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Adventures for All

A Look at the Outdoor Products Tech Backpack

I have a new piece of travel gear I’m pretty excited about: the Outdoor Products Power Pack Glide 2.0. It’s a technology-oriented backpack designed to get your portable electronics – and possibly liquids and gels – through a TSA checkpoint without a fuss. It seems the “tech backpack” has become a new category of itsContinue Reading

So You’re Traveling to Vietnam? Some Straight Truth

traveling So you’re traveling to Vietnam. You have your guidebooks. You’ve read the posts on the big travel blogs. Let me give you a reality check about Vietnam before you drown in travel brochure superlatives. Here are a few things you really need to know about traveling to Vietnam. I’m basing this on my own experienceContinue Reading

Sound Tourism: The Coolest Sounds to Hear While Traveling

I’d never encountered the phrase “sound tourism” (aka audio tourism) until today; I read them in the March 2014 issue of Discover: Science for the Curious. The phrase appears in an all-too-brief interview with author/acoustic engineer Trevor Cox. It’s so new that, as of right now, not even Wikipedia mentions it. A Discover magazine writerContinue Reading

What NOT to Do With an Expired Passport

  Shortly before the government shutdown in October, I realized my passport would expire just days before we left for Vietnam. I filled out the paperwork and sent the money for an expedited renewed passport. Two weeks later, I had a shiny-but-blank passport. A few days after that, I got my old expired passport withContinue Reading

Introducing the “Kick Myself” List

Whenever I travel, I come away with a list of things I wish I’d done. These are things that make me think “I could kick myself for not … (fill in the blank).” So, I’ve created a “I Could Kick Myself” list. I want to see this list supplant the cliched “Bucket List” people seemContinue Reading

Why Do You Mountain Bike?

Marketing geeks love to show mountain biking as an adrenaline sport. They’re not completely wrong … but there’s more to it than bug-eyed, stimulant-addled, body armor-wearing, bro-speaking dudes plunging off 50-foot drops on engineless motorcycles. Even early on in my 20-plus years as a mountain biker, I found something different in my mountain bike experience.Continue Reading

All Nippon Airways Review: San Jose Mineta to Tokyo

Before my recent flight on All Nippon Airways, I’d only flown two Asian airlines before: Asiana Airlines and Jeju Air. Jeju Air was a perfectly nice hour-long flight. Asiana, though, was the first Skytrax 5-Star airline I’d ever flown. It completely reset my expectations about how pleasant an economy-class trans-Pacific flight can be. Recently, IContinue Reading

A Visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels

Plenty of writers like to call the Cu Chi Tunnels “an underground city.” But that’s just a facile throwaway phrase that trivializes nearly aspect of life in the Cu Chi Tunnels during a time of war. Out of every site I’ve visited in my travels so far, I rate this as the most thought-provoking ofContinue Reading

Thoughts on the North-South Divide in Vietnam

Ask people in Ho Chi Minh City, and they’ll sing you the same song about Hanoi in a multitude of keys and time signatures. “Hanoi is 15 years behind.” “You’ll feel like someone is watching you all the time.” “Watch out for the people. They cheat you.” “They’ll steal from you.” “They’re mean.” We evenContinue Reading

787 Dreamliner – My Travel Highlight of 2013

I usually get just one big international trip every year. So it seems too obvious to name my recent trip to Vietnam as my Best of 2013. I mean, that means my big trip would score the top spot every year. Alright, then – if we go beyond the trip to Vietnam, what’s my most-interestingContinue Reading