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Travel features

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General Articles

Stalking A Travel Blogger
The travel blogger sniffed the air and failed to detect our duty free scent. Thinking himself in no danger he focused his attention on exiting Heathrow Airport, the final stage of his epic migration from Australia to London.

Get In Touch With Your Inner Jerk: Keeping And Losing Your Cool On Your Travels
Fed up with being pushed around and discriminated against for being foreign, mild mannered Clark Kent has taken off his glasses and the inner jerk is taking charge.

Dear Children Of The World: Why I Won’t Give You Money
I used to give you money. I was young and naive and a soft touch but now I think giving you money does more harm than good. Here’s why I won’t give you any money, kiddies.

   

The Travel Class System: Location Independents, Backpackers & Cubicle Workers
Travel snobbery between those that are location independent, backpackers and cubicle workers.

Touts And Hasslers We Love To Hate
From children demanding money to taxi drivers, we assess six characters we have met while travelling, some all too often, and judge just how much of a nuisance they really are.

Travel Hall Of Fame: Monkey, Pigsy, Sandy & Tripitaka
If sometime around 1979 you happened to walk past a group of nine year old boys in Britain calling each other homophobic slurs in outrageous Chinese accents, running amok with broom handles and blowing on their waving hands then it was sometime past six o’clock on a Friday.

Travel Blogging Until They Die
Some travel blogs are abandoned mere days into a trip once it is realised how much work is involved and time taken away from the enjoyment of travel. Others peter out when the journey ends, real jobs are taken and lifestyles change. There are many reasons why a blog started today will be neglected and end but some travel bloggers are in it for the long term. Here’s our take on the most popular travel blogs in 2050.

Our Backpacker Deaths
I thought we would get a little ghoulish and imagine the ways we might meet our ultimate end. Sitting in the dark at 3am typing by candlelight during yet another power cut it is easy to imagine I’m going to suffer at the hands of an axe murderer, but with no companions around to suggest we split up I can’t be in a scary movie and am probably safe.

99 Reasons To Be Afraid Of Travelling
From vaccinophobia (the fear of vaccinations), via alektorophobia (fear of chickens) to the fear of returning home (nostophobia), we list 99 phobias you are more likely to confront while backpacking.

Degrees, Travel And Working Abroad
Do you need a degree to work and travel abroad? Is a degree an invaluable asset in convincing employers to take you on or a debt burden holding us back from our travels?

The Ways And Woes Of Shoestring Travelling
By treating travel as a chapter in your life rather than an act of consumerism, it is possible for the impatient to leave home with relatively little money, says Andrew Fraieli.

You Owe It To Yourself To ‘Find Your Calling’
Not living the life that you should be living is the greatest disservice that you can do to yourself, says Shay Gleeson, who found his calling by quitting his IT job, and booking an open ended ticket around the world.

By Location

SOUTHEAST ASIA

Thailand

Burn Me As A Witch: I Like The Khao San Road
The Khao San Road is frequently derided as not being the real Thailand but Thailand is made up of many component parts and some of them, like it are not, are crawling with tourists.

Preparing For Songkran
I’m sitting in a pink towel listening to the whoops and cheers as our neighbours soak each other and passing scooters with water. On the bed are laid out various items of clothing. What does one choose from our limited wardrobe for charging about town like a maniac squirting people in the face?

Tips For Enjoying Songkran
You’re armed to the teeth with the biggest water gun you could find and ready for some watery mayhem but want to make the most of what might be a once in life time experience. The great thing about Songkran is it is for everyone: young and old, male or female, Thai or tourist, everyone has a laugh and enjoys themselves. Here is our guide to the polite mayhem Thais call Songkran.

Where To Celebrate Songkran In Thailand? (Or Laos Or Myanmar)
For myself and most other farang Songkran is about running around town assaulting old women and children – and everyone in between – with the biggest water gun money can buy.

Soft Adventure In Northern Thailand: Khum Lanna
I’m writing this piece in the sticks in Ireland – surrounded by fields, without a wifi connection and bloody miles from the nearest shop. In some ways it reminds me of Lisu Lodge where we spent the first night on our three day/two night Lisu Lodge and Khum Lanna Soft Adventure tour. The big difference between here and there – apart from the temperature and number of massages on offer – is at the lodge we had transport.

Soft Adventure In Northern Thailand: Lisu Lodge
When we met up with my sister in Chiang Mai and she told us all the things she had done and was going to do in Thailand, Deirdre and I looked at each other and realised we had done sod all here.

Myanmar

On Inle Lake
Inle Lake boat tour is both a massive (but fairly priced) tourist trap and genuine must do. If you are in Burma and take a boat trip here are some of the things you might see.

Myanmar: Why On Earth Would We Want To Go There?
Myanmar was the place that drew us back to Southeast Asia after a ten year absence. This is supposed to be a cheap trip centred on settling in in the sun somewhere but we probably would have gone to another part of the world – somewhere new – had Myanmar not sounded so enticing.

People Taking Photos Of Cats In Burma
One day one bored, crazy monk living in a monastery in Burma rounded up all the local cats and started making them jump through hoops. Word spread and boat loads of tourists started to arrive to witness the spectacle.

MIDDLE EAST & TURKEY

Egypt

The Man Who Went Up A Mountain… And Vowed Never To Go Near One Again
Why Moses couldn’t have got the ten commandments at sea level I don’t know, but it was the significance of his receiving the sacred stone tablets on Mount Sinai that lured us up another mountain almost ten years since we last vowed never to go near one again.

Life In A Little Room In A Big World
At an age when my peers are driving nice cars, making a dent in their mortgages and raising families in front of widescreen HD TVs I’m sat typing in bed in a three by four metre room. It is the only room in my current home.

The Chicken Dance
A stroll down Aswan’s Nileside Corniche had turned into dark comedy as I metaphorically put my head out the window and shouted ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE’

20 Absurd And Funny Things In Egypt That Made Us Laugh
Top of any list of what to pack for a visit to Egypt should be your sense of humour. It won’t add to the weight of your luggage so make sure you pack it all because Egypt can be one of the most stressful countries to visit if you don’t know when to laugh.

Lebanon

Beirut? Why On Earth Would We Want To Go There?
Lebanon was another country that was only regarded as a maybe for our (didn’t quite make it to) Cairo to (almost) Istanbul trip. By the time we got to Syria revolution was in the air and I was turned away at the border. From Jordan, Syria awkwardly sat slap bang in the way of our route home to Turkey so we instead flew in and out of Lebanon.

Beiruti Bingo
Okay, here’s the game. Round up as many other travellers as you can and race around Beirut trying to spot or experience all of the following. The first one to get a row of all six wins.

Jordan

Getting Good Shots Of Petra
Though Petra is a sizeable site most of the classic sights stretch along a well-trodden nexus after emerging from the narrow cleft of the Siq at the Treasury. The Treasury in particular is a difficult place to fire off a photo without someone’s head in the way but it is possible to maintain the illusion, and even at times enjoy the reality, of having the iconic building to yourself.

And Now For Something Completely Different: 7 Reasons To Slag Off Jordan
Having travelled about the place courtesy of the Jordan Tourism Board, it once seemed every travel blogger was writing nice things about the country. As we were there on our own dime we instead decided to stick the boot in and write mean things.

Raiders Of The Lost Note
Its early January 2011, the Middle East is quiet, signs of unrest are rumoured but nothing that is not part of normal life in this ancient land. Jenny Pullman heads off from Egypt to Jordan via Israel excited about the few days we will spend exploring the ancient world of Petra, the weightlessness of the Dead Sea and the emptiness of the Wadi Rum desert. In Part 2, Jenny reaches Petra, where she attempts to find a note left under a rock in a cave on an earlier visit to the Rose City by her mother.

Iraq

Iraq? Why On Earth Would We Want To Go There?
Iraq? That’s the place on the TV isn’t it? Are you mad? It is and no we’re not. This is the ‘other’ Iraq: It’s safe, the people are hospitable and it is well worth adding to your itinerary.

An Evening With The Colonel
The Colonel leaned back against the sofa and orchestrated conversation around the large living room. During his thirty years of service in Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army this man had within my lifetime twice been the enemy of my country. But sat in his house sipping tea served by one of his sons it was difficult not to see anything other than a courteous and respected man happy to have retired to his beloved Kurdistan.

Turkey

Istanbul: A Tale Of Two City Experiences
Our guidebook warned us about Tanya. She worked in a club just off Taksim. The sort of place that featured in the Dangers and Annoyances section of our guidebook.

SOUTH AMERICA

Peru

Up, Up And More Up On The Inca Trail To Machu Picchu
Why couldn’t those bastard Incas have built at sea level, I thought, as I entered yet another hour of wheezing uphill, bitching about mountains, never ending steps and healthy young Canadians.

More travel articles and photos can be found daily on our blog.

Travel Interviews

#RTWsoon: Amy & Andrew
A month backpacking around Thailand inspired British couple Amy and Andrew to start saving for a much longer journey. After meeting people who were in the midst of their own incredible round the world adventures they decided to make travel their priority.

#RTWsoon: Brendon Vince
When we spoke to Brendon Vince he was in the last stages of planning his exit from Montreal, where he had for the previous two years been working in the video games industry. A 26 year old Australian and self confessed nerd, Brendon caught the travel bug while travelling throughout the US and Canada and more recently got his first taste of backpacking and hostel life when he was in Los Angeles and San Francisco for a week.

#RTWsoon: Angie & Jenke
Jenke and Angie are a travel blogging couple from Cologne, Germany. They both work in the media: Jenke is a TV reporter and Producer, working for Germany’s largest private television company and Angie is a PR Manager for a German Airline.

#RTWsoon: Ed Rex
When we caught up with Ed Rex, a twentysomething deaf Yorkshireman, he was still looking forward to the adventures to come on his around the world journey.

#RTWsoon: Henry Lee
43 year old Henry, from Vancouver, had worked in astronomy for almost 20 years and lived in four countries on three continents. With a need to do something different he made the decision to leave his job and travel around the world for ayear.

#RTWsoon: Will Young
Travel had pretty much been the goal for 18 year old Will Young for many years. He’d travelled a wealth of other countries in the past, including Iceland, China, Egypt and Laos, and was working in a ventilation factory in the UK to pay for his next adventure.

#RTWsoon: Sara Grazia
Sara, based in the UK, Sara, based in the UK, turned 30 and, after five years in her job, realised that life is going far too fast for her liking and wanted out of the rat race.

 

Living Abroad Interviews

Europe

Edna Zhou: Why I Live In Paris, France
Edna Zhou’s transferable skills in journalism and social media marketing have kept her on the move around the world. No stranger to working abroad she had already lived in China and Singapore before a combination of planning and chance landed her in Paris.

Jeff Steiner: Why I Live In La Roche sur Foron, France
Over the last fifteen years Jeff Steiner has learned a lot about living and travelling in France. We ask Jeff to share some of that information with The Working Traveller.

Annie Andre: Why I Live In La Garde, France
Born in Thailand to a Thai mother and French Canadian Father, Annie Andre is a seasoned world traveller currently living in the south of France with her husband and three kids. We talked to her about soaking in French culture, her personal and financial goals and how she came to be living in the small French town of La Garde.

Andrew Couch: Why I Live In Freiburg, Germany
Andrew Couch is an American who moved on a leap of faith to Freiburg. He talks to us about the life he is building for himself there.

Ali Garland: Why I Live In Freiburg, Germany
A while back we received a tweet from Ali Garland asking if we knew of any job opportunities in Freiburg. We didn’t but suggested she talk to one of our previous interviewees for this column, Andrew Couch of Grounded Traveler. Unknown to us, and as she explains below, Andrew was the reason why she was looking for work in Germany.

Peter Geyer: Why I Live In Berlin, Germany
When Peter Geyer popped up in our twitter feed with his arms around a piece of street architecture we were intrigued and had to investigate further.

Adam Groffman: Why I Live In Berlin, Germany
Adam Groffman is an American who decided on a flight from Reykjavik to Boston that he could keep on travelling if he put his mind to it. He is currently living in Berlin and tells us more about his life there.

Keith Jenkins: Why I Live In Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Keith Jenkins is a thirtysomething living in Amsterdam. His greatest passion is travel: having visited more than 60 countries across six continents. He talks to us about Amsterdam.

Marly Pierre-Louis: Why I Live In Amsterdam, The Netherlands
A life long nomad, Marly Pierre-Louis is a writer and community cultivator who wonders out loud about parenting, race, gender, sexuality and the messy places where they intersect.

Julia Fallon: Why I Live In Amsterdam, The Netherlands
A thirty something British expat, Julia Fallon describes herself as a reluctant explorer, a wobbly, stiletto wearing cyclist and technology geek all rolled into one. She followed her boyfriend over to Amsterdam and tells us how she is learning to love and live the Dutch way of life.

Samantha Milner: Why I Live In The Algarve, Portugal
Samantha Milner lived the dream life with her husband Dominic and son Kyle as expats in southern Portugal. She talks to us about her life in the Algarve.

Jessica Bowler: Why I Live In Barcelona, Spain
24 year old British-American girl Jessica Bowler answered our questions on living in Barcelona. She works as a translator and freelance travel journalist, and blogs at Hola Yessica, which is named after how people in Spain pronounce her name.

J R Duren: Why I Live In Barcelona, Spain
J R Duren is a copywriter, published author, award-winning journalist and the creator of As the Bro Flies. With his wife Heather and their dog Charlie he has lived in Barcelona since August 2013.

Francesca Luke: Why I Live In Madrid, Spain
Since she was a child Francesca Luke dreamt of living in a sunny Mediterranean country and fulfilled that ambition when she moved to Madrid to work as an English Teacher.

Will Peach: Why I Live In Caceres, Spain
Growing jealous of the people he was helping to inspire while working in the London office of a gap year website, led Will Peach to set off on his own travels.

Karen McCann: Why I Live In Seville, Spain
“Living abroad is an opportunity to reinvent yourself that rarely exists outside the witness protection program,” says author and travel writer Karen McCann. “You get to hit the reset button on your life.” She and her husband have journeyed to nearly fifty countries, including many developing and post-war nations where they volunteered as consultants to struggling microenterprises.

Africa

Kirsteen Mahmoud: Why I Live In Dahab, Egypt
Kirsteen Mahmoud settled in Dahab after taking a holiday in the town and marrying an Egyptian man she met there.

Asia

Big John: Why I Live In Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Big John, who ran a guesthouse, restaurant and bar in Sihanoukville, irked a few of his potential customers when he left a negative comment to Chris of Backpacker Banter’s post, 10 Myths of Backpacking Travel. It was suggested that although John is entitled to his opinion Chris’s site wasn’t the place for it, so we thought to offer him a forum here and ask him about his life on the Cambodian coast.

Graeme Swift: Why I Live In Bali, Indonesia
Circumstance dictated that Graeme Swift spend only half the year in Bali with his Balinese wife and their son. Between them they managed their holiday villa rental business while Graeme also worked in the UK as a freelance business English teacher.

Sarah Shaw: Why I Live In Seoul, Korea
A travel writer and artist, Sarah Shaw was enjoying her last remaining months as an expat in South Korea when we spoke to her. She’s originally from Maine, but has lived on four different continents, and spends her days getting lost, petting stray cats and embarrassing herself in foreign languages.

Brandon and Kelsey: Why I Live In Yeoju, Korea
Brandon and Kelsey are a teacher-artist duo travelling the world. They lived and played in South Korea, making short monthly documentaries about their lives and travels.

Ersatz Expat: Why I Live In Miri, Malaysia
This interviewee wished to remain anonymous but blogs about her permanent impermanence as Ersatz Expat. A few years ago she and her husband decided to have an adventure and took the children and the dogs to live abroad, firstly in Kazakhstan and then Sarawak.

Terri Lundberg: Why I Live In Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia
Terri Lundberg is an American expat living in Saudi Arabia. A travel addict and photographer, she talked about her life as a trailing spouse in Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia.

Matt Gibson: Why I Live In Taina, Taiwan
Adventure travel writer and photographer Matt Gibson lived in Tainan, Taiwan’s oldest and most historical city. During his time there he taught a lot of children English, learned to speak Mandarin Chinese, and founded, ran, and sold the popular expatriate periodical, Xpat Magazine.

Jesse Logister: Why I Live In Bangkok, Thailand
Though a loyal, honest and hard working employee, Jesse Logister didn’t always feel appreciated in his jobs as a cleaner of trains, mail man, factory worker, sales person, and airport luggage handler, so he escaped the 9 to 5 to Thailand and a job online.

Nicholas Orwin: Why I Live In Nonthaburi, Thailand
The first time he saw Michael Palin’s Around the World in 80 days Nicholas Orwin knew he wanted to travel and not just go on a holiday abroad. Captivated by Asia for as long as he can remember he took a job teaching English in Thailand.

Jack Scott: Why I Live In Bodrum, Turkey
Jack Scott is a freelance writer and author. In 2009, he relocated to Bodrum with his partner, Liam, starting the Perking the Pansies blog which quickly became the most popular blog of its kind on that side of the Aegean.

Kristin Larson: Why I Live In Istanbul, Turkey
With food and culture making up such a large part of Kristin Larson’s blog, she could have picked few better places to write than from the seven hills of Istanbul.

Natalie Sayin: Why I Live In Didim, Turkey
Natalie Sayin is an internet addict with a passion for the country of Turkey. Deciding to combine the two, she formed the Turkish Travel Blog; her diary of the places she visits, people she meets and the sometimes awkward scenarios that she manages to get into. She tells us more about her home in an Aegean resort town in the south west of Turkey.

Dallas Dyson: Why I Live In Altinkum, Turkey
Dallas Dyson, a writer and animal lover, divides her life between a village in scenic Devon and Altinkum, or Tinky Town, as the resort part of Didim, in Turkey, is also known to expats and tourist visitors.

Alan Fenn: Why I Live In Okçular, Turkey
Alan Fenn, aka The Werewolf, is a former swampy who, with his partner, followed up on his pipe dream of many years to go live in Turkey.

Duke Dillard: Why I Live In Cappadocia, Turkey
A happy family man Duke had a normal white, middle class childhood in suburban America and at age nine had a significant encounter with Jesus Christ that still impacts his life today. Though he and his family have already spent many years living in Kazakstan, Uzbekistan and Ankara, they were fairly new residents of Cappadocia when he told us more about living there.

Peter Gilbert: Why I Live In Sapa, Vietnam
Peter Gilbert was just passing through Sapa, a hill town in the north of Vietnam, on the way to Laos when he heard about an organisation dedicating itself to improving the literacy of local children. Initially he volunteered for three months as an English teacher with Sapa O’Chau but after a short visit home to Sheffield, and a winter season working in Japan, he returned to continue helping with the project.

Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific

Alyson, James, D and Boo: Why We Lived In Port Douglas, Australia
Alyson from Wales met Australian James while on holiday in Egypt. After moving in together in London they travelled the world, had a D and a Boo, and have since set off on their second round the world trip – this time with the whole family in tow. In between they lived in Port Douglas.

J M Cressman: Why I Live In The Sunshine Coast, Australia
J M Cressman and his girlfriend were lured to the Sunshine Coast by the many reciprocal agreements between Australia and Canada. Already well versed in sports and activities from his studies and work in Canada, he enjoys the outdoor life in his new Queensland home.

North America

Mary Bartnikowski: Why I Live In Santa Cruz De Laguna, Guatemala
Mary Bartnikowski calls herself a CEO of fun. Sitting around one day she noticed there was no one to make dinner for. Her son was riding camels and meeting holy men in caves in Morocco when it hit her: she needed adventure and the unknown.

Andrea Petkovic: Why I Live In New York, USA
A consultant in media and communications, Andrea Petkovic swapped a real office in Zagreb for a virtual one and started working and traveling around the world. After six months travelling around Southeast Asia and Australia she ended up in New York.

Pola Henderson: Why I Live In Chicago, USA
Pola Henderson was less than three years old when she first travelled long distance and has been fond of jetting around ever since. She started blogging in 2010 and currently juggles her passion for globetrotting with a day job in marketing communication.

Molly Hawkins: Why I Live In Ohio, USA
After a long distance relationship of four years, Molly Hawkins made the big move abroad to be with her American husband. She tells us more about being a British expat living in Ohio.

South America

Marlo Perry: Why I Live In Buenos Aires, Argentina
Marlo Perry, grew up in Australia but has spent most of her life working and travelling around the world. After stints as a tour guide in Asia and South America, she lived in Buenos Aires.

Vivi Rathbon: Why I Live In Buenos Aires, Argentina
Vivi Rathbon is a Buenos Aires expat, truly in love with the magical city of Buenos Aires, which, at the time of writing, she had had the pleasure of residing in for three years.

Leigh Shulman: Why I Live In Salta, Argentina
With her husband Noah Edelblum and daughter Lila, Leigh Shulman shrugged off her old life in New York to travel Europe, the US, Central and South America. Advocates of slow travel, their pace ground to a halt when they settled in the Argentine city of Salta and founded an art and education NGO.

Rosanna Bird: Why I Live in La Paz, Bolivia
Describing herself as a serial expat, Rosanna Bird had already done stints abroad in Romania, South Korea and Taiwan before she and her boyfriend decided on an impermanent move to Bolivia. They zig-zagged through Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile before their extended stop in La Paz.

Natalie Southwick: Why I Live In Bogotá, Colombia
The first time Natalie Southwick visited Latin America was when she travelled to Costa Rica at the age of 14. She has been returning to the region ever since, making stops in eight countries so far. She finally found “the one” when she moved to Bogotá and has since been trying to convince as many people as possible to pay her to write and keep living there.

Rachel Tavel: Why I Live In Quito, Ecuador
Rachel Tavel is a published travel writer and wanderluster. A half Argentinean native New Yorker, she left the Upper West Side of Manhattan to pursue travel writing full time, a plan that led her to working for V!VA Travel Guides in Quito, Ecuador.

Camden Luxford: Why I Live In Cusco, Peru
They say if you spend more than four months in Cusco then you are there for good. Australian traveller Camden Luxford was there much longer than that and talks to us about swapping the backpacker life for an expat one.

 

 

 

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