“A person who travels.” Can you guess whether that is the definition of a tourist or a traveler? The answer: both. Due to the nature of my travel and work (as well as the places I’ve lived), I hear this tourist versus traveler debate frequently. I’ve heard many travelers quote G.K. Chesterton as saying, “The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.” However, I find a fundamental problem in arguing about two things that essentially mean the same thing. It’s almost…

It’s Friday, which can only mean one thing. Okay, maybe it means a few things, since today is in fact World Sauntering Day (no, seriously). But for our purposes, it’s Friday Photos, or rather #FriFotos, a weekly event held on Twitter when people from around the world share photos about a specific topic using the #FriFotos hashtag (founded by Jonathan Epstein). You can often find me sharing photos with the #FriFotos hashtag, and I’ve even hosted it a couple times. This week’s topic has a special place for…

“I bet Charlton Heston came here,” I firmly stated as I got out of the car upon arriving at Lake Powell. “Or rather, George Taylor, I should say, since it looks so starkly similar to the scenery from the original Planet of the Apes.” My barely-working GPS may have registered our bearings as Arizona, but I knew that I couldn’t be the only person who had stepped foot on the landscape surrounding Lake Powell without questioning whether it was Mars or American soil (or rock). From the plateaus…

Quick, name five national parks in America not named the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, or Yellowstone. What’d you come up with? Zion? Maybe Central Park? That last one was a test, as New York City’s Central Park isn’t exactly a national park. You passed. The fact is that while many people may be familiar with America’s iconic national parks, such as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Zion, there are tons of national parks scattered around the U.S. that many people have never even heard of, let alone visited….

It has been mere days since I disembarked Norwegian Jewel, making it both my first cruise and first trip to Alaska, and I’m still processing everything. Not to mention I’m just now recovering from the food coma of the trip. Being the independent traveler that I am, this was a break from my typical style of travel. While you’ll often find me putzing around destinations on my own agenda, this saw me aboard a cruise ship with thousands of other travelers on behalf of Expedia to find out…

There are just some destinations that it seems like everyone says that you have to visit at least once. Paris and New York City are certainly at the top of that list, but one of the destinations that I’ve heard as much as any other is Alaska. My father spoke more highly of it then any other destination he traveled to and I’ve had more friends then I can count who have told me that it’s a “must-visit” destination. However, for one reason or the other, Alaska hadn’t…

“Alaska is nothing to look at.” File that under things you aren’t likely to hear come out of someone’s mouth after visiting Alaska. Hearing friends talk about their experiences traveling to Alaska, coupled with stories of my father’s trips during my childhood, I was concerned that my expectations may have been a little too high when preparing to travel to Alaska with Expedia on Norwegian Jewel. I was worried that upon floating between large chunks of ice in Glacier Bay that I may take a peek and then…

As I begin to merge with traffic and approach the bridge, I begin to slow down and take it in, like some tourist on his first moments crossing into a new city or country. I lean up to the windshield, looking up at the steel beams rising toward the starry sky and then look back across the water to the city in the background. I hear the “bumpidy bump” sounds of my tires starting to cross into the other lane as I focus back on the road and…

My summer of travel has arrived; what I’m dubbing the “Summer of Spence”, in true Seinfeld fashion. It kicked off last weekend with my first of many boat rides of the summer, a ferry ride across the San Francisco Bay to spend the next few weeks in Sonoma wine country. However, that ferry doesn’t have anything on my biggest boat ride of the summer. It’s now just weeks away until I’ll be boarding my first cruise, an Alaskan cruise on the Norwegian Jewel on behalf of Expedia. Not…

“What’s your final destination today Mr. Spellman?” It’s a question I’m asked every single time I go to the airport, yet one that I couldn’t quite muster such a confident answer as I typically do. I pause, ever-so briefly, but quickly realize that every¬†millisecond that passes will only raise¬†suspicions¬†from the TSA agent as he glances at my boarding pass and looks up at me, awaiting my answer. “Um, SFO. San Francisco.” I evidently don’t arise suspicions from the TSA agent to question me any further, as he checks…