Visit to North Korea (Sort Of)

n my last trip to Asia, I stopped off in Seoul for an important side-trip. I'd been to South Korea three times before, and each time I'd tried to make this side trip—but each time, something came up to block my way. A public holiday was announced, or I came on the wrong days of the week, or hostilities between neighbors had erupted that derailed the plan. Each time I flew back to Hong Kong or Japan, resolving that the next trip would be successful.

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For the Love of Airports

There are those who say that airports are all the same; that travel has become standardized and sterilized. This view holds that airports exist merely to take passengers from one place to another, and that “real” travel begins only when you leave the terminal. That's one way to think of it. Another way is to embrace airports as a travel experience all on their own. An airport begins, continues, or ends a journey.

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On Revolutions

On my first overseas trip in several months, I made it to Libya, Afghanistan, and even (briefly) Kish Island, Iran. It was a tiring trip, as one might expect, but also a timely one. When I booked my flights, I didn't exactly plan on revolution breaking out across the region; apparently revolutions are not scheduled in advance.

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2010 Annual Review: Travel Roundup

As part of the Annual Review series, I look back at everywhere I went in 2010. It’s a long list! From my usual 20+ new countries to a book tour to every U.S. state, I spent a lot of time on the road this year. In rough chronological order, here’s everywhere I went in 2010:

United States, Canada, New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Maldives, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Germany, Ukraine, Cyprus, Cape Verde, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Morocco, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Algeria, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Thailand

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Travel Hacking in North America

Greetings from the road between Little Rock, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee ... soon to be Oxford, Mississippi. I've been on tour for five weeks now, and a number of people have asked, “What kind of travel hacking are you doing on this trip?”

The best answer is: Not much. The schedule is fixed. One day per city, with no flexibility on dates. I've done 32 stops over the past five weeks, usually back-to-back, and the priority is to structure everything around the meetups. In addition to that, I've done media interviews every day, all of the work I do on an ongoing basis, and some planning for two bigger projects that I'll be announcing soon.

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Notes from the Road, Vol. V

Greetings from Durham, North Carolina, near the Duke campus where we did last night's Unconventional Book Tour stop.

One week ago, I ran ten miles in non-stop pouring rain. The only thing that made it easier was thinking about everyone else running the Portland Marathon on the other side of town. Ten miles in the rain gave me blisters, but at least it wasn't 26.2 miles. I escaped to the indoors, went to Chipotle, and now all is well.

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Notes from AA 476

Greetings from the early-early flight (6:05am departure) to DFW, where I'll transfer to an American Eagle jet up to Des Moines, Iowa. Over the next 14 days I'll be in 13 cities, taking the message of AONC on the road through the midwest and the Great Lakes, meeting readers, and trying to keep the plates in the air.

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How to Use Frequent Flyer Miles for Low-Cost, High-Value Trips

As regular readers know, I use Frequent Flyer miles to go all over the world several times a year. I've written before about how to earn miles without flying, and how you can become your own travel ninja through mass mileage accrual. Once you earn miles, however, you need to make a plan for using them. One of the saddest facts in the Frequent Flyer world is that every year, millions of miles go to waste. Help stamp out mileage expiration! Use your miles ... but use them wisely. Here's how.

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Visit to Tiger Kingdom

Thanks to some fun travel hacking that led to a better-than-free side trip to Thailand, I took a couple days off at the end of my Belarus-to-Algeria adventure.

I've been to Thailand a dozen times, but never to Chiang Mai, the mountainous city in the north, far away from the hustle of Bangkok. The highlight of the excursion was a day trip to Tiger Kingdom, a cat reserve twenty minutes out of the city where tourists can play a fun game of “pet the tigers while the staff watches warily with sticks.”

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Destination Unknown

By the time I got to the check-in counter at PDX airport this morning, I knew I'd go through with the plan. PDX-DEN-FRA to start with... but then what? I wasn't sure.

“Will you be traveling on from Frankfurt?” the United agent asked.

This is a polite way of saying, “When will you be leaving the European Union?” – to ensure I don't decide to take up residence in Germany.

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Free Trip to Thailand: Travel Hacking Case Study

When I haven't been contemplating the puzzle of how to do everything, I've been planning my final international trip of the year. Yes, it's only July, but come September, I hit the road to meet readers in 63 cities for the Unconventional Book Tour. Therefore, next month's trip is my final chance to get in a couple of new countries before putting my Frequent Flyer cards back in the drawer for a long four months.

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