Fresh off the press and some classics

Travel Blog

Benicássim

What is Benicássim like? When I first heard about Benicássim, I like most outsiders thought it to be a strange fitting name to be so close to Valencia. In fact, I did not know about the city until a friend sent me a link about a huge music festival there called FIB. Benicássim turned out to be a surprising little ... 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 »

Learning the Valenciano Way

Valencia, España O Espanya, diria jo. I am currently wrapping up my tour through Valencia. It seems that even though I just entered the region that I am already exiting it. I have seen so many wonderful places as they seem to be endless in Spain. Every region offers similar Spanish culture, yet distinctly different regional tendencies and in some ... 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 »

Highlights of Andalucia – Getting to know Junta de Andalucia

Remembering Andalucia A few highlights plus a look at the organization that hosted me Continuing in my current tour of Spain with REAJ, I have finally arrived in the Community of Valencia. Reflecting over my last few weeks, my thoughts instantly drive me to some great experiences all over the beautiful region of Andalucia, also known as Al Andalus. Andalucia ... Read More »

A Beautiful Sight – Moraira

Moraira Spain I just left the city of Moraira yesterday. Moraira is a Spanish coastal city that is slightly of the traditional path. It is located in the region of Valencia, just outside the city of Teulada. Moraira is a popular destination for ex-pats (mainly English, German, & Russian) who have played a major part in the construction of the ... Read More »

Alhambra Granada an Arabian Masterpiece

Alhambra الحمراء Deriving its name from an Arabic word, meaning “the red“, Granada’s Alhambra is a mystic beauty of an Arabian palace. The palace is situated on a hill, which overlooks the city. Alhambra’s name comes from the reddish tint that is clearly visible on the stones that were used to build the palace. Its perfection in everything from architecture ... Read More »

Overlooking Murcia Spain

Murcia Spain A Few Thoughts on Murcia Spain and Quick Guide One of the nice things about staying in Spain for two months is the fact that I get to visit some places that are not normally visited. In fact, that is one of the interesting things about staying in any country longer. People typically go to a country with ... Read More »

Merrell Shoe Review – Chameleon 4 Stretch as a travel shoe

All-terrain Travel Shoe An unsponsored review of Merrell’s Chameleon 4 Stretch Shoe and why I have chosen them as my current travel shoe. Plus, a few tips on how to choose your pair of travel shoes. I have been a big fan of Merrell’s shoe products for a while now. I have not used any of their other products yet, ... Read More »

Southern Hospitality Must Be International

Spanish Hospitality A special thanks to the Spanish As many of you know, I am from the south. Traditionally, the southern states of the U.S. are known for their hospitality and warm-minded attitude towards others. This is especially true my home state of Louisiana. Seriously, if you thought chivalry and manners were dead, you clearly haven’t made your way down ... Read More »

Improving your Spanish

How to improve your Spanish What I am doing, and will do… steps to improve your Spanish When I first returned from Europe years ago, I was frustrated by communication, or lack thereof. I was near embarrassed by inability to communicate in another language, and so I set off on a mission. A mission to learn Spanish.  Upon returning home, ... Read More »

Interview with Charles Richard

In the Mind of the Maker A Louisiana Documentary in the making   Update: In the Mind of the Maker film is now available on Amazon.   Quick Background: Charles Richard, a Louisiana native, is currently spearheading the production of a film called In the Mind of the Maker. The film follows an 84 year old Cajun man named Edward Couvillier ... 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 »

Inside Turkey’s Hagia Sofia

The Hagia Sophia A True Masterpiece in the center of the world If you have never had the opportunity to visit the Hagia Sofia, I certainly recommend you doing so. Turkey’s Hagia Sofia, is a true marvel of the times, and a jewel of the ancients. I would describe it as Turkey’s Taj Mahal, but you wouldn’t guess by looking ... Read More »

Things to do in Toledo Spain

Best things to see in Toledo Spain …and a quick guide to Toledo with tips from a local. Recently, I visited Toledo on my current tour around España. Toledo was one of the places that I didn’t get to spend too much time in, but it was still quite enjoyable. It is a place with a rich history, nice scenery ... 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 »

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 »

Enjoying Santa Monica

I’m back in Madrid, and this trip was wonderful! A unique experience! I spent my last days enjoying Santa Monica which I really loved it! Santa Monica is a town located in Los Angeles. It has different neighborhoods but it’s famous for its amazing white sand beach, healthy people, green business and huge houses located on its mountains. You will ... Read More »

The contrasts of San Francisco

It’s been two days since I left San Francisco and I already miss it. It’s a city full of contrasts between the magnificent bridges, beautiful neighborhoods but a big social problem. Hostelling International encourages visitors to volunteer in order to help homeless eating everyday. It’s a very good cause and they really need it. It’s overwhelming to see how so ... Read More »

Green and Sustainable Hostels

I’ve been to Hostels before, but I could never imagine that some of them are really conscious of making the world a better place through programs of awareness and respect for the environment. I was so lucky to know personally two of the most green and sustainable hostels in the United States. As its motto says, Hostelling International was created ... Read More »

A perfect day surrounded by nature

Today was simply amazing! I got up early and went to the Civic Center area of San Francisco to pick up my rental car that happened to be a great Chrysler. I drove with a map through the stunning Highway 1 along the coast, enjoying the views of the beaches and cliffs. Finally I arrived to my first destination: Año ... Read More »

Amazing Boston

The days I spent in Boston were amazing! It’s a wonderful city where I think I could live in. And I’m sure I will come back. I could discover the famous Freedom Trail and its 16 most important points. It’s imposible to miss, just have to follow the red line! The trail starts at Boston Common, one of the most ... Read More »

Big Blog Exchange Experience: First Impressions

A trip I’ve been waiting for months, planning, reading about each destination in order to squeeze the most of this experience. On Thursday I was nervous, finishing my suitcase; I couldn’t forget anything important: my computer to write every moment of the trip, my camera with which I will take pictures of monuments, people, landscapes… and I always carry with ... Read More »

Guide to My Country for Sara

To my readers: This is a guide for Sara Rodriguez who will be my exchange partner for Hostelling International’s BigBlogExchange. Starting on Friday (June 7th), we will be simultaneously embarking on a new adventure to each other’s country. Sara, who is from Spain, will be visiting the United States (Boston, LA, and San Francisco). I will be visiting Spain. I ... Read More »

Big Blog Exchange by Mindful Travel BySara

Today you’re going to read a different post and know a different writer: Big Blog Exchange by Mindful Travel BySara. First of all, I will introduce myself. I’m Sara Rodriguez, Spanish blogger who loves travel and photography. I write on my blog about my experiences, tips and feelings over 27 countries around the world. A suitcase, a camera and lots ... Read More »

An Alligator Ate My T-Shirt

BigBlogExchange Begins Friday! What Louisiana story would be more complete without the inclusion of me with some alligator shenanigans? Today I am going to tell you a story that I just couldn’t make up. Seriously, this is true. Well, Friday is the big day. I will be beginning my new adventure with Hostelling International’s BigBlogExchange and flying off to Madrid, ... Read More »

Summer in Louisiana

Summer in Louisiana I think that we can officially say, summer has arrived in Louisiana. School is out, the temperature is heating up, skies are blue, and fun times are awaiting. Being such a diverse state, Louisiana is full of activities for all seasons. Summer is no exception. It might not be the festival season, or football season, but summertime ... 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 »

Asking for Directions abroad

Asking for directions abroad Which way is it? Running around backpacker-style is a great way to see the world. Often times, you leave with little plans and leave most up for adventure. Inevitably at some point, you are going to have to ask for directions of some kind. Whether it is for guidance to some famous landmark or some back ... Read More »

Air Transat Review

Air Transat Review A flight review This past summer, I missed my flight on the way home from Europe (semi-intentionally, but that is another story).  I was supposed to take a flight from Dublin, but instead I flew from Lisbon.  Strange, but there is a method to the madness.  I was actually in Spain at the time.  Since I missed ... 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 »

A Taste of India

Flavors from India A limitless yet waste-less dinner (This article is part of the International at home series) Recently, I was invited to a lunch gathering for India food cooked traditionally. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but not only because the food and company were great. I also enjoyed the experience because I learned about a different style of eating. As we ... Read More »

The Big 5 of Louisiana

Louisiana’s “Big 5” We have all heard of the big 5 from Africa.  You know how it goes, in Africa you HAVE TO SEE: an African elephant, black rhinoceros, cape buffalo, lion, and leopard.  Did you know that Louisiana has a big 5 also? I bet you didn’t.  In fact, Louisiana has a big 5 that are an integral part of ... 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 »

The Skyline of Barcelona

 Taking Barcelona by Sky Looking down on a beautiful European city One of my favorite things to do in any city I visit is to try to find a place where I can climb up and look over the city. I find there to be something especially serene about overlooking a large city. It makes everything so simple. All the ... Read More »

Nowruz: A Persian Tradition

Nowruz Celebration An Ancient Persian Tradition with a Modern Flair This article is a continuation of a series that I write called International at home. Basically, I highlight events close to my home that help you to travel without traveling. If you are interested in reading more, please check out how to be international without leaving home. For people who want ... Read More »

Best Travel Langauges

Best Languages to Know for Traveler I have often been asked about the best travel languages to learn. It is common for people to think that English is the best travel language, or that it is all you need. In my experience, English helps, but it is better to know other languages, especially if you plan on traveling extensively. There ... 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 »

It is Holi time!

Lafayette Holi Festival 2013 International at home series: Article 2 This article is a continuation of a series that I write called International at home. Basically, I highlight events close to my home that help you to travel without traveling. If you are interested in reading more, please check out how to be international without leaving home. For people who ... 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 »

What a Manager can gain from Traveling

What a business manager can gain from traveling And you thought traveling was only for hippies and vagabonds? One of the topics on my site is international business.  Having a background in international relations, I find that international relations is a very often overlooked realm of our globalized business world.  I have often argued in my other articles things like ... Read More »