d.i.y. travel

Popayán to San Agustín: Driving into Colombia’s Soul

April 30, 2014 backpacking
Drive from Popayan to San Agustin, Colombia

When we walk into the Popayan bus station, I predict that I have another memorable overland trip ahead of me. The bus station only has half of its concrete floor. The other half is dirt. Although we see no one repairing the floor, we quickly learn that someone has recently been working on it. My […]

Continue reading →

5 Things You’ll Want to Know Before Hiking in Colombia’s Valle de Cocora

March 3, 2014 Colombia
Tips for Exploring the Valle de Cocora, Colombia

While the mysteriousness of the Valle de Cocora is part of its charm, it’s a good idea to get some background knowledge before visiting, especially if you plan on hiking independently as I did. As popular as the valley is among travelers, it’s still a rugged experience with little information available once you arrive and […]

Continue reading →

“Is This the Bates Motel?”: A Day of Absurdities from Medellin to Salento

January 27, 2014 backpacking

Please don’t let me be the only foreigner on this bus. Please don’t let me be the only foreigner on this bus! This is running through my head as I wait aboard a bus bound for somewhere south of Medellin. It works. I spot another solo traveler, someone I met while riding a cable car […]

Continue reading →

And Then You Realize Why

November 23, 2013 Colombia
Colombia - Cartagena to Medellin Magic

This cab I’m in sounds like it’s about three putt-putts away from breaking down in the outskirts of Cartagena. It’s dark, I’m by myself, and I have all my luggage with me. I’m freaking out. The driver assures me we’ll make it to my destination as even the slowest buses zoom by us, leaving us […]

Continue reading →

The Rough Road to Santa Marta, Colombia

October 9, 2013 backpacking

Bananas. That’s all I see for miles as we drive though some unknown location in Northern Colombia as day begins to gain strength over night. Bananas. That’s how I feel after about a dozen hours cramped up in a night bus with the air conditioning inexplicably blasting on us while we shiver. One member of […]

Continue reading →

Wanderful Words No. 30: Adventure as a Destiny

August 24, 2013 Colombia
Adventurer by Fate

“And how did you get around the country?” my coworker asks me after I’d filled him in on most of my basic Colombia trip details. “Entirely by bus,” I respond, waiting for him to grimace in response. He is a seasoned traveler who tends to seek out a more luxury travel experience. Although he hasn’t […]

Continue reading →

Escape from Cat Ba

May 28, 2013 d.i.y. travel
SE Asia 677

I woke up before dawn, unaware that the day would bring definitive moments to my life as a solo traveler. A few of us had decided to leave Cat Ba early to spend a little more time in Hanoi and I had opted to do the journey on my own. I took a walk along […]

Continue reading →

How to Make the Most of Two Days in Sihanoukville, Cambodia

April 20, 2013 Cambodia
SE Asia 248

1. Arrive in Sihanoukville during a tropical rainstorm.  Ride it out in your guesthouse’s cafe. When the storm passes, take a walk to the beach and immediately see that your guidebook wasn’t fully honest when describing the scene in Sihanoukville. Beaches that were described as “sandy” and “happening” for lack of better euphemistic words should […]

Continue reading →