Top Articles

Five Expectations to Avoid Before Volunteering Abroad
Five Expectations to Avoid Before Volunteering Abroad

Photo: Courtesy of authorMany volunteers have harbored secret dreams of what the headlines will say when they return from their heroic adventures:“Volunteer saves rural village from mudslide.” “Philanthropist banishes malaria from Africa.” “Educated Westerner teaches hundreds of poor children to read.

Zombies: A Guide to Culture Shock
Zombies: A Guide to Culture Shock

What do the undead and the unfamiliar have in common? Why befriending a walking cadaver can make the world a nicer place.Spring had come early to the valley, the dewy sweetness of fresh grass on the air and a gentle sun above. My wife and I rested against the trunk of a brawny oak, and I traced her cheek with a dandelion.

Even Sadhus Get the Blues
Even Sadhus Get the Blues

Robert Hirschfield befriends a wandering monk in India. Together they ponder loneliness.All photos by authorYOU MAY HAVE seen his eyes: whorls of melted brown lit from within. A staple of Indian travelogues. I’d see them and wonder, Who do those eyes belong to? One afternoon, in an ashram library in South Calcutta, amidst the shriek of a bustee, a man approached me with those eyes.

All Roads Lead To Home
All Roads Lead To Home

This process of becoming lost in the world, the process of growing up, is repeated as a pattern throughout one’s life.Lately, I have been busy with things. I’ve had my attention occupied with things coming, things going, things changing – all the while feeling this vague sense of discomfort and absence, for lack of a better word, that comes with having your attention consumed by the world of form for too long.

Road wisdom: 7 life laws from a long-distance cyclist
Road wisdom: 7 life laws from a long-distance cyclist

Editor’s Note: Alvaro Galvis is a 26 year old carpenter in the midst of a long-distance bike trip from his hometown of Popayan, in the far south of Colombia, to southern Argentina. I met Alvaro in a campground in the mountains near El Bolson, Patagonia, and was instantly struck by his aura of calm, even though he is alone, with very little money, 9,000 kilometers from home.

Squeegee Your Third Eye with Bill Hicks
Squeegee Your Third Eye with Bill Hicks

Comedian Bill Hicks had a way with words. His acerbic style made you either love him or hate, but one thing that was unique about his act was his spiritual bent.Hicks grew up in a Southern Baptist family in the Houston suburbs and started doing stand-up at the age of 15. Since dying of pancreatic cancer in 1994 at the age of 32, Hicks has been lauded as one of the country’s best comics.

Ignorance or Bravery?  A “Moral Holiday” in Indonesia
Ignorance or Bravery? A “Moral Holiday” in Indonesia

Photos: authorAn American gets in over her head searching for challenge and adventure, and comes to understand something quite different from what she set out to learn.“Is it a man of a war?” I asked my boyfriend. In an instant, the scalding burn of the sting had progressed into an ache, shooting its way to my groin from the blisters it had left on my ankle.

Budget Travel Tips You’ll Never Read In A Guidebook
Budget Travel Tips You’ll Never Read In A Guidebook

Well, maybe if it was a really good guidebook…Previously, I wrote about working abroad and I offered many helpful and practical tips (if I do say so myself).Now I am going to bestow some more financial advice regarding how to save money while traveling, but with one important difference – these are tips you’re not likely to read in any Lonely Planet or Rough Guide.

Exploring the World’s Most Sacred Mountains
Exploring the World’s Most Sacred Mountains

Feature photo by SparkyLeigh. Photo above by padraic woods.A list of some of the most awe inspiring sacred mountains on the planet.Some mountains have attained legendary status for their danger and difficulty. Others simply dominate the landscape, commanding the attention of all who pass by. Still other mountains are revered as sacred.

Basketball win costs university $25,000 in fines
Basketball win costs university $25,000 in fines

A bit of excessive celebration is costing the University of South Carolina a mountain of cash.The University of South Carolina men’s basketball team had never defeated a number one-ranked opponent. So when the buzzer sounded on Tuesday’s 68-62 victory over Kentucky, South Carolina‘s fans were elated.

Gear Review: Op/Tech Super Classic Strap
Gear Review: Op/Tech Super Classic Strap

You shouldn’t need a massage therapist when you’re done shooting for the day.Unless, of course, you’re getting yourself in some awkward positions to get that great shot. In which case, contort away. But I’m talking about neck and shoulder pain from carrying a heavy camera, especially if you’ve got a big telephoto lens attached.

Beginner’s guide to teaching English in China
Beginner’s guide to teaching English in China

Teaching English overseas is the dream job of many – just make sure you do your own homework first.Within minutes of departing the plane in Shanghai, I realized I was in trouble. English was no longer the predominant language, my connecting flight to Wuhan, central China, was sixty miles away, and I could not speak a word of Chinese.