Photo Locale of the Month – November 2018

For today’s post, the penultimate monthly photo feature, I wanted to “go big or go home,” to use a popular saying. My posts in this four-year series have covered such disparate places as Chicago, Iguassu Falls, Yellowstone, the Okavango Delta, China’s Great Wall, and – twice – my beloved Mexico City.

Some of those places merit a spot on my top ten travel wonders of the world list – a list that I started many years ago, as part of a bigger (top 100? top 1000?) project that I never finished. I wasn’t sure what place to feature that truly measured up. As I perused last month’s photo entry – Trier, Germany – it hit me: India’s most entrancing city, visited on the same round-the-world trip that brought me to Trier. I am talking about the Hindu holy city of Varanasi.

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Why I Hostel

For more than 15 years, I’ve been staying in hostels during my travels. While this has saved me a small fortune and enabled me to travel longer, it still raises a few eyebrows when I mention my fondness for hostels to my armchair traveler friends back home. Methinks they envision a dirty, flea-ridden “truck stop” for backpackers, or a den of vice and sleaze, or, worse yet, a place of abduction and murder, courtesy of Eli Roth’s “Hostel.” Perhaps a combination of all three?

As a point of fact, hostels are budget-friendly gathering places for like-minded individuals, couples, and families. Many of my fondest travel memories stem not from the sights I came to see but from the Jugendherberges in which I hung my hat for a night or two or three.

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