Currently Browsing: Musings

A Year of Giving

When I was a kid, my parents gave my sister and I an allowance each week, earned by doing our homework and basic chores. Our funds were kept in matching gray fireproof suitcases in the hall closet, and were divided evenly into three crumpled envelopes. One was for spending, one was for saving (the money in that envelope would one day be used to open my first ever bank account), and one was for charity.... read more

The Road is Life

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life” ― Jack Kerouac, On the Road Lately, I’ve been fielding a lot of questions about the state of Alex and Anders in both my online and offline life. And that’s only fair. You tell people a great love story, they want to hear the happy ending. But our idea of happy is a little... read more

The Problem with Puerto Viejo

“Well, we’ve got three months for Central America which should be okay as we’re only spending a week in Costa Rica.” “We’re skipping Costa Rica entirely.” “You’re going to Costa Rica?! I guess you really hate your money.” From Peru to Panama we met backpackers warning us against the budget-wrecking horrors of Costa Rica. Had we made a drinking... read more

Photo of the Week 147 — In Memory

For the past two weeks I’ve alluded to bad news and trouble at home but didn’t go into detail as I held my breath with hope. But there’s no more room for being elusive. On Monday, one of my family’s dearest friends, a man who has been like an uncle to me throughout my life, passed away, leaving behind a cherished wife and son. Typically, Photo of the Week is a reflection of where I... read more

Let’s Talk: How Much is Too Much Drinking on The Road?

Back in January, I addressed some interesting and controversial feedback I received from my reader survey. I loved the discussion that ensued, and hashing out a complicated topic with you guys in the comments. Let’s do it again, shall we? How much drinking and partying is too much drinking and partying, when you travel? Clearly, based on the unsolicited survey feedback I received, opinions are mixed... read more

Let’s Talk: The Ethics of Zoos And Aquariums

The first day that I was in Baños, Ecuador, I went to a zoo. I was restless to get out and do something after being caged in an overnight bus, and it was the first suggestion out of a fellow hosteler’s mouth. I was skeptical — wasn’t it one of those sad little neglected local zoos you find all over the developing world? But someone else chimed in assuring us it was super fun and somehow... read more

Ask Me Anything: Blogging Edition

Long ago, I made a vow to never blog about blogging. It’s not that I’m not obsessed with the topic — serious apologies are owed to any innocent bystanders when I get together with one of my blogging buddies and we start shooting off — it’s just that it’s not what Alex in Wanderland is all about. I love my job, but this isn’t a blog about blogging. Regardless, I am... read more

Ask Me Anything: Answered!

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... read more

Let’s Talk: Can You Make Local Friends on the Road?

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... read more

The Pursuit of Happiness

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... read more

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