7 Tips for Learning Foreign Languages on the Road

I am not a linguist, so when people find out that I am conversant in five foreign languages (French, Estonian, Czech, Russian, and Spanish) – most of which I’ve picked up on the fly instead of through formal study – they often ask me how I do it.I don’t have a “get rich quick” secret for learning how to speak a new language. It can be challenging, humbling, and … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: Medieval Old Town Tallinn at Night

tallinn old town

Before we backpacked around Europe in 2000, I got my hands on a used copy of Rick Steves' "Europe Through the Back Door." (If you are inclined to do so, don't hold it against me. I was young and impressionable; it was the only English language travel book available.)Estonia's capital city, Tallinn, was described as having "a frosted cake feel." Sure, the old town … [Read more...]

Travel Photography: The Fuzzy Area Between Iconic and Cliché

So their eyes are growing hazy 'cos they wanna turn it on, so their minds are soft and lazy.  Well, hey, give 'em what they want. -- Natalie Merchant (10,000 Maniacs) in "Candy Everybody Wants"Have you ever come across a photo in a magazine or on another website and thought: "Hey, that's my photo!"?We were poking around BBC Travel the other day and came … [Read more...]

Argentine Food:  Steak, Empanadas, Pizza, Pasta, Repeat

When I think about my first contact with the concept of Argentine cuisine, I recall a discussion twelve years ago with an unassuming foodie friend in San Francisco.“I bet the food in Argentina is great!” I offered with blind optimism as visions of gauchos stepping to a tango beat danced in my head.  Argentina seemed so damn far away; therefore the food must be … [Read more...]

Three Vignettes: Beautiful Everyday People of Northwest Argentina

In a future incarnation, we will run world tours that seek to deliver extraordinary travel experiences through encounters with ordinary people. And when we do, a road trip in Northwest Argentina will be one of our first stops in South America.After stumbling upon a dazzling gaucho festival on the first day of a week-long road trip, we figured our travel karma … [Read more...]