Categories
Travel

Why I’m Living in Saranda, Albania

Let’s face it, Albania isn’t on most people’s list of must-see travel destinations. Some people can’t even find it on a map. And I certainly didn’t expect to find myself living in Saranda. But when my friend Jay rented a sea-view apartment back in September and started sending me pictures, I decided it was time […]

Categories
Life Travel

The Traveler’s Manifesto

Whether you want to venture abroad for a month or a lifetime, it’s never been easier to pack your bags and go. These are the rules to live by: Rule #1: Don’t Buy Things When you own nothing, you’re free to do anything. Start by selling your stuff. Definitely sell your car. A traveler can […]

Categories
Blogging Travel Writing

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

It’s Christmas Eve and I’m in Albania. There’s a nice tree put up by the city. Shops have little Christmas displays and the Greek Orthodox Church hung lights. But the bakeries steal the show, with statues of Santa holding out samples and decorations in all the windows. I’ve been procrastinating on an important decision. Should […]

Categories
Life Travel

Singing to Little Girls in Albanian Markets

There’s a corner market about 50 meters from the guesthouse where I’m staying in Saranda, Albania. Only it’s not really a market—just a little shop in a family’s house and when you ring the bell they come and let you in. I’m waiting outside for them to come and there’s a mother waiting with her […]

Categories
Life Travel

Mastering the Art of Slow Travel

Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of […]

Categories
Life Travel

Thanksgiving in Albania

Thanksgiving is a pretty big holiday in my family. We’re a far-flung group, but most people make their way back to the family vineyard in Missouri to eat, drink, and catch up on things. I’m usually absent. Before it was a hectic work schedule. Now it’s travel. This year I’m celebrating Thanksgiving in Saranda, Albania. […]

Categories
Life Passion

Ildar Gainutdinov on Following Your Passion

We should do what we want, and not make our choices based on what some people, or situations, or circumstances dictate. — Ildar Gainutdinov At 15 years old, Russian dancer Ildar Gainutdinov took first place in the Ukrainian edition of So You Think You Can Dance. Just days ago, the now 18 year old rising […]

Categories
Money Travel

How to Travel Full-Time on $1,000 a Month

For all its material advantages, the sedentary life has left us edgy, unfulfilled. Even after 400 generations in villages and cities, we haven’t forgotten. The open road still softly calls, like a nearly forgotten song of childhood. — Carl Sagan For the last two years I’ve been fortunate enough to travel full-time on $1,000 a […]

Categories
Language Travel

Learning Italian on the Albanian Riviera

You don’t have to be in the country where a language is spoken to practice and learn, especially when there are sizeable minority populations spread around the world. Did you know St. Louis, Missouri has 15,000-30,000 Italian speakers? Almost any city, from the Midwest of the United States to Western Europe, has enclaves of Russian […]

Categories
Life Money

Your Smartphone Is Killing You

Not long ago, people lived without smartphones. We met our friends at the local mall or park. We made eye contact when we talked to each other. And we weren’t worried about what everyone else was doing. Now we walk around with computers in our pockets more powerful than the ones NASA had twenty years […]