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10 MORE Things I Wish I Knew Before Traveling: Blogger Roundup

Two weeks ago, I wrote about 28 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Traveling. That post received a lot of feedback, and generated a good discussion about buying medicine around the world. But what was I missing? No one person can have all the answers, so I asked a few expert travel writers…

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Candlelit Notes from a Dismal Hotel Room

I’m sitting in what may be the most dreary hotel room I have ever stayed in, which is saying a lot. My room is the size of a large closet, and no, this isn’t Japan with its neat cubicle hotels. In fact, it really doesn’t matter what country I’m in at the moment. I could…

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From Easter Island to Beirut, Lebanon

Trip Update: I haven’t had a lot of time to post reports from my trip to South America and the Middle East, so while I’m hanging out in transit today, I thought I’d post this report instead of the usual Wednesday work essay. We’ll go back to regularly scheduled programming next week. If you are…

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On Being Homeless for 35 Minutes in Central London

A couple of years ago, I was in London on a three-day layover after flying in from Africa. I had been in Sierra Leone for several months and was looking forward to walking the streets, hanging out in coffee shops, and seeing friends before heading on. On my first night in the city, I had…

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Next Stop, Easter Island

I’m headed out on my next adventure early Monday morning. This is the continuation of the OneWorld Round-the-World trip that I began in Japan last month. I use Round-the-World tickets to travel to far away places that are otherwise difficult to get to. On this trip, my first stop is… Photo: Sonia Carolina This is…

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How and Why I Travel (Part II of II)

Part I Is Here People often ask me how I am able to travel so often and to so many places. For a long time I didn’t know how to answer the question, because for me travel is as natural as any other part of life. Over time I’ve gradually learned that someone asking me…

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Observations from the World’s Ultimate Airport Lounge

Why are most airport departure lounges so terrible? In short, it’s because the airlines want to ensure that premium flyers receive better treatment than the regular people. If everyone were allowed “amenities” like friendly staff and clean restrooms, then no one would want to pay more money to upgrade to a higher class of service.…

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How and Why I Travel (Part I of II)

In 2007 I visited 26 countries, including 15 that were new to me. This year I hope to be on track for at least that many, although as the years go by it will become more and more difficult to get to the “new” places. For the past two years, almost all of my overseas…

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Leaving Hong Kong

After I leave India and go to Tokyo, I pick up my OneWorld Round-the-World ticket at the American Airlines counter in Narita airport. This ticket has 20 flight segments, which is the maximum you’re allowed under OneWorld rules. Like most tickets these days, any Round-the-World ticket under 17 segments is issued as an e-ticket. When…

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Three Days in Amazing Calcutta

Part I – Getting to India Part II – India Travel Journal I After traveling around by land during my first week in India, I arrive in Calcutta on a late-night Kingfisher Airlines flight from Hyderabad. The flight is great, and serves as a good model for what U.S. airlines could learn from if they…

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India Travel Journal Part I

I’m having an Indian coffee in the Churchgate section of Mumbai, roughly 15 hours after my arrival here. Since then, I’ve come in from the airport, crashed at a sad hotel, changed hotels, changed money, and tried to begin the process of acclimation to a culture that is new to me. Mumbai is not a…

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Getting To India

First, a brief warning: this trip report, and the forthcoming ones about this trip and others, may be more detailed than some readers prefer. My regular essays on Life, Work, and Travel will continue to be posted on the usual schedule, so you can choose to read what you enjoy and skip what you don’t.…

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100 Countries or an S.U.V.?

Traveling between Budapest and Prague in the summer of 2004, I suddenly realized how comfortable I felt with the process of moving from place to place. I was 26 years old and beginning to travel independently. It no longer felt strange to fly between continents or change currencies three times in a week. Adding up…

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Two Weeks in India

“The traveler, if he comes from a place of comfort, travels, in part, to be stood on his head; to lose track of tenses, or at least to be back to essentials, free of the details of home. ‘Teach me,’ as Thomas Merton wrote in his journal, ‘to give to a country names and words…

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