Read the latest and some hits from the past!

Blog Thoughts

New York City on Crutches

I’ve spent a lot of my adult years trying to be appreciative for what I have rather than what I do not. Admittedly, this isn’t always an easy task, especially in a world that constantly preaches more. Though life seems to throw things in your direction ever once in a while just to make sure you are holding true to ... Read More »

5 Tips to Overcome Language ADD

multiple language books language add

Few things are more daunting to me than having an unquenchable fascination with the world’s languages. It can be a bit overwhelming at times when you have a desire to know them all. I guess what I’m speaking about is a bit of a polyglot problem, or at least this aspiring polyglot’s problem, but it is a real one none ... Read More »

What got me so interested in learning languages

Catania Sicily

I don’t think that I ever actually shared what got me so interested in languages on my blog or why I ever started in the first place. One might guess that it comes from my interests in culture or travel, and those would both be correct, but those aren’t the whole truth. Just a part of it. In the interest ... Read More »

How to ask someone where they are from, nicely

With the title of this article, you might think, well why don’t you just ask them where they are from? Of course this would be the easiest and most direct route, but in my experience it isn’t always the most diplomatic. In fact, it can sometimes be a source of insecurity and alienation, more than you may realize. When I ... Read More »

Is Puerto Rico Safe to Travel In?

The Safety Question of La Isla del Encanto Is Puerto Rico really as dangerous as they say? Dwelling in the topics of safety and travel are not typically terms that I like to associate with one another. In fact, they are typically things that I like to disassociate with one another. However, even I will admit, there is a safety ... Read More »

The Act of Giving

Last night I saw a unique random act of kindness. Something you don’t see to often in the big city, or maybe it’s just that you don’t notice them as much. It isn’t that people aren’t kind, but rather that they are often too busy with their own lives to see what’s going on around them. Also, I find that the ... Read More »

Having a Smart Phone for 1 year, my thoughts

My Thoughts After Having a Smart Phone for 1 Year About a year ago, I finally caved in and tried out the smart phone world. For long before that, I adamantly opposed smart phones and many of these ‘technological conveniences’ as I only saw the negative in them. The negative effects that they have on social situations I mean. I ... Read More »

Why I Walk

Why I Love Walking “Just take the taxi” she said, “it’s only a 5 minute ride.” “Exactly,” I replied. “That’s why I’ll walk.” No matter which country I visit in the world, I am always drawn to the most primitive of exploration methods: walking. I’ve found no way better to get to know a city, a country, or a people ... Read More »

You would have never left home

A Quick Refresher Lesson in Why I Travel The other day I had a wonderful discussion with someone that I thought I would share. The person, a middle-aged man who has lived the better half of his life as a nomad. He grew up as an expat child and continued on from there. Traveling is, as he put it, in ... Read More »

What Playing Youth Sports Taught Me

Lessons from Youth Sports and How I’ve Applied Them to Traveling and My Life I decided to write this as a tribute to my former coaches and teachers. I think that our teachers and coaches are some of the most under-appreciated heroes in our society and should be thanked more often. Education is a pinnacle aspect of society and those who dedicate ... Read More »

How bad is Spain right now?

A Reflection on the Current State of Spain With Some Thoughts of Optimism As many of you know, I spent the better half of this past summer in Spain. I have been to Spain some in the past so this was not my first introduction to Spanish culture. It was however a unique experience. This trip was not only unique ... Read More »

A day as a Muslim

Muslim for a Day The day I visited a mosque during Ramadan One of the things that I love so much about traveling is the opportunity to throw away past prejudices and assumptions and learn about other’s points of views in real-time for myself. When we do this as travelers, we are able to humanize people and reduce the extreme ... Read More »

Be Thankful For What You Have

A Cup of Tea Can Change Your Life The other day I stopped at a local café to have a tea. I had been frequenting this café for a few days and somewhat befriended the owner. A young Turkish man not much older than myself. He is a hard-worker and a very knowledgeable individual, speaking nearly 6 languages. On this ... Read More »

Back to the Basics

Hello readers! I would just like to personally take this opportunity to thank you all for being so supportive in my journey to create this travel blog and website. The last few months have been really exciting for me as a blogger. I have received many new followers and readers, and it is great to have you all on board! ... Read More »

Buenos Recuerdos/Bons Records

Good Memories Are challenging to repeat As a traveler, we are often left reflecting on the memories of the many places that we have been or the variety of people that we have met. The good times, the tired times, the incredible even, but one never knows what it will be like to return to a city especially after leaving ... Read More »

Blogger Manifesto

Reflecting on the Big Blog Exchange As part of the Big Blog Exchange project, I was asked to put together a Manifesto of my experiences. So I thought that a nice way to piece together this article would be to do a bit of a reflection and recounting of my Exchange period. I was sent to Spain as an exchange ... Read More »

Why Hostels are so great

Why I like Hostels They aren’t anything like Hollywood… I’m a hosteler for life. A few years back, I got introduced to the hosteling system from my first trip abroad. I was told by everyone how shady they were and asked if I would even make it out alive. Well, I survived, and did so with a new found respect ... Read More »

Águilas… Well Worth The Effort

Don’t Pass Up A Challenge It might be worth it. There is something to be said about the good things in life. Really, if you’ve ever wondered about why you enjoy things so much better when they do not come so easily, then it is definitely because the harder you work for something the better the reward. I was reminded ... Read More »

Accepting Responsibility

Lesson Learned For me at least I recently missed an important train ride. Arriving just a few hours too late, I was prompted at the ticket counter that my previously purchased ticket was no longer valid. Flustered, I inquired as to what my options were and asked about the cost of a new ticket. My original ticket was already an ... Read More »

Different Ways to Travel the World

Unique Ways to See the World And Examples of People Who Are Doing Them Since the beginning of time people have traversed this beautiful earth we live on. They’ve found new places, discovered the great unknowns, and met interesting people with motivations ranging from religion to riches to exploration for the sake of exploration. We’ve all heard of the great ... Read More »

What traveling has taught me about home

Home is where the what is? Travelers are fortunate to see some amazing things in the world, and then return carrying those experiences with them forever. Most travelers, even long-term travelers, will likely return home at some point even if it is just for some time. As they return home, they are inevitably equipped with a new prism and outlook ... Read More »

Mystic Dunes

The Dunes of the Sahara Along time ago, I read about the journey of a shepherd boy. The boy had forever sought something in his life. What the boy sought was something that had been ever so vividly depicted in his nightly dreams. It was strange and foreign, yet still warm and welcoming. The boy set out one day leaving ... Read More »

15 Reasons to be a backpacker

Reasons to be a Backpacker Over the past 40-50 years, being a backpacker has become a global trademark of a sort. The backpack has rapidly become a universal and unmistakable symbol for someone who is out to explore what the world has to offer. Backpackers come in many shapes, sizes, colors, nationalities, and creeds. People generally go backpacking for different ... Read More »

I’m so happy, thank you all so much!

Good morning world! This is a big day, I just received word that I was chosen as one of the top 16 bloggers in the Big Blog Exchange! I am so excited to be exchanging with Sara Rodriguez from Mindful Travel. I don’t know all the details yet, but I am going to Spain!! I personally want to thank each ... Read More »

An unexpected warning about traveling

Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You Long before I ever stepped foot out into the world there were talks of this dreaded “travel bug”.  A “travel bug” they’d say was a feeling you’d get after tasting what the world had to offer. It would leave a nagging imprint on you, much like a feeling a bug would leave on you ... Read More »

Monet’s Gardens: Monet’s lessons for us

Learning from an Artist What Monet’s Gardens can Teach us No trip to France is complete without getting a taste of the famous artworks of those who came before us. Typically, most visitors will go to Le Louvre or Versailles to get their fix. I was fortunate to get a good taste of each, but made a special stop while ... Read More »

Why I travel

My reason for traveling When I think back to my original inspiration for exploring the world, it is difficult for me to pinpoint exactly where it all started. I often refer to my university experience with international friends, but that really isn’t the source of my drive to know the world. I remember back to when I was a boy. ... Read More »

My Tangibly Un-tangible Bucket List

What is on my Bucket List? O the bucket list. People have long talked about their life-long dreams and things that they have always wanted to do. In modern society, this list has been called the ‘bucket list’. Most people rarely complete the items on their list, but some do get their chance. I think that it would be common ... Read More »

A Life Lesson from a Kenyan Boy

I once had a Kenyan teacher from a small town outside of Nairobi. He told me a story from his childhood that has remained with me for years. The moral of the story has remained in my mind in spite of its simpleness, likely because it made me realize the difference between educating a child on right and wrong and ... Read More »

Storming the Beaches: A Normandy Review

A Normandy Review in Pictures Looking back at time spent on the beaches of Normandy As I approached the edge of the cliff overlooking the English Channel, I could hardly help but notice the pristine beauty of Normandy, France (Normandie in French).  While my mind drifted from beauty to chaos, I could nearly imagine the tragedy of death and war, which littered the ... Read More »

Andy, ¿Dondé has estado? What’s this BigBlogExchange Business?

Excuses, Excuses and the Big Blog Exchange (Explanation of the BigBlogExchange Included below) Hey all, I know I haven’t been at my usually 2-3 articles per week, but I have an excuse or at least a few of them.  I apologize for being slightly MIA (missing in action) on my blog, but I am doing my best to produce articles ... Read More »

A Photo Essay of the Balkan War

The Lasting Effects of the Yugoslavian Civil War A story in picture form If you got a chance to read my article Tales from the Balkans, I tried to give an overview of what the Balkans are really like these days.  A once unified yet presently strongly disunited people torn by politics, religion, and ethnicity.  The Balkans is home to ... Read More »

Liebster Award Recipient and Versatile Blogger Award

The Liebster Award Many great things are happening here at BackpackingDiplomacy.com.  Outside of writing for my loyal followers and meeting amazing travel bloggers from around the world, I was recently  recognized by two separate bloggers for the Liebster Award, and by one for the Versatile Blogger Award.  Thanks to Renee(Travelwithrenee – @reneestravels) and Chris and Heather (Tourist Guide Central – @touristguidec), I was afforded the ... Read More »

How you can support fellow Travel bloggers

Helping fellow Travel Bloggers How we can build community  The internet started not too long ago as a unilateral system of static webpages and read-only content.  There was no such thing as interactions, especially not through comments nor social media.  The best that you could do was to email someone and hope for a reply.  Blogging has revolutionized the internet ... Read More »

What Traveling Teaches You

Things you Learn when Traveling Traveling teaches us many things.  In fact, traveling changes us in many ways.  We are always challenged by the life experiences that we have, regardless of whether those experiences are at home are abroad.  Life tests us, pushes us, and eventually we find out who we are and where we stand. For those who listen, ... Read More »

When to start learning another language?

About those Languages I write a lot about language learning and different world languages.  Although, I do not know many well, I thoroughly enjoy studying, comparing, and learning new words in another language.  The very construction of language as a form of communication interests me.  I have written multiple articles on ways to learn a langauge, practice a language and ... Read More »

Interesting World Documentaries

World Documentaries Online A few good films that will make you think I don’t spend too much time watching TV anymore.  In fact, I don’t think that I will have a TV when I eventually move to a new residence.  If I do watch TV, I will usually spend my time watching History, Discovery, Comedy, Nat Geo, the Travel Channel, ... Read More »

Why Robert Frost took the road less traveled

An Personal Analysis of the Road not Taken What do his words really mean to me? “The two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost (The road not taken) After reading this poem a few times, it is right for one to wonder ... Read More »

Reasons to travel without a Smart Phone

Going ‘old school’ when traveling It wasn’t too long ago that people had to carry currencies around for all the countries that the intended to visit.  They had maps, phone numbers, phrase books, boarding passes, and anything else that was absolutely essential to life.  The idea of all of those things coming together through a computer was but a figment ... Read More »

13 Travel Resolutions for 2013

Travel Resolutions for the New Year It is that time of year again.   As we reflect over this past year’s events.  We’ve seen trials; we’ve seen tribulations.  We’ve been tested. We’ve experienced, and we’ve grown.  We are thankful for the holiday time that we spent with family and friends.  We anxiously awaited our ever impending Mayan induced zombie apocalypse.  Now, ... Read More »

A life lesson from a Bengali Boy

A Boy in Bengal The other day I was talking with a good friend of mine and he told me a story that I’d like to share.  We were discussing difficult life decisions and he gave me a bit of wisdom that I won’t soon forget.  A life lesson from the road. There was once a young boy in Bengal. ... Read More »

Comedians: A force for soft diplomacy?

Can comedians help with diplomacy? The other day one of my friends showed me a video of an Iranian-American comedian who was making light of several issues regarding Middle-Eastern foreign policy.  Since then, I have been considering the topic of soft diplomacy and how a comedian could be a force in diplomatic matters. There are many different diplomatic approaches.  Over ... Read More »

The Duty of a Traveler

A traveler’s duty Often, we as travelers find ourselves indulging in the many pleasures of life on the road.  We get to see some of the most amazing things that the world has to offer.  We get to meet wonderful people from every corner of Earth; and all the while, we have a good time doing it.  In traveling though, ... Read More »

Comparing nuns to muslim women (Photos)

Nuns and Muslim Women: Is there a difference? With the rise of religious tension heating up around the world, one begins to wonder which of these tensions are justified and which ones aren’t.  Seemingly, the latest trend has been a contrast between ‘Muslim’ people and the Western world.  Much like Christianity, Islam is one of the largest 3 religions in ... Read More »

How to be international without leaving home

Being international at home This is an introduction of an upcoming series that I’ll have regarding how to fulfill your passion for travel without ever leaving home.  It is easy for people who are constantly able to travel to forget what it’s like not to be traveling.  However, there are many people out there who have the traveling soul, but ... Read More »