I let out a big sigh, one that is out of gratification, rather than frustration, as I lay the book I’m reading on my chest and lean my head back on the chaise lounge. I reach out for my iPhone, but then pull my hand back before I’ve had time to do anything more than see what time it is (and read that it’s over-heating). I follow this cycle for the next couple hours, not out of necessity, nor boredom, but rather out of habit. “Sir, do you…

I sat nervously by the window — tapping my feet, biting my nails, and peering outside every time I heard a car pass by — waiting to be picked up. This went on for 15 minutes. I’d get up to take a swig of water, pausing momentarily to remember to flip on the filtered water if I didn’t want to be sick with diarrhea, and then sit back down to start the cycle all over again. You’d think that I was waiting for a blind date, my limo…

“You’re the first American customer we’ve ever had.” As soon as my surf instructor told me that, I knew I was in for a different experience in the Canary Islands. Now on day 3 of a 10-day trip to the Canaries and I’ve yet to meet another American or hear an accent that isn’t European. Visiting popular vacation destinations like Costa Rica and St. Lucia, I’ve just come to expect that Americans are visiting the same destinations I’m visiting, yet that hasn’t been the case here in the…

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…

It’s a familiar sight to me. Dusk starts to fall on the day as rays of sunlight emit colors of orange and pink against the blue sky. I’ve made my way down to the bay, admiring the sailboats that I wish I had, all the while taking in the sunset. I find a good place like usual, that one spot that seems to be the place for capturing the best photo. I pull out my iPhone, tap on the camera app, and drag my finger across the screen…

It’s a moment of decision – one that is signified by my nervous foot tapping on the floor board and finger tapping on the keyboard. Through my rearview mirror I can see the sun start to peek over the horizon as the day starts to awaken. Yet in this serene moment (In a McDonalds parking lot in North Carolina, but serene nonetheless), I tap away nervously, glancing between the clock, my laptop, and then back at the rearview mirror as the sun finally clears the horizon and continues…

It seems like most travelers these days are lumped into two groups: Budget or luxury travelers. If I had to be put into one group or the other, I’m sure it would be that of a budget traveler, although I like to think of myself as more of a savvy traveler. I often cringe at the words “motel” or “hostel”, frequently ask for upgrades, refuse to stay at accommodations with rooms that open up to the outside (Rather than opening to an indoor hallway), and I enjoy having a…

Last month I took one day off. One. “HYPOCRITE”. For those who follow me regularly, this is probably what you’re thinking. “Spencer, all I see is you extolling the virtues of long-term travel, a work/play balance, and sticking it to the man, and here you are working for all but one day in March?” However, I’m doing it so that I can travel more and have that work/play balance. Next week begins a series of several upcoming trips that are completely for myself, which includes a vacation to…

What is it that helps make up the fabric of Americans? Patriotism?  Work ethic? A love for buffets and big gulps? These are probably just a few things that come to mind when you think about what makes up the fabric of Americans. But what about travel? What role does travel play in the life of Americans? If our jobs have anything to say about it, then not much. Most Americans receive two weeks of vacation per year, of which many don’t even use. A survey last year…

All I’ve ever known is travel. I flew on an airplane for the first time when I was five and by myself for the first time when I was seven. By the time I graduated high school I had been to all but a handful of U.S. states and by the time I graduated college, I had traveled abroad a few times. I’m incredibly fortunate and I owe my family so much thanks for turning me on to a love for travel. All that to say that I…