The Traveler’s Wishlist for 2009

With the new year a week away and Santa Claus visiting tonight, it’s time to create a travel wish list for 2009: Dear Santa, It’s been a great 2008. We like to think we were good travelers this year. We started a lot of good travel websites, met great travelers, participated in worthy causes, some companies went green, and more people traveled the green way. More people around the world traveled this year and even more people inspired themselves to […]

The History of Christmas

Ahhh Christmas. That special time of year when Santa Claus drops off presents, egg nog makes you do bad things under the mistletoe, we get ugly gifts, we put up a tree, and… oh yea… we celebrate the birth of Jesus. On December 25th, Christians around the world will honor and celebrate the birth of Jesus and the spirit of the Lord. Yet Christmas has turned into a mass consumer holiday where everyone has to give and receive expensive gifts […]

Interview with Panama Writer, William Friar

This month’s interview is from Moon Guidebook author William Friar. He is their Panama author and shares his insights on this rapidly developing country and what he thinks is in store in the future. Nomadic Matt: How did you end up as a guidebook writer? William Friar: This will really annoy anyone who’s trying to break into guidebook writing, but I’d never even thought about it until a publisher found me and offered a contract for an adventure-travel guide to […]

Why Travel Can Change the World

There always seems to be something bad in the news. If it bleeds, it leads right? Even if it doesn’t bleed, it is still there. And all that bad news seems to dampen the world’s spirit. The economy, climate change, terrorism, nationalism, poverty, disease – the list of challenges and things to worry about seems endless. The future, while always uncertain, appears even more so lately. Will the planet be inhabitable in a few decades? Will some Jihadi get his hands […]

How to Travel with Your Dog

When my husband and I adopted our two large, slobbery Labrador retrievers (Molly and Jack), everyone told us that would be the end of our carefree travel days. Each one of them weighs 80 lbs, loves to run around, and has more chew toys than your average teething infant. Last summer, we brought them to Madrid with us. They flew on Iberia Air, stayed with us in our apartment, and got to know the locals very well (“Que Bonitas!” the […]

Seven Reasons to Visit Thailand Now!

The political trouble in Thailand has brought the country into the news a lot lately. Because of the trouble, tourists are fleeing the country and not coming back, despite all the great reasons to visit Thailand. Tourist bookings are way down, with some hotels reporting an occupancy rate as low as 20%. December is normally one of the busiest months in Thailand because of the holidays. Yet even the backpacker area of Khao San Road was deserted this weekend during […]

The Low Down on the Trouble in Thailand

I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately about the situation over in Bangkok, where I live. Many people I know are stuck here or have had their travel plans disrupted because of the recent airport seizures. I’ve been in Thailand since the 2006 coup, and I’ve never seen the political situation this bad. Usually, Thais go out of the way to avoid hurting the economically important tourist industry or inconveniencing foreigners. Moreover, they always try to keep a good […]

The Saturday City: Singapore

Singapore wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be. Given its image as a hyper-clean, hyper-lawful place, I expected a very regimented, orderly, clean, and police-heavy city. I found none of that. In fact, in three days wandering the city, I never once saw anything that looked like a police officer or even a security guard. Maybe it is the fear of reprisal that keeps people in line. Laws in Singapore are harsh- very harsh, which is probably why there […]