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 […]

Budapest skyline

Budapest skyline, showing Buda Castle on the western side of the Danube. The current castle and palace complex was constructed in the 18th century and is now home to the Budapest History Museum and the Hungarian National Gallery. Pedestrians coming from the Pest side of the river can get to the Castle by crossing the […]

Sacre Coeur, Paris

Sacre Coeur Basilica (Basilica of the Sacred Heart) in the northern suburbs of Paris. Completed in 1914, it’s the second most visited monument in town, with 10 million visitors a year. Only Notre Dame Cathedral had more last year (12 million). With Notre Dame closed for repair following the disastrous April 2019 fire that gutted […]

Best places to sunbathe and swim in Nice

With summer upon us, it seemed like a good time to put together this insider’s guide to the 4 best places to sunbathe and swim in Nice. It contains current and detailed information about my favorite places to cool off and mellow out during the warmer months. As a city spread out along the Mediterranean, […]

Photo by Francisco Cornellana Castells

What is Into the Wild about? Into the Wild is one of those books that speaks to people on a lot of levels, depending on who they are and where they are in life. But one way to view it is as one man’s attempt to figure out how to live the richest, fullest life […]

Pre-departure checklist

Before leaving on any major trip, I always run through a pre-departure checklist that I’ve put together over the nearly 25 years I’ve been traveling. Some of the items on the list are fairly obvious, but I include them anyway on the assumption that nothing is too obvious to be overlooked. I learned this the […]

Miniature Statue of Liberty

Replica of the Statue of Liberty in Nice, France on the promenade behind the Nice Opera House. Erected in 2014, this miniature work commemorates the renovation of the Quai des Etats Unis. The quay, itself, is named after the United States (Etats Unis in French). The quay honors the role America played in helping France […]

travel safely and travel mindfully

The following tips should help you travel safely and travel mindfully when traveling alone. They include issues that you’ll likely have to deal with. Some of them are fairly obvious, like watching out for pickpockets in crowded areas. Others are more subtle, like avoiding putting your bags in the trunk of a taxi if possible. […]

Irish town

AirBnB is very popular, widespread, and fairly reasonably priced in Ireland. As a result, you’ll find that most towns currently offer a wide variety of rental options to tourists. The first part of this post lets you know what to expect in a typical Irish AirBnB and gives you some advice on what to bring […]

Beaux-arts clock, Musee d'Orsay, Paris

Massive beaux-arts clock hanging inside the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, France. The clock dates to around 1898 and originally overlooked the passenger platforms when the building was used as a train station. When the space was converted into one of Paris’ best art museums in the mid-1980s, the clock was incorporated into the new layout. […]

Greatest television remote ever

Greatest hotel television remote ever. Seven buttons. No fuss. It doesn’t balance your checkbook, turn on your washing machine, or tell you where to go to get sushi at 3 a.m. It simply turns on and off your television and let’s you choose the channel and volume you want.

Irish stew

Although most people planning to go out to dinner wouldn’t select an Irish pub as a destination, there are some mouthwatering Irish dishes that you mightn’t be aware of. And there are also some that you should probably avoid, even though they’re surprisingly popular. The following are 9 delicious dishes and 3 gross ones that […]

Maybe this is what travel gives you—or gives you back, in most cases—that childlike sense of wonder, and with it a kid-style openness where you want to finger-paint with anyone and everyone who shows up. Maybe it’s because people are in such an open state, on the road ready to absorb all the experiences and […]

Desolote beauty in Iceland

Stunning views along a desolate highway in northwestern Iceland. Although the country stretches as far as195 miles north to south and 300 miles east to west, it has a population of only 360,000 people. As a result, there are vast stretches of uninhabited, treeless, barren land between towns. Great for taking panoramic pictures, not so […]

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 […]

Gozo Gossiping statue, Victoria, Malta

Gozo Gossiping sculpture by Gozo native artist Joe Xuereb. Carved from large limestone blocks and standing nearly 6 feet tall, this playful statue is described by Xuereb as representing: . . . figures chattering and whispering, a local characteristic that takes place especially when we meet outdoors. It currently stands near the center of Villa […]

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

Blue Lagoon, Comino Island, Malta

The Blue Lagoon on Comino Island, Malta. This photo is unretouched. The waters really are as vibrant and spectacular as they appear here. What’s not visible in the photo are the hundreds of tourists that decent on the lagoon each day. On the day this photo was taken, masses of stinging jellyfish kept everyone out […]

Mgarr Harbor, Gozo

Mgarr Harbor on the southern side of Gozo island, Malta. The 25-minute ferry service from the island of Malta runs between this small harbor and the town of Cirwekka.

When one walks one can also talk, one can stop and have time for others, one can eat and touch people and interact with them. Walking allows us a particular life-pace. It makes possible a way of understanding and looking with open eyes. — Tony Doherty, The Attachment: Letters from a Most Unlikely Friendship

Pantheon ceiling, Rome

Looking up at the hole in the Pantheon ceiling, Rome. Dating from around 126 BC, this former temple has been used as a Catholic church since the 7th century. One interesting bit of trivia: the height from the floor to the oculus (the hole) is the same as the diameter of the interior of the […]

Fort St. Angelo, Malta

Fort St. Angelo on Malta’s Grand Harbour, as viewed from the town of Senglea. This fort takes up the northernmost tip of the town of Vittoriosa, also known as Birgu. Located next to one another, Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua make up the “Three Cities,” a largely residential area across the harbour from Valletta. Because access […]

information about San Francisco

Check out these links that connect you to the latest tourist information for San Francisco, the West Coast’s most charming and beautiful city. Find out about local events, tours, flights, weather conditions, medical facilities, transportation options, and much more. If there is any additional information you think we should add, let us know via the […]

“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence, there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” ― Chris McCandless’ letter to Ron Franz (Chapter 6 of Into the Wild) Click here to read our review of […]

Nice airport airlines

If you need to find out which airlines fly into and out of Nice Airport Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, do so before heading to the airport. That’s because the names of the airlines are not displayed anywhere on the approach roads to each terminal. As a result, if you don’t know which terminal you […]