Best Blogs of the Week
I read a lot of travel blogs every week. Every day, even. Since I’m constantly coming across good reads, I’ve decided to highlight some of the best and most interesting posts, photos, videos and general blogging gems from all over the web that I’ve discovered in the past week.
Though I try to read a diverse sampling of things, there’s no way that I can possibly get to it all. So, if you have an interesting post that you’d like me to check out and consider for next week, please let me know in the comments! Who knows? Maybe I’ll fall in love with it. At the very least, I’ll leave you my two cents in a comment.
What I'm Reading
Have a hankering to go to a seriously weird festival or event? Well here's a list of some of the most well-known (and strangest) around the world, thanks to Nomadic Matt. Some include throwing food, others include outrageous costumes, and still others highlight things like naked people, mud, driving out evil spirits, testicles, and baby-jumping. Oh yeah. You wanna read this now, don't you?
Matt has put together a hilariously funny post about all the annoying things people do during air travel. From whacking people on the head with your carry-on bag to encouraging your children to be as noisy as possible in-flight, Matt has six useful, annoying tips for your next trip.
Suzy makes a case for traveling with a rolling suitcase instead of a backpack. This is an age-old debate, and she points out that travelers often get stereotyped based on the container in which they pack their things. But, she says, there can be benefits to toting a suitcase around, too.
This isn't a new post, perse, but I just stumbled upon these photos this week, so they're new to me. Dave, one half of The Planet D, is an awesome photographer, and these are some of the shots he took in Machu Picchu, Peru. I LOVE these photos. They're gorgeous, and make me feel like I'm there. He captures colors and expressions so well.
Nathan and Sophia decided to compile a list of what they view to be the cream of the crop in the travel blogging industry. Even though A Dangerous Business didn't make the top 25, plenty of my favorite blogs did. All are very deserving! And, from a purely aesthetic standpoint, the layout of this post is great — with a photo, link, and short “Why has this blog made the list?” description for each entry.
I really wanted to go to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear this past weekend in Washington, D.C. But I wasn't able to. So videos like this, highlighting some of the witty, smart-ass signs at the rally, make me really happy. Some of these are laugh-out-loud funny, I think.
Not to toot my own horn or anything (okay, so maybe a little bit), but if you want something extra to read, check out this guest post I wrote for Emily over at Maiden Voyage. It's all about ways normal travelers can be a bit more adventurous.
What in the World?
Let's take a look at what's happening around the world right now.
China, ambitious country that it is, is taking on the incomprehensible: They are going door-to-door to conduct a census. A team of census workers 6 million strong plans to take on the task from Nov. 1-10. And they aim to count every person. In past census counts, migrant workers were left out. But, this year, China will be counting people where they currently live, as opposed to where their resident certificate is registered. For the first time, we may get an idea of the true size of China's huge cities. The census-takers will also be counting foreigners, plus people from Hong Kong and Macau in the census. At last count (in 2000), China's official population sat at 1.295 billion.
Poor Indonesia has been having a rough week. Last week, it got shook by an earthquake, and then was hit by a follow-up tsunami in the remote Mentawai Islands. Then a volcano erupted on the opposite end of the country, near Java. And it has kept erupting, with the most recent blast taking place on Monday. To make matters potentially even worse, the country has reported “increased rumblings” at 21 other active volcanoes. I realize Indonesia sits on the so-called “Ring of Fire,” but still! This is getting ridiculous. Nearly 500 people have died in the combined disasters (38 from the eruptions of Mount Merapi, 431 so far from the tsunami), and thousands have been displaced from their homes. The government is scrambling to provide relief and aid to both affected ends of the country, and the military has been called in to help.
Former Argentinian President Nestor Kirchner (husband of current President Cristina Fernandez) died last Wednesday from a sudden heart attack. The couple had planned to attempt to swap the presidency back and forth between one another (both were fairly well-liked), and many people viewed the presidency as essentially a joint venture. I had no idea Argentina's presidency was so interesting.
Devastating earthquake. Cholera outbreak. And now potential hurricane threat. That's what Haiti‘s been dealing with recently. The most recent threat comes from Hurricane Tomas, which could potentially hit Haiti this week. As if the country doesn't have enough to worry about.
On Sunday night, Islamic militants attacked a Catholic church in Iraq. They killed the priest and most of the congregants in the first row of pews, and then held the others hostage for hours, until one of the militants detonated a suicide bomb. 58 people were killed and 78 wounded — nearly everyone inside the building. An al-Qaida-linked group has claimed responsibility.
If you haven't heard, the bad guys (i.e. probably al-Qaida in Yemen) are trying to hurt to the good guys by sending bombs on cargo planes. The story is long, involved and still developing, so I won't go into details. But, suffice it to say, explosive devices have been making their way through multiple checkpoints and airports, hidden within printer cartridges. Over the weekend, one was intercepted in Dubai, and another in Britain (after flying safely through Germany). Both devices contained enough explosive material to easily bring down an airplane.
Today (Tuesday, Nov. 2) is Election Day here in the United States. Even though these are just midterm elections, races have been close and tough. Voters will decide if Democrats will keep hold of the House and Senate (it's not looking good for them in the House), and also will decide several key governor's races across the country. I, personally, will be working until at least 2 a.m. Oh joy.