Get It While the Gettin's Good

Oddly enough, it's a pretty good time to be an American tourist right now (unless you're in Greece or Thailand). Thanks to the dark cloud of debt issues that surround the Euro, now might be the best time in a long time to take your dollars on a trip to Europe. Compared to even just six months ago, you'll get more bang for your buck on food, lodging, transportation, and shopping.

Head over to XE and check the current exchange rate.

P.S. - If your looking for more bargains, I hear Iceland is lovely this time of year...



So That Explains It

Fascinating article by Jonah Lehrer on how your mind responds to travel.

"When we escape from the place we spend most of our time, the mind is suddenly made aware of all those errant ideas we'd previously suppressed. We start thinking about obscure possibilities that never would have occurred to us if we'd stayed back on the farm."

Read the full article here.





I'm always looking for ways to save money on travel. NPR just did a story on the rising homeless population in Hawaii due in large part to the state's generous, taxpayer funded homeless assistance program. I hate to say this but after reading the article, it kind of sounds like a good deal.

"...full health care benefits and more for just $3 a day...chopped beef steak with vegetables, mashed potatoes, bread, a fresh apple and cake... Gary Phillips...was homeless in San Diego for years, but is now earning cash from Hawaii's 5-cent redemption program for plastic bottles and aluminum cans. 'I recycle here,' he says. 'I make money doing that.' Some days, over $40, he says. And he sleeps at the IHS shelter for $3 a day, with three free meals, $200 worth of food stamps and the state's free health care program. 'I went to the dentist today, and I had a tooth pulled,' Phillips says. 'It cost me nothing.'"

But it appears the gig is up.

"Connie Mitchell says the resource drain caused by newly arrived single male transients is getting more acute. She says Hawaiian lawmakers need to develop policies to address this problem. 'I think that we really need to begin to look at who's really homeless — not by choice and by misfortune — and who's really homeless by choice, and have a different solution for the two different populations.'"

Maybe we could meet in the middle.

Read the full article here, and while your at NPR.org, why not make a small donation to one of the best sources of unbiased news in the world.



A Major Reward

Thanks to everyone who voted for my story The Kiwi Drug Trafficker and the Serbian Hooker (click to read) on XTREME TRAVEL STORIES.com. The story was selected as the quarterly winner and I was awarded $100.00 which I put to good use during a recent visit to Mexico.



180 South

New release from Woodshed Films

California to Patagonia. Get inspired. More at http://www.180south.com/