A Darker Side of the Maldives

If you’re into uber luxurious travel, taking a seaplane to your private island resort, and being served by a team of staff dedicated just to you in a picturesque overwater bungalow with price being no concern then the Maldives is your dream. But, if while on one of your champagne yacht diving excursions you happen to suffer some devastating injury, or that extra “who cares I’m on vacation” fried chicken leg finally catches up to your failing coronaries the Maldives just became your nightmare. 20150217-DSCF6402

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The Delhi Hustle

My excitement for going back to India was over shadowed by the known pending exhaustion that is India. Boarding the plane from the Maldives to New Delhi I tried to work out all the angles in how we were going to get to our hotel in New Delhi from the airport. We would take the airport metro subway to the New Delhi train station, from there it was just an easy one kilometer walk to the hotel. I had GPS on my phone, and offline maps with the hotel address preloaded. I even had the hotel name and address clearly written in all caps in my notebook to show any taxi driver.

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Maldives Budget Travel Guide

The Maldives is one of those places that frequent the “Top xx places to see before you die” lists. Or as they should be known, the remind you that you haven’t actually ever travelled, hate your job, and live in a miserable place list. The image imagined when thinking of the Maldives is that of the uber luxurious overwater bungalow resting atop near magical aqua blue water on some pristine white sand beach that make you think, ah yes, if only my 401K can take me there. So after spending two weeks in the Maldives I have a few observations.  Read more

Vietnam: A Love Hate

Vietnam is a bit of everything. It’s South East Asia at its best and worst. Overwhelming to not only the taste buds, but also the ears, nose and sometimes lungs from the dry hacking of exhaust. It’s definitely a place where you can sit on a street side stoop and have some of the best spiced chicken pho the world has to offer while enjoying some of the worst beer in the world. At the end of the day your tummy will be full and happy and the rest of you will likely want to sit in a sensory deprivation chamber devoid of all earthly stimuli. 20150107-DSCF5292 Read more

A North Pole Christmas Guide

This adventure was never planned, I was thinking Christmas in Hawaii, or riding around in some camper in New Zealand. What tossed the whole thing in motion was a good mix of procrastination, and the complete madness that determines how much plane tickets are based on some strange lunar algorithm. Basically we wanted to go to Asia before Christmas, but the price of plane tickets plummeted after Christmas day. So it was decided to stay in the States for the holidays. We wanted a white Christmas, and like any decent idea it just kept growing until it became the most outrageous manifestation of the original concept. I discovered that there was place called the North Pole outside of Fairbanks, Alaska, I also found a pretty amazing looking train that went from Anchorage to Fairbanks. Not too surprising that tickets to Alaska in the middle of the cold dark winter were decently priced.  Read more

African Blues

A few years ago I was riding in a taxi through Bamako the capital of Mali. Inside the cab a CD was playing that was some other worldly mix of blues and ethnic malian music.  I had to have it, I made the cab driver wait while I took his CD, ran up to my hotel room, burned a copy and brought it back down to him. Since then I’ve been entranced with Ali Farka Toure, particularly the album he did with Ry Cooder called “Talking Timbuktu” which is what I heisted from that cab driver. If you have an appreciation for blues you should have an appreciation for this clip.