Lifestyle Strategies, Travel, Adventures--Todd's Wanderings
Colorful Seaside Shrine: Travel Photo Contest Friday 19

Update: The winner is Dave! I know you all have been dying to find out where this is.  The picture was taken in Dili, Timor-Leste (East Timor) just down the road from where I used to live. While the religion is Catholic, there is an unique blend of Animism that is found throughout the island nation and really comes out in the shrines. Timor-Leste is such a beautiful place with an amazingly diverse group of clans (kind of like small kingdoms) and traditional religions based on spirits.  If you have the chance this is one off the beaten track destinations that should not be missed. Oh, and the tropical beaches and untouched scuba diving helps too Dave doesn’t have a website, but he is sweet enough to put his wife Rebeca’s blog forward: This Must Be the Place Welcome to Travel Photo Contest Friday. If you’re a new friend, each Read full article…

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Balkan Highlights: road trip from Kosovo to Croatia and back

I love a good road trip. There is nothing quite as satisfying as cruising through a country’s winding back roads to really get to know the local landscape, people and discover spots that you would have missed arriving by air. Of course if you have even more time then riding a bike or walking can be even better ways to become intimate with your destinations. But a car provides a level of freedom and flexibility (motorbikes as well!) that allows you to explore extensively but also smell the air and fresh bread baking in the morning. When we set off on our 9 day Western Balkan road trip we didn’t know what to expect. All we had was a map, a tent, a rough idea of where to go and few hotel bookings that kept us grounded but not constrained.  This was by choice as getting lost and having adventures Read full article…

Hiking Dragash, Kosovo: Restelica to Brod

Mountain shepherds, enormous Sharr Dogs, free roaming horses, pristine babbling streams and dramatic mountains are just a small taste of what awaits you in Dragash. Located in the southern end of Kosovo, Dragash is an oasis of untouched natural beauty and traditional villages sandwiched between the borders of Macedonia and Albania. Ignored by the Yugoslav government, the area never received development money for tourism despite its wealth of flora, fauna and cultural traditions. Luckily, this also spared the region the communist era concrete hotels and restaurants that mar similar regions in Kosovo. To help spur sustainable eco-tourism to the region and highlight an untouched wonder in the Balkans I’m helping to write a hiking guide to the Dragash Region funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The last hike was a steep climb from Brod to Mt. Cule. Easy Hike from Restelica to Brod (or the other way around) Read full article…

Disdainful Statues: Travel Photo Contest Friday 18

Update: Sorry for the delay and skipping a week but hey, even travel bloggers need an internet free vacation. I know the suspense is killing you so the winner is Jasmine with an amazing guess! The picture was taken near the harbor in Amsterdam, Netherlands. I have no idea who these wretched looking folks are, but it is hard to understand how they can be so unhappy in such a lovely city. Maybe a bit too much hash in the coffee bars Please go check out Jasmine’s site Jasmine Wanders, a fun blog about Jasmine’s travels around the world. Welcome to Travel Photo Contest Friday. If you’re a new friend, each week I post a beautiful picture (at least I think so) from my travels and you guess where it is. The first person to guess where this picture was taken (Country, and Place) will win a link back to their Read full article…

Blog Design: Building a Better Travel Blog

This is a different type of post and may not be for everyone. It’s not about the sexy world of travel, or the international allure of conflict resolution. It’s not even about getting drunk in the woods, drinking horrible local liquor and dancing to Balkan music until 2 am (which did happen just last weekend). As you may have noticed there have been quite a few changes to the design and layout of Todd’s Wanderings over the past month. Some are cosmetic,while others took place under the hood. These changes have coincided with recent requests for advice on how to develop a travel blog, how to find a niche, developments in the travel blogging world, how much effort it takes to maintain a site like mine, and how do I find the time to travel, work, blog and sleep. Interestingly enough, there is a thriving market for social media and blog consultants which it seems I am Read full article…

Not Quite the Middle East: Travel Photo Contest Friday 17

Update: The winner is Andy! The picture was taken in the Arab quarter in Singapore. While not technically Arab street I decided to give it to Andy anyway. The funky Haji Lane is just around the corner and is a must visit for those looking for independent clothing stores and cool cafes. I really loved the color, food and vibrancy of this area. It just goes to show you that Singapore can be interesting Please go check out Andy’s website Sharing Travel Experiences. Its a great resource for travelers as well as fun read for anyone spending a day on the couch. Welcome to Travel Photo Contest Friday. If you’re a new friend, each week I post a beautiful picture (at least I think so) from my travels and you guess where it is. The first person to guess where this picture was taken (Country, and Place) will win a link Read full article…

Use Travel to Make You Happy

I know, it seems rather intuitive and obvious. On the surface it may be. After all why would we do things that don’t make us happy. But I meet a surprising number of people who aren’t happy. Some people think that travel is the answer to their happiness. Other people think settling down, having a steady job and a house will make them happy. Others think making an extra $1,000 USD a month will allow them breathing room to feel happy. If you are already happy with your life this post may not be for you. Then again you will be happy enough to continue reading as well Last week a collective atomic bomb was dropped on the travel blogging and lifestyle design community. I consider myself a part of both, and yes there really is a Lifetyle Design sector (although I use Lifestyle Strategies). The bomb was released by Gadling Read full article…

The Faces of Christianity: Travel Photo Contest Friday 16

Update: Sigh, no winner this week. I really hate it when this happens, but don’t worry I’ll let you all know where it is anyway. This is a picture of  Saint Blaise, the patron saint of Dubrovnik, Croatia. The statue of St. Blaise above is from the main entrance to the walled old city and greets visitors as they walk across the moat into the city. Dubrovnik is a beautiful medieval city on the southern coast of Croatia. We visited for the day while we were staying in Kotor, Montenegro. Let’s see who can guess next weeks location correctly. Welcome to Travel Photo Contest Friday. If you’re a new friend, each week I post a beautiful picture (at least I think so) from my travels and you guess where it is. The first person to guess where this picture was taken (Country, and good luck with the Place) will win a link back to their Read full article…

Experiencing Sri Lanka’s Providence- Part 4: Colombo's Eccentric Gangaramaya and Peaceful Seema Malaka Buddhist Temples

Called Serendib by Arab traders  (the origin of the word “serendipity”), Sri Lanka has an amazing diversity for a small island and offers the possibility of experiencing vastly different climates, history, and cultures during a short vacation. In this Four Part Series I will share a glimpse of four different areas of Sri Lanka that can, and should, be a part of any itinerary to the island of providence. Part 1 explores the East Coast city of Trincomalee and the Hindu  Koneswaram Temple and Part 2 brought us to the Ancient Buddha Rock Statues of Polonnaruwa. Part 3 visited the Hill Country and Hikes Through the Tea Trials. In this final article we stay closer to home, the city of Colombo. Sri Lanka’s largest city, and the starting point for travelers flying into this South Asian island nation, Colombo is often bypassed completely in favor of the southern beaches, majestic hill Read full article…

Hiyashi-chuka (Ryan-Ban-Mien)- Chinese Cold Noodles for Summer

This post is by: Kay (my lovely wife and founder of K’s Kitchen!) In Japan and some parts of Europe, this summer has been extremely hot and harsh. In Kosovo, we had some rather cool weeks in July, but it’s finally become hot in the past 2 weeks. Having spent several years in the tropics, I actually prefer a hot and sticky summer to a cool one….I love licking ice cream while complaining about the temperature and the humidity….I know I’m odd (at least my husband claims so)! There are noodles under there, I promise! When it’s hot, we lose our appetite and don’t know what to cook. A-ha! Here is a great menu for you! Hiyashi-chuka, which literally means Cold Chinese (or Ryan-Ban-Mien in Chinese). This dish is very popular among Japanese in the summer because the cold taste stimulates their appetite. The standard Hiyashi-chuka is with a soy Read full article…

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