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The Return to the Road

Written By Jana DeBusk – I leave Manizales, Colombia in a small plane with visible propellers. The sky is cloudy, like normal, and the air is crisp. I felt a sense of belonging in this little city, but today is my leaving day. I turn back once more through a glaze of hot tears to blow a kiss to the man I love before walking through the small security gate. The officer stops me and says I have to throw away my nail clippers, almost regretfully. He must sense my sadness. “Oh shit,” I mumble. “Pero no es importante,” I say as the tears well up in my eyes and my face scrunches to a strange distorted trying-not-to-cry-but-failing face. He looks at me doubtfully. I toss the clippers and remove my bags from the belt.

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The Possibilities Abound

Written By Meagan DeRaps – The sun peaking through the forward hatch streams golden rays across my sunburned cheeks. I fight the urge to turn over and thrust the pillow over my face, to shield myself from the day and allow the gentle rocking of the boat to lull me back to sleep. But the sun’s rays in this near equatorial climate prove too strong an adversary. So I throw my legs over the side of the tall forward berth and am rewarded by a wet slimy sensation followed by a pillow of soft fur on my ankles. After giving Nikka her morning allowance of coddling, I climb out on deck to untie the paddleboard carefully lashed to the lifelines. With a roaring thud and enormous splash, the paddleboard lands in the water beside the boat. I grab Nikka’s life jacket and finagle her jittery body beneath its bulky plastic clasps. Slowly, I clamber over the side of the boat before guiding Nikka down next to me. With the board untied, I grab the paddle and start making our way toward shore for Nikka’s morning beach walk. Before I get too far, I turn and glance over my shoulder at the sailboat we just departed, our home, and for the thousandth time this trip I think, WOW, this is my life now!

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Traveling Through Flores Island, Indonesia

Written By Riley Maker – I came into consciousness as Sir Richard heaved himself out of the double hammock. “I’ve had enough of that,” he mumbled and I caught a glimpse of the reddening sky over the ocean. I pulled the fabric of the hammock around me as my heat source abandoned the previous night’s discomfort. I turned over a few more times before I decided there was enough sun to begin to thaw my bones. I strode a few paces to the sandy part of the beach and plopped myself down, Indian style. I smelt the burnt reminders of the fire the local kids made for us the starry night before. I turned and looked back at the limp black and grey hammock hung between a healthy pine tree and the remaining tall stump of another. Behind the two trees and bushy sand foliage stood a small makeshift goat pen equipped with a tiny structure that served as our emergency rain shelter plan. Thankfully we didn’t need to use it.

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10 Tips to Help Women Pack Lighter

Written By Brooke Schoenman – It’s easy to overpack for travels. Really easy. However, as airlines continue to charge for every ounce over their limit and restrictions change, overpacking can cost a fortune!

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Last-Minute Summer Road Trip

Written By Courtney Capellan – When visiting the Southwest airlines website – a matrix of arrivals and departures – and you’re fixated on…Wanna get away? You whisper, yes. You scan the “deals” and your heart starts beating a rhythmic,no, no, no. Saddened by the prices, you desperately try another search, thinking, if I fly from here to there instead…if I fly morning instead of night…No luck. Forget it, you tell yourself.

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Why I Stopped Moving

Written By Jana DeBusk – I’ve lived in Manizales, Colombia for nine months now. I know that Santander Avenue runs parallel through the city with another avenue aptly called “The Parallela”. I know that the blue busses are newer and nicer than the green or red busses and that the small white collectivo will take you to your destination faster for dos cientos mas. I know that groceries are almost always cheaper in El Centro and to buy my tinto (strong black coffee in plastic cups) from a vendor on the street rather than the expensive corporate conglomerate, Juan Valdez. I’ve even settled into a 3-bedroom apartment on the main avenue with my Colombian boyfriend (it’s serious – we have plants). On Saturdays we play table tennis and on Sundays we share an ice cream in Chipre, a neighborhood where it seems you can see the whole country at once from the high mountain view. But I’ve stopped traveling. I’ve… settled down. I used to spit that word out of my mouth in disdain, disgusted that people would actually choose that path. It seemed like no path at all! Where’s the ADVENTURE!? Where’s the ROMANCE!? So, what happened? Let me explain.

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mommy travel

Mommy Travel Tips

Written By Leah Hannaford – When I was nine years old, my grandparents took me on a road trip across the country. This trip forged my love for travel, and when I turned 18, I hit my young adulthood with a suitcase in hand. I was able to travel freely through my lower 20s and joined the military to continue my travels in a different context. I had my son when I turned 25 and I remember being warned that my love for travel would now need to be tempered.

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Miyagawa, Takayama: A Morning By the Crystal River

Written By Sze-Leng Tan – In those short-lived moments – reflecting, observing and indulging – life was a spark of miracle I was gifted as a traveller to the Miyagawa morning market in Hida Takayama, Japan.

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ft. lauderdale

Exploring Ft. Lauderdale by Water Taxi

Written By Krystal K. – Although it’s beautiful, Ft. Lauderdale’s long stretch of clean beach and turquoise waters that act as a siren’s song to spring breakers across the nation is of little interest to me. After all, if I want to see the young and the gorgeous, I can drive a little further south to its ritzier cousins South Beach and Miami Beach. Instead, my mother and I decided to spend a day exploring nearby Ft. Lauderdale via the water taxi which runs up and down the intercoastal.

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24 Hours in Manizales, Colombia

Written By Jana DeBusk – You will not see Manizales, Colombia in the must-see section of your guidebook. It is rarely mentioned for more than a page, and only even there to highlight its closeness to various coffee plantations and other nearby natural attractions. The city itself, however, is a growing hub for education, culture, and entertainment. Not to mention, Manizalians are the nicest people you will ever meet. The city is affectionately coined “La ciudad de puertas abiertas” or “The city of open doors”.

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Retreat to the Mountains of Westendorf, Austria

Written By Francesca Baker – I’m at the top of a mountain. It’s 9:26 in the morning, and I am on my own. The sun licks the hairs on my arms and envelopes the world in a metallic sheen. The only sound is the gentle ringing of cow bells, a sort of elemental and campestral symphony. The only sight a blue lake twinkling in the sunlight. The grass looks lush and oozing with vitality, and the blades shimmer in a gentle breeze. It looks like it has just been created, so idyllic a scene is before me. It’s better than any chocolate box I have ever seen.

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10 Things I Will (and Won’t) Miss About Living in Japan

Written By Krystal K. – As I begin my new stay in South Florida, I can’t help but reminisce about the nearly 3 years I spent living in Tokyo and Osaka. Japan is a wonderful country in so many ways, so I created this list to encourage others to travel there!

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Plan a Romantic Vacation based on Romantic Movies

Written By Debbie D. – Nothing beats cuddling up on the couch with a glass of wine and a romantic chick flick on TV. But beyond the gooey sappiness and heart-fluttering drama, have you ever noticed some of the most beloved romantic movies are set against beautiful landscapes? If you’re planning a trip for two or just traveling solo with hopes of meeting your dream man, here are a few trip ideas based on locations from five of my all-time favorite romantic movies.

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When to Let Fear Win

Written By Jana DeBusk – The air is smooth and soft here in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. The mountains are a lusty green, and a stream gurgles somewhere nearby. The center of town is full of hippy expats who affectionately call it “Velcro-bamba” for its magical ability to make you want to stay. The sleepy tourist town is nestled in The Sacred Valley of Longevity, south of Loja, and it’s rumored that there are at least twenty residents well over 100 years old.

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year in review

DIG’s 2014 Year in Review

2014 was another wonderful year at DIG Travel Magazine! We celebrated our 1-year anniversary in November and enjoyed an amazing year of travel. Here’s a brief rundown of our highlights from 2014.

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christmas gift ideas

Holiday Gifts for the Female Traveler – 2014 Edition

In our 2014 holiday shopping guide, we’re going to help you find the perfect gift for the female traveler in your life (even if that’s yourself *wink*). Our suggestions will range from quirky to practical, from stocking stuffer price level to you really, really love someone (or you’re in a bit of trouble) type of gifts. Please enjoy our gift ideas, and if you have any other ideas, let us know and we’ll add them to our list!

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How to Become an Expat in Six Easy Steps or Less

Written By Jana DeBusk – I had always dreamed of living in a foreign land. How exotic. How brave. How terribly romantic it would be; to abandon the world I’d always known for a completely…well…foreign experience. Common sense stopped me for a while as common sense usually does. It whispered harshly in my ear, “You’ll never make it on your own. You haven’t even mastered another language,” and most cruelly, “What will you do for money?”

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puerto rico

A Honeymoon to Remember in Puerto Rico

Written By Debbie D. – After 9 years of dating, the love of my life asked me to marry him last December. After enjoying the glow of newly engaged bliss (i.e. texting photos of the ring to every single person I know and posting the news all over Facebook), reality began to sink in that I would now become a glorified party planner for the biggest day of my life. So after obsessively pinning every single wedding idea on Pinterest, choosing the venue, interviewing photographers, tasting cakes, and oh yeah, picking out the most beautiful dress I would ever wear, I thought I had a pretty good handle on everything. It wasn’t until just a few months before the wedding that people started asking the question I had completely ignored during all of the planning chaos: “So, where are you going on your honeymoon?”

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fall leaves tokyo

Traveling is Like Sex

Written By Jana DeBusk – Think back to the first time you had sex. That confused feeling of ecstasy where the moves are all new, but the urges have been there forever. It is discovery mixed with a biological sense of duty. You smell differently afterwards. Your eyes have adjusted as your pupils have dilated to take in the beauty of the darkness surrounding you. You are different. You can never go back to the comfort of innocence because you know there are better things ahead. For the first time you look a little further into your future. Relationship? Marriage? Kids? You are probably a child yourself at this first encounter, but your heart doesn’t know your age.

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fall leaves tokyo

6 Fall Foliage Viewing Spots In and Around Tokyo

Written By Krystal K. – Now that autumn has finally arrived in Tokyo, you’re probably wondering where to find the best spots to see the beautiful colors of the fall season. Though heading to the mountains is great if you have the time, here are a few convenient spots where you can enjoy momijigari (紅葉狩り),or maple hunting, both in and around Tokyo.

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cartagena sign

How to Get Where You’re Going on the Colombian Coast

With so many different modes of transportation, navigating through Colombia can be an exciting trek. In this article, Jana DeBusk outlines ways to travel from Cartagena to some of the most beautiful destinations along the Colombian coastline.

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south korea

Road Tripping Along South Korea’s Eastern Coast

Written By Krystal K. – Penis sculptures. Giant crabs. Deserted beaches. Beautiful pottery. Seaside temples. I experienced all of this and more on a recent three-day road trip along South Korea’s eastern coast. Though Korea’s transportation network is usually adequate enough to get around, the compact size of South Korea makes it particularly fun to experience by car.

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10 Beauty Essentials for Your Carry-on Bag

Written By Debbie D. – From long hours on standby to dry air on the plane, travel can be grueling to a girl’s appearance. Regardless of how many makeup and skincare products you’ve packed in your checked baggage, it’s important to keep a few items in your carry-on bag for times when you need to hydrate parched skin, pamper sore feet, boost limp hair and perk up tired peepers. Over the years, I’ve found that I only require 10 beauty essentials in my carry-on bag for in-flight beauty emergencies.

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Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Beyond the Beaches, Part II: Visit the Stunning Lighthouses of the Outer Banks

Written By Krystal K. – Given the Outer Banks’ well-deserved nickname of “The Graveyard of the Atlantic” (earned by the large number of shipwrecks throughout the area’s history), it’s no surprise that the spectacular lighthouses are one of the main attractions on the Outer Banks. Apparently, most people hop in their car, starting at the Currituck Beach Lighthouse and work their way down along the scenic North Carolina coastline, stopping at each distinctive lighthouse along the way. I’ve never managed the trip in one day, because I inevitably get distracted wandering through the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge and stopping to admire the wind surfers. But that’s a great excuse for staying an extra day, isn’t it?

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Microstock Photography for Travelers 101: A Three-Part Series

Written By Krystal K. – I don’t know about you, but I’ve got an entire hard drive full of photos I’ve snapped during my travels. Instead of having them sit around and continue collecting figurative dust, I’ve decided to try and enter the world of microstock photography.

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