Journey to New York & Whirlwind Week

After leaving Longus snorting.. er.. sleeping happily away at 5:30 am, I stumbled out of my room to grab a cab back to Bangor’s bus station. The next leg of my overland journey would total 11 hours of bus time. My call to the front desk the night before was a small victory after losing out on a cheap room at Motel 6.

“Yes, we can arrange a cab for you. It’s a complimentary cab as our guest at Ramada.” Sweet relief on the budget.

Come 6:00 am I grew nervous because the bus was due to leave at 6:30. Greyhound has been known to arrive early. After cajoling the young man at the front desk to inject some new life into my cab request, it finally arrived at 6:10.

I hopped in barking at the guy to hurry up, when he cheekily pointed out the empty streets. Heh. I always get a little jumpy about missing a bus or train, so sue me.

Maybe my panic was justified, once we pulled up they were already loading. Another mad dash to board before I was left behind with a gigantic statue of Paul Bunyan.

Bus rides for me are punctuated by zoning out, listening to neglected music, or sleeping. I cannot, for the life of me, write. That’s how I whittled away hours on the bus, between quick sprints to the restroom or snacking.

Eventually we made it through Massachusetts and onto Boston, where I had to disembark for 45 minutes at South Station.

The few visuals I saw of Boston intriuged me, seems like a place worth exploring one day. It felt

October 29th, 2010|Categories: New York|Tags: , , , |16 Comments

What Your Big Sister Never Told You About Travel

Today’s guest post is by Jessalyn Pinneo of Diary of a Wandering Student. More and more, young women are tossing away fear and taking up the challenge of overseas travel. Many are doing this alone. It’s something I eagerly applaud, but young women need more than encouragement. What’s absent is the honest advice that your loved ones might exclude. Jessalyn explains.

Sister llama's

When you tell someone you’re thinking about traveling over the summer break or after college, they usually want to talk about what a great time they had wherever you’re going or how envious they are that you’re heading somewhere they’ve always wanted to visit.

What almost no one talks about is the awkward side of travel, especially for young women heading off on extended trips. But we’re going to fix that!

Think of this post as a no holds barred guide from your big sister, what she should have told you about traveling if she hadn’t been so excited about your trip. (And guys? Think about all of this before you complain about peeing behind a rock again. Dude, you have it so easy.) Some of these tips have a solo traveler bent to them, but they all apply to any kind of travel as a woman.

1.  Lose the Self-Consciousness

In the “normal” world, we spend a lot of time worrying about what other people think. When traveling, you expend more than enough energy getting from place to place, communicating in an unfamiliar culture and keeping yourself safe without worrying about what you look like or who’s going to notice your B.O. when you’ve spent the past

October 27th, 2010|Categories: Life|Tags: , , , |25 Comments

Flight Risk in Bangor

The Acadian bus pulled out of New Brunswick in the twilight of afternoon with a small crew of people. The only passenger I noticed was a hefty, black fella in saggy jeans snoring heartily beside me. His head was swathed in a dark bandana of skulls. Oh my, some kind of badass on the premises.

Immersed in what little iPhone coverage was left until the States, I was surprised to find myself smack at the Maine border by 5 pm.

My attitude was laissez-fare, but I also haven’t been across since passing through Seattle on route to Brazil, about 2008 or so.

The bus pulled up to the border crossing window. The driver turned, a weathered face caused by his easy going nature and too many cigarettes.

“The officers will board the bus and then instruct us on what to do after.”

With only 6 of us on the bus this won’t take long.

Two men in stark uniforms boarded, formed two lines, rear and front, that met in the middle – to me. I handed in my neatly completed declaration card and passport, told the pug nosed one the purpose of my trip.

Each passenger rattled off their respective stories until all the cards were collected. They announced that we had to leave all our belongings on the bus and go inside to get cleared.

The building itself mimicked a sterile bank, the color of polished whale bone. We filed in lining up like a gang of bank robbers approaching our opposites – the bank tellers. In this case, just hand over the passport and we’ll let you into our country. I couldn’t help noticing that all the officers fit a profile. A wall of pasty, stern faces violently plunged into intimidating

October 25th, 2010|Categories: Bangor|Tags: , , , , |42 Comments

Twas the Best Night in Halifax…

Twas the best night in Halifax, when all through the pub

I met Candice and Cailin after catching some grub.

The streets were on route to a Saturday night party,

While conversation and drinks proved deliciously hearty.

Halifax was originally an Acadian village;

Till the English arrived bringing pain and some pillage.

In time it was settled, then others arrived

Leaving a modern day Halifax historically uncontrived.

There’s spirit and home pride, all through the air,

Enjoy the Economy Shoe Shop, or Maxwell Plum if you so dare.

Or sample Greek feed at Opa, there’s plenty of cheer!

So the next night I staggered after drinking some beer.

And went back to Jimi’s mischevious and all,

We dared each other to slide down the stairs, but what if we fall?

We laughed and laughed, squealing like kids

Reminding me that travel is never the skids.

It brings wonder and innocence,

Bridges the gap of dissonance.

There should be more weekends like this,

When I meet new friends and experience bliss.

Goodbye Halifax, I’ll be back for sure

Your shoreline and beauty is part of the lure.

October 22nd, 2010|Categories: Halifax, Nova Scotia|Tags: , , , , |11 Comments

Nomadic or Static, What’s Better?

Today’s guest post is by Chris Backe of Chris in South Korea. He examines the pros and cons of moving constantly versus staying put. No matter what kind of traveler you are, there is always two viewpoints to the equation. As usual, I love your opinions in the comments, so sound off!

As an expat of 2 1/2 years, I’ve found living in one country to be a wonderful adventure. Reading blogs like Nomadic ChickNomadic Matt, and Everything-Everywhere remind me that there are PLENTY of adventures to be had across the world. In fact, I’ve sometimes thought about the advantages and disadvantages of staying in one country for the mid-to-long term (say, 6 months or longer per country).

I’ve lived in South Korea since March of 2008, teaching English to stay in the country legally and make money. My passion, however, is traveling, writing, and taking photographs; in fact, I make it a point to get out to one new place, event, or festival every single week. That’s taken me all over Korea, out to its furthest reaches, but it isn’t quite the nomadic lifestyle. At the end of every trip, I still go back to a school-owned apartment in the Seoul area.

Whether you want to travel like a nomad or just travel while living in a foreign country, it has to be a part of your lifestyle. The conscious decision must be made: ‘I’m headed out to [insert here] on Saturday and I can’t wait!’. Maybe that becomes your Facebook or Twitter update for your friends, family or followers.

Advantages to staying in one country:

  • You really get to learn the
October 18th, 2010|Categories: Culture|Tags: , |18 Comments

Gypsy Bits and Bytes

Goodness, haven’t done one of these since May. Here I am. With some site news and articles or people to pay attention to.

Bits and Bytes

  • Even though I’ve embarked on my trip, a dose of inspiration never hurts. Fist pumps go to Caz and Craig’s post I’m Not Afraid to Take a Stand For My Dreams. Caz’s passion for music and fondness for Eminem’s comeback song I’m Not Afraid sends a clear message: remember your dreams and live them before it’s too late.
  • Gary Arndt’s honest interview with Thrilling Heroics’s creator Cody McKibben left me questioning the validity of lifestyle redesign. At 27:30 Gary emphasizes the responsibility of that niche to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. Do you agree?
  • Travelers constantly write about being the the victim of a robbery, but what are the ethics when someone else is robbed?  And their actions could affect others in the vicinity. Ayngelina’s excellent post on a situation in Colombia poses the question. What would you do?
  • Speaking of lifestyle design, I just discovered the fab Simon Black. His site Sovereign Man communicates practicalities on how to deal with banking overseas, finances, or how a country’s economy operates. Ain’t that useful sauce to pour over your nomadic dreams!
  • Even though Matt Long’s article Travel and the Thirty-Something Midlife Crisis was published last June, it’s still very relevant to my age group. I refer to it now and again to trace the path of my own life. How Generation X bubbled with yearnings for something beyond how our parents worked or lived, yet unsure if
October 15th, 2010|Categories: Life|Tags: |14 Comments