Interview with Lara Dunston

Lara Dunston, author of many Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, and Eyewitness travel guides, is this month’s travel interview. Lara provided such a depth of answers that this interview will be spread out over two posts and will cover a wide range of topics, including addressing some of the issues Thomas Khonstamm and Chuck Thompson brought up in previous interviews. Nomadic Matt: For starters, what gave you the travel bug? Lara Dunston: I blame the travel bug on this pivotal event […]

Top Signs You are a Backpacker

Are you a backpacker? Are you not sure if you are? Backpacking is more than slinging a backpack over your shoulder and setting off. It’s a way of traveling. If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you’re a backpacker, now is the time to find out. If you do any of these things, chances are you’re a backpacker! You don’t know what to write down when asked for your permanent address. You don’t know what to write down for occupation on […]

Why Americans Don’t Travel Overseas

We’ve all heard the alarming statistic—only 15% of Americans own a passport. (2014 update: That number is about 36% now, compared to about 70% of Brits and Australians.) That number is rising, but only because Americans are now required to show a passport when going to Mexico and Canada. Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin first got her passport last year and has only traveled overseas to military bases in Iraq and Germany. In fact, she’s implied that traveling is for […]

The Saturday City: Bristol

One of the great things about running a travel website is that you get to meet other travelers. While in England this summer, I received an offer to explore the English city of Bristol with Heather.  Around England, I’d explain my route through the country and people would universally go, “Bristol? There’s not much there.” Needless to say, I had low expectations. I’m not sure what Bristol people were referring too, however, because I found a hip college town with amazing eateries, […]

How to Have Sex in Hostels

There you are. Sitting across from some foreign hottie in some foreign hostel. You stare deeply into each others eyes and realize you are both conveying the same thought: “Let’s have sex.” No one wants to spend a year traveling around the world and not come back with at least one story of overseas romance. Magical nights spent in exotic cities — two souls exploring the world together. Or at least one drunken night in that hostel in Europe. Whatever works […]

Unusual Place of the Month: The Mars Restaurant

The Mars Restaurant is a space-themed restaurant located in New York City. It opened years ago and caters to tourists and families, as children seem to really love the walking aliens. Mars 2112 mixes fantasy and reality in a 35,000-square-foot, bi-level restaurant. Mars 2112 tries to create the experience of a meal on the planet Mars as it would seem in a hundred years. Reached by way of a sunken plaza, Mars 2112 features a 22-foot flying saucer, frozen in […]

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. […]