When I was in Kish, Azerbaijan, I went to the Gelersen-Görersen fortress ruins. Originally, I was going to walk there from town but feeling lazy, I got a taxi. I'm glad I did. It was over two miles to the entrance on exposed road. When it's 95 and humid, you don't want to be doing that walk. But what made it even more fun was this taxi driver.
He spoke no English, I spoke no Azeri but he came on the walk with me and while I'm panting up the incline to get to the ruins, he's moving like Tarzan in flip flops!
He pointed out some ruins I wouldn't have noticed, took me on some interesting paths through the woods (basically, no set trail, just wandering), and did a funny pantomine / hissing sound to warn me of snakes. On the way back, he rocked out to AC/DC. It was a fun experience.
The ruins are pretty spectactular and, when you climb on top of the wall, you get expansive views of the valley. FYI, it's a steep incline up to the ruins!
Credit cards aren’t about spending money you don’t have. They are a way to get perks for the spending you already do!
In this article, I am going to tell you how to easily pick the best credit card for travel!
Tbilisi surprised me. I found a city that was a weird combination of old and new. You have this tiny little old town surrounded by epic modern buildings with futuristic architecture.
The city is gritty in that cool Lisbon way (not that run down Athens kind of way). There's a big alternative art scene, international food, beautiful bridges, sulfur baths, and even waterfalls within the city limits. The old castle provides views for miles and you can spend hours getting lost in the garden. I was blown away by the energy this city radiated!
Ohh and there's tons of good wine too!! If Prague and Budapest had a love child, Tbilisi would be it!
I'm back in Austin for a few days for the first time in a while! I'm excited to be back and eat at all of my favorite restaurants! If you're headed to Austin anytime soon, don't miss these spots!
The United States is filled with too many “must see” places to list in a single blog post — but I think these make for a good start! Anywhere you'd add?
New exciting updates about TravelCon! If you missed out on the first round of tickets, there are a few ways you may still be able to attend the event! And if you're still wondering what TravelCon is, check it out!
We always talk about how amazing and life-changing long-term travel is but seldom address the idea that coming home is often harder than leaving! Anyone who has returned from a long-term trip knows what I’m talking about!
Meet Bharath (@againbackthere). He's 29, from Chennai, and has been on the road for three weeks. He's moving to NYC to work for Spotify. He spotted me on our free hostel walking tour. Apparently, he used my website to plan his trip to Boquete, Panama (one of my fav spots in the country). It's always fun running into readers! Check out his Insta!
If you're into podcasts and travel, definitely check out Rolf Pott's latest episode of Deviate. This episode reflects on the legacy of Anthony Bourdain and the state of travel writing at large and the future of the genre.
There's SO much to do in this tiny country - and this travel guide can help you make the most of your trip!
Want to travel in Bali but not sure where to start? Sometimes a group tour might be the best option!
There are always going to be obstacles and limitations to our ability to travel (or to any goal we have in life), but that doesn't mean we can't work around them! Life requires action.
Even if you work a 9-5 job, have limited vacation time, or simply don't have the money (or desire) to take a long term trip, there are plenty of ways to see the world. Here's how to travel with “time isn’t on your side”!
Iceland's weather can be very unpredictable any time of the year, so it's important to know what you should pack to ensure a comfortable trip no matter what!
I've been traveling around Azerbaijan and Georgia for the past two weeks with no real "travel plan" and I've had some incredible experiences because of that! I think sometimes no plan is the best plan!
Do you prefer to travel with a set itinerary or to figure it out as you go?
By doing just a few simple things, you can drastically cut your expenses without much effort and make your visit here a lot more affordable!
Paying for nightly accommodation can be the most expensive part of your travel budget, but it doesn't have to cost as much as you think. I just updated this guide to finding the most affordable accommodation no matter where you're staying or your travel style!
When you realize this, planning your adventure becomes a lot easier and a lot more fun.
Round the world (RTW) tickets can be a convenient way to fly around the world. To help you figure out how to buy one and if they're the best option for your trip, I just updated my guide!
I hope seeing how these very different people could make their trip come true inspires you to realize you can make YOUR dream trip come true too!
Women and men do have different concerns when it comes to traveling, especially when alone. If you're headed on a solo trip, this article by Kristin from Be My Travel Muse will help ensure you have a safe, enjoyable, and incredibly rewarding trip!
Traveling around Europe this summer? Spain is one of those countries that will stick with you forever, and it's a lot kinder to your wallet! Check out my ultimate guide to help plan your visit around this incredible country.
For your travel photography, the gear isn’t always going to be the definitive factor. Rather, it’s important to get the right gear for you, your budget, and your skill level!
If you’re looking to break into YouTube but don’t know where to start, this course, co-taught by Nadine Sykora of Hey Nadine and Kristen Sarah of Hopscotch the Globe, teaches you the ins and outs of vlogging!
Our FLYTE students from Victor, Montana embark on their journey to Guatemala tomorrow where they'll be volunteering and learning while experiencing their first time abroad! If you want to follow along their journey, find us on instagram, Twitter, and FB! Here are some of the things the student's are talking about before their journey begins...
No matter your age, this quote applies.
There’s a lot to see in Germany – and it’s all worth seeing. (And it's super budget friendly too so it’s a good place to save some extra Euros!) Check out my guide to the country to help plan your next trip!
Today was an interesting and crazy day. I left Baku with my friend and headed to the tiny mountain town of Lahic. Only about three hours outside of Baku, we decided to save time and take an Uber (it's here now!). It would save us over an hour. Though not super budget friendly, split between two people it wasn't too expensive. Why not treat myself for my birthday? It was already mid-day and I wanted to get there as quick as possible.
I'm glad we did, because it turned out to be a hilarious and fun experience. First, our driver spoke no English and got lost along the way. On the turn off to Lahic, our driver drove up the road, pulled over, and started chatting in Russian. Unable to communicate with us, he called a friend who explained the driver didn't know the road, and since it was gravel, he didn't want to drive it but he'd get us a taxi for $5. He was clearly being lazy, but unable to argue with him, we relented.
He drove us back to the turn off where we were greeted by the most Russian looking old guy, smoking a cigarette while standing next to his Soviet-era car; our taxi. To use the word "car" is to use the word loosely. It was a piece of metal with a hood. Rusted over, the insides barely had any finishing, the seat belts were non-existent, the flooring missing, the wires exposed, the dashboard falling apart, and the windshield cracked. In this "taxi", we zoomed up a gravel road through the mountains. Around us the mountains rose high into the bright blue sky, rivers could be heard below, and lush green foliage surrounded us on all sides. We were in the Caucasus now. As we pulled onto the cobblestone and got our first glimpse of Lahic, with its tiny homes and voice yelling "It's still ancient times here," I felt alive. Our driver dropped us off and shook our hands. We exchanged names and smiles before he continued down the road.
Now, I am here for two days to hike and relax in the mountains. The people here are all smiles. Our guesthouse owner cooked the most amazing meal.
These are the days I travel for!
Despite the occasional downsides, I think long-term solo travel is something people should try at least once in their life. But there is something that will happen after a while of living this lifestyle...
JUST UPDATED! I’ve tried many backpacks over the years, so I know what works. To help save you hours upon hours of research, I’m going to lay out all the good qualities a backpack should have!
It’s my birthday!! The day is almost over here in Baku, but it was a 37th birthday well-spent seeing the mud volcanoes, petroglyphs (ancient rock carvings), and fire temples.
I’m really enjoying my time here and very excited for the next few days of exploring before heading to Tbilisi, Georgia. If anyone has been to either Azerbaijan or Georgia, let me know!
Some great ideas if you're looking for a unique family vacation!
It’s true that Norway is not a budget destination, but it's so amazingly beautiful that I think you should find ways to work it into your trip!
Sunset here in Baku, Azerbaijan on my first day. I don't have a lot of time here so I raced around the city doing a few walking tours, stuffing my face full of food, exploring the new and old city, and seeing whatever museums I could.
It was a long day but one that was very rewarding. I really dig this city. It has a very Barcelona / Paris meets the East feel to it with its wide boulevards and pedestrian streets, lots of parks, and late 19th century architecture. This is because, after oil was found in the 1850s, Baku became a very rich country and the Russian Czar and local oligarchs wanted to emulate the cities of Western Europe!
And I’ve found that it’s a VERY affordable place to visit (like $35 USD a day or less!)
I’ve encountered a number of backpackers who believe that a ten-bed dorm means they’re the only one sleeping there (kind of what happened in my hostel last night here in Baku!), so here are some hostel etiquette tips to inspire love, not hatred, from your fellow travelers!
Travel teaches us and changes us in ways that may take a while to realize. This is one of the most important skills I've noticed travel has taught me over the years!
Really touching article on Bourdain's death. I'm still in shock he is gone. It's been really hard to process. I haven't stopped thinking or reading about it. I wish I was home in the states so I could bing watch all his shows but I'm here in Azerbaijan and will eat all the weird food in his honor. RIP Tony.
Costa Rica might just be the ultimate place for "slowing down".
Travel is about breaking out of your comfort zone and testing your boundaries. Here's the story of what happened when I embraced a way of life outside my own in Reno, Nevada.
Angkor Wat is amazing, but these experiences are what makes Cambodia a truly special country!
These old houses from East London survived the war and date back to the 1700s. This was the poorest part of London (though lately it's become quite hip and fashionable) and it was in these streets that Jack the Ripper roamed in the late 1800s.
If you can imagine cobblestone streets and gas lamps, you can imagine Victorian London since these houses are pretty much unchanged!
Flights to Australia are often long and expensive, but here are just a few of the many reasons to save up your vacation time and brave that long venture across the Pacific!
So change of plans! I'm heading to Georgia and Azerbaijan on Sunday! I've been looking to break out of the Western Europe / Southeast Asia travel bubble I seem to be in so I'm pretty stoked to be visiting here! We don't have a lot of time but I'm taking time away from work so I can focus on these new places! If you've been and have tips, leave them here!
P.S. - Sorry, UK folks, this means no meet-ups! :(
Planning to hike the Inca Trail? Here's what you should expect along the multi-day journey.
Years ago, I went to his favorite sushi place in Osaka and tweeted that I thought it was "meh." We got into a fun debate on what makes sushi great. I had the fortune of meeting him at an event once and, starstruck, all I could do was stammer on about how I liked his episode on the fish place from my town he profiled.
It has been the only time I've ever been starstruck in my entire life.
He has always been an inspiration to me. When I was planning my trip around the world, I imagined myself roaming parts unknown like him. He one of the people who inspired me to do this thing I do.
So seeing this flash on my screen is a real damn bummer and fills me with tremendous sadness.
"Devastated" doesn't describe my feelings right now.
A survivor of attempted suicide once said that as he jumped off the SF bridge, he realized he wanted to live and prayed for another chance. He thanks every day he got it.
Suicide is never the answer and it's a shame Tony thought that it was. The world is a darker place without him. This industry is a darker place without him. I am a little darker without him. He was and has always been an inspiration to me throughout my career. He made me want to always be better.
Now a hero is gone.
Please if you are feeling down or suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Call your local version if you aren't in the states.
Depression claims too many of us.
Get help. Find people. See a therapist. You will leave behind more sorrow than you think you are escaping and you'll never know just how much people truly did care.
Tony, we cared.
I wish you could know that.
From delicious food markets, to beautiful parks and architecture, to overlooked sights, you’ll get the best of Paris in one place. I love Paris and this guide will pass this love affair onto you by telling you the best things to see and do in this magical city!
In March, I was invited on the inaugural flight of Singapore Airlines’ new 787-10, where I flew over 24 hours from Charleston to Singapore (with a stopover in Osaka). Spending over a day in a plane is an experience I’ll (probably) never have again, but surprisingly, it was better than I thought. What's the longest flight you've ever taken?
The question of "how can I stay in Europe for longer than 90 days?" frequently pops up in my inbox (especially this time of year!) So I recently updated this post with new links, resources, and advice for 2018!
Grab an amazing discount on your next vaction with this national express discount code