Category: Miscellaneous

The Last Notes

12 Stocking Stuffers for Travelers‏
12 Stocking Stuffers for Travelers‏

For the travelers on your list, we’ve got plenty of creative ideas that won’t break the bank.The economy might have a tight hold on our wallets, but it doesn’t have to make gift-giving a chore.Choose a mix of practical, fun, and affordable goodies, and make this a holiday season they’ll appreciate.A deck from your local drugstore should only set you back a few bucks, and you can find travel-sized games at specialty toy and hobby stores for under $20.

Have You Found Your Soul Place?
Have You Found Your Soul Place?

A soul place is an island, a building, a city, or a natural vista that opens up a space within that you didn’t realize was closed.Do certain places seem familiar? / Photo Djordje KorovljevicStepping off the train, the humidity settles over you, seeping into your pores, and the pungent mixture of spices, donkeys and sweat greets you.

Beauty Is In The Ride Of The Beholder
Beauty Is In The Ride Of The Beholder

My idea of camping is staying in a hotel room without room service and a wall-mounted blow dryer. Give me a clean hotel room with 400 thread count sheets and a lanai I can walk out on so I may greet the early morning sunrise.I long for a place with a cool swimming pool and hot tub to soak in after a long day of sightseeing.

Finding Yourself Is Your True Destination
Finding Yourself Is Your True Destination

Ekaterina rejects her Communist childhood, full of pressure to conform, and creates the life she always wanted. But first, she had to leave home to find it.What can be a more amazing travel journey than life itself? Think about this question. It is important.Each of us is born on this planet for a certain purpose.

How To Escape An Undesirable Travel Mate
How To Escape An Undesirable Travel Mate

Traveling is all about meeting people on the road. But what happens if you want to get rid of one?guest post by TravmonkeySay you meet someone when traveling. You discover you’re both heading in the same direction so you decide that you’ll go together.For a few days everything is going great — until you discover that your new travel partner is limiting your adventure, or even worse, annoying you with their bad habits.

Gonzo Traveler: The Trouble With Tourist Money In Tribal Ethiopia
Gonzo Traveler: The Trouble With Tourist Money In Tribal Ethiopia

Paying locals for photographs has hideously backfired in Ethiopia, as Robin Esrock finds out on his latest adventure.It can get a little intense. / Photo Robin EsrockI wake up to the sound of a women screaming in sexual climax.Unfortunately, she’s not in my room, but rather, in the room next to mine, although with the cardboard walls she may as well be lying in my bed.

The 5 Ways We Learn Languages – and Which Style Is Right for You
The 5 Ways We Learn Languages – and Which Style Is Right for You

Photo by bella lando*.Have you ever been to a place where you didn’t know the language? Have you ever wanted to learn a language, but thought the process is too difficult, or takes too long?Sometimes it seems as if there are as many language learning methods as there are language learners, or conversely that there is only “One True Way” to learn a language.

Plastic or Pills? Choosing an option for treating your water
Plastic or Pills? Choosing an option for treating your water

Choosing to treat your own water can not only lessen your impact on the environment, but is cheaper and more convenient.We all understand the huge environmental impact bottled water is having on the planet- both in terms of food miles and the plastic (or glass) waste it creates.However, with the World Health Organization attributing 80 of travel diseases to drinking water, in many countries simply reaching for the tap is not a safe option – that is, if you even have access to a tap.

Gonzo Traveler: Catching Jungle Fever In The Orinoco Delta
Gonzo Traveler: Catching Jungle Fever In The Orinoco Delta

A Warao child plays in the government water collection lids.Paddling into the heart of Venezuela, Robin Esrock discovers beauty, bugs, and a bad case of jungle fever.The morning was nigh for a week long jungle adventure deep into the heart of Venezuela’s Orinoco Delta.We’d be leaving at 5am, packing light into dry bags.

The Full Circle of Travel
The Full Circle of Travel

The Matador community always has travel on the mind, of course, but as we gear up for our big San Francisco bash on August 16, we’re thinking more than ever about how and why travel are important as all proceeds from the party will fund trips abroad for inner-city students.It seems appropriate, then, that I just received an alumni newsletter highlighting the work of sociology professor, Dr.

Purify Your Body, Your Mind
Purify Your Body, Your Mind

What the eyes are for the outer world, fasts are for the inner. GandhiIt’s Saturday. I’ve been fasting for over twenty-four hours. However, my statement is truthfully a lie.Last night, for a final supper in Paris before heading back home for the holidays, I forced a small bowl of vegetable soup down my throat.

Member Spotlight: Not Your Average Summer Vacation
Member Spotlight: Not Your Average Summer Vacation

Ahh… June. Time for the annual family vacation! The average experience of spending quality time with the family is generally equal parts fun and frustration.But Matador member Nancy Sathre-Vogel is not planning an average family vacation. Nancy and her family will be hitting the road next week, traveling by the seat of their pants—literally.

Travel Is About Who You Meet, Not Where You Go
Travel Is About Who You Meet, Not Where You Go

Greg was the local we all hope to meet. The person who has the key to the city’s door and is willing to open it and usher you inside.I play a lot of poker. Too much, actually, but that’s another story.It was while playing poker at the Amsterdam casino that I met Greg. He was a friendly local, and upon hearing my travel tales, offered to show me around Amsterdam.

Reality Check: South Africa
Reality Check: South Africa

I can still remember the first time a college professor opened my eyes to the way ‘Africa’ (and, of course, it’s usually treated as a homogeneous unit) is painted in most major media.Since then, I’ve noticed every time words like ‘senseless’, ‘chaotic’ or ‘savage’ crop up in articles about violence on the continent, where similar violence elsewhere – in the Balkans, say, or Kashmir – might receive more nuance and context.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5K 9MP with 10x Wide Angle Zoom
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5K 9MP with 10x Wide Angle Zoom

Wanna know what the backup digital camera is for many amateur and professional photographers?Look no further than the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5K digital camera. In fact, any of the Panasonic models will do.Spitting out images that rival digital SLRs, its 9-megapixel resolution supports poster-sized prints.

Win a pair of KEEN shoes and more
Win a pair of KEEN shoes and more

This contest is now closed.Here at Matador Goods, we love KEEN shoes.From the super sexy Newport H2 sandals to the super sturdy Targhee II Mid Hiking Boots, KEEN makes top notch gear that are also practical, efficient, and attractive.And now we’re teaming with KEEN to give away a pair of solid shoes for free!

Escape the Cubicle: 5 Steps To Convincing Your Boss To Let You Telecommute
Escape the Cubicle: 5 Steps To Convincing Your Boss To Let You Telecommute

Cubicle hell. Photo by Steve Lyon. Working here makes you grow old fast.If you find yourself thinking “I can do this job from home,” don’t just dream about it anymore, make it happen. Here’s how.No sooner than framing my college diploma on the wall, I found I was on my own, broke and nestled in the corner of a cubicle just to pay my bills.

Letter from South Carolina
Letter from South Carolina

The first e-mail I read when I fired up the laptops at NPR was from my friend Ami, who lives in my hometown of Spartanburg, South Carolina. She shared her experience of election 2008 with me, and gave me permission to share her message here:Two weeks ago we spent an evening with a woman from Argentina.

Hidden Kingdom: Understanding Womens’ Rights In Saudi Arabia
Hidden Kingdom: Understanding Womens’ Rights In Saudi Arabia

For women in Saudi Arabia, much of their lives are hidden behind the shadow of men. But how do they judge Western society?“Ladies and Gentlemen, we have just entered Saudi airspace, if you need to change into the appropriate clothing, now is a good time to do so.”I had heard this announcement would be made on the flight, but I had cast it aside as one of those travel myths; when visiting other cultures, the reality rarely matched what the media, or other people told you.

10 Reasons We Should Say No to the 700 Billion-Dollar Bailout
10 Reasons We Should Say No to the 700 Billion-Dollar Bailout

As the markets today plummet amid the country’s hesitation to bail out the bankers, institutions, and leaders that have utterly failed us, we think you should take a deep breath and read our 10 reasons why accepting the bill would be disastrous for our country.Taxpayers would take the fall for a problem Wall St created.