View Post

A Tower Worth Mentioning

Written by Hank Martin in W. Europe

I spent an hour in Paris once, driving around the sparkling Eiffel tower at midnight and then leaving town again. That was all I needed to see. It was the second time I had visited. The first time I officiated a wedding under that same metal wonder. You could say that by the second visit we were already friends. That first time I walked Champs Elysee with Joe Dassin echoing in my head. I slept on a park bench for the night too, and got woke up by a street sweeper the next morning. Why didn’t I get a hotel? There were none closer to Notre Dame Cathedral than the park bench. But most of …

View Post

The Spain that Sucks You in, Spits you Up and Steals your Passport

Written by Hank Martin in W. Europe

The night started off with tapas and sangria.These are obvious delights when in Spain. But this happy-go-lucky place known as Barcelona has a dark side that can make a fool out of any passer by and destroy a good night in the city. Barcelona is known for its crime. Pick pocketers, scammers, and plain old muggers lurk in the corners. In fact, a lot of these criminals make more money through thieving than honest people do by working hard. The police get so many reports about stolen goods they simply file them alphabetically without even taking a second look at the paperwork. (So I saw in my experience.) This cool city is filled with exotic …

View Post

Three Inches Up…There’s a Great Big World

Written by Hank Martin in Personal Development

Look up! Look up! Look what your missing! It’s right in front of your face! I watched 50 or more people stroll through town the other day with their heads down. Can you guess why their heads were down? ¬†Yep, because they were engrossed in their cell phones. These were not just locals and this place was not just a dirty big city street. No,the people I was watching were tourists from out of town, vacationing in one of the most beautiful mountain towns during one of the most beautiful fall seasons I’ve ever experienced. Maybe they looked up for one second to snap a quick photo of the golden sunlight striking the grey peak …

View Post

Picking Your Travel Buddies

Written by Payton Lee in Travel Tips

So you really really want to travel with one or more of your best friends. It sounds awesome; it looks perfect in the movies; and you are always having fun together. Stop, heed the caution signs, check your traits, and leave your flapping friendship at the door for a minute. There are things you must know before you make this life changing, friendship testing journey. Traveling with other humans requires more thought than who’s bringing the hair dryer to share or who will do the driving. Unless you already live with this person 24/7 and hang out often, people have many traits left undisclosed. Traveling to foreign places is not only going to heighten emotions, …

View Post

Appia Antica Way

Written by Hank Martin in Personal Development

Rome is like a cake. Beneath roads are old houses, a subterranean layer of history eroding away and returning to the Earth. Modern civilization is the frosting on top, a metamorphosizing, gelatinous mass of life shifting at the whims of the time. Some parts of this upper crust are the same as always. Bernini alleys, a coliseum built from money plundered from Jews, Salvi’s trevi fountain and more are relics of a different time. You can pass an ATM on the corner and then find yourself standing before the looming, black and weathered Pantheon. History overflows in this city like water from a bucket. The past spills into the modern world, melding the two. In …