Panama

Rental Car Not Recommended

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The last stop on this quick Central America trip was Panama City, Panama. Apropos of this blog post title, I actually got a Rapid-Covid test at the rental car drop-off at the San Jose airport just before flying in. The test managed to do double duty, serving to both gain entry to Panama as well […]

Costa Rica

It’s Ill-Advised To Pet Wild Animals

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As mentioned in the last post, Central America is opening up and is a great option for anyone looking to get out and start traveling again. Each week seems to bring more reasonable guidelines. Costa Rica was made particularly easy because they removed all entry Covid testing requirements. This trip included that and one other […]

Belize

Ziplining and Human Sacrifice Cave Tubing

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It’s hard to find any upside to the whole Covid nightmare as it wreaks havoc into yet another year. Nevertheless, we’re doing what we’re able, vaccinated and visiting whatever countries permit American Lepers through their gates. Belize is one such country, clearly recognizing the need for a return of tourism dollars. This is not a […]

Ukraine

Radioactive Bandages

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I’ll admit that a day tour to Chernobyl wasn’t the first thing that came to mind when I knew we’d be spending a few days in Kiev. However, the moment I realized that was doable, it was as good as booked. Chernobyl and more specifically the city of Pripyat and the exclusion zone have been […]

Ukraine

The Shadow of Dictators

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Our visit to Ukraine was a bit of a happy accident for a couple of reasons. The time in Afghanistan was cut short due to flight scheduling shenanigans and that ultimately turned out well because we were still able to see most of what we planned. Because of the flight issues, we had very timely […]

Afghanistan

That Camera Could Be A Bomb, Sir

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Beginning with the cancelled flight that routed us through Islamabad, we quickly learned that flights in Afghanistan can be unreliable. With only days left in Afghanistan, we turned our attention to the departing flight. At first search, it appeared that the Kabul to Istanbul direct flight had been cancelled. Thanks again, Turkish Airlines. Of course, […]

Afghanistan

Taliban Police Checkpoints

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Mutually armed interactions at security checkpoints have a way of encouraging civility between opposing parties. Even when there is great disproportionality, rational actors usually want to avoid any risk of bloodshed on their side. Mogadishu comes to mind: cruising up to an intersection partially obstructed by AU troops with RPGs and NSTVs aimed directly at […]

Pakistan

Cancelled Flights To Keep Things Spontaneous

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This hasn’t proved to be the year to expand my country count. The last trip to the Bosphorus, which while entertaining in hindsight, was certainly an epic fail in flying up to the Baltic region. I was beginning to wonder if a future endeavor this year might be cursed. This time around, for both security […]

USA

South Florida, Rural Florida

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I haven’t been to Miami in a few years, so a friend getting her SCUBA certification was a nice reason to spend the weekend there. I wish I could say that 8th street isn’t still a fascist enclave, but on the cusp of a pivotal election, unfortunately that was as clear as ever. There’s still […]

USA

Domestic Travel?

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I don’t need to belabor the obvious by saying how weird this year has been. It’s been difficult to start traveling again, and now certainly isn’t the time to be picky about the when and where. If you’re in a position to travel safely, your options are limited. For me, that certainly put some domestic […]

Turkey

Last Stop on the Quarantine Tour

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Kemeralti market has been around long enough to have seen a few plagues ravage the globe. No surprise then I guess that things there were functioning as normally as one could expect. Built in the 16th century, the market in Izmir is not quite as old as the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul (the world’s oldest), […]

Turkey

Catching Up On All The Feels

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Turkey is balancing reopening their tourism industry with pandemic safety in a way that only a burgeoning autocracy can accomplish. It seems that plenty of people around the world have gotten the memo and descended upon the country. After my warm stay in Belarus, I had personally reached a point where Turkey was feeling like […]

Quarantine

Vaccinated and Ready to Break Quarantine

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Unless you’re dead, you really don’t have anything to complain about this year. Of course, suffering being the relative thing that it is, that won’t stop anyone, myself included. Yes, people have lost loved ones, jobs, become disabled and experienced all sorts of tragedy. Many have joined the Sisyphean struggle to dismantle systemic racism and […]