Ancient Arena: Travel Photo Contest Friday 26

Update: The winner is Jeremy…who guessed Amphitheater in Amman, Jordan and who may have been the fasted correct answer recorded yet! Thanks again to Nicole and Cameron and their fun world traveling Canuck blog. Jeremy gets the prize this week. So wander on over to Living the Dream and check out his great travel and lifestyle site. It happens to also be one of my favorites so do spend some time and dig around, you will be very happy you did. Welcome to Travel Photo Contest Friday, wow that’s a mouthful! If you’re new or never bothered to actually read what I write, each week I post a beautiful picture (at least I think so) from my travels (and sometimes from a featured guest…see below for details on how guest post) and you guess where it is. This week’s photo comes from Nicole and Cameron who together are Traveling Canucks. Read full article…

Top 5 Foods to Eat and Experience in Japan

No visit to Japan is complete without experiencing Japanese food the way the locals do. In Japan there is no way to separate eating from the atmosphere and experience. Food in Japan touches all of the senses from the minimalistic elegance of sashimi to the visual gourmet versions of hamburger patties. There’s more to Japanese food than sushi but let’s face it, navigating the difficult menus in a New York Japanese restaurant can be daunting enough, let alone tackling lesser known dishes on their home turf.  With Fall in full swing, and November Japan Blog Matsuri, hosted by Surviving in Japan tackling the topic of Fall foods in Japan, I started to think about what I love to eat in Japan this time of the year. This made me hungry and ruined all objectivity, displaced Fall and set me down the path to the 5 foods I love to eat Read full article…

2 Reasons to visit Slovenia: Bled and Bohinj

I know what you’re thinking: “Slovenia, where the hell is that?” Or possibly: “What, only 2 reasons, is that all you’ve got? Are you getting lazy Todd? I mean all the other Top [insert arbitrary number] Lists have WAY more than just 2.” Truth be told, I never thought about visiting Slovenia until recently. My other little secret is that there are more than 2 reasons to visit this amazing country but you shouldn’t need any more than these two. Bam! How do you feel now? Feeling silly? Ready to trust me? Huh? Huh? Also, this is not a post about everything Slovenia has to offer. Over one week I only went to two places. Turns out it was enough to get me itching to head back. I took a week off work and headed into the mountains to work on my Shikoku Pilgrimage book. I’m happy to report that Read full article…

Snaking River Canyon: Travel Photo Contest Friday 25

Update: The winner is Dawn…who guessed Fish River Canyon in Namibia, the second largest canyon in the world (after the Grand Canyon)! Thanks again to Dave and his truly professional travel photo site.  Here’s what he had to say about Fish River Canyon: “Fish River Canyon was an out of the way stop on our epic cycling journey from Cairo to Cape Town. We had been cycling for almost 4 months at this point and instead of keeping to the smooth paved roads all the way to the finish, the race directors decided to take us off road one more time to Fish River Canyon. The roads were rough and the weather somewhat miserable. After a long day of riding we finished in a camp on the outside of the canyon. We set up our tents and then we were shuttled to this outlook for a steak dinner. It was Read full article…

Japan Highlights - Japan Blog Matsuri

Welcome to the October Japan Blog Matsuri! This month’s topic is Japan Highlights and we asked the brightest Japan Bloggers to tell us what THEY thought was the best Japan has to offer…Japan’s best places, experiences, activities…whatever. The “whatever” is important. This is not your typical Japan “must see list” that tries to speak to everyone. This is not a clumsy “top ten things to do in Japan” post that has been repeated over, and over again. This is a glimpse into what makes Japan special to a bunch of completely different people. There’s something for everyone here, so pour yourself a sake, squeeze out that wasabi and enjoy a guided tour. Before the tour starts and the train doors close, don’t forget to check out last month’s host Nippon-Ichigo, who rocked out to the theme Japan Music. Awesome! Weather your just planning your trip, or you’re already there, these Read full article…

How to Make Ajvar: Balkan staple of Fall and Winter

This post is by: Kay (my lovely wife and writer for K’s Kitchen!) Since the end of August, I started to see lots of sacks of paprika at vegetable shops in Kosovo….Yes, this is a sign that autumn is here and therefore the season for Ajvar has started….Indeed, leaves are turning yellow and it was zero degree at night in Prishtina few days ago (early October)!! Today, I’m FINALLY introducing you to one of the most popular Balkan dishes (sauce), Ajvar. I never knew about this very popular Balkan dish until I moved to Kosovo. Ajvar is basically a sauce made of red paprika and spices. According to the website and some recipes that I have seen, eggplants and onions are sometimes used, however, my Kosovar friends tell me that Ajvar is strictly with paprikas and the one mixed with other vegetables are actually called Pinxhur. Both of them are Read full article…

Stone Fortress: Travel Photo Contest Friday 24

Update: The winner is Aaron…who guessed Castillo de San Felipe – Cartagena, Colombia and actually read the instructions carefully Thanks again to Jenny and her wonderful minimalist lifestyle/travel  blog.  Here’s what she had to say: “San Felipe is one of the greatest and strongest fortresses ever built by the Spaniards in their colonies. It took 200 years and 245 tons of gold to build and helped protect the city from pirates. Despite numerous attempts the fortress was never taken over. Built into the fort is a complex network of tunnels connecting various strategic points.” Aaron gets the prize this week. So wander on over to Gekko Gone Blogging and check out some of Aaron’s post. Welcome to Travel Photo Contest Friday. If you’re a new friend, each week I post a beautiful picture (at least I think so) from my travels (or now a featured guest…see below for details) and Read full article…

The Happiness Chart (psst It's really simple)

The Happiness Chart The Lifestyle Strategies section is all about helping you find your perfect life, showing you there are alternatives to what everyone else implies life should be (no one says it out loud). Being happy is probably the most important measure of a perfect life. If we don’t love what we’re doing, who we spend our hours, days, minutes with, how can we expect to treat others well or help make the world a little better? May people have told me to grow up, stop being so naïve. Life is harsh, it sucks sometimes and you have to just bear it and move on. True, but move on to what? You also have a choice to work hard to not fall into a pattern you’re not happy with. It may sound selfish but our own happiness is the most important thing. Without it how can we hope to Read full article…

Colorful Cathedral: Travel Photo Contest Friday 23

Update: The winner is Katrina…it must be the good Karma from nominating 2 charities Thanks again to Jasmine and her wonderful picture and awesome blog. This has been one of most commented contests yet! Here’s what she had to say “The answer is Leon, Nicaragua, home to the largest cathedral in Latin America, historical and art museums, Sandinista revolution stronghold, and a sweltering hot climate.” I do love a good revolutionary stonghold! Katrina get a bit prize this week. Not only a link to her wonderful blog Tour Absurd, BUT also links to her more than worthy charities: Children of Ethiopia Education Fund – http://coeef.org/ Amani Children’s Home – http://amanikids.org/ Welcome to Travel Photo Contest Friday. If you’re a new friend, each week I post a beautiful picture (at least I think so) from my travels (or now a featured guest…see below for details) and you guess where it is. Read full article…

Video instructions on how to hike from Brod to the old Macedonian Smuggling Pass. This is an extra resource for those looking to hike this path and would like to see what it is like and where the map will take them. For a written explanation on how to reach the mountain pass, including a map click this link. What do you think? I’d love to hear your comments on the video and the beautiful area of Brod, Dragash.

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