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The Freedom of Winging a Trip

In this post, I’ll take a detour from the travelogue to talk about the benefits of winging it. After the wedding, people began to go their separate ways. The people with jobs prepared for their flights back to their homes where they would return to being productive members of society. Given my current status as a man of leisure, such responsibilities and obligations don’t apply to me, so I headed off to Pokhara, a lakeside town seven hours north of…

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A Meta-Travel Writing Piece, pt. 2

The other day I talked about the need to really draw your reader in with a short anecdote about something that could never happen in their lives right now, but could if they did what you are doing.  Another key to enhancing the reader experience is to include language that makes your movements seem just a little bit crazy.  Look at what Levin does in this paragraph: So I hitched a van ride from Puerta Princesa to El Nido, a…

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A Meta-Travel Writing Piece, pt. 1

As a generalization, people who travel are interesting.  Not interesting in the sense that they are unique or intriguing (sometimes that is the case), but that they often tell good stories because they have fresh experiences to draw from.  And within the broader fraternity of travelers, the people who detach themselves from the grid and opt for the most self-indulgent of all pursuits – living on a boat, for example – are really the ones who are out there doing it….

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How to Travel Alone, pt. 4

This is part four of a four-part post on the joys of solo travel. _ In this last installment, I will share my thoughts on the need to meet as many people as you can and be confident as you roam the world. – 7.  Be open “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain Today, people say that I am a “good connector”.  That is because, whenever my friends travel to a new place, I put…

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How to Travel Alone, pt. 2

The following is part two of a three-part post on the joys of solo travel. The other day I talked about the need to be prepared.  Today, I will talk about going with the flow. _ 3.  Be adaptable “A good traveler has no fixed plan and is not intent on arriving.”  – Lao Tzu I think you need to strike a balance between planning and winging it.  Do enough research to cover your bases and make sure you don’t…

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How to Travel Alone, pt. 1

The following is part one of a three-part post about the joys of solo travel. “It seemed an advantage to be traveling alone. Our responses to the world are crucially moulded by the company we keep, for we temper our curiosity to fit in with the expectations of others…Being closely observed by a companion can also inhibit our observation of others; then, too, we may become caught up in adjusting ourselves to the companion’s questions and remarks, or feel the…

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Dispatch From a Shrinking Planet

“I don’t know where I’m going but I’m on my way.” – Carl Sagan Develop Economies, the alter ego for my life on the road, is almost a year and a half old.  I’ve been to three continents, eleven countries, and spent too many hours in buses, planes, ferries, and motorbikes.  And the people I have met along the way have been memorable. In the Philippines, I spent most of my time with Filipinos, a handful of laid-back Australians in…

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Thoughts on Leaving

I’m writing this on the plane from Bacolod, where I have spent that last 10 months, to Manila. [Note: I got back 4 days ago, and only now am getting around to posting this] Tomorrow I’ll get on another flight to Tokyo, then another to Detroit, and one more back to Boston to the home of my birth.  It is a good opportunity to write a stream-of-consciousness piece on leaving. I’ve called Bacolod my home for the better part of…

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Introduction to a Series of Essays

I am in my final month here, coming to the end of my road after a long trip.  I spent 7 months in the Philippines, two weeks each in Cambodia, Thailand, and Burma, a week in Vietnam, four days in Hong Kong, and an afternoon in Japan.  I am taking time to reflect on my time here and pull together everything I have learned into a set of coherent ideas of what it all means. I arrived in December of…

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