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Please Check Out My New Site : Travel Media

9 Dec

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Please join me at my new website for my latest travel adventures.

I wanted to let you know that I have created a new site, that will be the home for my travel related content moving forward. I chose to create a new site for a number of reasons; I wanted to switch from to for more theme options, more functionality and options.

Pretty please subscribe to my new site, “like” my homepage on Stumble and if you feel called share on Facebook, Twitter ect…

I wanted to give my media concerning travel, travel lifestyle and travel media projects a dedicated URL. I also wanted the increased SEO capabilities and design options that a site allows.

I chose to do this now because I have impending travels to South America afoot, I am creating more travel related content in the Seattle area and am planning projects that need a good home.

This blog will remain my sounding board for the rest of my life, my ramblings, personal life and any other Joshywashington stuff that isn’t really travel related. I will still be updating this blog but the tone will be more personal, off topic and well…whatever I feel like writing!

You will notice that some of my favorite travel content from this site is also on Travel Media Ninja, I exported the contents of this blog and used that as a base for TMN. There are several posts from the last year blogging here that I wanted to share with any new audience that TMN may have moving forward.

Currently there are 8 new posts on Travel Media Ninja that I think my friends here would enjoy.

As always, thank you for being who you are and for connecting with me on this journey.


Photos! Climb Mt. Stuart on a September Day

10 Sep

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I love nothing more than drenching myself in sky blue and forest green. Here are some photos not included in the recent Traveler’s Notebook post; Notes on the Magical Existence of Mountain Top Lady Bugs.

What? You never punch your camera man??
The moment our mountain comes into full view leaves me more than a little menaced with doubt.
My trusty adventure co-pilot and brother, Dust J Summit giving his Robert DeNiro face… Rock on
Steadily climbing up and up.
We fell in love with this gargantuan rock, seen from a distance, balancing on top of Sherpa PeakDozing at the top…
It’s never a bad time to bust out some rhythms! Yes, we rap on top of mountains…

How to Engage Strangers and Make friends while Traveling

27 Aug

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I have always had an easy time meeting locals and colorful individuals while on the road. Here are a few tips to meet more people and have more fun while traveling.

Go solo or in small groups. Linger, make eye contact and laugh. Break out your video camera and start spontaneously vlogging. Have loose plans and keep room for the course of your day to veer into a new friendship or an encounter with a friendly stranger.

This is the word that will open doors. You don’t have to know what is going to happen, what they will feed you or how you will get back to your hostel, you just have to say “Yes”. Of course you should say “No” if you are talking to drug lords or pushy pimps, use your instincts.

The kids in the picture above are a part of a large family I met at the ruins of My Son, in central Vietnam. They were out on a day trip and notice me vlogging and strolling though the sun lit ruins. We took pictures and they invited me back to their house for lunch, a tour and a meet and greet with about 30 extended relatives.

They said it was not far, maybe 10km, but I wondered for a moment if it was a good idea to follow strangers down twisting roads and into an uncertain fate. Then I remembered that it was not a good idea, it was THE BEST idea, the ONLY IDEA!

These are the types of authentic experiences that arrive as rewards to stepping out of the comfort zone and surrendering to a joyous, mysterious “Yes!”

Even if you are sickened my the Yak butter tea, even if you don’t speak the language.

Ladies, I don’t know if you want to follow this course necessarily, but this is my general rule of thumb. Drinking with locals, accepting an outstretched tumbler of moonshine is a ticket to quick friends if not a sour stomach.

Put out a good vibe, smile. Don’t skulk or saunter, walk with a curiosity that compels companionship.

Stop people to ask where they like to eat lunch or a good place to swim is. Ask where a good bar to watch the soccer match is and they just may walk you there.

Wandering into a village an asking where a good place to eat has gotten me invites to dine in peoples homes with their family on many occasions.

In a sea of tourists, trite and predictable, what makes you stand out? What are you offering by way of conversation and cultural exchange? Realize the unique gifts you have to offer to passing potential pals and utilize them.

I know meeting people is usually a matter of circumstance, I also know the more willing you are to go out on a limb and say “Yes” to a new person the more likely that person is to appear.


Why do Tourists Look like Dorks?

18 Aug

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Since ancient times tourists have looked like dorks.

There are many reasons for this and archeologists today are in heated debate as to the origin of the dorky tourist.

Was it Marco Polo, showing up with his puffy Italian flare in the court of Kublai Khan?

You’re a Mongolian warrior who has never seen a Venetian in a blouse, you’re thinking, ‘what a dork, where is his fox fur hat?’.

every year Seattle hosts 9.3 million tourists

On or near the Seattle waterfront, tourists trundle about in great endless herds. And darn near each one is dressed like a goofball, a dork, frumpy, dumpy and (generally) plump. Not that plump people are dorks.
You line up 100 tourists and 1 local I could single ’em out, why?

Tourists waddle in amused, slow moving packs, picking up trinkets, taking pictures of sailboats and looking for restrooms. They gawk, and squint and refill water bottles and change diapers. They try to save money by filling up on bread. Tourists perpetually teeter on the edge of being lost. This gives them a befuddled way as they seek their coordinates on the glossy chamber of commerce tourism map.

Tourists buy a new pair of pleated, acid washed denim jean shorts and forget to take the tag off. They buy bright floral tops and creased bottoms. They are wearing their ‘going out clothes’, which, unless they are young Parisians, falls far short of glamorous. A wedgie is not a fashion statement.

And backpacks and polarized sunglasses and white tennis shoes and braided leather belts. Tourists accessorize for functionality. They see their full Nalgene bottle and cargo pocket crammed with Clif bars and they imagine themselves some diluted breed of Golden Age explorer or Hollywood hero. Sanitizer goop, sunscreen, band aids, room keys, maps, extra diapers, light jackets and extremely expensive cameras dangle from limbs and fill pockets.

The tourists sets out, well outfitted and ready for anything.

My mom use to stuff my siblings and I in splashy handmade vests and pink turtlenecks then parade us shamelessly. Tourists dress with crests of their local sports teams and t-shirts acquired on other trips (Alaska).

Families and couples tend to generally mimic the same basic theme or color pattern when traveling. With exception of the brooding hipster tween, but even she is an expected cliche.

The khaki vest with all the pockets.


4 National Icons, 1 Pair of Sunglasses

31 Jul

Like all gen X digital ninjas I enjoy taking pictures of myself…

Crater Lake

Route 66

Bryce Canyon


Video! Chichen Itza

23 Jul

Enjoy my latest video shot from Chichen Itza.

If you enjoy this video please share with your friends, thanks!

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Everything you needed to know to be a good traveler you learned in Kindergarten

8 Jul

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Photo by Muhammad Adnan Asim

Being nice, staying nice and leaving nice can be some of the hardest things you will ever do.

Sometimes being nice asks everything you have and then some, but playing nice is a key component of a good traveler.

Just as those of medical profession are meant to abide by the Hippocratic Oath ~ ” First, do no harm”, so should travelers dwell in the art of being nice.

Nice to your host country and its ways, nice to the touts and drivers and matrons of guest houses, nice to airline attendants, nice to your fellow travelers; nice.

We don’t simply need to learn to share the planet, we need to share our snacks too. Share and share alike; water, sunblock, advice, cab fare, bug spray, cookies, tents, whiskey. Share your goggles and fins, share your campfire and baguette, share. Then you will notice, maybe slowly at first, how much people share with you.
This, of course, will lead to more sharing.

Don’t be afraid of kids you have never met, include everybody in the game. One of the foremost pleasures of travel is meeting new people and this means types of people you have never met before, people that may test or assist you. Obviously, caution should be advised when asking Yakuza kingpins to a game or checkers or drug smugglers to a beer.

Not just in the common kitchen, which you absolutely must, but everywhere. Pack camel backs and aluminum canteens to tote your water so as not to be tempted with trash and to drink from the tap where safe. Try to leave the space, camp, beach, heritage site and country cleaner than you found it. Abide by rules meant to maintain sewer systems (don’t flush toilet paper) and cultural relics (please do not climb).
Try to honor traditional sensitivities and leave as little disturbance as possible.
Use biodegradable soap.