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.

Stay Healthy While Traveling

Have you ever seen War of the Worlds?  Where impervious and ridiculously powerful aliens take over the planet?  It seems like there’s no hope for mankind until the aliens begin dying off from mysterious circumstances.  Why?  Well, as Morgan Freeman says at the end:

From the moment the invaders arrived, breathed our air, ate and drank, they were doomed. They were undone, destroyed, after all of man’s weapons and devices had failed, by the tiniest creatures that God in his wisdom put upon this earth. By the toll of a billion deaths, man had earned his immunity, his right to survive among this planet’s infinite organisms.

Photo from WalletPop.ca

Photo from WalletPop.ca

Because they weren’t from around these parts, their immunities were not accustomed to our micro-organisms!  That’s pretty what I think about every time I travel.  From the moment I step off the plane, I think to myself, “what new diseases am I exposing myself to?”  Nothing is lamer than being sick while traveling, so to prevent that from happening, I always make sure my body is prepared for the journey ahead.  Here’s a few preventative measure you can take to boost your immunities before a trip and stay healthy while traveling.

1.) Exercise

Overall, exercising regularly can benefit you at all times, but it’s particularly important to be fit and healthy when preparing to travel for a variety of reasons.  For instance, when flying passengers are subject to a higher level of pressure in the cabin of the plane.  For someone who might have heart issues, this may raise their blood pressure and keep it elevated throughout the course of a flight which could lead to complications upon landing.  That’s a pretty serious situation, but being fit before traveling also means a boost in your immune system, it helps regulate your sleeping patters (which can be useful to ease jet lag) and can even help with your energy level.

2.) Travel Vaccinations and Immunizations

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Keeping up to date with your normal vaccinations and immunizations is important, especially when you’re traveling to places that have particularly dangers illnesses such as Malaria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A or Hepatitis B, Meningococcal and the list continues.  These are infectious diseases that could be passed on through something that you can’t consciously prevent such as mosquito bites, brushing your teeth with the water or eating a dish that might have local fresh fruits or vegetables in it.

So be sure to visit your doctors to see what shots you need or possibly what course of medications you need to take before, during and after a trip.  Services such as Blossoms Healthcare offer services travel vaccinations and immunizations specifically with travelers in mind.

3.) Take Vitamins

Like Mom always said, “be sure to keep up on your vitamins!”  Traveling can be really stressful on the body.  Between eating new foods and possibly ingesting foods that don’t have all of the essential vitamins, you might cause your body to exhaust many of its reserves.  So keeping up on your vitamins will not only boost your immunities, but keep your energy levels high and compensate for what you may be lacking.  I also suggest either eating probiotics (natural “good” bacteria found in yogurt) or taking a probiotic capsule before, during and after travel to help regulate your digestive system.

4.) Stay Hydrated

Pretty basic.  Keep drinking water. Also, drinking green tea helps boost your immunities.  Try to stay away from diuretics such as alcohol and coffee, especially right before flying.


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