Monday, July 19, 2010

Welcome to JTrek!

For those of you who've never been here before, this is the blog that followed an American backpacker's adventure around the world-- over a year and a half and more than sixty countries across all of the world's continents. You'll find stories of being stuck on tropical islands, walking with penguins, romping through palaces and cave-homes, roasting marshmallows over hot lava, and much, much more.

Click below on the continent that interests you most, and you'll find posts in reverse chronological order (after all, it's a blog).

Australia and New ZealandAfricaAsiaEuropeNorth and Central AmericaAntarcticaIndia (JYA 2006)

(Please note that clicking on India will take you to the blog of a different trip, a study abroad experience and video podcast done by the author with NBC Universal Studios.)

You'll also find some of the better pictures from the trip, with explanations on a sidebar to the right. Just like the posts, they're roughly divided by continent (with a few liberties taken--yes we know the Middle East is actually part of Asia, sorry) Down at the bottom are some other great travel blogs and useful travel websites.

Finally, scattered throughout are posts with tips dedicated to first-time international backpackers, and any other travelers who consider them useful. I like helping new travelers out and would love to answer any specific questions for anyone out there. Send me an email.

If you like what you see, you might find more at my main website:


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Traveler Alert: USA Passport Price Hike, effective July 13

Want to get, renew, or add pages to one of these? Apply in the next ten days, or face a steep price increase.

According to the US State Department, passport fees will be increased on Tuesday, July 13, 2010, as follows:

Those getting a first passport will pay $135 (before 7/13, pay $100).

Those getting their passport renewed will pay $110 (before 7/13, pay $75)

Here's the kicker that affects few travelers, but affects them in a big way: those adding pages to a valid passport will pay $82 (before 7/13, FREE of charge).

So, if you don't have a passport, you passport has expired, or especially if you need more pages, go get that taken care of ASAP. Click here to find the place you can do this nearest you.