by Dario DiBattista | 02.08.10 | 10:20 AM ET
After returning from the war in Iraq, Dario DiBattista road-tripped from Alaska to Maryland in search of peace -- and a way back into the civilian world
by Jeff Pflueger | 10.19.09 | 2:10 PM ET
Introducing a new column for travel photographers of all levels
by Eva Holland | 09.29.09 | 2:12 PM ET
With several major cruise lines headed into the courtroom to challenge Alaska’s $50-per-cruise-passenger “head tax,” Rob Lovitt takes a broader look at the uneasy relationship between the cruise industry and the state. Here’s his take on a return visit to Skagway after a 20-year absence:
I was gobsmacked by the changes. Instead of one ship, there were three, each of which probably carried 2,000-2,500 passengers. With 6,000-plus cruisers unloading simultaneously, Broadway was more or less impassable, and while the Sweet Tooth and Red Onion were still there, they were joined by the likes of Del Sol, Tanzanite International and other absurdly out-of-place outposts of Caribbean kitsch.
And it’s not just Skagway. A recent editorial in the Juneau Empire bemoaned the “yuck factor” created by the dozens of jewelry stores and trinket shops along the city’s main tourist drag. Written, surprisingly enough, by a local economic development booster, the piece didn’t single out the cruise industry, but it doesn’t take an advanced degree in tourism management to realize that cruise ships and curio shops go together like buffet lines and bulging waistlines.
by World Hum | 05.01.09 | 11:33 AM ET
To mark World Hum's eighth anniversary, we've collected eight favorite travel stories from our archives that explore the family vacation in all its forms
by Eva Holland | 04.29.09 | 3:07 PM ET
Growing up, I was fascinated by the idea of the Arctic. I can remember trying out some of the strange place names of the North—Whitehorse and Yellowknife, Great Slave Lake, Tuktoyaktuk—and reading Jack London or reciting The Cremation of Sam McGee in school.
Now, finally, I’m headed “north of 60” (that is, beyond the 60th parallel that divides Canada’s provinces from our northern territories) to spend part of the summer in the Yukon, and it occurs to me: I know almost nothing about the North in the present day.
by Eva Holland | 04.17.09 | 12:24 PM ET
A new travel reality show premiered on the Discovery Channel this week. Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment follows nine people who’ve been dropped into the middle of the Alaskan wilderness, with “just three days of survival training and limited supplies.” And, the promo claims dramatically, “Not everyone will make it Out of the Wild.” Sound familiar? Hey, yeah, that is kind of like what happened to that McCandless kid, now that I think about it.
by Rob Verger | 03.31.09 | 9:16 AM ET
Alaska Airlines announced Monday afternoon that flights to and from Anchorage were operating “on a limited schedule” due to the eruption of Mount Redoubt, and that the status is being re-evaluated every hour. Clearly, it’s a fluid situation. For information, visit the the carrier’s website or follow its snappy updates on Twitter.
by Jenna Schnuer | 02.26.09 | 1:13 PM ET
For spectators, dog mushing is a hard sport. There’s no loop de loop on a race track. There’s no back and forth on a court. Once the dogs go by…they’re pretty much gone. Dog mushing as spectator sport takes patience, dedication, and a lot of reading (internet and newspaper updates of days-long races are key). But just one dose of a race, one chance to watch it in person, to see the connection between the mushers and the dogs and, quite simply, you’re sunk. It gets in you.
by World Hum | 02.20.09 | 5:16 PM ET
This is a super short radio documentary, but wow, I could almost smell the smoke. Rabbit Hunters—an audio snapshot in blazing sugar cane fields—is by Michael Ozug and it’s on Sound Portraits.
I just knew Walker Evans and I had something in common. Postcards! I can’t wait to get back to New York to see Walker Evans and the Picture Postcard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art—especially the “bank of postcards that offer plunging views down the middle of scores of American Main Streets, an almost scary tribute to the country’s can-do spirit, can-doing again and again.” For now, I’ll make do with the slideshow.
by Beth Harpaz | 02.17.09 | 9:40 AM ET
Beth Harpaz and her 10-year-old son went to Alaska to see the Northern Lights -- and to hold on to his childhood for a few more minutes
by Michael Yessis | 02.12.09 | 10:04 AM ET
- Is slave history being “whitewashed” at some Southern plantations and museums?
- The Virginia Quarterly Review has opened its archives from 1975 through 2003. Among the stories unearthed: Richard O’Mara’s profile of “American Traveller” John Lloyd Stephens. (via Kottke)
- Here’s the story behind the shrinking of the Norman Foster-designed Harmon hotel in Las Vegas.
- Compared: Commuting in London, Delhi, Tokyo and Homer, Alaska.
- World Hum contributor Tom Bissell talks video games with Heather Chaplin.
- Several airlines are trying to take control of an upcoming emissions pact.
- Jossip is planning a cross-country tour of Bernie Madoff victims using the Madoff Map. Worst road trip ever?
- Can you imagine trying to clear customs with the Bob Marley suitcase?
by Michael Yessis | 02.09.09 | 8:33 AM ET
- Tom Miller examines how the way of life on the U.S.-Mexico border is “under siege.”
- An Italian man went to Falluja and declared, “I am a tourist.”
- The fires in Australia continue to rage. Here’s a map.
- Joe Leahy looks at Mumbai’s “experimental” music scene.
- Rick Moody looks at why Sonoran Arizona has produced its share of interesting and rather strange bands. (Via The Morning News)
- Here’s a list of the world’s most stylish hotel design details.
- Expat workers in Dubai have been abandoning their luxury cars at the airport and heading home.
- Lost your job? Tim Leffel suggests going abroad and teaching English.
- God and Jerry Springer vacation in Italy.
- Two Americans have been charged with barbecuing iguana in the Bahamas. They were busted after posting photos of their ‘cue on Facebook.
by Jenna Schnuer | 02.03.09 | 12:27 PM ET
Some Alaska residents might want to consider investing in an umbrella hat. With Mount Redoubt set to blow in a minute? next week?, there’s a good chance they’ll have to deal with some seriously ashy air.
Redoubt is a beaut. I first saw her (and her nearby siblings, Illiamna, Augustine and Douglas) while standing on my favorite beach in America, Bishop’s Beach. Yes, my favorite beach in America is in Homer, Alaska. It was the surprise factor of Bishop’s that made it my dream beach. It was late August and the water was warm enough for swimmers to venture in—all under the watchful eye of the glacier-covered mountains (er, volcanoes) across the way. Don’t get me wrong, Hawaii’s beaches are something stellar but Bishop’s is something unexpected.
by Michael Yessis | 01.28.09 | 8:50 AM ET
- Love this graphic of anatomical terms that most sound like exotic vacation destinations. I’m booked for the Fissure of Rolando.
- Cole Hamels loves Sydney.
- Giant waves battered cruise ships in the Bay of Biscay. Photos at the Daily Mail.
- GOOD rightfully thinks trains need some more support—and more money—on Capitol Hill.
- Inside the quest for alternative jet fuels. Black vomit nut, anyone?
- Another great Time Zones piece: “The Beautiful Chaos of Bangkok”
- Sex and Romance in Rio: Seth Kugel looks at the relationships between male tourists and female locals. Some background on the story.
- A Fugu mishap in Japan injures seven.
- Have you read “the world’s best passenger complaint letter”?
- An Alaskan entrepreneur wants a license to sell booze on his Fairbanks shuttle bus. His goal: To make enough money so he can hire another shuttle bus driver and join the mobile party. (via Fark)
by Jenna Schnuer | 01.22.09 | 11:56 AM ET
Yeah, there are a few things here and there from places far, far away but, looking around my apartment, I realized that most of my art/knickknacks/stuff was hauled home in my carry-on, checked baggage or the trunk of a rental car from a trip to one of the 50. OK, I shipped the bear lamp home. This is some of it ...