Posts with Category Travel

Farts on a Plane

Right this minute I’m on a flight over the Atlantic.  And someone on that flight is probably farting.

I recently test-drove a pair of anti-flatulence underwear on a flight out West and wrote about the experience. The piece hasn’t been published yet (where do you pitch such works of art), but I decided to read it during a recent appearance at West Texas A&M.

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Trapped in the House of Terror

(Photo from the Sydney Morning Herald)

Photo from the Sydney Morning Herald

After sitting next to an anti-Socialist socialist of Hungarian descent who was worried our country was slipping toward torture chambers on a flight the other day, I was reminded of an old column I wrote about visiting a torture chamber in Budapest.

I thought I’d share it. It’s kind of a like a Scooby-Doo episode without the dog, chase scenes, leaning towers of sandwiches, and layers of masks. Okay it’s nothing like a Scooby episode. But I do get trapped in a bathroom and the title is….

Trapped in the House of Terror

It’s a rainy day in Budapest.

The capital of Hungary is renowned for its cosmopolitan atmosphere…

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Don't talk politics; talk people

The woman next to me works for FEMA. She is employed by the government but hates the direction our country is going. She has all the talking points down – Obamacare, cap and trade, socialist agendas. She’s proud of her Hungarian ancestry and worried that American dissenters will be shuffled off into death camps and torture chambers in the all to near future.

She tells me all of this as if I surely agree. As if I hadn’t contacted my congressmen encouraging them to pass healthcare reform. As if I thought Beck and Limbaugh were the greatest Patriots since Mel Gibson in the Patriot.

I nod, wondering if she could see disagreement on my face or how my eyes have glossed over. And…

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A love letter to Aerobie Inc

FrisbeeI got a response and a free Aerobie out of this letter. So I thought I’d share it here.

Dear Aerobie folks,

I’m a journalist and author of the book “Where Am I Wearing” and since 2001 I’ve been traveling the world writing about people near and far. There’s only one item that has been with me the entire time – my Aerobie Superdisc.

I don’t leave home without it.

My Superdisc is so much more than just a fun way to pass some time, including:

A de-adulter: Turns adults into kids in a matter of a few tosses.

A language decoder: Pull out your disc and language won’t matter. Laughs in Mandarin, Nepalese, Thai, Khmer, Spanish, French, etc. all…

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Reading my way to Africa

Reading is constantly getting me into trouble.

I read the label on my underwear and went to Bangladesh where I was nearly pulled to pieces in a Bangladeshi mosh pit. I read Dracula and went to Romania where I spent the night alone at the real life Castle Dracula. And now reading is playing a crucial part in calling me to Africa.

Before Life in Abundance asked me to go with them, I had spent much of the previous six months reading about Africa. It was a conscious decision. I wasn’t intentionally focusing on the continent.

I like Dave Eggers so I read What is the What — an amazing read about the Lost Boys of Sudan trying…

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Toto's Africa deconstructed

In case you are bored this Saturday (If you are, you must not be a basketball fan), I present to you my favorite video of the past few weeks – Steve Almond breaking down Toto’s Africa.

Damned if Africa isn’t the most catchy ridiculous song ever.  Since I found this video I keep hearing the song on the radio. I don’t think any of us realize how present this song is on our lives. When is the last time you heard it? I heard it yesterday. Make it stop! Make it stop!

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The Most Interesting Man in the World is Interesting

Jonathan Goldsmith, the actor who plays the Most Interesting Man in the World in the Dos Equis commercials, loves Mexico.

On a recent flight on Frontier Airlines I read his “10 reasons I love Mexico” in the on-flight magazine Wild Blue Yonder. At the end of the list the editors added a short bio:

Turns out the veteran actor, who had roles on TV shows like Dallas and Dynasty–plus dozens more–may actually be just a bit more interesting than his commercial creation. Mr. Goldsmith’s next adventure is aboard his 47–foot sloop, which he plans to sail down to the Sea of Cortez to retrace John Steinbeck’s research journey in 1940.

It seems that Goldsmith just might suffer from

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Africa calls

“You can leave Africa, but Africa won’t leave you.”

That’s what the high-powered executive told me after I mentioned my upcoming trip to Kenya. He spent three years in Africa teaching English when he was in his early twenties. He never said what it was about Africa that makes it not leave you, but I expect he might not know.

That was on Wednesday night.

Today I saw a friend’s Facebook post that Africa was calling him to return, Liberia specifically.

I’ve visited sunny beaches and shantytowns around the world and, I must admit, it’s the beaches that tend to call for my return. (Oh Na Pali coast of Kauai, how I long for you!) Sure, I’ll never forget the dump I visited in Cambodia, but I have no…

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The safest place in Hawaii during a tsunami

I spent the better part of my Saturday hoping that Hawaii (and everywhere else in/on the Pacific) didn’t get blasted by a tsunami. Eric Harr — CARE representative, IronMan, journalist, and Twitter-fiend — posted a video of his view from the relative safety of the Four Seasons in Kona.

This got me thinking about the time I hiked on Mauna Loa. There’s no chance of a tsunami getting you up there, but the lava, the boredom and the lack of water might.

I dusted off an old column about the hike…

Life, Death, and Lava
(I wrote this in 2002. It was one of the first pieces I ever tried to publish. I think I got paid $15 from some long-forgotten website for it.)

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Should I have my appendix removed before I travel?

Pending my release from being held hostage, I’m only a few months from Africa.  Now is the time to start thinking about vaccinations and pre-trip doctor visits.  That said, I thought I would dust off a piece from my travel column days and a photo of my brother with Malaria in France after our trip to Honduras. Good times.

My  Brother with Malaria

An Appendectomy to Go, Please

I’m not hardcore I have an appendix.

Legitimate children of Adventure prepare for their travels and expeditions for months if not years. They look into every possible problem and how to prevent it. The worthless appendix is like a time bomb to these neurotic adventurers, lying in…

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