Jack Kerouac

This is an excerpt from my book “Vagabonds: Sometimes Getting Lost is the Point” . It’s available as an ebook for kindle or ebook readers. Over the next several months we will be exploring some of these amazing vagabond characters from the past (and present).

On the road or on the seas, a vagabond must travel. It doesn’t matter if you have money or not, you simply have to see the world. Jack Kerouac and his friends were extraordinary vagabonds.

Jack Kerouac was an American novelist and poet born in Massachusetts in 1922. He is a literary iconoclast and a pioneer of the Beat Generation. Jack Kerouac was very much influenced by Neal Cassidy, they met in New York and soon became friends. Some people even say that they even fell in love with each other.

Jack Kerouac VagabondVery soon they both began the series of cross-county adventures which was mentioned on Jack Kerouac’s book “On The Road”. They roamed all over USA like vagabonds. Jack Kerouac started writing about their travel experiences as and when they were taking place, but somehow he was not able to find a style suitable to the content, and he put the project away in that frustration. After a series of letters from Cassidy to Kerouac , he began the project again and the letters gave him an idea to write a book “On The Road” and it was a success. The book became a sensation by catching the voice of Cassidy. On The Road inspired the generation to travel across America in search of freedom and adventure.

More about the beats and Jack Kerouac:
Jack Kerouac: Road Novels 1957-1960: On the Road / The Dharma Bums / The Subterraneans / Tristessa / Lonesome Traveler / Journal Selections
On the Road: The Original Scroll
The Dharma Bums
Memoirs of a Beatnik by Diana DiPrima
Beatniks: A Guide to an American Subculture

Personally, The Dharma Bums is my favorite of his books, though On the Road is much more famous.

Vagabond KerouacCassidy married many women and he became the father for many children, his life has been explained in On the Road by Kerouac. In his final years he settled down with Carolyn Cassidy in San Jose. Whereas Kerouac married Joan Haverty, but she left him while she was pregnant. Next several years Jack Kerouac spent his life traveling and writing. He took long trips all over US and Mexico and he fell into drug and alcohol use due to depression. He died at the age of 47 due to internal hemorrhage because of heavy drinking. Kerouac’s life was a good inspiration for world travelers and a good lesson for heavy drinkers!!

Amazing Vagabond – Chris Guillebeau – Every Country in the World

This is an excerpt from my book “Vagabonds: Sometimes Getting Lost is the Point” . It’s available as an ebook for kindle or ebook readers. Over the next several months we will be exploring some of these amazing vagabond characters from the past (and present).

Some years ago, a friend sent me a link to Chris Guillebeau’s website.

amazing vagabond chris guillebeau“Wow. You should do this.” That’s what she wrote to me. As if it were the simplest thing in the world to visit every country of the world. And that is really the magic of Chris Guillebeau – he makes it seem that simple. Maybe he even makes it that simple, though I haven’t met anyone else who is going about things the way he is, so I really can’t say.

One thing is for sure, Chris is amazing. The website I looked at and was referred to was his blog at http://chrisguillebeau.com/. If you haven’t yet heard of him or his work, let me give you the cliff notes version from his bio page.

I served as a volunteer executive for a medical charity in West Africa from 2002-2006. It was thrilling, challenging, and exhausting—all good qualities to have in an adventure. I gave keynote speeches to presidents, hung out with warlords, and learned far more in those four years than anything I learned in college.

After my time in West Africa came to an end in 2006, I came to Seattle for a graduate program in International Studies at the University of Washington. I enjoyed my studies, but I enjoyed travel even more – during every break between quarters, I traveled independently to countries like Burma, Uganda, Jordan, Macedonia, and 20 more.

And then…he decided to change the world.

Chris is a self-employed dude who set himself the task of visiting every country in the world and created a blog called The Art of Non-Conformity. In 2008 he published a manifesto called (not surprisingly) A Brief Guide to World Domination. I recommend that you download it free from his site right now. In 2010 he published The Art of Non-Conformity and as of right now, Chris has visited all but one country in the world in his quest.  Along the way, he has inspired people, created new projects, and shown countless (I’m sure someone could count them, but I can’t) people how to ‘travel-hack’ i.e. use airline systems of points and rewards to improve their travel and improve their lives. His recently released book The $100 Startup is a entrepreneurial self-help masterpiece that I recommend you read (even if I do tend to think that Chris and the people he profiles are far from the average folk he portrays them to be).

Here is something truly Amazing about Chris – despite his intense popularity, his incredible accomplishments, and his ultra-positive ‘you can do it’ message – you would be hard pressed to find anyone who will say a bad word about him. Compare that with author Tim Ferris who I will profile next week and you will see why that is so amazing. Chris Guillebeau is such a genuinely nice guy that even the hater trolls can’t seem to hate him.

Chris has been featured in the New York Times, Psychology Today, Business Week, Budget Travel, Oregonian, La Presse, Washington Times, MSNBC, Anderson Cooper’s 360 and on a laundry list of great websites you should read if you don’t already: Seth Godin, Slate, LifeHacker, Zen Habits, Behance, Career Renegade, Happiness Project, Rolf Potts Vagablogging, and literally hundreds of other blogs (now including Vagobond.com).

He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Jolie although where he is at any given moment is incredibly difficult to say for certain.  If you don’t virtually or personally know Chris yet, I recommend you bring him into your life.

Vino Vagabond Writer – Linda Kissam

This is an excerpt from my book “Vagabonds: Sometimes Getting Lost is the Point” . It’s available as an ebook for kindle or ebook readers. Over the next several months we will be exploring some of these amazing vagabond characters from the past (and present).

Linda Kissam has brought Vagobond readers exclusive stories about travel in the world of wine since 2012. She is a professional travel, food, and wine writer based out of Southern California.

Linda specializes in easy, breezy destination stories focusing on what makes each destination special through it culinary and wine, beer and spirits scene and the soft adventures that surround those pursuits. She loves sharing her favorite things about the places she visits. She never knows if a story will end up being based on finding the perfect latte, ordering Pommes Frites with Parsley Butter in a small French bistro, searching for an Internet cafe in Sicily, or attending a wine seminar aboard a cruise ship. She never travels without a notebook, camera and a great pair of Brighton flats. She has an addiction to personable people, interesting wines, gourmet coffee, fabulous chocolate and spicy foods. Anyone who knows her will tell you that she loves traveling anywhere, by any means, and is somewhat obsessive about jewelry and a good taco.

Welcome to Vagobond, Linda!
Vagobond: What’s your personal travel philosophy?
LK: Commit to the regionality of the trip. Appreciate the moment and circumstance of what is being offered.

Vagobond: How many countries have you visited?
LK: I’ve been lucky to visit over 15 countries so far representing 4 continents

Vagobond: What made you start to travel?
LK: I became a travel agent on a whim one year. I was sent to Thailand to better understand the activities and accommodations offered there.My eyes and soul opened to the universal possibilities of international travel through that gift. I was hooked from that point on.

Vagobond: What’s your scariest travel moment?
LK: Circling the Atlanta Airport for an hour in a thunder storm. We couldn’t land until the thunder storm was over and we couldn’t go to another airport because we didn’t have enough fuel.

Vagobond: What’s your funniest travel moment?
LK: The day the shuttle driver misunderstood his instructions to pick up my writers group ASAP.  The four of us writerswere in a small golf cart on a very restricted one lane, no vehicles allowed, nature trail which incidentally included alligators on each side of the trail. The thirty something year old, 20 passenger shuttle driver breached the “Do Not Enter” warning signs and blockades. He came rumbling down the trail, lights on,pedal to the metal, until he found us, loaded us up and backed out the entire winding, twisty road, which at that point was probably 3 miles. It wasn’t until then that he shared he was the lead fire truck driver for the local fire department and there were never any passengers left behind whenever he got the call!

Vagobond: What’s your greatest adventure?
LK: That’s like asking me which of my children I like best, or what wine I like best.  There is no definitive answer. I believe that each trip has a message to share.  I love every minute of every travel adventure.

Vagobond: What’s your dream destination/vacation/trip?
LK: I’ve yet to take a cruise around the Greek Isles, go on a safari & do some wine tasting in South Africa, or experience UK Canal boating.

Vagobond: Are you a traveler or a tourist? What’s the difference if there is one.
LK: I am a traveler. I enjoy the opportunity to explore other places through regional activities whether in my home state or in far away places. I am there to do more than vacation. Long ago I learned not to expect toilet paper — but carry my own with the cardboard roll removed, paper pressed flat.

Vagobond: What’s a great travel tip most people don’t know?
LK: Pack light, in one color palate, and think & do regionally!

Vagobond: What are your travel plans for 2012?
LK: 2012 looks like a great travel year split between North America and European travel. My travel schedule is just starting to firm up, but on the boards now I am looking forward to visiting Oregon, Las Vegas, Arizona, California, South Dakota, Germany, England, Switzerland, Berlin, Canada,and France. Anywhere I can find an interesting wine region, spa, or train ride…calls to my soul.

 

Nomad Vagabond – Genghis Khan

This is an excerpt from my book “Vagabonds: Sometimes Getting Lost is the Point” . It’s available as an ebook for kindle or ebook readers. Over the next several months we will be exploring some of these amazing vagabond characters from the past (and present).

 

Traveling round the world doesn’t usually involve conquest of foreign lands but for Temujin, also known as Genghis Khan, conquest was probably just a means of travel. Starting with nothing as an exile and prisoner means he was certainly an extraordinary vagabond.

Genghis Khan was a nomad, in other words he was a world traveler of sort. Genghis Khan’s real name in his childhood was Temujin. When his brother poisoned his father Temujin killed his brother and in punishment he was thrown into forest, he was held in prison by his former friends after that. vagobond genghis khanAfter few years, Temujin rose up as a powerful leader and united the tribes of the Mongol people. With this goal accomplished, he and his Mongol hordes targeted many and far lands. From the time of his unification of the Mongol tribes, the Mongols called him Genghis Khan.

Genghis Khan first attacked the Tangut tribes to the west of the Mongol homeland. His first important foreign venture was not an easy one, but he brought the tribes of Tangut to their knees by 1209, which was the beginning of his empire. Genghis targeted east and south after that, this was the land ruled by Jin Dynasty of China. Genghis Khan captured Beijing, bringing the pressure to the Jin emperor and managing to restrain the complete northern half of the kingdom.

Kara-Khitan which is called “Xinjiang” today by the Chinese government was the next battleground of Genghis Khan. With just 20,000 soldiers, the Mongols brought the surrender of Kara-Khitan by 1218. Now Genghis Khan’s empire extended from shores of China in the east to Kazakhstan in west.

genghis khan mapThis was not enough and Genghis Khan desired more. He set his eyes on his new neighbor, the Khwarezmid Empire. It stretched from Kazakhstan to the banks of Persian Gulf, surrounding most of Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and half of Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan. At first Genghis Khan tried to establish a booming trade partnership with Khwarezmids, but the leader of Khwarezmid attacked his 500 man caravan. After this, he foolishly refused to pay compensation for his act. Genghis Khan later sent his group of ambassadors to the Shah of Khwarezmid in a hope to have some kind of political trade relationship. But the Shah refused his proposal, Genghis Khan invaded Khwarezmid and executed the Shah. After this horrible conquest of Khwarezmid Empire, he headed across Afghanistan and northern India.

By the end of his life, Temujin had conquered everything from Asia all the way to Europe’s doorstep. Most of modern Turkey, parts of Greece, and even portions of Bulgaria, Romania, and Russia were his domain.

As a world traveler, he spilled a lot more blood than most, but the fact is he controlled the largest contiguous empire in history and saw more of the world than most people ever will.

Welcome to 2021 – Aloha to the World!

We made it through what may have been the most difficult year of our lives. Here we are.

This year, I’m going to change my focus on Vagobond a bit. My intent is to publish 1-2 articles per week.

Since I’m not traveling much these days – (and who is?) I’m going to start out 2020 by looking at some  of the great Vagabonds of the past for inspiration on the many reasons we travel. I wrote a book “Vagabonds: Sometimes Getting Lost is the Point”  about the great vagabonds several years ago. It’s still available as an ebook for kindle on Amazon for just $3.99. Over the next several months we will be exploring some of those characters from the past (and present).

Vagabonds

Last year my publication schedule was Monday, Wednesday, and Friday – but this year – let’s switch it up to Tuesday and Thursday.

 

Around the World with 40 Bloggers – From Lonely Planet

I’m pretty stoked to be one of the 40 bloggers featured in this. Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make it happen. Thanks for reading. Thanks for tweeting, liking, stumbling and sharing Vagobond with your friends. Thanks for commenting.
Back in 2008 Lonely Planet picked their favorite bloggers around the world and began featuring their blogs on the Lonely Planet website.

Those bloggers (blogsherpas) have come together to showcase the best that travel blogging can offer. Around the World with 40 Lonely Planet Bloggers.
These aren’t 40 backpackers or 40 anythings. This group is diverse with focuses on family travel, expat life, volunteerism, art, budget world travel and long term backpacking too. Lonely Planet has said that they wanted to shine a light on the very best travel writing and photography on the planet.

Around the World with 40 Lonely Planet Bloggers introduces readers to the world of professional travel blogging. Lonely Planet knows what it takes to produce amazing travel writing and photography, and these bloggers are producing up-to-date live content from around the world while still managing to travel.

The new ebook shares a collection of stunning photos and descriptions that captures the essence of travel. It walks the reader through almost 70 countries and 40 unique ways of experiencing the world. It lets you research your next destination from a variety of perspectives, depending on your own interests and needs.

I could go on and on describing the book, but it’s better to just dive into 88 pages of colour, excitement and passion for travel. So download the book now!

Happy travels and see you on the road.

Tenerife Playa De Las Americas

The Playa de Las Americas inthe Canary Islands just off of Africa’s West Coast is a divine place for tourists, especially the beaches. It was built in 1960 and it’s geographical location during winter is the main reason many Northern Europeans come and visit this. It is somehow different from the other Canarian culture. Concerning the budget, it is sometimes affordable for some people and expensive for others. Tenerife Playa De Las Americas is a favorite spot for many tourists. And because of its security and safety, many people bring the kids with them too.
Canary IslandsWalking on the streets you can find British pubs, restaurants, pizza and fast food parlors. For the Brits it is as if they are already home – but warmer. Anyone will enjoy going to the beaches and partying. Other spots like Fanabe and Costa Adeje are great for people of different nationalities. And for those who love shopping there is El Duque.

El Duque is a beautiful place almost like paradise with sunny weather and entertaining activities. The beaches are full with people all the time and even at night you’ll find those who love to enjoy the nightlife out and about. It is a nice and warm place even in the winter.
Canary IslandsIn Playa de Las Americas you’ll find lots of exciting and fun stuff to do for entertainment, but to make it easier for you, we are going to list a few places here:
1.Eden Catamaran is a tour by boat, famous for whale watching and dolphins. You can even snorkel and swim.
2.K16 Surf Shop: Famous for shops, monuments and water sports.
3.Piramide de Arona: A theatre.
4.Wannadive
5.Golf Las Americas: For those who enjoy golfing and it is not that far from the city.
6.Exit Palace: Theaters that include dinner along with watching performances.
7.Veronicas Strip
8.Linekers Bar is a well known chain of bars.
9.Freebird Sailing
10.The Patch: A place where you can find lots of bars and restaurants to eat.

Canary Islands BeachesAnd in case you are looking, here is also a list of nightclubs that you might like:
11.Babewatch Lap Dancing
12.Bobby’s Club
13.Busby’s Club
14.Crows Nest Club
15.Jumpin Jacks Club
16.Sound of Cream Club
The Playa de Las Americas is an amusing place where all kinds of people, of all ages and from different countries will love spending their time. Everything you want, you will find it on this unique island. Happy Vacation!

Neither a Traveler Nor a Tourist – Are You A Moovist ?

I don’t like to be described as a traveler nor as a tourist. I’m something else. Since no word exists, I’m going to coin it here. I am a Moovist (pronounced Moove-ist).

I’ve met lots of people who are away from home. Among the backpacker crowd there is always that cute declaration that they’re not tourists, but travelers.

touristIf you’re like me, you’re neither a traveller nor a tourist. Not really anyway. I never knew what to call us so I decided to make up a new word – Moovism, Moovist. We’re not on our way around the world (at least not with a timetable that falls within 1-2 years or with a set agenda), we don’t have the money for fancy travel gear or cameras, we aren’t even really traveling…we’re moving. There is a big difference.

If you want to tell me I’m wrong and point to the many places I’ve been, then you need to look at this blog a little closer.

Reread some posts about the places I’ve been.
In 1995 I moved to Raleigh, North Carolina thinking it would be great. It wasn’t what I expected.
In 1996 I moved to Bellingham, Washington. It was and is great, but I wanted to be more than a big fish radio guy in a small pond. Besides, I wanted something different in terms of culture and weather.
In 1998 I got rid of my things again and moved to both Alaska and the UK with the intention of staying, though I didn’t.

In 2001, I got rid of all my possessions and went to Asia looking for a home. I wandered from China to Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and a few other places and ended up in Sumatra where I took a job teaching and started to build a life. This was at the point that George Bush was starting to create problems for Americans living in Muslim countries and I took the advice of my friends in Parapat and ‘went home for my own safety’. Only when I got back to the USA did I realize I had made a terrible mistake.

Later that year, I again got rid of everything and jumped to Hawaii with $100 and no plan but to escape the insane American patriotism that was gripping the USA post 9-11. I didn’t have enough money to go back to Asia, so I went to Hawaii where I thought there would be less fervor and insanity. I was right.
I admit that while in Hawaii I did some ‘traveling’ and some ‘tourism’ while exploring the other islands and going to Tahiti although with the Island of Kauai, I moved there for almost 2 years.

In 2003 I went to the Philippines and planned to stay but when the plot of my girlfriend’s brothers to kill me and my brother was discovered, I had to abandon my plans of building a mead empire in the barangay and my bride to be too, after all, when you marry a Filipina, you marry the family and if they want to kill you with big knives, it’s not a good sign of things to come.

After that, I stayed in Hawaii until 2008 when I achieved a degree in Anthropology from the University of Hawaii and once again got rid of all my possessions and set out to find a new home outside of the USA.
I made my way to the East Coast of the USA in the cheapest way seeing the people and places I didn’t want to miss and then I jumped the pond to Spain, started exploring Europe in search of a place to live (Granada almost had me!) and then to Morocco where I fell in love and lived for nearly two years, though I did have to make a trip back to the USA to fix my paperwork so I could get married and I arranged my necessary movement to accommodate seeing some places I’d never been (travel and tourism – see? I’m guilty too) Germany, Ireland, France, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, Quebec, etc.

Are they travelers? The point is that I was actually on my way to someplace for the purpose of living there. I wasn’t just traveling to see, though I admit that in all of my moovism there is an element of both the touristic and the travelistic. I mean, I want to see places and things along the way. I believe that the journey is just as important as the destination and in some cases, more important. I’m a traveler and a tourist and for that, I deserve to be insulted and belittled too. Maybe I’m just confused. Somehow though, travel and tourism just seem – fucked up.
I came to Turkey- not as a tourist but evaluating if it would be possible to move here with my wife. Sure, we did a lot of travelistic and touristic things, but mainly we were looking to see if we could live here. We decided yes and so back in Morocco, I got rid of just about everything she would let me and I moved again.

Look, seriously. I’m not dissing you travelers out of spite. I love that you go out and see the world. I’m not dissing the tourists without a purpose either, I love that they are expanding their worldview (and their wastelines). If they hadn’t of shown those slides, maybe you never would have left home, but what I’m saying is that I don’t feel at home with travel or tourism as it exists anymore. You both make me envious, excited and slightly disgusted at the same time. We need to rethink global tourism.

So, by way of closing here is my new ‘cute’ breakdown of the difference between travelers, tourists, and moovists.

Tourist – Someone who has a set agenda, knows what they will see, where they will be, and when they will return to home, family, work, etc.

Traveler – Someone who travels without as many known details as the tourist but still plans to return at some point to home, family, work, etc.

Moovist – Someone who gives up home, family, work, etc. and sets off to another place with the intention of staying for an indefinite period of time and no plans of returning to home, family, work etc. I suppose, you could also say a Moovist is a vagabond.

I’m a Moovist although I admit, I’ve also been a tourist, a traveler, and of course, I remain a vagabond.

Maybe I’m worse than a tourist because I don’t spend as much money and worse than a traveler because I don’t go away at the end of the day. I don’t know.

What about you? How can we improve the act of travel? What is wrong with global travel today? What is right with it?

Vagobond Travel Museum – A European Wander

Much to my surprise, what I had thought would be a sort of never ending, round the world holiday, had suddenly become mired down in love – mainly because I’d fallen in love with a Moroccan girl with no passport and in order to bring her into my world – I had to get the right papers, find a job, and prove that I could be a good husband.  Not easy when my plan hadn’t included any of these things, I was thousands of miles from home, and I didn’t even really like being in Morocco. I needed time to think. I needed to step away.

My bride to be had told me that I could marry her or that she would understand if I chose the world instead…frankly, things had moved so quickly, that I needed to see if the world still held the same appeal – so I decided to take a few weeks, explore a bit of Europe, visit some friends along the way and clear my head.

This trip was all about deciding whether to continue traveling and leave the girl behind or whether to follow my heart and leave the travel behind – or perhaps to find a way to marry both the girl and the road. In any event, things quickly turned south when all three of my debit cards were shut down because I had yet to learn that banks need to be notified that you will be using ATMs when you are abroad.

This particular trip follows up on leaving Hawaii, taking an Amtrak across the USA, spending my first month in Spain, and then finding love in Morocco. So, there was a lot going on as I tried to figure out what the hell to do next.

Sevilla – The Flower of Spanish Beauty and Culture

The King of Seville and the Barber of Seville

Brussels – Comic Murals, Skate Parks, and Chess Bars

 

 

Preparing To Move Abroad: The Basics


Whether you have a life-long love of travel or simply want to try something new, moving abroad can be a defining moment in your life. It presents you with a new world of opportunities, but as with any move, there is an element of risk involved. You don’t know exactly what lies ahead or what life will be like for you in your new country. However, you can minimize that risk by being suitably prepared.

 

With that in mind, here are some things you can do to prepare you for the big move!

Photo by Ross Parmly on Unsplash

 

Research, research, research.

 

Although you won’t truly discover your new city until you live there, you need to get your hands on as much information about the area as possible. This means you need to do more than a cursory google search. Try and figure out as much information as you can. Ask the following questions.

 

  • What is the culture like?
  • What kind of lifestyle do the locals live?
  • What amenities are in the area?
  • What is the surrounding area like?
  • Is the location remote or busy?
  • What is the cost of living?
  • What is the average salary?
  • What is the average cost of rent?
  • Do I need a different VISA to work and live here?
  • What is the weather like?

 

Chose your new destination carefully. Despite your lust for adventure, you do not need to live near one of the wonders of the world. Instead, you need to find a place that you can call home – even if it is entirely different from the home you currently live in. Think about the kind of lifestyle you want to live, the work you do, and how you want to spend your time.

 

Get your paperwork together.

 

Once you’ve chosen your destination, you need to ensure you have everything you need on hand to make the move as smooth and stress-free as possible. For example, you will need to obtain a specific VISA and other documents to grant you residency. This can take a lot of time, especially as you have to communicate with officials in different countries, so you should give yourself sufficient time to complete this step of the process. Don’t rush – as mistakes can lead to your VISA being rejected, which will push back your move even further. 

 

Find somewhere to live first.

 

Sometimes, when moving country, a person may take the leap and simply head overseas without securing a home. However, it is far safer and more practical to at least have an idea of the property you want to rent/purchase before moving. This will save you a lot of undue stress, and you can get any documentation ready ahead of time. Therefore, once you have decided upon your destination, start searching for properties.

 

Website such as PropertyGuru can make this easy. For example, you simply need to write the name of your chosen destination, such as trefoil setia alam, into their search bar. They will provide you with information on the various properties available in that area.

 

Learn the language.

 

If you are moving to a country where the language is different from your current language, you will need to learn quickly. While this does not mean you need to be fluent before you get on the plane, you should make a conscious effort to get to grips with the basics of the language so that you can hold a basic conversation on arrival. Apps such as Duolingo are excellent at guiding you through the process of learning a new language. 

 

Saying goodbye.

 

Moving to another country is a significant change – and you are sure to be leaving a lot behind. Your friends, your family, your work, and more. Therefore, it is also essential that you give yourself time to process this change and say goodbye – otherwise, you may find yourself grieving for your old home in unsuspecting ways. Although you are starting a new book, you have to finish the chapter of the one you are currently reading. Throw yourself an epic goodbye party, visit your favorite bakery one last time and treat yourself to one or two treats, then make plans for your next visit. Remember, you don’t have to leave forever – you’re just going on a long adventure, and you can always come back if you don’t like it.

 

Once you’ve said goodbye, you’re ready to set off on your journey. This means it’s time to get excited about all the memories you are set to make.

 

 

 

Vagobond Travel Museum

the best travel on the web
If you put a skeleton in a museum, does it become a cemetery instead?

Welcome to the Vagobond Travel Museum.
The web is full of great travel blogs, travel stories, travel photos and travel videos – the hard part is finding them amidst all the garbage. Through the week, I curate the best travel stories I find and then, I bring you the highlights here at the Vagobond Travel Museum.

These are my Travel Museum Inductions for the third week of January 2012.

This photo of the Mahabalipuram Seven Pagodas in Tamil Nadu, India seemed to capture a lot of the reason why I began traveling in the first place. Add Tamil Nadu to my bucket list.

Overland to Katmandu This was without a doubt the best travel writing I came upon this week. Old World Wandering‘s article on the Hippie Trail is long but well worth the read – it not only acts as a great historical piece, but also is a great character study.

Eric Lafforgue’s amazing photography and descriptions capture the imagination and no doubt will inspire travelers to explore the world and her people’s customs for some time to come. This photo of the Karrayyus Oromo people during the Gada Ceremony in Ethiopia is a great example of how travel can broaden your mind.

How Tea Has Conquered the World is the type of travel story I am always surprised to see on mainstream media. Sure, it’s using istock photos, but the story is interesting and worth reading- even if it’s on CNN.

I’d love to know what these guys were watching…this is the kind of photo a great photographer can capture on the fly. You couldn’t pose something like this and get the same feel. Apparently, there is work going on and the older people enjoy watching. Anziano che Guardano i Lavori’s page has plenty more older people watching the work get done.

In terms of video, I found this video about Tivoli Gardens by Virtual Wayfarer, the second oldest amusement park in the world to be interesting, compelling, and filled with odd facts.

manhole coverFor those looking for an interesting blog to follow, I can recommend TravelWriticus – in particular, I liked this picture of a manhole cover in Austria. Not the usual.

travel chicaThe Travel Chica provided some great advice for how to survive a long bus ride. If you’ve done any travel outside of the developed world (or in it for that matter) you know how important this can be.

funny signs from travelLaughter is the cure for all the world’s problems. That’s why this week I’m including this great post by Inspiringtravellers – Funny signs and things they’ve found in their travels.

The Independent’s Travel Section always seems to have some great stories like this fun piece about a week in Vietnam. Vietnam is one of those places that calls to me, I’m not sure why, but articles like this increase that desire to go there.

Rio hang glidingLauren Stephenson looks at travel an odd way in this article on overcoming your fears through travel at Bootsnall. It’s a light piece but has some very fun looking adventures couched in it. I’m not sure travel is the way to get over your fear of clowns, but I like the angle she took on this article to get there.

And while there were plenty of other great travel stories this week – that’s it for now. To let me know about any great travel pieces, contact me using the contact form here at Vagobond.com

Hawkes Bay, New Zealand – 6 Things Not to Miss!

Story and Photos by Katherine Rodeghier

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Mission Estate is New Zealand’s oldest winery, founded by French missionaries.Mother Nature practiced her own brand of “tough love” on Hawke’s Bay, but this fishhook-shaped stretch of land along the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island is all the better for it.

First, she changed the course of a river leaving gravel beds behind. But the stony surface proved beneficial for growing grapes, forcing the vines to send their roots deep into the earth to seek nutrients. That gave the wine produced from them extra character. Hawke’s Bay became New Zealand’s oldest wine region, now yielding 70 percent of the nation’s red wine.

Then in 1931 she sent a 7.8 magnitude earthquake unleashing death and destruction. But in the 40 seconds the quake shook, 8,500 acres of land rose from the bay and stayed above water, a fertile tract of new real estate locals call “The Gift.” The quake flattened the nearby city of Napier, but residents rallied to quickly rebuild in the style of the day. Napier now proclaims itself “The Art Deco Capital of the World.”

Don’t be mad at Mother Nature. She blesses Hawke’s Bay with a mild Mediterranean climate and ample sunshine, so you’ll find plenty to do in any season. Don’t miss:

Wine: The Hawke’s Bay region boasts 170 vineyards and more than 70 wineries, 40 of them with cellar doors for tastings. You won’t find many of these wines outside New Zealand, so your only chance to sip them might be right at the winery.

Mission Estate, New Zealand’s oldest winery, was established in 1851 by pioneering French missionaries in the Gimblett Gravels wine-growing district. It still employs winemaking techniques brought from Bordeaux. At Church Road Winery try for a hard-to-get taste of its famous Tom McDonald reds, named for the father of New Zealand’s red wines. Afterward, visit the Tom McDonald Cellar, the nation’s only wine museum. Twilight is the best time to visit Craggy Range winery because the view of rosy light on Te Mata Peak from a table on the patio is one you won’t soon forget. See Elephant Hill Winery in broad daylight when the light green contemporary building mirrors the Pacific Ocean across the road.

Art Deco: Art Deco is not unusual, but an entire town of Art Deco is unique. Napier has 140 original Art Deco buildings as well as many in the 1930s Spanish mission, stripped classical and jazz-age styles.

Make your way to the Art Deco Shop to buy a brochure for a self-guided tour or join one of the daily guided walks of one or two hours given by the Art Deco Trust, formed in the 1980s to preserve these buildings. The Trust also has hop-on, hop -off bus tours and vintage car tours if you want to tool around town in a Packard. Among the most notable buildings are the National Tobacco Co., a mixture of Art Deco and Art Nouveau, and the Dome with copper cupola and clock tower above a former insurance company building that’s been converted into four luxury apartments you can book for overnight stays.

On the third weekend in February, modern vehicles are banned on the main streets and nearly everyone dresses in 1930s attire for an Art Deco Weekend of parades, music and dancing.

Cape Kidnappers: When Captain Cook landed off the cape in 1769, the local Maori tribe thought his Tahitian cabin boy was one of their own and snatched him. The kidnapped lad escaped and made it back to the ship, but not before forever giving the cape its name.

A 6,000-acre sheep and cattle station operates on the cape on Hawke’s Bay, but its most famous animals are the 20,000 gannets who spend October to April gathered in 100-bird clusters of noisy nesting pairs. Not only is this the largest mainland colony of these rare birds, but the most accessible. Gannet Safaris takes you within a few feet of the white birds—related to the booby family—for a close-up view of their black eye markings and toasted marshmallow crowns.