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48 New Pages of Possibility

US Passport

Our most recent purchase – a fatter passport

There’s something vaguely exciting about the blank visa pages contained within my passport. As much as I love the stamps documenting where I’ve been, it’s those empty visa spaces where all the possibilities reside; each one bursting with promises of travel stories as yet untold but yearning to be written.

Recently, though, we’ve been burning through our blank visa pages like rolling papers at a Colorado ski resort. The truth is that we’re traveling more these days than our passports were designed to accommodate. It’s a high class problem for sure. But it is a problem nonetheless. And one that we suddenly realized we’d need to deal with before we can board the flight we already booked to Greece this spring.

The good news is that the U.S. government allows its citizens to add up to 72 blank pages to their passports. The bad news is that they make doing so an unnecessarily ridiculous ass-ache.

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Thailand, Where Food is an Attraction

Never have we had an easier—or tastier—time feeding ourselves on the road than in Thailand.

I thought if there was one thing that would wear me down during four and a half months of hotel living in Southeast Asia, it would be finding food. The endless quest for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in ever-changing environments can quickly lead to travel fatigue. We can’t eat like we’re on a perpetual vacation, both for our waistlines and our wallets.

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An Ethical Elephant Encounter in Thailand

Elephant Eye close up After landing in Bangkok for our first time ever we had a whole host of unanswered questions about how we’d spend the next four months traveling around South East Asia. One thing we knew for certain, though, was that we wouldn’t be riding any elephants. Read More…

How to Make (and Keep) a Traveler’s Hippocratic Oath

Tours you can take, although we'll pass

Tours you can take, although we’ll pass

First, do no harm.

It’s an oath sworn by physicians and a pledge that every traveler should make as well. As guests in the places we visit the very least we can do is respect our hosts by not hurting their country or their people.

Unfortunately such pledges are easier made than kept. That’s especially true in areas of the world that lack strong regulations protecting vulnerable populations. It’s not uncommon to see plenty of exploitive activities marketed to tourists. And sometimes those activities are even cleverly disguised to prey on our very desire to do good.

Visiting and volunteering in a children’s orphanage in Cambodia, for example, sounds like a good way of directing your travel dollars to a worthwhile cause. That is until you learn about the fake orphanages that separate children from their parents for the sole purpose of separating tourists from their money.

So how do you travel ethically when unscrupulous tour operators do every thing they can to hide the truth of their operations? Here are some suggestions.

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Two Chiang Mai Temples: Obvious and Overlooked

Wat Phra That (Doi Suthep), Chaing Mai, Thailand

Machete-wielding workmen once hacked their way through dense jungle, toting supplies and construction equipment up a steep mountainside. Their backbreaking efforts began in 1383 and produced Wat Phra That, a gleaming Buddhist temple that’s hard for visitors to Chiang Mai to miss. Perched high on Doi (Mount) Suthep, it’s visible from the city and appears on every list of must-see highlights in the area.

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