In search of trifinia Even for geographical completists, visiting all of the United States' trifinia, or places where three states meet, is an often overlooked pleasure. [more inside]
Shark Game: Shoal Sharker is an incremental game about the mystery and majesty of sharks in a strange blue sea.
After a dispute with her landlord, 23-year-old student Leonie Müller abandoned her apartment in Tübingen and started living on trains. On the first of May, Müller bought a BahnCard 100, a ticket which costs 4090€ and entitles her to unlimited travel on Germany's railway network for a year, and has been calling the trains home since then, living out of a backpack, washing her hair in the train bathroom, writing her papers whilst watching the scenery go past at 320kph, and periodically staying with friends and relatives across Germany. She has a blog (auf deutsch) and plans to write her undergraduate thesis on her experiences as a train nomad.
Christian Lingr says: "Bored from studies I quit everything when I was 18-years-old and started traveling around the world. Now I’m 27 and have visited 97 countries, From Nigeria in Africa to North Korea in Asia. I always travel on a low budget and I never use guidebooks. Here are some of the hidden beauties around the world." His incredible blog UnusualTraveler.com
Have you ever wanted to follow your suitcase down the conveyor belt into the bowels of the airport? Well thanks to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, now you can. There's a cool 360 degree view, too. (Flash required for 360 view.) [via]
Breakfast -- Eating the World Every Morning is a series of dispatches about breakfast around the world. [more inside]
My best friend, Jedidiah, quit a job that he loved to ride his bicycle from Oregon to the southern tip of South America. I joined him for a month and a half to ask why.
Sometimes successful (historically) mailing one's self is not a good plan: Whether to escape slavery or merely the cost of a plane ticket, people have been trying for over a century and a half to package themselves like so many rolls of toilet paper from Amazon.
This idea that you must travel, as some sort of moral imperative, without worrying about something as trivial as “money.” ... It’s aspirational porn, which serves the dual purpose of tantalizing the viewer with a life they cannot have, while making them feel like some sort of failure for not being able to have it.Chelsea Fagan explains Why “Don’t Worry About Money, Just Travel” Is The Worst Advice Of All Time.
Travel is supposed to make us feel more alive so why is the hotel room a place of such loneliness and despair?
The Local Eyes Project is an effort to explore the Americas through the eyes of 12 local residents in Canada, the United States, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil, by sending them a disposable camera and asking them to take "travel photos." [more inside]
A tourist in Buenos Aires ponders how to have an immersive experience in an age when the city's restaurant culture is adopting international standards. The answer: listen to what old people recommend.
It’s been a longstanding fear of travelers (or travelers like myself, at least) that global conglomerates like McDonald’s or TGI Friday’s might use the bludgeon of the Big Mac or the bluster of Flair to wipe out everything unique, provincial and good. But what struck me on this trip, not having seen BA for a decade and thus being more sensitive to what had changed, was how a different kind of sameness was permeating Porteño restaurant and bar culture—much more indie and elevated, but just as insidious.[more inside]
In 1889, Elizabeth Bisland’s boss sent her on a trip around the world. Her goal: to beat Phileas Fogg’s record of going Around the World in 80 Days. She was not thrilled at the prospect, and even less happy to learn she would be chasing Nellie Bly, who had left that morning on the same journey. But sure enough, she was on a train that evening. [more inside]
Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) has announced that he will resign from Congress. He has been recently been in the news for alleged ethics violations including a Downton Abbey office redecoration he didn't pay for, sketchy real estate deals, claiming 170,000 miles in reimbursement on a personal vehicle that he later sold with 80,000 miles on the odometer, and much much more! [more inside]
Why do the three-letter codes for so many American airports end in "X"? How do you tell all the "Yxx" codes for Canadian airport codes apart? Where is SUX, again? Why are you flying into FCA? Airport Codes is a gorgeous, yet informative guide to the mysteries behind your favorite (or least favorite) airport code.
My Saga, Part 1 By Karl Ove Knausgaard [New York Times] Following the trail of the first Europeans to set foot in America, the first of two parts. Previously. Previously. [more inside]
Kees Colijn's "Walking in..." project is a series of fascinating single shot videos, each up to two hours long, filmed as he walks through cities such as Yangon in Myanmar, Varanasi in India, Makassar in Indonesia and Pokhara in Nepal (Youtube links). See and hear everyday life in these places, not just the slick travel show version.
Kayak has analyzed a billion travel searches to produce the Travel Hacker Guide, which includes the most up-and-coming beaches and destinations. For North Americans, they found that you want to book Caribbean trips 2-4 weeks ahead, and European trips 6 months ahead. There is also a nifty map showing you how much it costs to get to various destinations. The New York Times has an interview about the report. Another analysis of a different data set found that US domestic tickets are best bought 57 days out, and the best day to shop for fares is Sunday. Data outside the US is less available, but at least one paper has found that it is better to buy in the afternoon, and that 3-6 weeks is the right window.
JetBlue is adding luggage charges and packing more seats on its planes, and customers are freaking out. Is contemporary airline service so bad because the airlines are colluding to make you suffer, as Tim Wu writes in the New Yorker? Or because low-price, a la carte service is what fliers actually want, as Alison Griswold writes in Slate? For a data-rich deep dive into what passengers really hate about air travel, see "The Unfriendly Skies" (.pdf), a report on five years worth of air travelers' complaints to the US Department of Transportation.
Face Control - A Moscow Travelogue [via mefi projects] Krish Raghav wrote this beautiful minicomic about his observations on a trip to Moscow: the people, the city, the history. [more inside]
100 years ago bigger was better in search for speed and this is the biggest of them all. The beast of Turin [more inside]
"Turkey drives" were an autumnal tradition from the 1800s to the early 1900s, and involved the overland strolling of flocks of turkeys from all corners of Vermont to their destination — and demise — in Boston.
This wasn’t a reality show, nor was it one of the elite bookings Anna enjoyed back in New York or Milan. We were there for a fake beauty pageant, one our Beijing modeling agency had booked us for, telling us it was a “fashion show” and providing no further details. It was only after we boarded our early-morning flight to Ordos that the true nature of the event was revealed. “We’re on our way to another ‘Miss’ thing,” a Ukrainian girl said from her seat with a groan. I was hired as Miss America; Anna, despite being Brazilian, as Miss Chile. It would have been the strangest 36 hours of my life—if, over the previous two months, I hadn’t done it twice before.Life as a Fake Beauty Queen in Small-Town China
Holiday’s urbane, martini-loving editor, Ted Patrick, and visionary art director, Frank Zachary, gave postwar America a passport to the glamour of travel, packing the magazine with big-name talent: Hemingway, Steinbeck, Kerouac, Cartier-Bresson, Steichen, et al. But, in 1964, tragedy would ground their flight. [more inside]
Gunther, Christine and Otto: How a man met a woman and they set off on an epic journey across six continents in one amazing unbreakable car. 26 years road trip: Gunther Holtorf and his unbreakable Otto.
Aboard Amtrak A hauntingly beautiful description of one man's unintentional half year long Amtrak journey. [more inside]
The Trip Reports section of the venerable Flyertalk forums contains a lot of things you might expect: a fastidious appraisal of AA Flagship Suites, a Taste of Turkey in TK economy class, even a review of the business class product from Paris to Havana. But every once in a while someone posts something really out of the ordinary: Hajj, A Journey of a Lifetime: An Insiders Look.
what it's like to fly the $23,000 Singapore Airlines Suites Class (includes lots of photos) [more inside]
Direct your eye-sight inward, and you'le find / A thousand regions in your mind / Yet undiscover'd. Travell them, and be / Expert in home Cosmographie. / This you may doe safe both from rocke and shelfe : / Man's a whole world within himselfe. - Habington, 1635
Rusty Compass is a travel website that focuses on Vietnam and Cambodia. It is the work of one man, Australian Mark Bowyer, who has lived in Vietnam since 1993. There are the usual reviews of hotels, restaurants and tourist sites, travel tips and advice, but what makes it really special are videos and blog posts about local people and events, fascinating stories told with charm. [more inside]
“Greyhound has become generic for bus travel,” says Robert Gabrick, author of Going The Greyhound Way. “Like Kleenex for tissues.”
TravelByDrone is a site that lets anyone upload videos and add the corresponding location, which is then pinned onto a map for you to choose from. [more inside]
Crawling the lost tracks of Latin America. Artists Ivan Puig and Andrés Padilla Domene, a.k.a. "Los Ferronautas," converted a car into a retro-futuristic rail vehicle they dubbed SEFT-1 (Sonda de Exploración Ferroviaria Tripulada, "Manned Railway Exploration Probe") to explore the abandoned passenger railways of Mexico and Ecuador.
Writer Carrot Quinn is walking from Mexico to Canada for the second time. In 2013, she hiked the Pacific Coast Trail (2,663 miles) from Mexico to Canada. [more inside]
Travel was always desirable to them / And they visited every continent … They considered travel and homeland synonymous / For them, every valley and desert was home. [more inside]
Dave Eggers takes a Long Ride To Riyadh.
In any case, it’s a result of a gradual evolution. When I first travelled, I was naive, sloppy, wide-eyed, and nothing happened to me. That’s probably where the dumb luck came in. Then I began to read the guidebooks, the State Department warnings, the endless elucidation of national norms, cultural cues and insults and regional dangers, and I became wary, careful, savvy. I kept my money taped inside my shoe, or strapped to my stomach. I took any kind of precaution, believing that the people of this area did this, and the people of that province did that. But then, finally, I realised no one of any region did anything I have ever expected them to do, much less anything the guidebooks said they would. Instead, they behaved as everyone behaves, which is to say they behave as individuals of damnably infinite possibility. Anyone could do anything, in theory, but most of the time everyone everywhere acts with plain bedrock decency, helping where help is needed, guiding where guidance is necessary. It’s almost weird.
Which countries have visa-free access to more countries than others? Ranked at the top with 173 visa-free countries (out of a possible 218) are Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, which all share the Schengen visa policy; dead last is Afghanistan, which only has visa-free access to 28 countries. (Not included in the list were places like Wonderland, Neverland, Hell, Utopia, the Unconscious, or Pangea.) Regardless of nationality, though, it can still be devillishly difficult to get visas for some countries. With the advent of RFID passports, some countries are doing away with visa labels or passport stamps, so collect as many as you can and take a look at them so you can figure out what they say about the issuing country or even turn them into art (or ad campaigns).
"For most of my life my everyday choices were based on the assumption that I could not trust other people. I thought it was my job to foresee and prevent all harms from befalling me. [...] My life has been better since I've accepted two simple facts. ONE: everybody dies (sorry). TWO: I would like to live a little first." -- Don't let fear stop you from traveling, a cautionary comic by Natalie Nourigat, part of her webcomic/travel blog about living in France for a year. You may know Nourigat from her Oregon Book Award nominated autobio college comic Between Gears.
The trailer for the 2012 documentary The Raw and the Cooked stands alone as a work of art, by capturing perfectly the best scenes from this beautiful film. Created by German filmmaker Monika Treut. Background.
"The world has a sick sense of humor and throws you for a loop." (via Permatemp Corporation.) [more inside]
Eric Nusbaum tours the largest environmental cleanup operation the United States government has ever undertaken, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Over the last 20 years, Hanford has also become something else: a tourist destination. If you want to see just how big the reservation is, or get an idea of how much work remains to be done there, you can sign up for an official government tour of the site. About 60 public tours are offered per year. The tours are free, but highly sought after. Last year, registration opened at midnight on March 6, and closed by 5 a.m.