A Walk Through Athens Greece

As a hardcore history nerd and amateur cultural anthropologist (yes, I’m only two classes away from having a bachelors in Anthropology), Athens was the perfect opportunity to finally live out my fantasy of exploring and studying ancient cultures and their ruins. It was an honor to have a personal experience with one of the most prolific civilizations that has ever graced this planet.  Think about it!  Without Athens modern democracy wouldn’t exist!  The idea of forums and a government by the people for the people was a concept that arose from the Athenians who, like the goddess Athena for whom


Port of Hamburg: Photo Essay

Sorry Philadelphia, but I’m having a love affair with Hamburg, Germany.  I love its old traditions balanced with a spirit of new ideas, its humble, working class beginnings, and this port city’s seafaring feel.  Where Philadelphia’s shipping history was almost snubbed out because of America’s highway system (in recent years, there’s been a huge push to revitalize it), Hamburg’s is still thriving 826 years later.  Honestly, a life at sea is not complete with a stop at Hamburg Harbor. This past winter, I took a trip back to visit Hamburg and was welcomed by unseasonably beautiful weather.  As a result,

Heini Hiltunen Timo Kaukonen, left, sweats it out at the Sauna World Championships.
From ESPN "Sports from Hell"

That Time I Almost Died in a German Sauna

There are two types of people in this world: there are those who go to saunas for relaxation.  Then there are those who turn relaxation into a competition.  Yes, there are literally people who go to saunas to challenge one another on who can stay in a sauna the longest.  Back in 2010 I read a story about that Russian guy who died in a sauna competition in Finland.  The relaxation aspect of it I can get, but I think it’s a bit crazy that people take it to a whole new level and put their bodies through stress just

dall sheep

Have You Seen the Dall Sheep?

Alaska is teeming with wildlife.  In fact, Denali National Park & Preserve is home to 39 species of mammals, 169 types of birds, 14 fish, and 1 amphibian.  Amongst them are wild bears, moose, coyotes, wolves, eagles, and other creatures worth excitedly wiping out your camera and accidentally dropping it for.  But no animal in Alaska gets the older male tourist population more pumped than the Dall sheep. When compared to the other majestic creatures that you encounter in Alaska, the Dall sheep are simpletons.  You can usually observe them far off in the distance, hanging out on the peaks

Sun Rise

From the Darkness Comes Light

Hey there readers, On A Travel Broad, I tend to focus only on the positive and exciting side of my life and travels.  I share with you pictures from my time living in Germany and stories of my jaunts through Europe and North America in hopes of inspiring you to go out and experience the world for yourselves.  But I hardly ever discuss the difficult times I sometimes face.  Some of these challenging times are by my choice because I love traveling and sharing my travels with you gives me purpose.  In the 5 years since I’ve started this blog,

deutsche bahn

How to Navigate Germany When Deutsche Bahn Train Drivers Go on Strike

If you want to tick off a group of Germans, tell them that the train is going to be fifteen minutes late. But if you tell them that none of the trains will be running due to a strike? Utter chaos! Hundreds of thousands of travelers depend on the Deutsche Bahn to transport them to airports, cities and neighboring countries in Europe. But as Deustche Bahn train drivers prepare to go on strike tomorrow through Monday, these travelers, many of whom will be converging on Berlin this weekend for the 25th anniversary of its fall, are scrambling for an alternative.

roma kids

Playing with Roma Children

Below Acropolis in Athens, Greece, Roma children work as street performers, playing accordions, drums and the bouzouki, a type of Greek guitar, for money.  They purposely target marketplaces and tourist areas, knowing that that’s where the cash flows the fastest.  There are several levels of aggressiveness when it comes to begging.  Some casually perform on the street corner — in fact, the older kids are very talented at playing folk music, turning street corners in to concerts.  Then there are others who go from cafe table to cafe table playing music while simultaneously begging for money. Some get creative by

favorite place in the world

Answer to the Infamous Question, “What’s Your Favorite Place in the World”

“What’s your favorite place in the world?”  It’s often the first question that everyone asks when they learn that I’m a travel writer.  In my younger years, I often answered with a place I had recently gotten back from, mostly for the sake of conversation.  “Oh I was surprised how much I loved Denmark” or “I loved Barcelona for the food”. But the more I travel, the more I realize that there is no definitive answer to this question.  People sometimes expect me to pick a favorite place because of the sites (“isn’t Paris the best because of the Eiffel

York Post

York: England’s Most Haunted Town is Actually Charming

York: England’s most haunted town.  Seems like a bold claim, but when you look at York’s gruesome history of the Black Death, murder, poverty, war, and genocide you can kind of see where these ghost stories come from.  As a result, many businesses in York are cashing in on things that go bump in the night.  Nightly ghost tours take upwards of 75 thrill-seekers at a time to go ghost hunting at famous sites, hotels offer premier rates to stay in their “haunted suite”, and pubs have banners and signs claiming York’s most haunted pub, not because of any quantifiable

cats of athens

The Cats of Athens

People often talk about how many dogs are roaming around Athens, but let’s take a moment to enjoy the cats. With the picturesque views and the natural coyness of cats, I have enough photos to do a 15-month “Kittehs of Athens” Calendar if I wanted to.  Here’s a few of my favorite felines so far.

Boston in the Fall

As the trees change and the weather gets cooler, many people migrate to New England for warm soups, colorful trees and to begin the school year at a variety of competitive universities.  But when it comes to New England, there’s no better place in to visit than Boston, Massachussetts!  Over the course of half of a year, I spent nearly half of my weekends treking Boston, and I must say that my absolute favorite time of year in this northern gem was the Fall.  And for many reasons!  The food was great, the weather was enjoyably crisp, the trees were gorgeous and Boston loves football probably just as much as Philadelphia does.  Boston became a home away from home!

It’s no wonder that people come from around the world to visit Boston, many of which come to the city for their many colleges and the welcoming English Courses in Boston.  The city is also surrounded by a myriad of quaint harbor towns and historic villages like Salem, home of the infamous witch trials, and Plymouth, where the pilgrims on the Mayflower landed.  Here’s just a few of the wonderful things to do when you visit Boston!

The Boston Commons

Founded in 1634, the Boston Commons is America’s oldest public park.  It’s 50 acres of college “dude-bros” playing frisbee, old people walking, kids playing soccer, and fat squirrels begging for roasted nuts.  Any moment Jan and I had a sunny afternoon, we spent it sitting by the lake at the Boston Commons, enjoying panhandling guitarists on the bridge and the view of tourists on swan paddle boats.  Landscapers keep the park looking pristine by keeping the grass lush and planting unique flowers and trees.  Due to it’s beauty, the Boston Commons is a very popular place to get wedding photos done.  The only reason I know this is that at any given time there were at least 5 bridal parties swarming the park.

Boston Commons Wedding

So many weddings to crash in the Boston Commons

Quincy Market

The Quincy Market in downtown Boston offers locals and tourists authentic New England cuisine.  Everything from lobster rolls to clam chowder served in bread bowls are sold here.  It reminds me a lot of the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, only clean with less yelling and more civil order.  This market was a really neat place because it promotes community.  I say that it promotes community mainly because it gets so crowded, you’re standing shoulder to shoulder with strangers, and the seating/standing arrangements make it hard to avoid sitting next to people you might not know.  The Quincy Market is in the middle of the North and South Markets, which are primarily retail shopping.

Quincy Market

Harvard’s Campus and Bookstore

Also known as The COOP, the Harvard Campus Bookstore is a cooperative for Harvard and MIT students and has been serving the community since 1882.  As a lover of bookstores, one of my favorite Boston moments was exploring three floors of awesome books and literature.  On a budget?  Another place Jan and I would frequent was the Raven Used Bookstore also located on Harvard’s campus.  Because why would I pay $20 for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classics when I can buy the same book in good condition for $10!

The COOP Bookstore at Harvard

Photo by Jan Kagel

Freedom Trail

This was one of the coolest concepts, and I wish more cities adopted this idea.  The Freedom Trail is Boston’s self guided tour through Boston’s incredible history.  Rather than tourists getting lost and having to read complicated maps, the city has painted a red line through the city that tourists can follow.  Along the red line tourists pass great monuments such as Bunker Hill, the USS Constitution, the Paul Revere House, and the infamous Old North Church (one if by land, two if by sea)!


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