For those of you familiar with my site, you’ll know that I used to do weekly posts featuring my favorite reads from travel blogs, as well as a round-up of world news. Now that I’m back in school, though, I haven’t had the time to do those round-ups each week. However, I kind of miss them! Sure, I can retweet my favorite posts on Twitter or share them on Facebook. But I like highlighting the really good stuff this way, too.
So welcome to Best Blogs of the Month! I’ll be doing these round-ups once a month, summing up my favorite 15-20 reads from the previous few weeks.
Here are my favorite reads from April 2012:
My Top 5
Tsunami 2012: I Thought I Was Going To Die at Never-Ending Footsteps
Lauren does dramatic well. She also does funny well. But this post is only one of those things, and rightfully so — it is terrifyingly dramatic, and almost had me just as scared while reading it. Luckily, Lauren was not swallowed up by a giant wave, but I'm sure that doesn't make the memory of the scare any less frightening!
The Maasai and the Honey Badger at Maiden Voyage
This post by guest author Walter is nothing short of a must-read. With a captivating writing style and a focus on where you draw the line between tourism and exploitation of native people, this post kept me hooked the entire time. Go read it for yourself and get a unique glimpse into Tanzania.
Scandalous Facts Behind the Oracle of Delphi in Greece at Around the World L
This post by my Boston friend Lillie is a fascinating history lesson about the often-mysterious Oracle of Delphi. For example, did you know that the Oracle was usually high when making pronouncements?!?
One Day in a Kenyan Slum at Angie Away
Poverty is never a pleasant subject. And witnessing extreme poverty up close is even more uncomfortable still. My heart breaks along with Angie's while reading this post, and it reminds me to be grateful for all that I have and often take for granted.
The Good Global Traveler: 17 Actions You Can Take at Uncornered Market
Want to be a good global traveler? Here are some fantastic tips from Dan and Audrey on how you can travel more sustainably and more responsibly.
My Other Picks
Not Your Usual Golden Circle Tour at The Family Adventure Project
As someone who was just recently in Iceland myself, I've been finding myself drawn to all sorts of Iceland content lately, just to see how my experience compares to others'. This post caught my attention straight away — good writing tends to do that — and I enjoyed this fun look into a traveling family's Golden Circle tour.
If I Were An Ancient Egyptian Architect at GloboTreks
Norbert, the architect-turned-traveler, always manages to give some unique insight into some of the ancient and interesting places he visits. In this post, he uses his architectural know-how to give a quick history lesson on what it would have been like to be an architect in ancient Egypt.
Ancient Rome in Photos at The Planet D
From ancient Egypt to ancient Rome — prepare to pick your jaw up off the floor after taking a look at this collection of photos.
8 Secret Weapons for Townie Penetration at Tourist 2 Townie
In this post, Gareth shares his tips on how to integrate better with the locals when you travel. And if anyone is qualified to give this sort of advice, it's Gareth!
Holi Cow.. Groped in India! at GQ Trippin'
You've probably seen pictures of the insanely colorful Holi celebrations that take place in India each year. But this post takes the typical Holi report one step further, telling the experience story from the female perspective. I never knew this before, but apparently Holi is a mostly male celebration. So imagine the attention Kieu got when she went out on the streets…
Down to the Bare Bones — Sedlec Ossuary, Czech Republic at A Crafty Traveler
I've heard all about bone churches before — this one and others around the world. But this post actually delved a bit further into the history of this particular bone church, which I found really fascinating. I also like how Amanda notes how grisly of an attraction this is, despite many people seeming to forget that these are real human bones on display.
9 Reasons Why I Guarantee You Will Love Istanbul at The Most Alive
This post has me SO excited to be visiting Istanbul later this summer! And the great photos don't hurt, either. I feel like I most definitely could fall in love with Istanbul.
Songkran, the Thai New Year at Canvas of Light
Who's ready for some fantastic photos from this year's giant water fight in Thailand? These are some of the best I saw this year.
Songkran: the battle for Chiang Mai at Man vs. World
If it's a Songkran story you're looking for, check out Simon's experience in Chiang Mai. It sounds so intense, and yet like so much fun!
I'll admit to being a bit bashful when it comes to taking photos of complete strangers when I'm traveling. But Nate's post has given me some hope that maybe I should put some more effort into it afterall.
Do Something Good
I hope you'll forgive my lack of featured videos this month. Instead, I wanted to highlight 2 really great philanthropic projects that you can get involved with easily.
This fundraiser, spearheaded by indie travel company Intrepid Travel, aims to help fight gender inequality by helping to educate young girls. The first 3 years of the project will focus on villages in rural Laos, where as little as $5 can go a long way in helping to make sure children get the education they need and deserve. SAMA hopes to raise $60,000 to fund this project for the next 3 years.
This project, the brainchild of Angie Orth, aims to help out 30 families living in a Ngong Hills slum in Kenya. Angie hopes to raise $3,000 to help these families start small businesses that will sustain them.
Have you read or written a post that you'd like me to consider for next month's round-up? Leave a link in the comments!