Recommended Reads – December 9th

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Excuses, Excuses


I’ve been a bad little boy, I know. If any of my prettier female friends would like to spank me, I totally understand.


Oh well…

As my Google Reader list grows (and it picked up another five or six this week), so too does the mountain of new content I need to read each week to get this post together. Today it was at a rather respectable 716, and that managed to grow to 724 as I was reading. You bastards are prolific and you can expect a bill for my imminent carpal tunnel treatment.


What’s Going On?


Truth be told, I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. I’m toying with the idea of putting up a post about the ‘why’ behind that, but we’ll see.

Regardless, I started the week at something of a low for recent months and it took a bit of effort to shake me out of it.

I started by that most manly of pursuits – baking. In one evening I whipped together a big order of scrambled eggs to ensure I had breakfast for the week; made a massive portion of my (stolen) black bean and lentil burrito mix, and then branched out and cooked up a batch of butter-free oatmeal and raisin muffins.

There was something really cathartic about the whole process and by night’s end I was in a much better place emotionally.

Social Butterfly

In a further effort to fend off the blues, I’ve kept good and busy this week. There was a visit to The Star (Sydney’s casino) on Tuesday night with co-workers; a gastronomically decadent evening of food with Mel from The Mellyboo Project; and then a night of NBL action that finished with beers with a few of the players and a conversation with the editor of my favorite magazine, Four Four Two.

Not a bad week’s effort.


Aussie on the Net


It’s also been a big week for Aussie on the Road. Not only have I finally bitten the bullet and upgraded to the super spiffy Thesis theme, but I’ve also had a few posts go live around the internet and been featured on a few sites.You can see them all below:

A good week indeed!

The Reads


Another bumper week of reading means another bumper crop of recommendations. And since last edition saw the reads split into categories, I’ve decided to go ahead and do it again. Let me know what you think of the new format.


Thought Provoking Reads

I think about this week's thought provoking reads

Why Vietnam? by Byron and His Backpacks

I first ‘met’ Byron on a pro wrestling discussion board and we bonded over a mutual love of comedy and travel. As fate would have it, we both ended up on the Korean peninsula at the same time and had the opportunity to hang out a few times.

One of these produced my most popular post to date as the two of us ran wild on Busan’s Texas Street.

Byron now finds himself in Vietnam and this post about his reasons for heading there over more lucrative possibilities at home and abroad sums up why I consider Byron such a good friend and why I want to be back out on the road again.

Closing Bogota Brothel Tours by Expat Chronicles

I heard such interesting things about Colin prior to reading this entry. Word of his debaucherous travels and his frank discussion of sex had spread across the blogosphere and finally reached me a few weeks ago.

So it was a bit of a surprise to read such a mature and interesting post about something that wasn’t sex when I stumbled by today. Colin’s going through a bit of a chance and he discusses his reasons why. It makes for interesting reading.

I Quit My Job by GQ Trippin’

Kieu from GQ Trippin’ recently made the difficult decision to quit a job she didn’t hate in order to pursue a life that she wants. Having had to hand in resignations at two jobs I’ve loved in the past, I could really feel for Kieu (pronounced ‘Q’) as she made the tough short term decision to get the long term benefit.

Out of the Closet and into the Peat by Man on the Lam

While Raymond’s blog is often a source of laugh out loud moments for me (and this week’s description of Peat magazines was no exception), he’s also a man with a poweul ability to make you think as well. His post about death on the road was a good example of this.

I’m a sucker for posts that make me question my current state and inspire me to pursue my travel dreams, and Raymond’s words are further fuel to the far from dying embers of my desire to get out and see more of the world.

Road Romance or One Night Stand by Reclaiming My Future

This one is a bit of a blast from the past, having been written back in May and brought to my attention recently by Anthony from Man vs Clock. Tony lists off a bunch of lucky bastards/conquests from her time on the road in a remarkably frank and straightforward post.

It’s interesting to think that I would probably be lynched for writing a post along the same lines but high fived for having the tales to tell. Meanwhile, Toni would arguably be in the opposite position. One of those unfair bits of life and gender discrimination.

But oh to make this list.

You’re Traveling, Stop Whinging by The Mellyboo Project

I’m about to bid a fond farewell to Mel at week’s end when she jets off to New Zealand to continue her journey, so my farewell gift to her is drawing your attention to this great post that comes complete with a pretty bloody foxy picture of the lovely lass to boot. If you’re not already following the vivacious and witty Mel, you should be!

The post itself attacks the negativity that some travelers seem to carry about with them, as if they’re being put upon by the world. Give ’em hell, Mel!

Kiva: Helping People Help Themselves by Our Oyster

Jade and James from Our Oyster contribute to the Travel Bloggers Give Back project by highlighting the wonderful charity that is Kiva. If you’re not aware of Kiva or its micro-loans system, this is a great crash course in what I believe to be one of the most admirable charity organizations out there.


Destination Reads

Come with me if you want to live

The School Toilet in China that May Make You Gasp by Around the World L

I really wasn’t sure where else to put this one. It’s not really thought provoking, nor is it a travel tip. And while I imagine a school toilet in China doesn’t really rank as a destination – here’s a good a place as any.

Go, read, and grimace at the whole experience.

Why, Indonesia, Why? by Baliology

I was lucky enough to meet Tracie well before the travel bug bit here when I acted as stage manager on a first year theatre performance she was involved in at University. Over the years we’ve managed to stay in touch and her travels have taken her to Indonesia where she now lives the expat life.

This post, chock-full of rhetorical questions that Tracie wishes she could ask her adopted home, will bring a smile to the face of anybody who has lived abroad for a length of time. That mix of frustrating and endearing traits we’ve all made in our heads after long enough in one spot.

A Tragic Yet Amazing Thanksgiving in Rome by Breakway Backpacker

Anybody who has spent a holiday abroad will be able to relate to this one. Some of my fondest memories of South Korea involve attempting to bring those little touches of home and festivity to a holiday that isn’t necessarily celebrated in the area. Whether it was doing Christmas dinner at Outback Steakhouse or putting together a Thanksgiving dinner in a country without ovens – it was always a fun and challenging experience.
Jaime recounts his experience celebrating Thanksgiving far from home and with the company of fellow travelers and travel bloggers. I couldn’t help but smile. Doesn’t seem at all tragic to me.

The Blue Mountains: A Sensory Experience by C’est Christine

Christine has somehow crept onto my turf without my knowing it, and her travels have taken her out to the beautiful Blue Mountains where she sampled the local flavor and snapped some stunning photos along the way.

Now when are we going t get together and Bite with a Blogger, girl?

Exploring the Underwater World of Cozumel by Idelish

I can honestly say that I’ve never seen underwater photos quite as clear and stunning as these. Jeremy and Shirlene have put together a fantastic photo essay detailing their Mexican scuba diving experience.

And on a broader note, there are few blogs out there that I love the layout of more than Idelish. It’s so clear and easy to read. Way to go guys. You’re an inspiration.

Photo Essay: A Day Trip to Manly Beach by Lakwatsera de Primera

From the beaches of Mexico to the beaches of Manly! There are few places I love more than Manly, and Claire from Lakwatsera de Primera makes me jealous as she heads over the harbour and spends some time exploring the streets and beaches of Sydney’s rich north shore.

You can read about my own Manly visit here as well.

Getting Scammed in Shanghai… and My Revenge by Neverending Footsteps

Be still my beating heart!

I’ve had to rethink my opinion of Lauren after reading this one. She’s clearly not just a pretty face – she’s Chuck Norris’s illegitimate and travel obsessed daughter!

Even before Lauren laid the smackdown on a Chinese hoochie, this piece had my attention as she described a bit of a travel nightmare – being conned by locals.

Arguably my absolute favorite post from this week’s reads.

Bernkastel, Germany’s Picture Perfect Christmas Village by Traveling Canucks

Is it really the festive season already? It seems like only yesterday I was sunning myself on a Fijian beach and daydreaming about the year in South Korea that never came to pass.

If you’re like me and you’re having some difficulty feeling the spirit this year, the pictures in this one should get you in the mood to whip up some egg-nog and sing a few carols.

11 Reasons Why I Love Thailand by Nomadic Matt

I don’t really think there’s a travel blogger or reader out there who doesn’t already read Matt’s blog, so featuring it here is a bit silly. But in case you live under a rock, Matt is something of a travel blogging celebrity and he’s put together eleven reasons why Thailand should be on every traveler’s ‘to visit’ list.

And if it wasn’t already, you’re clearly a crazy person.

Playing with Mud in Colombia by Over Yonderlust

I’ve made mention on numerous occasions of my love for Korea’s Mud Festival, but the Land of the Morning Calm isn’t the only place in the world where getting muddy is a pastime.

The two childhood sweethearts from Over Yonderlust got down and (very) dirty in Colombia and I certainly intend on emulating their efforts somewhere down the line. Looks amazing.

Finding Balance with Sydney Scenic SUP by Wayward Traveler

Annie makes her second consecutive appearance as she steps out onto the shark infested waters of Sydney Harbour and tries her hand at stand up paddleboarding.

My own experiences with this pastime on Tangalooma were far from successful, but Annie seems to have taken to it with a good deal mroe success than me – and she got photos too!

The Best of Antarctica: 10 Must See Highlights by yTravel Blog

This one comes from Suzie at Memoirs of a Globetrotter, but marks Caz and Craig’s triumphant return to the reads after a brief hiatus. The Antarctica dream is one I know that a lot of travelers have – whether it’s the area’s stark beauty or a simple desire to have been to eevry continent, the great white south has an indisputable allure to the nomad community.

I would have thought an Antarctic itinerary could have been summed up as:

  • Be awestruck
  • Try not to freeze to death

But Suzie comes up with ten things you should try and do if ever your travels take you to the extreme south. Food for thought.

Helpful Reads

I help myself to some coconut milk

Staying Sane While Teaching English Abroad by The Art of Backpacking

I nodded along in agreement to a lot of these. Living and working abroad is a fantastic experience but it’s not one without its drawbacks. Jessica from Travel Discover Love‘s guest post on Art of Backpacking has a few tips on surviving the hard days and making the most of your time in another country. A good read for anybody plying their trade as an English teacher abroad.

The Complete 2011 FoxNomad Travel Gadget Gift Guide by Fox Nomad

Looking for something to give your favorite traveler this Christmas? The Fox Nomad has put together a very comprehensive list of gift-worthy gadgets that should have any nomad – digital or otherwise – grinning come Christmas morning.

Jordan Sightseeing Dos and Don’ts by Living the Dream RTW

If recent blog trends are anything to go by, Jordan is a pretty popular place amongst the digital nomads out there – and Jeremy & Angie have put together some great tips and words of advice for those planning to visit the beautiful Middle Eastern country.

I clearly need to update my bucket list…

Essential Reads for Digital Nomads: Blog Edition by Neverending Voyage

From accommodation to making money to a gear, there’s something in this post for everybody out there. Plenty of links to useful sites and helpful hints, and all compiled on one place. This one’s going straight to my bookmarks bar.


Places to Ride Out the Zombie Apocalypse by Travelated

Alex and Emily strike a note close to my heart as they list off the destinations they think best suit weathering the inevitable zombie apocalypse. If the zombie apocalypse is something that crosses your mind from time to time (and if it isn’t, why isn’t it!?), you’ll get a chuckle out of this one.

I do think Vegas is a bloody awful choice though. Sure, you can see zombies coming from the Nevada desert – but what about the thousands doubtlessly stumbling along the Strip and traipsing down Fremont Street?


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