Ideas

Dream Trips

Everyone has their dream trip.  Call it a Bucket List, last place to see before you die, etc.  I have a lot of Bucket List items, ranging from the smallest simple things like planting a vegetable garden, to huge lifelong goals.  It has been my experience as well, that the people you meet make the trip, not so much the destination.  A year ago, I spent six weeks in Nepal, which has, so far, been my “Trip of a Lifetime”.  But, if I had to pick three trips to be the only ones I did for the rest of my life, I think these would be the three…

3. Driving the Ring Road in Iceland.  Possibly the smallest/shortest and longest-running trip on this list, but Iceland is expensive.  I want to see the Geysers, and Volcanoes, and snorkel between the tectonic plates.  O, and swim in all the local pools.  Scandinavian public swimming pools are an attraction in and of themselves.  Ideally this trip would be done over 2-4 weeks, possibly in shoulder season to catch some Northern Lights, with one to three other people, to maximize cost sharing and adventure opportunities!

2. Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.  This is also not cheap as they don’t let you do it by yourself (and I’m kind of okay with that).  It’s slightly higher than I climbed in Nepal, and slightly more rustic, but I think I cold handle it.  And, while I’m down there I might as well pop on over to Victoria Falls and down to South Africa to visit my friends there and wine country!  This trip would probably be done over 2-3 months with maybe one other person or just a series of group travel opportunities.

1. Drive the Pan-American Highway.  I know it’s been done before, but not by me. Having been close to both ends in the past couple years, it gives me quite an itch.  I love the idea of a central theme to connect travel to a bunch a different places (that is how this blog started, after all!) and the highway would give me that.  I would love to travel it, stopping all along the way to visit people or maybe volunteer for a bit in communities along the way.  I wouldn’t intend for this to be a quick trip, I would plan for it to take at least a year – starting during the Alaskan Summer and ending during the Patagonian Summer.  If I could sustain an income, I’d stretch it over two years maybe.  The goal is not to be the fastest to travel it, but to do something with my life. Ideally it would be traveled in a small RV or minibus, but I’m not opposed to using a series of buses, mopeds and hitchhiking either.  I’d love to do this with a partner, especially if any of you have seen my driving…. 😉  Now taking applications!  Haha.

panamericanhwy

 

This doesn’t mean I don’t still want to visit a million other places – including New Zealand, Eastern Europe, Northern Africa, and Indonesia – but these are the three trips I could really see happening – hopefully, eventually.

What are some of your dream trips?  Share in the comments below!

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Reading List: Wanderlust

Part of my job the past few years has been leading book clubs of travel or regional based literature.  I thought I would carry some of that over and share it with you in a series of reading lists.  I will only include books that I myself have read, but please use the comments section to add your own recommendations!  Also check out this great list.

This first list includes books covering world-wide travel – to inspire the wanderlust in all of us.

  • Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne – This book was my earliest inspiration to travel.  It has also been the inspiration of numerous books, movies, TV shows and games.  Challenge accepted, anyone?
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – Cliché, I know, but isn’t the reason most people start travelling to “find themselves”?  Or to find love.  In any case, it gives three distinctive reasons to travel – food, spirituality, romance.  It certainly inspired by ‘I’ travel list. Also, the book is way better than the movie, as always.
  • One Year Off by David Eliot Cohen – This is an older, little known book about a family with three children who sell everything and embark on a year long journey around the world.  It’s done in that time just before the internet blew up when reservations were still made by fax and phone. It’s a true testament that you can travel no matter how many things you think you have “tying you down” if you really want to.
  • It’s Only the Himalayas by S. Bedford – I read this book when I was, how appropriate, trekking in the Himalayas.  But don’t let that fool you, the Himalayas is only a small chapter, the book also includes tales of Africa and Southeast Asia.  More importantly it’s a tale of how everything probably will go wrong on your travels, but that’s half the fun of it!

And finally, one of my favorite books of all time….

  • The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner – The tale of a journalist’s search throughout the world of what makes people happy.  It’s an interesting outlook on travel, because ultimately aren’t we all on a journey towards true happiness?  Plus he’s very witty and snarky, so it’s an entertaining read.  I am currently reading his sequel, The Geography of Genius.

 

So there you have it folks, the first of what I hope will be a few book lists!

Click on the book covers to get more information on any of the titles.
If you purchase them through their links, I get credit 😉

Experimental Travel

Have you ever heard of experimental travel?  It’s essentially a collection of ways to travel based on method over destination – many don’t even require you to leave your hometown!  A few years ago, Travel gurus Lonely Planet published a book on the subject.  It is now out of print, but remains a hot topic of travel conversation across the web.

Here are some of my favorite “travel experiments” (though I haven’t tried them all!)

ABC Travel – This blog’s namesake!  Pick a letter of the alphabet and go around town doing only things that start with that letter.  Good choices are ‘B’ or ‘M’.  Alternatively, you could go through the whole alphabet in one day/trip but doing things that start with the next letter of the alphabet.

Lucky Number – pick a number and use public transport based on that number.  For instance, take Bus or Train line number 5, get off at the 5th stop, walk to the 5th building and go in, etc.

Barman’s Knock – Look through TripAdvisor, a guidebook or the yellow pages for a nearby (or far away) bar.  Go in and order your usual drink.  Then, ask the bartender where their favorite place to drink is and what they typically order there.  Go there next and order the recommendation.  Repeat until inebriated.  If you are staying for a while in one city, you coud also do this with restaurants – giving yourself a local foodie’s perspective of the city (obviously spacing your meals at regular intervals still).

Travel by Night – Travel somewhere so that you arrive in the evening.  Spend the entire night exploring the city and then depart at daybreak.  Good cities for this include Las Vegas, Paris, and Buenos Aires.

Tourist at Home – Stay in a hostel or other shared accommodations in your own city. Make friends with other people staying there and go along with them to do whatever they want to do.  A great way to get a new perspective on your town!

Sector of the Map – Predetermine a sector of the map (ex. D2).  Travel to the edge of that sector and spend a day doing everything in that section of the map.  The next day you can pick a different sector if you want.

Travel by Chance – Use a die (a D-20 is useful for this) to decide where you go and what you do.  Roll first and use that number to pick a train or bus line or street number.  Roll again to determine which building to go into.  Roll again and order that item off the menu, etc.

Last Minute Deals – great for extended travel – travel only by last minute deals.  Specify a time period for travel, and the week before you leave, book a last minute flight/train/bus ticket to the cheapest destination.  Once there book last minute tours. When you’re tired of it, book a last minute deal to another destination.  And so on, until you have to go back to “the real world”.

These are just a few of my favorites that are pretty versatile.  For more ideas, check out some of the sites below:

 

 

What Do You Want to Know?

Okay, so having just recently renewed my efforts in this blog, I have many ideas for topics to write on, I just don’t know where to begin!  So I have decided to ask my readers, family, and friends – what would you like to know more about???  Certain locales? Or a specific topic?

While you’re at it, subscribe to ABCTravelEye by email so you can see the resulting articles!
(Just scroll to the bottom and click the green button that says “Follow”)

Here’s two surveys – so please vote! (You can choose up to 3 choices on each!)

ABC Travel

The post that started it all….

Life Happens

I love travelling, obviously, or I wouldn’t be in the industry that I am in.  I love travelling by sea, waking up in a new place every day.  But sometimes, you wake up in a place where you’d like to stay for a few more days.  And there are so many places that aren’t even accessible by sea.  The more places I visit, the more places I realize I want to visit.     [I think this must be some corollary to Socrates’ “The more I know, the more I realize I don’t know” theory.]

When I was younger, I wanted to be a travel agent for a while (of course, I also wanted to be a lawyer and a pop star).  As I got older, and with the advent of the internet and bargain travel sites like Expedia and Travelocity, I thought travel agents were becoming obsolete.  But I…

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