Budget Travel Online’s most travel-inspiring movies of 2007

Budget Travel Online has listed 10 of the most travel-inspiring movies of 2007, along with “how to re-create the best moments.” If you missed a lot of big movies in 2007, and are looking for some help filling out a few boring weeknights with some travel-inspiring movies, be sure and check out the list.

I’ve personally seen 4 out of 10, including ONCE, THE DARJEELING LIMITED, RATATOUILLE, and the final chapter in every traveler’s favorite series, THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM. Here’s my take on what I know:

ONCE — Cute little movie. Not very much travel imagery, but worth a watch nonetheless. Location: Ireland.

THE DARJEELING LIMITED — If you’re interested in India, or have traveled there in the past (as I have), watch this movie. If you have no interest, or aren’t a die-hard Wes Anderson fan, this might be one to pass on. Location: India.

RATATOUILLE — Animated. Sorry, kids, but I thought this one was boring. (And I may be the only person on Earth who thinks this way.) Location: Virtual Paris.

THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM — You’d be hard-pressed to find a traveler who doesn’t like the BOURNE series. In fact, I watched the last installment in a hostel in Slovenia with a dozen other travelers. Great movie, perhaps the best in the series. Location: All over!

Check out Budget Travel Online’s MOVIE QUEST! for the rest.

New Year’s Travel-utions

When I quit my restrictive day job last June to pursue a career as a impoverished writer freelancer, I narrowed my focus to first half of the word: Free. I envisioned myself travelling the world at the drop of a hat. But although I did visit two countries I’ve never been to before in 2007 (Australia and New Zealand,) I didn’t travel nearly as much as I would have liked to. Reflecting to the year past, I saw a distinct change in my behaviour — Instead of keeping up my usual pattern of working to to earn money to travel, I mostly just worked. I was too wrapped up in making money and building a name for myself that I forgot why I wanted this in the first place– for the freedom.

2008 will be different, though. I’ll make sure of that. This year, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to visit at least one country I’ve never been to before, and I’m hoping it will be either in Africa, South America or Asia. That’s not all — I’m going resolving to get out of town once a month for a weekend trip. Lofty goals for someone who still has to worry about paying the rent? Perhaps, but I think I can manage it. Afterall, I have my whole life to sit at home and work.

Most popular US Halloween costumes

Here in Madrid, Madrileños don’t seem to give a rats about Halloween. It’s a pity really.

So I suppose I will not have the privilege of “trick-or-treat” knocks from little witches, nor will I see many vampires or ghosts parading the street unless I hang out around a guiri club that is celebrating Halloween.

The Economist has just published a survey indicating how many people in America are going to dress as what.

The top 10 costumes for this year are:
1) Witch
2) Princess
3) Pirate
4) Spider-man
5) Fairy
6) Vampire
7) Cat
8) Star Wars Character
9) Ghost
10) Monster

The list also mentions ‘Athlete’. Why would you want to dress as an athlete on Halloween? Unless I suppose you go as Mike Tyson! :) Does any costume go, as long as it’s a costume?

When I lived in the UK, I faintly remember dressing as an Indian girl for Halloween. Not sure what my mum was thinking, but I did kind of stand out amongst my friend zombies and ghosts.

Hangover? A How To…sort of

I have to admit I am not much of a New Years Eve partier. In a way, I almost dread the coming of a new year. The new year, while heralding in the opportunity for resolutions (most of which will soon be broken) also means I’ve aged yet another year and suggests that time is moving unstoppably fast. (sigh).

BUT, there are those for whom New Years eve is a time to engage in one last night of hard-core excess. The champagne corks fly and gullets are washed with alcohol. For YOU, dear imbibing readers, I offer you not a hangover cure exactly, but a chance to edify yourself into the causes and history of the hangover.

This site, howstuffworks.com,
is one of my favorites for all sorts of arcane info on the way the things around us function. From radios to computers to, well, hangovers, it makes an excellent read, especially if your head hurts right now and you just want to sit and veg in front of your computer. Which I am doing anyway, though sans headache.