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Category: Travel and Culture

Travelogue Colombia: Part I, Cartagena

Travelogue Colombia: Part I, Cartagena

The flight from San Francisco to Colombia is surprisingly long, particularly when you are relegated to a middle seat.  Fortunately, my neighbor was afraid of flying and took her mind off it by telling me everything about the secret menu at In N’ Out Burger, where she worked during the summer (noteworthy items include chopped onions, diced chillies, and a four-patty burger). But experiencing the seaside city of Cartagena, the little towns in the Efe Cafetero (“Coffee Axis”), and the…

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Travelogue: India

Travelogue: India

As I mentioned in the last post, I decided to figure this India trip on the fly, refusing to make any concrete plans that might hinder my freedom to do whatever I wanted. The day before I left, I ordered a copy of the Lonely Planet India on Amazon to be delivered the next day (which it did, five hours before my flight). Armed with a book about India and a couple recommendations from friends, I felt confident that the…

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The Freedom of Winging a Trip

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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Travelogue: Nepal, Part 1

Travelogue: Nepal, Part 1

On December 3rd, 2014, I flew to Nepal by way of Istanbul for a wedding in Kathmandu. I’d spent the last week writing papers and preparing to leave school a week early for the trip. My flight was at 11 PM, so I had to leave for airport at 9. The Lonely Planet guides for Nepal and India I’d ordered the day before arrived at 4 in the afternoon, but I missed getting my new Capital One card with no…

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The Ethical Obligations of Writing About Poverty and Conflict

The Ethical Obligations of Writing About Poverty and Conflict

I. A Long Way Gone The other day I finished reading “A Long Way Gone”, the autobiography of Ishmael Beah, a child soldier during the country’s civil in the 1990’s. After his village was attacked by the rebel army known as the RUF (Revolutionary United Front), Beah remained in a small town called Mattru Jong, before fleeing another attack. Eventually, he made his way across the country to a village controlled by the national army, where he becomes a drug-addicted…

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A Tribute to My Friend, Ravi Ramrattan

A Tribute to My Friend, Ravi Ramrattan

This weekend has been difficult. I found out yesterday that a friend was killed in the senseless, horrible attack in Nairobi. He was a great person and meant a lot to many people. He had a profound impact on so many people’s lives that I would not even begin to understand how to chronicle it all. So I will settle for talking about the time I knew him. I met Ravi early on in my time in Nairobi. I was…

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Develop Economies Is Published, Makes $200!

Develop Economies Is Published, Makes $200!

A little more than a year ago, someone from Gale Cengage publishing emailed me to ask if I would be willing to allow them to publish a blog post I had written many moons ago, titled “Why DIY Foreign Aid Amateurs Are Necessary.”  It was a response I had written to another blog post in Foreign Policy titled “Don’t try this abroad,” which, incidentally, was a response to an article from the New York Times Magazine by Nicholas Kristof titled…

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What “Why You Should Travel Young” Misses

What “Why You Should Travel Young” Misses

In an article titled “Why You Should Travel Young,” Jeff Goins makes the case for seeing the world while you are unencumbered by the responsibilities of adulthood.  Career, marriage, children – these all stand as barriers to experiencing the wide world.  For the most part, I agree with a lot of the things he says about the merits of travel.  But I think he misses the larger meaning and importance of the experience. Goins begins by offering advice to some…

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The Idea of Travel as a Search

The Idea of Travel as a Search

That is what Ilan Stavans and Joshua Ellison posit in the their essay, “Reclaiming Travel,” featured on the New York Times philosophy blog, The Stone. The literary professor from Amherst and editor of a literary journal lament the packaging of travel and its reduction to a commodity, rather than a unique experience marked by uncertainty.  A cruise ship, like a guided tour through a historical site or an all-inclusive stay at a resort, is a known entity where the only…

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Happy Father’s Day (Develop Economies Becomes a Book)

Happy Father’s Day (Develop Economies Becomes a Book)

Just shy of three years ago, this blog came into existence.  It had a very simple layout and was located at joshweinstein.wordpress.com.  Over time, it grew in both scope and traffic, precipitating the move to a more professional layout and a re-branding as Develop Economies, a name I came up with at the spur of the moment.  This week, the blog will reach half a million pageviews, which is something I never could have imagined.  And in the beginning, there…

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