You hear his office door open, as you punch TripHash.com/travel-blog into your terminal. He saunters over, a stack of papers in his right hand, several manila folders in his left. He swings around the corner and peers over the side of the gray fabric-clothed cubicle. An empty chair...
There are cherry blossoms all over Tokyo at the moment. You missed the peak of the season by a couple days, but will still be in time for the massive crowds that drape themselves across the famous viewing sights.
You are sitting comfortably on the plane in Okinawa when you realize you left the battery charger for your camera in the business lounge, just steps from the gate.
“I forgot my battery charger,” you tell the flight attendant. While she blankly smiles at you, you tell her where exactly it is. She hurries off and a sense of relief passes over you.
The plane is still at the gate and minutes later, the flight attendant returns. Read More →
You are sitting on the train, getting further from Aéroport de Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle and closer to Paris with each passing moment. Your hands are digging, at first nonchalantly, into the various pockets of your trusty carry-on bag, the Red Oxx Gator. With each passing pocket, crevice and compartment that turns up nothing of relevance, your motions become more rushed, more frantic.
Your eyes dart around the train car as your hands work furiously. Everyone is calm. Some are looking out the window, others are speaking in respectfully hushed tones. Even the train itself is speaking in a respectfully hushed tone, a stark contrast to the trains back in New York City. Read More →
His glasses are perched low on his nose. His baggy grey khakis are littered with dirt stains and paint blotches. He ambles around his Puerto Rican Coffee Plantation showing his trees bearing fruit while a few workers are busy picking nearby.
He explains that some of his green—or unroasted beans—are sold to a purveyor in San Juan, Puerto Rico for inclusion in Nescafe instant coffee. In addition, after making sure you aren’t filming, he lets on that he also includes some other less than optimal beans and byproducts but that Nescafe drinkers are not typically ones with the most refined tastes and thus none the wiser. Read More →
You are slicing through the air with the help of a moped, a popular vehicle in these parts. It was a fortuitous last minute trip, originating from your friend—who had moved there some time before—extending the offer.
Bermuda is a volcanic island, or a really a group of volcanic islands, in the Atlantic. It has a strong business climate, comprised primarily of insurers and off-shore companies, somewhat due to the nonexistent corporate income tax and business friendly rules. But you are not here for business as many of the suit-topped, shorts-bottomed denizens around you are. The main island has a coastline of approximately 60 miles (100km) and you are trying to see as much of it as possible. Read More →
The original posting was done upon my initial arrival to Vietnam. This is a response to those first impressions. You can find it in its entirety here, in the #001 posting.
Without getting into crazy backstories, Saigon is Ho Chi Minh City and Ho Chi Minh City is Saigon. You won’t be burned at the stake for using either one. It seems that HCMC is used by the government as the official governmental name of the city and Saigon is used by the rest. I will just use Saigon because, quite simply, it flows better as a name and it is generally what the common people use.
Actually: Vietnamese from the north will very rarely use the name Saigon. People from the south will use both. If I had to guess, it would seem HCMC will eventually become the utilized nomenclature. Read More →
The waterfalls and scenery at Iguazu National Park in Argentina are a breathtaking sight. The roving crowds and man-made additions, slightly less so.
You are standing at the start of a trail, marked on a map but absolutely devoid of people. “In this habitat you might meet a dangerous animal” reads the aged wooden sign, with its paint cracked and fading. Besides the pumas roaming the jungle, the poisonous snakes and thief-like biting coatis, heading down this solitary trail seems to be a great idea. Read More →
It was late September and you found yourself in your car, rumbling along the highway, thousands of miles from home. You had never set up a tent before, but you had one with you. You had never gone to a campground before, but you had a reservation. You hadn’t really shot much nature photography before, but you had your new introductory Nikon D40 camera. The year is 2007. Read More →
“Mibaru Biichi ni ikimasu ka?”. You hope this is the #39 bus going to Mibaru Beach, a beach town on Okinawa’s southeast coast. The driver nods with a slight smile. You walk to the back of the bus and take your seat. The interior is lined in plastic surfaces, the colour blue is heavily dominant and Japanese characters are in great abundance. Read More →
It is quite obvious you are on a party bus speeding along the expressway in Taipei, Taiwan—except you aren’t. Contrary to the magic blue and purple colour tones emanating from the interior LED lighting system, this is really just the airport-to-city bus that ended up at your service. Read More →
A frigid wind curls around your jacket and through your shirt, slashing across your skin. There is a Styrofoam bin of hacked up fish parts, the cutting instrument wedged into a block of wood and a red plastic bin peppered with leftover bits of coarse salt. Transporting fish in these temperatures certainly assists in the fight against spoilage—one certain upside of the walk-in freezer called Seoul in late January. Read More →
You awake to the buzz of gasoline engines, the sunlight illuminating the flowers printed on the aged curtains, and the blaring loudspeakers from the rat-trap-selling bicycle jockeys, all of which signal another day of good things to come. You stare at the ceiling. You wonder if the yellowed fire alarm up there would even work. You doubt it. You focus on the abstract art that rainwater at some time or another has so deftly stained into ceiling.
Your vision darts to the wires running at the intersection of the wall and ceiling. The small green lizard freezes, waits and disappears into the shadowy corner. Lizards make better companions than mosquitoes you figure. Read More →
You step out from the windowless room, with green and blue tiles reflecting the dusty golden artificial light escaping from the wall sconce. The bathroom, a long, narrow chamber where pipes glisten, drip and gurgle. There is something you find appealing to the raw design, a place where the porcelain sink spits its contents directly onto the sloped floor, on an adventure towards the uncovered drain hole in the room’s corner.
You grab your trusty flip flops at the entrance, an entrance whose only separation with the world outside is the old steel gate pulled down in the dark of night. An illustrious world painted and heaving awaits in front of you. Read More →
The large bus, covered in branded technology logos like Facebook and Android, slowly climbs the hill. Repeatedly, the driver attempts to downshift and the transmission snarls back. The bus appears to be pretty new but judging from the clatter in the gearbox, seems poorly made. The driver tries again, this time with both hands on the stick—more grinding. The bus is just at the point of losing all forward momentum when the victory comes, and the bus continues its slothful climb up the steep and narrow dirt road. Read More →
Staring out from piles of watermelons, surrounded by fresh-cut flowers, squatting next to woven baskets of neatly tied crabs and chopping meat on a stump are the eager sellers of Myanmar’s ubiquitous outdoor markets. Myanmar market scenes may turn into supermarkets one day, the sad death spiral of “progress” but for now, they are alive and strong and one of the best stops in Myanmar. What follows is a photo bonanza that will put you in the middle of the action (without having to smell the fish heads). Read More →
The pigs jockey for position in the mud, the winner loudly inhaling the smattering of food placed in the box. The less fortunate contestant trots off seeking spoils elsewhere. A woman stands in the background holding an armful of coloured fabrics. Three children crowd around her next door neighbor, focused on the subject at hand. Whether from a marble-lined mansion or a mud-splattered shack, parents work for the same universal goals, hopes and dreams for their children. Read More →