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

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You learn from my mistakes and happy discoveries.

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Trusted Travel Questions and Answers

Trusted Travel Questions and Answers is my monthly chance to answer reader questions about travel and destinations. It can be hard to find trusted advice on travel from people who have actually been there. Every week I get a number of questions from readers asking for specific advice. This is my way of answering them but also sharing with others who might be looking for the same information. 8 Days in Sri Lanka Daniel (sorry but you didn’t actually leave your name!) is heading to Sri Lanka for 8 Days and asked the following: I am planning a trip for 8 Days in Sri Lanka. Going straight from the airport to Sigiriya, then Kandy the next day and after that driving to Kitulgala. From there I would like to go to a beach but I am trying to find the shortest most direct way to a beach and I am Read full article…

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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…

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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 Art of Solo Travel: A Girls' Guide E-book Review

This is a guest post by Laura. An international development worker currently living and working in Kosovo. She is passionate about photography, discovering new cultures, yoga, scuba diving, hiking and working with other people to make the world a better place for all.  You can see her photography here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lfrag/ E-book Review- The Art of Solo Travel: A Girls’ Guide The Art of Solo Travel – A Girl’s Guide by Stephanie Lee helped me answer the same question I often ask myself: why travel alone? Then again, I’ve done nothing but for the past 12 years, living and traveling in Israel/Palestine, Pakistan, Maldives and now Kosovo. But I’ve never really travelled ‘alone’ just for the sake of exploring a new place or culture. No matter how I define my own travels, I guess by many people’s account I could be considered an un-average girl. And this, according to the e-book, written for Read full article…

Travel Safely: What you need to know to stay safe and keep having adventures

Todd’s Wanderings is honored to host the second Blog Carnival by the Lonely Planet bloggers from the Blogsherpa program centering on Travel Safety. The last Carnival was hosted by Vagobond and he did a great job covering the ups and downs of Culture Shock. The next Carnival will be host by Jennifer at Orange PolkaDot in two weeks time. Travel Safely Traveling can be dangerous business. If you were to believe the US media you’d think that just about anywhere outside the US there are terrorists waiting behind corners to kidnap you. The reality of the situation is that things always seem more dangerous the farther away you are due to a lack of information and experience. My wife and I lived through the last three years of civil war in Sri Lanka and besides the mental stress of frequent bombings we were perfectly safe (yes, we are a bit Read full article…

Learn new Travel Secrets and Save the World

Think I’m exaggerating? Well, OK, maybe I am a bit. But you can at least help secure clean drinking water around the world while you walk away with 500 new travel secrets…all for free. I love it when travel and international development combine as they are the two motivating factors for this site and my wanderings. A few months back you may remember that I posted My 3 Best Kept Travel Secrets on Japan, East Timor and Sri Lanka. This was part of an online collaboration by 200 of the best travel bloggers and writers out there. Now, all of the secrets have been combined into a series of free e-books by Tripbase and they are using the opportunity to do some good in the world. Yes, my tips are in the books as well (in the Worldwide Travel and Worldwide Beaches books), but the important thing is that each time you download an eBook Tripbase Read full article…

Should you give money to beggars when you travel?

Sitting outside on the patio of a small Kosovo cafe, a beer held at the ready to celebrate the end to another perfect day, we were suddenly descended on by six scruffy small children. Pitiful eyes pleaded with us for money as they spread out amongst our group begging. We ignored them in turn and somehow they managed to look even more desperate. I know, it sounds horrible and trust me it feels horrible. I have been traveling a long time and the scene is the same in most developing countries I visit. The orphans in Hanoi reciting their memorized English phrases, the legless beggars in Cambodia, the woman with her newborn child hanging limply from her breast as she begs amongst stopped traffic in Sri Lanka. We weren’t a group of normal travelers, instead we were all seasoned development workers, used to working in harsh environments with marginalized and Read full article…

Kosovar and Serbian Border Crossing: what you need to know

I handed my passport to the Serbian police officer. He scowled, not from the encroaching cold, but because I was American and had Kosovo visa stamps. Thankfully, I also had a Serbian entry stamp so there was nothing he could do but waive me through. A few kilometers down a windy country road I reached the Kosovar border checkpoint. Normally when you cross borders you only have to worry about a valid passport (don’t forget it needs to be good for at least 6 months), and your visa. With Kosovo and Serbia things get a bit more complicated. There is an ambiguous international legal rational for Kosovo; a battle in the Security Council between the US, Russia and China over sovereignty and self-determination; a unilateral declaration of Independence by the Kosovar Government (supported by 65 countries in the world, but not the UN); and the blanket denial of that independence Read full article…

My 3 Best Kept Travel Secrets

My friend Megan who writes the blog See. Write. Live. nominated me to share my three best travel secrets on Todd’s Wanderings. The nomination is a part of Trip Base Blog tag in which the Top Bloggers’ Best Kept Travel Secrets will be published in a free ebook that will be shared with the “entire online community…” Hmmm, good luck with that! First, I had to decide if my secrets were safe for the average traveler…my lawyers tell me I should be okay (by reading this you have now waived all your rights). So here you are, some of my well kept secrets, and favorite places in this wonderful world: 1. Mount Koya, Japan Aschaf Everyone visits the major temples in Kyoto and Nara but these days they are little more than tourist attractions, albeit pretty ones, lacking that lived in, struggle for enlightenment feel. Mount Koya, the secluded mountain Read full article…

Our wedding in Newport, Rhode Island

I know this post is coming a bit late but I wanted to share my wedding with everyone. Marriage is certainly one of the biggest adventures I have wandered into. I am sure it will spawn many new stories to share. We had a wonderful September day on the water in Newport, with the sun shining and the boats cruising out of the harbor for a boat show weekend regatta. The wedding was planned from halfway around the world while Kay and I lived in Sri Lanka, and even after Kay left for Kosovo. In fact we didn’t even see the venue until our “last” meeting with the Regatta Place 5 days before the wedding! Crews leaving for the race in Narragansett Bay Despite the distance and the logistics of planning from so far away, the Regatta Place did an incredible job and I would recommend them to anyone based Read full article…

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