, hippies, hipsters, techies, immigrants, yuppies, one of the oldest gay scenes in the States, that big red bridge, Alcatraz, delicious Chinese food, seafood, and, well, food in general (this is a great city to be hungry in). To me, it’s a magical place. While it lacks that certain je ne sais quoi that would convince me to pack my bags and live there, […]

What All the Recent Changes in Frequent Flier Programs Mean for Travelers

Many of you may have noticed the many changes to frequent flier programs lately. Delta has completely revamped their program to be revenue-based instead of distance based, United has devalued their reward chart and added a revenue requirement, Air Canada devalued their rewards last year (twice), and American Airlines has made a number of unannounced changes to their program, including adding two new reward tiers. The North American frequent flier market isn’t looking so good. Across the world, frequent flier […]

How to Find a Cheap Hotel Room: Sites to Use and Sites to Avoid

As much as I love hostels and other forms of cheap accommodation, there is something nice about the luxuriousness of hotels. They are clean and quiet, feature comfy beds, strong showers, and lots of soap I can take for later. But luxury comes at a price. Hotels certainly aren’t cheap and I hate spending a lot of money for a room I am only going to be in for a few hours. It’s why I mostly avoid hotels – I […]

The Evolution of a Long Term Traveler

There are downsides to long-term travel – the five hour friends, the quick relationships, the solitude that leads to loneliness. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns. But then nothing ever is. Despite those occasional downsides, I think long-term solo travel is something people should try at least once in their life. Even if you don’t like it, try it — it will teach you a lot about yourself. It’s made me a far better and more awesome person and I’ll […]

Why There is No Right Answer

In travel, everything depends on your individual needs and desires. What travel credit card should you sign up for? Depends on your goals. Should you buy a rail pass? Depends on how you travel. Backpack or carry on? Maybe. There is no “right” answer in travel. Beginner travelers always seem to be looking for the right answer. Should they do X or Y? What’s the solution to their problem? My answer is always “it depends,” because there are no universal […]

Reader Stories: How DJ Made All His Dreams Come True

In our last reader story, I highlighted the story of Vikram and Ishwinder, an Indian couple who navigated a complex visa system in order to travel the world. Indians face a lot of restrictions on where they can visit and, for most countries in the world, face an extensive visa process. So do Filipinos. It took a Filipino friend in Bangkok four years to obtain an EU Shengen Visa, despite having a good job, a fiancé, and lots of roots. […]

How I Finally Came to Terms with the Homebody Inside Me

After a few exhausting months on the road, I am finally back in New York City. I’ve spent the last three months on the move, leading tours, attending conferences, and giving talks. It was draining and I’m happy to finally be back home, with no plans other than to enjoy spring’s return to the city. A few weeks ago, while checking my e-mail somewhere over America (I love in-flight wi-fi), I opened a question about my article, “Home: The Death […]

Ko Lanta: The Thai Island That Remains Paradise

It all started with two French girls. It was 2006, and I was five months into my first round-the-world trip. I’d arrived in Thailand two weeks before, run into a friend, and jetted off to Ko Phi Phi, a place I didn’t enjoy. Another friend emailed me about a beautiful, out of the way, hidden island near the Malaysian border called Ko Lipe and suggested I come. It sounded perfect. “I’ll be right there,” I replied. But then I ran […]