Can Travel Make the World a Better Place?

Is travel an inherently selfish indulgence or a vehicle to bring about world peace? The travel and tourism industry is huge, and in 2010 over 940 million people traveled outside their own country as tourists and generated $919 billion dollars in global revenue. That is a lot opportunity for both mischief and genuine interaction. So the question comes back to: is the opening of borders leading to greater understanding or a hardening of stereotypes? I’ve been on the road for the past 12 years, both teaching children and working in international development. I’ve been a traveler, a tourist, an expat, and an undocumented worker (yup). In all this time I’ve become convinced of the power that travel has on people, both good and bad. The Bad in Travel Yes, let’s get this out of the way. Bad things happen when bad people travel. But, then again, bad things happen when Read full article…

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5 Unique Things to Do in Boston

Boston is not only a visually stunning city, it is also home to the Red Socks, Beer and Lobster! The city of Boston is one of my “second” homes. From historical battle fields, to Irish pubs, a mix of colonial and modern architecture, the fusion of blue collar values and lofty academics leaves me feeling relaxed and welcomed. The city is smaller than most capital cities and boasts a host of unique neighborhoods. It’s more intimate than it’s rival New York, and  it’s easy to escape for those dreaming of New England sea coast villages or the mountain wilderness of New Hampshire and Vermont. Boston is where my mother’s family is from, where I went to school, it’s where all of my best friends live, it’s my first stop during any trip home, and it’s one of those places you could spend years exploring and never really figure it all Read full article…

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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…

The Most Exotic Locale of All: Travel Photo Contest Friday 15

Update: The winner is Claire! You can connect with Claire and read all about her travels on her blog First-Time Travels.  This picture is from the town docks in Jamestown, Rhode Island (yup, we are smaller than Hawaii!). What makes it so special (besides the incredible beauty of the area) is that this is my hometown. My parent’s house is just a 7 minute walk down the street. Jamestown is the town located on Conanicut Island in Narragansett bay. You may have heard of Newport, RI (our slightly bigger neighbor) which is famous for its colonial town feel, nice beaches and enormous mansions (think The Great Gatsby). Jamestown is a quieter version with a lot of charm and a bit more laid back. There are parks, farms, nice restaurants and as you can see, amazing views of the ocean. You may wonder why I would leave such a beautiful place. I’m Read full article…

100 Travel Blogs and Video Vanity

Traveling, writing and blogging can be a lonely business. It can be as difficult to meet people on the road as it is knowing how many people read and enjoy what you write. Maybe this is why we as writers and travel bloggers are so obsessed with our site traffic numbers and the number of friends/fans we have on facebook (hey, please be my friend). We all go through rough patches while traveling where we miss home and family, just as we go through bouts of self-doubt wondering if what we write is worth anything to anyone. Like anything in life, when you face a period of depression, self-doubt, adversity, whatever, you have two choices: wallow in it all and remain in the same place, or continue walking and see what’s around the next corner. Every corner for me has always offered a solution to my problem now out of Read full article…

A Short Trip Around the World

In May I traveled outside of Sri Lanka for work and headed back to the West, at least for the first part of my trip. In the course of one month I visited England, the US, Switzerland and Thailand. My first stop was England to give a workshop on housing and security in Sri Lanka. It was my first time in England, so after visiting the University of Essex I took a few days to wander around London and soak up the Spring air. Piccadilly Circus Hyde Park was a great place to relax and see the black swans Westminster Abby Big Ben. By now you are probably realizing that all I did was walk around and see the landmarks from the outside. I wish I had enough time to look inside but I found just walking around and soaking up the atmosphere had its own rewards. Of course I Read full article…

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