Tourism & Travel

From My Window Seat

From My Window Seat

Above Siberia, February 26, 2009. Right now I am looking at an expanse of white, stretching as far as the horizon, broken by an occasional jagged dark line. A few hundred kilometers back, the vast plateau of white had a shattered appearance, like a broken frosted mirror.  Now it is more solid, but with hundreds of small rills running across it. I had no idea that ice could be so fascinating, and so varied. This white expanse is the northern polar icecap, and I am over the Chucki Sea northwest of the Bering Strait, at about 77 degrees north, 170 E.  My view is from the window of United Airlines flight 803, bound from Washington DC to Tokyo. Unfortunately, the moving map that is...

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Sri Lanka (Or is it Bali? Or Mauritius?)

Sri Lanka (Or is it Bali? Or Mauritius?)

Kalutara, Sri Lanka January 1, 2008 We all do stupid things from time to time, even though we should know better. Sometimes we do them for reasons that even we can’t figure out. Making a booking at the XYZ Resort (see footnote) near the town of Kalutara, an hour and a half south of Colombo, as my first stop in Sri Lanka was a stupid thing to do. I should have known that this would not be my kind of place. I accept that I have some rather unorthodox views on travel. I tend to choose as destinations places that I want to see. These are usually places which are in some way different from the place where I live, and preferably different from...

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Confessions of a Novice Travel Blogger

Confessions of a Novice Travel Blogger

Singapore, December 19, 2007 I am writing these words from Singapore, the first stop in trip that will take me to various parts of South and Southeast Asia. So, for the next four weeks or so, I will be writing a travel blog, and this will be an entirely new experience for me. It is one I undertake with some trepidation. I presume that a travel blog must necessarily rely heavily on brief and often first impressions. As such, I expect it to be hazardous venture, because brief impressions can as easily be misleading as they can be enlightening. As I have contemplated the prospect of becoming a travel blogger, I have been looking back at my travel journals and photographs and reflected on...

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Twelve Travel Laws, Version 1.0

Taking a regional geography course is a good way to learn about the world. But it’s not the best way. The best way is to travel. I made a rash statement in some of my classes last week. I was encouraging students to consider study abroad as part of their education. I said that a student who travels abroad — as part of a study abroad program, on a tour, or independently — will learn more from the experience than from any college course. I make this claim on the basis of my experience as a travel addict. Over the past few years, I have traveled whenever I had the time or the means to do so (and occasionally when I have had neither!)...

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