Articles

Monica Davies studied Journalism in Pretoria, South Africa. Here, she realized she didn't care about reporting the news, and decided to embark on a lifelong search for awesomeness. She's lived in London, New York and Pretoria and is currently on a tour around the world, hoping it'll finally put some of her wanderlust to rest. Read more about her travels at www.athousandguitars.com or follow her on Twitter @thousandguitars.

Asia for Beginners

Asia. The East. The other side of the world. A melting pot of cultures as yet largely unexplored by the West. For the independent traveller, the Asian continent is a figurative Everest, (and a literal one if you happen to find yourself in Tibet.) If you brave the great divide of the Pacific, you’ll find a wealth of unique countries whose cultural hearts beat with the passion of a war drum.

But, if you’ve never …

Getting in Touch with Nature in the Grand Canyon National Park

You stare out at the most enormous vista you’ve ever seen. You’re surrounded by a silence that’s so calm, yet so all-consuming that you let out a nervous giggle just to make sure you’re still part of it. You stretch your arms out as far as they can go to either side to see if you can give the view a vast bear hug, but the panorama escapes and trickles through your fingers towards the …

Behind South Africa’s Stereotypes: An Open Letter

Dear uninformed tourist,

I’m sorry for calling you uninformed, and I thank you for showing an interest in my home country of South Africa. Unfortunately, you tend to get some facts about the country a little bit wrong. So, before you ask me one of these questions for the umpteenth time, I thought I’d tell you a bit about what’s really behind the most common assumptions everyone makes about South Africa.

“How come you’re white

Five Ways to Avoid Travel Fatigue on Long Trips

When I took off on a 106-day trip around the world this February, my mind was like a New York City subway platform at rush hour — there were hundreds of thoughts all wanting to come along on the trip, all rushing forward at the same time. The poor little thought that got pushed right out of the fray and missed the train was the one of how much energy it would take to accomplish …

Kalk Bay: The New Heart of Cape Town

If you’re traveling to Africa, chances are that the city of Cape Town is somewhere on your itinerary. The “Mother City” has long been the prime tourist spot in South Africa, but for those who’ve seen it more than once, the cold Atlantic seaboard of Camps Bay and Clifton beaches has started to seem a little too full of traffic jams and tourists, and a lot less appealing than it once was. Visitors from around …

Aloha, Oahu: a Hawaiian escape

I suspect that if you looked up the phrase “finding paradise” in the dictionary, one of the definitions you’d be given would read like this:

“the act of spending five carefree, abundantly sunny days exploring the idyllic Hawaiian island of Oahu.”

The Hawaiian islands are legendary. The image of arcing palm trees casting shade over a fuzzy-haired surfer as he waits for the tide to come in, has become so iconic in American culture that …

Explore America’s foundations on the East Coast

America is one enormous country, no doubt about it. It covers more surface area than most people will traverse in their lifetime, and yet, has a history that takes up a relatively small part of the world’s archives. Luckily, because its story is so recent, it’s still easy for us to see just how these States came to be United.

If you hop on an Amtrak train to journey from Boston to Washington, D.C., you’ll …

Do New York City like a local

 

I have something to confess. I’ve been having a luscious affair with New York City since the day I first set foot on its bubblegum-pocked streets. I try to leave, I try to explore other cities and cultures, but somehow I find myself back on Gotham soil at least once a year. I even lived here once. The adage goes that if you can survive one year in the city, you can adorn yourself …

Survive Las Vegas – 10 tips

A wilting figure sits on a sunny Las Vegas sidewalk. His mouth feels as parched as the Nevada desert that surrounds him. Somewhere in the back of his head, a popstar taunts “that’s what you get for waking up in Vegas” repeatedly. His hangover thuds through his head as the lights of Sin City just won’t stop flickering. His voice cracks, “Hey man, you wanna buy an iPod? I gotta get money to get home.” …

Walking in Memphis – a musical pilgrimage

If you’re any sort of rock music fan, pack a bag and go to Memphis right now. Get up! Go! Tennessee’s largest city is heralded as the birthplace of rock and roll and it’s the ultimate musical pilgrimage for any music lover to embark upon.

Once you get there, you’ll be walking in the footsteps of great musical trailblazers like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and B.B. King, to name but a few. …