by Jim Benning | 11.02.11 | 12:40 PM ET
Jim Benning asks the musician about his new book of photographs and how travel has humbled him
by Jim Benning | 08.30.11 | 4:32 PM ET
The New York Times columnist recently took his family on safari to Kenya and Tanzania. They stayed in simple camps where they got to know people and more luxurious camps where they did not.
The more elegant camps felt colder. At one, each family had its own dinner table, so we didn’t get to know the other guests. The tents were spread farther apart. We also didn’t get to know the staff, who served us mostly as waiters, the way they would at a nice hotel.
I know only one word to describe what the simpler camps had and the more luxurious camps lacked: haimish. It’s a Yiddish word that suggests warmth, domesticity and unpretentious conviviality.
It occurred to me that when we moved from a simple camp to a more luxurious camp, we crossed an invisible Haimish Line. The simpler camps had it, the more comfortable ones did not.
Brooks goes on to extrapolate larger lessons about how we live. It’s a well-worn theme in travel—see Rick Steves and a thousand other sources. But the message never gets old, undoubtedly because most advertising continues to insist we’ll be happier if we just spend more money.
by Jim Benning | 06.08.11 | 3:03 PM ET
Afar magazine sent filmmaker Jorma Taccone to Kenya, where he co-wrote a travel-related song with a Nairobi rapper named Rabbit and shot a video. Considering its mzungu origins, it’s not half bad.
by Eva Holland | 08.10.10 | 2:19 PM ET
The New York Times has an op-ed from a former resident of Kibera, an area of Nairobi that’s become a popular destination for slum tourists. Here’s writer Kennedy Odede:
I was 16 when I first saw a slum tour. I was outside my 100-square-foot house washing dishes, looking at the utensils with longing because I hadn’t eaten in two days. Suddenly a white woman was taking my picture. I felt like a tiger in a cage. Before I could say anything, she had moved on.
We’ve talked slum tourism on World Hum before: Columnist Eric Weiner asked whether it can ever be done right while Rob Verger reported from a favela tour in Rio de Janeiro. (Via @nobauerm and @robverger)
by Larry Habegger | 07.28.10 | 12:12 PM ET
Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news
by Carl Hoffman | 03.16.10 | 10:42 AM ET
In an excerpt from "The Lunatic Express," Carl Hoffman spends a sweaty, noisy, desperate 24 hours in Nairobi
by Jim Benning | 06.15.09 | 2:15 PM ET
Facebook is now available in roughly 50 languages, and Swahili was the second African language to get its own version of the social networking site, the BBC reports.
by Joanna Kakissis | 03.30.09 | 11:20 AM ET
In 2006, then-Senator Barack Obama stayed in a room at Basecamp Explorer, which is set on 40 acres at the edge of the Masai Mara National Game Reserve. Now that he’s President Obama, the room where he stayed is already popular with visitors, camp general manager Annette Bulman told Business Daily Africa.
The so-called “Obama room” is spare, with a bed, two African stools and a table with a framed photo of Obama and some Basecamp employees. Its wooden porch has a hammock and overlooks the Talek River. Basecamp Explorer is already one of the top eco-tourism facilities in Kenya. Could the “Obama room” also make it one of the most popular in Africa?
by Michael Yessis | 03.13.09 | 8:06 AM ET
- Australia floats a plan to offer tourists free flights to the country, provided they spend a certain amount of money while visiting. (via Jaunted)
- IgoUgo lists 10 places to go to drink iconic drinks.
- Out: Sears Tower. In: Willis Tower.
- Airport living: A Finnish woman apparently spent more than two months calling Berlin’s Tegel airport home. (via Gridskipper)
- Japan unveils its “Ambassadors of Cute.” Metro has a photo.
- Kenya slashes visa fees to encourage more travelers to visit.
- The latest Washington Post Time Zones piece: Eating in Tehran with Thomas Erdbrink.
- The White House clarified President Obama’s position on travel: Travel on federal bailout money bad. A strong travel industry good.
- Finally, in the Onion TV listings: Crash Cab. Description: “In this hit game show, unsuspecting taxi passengers must answer general knowledge trivia questions correctly to prevent their cab from careening into the nearest storefront or bridge abutment.” (via @Marilyn_Res)
by Michael Yessis | 02.05.09 | 8:47 AM ET
- Tamaulipas declared itself bilingual, the first Mexican state to do so.
- Ben Groundwater lists his picks for the world’s most disappointing tourist attractions.
- Aeroflot apologizes for pilot’s “slurred preflight announcement,” but denies he was drunk.
- McSweeney’s reveals what happens when “the 4-year-old crash-lands in the Andes.”
- The sites of London can be compressed into “just four handy photographs,” writes Matthew Summers-Sparks.
- Trains, slum rooftops and Google Earth all factor into this art project in Kibera, Kenya. (Via Daily Dish)
- A man was caught at customs in Melbourne with birds beneath his trousers.
- Here’s where Americans are getting arrested abroad. Not surprised at all by the top spot: Tijuana.
by Michael Yessis | 01.14.09 | 8:00 AM ET
- An American in Spain writes about studying Euskera, the “clearest sign of Basque identity.”
- Greenpeace buys land in effort to halt a third runway at Heathrow. It’s now the prime minister’s move.
- Here’s an interesting project: Masterpieces from the Prado on Google Earth.
- Jonathan Raban on the best presidential writers. He notes some of the travel bits of Barack Obama’s “Dreams From My Father.”
- Cuba reported huge tourism numbers in 2008. It could grow if Obama implements the policy outlined by Hillary Clinton.
- A steady flow of flights from Europe—and “tightened restrictions in Thailand and elsewhere in Asia”—are fueling sex tourism in Mombasa, Kenya.
- A couple of long-term travelers share ten lessons of the road. No. 2: Smile.
- The BBC offers some tips on landing that best job in the world.
- Lawlessness reigns at San Diego’s skate parks. Given the city’s financial shape, officials decided not to staff them. Skateboarders have flocked to the parks for the “[f]reedom to smoke while they skate, drink beer, bring dogs, ride minibikes amid the skateboards and scrawl graffiti.”
by Jason Daley | 12.30.08 | 10:25 AM ET
Jason Daley explains how to avoid getting bitten, slapped or shoved by an ornery primate.
by Rolf Potts | 10.29.08 | 4:17 PM ET
The Financial Times reports on plans in Nairobi and elsewhere in Kenya to welcome travelers interested in “the Obama experience.” My favorite part of the story: East African Breweries brews a beer called Senator. So, says one bartender, “People now say ‘I want an Obama’ when asking for Senator.”
by Daniela Petrova | 08.27.08 | 2:30 PM ET
When she arrived in Kenya to volunteer with the Maasai, Daniela Petrova looked down her nose at tourists there to have a good time. But was her own motivation much different?
by Eva Holland | 04.14.08 | 9:13 AM ET
In the Globe and Mail, Stephanie Nolen offers alternative safari destinations for travelers scared off by the recent post-election violence in Kenya. For those of us not currently planning a wildlife-peeping trip to Africa, though, the most interesting part of the story is Nolen’s scene-setting introduction: from the normally hustling (and now abandoned) Exchange, a Nairobi bar once haunted by Hemingway himself. She writes:
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