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Know what kind of traveler you are

Posted by Christopher Wink on Nov 8, 2008 in Education

I am dodgy. I can accept it. So, I didnt go into this London bar on Brick Lane Oct. 3, 2008.

I am dodgy. I can accept it. So, I didn't go into this London bar on Brick Lane Oct. 3, 2008.

I am hot tempered.

I cringe over costs. Accept them. You are in an unfamiliar place. You will be short 30 pence for a bus ride home in London and get stuck putting 3 pounds on your Oyster card, with an additional $3 charge for using your credit card abroad.

What do you want out of your travel? How do you want to represent yourself and your country. Traveling will make you learn plenty about yourself, which is good because it is rarely as important as when you’re seeing the world.

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Foreign Perspectives: Phil from Portugal

Posted by Christopher Wink on Nov 7, 2008 in Foreign Perspectives

Phil spoke English with an American deadpan. But don’t mention that to him.

This Portuguese native who was living and working in Hungary when we met him in Budapest told me his English came from U.S. media our country pushes out into the world.

“Conflicting” messages, he told me. One of the many reasons the world is conflicted about the United States.

Watch my interview with Phil below.

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The French Sneer

Posted by Christopher Wink on Nov 6, 2008 in Commentary

A sign on a the window front of a cafe in Paris, France.

The Paris Sneer is it there. Oh it is.

Sean likes to take photos, particularly of signs and images that remind him of his own name.

So, while we were strolling down a French street, ambling towards the Eiffel Tower, Sean wanted to grab the above photo: a Paris cafe promoting its English. That’s where the trouble began.

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Controlling how and when you wake up, travel style

Posted by Christopher Wink on Nov 6, 2008 in Travel Tips

Sean sleeping in London, England.

Sean sleeping in London, England.

Ask anyone with whom I’ve traveled or anyone with whom I’ve lived… or anyone who will listen.

I am crafting the ability to control when I wake up. If you’re planning on backpacking, you better, too.

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Hungarian cooking lessons in Budapest

Posted by Christopher Wink on Nov 6, 2008 in Experiences

Enjoying a meal in Budapest, Hungary on Oct. 21, 2008.

Enjoying a meal in Budapest, Hungary on Oct. 21, 2008.

Sometimes, when you use Couchsurfing, you really connect with your host. In time, conversation and interests. Such is how things went for me and my host Bálint in Budapest, Hungary.

I stayed with him two nights. From our first conversation - over a garlic and eggplant dip of his mother’s creation and some Hungarian beers of my purchase - I knew he was a good, fun guy, interested in the world and excited to try out his English - the jokes came faster the better we got to know each other.

So, I was excited to hear his offer to cook a traditional Hungarian stew if we bought the ingredients.

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What documents Americans need to travel in Europe

Posted by Christopher Wink on Nov 5, 2008 in Plans

This might be late-coming, but I got an e-mail from a friend asking what documentation does one need to travel Europe.

Sounds like a post.

Americans don’t need a visa to travel through the 22-member nations of the European Union for three months or less. It helps to have a flight home, though - not having one got us in trouble.

Fortunately, we were meeting Sean’s brothers, who had extended visas here.

For more details, see below some official information from the EU on foreign travel.

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Ep. 6 - Accomodations. Stockholm, Sweeden

Posted by Sean Blanda on Nov 4, 2008 in Podcast

Sean and Chris discuss hotels, hostel, and Couchsurfing with tip on each.

 
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When abroad, the quality of American food may vary

Posted by Sean Blanda on Nov 4, 2008 in Commentary

Yep, we're all that and a bag of chips.

Yep, we're all that and a bag of chips.

As mentioned before, I love me some Coca-Cola.

Despite trying to avoid consuming the same food and drink products I would in America, sometimes it is unavoidable (i.e. I cave in to the craving for Doritos).  However, while many American food products have made the jump across the pond that doesn’t mean you will be getting the same Uncle Sam taste.

Doritos, Coca-Cola, Hamburgers, French Fries, and Pizza are all classic “American” items that taste just different enough to notice.  As we experienced in Brussels (PUT IN VIDEO), sometimes all you want is a little taste of home only to be disappointed.

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How to keep a budget while on the road

Posted by Sean Blanda on Nov 4, 2008 in Travel Tips

The pain of figuring out the budget

The pain of figuring out the budget

Today, Chris and I bit the bullet, dumped out the receipts and figured out who owes who what.  After all, it is a cold Monday night. Up until now, we had alternated who took cash out of ATMs and tried to split big purchases such as hostels or train tickets.

Bad idea.

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European city name changes in English: exonyms you should know before backpacking

Posted by Christopher Wink on Nov 4, 2008 in Education

Sean overlooking the city of Prague, Czech Republic on stairs leading to the city castle on Oct. 25, 2008.

Sean overlooking the city of Prague, Czech Republic on stairs leading to the city castle on Oct. 25, 2008. To the rest of the world, Prague is Praha, one of many cities with varied names according to language.

I may have brought us somewhere very differently, and we might not have ever taken that train.

Sean and I wanted to go north into the nordic, so I was in charge of reserving us seats on a morning train from Berln, Germany to Copenhagen, Denmark.

I was frustrated to find there wasn’t a single train going from the German capital to its northern peer. Until I remembered a lesson.

Native European languages have very different takes on their geographical distinctions than we have in English.

There is no place called Copenhagen. The capital of Denmark is, of course, København - and trains run there quite regularly, thank you very much.

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