Author: ITKT Featured Writer

Driving Up Gibb River Road – Western Australia

Gibb River Road Standing on the side of the road, I heard the welcome sound of a roar of an engine. Soon after, a vehicle came careering around the corner, and halted to a stop after I flagged it down. “I don’t suppose you have a working jack, do you?” I asked. The hardy-looking man in the car guffawed. “I’d be stupid not to on this road, wouldn’t I? I’ve already changed two tyres today”. We were on the Gibb River Road, one of the most remote roads in the world. The stretch is over 660 kilometres long; most...

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At the Edge of the West, at the End of a Pier in Astoria, Oregon

Astoria, Oregon is perched at the mouth of the Columbia River where it opens into the Pacific Ocean. It’s been called “little San Francisco” and shares some features, on a much smaller scale, with the city by the bay. There’s the seaport , and rolling green hills are dotted with Victorian houses. They‘re part of what make Astoria visually appealing and interesting to explore. The two cities also both have quite colorful histories. The rich natural resources of the west opened up a brisk maritime trade. Fur, timber, and fish brought multitudes of immigrants to the west. All this...

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The Ghosts of Capitol Hill – Washington D.C.

Dancing statues. A blood stain that cannot be removed. A demon cat. And tragedies galore. It’s all part of the history of our nation’s capital in Washington D.C. I found Washington, D.C. to be a fascinating place. It’s steeped in history, and it’s a hotbed of political demonstrations and controversies. However, I was surprised to learn that D.C. has a darker side. Among the monuments and government buildings, there are sightings of ghosts and unexplainable creatures. And the city’s sordid history lends support to the theory that D.C. is one of the most haunted places in the country. I recently had the opportunity to take a tour of the haunted side of Capitol Hill. The tour was led by a guide in a red Victorian dress, who guided my group by lantern light and brought the stories to life through dramatic retelling. Folger Shakespeare Library My tour started with the Folger Shakespeare Library. Learning about this building was a treat in and of itself. I’ve been to D.C. several times as a child, but for some reason never knew it existed, let alone that it houses the largest Shakespeare collection in the world. In this building, I learned the security guards frequently find the lights on in the Reading Room. They turn the lights off, then continue on their rounds – but when they return, the lights are on...

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Discovering Hope in the Bleakness of Winter – Riga, Latvia

It’s an icy January morning. I’ve just stumbled out of Riga International Airport after a 6AM flight, and I’m trudging through the exhaust-stained slush on my way to the bus station. Which is worse, the dry burn in my throat from the cold I developed overnight or the harsh sting on my face from the ferocious winter wind? My heavy backpack weighs down on my exhausted body, my soaked Nikes cling mercilessly to my frozen feet, my tired eyes blink hysterically to avoid the horizontally blowing snow, and I am miserable. How did I end up in this situation?...

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Who Let The Wild Dogs Out?

The Wild Dogs on Parade I stand at the edge of the mighty Zambezi River about forty kilometers upstream from the majestic Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwean side of the border. The ‘boutique’ Matetsi game Lodge hosts me. The lodge perched as it is on a small rise overlooking this rather languid reach of the river. I have chosen this part of the country as it is actually at the confluence of three countries, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana who, by mutual consent have erected no border fences, allowing free range to the animals that use this route on their annual migration. On Safari An hour later I am with my guide Clever (and he was indeed clever!) and our intrepid spotter Gordon making our way across a large stretch of the savannah towards a favourite watering hole. As we approach, Gordon signals from his elevated seat, which stretches a couple of meters out from the front of the vehicle, for us to stop. From a patch of low scrub a pack of the meanest, mangiest creatures one can ever hope to encounter, looking for the entire world like a horde of mercenaries out for a night of mischief and pillage, emerges. These are Africa’s canine soldiers, the wild dogs of the plains. Gordon is like an excited child on Christmas morning, as this pack has not been sighted in...

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Sunrise on the Holy Ganges

Along the Ganges River The Holy Ganges The sun seemingly rose out of and above the holy Ganges river until it hung large and low in the sky. It glittered and reflected long, yellow strands on the water and casted a mellow, dewy glow over the the ghats. The misty morning air filled with the aroma of sandalwood and jasmine flowers. The ghats erupted into a riot of colour and activity. Varanasi, also called Kashi (city of life), is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It is a holy city for Hindus and pilgrims who...

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Vienna beyond Schönbrunn Palace

Around Vienna The Vienna morning with a viewA sudden wave of restlessness gripped me as I stood atop the north tower of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna looking at the sprawling city stretched out in all directions. There was no way I could do justice to this place in less than a day – precisely the time I had since leaving the cruise ship a couple of hours earlier and before returning to it later that night. I and my husband had spent a couple of days in Budapest before we set sail along the Danube, but Vienna was...

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1,237 Steps – The Tiger Cave Temple

Visiting The Tiger Cave Temple Tinglish Communication The thick air of Southern Thailand tugs at my ineptly tied sarong as I wait for the bus to take me to the Tiger Cave Temple, also known as the Tiger Temple*. The wind, yet again, frees my sarong from its knot and my legs are left bare, clad only in my running shorts, scandalous attire for the socially conservative country of Thailand. Where is the bus? I have been waiting on the side of the road at an unmarked bus station where my partner said the microbuses to the temple normally...

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I am Devin Galaudet the Editor in Chief of ITKT. I am asked all the time how I did it? Was it worth? Changing my life around to make travel a priority. The short answer is yes. It was really a lifestyle choice. It hasn’t always been easy but I have never regretted it. If you are like me, you might want to explore what I did to get started.

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