Friday’s Recommended Reads – August 19th

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Another week is drawing to a close and there’s been a lot of great posts. So many, in fact, that I’ve had to expand this week’s list to seven blogs to accommodate the sheer awesomeness on display.

Why yes, I am dashingly handsome. Thanks for noticing.

Heather from The Kimchi Chronicles left mid week and while it was sad to see her leave, I’ve definitely enjoyed having my bedroom back to myself. I just feel dirty playing Torchlight and fervently tapping away at my keyboard to update my blog when there’s somebody trying to sleep in the same room.

Oh, and before I forget, I’ve got to send out a big congrats to Craig (and Caz) from over at yTravel Blog on being invited to take part in the Great Crusade for this year’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. Even as a non rugby fan (rugby league is my rugby of choice), I’m jealous of the great experience Craig’s about to have. I look forward to reading more about it.

The Reads

What Happens in Vegas by A Dangerous Business

Amanda’s adventures around the United States continued this week and the highlight for me was her visit to Las Vegas. I was lucky enough to pay a visit to the city of excess myself in 2009 and have fond memories of $2 Coronas, scantily clad women, deep fried twinkies, and being moved to tears by The Lion King at Mandalay Bay.

Amanda’s own entry is packed full of stunning photographs from her travels in and around the city. I particularly liked the attention she paid to the famous Strip, since it’s an area I didn’t get much of a chance to explore on my limited budget.

An Epic Hike on the Best Part of the Great Wall of China by Around the World L

Despite living so close to China for two and a half years of my life, I only managed to pay the ancient country one visit. That particular visit took me to tropical Hainan in the country’s south, so I’ve never had the pleasure of standing atop the Great Wall.

Louise’s recount of her day exploring the wall isn’t just a great read with a lot of photos to induce envy, but she’s packed it full of interesting trivia about the ancient site as well as highlighting a few of your options if you’re considering your own hike along the wall.

Top Six Beaches in Australia by WhyGo Australia

I usually spend more time reading Brooke’s other blog, but I’ll often spend a bit of time browsing through the wealth of information on the Why Go Australia site. This week Brooke got people talking about the six best beaches in Australia.

Neither of my nominations were included (Redhead Beach in Newcastle and One Mile Beach near Nelson’s Bay), but there’s some absolute stunners on display in this one.

My gripe? Bondi’s inclusion. I’ve always considered Bondi to be a grossly overrated beach. I can think of 3-4 beaches in Sydney I prefer.

What do you think?

How to Get a Job Working in Africa by Backpacking Chica

I’ve written at length about the process of looking for work in South Korea as a teacher, so I was really interested to see what the Chica had to say about finding work in Africa.

Africa (and South America) have both leaped onto my radar over the past few months as places I’d really love to explore more, and there’s a lot of useful tips here from somebody who has been there and done it. A great reference if you’re contemplating an African sea change.

Would You Like Fries With That?: Coping with Reverse Culture Shock by Flight of the Deaf Travel Bee

Reversal culture shock is certainly something I can relate to, and I know a lot of travelers have their own tales of being overwhelmed by the transition upon returning home.

The Travel Bee eases us into the whole topic by describing her experience being completely inundated with options at McDonalds and uses that as a great image to frame up the whole topic. A really interesting and open bit of storytelling.

Why Do We Travel? by Man on the Lam

This marks Raymond’s second appearance in my Recommended Reads and his first for a story that doesn’t involve guy on cross-dresser lip locking. Kudos!

It’s a question we have all asked ourselves before and had others ask us, but Raymond tackles the ‘Why do we travel?’ question with enthusiasm and makes a lot of really profound points.

He ends the post asking why it is that we (the reader) travel. There’s some great discussion on the matter too. Go weigh in!

Top 10 Places You Can’t Go by Listverse

This one doesn’t really come from a blog, but I enjoyed reading it so much that I had to mention it here.

The guys and gals at Listverse count down ten mysterious places that most of us probably won’t ever have the chance to experience. From the obligatory Area 51 mention to places shrouded in mystery in Russia and North Korea, there’s some really intriguing places out there.

And I’m ashamed to say I’d only heard of one of these places before today.

What’s Going On?

Enjoying a post work sangria (or five) at Cafe Pacifico in Darlinghurst.

In addition to a recent visit to La Bodeguito del Midio on York Street, I had a chance to sample the Mexican fare on offer at Cafe Pacifico last night as part of an iiNet work function. Tomorrow night I’m checking out the tapas El Bulli for a friend’s birthday – so expect to see a piece on the exquisite Latin flavors on offer in Sydney real soon.

I’ve recovered from last week’s City 2 Surf run and returned to the gym this morning. Why?

Well, in addition to my ten year reunion in November and the planned visit from my good friend Heather next year – I’m also wanting to look good for my October vacation where I’ll participate in the Brisbane Zombie Walk, spend a week at beautiful Tangalooma on Moreton Island, and then celebrate Halloween in Rocky Horror costume at Movie World. Not a bad way to blow a pay check or three, eh?

I’ve also got the Pub 2 Pub walk next weekend, there’s a Travel Tribe meet next week that I’m excited about (and not just because I finally get to meet Alicia and Jessalyn) and in September I’m taking part in the Great Nomads Chase here in Sydney with a lot of other local travel bloggers and industry folk. Can’t wait!

My life is so exciting right now, and I’m still on home soil! Gotta love that.

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