Category: Information

The Last Notes

Volunteer Voice: Learning More About Sustainable Bolivia
Volunteer Voice: Learning More About Sustainable Bolivia

Photo: Hal AmenDuring the last six weeks volunteering through the Cochabamba-based Sustainable Bolivia, I’ve come to know its small but friendly and dedicated staff, some of the 30 local foundations it supplies with funding and volunteers, and a bit about its business model.Less clear to me, though, is how the organization developed.

A Traveler’s Guide To The History Of Death
A Traveler’s Guide To The History Of Death

Death wasn’t always so scary. Learn how the changing face of death has varied across time and cultures.Little girl at Day of the Dead / Photo by Senor CodoUpon hearing the word “death” one instantly thinks of war, grieving, burial or cremation, Heaven and Hell, and for more than a few, fear.Many Westerners consider death a taboo subject and considered a social faux pas when broached in conversation, especially when it refers to someone who has recently died.

Reporters’ Center Helps Citizen Journalists Find and Tell Great Stories
Reporters’ Center Helps Citizen Journalists Find and Tell Great Stories

Reporters’ Center is a YouTube channel dedicated to help users understand the power of citizen journalism and offers practical tips from the world’s best journalists.Ever captured a natural disaster or a crime on your cell-phone camera or filmed a political protest? Then you’re part of the enormous community of citizen reporters on YouTube, and this channel is for you.

Play Responsibly with Eco-Friendly Toys
Play Responsibly with Eco-Friendly Toys

Know a certain little one with a birthday coming up? Check out Sprig Toys, which specializes in toys for tots that are battery-free, paint-free, eco-friendly, and most importantly, FUN!Feature Photo by Lola Akinmade. Photo Above – Sprig ToysWhat preschooler wouldn’t love the Discover Rig, one of Sprig’s Adventure Series toys?

Survival Straps: Bracelets for More Than a Fashion Emergency
Survival Straps: Bracelets for More Than a Fashion Emergency

These bracelets are cool, stylish, and allow you to have up to 18′ of super-strong paracord with you at all times.Made by SurvivalStraps.com, one paracord survival bracelet contains about 1.75′ of 500lb military spec paracord for every inch ordered. Whether you’re hiking, skydiving, or shopping, you can unravel the bracelet to make use of the paracord for any emergency situation.

Fight Or Flight? Handling Sexual Harassment In Sierra Leone
Fight Or Flight? Handling Sexual Harassment In Sierra Leone

Journalist Allison Cross ponders how to deal with aggressive men in a culture steeped in inequality between the sexes.“Do you have a husband?” It’s a question I get asked every day, sometimes two or three times.It’s usually as I ride on the back of a motorbike on my way into town from my house, which is out in the country.

TravelFish Wants YOU To Get Offline
TravelFish Wants YOU To Get Offline

Travelfish is a hugely popular online travel guide to Southeast Asia.The success of Travelfish, Matador and other travel websites begs a questions – are travelers spending too much time online these days?Here’s an open letter from Stuart MacDonald, the co-founder of Travelfish:Despite the dour economic scene worldwide, it seems barely a week passes without a press release landing in my in-tray proclaiming yet another internet travel site destined to be the best thing since padded moneybelts.

Can Any Religion Remain Free Of Fundamentalism?
Can Any Religion Remain Free Of Fundamentalism?

Orthodox Jews at the Western Wall / Photo: premasagarProponents of religion say you can believe your faith in moderation, but Mick McCormack believes “religion” and “moderation” are mutually exclusive.Any writing that attempts to tackle “religion” and “fundamentalism” should have an emergency 911 and the address of the writer attached for quick ambulance and police response.

Twitter Contest Giveaway: Arc’teryx Celeris Jacket
Twitter Contest Giveaway: Arc’teryx Celeris Jacket

As part of the Matador Twitter contest, we will be spotlighting cool gear we’ll be giving away to lucky readers.Unleash your inner athlete with this sexy ultra-light, compressible windshell jacket from Arc’teryx.At just 4.3 oz in weight, the Celeris is made from a feather-light textile with a mechanical stretch designed to fit the body’s contours for maximum performance.

Shopping for a Stand Up Paddle Board? Size Matters
Shopping for a Stand Up Paddle Board? Size Matters

Somebody mentioned the other day that it still feels like winter in Hawai‘i. He was talking about the fact that everyone’s still driving around with surfboards in tow.He’s right—actually, they’re stand-up paddle boards, which makes sense, since summer is paddling season. On the Islands, the sport’s booming popularity is undeniable, and stand-up paddlers have become a fixture on the seascape.

Twitter Contest Giveaway: prAna Men’s Yoga Kit
Twitter Contest Giveaway: prAna Men’s Yoga Kit

As part of the Matador Twitter contest, we will be spotlighting cool gear we’ll be giving away to lucky readers.Let’s face it. Regardless of what form of yoga you practice, there are some basic essentials you should have.According to Matador Goods contributor Austin Chu, “I’ve been practicing Bikram yoga for the last few years and it has made a profound difference in my physical and mental health.

Book Review: The Idealist.org Handbook
Book Review: The Idealist.org Handbook

A guide to building a better world because actions speak louder than words.I loved rediscovering Idealist.org all over again – the leading network that connects volunteers, students, and professionals with nonprofit organizations, groups, campaigns, and programs all over the globe. Last October, I’d already touted their benefits over at Travel Channel’s World Hum, excerpted below:….

Travel Promos Get Stranger, Bolder, and Sexier
Travel Promos Get Stranger, Bolder, and Sexier

Photo: ClickESo far this year, we’ve seen the Best Job in the World and the All-You-Can-Jet Pass promotions, both intended to boost tourism. What could possibly be next?Well, the Westin Resort Aruba has the answer to that question.In an effort to up its occupancy rate, the Aruba Westin is running a unique promotion: couples who conceive a child during their stay will receive a “Conception Credit” worth $300 USD, which they can use for a return visit in 2010.

Notes on How Not to Write a Book
Notes on How Not to Write a Book

The author. Not pictured–sticky notes above map.Tom Gates keeps meeting people in Santiago and procrastinating.My bags were greeted at the airport by two adorable drug dogs. They had taken to treating the carousel like a ride at Disneyworld, sitting on the conveyor belt for minutes at a time, pretending to sniff bags but really just slacking off.

Coke’s Campaign to Set the Travel World A-Twitter
Coke’s Campaign to Set the Travel World A-Twitter

Photo: Slumdog Thousandaire; Feature photo: Michael PickardThe Coca-Cola Company is sending a team made up of three young explorers on a year-long quest to find out what makes people happy. Which makes Tom Gates cranky.Somewhere, a marketing executive must have smoked a bowl and watched “The Amazing Race.

Armchair Travel: 4 Legendary Authors You Should Read
Armchair Travel: 4 Legendary Authors You Should Read

Staying home for awhile? Pick up books by these four authors to keep your wanderlust aflame.The only time I find the desire or need for travel damning is when I am without the means to do so but with the desire to do so. It’s in moments like these that I am forced to seek solace in others who have suffered before me and done the great service of recording, with pen and paper, their experiences.

This is my City
This is my City

Thomas and Tim seek to revolutionize the concept of travel media, one local at a time.Thomas is Irish. Tim is American. They’re leaving their lives in New York City to travel the globe and make a travel show about how the rest of the urban world lives.No guidebooks. No tourist traps. No all-inclusive resorts.

Boost Your Happiness & Creativity By Acting Like A Child
Boost Your Happiness & Creativity By Acting Like A Child

Photos by Leigh ShulmanWe always say how it’s important to appreciate the small things in life, but do we really believe it?Mornings have been difficult in our house lately. My five-year-old Lila takes her proverbial sweet time getting dressed. Every little thing, shirt, shoes, socks, everything becomes a massive time consuming endeavor.

Review Series: Rosetta Stone TOTALe – Part 2
Review Series: Rosetta Stone TOTALe – Part 2

Last week, I wrote the first of three reviews covering Rosetta stone’s new comprehensive online learning program called TOTALe and its core module, Rosetta Course in my language of choice – Swedish.This second review covers Rosetta Studio™ which allows you to practice what you’ve learned by engaging you in “structured conversations with learners at your level”.

Matador Launches Its Flickr Photo Pool
Matador Launches Its Flickr Photo Pool

Mongolian girl, Photo by Matador Trips co-editor, Carlo AlcosMatador’s a community of travelers, writers, and photographers.But admittedly, photographers have gotten short shrift in our three years of existence.That’s all about to change.Matador Trips editors Hal Amen and Carlo Alcos have already taken the lead in highlighting Matador members’ photography by publishing stunning photo essays from Iceland, Brazil, and Papua New Guinea, to name just a few.