barbara

Why I write for IgoUgo:
While I like helping other people answer travel questions by contributing my reviews, I also enjoy leaving a record of sorts for my own reference. In my mind, a journal is a little like my footprint on a destination. I can walk through a city again any time I'd like by reading an old entry. It's also nice to have an outlet for my writing that doesn't involve a long submission process.
Favorite travel quote:
"I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train."
—Oscar Wilde
Why I believe travel is so important:
Travel can help you understand the greater world—and your place in it. But it's also just fun. We only have a short time on this earth. I'd rather spend my time gazing over the edge of a mountain, breathless, than in an overpriced designer store, picking out fabric for yet another couch.

btwood2

Why I write for IgoUgo:
Writing about my travel experiences coalesces them for me. Post-visit research about places and their history draws me closer to those places, gives them deeper meaning, and ties it all together. That’s enhanced by taking pictures while there, editing and selecting the best ones afterwards, and adding them to relate a story of one particular place or experience. It’s very satisfying.
If money were no object, I’d go to:
Indonesia, on the island of Java, to the town of Tjepu. My dad was born there, and he always wanted to return but never did while he was still living.
Why I believe travel is so important:
For the last six years, my husband and I have been "full-timing"—RV lingo for people who live 100% of the time in their RVs, without a home base. So travel has become our lifestyle. We move every two or three weeks, reside in desert, on mountain, prairie, or coastline. Sometimes in towns, more often in the boonies. Always, change: new neighbors, no neighbors, different plants and animals, varied scenery. My spirit is nomadic. Stimulated by new sights and sounds, I feel more alive. I can think of no kind of life more fulfilling and free.

captain oddsocks

Best travel tip:
If you need help and don’t speak the local language, the conventional wisdom is that young people are most likely to speak English. My tip, though, is to "ask the oldies". If you're lost and need directions or are ill and need a doctor, what you need most is not grammatical accuracy or perfect pronunciation: it’s the patience to try to understand you and a willingness to help. Older people usually have more time for a stranger in need, they have more experience, and if they don’t know, they’ll tell you that they don’t know, rather than give you some cobbled together answer so that they don’t look silly in front of their friends. Older people are also less likely to resent the interruption and more likely to appreciate the conversation.
Favorite travel quote:
"Don't tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you travelled."
—Mohammed
Favorite souvenir:
My favourite souvenir is from a trip to the Melbourne didgeridoo festival in 1998. Amongst other things, the organizers wanted to set a world record for the most didgeridoos played together at once. As part of that attempt there were prizes offered, and I was lucky enough to have my number drawn from the hat and won a didgeridoo. I spoke with the didge maker on the phone a couple of times, and when I collected the finished instrument from the railway station, it was a beautiful pale piece of woolybutt with dark streaks around the flute and just the perfect size and shape for me. I don’t play as often as I should, but the didge is standing in the corner next to my desk as I write, and if this place catches fire, I’ll be running out the door with my computer under one arm and that beautiful piece of wood under the other.

JayBroek

Favorite travel quote:
"be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places! Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!"
—Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
Worst travel mishap:
They’re not mishaps…they’re cultural experiences.
Favorite travel memory:
Over the last few years, I have had the privilege of traveling with a young son who shows every sign of becoming as travel-addicted as his parents. The simplest of activities becomes an adventure—so if you’re ever buckling into your plane seat and hear an excited chant of "Airplane! Airplane!—We’re on an airplane!!," come and say hello, and then we’ll lend you some earplugs, because he isn’t going to let up for 2 hours.

MichaelJM

Best travel tip:
Travel light, but plan for all LIKELY contingencies.
Favorite souvenir:
A little trite, I'm afraid, but my favorite travel souvenir has to be all those memories, mixed together from countless holidays over the years. They'll never need dusting!
Favorite travel memory:
Favorites are always hard to isolate, but I reckon it has to be the first time we traveled east as independent travelers. So, Thailand back in 2003, where we experienced a totally different culture and had our first ride on the back of an elephant.

SeenThat

Favorite travel memory:
Can I choose my hundred favourite memories? In the journal A Thai Smile: Falling in Love with a Country, I describe my first days in Thailand. The sharp transition between the first miserable nights and the magic place I discovered once I ventured into the impossible heat symbolizes the moment in which I began considering myself a traveller and thus is a much cherished moment.
Best travel tip:
Keep an open mind. Look at the people in foreign places and try understanding why they live the way they do. The joy of being human is nowhere more palpable than while witnessing and sharing the differences between us. Eat insects with a local, and finish the meal with a local coffee; kindness is everywhere. These small encounters would probably provide lifelong memories.
If money were no object, I’d go to:
New York has evaded me since 1999, every time for a different reason. I saw Tokyo lights from above, but never landed there. I love traveling fast and enjoy fast places; these two cities seem to hold that essence. In any case, the globe is round, and I am confident I'll eventually roll into both cities.

Shady Ady

Why I write for IgoUgo:
It's nice to know that the articles I write are read by like-minded people and actually help people plan and improve their holidays. Most of the articles I write relate to my very own experiences, and there aren’t many websites other than personal blogs that allow such long entries. Therefore, IgoUgo is perfect for developing my writing skills, interacting with other writers, and allowing my stories to be told to a global audience.
Favorite travel memory:
I think one of the most poignant memories was several years ago when running the New York Marathon. I've had the pleasure of running many big marathons, but the crowds of New York were like no other. Running onto Manhattan Island off the empty Manhattan Bridge to a sea of music and chanting sent shivers down my spine.
Why I believe travel is so important:
Travel opens your eyes to such a wide variety of cultures and possible ways of living that it cannot fail to inspire you and improve your current lifestyle. If you venture to developing countries and see traditional communities living, you get to see an array of people, many of whom live simple, sustainable livelihoods. This makes me realize what a materialistic and fashion-conscious culture I was born into and, in the great scheme of things, what a happy life you can enjoy without the worries of money, mortgages, and 9-to-5 jobs.

stomps

Why I write for IgoUgo:
I've always loved writing, but I've never been very good at keeping journals during trips. Maybe this is because I wear myself out too much trying to do everything I can while I'm there, or because I get serious motion sickness and can't put all that time on public transport to good use. Either way, I always kicked myself for not having good records for my trips...until I joined IgoUgo. I love the idea of being able to help and entertain other travelers while preserving memories for myself.
Favorite travel quote:
"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost"
—JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings
Favorite souvenir:
A giant pink conch shell from Luquillo Beach in Puerto Rico. My friends and I, who had taken a short walk down the beach, nearly missed it because we were distracted by a man balanced on a rock jutting out from the ocean, listening to his iPod, and standing in various Zoolander-esque poses...while wearing a tiny Speedo. The sight was just so random that we couldn't stop laughing and had to nearly trip over the conch shell before we realized it was there. Seeing the shell always brings back good memories of the Caribbean in general—and a few laughs too!

vampirefan

Why I write for IgoUgo:
Travel is one of my greatest passions in life, and I love to share this passion with others. I also think I live in a pretty amazing state, and I hope readers will enjoy my journals and take the time to come visit us here in North Carolina. We love visitors! Writing for IgoUgo also gives me a chance to show off some of the smaller places that might get overlooked by visitors to our great state.
Favorite travel quote:
I think St. Augustine said it best with, "The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." No truer words have been written.
Why I believe travel is so important:
When we travel, we get to experience life and break from our comfort zone. We get a chance to see how other people live and just how much we have in common with people thousands of miles away. When you do that, you realize that the reality is people from another country or cultures are not as different as you might think. If more people would do that, then we could stop fighting and celebrate our differences and the things we share.