Trusted Travel Questions and Answers

Piet Hein hotel Amsterdam. Trusted Travel Questions and Answers is my monthly chance to answer reader questions about travel and destinations. It can be hard to find trusted advice on travel from people who have actually been there. Every week I get a number of questions from readers asking for specific advice. This is my way of answering them but also sharing with others who might be looking for the same information. 8 Days in Sri Lanka Daniel (sorry but you didn’t actually leave your name!) is heading to Sri Lanka for 8 Days and asked the following: I am planning a trip for 8 Days in Sri Lanka. Going straight from the airport to Sigiriya, then Kandy the next day and after that driving to Kitulgala. From there I would like to go to a beach but I am trying to find the shortest most direct way to a beach and I am Read full article…

European Castle Goodness- What European Castle Town is the Best?

Travel Porn delivers visual stimulation from around the world each week (most likely Fridays when I’m not stuck in a backwater somewhere). If this doesn’t get you hot, bothered, and fantasizing about your packed luggage (carry on, roll on, backpack, whatever turns you on) you might not be a traveler… The Castle Town of Bled, Slovenia In honor of my upcoming trip back to Slovenia this weeks travel porn is all about the BEST castle towns in Europe. Yes, I’m going out on a limb here by putting Bled in the Top 10 Castle Towns in Europe. I’m going even further out on a bending branch by not showing you a picture of the Castle! What town in Europe do you think has the best Castle Town? Put your vote below in the comments and feel free to link to an article, pretty picture or the comments of a supportive Read full article…

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…

Travel Porn: Fresh Seafood, How Brave a Traveler are you?

Are you a brave enough traveler to ignore the dead head and focus on the fresh tuna? Travel Porn delivers visual stimulation from around the world each week (most likely Fridays when I’m not stuck in a backwater somewhere). If this doesn’t get you hot, bothered, and fantasizing about your packed luggage (carry on, roll on, backpack, whatever turns you on) you might not be a traveler… Fresh seafood in Split, Croatia‘s fish market. It may be my years in Japan, or the fact that I grew up on an island but a fresh chunk of tuna really gets me going. If you are traveling down Croatia’s Dalmatian coast you are obligated to eat the fresh seafood available everywhere. Skip the touristy areas to make sure you are eating local fare and not frozen shrimp shipped halfway around the world. I usually post pictures from my travel porn box, but Read full article…

Dragash Kosovo Backcountry HDR Photo Trip

Recently I took a mixed group of diplomats, aid workers and tourists on a hiking trip to Kosovo‘s most remote region, Dragash. Not only is the area the focus of my upcoming first guidebook (The Mountains of Dragash, Kosovo: Hiking and Nature Tourism Guide) but is now the area where I’m working for the United Nations to develop a rural tourism strategy for the Municipality. How to Take Stunning Travel Photos With your Iphone The trip and guidebook are secondary to my true secret, how I use the Iphone to take amazing photos. OK, OK, I think they are amazing anyway. While I’m also guilty of lugging around a proper camera, many of my most beautiful shots come from my easy to pocket Iphone. I use a photographic technique (is it a technique if it is an app?) called High Dynamic Range (HDR) which takes photos at varying light levels Read full article…

Travel Porn: Shiraito Waterfall Karuizawa, Japan

This is a new feature here on Todd’s Wanderings. Well, that’s not true, I have been delivering beautiful photos (pat on the back) for a while now. Travel Porn is the new name to this section and delivers visual stimulation from around the world each week (most likely Fridays when I’m not stuck in a backwater somewhere). If this doesn’t get you hot, bothered, and fantasizing about your packed luggage (carry on, roll on, backpack, whatever turns you on) you might not be a traveler… Shiraito Falls is located in the summer resort area of Karuizawa in Japan at the base of the active volcano Mt. Asama (3 1/2 hour drive from Tokyo). Seventy meters of fine, silky, sexy strands of groundwater fall like threads from the rock face. I love a good waterfall in the hot summer months, and in the fall the trees around explode in hues of Read full article…

Proof it All Works Out in The End

I think apologies are in order. No, no, not you to me. I owe YOU an apology. I thought I was being honest with you You see, I have always tried to tell you the truth about my life. I have tried not to hold anything back…even my finances. I thought I was revealing myself through my wit and story craft By giving you Travel Narratives I thought my personality would shine through when you read about my adventures in far off lands (well far off for you). I worked hard to embarrass myself, or share stories that might get me fired from work, accounts of when I almost died, and even times when I have saved others from dieing. I thought that you would get updates on my Facebook Page You see, I started my Facebook Page to help fill in the gaps here in on my website. There Read full article…

Experience Tokyo's Creative Youth Culture in Yoyogi Park

It is hard not to drool cliches when writing about Japan these days, especially when talking about the eclectic youth culture located in Harajuku, Tokyo. Just about every guidebook (this site included 10 Free Things to Do in Tokyo) recommends “people gawking” along the Jingu Bridge where you can usually catch Japan’s insanely strange youth fashion. You’ll find everything from Lolita to goth, french maids with a sweet spot for fake blood, to cross dressing little bow peeps. At times the Jingu Bridge area just next to Harajuku station feels a bit contrived, teenagers dressed up waiting to have their picture taken by photographers, hoping to land in a fashion magazine. Don’t get me wrong, it is fun to gawk, and if you are headed to Meiji Shrine you have to pass over the bridge anyway (this is another must see in Tokyo). But if you are looking for a Read full article…

How I Paid for 12 Years of Continuous Travel

Recently a number of people have written me to ask EXACTLY how I have been able to travel the world for the past 12 years. After reading a friend’s wonderful post explaining in detail how he has traveled for over 10 years as well at Wandering Earl (yes, people with Wandering names have to stick together) I decided to post my own account. For those of you who don’t know my background, I left the US in 1998 to visit Japan. Coming from a middle class family, it was my first time on an airplane and I was 21 years old! Over 40 countries (I’m sure I’ll forget to mention a few below) and various different jobs later I’m still on the road, now with my wife and my recently born son. WARNING: This is a long post.  For word nerds, it is exactly 2,382 words long. For time nerds, Read full article…

A Night with a Sri Lankan Gangster

Some names and circumstances have been changed to protect my ass. Not too many things get your heart beating like downing a half a bottle of Black Label whiskey and being hugged by a killer… In the bathroom I called my friend who worked for the Sri Lankan government. It was 3 am and yet somehow he answered. “Where are you?” “Have you ever heard of (name to remain anonymous)?” “Of course I have. Where are you?” “I’m in his suite at the (fancy hotel to remain anonymous).” “What? Get the fuck out of there! I’m coming to get you.” Whiskey does strange things to people, and after downing a half a bottle the world seemed like a gentle, gummy bear filled place. A night out, or rather in, with a group of gangsters sounded like a great idea. I hung up on my friend with assurances I was OK Read full article…

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