Tallahassee: Florida’s Up-and-Coming Cool City

Color me biased, but I think Florida gets such an undue bad rap these days. When I was a kid growing up outside Jacksonville, my home state was known for its beaches, great college football, awesome Cuban food (and Mexican food, and seafood in general),…

How to Sit Alone on a Greyhound

If you’ve ever taken a long-term backpacking trip or just been a poor college student in the US, you’re probably familiar with the horror and suffering known as the Greyhound bus. And if you’re a regular rider, the only hope for maintaining your sanity may lie in finding a seat…

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…

Transitioning through Texas

My last few days in familiar territory on the road from NOLA to Bogotá were spent in Texas. It’s a state that demands enough attention that Americans have strong opinions one way or another about its culture and politics, and familiar enough outside the US that most of its…

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…

Scenes of America’s Friendliest City

This December I found myself in the middle of a two-month stay back home in Northeast Florida. I planned my travels this way so I could spend the holiday season with my family and some old friends, but after a few weeks my itchy feet…