Category Archives: Uncategorized

Visit50 Challenge update – Denmark!

Visit50 Challenge update (my quest to visit all 50 states and 50 countries by age 50) – after visiting Denmark, I’ve now received more stamps in my passport from countries than I have years on this earth. Woohoo!  So for visiting 50 countries by age 50 I’m on my way!  Here’s the updated tally of countries I’ve visited (also found on the above drop-down menu under About > Keeping Score). How many have you visited?

I’ll be posting about my adventures in Copenhagen, as well as Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, and more from the Philippines (Boracay!).

Best Airlines for Redeeming Miles

Which are the best airlines for redeeming frequent-flier air miles and points?  If you think they’re all the same, think again. They’re drastically different.

We were planning a trip earlier this month (decided on Copenhagen!) and looked at United/Continental, American Airlines, and Delta, and found drastic differences. United was great, and Delta was terrible. I thought these were just my personal experiences, but the Wall Street Journal just posted research from Switchfly – Best Airlines for Redeeming Miles, which supports that as an overall trend. Southwest was the best.

The worst among U.S. airlines: Delta Air Lines and US Airways. Those two had no seats available at the lowest mileage level on about two out of every three inquires, or worse

In our search, United was great, with tons of flight times and flights to CPH for just 30k miles. American Airlines had the same mileage threshold for some times but not enough – they made you burn a day on each side of the trip by flying to London at inconvenient times and not being able to leave same day. In the below chart, you’ll notice AA towards the bottom of the list, and Delta fittingly as dead last:

Honeymoon Around the World

Mega-moon: Honeymoon Around the World

Most couples go on their honeymoon for a week or two, or if they’re really lucky, maybe three weeks at most.  Imagine taking an entire year off to travel around the world, together. Take a honeymoon around the world trip. It’s a mega-moon!

I first heard of this concept from a German couple we met during our thresher shark dive in Malapascua, in the Philippines. After getting married, newlyweds Sandra and Chris left their home in Germany and began a honeymoon backpacking adventure around the world together. Amazing experience!

Chris and Sandra took their honeymoon around the world. It's a mega-moon!
ATW Honeymoon! Chris and Sandra after our thresher shark dive in the Philippines

Most people are surprised to learn that it really doesn’t have to cost a lot to travel, especially in places like southeast Asia.  The big savings comes from lodging – Chris and Sandra were spending less than $15/night when we met them in Malapascua, in the Philippines. Consider how much you pay in rent – and imagine how far that money would go towards travel.

The 10 Best Animal Photos

Best Animal Photos of 2011

The top 10 Best Animal Photos of 2011 – incredibly cute photos from around the world.  It’s not my photography, but rather from some of the best animal photojournalism of the past year. They’re from everywhere from China and the Philippines, to Russia, Slovakia, and Germany. I loved this Ginger Orange Seal, and the chimpanzee nursing a tiger. Which were your favorites?

Ginger orange seal on Tyuleniy Island in Russia. Best Animal Photos of 2011
Ginger orange seal on Tyuleniy Island in Russia – Via: theuniblog.evilspacerobot.com
A baby hippo and his mother. Best Animal Photos of 2011
A baby hippo and his mother

Adorable animal photography.

2 yr old chimpanzee Do Do feeds milk to Aorn, a 2-month-old tiger cub. Best Animal Photos of 2011
2-year-old chimpanzee “Do Do” feeds milk to “Aorn” – a 2-month-old tiger cub. (Reuters / Sukree Sukplang)
A Kamchatka Brown Bear and one of her two three-month-old cubs share a kiss in Hamburg, Germany. (Reuters - Fabian Bimmer). Best Animal Photos of 2011
A Kamchatka Brown Bear and one of her two three-month-old cubs share a kiss in Hamburg, Germany. (Reuters – Fabian Bimmer)
Chengdu - 12 giant panda cubs lie in a crib at the Chengdu Research Base in China. (Reuters China Daily). Best Animal Photos of 2011
12 giant panda cubs lie in a crib at the Chengdu Research Base in China. (Reuters – China Daily)
one-month-old jaguar cub at the Leningrad city zoo in St. Petersburg, Russia. Best Animal Photos of 2011
one-month-old jaguar cub at the Leningrad city zoo in St. Petersburg, Russia

African spurred tortoise with two heads and five legs is displayed in Slovakia Best Animal Photos of 2011

Halloween Around the World

Halloween has gone global!  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, but I didn’t realize it’s caught on outside America. Have you ever been outside the US for Halloween where people dressed up in costumes?  You might be surprised to learn…in Beijing and Tokyo they dress up and go to costume parties. Do people dress up in costumes and celebrate Halloween in your country?

In the United States, adults still dress up in fun costumes and go to parties (at least 20 and 30-somethings in major cities) on the weekend of Halloween.  In the US it’s a night of role play, where you can make any concept into a fun slutty version just for one evening. Halloween costumes can be funny, sexy, scary, and/or a great character that you loved from that movie/TV show/cartoon/commercial or viral video.


Photo of the costumes from our Halloween parties the past few years

As children we used to dress up and walk from house to house “trick-or-treating” and get candy (the “treat”), and we just kept the costume part of that concept.

What do they do in your country?   How big of an event is it – do most young adults dress up for the weekend of Halloween, or is it mostly just ex-pats getting it started?

Profiled on a travel website: Tripper of the Week

Seven questions with…me!  I’m featured as the “Tripper of the Week” on travel community website, Tripping.com.   The interview covers what inspired me to travel for a half year through 15 countries, the interactions with locals that were most memorable, the most exciting outdoor activities I did on my trip, and what I love most about NYC. They have a great site and community; check it out!

-> Tripper of the Week: Todd Cohen | The Tripping Blog

Todd Cohen is a world traveler, photographer, writer.  He lives for travel adventures, and just got back from a half-year trip which took him to 15 countries (and shares them on Visit50.com).  Although he’s traveled all around the globe, he has a soft spot for NYC.

Here’s the full interview.

Machu Picchu, Peru, in South America after 5 days of hiking and camping

I’ve used both Tripping and CouchSurfing.com and think they have great travel communities; I’ll write about them in an upcoming post. In the meantime, enjoy their 7-question interview:

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Tell us a little bit more about your background – Todd in a nutshell.