Help Eliminate Pretentious Travel Douchebag Syndrome

You have probably met them.

They get back from a semester of study abroad or their 2-week vacation in Europe and all they can talk about is where they’ve just been.

Talking about it isn’t so bad, but they somehow manage to drop the fact that they’ve just been abroad into every single conversation.

..and it isn’t just the fact that they constantly mention it, but they also have to repeatedly mention how great it was.

You: This is a good hamburger.

Them: I guess. It isn’t as good as the hamburgers they have in Paris. Those are the best in the world!

You: *Roll your eyes*

They suffer from PTDS (Pretentious Travel Douchebag Syndrome). They just got back and they feel the need tell everyone they meet how much better things are “over there” and somehow bring every conversation around to talking about their recent trip.

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Gutsy Women – A Traveler’s Life Lessons

No matter how long I travel or how many places I visit, there are certain questions that I will never be able to answer. One of them is what you need to know to travel as a women. I’ve talked to many female travelers over the last several years and without question they have to deal with things I never have to consider. Thankfully, I also know many inspiring women who have spent years traveling around the world. One of them is my friend Marybeth Bond. She is an accomplished author who has been traveling her whole life and has dedicated herself to inspiring and helping women to travel.

I’m asked Marybeth to share some of the lessons she’s learned from her lifetime of travel. Here’s Marybeth….

Gutsy Women - A Traveler’s Life LessonsAsk yourself: what’s a Gutsy Woman? To me, gutsy means courageous and women today are bold, brave and empowered. In terms of travel, our habits have changed too. After all, women make 80 percent of all travel decisions, and we’re on the go. We are getting off the beaten track and trekking the globe, on our own, alone and with other women. Our issues on the road are often different than a man’s experience.

Over the past thirty years I have hiked, cycled, combed, dived and kayaked my way through more than ninety countries. I traveled alone around the world for two years at the age of twenty-nine, wandered the globe with daughters and girlfriends.

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The 12 Most Difficult To Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites

East Rennell is one of the more difficult to visit World Heritage Sites
East Rennell is one of the more difficult to visit World Heritage Sites
As you have probably noticed, I have a fetish for visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Having visited 190 at the time of writing, I often am asked if I plan on visiting all of them.

The answer is “no” and I’m not even sure it is possible. As of 2019, there are 10,92 UNESCO World Heritage sites and about 1-2 dozen are added every year. It would be difficult to keep up with the new entries on the list, let alone making a dent in the 900+ already listed.

The most I know of that any one person has visited is Bill Altaffer who has been traveling for over 60 years and claims to have visited 808. Iain Jackson of Scottland has visited 691 world heritage sites. He has been visiting them since the 1980s and claims that his unvisited list is now larger than it was in the ’80s just because they keep making so many.

Even extreme travelers like Jorge Sanches and Charles Velay haven’t been to more than 350 apice.

Many World Heritage Sites are easy to visit (Statue of Liberty, Paris, Rome, Westminster Abbey). However, some are extremely difficult to visit and require a determined effort to get there. There are several sites I’ve attempted to reach but failed (I’m looking at you Archaeological Sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn in Oman).

It would probably take a lifetime of travel and millions of dollars to seriously attempt to visit every single one on Earth.

Even if you had the time and money, however, you’d still probably fail in your quest because some UNESCO sites are almost impossible to reach.

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12 Inspiriting Photos of The Art of Haida Gwaii, British Columbia

As amazing as the landscape and wildlife of Haida Gwaii are, the artwork created by the talented Haida artists is just as impressive. For decades the Haida art was suppressed by the Canadian government. In the 1960’s however, the government loosened controls on Haida culture and the result of the Haida Renaissance. Artists such as Bill Reid became world renowned and his work can be seen today at the Vancouver Airport and on the Canadian $20 bill.

Today Haida artists have continued their work promoting Haida culture around the world. While in Haida Gwaii I had the pleasure of meeting Haida artist Christian White, whose work is featured in this photo essay. As one of the top Haida artists in the world, his work can command into the 6-figures.

I found Haida artwork to be one of the most beautiful and compelling creations I’ve seen in North America. During my travels I seldom buy artwork, but I would seriously consider adding a Haida piece to my home (if I had one).

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The Food Travelers Handbook

Food Travelers HandbookI am not a foodie.

I wish I was a foodie in the same way that I wish I could play piano or speak Italian, but I am not.

I believe I could exist quite happily like Robocop on nothing more than a rudimentary baby food like paste to keep my organic systems functioning, provided that the paste was nacho cheese or ranch flavored.

That is why you don’t see many posts about food on my blog. I eat lots of local foods, but I don’t get into the how and why of the ingredients and production.

Thankfully I have my own personal foodie: Jodi Ettenberg. I’ve met Jodi on three different continents. She’s true, unabashed food lover and I have personally let Jodi handle my food decisions many times.

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2013 Travel Plans

One of the many sites we'll be visiting on my Italy Photography Tour
One of the many sites we’ll be visiting on my Italy Photography Tour
Before I begin, I should make it abundantly clear that my travel plans are always in flux. Sometimes opportunities come up at a moment’s notice. My travels for the 2nd half of 2012 ended up being totally different from what I expected they would be in June.

That being said, my travel plans for at least the first half of the year are starting to shape up. Here is the rough outline of what I’m planning for 2013:

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