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.
Boy, it suddenly just got very cheap to go to Rio de Janeiro – formerly one of the most expensive destinations in the Western Hemisphere.
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.
Last Tuesday was the big launch of our Amigo Gringo video series for Brazilian tourists (and, via subtitles, others) visiting New York City. Our first video, on how to be a savvy subway rider, is almost up to 50,000 views. Then came our “Thumbs Up” video, trying to convince Brazilian visitors to act a bit less like the Fonz. Finally, today, how to order a bagel in New York City. (English language subtitles are available by clicking the little CC button in the lower right of the video.)
In the meantime, we’ve also had articles written about us in the three major Brazilian newspapers: Folha de S. Paulo, Estado de São Paulo, and O Globo (in Rio), as well as the country’s biggest news portal, G1.
Yesterday the AP put out a story about us (in English!) that should be appearing in newspapers next Sunday. Finally, I appeared on national television yesterday in Brazil, on the show “Encontro com Fátima Bernardes,” which one of my friends there compared to being on Letterman. (I would have preferred Jimmy Fallon, but OK.)