Travel

[Travel Advice] Istanbul

Random Observation/Comment #439: Have you ever woke up thinking you were going to South Africa to find out you were tricked to go to Istanbul, but then landed in Bulgaria? That’s why I love being a bear. Things Istanbul does well: Street food – You will certainly eat well here. Prepare for a lot of meat and sweets. Kumpir potatoes...

[Travel Advice] Boston

Random Observation/Comment #434: It’s important to differentiate a sports rival hatred with travel advice. It’d be unfair to judge Boston based on the Bruins or Red Sox rivalry, but man do they suck. Things Boston Does Well: College campuses. Harvard, MIT, North Eastern, and Boston University all have beautiful campuses for walking and crashing their local tours. I’d really just...

[Travel Advice] Kingston, Jamaica

Random Observation/Comment #431: “Ya, mon. No problem.” is a great response and attitude towards life.   We had all been Clemens’ed. That Friday morning, I had no idea where I was going that afternoon. We just opened the envelope labeled “Adventurers” and flew. Well, at least it wasn’t Haiti. This is travel advice specifically for Kingston, Jamaica and not Montego...

[Travel Adventures] Getting Clemens’ed

Random Observation/Comment #430: It’s always good to live spontaneously. Sometimes you just have to let go and do something crazy. Def. Getting Clemens’ed. Going on a vacation without knowing the destination until reaching the airport. Hazing from those who know are a given. “Katie is getting Clemens’ed for this trip because she doesn’t know we’re going to Scotland. Poor Katie…...

[Travel Advice] Vancouver

Random Observation/Comment #425: From my travel experience, I’ve found that all major cities have the same key components. There are pockets of cultural groups, old towns, ghettos, rich areas, financial districts, tall buildings, sprinkling of parks, and hipster scenes. These seem to just naturally form and if you really want to experience the culture, you’ll need to dig much deeper....

[Travel Advice] Whistler

Random Observation/Comment #424: When Chinese parents get older and more health conscious (obsessive), they love vacations with a lot of leisure strolling and fresh air. I planned a full 6-day trip for my parents and my aunt to Whistler + Vancouver to get an overall mix of nature and culture. Verdict: it wasn’t a typical bear trip, but we certainly...

[Travel Advice] My Favorite Layover – Narita

Random Observation/Comment #413: The Bad Idea Bears are not foreign to layovers and have enough experience to make the most out of the transfer in a new country. Layover trip planning is a completely separate beast to regular trip planning because TIME is the largest constraint. In most cases, you want to err on the side of caution and stay...

[Travel Advice] Beijing

Random Observation/Comment #412: Smog is smoggy. Looking at the Earth as an organism, humans are definitely the worst disease the Earth has ever caught. You need to stop with those one night stands, Mother Nature. Things China Does Great: Great Wall. It’s pretty great and epic. Certainly worth every penny to go and see it with your own eyes if...

Parahawking in Nepal

Random Observation/Comment #410: Go Parahawking. Seriously. Plan a whole trip around it. It was the best 25 minutes of my life and I think everyone should do it. You’re welcome. I took a deep breath of fresh mountain air as I counted the white peaks of the Himalayas. The view from the top distracted me from the fact that I...

[Travel Advice] Nepal – Pokhara

Random Observation/Comment #409: Wherever we go and whatever we do, safety first – stories later. Things Nepal Does Well: Delicious Indian food (vegetarian). I can’t say much about the meat products since I was a vegetarian the entire Nepal trip, but all the stews, curries, and momo dishes were extremely flavorful and delicious. I also found it to be quite...

[Travel Advice] Clemens’ Guide to Haggling

Random Observation/Comment #408: Haggling is an art. I am terrible at haggling. I usually feel bad because haggling naturally occurs in third world countries with Street vendors where the price you pay for the goods and services are already a small fraction of what you would normally pay at home. I’m too nice and give away my buying intentions too...

[Travel Advice] Brazil – Rio de Janero and Parati

[Travel Advice] Brazil – Rio de Janero and Parati

Random Observation/Comment #357: “There are no pretty women in Brazil.” is what I practiced saying to my gf throughout the trip. Things Brazil Does Well: Churrascaria (A.K.A. Brazilian barbecue, A.K.A. all-you-can-eat meat heaven) is awesome and relatively cheap. You must do this at least once while you’re here and you’ll be mighty satisfied afterwards. Eat all the meat. Note that...

[Travel Advice] Rome (as a local)

Random Observation/Comment #354: Italians and Chinese are very similar with family values and their love of food. Maybe that’s every big family conversation. Things To Eat: Pasta pasta pasta, Gelato, Pasta pasta pasta, Cappuccino. For those that need liquid courage in the morning, get a corrected espresso. It’s corrected with Bailey’s or whisky. It’s awesome. If you like chocolate coffee...

[Travel advice] Chicago

Random Observation/Comment #351: Chicago has the chi-fecta of foods that make me extremely happy and fat.  These three must-tries are: Italian beef hero, Chicago hot dog, and deep dish (stuffed crust) pizza.  I love it when cities have a focus with their specialties. Things Chicago Does Well: Architecture. After the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, architects had the opportunity to...

[Travel advice] Montreal

[Travel advice] Montreal

Random Observation/Comment #348: There’s something about listening to Rhapsody in Blue live that just makes the whole vacation better. Things Montreal Does Well: Architecture of common houses.  Driving through Montreal, I just noticed there was something commonly interesting about all the apartments – they all have balconies and really high ceilings. These apartments are all 2 or 3 story NYC...

[Travel Guide] Grand Cayman

[Travel Guide] Grand Cayman

Random Observation/Comment #341: Always order seafood if you’re staying on an island. Well, maybe not Long Island; that place is gross. Triumphs During the Trip: Got scuba certified Saw a Caribbean reef shark about 15 feet away (peed my wetsuit) Saw silverfish and tried to hit them (they really move like in Finding Nemo) Held a Sting Ray (felt like...

[Travel guide] New York City

[Travel guide] New York City

Random Observation/Comment #333: I love planning trips, but not everyone likes to do the things I do. If you don’t like alcohol, good food, taking pictures, learning about culture, walking everywhere, or experiencing new things, you should probably stop reading this blog for travel advice. New York City is my home. It’s a metropolis of diversity and hidden fun activities...

[Travel Guide] Scotland

[Travel Guide] Scotland

Random Observation/Comment #327: I don’t think I spent a day sober in Scotland. I can’t be an alcoholic if I’m on vacation, right? Is Scotland, as a travel destination, right for you? Things you must like: Drinking whisky (period). That’s basically it. 

The Bad Idea Bears

The Bad Idea Bears

Random Observation/Comment #326: It’s a wonderful and terrifying thing to surrender control of the quite normal tendencies to, ya’know, know where you’ll be going on vacation. I wanted a spreadsheet so badly, but maybe it’s a good thing to let go a bit and live on the whim. You can’t get lost if you don’t know where you’re going, right?...

[Travel Guide] South Africa

[Travel Guide] South Africa

Random Observation/Comment #324: South Africa really needs a radio station devoted to Lion King songs. It would get all the tourist listeners. Is South Africa, as a travel destination, right for you? Things you must like: Adventures Roughing it in the wild Impromptu decisions Driving long distances (~7 hours per day) Animals far away Photography (because someone will be stopping...

Day 29: Travel Adventures

Day 29: Travel Adventures

Random Observation/Comment #316: I caught the travel bug in 2008 and I still got it. It’s like the photography, writing, table tennis, eating, and alcoholic bugs – they’ve become good friends. There’s something about traveling that makes me smile.  Maybe it’s the free spirit letting loose of all the stress, or maybe it’s the photographer in me that sees every...

The Travel Bucket List

The Travel Bucket List

Random Observation/Comment #281: I love traveling and I’ve gotten really good at it. There’s a method to my madness: 1) research, 2) planning documents, 3) well-packed and prepared bags, and 4) just wing it when you get there. I’ll probably write a separate blog entry about this. As mentioned in the previous bucket list blog post on foods, people usually...

Ireland: It’s so Green

Ireland: It’s so Green

Random Observation/Comment #277: I’ve been taking a lot of these long-weekend trips of 3 nights. I think they are the perfect number of days before you stop being productive with your foreign-country-adventure. After all, these vacations are more for my exploration of a new country than the relaxation from any type of stress. What can be so stressful if I’m...

Icelandic Journey with Friends

Icelandic Journey with Friends

Random Observation/Comment #274: I love adding things to my bucket list unintentionally and then checking them off immediately. Dog sled across a glacier. Check. Eat Minke Whale. Check. Gadinkadurgen to all (don’t try to look up this word because you won’t find it). Iceland is an absolutely beautiful place filled with random acts of precipitation and sporadic weather representing all...

Futuristic grandparents

Futuristic grandparents

Random Observation/Comment #225: My grandparents have such a boring daily routine that I’m surprised that they still know what day of the week it is.  It’s a continuous cycle that basically involves the following activities: walking, shopping for groceries, cooking, eating, napping, and watching TV.  I wonder if I will do this when I’m their age or if I’ll just...