Recommend Reads: May 20th, 2014

By Aussie on the Road on  4 Comments
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A few years back, when I worked an office job and had precious little else to do but read blogs and play Zombie Lane (does anybody even remember that Facebook game?); I put together a list of recommended reads each week to save you the trouble of trawling through thousands of new posts.

Life hasn’t been any busier since I relocated to China, but instead of being chained to a desk with only the internet for entertainment, I’ve got a somewhat broader brush with which to paint my social landscape. That means, sadly, that the last recommended reads column would have been in early 2012. Shame on me!

With some unexpected free time on my hands during the changeover between old classes and new, I thought I’d put together a list of some of the best blogs I’ve read this week. Feel free to suggest your own recommendations in the comments section and I’ll consider them for next week!

In no particular order…

#12 – Everest Base Camp Trek: Day 11 by Wandering On

Part of Brian (and Noelle)’s ongoing series about his epic trek up Mount Everest, this one ought to inspire even the most dedicated couch potato to get out there and do something with themselves.

Photo courtesy of Wandering On.
Photo courtesy of Wandering On.

Laden with gorgeous photos of a place not everybody will get the chance to see in their lifetime, this one is another installment in an engaging series on Everest.

#11 – 19 Things to Know Before You go to Myanmar by grrrltraveler

I’d been hearing a lot about this solo travel blog, but hadn’t got around to check it out until just now. Shame on me! The site is packed full of interesting travel tips, stories, and all sorts of other interesting stuff. And she’s a fellow ESL teacher in Korea to boot!

This week’s post is a collection of handy cultural tips and nuggets of wisdom that will come in handy if you’re planning to visit Myanmar/Burma. It’s very much on my list, so I read this one with interest.

#10 – Falling in Love Abroad by Where is Kait?

When I’m not day-dreaming about eloping with the gorgeous Kait, I’m reading her always entertaining blog. Hopeless romantic that I am, I couldn’t very well not read her recent post about her thoughts on falling in love while abroad.

That’s the only kind of falling in love I do!

Kait daydreams about love and life. Photo courtesy of Where is Kait?
Kait daydreams about love and life. Photo courtesy of Where is Kait?

Kaitlyn discusses some feelings that I’ve had in the past and find myself having more and more as I grow older, and while I’ve not seen the films that inspired the entry, I could relate to a lot of it. If you’ve ever fallen into or out of love on the road, you’ll be able to relate to this one.

#9 – Ruben Enaje: The Annual Crucifixion Event in the Philippines by Where Sidewalks End

This one interested me for two reasons: firstly, I’m currently fascinated with the Philippines as I look at it as a potential base of operations in 2015, and secondly, I was raised Roman Catholic and find the religion fascinating even if I no longer practice it myself.

Photo courtesy of Where Sidewalks End
Photo courtesy of Where Sidewalks End

This practice is absolutely fascinating, and Ian does his usual wonderful job of telling you not only about the event, but giving you all the extra information you’d need to witness it for yourself.

#8 – Eat, Pray, Love – A Man’s Perspective by Man vs Clock

As an unabashed hater of this syrrupy tripe, both in its original form and its Hollywood form, I was intrigued to know if I was in the minority in my hatred of this film or if my homeboy, Anthony would back me up.

I won’t spoil it for you, but you’ll find his blow by blow review of the movie far more entertaining than the film itself.

#7 – Meat Market Macabre by Man on the Lam

This one isn’t for the faint of heart or the week of stomach, but I find these kinds of articles really fascinating. Raymond from Man on the Lam paid a visit to a traditional market in Indonesia and snapped some eye-opening (and stomach churning) shots of just what was on offer.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

#6 – You Know You’re a Traveler When by Nomadic American

Not all of the items on this amusing list applied to me, but there were enough of them that had me nodding along in agreement that I had to share the post. Take a look and see how many of them apply to you!


Ah, the humble trike! Photo courtesy of Nomadic American
Ah, the humble trike! Photo courtesy of Nomadic American

#5 – The Most Stressful Things About Travel (and how to avoid them) by Off the Path.

Who amongst us hasn’t had a moment of stress bordering on panic from time to time while on the road? Sebastian from Off the Path has compiled a list of some of his most common travel stresses and some bloody handy tips on how to cope with that stress.

Who knew you could download a Google map for offline viewing? I’ve been searching for Starbucks like an idiot!

#4 – Budget Travel in Iceland by Our Oyster

Jade and Daniel (and Jacob) from Our Oyster haven’t let having their first child get in the way of their jet-setting, and this week they’ve put together some tips on how to travel in Iceland on a budget. If Iceland is on your own travel to do list (and it should be), there’s some choice advice in here to make the trip more affordable.

And more affordable means more time to explore the beautiful country. You little ripper.

Photo courtesy of Our Oyster
Photo courtesy of Our Oyster

#3 – The Most Fun Thing on Martha’s Vinyard: Alpaca Farm by Around the World L

It’s a good thing I read that entire title, because Lillie had me at ‘alpaca farm’. Having grown up on a farm next to these curious creatures, I’m a sucker for all things South American quadrupedal mammal.

Another traveler with a little world wanderer in tow, it’s perhaps not a surprise that this entry focuses on a fun family visit to an alpaca farm in a place where most people are off searching for the best clam chowder or the finest place to view the changing of the leaves.

If you’re having a rough day at the office and want to gaze at some ridiculously cute furry creatures, or if you’re planning your own trip to the New England, this one is a good’un for you.

#2 – Introduction to South African Slang by Bitten by the Travel Bug

I lost my virginity to a South African lass, so perhaps that’s the reason I’ve got an enduring fondness for the rainbow nation. I’m sure Nicole’s reasons for visiting were more pure than mine, but regardless of the reason, she’s put together a rather spiffy guide to South African slang that makes for interesting reading.

If you’re likewise interested in Australian slang, my China, check out my guide on How to Speak Australian.

#1 – Things to do in Edinburgh by 1 Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure

I wish I’d read this entry about two weeks ago before my own trip to Edinburgh, but as it was, Talon arrived shortly after my departure. If I were a more paranoid person, I’d say he and Tigger were avoiding me… >_>

Even without Talon as a guide, I did manage to do a few of the things he recommended and come up with  a few he didn’t. If you’re looking for ideas on how to spend your time in the Scottish capital, go check the entry out.

Your Say

What have been your favourite reads this week?

Do you have a post of your own you’d like me to consider for next week’s column? Share it in the comments!

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