That Time I Was Almost a Big Star in Argentina [Video]

I was almost the star of a Quilmes Copa America commercial in Argentina. Quilmes is the biggest beer brand in Argentina.

Trip Report: Spelunking and Snorkeling in Bonito, Brazil

I recently spent three days in Bonito, Brazil, a small city in Southwestern Brazil famous for its caves and rivers.

There are two ways to get to Bonito:

Fly twice weekly from Viracopos-Campinas (Sao Paulo area)
Fly to Campo Grande and take a four hour bus

I flew into Bonito on Azul Airlines on a Sunday from Rio de Janeiro (via Viracopos-Campinas) and flew out the next Wednesday to Sao Paulo (Azul/Viracopos-Campinas/Free Azul Bus Trip Report Here).

My 2016 Spring & Summer Travel & Life Plans

I'm a nomad. Here are my current travel plans. Also see Late 2015 Travel, Early 2016 Travel, and Where I Slept in 2015.

I have a clear picture of where I’ll be until about October 2016. Last week, I booked a flurry of awards, mostly with obscure mileage programs to lock in my dates for 2016.

Mobile Passport: Free “Global Entry Lite” for Line Skipping Cheapskates

I have Global Entry. For $100, the time it took to fill out a detailed form (an hour), and a twenty minute interview at an international airport, I can skip the immigration and customs lines every time I land in the United States for five years. Plus getting Global Entry enrolls you in TSA Precheck, which saves time at security on all flights in the United States.

The $100 is a great price for all the time I've saved, and you can easily avoid the $100 fee.

No More $160 Reciprocity Fee to Visit Argentina

Last week, during President Obama's visit to Argentina, Argentina suspended the $160 fee required for Americans to visit.

While this is, for the moment, a temporary suspension of the fee (which you can check the official status of here), this is widely expected to lead to a permanent elimination of the fee.

This follows a series of sane decisions by the newly elected government, like letting the currency float freely to eliminate the black market for dollars and terrible distortion to the economy and possibilities for theft by well-connected people.

I paid the reciprocity fee, which is good for ten

New Wearable Translator to End Language Barriers

I've wondered when we would get a real-time wearable translator. The makers of "ili" say that it will be this Summer. Watch their first commercial.

Note this disclaimer: "UPDATE: In light of viewer feedback, we would like to clarify that the man and women are all actors and actresses; no one was forced to act against their will in any way."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6ngM0LHxuU

The commercial shows the actor's British English being converted to Japanese in real time, though I have no way to judge the quality of that translation.

How I Got a Passport in Three Days at a Passport Agency

My beautiful, old, extra-pages-added-later passport was set to expire in May 2016. Since many countries don't allow entry unless your passport has at least six months remaining validity, I knew I should aim to get a new passport by November 2015. I was in Argentina from October to December 2015 before coming back to Hawaii for 10 days before heading to Asia for a month.

Those 10 days in Hawaii would be my only chance to get a new passport, so I would need to apply for and get the passport within 10 days.

I Walked to an Airport. Ever Done That?

I just walked to the airport for the first time in my life in Da Nang, Vietnam. The 3.4 mile walk took about an hour and 20 minutes including a 20 minute stop at a KFC along the way.

I have been wanting to walk to an airport for some time for the novelty factor.

How to Get a Vietnam Visa on Arrival

Visa requirements change all the time. Check out the current visa requirements for Vietnam for Americans here from the US State Department.

Americans need a visa to get into Vietnam. We can either get one from a Vietnamese consulate or embassy before travel or one on arrival with some pre-planning.

I just landed in Vietnam and got a visa on arrival.

Good Visa News (Longer, Cheaper, Free) for Travel to China, Vietnam, and Brazil

American passport holders got good news recently for travel to three countries: China, Vietnam, and Brazil.

China allows Americans a 72 hour visit to several cities without a prior visa as long as you fly into China from one country and fly out to another country.