All posts by Vago Damitio

Vago Damitio  (@vagodamitio) is the Editor-in-Chief for Vagobond. He jumped ship from a sinking dotcom in 2000 and decided to reclaim his most valuable commodity, time. He bought a VW bus for $100, moved into it and set out on a journey to show the world that it was possible to live life on your own terms. That journey took him from waking up under icy blankets in  the Pacific Northwest to waking up under palm tress in Southeast Asia. Three years later, his first book, Rough Living: Tips and Tales of a Vagabond was published. After diving into the Anthropology of Tourism and Electronic Anthropology at the University of Hawaii (with undeclared minors in film and surf) he hit the road again in 2008. Since that time,he's lived primarily in Morocco and Turkey, married a Moroccan girl he couchsurfed with, and become a proud father. He's been to more than 40 countries, founded a successful online travel magazine (this one!), and still doesn't have a boss. Life is good. You can also find him on Google+ and at Facebook
win a trip to Africa

Win A Trip to Africa with Peregrine

Looking for something a little different on your next holiday? To celebrate exclusively employing local guides on tours for 20 years, Peregrine Adventures is proud to announce the beginning of its 20 trips in 20 days competition. Peregrine is offering those who enter the chance to win one of their amazing adventure tours each day over the course of 20 days. Yes, you can win a trip to Africa. These tours have been handpicked by Peregrine to represent a diverse range of cultures, lifestyles, scenery and people, which all comes together to give you the experience of a lifetime. Each day over the course of 20 days is a chance to win a new trip.

win an African Safari

Today’s trip is a 10 day tour of the mother continent, Africa, and takes in 3 countries on its journey that includes Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Upon your travels you can expect to experience numerous natural wonders such as national parks, the Blyde River Canyon and even the famous Victoria Falls.

Throughout the tour you’ll have the opportunity to stay in a number of the most beautiful spots such as an intimate lodge tucked in the Greater Kruger region near the famous national park. Here you can relax by night whilst partaking in all the trip has to offer with Safari excursions and activities during the day. You will also get the chance to sleep in rondavels, which are a comfortable circular thatched unit with private facilities and balconies. At night this is the perfect viewing platform out into the wilderness or for you to gaze up at the stars.

You can expect to spend up to 3 days exploring Victoria Falls and the surrounding areas; this is classified as the largest waterfall in the world possessing the infamous Devil’s Pool. Whilst staying at Victoria Falls you will taste the best in local foods such as buffalo, crocodile and more. There is also the traditional African entertainment to look forward to where you will see a local sing and dance show featuring African drums. Don’t forget to try our pick for local cuisine, the famous Braais Sosaties which is a type of BBQ lamb kebab!

win a trip to Africa

Since this is predominantly a safari trip you will have the chance to see all sorts of wildlife like giraffe, kudu, impala, baboon, hippo, crocodile, warthog, wildebeest, impala, waterbuck, spotted hyena, jackal, zebra, elephant, lion, cheetah and the elusive leopard! All these animals on show are a perfect example of why you need to bring a spare memory card for your camera! Naturally you may be worrying about missing out on seeing some animals; however this can be forgiven as usually you will be spending in between 2-3 days at each destination taking in the local sounds and sights. Over the course of this trip, you will be visiting two national parks which are Chobe National Park and the Greater Kruger National Park. Both of these parks will provide you with some of the most spectacular scenery Africa has to offer, particularly during sunrise and sunset over the savannah.

If you’d like to get away on this incredible African tour or one of the other amazing tours and become a world adventurer with Peregrine, make sure you enter the competition. Simply check back each day for a new trip that you can win on the Peregrine Adventures Competition Page.

the hand of God

The Vatican Museums – Three Paintings Out of Hundreds – Why These Three?

The three pictures in this post are some of my favorites though I took literally hundreds. These pictures from top to bottom are more interesting though – read on to find out why.

When you are in Rome, whether it’s for a day or a week, one thing you have to do is visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. If the ticket price of 15 Euros sounds a little high, let me assure you, it’s not. What you will see inside is worth every penny and more.

I’d like to introduce you to some of the wonders that I came across as I wandered through this incredible collection of the world’s most wonderful art.

As in much classical art, there was an abundance of angry dudes and sexy nudes – and there was a bunch of art too.

the hand of God

1) Despite the Angry Italian guys saying No Picture, No Video. Nearly everyone was taking photos in the Sistine Chapel. That included me. When I showed this picture to my wife she was disgusted “Aggghhh, how obscene to think you could depict God in a painting. You can be sure that painter is in hell.” Not exactly what I was thinking as I looked at one of Michelangelo’s masterpieces.

Coming in, you find a staircase and as you wind your way up it, you will notice that there are more than a few canoes and canoe paddles from the many places that Catholic missionaries have landed, converted, and conquered. For some reason these struck me in a bad way…although it was a magnificent collection of canoes. Moving on…

Cistine 3-d

2) When I first saw these saints painted in the niches, I thought they were real people. A photo can’t capture just how three-dimensional some off these paintings are…astounding.

If you are only going to visit one museum in Rome, certainly it should be the Vatican Museum. Add in a trip to the Colosseum, and a stop in Vatican City and you’ve followed the Vago itinerary to see Rome in a day. It wasn’t built in a day, but I feel like these three stops and the transport between them give you a good chance to get a feel for the what was once the capital of the Roman Empire and is still a masterpiece of a city.

The price of the Vatican museums might seem kind of steep at 15 Euros but when you consider that it includes some of the most famous art the world has ever produced and the celebrated Cistine Chapel, suddenly it starts to seem more reasonable. Museo Vaticani is a must see.

Vatican museum

3) I’m not a religious man and I’m nowhere near Catholic, but this painting spoke to my soul. Note the hanging bodies, the monk, pleading and the people in the background seemingly just having a chat…this was real life. It lives on.

Powerful and amazing. More to come soon.

Vatican Resources
Boutique Hotels Near the Vatican
Hostels Near the Vatican
Vatican Museum Books
Rome Tourism Books
Vatican Trip Insurance
Hidden Facts of the Vatican

DSCF1111

Art, Torture, Laundry, and Wallpaper in Ghent, Belgium – More Fun Than You Think

For me, Ghent was just a day trip from Brussels, but if you want to stay in Ghent, here is a complete list of hotels in Ghent with user reviews and multi site price comparisons. Ghent, Belgium Rafael was kind enough to pick up some maps from a very cool tourist office so the next day I took a shorter train trip to Ghent, a very hip, very cool little town. Ghent Wallpaper

Ghent has the coolest wallpaper store in the world. Wow.

Mango Ghent Sadly, it rained all day, I woke up with a sore throat, and it seemed there was immense construction going on, Ghent toilet historic as a result of some or all of the above, it seemed that just about everything was closed…maybe because it was Monday. Ghent, Belgium Anyway, I brought my dirty laundry and found a laundrymat, then I explored the Gravensteen castle Ghent Gravensteen Castle Gravensteen Castle which had an excellent torture museum. Waterboarding, old school style Ghent Torture Museum plus a guillateen which was used for numerous executions. Ghent Torture Museum Took a lot of pictures, Ghent walked around in the rain with my laundry, Ghent felt my flu getting worse, had some Belgian Fries and then headed back to Brussels, hoping that I didn’t have swine flu. I didn’t really care if I had it, but I didn’t want to pass it on to Raphael and his daughters. Ghent ashtray

Ghent also has the coolest ashtray I’ve ever stuck a butt in.

for some interesting Ghent History: http://www.trabel.com/gent-history.htm (Originally published 08 October 2009)