Category Archives: Africa

the best travel on the web

Vagobond Travel Museum – January 20, 2012

the best travel on the web

If you put a skeleton in a museum, does it become a cemetery instead?

Welcome to the Vagobond Travel Museum.

The web is full of great travel blogs, travel stories, travel photos and travel videos – the hard part is finding them amidst all the garbage. Through the week, I curate the best travel stories I find at Vagobond Travel Media and then each Friday, I bring you the highlights here at the Vagobond Travel Museum.

These are my Travel Museum Inductions for the third week of January 2012.

India in Tamil Nadu This photo of the Mahabalipuram Seven Pagodas in Tamil Nadu, India seemed to capture a lot of the reason why I began traveling in the first place. Add Tamil Nadu to my bucket list.



Overland to Katmandu This was without a doubt the best travel writing I came upon this week. Old World Wandering‘s article on the Hippie Trail is long but well worth the read – it not only acts as a great historical piece, but also is a great character study.


 Karrayyus Oromo people Eric Lafforgue’s amazing photography and descriptions capture the imagination and no doubt will inspire travelers to explore the world and her people’s customs for some time to come. This photo of the Karrayyus Oromo people during the Gada Ceremony in Ethiopia is a great example of how travel can broaden your mind.


amazing story of teaHow Tea Has Conquered the World is the type of travel story I am always surprised to see on mainstream media. Sure, it’s using istock photos, but the story is interesting and worth reading- even if it’s on CNN.



italian guys I’d love to know what these guys were watching…this is the kind of photo a great photographer can capture on the fly. You couldn’t pose something like this and get the same feel. Apparently, there is work going on and the older people enjoy watching. Anziano che Guardano i Lavori’s page has plenty more older people watching the work get done.

In terms of video, I found this video about Tivoli Gardens by Virtual Wayfarer, the second oldest amusement park in the world to be interesting, compelling, and filled with odd facts.

manhole coverFor those looking for an interesting blog to follow, I can recommend TravelWriticus – in particular, I liked this picture of a manhole cover in Austria. Not the usual.



travel chicaThe Travel Chica provided some great advice for how to survive a long bus ride. If you’ve done any travel outside of the developed world (or in it for that matter) you know how important this can be.



funny signs from travelLaughter is the cure for all the world’s problems. That’s why this week I’m including this great post by Inspiringtravellers - Funny signs and things they’ve found in their travels.



Independent travel in VietnamThe Independent’s Travel Section always seems to have some great stories like this fun piece about a week in Vietnam. Vietnam is one of those places that calls to me, I’m not sure why, but articles like this increase that desire to go there.


Rio hang glidingLauren Stephenson looks at travel an odd way in this article on overcoming your fears through travel at Bootsnall. It’s a light piece but has some very fun looking adventures couched in it. I’m not sure travel is the way to get over your fear of clowns, but I like the angle she took on this article to get there.

And while there were plenty of other great travel stories this week – that’s it for this weeks inductions into the Vagobond Travel Museum. To let me know about any great travel pieces, contact me at Vagobond Travel Media (where you can see lots more great stories that I curated this week) or using the contact form here at

Valencia Statues Vagabond Travel Museum

Vagobond Travel Museum – Friday 13th January 2012

Valencia Statues Vagabond Travel MuseumWelcome to the Vagobond Travel Museum.

The web is full of great travel blogs, travel stories, travel photos and travel videos – the hard part is finding them amidst all the garbage. Through the week, I curate the best travel stories I find at Vagobond Travel Media and then each Friday, I bring you the highlights here at the Vagobond Travel Museum.

These are my Travel Museum Inductions for the second week of January 2012.


travel deals in the New York Times The New York Times this week published a great list of 19 websites that can save you money on your travels. Some fantastic ideas and sites here, also, I recommend you check out HotelsPanel for cheap flights and hotels worldwide.


Food tours in Fez The Irish Times published this very interesting piece about exploring Fez, Morocco with a cookbook from the 1950′s. A different way to see a city that has been written about in sometimes too many ways.



Family Holidays Summer 2012

The Guardian came out with a fantastic guide to summer family holidays for 2012 – including a tree house in Paris and some beach holidays you might overlook.



World Animal SanctuariesGot Saga published this list of some of the world’s best animal sanctuaries. To me, this added a bunch of places to my bucket list. If you love animals, this will tell you where to go to get closer to them.



holiday adventure travelAnd finally, rounding out the weeks best travel advice is this list of the top climbing destinations in case you are looking for an adventure travel holiday in 2012. The post comes from Ordinary Traveler.



Eating on the Road, food holidaysI made some very fun web discoveries this week…first was Road Food Eating Tours – a blog dedicated to traveling across the U.S with the purpose of eating regional dishes.



Observations in Baja, CaliforniaLife Remotely is a blog from three Seattlites who decided to become digital nomads…If this post centered around a drunk campfire conversation with a Vietnam vet is any indication – this could become my favorite blog.

Day Trips for smart people


You gotta love a site that focuses on the travel things geeks love.  Well, you have to unless you don’t like cool geology, Star Wars locations, and other geek things in your travels.


Finally, this was the most inspiring video I found this week. Take a minute to revel in the wonders of our planet. Earthlings Unite!


And while there were plenty of other great travel stories this week – that’s it for this weeks inductions into the Vagobond Travel Museum. To let me know about any great travel pieces, contact me at Vagobond Travel Media (where you can see lots more great stories that I curated this week) or using the contact form here at

Vago Damitio's weekly travel column

What am I doing here? – Ageing Itinerant Writer

Hi Vagabonds,

What am I doing here? This week? This year? Right now?

Vago Damitio's weekly travel columnI”m thinking a lot about time and age this week. Thinking about where travel is headed and in a big way about where the world is headed. It all ties in, but it might just take me a second to get around to it. You see, the world is changing and as a result of that (as would logically follow) – world travel is changing and the reason all of that is changing is because all of us are getting older.

Vago Damitio MoroccoI know, it’s an obvious truth – but here’s the thing, it goes deeper than that. The average age of the population is climbing. Life expectancy is climbing. Birth rates are going down and immigration is going up. At no time in the history of the world have we ever faced anything like this.

And that’s not all- at no time in history has it been so easy to travel, so easy to create, so easy to share with the entire world. But, wait, I’m diverging a little bit.

So, look at the world through your own lens as I’m about to look at the world through mine. I’m 40 years old. Two hundred years ago, my life would be pretty much over and I’d most likely be dead.  A hundred years ago, I could expect that 4/5ths of my life was complete. It was all downhill from here. Fifty years ago, I could have expected that 2/3rds of my life was complete. Twenty years ago I might have expected to live to 70 years and today my life expectancy (on average) is 80 years. So essentially – today, I’m the equivalent of a 20 year old from 200 years ago.

Morocco Expat GuideBut I’m not done yet – In the next twenty years- my life expectancy will go up to approximately 100 years. By the time my current 80 years come up, some futurists and scientists expect that humans will be living to 200 years! So, when I look at it like this, my life is really just beginning…in fact, I’m the equivalent of a 20 year old today in terms of how much living I have ahead of me!

Okay, so consider this…the age of retirement is 65 years in most developed nations. Now, if those people live to be 100, that means they have 35 years ahead of them with no work and their income coming from pensions being fed by current workers. Now imagine me (long life scenario) – I retire at 65 and have 135 years ahead of me – What??? Seriously – WTF? Even if I have just 35 years ahead of me, that is most of my current 40 years…what am I going to do with all that time? And how am I going to support myself? Because we all know that the social security and pension system is failing. It has to, there are fewer young workers and more retired and about to retire pensioners…


We’re already seeing several effects of all of this in the travel world of today. Retirees are traveling the globe in never before seen(and always increasing) numbers. Go anywhere and you are bound to see at least one person traveling in their 60′s. And most likely, you will see more than one – herds of them moving along. These aren’t like the decrepit senior groups you used to see in Vegas either (well some of them are)- these are intrepid travelers – hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, volunteering, teaching – you see, they’ve retired and now, they aren’t real sure what to do with their time, so they are traveling.

short stories of Vago DamitioThese are the lucky ones though. Already many nations are pushing to raise the age of retirement to 70 or higher. They have to. The smaller, younger work force isn’t producing enough engineers, doctors or other highly skilled workers. And even if they were, they wouldn’t be able to support the huge numbers of pensioners we will see in the next ten years – so the only solution is to raise the age of retirement and keep older workers in the workforce for longer – but, it’s a stopgap measure. The disparity between birthrates and death rates means that at some point the pension and social security systems are going to fail. It will probably be about the time that I’m reaching my retirement age (I thought) about 25 years from now – if it lasts that long.

Whoa. Add to that the resources are definitely reaching peak volumes, the cost of travel and living is going to skyrocket (because not only are more people not dying but the birth rate continues to bring new people into the world so we can expect almost a billion more people in the next ten years) – I don’t mean to scare you, but this is the reality unless something far worse were to happen which we can all hope and pray it doesn’t.

So, what am I doing here? Here in Morocco in 2012? Well, I’m preparing for that future. Don’t misunderstand me – I’m not buying guns and hoarding canned goods, gasoline and water – I’m preparing for a world where I can’t expect to get a pension or social security. I’m preparing for a world where I have 4/5ths of my life ahead of me. I”m preparing for a world where I can expect to need to provide for myself and my family for at least the next 65 years and possibly the next 135 years!

How am I doing that? Personally, I think the travel industry is going to explode in the next decade. It’s going to explode with more and more senior travellers looking for something to do and a nice way to spend their pensions. It’s going to explode with more and more young people putting off their careers while they travel since they (like me) will have 40 years of working life ahead of them even when they reach 40! And it’s going to explode with more and more people who are in between (like me) trying to find authentic, valuable experiences.

Puget Sound Gillnet boatSo, in preparation for my next 135 years – I’m building Vagobond Travel Media. And, since I have a lot of time on my hands here in Morocco, I”m also following my chosen vocation and writing, editing, and publishing my work. At the moment, I’m publishing everything in the Kindle format. I think the Kindle is going to outlast all of its reader competitors- I’m betting on it. In the next three years, I suspect there will be mass adoption – something like smartphones in 2007-2010.

In November, I wrote a new novel Douchebags, Fags and Hags which I’m still editing and revising for publication – but since then, I’ve been on fire re-editing and publishing my existing work. Most recently, I finally published Not My Morocco which is the story of how and why I’m here in the first place.

I’ve been on fire. In late December, I also finally published my Expat Guide to Morocco which had been on the burner for a while. While I want to eventually add more information to it, I figured it was better to publish it with what I have now and update it later in case someone needed the information. Plus, that frees me to get other things going.

I’ve created my first collection of short stories – Meliptimous Taggle and Other Stories and published them for Kindle in addition to publishing a short photo and verse memoir of my time working on a Gillnet Salmon Boat in the Pacific Northwest, Gillnetting in the Puget Sound.

And, I’ve finally fixed the formatting errors in Rough Living: Tips and Tales of a Vagabond, Liminal Travel and my novels Slackville Road and The Hu Factor.

All of this is in preparation for a world that will be totally connected, filled with e-Reading devices, and where I can’t expect a safety net for me or my family for the next 160 years…so think about it. If I make $1.00 per book sale and I manage to sell twenty books per month then that’s $240 per year (I certainly hope I can sell more than 20 per month though!!!) Now, multiply that by 135 and it means that I’ve earned $38,400 for my 200th birthday party. And that’s without any interest being paid. I’m guessing that even with inflation, that will take me and Hanane to someplace comfortable for a couple of super old farts and maybe our 160 year old daughter will join us.

So- that’s what I’m doing here – at least for now. For those who are interested, you can find all my books at my Amazon Author Page