inspiration

Inspiration: Maras Ice Cream in Turkey

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Inspiration: A Bicyclist in Shanghai

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bicycle shanghai poncho
Image: jrodmanjr.

A rainy day in Shanghai allowed for this great shot and a lesson in how the random can make a photograph. As jrodmanjr describes:

Walking out in Shanghai's heavy rain, I saw this bicyclist donning a bright red bike-adapted poncho. When he turned the corner and headed right towards me, I knew I could position myself to get a good shot. Little did I know that the just when I opened the shutter, another cyclist crossed the frame heading the other direction, with a yellow poncho!

Love how the yellow poncho creates the illusion of a flash of light and captures to movement of Shanghai. Thanks for sharing!

Why You Should Always Have a Trip Planned

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my desk

The desk I've been spending far too much time at.

Perhaps a more appropriate title for this post should be "Why Kelly has been a terrible blogger in 2010." You may have noticed that I've been in a bit of a blogging slump. I could give you a list of excuses, that I've been busy working on another project, The Wondermap or that I've been spending what's left of my time afterwards offline. Sure, that's part of it, but I came to realize a few days ago that my problem might be one that others share. I didn't have any trips planned. It's hard to inspire other people to travel when you yourself lack such inspiration.

Travel Like A Human Being: Don't Stay in a Hotel

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couch for houseguest
Image: dannyman.

Hotels are often cold, lifeless places to return to after a day in a foreign land. If you're on a business trip, you might relish the chance to unwind and buffer yourself from the business day. But, a traveler likes to meet people, experience the culture and get a taste of the place that they're visiting. And, a hotel makes it entirely too easy to miss out on this experience.

If you're not naturally outgoing, staying outside of a hotel is even more important. In a hotel, it's easy to let your inner homebody ruin your trip. You're simply too comfortable. Instead, plan on staying somewhere where you have to interact with others. Good or bad, it will make for a memorable travel experience, where you can say you've lived like a local. I'll admit, I definitely have my days where I just want to hide in my room and ignore the rest of the world. But, my most memorable trips have been ones in the homes of others, getting dragged out to a party or on an impromptu siteseeing tour. Keep on reading for a few alternatives to staying in a traditional hotel.

Travel Stories: Charles de Gaulle Chaos

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Charles De Gaulle Airport
Image: CruisAir.

I had been on a plane all night and didn't sleep a wink, as usual. I had been slightly worried about my short one hour layover in Paris, but we were early. No problem, heck I'd even have time to change my clothes and reboot my brain that it was a new day. I passed on the airline coffee, knowing full well that I had a cappuccino in Padova with my name on it. Did I mention that it was 6am?

We land and I begin my exodus down a long hallway, some stairs and onto the moving walkway. Just follow the signs for 2F, I thought, no big deal....I've got an hour and a half. And then, I round the corner to complete and utter chaos. It looks like there might have been lines to go through customs an hour or two ago, but they were long gone now. There was no one to tell you what to do, just a few signs that made no sense in a mass crowd. My flight is before 8:20am, I should listen to that sign and head to the left, but where is left? I pause for a moment, my gut instinct to turn around and find another way ignored. What do I do? Do I push my way through the crowds of people like the obnoxious British man did to my right? Do I stand and wait? I search the crowd and everyone's face has the same expression. WTF. They're doing the same, searching the crowd for someone who might speak their language or carry the same color-coded passport to follow. (We're all lemmings in that way, aren't we?) Order was nowhere in sight, so I migrated myself to the left near a line marker and slowly got in line. Off in the distance I could read that every agent was marked "All Passports." It didn't matter what line I got in, just that I got to someone who let me past the gates and hopefully put another stamp in my passport.

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