Justin Glow and Rolf Potts embark on round the world trip — with no bags

Two of our favorite people in the world, Gadling editor-at-large Justin Glow and travel writer and personality Rolf Potts are teaming up on a wild project starting this week, traveling around the entire planet with absolutely no baggage.

The journey begins this morning on a flight between Kansas and New York City, where the team will be spending two days prior to their departure to London, Paris, Morocco, Cairo, Johannesburg, Bangkok, Singapore, Queenstown and Auckland, to name a few places, all with nothing more than the gear loaded in their SCOTTeVEST clothing and various and sundry camera equipment.

“Why?” you might ask? It’s partially to show the ease and fluidity of travel when unburdened (figuratively and literally) by luggage and it’s also a challenge. A challenge about making compromises on the road, pushing their gear to the limits and keeping cool while traversing the planet in one set of britches.

Rolf will be the pointman for the operation, and you’ll be able to see dispatches from his sexy gourd in both video and words every day over at rtwblog.com. Justin, the (no less sexy) camera and logistics man will deal with all things technical and with getting the dispatches updated. Along the way, they may even have a few visitors swing through.

Keep an eye out for updates as the weeks pass by and try to contain your jealousy. It sounds like a fantastic trip.

Is 13-year-old Dutch girl too young to sail solo around the world?

Let me think. What was on my mind at age 13? Homework and boys and fitting in at school, probably.

Laura Dekker, a 13-year-old in the Netherlands, has bigger fish to fry. She wants to take on the world. In a sailboat. By herself.

She has her parents’ permission. Now she just needs the Dutch government’s.

The Dutch Council for Child Protection is in the process of asking for temporary custody of Laura to stop the trip, since her parents won’t. They’re concerned that this goal comes less from Laura’s own drive, and more from the need to please her divorced parents–especially her father, who is an expert sailor and the parent with whom she lives. The decision will be made on Friday by the Utrecht District Court.

I’m a bit torn. I’m so impressed by her adventurous spirit and want to cheer her on. But at the same time, I’m worried for her safety. At what age would it be okay for her to go? I’d be happier if she had an adult with her, but, of course, that defeats the purpose of a solo trip.

But if anyone has the background for a trip like this, Laura does. She spent her first four years on the ocean because her parents were on an around-the-world sail. She’s been sailing solo since she was six, and dreaming of her own around-the-world trip since she was ten.

If she wins her court case on Friday, Laura would start her two-year trip in September.

Hearts from around the world: Ten heart images for Valentine’s Day

With February being the month for celebrating Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month, here are 10 images of hearts from around the world. I chose these photos because they caught a photographer’s eye and I could find information about where each heart might be located.

These images also occured without human coaxing–meaning, they weren’t manipulated to look this way.

Also, heart-shaped leaves or heart-shaped flowers were not included. Because they are normally heart-shaped, they aren’t a surprise. The subjects in these photos just happened to be heart-shaped and someone noticed them at just the right time.

This first shot by naama was taken in Israel. I assume this based on one of the photo’s tags. She said she didn’t notice the heart until after she saw the picture.

This pair of swans were canoodling in The Lough, Cork, Ireland when mozzercork snapped their picture.

On the leaf to the left of the flower, you’ll see a perfect water heart. Angela7dreams took this picture in Maui, Hawaii.

If you look to the right bottom section of the asphalt, you’ll see the heart that allyrose18 saw in this street in Florida.

In Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park (Ayers Rock) in Australia is this heart-shaped cave. Wind and water carved the image that pixie_bebe captured here.

Although the location of this heart is not listed among the tags, I’m assuming Mzelle Biscotte took this picture of the tree’s bark in France where she lives.

According to dawnzy58, who took this shot, the vine was shaped this way when she came upon it in Quabbin Resevoir in New England.

This Northern (yellow-shafted) flicker was hanging around New Jersey when Sister72 took her picture.

I’m assuming that this photo was taken in Japan. Tanakawho, who took this version of nature’s hearts, lives in Tokyo.

The text that spratmackrel used to to accompany his photo of this stone in his garden in England says:

“Where does the heart of the Buddha lie?” asked the student. The Master did not answer, just pointed to the rock warming in the sun.”

The sentiment feels fitting for Valentine’s Day and a month dedicated to the heart. Wherever you are, I hope you’ve found an image that has warmed your heart.

Life Nomadic: Welcome to Life Nomadic

The border agent was very suspicious of me.

“Where’s your luggage?”

“I don’t have any.”

“Do you have a return ticket?”

“No, but I have a ticket to Panama for next week.”

“Where do you live?”

This never goes over well.

“Well, nowhere, really…”

And it’s true. The closest thing I have to a home is a 21 foot RV that I park on the street and live in when I’m in Austin, Texas for a few months every year.

Last year my friend Todd and I made the decision to become modern day nomads and make the wonders of the world the backdrop for our every day lives.

We sold everything we owned other than two small backpacks crammed with cutting edge gear, and chased our whims around the world.

We ran with the bulls in Spain, sat under the cherry blossom trees in Tokyo, explored the catacombs of Paris, rode 4x4s across the dunes of Qatar, marched in the Carnaval parades of Panama, and a whole lot more.

This year we have a lot more planned, along with plenty of time to fill with whatever last minute adventure catches our attention.

And even better, we’re blogging about it exclusively for Gadling. Our goal this year is to show you what it’s like to be a modern day nomad, how to do it, and also how to use some hardcore nomad strategies to make regular travel even better.

We have three main principles that we follow, which you will hear a lot more about:

  1. Versatility

    We aim to be as versatile as possible. We pack extremely light, but with enough gear to cover any likely contingency. My small 28 liter pack has enough gear to keep me warm in 10 degree Toronto (where I write this from) and cool in 90 degree Panama (where I head this week).

    Our incomes are unbound from any location and we’ve developed good work habits to put in a full effort from anywhere in the world.

    We have no obligations back home to pull us back or encumber us while we’re gone.

    On top of all that, we eat healthy foods and exercise so that we can hike a few miles through the mountains just as easily as we can flop down on a hammock on the beach.

  2. Technology

    We use the latest technology available to fuel our worldwide adventures. Not just electronics, although we’re packed to the gills with those, but cutting edge clothing technology (more exciting than it sounds…) and even camping gadgets.

    Beyond what we carry, we use technology to keep in touch with family and friends all around the world as well as to generate enough income to fund our nomadic lifestyles.

  3. Deep Experience

    Our backgrounds and available time pose some restrictions, but we try to live like natives rather than trample the country like tourists.

    We try to learn the language of anywhere we stay for at least a month, rent apartments rather than hotels, and spend our time exploring the city rather than hopping from one Carlos and Charlie’s to the next.

    Whenever we’re able to make friends with locals we get a much richer experience, and we follow their recommendations on where to visit.

Whether you’re a fellow nomad, someone who plans to go nomadic eventually, a hardcore traveler, or even just an occasional traveler who wants to get more from his trips, I hope that we’ll be able to provide you with inspiration as well as practical tips.

There are a couple things I’d like from you:

  1. Your questions. Every week I will write an “Ask a Nomad” column. E-mail me directly at tynan DOT gadling AT weblogsinc DOT com and you may find your question answered right here.
  2. Your feedback. We’re nomads because it makes our lives better, but we write to try to make your life better. If you let me know which articles you like and which you don’t like, I can do a better job covering topics you’re interested in. Again, my e-mail is tynan DOT gadling AT weblogsinc DOT com.
  3. Subscribe. You can subscribe to the Gadling feed here, or to Life-Nomadic-only posts here.

Running Around The World

Back in February of 2000, Serge Roehteli, along with his wife Nicole, set out on an amazing journey to circle the globe, running the entire way. The plan was to cover more than 25,000 miles, on six continents, crossing 37 countries in the process.

Serge, an experienced ultra-runner, estimated that it would take him five years to complete the project that would see him running the equivalent of a marathon every other day, through all kinds of different conditions and across a myriad of terrains. Nicole would serve as his support crew, riding along side him on a motorcycle, carrying all of their gear and supplies. She also filmed their travels, capturing every aspect of the journey. Those video tapes are now the basis of a new film entitled Beyond the Epic Run.

You can learn more about Serge, Nicole, and the film at their website, where there are blog entries with more details on the run, and promises of updates on the release date and screenings of the movie. Other ultra-runners, such as Dean Karnazes, weigh in on the Epic Run as well, and there is plenty of video posted, such as the trailer for the film that you can watch below.

Plenty of people have traveled around the world, and for many it is the ultimate trip. But for Serge and Nicole it became something even bigger than that. It was a challenge of will and determination unlike any other. The film will allow us to go along with them, and experience their amazing journey.