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Vagabond Tales: Full Moon Parties And Surfing A Monsoon

Vagabond Tales: Full Moon Parties And Surfing A Monsoon Jun 28th, 2013 at 10:00AM: Heather Ellison There are few larger rights of passage on the Southeast Asian backpacker circuit than the full moon party on the island of Koh Phangnan. A tropical version of Ibiza on psychedelics, the pull of this legendary debauch is so strong that nary a backpacker within a 1000-mile radius has the chance of escaping its hedonistic spell. From the highlands of Chiang Mai to the the back...

Vagabond Tales: Kayaking With Thieving, Soda Drinking, Bloodthirsty Monkeys

Vagabond Tales: Kayaking With Thieving, Soda Drinking, Bloodthirsty Monkeys Jun 19th, 2013 at 11:00AM: Heather Ellison Most people who think monkeys are cute have more than likely never met a real monkey. Although they might be cute on television, as anyone who has actually met a monkey will tell you, their cuteness is simply a disguise for their evil. Yes, I'll say it again: monkeys are evil. They have stolen my lunch while hiking in Costa Rica, and broken into my backpack in the...

Vagabond Tales: The Thin Line Between Backpacker And Homeless

Vagabond Tales: The Thin Line Between Backpacker And Homeless Jun 12th, 2013 at 10:00AM: Kyle Ellison, Gadling Long-term backpackers can be a competitive bunch. In case you've never spent time in the common room of a youth hostel, either nursing a hangover, mingling with strangers, or ogling at the opposite sex, the conversation always starts with a simple and genuine phrase: "Where are you from?" Once initial pleasantries have been exchanged and conversation materials run...

Vagabond Tales: Where Is The Roof Of North America?

Vagabond Tales: Where Is The Roof Of North America? Apr 25th, 2013 at 10:00AM: For some reason, every continent seems to have a roof. Bolivia is known as "the roof of South America" for its high, empty and multi-colored altiplano that has an average elevation of 12,300 feet. Mt. Kilimanjaro has been called "the roof of Africa" for its glacial, 19,340-foot summit that presides over the equatorial plains. The Tibetan plateau, meanwhile, is such an expanse of high...

Vagabond Tales: Fear And Loathing In San Felipe

Vagabond Tales: Fear And Loathing In San Felipe Apr 16th, 2013 at 10:00AM: The strip clubs in San Felipe, Mexico, aren't open on Tuesdays. For most travelers to Baja, this isn't overly concerning. After all, with all of the surfing, fishing, diving and fish taco eating that can easily consumer your entire day, the fact that strip clubs are closed for one day of the week shouldn't be a point of concern. If, however, you've descended upon San Felipe after three...

Vagabond Tales: How Travel Can Literally Make You Younger

Vagabond Tales: How Travel Can Literally Make You Younger Mar 18th, 2013 at 9:00AM: The famous Spanish explorer Ponce de León spent parts of his travels on an unfruitful search for the fountain of youth. Sailing from Puerto Rico to Florida in 1513 on a voyage, which would become the first documented European exploration of the American mainland, rumors of de León's search for the mythical fountain wouldn't arise until documents published after his death...

Vagabond Tales: How Traveling Helps You Realize You Look Weird

Vagabond Tales: How Traveling Helps You Realize You Look Weird Jan 21st, 2013 at 11:00AM: When I was 4 years old I had my picture taken by a large group of Japanese tourists. While this in and of itself is slightly strange, the curious part of the story is where it happened. I was seated with my family – mom, dad, and infant baby sister – while casually enjoying a lunch of hot dogs on the lawn of the Washington Monument. Having exhausted whatever amount of...

Vagabond Tales: Welcome To Portland, Strip Club Capital USA

Dec 24th, 2012 at 9:00AM: As I squeeze the last bits of orange garnish into my pint of Blue Moon, a man to my left is having his nostrils plugged by a gyrating set of female genitals. Releasing him from the flesh cave, the attractive blonde stripper – to the immense enjoyment of the sophomoric and semi-erect set of friends he's brought with him – suddenly doubles around and stiffly slaps a hand across...

Vagabond Tales: In Search Of Placerville's Apples And Outlaws

Vagabond Tales: In Search Of Placerville's Apples And Outlaws Dec 3rd, 2012 at 12:00PM: When it comes to travel there are really only two forces that drive us to the destinations we visit. Either we hear about them from somewhere else, or we stumble upon those we know nothing about. In the case of the Nicaraguan rodeo, that was a stumble. For nearly anywhere else, however, either we have read about it in a book, learned about in school, watched a documentary about it on...

Vagabond Tales: Setting Sail For The Most Remote Place On Earth

Vagabond Tales: Setting Sail For The Most Remote Place On Earth Nov 12th, 2012 at 11:00AM: There is a bit of contention with regards to where exactly the most remote place on Earth actually is. Most lists you encounter will feature the usual suspects such as the island of Tristan da Cunha, the village of Ittoqqortoormiit (Greenland), the Svalbard archipelago (Norway) and McMurdo Station (Antarctica). Just last month we published one such list right here on Gadling. ...

Vagabond Tales: Don't Take Smelly Things Camping Or A Bear Might Eat Your Face

Vagabond Tales: Don't Take Smelly Things Camping Or A Bear Might Eat Your Face Oct 25th, 2012 at 10:00AM: Despite what you might think, this has nothing to do with socks, sweaty shirts or anything else that absorbs bodily smells while out on the trail. All those things are fine. This is more in reference to things that have a pleasant odor, such as deodorant, toothpaste or even Gold Bond foot powder. Sure, these hygienic amenities will keep your feet dry, teeth clean and armpits wintergreened,...

Vagabond Tales: Can Travel Writers Take A Normal Vacation?

Vagabond Tales: Can Travel Writers Take A Normal Vacation? Oct 22nd, 2012 at 10:00AM: I know what you're thinking. Travel writers are always on vacation, so what a silly concept for an article. Sure, climbing active volcanoes in Chile and staying in castles in Ireland sounds like an enjoyable time, and often times, it is. But it isn't exactly a normal vacation. When others might be bathing on the sundeck of a dive boat on the Great Barrier Reef, travel writers instead...

Vagabond Tales: The Rewarding Adventures Of 'Genealogy Tourism'

Vagabond Tales: The Rewarding Adventures Of 'Genealogy Tourism' Oct 10th, 2012 at 12:00PM: The house pictured above is a very drab house. It's cold. It's empty. And no one has lived in it for over 120 years. Sure, there is a fresh layer of green paint on the door, but that was put there by the neighbors. Why they did that I'm not sure, because this house was abandoned long ago. This house isn't anything famous, and it isn't in a town you've ever heard of. This house is in...

Vagabond Tales: Averting Death In A French Field

Vagabond Tales: Averting Death In A French Field Sep 6th, 2012 at 11:00AM: You don't need to have traveled to France to be familiar with the French concept of laissez-faire. A phrase, which translates to "let it be" amongst economic scholars, references the way in which governments should, in theory, let an economy take care of itself. "Hands off," essentially. Despite being an academic term rooted in economics, many travelers to France might argue that this...

Vagabond Tales: Reinventing The Swim-Up Bar

Vagabond Tales: Reinventing The Swim-Up Bar Aug 27th, 2012 at 10:00AM: "There's only one thing wrong with this wave," quipped John, a 50-something-year-old surfer from Seattle, who, like the rest of us, had come to the Mexican outpost of La Saladita to score some perfect waves, warm weather and oceanfront lobsters and beer. "It's too far of paddle to come back in and get a beer." Such is the crux of long, perfect waves the world over. A long ride means a...

Vagabond Tales: A Bojangles Virgin No More

Vagabond Tales: A Bojangles Virgin No More Aug 17th, 2012 at 11:00AM: In the eight months I've been penning "Vagabond Tales" I've written about experiences from all corners of the globe. Some of them have been exotic such as swimming with elephants in Thailand, and others have been a bit more dangerous such as kayaking with Alaskan killer whales or nearly being kidnapped in a Borneo jungle. I have ventured onto floating islands in Lake Titicaca, roasted...

Vagabond Tales: The Curious Case Of Indonesia's Pulau Bintan

Vagabond Tales: The Curious Case Of Indonesia's Pulau Bintan Aug 9th, 2012 at 10:00AM: Of course you've heard of Bali, but have you heard of Bintan? Of the 18,000 or so islands, which make up the archipelago of Indonesia, the same five or six names invariably pop up when it comes to Indonesian tourism. Bali, the Gili Islands, Sulawesi, Java, Flores, Sumatra ... but what about Bintan? Believe it or not, in terms of overall visitor numbers, Pulau Bintan is actually one of...

Vagabond Tales: Dodging Toxic Gases And Peering Into The Center Of The Earth

Vagabond Tales: Dodging Toxic Gases And Peering Into The Center Of The Earth Aug 3rd, 2012 at 9:00AM: "You see that smoke?" asked Andreas. "Tell me if you see the smoke." Gazing towards the thin patch of smoke emanating from the icy summit, our group of volcano-climbers nodded in silent agreement. "That smoke is very important," he continued, his rapid-fire speech laced with a strangely casual lilt. "Why?" inquired a British climber, his attention focused on cleaning his fingernails...

Vagabond Tales: Cellphones And Candy Bars In The Floating Islands Of Peru

Vagabond Tales: Cellphones And Candy Bars In The Floating Islands Of Peru Jul 26th, 2012 at 12:00PM: There is a running joke amongst Peruvians that when it comes to Lake Titicaca, Peru got the "Titty," and Bolivia got the "kaka." All anatomical and bathroom jokes aside, the world's highest navigable lake does in fact stretch across the borders of both nations. When read from left to right on a map, it would appear that the Peruvians may have a reason on which to make their case. My mind...

Vagabond Tales: Eavesdropping On An Elderly Soldier In A Rural Slovenian Café

Vagabond Tales: Eavesdropping On An Elderly Soldier In A Rural Slovenian Café Jul 19th, 2012 at 10:00AM: The great nation of Slovenia has a wealth of many things, but it only has one island. No, it's not located off of the coastline that some have dubbed the Mini-Riviera. Rather, it's set up in the mountains in the middle of a pristine retreat famously known as Lake Bled. It is a teardrop-shaped island in the middle of a placid lake. There are no inhabitants, and the main building is a...

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