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Overcome Your Fear of Cruising

Let me break it down for you. We shouldn’t like cruise ships. At all.

In addition to the fact that we don’t fit the mold, we’ve been on a ship that was in a major accident (it hit a barge) and on another that refused medical attention when one of us got seriously ill. It’s as though cruises are actively working against us – encouraging us to hate them.

Flinging Photos: Paraty, Brazil

A photo post from my 2008 trip to Paraty, Brazil. Paraty is a small colonial town located in the southern region of the state of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. I’m no photographer but I am proud of some of these shots and hope you like them too.

I Want to Ride My Bicycle

A bike ride gone awry as 50 miles turn into 70+ with two dog chase scenes and friendly stranger who gave me a ride home.

The Adventurists Ice Run: Now We’re Talking!

I always wanted to do one of the Adventurists crazy expeditions. The idea of driving across Europe to Mongolia or driving across India in a rickshaw just sounds like a big ball of fun. We did something similar in India in 2011 by rail, and being a part of a big rally like that is my sort of travel. But now they’ve turned it up a notch… check it out.

Books and Ghosts in Norway’s Fjordland

On the Fjærland Fjord, Mundal Hotel is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year. This family-owned hotel has creaking stairs, a great turret bed room, a library, a billiards room, a music room, deep leather chairs by the fireplace – and books; not just in the library but everywhere. Wherever you go in Fjærland, you’ll find books; indoors and outdoors, along the streets, in barns and in boat sheds. Four kilometres of second-hand and antiquarian books are for sale, mostly on a trust system: take the book you fancy and put money in the tin.

Pyramiden – an Arctic ghost town

I’m in Pyramiden, once a showcase of the Soviet Union, a perfect mining community, set between mountains, glaciers and fjords in the Svalbard archipelago. Today, it’s an Arctic ghost town! The decision to abandon the settlement was sudden, its implementation even more so. The inhabitants were given just hours to pack their bags and leave. Remnants of that hasty departure are visible everywhere.

Pizza night in the Italian countryside

Every Thursday, Ashley and Jason Bartner organizes pizza night at their agriturismo. And it doesn’t hurt to have a chef in charge, a chef with years of experience working at top notch restaurants in New York and San Francisco.

Jason believes in the slow food movement, in cooking with the seasons and keeping it simple. You won’t find pizzas with everything here. Instead, each pizza has just a few ingredients, all fresh from the local meat and cheese market and from the garden.

The world’s largest ancient religious site

Situated right outside Luxor, Karnak Temple is the largest ancient religious site in the world. An impressive avenue of ram-headed sphinxes connects it with Luxor Temple. Karnak is a place of records: everything here seems to be the biggest and tallest. Its scale defies description. The first pylon (gate) alone is 42 metres high (like a 14-storey building) and 118 metres wide. Ancient Egypt must have been in awe of its builders.

Highlights of Arctic Barentsburg

Barentsburg, you say? Where on earth… ? The Svalbard archipelago has four settlements of significant size, one of them is Russian. Norway has sovereignty over the archipelago, but the Treaty of Svalbard ensures all parties equal access to scientific and economic activities in the islands. Barentsburg is Russia’s last remaining settlement in the Arctic.

Alaska – Glacier Palooza

We’re not too demanding. Before heading to state #49, we wanted Alaska to deliver in only three key areas: incredible camping, beautiful hiking and glaciers galore.

Did we ever get it.

Mount McKinley, Denali National Park

Before getting all fancy schmancy on a cruise ship, we had one more camping adventure in Alaska – in Denali National Park.

Entitlement Sucks

Reveling in both a gigantic cup of coffee and a blazing fast Internet connection, I am perfectly content. I am overwhelmed with gratitude as I scan the photos we’ve snapped so far.  To be able to see and experience all of this – we’re lucky guys.

The only problem is… I’m irritated that others don’t see it that way.

Mong Kok Photo Essay: The Crazy Heart of Hong Kong

Mong Kok in Hong Kong is a densely packed area of gritty tenement buildings, bustling markets, hotels rented by the hour and Chinese medicine pharmacies alongside spangly electronics shops selling the latest gear. It’s a place where Hong Kongers live, work and shop. The crowds are intense, the traffic frenetic, but it feels alive and vibrant. Take a look at these photos to learn more.

Learning to Cook Japanese Buddhist Cuisine in Kyoto

Kyoto has a long history of shojin ryori, the vegetarian cuisine that the Zen Buddhist monks eat in temples in Japan. A cooking class is a great way to learn more about these fascinating dishes which feature many unusual ingredients.

Scams to Know: Nicaragua

Two sets of couples we know have been robbed in and around Managua over the past 2-3 weeks. Normally I give a location the benefit of the doubt but this is just getting absurd. I want to make sure that you know what to look out for when you are traveling through Nicaragua.

Postcard from Alaska – Hitting the Rails

We’ve left the isolated forest service cabin and are no longer living in fear of an unwelcome bear encounter. Also, we’ve had the last of our astronaut food, so we’re happy guys (although the three berry cobbler was surprisingly good).

Before we get to the more splashed out part of this journey, we have a couple more hardcore(ish) adventures planned.

Where? Denali.

Donkey Race at the Sali Summer Festival

I have been to the Running of the Bulls, but now that I have been to the Running of the Donkeys… I think my travel life is almost complete. At least when it comes to animals and racing. This was from a festival on a small island in Croatia and it was such a weird and fun day. I hope you enjoy the post and the many odd photographs.

Best Photography Book You Can Buy for Under $10

Beth of Beers and Beans is one of my favorite travel photographers and she has taken the time to put her years of wisdom behind the camera and in front of the computer editing screen to doing an eBook with some of her best tips. This post is my review of this amazing eBook and from my title… you can tell that I love it.

Dear Grizzly: Next Time, Just Send Flowers

Our Alaska blog-novella continues… When we last wrote, we were heading up the stairs to our remote forest service cabin. We were not so excited to find out whether or not a grizzly was hanging out behind our cabin’s outhouse.

Interview with Jodi from Legal Nomads

Jodi Ettenberg from legalnomads.com left behind a successful career as a lawyer to eat her way around the world. Her round the world trip never stopped and over three years later she is still going. In this interview she discusses her love of Burma, challenges of long term travel and the best food in SE Asia.

Vegetarian Survival Guide to Hong Kong

Eating is an important part of experiencing Hong Kong and although items like pig’s blood, chicken’s feet and shark fin often feature on menus, with a little planning vegetarians can eat well too. This guide shares the best place to find vegetarian dim sum in Hong Kong and other tasty eats.

There’s a Grizzly Living Behind Your Outhouse

There we were, at the beginning of the (first) trailhead that would take us to our dream destination. A remote lakeside cabin.

Postcard from Alaska – Sunshine and a Glacier

Since our last post was all doom and gloom, we wanted to let you know that we remodeled our plans and found some hiking-friendly weather. We made our way down to Wrangall-St. Elias National Park.

Win £1000 of Clothing on a Microadventure

Clothing company howies have teamed up with adventurer Alastair Humphreys to launch a competition urging people to get out into nature and sample a taste of adventure, even just for one night.

It’s All About The Journey

“Really? You’re kidding me. Just what we need. God dammit!”

Overhearing the flight attendant talking to the captain, we knew it wasn’t good news. She tried her best to recover and inject a friendly bounce into her re-packaged delivery for passengers.

Every Action Counts

World Humanitarian Day is this Friday. The theme – People Helping People – has us thinking about what we can do to help ease the torment in the Horn of Africa. The devastation seems overwhelming, almost insurmountable. What good can two guys in Seattle do? It’s discouraging.

And then we remember the power of a simple action and what happened a couple months back.

Interview with Nora Dunn (@hobonora), the Professional Hobo: Lucky 13 Questions

Nora is quickly becoming one of my favorite people on the planet. When some others dropped out of the Ultimate Train Challenge, she stepped right in and has become a stalwart in the planning stages. Her answers to the Lucky 13 questions highlight her sense of humor and show how interesting she is. Can’t wait to meet her in a few weeks.

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