There’s no such thing as too prepared

Milles/Shutterstock
Milles/Shutterstock
You can’t be too prepared.

I understood that in the abstract sense — who doesn’t? — but it wasn’t until one day exactly 20 years ago that I learned what it really meant. That’s the drizzly, bitter cold Northern California day I discovered I was broke.

I lived in a rat-infested tool shed that had been turned into a spare bedroom in a run-down part of East Berkeley. Down to my last $20, I trudged up to Telegraph Ave., to visit my bank. There, an ATM delivered the bad news dispassionately: I didn’t have enough money in my account to cover next month’s rent.

Come March, I’d be homeless.
Continue reading…

8 Comments


Smart travel advice: Let the destination be your guide

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARolf Potts took his first extended trip — an eight-month journey across North America — two decades ago, and he hasn’t stopped. “I’ve traveled independently on every continent except Antarctica for as long as two years at a time, often for less money than it would cost me to live a rooted life in a major American city,” says Potts, the author of Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel. He’s walked across Israel, bicycled across Burma, piloted a fishing boat down the Laotian Mekong, and driven a Land Rover across the Americas. In 2010, to prove a point about traveling light, he trekked around the world for six weeks with no luggage or bags of any kind. “I’m a big believer in making time in your life to travel long-term and in taking things slow,” he adds. “It’s easier and cheaper than one might think.”
Continue reading…

One Comment


Bad holiday travel advice – and the bad pundits who give it

I’m done with offering the same dry travel advice every year at about this time. Finished!

You’ve seen the tips: book your tickets early, travel on the holiday, spread your legs for the TSA and you’re guaranteed to have a good trip.

But the travel advice you’re likely to read around the holidays is growing mold, and not once in all of my years of offering it to my good readers has anyone written to say “thank you for recycling.”

You deserve better.
Continue reading…

185 Comments