My Month Living in an RV: A Shockingly Spendy Lifestyle Alternative

When Kevin first walked me through the RV he told me “When I’m in the RV, life just slows down. If I’m driving, I’m going pretty slow. I take turns slow. When I move around inside the RV it’s deliberately slow.” He went on to explain why “it’s because everything is fragile. You can’t just go banging around opening up cabinets, pulling levers, leaning on things. You see that cabinet? … Continue reading

How to Fly For Free, Anywhere, Anytime – The LR Guide to Frequent Flyer Miles

A smiling child, sitting on a banana leaf, with his mother laughing in the background.

Last year about this time I had just quit my job, sold almost all of my things, packed my 19 liter bag and left the country to travel around South America for six months with a loose agenda which included things to do like “learn to scuba dive”, “sail through the San Blas Islands”, “go to Carnival” and “see Machu Picchu”. When I tell people about my trip the most … Continue reading

How to Harness the Cloud to Reduce Stress While Traveling

picture of the ocean in brazil. The water is shiny and the clouds above are dark.

There is magic happening all around us. Tiny bits of data are being transferred via various wavelengths of invisible energy from device to device to network to device, to be caught and captured by vibrating electrons in remote physical locations all over the world. You can harness this system to lighten your load while traveling, and to enhance your experience by reducing your paranoia regarding the safety of your data. … Continue reading

Surfing In Indonesia – The Last Leg of My Trip

Confusing, overwhelming, beautiful, friendly, scandalous, wild, free, poor, destroyed, developed, incongruous, dangerous, delicious, annoying, relaxing, inexpensive and Australian. Those are the adjectives that come to mind when I think of Indonesia. Upon your arrival in Bali you will be confused and overwhelmed. Taxi drivers surround you, offering rides. It’s hot and you’re sweaty. The board bag is heavy. My first time there I paid too much for a taxi into … Continue reading

How to Retire in Five Years: Mr. Money Mustache’s Lessons in Frugality

Calm day on the Indian ocean with beautiful cloud reflection in the glassy water.

If you couldn’t already tell, I’m a budget traveler and I plan on being one for life. I like to travel alone or in a small group, I take buses instead of flying, I stay in hostel dorm rooms, I use frequent flyer miles when I need to fly and I travel light. I’m always thinking that every dollar saved can be used towards future travel or other fun stuff, … Continue reading

How to Travel with Less Stuff than Gandhi – The 2013 Life Reengineered Minimalist Packing Guide

Tom Bihn Synapse

Happy day after Mother’s day! I hope you all had a chance to connect with your wonderful mothers in whatever way you could. As my mother would remind me, it’s not what’s in your bag that matters most, it’s what’s in your heart. Enjoy! I travel with a 19 liter bag, which is the size of a school kids book bag. I’ve been traveling for 6 months straight, living out … Continue reading

The Inside Scoop on How to Learn to Surf

Barreling Wave on Bluff Beach, Panama

“And then the lightning bolt struck me: surfing is more religious than religion” -Rob Gilley, excerpt from Surfermag article The Church of Yew For the last five weeks of my trip and since returning to the US I’ve been surfing almost daily. I’ve re-fallen in love with the sport after a 5 year hiatus during which time I surfed only a few times each year. Work, family, friends, interest in … Continue reading

The Hard Truth About the End of a Trip

Four friends facing away from the camera, sitting staring at the ocean from a grassy knoll in Bocas Del Toro, Panama.

I haven’t been writing much lately, I just haven’t had much to report. It’s been a bit like groundhog day out here – surf, sun, cards, reading, napping, beers with friends and reggeaton all night. I’ve purposefully sat still for over a month, creating a vacation from my vacation in one of my favorite places – Bocas Del Toro. Having hit my 6 month travel anniversary last week I’m feeling … Continue reading

The Top Ten Signs You’ve Been Traveling in South America for Too Long

Rainbow sandals places on a stone steps in Morro De Sao Paulo

I just hit my 5 month anniversary of travel in South America and to  commemorate this momentous occasion I have put together the following list of signs that you have been travelling in SA for too long. If you’ve been there, I hope this strikes a chord! 10. The results from your blood test show you are 50% chicken, 25% beans and 25% rice. 9. You’re relieved to hear the … Continue reading

Carnival Salvador – Three Ways to Experience the Greatest Party on Earth

Some samba dancers mid-move on the streets of Pelourinho

Travel pro tip (food): When in Brazil you must try the fried cheese sticks with oregano found on the beach (Queijo Assado), churrascaria (all you can eat BBQ), Acai fruit bowls and of course, Caipirinhas (alcoholic beverage with lime, sugar and Cachaça). I’m honestly lost with what to say about Carnival. How do I describe the absolute chaotic mayhem that consumes Salvador in heated frenzy to people who have not … Continue reading