Travel Photography: Connecting with People

Amateur and professional photographers alike agree: Getting natives to relax for a good photograph is one of the hardest aspects of travel photography — but not entirely impossible. Locals Are Not Scenery While traveling through a region where you see locals you’ve only viewed in magazines (for example, monks in Southeast Asia or Zulu tribesmen in East Africa), there is a tendency to get excited while subconsciously putting up a “no-interaction” wall. You tiptoe around them in a fragile fashion. […]

Khao Yai National Park

Khao Yai National Park is located about 2.5 hours north of Bangkok and is one of Thailand’s best national parks. Established in 1962, it was Thailand’s first national park, and it’s now a UNESCO World Heritage site. I’d always heard great things about the park, but despite living in Thailand for several years, had never managed to get there. When I played tour guide a few weeks ago to a friend from Boston, I used that as my excuse to […]

Get Paid to Travel

If you’re a long-term traveler, I’m willing to bet that one of your recurring fantasies involves some variation of the following scenario: You wake up one day after years of penny-pinching to the amazing news that your travels will now be fully funded by either (a) a surprise inheritance; (b) a wealthy significant other; (c) a coveted book contract; or (d) an agent or magazine editor who has read your travel blogs and thinks you’re the best thing since Paul […]

The Top Ten Travel Songs

Music is an essential part of the travel experience. It gets us through the tough times, helps us remember the good times, gets us in the mood to go, and helps us cope with coming home. I don’t know where I would be without my iPod. Music is an all-encompassing force in people’s lives, and it’s no wonder so many good songs have been written about travel. So the next time you are on the road or thinking about travel, […]

The Saturday City: Perth

The city of Perth, Australia, was founded on June 12, 1829, by Captain James Stirling as the center for the Swan River Colony. Despite a slow start and skirmishes with the native Aborigines, the city prospered and grew. In 1850, an influx of convicts boosted the size of the colony, and their labor helped build the city. The discovery of gold in the 1890s triggered a mineral boom that has still not subsided. This boom has been the key to Perth’s […]

Four Ways to Avoid Being a Tourist

No one wants to be a “tourist.” Bermuda shorts, fanny pack, huge camera, giant map – you know the type. The target for thieves, scammers, and ridicule. Yet by the very nature of travel, we are all tourists. We are all strangers in a strange land. But I believe there is a “slight” difference between a tourist and traveler. A traveler immerses themselves in the local culture and spends longer in a destination; a tourist is just there quickly. As an avid […]

Interview with Chuck Thompson

Writer Chuck Thompson highlighted his troubles with the travel industry in his recent book, Smile When You’re Lying. I read the book while traveling Europe and loved its sharp commentary and funny anecdotes. Some people felt the same. Others did not. Intrigued by his opinions, I recently spoke with him about them in more detail: Nomadic Matt: As someone so critical of the travel writing industry, why have you stayed in it for so long? Chuck Thompson: I’ve been critical […]