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lisbon-portugal

5 Weeks in Portugal’s Surfer Paradise

We sold our house, re-homed our furniture, and put the rest in a storage unit over two-and-a-half years ago. We’ve been living internationally in rented apartments and houses ever since, and we have never regretted our decision to spend our retirement years exploring the world. By the time we reached Portugal, our ninth country, we were practically on automatic pilot.

Wile away hours perfecting your haggling skills in one of Turkey's wonderful bazaars. © aida sheikholeslami - Fotolia.com

Shop Your Way Around the World As You Earn

The earrings are from Hong Kong’s jade market. I bought the fedora hat at a Christmas market in Berlin, the boots from Malaga in Spain, and the shimmering scarf at Otavalo market in Ecuador—one of the largest indigenous markets in South America. You might call it eclectic fashion indulgence. I call it research.

Terri has enjoyed raising a few pints on a literary tour of Dublin in her job as a travel writer. © captblack76 - Fotolia.com

Leave “Ordinary” Behind—Starting Now

I’ve always been one of those people who won’t settle for “ordinary.” Sure, I have done my share of everyday things…but if I can find a way to step beyond the run-of-the-mill, you can bet I will! One of the ways I left “ordinary” behind was with my career. I spent many years working as a tax accountant—I knew there had to be a better way to spend my time.

How to Get a VIP Pass to the High Life

How to Get a VIP Pass to the High Life

I stayed at the best resort on the island where I lounged on their spectacular man-made, white sand beach with infinity pool, and shopped at Le Marché Municipale—the public market which covers a city block labyrinth of bargains.

lisbon-vistas

Get Your Free Pass to Travel Perks

I had just arrived at the little Spanish town near Alicante where I’d be spending a couple weeks, so I would have plenty of time to taste test each one.

La Paz, Mexico is an authentic and colorful Mexican small town whose name suitably translates as "the Peace". © Marco Regalia - Fotolia.com

They Paid Me to Enjoy This Birthday Treat…

When you get to a certain age, the idea of blowing out candles jammed into a cake laden with thick, sickeningly-sweet wallpaper paste-like frosting is no longer appealing.

Caribbean and Pacific Coast Fishing in Costa Rica

Caribbean and Pacific Coast Fishing in Costa Rica

Fancy a few hours battling a half-ton striped marlin Hemingway style? The fish can get so big off the coast of Costa Rica that the skipper straps you into a chair to fight them. The waters of both coasts, the Pacific and Caribbean teem with legendary fish like marlin, dorado, and tarpon that, for decades, have drawn serious sport fishermen (and women) from around the world eager for record-setting catches.

Deals With the Devil

Deals With the Devil

In the Black Forest, the darkest tales often seem linked to the loveliest places. So it’s no surprise that Staufen’s historic center of cobblestones, courtyards and fountains is straight from central casting’s Enchanted Germany file.

Warren and Betsy  boarded a plane to Ecuador in 2010 with a new five-year travel target.

How a Way with Words Funds Our Around-the-World Adventure

“Recovering, 40-something, Type A American couple who learned that living large is not necessarily living well.” That’s me, Betsy, and my husband Warren…The Talbots. We did all the typical things people do in their 20s and 30s: climb the corporate ladder, get married, buy a house, climb the ladder some more…

CaribbeanAndPacific

Caribbean and Pacific Coast Fishing in Costa Rica

Fancy a few hours battling a half-ton striped marlin Hemingway style? The fish can get so big off the coast of Costa Rica that the skipper straps you into a chair to fight them. The waters of both coasts, the Pacific and Caribbean teem with legendary fish like marlin, dorado, and tarpon that, for decades, have drawn serious sport fishermen (and women) from around the world eager for record-setting catches.

The Perfect Day in Belize

The Perfect Day in Belize

All is quiet in the condo where we’re staying on the paradise island of Ambergris Caye, Belize. I’m up early. The world hasn’t yet come to life. When my five children wake up we share a breakfast of fresh mangoes and pineapple with black beans and rice seasoned with coconut oil. We wash it down with some cold coconut water. Locals call it pipa and it’s cheap and plentiful on a palm-fringed island like this one. After breakfast, it’s time for the pool where we laugh and splash and play until lunchtime.

tasman-bay-new-zealand

Could This Really Be The Perfect Job?

New Zealand is one of the most scenically gorgeous countries on earth. For most people, it’s either the trip of a lifetime or a destination to only dream about. Not for me. I went there for the second time last November. A long way to go—but it’s not too bad when you can break the journey. This time around, I chose to stop off in Hong Kong—and of course I had to take in the harbor light show…

Who Said Nothing in Life Comes for Free?

Who Said Nothing in Life Comes for Free?

I get to see a lot of the world. New Zealand… Spain… Ireland… Turkey… Germany… Thailand. I love being on the road. But what makes these adventures extra special is this… I don’t have to pay a penny for any of them.

macinaggio-corsica

Travel More, Work Less – Here’s How

I guess you could call me a maverick English teacher. You see, for the last 10 years I’ve traveled and lived in many exotic destinations around the world, including Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, the Czech Republic, France and Spain. All this was achieved just by using the power of my words. You might be wondering what I’m talking about. How can it be possible to just use the power of your words to travel the world?

The Best Way to Enjoy a Vacation in Cuba

The Best Way to Enjoy a Vacation in Cuba

Cuba’s muggy humidity made our lazy wanderings feel like we were walking through soup. But despite the heat and our rusty Spanish, we made it from Havana to the small rural town of Viñales and into the welcome arms of Thomasina and Juan Rivero. The couple opened their home to nomads almost 10 years ago. It’s just as well that they did, because Cuba has no hostels, and all hotels are government-run—and expensive.

Traveling in Ireland as a VIP

Traveling in Ireland as a VIP

There was a time not long ago when I traveled as a regular tourist. By that I mean I would decide on a destination, buy a travel guide book and start to research hotels, tours and activities within my price range. Those days are gone. Today, I travel with VIP status. Take my last trip to Ireland. Instead of picking up a travel guide and calling around for hotel reservations, I sent a single e-mail to Ireland’s tourist board.

the Great Wall of China

Taking Photos of the Great Wall of China…Away from the Tourist Hoards

Everybody has heard of the Great Wall of China. It was built some 2,000 years ago to protect China from Mongol raiders and at 3,700-miles in length, it’s the longest man-made structure on earth. But while this ancient wonder is familiar to many, most people know little about it.

When Business Meets Pleasure in Bali

When Business Meets Pleasure in Bali…

Ubud, on the Indonesian island of Bali, is a lovely place to spend time. Green rice paddies…mixed Balinese and Dutch colonial architecture…and a “big village” feel. Ubud has kept the artsy, Hindu feel that seems mostly missing from the modern beach fronts of Southern Bali.

Belize-travel

Adventure Travel in Belize

My prior career as a tax preparer meant I was used to navigating endless flowing rivers—of paperwork—and I always seemed to be going against the current. I’ve since had a river-related experience in my new career as a travel writer…but it was a lot more fun. Here’s how it happened. My destination was the rugged Toledo District in southern Belize where an Indiana Jones-worthy cave begged exploration.

travel-in-Egypt

Running Travel Tours in Egypt and Beyond

My husband Friedemann and I led our first Egypt tour in 2005 and had a journey of a lifetime. I’ll never forget seeing the sun rise during a private visit to the Sphinx. I still remember the feel of the sand underneath my feet, the touch of the sun on my skin and the quiet laughter and tears of joy from our group at the marvel of being in such an ancient and special place.

lake-atitlan-guatemala

The World’s Most Beautiful Lake

Formed 5,000 feet above sea level in the western highlands of Guatemala, the 11-mile long Lago de Atitlán is the deepest lake in Central America. It plunges to depths of over 1,000 feet. Three volcanoes dominate its southern fringe—Atitlán, Tolimán, and San Pedro; the latter two emerging from the lakeside. The lake itself changes as wistful breezes or surly gales whip up its sleek, glassy surface. The ever-shifting light reflecting off its belly…

Running an Import-Export Business Part-Time

Running an Import-Export Business Part-Time

Shortly after arriving in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, I stepped into the home of a family of weavers. The room was swept and straw mats were spread over the meticulous dirt floor ready for the day’s work to get underway.

You Could Get Paid to Photograph Tuscany, Too

You Could Get Paid to Photograph Tuscany, Too

In the part of Tuscany, Italy, known as the Val de Cecina, (“Valley of The Sea”), an hour’s drive southeast of Florence, there’s a privately owned Villa where I’ve taken some of my best and most saleable photographs of Tuscany. The early spring light held me captive there, for five days, one April a few years back.

uruguay-healthcare

Travel in Uruguay

When you decide to go overseas, you don’t just get to enjoy your new host country—you also get the opportunity to experience all the other nations in the neighborhood. So, now that I’m staying in Buenos Aires in Argentina, I recently decided to use the opportunity to take a short trip to nearby Uruguay. It was a country that took me by surprise.

bangkok-thailand

Exploring Bangkok

I never tire of Bangkok. I’ve been coming here for years and although the city itself has changed, a new building here, a shopping center there, the essential feel of the place hasn’t changed at all…and that’s what I love about it. There’s something in the air in Thailand’s capital. It’s a city for city lovers…partygoers…travelers and adventure-seekers. It’s crammed with exotic, bustling markets…17th-century temples…art-deco hotels and has fast-food stalls on every corner. For 24 hours of the day, people are living and making a living all around you.

Traveling to Ecuador for Business and Pleasure

Traveling to Ecuador for Business and Pleasure

If Ecuador isn’t on your short list of places to travel, add it. Ecuador has mountain towns…tropical coast…the Amazon basin…and it’s also home to the Galapagos Islands. But I won’t dwell on any of that right now; just suffice it to say that if you go, you’ll want to go back.

Rome…Paris…And a $5K Photo Pay-Off

Rome…Paris…And a $5K Photo Pay-Off

The ancient Romans painstakingly carved out some 250,000 miles of road across Europe, every inch of which led to their home city. So the phrase, “All roads lead to Rome” was actually true. These days, though, you’ll probably arrive in the “Eternal City” via the airport.

Guilin-China

Guilin, China: “The Most Picturesque Place on Earth”

I’ve photographed in over 40 countries but on a recent trip to China, I found what I believe may be the most picturesque place on earth. I was on an extended trip to Asia with my camera, hoping to photograph some of the Mysterious East’s beauty spots. What I found stands firmly in my mind as one of the most exotic and incredible landscapes I have ever seen.

Photo Opportunities in Mexico

Photo Opportunities in Mexico

I’ve visited a bunch of times but I can’t remember ever being in Mexico on a rainy day. On my last visit, the sun was shining on the busy mercado (market) while women made tortillas. Brightly-colored parrots chattered with each other from cage to cage like a women’s coffee hour.

Visiting the Rice Terraces of China’s Yunnan Province

Visiting the Rice Terraces of China’s Yunnan Province

“It will just take me a moment,” I say quietly, as I inch past my fellow photographers poised at the edge of the cliff. Their cameras and tripods are already set up. My equipment is still on my back. When I signed up for this trip to see the Yuan Yang Rice Terraces, I envisioned the rice paddies of Bali, built on gentle rolling hills. Now, I’m edging toward a drop-off that freezes me in my tracks.

A Fun Way to Make Money in Thailand

A Fun Way to Make Money in Thailand

When my wife and I operated a Thai restaurant near San Francisco, we decorated it by putting Thai artwork on the walls. It was beautiful, and added to the ambiance of the restaurant. Then we had an idea. We started putting a few discreet signs up that the artwork was for sale—and people started snapping it up. Our extra business became very profitable. We already traveled to Thailand…

cotacachi-travel-ecuador

Traveling to Ecuador for Business and Pleasure

If Ecuador isn’t on your short list of places to travel, add it. Ecuador has mountain towns…tropical coast…the Amazon basin…and it’s also home to the Galapagos Islands. But I won’t dwell on any of that right now; just suffice it to say that if you go, you’ll want to go back.

lisbon-travel-perks

Travel Perks in Portugal

For travel writers, sampling local food specialties is part of the job. So to ignore the Antiga Confeitaria in Belém, Lisbon’s ancient maritime suburb, would be criminal. Decorated in blue and white azulejo tiles, this bakery/cafe is a shrine to the world’s most heavenly custard tarts—Pastéis de Belém. Famed throughout Portugal, these are pastries with history.

A Glamorous Job That Could Take You All Over the World.

A Glamorous Job That Could Take You All Over the World

A travel writer gets to visit so many wonderful places. It’s easier to pick out the disappointing trips. And in truth, in all of the 20 or so years that travel has been my ‘job’, I can only think of three that were less than stellar. At this moment, I’m putting together an itinerary for a return trip to New Zealand—with a stopover in Hong Kong. From Auckland, the City of Sails, I’m headed to the Southern Alps where much of Lord of the Rings was filmed.

paris-dream-vacation

Your Dream Vacation…Free

Last summer, I spent an action-packed month flitting around Europe following my lifetime passions of travel, history, and track and field. How did I pay for it? I found 11 different magazines willing to send me checks in exchange for articles about my experiences. I visit Europe every year for four weeks by selling enough articles in advance to pay for the entire trip. I even manage to bring in a good income over the following year…

Making Money Online in a Beachside Paradise

Making Money Online in a Beachside Paradise

Matt Kepnes of Boston, Massachusetts found a way of ditching the 9-to-5 grind by harnessing the Internet’s income potential. Today, he’s a travel blogger who travels the world while making a full-time living from writing for the web. Right now, home is the cut-price beachside paradise of Sihanoukville in Cambodia. Matt got his start as a travel blogger.

cuenca-blue-dome

How to Pay for the Life You’ve Been Dreaming About…

It’s a big myth that people who write for a living are starving artists. Most of the writers I know make a very good living. They also enjoy lifestyles that most people only dream of. I’m talking about a very specific type of writing, one that serves a multi-billion dollar industry that has grown exponentially since the introduction of the Internet.

Let’s Go Shopping Overseas

Let’s Go Shopping!

Buy low in one place, sell high in another. That’s what import-export means. But you don’t need thousands of dollars to get started—you can turn a profit from what we call “suitcase shopping.” That’s how many people make money in the business. Even if you don’t turn it into a full-time career, it’s a great way to fund your travels. Whether it’s on eBay, at a street market or to work colleagues, you can resell almost anything.

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