Travel Tip #16 – Cultural Sensitivity

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I was in Chimbu Province, in the highlands of New Guinea, scouting for a BBC film, when I came to a rope bridge. As I was crossing a painted local swayed across from the other side, wearing arse grass, pig tusks in his nose, and cassowary feathers in his hair. We met in the middle, […]

Travel Tip #15 – Finding a Great Restaurant Anywhere


I arrived in Santiago, famished. I checked in, and decided to find a place to eat. I saw a sign that said “Ñachi,” which sounded interesting, perhaps a Chilean variation on nachos. But when the dish was served I discovered it was hot, fresh blood from a goat slaughtered in the back. After one bite, […]

The Polar Bear Whisperer


Some call Andy MacPherson, “The Polar Bear Whisperer.” He doesn’t disavow the title, but admits he can’t really Dolittle with the bears; rather he has come up with techniques to “keep them off balance.” Polar bears are intelligent, curious, and socially complex, he says, though there are several instinctive responses to humans approaching, and each […]

Travel Tip #14 – Keeping Cool (in the heat) // Lessons from Libya


I obtained the first permit to lead American tourists to Libya, but it was for May, when the Sahara really starts to burn. As we were crossing the southern desert with our camels and Tuareg guides, the temperature soared to 140 degrees, Fahrenheit. We started the trip with 16 folks, but heatstroke began to claim […]

Travel Immunizations and Vaccinations

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I was in Manaus, Brazil, overseeing an expedition that was hoping to cross the Amazon basin, north to south. I was walking down a dirt track in the jungle when suddenly I collapsed in a hot sweat that then turned into chills. The culprit, malaria. I was on a malaria malaria prophylaxis, but the wrong […]

A Quest For Wonder: Easter Island

Easter Island Moai. Photo by Didrik Johnck.

From Iguaçu I travel west over the Andes and beyond, over one of the emptiest stretches of water on the planet, en route to Easter Island, a fine dot on the map of the Pacific. If Iguaçu is full presence, Eastern Island is absence. Fretted by incessant winds, it is surrounded by a million square […]

Getting through Foreign Customs and Immigration

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I once carried two new whitewater rafts into Ethiopia for an expedition. Customs wanted to charge me 100% of the cost of the rafts as duty, but said they would waive if I had my passport marked that I was responsible to export. Both the rafts were bitten by crocodiles, and ruined, but rather than […]

How to Pour the Perfect Pint


In downtown Gallway we scoped out a proper Irish pub.  Quite providentially turn into the bright blue doorsill of The Quays, reeking with age, as the interior is the transept of a medieval church, complete with stained glass, Gothic arches, and pews. Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder here, so we belly […]

Portable Power While Traveling

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On assignment in the Himalayas, I learned some valuable lessons about how to keep my gadgets powered. Watch the video to hear the story. ) Portable Power I was at basecamp on Annapurna with Ed Viesturs, who was attempting to climb the last mountain in his quest to summit all 14 8,000 meter peaks in […]

Who is St. Patrick?


A hike in the footsteps of St. Patrick Western Ireland. Under ragged shreds of clouds and swirling mist we knock the van down a skinny rock and dirt road and park at the beginning of the Meanean Pass (Pass for Birds) in the round-shouldered Maumturk Mountains. At a signpost made of recycled tires, we equip […]