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Plans, Interrupted: Changes for Travelers to Cuba and India

You know what they say about the best-laid plans….

As you may have gleaned from some of my previous posts, travel planning is something that is pretty important to me.  Even when I go for a more free-form type of travel, I still at the very least try to figure out the general outlines of trip and plan for the most important eventualities.  That being said, there are times when, despite one’s best-laid plans, greater forces intervene in unexpected ways.  Two recent examples come to mind: one that affects U.S. citizens’ travel to Cuba and one that affects my upcoming trip to India.

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Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Asia, Cuba, India, North America

 

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Photo of the Week: Pride Rock, Serengeti, Tanzania

“Pride Rock” in the Serengeti

This week’s #FriFotos theme on Twitter is “Clouds”, so I have decided to contribute yet another of my favorite photos from my trip to Tanzania.  This was a beautiful day in the Serengeti, surrounded by zebras and other wildlife, and, as you can see, breathtaking scenery.  I can’t wait to go on safari again!

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2012 in Africa, Photo of the Week, Safari, Tanzania

 

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See It, Or Skip It?: Laos

Wandering in Luang Prabang

The first post in my See It, Or Skip It? series focused on Vietnam.  More specifically, inspired by one of my Facebook friends, I used my pictures and experiences to explain why Vietnam should be on any traveler’s itinerary.  This week, it’s time to turn a critical eye on Laos.  As before, I’ll start with a brief list of places in Laos, and, for each place, I’ll give my unblemished (obviously biased) opinion as to whether someone should see it and skip it.  Read on, and tell me what you think!

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Posted by on August 29, 2012 in Asia, Laos, Photo Posts, See It, Or Skip It?

 

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Photo of the Week: Tanzania

Maasai boys in Tanzania

This week’s #FriFotos theme on Twitter is “Faces”, so I have decided to contribute one of my favorite photos from my trip to Tanzania.  The face point is part of a Maasai ritual that marks the boys’ passage into adolescence.  I was lucky enough to capture this photo while on the road between game drive sites.  The image was so striking that I took several shots and had a hard time choosing just one–fortunately for you, I finally did!

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If you have a great picture of “Faces” (however you interpret that) from your travels, please join in the Twitter fun with the #FriFotos hashtag–see you there!

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Africa, Photo of the Week, Safari, Tanzania

 

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Backyard Backpacker: San Francisco International Poetry Festival

 

Dunya Mikhail, with her translator, sharing her work

In one of my previous posts, I discussed my intention to spend more time exploring my own city and surroundings as opposed to always looking to my overseas adventures for inspiration for my travel writing.  To that end, I have decided to start a new feature on my blog–Backyard Backpacker–that will focus on the fun and exciting events and activities that I have found locally, no passport required.  My first entry in this series is about an event in my city that surpassed my expectations in many ways: the San Francisco International Poetry Festival.

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Photo of the Week: Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

View of the Cape of Good Hope from Cape Point

The Twittersphere has been blowing up about Cape Town most recently, so I have decided to throw myself into the mix by sharing one of my favorite pictures from my trip to South Africa.  About 30 miles from Cape Town, in Table Mountain National Park, lie Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope, the latter of which is the southwesternmost point in Africa.  While many people visiting the area assume that one of these capes is the southernmost point in Africa, that title actually goes to Cape Agulhas.  Nevertheless, a visit to Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope are still worth it due to the absolute beauty of the surroundings.

 

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How to Avoid Looking Like A Tourist

Keeping covered while keeping cool

My apologies for not posting last week–my day job got crazy, and I’ve got to focus first on the work that pays my bills and permits me to travel!

Still, to show my contrition for laying off this blog, I’ll share some helpful advice with you.

First off, don’t worry–this is not a post on the tiresome “tourist” versus “traveler” debate; I’ve already briefly weighed in on that.  No, this post is focused on making sure that you blend into your environment as much as possible when you’re traveling so that you can stay safe.  While it’s great to have the opportunity to see the world, once you step past your backyard, you may stand out in ways that make you more vulnerable to sketchy situations.  Sometimes, depending on your look and where you’re traveling, there will really be little that you can do to keep a low profile.  However, in many cases, if you follow my tips below, you will be able to have more success in flying under the radar during your vacation.  Plus, if you’re really on your game, a local will stop you and ask you for directions–highly satisfactory proof that you are a cool traveler!  So, how do you avoid looking like a tourist?

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Posted by on August 7, 2012 in Africa, Miscellaneous, Morocco

 

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