Tuesday, April 29, 2014

St. John, Antigua and ... an active volcano?

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Ah, the West Indies. A place of rich food, rich culture, and ... an active volcano?

When first arriving in Antigua, "active volcano" aren't words one expects to hear. This is an island of the bluest waters, the whitest sands and some of the most iconic beach scenes anyone can imagine.

Get into the soundtrack of this beautiful, vibrant place. This is the sound of buskers on the port:

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Monday, April 14, 2014

One day in DeShaies, Guadeloupe

Posted By on Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 9:34 PM

There's not much to do in the itsy, bitsy town of DeShaies, Guadeloupe, but take it slow and enjoy the finer points of Caribbean vacationing. From its easy atmosphere to breathtaking access to sea turtles, this island is one from the movies. With miniature-scale one-way streets featuring lively colored architecture and French-speaking yuppies everywhere, it's both curious and exotic. Jump into the view in the below picture and audio from one of the few beach restaurants on the island, La Savane, where the WiFi and pineapple sorbet are excellent on both fronts.:

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Monday, April 7, 2014

A heavy lesson learned at the Port of Roseau, Dominica

Posted By on Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Roseau is Dominica's most important trade port, with roots going back to the 14th century. It's heavy French influence from the arrival of Europeans in the late 18th century is evident in the architecture and the teeny, tiny, illegible little streets.  The beautiful racket of daily life paired with super vibrant, gorgeous colors on the buildings is a mix of Caribbean and French that is totally charming. Oh and the breeze-in, breeze-out smells of cooking food on this island are incredible.

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Blissed out: Bequia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Posted By on Sat, Mar 29, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Bequia means "island of the clouds" in the native Arawak language, and it's no wonder. The clouds constantly roll in, sprinkle refreshing, cool raindrops for a minute, then roll out. 

Port Elizabeth, Bequia Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a curious, colorful place popular with cruising yachts, expatriots and tourists from all over.  When I first arrived, I needed Internet because being on a ship at night means there's not much connectivity. Not to mention, the food around this area is downright delicious.

Without much effort, I found myself in a tiny cafe called Maria's French Terrace surrounded by futbol-watching French people. The entire island measures only seven square miles (roughly the size of San Francisco proper) so I didn't figure I'd have trouble finding WiFi, and I was right. This place has stunning views to enjoy your lunch overlooking this:
Better brush up on your Français if you want to enjoy Bequia though, just FYI. I took it back in high school and this was literally the first time in all of my life that I was able to use it in the wild. 

There's not much to do on this tiny island except enjoy it's surrounding ocean, which is perhaps its most enchanting aspect. There are beaches, but they're not really for sun-bathing. Why would you lay out on the beach when the ocean is right there? There aren't many clocks, there's a lot of simultaneously relaxing and intoxicating rum punch, and opportunities to do the following abound. Here's 26 seconds of what Bequia is best for:

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Friday, March 14, 2014

3 things to do in Barbados

Posted By on Fri, Mar 14, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Bridgetown, Barbados, is a beautiful place full of rich culture and warm weather, unlike the frigid rain Charlotte hasexperienced lately. The island in the heart of the West Indies is a popular destination for those looking to thaw out in the middle of winter, and people hail from all over the world. Subsequently, there are a lot of things to do as a tourist here in the land that gave the world the gorgeous pop singer, Rihanna. Here are some of my recommendations.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Exploring the Caribbean with @dbirdy

Coming right up!

Posted By on Wed, Mar 5, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Well, we all knew this day would come. It's time for this gal to get back on the road and, in true Wayfaring Tech Nomad form, y'all are coming with! I'll be posting stories with photography, 3D panoramas, sounds, videos, and more from some of the most epic places in the Caribbean!

Places to look forward to seeing in the coming weeks:
- Bridgetown, Barbados
- Bequia, St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Port of Roseau, Dominica
- Deshaies, Guadeloupe
- St. Johns, Antigua
- Road Bay, Anguilla
- Prickly Pear Island, BVI
- Philipsburg (St. Maarten), AN

See you in Barbados!

P.S. - Did you catch me in the print edition of CL Charlotte a couple of weeks ago? If you missed it, make sure to read Kim Lawson's cover story on urban-exploring, featuring pics and quotes from yours truly, Urban explorers capture the invisible.

For more commentary, follow me on Twitter @dbirdy, for more photos peep my Flickr, if you're into the travel philosophy thing read my website, and to see a bunch of random and fun travel videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Zero, zilch, none and no part of this post is sponsored by any of the above mentioned company or companies, nor would I ever present such a thing.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Found the damndest thing in Delta: ECG Utah Solar 1

Posted By on Fri, Feb 21, 2014 at 10:03 AM

I've been a field producer on local independent journalist/CL contributor Rhiannon Fionn's investigative documentary project called Coal Ash Chronicles for the past two or so years. Back in November, the project took video journalist Kevin J. Beaty and I out to Delta, Utah, to do a profile piece on nearby Millard County's Intermountain Power Project's coal ash beneficial re-use practices. While we were out in the desert, we found the damndest thing: ECG Utah Solar 1. It's a 300MW solar power facility in the works that is tapping into a coal power plant's infrastructure to bring renewable energy to six municipalities in Southern California, L.A. being the largest.

Considering North Carolina's coal ash woes, thanks to the massive Duke Energy spill into the Dan River a couple of weeks ago, West Virginia's before and after that, ECG Utah Solar 1 offers a model for communities beginning to actively look past coal power. We decided to take a second trip back to Millard County just to cover the creation of what will one day be one of the nation's largest solar power plants. Here's what we found.:

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Massive solar energy spill grips California!: Ivanpah Solar Project opens

Sunshine was seen dripping everywhere as the world's largest solar power plant promises to power 140,000 homes

Posted By on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 12:22 PM

During the madness of the Duke Energy coal ash spill into the Dan River, some good energy news emerges. Ivanpah Solar Project, the world's largest photovoltaic solar plant, opened yesterday, promising to power 140,000 homes with renewable energy.

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Nomadism: On not being sorry about anything

Posted By on Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 4:27 PM

A lot of people ask me the same two questions over and over again: "How can I be a travel writer?" or "How can I become a nomad?"

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Long-term travel truth: One in, one out

Posted By on Thu, Dec 26, 2013 at 8:24 PM

One in, one out. It's a concept not a lot of us here in the United States really flirt with much. It means when you bring one thing into your life, you exfoliate another right on out of it and oh my, is it liberating.

I started this one in, one out thing rather randomly this time last year. I was getting ready to travel for some weeks and started to realize that I had duplicates, triplicates and sometimes even, unfortunately, quadruplicates of things. Stuff that didn't even matter, really. Not enough to have multiples of. Example: Bobby pins. I had 5 containers of them. Why? Another example: iPhone 4G charging cables. Oh my word, I was swimming in charging cables.

The whole situation was downright ridiculous. I had all of this crap I was schlepping around that didn't mean anything to me sentimentally or otherwise so... why did I possess it? I resolved to purge all but the most sentimental or highest quality of the items.

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