You’ve wondered it, but never wanted to ask, knowing the question itself could be an admission of guilt. The shampoo was nice. That conditioner in your room, I mean, come on it was KenetMD (thanks Laura for educating me about this brand). The question is simple: When you stay at a hotel, what’s for the taking, and what just becomes straight up stealing?
Are you hoarding travel sized toiletries? (Photo Credit: Jojos.org)
Shopping portals. We’ve spoken about them here and there, but not done an exhaustive post about them. And before you ask, no, we won’t make exhaustive exhausting. The goal is simple: earn miles with little effort. Rinse. Repeat. Shopping portals are simply ways to get extra points, miles, or dollars for purchases you are planning to make anyway! Something for nothing? Well, in this case yes, sort of. But there’s a trick to everything, and in this case the trick isn’t that hard to overcome. Continue reading
Six weeks. It’s been six weeks since I stepped foot outside our border. Crazy as it may sound, that’s something of a record for me in recent years and I must confess, it’s been somewhat nice. I forgot how much I really enjoy my own bed. I’d been so tired from travel that I often wasn’t invested in one of the things I love most: Exploring my own backyard. But not to worry, a couple days in Tijuana next weekend will break this streak. And then in November, things great really real. We’re traveling. A LOT. As in one trip to Rome, Budapest, Amsterdam, Tokyo, and maybe Kyoto then a month later a journey back to Hong Kong, a safari and more with Laura’s family in South Africa, a stop in Doha before a quick visit with my family in Chicago en route to El Salvador. This will be the most we’ve traveled since our epic jaunt through Asia in 2012. And here’s the thing: we need your help! Continue reading
“This is my voice. There are many like it, but this one is mine.” Shane Koyczan has some incredible spoken word poetry, but this is perhaps the most inspiring and thought provoking. I watch this spoken word performance on a near monthly basis. At times it’s a source of great comfort, to know there are others who use their voice in a similar way as mine. Other times it’s a cause of discomfort, as I’m forced to reflect about why and how my voice has gone silent at critical moments. But one thing is for certain, today, I am at last comfortable sharing a very personal piece of work that does say “This is my voice. There are many like it, but this one is mine.” Continue reading
A couple years ago at a party, we met a man who seemed so familiar. The longer we hung out and flung stories back and forth, the more we connected. “You’re sure we’ve never met” I asked for about the 5th time, at a total loss as for why this stranger seemed so familiar to me. He smiled sheepishly, and said “If I tell you where you know me from, promise not to tell other people at the party?” And then he said that famous line: Continue reading
From time to time, we come across some really great travel stories worth passing along. Some are fresh off the press, others might be oldies but goodies as my father would say. But each of them have left us intrigued and/or inspired! Continue reading
We’ve all been there before. In the back of a taxi in a new country, frantically whispering back and forth. Worried that you’ve made the wrong decision. Anxious that you’ll make the taxi driver upset. The etiquette of tipping is a stressful affair, because there is no consistency. While we always recommend researching the travel etiquette of a country prior to arriving (not just how and when to tip, but also what to wear or not wear, how to say “please” and “thank you”, etc.), the reality is, that with different expectations in different countries, it’s easy to forget or to get mixed up.
We experienced this firsthand on our trip around Asia. We arrived in Tokyo in the early evening, hungry and jetlagged from the flight. So, of course, we dumped our bags, sought out the first restaurant we could find, and sat down to eat. Halfway through our meal, we realized that we had forgotten to research the tipping etiquette for Japan (we typically do a refresh of basic traveller etiquette in the country before heading out on the first day). As the meal came to an end, we frantically began looking around at other tables, trying to gauge what we should do. No luck. English is not commonly spoken in Japan, so we couldn’t resort to politely asking the server, either. So after paying our bill and receiving our change, we cautiously pushed the change back across the table to the server…only to watch her horrified expression as she quickly pushed the change back to us. Mortified, we grabbed the change, mumbled an apology, and rushed out the door.
Lesson learned: tipping can be potentially considered insulting in Japan. We’ll keep that in mind when we return this fall. We’ve learned from our mistakes (for the most part, with a stumble here and there), and have a number of sure-fire ways to approach tipping etiquette in a new country.
To recline or not to recline, that does seem to be the question nowadays. We always knew airline space was limited, but epic battles 30,000 feet above sea level have now diverted three planes as passengers duke it out, screaming and shouting, tossing soda on one another, and so on. I wish we were joking, but we’re not. And so if you travel enough, you must too be asking: What’s the proper etiquette on reclining seats when in limited space with other passengers? We’ve got some thoughts on this and suggestions on how to deal with the shrinking economy seat! Continue reading