Category Archives: Uncategorized

7.5 steps to get in shape for your trip

Happy 2013!  Ahhh, the new year. Each and every year, millions of people decide they need to get in better shape. Sometimes this is travel related, to look great for your next trip. Do you want to get ready for the tons of travel photos and bathing suit weather for your winter getaway?  How do you do it?  Start by setting a goal, and then focus on both the fitness and nutrition. Most people ignore the nutrition part, and then get discouraged with the lack of results. I made some small changes with big results, and you can too.

Check out this post on the 7.5 steps to get in shape for your next trip. Most lists focus on the fitness, so I’m going to focus on the nutrition, which could be even more important.  These are little adjustments in your diet that make a huge difference – they did for me. I’ll show you how!

Meet my new friends - Malapascua, Philippines -
Meet my new friends in Malapascua island, Philippines
Group shot - after diving in Bali -
That’s me on the left; I just got out of the water after getting SCUBA Open Water Certified


The 46 Places to Go in 2013 – NY Times

The New York Times just posted their annual travel destinations article, The 46 Places to Go in 2013 – love it!  Which should we visit next??

Of these, Nicaragua, Rio, Amsterdam, Istanbul, Paris, and Casablanca Morocco are already on my list. The Falkland Islands sound really interesting – a “Galápagos-like spot swarming with penguins, seals, whales and other wildlife” off the coast of Argentina.

Rio de Janeiro - the NY Times' #1 place to visit in 2013
Rio de Janeiro – the NY Times’ #1 place to visit in 2013

Teton Mountains

I loved Singapore, Hvar, Philippines, Jackson Hole Wyoming. I also liked Chichen Itza, Bangkok, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico

Louvre Lens Museum

The introduce some interesting places, like an arid mountainous area in China called Ningxia that’s been transformed to a wine region that LVMH is investing in.

Mexico Mayan Calendar 2012

I’ll be posting about these locations in upcoming weeks…

Photos from the original NY Times article.


The Longest Way Home

A friend just posted this page from the travel book, “The Longest Way Home: One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down, ” and it captures one element of the importance of travel beautifully!

It’s written by the travel writing award-winning Andrew McCarthy (IMDB bio), who you may know from his acting career, as an original Brat Pack member (Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, later Weekend at Bernie’s).

Reposted from Grace – “A great read so far!  Recommended for all who dream of travel, have dabbled in travel, or have been incurable from the travel bug.”  Thanks Grace!

From the book, The Longest Way Home
Page from the book, The Longest Way Home


From Booklist:

Who knew that McCarthy, a familiar face on the big screen (St. Elmo’s Fire, Pretty in Pink) and the small (Law & Order, Monk), is also a noted travel writer! An editor at large for National Geographic Traveler and winner of several awards (including Travel Journalist of the Year), he contributes travel articles to numerous publications, and his work has appeared in the anthology The Best American Travel Writing. This is not some memoir written by an actor who fancies himself a world traveler. McCarthy really is a world traveler—and a damned fine writer, too. The book features eight destinations—New York, Patagonia, the Amazon, the Osa, Vienna, Baltimore, Kilimanjaro, and Dublin—and, along the way, McCarthy explores himself, too, introducing us to a man whose love for life is matched only by his love for the woman he would eventually marry (and whose growing importance to McCarthy is a thread that runs throughout the book). To readers who think, “Andrew McCarthy? Really?” the answer is a resounding and emphatic yes. Really.

Global first: Brit visits all 201 states without flying

If you think my goal of traveling to all 50 states and 50 countries by age 50 is impressive, check out this guy.  A British adventurer has become the first person to travel to all 201 sovereign states in the world without flying. It took four years and ended when he arrived in South Sudan, the world’s newest nation.

Graham Hughes used buses, boats, taxis, trains, and his own two feet – but never an airplane – to travel 160,000 miles in exactly 1,426 days, spending an average of less than $100 a week.

“I love travel, and I guess my reason for doing it was I wanted to see if this could be done, by one person traveling on a shoestring,” Hughes said from Juba, South Sudan’s capital. “I think I also wanted to show that the world is not some big, scary place, but in fact is full of people who want to help you even if you are a stranger.”

now that's impressive! This guy visited all 193 United Nations member states plus Taiwan, Vatican City, Palestine, Kosovo, Western Sahara (plus the 4 home nations of the United Kingdom)
now that’s impressive! This guy visited all 193 United Nations member states plus Taiwan, Vatican City, Palestine, Kosovo, Western Sahara (plus the 4 home nations of the United Kingdom)

Hughes, 33, set out from his home in Liverpool in northern England on New Year’s Day 2009.

Get inspired. (a tribute to photography)

I love this photography video!  It’s both beautiful and inspiring – a wonderful 1-minute tribute to photography. After watching I wanted to get out to take more photos.


This video is from Canon, for their new Canon EOS Rebel T4i, which is selling for ~$950 USD. I haven’t used the Canon EOS Rebel T4i or even researched it just yet – I just loved the travel photography video. Personally I’ve been a Nikon DSLR user – I’m actually about to start researching for my next DSLR again shortly.

Amazon link.

Own a Private Island!

Ever dreamed of owning a private island?  Apparently they’re available for sale.

Guess where in the world this exotic location is…

East Sister Rock Island Florida -
East Sister Rock Island – now you know what to get me for the holidays…

Florida. Yeah that’s right, right here in the United States. For just $12 million you can own East Sister Rock Island off the coast of Florida, which comes with its own moat. Act now and they’ll even throw in the 5,000 foot home and a helipad. Bargain!

Apparently there are entire sites dedicated to listings of private islands. Thanks to Amateur Traveler for inspiring this post.

How I lost 19 lbs while adding muscle before my trip

About 6 months before I went on my big trip through Asia, I decided it was time to get serious about getting into shape, and ended up losing 19 pounds while adding a bunch of muscle. The best part?  It was easy!

Weight loss wasn’t the goal – I wanted to improve my fitness, physique, body composition, and overall health. Weight’s a terrible measure of success, but it’s often helpful to measure something. I was already getting to the gym, so most of the tweaks that made an impact were from my nutrition, and thus that’s what I’ll focus on here.
A bunch of friends noticed my progress (adding extra motivation!), and asked me what I’ve been doing; which diet I’ve followed, what I gave up, and what the secrets were. Some are already getting great results by making some of these little adjustments. While this post isn’t directly travel related, they’ve asked me to share my nutrition and fitness tips for a positive body composition transformation.  Please do let me know if it helps you!
Group shot - after diving in Bali -
Week one of my trip in Bali – that’s me on the left in the blue bathing suit. I had just finished getting “Open Water Certified” for SCUBA diving
Which diet did you follow?

I don’t have a “diet” – instead i focus on basic principles and stick to them as often as I can. That makes it sustainable. There are problems with every “diet” out there – Atkins, South Beach, etc. Note that I’m not a nutritionist – I’ve read a bunch from RD’s and decided on a strategy, which has been phenomenally successful for me.