Category: Collections

The Last Notes

Photo: Plane Falling From Above
Photo: Plane Falling From Above

Is it really necessary to have a runway right beside a crowded beach?During a recent bout of doing entirely too much work, I was dreaming of being on the beach.Ah, thoughts of sand between my toes, slight breeze running through my hair, the sun beating down on my face. A trashy novel sitting by my side, which I’d glance at in between sips of my daiquiri/bloody mary/pina colada.

Five Expectations to Avoid Before Volunteering Abroad
Five Expectations to Avoid Before Volunteering Abroad

Photo: Courtesy of authorMany volunteers have harbored secret dreams of what the headlines will say when they return from their heroic adventures:“Volunteer saves rural village from mudslide.” “Philanthropist banishes malaria from Africa.” “Educated Westerner teaches hundreds of poor children to read.

Do You Need a Writing Degree to Be a Professional Writer?
Do You Need a Writing Degree to Be a Professional Writer?

Photo: WonderlaneIt’s a big decision: to spend a year or more and a big chunk of money on a degree in a notoriously unprofitable field.With the proliferation of MFA and other writing programs since the 1970s, it seems that more and more would-be writers of all kinds are heading back to school. Should you?

And They Stoned Me: The Joy Of Cycling Ethiopia
And They Stoned Me: The Joy Of Cycling Ethiopia

A group of kids, Ethiopia / Photo Dave BouskillMeeting children on the road is one of the joys of travel… unless they have an unusually painful way of showing their affection.“You, You, You, give me money, give me money.”After cycling through the East African Nation of Ethiopia, these phrases will forever be ingrained in my brain.

Killer Green Shower Curtains
Killer Green Shower Curtains

Relaxing showers take on a whole new meaning with these shower curtains.You know indulging in those thirty minute, extra-steamy showers isn’t the best thing for the planet, but you just can’t help it. What you need is a little motivation to hop out of the tub, and fast.Enter “Spiky“: A shower curtain that gives the infamous Psycho scene a run for its money in horror.

La Dorada – The Big Red of Argentina
La Dorada – The Big Red of Argentina

I love weird soft drinks. In every China Town and Korea Town I am always on the look out for cans that promise chunks of foreign fruit matter – drinks that eat like a meal. Odd favor, texture, unexpected ingedient or a cool can? I’m there.The other night I was out for an otherwise lovely dinner in a Peruvian restaurant in the Once neighborhood here in Buenos Aires.

Keeping A Dream Journal
Keeping A Dream Journal

Travel brings a vivid dream life. Keeping a dream journal can help you remember your dreams once you get home.Photo: Meanest IndianAs a rule, my nights are dreamless. Oh, I know they say you dream every night. I guess I have to take that on faith.As a boy my dreams were glorious Technicolor affairs, weaving fantasy, absurdity, terror, and profundity into narratives the might give Lewis Carroll a run for his money.

California Apologizes to Chinese Americans
California Apologizes to Chinese Americans

Photo: futureatlas.comCalifornia issues a long-overdue apology to one of its oldest immigrant groups.On July 17, the California State Legislature passed Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 42, co-written by Assemblymembers Paul Fong and Kevin De León. The measure, which received bipartisan support, offered an apology for the discriminatory laws enacted against the Chinese living in California during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Mind Over Matter: Travel Starts With You
Mind Over Matter: Travel Starts With You

Your mental state plays a surprisingly strong role in your perception of place, as revealed in the personal experience of Ekaterina Petrovna.Your perception of place depends on your mind.Travel is not just a physical experience. It is a state of mind, a life journey. And it can be all kinds of different things to different people.

7 Common Challenges You Encounter After You Launch Your NGO…
7 Common Challenges You Encounter After You Launch Your NGO…

Photo: The author at her NGO in Indonesia.Starting the NGO is the easy part. But the aftermath? Now, that’s the thing that keeps you up at night.I recently started an NGO, 4th World Love, that focuses on community development in distant lands and I’ve learned a few lessons on the front lines of grassroots NGO’dom.

Book Review: Thailand, Men’s Paradise?
Book Review: Thailand, Men’s Paradise?

A couple years ago, I was sitting at a patio table at the Hotel Inglaterra in Havana, sipping an espresso and watching two European men—shirts unbuttoned, big bellies spilling over their pants, noses red with sunburn, hands wrapped tightly around sweaty Bucanero beers—as they checked out the locals and commented on who they’d like to bed and the best strategies for succeeding in doing so.

Kill your iPod
Kill your iPod

Photo snowking24Do you hear that?The clatter of a busy market. Wheels going 60 miles per hour on badly patched highway. Do you hear the whooping laughter 3 blocks distant tittering off into uncontrolled giggling?If you have your iPod on you don’t.Don’t get me wrong, I love music. Hans Christian Anderson said “Where words fail, music speaks.

Busted in Nicaragua: A Drug Charge, Jail, and a Narrow Escape from Hell
Busted in Nicaragua: A Drug Charge, Jail, and a Narrow Escape from Hell

This article was originally published in a different magazine under a different name. What do you do when you find yourself in a Latin American jail cell on a drug charge?The first thing I noticed about my cell was the stench. It smelled like someone shit in a pan, then pissed in that pan, then cooked that pan on a hot stove.

Notes on Love at First Sight
Notes on Love at First Sight

Photo Mr. TheklanBored, lonely, and on his third beer, Joshua Johnson falls in love with a woman he will never know.I don’t know why I came to Montagnana. Yes I do. It has a hostel. It has a hostel in one of the best preserved medieval walls in all of Europe. In the plains between Venice and Verona, Montagnana is a lush lawn lapping against a rise of brick.

Twitter Contest Giveaway: Laken Classic Aluminum Water Bottle
Twitter Contest Giveaway: Laken Classic Aluminum Water Bottle

As part of the Matador Twitter contest, we will be spotlighting cool gear we’ll be giving away to lucky readers.Did you know over 2.5 million water bottles are thrown away every hour?Aside from being wasteful, studies have also shown drinking from plastic water bottles can be harmful to your health.Laken Classic Aluminum Water Bottles are 100 safe, BPA free bottles, reusable, dishwasher safe, and completely recyclable.

Twitter Contest Giveaway: Photography by Peter Guttman
Twitter Contest Giveaway: Photography by Peter Guttman

As part of the Matador Twitter contest, we will be spotlighting cool gear we’ll be giving away to lucky readers.Twice named Travel Journalist of the Year, award-winning photographer Peter Guttman has traveled all seven (7) continents, exploring and photographing in over 200 (yes, 200!) countries for the likes of Conde Nast Traveler, The Los Angeles Times, National Geographic Adventure, National Geographic Traveler, Travel & Leisure, Vogue, and many more.

No Impact Week, Day 3: Taking on Transportation
No Impact Week, Day 3: Taking on Transportation

Photo: Rodrigo BasuareIn November of 2006, New York City resident Colin Beavan, along with his wife and daughter, set out to live with no net environmental impact.Fast forward three years later, add the Huffington Post, and you have No Impact Week. According to the website, the goal is to “demonstrate ways in which small actions in our daily lives can have a profound impact on our world.

Is Holier-Than-Thouism the Biggest Obstacle We Face in Creating Change?
Is Holier-Than-Thouism the Biggest Obstacle We Face in Creating Change?

Photo: aussiegallIf we each think we’ve got a monopoly on the “right” way to create change, how will we ever work together?A couple weeks ago, I wrote about Colin Beavan, a.k.a. “No Impact Man.” In case you missed it, here’s Beavan’s story: for one year, Beavan decided to go green… so green that he wouldn’t use public transportation.

Gear Review: Op/Tech Super Classic Strap
Gear Review: Op/Tech Super Classic Strap

You shouldn’t need a massage therapist when you’re done shooting for the day.Unless, of course, you’re getting yourself in some awkward positions to get that great shot. In which case, contort away. But I’m talking about neck and shoulder pain from carrying a heavy camera, especially if you’ve got a big telephoto lens attached.

‘Best’ 16 Tweets on Columbus Day in the Last 16 minutes
‘Best’ 16 Tweets on Columbus Day in the Last 16 minutes

Leave it to Twitter to make you feel ‘ambient awareness’ on Columbus Day. I keep thinking of my crew in Colorado. Denver always has a good old fashioned drumbeating protest against Cristóbal Colón. Segundo told me about it one year, said ‘you’re down down there just jamming. Then you look up at a streetcorner and see these cameras filming you.