The art of keeping a travel journal according to Lavinia Spalding

When you travel, do you jot down your thoughts? Do you still have that fistful of sand you grabbed from that beach that looked straight out of a movie? Do you love to doodle about the location you're in? I have always journaled but my first travel journal began when I went on my first [...]

6 classic novelists from Trinidad and Tobago you should know about

“The best way to know the soul of another country is to read its literature.” Amos Oz Trinidad and Tobago, located at the end of the Caribbean archipelago and very close to the South American continent, is a cultural hotbed. The birthplace of steelpan and calypso is also home to an established and incredibly diverse [...]

11 travel tips to survive Egypt and Jordan

One of the coolest overland (and over sea) trips I've ever done was from Egypt to Jordan. Stops included Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, Hurghada, Mount Sinai, and Dahab in Egypt and Aqaba, Wadi Rum, Petra, the Dead Sea, Mount Nebo, and Amman in Jordan. Here are 11 practical tips to help smooth your transition into these [...]

Asa Wright Nature Center

As a long time/on and off again Trinidad and Tobago resident, it’s sometimes hard for me to like the place. Yes, the landscape is littered with bars, strip malls, Indian expos, Chuck E Cheese’s, Starbucks (a recent incursion), KFC, Pizza Hut, and McDonald’s. Yes, there's traffic, accidents, pollution, and a serious crime problem. But there’s [...]

8 things I learned on my first RTW trip

  2004 was a ground-breaking year for me. It was the year the world really opened up like the oyster they say it is. What was supposed to be a brief visit to a friend studying abroad turned into a RTW ticket that included stops in Hong Kong, Macau, China, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, [...]

What it’s really like to live in Japan

In 2004, I traveled "around the world." Literally. At the time, zipping through six countries in three months seemed incredible. I (obnoxiously) emailed everyone I knew to let them know how amazing it was. I could think of nothing better than tramping across oceans and continents to experience alien foods, languages, and cultural practices. After that [...]

Bucket list Japan: see the peonies at Yuushien Garden

Daikonshima in Japan's Shimane prefecture is famous for peonies. Head to the island's Yuushien garden to see them in all their glory. This garden is kaiyu shiki teien or circuit style: you start at one end and wind your way around many different gardens. "The most famous place for this spectacle is the little island of [...]

Deep travel: 5 books to help you understand the Caribbean

Think the Caribbean is just a sun, sea, and sand playground where rum flows like water and sunsets make you cry?   Think again. As a traveler, if you really want to understand the region more deeply, read Caribbean literature by Caribbean authors. Dig below the Instagrammable surface of street parties and deserted beaches and [...]

Akashi desu!

Maybe you've already visited Japan and done the tourist favorites: Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Mount Fuji and you want more. Or maybe you've never been to Japan yet you're craving something different. If you do plan to visit Japan soon, skip the major cities and seek out more offbeat cities that have their own local [...]