My Anti-Bucket List

There’s something in the ubiquitous craze of bucket lists that doesn’t exactly sit right with me. First, if they aren’t simply a mere reminder of death/dying, they seem outrageously long and in effect, unrealistic. They bring attention to the end … Continue reading

Traveler Visits Every Country In The World Without Boarding A Plane

by Kraig Becker (RSS feed) on Nov 30th 2012 at 8:00AM

art-Graham-Hughes-Every-Country-620x349A British man has accomplished what many world travelers have only dreamed of. Over the course of the past four years, he has managed to visit every country on the planet, which is a very impressive feat considering some of the places he had to go to in order to earn this unique distinction. But perhaps most impressive of all is that he traveled to all of those places without ever stepping foot on a plane, something that is increasingly difficult in this day and age.Graham Hughes (33) set out on his journey on January 1, 2009. He began his travels in Uruguay and continued on for 203 weeks before finally reaching his 201st, and final, country earlier this week. His last stop was South Sudan, the Earth’s newest nation and one that didn’t even exist when he started his wanderings.Hughes tells Australian newspaper The Age that he traveled with four rules as his guiding principles. First and foremost, he barred himself from ever flying. He also vowed to not drive himself anywhere either, which meant that in order to get around he had to take scheduled ground transportation. Finally, in order to say that he officially visited a country he had to step foot on dry land.

In order to visit every country on Earth he of course had to find ways to get into places like IraqSomalia and Afghanistan. You would think that those places would be extremely challenging to enter, but Graham says that many of them lack the infrastructure necessary to properly patrol their borders, making it relatively easy to slip in or out. Other countries weren’t quite so easy, however, as he was arrested while trying to sneak into Russia and was detained for a week in the Congo as well.

The most difficult countries to reach, at least in terms of logistics, were island nations like those found in the South Pacific. Hughes says that supply ships visit them infrequently and he often had to time his travel just right or risk missing a ship and end up waiting for weeks for the next one to embark. Most of us would obviously just hop a flight, but when you ban yourself from using that form of travel, it can really limit your mobility.

In 2009, Graham set a world record for visiting the most countries in a single year at 133. After that, he spent the ensuing months knocking off the remaining 68 countries while also raising funds for WaterAid, an organization dedicated to promoting clean drinking water around the globe.

So, what do you think of Graham’s efforts? Is he the ultimate world traveler or the ultimate guy with a checklist? This guy just lived my dream.

Bizarre Search Terms

I can’t help but notice the really random and bizarre search terms people are using to land up on my blog. In particular, what is with the frequent search terms related to nudity? … and why are they bringing people to my site? Behold, some of the strangest search terms I’ve seen to date appear in my stats:

Topless underwater bubbles

Boob massage – Wtf?

Topless g-string pics

Naked oil paintings

Poncho sex – What on Earth is Poncho sex?!

Copacabana topless fiestas

Steamy Brazil sex puppets – I don’t know where to go with this one

Croatia nudity cabins

Greek men shitting on toilets

Massage bug sea sex – Ew… What the hell?

Bad Italian nudists

Getting spanked in a mosque – There’s an image…

Heiroglyphic babies tossed into the Nile

I got caught in an alpaca costume – …What?

Well, who knows how these terms lead to my blog… but hey, at least my blog is being stumbled upon even if it is through the most bizarre search term possible. It’s pretty entertaining to find one of these search terms in my stats, I must say. However, I would prefer it if the search terms used in Google were more applicable to the content in my blog!

What are some of the strangest search terms that you’ve seen in your blogs stats?

Bracelet Heartbreak

Either you think I am silly for being this upset, or you understand exactly what I’m talking about. Never have I lost anything nearly as significant and special as what I lost this weekend.

A day at work, a country bar, and 700 chair fabrics later, I discovered it was missing. While eating lunch I noticed that the familiar clinking noise when I set my wrist down was no longer there. I grabbed my wrist. It was bare.

I have never once taken off the diamond bracelet that my boyfriend got me for Christmas. I normally never wear bracelets because they usually slip off my hand, but this bracelet was made for me because it had a lock clasp and was specially sized for my tiny wrist. Not to mention it was sparkly, delicate, and classy – exactly my taste.

When I discovered that it had fallen off my wrist I had this immediate sick feeling in my stomach. I searched everywhere and called everywhere, but no trace. I flew into hysterics – crying, sobbing, grieving, and mourning this special bracelet of mine.

Now my boyfriend, being the amazing soul that he is, assured me that these things happen, it wasn’t my fault, and it meant a lot to him that the bracelet meant so much to me as I breathlessly sobbed “I just want it back on my wrist” into a pillow.

With my imagination, I pictured it being kicked aside on a sidewalk, buried in a snowbank, or scooped up by some woman slapping it on her fat wrist. I sit here and tear up as I imagine these scenarios again. The amount of sentiment this bracelet has is overwhelming, as I’m sure you can tell.

Even though this item is not a real live thing, it is still way more than just a thing. Whether looking down at it and smiling while typing away at work or in downward dog at yoga, there was a comfort I felt in seeing it sparkle and hearing it clink about. At the end of the day something very special was lost without any sign of it returning, and that makes me very sad. It isn’t something that can just be replaced  like everything else I own. For those who have read my Swish of the Pencil post, you know that when I am overwhelmed about something I need to write it out. And that is exactly what this post was for.

Have any of you lost something that completely broke your heart?

Vivid Valentines

Yesterday I had the most wonderful Valentine’s Day that was full of amazing little surprises throughout the whole day and evening. These photos capture it all:

Surprise #1 – Dozens of Candy Grams sent to me from fellow colleagues at work


Surprise #2 – Heart cookies and accidentally smushed cupcakes from my mom


Surprise #3- Valentine’s Card

Surprise #5 – Breathtaking bouquet of roses and lilies, my two most favourite flowers


Surprise #6 – Devinely delicious dinner, wine, and dessert at a very friendly, candlelit Greek restaurant


After dinner, we walked downtown back to my place. It was so snowy and slushy that my boots leaked and filled with slush and water. Even after my left big toe went numb, nothing could take away the warm fuzziness I was feeling from inside. It may have had something to do with the wine, but I can say for sure that this Valentine’s Day was the most special I’ve ever had, with my belly full of food and laughter and my heart filled with vivid warmth.

Whisper Lust

For those of you that know me, I am an aspiring writer who has an out-of-this-world love for travel, who can hardly bear the one year wait in between my travels. So, here is the book I want to write to help me travel more frequently while at the same time utilizing my other love of writing.

401250452_0dc8e99e0aTitle: Whisper Lust

Prologue: During down times at work, I map out and plan my travels for the next 6 years before and when I turn 30. I can hardly bear the thought of waiting a year in between my travels, I just want to pack my suitcase and take off . . . but I have no money.

Introduction: I save sort of enough money, quit my job, and buy a RTW plane ticket.

Climax: I travel to 25 countries in one year, and earn income along the way by submitting articles to travel magazines.

Conclusion: My travel bug is very satisfied from all the different cultures I have absorbed and all the wonderful and challenging experiences I have endured.  Now, I am able to settle down a bit, get married, and start a family.

Epilogue: I am hired on by several reputable travel magazines that send me on numerous trips a year to write and record my valued thoughts and experiences.

La Fin.