travel stories

Palcoyo Mountain

Palcoyo Mountain: A Hidden Gem Near Cusco to See Now

A man stood with a llama. Or maybe an alpaca. I’m still struggling to differentiate the two.

He wore a multicolored poncho. Rainbow-colored lines — likely made from llama fur — ran horizontally across his midsection and vertically across his arms.

A pink cap, also lined with various shapes and patterns, sat on his head.

He stood there, posing for pictures for the tourists that trickled by. He and his two llamas smiled graciously in each photo, proud to show off their heritage.

Arequipa in Peru: How to Travel in The White City

I stepped out of the airport after landing in Arequipa in Peru. I breathed in; the cool air filled my nostrils like standing in front of an air conditioner.

The air was thin and noticeably so. With each breath, my lungs only filled to about 80%. I gasped like Spongebob in Sandy’s Dome.

Laguna de Salinas: A Peru Salt Desert You Need to See Now

The van careened around the sharp turn on the bumpy dirt road, the wheels tracing the edge like a five-year-old trying to stay in the lines. I glanced out the window to my left and quickly looked forward again.

If you used this ride as the sole example, you’d have no idea that buses of people visit Laguna de Salinas every day. But, it’s what lies at the end of this terrifying ride that made the cleanup of my underpants well worth it.

Observations From a Train in Vietnam

Is that a foot? I think to myself.

I’m not a trained podiatrist or anything, but it did look like a foot.

It poked out from underneath the bench opposite me. Long toenails threatened to cut a nearby backpack open if they came in contact with it.

I nudged my girlfriend, Kaitlyn, and my friend Donovan and pointed to the floor at the rogue body part.

They both grimaced. The corners of their lips furled, their noses lifted, and their eyes squinted in disgust.

“Is that a f—ckin’ foot?” Donovan asked.

Dzibilchaltun: Famous Mayan Ruins You Should Visit Now

My girlfriend and I lived in Merida for about a month when a friend recommended visiting the Dzibilchaltún (zib-bee-chal-toon) ruins — the closest Mayan ruins to the city.

“It has a cenote you can swim in, so, even if you don’t like the ruins, that’s still fun,” he told us.

He was born and raised in Merida. So, I figured if anyone knew the hidden gems, it’d surely be him.

My Favorite Books from 2021

With COVID shutting down any hopes of travel in 2021, it was the perfect opportunity to get into a routine with my reading. So much so that I read more books in a single year than any other year in my life.

These books entertained, taught me soft skills, and filled me with loads of inspiration. This translated to every corner of my life, as I had one of my most productive years ever (I did start this blog, after all!).

So, as the weather gets so cold that your lips chap instantly upon leaving your house, there’s no better time to put on a hoodie (or three) and curl up to listen to or read a good book. So, here are my favorite books from 2021:

The Best of The Travel Runner in 2021

And there it is. The first “official” year of The Travel Runner has come and gone. Although The Travel Runner’s one-year anniversary won’t come until May, I wanted to take the time to show some of the most popular posts from the past year.

Travel Fatigue and How to Avoid It

It sounds ridiculous, right? Travel fatigue? I can already hear many people groaning and saying, “Oh, cry me a river. I’d love to travel as much as you get to!”

And, I don’t necessarily disagree. Full-time travelers are fortunate.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t negative aspects to this lifestyle. There are pros and cons to everything in life, and travel is no different.

Why Media Has It All Wrong: The Truth About “Dangerous Mexico”

A bunch of bad hombres, right? We’ve all heard what’s said about Mexico, at least in the United States.

Crime is rampant. The cartels control everything. It’s not a safe place to go. You shouldn’t leave your resort.

I heard and still hear all of this, often by people who haven’t even been to the country. And I think the same thing every time I listen to it.

Bullshit.