Big Bad Quito

“You’ll get robbed” they said.
“Quito is a hell hole full of mugs, low life’s and degenerates.”
“You’ll be lucky to leave with both kidneys intact, let alone your laptop.”

Everyone seems to have an opinion about Quito, and it’s generally not pleasant. ‘The most dangerous place in South America’ had been bandied about while I was in Ecuador, and based on what I had heard, I was pleasantly surprised to get out alive.

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Digital Nomad Lifestyle – Can you work & travel?

It’s 7:30am and the town of Boquete, Panama is just starting to wake up. But there I am, first up in the hostel, sitting with my MacBook Pro on my lap in the open-air dining area. I’m enjoying the refreshing breeze coming through the walkway, but more importantly I’m writing a client back in the states who has no idea I’m in Central America on a what I call a semi-holiday.

I had been wanting to visit Panama for a while but this trip was designed to be equal parts enjoyment and work. A test, of sorts.

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The Benefits of Travel Clothing

Something I avoided for far too long was purchasing any clothing marketed for “travel.” I found it quite silly that a shirt or pair of pants could benefit my comfort while traveling and laughed when I looked at the prices of most of them at the local outdoors store.

With every trip I started to realize how uncomfortable I was though, whether it was sitting on a plane for several hours in jeans or stretching out a cotton t-shirt while wearing my backpack.

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Your Path to Earning Serious Airline Miles & Free Travel

Frequent Flyer MasterHopefully you’re familiar with super-traveler & blogger extraordinaire Chris Guillebeau but if not, now’s the time to start.

But this post isn’t just to kiss his butt, it’s to share his great eBook titled Frequent Flyer Master.

I don’t buy many eBooks because I’m one of those stubborn fools who would rather spend 30 hours researching things myself than pay somebody $5 to teach me them in one hour.  Silly, I know but I’m starting to open up to the idea and have purchased a few products like this over the past few months.

Despite thinking I knew all there was to know about mileage programs and reward travel I went ahead and ordered Frequent Flyer Master after reading Chris’ 25,000 mile (one domestic round-trip airline ticket) guarantee.  Earn an extra 25,000 miles after reading it or he’ll gladly refund your money.  That’s a good enough guarantee to me and 25,000 miles is well worth the cost of the program.

Within two months of purchasing it I’m due to receive about 90,000 frequent miles and have only taken one flight (which I ironically didn’t earn any miles on due to my poor attention to booking details).
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Finding Motivation to Travel

It’s rare that I meet somebody who doesn’t love to travel, or at least has a burning desire to do so. Occasionally though, people will find themselves with a lack of motivation to travel or maybe even feeling a bit burnt out.

As somebody who used to travel frequently for business, I’ve been there. In fact, when my work became steady and I stopped traveling for business, I didn’t go anywhere for three years. I didn’t even use my vacation time from work. Talk about a waste.

Here’s a few ways you can get back into the travel mood and catch the burning desire to venture out into the world:
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Melbourne as a Backpacker

This post is supposed to be about doing Melbourne, Australia (my home town) as a backpacker. I wanted to write something on how those of us with itchy feet who want to be travelling but can’t (work commitments, saving money etc) can still do the little things to get that ‘on the road’ feeling back, by seeing our cities through new eyes. I wanted to do all the things I would do as a backpacker, but never do as a resident. So I did the research, got the maps, charged the camera and was ready to hit the town when I realised that Melbourne, while a spectacular city to live in, just isn’t that great as a backpacker.

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Sex Tourism Around the World

Chances are if you’re browsing this website, you love to travel. The people we meet, the landscapes we see, the food and the history – it’s the reason we save our money and keep hitting the road – we search out and thrive on experiencing the new, the foreign and different. There’s nothing that gives us greater pleasure than falling in love with a city, learning about the culture not from the outside looking in, but from immersing ourselves as best we can into a city’s psyche.

But, contrary to our pursuits to learn and experience, some people don’t travel to satisfy their wanderlust, rather they have an agenda fraught with exploitation and manipulation.

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Difficulties Traveling as a Vegetarian

Last year I was visiting Beijing. For my last dinner before an early train trip to Mongolia in the morning I went out to small restaurant around the corner from my hotel. Chinese food is amazing, in no small part because of the creative titles given to their dishes. There was pimple soup, wonderous pork belly and explosion of tofu & spices to name a few. As a vegetarian, I opted for the later.

“I’ll just have the ‘explosion of tofu & spices’, there’s no meat in that dish is there?”

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Some Destinations Aren’t as Glorious as Advertised

I’m so sick of the travel section of most mainstream newspapers. The Saturday ‘Traveller’ section of my local paper is pretty much pages and pages of advertisements thinly disguised as destination reviews. I’ve noticed that it’s pretty rare to find a less than flattering review written journalists that travel as ‘guests’ of the tour groups, government tourism departments or airlines that they are writing about. They might point out one or two minor niggles but I’d say 95% of the content in those articles are absolutely glowing reviews of the service or company in question.

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How to be a Good CouchSurfing Host

Everyone seems to be jumping on the Couch Surfing Bandwagon at the moment. And why not, it’s a great concept. Travel around the world, staying for free and meeting some cool and interesting people at the same time. There’s plenty written about the etiquette of surfing someone’s couch, but not so much available on how to be a good host. Here’s some thoughts I’ve based around my experience of giving up my couch to globetrotters.

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