Mar 8, 2014
When I invited you guys to ask me anything, you took me up on it — big time! Some of your questions were so thought-provoking and I’ve added a few new posts to my drafts folder in response to them — look out for an updated edition of How I Afford This, a post about saying goodbye in travel relationships, and an opinionfest about voluntourism coming up soon. There were so many questions...
Jan 21, 2014
Alternative Title: Am I a Superficial Traveler?
When I posted the results of my reader survey, there were a few topics that were simply too complicated to address in a sentence or two. One of them was this. A few commenters were a tad critical of the level of cultural immersion I’ve managed in my travels — specific respondents pointed out (with varying degrees of accuracy) that I don’t...
Jan 14, 2014
I’ve sat down to write this post so many times and either stared at my keyboard blankly or typed a flood of incomprehensible paragraphs that confused me so much I would end up slamming my laptop shut.
I’ve been waking up a lot lately with a heaviness that sits with me through the day.
It’s pretty hard to say “I’m not happy” when your life looks like a mashup of The...
Nov 27, 2013
Guys, consider this my official resignation. I am formally recusing myself from the traveler Cheaplympics – I was never going to make it through qualifiers anyway. Below are direct quotes (some perhaps feature slight embellishments) I’ve heard on my travels – spend any time on the road and you’ll soon learn this is a serious sport.
“Oh… you paid seven dollars for a dorm bed? Yikes....
Nov 19, 2013
Where do you draw the privacy line, when you’ve made a job out of sharing your life with anyone who’s intrigued?
About a year and a half ago I had my first experience with an internet harasser. While today it’s something I might try to make light of, at the time I never wrote about it here. I was in a bad place in my life and barely keeping it together, and this person was tugging at ever unraveling...
Oct 1, 2013
For an event of its size, Burning Man has very few rules. It is a pretty successful experiment in letting people set their own limits, exercise their judgement, and govern themselves. There are however, ten principles – not commandments, but rather a reflection of the community at Burning Man and an integral part of what Burning Man is, at its core.
I want to share the ten principles here as well as my...
Aug 28, 2013
The first thought that entered my head when I woke up on the third day of our Rinjani trek was a simple “I do not want to do this.”
We set off at 3:30am. By 4:00, I was in tears and growing more overwrought with every step. I knew I could not make the rest of the three-hour trudge to the summit of Rinjani. Justifications floated through my head like bonus bubbles in a video game.
• Unlike the...
Aug 13, 2013
Can you ever really go back?
Can you return to a place that was special to you at a certain moment in time, and recapture the magic? Can you go travel back to a place that was once sacred to you, and relive those moments that made it so? Or will it always be a series of diminishing returns, like a child growing older and realizing how Christmas changes when they know for sure that Santa isn’t real?...