Once upon a time, in a previous blog post, I quoted John Steinbeck:

“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”

For me, this is one of the most accurate descriptions of traveling. Traveling is a volatile activity. This statement becomes even more relevant when we decide to travel with a second person.

Traveling alone does offer great benefits but organizing a vacation with a friend or loved one can yield the rewards of shared memories that will last a lifetime and a resounding sense of teamwork.

Achieving this feeling with…

So there I was…

Stretching my legs along the couch, I was half-watching a black and white movie. On the surface everything was fine. It was a typical succession of events to a routine evening. After trying to understand the plot of the film my mind abruptly went somewhere else.

I was drifting, flying as far as the eye could see.

A flash and a jolt later my mind landed back onto the couch. Possibly the effects of too much marinara from a pasta dinner was playing mind tricks. Whatever had just happened, I knew one thing for sure:


For weeks the news, social media, and the majority of conversation topics have been hovering around a now infamous c-word. The taboo word is in the title of this post so we don’t have to repeat it again. Like you, I’m becoming aware of the severity of the issue. I’m not sure how you feel about the matter but inside my mind is overheating from reading, listening, and watching reports about the topic.

Depending on where you live you might already be under house arrest, quarantine, or are stuck at home because plans have been abruptly suspended. People who aren’t…

Once upon a time, under the covers of a bed not so far away, I found myself trapped.

Outside, the fall air was blanketed in fog and I was groggy, struggling to get the morning started.

The sheets weighed like cinderblocks — they usually do but on this particular morning they were oddly stronger than normal.

My arms trembled to break myself free. After a few revs the cerebral engine kicked into first gear as I launched the covers off my body and in a daze I lumbered downstairs.

A series of steps later and soon I was face to…

Southeast Asia.

It’s a pretty nifty part of our planet that deserves at least one visit in our lifetime.

The nearest Southeast Asian airport from my house is in Manila, Philippines and it’s roughly fourteen hours away by plane. Due to its not-so-close distance from here, appropriate planning is necessary before embarking on vacation there.

Before booking a flight and leaving, there are some important questions that must be answered.

An assessment of who, what, where, when, and why is important before any such journey.

Based on previous experience, figuring out the “what” can be the steepest hill to climb…

Before and during Jack’s and my journey through Asia, we’d been doing our best to cajole friends to come and join us.

For a couple of months we dangled the offer of delicious food, affordably priced experiences, and a hangout session with two well-rounded guys.

It took some time but eventually two friends, Becca and Stella, joined us in Bali. Seeing familiar faces in a faraway place was a pleasant refreshment. We became a small travel posse and shared some memorable experiences together, then Jack and I found ourselves wandering solo again.

We hoped that there’d be further gatherings of…

A handful of moons ago, my best friend Jack and I went to China.

Well, depending on who to speak with, it wasn’t technically China. It was Hong Kong.

At its origins, Hong Kong was a sleepy fishing village. Nowadays the city is at the epicenter of world trade.

The Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong to the British Empire after the First Opium War. It would remain a British colony until 1997, when power was transferred back to China. …

It’s Sunday in Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

The windows of our Airbnb are wide open and a flurry of almost soundless rain is washing the horizon. Through layers of mist, the Bái Đín Pagoda towers in the distance.

Why are we in Ninh Binh? What the heck is a pagoda?

Firstly, we came to this rural northern town on a recommendation from someone back in San Francisco. Also, we needed an escape from the entanglement of motorbikes, noises, and large crowds of other tourists. …



It could take the form of diving face first into an ocean of a far-off place, or even plunging into the next paragraph of a really interesting book.

Whichever way and whatever the medium, traveling gives us all something: a sensation of freedom, creativity, curiosity, and ultimately enjoyment. It’s a joy of life that generally brings people together, no matter their background, race, or political views.

In recent years I’ve given chase to that feeling that traveling emanates. I feel safe to say that traveling and I go together like cheese on pizza. With so many toppings to choose…

Author’s note: This might have happened sometime a handful of years ago.

Shades of violet began to spill upward into the sky.

Rowed fields with the occasional farmhouse emerging out of nowhere became visible.

On this ALSA passenger bus it was too early in the morning to hold a conversation with strangers, but not early enough to feel bursts of frustration and personal disappointment. At this Lordly hour the only people I could imagine on the interstate between Murcia and Alicante were factory employees, contraband smugglers, and suckers late for an airplane.

As the sun started to make its morning…

Daniel Catena

I write for fun and also to share information about traveling. All content was originally published in my personal blog: www.theredanwas.com

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