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.

Chicken Shit Bingo in Austin Texas

To escape the the bitter cold Philadelphia February, my good friend, roommate and epic cartoonist, Nicole DiPunchurface, and I fled south to Austin, Texas.  We experience a ton of great people, food and fun times, but one of the most memorable things from this particular trip has to be playing Chicken Shit Bingo at Ginny’s Little Longhorns Saloon.

Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon

Chicken Shit Bingo

Penny the chicken – doing her business

For 11 years worth of Sundays, Austin locals scurry up Burnet Road for a version of Bingo that involves some chicken feed, a chicken and some chicken poop.  Here’s how the game is played:  There’s a piece of plywood on a pool table that has a bunch of numbers on it.  For $2 you get a ticket with a number on it that corresponds to a number on the table.  Ginny unleashes the chicken and the crowd waits for it to poo on a number.  Whoever’s number it unleashes the thunder upon is the person who wins some cold, hard cash!

The games begin at 5pm and end at 8pm, however, if you want to witness Chicken Shit Bingo for yourself, I advise you get there early. It’s not like you’ll be sitting around bored, there’s plenty of colorful characters for you to chat with, live music (hello – it’s Austin) and free hotdogs with all the fixin’s!  And don’t forget to grab a beer or a plastic Budwiser cup full of wine!

Enjoying some of Austin's live music.

Enjoying some of Austin’s live music.

It was one of the many times that Nicole and I experienced the true kindness and love of the Austin community.  For a mere $6 each, we ate dinner (free hot dogs – hollah!), had some beer, bet on chicken poop and talked to some of the most interesting individuals Texas has to offer.  Once Penny the chicken was set loose on the table, the bar’s full attention was focused on her rear-end.  The excitement in the room intensified every time Penny stopped over a number and caused the crowd to gasp each time she wiggled her behind.  While she was busy clucking about in her cage, feasting on her food, the bad played a loop of sweet country tunes to try and coax the chicken to do the deed.  But after 20 minutes, the band took a beer break and the sound country music was replaced by cheering and chanting.  When we reached the 30 minute mark, the crowd calmed down.  Some began to ask Ginny how long it normally took for the chicken to crap while others debated over the chicken’s anatomy and how long its digestive tract might be.  It took that chicken 42 minutes to take a dump, but it was 42 minutes of laughing, joking and mingling with our new friends.  I could related to Ginny’s t-shirt, which read, “I like to start my week of shitty.”  So if that is what Austin classifies as shitty, then I would start every week off shitty!


Nicole in her Sunday Best

Me in my Sunday Best with my cup of wine

Me in my Sunday Best with my cup of wine

Nicole and I with a rusty truck.

Nicole and I with a rusty truck.

Here's Ginny!  She's been hosting the games for about 11 years now.

Here’s Ginny! She’s been hosting the games for about 11 years now.

Here’s what it looked like!

Nicole and I wouldn’t have found this Austin gem if it weren’t for travel writers Shaun and Erica Kuschel of Over Yonderlust.  After a killer Twitter exchange, they hooked us up with a list of radical activities in Austin, Texas.  So thanks guys!  I love you – you rule and I feel the same way about Austin, Texas!


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