Observations Made While in England

A month spent traveling England, and I certainly learned a lot about the country. A month in any country will teach you something. Cultures only really open up to you when you spend a long time in one. There’s only so much to notice in a few days. Learning more about each place is part of the reason I like to travel slow. A month in England taught me that: The English will sit in their assigned seats. If a […]

Five Ways to Beat the Summer Crowds in Paris

Traveling Paris in August. Thousands of Parisians flee the city for their annual summer vacations. Thousands of tourists flood in to take their place. If you happen to be one of them, It’s a great time to be here: the weather is nice, the parks and gardens are green, and the streets are a little quieter. But you’ll soon tire of waiting in lines, fighting to get a good picture of a monument, and eating your lunch surrounded only by […]

Hanging Out in Oxford

Oxford, founded sometime during the ninth century, expanded during the Middle Ages as a center for learning—first for theology, then medicine, and then law. Over the centuries, the university has added more departments, and now you can study with the best and brightest in any field. The small city of Oxford is basically one giant school. Every few feet, a new college springs up on you. The spires, ancient buildings, and courtyards make Oxford a beautiful place to stroll through. […]

The Best Travel Books

Part of the tool belt of any traveler is a good book. Long bus, train, or plane rides can get pretty boring and can give you a lot of “dead” time if you haven’t mastered the art of the 10-hour blank stare. While traveling, I always enjoy reading books about travel, exotic locations, and living your dreams. It makes me feel good about what I’m doing, and keeps me dreaming of different places. Even if you aren’t traveling, a good […]

The Saturday City: Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is Thailand’s northern version of Bangkok. It’s the second largest city in Thailand, and is the gateway to the jungles and cities of the north. Once a quiet little village, the city has morphed into a major business and tourist center in the last 10 years. Large amounts of Westerners began flocking here for jungle treks and a quiet mountain setting, but the crowds kept increasing and the locals soon followed to make money off them. Chiang Mai […]

The Lake District

The Lake District is located in Cumbria, on the northwest coast of England about an hour from the Scottish border. The Lake District is to northern England what Cornwall is to the south, and I can’t figure out which one I enjoyed more. They’re both beautiful. The lakes are a result of the last ice age. Glaciers receded from here and cut the U-shaped valleys that are now filled with water. My friends and I drove up on a Sunday, […]

The Saturday City: Stratford Upon Avon

The birthplace of the Bard, Stratford Upon Avon is a mecca for Shakespeare enthusiasts. Tourists descend on this city in hordes during the summer months, and everywhere I went there were lots of people. The city doesn’t have much to offer besides its Shakespearean past, though. Outside the historic area, it’s just another English city. However, inside is another story. They’ve gone out their way to preserve and capitalize on the Bard and the city’s historic past. There are numerous […]

Visiting the Roman Baths in Bath

Built centuries ago by the Romans, Bath is one of the most beautiful, historic, and visited cities in England. The Romans came here when they invaded Britain because of the hot springs that bubble up from the earth. The local people thought this place had spiritual significance, and when the Romans came, they felt the same and dedicated this site to Minerva, the goddess of wisdom. Despite being on the edge of the frontier, the city grew to become a […]


After I left Salisbury, I headed west to Cornwall, the farthest west you can go in England. The county is filled with farms, small towns (I stayed in Lostwithiel—population 3,000), and tiny fishing villages. Cornwall is usually referred to as the backwater of England and its residents as rubes. Its image in England is like that of Kentucky or Tennessee in America. And, just like there, the stereotype is anything but true. This simple lifestyle is what gives Cornwall its […]