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Kindle 3G

Travel gear review: Kindle 3G

June 27, 2011 | Advice, Review, Travel | 22 Comments

Despite being a geek in my spare time I’m often kinda late to the party with tech innovations. I didn’t have a laptop until three years ago, or a smartphone until a couple of years back. I didn’t need them, and the cost vs benefits just didn’t stack up until then.

Until a few weeks ago I felt the same about e-readers. Real books aren’t all that heavy. They are not so hard to find on the road. Plus it is kind of nice to be able to give them away to someone else when I’m done with them, and a dirty old second-hand paperback on a hostel bookshelf has a sense of history all its own. Oh, and my beaten up old Lonely Planet doesn’t run out of battery just when I need it most either.

Eventually though, I caved. I had dozens of pdfs that I just wasn’t getting around to reading on my computer. Carrying around a guidebook and a novel or two was becoming kind of annoying. The thought of being able to grab a new book from anywhere with mobile phone coverage was rather appealing. And hey, a new Kindle was under $200 – and would probably only lose a few bucks if I didn’t like it and got rid of it on eBay. What the hell, I thought – I’ll give it a go.

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World Domination Summit

Dominating the world

June 8, 2011 | Advice | 19 Comments

You know how sometimes in life you have transcendent moments? Your first kiss. Walking through the departure gates on your first big trip. Sky diving, bungy jumping, running a marathon. Your heart is soaring, the adrenaline is pumping and the whole world around you seems so much more intense than usual.

In those moments you feel like anything is possible. You tingle with the excitement of new possibilities. Nothing seems too hard, your emotions are heightened and your passions are aflame. These are the moments in which you feel completely alive.

Now imagine having those moments continuously for three entire days. That, in a nutshell, was the World Domination Summit. It was the most inspiring weekend of my life.

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Life is too short

You will not be here forever

May 23, 2011 | Advice, Travel | 30 Comments

Life’s too short.

It’s a phrase I hear from those around me all the time.

Life’s too short to spend in meetings.

It’s too short to drink bad coffee.

Too short to stand in line, too short to spend in traffic, too short to fold your underwear.

Yeah, it is too short for that stuff. But it’s also way too short for a whole bunch of things that actually matter.

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Laptop in Laos

Travel technology – what to take and how to make the most of it

Ever wondered what you should take on the road with you in the way of electronics? After several years of…

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White flag

When did you give up the fight?

May 7, 2011 | Advice | 17 Comments

You live in incredible times. So why aren’t you making the most of it?

50 years ago Russia had just sent the first person into space. Today if you’ve got enough money, you can book a joyride to do the same thing yourself.

25 years ago the world wide web didn’t exist. Today you can find out anything you like in seconds while standing on a street corner most anywhere in the world.

Even a decade ago the first iPod hadn’t yet been released, the human genome was yet to be sequenced and Nickelback could have a number one single despite having no musical ability whatsoever. Well, perhaps not everything has changed…

Life expectancy is way up. Poverty levels are in decline. Cheap flights let you see the world and cheap technology keeps you in touch with it. Food is more plentiful. The gender gap is much smaller. In fact, other than those hairy Canadian rockers, in the last half-century your conditions in life have improved dramatically by almost any measure.

Anything is possible.

So why doesn’t it feel that way?

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Taking it slow: Public transport in South East Asia

I can’t think of anywhere else that I’ve been with such a diversity of public transport options as South East Asia. If it’s got wheels you’ll probably find someone offering to give you a ride in it. Even better, it’ll cost comparatively little – especially if you’ve been working on your bargaining skills. It won’t always be comfortable, it’ll frequently be slow, and it would often have been ordered off the road years ago in other parts of the world. What it will always be, though, is an experience – some of my most vivid memories of Asia relate to the mode of transport I was using at the time.

Here’s my guide to some of the best – or at least the more interesting – public transport options that I’ve enjoyed and endured in that part of the world.

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Dave in Ithaca, 2010

A dozen great places in the world to have a beer

January 17, 2011 | Advice, Article, Travel | 49 Comments

I’ll just put it out there, I’m quite partial to a cool refreshing ale. Or two. Or twenty two.

While beer often doesn’t like me anywhere near as much as I like it, our long standing love affair continues. We’ve travelled the world together, beer and I, and there’s no way I’m going to let something silly like yet another screaming hangover get in the way of this beautiful romance.

I find that like many other relationships, however, location is important for keeping the spark alive. Our passion tends to die if all we’re doing is sitting around together watching TV and complaining about whose turn it is to take out the garbage. It’s not easy, this long term commitment thing. When we’re in a beautiful setting somewhere on the other side of the planet, however – well, we’re just like two giddy teenagers in love all over again.

On that note – and without any further tortured metaphors – here’s a dozen of my favourite places in the world that I’ve enjoyed a beer. A dozen, you say? Seems only fitting really.

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Beach dreaming

Enough excuses already: making your travel dream a reality

January 10, 2011 | Advice, Article, Travel | 46 Comments

If I had ten bucks for every time someone has told me how much they would love to travel – and then followed it up with a “but” – I’d have enough money to fund my own journeys for the next several years. Most people when asked seem to have an unrequited dream of travelling the world. Travel is something they’d “always wanted to do” until life got in the way. The dream is talked about in the past tense, not the future and certainly not the present.

There are a million potential reasons out there that you can find for not doing something that you dream of, travel included. An incredibly small number of those reasons are valid. All of the rest of them are not. They’re just excuses why you aren’t travelling, not why you can’t. Like these ones, for instance:

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