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Thank You

We'd like to say "thank you" to those who have helped along the way


Kelly won a $500 grant from GoNOMAD to travel to Cabo Polonio, Uruguay. Read her article about the trip.

The Nomad World Pub

Thanks to the guys at the Nomad World Pub in Minneapolis for donating two stylin' Nomad logo shirts to the Global Roam. Below, Quang (yes, that is Quang) sports his T in La Paloma, Uruguay.)

Susan Westhoff Graphic Design

A "Thank You" goes to Susan Westhoff Graphic Design for donating $100 of web design to the Global Roam.

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Couple stores backpacks but keeps the dream
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Around Half the World in Half a Year
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Freeland Writer and Teacher Discovers the World
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Minnesota Sun Newspaper
Leaving with a backpack and a dream
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Around the World in Seven Months
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Kelly's Global Roam Articles

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Cabo Polonio, Uruguay: In Search of the Fabled Ombu Tree
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Plymouth Magazine
A Global Roam: Plymouth residents hit the world—running
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Minnesota Women's Press
The world is a dangerous place, but...
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Roam Links

A list of people, places, things to do, and other cool things we stumbled across while roaming the globe.

We had so many great experiences on the Global Roam. We couldn't possibly list them all, but we're going to give it a shot. This list includes links to businesses we patronized along the way and liked. Some of them are well-established with web sites and fancy offices. Others are small, family-run operations.

In no way should this list be taken as a definitive review of each place, we're just putting some positive word-of-mouth out there. These are places where we felt we were given fair pricing, great treatment, or both (usually both). Plus, we've included links to the sites of other travelers we met along the way.

By far, the web site we used most often was Hostel World.

The site helped us find hostels in many different cities. It was especially useful if we knew we'd be arriving late in a city. Searching out a room through dark and unfamiliar streets is never fun; it felt better to arrive with a reservation.


But we didn't always make reservations through the site. Sometimes we used it to simply see what sort of accommodation options were out there. There are photos for lots of the spots and we'd weed through listings until we found a couple that looked okay. Then when we arrived, we'd just go there and see if they had space.


El Cardenal (site link)

I met David, a manager at El Cardenal, while hanging out my hotel window. He was hanging out of his window, too. We were watching the filming of a Ricardo Arjona music video on the street below. Later that night, Quang and I ran into David on the corner. He invited us to his restaurant, which turned out to be a really fancy place (As it turned out, it was the fanciest place we ate on the whole trip.). We took him up on his offer and were treated like long-lost friends. We were stunned at David's generosity towards people he'd only just met.

Read about our meal at El Cardenal on the Global Roam

Ricardo Arjona

And here is the finished Ricardo Aronja video that we watched as it was being filmed. We were allowed as onlookers because our hotel was on the block in which they were shooting. The song, we later learned, was called "Acompaname a Estar Solo."

We recognize the walking-in-the-rain scenes, plus the shots where Ricardo Arjona is playing a grand piano with newspapers blowing about. And we laugh about the at the very-noticeably, tightly-cropped scenes of the girl jumping rope. They spent so much real-life time making her jump rope, and so little video time showing it.

Read about our experience watching the video being filmed on the Global Roam:

Coyote Canyon Adventures (site link)

Coyote Canyon

According to Quang, horseback riding through the Coyote Canyon was the best thing we did on the whole trip—and that's saying a lot considering we took this ride in the second week of a twenty-four week trip. The owner, Rodrigo, was great. The guides, real Mexican cowboys, were fantastic. I will never forget the sight of those cowboys hauling out their machetes, hollering, and taking off through the scrubby canyon brush wacking away stray cacti branches so that the rest of the group could gallop on through.

Read about Coyote Canyon horseback on the Global Roam

Punky Junky (site link)

Quang discovered Punky Junky hair gel in Mexico. We'd only been there a week when he started scouting the stuff, so impressed was he with the sculpted "dos" of the Mexican youth. He only bought one bottle though, and when it ran out, we couldn't figure out how to get any more. Luckily, somebody began selling it online. We've since become loyal customers.


Thirteen Months (site link)

Grace and Susan quit their jobs to travel around the world for 13 months. They contacted us when they saw that we had been to Uruguay and rented mopeds. They had been to Uruguay and they had rented mopeds, too. Their web site tells you just about everything you'd ever want to know about their trip. We so envy them their 13 months! (Photo courtesy of Grace and Susan.)

Read about it on the Global Roam:
Scooting Between Argentina and Uruguay
Ready to Retire in Uruguay

Robert Wright


Urban Explorer (site link)

We met Robert Wright in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After years of working for Rick Steves as a tour guide in Spain and Portugal, Robert decided to strike out on his own by starting his very own tour company in a city he truly loved: Buenos Aires. He's been living there for five years and knows oodles about one of my favorite Buenos Aires haunts—Recoleta Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Robert Wright.)

Read about Recoleta Cemetery on the Global Roam

Tangol (site link)

When knew we had to find a travel agent when we landed in Buenos Aires. We needed plane tickets to Patagonia, and it was cheaper to purchase the tickets inside Argentina than to try and buy them from the States. I popped in to a couple of different Buenos Aires agencies aimed at budget travelers before setting everything up with Lucas at Tango. He was friendly. He worked quickly. And his prices were a few pesos cheaper than elsewhere.

Read about Buenos Aires on the Global Roam:
When in Buenos Aires
Leaving Buenos Aires

Yira Yira Hostel (site link)

In Buenos Aires, we stayed at three different hostels and the third one was a charm. It was the Yira Yira Hostel. By no means was it super fancy or luxurious. It was functional. Its location was decent. Its standard breakfast wasn't remarkable. It was, instead, the fellow travelers we connected with that made our stay at the Yira Yira memorable. It was here that a fellow traveler to told us to go to Hoi An in Vietnam. It was here that a fellow traveler told us to go to Myanmar. It was here that we got a standing invitation to party on an off-the-tourist-track Greek island with directions scribbled on a scrap of paper.

Read about our Yira Yira stay on the Global Roam:
Thoughts from a Buenos Aires Hostel
Scooting Between Argentina and Uruguay

Pueblo Viejo (site link)


At the bottom of the world, we stayed in the Pueblo Viejo hostel in Ushuaia. It was always warm inside, which was fantastic, because even though we hit the town in its summer months, it was still chilly outside. Our double bed was big and comfy and we were impressed with how clean the communal bathroom was. Plus, the staff was great—helpful, friendly and knowledgeable.

Read about our time in Ushuaia on the Global Roam:
March of the Penguins
Parque Nacional


GoPatagonia! (site link)

Go Patagonia Newspaper

We met GoPatagonia's editor, Enrique, in Puerto Varas, Chile. At the time, he was working as a white water rafting guide, but was getting ready to launch the first edition of GoPatagonia! Two weeks later, we'd moved on from Puerto Varas, but we stumbled across his first issue in Santiago. The paper is largely written in English; the site is largely in Spanish. But they're growing, so check back.

Read about white water rafting with Enrique on the Global Roam

Navimag (site link)


We took a three-day cruise through the Chilean fjords on a Navimag ferry. We boarded the boat in Puerto Natales and docked in Puerto Montt. Lots of people worry about the weather before putting down the money for the cruise; if there's too much fog, the fjords will be lost. We had fog on our first morning and because of it we missed the views, but the fog also forced everyone on board to hang out in the lounge and cafeteria and make friends. We loved it, loved it, loved it. We went third class and had a blast.

Read about the Navimag cruise on the Global Roam

Campo Aventura (site link)

When we woke up on January 1, 2006, we were in an electricity-free cabin surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Sure it was rustic, but it was also beautiful. It took us five hours on horseback to reach the little cabin on a mountain top. It would take us another five hours on horseback to get out. Along the way, the horses splashed through deep rivers and even deeper forests. Our three-day trek into the southern Chilean wilderness was arranged by Lex and Christiane of Campo Aventura.

Read about Campo Aventura on the Global Roam


Greg Winkler (site link)

Greg Winkler

We signed up for a two-day cruise in Vietnam's Halong Bay. We had hoped for clear sailing among the funky limestone karsts, but fog surrounded our boat and often kept the scenery a secret. Instead of hanging out on deck with the scenery, we hung out inside the boat with our fellow travelers. Greg was one of our fellow passengers, and we spied his guitar case on the second morning. He treated us all to a private concert. Quang and I agree his rendition of Brown Eyed Girl was the best we've ever heard. And we think it's cool that Greg's from Wisconsin—or in other words, close to home (for us). We've already got one of his Minneapolis dates on our calendar.

Read about sailing Halong Bay on the Global Roam

Around the World at 75. Alone. Dammit. (site link)

John Guy LaPlante

We met John Guy LaPlante in Saigon, Vietnam. He boarded a van headed south to take a boat ride on the Mekong River with us. He was traveling alone, which was nothing new. A few years ago he'd traveled all the way around the world at the age of 75, mostly by himself. He self-published a travelouge of that trip and was in the process of touring in support of the book. We hope we're still traveling the world at the age of 75 plus!

Read about cruising the Mekong River on the Global Roam

Bamboo Village

Bamboo Village Beach Resort (site link)

We first met Co Loan while we were staying in a Buddhist meditation center outside of Dalat, Vietnam. We were guests at the center and so was she. Turns out, she was also a resort owner. She slipped us her business card and told us to look her up Bamboo Villageif we ever made it to Mui Ne. We did make it to Mui Ne, we stayed at her resort, shared a meal with her and learned all about being a land owner in Vietnam. Our private bungalow on the beach was more than we were used to paying as budget travelers, but we sprang for the cost and were so glad we did.

Read about Mui Ne on the Global Roam:
Nothing in Mui Ne
So Much Sand


Vega Ticket Center (site link)

Vega Ticket Center

We met Ratt, the manager of Vega Ticket Center, in Bangkok, Thailand. Despite our numerous questions and seemingly endless state of indecision, he set up all our airline tickets and travel visas for our time in Southeast Asia. When our plans suddenly changed, he took our old tickets and renewed the dates. He even got us back home to the States. I'm sure we frustrated him to no end, but he was always gracious. Plus, his agency had the cheapest internet connection in the area: 30 baht to everyone else's 40. We spent many a blog hours there.

Read our Bangkok Quiz on the Global Roam

Orchid House Hostel

Khao San Road

In Bangkok, we liked Orchid House Hostel in the Khao San Road area. The Orchid House isn't very big, and it isn't super new, but the rooms had double beds, private bathrooms, hot water, and air conditioning. Breakfast isn't included, but there is a restaurant on the first floor. We thought the prices were super reasonable. The Orchid House is across the street and down a little from the Star Dome Inn on Rambuttri Road.
Contact info: 323/3 Rambuttri Road; the_orchid2003@yahoo.com; phone (0) 2280 2691.
A waiter at the Orchid House got mention on the blog.

Chaidee Massage (site link)

Just a few doors down from the Orchid House is Chaidee Massage. While the Khao San Road part of Bangkok is teeming with massage options, we liked Chaidee because they offered an early-bird special. Get a massage before noon and it's only 160 baht ($4 US).

Baan Kluaymai Guest House

Thailand's Ko Samui isn't the cheapest place when you're traveling budget style. Much of the island is geared towards vacationing Westerners and their vacationing dollars (or euros). Because we were going the budget route, we didn't stay right on the beach. Instead, we stayed in the town and walked two blocks to the beach each day. We stayed at Baan Kluaymai Guest House in Chaweng Beach. It is on the south end of town on a street that doesn't have a name, but it's easy to find. Find the Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts, or SITCA, which advertises all over town, any Internet café/tour operator should be able to point it out. The guest house is on the same block, but across the street and next door to a Chinese restaurant. The room was clean, the bed was a double, the private bathroom had hot water, there was cable TV, and air conditioning.
Contact info: bannkluaymaisamui@hotmail.com; phone 66 (0) 7741 3462.

Sawadthi Samui

And while you're on that same street, eat at a little restaurant called Sawadthi Samui, or maybe it was called Smile Samui. Either way, it was the best meal we had in five days on the island. Plus, the waitress/chef/owner were one and the same.


We didn't have any travel plans when we arrived in Myanmar. We arrived sans reservations because we were trying to avoid paying for a room in a big hotel owned by the country's military dictatorship. We knew we could find smaller, family-owned hotels that would benefit more directly from our money.

Ocean Pearl In

Ocean Pearl Inn (site link)

In Yangon, the capital, we stayed at the Ocean Pearl Inn. The front desk staff was super. They explained train, bus and private driver travel options and they booked tickets for us when we finally decided where we wanted to go and how.

Read about Yangon on the Global Roam

Teakwood Hotel (site link)


In the town of Nyangshwe on the shores of Inle Lake, we stayed at the Teakwood Hotel, a welcoming bed and breakfast run by a savvy business woman. Framed family photos of weddings and babies lined the hallway to our room. Their site is in German, probably because a past German guest offered to post their information. However, there are nice photos of the rooms, and the rates are listed in dollars.

Read about Nyangshwe on the Global Roam


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