30 Days of Indie Travel Travel Articles

 
2012 Ticket | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project
2012 Ticket | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! 2011 was an amazing year of travel for me. I took a small ship cruise to Panama and Costa Rica, spent a week in Portugal, watched friends get married in northern Michigan wine country, visited family in Florida, saw the stunningly beautiful country of Switzerland, fell madly in love with Berlin,  traveled to Oregon for BootsnAll’s annual meeting, took a girls weekend trip to Kansas City with my best friend, and explored coastal California. So what does 2012 hold? At this point, I really don’t know. My husband was laid off from his job in late October, throwing our plans into the air. With no idea what our financial situation will look like, or even where we’ll be calling home in the next few months, we’re hesitant to make commitments. In June, we celebrate our five year wedding anniversary, for which we planned to renew our vows in the south of France. We’re holding out hope we can still make it happen. If life returns to normal by then, I also hope to plan a big trip in the fall (perhaps […]
One Word (Let’s Make it Two) | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30
One Word (Let’s Make it Two) | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30 This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! THAT FEELING! Okay, so it’s two words, not one. But we were told to interpret this project how we wanted, so I’m using two words for this post. Deal with it. The best way I can describe my infatuation with travel can be best described by that feeling I get. No matter what your passion is – travel, cooking, sports, running, music, theater – we all get that same feeling. You know the feelings I’m talking about. The feelings of excitement. Nervousness. Anticipation. Enthusiasm. Anxiousness. Happiness. Elation. Excitement. Hope. I get it every time. And it doesn’t matter what type of trip it is. It can be a short weekend away. A one week trip to the beach. A few weeks out of the country. Or a year-long RTW trip. Every single time I’m about to take off and hit the open road, I have that feeling. There are so many things I love about travel. I love exploring new cities and countries. I love trying new food. I love meeting new people. I love hopping on that next bus, train […]
Best of Week 4 | 30 Days of Indie Travel #indie30
Best of Week 4 | 30 Days of Indie Travel #indie30 This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. The “Best of” for Week 4 Every week we’ll be gathering some of our favorite posts from the 30 Days of Indie Travel Project. We’re extremely excited that so many people have participated in our project, and the great submissions just keep rolling in. Here are some of our favorite posts from the fourth week of the Indie 30 Project. Day 21: LOVE AFFAIR This wasn’t just about getting juicy stories, we promise – but if Diana’s story of a nearly-Hollywood ending in Croatia doesn’t tug at your heartstrings, then… Well, then you’re probably not a girl. (Or a rom-com writer.) Seriously, though, this one held my attention right up to the end, hoping for the best. I loved how more than one of you chose to write about the love affair you’ve found with your significant other through traveling with them for an extended period of time. Sarah of Spanky & Sarah wrote about how traveling around the world with her husband changed their relationship – they became “teammates” – and Caroline & Josh at Traveling9to5 found that although they were already a couple when they started traveling together, it was traveling that made it a real “love […]
Must-have Gear Item: Flight 001 Wet Suit Bag #indie30
Must-have Gear Item: Flight 001 Wet Suit Bag #indie30 This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! My Must-have Gear Item I took a 35L backpack on my round the world trip. Occasionally I wished I had a bigger pack, but ultimately it was just the right size for me. While I’ve been told that I’m a pretty paired down traveler, (I try not to let this go to my head), I do pack a number of unnecessary awesome items… from perfume atomizers to stockpiles of Burt’s Bees chapstick. So I had a hard time narrowing down to just one ‘must-have gear favorite’ from my hypothetical list of “things you really don’t need to take traveling, but I like to bring anyway”. So I picked the most useful item, that is now a must-bring for me. Can I travel without it? Definitely, but life on the road is way easier with it. Flight 001’s Wet Suit bag is on my must-pack list. After returning from Panama with a bag even the customs agents didn’t want to open, I decided I needed a strategy for my bag not mildewing on my upcoming RTW trip. I stumbled across […]
Made in Iceland | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project
Made in Iceland | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project   This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! My love of Iceland is no secret. When asked my favorite place in the world, I will always, always, reply Iceland. It’s cold (though not as cold as you’d think!), it’s expensive, and in the winter, there’s only a few hours of sunlight. It’s rugged and remote, floating alone in the North Atlantic. It’s small and sparsely populated and is slowly recovering from a devastating financial collapse. And yet….its people are among some of the happiest on earth. It’s quickly become a mecca for tech companies and despite the tiny population, the city of Reykjavik throws some of the best parties in the world. There’s just something about Iceland. It’s enigmatic and undeniably appealing, luring you in with impossible landscapes and scenery that just seems far too big to be contained on a such a small island. This video so perfectly showcases what it is I love about Iceland, and every time I see it I just want to buy a plane ticket and go right now. MADE IN ICELAND from Klara Harden on Vimeo. 30 Days of Indie Travel […]
Hiking to Huka Falls #indie30
Hiking to Huka Falls #indie30 This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! This question makes my brain hurt, because I don’t have ONE favorite place. I can tell you about one of my favorite places though: New Zealand. During my round the world trip, I ended up staying in New Zealand for a month. I couldn’t get enough of this country and I hope to get back to ‘the land of the long white cloud’ in the next year or two. I took this photo on a rainy April day in Taupo. I was in Taupo for a few days, hoping that the storms would pass and that the Tongariro Crossing would open back up. On this morning, I was disappointed to find out that the crossing was still closed, meaning that I probably wouldn’t be able to do this trek until a future trip to NZ, as I had to continue on from Taupo to Auckland to catch a flight to Bangkok. So we decided to make the most of the day we had left and headed out of town on foot along the Waikato River towards Huka Falls. We […]
A Global Family Tree (and the French Version of Me) | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30
A Global Family Tree (and the French Version of Me) | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30 This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! My father was born in Germany in 1935, Jewish in an inhospitable time and place, and he spent the first five years of his life moving almost constantly westward. From Germany into France, where he spoke his first words and nearly died from malnutrition, then into Spain with the help of Basque people who shepherded his parents over the mountains, and finally onto a ship bound for America. At the age of five-and-a-half, he first saw the lights of New York City cut through the dark of a winter night as the ship neared the port, and he cried, “C’est le paradis!” This journey was not an easy or pleasant one, and until the day he died at 71, my father didn’t talk about it much. What the diaspora of his extended family gave me as a youngster, however, was something positive and tangible that I wouldn’t truly understand until many years later. As a very young child, I knew of cousins in Paris and in Tel Aviv, and of an aunt – my father’s younger sister – in […]
21 Things I’m Thankful For | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project
21 Things I’m Thankful For | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! It’s Thanksgiving, so what other prompt could we offer than the idea of giving thanks for all that you are grateful for this year. Whether you’re somewhere far from home or surrounded by family, friends, and a desiccated turkey carcass, here’s hoping you had wonderful Thanksgiving and have much to be thankful for this year! Growing up, I’d never thought of myself as particularly lucky. I came from a lower middle-class family and was raised by a single mother who sacrificed much to send me to a private school which, while offering an excellent education, left me surrounded by affluent students whose lives I imagined to be so much better than my own. They drove BMWs and went to Mexico for spring break. I drove a 12 year old rusted Mustang and spent spring break working minimum wage jobs. I knew there were a lot of people who were less fortunate than me, but as a selfish and sheltered 16 year old, I still lamented the things I didn’t have, and was always envious of my classmates. Time and life experiences […]
My Battle with Technology | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30
My Battle with Technology | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30 This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! When my wife and I went our RTW trip, I was hoping to break free of my technology addiction. What better time, I wondered to myself, to not want to care about getting online than when traveling the world? We had a blog that we wanted to keep up with, pictures we wanted to back up easily, and we hoped to Skype often with our families and friends back home, so we did travel with a laptop. But I really did hope to spend as little time as possible browsing the interwebs and wasting the amount of time online I did while at home. Even though this was only a few years back (2008-2009), smart phones were really just gaining steam as an “everyone has them” type of technological advancement, and iPads were still unknown. I suppose netbooks were the big travel advancement (and one that we jumped on board with when our laptop shot the craps halfway through our trip) of the time since they were the first really small, lightweight, portable devices. I unfortunately failed in my attempt to […]
Enjoying the Journey at Home #indie30
Enjoying the Journey at Home #indie30 This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! “The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” –Don Williams, Jr. Something I’ve learned to appreciate from traveling is the waiting and the process of “getting somewhere”. After returning from my RTW trip, I waited to re-purchase a car, and almost three years later, I still don’t have one. Just like when traveling, I’ve found that when I’m actively engaged in my journey (transit) by walking or biking or taking public transportation, I’m experiencing my community and city in a different way. Each trip is unique and can vary from a fairly standard ride to yoga class, to chatting with Portland tourists on the Streetcar and giving them restaurant recommendations, and even the occasional drama like having a bus pull over and call the police because some crazy person is getting mad at the driver), or discovering a new shop because you decided to walk a new route. As I started biking in Portland a lot more in the past year, it’s […]
Week 3 Round Up | 30 Days of Indie Travel
Week 3 Round Up | 30 Days of Indie Travel This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011.  The “Best of” for Week 3 Every week we’ll be gathering some of our favorite posts from the 30 Days of Indie Travel Project. We’re extremely excited that so many people have participated in our project, and the great submissions just keep rolling in. Here are some of our favorite posts from the third week of the Indie 30 Project. Day 15:  City I love how everyone took this prompt in a different way. Kat at Celebrating Themeless Discontinuity talks about her favorite city, Tromso, Norway, which is a city I had never heard of before now. Kat has put Tromso on my ever-growing list. Day 16: Baggage Angeline discusses how she and her husband travel with as little emotional baggage as possible, always making for fun adventures because of it. Anthony at Antsaint talks about how stressing over things that are out of your control makes for unnecessary mental baggage on a trip. Day 17: Passion Passion has always been a part of Zak’s life, as he discusses in this post at Sparkpunk. Find out what he thinks is the difference between passion and escapism. Erin Graves writes about how travel and passion go hand in hand with […]
A Love Affair with Possibility | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30
A Love Affair with Possibility | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30 This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! I’m going to be perfectly blunt here – tackling the topic of a “special someone” or a “love affair” in a public forum when one is married is… Well, it’s not to be taken lightly, let’s just say that. Prior to meeting my husband, I wasn’t the person who had flings when I traveled, so there’s not even a story from the way-back machine I can call upon. Instead, then, I’m going to write about the very first thing that came to mind when I read today’s prompt. It’s not a person, or a particular instance, but a feeling I think we experience more often when we travel. It’s a feeling of possibility. Travel gives us the opportunity to live life differently than we do at home. It invites us to explore other customs, foreign cultures, and those roads we haven’t taken. I do this in a very mundane sense every time I look at a doorway, a window, or a path that leads out of sight. What’s on the other side of that door, or around that corner? […]
“Do you like bourbon?” (AKA How I Met the Sazerac) | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30
“Do you like bourbon?” (AKA How I Met the Sazerac) | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30 This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! My alcohol education began long after college, when my Parisian cousin threatened to disown me from the family for not being a wine drinker. It may go without saying, but I’ve come a long way since then – past dessert wine, cab-merlot blends, and syrupy cocktails, I now find myself a fan of things like gin and bourbon. I don’t often have more than one, especially when I’m traveling, but it’s fun to find unique drinks that give me a strong sense of place. When I was in New Orleans in early 2011, then, I was thrilled to be introduced to the cocktail long associated with the city: the Sazerac. I’d had my requisite pre-dinner cocktail at the famed Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone – a much more delightful experience than I’d anticipated, given that it’s on so many must-do lists, and thankfully the bar turns slowly enough that having a gin & tonic without having eaten wasn’t an issue. It hadn’t occured to me to ask the bartender for his cocktail advice, which seems idiotic in retrospect. […]
A Stillness in the Air | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30
A Stillness in the Air | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30 This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! Nevermind that I don’t believe in God – I love visiting churches when I travel. In many places, they’re buildings full of as much history and art as religion, and I have immense respect for builders whose devotion to their version of the divine led to such masterpieces. It wasn’t in a church that I have felt the greatest sense of spirituality, however. It wasn’t even in a building. I was a mere passenger on that trip. It was my mother’s adventure, borne of a desire to go to the native ruins on the Haida Gwaii after seeing pictures in a book more than 25 years earlier, and I was just happy to have been invited. I knew little about our destination, other than the archipelago was off the northern coast of British Columbia and home to some very remote ancient village sites, and neglected to do much in the way of research before we left. But no amount of research could have prepared me for how the air would feel on the Haida Gwaii. There is a stillness […]
Where Does My Money Go? #indie30
Where Does My Money Go? #indie30 This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! “It’s clearly a budget. It’s got a lot of numbers in it.” –George W. Bush Everyone has slightly different priorities when it comes to travel budgets and expenses. Personally, I like to save on accommodation, and I’m willing to pay more for food or splurging on a cool experience. I’m also a notorious cheapskate when it comes to things I feel should be cheap or free. Other than your initial flight, the largest expense while traveling is usually accommodation, but when the purpose of traveling is to explore and experience a new place, the last thing I want to spend a ton of money on is where I’ll be sleeping. Cheapskate confessions: I made my own fresh-squeezed orange juice on my transatlantic cruise from Barcelona back to the states (with a knife, spoon, bowl, cup, and a mountain of free oranges they provide on the boat). On the same boat, I did my own laundry in the tiny little sink and hung my clothesline criss-crossed across my tiny little cabin. I’ve slept in several airports to save $ on […]
Baggage | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project
Baggage | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! I finally started traveling lightly during a trip to New York City last year for New Year’s Eve. Despite the frigid temperatures and blizzard that just came through the region, I managed to make it to the Big Apple with just a carry-on, and I haven’t looked back since. I vowed then and there to NEVER check a bag again, and I was proud to make that happen on a 16 day trip to Europe this past fall. But anyone can pack lightly when they really try. There are oodles of tips out there for the light traveler, so I won’t bore you with why I think it’s unnecessary to bring that second pair of pants, all those just-in-case items, or that huge hair dryer. When I first saw this prompt, my mind immediately went to the physical part of baggage, but then I started to dig a little deeper. I started to think of the mental aspect of the word baggage. And I suddenly realized why it is that I truly love to travel. No matter what kind of trip […]
Week 2 Round Up | 30 Days of Indie Travel
Week 2 Round Up | 30 Days of Indie Travel This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011.  The “Best of” for Week 2 Every week we’ll be gathering some of our favorite posts from the 30 Days of Indie Travel Project. This week the great submissions kept coming in, with even more people joining in project! Here are some of our favorite posts from the first 6 days of the Indie 30 Project. Day 7:  Celebrate Joining in the local celebration can definitely open a new window into the culture of a place….and sometimes that means making yourself a little uncomfortable, as Zak at Sparkpunk found during a Croatian dinner. Day 8:  Love Learning  Some people stop traveling when they have kids. Anthony and Jodie say the baby they’re expecting will be a reason to do more, so their child will grow up to love learning and exploring the world. Life-changing travel and learning can happen without venturing far from home, as Erin learned this year. When you travel with kids, says 500 Places with Kids, the world is their classroom. Day 9: One Day  Sometimes nothing big has to happen for day to be memorable. As YQ Traveling shows, a day of little perfect moments can add up to one perfect day. “What makes a […]
An Ode to Portland #indie30
An Ode to Portland #indie30 This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! “Is there anything, apart from a really good chocolate cream pie and receiving a large unexpected cheque in the post, to beat finding yourself at large in a foreign city on a fair spring evening, loafing along unfamiliar streets in the long shadows of a lazy sunset, pausing to gaze in shop windows or at some church or lovely square or tranquil stretch of quayside, hesitating at street corners to decide whether that cheerful and homy restaurant you will remember fondly for years is likely to lie down this street or that one? I just love it. I could spend my life arriving each evening in a new city.” –Bill Bryson My favorite city in the world is Portland, Oregon.  Wherever I go, if I stay long enough, I get a crazy longing to be back in the Pacific Northwest. In 2008, when I landed in Christchurch, New Zealand after traveling for a two months of my RTW trip, I felt like I had landed at PDX… it was drizzly, everyone was wearing fleece jackets, drinking coffee, and I […]
In So Many Words | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30
In So Many Words | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project #indie30 This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! Motivation is a funny thing. As personal as it is, each of us needs some kind of carrot to keep moving toward a goal – especially if it’s a challenging one. Travel goals, when they’re not challenging in and of themselves, are often the reward for doing something we’d rather not do (like, umm, working). The right set of words can be the carrot that keeps you pointed in the right direction. Some may stick a photograph of a beach on their bulletin board to remind them of an upcoming vacation, and some may get a clearer mental image from a particular phrase. For today’s 30 Days of Indie Travel prompt, “Quote,” I’m sharing not just some of my favorite travel quotes but also some submitted by other BootsnAll staffers, gathered (loosely) into three categories. I’m a quote-a-holic, so I couldn’t post just one. I hope at least one of these resonates with you – and if not, I hope you’ll share the one that does. Going Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things […]
Friends for Life | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project
Friends for Life | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! Once you reach the age of 30, making new friends becomes increasingly more difficult, particularly if you live in the same city you grew up in. Your group of friends by this time is pretty set. Luckily travel gives people the opportunity, no matter what age, to meet new people and establish friendships that can last a lifetime. We have it pretty easy these days. With the internet, Facebook, Twitter, and any number of other social media sites, it’s extremely easy to keep in touch with people from all over the world, so even if you meet and connect with someone while traveling, that relationship doesn’t have to end once you part ways. Avid travelers meet other people on a daily basis, and friendships and relationships come and go. But there are those times when an encounter in a foreign land lasts forever, and we were lucky enough to have two such meetings during our year-long RTW trip. There are certain times when you just connect with people, and you usually realize it quickly. Our first meeting with Nate […]
Searching for Ngala | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project
Searching for Ngala | 30 Days of Indie Travel Project This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate! Over the crackling static of the guide’s intercom, I could just make out the words I’d been waiting all day to hear: Ngala. “Ngala!” I yelled without thinking, “Yes, let’s go find the ngala!” Our guide, Dominic, stared at me in silence for a second before laughing. “So you know ngala now? You want to find the lions?” It was our last game drive at the Kapama Buffalo camp and I’d slowly started to pick up on some of the “code” (actually just the names of the animals in the Shangaan language) used by the guides while on our twice-daily safari drives. On the five previous drives we’d been on, we’d see hippos, eland, waterbuck, wildbeasts zebras, leopards, elephants, water buffalo and hundreds upon hundreds of impala. We even saw a few female lions snoozing in the brush on our very first evening drive. But we had yet to see a male lion, and time was running out. “Yes, yes, ngala, please!” I said again. And off we went to the area where the lions were last spotted. We careened down […]