Travel Safely: What you need to know to stay safe and keep having adventures

Todd’s Wanderings is honored to host the second Blog Carnival by the Lonely Planet bloggers from the Blogsherpa program centering on Travel Safety. The last Carnival was hosted by Vagobond and he did a great job covering the ups and downs of Culture Shock. The next Carnival will be host by Jennifer at Orange PolkaDot in two weeks time. Travel Safely Traveling can be dangerous business. If you were to believe the US media you’d think that just about anywhere outside the US there are terrorists waiting behind corners to kidnap you. The reality of the situation is that things always seem more dangerous the farther away you are due to a lack of information and experience. My wife and I lived through the last three years of civil war in Sri Lanka and besides the mental stress of frequent bombings we were perfectly safe (yes, we are a bit Read full article…

Big Mosque: Travel Photo Contest Friday 6

Welcome to Travel Photo Contest Friday where each week I post a beautiful picture (at least I think so) from my travels and you guess where it is. The first person to guess where this picture was taken (City and Mosque name) will win a link back to their blog with the anchor text of their choice in this post (keep it clean and relevant). Leave your guess and recent post in the comment section below. I will also stumble and review the latest post of anyone who leaves a comment even if the winner has already been picked (up until next Thursday). Yes, the prizes heavily favor the blogging and travel geeks amongst us. If you don’t have a website, then leave your favorite website or better yet a charity that deserves attention. Update: The winner is Dina from Vagabond Quest a great Travel Blog by two Permanent Travelers. We took this Read full article…

Learn new Travel Secrets and Save the World

Think I’m exaggerating? Well, OK, maybe I am a bit. But you can at least help secure clean drinking water around the world while you walk away with 500 new travel secrets…all for free. I love it when travel and international development combine as they are the two motivating factors for this site and my wanderings. A few months back you may remember that I posted My 3 Best Kept Travel Secrets on Japan, East Timor and Sri Lanka. This was part of an online collaboration by 200 of the best travel bloggers and writers out there. Now, all of the secrets have been combined into a series of free e-books by Tripbase and they are using the opportunity to do some good in the world. Yes, my tips are in the books as well (in the Worldwide Travel and Worldwide Beaches books), but the important thing is that each time you download an eBook Tripbase Read full article…

Mapo Doufu Recipe, Spicy Tofu and Pork (in Japan, commonly called Mabo Doufu)

I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite Chinese Dishes, Mapo Dofu. This recipe is from my Mom who learned it from a Chinese chef over 30 years ago. Over the years she has made a few changes here and there. The process is not that complicated, but this dish requires some specific Chinese ingredients and spices. But don’t worry. You can buy most of them at an Asian grocery store, or even in a big grocery store in the US or in some countries in Europe. I also tried to put suggestions for substitutes for some ingredients. I’ve lived in countries where these ingredients are not always available and I’ve learned to improvise and be a bit flexible when I cook. Some ingredients may seem unfamiliar at first but I’ll be introducing more recipes that use the same ingredients in the future. Before you know it you’ll Read full article…

Reclining Buddha Statue: Travel Photo Contest Friday 5

I am adding a new twist to Travel Photo Friday by including a Contest. The first person to guess where this picture was taken (country AND area/place) will win a link back to their blog with the anchor text of their choice in this post (keep it clean and relevant). Leave your guess and website in the comments below. I will also stumble and review your latest post. Yes, the prizes heavily favor the blogging and travel geeks amongst us. If you don’t have a website, then leave your favorite website or better yet a charity that deserves attention. Update: The winner is Kyung ah, who I think has the same photo here on Trip Advisor Congratulations! I have decided that anyone who leaves a comment until Thursday next week (May 20th) will get a stumble and a comment on their latest blog post (so leave a link with your comment). The Read full article…

Fighting Fires in Luang Prabang, Laos

This article won the People’s Choice award from the Southeast Asian Travel Writing Competition. Thanks to everyone who voted!   No, Thank You Laos How many people can you feed with a 600 pound catfish I wondered as I walked down the deserted street in northern Laos. Somewhere, in the darkness close by, the mythical Mekong River snaked its way through the intense blackness, hiding the massive catfish and the largest population of gigantic species in the world. It was just after 9:00 PM but there was no one else on the streets. I walked cautiously, afraid to disturb the romantic stillness in the air and the humming wildlife from the encroaching jungle. I was in Luang Prabang, the ancient capital of Laos and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. Lost to a bygone era, the French inspired Indochinese houses surrounded me, converted to coffee and gift shops but Read full article…

World Travel through the eyes of the Lonely Planet Bloggers

Let’s face it, I’m addicted to traveling the world and experiencing as many new places as I can. I’m addicted to transitions, to change, to compelling stories told over beer…well maybe its the beer I’m addicted to.  Amazingly there is a whole group of travel bloggers who feel the same way about world travel (and hopefully about beer too). A few months back many of you probably noticed that I was accepted into Lonely Planet’s Blogsherpa Program where everything I write is syndicated on the Lonely Planet’s website. Very cool, right? What’s even better than being syndicated on Lonely Planet? Getting to know all the other bloggers who have been accepted. Recently we have begun to exercise our collective creativity and have come together on a number of projects, including a possible anthology of our travel stories  and a photo book (don’t worry you’ll hear more about these later). This Read full article…

Well OK, not a photo but isn’t a video better? This video was taken on safari in Sri Lanka’s Mineria national park. The elephants were protecting their babies hidden between their legs by locking trunks, growling loudly, and slowly advancing on us to push us out of the area. Who knew that elephants growled! I took this video just shortly after I was charged by a large bull elephant. It was “only” a mock charge but lesson learned, don’t get near another man’s girl. Share

Experiencing Sri Lanka’s Providence- Part 2: The Ancient Buddha Rock Statues of Polonnaruwa

Called Serendib by Arab traders (the origin of the word “serendipity”), Sri Lanka has an amazing diversity for a small island and offers the possibility of experiencing vastly different climates, history, and cultures during a short vacation. In this Four Part Series I will share a glimpse of four vastly different areas of Sri Lanka that can, and should, be a part of any itinerary to the island of providence. The first part in this series explored the the East Coast city of Trincomalee and the Hindu  Koneswaram Temple. Nestled in the lush central jungles of Sri Lanka sits Polonnaruwa, the 10th century ancient capital on par with Cambodia’s Angkor Wat,  Myanmar’s Bagan, or Thailand’s Ayutthaya. The rectangular archeological site sits on the shores of the Topa Wewa Lake, slightly north of the modern day town of Polonnaruwa where you can buy your entry ticket. Crumbling palaces, dozens of dagobas Read full article…

Sunrise on Mount Ramelau, Timor-Leste- Travel Photo Friday 3

This sunrise photograph was taken on Mt. Ramelau in Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor). The highest mountain in Timor at 2963 meters, we started hiking in the middle of the night to arrive at the top just in time for this gorgeous view. Share

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