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Top 8 Off the Tourist Trek Destinations for 2017

We’ve all heard about what a crummy year 2016 was from Zika to Brexit and Trump to celebrities gone too soon. It got so bad, people were looking back to 2006’s Children of Men as some kind of peek into the future. (Happy New Year! Humanity is sterile.)

Methinks we could all use something to look forward to. Something to get the imagination running and potentially even build a little excitement in our respective lives.

Nothing takes my mind off things more than travel, whether it’s the actual act of travel, planning a trip or simply reading of another’s travels. This works exponentially well if said destination is someplace a bit off the tourist trek. After all, Without A Path is primarily interested in getting to those lesser-traveled corners of the world to hear more stories and expand our worldview. As Alexander von Humboldt said, “The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who have not viewed the world.”

I think the idea behind that quote is more important now than perhaps ever before. With that in mind, we’re offering for the first time a look at the coming year’s top off the tourist trek destinations as decided by travel writers. For this first edition I solicited inquiries from “The Road Less Traveled” Facebook group, which is made up of travelers who participate in the weekly #TRLT twitter chat. These travelers have shown an exceptional interest in expanding their worldview by traveling to and writing about destinations not typically at the top of a tourist’s wish list.

Below are 8 destinations followed by the traveler’s case for following in their footsteps in 2017. Continue reading

Colombia / Europe / germany / international / podcast / South America / travel

Cultural Travels Through Colombia and Thuringia, Germany

Cultural travels through Colombia and Thuringia, Germany are the focus of the last Without A Path travel podcast with co-host Laura Watilo Blake of Far-Flung Travels before Joe moves to Düsseldorf, Germany. Laura shares her experiences adopting a daughter in Colombia as well as traveling through Bogotá and some lesser-known corners of the country. Then Joe takes over to share his trip to the German state of Thuringia, arguably the heart of German culture and enlightenment. This is where Bach was born and Martin Luther started his famous reformation. Not quite as well known, it’s also where Joe crashed a bike and bloodied his ankle.

Without A Path will be back as soon as possible out of Düsseldorf, Germany.

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Central America / international / podcast / South America / travel

Zika Virus in Travel and How to Work with Editors

This week Laura Watilo Blake and Joe chat about how the zika virus relates to travel, working with travel editors, how to find your niche, and the controversy surrounding press trips. First, Laura plays the role of editor to answer some of Joe’s questions as a freelance writer. Then they turn to a listener question asking how to get started in travel writing, which leads to a conversation about finding your niche as a writer. To wrap things up, Laura and Joe end on press trips and what they mean for objectivity.

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Central America / Europe / germany / international / North America / panama / Peru / South America / travel / United States

The World’s Top Four Travel Destinations In 2016

Plaza de Armas Lima Peru - JoeBaur

Originally published as part of Viator.com’s top 50 travel destinations of 2016. Below are my four selections.

FRANKFURT, GERMANY

Frankfurt Skyline - JoeBaur

Germany in of itself is the place to be in 2016 to enjoy a variety of beer festivals across the country as the Fatherland celebrates 500 years of the Reinheitsgebot, or Beer Purity Law. The law was a series of regulations determining the ingredients in beer adopted in Bavaria, 1516.  That said, Germany isn’t exclusively all barley, malt and hops. Frankfurt, better known as one of the primary international business hubs of the world, is also the gateway city to Germany’s wine country. The area surrounding Frankfurt is world renowned for their Riesling history, stretching back to the 1200s thanks to the cool climate producing an acidic grape that comes through in the wine. Back in Frankfurt, check out the Bahnhofsviertel neighborhood near the central train station. Traditionally this was a no-go zone or brothels, but now artists and restaurateurs are buying up the cheap space to revitalize the neighborhood. Across the river, get back to wine culture by checking out Lorsbacher Thal for some traditional Apfel Wein that owner Frank Winkler says, “tastes like the angels peed in it.” Continue reading

international / Peru / podcast / South America / travel

Running Peru’s Ina Trail in One Day with Dan Berlin

Dan Berlin joins Joe on Without A Path to talk about how he became the first blind athlete to run Peru’s Inca Trail in less than 24 hours with help from Team See Possibilities and Intrepid Travel. Plus, Joe previews what’s coming from his recent Japan travels as he prepares to travel to the Baja Peninsula with Un-Cruise Adventures in the Sea of Cortés.

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