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Category: Travel and Culture

What Do I Think of World Travel?

What Do I Think of World Travel?

Over the last three years, I’ve visited nearly two dozen countries on five of the seven continents.  I lived and worked in the Philippines for eight months, Ghana for another six, and Kenya for exactly one year.  In addition, I spent around six months backpacking through various a dozen far-flung places like Burma, Uganda, the DRC, and, most recently, Thailand.  In fact, as I write this, I am sitting at the beach bar at Ban’s Diving Resort in Koh Tao,…

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How to Break Into Development, pt. 2

How to Break Into Development, pt. 2

This is part one of a two-part post on getting involved in international development work.  Read part one here. Trying to answer these questions – at first in vain, and, a few years later, more successfully – helped me so much that I have dispensed this same advice a dozen times since.  But I would add a fourth question is to these questions as philosophy is to math.  Ask yourself, “What do I want out of this experience?” Because figuring…

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A Meta-Travel Writing Piece, pt. 2

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

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 Get Around the World

How to Get Around the World

Perhaps the most novel and amusing aspect of living abroad is getting around.  In the United States, I spent two years walking through the Copley Square mall to avoid the dismal cold of Boston winters.  When I moved back with my parents to save money for my Kiva Fellowship, I parked my car at Norwood Central and took the commuter rail into Back Bay Station each morning, and back again in the evening.  I actually enjoyed riding the rails for…

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Crowdsourcing Funding for Projects in Africa

Crowdsourcing Funding for Projects in Africa

For the first time today, I gave some cash to two very cool causes through organizations that allow start-ups and projects to crowdsource funding from a lot of different people. The first is being run by a friend and former Kiva Fellow, Rebecca Corey who worked for a microfinance institution in Dar es Salaam, the capital city of Tanzania. She is back again for a way-cool music festival in Zanzibar that I hope to attend, but that isn’t the only…

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Non-Profit Career Advice: Urban Development

Non-Profit Career Advice: Urban Development

This is the first post in an ongoing series offering advice to people interested in learning more about international development work. Mandy Goodgoll, a Masters Candidate in International Affairs at the New School, offers advice on urban development in developing countries and emerging markets. First of all, let me say that urban development is a great field to get into. It can be analytical, creative, big, small, international, local… essentially, whatever you want it to be. Having said that, I would highly…

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Develop Economies Returns to Kenya

Develop Economies Returns to Kenya

In eight hours, I am boarding a Virgin Atlantic flight bound for the United Kingdon.  Tomorrow, I will spend the day wandering around London, before boarding another flight for Nairobi.  On Sunday morning, I arrive in Kenya, and start work again on Monday. The transition is one of the more interesting parts of living in different countries around the world.  You start in one place and end up in another 36 hours later.  During those 36 hours, you are either…

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How to Travel Alone, pt. 4

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. 3

How to Travel Alone, pt. 3

The following is part three of a four-part post on the joys of solo travel. In the last two posts, I talked about the need to be prepared for what to expect, and also to be adaptable when deciding what you are going to do while you are out there.  Here, I will give a few tips on making the most of your time and creating an experience that is memorable. 6.  Be adventurous “To awaken quite alone in a…

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