Monthly Archives: January 2010

This Week in Travel – Episode 23

Posted by on January 24, 2010

This week’s guest is Marilyn Terrell of National Geographic Traveler and National Geographic Intelligent Travel Blog. This week I woke up at 4am in Fiji to attempt to join the Skype conversation but had the connection drop every 5 minutes. Overall, my performance on the show was rated FAIL.

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Thoughts on Fiji: 2010 Edition

Posted by on January 23, 2010

Fijian boy from the island of Waya

Fijian boy from the island of Waya

Here are a collection of random thoughts about my current trip to Fiji:

– The tourism industry, especially the budget tourism industry, is expanding. This time around I noticed that Base Backpackers, the big hostel chain from New Zealand, is now in Fiji. The FeeJeeExperience, which is owned by the same company which does the KiwiExperience and the OzExperience. There are skydiving and other extreme sports options now available in Fiji as well. The percentage of 20-something Europeans I met in the Yasawas this time was much larger than my 2007 trip. They even have a Hard Rock Cafe at the harbor in Nadi. Everything seems much more mature from a business perspective.

– There are very few Americans here. I’ve met tons of Europeans but hardly any Americans. Almost all the Europeans are on a similar path where they either were just at Australia/New Zealand or are going there next. In fact, almost all the 20-somethings seem to be taking the same general trip. Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and LA. I still recommend the Yasawas as a destination, especially if you’ve never been there before, but when I return to Fiji next time, I’m going to a different part of the country.

News From The Travel Blogosphere: Fiji Edition

Posted by on January 21, 2010

Just a quick update from Fiji before I head off to Sydney tomorrow. I have a longer post outlining my thought on Fiji and comparing how things have changed since my last trip here in 2007, but that will probably take a few more days. I also have about 1,000 photos from my time here that I have to process. Fun times….

Here are some general updates about me and the travel blogosphere:

  • Your truly was recognized as having the #1 travel blog on the internet. This is a huge accomplish that was three years in the making. It made all the times I had to spend alone in foreign countries working on the site worth it. (It was especially nice to see that I’m getting even more traffic than Rick Steves!) I’d like to thank all of you who helped make it happen. It certainly wouldn’t have happened if it was just me and my family hitting refresh all day :)
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    Travel Gear Review – Energizer 15 Minute AA and AAA Battery Charger

    Posted by on January 19, 2010

    Back in July, the attendees of TBEX got a bag full of free crap from companies, just like you’d get at any convention. Most of the stuff was junk you’d toss in the garbage, but we got one freebie which I thought was just awesome: a battery charger from Energizer. Not only was it a very practical piece of schwag, but it was a brilliant marketing move on the part of Energizer. Because I had the charger, I ended up buying their batteries and now I’m writing a blog post on their product. It was sort of like giving away the razor to sell the blades. Pure brilliance.

    Since then I’ve been buying more devices which require AA/AAA batteries so I’ve been putting the charger through its paces.


    I currently carry four devices with me that require AA or AAA batteries: two flashes for my camera (Nikon SB-900 and SB-600), a wireless mouse and my Bose noise canceling headphones. Buying new batteries was fine when I just needed the two for my cordless mouse, but with the demands that strobes bring, I needed a rechargeable battery solution. The Energizer charger was given to all the attendees at TBEX 2009 for free, but all subsequent batteries I purchased myself. The charger retails for $33.96 on