Bushby May 7, 2021

That’s a good–and popular–question. If you don’t know who Karl Bushby is, check out our review of his book Giant Steps: The Remarkable Story of the Goliath Expedition: From Punta Arenas to Russia. It’s the fascinating story of the first part of the epic walk he is undertaking from southern Chile back to his home […]

“Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.” John Muir, “Father of the National Parks” and co-founder of the Sierra Club

Solo Traveler

In 2019, global travel activities and services booking company Klook conducted a survey of the travel habits of more than 20,000 people worldwide. The results were surprising. More than 75% of respondents had either traveled alone or were considering it. Traveling solo was the #1 trend of 2019. And in the previous three years, searches […]

Country security websites

Is it safe to travel to <your intended destination>? It’s a common question for travelers. It’s also one that you can always find an answer to by doing a little research. And the websites listed at the end of this post are a great place to start. Note that each of these is a government-run, […]

Polarsteps Travel App Review

I started using the Polarsteps app in March 2018 at the outset of a 31-day trip to Dubai, Australia, and Thailand and immediately got hooked on it. I’ll be honest. I’ve always thought taking photos and keeping a journal while traveling were self-indulgent and a waste of time. But there’s something about the visual, tangible, and […]

Old Sligo petrol station

First things first: you fuel up your car at petrol stations, not gas stations in Ireland. “Gas” in Ireland refers to natural gas, which you would use to heat your home. Other than that, petrol stations in Ireland are virtually identical to those you’ll find in the U.S. The main difference is that by American […]

Malta to Sicily Ferry Options

Update: October 17, 2021 As of Monday October 11, 2021, the island of Sicily is classified as a White Zone, which is the level with the least COVID restrictions in the Italian ranking system. According to the Virtu Ferries website, all passengers ages 6 and over traveling from Malta to Sicily must fill in a […]

Dominical Bus, Costa Rica

I leave the land of underwater farts A couple of years ago I spent six days in the Manuel Antonio/Quepos area of Costa Rica. And let me tell you, when people in Hell feel a chill, they go to Manuel Antonio/Quepos to warm up. It’s not just blazing hot there, it’s humid like you’ve never […]

Irish slang words

So, you want to learn how to curse like a leprechaun, do you? Well you’re in luck, ya jammy bastard. Because one of the first things you’ll notice in Ireland is that everyone swears. All the time. From little babies ask for their “fooking bottles” to old women shouting “I will in me hole!” when asked […]

Statue called Femme voilée – Le Silence (Veiled woman – Silence), by Luigi Gugliemi in the Musee des Beaux-Arts, Nice.

My favorite piece in the entire Musee des Beaux-Arts museum in Nice is on the ground floor in the sculpture gallery. Near the window, you’ll find the statue Femme voilée – Le Silence (Veiled woman – Silence) by Luigi Gugliemi. What makes this work so strikingly beautiful is the seemingly wispy, gossamer veil covering the woman’s […]

Survival tips for long bus trips

You might be asking yourself, “Why would anyone need survival tips for long bus trips?” Aren’t long distance bus trips inherently exciting for the solo traveler? Getting all the way from Point A to Point B at a fraction of the cost of flying. Being at eye level with the landscape. Kicking back and soaking […]

Scott's Cheap Flights Deal Page

If you love to travel overseas from the U.S. or Canada, this ScottsCheapFlights.com review is something you’re going to want to read closely. Because using their website app you could save money, lots of it, each time you take a trip. The whole concept behind it is a no-brainer for people looking for international flights, […]

Solo Traveler Book Recommendation - Giant Steps

My latest book recommendation for solo travelers is Giant Steps: The Remarkable Story of the Goliath Expedition From Punta Arenas to Russia. The back story is that in November 1998, Karl Bushby, a 29-year-old British ex-paratrooper, set out to walk from Punta Arenas in far southern Chile to his home in Hull, England. That’s a […]

Trompe-l'oeil (optical illusion) art works in Nice, France

Located in the heart of the French Riviera, Nice has a lot going for it. Warm, sunny summers; short, mild winters; two world-class art galleries; great food; and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Tens of thousands of tourists come each year, but most don’t even notice that some of the most impressive works of art are […]

“In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.” ― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad

Photo by Victor Garcia

Overview If you’re looking for cool places to visit in Madrid, you’re in luck. The city is teeming with world-class museums, beautiful architecture, great restaurants, and vibrant public places. This short guide is intended to highlight some of the better known, lesser known, and over-rated attractions in town. Off the Tourist Track Plaza de Oriente […]

Ancona Split ferry

What this post covers If you’re arriving by train to Ancona station and need to pick up your Ancona to Split ferry tickets, this blog post should make the process a lot less confusing. Because let me tell you, there’s nothing intuitive about any of it. I took the ferry on March 26, 2019 and […]

Tales from the Road: Villareal rodeo

During the third week of March each year, the small town of Villareal, Costa Rica holds its annual Fiestas Patronales (Patron Saint Festival). Designed to celebrate and showcase the bravery and skills of the local cattlemen, it’s the biggest event in this little corner of Guanacaste Province. The Villareal rodeo is the highlight of the […]

Review of The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Lost

My latest book recommendation for solo travelers is The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost. It’s the true story of author Rachel Friedman’s personal evolution through travel. In the beginning, she’s your stereotypical “good girl.” She tries to please everyone and focuses so much on that, she can’t see anything beyond her immediate surrounds. And […]

Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain. ― Jack Kerouac

Atocha Station, Madrid

So I recently spent the weekend in Madrid meeting up with an old friend from Japan. We had a great time hitting the regular haunts. Hemingway’s bar in Plaza Santa Ana, where we took turns throwing tapas at passing tourists. Museo del Prado, where I earned bonus points for staying awake while viewing all 500 […]

“I’m a big believer in winging it. I’m a big believer that you’re never going to find perfect city travel experience or the perfect meal without a constant willingness to experience a bad one. Letting the happy accident happen is what a lot of vacation itineraries miss, I think, and I’m always trying to push […]

The Great Railway Bazaar

Ten-second book summary First published in 1975, Paul Theroux’s The Great Railway Bazaar chronicles the author’s four-month rail journey from England to Japan via the Middle East and Asia and back again via Russia. Despite its age or perhaps because of it, it’s a very entertaining and surprisingly honest and refreshing read. Realistic details, not […]

top travel apps - Google Translate

When traveling in non-English speaking countries and Australia the Google Translate app is my lifeline. In fact, it’s probably the most valuable travel app I’ve got on my smartphone. And the great thing about this free translation tool is that it’s being continually updated by some of the best developers in the business. Which means […]

Walking the Nile - Book Recommendation

A couple of years ago, I stumbled upon and immediately got hooked on Ewan McGregor’s BBC reality television series Long Way Down. The program documents the three-month journey McGregor and his friend undertook in 2007 from northern Scotland to Cape Town, South Africa by motorcycle. I was fascinated and enthralled by their trip: the challenges […]