CouchSurfing vs hostel

Is CouchSurfing cheaper than staying in a hostel? Actually, this depends somewhat. If you’re going to an area where the hostels are inexpensive, as in around $10 a night or less, it may end up costing you just as much to CouchSurf. For one thing, you tend to pay more in transportation costs getting toContinue reading “CouchSurfing vs hostel”

Nine tips for CouchSurfing

Using the CouchSurfing website, particularly in more expensive places such as New York or Paris, can save you a lot of money. So far on this trip around the world, it’s saved me at least a few hundred dollars in lodging costs, and it’s introduced me to interesting people from the places I’ve visited in theContinue reading “Nine tips for CouchSurfing”

LX Factory, Lisbon

FX Factory, a former factory space near the Alcântara tram stop in the south of Lisbon, has been turned into an interesting hipster-esque scene with an industrial street-art feel. I say “hipster-esque,” because although I did spot some hipsters there, flannel and everything, and although the entire city of Lisbon seems like something hipsters wouldContinue reading “LX Factory, Lisbon”

Spurning a drug dealer-beggar in Lisbon

I’m in downtown Lisbon, wandering with my camera, taking photos in Restauradores and Rossio, the beautiful light and the perfect cobblestones in contrasting colors. I’m starting to get hungry, and I spot some roasted chestnuts and slow down to get some. A wizened man with two missing front teeth falls into step with me and showsContinue reading “Spurning a drug dealer-beggar in Lisbon”

Milan in the rain, on the cheap

I arrive in Milan on a gray and sopping wet day, and am greeted in the baggage claim area by a bevy of tourist fliers, all of which appear to be for shopping. Haute couture shopping, fine leather goods, discount malls in nearby Switzerland. The fliers and the weather are so discouraging, in fact, thatContinue reading “Milan in the rain, on the cheap”

A star called Rijel-Linda

I land in New York at 6 am on a Sunday morning, and stand in the freezing cold waiting for the A train. I get off at 14th in Manhattan, as per my instructions, and wheel my little bag over the uneven streets to 17th and 7th and there it is, my destination: Cafeteria, otherwiseContinue reading “A star called Rijel-Linda”

Virtual reality in Vancouver

So Vancouver is hard to really get to see when you’re going to conferences for a week straight, but I did get to walk around and take some photos one afternoon when the sun came out — and then my camera ate the pictures, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. IContinue reading “Virtual reality in Vancouver”

Packing light for an active, varied, round-the-world trip

I can fit all of my possessions for this round-the-world trip in one carry-on. Well, that is, if I cheat a little. My goal has always been to pack light enough to meet Ryanair’s cabin requirements of one cabin bag with the maximum dimensions of 55 by 40 by 20 centimeters. Ryanair says the weightContinue reading “Packing light for an active, varied, round-the-world trip”

Searching for travel apps at the AMTA

The customs agent pauses with the passport stamp in his hand and asks what my business in Canada is. “I’m going to a conference, the AMTA, Association of Machine Translation in the Americas,” I say. “You’re late,” he tells me, snapping the stamp downwards. This is the first time any customs agent has even heardContinue reading “Searching for travel apps at the AMTA”