Traveler Sunday: The Lost Girls

This website has been close to 100% Gary-centric since I started it. I don’t accept many guest posters and I don’t write about things which don’t pertain to what I’m doing or places I have been. I take all the photography and I write almost all the articles. Hell, I don’t even run advertisements.

Surprisingly enough, there a lot of great stuff going on around the inter-webs which has nothing to do with me (shocking I know). In particular, bloggers and other travelers who are doing great things and launching exciting projects. I’ve been thinking how I could better integrate what they are doing into my blog and I’ve finally settled on devoting every Sunday to other people. I’ll be doing reviews, interviews or other profiles of bloggers and travelers who I think are doing great things and who I think everyone should be aware of. There is no shortage of interesting travelers and exciting projects which are being launched, so I should have no problem finding something to publish.

The first travelers and blogger which I am going to feature are the Lost Girls: Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett and Amanda Pressner. The three friend from New York set out in 2006 to travel around the world.

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Return to Thailand!

I’m back in Thailand! Honestly, I wasn’t even sure I’d be leaving the country when I took off for Niagara Falls/Seattle/Hawaii. I had entered a competition for bloggers to visit Thailand for medical tourism and I sort of forgot about it. Just before I arrived in Hawaii I was notified that I was one of …

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8 Interesting Facts About Hawaii

I’m in Honolulu this week so it is time for my next installment of 8 Facts You Might Not Have Known: Hawaii Facts edition.

Oil Slick from the USS Arizona
Oil Slick from the USS Arizona
  1. The USS Arizona is still leaking oil. Sunk on December 7, 1941, during the attack on Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona has been leaking oil for almost 70 years. The leak is obviously small and the fuel tanks were full when the ship was sunk. No one has any idea when the leak will stop.
  2. Hawaii is growing every day. About 55,000 dump trucks worth of new Hawaii are being created every day from the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. Since 1990, 540 new acres of land have been added to the Big Island. The vast majority of the new volcanic rock ends up in the ocean and falls to the seafloor. There is, in fact, a brand new island being created under the water off the coast of the Big Island, called Loihi. It will rise above the ocean surface in about 10-100,000 years. [*] [**]
  3. Hawaii boasts 11 different climate zones. Because of the mountains on the islands, precipitation and temperature can vary dramatically over short distances. On the big island alone you can find rainforests, deserts, grasslands and even an alpine climate on top of Mauna Kea. The east side of the Big Island averages 20 inches of rain per year and Mt. Waialeale on Kauai averages 486 inches a year. The record high temperature in Hawaii (100F, xC) is the same as the record high temperature in Alaska. [*] [**] [***]
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Aloha From Hawaii Via Internet

I’ve finally arrived in Hawaii for my long-awaited work vacation. I have holed up in a hostel a block from Waikiki Beach where I plan on getting face cancer from my laptop over the next 10 days.

It has been over three years since I was last in Hawaii. My previous trip was the interregnum between my South Pacific and North Pacific adventures. After a marathon day in August 2007 where I went from the Solomon Islands, Nauru, Kiribati, Fiji (and having denied entry to Kiribati which was the cause of the whole day from hell) I holed up in Honolulu for two weeks before setting off to Guam.

When I was thinking of a place to go to work, Hawaii immediately came to mind. I have good memories of being here and I wanted a place where I could just relax. The last several months I’ve been moving constantly, meeting with people and for the first time in a long time, I can be by myself with no obligations, meetings or people to deal with.

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My 11 Most Memorable Hotel Stays

I don’t usually write about hotels on this site, because I don’t want to get into the business of doing hotel reviews. I have been prodded by many people to at least give a list of my favorite places I’ve stayed in the last 4 years, so I figure I’d give it a go. I also don’t normally do lists, but considering this is a list made up of things I’ve actually done, I figure I’ll cut myself some slack.

I should note upfront that these are not necessarily the “best” hotels. I have not done an extensive review of hotels in any city. This is a totally subjective listing based on my personal experiences.

None of these hotels would be considered a luxury or 5-star establishment. In fact, in one particular case, it was down right nasty. What they all have in common is that they have stuck out in my mind over time. Sometimes it might be the location, sometimes it might be the people I met and other times it might be the management of the hotel which made it memorable.

You will notice a heavy bias towards properties in the Asia/Pacific region. There is a good reason for this. I try to find the cheapest place I can that has wifi and where I can get a private room. In Europe, the private rooms in hostels are usually more expensive than just getting a room at a cheap hotel, so much of the communal experience of a hostel was lost on me in Europe. Also, the European hotels weren’t so cheap as to really stick out.

I can’t guarantee that you will have a similar experience if you visit the same place. In fact, some of these properties have negative reviews on TripAdvisor. I would, however, gladly return to stay at any of the places I’ve listed.

I should also note that I paid for every one of my stays in each property listed. None of my nights were comped or were part of a media trip.

In no particular order:

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