Best Blogs of the Week & What in the World?

Tuesday
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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

A Tough Question at Travels With a Nine Year Old

In this post, Theodora uses a conversation with an Indonesian man to illustrate the great divide that exists between the developed West and the rest of the world — a divide that often can bring about traveler’s guilt, and feelings of unfairness. She examines the privleges she and her son enjoy — the freedom to travel, the ability to work remotely, the opportunities that are laid at their feet — and contrasts them to the life this young Indonesian man and his family will live. It might just make you think.

I’ve Found the Secret to Happiness at Adventurous Kate

Kate’s crazy travel stories may not resonate with all readers, but this post definitely should. It’s all about not settling for a life you dislike, and instead going after a life that you’ll love. Kate shares some of the struggles that lead to her decision to travel the world, and shares what she’s learned about happiness while traveling around Asia. A very feel-good post.

Happy Anniversary to Me at Bacon is Magic

I always like reading these anniversary (or, should I say, travelversary) posts to see what other travel bloggers have been up to and/or learned over the past months or years. Here’s a fantastic one from Ayngelina, summing up her first year of being a nomad. If you don’t already read her site (or if you do, but have missed a lot), this post is a lovely round-up of her adventures from the past year, as well as some of her favorite posts.

Iceland Facts at Cailin Travels

Cailin learned a lot about Iceland during her time recently spent there, and in this post she shares 30 fun facts about the country. I actually learned a lot about Iceland by reading this — for example, did you know that 12 percent of the country is covered in glaciers, or that they celebrate an official Beer Day each year on March 1? If you’re a sucker for random trivia facts like me, check this post out.

Stuck in LA – Our first misadventure at Jack and Jill Travel

For months, Jack and Jill had been planning for April 18. That was they day they were set to begin their round-the-world adventure. … Or was it? In this post that you can’t help laughing at (though you feel bad laughing at their misfortune), Jill describes how the couple had, in fact, been planning for the wrong departure day the whole time!

Life is a Journey, Not a Destination at Katie Going Global

This isn’t a traditional travel post, perse, but it’s still about a journey. In this post, Katie talks a bit about the personal journey she went on while participating in The Fear Experiment — a project in which she learned about improv with a group of strangers, and performed a live show in front of 700 people. Travel — espcially solo travel — requires a unique skill set, including the ability to face fears and step outside your comfort zone. And I think Katie definitely honed those skills during this experience, even if she did decide that imrovised comedy isn’t her calling…

What in the World?

Here’s a look at what’s going on around the world right now:

The U.S.

Wild weather seems to be a bit of a theme this year for most of America. A harsh, snow-filled winter has been followed by either a very wet or very dry spring. While Texas has been battling wildfires stoked by drought, much of the country has been plagued by storms and a lot of rainfall. After a nasty storm system spewed tornadoes in North Carolina last week, more storms have continued dumping rain on areas from northern Texas to Illinois. Flooding is becoming a worrisome reality in many states, including Ohio, where I am. April is already on track to be the wettest April in Ohio’s history.

All I have to say is, all these April showers had damn well bring a whole lot of May flowers.

Europe

Are you ready? Are you excited? Do you have a Royal Wedding Viewing Party planned? Well, get to it, because Wills and Kate tie the knot this Friday in London.

Will you be watching the big event?

In more somber news, today — April 26, 2011 — marks the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine.

It’s almost ironic that the world is marking this anniversary as Japan is dealing with its own severe nuclear crisis.

The Middle-East

I‘ll sum it all up very quickly for you: Protesters are still at it in Yemen, Syria and Libya, and the governments of those countries are still fighting back, killing protesters and rebels daily. In Libya, NATO is still conducting airstrikes, and Italy has now also added their air firepower into the fray.

In Afghanistan, it appears that Taliban insurgents had a very busy winter, spending 5 months digging a 1050-foot tunnel to aid in a mass prison escape from a main Kandahar prison. Early Monday morning, more than 480 inmates were ferried away through the tunnel without incident. Accounts of the prison break, along with the fact that so many were able to escape unnoticed, suggest collusion with prison guards, officials, or both.

Asia

In Japan, 25,000 troops have been given the daunting (and grisly) task of searching for the 12,000 still-missing earthquake and tsunami victims. They are searching the rubble, the seas, and the swamps of northeastern Japan for bodies. I certainly don’t envy them.

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Do you have a post or news item you’d like me to consider featuring next week? Leave your link in the comments below!

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