Monthly Archives: January 2014
Mayan Ruins and Karl ‘The Screw’
This is a guest post by my friend Wes Nations who blogs at JohnnyVagabond.com. I met Wes several years ago in Bangkok and he’s been a big help to me providing graphic design on thing like my travel photography book. Wes has had some of the most interesting stories of any traveler I know, and I’m pleased that he has agreed to share one of them here.
Take it away, Wes…..
I met Karl in Flores, Guatemala, a small island town in the middle of Lake Petén. He was a massive man, tanned and with a thick head of white hair and matching beard. I wouldn’t have guessed it but he was 72 years old. He had a heavy German accent but it turned out that he had emigrated to Australia when he was in his teens and was now living in Florida. A full life.
I asked what he had done for a living and he looked down at his feet for a second before answering. “I’m not proud of it but I was a Screw“. When I just stared at him, confused, he added “I was a prison guard. Twenty five years…”
My 2014 Travel Plans
Several times in the past I’ve outlined my future travel plans, and in every case they ended up being inaccurate. Plans change, opportunities arise and some things just don’t pan out.
I present this not as an official document, but as a draft of what I know as of now. The further out in time I go, the less clear everything becomes.
Last year I announced that I was going to slow down a bit, and this year I will finally start to do that. I admit that my slowing down is still way more active than most people, but for me, it is a bit slower. I’ll be spending more time in one place and doing side trips. The result of this, I hope, is that I will be more productive, write more for this website, and finally (FINALLY) get my book done.
You can see a complete list of the countries and territories I think I’ll be visiting in 2014 if you scroll down to the bottom of my country list.
Amateur Traveler Interview on the Lesser Antilles
Last summer I did an island hopping tour of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. I recently did two appearances on the popular Amateur Traveler podcast with my friend Chris Christensen to talk about my trip.
Because there were so many islands, we split the interview into two with the first half talking about the Leeward Islands (USVI, BVI, St Martin, Saba, St Eustatius, Anguilla, St Bart’s, St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, and Montserrat) and the Windward Islands (Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, St Lucia, Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago).
This was actually my 6th and 7th appearance on the show, going all the way back to 2008. I always tend to talk about tiny countries. My previous episodes include the micro-states of Europe, the Canary Islands, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Persian Gulf States, and Micronesia region.
If you don’t subscribe to the Amateur Traveler, you really should. It is one of the best travel podcasts on the Internet.