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Cheers to Slowing Down in 2018

Best Travel Blogs
Chuck Fri, 2017-12-29 15:15
By my calculations, we’ve flown, driven, ridden, and cruised about 60,000 miles in 2017. That’s a lot, even by our standards (and a whole lot more than many well-known travel bloggers). Here’s a quick recap of our travels this year (including only places we woke up in, not just visited, and omitting the places we call home), to be sung in Billy Joel “We Didn’t Start The Fire” style: Honolulu, Manila, Puerto Princesa, Singapore, Bali, Hong Kong, Chiangmai, Bangkok, Koh Samui, Kuala Lumpur, London, Portsmouth, Grantham, Selston, Wakefield, Ambleside, Kirkby Stephen, Glasgow, Manchester,...

The Greatest Travel Writer There Ever Was

Vintage travel books
Chuck Wed, 2017-12-13 08:15
This month we have been traveling fairly well nonstop for three and a half years. Insofar as much of that time we have literally been homeless, travel has been a bit of a necessity. Granted, it was a chosen necessity. In addition to our prior lack of a home, our travel has been fueled by a passionate fascination with our world and her people, and it has been driven by information. You might expect that this old technologist has relied entirely on social media, blogs, vlogs, snogs, snivels, and a host of the other modern infotech available nowadays for anyone with passing interest in exploring...

Why Is Everyone So Angry?

Angry people
Chuck Mon, 2017-12-11 05:34
I took a philosophy class in high school. That's not a boast, yet neither am I ashamed of the fact. I won't tell you why I took it; that's not especially germane, really, except that I didn't particularly want to take it. Or maybe I did, I don't know. What do any of us know, really? One of the most memorable, yet mostly useless, tidbits I learned in that class is how rats behave in overpopulation situations. The textbook writer who thought to include this treatise on rats doing what rats would do if crammed into a shoebox with one hundred other rats thought to challenge our young...

England's 41 Cathedrals

The Cathedrals of England
Chuck Wed, 2017-12-06 13:14
There are 41 Anglican (Church of England) cathedrals in England, and as of this week we have seen them all. Some Americans plan to visit every Major League Baseball park. Others tick off National Parks. We elected to see the cathedrals of a faith community other than our own in a country where we are guests. It came about this way. We had seen Saint Paul Cathedral in London years ago. That was 1 down, 40 to go, though at the time we weren't counting. Then in 2014 when we began our full time travels, we popped into Manchester’s cathedral one day, the York Minster another; 2 more down. A few...

Carpe Diem

Chapel of Bones, Evora, Portugal
Chuck Wed, 2017-09-20 05:21
Tucked away in nooks and crannies, packing niches and crevices in tunnels and catacombs across Europe, are the bones of monks and common folk alike. The Necropolis of Paris is the second final resting place (tongue-in-cheek intended) of millions of Parisians whose mortal remains were relocated to the sprawling tunnel system in the late 1700's to recover precious land for the living. The artful arrangement of skulls and femurs and ribs and wishbones at Rome's Capuchin Crypt is (according to TripAdvisor) nearly as popular an attraction as the Vatican Gardens and the Spanish Steps. Crypts and...

Top 12 Travel Tips!

Chuck Thu, 2017-06-29 12:38
I’ve got a new business idea. It came to me when I spied a dog walker wrangling half a dozen of his charges down the sidewalk here in Atlanta. I figure if a dog owner is willing to pay someone to walk their pets, some people might be willing to pay us to take their vacations for them. The pitch would go like this: “Why be hassled with all the planning and airports and annoying hotel check-ins? Pay Chuck and Lori to take your vacations for you! Just TELL your friends you went to Fiji! Act now and Chuck and Lori will take 1,000 free photos for you!” I’ll have to get to work on that website… But...
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Travel On, Blog...Eventually

Travel Bloggers Chuck and Lori with Grandbaby Felix
Chuck Fri, 2017-06-23 10:43
There's a famous bit from Seinfeld where Jerry and Elaine are at the rental car counter and there are no cars to fulfill his reservation: "You know how to take the reservation, you just don't know how to hold the reservation, and that's really the most important part..." Something similar could be said of my travel blogging lately, but at least I'm getting the most important part--the actual travel--pretty right. Despite none too few travel bloggers out there on the interwebs who copiously blog of spurious travel, our travel has been getting in the way of almost any amount of actual writing...

Thailand, Florida of the East

Bang Por Beach, Koh Samui, Thailand
Chuck Fri, 2017-03-24 11:48
We've been staying the last 12 days on Bang Por Beach on the north shore of the Thai island of Koh Samui. Look it up on Google Maps , if you want. It's a nice, peaceful, and gentle beach devoid of the kind of surf we've relished in the Bahamas before, with coarse pinkish sand and turquoise tinted water. The water is so calm, it's like a swimming pool tucked into one corner of the Gulf of Thailand. From the peacefulness of our beach blankets, it's wildly easy to observe the tides here: as the moon arcs overhead, tides go out and water flows west. The moon circumnavigates the earth, much as we...

The Rescue

The Rescue
Chuck Sat, 2017-03-11 04:55
Lakyim—her name in Thai means “dimples”—is taken from her parents just before her third birthday. They are shot trying to protect her and left for dead. Uncooperative and combative adults are useless, but the young ones, they can be molded, they can be trained to be valuable, they can be crushed into subservience. Lakyim is loaded into the back of a truck. Time passes, she doesn’t know how long. She arrives disoriented, sickened, and weakened from the trip and the ordeal of being taken from her parents. The men drag her into the woods; when she resists she is beaten with a metal-studded stick...

Travel: So Easy, Any Moron Can Do It

Air Asia A320 Loading
Chuck Thu, 2017-03-09 03:31
There used to be a time when you'd land in a foreign airport disoriented, jet lagged, unable to speak the language, where your precious greenbacks were pretty well useless, and the only way to let loved ones back home know you made it (at least without incurring a second mortgage to make a--gasp!--international call) was to mail a postcard that would arrive precisely two weeks after your return home. Travel sure has gotten easier. We noticed this recently when we landed in Bangkok--dude, that's in THAILAND, an oriental city where the city don't know that the city is getting the creme de la...

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