I wrote my first Travel piece for the Times in 2004 and soon ended up with a column called Weekend in New York; I was the travel writer who didn’t travel. I moved to Brazil in 2008, and it was two years into my stint as a freelance foreign correspondent that Stuart Emmrich, the Travel editor, called me up.
I tried luxury travel for a few days and, though I can see why people like it, went back for a final few days of adventure on the cheap, bussing it for a homestay with a Uno-playing indigenous family and visiting the forgotten town of Quingeo.
For the fifth and final time as Frugal Traveler, I take my brave parents on the road and subject them to my budget: Nicaragua, Croatia, Norway, Vancouver and now Panama.
My dad left Germany as a young child in the 1930s, fleeing the Nazi regime. He and all his descendants – my brother, nephews and I – just became citizens. I was the first to go back since – and wanted to choose the most traditional Germany I could find.
In which a Brazilian environmentalist observes our National Parks system. And Montana peaches.
More than 30 years after my grade-school report on the 17, 000+ islands of Indonesia, I finally get to visit four of them. And am not disappointed.
In Appalachia on one of my best trips ever, a perfect example of how travel can wash away stereotypes. (Though not all of them – I sure saw a lot of guns. Turns out I’m not a bad shot with a 9mm Smith & Wesson.)
Well, not exactly. But the best I could do in a new series that (I’m coming back later to say) will live on beyond my days as Frugal Traveler.
It’s a banner day for me – my first “artwork” published in The New York Times (or, really, anywhere but the now-defunct 1970s-era refrigerator at 25 Ridge Road, Newton, Massachusetts).
After a few months off working on my book, I’m back as Frugal Traveler, with a first trip to Georgia and Armenia, thanks to an incredibly cheap airfare on Ukrainian International Airlines.