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Travel Guides & Stories

This travel page is intended to help you travel the world. If you’re actively planning a trip, the travel guides section provides a comprehensive overview of select destinations. This includes all of the information you should know before you go, as well as responsible travel tips, travel hacks, budget, and destination advice. If you’re here for the stories, browse by themes or by countries to find stories and photos from all over the world.

If you’re planning a trip, or freelancing from the road, we have resources guides for those topics as well.

travel-guides

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Comprehensive Travel Guides

traveling bosnia and herzegovina guide

traveling Guatemala guide

traveling republic of georgia guide

traveling Croatia guide

traveling japan guide

traveling thailand guide 

traveling Cuba guide

travel-guide-nepal

Travel Guide for Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula


Browse by Country

CENTRAL AMERICA
Belize
Costa Rica
Cuba
Guatemala
Honduras
Panama
Mexico

AFRICA
Kenya
Lesotho
Rwanda
South Africa
Tanzania
Uganda
Zambia
Zimbabwe


Explore by Theme:



A Little Culture & History

Uncovering the Charms of Tbilisi, Georgia: The Republic of Georgia bowled me over with it’s charms, grace and hospitality. I went curious and left with a serious crush on the culture and history of this small Eastern European country.

The Intersection of Spirit, Beauty, and Religion During Loy Krathong: One of the most beautiful and humbling festivals I have been a part of, a lantern release and water krathong release in Northern Thailand.

Humanizing the Travel Experience: An ecolodge set into the desert sets the stage for meeting and learning about the local Bedouin culture as they teach me to make Bedouin bread, coffee, and cheese.

Consider Echos of Cuba’s History: A storm settling over Old Havana sets the mood for exploring the city and Cuba’s historic El Malecon waterfront that looks toward the Florida Keys.

Cuba Gets an “ish” from Me: I delve into controversy with this piece as I cover why traveling to Cuba only rated as mediocre in my book and discuss why I don’t plan to travel back there any time soon.

Frangipani, Incense, and Balinese Beliefs: The Balinese are incredibly superstitious and the island’s rituals and offerings are a beautiful and daily part of the island’s culture and religion.


A Little Sustainable Tourism

How One Maasai Chief is Using Tourism to Change His Community: An innovative Maasai chief and his community are using tourism funds to help end FGM in Maasai communities and instead educate girls.

15 Stories of Microfinance from Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley: Sharing photos and stories of how one community of indigenous women in rural Mexico use microfinance to better their family’s lives.

A Journey to Find What Sustainable Coffee Really Means: The journey an Akha hill tribe community in rural Northern Thailand is taking toward creating a sustainable business and social enterprise. Filled with beautiful photographs from their community and their journey toward fair-trade sustainability. 

Dispatch From Africa: Perspectives on Poverty: With poverty tourism on the rise all over the world, I tackle the issues and challenges in this form of travel.

How Does Your Chocolate Affect Rural Panamanians: A visit to a cacao farm in Panama and a deep look at how rural tourism projects build and support local communities.

The Case for Using Tourism to Help Destinations Recover: In the wake of Nepal’s devastating earthquake, this piece looks at how tourism shapes rural economies and how it can be a vehicle to help these communities recover after natural disasters.

Grassroots Tourism in the Heart of East Africa: Stories of social enterprises and wonderful projects working for change within their own communities in Kenya.

How Grassroots Tourism is the Most Significant Way to Impact the Places You Travel: I launched Grassroots Volunteering as a way to connect travelers with causes and communities that they can easily support on the world. Responsibly spending tourism dollars is one of the most significant ways to impact developing countries.



A Little Learning & Lessons From the Road

Reflections How We Make the Big Choices: Making the Big Decisions, and purposefully shaping the direction of our lives overwhelms. This piece dissects how we know which choice is the “right” one, and how I made the decision to travel the world.

To All the Young Dreamers: Travel Young, Travel Far: A letter to those teens, tweens, and young adults yearning to travel the world.

20 Lessons from Five Years on the Road: The most important things I learned since that first day I sat at the LA airport debating the wisdom of my decision to travel solo around the world.

How Four Years of Traveling the World Has Changed Me: Perspectives on the shifts that happen after traveling long-term and the emotional and personal changes that took place over the years. 

Lessons We Learned from the People We Met: The lessons that traveling with my 11-year old niece through Southeast Asia in 2011 taught me and that she and I both learned together.

A Love Letter on Travel and Leave-Takings: My love letter to travel as I muse on solo travel, the difficulties of coming back home while finding a travel relationship that works for me as I continue wandering.

The Best Advice My Dad Ever Gave Me: My dad’s a wise man, and advice he gave me as a super-angsty 16 year old still resonates today and shapes my perspective when things get dicey on the road.


A Little Slice of Life

This One’s for Africa: Riding the local transport in East Africa leads to some hilarious encounters that constantly reminded me, “Oh yeah, this is Africa.”

Finding the Travel Spark in Yangon: After years on the road it’s a single moment in Burma that pinpoints for me why I travel and reignites the wanderlust.

A Secret Spot in Ireland’s Heart: Ireland is an island of mystery as I tap into the cadence and rhythm of the locals speech, lore, and attitudes while hiking through sheep pastures and along coastlines.

On Death, Addiction, and Compassion: A personal post about my brother’s death, shared humanity, and how we portray addiction in the media.

A Child’s Journey Through Chinese New Year: Go on the journey of Chinese New Year festivities in Thailand’s Chinatown told through the eyes of a young child.

A Guest is a Gift from God: One of my favorite memories from Tbilisi, Georgia was sitting under the Mother Georgia statue with group of locals for an evening of song, conversation, and snacks. In short, for the famous Georgian hospitality.

A Pastel Sunrise Over Wadi Rum: A dawn camel ride as the sun is rising over Jordan’s desert is etched in my memory as the pinks and blues tinted the sand and rocks.

Peat Fireplaces, Rugged Ireland, & Something Special: Ireland holds such a special place in my heart, the smells of fireplaces mixed with yeasty beer and flowing conversation ebb and flow throughout the island.

Ten Days in a Vipassana Meditation Course: One of the hardest, most self-disciplined things I’ve ever done was complete a strict, silent ten day meditation course set on a gorgeous lake in Nepal. 

A Little Vegetarian Food

A Vegetarian Photo Guide to Burma (Myanmar): A full-color photo and food guide to all the flavors and dishes you should try on a visit to Burma. Though all the foods are vegetarian, this is a great starting point for any travelers and includes links to the best meat dishes you might want to try.

A Vegetarian Survival Guide, Jordan-Style: A photo and food guide to eating vegetarian in the Middle East, and Jordan in particular along with recommendations on my favorite of the dishes. 

Jordan Spices & Our Global Palate: Fun and unique flavors I found traveling for the first time in the Middle East—spices and food combinations I had never previously sampled.

An Unexpected Afternoon with a Taco Stand Family: A simple question leads to a wonderful afternoon learning about Mexico’s blue corn.

The Anatomy (and History) of a Delicious Taco: How history, geography, and tastes have influenced the modern taco.



A Little Photo Essay

Spotting Lions and Giraffes on Safari in Tanzania: A longread and photoessay of a five day safari through the most beautiful national parks in Africa, the Serengeti, Ngorongoro National Park, and Tarangire.

The Ancient, Ohre Temples of Bagan, Burma: A beautiful photoessay with more than 20 detailed mini-stories and photos from the people and temples in the Bagan region of Burma (Myanmar).

The Myth and Mystery of Petra: A look at the history, myths, and the beautiful ancient city of Petra in Jordan.

Floating Gardens, Fishing, and Farming on Inle Lake: A look at the beautiful and unique floating crop eco-system on Inle Lake in Burma (Myanmar) with stories and photographs. 

Colorful, Colonial Mexico: The gorgeous towns in Central Mexico filled with history and culture and great food.

Stories, Streets and History of Luang Prabang, Laos: As a UNESCO World Heritage town, this city is filled with a beautiful culture and history.

Life on the Mighty, Mighty Mekong River: Laos and Southeast Asia as seen through the lens of the Mekong River and all that this epicentre of life for many locals brings

15 Favorites from Rural China: Some of the best captures and stories from my trip to China.

Planning Your World Travels

My full planning resource page is the ultimate source of information on all aspects of long-term travel. And this digital nomad resource shares all the advice and ideas for creating a freelance income. These quick links cover the most most popular questions.

More tips and travel planning advice are added on an ongoing basis; check back here when you’re planning your next trip!   :)