The Grandest Canyon

During the expansion of America, if you wanted to find riches, you were told to go west. Though a little late, I followed that adage. And the West blew me away. If you haven’t gone west, you’re missing out. The American West is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, and within it lies one of the world’s greatest wonders—the Grand Canyon. Of the national park’s five million annual visitors, 99% go to the Grand Canyon for less […]

Solo vs Group Travel

Both solo travel and group travel have advantages and disadvantages. In considering both, you need to decide what choice best fits your preferences and style of travel. For example, would you prefer the freedom of making all decisions yourself and going where your whim takes you? Or would you rather let others decide once in a while? Independent travel brings a lot of flexibility – you can do what you want, when you want. However, in group travel, you need […]

A History of Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day in America. Memorial Day, always celebrated on the last Monday in May, is a day when we honor our country’s fallen soldiers. In honor of the day, here’s a history of the holiday: History of Memorial Day Following the end of the American Civil War, many places set aside a day to honor soldiers who died in battle. These observances eventually coalesced around Decoration Day, honoring the Union dead, and several Confederate memorial days. Supposedly, the […]

The Saturday City: Chicago

Chicago was the last stop on my American road trip in 2006, and I spent three days there before leaving to explore the rest of the world. I had always heard a lot about Chicago, and was excited to finally see the Windy City (named because of the politicians who blow hot air, not for the climate). The Windy City has a long-standing spot in American history. Incorporated in 1833, Chicago has played an important role in the country’s history ever […]

Joining a Frequent Flyer Program

Back in 2008, I joined my first frequent flier program. Despite having traveled around the world for close to two years, I never saw the value in signing up for one – I’d always been more concerned with price than brand loyalty, so I switched networks and carriers all the time. The lowest price always won. Another reason I had never signed up before? All my favorite carriers are spread out over different alliances. Japan Airlines (JAL) is on the […]

Another Reason to Love Traveling

I recently opened up my inbox to find this: “Hi Matt, I see you’re planning a trip to England in July – if you’d like to come west to Bristol, do let me know – I’d be happy to host you for a couple of days, show you Bristol & point you in the right direction for the rest of the West Country.” This is another reason why I love traveling – the strangers who are willing to open up […]

Teaching English Overseas, part 3: Teaching in Asia

Part one of this series dealt with the various types of jobs a teacher can get while part two dealt with the qualifications needed to become a teacher. In part three, we’ll begin to discuss the places teachers can work. We’ll start with Asia, the hot bed of ESL activity. Last Updated: March 2012 Asia is the center of the ESL teaching world and this is where the jobs are the most abundant, best paying, and offer the most benefits. […]

The Saturday City: Bangkok

Chaos. Crowds. Cheap food. Cheap clothes. Wild nightlife. Bangkok, Thailand has it all. The city that at first repulsed but then enthralled me, Bangkok offers a little bit of everything to everyone. Arriving in Bangkok, people’s immediate reaction is to love it or hate it. Few, if any, have mixed opinions about it. The city is crowded, the pollution is bad, the traffic is endless, and the place seems to operate in a form of controlled chaos. Bangkok is a […]

Unusual Place of the Month: The Swedish Ice Hotel

The Swedish Ice Hotel is located in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. It has over 80 rooms and is built annually using ice from the nearby Torne River. Construction begins each year in October using 10,000 tons of ice and 30,000 tons of snow. The 30,000-square-foot hotel is located 200 km north of the Arctic Circle and features an Absolut Vodka ice bar, an ice cinema, an ice chapel, ice family rooms, and ice suites. The whole structure uses 4,000 tons of ice. […]

Teaching English Overseas, Part 2: Job Requirements and Benefits

In part one of this five part series, we talked about the different types of jobs you can get. In part two, we’ll discuss the qualifications you need to teach. Last updated: March 2012 Teaching English around the world requires different skills in different places. Depending on where you go and what type of job you want, what qualifications you will need will vary. Generally speaking, you’ll need to meet the following requirements: Be from an English speaking country. Have […]