I spend a lot of time reading, thinking, writing and pondering about travel. You could say it’s a wee bit of an obsession. Luckily, my wanderlust is very satisfactorily satiated at my jobs (I work as a magazine writer and television show producer and host here in Kathmandu, Nepal). I’ve decided to start blogging about and paying hommage to travel “favorites” each week. These “favorites could be anything from a travel personality, to a travel related book, or travel gear that has given me recent inspiration.
Here is this week’s round up of Travel Favorites:
When I was at home in Portland, Oregon, packing for Kathmandu, I wavered on whether or not to bring my iPhone. I decided to throw it in my bag if for nothing else, just to use as a music player. I am SO happy that I decided to bring it. Once I arrived in Kathmandu, a friend swiftly “unlocked” it for $10 and now I can use a local SIM card. I started to peruse the selection of podcasts on my iTunes and stumbled upon the Travel With Rick Steves selection. I downloaded about 100 episodes and have been exceedingly pleased with the quality material I’ve been listening to every day.
Rick Steves is a famous travel guidebook writer who especially focuses on Europe. I’ve never read his guidebooks, but his podcasts are excellent. He conducts a wonderful interview that always leaves me feeling inspired to boldly continue on with my world travels. Steves’ guests are well-chosen and eloquent. As a traveler, I value the information and perspective I’ve found in the podcasts and as a writer, I’m always interested in his interview style and the questions he asks. Travel With Rick Steves is the perfect show to tune in to when going on a long walk, sitting at home or on an airplane.
I literally salivate over this fantastic Asia food and photography blog created by photographer David Hagerman and food writer Robyn Eckhardt. The writing is concise and to the point and makes you feel as though you are sitting next to David and Robyn as they sip teas in Turkey or eat grilled fish in Luang Prabang, Laos. EatingAsia is the perfect fusion of travel and food, two things that I think go together marvelously. Trying new foods and local cuisines when traveling is, I think, one of the greatest pleasures of being on the road. I’m guessing David and Robyn of EatingAsia would agree with me on this one. In addition to the excellent stories and descriptions of their travels, the photos are to die for. The colors, the textures and the perfect composition makes me want to follow David Hagerman around and just watch him at work. Those lucky enough to live in or travel through Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, actually can do this because David offers food photography walks through the city. (You can follow Robyn Eckhardt on Twitter: @EatingAsia)
I would like to personally thank Keen for their excellent quality and versatile shoes. I bought a pair of Keens three years ago at REI and virtually forgot about then since I returned from my one year Asia trip. When pairing down my clothes for my current trip, I rediscovered my old Keens at the bottom of a cardboard box. I brought them along with me on this trip and recommend them to everyone. They are not the exact model pictured here (because I bought mine three years ago), but they are similar. The shoes are black and slip-on with a velcro strap across the top. They are versatile enough to be worn with nice clothes to work, but can also be work on hikes. The shoes stood up to the test of hiking in rural Nepal in the monsoon this past weekend. I was on an assignment in Balthali village, which is about 30 kilometers outside of Kathmandu, just beyond the valley rim. Part of my assignment was to investigate some of the hikes in the area. The only shoes I brought were my Keens and they gave an A+ performance up muddy, monsoon ruined hills, down slippery rocks, through rivers and across rice paddies. I returned to the lodge I was staying at with no blisters and perhaps most surprising, with completely dry feet.