Diagnosis Wanderlust

10404486_10152431523987567_8074948124992286700_nTHE symptoms will strike without warning, finding their way into your day in vulnerable places like the office, the morning commute or even your empty house.

All of a sudden you suffer a heaviness of the heart, concentration loss and a mild delirium that flings you to places visited and destinations for which only imagination is a source.

The twin forces of nostalgia and forward optimism combine to flash images of distant lands, miles of asphalt under wheels, friendly faces speaking in foreign tongues, desert, forest and vast oceans. Read more of this post

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My kind of town, Chicago is… in summer

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Chicago in the summer.

“YEAH, I could live here,” I thought as I strolled along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

It was a sunny June morning and I was on a decent hike from my hostel through skyscraper-lined streets, parkland, beaches, and riverfront, soon to arrive at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

America’s third-largest city was alive with a pulsing energy, the L was shuffling along the tracks overhead and I was growing ever more in love with this place. Read more of this post

Road tripping through America: The Listicle

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When in Murica…

A COUPLE of weeks ago, I went on my first social road trip since returning from the United States. It wasn’t a long one – just a pleasant Sunday drive to Springbrook National Park and other parts of the Gold Coast hinterland – but the trip evoked the same feelings of adventure and freedom that comes from discovering new places in a dinosaur-powered combination of metal, plastic and glass.

Only seven of the 28 days in America were spent traversing the countryside, but it’s those days I keep daydreaming about – a 3400km odyssey through seven states from the Pacific Ocean to within a few kilometres of the Mississippi River. Read more of this post

South Dakota: the tourist trap state

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A South Dakota tourist trap (Mount Rushmore) portrayed inside a South Dakota tourist trap (Mitchell Corn Palace). Tackception.

IF COFFS Harbour ever pulls a Detroit and files for bankruptcy, the subsequent sell-off of The Big Banana would probably see the oversized piece of fruit snapped up by the state of South Dakota.

Not because of any connection the Midwestern state may have with the tropical, allegedly evolution-debunking botanical berry, mind you; after all, South Dakota also boasts a Santa’s village and Scandinavian museum.

No, South Dakota would happily take the Big Banana off our hands because, at least from my observations criss-crossing the country, it appears to have the greatest concentration of tourist traps per square mile of any of the United States. Read more of this post

Like the Vatican, but with more bird skeletons

THIS trip to the beach was the strangest I’d experienced, including the time I stumbled upon that nudist beach.

Living near the coast in a swimming-crazed country, visits to the seaside in late spring and early summer typically involved hunting down the last, precious parking spot before walking across hot sand to the refuge of the cool, turbulent ocean. Read more of this post

Selfies in the face of tragedy

ImageOne World Trade Centre, though still incomplete, has cemented its place as the defining landmark of the modern Lower Manhattan skyline.

Standing 541m high, the tower also provides an eerie sense of scale for visitors to the adjoining memorial to its predecessors

While visiting the National September 11 Memorial last Monday, I felt my stomach drop slightly as I looked up at the new skyscraper, then back to the giant waterfalls in the exact footprints of where the North and South towers stood 13 years ago. Read more of this post