Travel Anxiety: That feeling in your stomach before you travel

Ta Som Temple, Angkor, CambodiaI’m leaving for Europe in a few days where I’ll spend the better part of three months visiting a whole lot of places I’ve never been before.

Believe it or not, despite four years of traveling and having visited almost 100 countries, I still get a bit of anxiety before I visit someplace new.

It isn’t the same sort of rush I had when I first started out, but there is definitely feeling you have before you visit somewhere new.

Not having been somewhere, no matter how much you talk to people who have been there before you, there are still unknowns that you will not find out until you hit the ground.

  • How will I deal with the local language?
  • How expensive will things be?
  • Will I have good weather?
  • Will my bank hold my credit card?
  • Did I forget to pack something?

Having been through this dozens of times it really isn’t that big of a deal for me, but I’d also be lying to you if I said that it didn’t exist at all.

For people who don’t have much experience traveling, these pre-trip doubts can be debilitating. There is so much worry and doubt that they end up doing nothing and never leave the places they are comfortable with. I’ve had many conversations with people who would love to travel but are so wracked with worry and doubt they never do it.

For me, I can always get over it by rationalizing that I am not the first person to visit anywhere. In the case of some places, millions of people have been there before me and managed just fine.

If you are a traveler, how do you get past the anxiety of visiting a new place?

If you want to travel more, what is holding you back?

Cruising Around The World on the Queen Elizabeth

Last January I was invited by Cunard Cruise Line to sail aboard the Queen Elizabeth from Acapulco, Mexico to Los Angeles. As it was the dead of winter and I was in Wisconsin, it sounded like a great deal.

I’m not a big cruise guy. I had only taken one previous cruise and that had been more than a year ago. What my previous cruise experience taught me is that even though I’m probably not the prime target audience for a cruise, I didn’t dislike cruising. I came in assuming it would be nothing but buffets and fat, drunk people. I came away having had some very high quality meals and didn’t see anything of the party atmosphere I had expected.

So when the opportunity came again to sail aboard the Queen Elizabeth, I said yes. I figured it would be an interesting five days. Continue reading “Cruising Around The World on the Queen Elizabeth”

A Beginners Guide to HDR Travel Photography

This guest post is by Sean Ogle who I first met in Bangkok last year where we were able to experience the fun which is songkran on Khao San Road. Sean blogs at, a blog aimed at helping others create businesses they can run from anywhere in the world and also runs and He is an avid photographer, world traveler, and beer connoisseur. The photo of him to the left was taken by me in Bangkok.

Eiffel Tower, Paris France

How many times have you been on a trip, seen something spectacular, and rushed to take your camera out to capture the moment? If you’re like me, this probably happens a lot.

Now, out of all of those memorable moments, how often does your resulting photo actually capture the scene exactly as you remember it?

Probably not many.

Enter HDR Photography

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range – which probably doesn’t mean a whole lot to many of you. Essentially there are limitations with traditional technology that only allow your camera to expose for certain aspects of a given scene.
Continue reading “A Beginners Guide to HDR Travel Photography”

Spring Travel Plans

Colosseum in Rome
Rome is one of the many places I'll be revisiting
The last few months haven’t been the most exciting in terms of my travels. I had a great time in Puerto Rico, Acapulco and Hawaii, but other than that I’ve been attending conferences and doing other stuff necessary to running a travel website.

This spring however, I’m going to be going back into hardcore travel mode!

Thanks to the assistance of my friend Amy, who is now the keeper of my calendar, I have a pretty solid schedule for the next three months. I’ll be visiting a lot of places I’ve never been before as well as a few that I have visited previously.

If you are in any of the cities I’ll be in and would like to meet up, let me know.

April 15- April 18: New York City, Adobe Lightroom Workshop

April 18 – May 1: Prague, Czech Republic to Venice, Italy
I have no idea what my route will be yet, but I plan on passing through Brataslava, Vienna, Salzburg and Ljubljana.

May 1 – May 10: Cruising from Venice to Barcelona.
I’ll be on the inaugural cruise of the Carnival Magic. Ports of call will include Dubrovnik, Messina, Naples, Civitavecchia (Rome), Livorno (Florence/Pisa), and Monaco.

May 10- May 12: Road trip to Andorra
If you haven’t noticed, I have a thing for tiny countries and Andorra is a reasonable drive from Barcelona. I should also get some great photos from the Spanish Pyrenees.

May 12- May 20: Switzerland Trip
I’ll be visiting the major cities of Switzerland as a guest of Switzerland Tourism. Schedule included Zurich, Bern, Geneva and Basel.

May 20 – June 4: Budapest to Istanbul
As one of G Adventure’s Wanderers in Residence I’ll be going on my first tour of 2011. The route from Budapest to Istanbul will pass through Romania and Bulgaria.

June 4 – June 10: Somewhere in Canada
I’m not sure where I’ll be yet, but I should be doing something, somewhere in Canada.

June 11 – June 12: TBEX 2011, Vancouver
I’ll be speaking at the Travel Blog Exchange conference in Vancouver.

June 13 – June 20: I’m guessing I’ll use this time to catch up on work, but I have no idea where.

June 21 – 26: F1 Grand Prix of Europe, Valencia, Spain

June 27 – July ???: Andalucia, Canary Islands and Madrid, Spain
I don’t know the exact dates or schedule yet but I’ll be visiting the south of Spain. I might make some side trips to Ceuta and Gibraltar.

I’m going to Space with Virgin Galactic!!!

After months of negotiations and meetings, I am happy and proud to announce that I will be the first blogger in the Virgin Galactic Blogger in Space Program!!!

Bloggers in Space (BS) is the brain child of Sir. Richard Branson who was looking for ways to promote his new venture, Virgin Galactic. I was contacted back in November by Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides and head of marketing Susan Newsam about the possibility of blogging from space. Needless to say, they had me at “space”!

If you aren’t aware of Virgin Galactic, it was created after aviation designer Burt Rutan won the $10,000,000 Ansari X PRIZE by placing a privately created spacecraft in a suborbital space flight.
Continue reading “I’m going to Space with Virgin Galactic!!!”