Insider Travel Tip: Small ideas can blossom into real vacation gems!


Let me start by saying that I am a Rick Steves’ fan.  He does a great job of giving you jam packed 30-minute TV episodes focused primarily on travel to Europe. Anytime I travel in Europe I see plenty of Americans traveling with their Rick Steves’ guidebooks, so I can tell you that I am not alone in thinking he is pretty darned good at his job. Instead of personally carrying a guidebook, though, I prefer to do trip research in advance, plan a few keys things scattered throughout the trip, and then let the vacation take me where it will once I hit the first airport.

About a year ago, I saw one of Rick’s travel shows that shined a spotlight on Madurodam. Try as I might after that segment, I could not stop thinking about how much fun this playground of sorts (built at 1/25 scale) would be to…

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Insider Travel Tip: Savvy Travelers Don’t Wear Khaki!


Most of us have heard fellow travelers warn against wearing tennis shoes on vacation because you will “look like an American.” Let me expand the tennis shoes argument, however, to specifically include what I consider to be a more egregious travel foul: wearing khaki.


For those of us who travel a fair amount, we always want to pack what is easy, washable, and matches other things in our suitcase. Those khaki pants may work well for us as a “uniform” for our weekly 9-to-5, but there is no place on a vacation for khakis to truly be the right choice. Let me elaborate:

     Point 1 – Khakis – all colors, all styles – just don’t look polished. If your pants are two days old or two years old, all khakis wrinkle and show wear.  If you sit, stand, or breathe, you are guaranteed to look unkempt.


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Though I may constantly be evolving, one thing I always have been (and always will be) is a baseball enthusiast!  I am a life-long St. Louis Cardinals fan, and darned proud of it!

From times long ago, when I hid a transistor radio under my pillow to hear the finish of a game on a school night, to swiping the Sports Section of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from a guy in the college dorm cafeteria to look at the box scores, those Boys of Summer have consistently beckoned to me through the nearly nine fantastic months of each baseball season. I can honestly think of few things better than enjoying Opening Day with all of its festivities or crowding in along the World Series Champions parade route to Busch Stadium to welcome our Redbirds home from another successful campaign! Now that you know these things about me, I suspect it will…

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From as far back as I can remember, I have always loved words. It is probably my mom’s fault (or perhaps her gift to me) since she always told us to “look it up” when we did not know how to spell something or were not sure of the meaning of a word. There are a couple of dictionary sets in my parents’ house that still bear the brunt of our frequent review and investigation.  (No for us back then!)

As I continue to translate that love for words into my writing in emails, letters, and even on this blog, I find this a fascinating area for discussion. While two of us may visit the same place at the exact same date and time, there is virtually no chance that our write-ups of those trips will be the same. I propose this happens for several reasons, not the least…

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I have written items related to this before, but I truly feel it is important that not every vacation be a mirror image of one that you took previously.  Even if you go to the same city or country, why would you not get out to explore it in a different way rather than the same old, same old? Now I am not saying that going to one destination multiple times is a bad idea, just that branching out truly has its own allure…

Take for instance my various jaunts to Italy.  I have one boss that just says “Italy, again?” anytime I put in a vacation request.  A couple of things here to note:  (a) I have not just gone to Italy for vacations during my decade plus with the firm, (b) I happen to really like Italy, (c) I have managed to enjoy very different types of trips…

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My broken heart.

by Mike Aux-Tinee.

I have to share this with you. It’s another story about a dog who was abused and left to die in a plastic bag on the side of the road.

I would  like to introduce you to Buck and when you follow the link, what you are going to see is a very beautiful and kind dog.

I hope the person who did this suffers horribly.

To the person who found him and rush him to the hospital, thank you for demonstrating care and compassion.

Peace Dudes!


Now accepting new members.

By Mike Aux-Tinee.

There is no application. You will not be interviewed by a search committee and there is no probationary period you must sit through before you become a full fledged member. You do not have to spend a certain number of hours volunteering, have a near perfect grade point average or be the star of your sports team and there is no membership card that you will be sent.

What I am looking for are individuals who want to build (and join) a community with people just like themselves. Who want to contribute their knowledge and experiences for the greater good of everyone. I know, talking about getting out of debt, happiness, living a life more on your own terms and the other topics I write about here is getting through. What I have written is being read by thousands of people from 50 countries. With that many people, I know there are many of you with something you’d like to say and maybe you do want to share what you know but are waiting to be asked. Cool… politeness…!

Alright. I am asking. How about you toss in what you know, ask what you would like to know and speak to someone who has the same thoughts and ideas as you. You may be wondering, I live in say, Southeast Asia, what can I possibly learn from someone living in Europe? Well we all have something to share and more importantly, have so much more to learn. Everyday I check out my blog, I am learning new things from people all around the world and I think we should come together and share.

As many of you know, I do not charge for what I write about in my posts. I never will ask you for money to pay for this site. I am rather turned off by sites that have their hand out asking. I do write books and I will be adding a tab where you can check them out. If you like what you see and want to buy one great. If not that is great too.

I hope this idea of mine turns out to be a good one!

Peace Dudes!