Category: Miscellaneous

The Last Notes

You’ve traveled so much you can’t even date anymore

You’ve traveled so much you can’t even date anymore

This is how it goes.You are a traveler. A travel writer. You spend very little time in one place, even if you have a home base. When you tell people what you do for a living, their response is usually, “You’re so lucky!” or, “You have the greatest life!” The former is false: You’re not lucky, you worked really fucking hard to be where you are.

39 of the world’s most inspiring routes for road trips [PICs]

39 of the world’s most inspiring routes for road trips [PICs]

Whether it’s Utah or Iceland, something about a seemingly endless and open road makes me want to travel.1Ruta 23, ArgentinaThis view of Mt. Fitz Roy on the road into Chaltén, Patagonia, Argentina, has become one of the most iconic images of South America. Perhaps even more open than the road into Chaltén is the Ruta 40 (pictured further down), Argentina& 39;s principal North / South highway, still unpaved in sections.

Three Students Awarded Scholarships for MatadorU Travel Writing Course

Three Students Awarded Scholarships for MatadorU Travel Writing Course

Photo: infodadWhat better way to celebrate the new year than helping aspiring writers achieve their goals?When the Matador team began accepting applications for its MatadorU scholarship program, the plan was to award one scholarship to a deserving and ambitious student who dreamed of becoming a travel writer.

You are terrible to fly with

You are terrible to fly with

Even though he usually puts up with you, your husband tells you you are terrible to fly with. You call yourself a “scary flyer” when you really mean scared. But others on the plane with you might agree when you say scary.Because you have been called “The Next Great Travel Writer” by a national magazine, your friends call you a paradox and a contradiction in terms when you tell them you must have the window seat so you can watch the wing.

On coming to terms with your mortality at a film festival

On coming to terms with your mortality at a film festival

You cannot remember waiting so long for a cup of joe in your working memory. You can recall first beginning to drink coffee around 16 years old, after years of gateway caffeine consumption. All those green tea lattes and passion-berry lemonades your mom bought for you after soccer practice were suddenly not enough to fuel your 18-hour school days.

You can poop in my hat: Adventures in kayak-camping

You can poop in my hat: Adventures in kayak-camping

“You can poop in my hat,” he said.We were camped at the deserted Highland Beach, 100 miles into a 150-mile kayaking trip in the Gulf of Mexico, paddling from Florida’s Everglade City to the Flamingo Visitor’s Center and back.I had a suspicion then, which has since been confirmed, that this was my relationship test.

8 spring break hotspots: Where are they now?

8 spring break hotspots: Where are they now?

Panama City, FloridaAfter Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt encouraged students to “do something with your college education and help out those less fortunate,” they adopted their 14th child from Central America. This sent a wave of trendy trustafarians on Alternative Spring Break quests to “save the world” and thus re-routed their plans from Panama City, Florida, to the legit capital of Panama.

How to write better: 2 thoughts on self awareness

How to write better: 2 thoughts on self awareness

As a writer I’m sometimes wondering what editors are thinking. As an editor, I’m often wondering what writers are thinking. Here are a few thoughts on writing and the idea of ‘self-awareness’.Note: this piece is a kind of ‘follow-up’ to last week’s Notes on Marketing Language and Youth.THE BIGGEST PROBLEM I HAVE with most people’s writing (including my own) is when it strings you along on one emotional level.

The art of non-invasive street photography

The art of non-invasive street photography

SOMETIMES I get so involved in taking abstract photographs that I forget that there are other people out there.Moving figures and images of pedestrians going about their everyday business can add a lot of dimension to your travel pictures; and getting a good picture, while on the road, may not be as difficult as it sounds.

Conversations on fear, courage, and sneaking into a gun show

Conversations on fear, courage, and sneaking into a gun show

The thumbs downI’m in a different time zone than I’m used to. It’s late. But I love not having to dial out of country to call Ali. I adjust my headlamp and throw the blanket over my face to conceal the noise. I feel a complete laughter outburst coming on. Just to be clear, I don’t need a headlamp. There is full on electricity in this house, but wearing a headlamp makes me feel at home.

How to speak like a Singaporean [audio]

How to speak like a Singaporean [audio]

A rough guide to traveler’s Singlish.WHILE THE MAJORITY of Singapore’s population is Chinese, Malays, Indians, and various other Eurasians form significant minorities. To reflect this diversity, the country has four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil.However, in social settings, eavesdrop on a conversation and you’ll hear a language consisting of a mixture of these four, plus different Chinese dialects such as Hokkien, Teochew, and Cantonese.

Portraits of rural Oaxacan elders

Portraits of rural Oaxacan elders

“If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.” ~ Thich Nhat HanhFOUNDED IN 2010 and based out of Santo Domingo Tonalá Oaxaca, Proyecto Raíces (the Roots Project) takes a grassroots approach to improving the quality of life of elders living in extreme poverty by providing them with food, shelter, and care.

Shoot your trip like a photojournalist

Shoot your trip like a photojournalist

What can a photojournalist teach you about capturing brilliant travel photos? Turns out, quite a bit.THESE ARE SOME basic pointers to help those without professional training to take professional looking photos.I’m not going to get very technical here, other than to strongly recommend using a digital camera — preferably one without a delay between when you hit the button and when the picture is actually taken.

How to piss off a magician

How to piss off a magician

Magic is serious business in Ghent. Tip accordingly.THE MAGICIAN TUGGED BOTH ENDS of the rope, showing his audience that it was whole and good. The rope was yellow and as nubby as a Sunday sweater. The magician tied four simple knots in the rope and held it out again. He released one end, letting it hang like a miniature scale version of a rope I once climbed in gym class.

Across the world and standing naked in a cold broom closet

Across the world and standing naked in a cold broom closet

“Off, off. OFF,” she said and pointed to my panties. When I did nothing, she tugged at them. The underwear would be coming off, along with my expectations of a “spa experience” in India.My friend Sholeh and I had just arrived at the Jagat Palace in Pushkar, a marble-domed hotel overlooking the Thar Desert, Snake Mountain and the scattering of tents in the field where the drivers stayed.

Another excuse to drink in Lawrence, KS

Another excuse to drink in Lawrence, KS

4:45pmThe sun is just breaking through a sky that’s been overcast all day, dressed in white like the hostess at The Mad Greek. She’s got long, blonde hair cascading over her shoulders halfway down her back. Her skin is pale, blush on her cheeks. She seems angelic somehow, like a female Cupid who matches people with tables rather than with lovers as a bouzouki soundtrack plays on the stereo.

FTC guidelines mandating transparency begin Dec. 1

FTC guidelines mandating transparency begin Dec. 1

The new FTC Guidelines mandating disclosure of any paid endorsements goes into effect Dec. As writers and bloggers, how can we embrace these guidelines and utilize them as part of an ethic of material transparency?IF YOU HAVEN’T HEARD YET, new FTC guidelines will be going into place beginning Dec. These guidelines include, among other things, a mandate on disclosing any and all paid sponsorships or endorsements.

20 pics to make you wish you were heli-skiing Alaska

20 pics to make you wish you were heli-skiing Alaska

Henry Munter, Matador Ambassador and lead guide for Chugach Powder Guides out of Girdwood, AK, is gearing up for the heli season with his team. After a slow start to the winter, February delivered the goods in a series of cold storms that buried the low-elevation trees. With a stout base and the days getting longer, it looks like a another solid season is underway.

Top places for spiritual travel in 2013

Top places for spiritual travel in 2013

This post was produced in partnership with our friends at Black Book Travel. Read our interview with the company’s co-founder and shaman guide, Jon Rasmussen.1ArmeniaArmenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity as its state religion, in 301 AD, and ever since it has been a fierce protector of both its spiritual beliefs and holy sites.

How to piss off a Vancouverite

How to piss off a Vancouverite

Call us sore losers.So, we have a history of rioting. You’re all thinking of losing the cup to Boston in 2011, when cars were flipped and lit aflame, and the downtown core looked like a scene from The Walking Dead. There were also incidents in 1972, 1994, and 2002. You know what? Inside scoop: Being the polite Canadian all the time is hard.