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12 Offbeat Travel Ideas For 2013

12 Offbeat Travel Ideas For 2013 My annual New Year's Eve tradition is to reflect on all the places I visited during the year and plot out where I want to go in the New Year. 2012 was a banner travel year for my family because we put all of our things in storage for five months and traveled extensively in...

A Traveler In The Foreign Service: Making Peace With Malta (Mario Speaks!)

A Traveler In The Foreign Service: Making Peace With Malta (Mario Speaks!) Regular readers of this column will recall that I created a diplomatic incident with Malta by dressing up like Colonel Gaddafi in a grammar school model U.N. in Buffalo, New York, in 1986. A photo of me in Arab garb made it into The Buffalo News and once the Maltese got wind...

Video: Malta Cliff Diving

"Storror Summer: Malta Cliff Diving" from Sacha Powell on Vimeo. Malta cliff diving into clear, teal water and living to do it again and again: a short summary of time spent on vacation for the young men in this video, it seems. Rust-colored sunsets and fuchsia sunspots...

Knocked Up Abroad: Lessons Learned From Traveling With A Baby

Knocked Up Abroad: Lessons Learned From Traveling With A Baby Long before I became a mother, people told me that the first six months is the easiest time to travel with a baby – before they walk, talk or require children's activities. Others told me to travel as much as possible before you have children, as it's too difficult...

A Traveler In The Foreign Service: Making Peace With Malta (Part 2)

A Traveler In The Foreign Service: Making Peace With Malta (Part 2) I was sitting aboard a battered old bus in Valletta, Malta's capital, on my way to search for Mario Cacciottolo, a retired Maltese diplomat who sent me a gentle rebuke after I misrepresented the country by dressing up like Colonel Gaddafi in a grammar school model U.N. in...

A Traveler In The Foreign Service: Making Peace With Malta

A Traveler In The Foreign Service: Making Peace With Malta I've felt an odd kinship with Malta ever since I created a minor international incident with the tiny island nation by dressing up like Colonel Gaddafi in an 8th grade model U.N. exercise in 1986. When my teacher decided to throw me a curveball by assigning me the task of...

Cisk Lager: The Worst Best Beer In The World

Cisk Lager: The Worst Best Beer In The World Is it possible that the world's best beer is brewed in Malta, a nation of just 400,000 souls? There's a bus driver named Steve in the Maltese capital of Valletta who is quite certain it is. I was chatting with Steve, a half-Maltese, half-English immigrant who's lived in...

The 10 smallest countries in the world

The 10 smallest countries in the world The world's ten smallest countries in terms of area fall into two general categories: European microstates (Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican) and small island nations of the Indian Ocean, Pacific, and Caribbean (Maldives, Marshall Islands, Nauru,...

A Traveler in the Foreign Service: Not much of a diplomat

A Traveler in the Foreign Service: Not much of a diplomat My journey into the U.S. Foreign Service started as a Colonel Muammar Gaddafi impersonator in a school auditorium near Buffalo, New York in 1986. I was taking part in an 8th grade Model U.N. assembly, and had been given the difficult brief of dressing up like a citizen of...

Knocked up abroad: international travel with a baby

Knocked up abroad: international travel with a baby This is the third in Knocked Up Abroad's guide to traveling with a baby. Before you go, see tips on planning travel and flying with a baby. So you've decided to travel abroad with your new family addition, well done! You've chosen the best baby-friendly destination,...

Knocked up abroad: planning travel with a baby

Knocked up abroad: planning travel with a baby Let's get this out of the way: you can travel with a baby. Many new parents feel that once they have a child, their travel days are over, but many parents will tell you that the first six months are the easiest time to travel with a baby. Is it easy? Not exactly, but with...

Knocked up abroad: applying for a baby's passport

Knocked up abroad: applying for a baby's passport As my new baby girl was born in a foreign country, getting a passport was a necessity for her to even return home to America. Though Vera was born in Turkey, she's an American citizen by virtue of her parents' citizenship and entitled to a US passport. For Americans born...

Five tips for a great Gozo break

Five tips for a great Gozo break Gozo, as Meg Nesterov recently reported, is a spirited place. The smaller of the Republic of Malta's two main islands, the island also known as the Isle of Calypso provides the rustic antidote to big brother Malta's package holiday flash. There's a lot to do on Gozo....

Ta' Cenc, Gozo

Ta' Cenc, Gozo What constitutes a good hotel experience? This question animates a certain subset of travel writing. It's just popped up for me again in light of the buzz around the launch of Ritz-Carlton's new marketing campaign. (Check out the campaign's quite captivating video.) "Let...

Watching a small village parade in Malta

Watching a small village parade in Malta I just returned from a week in the small island country of Malta. For our first trip with our nearly two-month old baby, we decided to rent a house outside the village of Xaghra on Malta's smaller island Gozo. Picking us up from the ferry, our landlady explained how the...

Photo of the day - Bingo in Gozo

Photo of the day - Bingo in Gozo I'm going to break with tradition with choosing a Photo of the Day from our Flickr pool and post a photo from on location. I'm currently traveling on the Mediterranean island of Gozo, Malta, staying outside the small town of Xagra (oh, the things we do to bring new...

Photo of the day - Malta kiosk

Photo of the day - Malta kiosk Two Gadling contributing writers are currently planning travel to Malta, so it's no surprise that the small Mediterranean island republic is on the brain. And it's also no surprise that, among the many striking images featured on Flickr's Gadling Group pool pages, my eye...

Schengen and the disappearance of European passport stamps

Schengen and the disappearance of European passport stamps Creative new use for border crossing posts at German/Austrian border. In the late 1980s, an American spending a summer traveling across Europe with a Eurailpass would see his or her passport stamped possibly dozens of times. With a few exceptions, every time a border...

Cruise ship tossed around, passengers sent flying

Cruise ship tossed around, passengers sent flying Large waves and heavy winds caused Royal Caribbean's 2,110-passenger Brilliance of the Seas to list heavily several times early Sunday. Passengers, furniture, and pretty much anything not tied down went "flying back and forth" as the ship was tossed around by inclement...

Five great European budget-friendly travel sites

Five great European budget-friendly travel sites Practical, how-to budget travel advice is indispensible. There's something particularly valuable about travel advice that opposes the emphasis on expensive hotels and other forms of high-end consumption that characterizes the contemporary travel media, perhaps especially in...

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