America is a nation of cultural variety, but what does it mean to "look like" an American? Many people around the world have preconceived ideas about the answer to this question. But what about travelers who are born in the USA but who do not necessarily fit the physical image of an American? The topic of ethnicity and nationality can be a sensitive subject to balance in any country, but for some of us, this topic of conversation is something that we have to deal with on a regular basis.
“Hello, Miiisterrrr...,” I look up, just as a moped with two young Taiwanese guys zooms by us. The kid in the back has his neck craned, and his smiling face turned in our direction. He follows us with his eyes as they disappear out of our line of sight, then points at us just as they turn the corner. Again, I hear his fading voice calling out, “Hellooooo, Misterrr!”
Costa Rica is well known for its diverse systems of National Parks, the biggest of which is Corcovado. For our love of getting lost in the wilderness, we spent three and a half days sloshing through the mud and the pouring rain there, being chased by spider monkeys and assaulted by coatis. Okay, so it wasn't that crazy, but it was still a pretty wild trek. Here's how it all began...
I have always been fascinated by the wilderness. While road tripping through the U.S.A., I wanted to explore the remote Boundry Waters to the north. When RV'ing from North to South Island in New Zealand, Marlborough Sounds was a highlight of the trip. And on my first backpacking trip through Southeast Asia, the isolated mountains of Northern Laos caught my attention. So when the idea to go to Panama to visit Ashley, a friend who moved down there, popped into my head, I pulled out a map to search for the nearest wilderness.
Meeting Captain Jamaica
For most of us, the image of sailing slowly down the Nile River while lying lazily on a Felucca is something out of the movies. Mystery novelist, children's story book writer and contributing blogger Papa Campbell takes the time to share with us Chapter One of a short but vivid "Drifter's Tale" straight from the pages of his travel journal.
"This evening an ancient breeze smoothes across my face, as I witness the passing of a lonely felucca lazily floating by down the Nile. Its sail bows in humility at the brilliant beauty of the setting Egyptian sun."
"As the ship passes silhouettes of date palms on the shore, the tall white curvature of its sail mirrors a reflection in the slow moving waters of the Nile, as if two ships were affectionately sailing down the river as one."
Whether its for 12 hours or 2, being on an airplane can sometimes be an uncomfortable experience. Here are three simple tips that can help you have a more enjoyable flight.
Your legs are cramped, your neck sore, your throat is dry and you're usually either too hot, or too cold. And ever since most of the big boys stopped in-flight meal services, things seem to be spiraling even further downward on the pleasure scale.
But regardless of the discomfort involved with this necessary part of travel, for the love of it all, we are usually more than willing to step on that plane and put ourselves through this ordeal.
I'm JR. I come from a long line of adventurers, some were nomadic explorers of the sea and others wandering cultivators of the earth. Ultimately, this legacy of drifters has deeply affected my view of travel. Read more...