The Triptastic 10: Recommended Reading Right Now

Masai Woman

Every day, I read many great posts from the travel “blogosphere.” Certain ones, however, really catch my eye.

Usually, it’s because they’re off the beaten path/quirky, intelligent/thought-provoking or simply really well-done (well-written, amazing photos, great tips, etc.). Or maybe they’re ‘sleeper posts,’ those yet to be recognized/appreciated.

These  posts are what I call “Triptastic”–fantastic from a traveler’s perspective. They deserve more than a mere “tweet” or basic comment. They’re meant to receive some extra praise and to be shared with others.

Note: Although my favorite pick is at the top of the list, the others are in a random order and not intended to be a ranking.

My “Triptastic” Picks

Facing Gorillas in Rwanda (my #1 pick)

Not sure when you’ll be able to take a gorilla tour in Rwanda? Not to worry. You can go there right now–with Chloe of Backpacking Journalist! She takes you into the heart of the jungle as she shares her highly intense 1-hour encounter with the gorillas. The descriptions are fantastic (even the size of the poo helps give a sense of perspective.) Warning: your heart may beat a little faster and your spine may tingle…

Gorilla 2photo © 2007 Duncan McKinnon | more info (via: Wylio)

Our Brush with Death in the Land of Dr. Seuss Trees

Speaking of animals (in this case, reptiles) and heart-pounding adventure, here’s a post from Ordinary Traveler that you should read. Ever have a snake block your path? I have. How about a rattle snake?  This traveling couple has! And it happened right in the United States. In the Mojave Desert. Read about their encounter/adventure with a snake and how they handled it.

Unplugged Travel

I enjoy outdoor activities and love the Jordanian Bedouin and wish I’d made it to the Dana Biosphere Reserve, which offers both experiences. Sherry of Otts World spent time there did so and with no electricity; hence, the post’s name:  ‘Unplugged Travel.’  This means she was cut off from technology and truly in the moment. My kind of experience, for sure. She hiked, had that magical Bedouin tea I adore, met local children and read to them in English. Gotta love that!

Madagascar Mayhem–Surviving 24 hrs of Complete Adventure and Chaos

For me, this was like a mini nightmare come true. Not the first part per se (although having to run through and from fire does sound a bit intense), but the second part–the accident that occurred the next day. When you use super cheap transportation, as many of us do, you can’t help but worry just a tiny bit that something could go wrong. For Jason of DigiDrift, a lot went wrong. A fire and an accident in 24 hours. Jason tells the story in great deal and shares video that was shot during much of the action. A must-read (but not a must-experience).

Sleeping on a Bed of Straw in Switzerland (and the story of a big pizza)

In Jerusalem last summer, I met a couple who slept under an olive tree to save money. I’ve never met people who slept on straw in a barn with the smell of manure wafting through the air. Jack and Jill did this…in Switzerland! To me, that’s off-the beaten-path fun and I like it! The best part? They’d do it again! :)

The Worst Place I’ve Ever Stayed Twice

The name is intriguing, isn’t it? Why would you stay at a crappy place…twice? Read this and you’ll get it (as I did).  Johhny V (aka, Wes N), a fantastic traveler and writer, weaves a mini tale here that takes you to an authentic $7-a-night place called the Vishnu. This post is like a page right out of one of my favorite books, Shantaram! Be forewarned, though; Wes really tells it like it is!

A Battle to the Death with the Syrian Bathroom Scale Men

This has been an intense list of picks, hasn’t it? Time to lighten the mood with a post that made me smile and laugh. In Syria, there are men with scales hanging out on the street making money by…weighing you. I love the way the writer, Kent (Dromomaniac), leads you through a dialogue with one of the ‘scale men.’ It’s fun/funny and sure to make you LOL at least once.

Photography Tips: An SLR Primer

This is something that falls into my “truly useful tips” category. Laurence explains SLRs really well. I thought I knew a lot, but I soon realized that I didn’t. I ended up learning even more. The best part? His post is easy to understand and contains the visuals you need to ‘get it.’ I appreciate the time he spent on it. Definitely didn’t whip this together in 15 minutes!

Nepal in 2011: Abused, Raped, Plundered and Forgotten

Want to learn about Nepal…want to really understand it? This post by Dave of The Longest Way Home will educate you. I had many questions about Nepal and its complex history, politics, etc. that were answered. By weaving in his own insights and ideas, he made it even more interesting. What I find really fascinating is that he’s on the road to “find a home” and Nepal is the one place he really felt is/was home. That’s powerful. So are his words about the country and his experience and his feelings about it.

Memories of My First Safari: Masai Mara and Lake Nakuru (Part 2)

I don’t know about you, but I love nomads, tribes, villages, etc. Imagine meeting the Masai of Kenya. They’re  the real deal. Semi-nomadic tribal people who live in huts and move approximately every nine years. They make fires, go hunting, do tribal dances and live a lifestyle that’s worlds apart from mine and yours. One of the ultimate accomplishments for them? Killing a lion! Laura of A Wandering Sole got to experience much of this (not the lion hunt, however) culture. You will, too, via her great descriptions and photos.

Bonus Posts/Honorable Mentions

Franz Josef vs. Fox Glacier: Which Glacier Hike Should I Choose?

This is an excellent post by Inspiring Travelers re: glacier hikes in New Zealand. It provides you, the busy reader, with a lot of bang for your reader buck. The photos are fantastic. The experience, vicarious. And the tips are useful (not just about which hike, but how to dress and prepare, etc.) Some of the information is surprising, too–eg, the fact that you can wear shorts if you want. Looks like a ‘cool’ experience!

Photo Essay: Woggan-Ma-Gule

This Australian aboriginal ceremony, Woggan-ma-gule, is performed at both contemporary and traditional gatherings. It means ‘meeting of the waters’ and is how the past is commemorated and the future is celebrated. Destination World’s photos of this are simply brilliant and worth checking out.

Running of the Bulls

Although Photo District News is not part of the travel blogger community, this photo essay of theirs is Triptastic and worthy of a mention. The reason? High-quality images that simply blew my mind. I visited Spain twice and lived there, but somehow missed the Running of the Bulls. These photos made up for it, thanks to the angles, colors and amazing composition.

How Many Picks? How Often?

While many people run their picks once a week or biweekly, I’m going to do this approximately every 3 weeks or so–when I’ve found just enough and the right ones (not all will be brand new). It’ll generally in the middle of or be close to the end of the month and cover the previous 30 days. Some will be new, others ‘fresh’ and some a little older.

Help Me with the Next List

I chose the Triptastic Picks on my own, but I do appreciate some help with the review process. I’m sure there are a lot of posts I don’t see that may be worthy of recognition here.

Want to be considered or know of a post that that you’d like to recommend? Please do the following:

  • Recommend yourself or someone else over on my Facebook page*
  • Follow the format I used above (the name of the post, a link and a 2-sentence description)
  • Include posts between these (approximate) dates: Feb 17th and March 6th

*Note: Submissions must be made on Facebook to be considered. Thank you!

Previous Triptastic 10 Lists

Triptastic 10 List #1 (January 2011)

31 Responses to The Triptastic 10: Recommended Reading Right Now
  1. Jill - Jack and Jill Travel The World
    February 16, 2011 | 10:57 am

    Awesome selection of interesting stories (and no, we’re not saying this only because our story happened to be included :)) — thanks for including us!
    Jill – Jack and Jill Travel The World recently posted..Meet- Christy and Kali- A Nomadic Couple from TechnosyncraticMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 16, 2011 | 6:44 pm

      Thank you….glad you like them! And I know what you mean…lol :)

      PS: Did you get used to the smell of the manure?

  2. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler
    February 16, 2011 | 12:15 pm

    Another great round of Triptastic 10! :) I’m honored to be included among such talent. I’m glad you liked the story too!
    Christy @ Ordinary Traveler recently posted..Alis Surf Camp Review – Dominican Republic 10My Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 16, 2011 | 6:45 pm

      Thanks! Definitely liked your story. Glad things ended well!

  3. Dave and Deb
    February 16, 2011 | 2:25 pm

    Ooh, I have my reading list for tomorrow. Thanks for sending us to some great links. I can’t wait to sit down and check them out, but it’s 2 am right now in Bangkok, so I gotta go to bed. If I start, I’ll be up until dawn!
    Dave and Deb recently posted..Win a Trip with Air Transat- Beat the February BluesMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 16, 2011 | 6:45 pm

      Awesome, D/D….glad you’re going to check out the list. 2 am? Yeah, that’s late…or early. Hope you enjoy them…tomorrow! :)

  4. flip
    February 16, 2011 | 3:01 pm

    thepicof the gorill’s face is awesome… so full of emotions for some reason…
    flip recently posted..Luxury Villa Holidays Offer Freedom to Save and ExploreMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 16, 2011 | 6:46 pm

      Hey, Flip. I like that pic, too! It’s not Chloe’s, however. I ended up posting the list before she and I got in contact. So I actually got the photo from

  5. Laurence
    February 16, 2011 | 6:27 pm

    Hey, thanks for featuring me :) You’re right, it took a while to write, but I’m a big fan of the subject, so it certainly wasn’t a chore :)
    Laurence recently posted..Travel blogging tips from the experts- Go- See- WriteMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 16, 2011 | 6:47 pm

      You’re welcome, Laurence! I’m sure it took some time, but your love of the subject definitely means it was a labor of love. And that’s the best kind, right?

      Awesome info there…thanks!

  6. Aaron @ Aaron's Worldwide Adventures
    February 16, 2011 | 7:54 pm

    Great pics Lisa! Don’t think I’ve seen any of these posts before!
    Aaron @ Aaron’s Worldwide Adventures recently posted..Phallus Alert- Fertility Blessings in Bhutan!My Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 17, 2011 | 6:07 am

      Hi, Aaron. You haven’t seen them? That’s great…perhaps it means that I’ve done my job well! Hope you enjoy them….actually, I’m sure you will. There’s a lot of great stuff to check out!

  7. Kristin
    February 16, 2011 | 11:30 pm

    Excellent list and very fun articles! Thanks for curating for the travel crowd!

    • CB Driver
      February 17, 2011 | 6:07 am

      Thanks, Kristin….glad you like the selections…and you’re welcome! :)

  8. Sherry Ott
    February 17, 2011 | 2:41 am

    Thanks for including me. I have no idea how I made it onto your list with all of these great articles. You are reminding me that sometimes I need to try to stop and read other people’s blogs. I find it to be a very, very hard thing to balance while traveling and working…but thanks for sorting through it all for me!
    Sherry Ott recently posted..signsMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 17, 2011 | 6:11 am

      Hi, Sherry. I love to read about Jordan (because I was there last summer as a guest of the Bedouins) and I thought it was so cool that you made it to Dana Reserve and actually had that ”unplugged’ experience. It made me long for my time with the people of Wadi Rum. There’s something special about the Bedouins, isn’t there? And how about that tea? I loved it so much. I think it’s the sage that makes it so wonderful!

      As for balancing travel and work….definitely not easy! Thanks for your visit to my site! :)

  9. Jason
    February 17, 2011 | 5:38 am

    Hey Lisa, thanks for including me in this diverse list of posts. I’d already read a few of these posts before they made there way here, and I’ve now also discovered a few more. Lets hope I don’t have to go through the same ordeal to get another post listed here. Take it easy, and safe travels.

    • CB Driver
      February 17, 2011 | 6:16 am

      You’re welcome, Jason! And let’s hope not! Living through a fire + an accident in 24 hrs is a lot to do just do get listed–LOL. Seriously, though, that was some story. Glad you made it through it OK. Loved the videos, by the way. Made it super real!

      Safe travels to you, too! :)

  10. janet
    February 17, 2011 | 7:32 am

    Great picks Lisa. I feel well traveled just by reading your reviews. Looking forward to checking them out.
    janet recently posted..she laughs at the snowMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 17, 2011 | 9:53 am

      Thanks for checking out the list, Janet! Glad you’re feeling that…and I hope you enjoy my ‘picks’….I think there are some great reads here!

  11. Gillian @OneGiantStep
    February 17, 2011 | 9:20 am

    Wow Lisa, this is one of the most interesting roundups I’ve seen in a while…great content this past few weeks! Cheers!
    Gillian @OneGiantStep recently posted..Twitter Travel Tips- What The Heck Is TwitterMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 17, 2011 | 9:56 am

      Thanks, Gillian….the content really has been excellent lately. People are really going on some great trips and seeing amazing things. (I hope to be one of them in a few months!) They’re really traveling…living…enjoying…being in the moment. And that’s definitely ‘triptastic’! :)

  12. Rease
    February 20, 2011 | 8:20 pm

    Whew, finally made my way through all of them. You have excellent taste, I enjoyed all of them!
    Rease recently posted..Epic Movie Trips You Can RecreateMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 21, 2011 | 10:26 am

      Thanks, Rease. So glad to hear that you enjoyed them. Very cool!

  13. Andrea
    February 21, 2011 | 12:47 am

    Thanks so much for featuring our post!! =)
    Andrea recently posted..Inspiring Travellers Turns One!My Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 21, 2011 | 10:27 am

      You’re welcome, Andrea. It was very….’cool’! Seriously, looks like an amazing experience. Great photos and information for travelers!

  14. Zablon
    February 23, 2011 | 1:22 am

    great selection, i will read them

    • CB Driver
      February 24, 2011 | 4:56 am

      Thanks, Zablon. Glad to hear it. Enjoy!

  15. Jeremy
    March 9, 2011 | 4:23 pm

    Great picks! This list is going to keep me busy for a while.
    Jeremy recently posted..Travel Product Review- Skwoosh Sitting CushionsMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      March 9, 2011 | 5:32 pm

      Thanks, Jeremy…glad you’re checking out the posts!

  16. […] Triptastic 10 List #2 […]

Leave a Reply to CB Driver

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

CommentLuv badge

Trackback URL

Like this blog?

Get my book!


follow the bus

Join Our Facebook Fan Page



don't miss the bus! sign up for the monthly newsletter
Chicken Busology
Learn more about chicken buses by checking out these links:

Chicky Bus: The Real Story: Join me on a wild 12-hour chicken bus ride through Central America. Meet cheese smugglers and other characters. 

Chicken Bus Q & A: I answer all the questions you might have about chicken buses, but were afraid to ask. 

Want the quick fix
Watch the YouTube video to the right of this box. Vicarious thrills guaranteed!

come ride a Chicken Bus