Confessions of a Travel Contest Addict

Why I just keep entering these things

Rumors have circled back to me lately that I’m a habitual travel contest enterer. It’s true. I can’t resist a good sweepstakes where the prize is some kind of adventure. It’s gotten pretty bad lately. A few weeks ago, a Colorado Public Radio pledge drive was giving away a weekend trip for four to Crested Butte …

Aboard an Earthship in Taos, New Mexico

Greater World Earthship Community

“Climate Change? Bring It.” A bumper sticker for sale in the visitor center snarkily sums up what the Greater World Earthship Community near Taos, Mexico is all about. Without power lines, water systems, or natural gas pipes connecting it to the outside world, this growing cluster of Earthship homes is built to fend for itself.

Six Short Films for Armchair Travelers


In a world this big, it’s impossible to see it all. Even country counters — try as they might — cannot reach everything in one lifetime. And unless you’re offsetting your flights, “seeing it all” would involve a major carbon footprint.

Luckily, for travelers who are interested in the deep nature and local culture of afar (but can’t spend the time, money, or fuel to visit them all), the internet keeps enchanting us with little windows in the form of short film. Here are eight of my favorites:

September in Peru: My fam-tastic four-week itinerary

postcard from machu picchu

During the month of September, I’ll be enjoying the big perk of life as a travel professional on a fam trip to Peru. I wrote about the anatomy of a fam trip after Ecuador in 2012. To summarize: “fam trip” is tradespeak for familiarization trip. I’ll be getting familiar with elements of our upscale itineraries at Southwind Adventures.

Is Paid Vacation Time a Basic Right for Workers?


Should employers be required to provide paid vacation days to their full-time employees? It depends on where you live. For most countries with advanced economies, the answer is an obvious yes.

Not here. In the United States, the standard agreement is two weeks (if you’re lucky) of paid vacation time each year, which is still low compared to our peer countries. For 25% of American employees — 28 million people — the number of annual paid vacation days is zero.