Feature » Lifestyle Strategies, Travel, Adventures--Todd's Wanderings

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My Experience During the Japan Earthquake

The Japanese Earthquake On Friday 11 March 2011 just before 3:00 pm the largest earthquake in Japanese recorded history hit with a magnitude of 9.0. I was in Tokyo at the time visiting my wife’s family. As I sat at the kitchen table, happily posting pictures of Japan on Facebook, the room began to shake. The quake started small, but with a sudden jolt. When the shaking didn’t stop I started to worry as the large cabinet rattled at my back and the light above me began to swing violently. I moved to the middle of the room, away from anything that could fall on me. The preparation drills tell you to get under a table, put a cushion over your head, and open the door to make sure you have a way out if the house collapses. You are also supposed to shut off the gas to prevent a Read full article…

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Find Love, Good Health, Wealth and High Test Scores in Japan

In the last article we explored the Japanese trend of visiting “Power Spots,” areas where you can gather invisible energy. Whether you believe in Power Spots or not the act of visiting specific places to gain a certain type of benefit is a long held practice in Japan. Temples, shrines and hot springs are the most commonly visited. Natural areas are usually associated with one of them and are where visitors focus their prayers when venturing out into rural Japan. Much of what people ask for are physical rewards. While I’m not sure praying for wealth is the best use of your time, there are thousands of places all over Japan that cater to physical and spiritual improvements. If you are heading to Japan and you have issues with health, love, and money, need to pass an exam, could use a bit of healing, or just want to get rid Read full article…

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Power Spots: Japanese Spiritual and Travel Craze

Gain Energy, Luck and Happiness through Travel to Power Spots Want to get married, become rich, get rid of a little evil, or do away with that ugly wart? It’s as simple as visiting a Power Spot. One the biggest trends in Japan last year was the rise of Power Spots, and any type of travel associated with them. Power Spots are supposedly any place where you can receive invisible energy that can help you achieve all your life’s dreams, whether they be material or spiritual. This is of course not a new concept in Japan, as the Japanese have ascribed specific powers to temples and shrines for thousands of years. Shinto beliefs also stress a spiritual aspect to nature,  inhabited by millions of gods. What is new is the packaging of all such Power Spots into one large mixture of your favorite spiritual energy dogmas. A little Feng Shui Read full article…

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5 Unique Things to Do in Boston

Boston is not only a visually stunning city, it is also home to the Red Socks, Beer and Lobster! The city of Boston is one of my “second” homes. From historical battle fields, to Irish pubs, a mix of colonial and modern architecture, the fusion of blue collar values and lofty academics leaves me feeling relaxed and welcomed. The city is smaller than most capital cities and boasts a host of unique neighborhoods. It’s more intimate than it’s rival New York, and  it’s easy to escape for those dreaming of New England sea coast villages or the mountain wilderness of New Hampshire and Vermont. Boston is where my mother’s family is from, where I went to school, it’s where all of my best friends live, it’s my first stop during any trip home, and it’s one of those places you could spend years exploring and never really figure it all Read full article…

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Explore the World Your Way: TWs Feedback Survey and VIDEO

Hi readers, this is a different type of post. I’m not going to tell you anything, I’m actively resisting the urge to teach, amuse with my banjo twanging wit (whoops), or captivate you with my snarky satirical surprisingly smooth storytelling (damn it!). I want to know what you think! I want to know what you most enjoy about Todd’s Wanderings and what you want more of. I’m here to indulge your whims (not really), answer your questions (if I can), and leave you feeling refreshed and energetic after exploring the world. In short, I want to you to take my Todd’s Wanderings Survey to Beat all Polls (click the link or see below). Sounds exciting and contentious, doesn’t it! Help Make Todd’s Wanderings (more?) Awesome On a more serious note, this is very important. With your help I’m planning to change Todd’s Wanderings into a Purple Cow. I want to Read full article…

Lifestyle Design the Logical Way

It’s difficult to imagine our perfect life. It is surprisingly harder than one would think at first. If you had the chance, could you do it? Could you design your perfect life? Lifestyle Design is a term created by Tim Ferris in his wildly popular The 4 Hour Work Week. I had never actually heard any about the Lifestyle Design World when I started blogging here at Todd’s Wanderings, even though I had already Designed my perfect life. The funny thing about designing your perfect life, is that it’s a non stop process, you are never done. Freedom of  Time and Freedom of Location I came to the conclusion during my Shikoku Pilgrimage that my ideal life was one of freedom, where I was free to engage in my passions, and following my interests. That led me to San Francisco, then Timor-Leste, Sri Lanka and currently Kosovo. I love my Read full article…

How I Save Money and Travel Cheaply-Not So Secret Strategies

It is no secret by now that I travel a lot. In fact last year, in 2010,  I visited 16 countries. All this while having a full time job, an insane amount of school loans that I pay each month, and while saving money for retirement, emergencies (such as not having a job) and the inevitable death of my laptop. I like to eat every once in a while as well. Recently someone challenged my lifestyle and said it must be made up for the internet, or I must be rich and have a trust fund.I know, I know you are either thinking “How could anyone be so mean to Todd?”; or you fall into the other (and probably larger section of my readers) and are yelling: “It’s about F**#(&g time. I’m surprised Todd doesn’t get more hate mail!” Sorry to disappoint this naysayer, but the truth is that I’m Read full article…

Compromising Travel Photo Contest- Win a $50 Itunes Gift Card

I”m bring this post back to remind you, you only have until Monday 31 January to enter and vote! Win a $50 or a $25 Itunes Gift Card for your funniest photo and laugh out loud captions It’s time to start the New Year with a…LAUGH! I love a good laugh, I love laughing at myself, I love others laughing at me (OK well maybe not that one). I LOVE making other people laugh. Keeping all this in mind I have decided to host Todd’s Wanderings’ very first Photo Contest with real, actual prizes Yes, this is why we skipped the weekly travel contest this time around. The contest will take place on my Facebook fanpage. It will have two parts, the submission of photos and a second round of captions. Yup, that means you have two chances to win! Contest Details Theme: Compromising Travel Photo. This is any photo Read full article…

When to Bribe, How to Bribe, Do you Bribe?

If you travel long enough eventually you face the dilemma of how and when, or even if to bribe. But before we get into the nitty gritty of corruption I want to state right off the bat that corruption, the giving and taking of bribes, is an insidious practice that destroys the very fabric of the rule of law in countries and the trust between citizens and those elected to positions of authority. Now that I’ve sounded off on my public service announcement let’s have a discussion about the realities of travel in potentially unsafe areas, in countries where the rule of law is loosely followed, and situations where it is in your interest to hand over $20, not because it doesn’t do any harm (it does) but because that $20 could save your skin. Shake Down by Local Cops The year was 2008 and I was traveling through Indonesia Read full article…

The First Time I Almost Died-Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

By the end of this story a number of people will be dead. The compact dirty white van left the tourist choked streets of Hanoi, Vietnam’s French Quarter early in the morning. We were a group of 10 strangers bound together by our desire to see the turquoise beauty of Ha Long Bay, and its breathtaking limestone islands thrusting out of the waters. We were also cheap, backpackers looking to save money but desperate to spend 3 days living on a boat, cruising the pearl culturing backwaters of Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritage site, and exploring the natural caves dotting the area. Sixty eight dollars was a lot to us for two nights on the boat, three meals a day, and an English guide. Sixty eight dollars almost cost all of us our lives. What you get for 68 Dollars Seagulls screeched as the van jerked to a stop at the Read full article…

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