Traveling full time means I don’t own many things. What I do carry, however, are usually of high quality. I will often spend a great deal of time researching an item before I make a purchase.
This year I wanted to take a page out of Oprah’s playbook and share with everyone many of my favorite things I use while traveling. All of these items are things I use and (with one exception, a gift) are things I’ve paid out of my own pocket. If you meet me in person, there is an excellent chance I’ll be using or wearing one or more of the following items.
If you are looking for something for your next trip or a gift for the traveler in your life, I can heartily recommend all these products.
…I’m sorry there are no keys to new cars under everyone’s seat.
That being said, after almost 6-years of traveling, I have never been satisfied with any bag I have used. You would think that I’ve settled on the perfect bag after all this time, but I haven’t and it is an endless source of frustration for me.
I visited Egypt in early 2009. It was a place I had been anxious to visit during my previous two years of traveling. They pyramids and the other Egyptian ruins are some of the most ancient remnants of human civilization. Egypt didn’t disappoint. Despite a rather negative experience at the pyramids, my experience in Egypt overall was a positive one. I went SCUBA diving in Alexandria to see the ruins of the ancient lighthouse, traveled all the way to Abu Simbel, sailed down the Nile from Aswan to Luxur, crossed the Sinai Peninsula and visited the world’s oldest monastery: St. Catherine’s.
I know that the recent turmoil in Egypt has soured many people on visiting, but I would return again in a heartbeat.
As someone who puts on over 150,000 miles in the air each year and has elite status on all three major airline alliances, I’ve come to realized that there are certain things that will alway happen when you fly. I have codified these into Gary’s 20 Immutable Laws of Air Travel.
1) The biggest person on the plane will probably sit next to you.
1a) If you are the biggest person on the plane, you will get the middle seat.
2) If you have only a short amount of time for a layover, your flight will almost certainly arrive late.
3) If the seat next to you is empty when they are about to close the door, the last person to enter the aircraft will be the person sitting next to you. Also, see #1.
4) If you are on the list for an upgrade and there are 4 seats available, you will be number 5 of the list.
5) If you have to transfer planes, your gate will be the one farthest away.
This time my flight from Valencia to Paris was delayed. If you haven’t been to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, it might be my least favorite airport in the world. I was scheduled for a 90 minute layover, which had me worried. Transfers at CDG are horrible because the airport is so spread out. It has literally taken me an hour to walk from one gate to another before. Each terminal at CDG has its own security area, so if you have to switch terminals you have to re-enter security each time. Also, they make you go through passport control when leaving, which is just another long line you have to stand in.
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This month’s wallpaper is of the Marstrand Islands in Western Sweden taken from Carlsten’s Fortress.
I’m often asked by readers how much planning I put into a place before I visit. The truth is, very little. Mostly I just show up and often I will show up with out a place to stay. As I write this I am sitting in Barcelona where I arrived two days ago. When I landed at the airport I had no room reserved.
The idea of showing up in foreign city with no place to stay terrifies some people. Some are just anal retentive and need to have everything they do planned out in advance. Others fret about the worst case scenario: what if I can’t find a place to say and I have to sleep on the street!
The fact is, you can show up to most cities in the world on most days and easily find an affordable place to stay. There are some exceptions but for the most part, it is something that you shouldn’t be afraid of doing. Read More
On Friday I visited Canada’s newest and my 190th UNESCO World Heritage site: The Landscape of Grand Pré. It was an interesting and educational visit. Grand Pré is the ancesteral homeland for Acadians, the French speaking people who can now be found all over the world in places such as New Brunswick, Louisiana and Quebec. In the mid-18th’s century they were expelled by the British and sent all over the world. It is also on the shores of the Bay of Fundy, so the farmers who have worked the land here have adapted to the enormous tides by building a series of dykes to hold the water at bay. Read More