Best in Travel Blogs: Ordinary Traveler

August 25,2011

Scott and Christy are surfers and photographers who run an inspiring travel blog, (as well as a San Diego food blog,) where they provide tips to others who want to fulfill their dreams of travel, no matter what situation they are in. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter or view their travel photography portfolio. They were kind enough to answer some questions for us, thanks Scott and Christy!

Ordinary Traveler

1. Where in the world are you now?

We are currently using San Diego, CA as our home base and taking lots of trips to places like Nepal, Dominican Republic, Panama, Arizona, San Antonio, Texas and Yellowstone National Park. We named our blog Ordinary Traveler because we are two people working normal jobs, but still finding plenty of time to travel the world. We want to show people that you don't have to quit your job in order to travel.

2. When and how did you get hooked on travel?

Christy has been hooked on travel for as long as she can remember. Her parents are partly to blame for taking her on annual trips to exotic destinations throughout her childhood. Scott first caught the travel bug on a school trip to Italy during his senior year in high school.

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Best in Travel Blogs: A Little Adrift - Wanderings from Around the World

April 11,2011

Shannon is the voice behind the travel blog A Little Adrift. She left for a year long round the world trip in 2008 and hasn't stopped traveling since. Her unique stories chronicle her travels, inspire, and offer advice for others taking RTW trips. As a supporter of ecotourism she also offers tips for minimizing the negative impact of travel on the environment. Additionally, Shannon incorporates volunteering on her travels, such as teaching english to monks in Nepal and volunteering at a Cambodian orphanage. Yep, she's pretty awesome and there is is never a dull moment in her travels. Despite her busy schedule, Shannon was kind enough to take the time to answer some questions for us. Thanks Shannon! Shannon O'Donnell

1. Where in the world are you now?

Shannon: Hunkering down in Chiang Mai, Thailand for a few months as I explore the northern region of Southeast Asia. The city makes a fantastic base for slow travelers who want to get to know a country a bit better (like me!); it's small enough to be navigable, but has an amazing supply of diverse street foods and cuisines from all of the neighboring regions and cultures.

2. When and how did you get hooked on travel?

Shannon: The first wisps of wander-dreams popped into my head as I paged through the images and stories in my monthly National Geographic magazine as a teenager. My dad has continually renewed our subscription, and even bought the NatGeo Traveler magazine once I hit the road so that I would have research materials every time I pass through the US for a visit.

Those NatGeos were the earliest days of dreaming; my first international travel actually didn't happen until I was 21 and headed to Europe for a study-abroad program. It was somewhere on the winding back-roads of Northwestern Ireland that it occurred to me this is jived with me more than any other moment...we were in a rental car, misting rain on the windshield, and pulled over to ask a Irish man walking his dog for directions. Twenty minutes later we were still chatting, oblivious to the rain, and had yet to get around to the topic of directions. And I thought "Yes, this is good."

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Julia Roberts and I at the Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge

March 07,2011
We are excited to have a guest blog post from one of our travelers, Steve Wilson. Steve is taking an amazing trip and is chronicling his adventures on his blog, A Hungry Man Travels. Follow his travels by reading his blog and checking out his photos. Thanks, Steve, for sharing your Indonesia experience with us!
Tadjung Putting National Park

Julia Roberts and I haven’t had the priviledge to meet, but we've been close to each other – inadvertently AND innocently I might add. If I had the chance to meet Ms. Roberts, the first thing I would say is “Hi Julia, did you know that you and I shared a room at the Rimba Orangutan Eco lodge in Borneo?" If that fails to get a reaction (and lets’ face it, it wouldn’t), I would then quickly ask her: "what were you thinking getting so close to that Orangutan in your documentary?" Ok, I wouldn't quite say it like that but I sure would have to wonder what would possess one of the biggest stars on the planet to do something even us nobodies were told over and over by the guides, signs, and locals not to do if you ever meet an orangutan, especially the King of Orangutans, face to face. Ah Julia, the crazy world you live in. I know in your documentary you weren’t giving us your world famous laugh when Kusasi, then the King of Orangutans, grabbed you and held on while the guides had to pry him off you and I don’t blame you – it probably wasn’t a good time for you I’m sure.

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Best in Travel Blogs: Velvet Escape - Be Inspired.

February 21,2011

Keith of VelvetEscape.comKeith Jenkins is the blogger behind Velvet Escape. He left his corporate career to follow his passion for travel and writing, and in 2008 launched the Velvet Escape Blog. He conveys his incredible travel experiences through writing and photography, offering helpful tips and inspiring readers to discover all that the world has to offer. Keith currently resides in Amsterdam and has traveled to over 60 countries and across 6 continents. Despite his busy travel schedule, Keith was kind enough to take the time to answer some questions for us. Thanks Keith!

Global Basecamps: Where are you from?

Velvet Escape: That’s an easy question to start with! I’m from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Global Basecamps: When and how did you get hooked on travel?

Velvet Escape: My parents instilled in me a great desire to see and experience the world by giving me a geographic encyclopedia when I was eight. I memorized every bit of information in the encyclopedia and stared at all the photos endlessly. My first trip outside Malaysia/Singapore was with my family, when I was nine, to Hong Kong. I knew all the places and dragged them around the sights! I went on my first solo trip when I was 14. I was in Australia and backpacked from Sydney via Canberra to Melbourne and back. By that time, I knew I was hooked on travel!

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Vietnam: It's Complicated

January 20,2011
We are excited to have a guest blog post from one of our travelers, Steve Wilson. Steve is taking an amazing trip and is chronicling his adventures on his blog, A Hungry Man Travels. Follow his travels by reading his blog and checking out his photos. Thanks, Steve, for sharing your Vietnam experience with us!

The reason why I chose to tour Vietnam wasn’t complicated, despite this post headline. I was fascinated by the country, its people and in particular the food. To me Vietnam just wasn’t going to be your typical tourist destination, and I was looking for that in my travels. Its war-torn history shapes its culture almost as much as the landscape, people, and the cuisine do. It’s impossible to come to this country without thinking about the Vietnam War. There are memorials everywhere. There are also absolutely lush, stunning green fields and tall palm trees – images that have been shown time and again in films about the country and the war. There are gorgeous red soils and tall mountains that straddle the rice fields where people in non las (conical hats) are hard at work. It’s so amazing to look at, yet so hard to take in. It’s akin to looking at a beautiful painting. You see it, you try to ‘get’ it, you even have a guide there to help you understand it, but even she can’t properly explain it. No matter what you do you still feel like something is off or missing - a vital piece of information that would bring more sense to the overall picture. See what I mean by complicated? Then again maybe it’s supposed to be complicated. Believe me after talking to other visiting tourists I was relieved to know I’m not the only who feels this way about Vietnam.

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