How a Year of Language and Travel Made Me a Better Global Citizen

This isn’t the pretentious ‘global citizen’ that you hear in hostels from hipsters who think their own passport isn’t cool enough to warrant a straight answer when you ask where they’re from. I mean the actual philosophical, civic, and social idea of being a global citizen and…

16 Ways to Study a Language Abroad for Free

Language immersion is not only the best way to learn a new language, but also sort of the reason this blog exists. When I turned 21, I only spoke English, and one of the reasons was that I thought I’d just never have the time…

A Backpack’s-Eye View of East Nashville

I find it really silly and almost cute when people say that the United States has no culture. First of all, just on logical grounds that’s a ridiculous statement — the definition of ‘culture‘ is basically just all the stuff that happens when a group…

The 7 Stages of the Traveler’s Social Cycle

Last week I shared some of the ‘travel fails‘ that led me to say hasta luego to Mexico and spend some time in Florida working on my location-independent business. One of the themes of that post that I couldn’t supress was the social one —…

Lengua Española: The Latin American Lingua Franca

An American, a Brit, a Frenchman, and a Mexican walk into a bar hostel: what language do they speak? In a recent past life, I would have said English without a thought or hesitation, even if there weren’t two native speakers in the mix. But in…

(Un)common Sense Tips for Budget Backpacking

In my last post I shared some updates about where I am on the road from NOLA to Bogotá and how I’ve stretched my limited funds to get here with budget backpacking. After that post, I realized I’m always alluding to ideas like ‘cheap travel’ and ‘backpacking on…

Location Independence Mexico City

NOLA to Bogotá Update: Becoming Location Independent in Mexico City

Last October I left the Netherlands to go work as a volunteer teacher in Bogotá, Colombia, but somewhere along the way I took a wrong turn and landed about 3,000 km north in Mexico City. Instead of moving to one place, I’m now traveling indefinitely, and instead…

9 Reasons You Must Add Querétaro to Your Mexican Itinerary

Santiago de Querétaro took about half a day to become my favorite stop in Mexico so far and join the ranks of my favorite destinations worldwide. Which is why I was so disappointed when I realized that consulting a guidebook or Googling Mexico travel topics…

A Few Reasons New Orleans is Still my Favorite American City

Last week I left Tallahassee, FL on a $9 Megabus to New Orleans, the city that put the ‘NOLA’ in ‘NOLA to Bogotá’. This makes my fourth visit to the Crescent City, and this time it was colder than it was in Holland, a few degrees below…

Backpacking the Hispanosphere: NOLA to Bogotá

When I left Holland this October, my intention was to travel a bit through the Balkans and London, go spend a month or so with family in Florida, and then by the end of December fly south to Colombia where I would teach English in…