Photo Tiago RïbeiroBlank page paralysis. Curse of the pulsing cursor. Together we will confront graphophobia, the fear of writing.It’s time to write. I wait for an image, a phrase, some remembered thing to jerk my hands against the keys but nothing comes. My palms itch, I try to sip from an empty coffee cup and curse at the lawnmower across the street that growls like a dog munching on my gray matter.
You may fill your backpack, but have you remembered to bring an open mind?Photo by Lola AkinmadeI wasn’t sure I heard her right the first time.“I said leave my store! I have many windows you can look in from!” she yelled, probably mistaking me for an impoverished immigrant she didn’t want in her shop.
At last count, there were 250,000 people on the streets of Mumbai on December 3, the one week mark of the terrorist attack on Mumbai City.Civilians– old or young, common folk or celebrities, educated or uneducated, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, or Jew. It didn’t matter. They all marched in unison for the same cause, the same country, and the same outcome: Peace.
Feature photo by bravenewtraveler. Photo above by Jeremy G.While most are content with knowing one language, others seek to learn much more.Being fluent in English is like laying on an inflatable raft in the middle of an ocean.It’s easy; it’s comfortable, and it gets you places. But I’m addicted to the process of looking at a symbol that means nothing and unlocking it until I lose access to that meaninglessness.
The story of Guitar Hero mirrors the rise of any rock star of the last few decades.After first hitting the Playstation in 2005, the game has become a staple at parties everywhere. The Guitar Hero franchise has become a cultural phenomenon, and has been credited with revolutionizing the modern music industry.
Feature photo by Shek Graham. Photo above by bugeaters.Man’s best friend can be a valuable asset while out camping.A dog is an indispensable companion on a camping trip. It will smell and hear things before you do, can help guide you through sticky underbrush, and, if well trained, find lost members of your camping crew.
Photo by Laura BernheinHappy 2008 everyone! This top ten list of travel writer resolutions is dedicated to each of you who has been pouring your energy and dedication into the craft of travel writing. Let’s take it up another notch in 2008.10. Come up with an idea a day. This doesn’t mean you have to write everyday—though that would be nice, too— but it does mean that if you come up with a single idea every day in 2008, you’ll have a storehouse of 365 ideas that you can draw from when you’re low on inspiration.
Robin Esrock channels his inner Indiana Jones on the trail of the legendary Ark of the Covenant.Dark tunnels and crumbling passageways, allcarved out of solid volcanic rock.It must have come as a surprise to European missionaries arriving on the Dark Continent, eager and ready to convert heathen savages, only to discover that Ethiopia was the second country to adopt Christianity as a state religion, as early as the 4th century.
Some of our favorite Engrish signs found at home and abroad…Photo: Augapfel (creative commons)Photo: Shamam (creative commons)Photo: Stardog Champion (creative commons)Photo: xiaming (creative commons)Photo: sproing (creative commons)Photo: jj look (creative commons)Photo: jgalvan (creative commons)Photo: xiaming (creative commons)Feature photo: xiaming (creative commons)
Like a roasted pepper, you’re done: well cooked, charred on the outside, burnt, spent. But on the inside, hidden within the veil of life’s fire-burner, you’re soft and ready-anticipating for more.However, it doesn’t come all that easy. After the months, weeks, or often only the days of travel, you return home to the accustomed life once left behind, and there, piled with new baggage you thought you were ready to unpack, you find yourself overloaded with a new beginning.
All photos by ssrashid84Checkpoints, soldiers, and guns: take a political tour of this controversial territory.“Are you carrying a weapon on you?” the young Israeli soldier asked as we approached the middle of the Jewish settlement in Hebron.“No,” my friends and I quickly replied, assuming that he was asking a routine security question.
A pocket-sized printer the size of a deck of cards?Paving the way in tiny printer technology, the Polaroid PoGO Instant Mobile Printer allows you to produce borderless 2 inch x 3 inch photo prints with the touch of a single button.Photos developed are “water-resistant, tear-proof, smudge-proof and peel-off prints” on ZINK inkless paper.
Guidebooks. Love them or hate them?Some travelers wouldn’t be caught dead with one, but there are others who enjoy the comfort and security those little paperbacks provide.The internet’s equivalent of these guides has been around for a while, but there’s a new player in the field: wiki travel guides.
Robin Esrock reports from Taiwan while filming his travel reality-show Word Travels.Chiang Kai GonzoThere are only 23 countries that recognize that the Republic of China (also known as Taiwan) has a right to exist.For a democratic country with a free press and healthy economy, it bespeaks the awesome power and influence of its neighbour, the People’s Republic of China.
In the modern world, we are all “global souls” sharing multiple places, time zones, and existences.When I was 16, an uncle gave me a book he thought I might like, by a man called Pico Iyer.I did like the book–in fact, I loved it. But I soon became as fascinated with Iyer himself as with his writings.
Photo by Andrew Miller It has long been known that land border crossings can be anxiety-provoking affairs. I first learned this sad fact of travel life as a backpacker in the mid-1970s.Although I had not anticipated this particular problem in advance, I found that I had stumbled on a solution when seeking a way to avoid shakedowns by Mexican police and other corrupt law enforcement personnel.
In an age of commodified culture and globalization, does true authenticity even exist?Authenticity. It’s the buzzword of the enlightened traveler. We seek the genuine experience, something unspoiled by commercialism or prior visitors; we seek the perfect interaction with the culture we’re visiting.Maybe our fantasy is to be adopted by a tribe, to receive some kind of acknowledgment that we’re not just another camera-toting white-shoe wearing tourist.
With just 100 days left in what’s easily been the most exciting presidential race in my lifetime, voters are beginning to ask:Who will McCain and Obama select as their vice-presidential running mates? Hillary Clinton has clearly indicated her interest in the vacant position, and other former presidential hopefuls who were left in the dust on the campaign trail are also angling to be their party’s VP nominee.
A New Yorker who’s skeptical of guidebooks applies her critical eye to Amazon’s vast selection of NYC guides and chooses the 10 best on the market.10. AIA Guide to New York CitySome of the best guidebooks are those that focus exclusively on a specific aspect of a place, and that’s why I like this guide.
As the seemingly endless U.S. election campaign draws to a close, it’s nice to know that at least some activists and backroom types have held on to their senses of humor.Think how surprised I was to see this news clip land in my inbox:Or to learn that voting McCain is kind of like the new drunk driving:And finally, I never liked those Wassup guys, but even they don’t deserve this fate:Seen any other funny political ads lately, for either side?
When heading out on the road, some people like to take as little with them as possible.Their reasons vary: some want to travel light, others want no reminders of their life back home.But sometimes it’s just nice to have a nice distraction when you’re stuck in transit, or have a few hours to kill and have run out of good books.