Copyright 2018 Do Cartwheels with Me 

DIY Travel.  That's my shtick.  There is practically nothing more that makes me giddy than travelling.  It's the reason why I work!  And truth be told, there is giddiness in travel planning itself.  DIY travel is the antithesis of the hop-on-hop-offs.  Nobody would know you more intimately than you, so why pay money to delegate something as important and potentially life-altering to a tour company who would offer a generic itinerary that obligates you to go with the crowds and eat with your fellow tourists?  Wouldn't you like the thrill of getting lost in a medieval Italian city, or the adventure of meeting locals at a bar in Paris, or cooking dinner with your host in Tuscany?  Besides, have you seen what those things cost?

 

I proselytize going through the lengths of planning one's own travel from top to bottom.  Sure, it would require poring over cartography, price-watching airline tickets, amassing Lonely Planet guides, and masterminding a trip that is idiosyncratic to your interests and tastes.  But the ROI is that every trip that has your DNA on it ends up being a trip of a lifetime.  Everytime. 

 

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36 hours in CHIANG MAI

In January, I did a social media detox.  It was so liberating that I may have taken it a step too far.  Other than (very) sporadic posts on Instagram, even this blog took a break.  But it cannot be denied that my SD cards have been nagging at me a...

 on the precipice

 KILA GOMPA, WESTERN BHUTAN 

“I got out of my car at this monastery and the air was pulsing.  It was very silent.  But really the silence wasn’t the absence of noise.  It was almost a presence of these transparent walls that I think the monks...

Where this Bhutan journey started

BHUTAN: A JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME

Ten years ago, I went on a solo journey across Asia, en route from the United States to the Motherland.  I spent a few days freely navigating Hong Kong and Bangkok on my own, then heading off to an isolated island in the Andaman Sea in So...

Black Necked Crane Festival in Phobjikha Valley, Central Bhutan

Alberobello, Puglia, Italy

  IF YOU GO  

Remember that the historic part of Sassi di Matera is a pedestrian only zone.  There is parking or taxis that could you bring you right outside this area, and you're on your own from there.  Forego the heels - it's a stupid idea.  

Our s...

LINCHPIN

I donate books I've already read, but a select few, I keep.  Like many people today, I too would confess to being touched by the genius of Anthony Bourdain.  I've admired him first as a writer before I've followed his many adventures on TV.  Perhaps because his...

I’ve never thought I would ever be one who would weekend in Europe.  It’s just so much money and bother for hauling one’s ass all the way that distance for little (or so I thought) gain.  I live in the Western US and Europe is at least a ten hour flight away.  It is al...

ON THE FRINGE

In my research in building an itinerary to discover a small slice of the eastern side of Puglia this spring, it dawned on me that the itineraries out there come from homogenous sources, and therefore, articles and blog posts I’ve dug up online are just bas...

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