My friend Alex is an outdoor travel designer. As a hobby, that is, but I think he could definitely start charging for his services. I’ve been on his amazing trips before, including a four-day backpacking trip through Rocky Mountain National Park and and a “spring break” trip to Utah and its southern national parks.
I was done traveling. By the time I got back to Denver in December after a year and a half of open-ended travel, the last thing I wanted to do was plan another trip. I just wanted to be home and see family. Fast forward to now. I bought a house, found a “real” location-based job, and fully subscribed to American life — Amazon Prime membership and all.
The November-December 2016 session of my Tourism and Development course was a success. Together with an impressive group of adult learners pursuing their Sustainable Community Development Certificate through CSU and Village Earth, we took a critical look at the tourism phenomenon and its explosive impact on the world.
During my five weeks living and working remotely in Granada, I wanted to make sure I was polishing up my rusty Spanish. I wanted an easy way to meet local Granadinos over drinks. I wanted to sample ALL the tapas. So I became an intercambio scenester.
Over the past ten years, I’ve moved abroad five times, lived on five different continents and visited over 30 countries. Most of it has been solo travel, for better or for worse. After the last big solo trip, I journaled “I’m done. Too many monsters.” But here I am, back in the solo travel saddle.
This is it, guys. The third and final leg of my current experiment in living abroad. I’m running low on a number of things — pages in my passport, my specific face cream, and patience for nonstop airfare shopping and Airbnb browsing, to name a few. It’s about time to go home and refuel.
This is the editor’s note from my latest project: “Elephants in Asia, Ethically”, a guidebook published by Horizon Travel Press and available for free download. It’s the product of my four months in Northern Thailand, where I’ve gotten mildly obsessed with elephants in tourism. I decided to do the homework for all Asia travelers and research the situation. You’re welcome.
May through October is rainy season in Myanmar and much of Southeast Asia, but that doesn’t translate to “don’t go”. Go! Like any time of year, low season travel has its ups and downs. On the downside, I didn’t get to do all the trekking and cycling I would have liked. On the bright side, tourists are fewer and prices are lower, and my photos took on a unique tone.