France

More Pics of Wreckage in Paradise

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The web analytics don’t lie. Nobody cares about beautiful pictures of comfortable travel. Aspirational vistas of pristine beaches and the imaginary lives lived on them make for very poor click bait. People click on danger, on suffering. That’s a fact. So what the hell am I supposed to do with a bunch of pictures from […]

France

Starting And Ending In Martinique

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This was not the usual type of trip, and the blog entries will likely reflect that. I spent a couple weeks on a Caribbean cruise, visiting eight new countries and four territories. I booked with MSC, an Italian cruise line with some very different ports of call from the American lines. To my knowledge, this […]

Sudan

Pyramids On Mars

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Sudan capped off a tour of the horn of Africa that was full of misplaced assumptions before visiting. We’d figured Addis Ababa would be without issues. We thought Eritrea would be a repressive and unpleasant place to visit. We thought Somaliland might feel somewhat unsafe. With Sudan, well, we actually thought this might be the […]

Djibouti

Not Leaving On A Jet Plane

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No trip to Africa would be complete without at least one missed or cancelled flight. Most of our regional flights here have been on Ethiopian airlines, bringing us between Ethiopia and Eritrea, Somaliland, and Sudan. One exception was the hop from Somaliland to Djibouti. Months ago, planning our itinerary, I knew that two local carriers, […]

Somalia

The Kurdistan Of Somalia

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Kurdistan is a a geopolitical region in the north of Iraq, as well as several other neighboring countries. It has some of the cultural distinctions of a country, but it is most definitely not a country. Another distinction of Kurdistan, specifically Iraqi Kurdistan, is that it’s the safest region of the country. In the north […]

Ethiopia

Pickpocket Gangs of Addis Ababa

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Ethiopia is the first stop on our tour of northeast Africa. We had three nights booked in Addis Ababa and no organized plan ahead of time. All the other stops on this trip required fairly extensive visa applications and organized tour planning and Ethiopia was basically just left over. Looking at the stuff people do […]

Argentina

Churros & Chocolate

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We finished our quick little South American tour in the same place we started, Buenos Aires. Like Peru, and maybe even moreso, we know this is a place we’ll be returning to. It’s a major hub that will bring us to some of the other places in the region that we want to visit further. […]

Paraguay

A Country You’re Likely To Miss

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Years ago, we received a book called “501 Must-visit cities” as a gift. Despite sitting on the shelf amongst a row of much more specialized travel books, we’ve actually thumbed through the thing enough that it’s beginning to show a bit of wear. We go to the index and look up listings by country and […]

Peru

You Can’t Visit Machu Picchu On A Day Tour

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Our visit to Peru was an unexpected bonus, resulting from an unnecessarily arduous flight itinerary. Each of the flights between Montevideo and Asuncion included twenty-hour layovers in Lima. We took advantage of each of these with two custom day tours, including pickup and dropoff at the airport. Needless to say, this first visit to Peru […]

Uruguay

First Visit To The Dark Continent

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Dozens and dozens of countries visited over the years, and not one visit to South America. A friend of ours called it “The Dark Continent” because, over time it started to seem intentional. The truth is simply that between mileage runs to East Asia and the fact that Martha knew she would be the de […]

Jamaica

Without Even Touching A Dollar

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Some trips are an adventure. Marked by stress and the excitement of the unpredictable, these trips are something like work. At times, you might be able to appreciate an adventure when it is underway. Oftentimes though, in the moment, they can be marked with the discomfort of deprivation. Appreciation, really deep appreciation of an adventure, […]

Italy

All Flights Lead To Rome

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The prospect of being stranded and overstaying your visa in a weird police state and facing huge fines or even jail time is… sobering. That’s exactly what we were facing at 3 am at the Ashgabat airport. Travel can be stressful, and arguments can happen even on otherwise very nice trips. I’d say most arguments […]

Turkmenistan

If North Korea and Las Vegas had a child

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After seeing similar themes emerge in multiple countries, you might convince yourself that you’ve seen it all. And then… you visit a place so off the radar weird that you’re reminded of just how much there is to see in the world. Turkmenistan is one of those places. Over the years, my blog posts have […]

Uzbekistan

The Pensioner Pilaf Trail

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Traveling through Southeast Asia, we came to recognize something we referred to as “The Banana Pancakes Trail.” This is essentially a well-worn tourist circuit where one can stay in cheap hostels and make your way across several countries. Most hostels seemed to offer banana pancakes on their breakfast menu, not exactly authentic local cuisine, hence […]