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Round The World in 100 Days: Puerto Rico, USA

Happy Thursday beautiful people! It's Dia with your bi-weekly update on the slowest moving 'round the world trip ever! We are well under way chasing the sun around the globe, sailing east and hope you'll enjoy the ride vicariously.

It seemed strange to be sailing from Nassau, Bahamas (basically a foreign territory) to Puerto Rico (a U.S. territory) as we head around the world at 20 mph. That said, I have no sea sickness to report though many, many of the almost 900 people on board with SAS, are feeling queasy as we all get our sea legs. The run from the Bahamas to Puerto Rico was uneventful in terms of weather, but we're all getting used to living on a floating city with 900 strangers. The students are learning their way around the ship and starting their classes, the staff (myself included) are learning that there is no place on the ship that the students don't take over like a swarm of locusts. Fortunately, we have one of the best groups ever in terms of academic standing, and even after only a week, I have to admit that my affection for them is high.

Round The World in 100 Days: Nassau, Bahamas

Hey beautiful people, I apologize for the brief absence, but sailing around the world is kind of exhausting, not to mention, the internet is darn expensive out here in the middle of the Caribbean, Atlantic, Pacific, etc. This feature will run every Monday and Thursday as long as the internet gods grant my wishes and show me mercy. Last time we were together I was getting ready to head out for a 100 day trip around the world with these guys, and now that we are well under way I can tell you that this is one of the top five things I have ever done in my young life.

We set sail from Port Everglades, Florida on a beautiful day with calm seas, a beautiful sunset and a fully stocked bar for the faculty and staff. We have been in training off and on the whole time and the topics run the gamut from how to stay healthy while at sea to what to do if there's a kidnapping, man overboard, pirate attack, etc. really, I'm not kidding. Okay, maybe the last one was a joke, but I won't confirm or deny it!

Round The World in 100 Days: Fantastic Voyage

"Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success. " -attributed to a 1901 Times of London newspaper ad allegedly placed by Ernest Shackleton, famous explorer and sailor.

In the "You Lucky Dog" category, I'll be heading out shortly for more than 100 days of round the world (RTW) travel by sea. I'm thick in the throes of prepping for almost 4 months aboard the ship MV Explorer and praying that this voyage will be less susceptible than Shackleton's to things like pirates, mutiny, and beri-beri.

After 9 years, 3 applications, and some good juju, I was selected for a post with Semester at Sea (SAS). Now I'm going to attempt to circumnavigate the globe without leaving the earth's surface-which means I'll have to endure the scary prospect of traveling overland from San Diego back home to the east coast. I'm looking forward to an amazing , once-in-a-lifetime voyage as we sail east around the globe from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to:

Quiz: 10 Question from Fact Monster

We are enjoying the good, the bad and the angry comments that you all are leaving after the two quizzes we posted. In particular the How Well Traveled are You? quiz from last week even got my mom upset. She insisted that I call someone and suggest that they add more cities and countries to reflect the true travel diva that she is (many of you had the same issue with the narrowness of the locations surveyed).

Since we have had so much fun the past couple of weeks, we figured we'd hit you with another fun way to break up the work day, and plot your escape from the corporate cubicle. Try this short 10 question quiz written by Amanda Kudler over at Fact Monster. This one is a fun mix of geography and world history. I was stumped on a few but used my superpowers to guess correctly and rocked out an embarassing 80%. For shame!

It's not too late to let us know how you fare with the How Well Traveled are You? and the What's Your Travel Personality? quizzes. Come back and let us know how you do on the Fact Monster Quiz, hopefully you trump my 8 out of 10! Let us know how you do in the comments, we are having fun reading your results and reactions, even yours Mom.

Travel Deity: Terah Shelton

I haven't met Terah Shelton face-to-face yet, but she's one of my favorite people in the travel space. We've traded e-mails on various travel topics and she's also a golf afficionado (which means she can do no wrong in my book).

She's very accessible despite her busy schedule traveling, photographing some amazing places, blogging and oh, did I mention that she teaches a travel writing class at Emory University in Atlanta, GA? You got it folks, she gets to travel, then she writes about it for us armchair adventurers, then she gets paid to tell other people how to do it! How do I sign up for that job?

Course Description:
Do you dream of wandering the back alleys in Venice, climbing Machu Picchu, or taking an African safari? Don't think you can afford it? Well, you can! Learn to travel the world on a shoestring budget by using secret budget tips and methods from a veteran budget traveler and freelance travel writer. You'll learn to define your travel personality, establish your budget traveler status, and prepare a daily budget. By the end of class, armed with learned strategies, you'll be well on your way to Paris, Peru, or Phnom Penh!

Now I'm not saying I'm not happy with my own lifestyle right about now, but Terah is definitely taking the professional travel writing gig to a whole new level. I love her friday updates on her goals, professional targets for the week/month, and future travel events. I'm insatiably curious so I am interested in what other travelers are reading, rocking in their iPods, or where they're headed next and Terah's blog doesn't disappoint.

This multi-talented multi-tasking diva even even finds time to manage Traveler's Pen, a resource for all of your perplexing travel questions, and is a frequent contributor to Vagablond. Her next class starts May 17th and online courses are coming soon!

How Do You Really Feel?: Travel Related T-Shirts

Usually when we talk clothes over here its all about anything that is dri-fit, wicking, wool or waterproof. We take our gear seriously as travelers don't we? The whole mantra of "take half the clothes and twice the money" has played itself out in my own travel career many times and now I don't take anything but my absolute favorite items. You know, the costly (but worth it) cargo capris, lightweight materials that I can barely spell, heavy duty rain gear, etc.

However, let's take it back to basics and give a shout out to that old stand-by: the t-shirt. I don't think much about clothes these days as I have eschewed the corporate world for the time being. That said, I'm all over a great t-shirt, especially when I find one that mirrors my own life philosophy (which isn't nearly as deep as that sounds).

I was surfing around in Cafe Press for some reason that I can't remember, and came across these shirts by TravelTease and had to order this shirt (pictured). They have a couple of pretty funny tees if you're into that sort of thing (and being a nomad I clearly am). This one pokes fun at the whole "tourists vs. traveler" battle, and this one could be slightly offensive but I still think its funny, though I couldn't wear it since I'll be working with 700 undergrads in a study abroad program and they might not take to kindly to the sentiment and toss me overboard. How do you feel about workaholics? The average price is around $20 and the t-shirt I ordered last year from Cafe Press during Erik's The Global Trip, is as high quality as they come (and will be going RTW with me).

National Geo Photosites: Resources for the Rest of Us

We find another reason to love National Geographic almost every week day it seems. It's pretty obvious that most of us over here at Gadling (and probably you too) are a little bit in love with the glossy paper mags, but I have to give some linky love to their website. Every time I get to digging around over there, I find something new to drool over between the main site and National Geo Traveler. What with the Six Places To Go and Adventurer of the Year, can you blame us?

Erik told you about the National Geo blog that Jessie Johnston and Emily King spin into informative fun, and on a tip from a fellow travel geek who saw that I was interested in amateur photography, I found the Photosites page! I have been on a mission to determine which camera I should upgrade to for my upcoming round the world (RTW) trip, and the fact that six of the winners of NG's Photo Contest, and most of my favorite photographers use Nikon was a huge factor in my decision to go with the Nikon D50 as a companion to my Coolpix S6.

The Photosites page is like candy for a of photographer of any level, with Editor Scott Stuckey and other top photographers recommending their favorite photo sites, where you can get inspired, learn tricks of the photo trade, read reliable gear reviews before you buy, and find the best places for sharing and printing photos. They included this as a highlight in the Jan/Feb print edition (on newsstands now). This feature on the site makes sense if it isindeed true that the Photo Galleries are the most-visited section of the National Geographic Traveler site. If you are looking for more "hands on" help, check out the photography (and writing!) seminars.

Travel Theory #124: Travel is Good for the Ego

One of the gifts of travel is the confidence boost you receive from navigating a place, language, culture or situation that is foreign in every sense of the word. It is nearly impossible to return from a challenging journey unchanged and unaffected. Though you may not notice the growth or maturity in your socio-emotional intelligence, the people around you will.

This "traveler's glow" as I like to call it, is a magnet for the opposite (or same!) sex. If your love life is lagging, your sex drive is sagging and your ego is dragging: hit the road! There are thousands of people out there waiting to charm your pants off (literally and figuratively). This article talks in generalities about what makes people attractive. I've got my own ideas, with a twist of course!

Six Ways That Travel Makes You More Attractive:

1. Your confidence grows. Knowing that you can get through a layover in Istanbul, or navigate the extremes of India, will boost your confidence in other areas of your life.

2. Knowledge is sexy. You know the difference between Puerto Rico and Puerto Escondido, you know Desmond Tutu from Nelson Mandela. It is impossible to travel and not become more aware of the world around you, and people will always want you at their dinner parties.

3. You've got skills! Whether it's a cooking class in Oaxaca, or an Art History course in Florence, strike out and learn something new. You never know when your talent for juggling, wine-pairing or knife-throwing might get you some loving!

4. Your communication skills improve. You have to depend on other people to help you find lodging, trust restaurants to serve you clean, healthy food and drink, make new friends and companions to stave off boredom or loneliness. These skills will follow you long after you've hung up your Tevas and put your enormous backpack in storage.

5. Adventurous spirits are attractive. Everyone loves someone that can make them laugh or get their adrenaline pumping. Whether you're encouraging some cutie to shark dive off the coast of Cape Town or stroll through the vineyards of Bordeaux, travel offers the opportunity to check off some of those things on your life's "must do" list.

6. You can order beer in three languages. Pints, steins, or mugs, enough said.


Honeymoon With My Brother

So, let's say that the love of your life ditched you days before your wedding. The cake, flowers, and champagne are all paid for, the guests are already in transit, what do you do? Well if you are Franz Wisner of Honeymoon with My Brother, you let the show go on. Franz with the backing of his friends and family, opts to throw a huge party in lieu of the wedding that wasn't, and invites his brother Kurt to join him on the already paid for honeymoon.

Franz and Kurt's initial two week vacation lead them to the realization that they want more out of life and more out of their relationship as brothers. The two circle the globe in search of adventure, answers, and the salve for a broken heart.

After scrounging amazon.com for travel reads, I got a recommendation from a friend and I ordered Honeymoon just because the title was so interesting. This is literally one of the best books I've ever read, and the fact that it also documents Franz (and his brother's) journey around the world was like finding caramel in the middle of a Godiva chocolate (if you're like me and you like that sort of thing).

Franz's writing is very down-to-earth, he's a man that holds his emotions close, but isn't afraid to share them, his growing love and respect for his previously distant brother is more evident with every page. You won't be able to resist cheering for Franz as he falls out of love with the fiance, and in love with the road. The book is rumored to be coming to the big screen and the (very handsome) brothers also maintain a popular blog and are currently circling the globe in preparation for their second book.

Quiz: How Well-Traveled Are You?

Since last week's quiz went over so well, we figured we'd hit you with another one. It was fantastic for us to see how much you all got into the Conde Nast quiz and article and it was fun to read all of the feedback on how accurate the quiz was in terms of your travel personality.

This one is a little more cut and dried, but no less fun. Check it out via blogthings and tell us in the comments: How Well-Traveled Are You?

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