How to travel iceland on a budget
1. Pick up your booze in duty free.
At the Halifax airport, before flying out, my friends and I each picked up some supplies to get us through the weekend. What we DIDN’T think about, however, is that you can also pick up booze at duty-free in the Reykjavik airport when you land. Damn.
(via Unlocking the creative culture of Bergen, Fjord Norway | Matador Network)
6 helpful reminders for when you’re feeling completely overwhelmed
1. The sky has fallen a thousand times already. I can’t count the number of times my world has ended. At least several dozen times in my life I’ve found myself in a situation so tangled and hopeless that I could not believe I would ever be happy again. Somehow, during each of those personal apocalypses, I forget that each of the previous ones somehow worked themselves out and are no longer relevant. Yet in real-time, the current catastrophe always seems to promise the death or at least permanent disfigurement of my entire life, and I crumple into despair and indignation. If only I could remember that almost all of the problems I’ve ever had are currently solved except the two or three most recent developments. This is just the way life moves along. It’s my problems that are always marching to the gallows, not me.
Powder days on the Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec [pics]
QUEBEC was certainly not the first place that came to mind when I thought about where to score some powder days last winter. But then I went and learned better.
In the middle of the Gaspé Peninsula in southeastern Quebec (think of it as sitting on top of the state of Maine) stand the Chic-Choc Mountains. There are no major lift operations here — the snow you’re looking for is all backcountry, which also means it’s all yours.
The images below are from a trip last February with fellow Matador Ambassadors Dylan Siggers and Sean Michael Williams. Reviewing these shots gets me fired up to go back for more.
More pics here.
How to have safer sex on the road
FOR ALL OF the articles about traveling long term, and the packing lists, and the ultralight “I only carried 15 pounds down the entire Appalachian Trail” bragfests, there’s not a lot of outright discussion of safer sex.
It seems like at least half the residents of any given hostel are flirting with each other over the communal dinner table, and a lot of traditional backpacker activities (heavy drinking in local pubs, engaging in adrenaline-raising hikes through the Andes) result in the kind of situations where clothes might be shucked and risks might be taken. But none of the discussions about trip safety, either before you leave or while you’re already on the bumpy bus to the Guatemalan border, tend to include how to have the safest sex possible while you’re long-term traveling.
When travel is your paycheck
THEY’VE CONDUCTED STUDIES about us backpacking hippies, or “experience seekers,” which is the current politically correct term.
Coffee with Bedouins, Jordan
I FIND SILENCE on the rooftop of Feynan Ecolodge, in the middle of the Dana Biosphere Reserve, lit by candlelight and millions of stars. Our guide Ali shows us the galaxies and the stars named by the Greeks. Taurus and Pisces. The Seven Sisters flanked by their stalker and their protector. Polaris in the centre of it all, to be replaced in 15,000 years by Iota Cephei.
Ali’s brother Suleiman crouches to pour us sweet tea and makes fun of us for not being able to see him in the dark. He’s handsome and 24, with brown or green eyes depending on the light, and long, black eyelashes. We ask endless questions.
“Where does your family sleep?”
“The sky is our blanket, and the earth is our mattress.”
“How do you meet girls?”
How people party in Los Angeles (and why you can’t hang)
LOS ANGELES IS good at a lot of things. Basketball, for example. Not raining. Advertising on billboards how natural your big new fake tits will look if you go to this one specific surgeon (you won’t even need a permission slip from your parents!). But there are three things the City of Angels really excels at: hating your neighbor for no real reason, getting fucked up, and wrecking shit. Angelenos love a good excuse to do any one of these three.
23 foods worth traveling for [pics]
RECENT YEARS HAVE seen a rise in food tours, but I’ve never needed an excuse to travel based on food alone.
One of my personal “travel rules” is that I’m only allowed to eat food or meals that I couldn’t find back home. Because food is such an integral part of any culture, I take dining out very seriously and consider each meal to be an education. The quirkier and sloppier, with crazy ingredients I’ve never heard of, the better.
How to piss off a Brazilian
Wear Havaianas on a date.
C’mon, we’re informal people, and there’s this never-ending hype of coloured plastic flip-flops around the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to show your feet outside the house. No one does it. If you’re not at the beach / pool, wear proper footwear.