So, I maybe almost died in Luang Prabang. No big deal. But, more on that later.
Have you ever traveled someplace and it just immediately felt right? As in, yes, I could live here. I can do my shopping at the morning market, spend afternoons noshing on some laab, and hop around the different food stalls at night. And for a little fresh air, jump on the motorbike and hit the road or set sail on the mighty Mekong.
Yes, that sounds good. Let’s do that. Let’s dive into Luang Prabang.
The quiet. That’s the first thing you notice in Ninh Binh. Hanoi is wonderfully chaotic and the train south sways like a waltzing drunk on old rails. But in Ninh Binh, a heavenly silence settles in the thick air like a sloth nestling into a makeshift hammock. It embraces you and holds you like a lover. Everything will be okay.
Hanoi on the weekend. The road around Hoàn Kiếm Lake is closed. It’s the rare respite from the city’s rumbling hordes of motorbikes. By definition, a respite is brief. So take a turn just around the corner––and it’s go time.
Flory Leow is a Malaysian living in Tokyo. She loves books, food, and has a special fondness for wordplay and fried eggs. Her writing and photography have appeared in outlets such as Boutique Japan, Inside Osaka, Roads & Kingdoms, and Kyoto Journal. At present, she writes, leads tours, and occasionally does some travel consulting for a living. Her newsletter is the adventures of furochan.
Where Do I Belong: An Indonesia Travel Story, Alex Jordao
Belgian writer Alex Jordao didn’t feel like she belonged growing up in Brussels. She had a Portuguese last name and didn’t look like the other kids because of her Indonesian father. Finally, an opportunity came to learn more about her ancestry and meet her long-lost grandmother for the first time when she traveled to Indonesia with her father. Oh, and she had some half-siblings out there, too, that she didn’t learn about until just before the trip. Alex shares her Indonesia travel story, meeting her grandmother, her siblings, and finally making sense of where she comes from.
“Sometimes it’s a bit hard. I don’t know where I belong. It’s really hard to answer the question, ‘Where are you from?’.”
Judson Moore knew he wanted to make the world better place at an admirably young age. After backpacking around Brazil between high school and college, he finally started to get a sense of how he could contribute. This eventually led him to the Peace Corps and serving in the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan. Judson joins Without A Path to share on-the-ground stories, from the horrific experience of watching a goat sacrifice to his own Kyrgyzstan travel tips so you can follow in his footsteps.
“I solo backpacked Brazil. I was visiting friends, people who I had met along the way, and many of their families were also involved in their local Rotary Clubs, and so I participated in a lot of service projects across Brazil through these Rotary Clubs. It was the combination of these two things that instilled in me a very real passion for international travel, international relationships, and a sense of my ability to one day make the world a better place in some small way.”
Erick van Til is the Director of Program Development at the Peninsula Outdoor School based in China, but it took losing his job in Canada to motivate him to travel throughout Southeast Asia and eventually find his dream job. Erick shares his travel experiences in Southeast Asia and walks listeners through a typical trip with the program.
Tenerife Sur, the Spanish Canary Island, can be punishingly touristy. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get off the tourist trek. In the latest of our ongoing series of “Off The Tourist Trek” travel guides, we take a look at the southern end of the island, starting in Los Cristianos and working our way into Teide National Park.
It seems like 2017 is going to fly by with trips planned well through summer. Berlin, Amsterdam, Antwerp and Ghent to ride the Ronde van Vlaanderen (or Tour of Flanders), the Black Forest, Munich, Warsaw, Huntsville, Alabama for TBEX, Palm Springs for another travel conference, and a trip to Luxembourg City for their National Day celebration will take us through June. Have any tips on how to get off the tourist trek in these destinations? Share them and they might be included in future coverage of these destinations at withoutapath.com.
Methinks we could all use something to look forward to. Something to get the imagination running and potentially even build a little excitement in our respective lives.
Nothing takes my mind off things more than travel, whether it’s the actual act of travel, planning a trip or simply reading of another’s travels. This works exponentially well if said destination is someplace a bit off the tourist trek. After all, Without A Path is primarily interested in getting to those lesser-traveled corners of the world to hear more stories and expand our worldview. As Alexander von Humboldt said, “The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who have not viewed the world.”
I think the idea behind that quote is more important now than perhaps ever before. With that in mind, we’re offering for the first time a look at the coming year’s top off the tourist trek destinations as decided by travel writers. For this first edition I solicited inquiries from “The Road Less Traveled” Facebook group, which is made up of travelers who participate in the weekly #TRLT twitter chat. These travelers have shown an exceptional interest in expanding their worldview by traveling to and writing about destinations not typically at the top of a tourist’s wish list.
Below are 8 destinations followed by the traveler’s case for following in their footsteps in 2017. Continue Reading →