lauca national park

In Photos: Reasons to Love Northern Chile

IF YOU’RE BACKPACKING through South America, you’ll likely pass through Northern Chile—after all, the northernmost city, Arica, marks the only route to Peru. But it would be a mistake to truck through without spending at least a few days—the region’s colourful architecture, perpetually cool beaches and proximity to little-seen desert parks makes it a totally unique experience, combining the luxury of Chilean South American with the rusticity of … Continue reading In Photos: Reasons to Love Northern Chile

How I Spent $7,634 to Travel the World in Four Months

FINALLY GOT AROUND to calculating my trip costs this weekend. I may have discovered a secret fetish for spreadsheets. A quick glance at the chart below tells the whole story: the later the month, the more expensive the country I travelled. As such, even though the total amount spent per month doesn’t change drastically. (With the exception of when I had to hop an emergency plane back … Continue reading How I Spent $7,634 to Travel the World in Four Months

Notes From the End of the World

“I BETTER TAKE MY PHONE,” the redheaded farm boy said. “In case we get stuck out there, to call someone to pull us out.” He had done this before. He searchingly patted the pants he’d hung up in the downstairs shed that smells faintly of sheep and dung and eventually found his small cell phone, the kind with a fuzzy green screen, then tossed it … Continue reading Notes From the End of the World

The Many Cons and Mighty Pros of Iceland in December

THE FIRST THING TO GIVE UP in Iceland’s December is the sun, and with it the loss of humanity’s very conception of time itself. Darkness shrouds the jagged island for 20 hours a day; the sun peeks out only briefly between 11 and 3 o’clock, which forces locals to reconfigure “morning” as a painfully taunting three-hour sunrise. Rising at daybreak—that very primal notion that dictates … Continue reading The Many Cons and Mighty Pros of Iceland in December

A Brief Guide to Some of London’s Lesser-Seen Museums

LONDON IS ONE OF the great museum capitals of the world, and whereas the Tate Modern and National Gallery may be obvious choices, there is a surfeit more whose aim is so peculiarly niche that I’m a little surprised anyone sporting only a vague interest would bother to pay the admission fee. Then again it is that same vague and disbelieving curiosity that brought me, … Continue reading A Brief Guide to Some of London’s Lesser-Seen Museums

Frankfurt is a Great Place to Go Somewhere Else

I HAD BEEN IN FRANKFURT three hours when I met up with my friend and host. Have you seen the Old Town yet? she asked. I said I had. And the church? Yes. And the other church? Yep, that too. And the River Main? Well, sure, I said; it’s just down the street. She laughed. “I think you have already seen all of Frankfurt.” Berlin … Continue reading Frankfurt is a Great Place to Go Somewhere Else

In Berlin: A Tale of Two Museums

STANDING ALONE IN THE HOLOCAUST TOWER, by some uncertain primal instinct, I drew my arms around myself and shuddered. I don’t remember thinking about it. It was cold, as cold as Berlin gets in November, and without a jacket or scarf or direct sunlight I hugged myself immediately, shrinking up. The Holocaust Tower is an enormous and empty stone triangle that shoots up from an … Continue reading In Berlin: A Tale of Two Museums

My Meta Viennese Breakfast

TWO MEN WITH SLRs and wide-angle lenses were photographing the cafe. The waiter, a balding man in a blue-and-gray argyle sweatervest and red skirted apron, brought them drinks to shoot: a small cappuccino, a frothy latte, a mélange topped with milk. They snapped photos of the decadent chocolate and jam cakes, the curved chandeliers and the broad dark wood walls that framed the morning light … Continue reading My Meta Viennese Breakfast

Budapest Will Swallow You Up and Look Very Serious About It

THERE IS NO SUCH THING as small in Budapest. In Chiang Mai, V and I stumbled across a closet-sized nook called “The Tiniest Bar in the World”; this could never exist in the Hungarian capital. There are no nooks. Its central downtown is made up of row after row of elaborate Gothic apartments, all towering in the same tightly bound order, shadowing their courtyards hidden … Continue reading Budapest Will Swallow You Up and Look Very Serious About It