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 […]

The True History of Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States, and American families everywhere are coming together to celebrate the harvest, family, country, and all the good that happened over the past year. Today we eat, drink, and are merry. We watch parades and (American) football. We commemorate brotherhood and the coming together of the Pilgrims and Native Americans, and remember the first Thanksgiving with its turkey, corn, gravy, pumpkin pie, and all those other goodies. Or so the myth goes. The real […]

How the Internet Will Change Travel

Blogs. Message Boards. Online maps. Couchsurfing. Online booking. Homeaway. Twitter. It seems you can do everything on the web nowadays. With all the travel plans you can make online, it’s no wonder that many people say the future of travel is on the Internet. While these services and tools have not completely changed how people travel (just mostly), as more people get wired, they will. The groundwork has already been laid. Nowadays, the majority of people look online for travel […]

Of Backpackers and Tourists

All along the backpacker trail, you hear it. The talk. The chatter. The snarls. The attitude. That’s right. I’m talking about how backpackers feel about tourists. Backpackers view tourists as non-travelers – those who go for the pictures and the hotel, but never the place. Backpackers, on the other hand, consider themselves true travelers – they go for the cultural experience, to meet the locals, and to immerse themselves in faraway lands. Or, at least, that’s what they think. In […]

The Saturday City: Philadelphia

Home to the Constitutional Convention, the World Series-winning Phillies, swing state voters, and greasy cheese steaks, Philadelphia is an eclectic, historic, and quite interesting city. I’ve been there many times, since my family lives there. Family holidays to visit cousins were quite frequent when I was younger, so I got to know the city well. And when I was older, it was a stop on my cross-country tour in 2006. Philadelphia is one of America’s oldest and most historic cities. […]

Three Off the Beaten Path Places in China

China is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Its home to a rich culture, a few millennia of history, great food, significant historical sites, and over 1.3 billion people. Most tourists head for the obvious tourist attractions – the Great Wall of China, the Terracotta Warriors, the Shaolin Temple, the Forbidden City, and Tiananmen Square. While they are all amazing (and amazingly crowded), there is much more to China than these crowded tourist sites. China has amazing areas of […]

Unusual Place of the Month: Roswell UFO Museum

The truth is out there, and little gray aliens have visited the planet. Well, at least according to those at the Roswell UFO Museum in Roswell, New Mexico. Supposedly, on July 3, 1947, ranch owner Mac Brazel discovered a crashed flying saucer, along with several alien bodies. The military, at first, said it was a flying saucer, then later called it a weather balloon and swore everyone to secrecy. Many books have been written and TV documentaries have been filmed […]