Serial Killer’s Home Becomes Tourist Site

Dorothea Puente home
ilvadel, Flickr

Between the beaches, national parks, vineyards and theme parks, California has plenty of tourist draw cards, but now an unlikely attraction has made the list — the home of a serial killer.

The boarding house run by Dorothea Puente, a Sacramento woman convicted of killing her elderly residents, became a tourist attraction when the city decided to add the building to its local tour of featured and historic homes.

Although the building has undergone some updates in the three decades since the gruesome murders, visitors are still able to see the room where the killer drained the body fluids from her elderly victims.While the home of a serial killer may seem like a strange attraction to visit during a vacation, macabre tourist sites are nothing new. Here are a couple other dark attractions that visitors flock to:

Choeung Ek. More than one million people were slaughtered during the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, and Choeung Ek is one of the most well known Killing Fields. Nearly 9,000 bodies are buried in mass graves here, and visitors can see a giant glass memorial filled with 5,000 human skulls.

Auschwitz. This World War II concentration camp in Poland saw the deaths of more than 1 million prisoners at the hands of the Nazis. Each year, millions of visitors pass through the gates of the memorial and museum located at the site.

Fukushima Nuclear Reactor. It’s not quite an attraction yet, but a proposal is being considered to turn this Japanese disaster site into a tourist destination. Tourists would stay in hotels designed to protect them from high levels of radiation and would be able to take photos of the reactor while dressed in protective suits and respirators.

Criticized Or Applauded, Presidential Travel Is One Great Job Perk

presidential travel
ep_jhu/Flickr

This week, President Obama and family fly to Africa for what has been described as both “frivolous spending” and a trip that brings “a great bang for our buck.” The estimated $60 – $100 million trip comes at a time when Americans face a decidedly different flying experience caused by government furloughs and cutbacks. Approve or not, presidential travel and moving the first family around the world is in no way inexpensive.

Traveling to sub-Sahara Africa from June 26 to July 3, the Obamas will be accompanied by hundreds of Secret Service agents and staff, adding to the cost of transportation and accommodations. Still, this is the leader of the free world and protecting him, his family and staff is not going to be a cheap road trip no matter how they do it. When President Clinton visited Africa the price tag was said to be $42.7 million plus the cost of Secret Service protection.

As the trip to South Africa, Senegal and Tanzania gets underway, a reported 56 vehicles ranging from limousines to trucks full of supplies will be flown in via military cargo planes. When the Obamas are on the ground in Africa, U.S. fighter jets will be ever-present in the airspace directly above them. That’s in addition to the cost of operating the President’s ride, Air Force One, estimated to be slightly less than $200,000 per hour.
“It is no secret that we need to rein in government spending, and the Obama administration has regularly and repeatedly shown a lack of judgment for when and where to make cuts. The American people have had enough of the frivolous and careless spending,” Rep. George Holding (R-N.C.) said in a RT.com article.

But the cost could have been higher. The Obama’s original plan called for a Tanzania safari, which would have required a team of sharpshooters to protect them from wild animals. But President Obama, the first sitting president to visit Cambodia and Myanmar, is visiting African countries that reportedly need attention.

“Frankly, there will be a great bang for our buck for being in Africa, because when you travel to regions like Africa that don’t get a lot of presidential attention, you can have very long-standing and long-running impact from the visit,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told The Hill, reports RT.com.

Still, let’s keep these numbers in perspective. The expense of flowers for the White House alone run up a tab estimated to be $252,000 per year. The Presidential limousine is a $300,000 Cadillac that is clad with 5 inches of armor, has its own oxygen supply, a blood bank of the president’s type and can shoot tear gas and smoke grenades.

10 Interesting Facts About Air Force One

Railway Hackers In Cambodia Build ‘Bamboo Trains’ (VIDEO)

A decrepit railway line in Cambodia only sees about one scheduled train per week, but that doesn’t mean it goes unused the rest of the time. According to BoingBoing.net, entrepreneurial railway hackers have been building makeshift trains out of a slatted, bamboo platform set on two sets of wheels. The cart-like contraption is then power by a motor, which propels it at speeds up to 35 mph. It’s a cheap and efficient way to move both people and cargo around the countryside, although the structural integrity of the rig is questionable. A lack of safety concerns didn’t seem to stop a traveling couple from taking one of these trains for a ride, and they documented the process in the video above.

[via BoingBoing.net]

Travel All The Time With Jobs Like These

travel all the timeThose who travel all the time can go to far away places as routinely as others might go to buy groceries. They have somehow managed to be employed in an occupation that requires travel as part of what they do. Commonly, we might think of sales people who hit the road to get face time with regular or prospective customers, and many do. People with the word “travel,” or something like it, in their job title are normally on the move a lot too. Travel writers, flight crews and astronauts come to mind.

But there are a number of other occupations that include travel as a key element of the job description. Some travel occasionally and for others, the job is on the road. If a traveling job sounds like a good fit, consider thinking along these lines:

Education Professionals
Pick your topic (one that you love would be a good choice), get credentialed and throw your hat in the ring to teach anywhere on the planet. TeachAbroad can tell you all about it here.

The idea for this post actually came from a teacher. Also the photographer on last Saturday’s Photo of the Day, Lauren Irons is TheTravelingTeacher and her travel/work has seen Cambodia, Malaysia, Morocco, India and other countries around the world. Irons takes fans along for the ride via her blog, rich in colorful photos and first-hand accounts of her adventure.

Military members
“Join the Navy, See the world” is still a very viable option for an occupation that might have a great amount of travel, and not always into battle zones. The U.S. Navy, even today, touts the travel opportunities available:

“If you enjoy traveling, you will be able to take advantage of flying for free on military aircraft as they travel to different destinations around the world. You will even be able to hook up with lodging at the different Navy bases and other military bases, which are under an American flag. This will allow you to see even more great places while you are enlisted in the US Navy.”

Medical people other than doctors
Don’t get me wrong; there are traveling doctors too. Doctors Without Borders will be quite happy to tell you about their volunteer opportunities. But Nurses, aides, technicians and others are in high demand worldwide.

“In college I dreamed of having an international career,” writes Caroline Polt, RN at Transitions Abroad, an online source that helps people work, live, study and/or volunteer abroad. “Several years after my sister ventured off to foreign lands to teach English, I decided to pursue the same route,” continues Polt, noting, “healthcare organizations worldwide are scrambling to recruit nurses.”

travel all the timeTravel Agents
Part of being a travel agent is experiencing destinations, modes of travel and other elements of booking travel that require personal contact.

These days, webinars have taken the place of a lot of what travel agents commonly saw on familiarization trips, hosted by a tour operator, resort, cruise line or other travel source. Still, there are a whole lot of free or reduced-price options that can get you traveling all the time.

Location Independents
These are people that are experts in their field so they travel to share their knowledge/gifts with others. For example, someone who is an expert on repairing a certain amusement ride at Disney World is an invaluable resource. Someone who is an expert at repairing amusement rides in general will be on the road a lot.


Work On A Cruise Ship
Jobs are available and cruise lines are hiring now. AllCruiseJobs lists job openings, currently boasting 665 cruise ship jobs from 49 recruiters. Think working on a floating hotel is something you might like to do? A reality check is in order.

“They eat, sleep and live on the two crew-only decks when they are off-duty, and only enter passenger areas to work,” says Paul Motter from CruiseMates in a FoxNews report. Yes, they do sail to exotic destinations all over the world, but on the ship, they are in a world quite different than paying passengers when not working.

“The crew area also includes a bar, usually open every night for varying hours for drinks and dancing, and a deck area with a small swimming pool and deck chairs,” says Motter. “Everyone works seven days a week, but the number of hours varies a great deal depending on the particular job. “

Or Any Other Job On The Planet
The key, it seems, is to actively search for the job that will have the right amount of travel for you. Want to be home on the weekends? There are jobs that can make that happen. Want to travel just in the United States? Other jobs do that too.

Maybe travel is not the number one priority when looking for a job. Indeed, for many, any job in a tough job market will do. But that surely does not mean that we can’t make our jobs what we want them to be, eventually.



[Photo credit – Chris Owen]

Photo Of The Day: Sketching In Angkor Wat

As the largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat is truly massive, taking hours to get just a cursory view of the temple complex. While it is Cambodia’s prime attraction, there are still plenty of corners in which to find your own personal space, which is exactly what this sketch artist is doing inside Banteay Kdei. Known as the “Citadel of Chambers,” monks still lived inside up until the 1960s. Captured by Lauren Irons, “The Traveling Teacher,” and submitted to the Gadling Flickr Pool, this picture shows one man’s ability to do what many of us yearn for: find our own moments of peace within spectacular locations.

You too can have the chance at your travel photos being featured as our “Photo of the Day” by submitting it to our Gadling Flickr Pool or via Instagram by mentioning us @gadlingtravel and using tagging your photo with #gadling.

[Photo credit: Flickr user thetravelingteacher]