Archives for October 2007


A Gonzo Carnival of Cities

I just finished reading another great selection posts at this week’s Carnival of Cities hosted by Fear And Loathing – The Gonzo Papers,

I enjoyed Exploring the Ballard Neighborhood again, the moving photography from Section 60 and I right there with you DB, send me back! Of course, the carnival is not over until you visit the Ducati Museum.


Frugal Travel – Vacationing at Home

Sometimes you just cannot afford to travel but that does not mean you have to spend your vacation on DIY projects. Travel to the place you know best (or at least think you do), your home town.

The advantages of vacationing at home:

  1. Free accommodation
  2. Minimal transportation costs
  3. Local knowledge
  4. No jetlag
  5. No language barrier

To make sure you enjoy your vacation at home, take these steps:

  1. Have your mail and papers stopped for the vacation period to reduce distractions. Limit email access and direct calls to voicemail as well.
  2. Tell friends you are going on vacation but be circumspect about your destination.
  3. Research your town by reading guide books and blogs. You will be surprised what you do not know about the place. Reject anything that you do regularly, the idea is to experience a different side of your city.
  4. Plan an itinerary of one to two sights a day, leaving time to enjoy the vistas or cafes.
  5. Avoid your favourite haunts, restaurants and cafes, we all play safe at home so stretch your boundaries.
  6. Write a journal, create a scrapbook or photo record of your vacation to share with friends.

Travel is not about the distance traversed or the number of countries you visit. It is about connecting with the place, and expanding your horizons and home is a good place to start.

Have you vacationed at home, leave a comment and tell us about the experience.


Carnival of Cities Goes Gonzo

Did you enjoy this week’s Carnival of Cities hosted by Exit Row Seat? The carnival comes every week and next Monday it goes Gonzo, submit an article or enjoy reading the prose.


Backpacking without a Backpack – Not Quite

Travel TechGo Budget Travel asked readers if they thought a backpack is a necessary to be a backpacker traveller, and gave four good reasons to answer no and I agree, well sort of.

Backpacks (good ones) are fantastic for trekking endless miles over the terrain to be one with your environment. However, most of us are on the local bus, train or taxi most of our journey and then humping the bag a few kilometres to the accommodation.

For us the perfect solution is the bag lovingly and thoroughly designed by Rick Steves and his merry band at Europe Through the Back Door.

Why do we love it?

  1. It does not look valuable unlike a good quality backpack that draws the eyes of every lowlife around you.
  2. The bag opens like a normal suitcase to give you easy access to all your belongings, no need to unpack to retrieve those dry socks.
  3. The durable material takes a lot of punishment, and will last the average traveller many years.
  4. Best of all, when you need to hump the bag a few miles to the hostel or B&B, pull out the back straps and throw it over your shoulders.

Rick Steves Travel Bag

At less than a US$100, you get a bag designed to solve most of the luggage woes of the modern traveller and I highly recommend it.


Carnival of Cities in the Exit Row Seat

Exit Row Seat is very pleased to offer the Carnival of Cities a place by the window for this week’s blog carnival. The variety of subjects and cities is impressive and the writers have captured some unique aspects of their cities.

Art, Architecture and Culture

Barcelona, Spain

Lugares, Culturas y Momentos opened my senses to the unique architectural style of Barcelona, Gothic absurdity or winning designs? You be the judge but it whetted my appetite for a Spanish vacation. For the Spanish impaired (like me), here is the Google translation.

Art Thailand writer Adam Byran-Brown opens Barcelona’s street art for your enjoyment, and reminds us that we need to spend time outside the museums and explore the cities we visit.

Curitiba, Brazil

Sarah at My Wonderful World Blog tells us about the best planned city in the world: Curitiba, Brazil is a model for sustainable living in an increasingly fragile world.

Paris, France

Intelligent Traveler reveals a re-imagined museum in Paris that gets you up close to the architectural wonders of France.

Entertainment and Nightlife

Buenos Aries, Argentina

The Argentinian passions are revealed in this illuminating story about the club scene in Buenos Aries written by Tim Kernutt, Argentinian Travel Guide.

Boston, Massachusetts

The Red Sox are in the play-offs but New Englanders are still heading to the opera between games. Susan Johnston’s post on Go Boston Card Blog reminds us that there is more to life than baseball in cultural Boston.

Chicago, Illinois

She has Moxie recommends we learn something new at the Chicago Humanity Festival, and who could resist The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef. Just one of the many events during the festival this year.

Felton, California

Colourful engines, a Fat Controller and laughing kids make a perfect outing for the family at The Roaring Camp Railroads. The Digerati Life makes a compelling case to drive to Felton this Fall.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Play-offs are in full swing but Evelyn Hunter of Homespun Honolulu points out that baseball does not have to end in October. Taking a winter break in Honolulu this year, catch a Major Mynah game and see the future stars in action.

Seattle, Washington

On the West Coast, Mary Jo Manzanares of The Seattle Traveler brings us another event for the culture vultures and Christmas kids, Pacific Northwest Ballet’s The Nutcracker. A Seattle tradition of the season and a fun event for the whole family.

Travel Experience

Calcutta, India

Sidhusaaheb’s I, Me, Myself blog opens your soul to the travel possibilities in India. In this post, he shares a side of Calcutta that stirred my travel instincts.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

The morning sun at Cape Cod, shares a short video from his last morning at the Cape on his Gonzo inspired blog, Fear and Loathing – The Gonzo Papers.

Doris Chua, Life…Passion…Travel & More, travels to Shanghai and shares her experience in one of the most populous cities I ever visited.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Many travellers hire guides or take tours but forget to check other low cost (often free) services provided by National Park Rangers. Visit The Coqui presents a list of Old San Juan tours provided by the Puerto Rican National Park Service.

History and News

New Orleans, Louisiana

A visit to New Orleans by Vihar Sheth, of green ¦ rising, provides a balanced look at the continuing chaos caused by Katrina. Vihar encourages travellers to venture back to New Orleans and help revitalise this historic city.

North Canton, Ohio

Did you Hoover the rugs this morning? Vacuum along with The Lives and Times… of Anthony McCune, as he remembers Sam Hoover.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Kate and Neil reveal the compassionate underbelly of Salt Lake City, a city that welcomes refugees from Africa and sets them on the road to recovery. A wonderful story.

The Unusual

London, England

I asked you to share the unusual with us this week, and Plattie took the challenge with her Commute Intrigue. It may not be pretty but it is London.

Martigny, Switzerland

Not to be outdone, Jul of This Non-American Life reveals the Swiss sport of cow fighting.