Archive for April, 2007

NYT Covers Fixie Culture

Since this is essentially a blog about travel, it seems fitting that I should have at least a blurb about my personal favorite mode of transport: the fixed-gear bicycle (or track bike). Fortunately, The New York Times put together a great package yesterday about the bicycles themselves and the culture that surrounds them. Includes photosets and audio, too!

Link here: ‘Unstoppable.’ Enjoy!

[photo credit: oldskooltrack.com]

TDT’s Why We Travel: Reason #2

Reason #2: To escape.

The author Stephanie Elizondo Griest wrote in the opening lines of Around the Bloc about having nighmares of being “at a washed-up twenty-five, roaming Mary Carrol High’s halls in my letterman jacket and getting plastered in the Taco Bell parking lot for fun.” From that moment she knew she had to get the hell out – it was an impulse led her to a four-year journey through 12 nations, and to an entirely different life.

Having been raised in suburbia myself, I identified immediately with Griests fears (I shamefully remember reading her memoir while sitting outside a Starbucks across from the mall). Similar nightmares drove me out of the country for nearly a year; a sense of not wanting to settle brought me across the country, and it continues to stir my wanderlust.

Without condescension, I have to admit that I sort of shake my head when I see people I used to know who never made it out and never had the desire to – I feel so glad to have traveled beyond that place and time.

But escape in this sense is more than just physically traversing space. It’s about breaking out of your natural habitat and escaping a comfortable frame of mind. Traveling in a foreign country for an extended period of time can challenge everything you previously thought about yourself, your values or the world; it is this transformation that allows us true escape.

(Edited: 04/30/2007)

SF Photos: Final Installment

Update: Finally finished up sifting and editing – enjoy!

View entire set on flickr.

This Week’s Wandering News

Here’s a wrap-up of some of this week’s travel-related news:

[who is the next passenger?, originally uploaded by swallowtail.]

For those of you who are skitchy about plane rides or catching random diseases while abroad, The Seattle Times reports that motor vehicles are the biggest killer of travelers outside the country – with a tragic anecdote involving some yaks.

How reliable is the web as a travel resource? Tim Wu explores rock climbing in Thailand sans guidebook over at Slate, relying only on WikiTravel and other sites for his planning, and his trip nearly becomes a disaster.

Be careful where you protest – via China Digital Times, four Americans were arrested at Everest’s base camp after calling for Tibetan independence and protesting the Beijing Olympics (includes YouTube video).

In the Pacific Northwest this weekend? Road trip it to Bellingham, WA for April Brews Day and enjoy beers from 11 different breweries [Seattlest].

While The New York Times travel pieces generally give little consideration to cost, their new Affordable Europe package lists less pricey options in Amsterdam, Budapest, Paris, etc.; includes a clickable map and “Where to stay under 125 euros.”

Happy Travels!

A Tour of Seoul’s Western Architecture

Robert J. Koehler over at The Marmot’s Hole has a really amazing 3-day series of photos and history in a series he’s called ‘Buildings Built by Dead White Guys,’ or more simply, ‘The Coming of the West.’

Today’s photos of Yakhyeon Catholic Church are especially astounding and serene, but make sure to check out all three entries (I, II, III).


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