Habitable homes in Biccari, Puglia for $10,000

I’m always half tempted when I see an article about homes in Italy for 1 euro. I look. But they are always wrecked and the idea of managing renovations in a country where I don’t live is not appealing. So when I saw this article on CNN I was about 3/4 tempted. I even talked to my wife, but she shot me down pretty quickly. Buying a house in Italy is still scary. If anyone reading this has done it recently, how did it go?

If you’re not drinking mojito lattes from a toilet cup, why not?

We found this place – Ddong Cafe, translated = Poop Cafe – in Insa-dong, Seoul. Sadly we had already eaten by the time we saw this toilet and poop themed restaurant / cafe.
The poop theme is everywhere, from the decor to the food to the drinks.

A nice latte in a toilet cup at Poop Cafe in Seoul.
I rarely love spaghetti in Korean restaurants, especially when served in a toile bowl.

I’ve been collecting travel stories

I’ve been working since 2018 to bring this blog back to where it used to be. I miss detailing my current and future travels. Even more, I miss making friends – fellow dreamers and travelers around the world.

I’ve got a few stories coming: Traveling for a family medical emergency, road trip car reviews, driving from Atlanta to Boston, flying to Korea, LARPing, and more.

If any old friends see this, what travel stories are you working on?

3 Accessories Worth Packing to Record Better Travel Videos

As you may have experienced, recording travel videos can be challenging. No matter how hard you try to frame and capture perfect videos, it is likely that the lighting, crowd, focus, and various elements may not be inclined to cooperate.

The good news is that if you do want to record better travel videos, there are several accessories that can help – a lot. In particular there are 3 that are definitely worth packing, as they’ll be able to help you record much better video footage:

Portable tripod stand or camera holder

One of the main problems with recording good footage for a travel video is keeping the camera steady while you do so. The best way to solve that is to use a portable tripod stand to keep your camera completely steady while it is recording so that the video isn’t shaky and doesn’t suffer from focus issues.

If you want to record footage while you’re moving you may want to look for a different type of camera holder that you can strap on. While it won’t keep your camera perfectly steady, it will still help.

High quality microphone

The built-in microphone on most video cameras leaves a lot to be desired, and if you want to record crisp and clear audio for your travel video it isn’t going to cut it. Instead of that you should invest in a high quality external microphone that is capable of recording better audio.

If you want to record your own voice you should be able to find a good clip-on microphone that you can use, whereas if you’re more interested in recording audio from a subject then a directional microphone may be best.

On-camera lights

Recording travel videos in poor lighting is never going to be ideal, but to help you could use on-camera lights. It is basically the video version of a flash, and is basically a powerful array of lights that will help illuminate the scene you’re recording.

Keep in mind that on-camera lights come in many different shapes and sizes, but if you want something portable you should find the kind that you can attach to your camera. While it may not be as powerful, it can help to provide just enough light for most of your needs.

An extra tip

In addition to the accessories that you pack, you’ll also want to have a good editor that you can use to process the travel video footage you record. On that front Movavi Video Editor will be a good fit, as it will ensure you have all the features that you need in a nice and user-friendly package.

Using Movavi Video Editor you can process footage and enhance its quality, trim out unwanted parts, merge clips together, apply special effects, add captions, include audio tracks, and more. On top of that you could learn how to make a video with pictures, so you can use any travel photos that you snap as well.


At the end of the day being able to edit your travel video footage should help to improve it further, and ensure that it looks impressive. In short Movavi Video Editor is a nice way to round out the accessories that you pack to help you come up with better travel videos.

Traveling around South Carolina looking for a retirement spot

Someone mentioned that his parents had just retired to Bluffton, SC. Spurred by that, my wife and I are headed to Bluffton in a couple of weeks to check it out. Her excuse is that they are having a marathon there and mine is that I want to get out of the cold. Retirement is still several years away but we are doing a meandering look at areas that might be potential places to settle down and gum our food.

So, I wanted to ask, is there anything in Bluffton that we should focus on while we visit, with the goal of a potential landing spot? We will check out Hilton Head and Savannah for tourism stuff so if there is something we shouldn’t miss from that respect that would be cool too.

In the retirement vein, next year we probably will look at Wilmington/Leland, and even New Bern in coastal NC. I heard that those places have higher than average crime though. We’ve also looked at Tempe/Mesa which were really nice. But when they said they had 116 last summer I got a bit scared. Also looked at Prescott and Sedona. Sedona was too pricey and touristy for me. I liked Prescott but it falls a little short of my top criteria of close to a medical university hospital and close to an international airport.

Answer 1: I have heard good things about neighboring Hardeeville. I can say you should definitely check out Savannah, a great town. The Olde Pink House is a cool spot, but if you go, try to eat in the bar downstairs. It is a really old bar, and has the same menu as the dining room. Alligator Soul and The Grey are other restaurants I highly recommend in Savannah. It is also one of 3 towns in the US that allows you to carry your drinks around town.

Answer 2: You should spend some time in Beaufort as well. Smaller town than Savanah but closer to Bluffton. Bluffton/Hilton head area has a range of “plantations” – Finding the right community for your circumstances could take some time.

Answer 3: That might have been me as my mom moved to Bluffton three years ago and LOVEs it. When we visit her, we go Savannah and take the trolley tour of the city. You can get on and off as many times as you want to walk around and check stuff out yourself. I also recommend going to Beaufort and taking the tour. Pretty cool little town and a ton of movies were filmed there. The Big Chill, Forrest Gump and Prince of tides are three off the top of my head. Hilton Head is great but better in the summer.

Answer 4: We moved to Summerville, SC and I love it here. I would check out Daniel Island, Mount Pleasant, Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island etc., all around the Charleston area. These keep you in a great position for North travels (Charlotte, Wilmington, Raleigh), South (Hilton Head, Savannah, GA, Jacksonville, Fla, Orlando, Daytona etc.) all within 5/6 hours.

Answer 5: It’s an awesome place. My daughter was in law enforcement there for 6 years, she recently moved back to upstate NY. My other half and I are definitely looking for a place there. There are several reasons.

1)The beaches are awesome, good sand, not crowded, without the touristy crap. You can even ride a bicycle on them.
2)The golf courses are top notch. Plenty to choose from and not that expensive. Do not go into the woods for balls, it ain’t worth it.
3) Bluffton is not on the island so it is less crowded. In my retirement I want quiet serene drama free days, kids being what they are these days….
4) The amenities, shopping, gas, restaurants are all close and easy to get to.

The drawbacks, there really is not an airport that close, Savannah is only a half an hour away, but flying into it is pricey and finding flight is a pain. South Carolina gets hot and humid even in October/November. I know that’s the reason to go, but maybe I’m not ready to retire yet?

Answer 6: A few years ago we vacationed in Isle of Palms. I loved Mt. Pleasant SC and had a realtor send me a ton of stuff. We know people that recently relocated there as well with great reviews. I have heard good things about Bluffton as well. Still many years before retirement but it never hurts to be prepared.

Mt. Pleasant is a frequent destination for retirees from the Carolinas. The Charleston area has a lot of attractive choices.

Bluffton isn’t bad – I really like that area, but if you are looking to travel North by car, the extra 90 minutes you save helps a lot. Plus, Bluffton and Hilton Head are both tucked away a little off the interstate, although with Bluffton you’re about 10 miles closer than in Hilton Head.

You’ll find air travel easier out of Charleston than Savannah, too.

Probably can’t go wrong in either place, but Charleston area living is more appealing to me.

Answer 7: Bill, we checked out all those beachy towns leading up to retirement…..we chose Summerville SC just outside of Charleston. In my opinion Charleston has more to offer than Savannah or Wilmington. We were looking for Restaurants, History, Entertainment and we found it all in Chuck-town. They play a game called “Golf” down here if you’re interested. Oh and there’s the Yankees Minor-League Team, when they play the BoSox farm team from Greenville upstate — it’s a Rumble.

Beaufort has a nice “small town” feel but is still close to things. New Bern is much the same. I have not been to Bluffton, but it seems kind of remote to me. You should make a few trips to these places as you get closer to Retirement. New Bern, NC is also worth a look.

Outer Banks vacation in late May?

Reader question: Is it warm enough for a family beach vacation to the OBX in mid-late May? Is the North Carolina coast too cold that time of year?

Answer 1: I booked in Nags Head the week of May 29th to June 4th. To celebrate my daughter’s graduation. Water temperature average is 70 air is 80. But I’d still say hit or miss. say

Answer 2: Not Bad if you’re a recently thawed northerner like me. My wife, the in-laws, and I have been renting in Rodanthe the week before Memorial Day (before the rates spike handsomely) for nearly a decade now. High temps are usually in the upper 70s/low 80s. Winds from the north can bring a chill in the evening. Ocean is also pretty chilly, but if your kids are like mine, they’re going to charge in anyway – and you’ll have to follow. Prepare yourself or rent a place with a pool. Bookings are light too. You can get a big swath of beach all to yourselves.

As a cost/benefit thing, it’s a nice balance. It’s much nicer on the opposite side of the busy season in late Aug, but then you run the risk of hurricanes. Our stingy wallets prefer to err on the side of caution.

Answer 3: Consider Sanibel Island in FL at that time. Warmer water. We’ve vacationed in the southern Outer Banks numerous times – from Rodanthe to Hatteras Landing – only once did we book pre-season – that was June. It was warm enough, but the wind was so intense a couple of days it kept us off the beach – sand-whipping HURTS!!!

Answer 4: Yes, the ocean is cold that time of year, but if you’re used to Jersey temps, no big thing. Average Ocean temp at Nag’s Head pier in late May is 68. That’s nothing for northerners. FWIW – can’t recommend Southern Banks in offseason enough. Stunning scenery, a bit of an off-grid feel to it, out in the middle of nowhere. Huge houses at very reasonable prices in off months, and you won’t have the insane traffic to fight getting in and out.

Only offseason downfall is a big one: No LIFEGUARDS. Also, each year, a few yummy tourists get eaten by sharks in N.C. One year we rented in Frisco. We could see schools of fish swimming in the waves in formation. Beautiful and awesome. My son and I were trying to grab them barehanded to no avail when my wife spotted a fin. OUT we came… of course! Where there are many little fish, there will be BIGGER fish!! Be careful.

5 Day Travel Plan for Virginia featuring American historical sites

If you are planning a 5 day visit to Virginia soon, you should know that the truth is you would be very hard pressed to see absolutely everything in less than a week’s time. Virginia is an incredibly diverse state with a deep and rich history, and there are just way too many iconic landmarks and points of interest to cover them all in only 5 days. However, if you’re really pressed for time, it is possible to visit only the very best and top attractions. Read on to find out what they are.

Day 1: Colonial Williamsburg

This is arguably the most popular tourist destination in Virginia. Every year, this living history museum and historic district attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors who want to learn more about the history of America and how the United States came to be. Colonial Williamsburg in itself has plenty of sighs to fascinate you, and you should allot an entire day to exploring the place, but if you really want to take the experience to another level, book a Williamsburg Ghost Tour.

These guided walking tours take place in the evenings, and you will be led by a licensed and knowledgeable tour guide who will take you through the historic streets and buildings of Colonial Williamsburg, while telling you all about its strange and mysterious past. This includes stories about reported hauntings, sightings and paranormal activity that will make your hair stand on end. This is definitely one of the best ghost tours in VA.

Day 2: Jamestown and Yorktown

Jamestown was the very first permanent English settlement in the Americas, and was established in May, 1607. Like Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement is also a living history, and features a Powhatan Indian Village, a recreation of James Fort, and replicas of the three ships that brought the colonists from England to America. Right next door to Jamestown is Yorktown, which together with Jamestown and Williamsburg form the Historic Triangle—three important colonial-era settlements.

Day 3: Richmond

It will take you an entire day to visit all the historic landmarks in Richmond, the capital of Virginia and home to the University of Virginia. Notable places to visit are the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Virginia Historical Society, and the Richmond National Battlefield Park.

Day 4: Charlottesville

In the morning, be sure to drop by the magnificent 5,000 acre house and plantation Monticello before the large crowds come in. This is home of Thomas Jefferson, American statesman and one of the Founding Fathers and first Presidents of the United States. Spend the rest of the day touring the sprawling University of Virginia campus and checking out the shopping and dining options in downtown Charlottesville.

Day 5: Shenandoah National Park

Finally, drive up to Shenandoah National Park, which features over 200,000 acres of forest, wetlands, waterfalls and valleys. Here you can do a number of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, camping and fishing, or simply watch for animals, which abound throughout the park. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the elusive American black bear.

Once again, this is only a guide to the absolute best and most popular attractions in Virginia. If you have more time, consider spending an entire week or even two to thoroughly explore the region—you won’t regret it.

Reader question: Anyone been to Barranquilla, Colombia? Carnival in Colombia?

Reader question: I was invited to join 3 others in traveling to Cartagena for 1 night and driving 2 hours to Barranquilla for a three night stay – during Colombia’s Carnival. Has anyone been to Colombia (Cartagena or Barranquilla)and/or the Carnival? I have done a lot of research online the past few days and I’m left both excited with this once in a lifetime trip opportunity – but also nervous due the stories of crime and all things that are related to Colombia.

I understand that the country has gotten a lot more safe for tourism in the last 10 years and if we don’t walk around like Lavar Ball’s Big Ballers – the odds are in our favor of us being left alone. I would be traveling with 3 other American’s all 30 years old. We’ve been all over Europe together and enjoy getting wild but understand this is a third world country and not a quick trip to Amsterdam or Dublin.

I’ve come here before and I got great insight before a few of my backpacking trips through Europe so I was hoping for some helpful comments again.

Answer 1: I had a client come in today who recently returned from a trip to Columbia. He is in his 70s and went with his wife and another couple. He raves about the trip and said he never felt unsafe. Accommodations were reasonable and he said dinners were very inexpensive. He enjoyed the experience.

Answer 2: It’s as safe as any other place. Just keep your head about you and just have fun. Don’t be the ugly Americans over there either thinking you can just party and be drunk and obnoxious over there (not saying you are). Be respectful, have fun, don’t try to buy “illegal” drugs over there. Just keep it straight and you should be good.

Sometimes American men get in trouble: Not sure about your marital situations but if you’re looking to pick up girls it can be rather easy. You’re Americans. They think we are millionaires. And to them you are because you’ll see how far an american dollar can take you. But be respectful. Don’t be like the secret service guys that went there a few years ago and not pay what you owe.

Answer 3: The food is great, get ready to dance if you’re going out to party..doesn’t matter if you’re not good. Don’t be stupid either, some women over there will hustle you bone dry if you let them. So keep your head about you and you’ll be fine.

Answer 4: Little tip…don’t bring cash with you. Pull it out of the ATM once you’re there. Reason is if you bring cash then you gotta pay taxes on it. When you use an ATM NEVER use it alone. Make sure your buddies are around you covering. When you punch the numbers in they usually have a metal keypad. After you punch in your pin rub the entire key pad with your fingers. Why? Cuz guys over there have figured out to get heat readings off the keypad once you’re done using it. The hottest keys are the ones you just pressed. So just rub the whole keypad when you’re done and make sure you have your guys blocking the view. Also take out the max which I think is like 300,000 pesos…which is like 150 bucks.

Answer 5: I’ve been to Medellin, Bogota and then the small towns where my family is from. But yeah it can be a fun place, the women there are gorgeous, the city where you’re going is gorgeous. Old colonial type. Food is awesome. Their pizzas and hamburgers are not like the ones here. So don’t expect Italian type pizzas. That can shock some people when they bite into it. Beware of the Aguardiente! A vodka looking shot drink that is basically fire water.

5 Day Travel Plan to NYC

New York is an enormous city, so rich and diverse that it may seem daunting at first to try and see it all in only 5 days. Well, you should know right off the bat that it wouldn’t be possible to see absolutely everything in less than a week, but you most definitely can enjoy a memorable and exciting trip with this 5-day guide. It’s recommended that you plan your trip out by area to maximize your time and avoid getting overwhelmed.

Day 1: Brush Up On Your History

Greenwich Village is one of New York City’s most historic neighborhoods, and is known for its artsy, bohemian vibe. Walk down Greenwich Avenue and West 4th Avenue to check out many different, interesting stores and cafes. You can easily spend an entire afternoon checking out the boutiques, the farmer’s market at Union Square, or some of NYC’s best independent bookstores in this area.

At night, be sure to book at tour with https://nyghosts.com. You absolutely cannot miss this thrilling, one of a kind walking tour that highlights a side of New York City that not many are familiar with.

Starting at 8pm at the Washington Square Park Arch, a knowledgeable and engaging guide will lead you through the historic streets and buildings of Greenwich Village.

Expect to hear all about New York’s strange and tragic past, as well as reports of hauntings and paranormal activity. These New York City haunted tours are definitely an experience you will never forget.

Day 2: As New York As You Can Get

Head downtown to the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, where you can enjoy an amazing view if you take the scenic route along the East River. Upon exiting the bridge, you can check out the waterfront at Brooklyn Bridge Park, or take a stroll around Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo. The former features gorgeous brownstones homes, while the latter is known for its old warehouses, art galleries and street art.

For dinner, nothing screams New York more than an authentic slice of piping hot pizza. Highly celebrated Grimaldi’s is definitely a must-try; just prepare yourself for a bit of a wait to get in, but trust that it will be worth it!

Day 3: Tourist Favorites

If this is your first time in New York, you wouldn’t want to miss some of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. Spend the morning at Central Park, where the list of things to do is almost endless. Whether you’d rather go rowing, ice skating, or simply relax outdoors, you can surely find an activity that appeals to you. There are several landmarks you really should make time to see, including the Mall, Bethesda Fountain, and Sheep Meadow. Save yourself time and money by bringing a packed lunch—a picnic in the park will complete your experience, anyway.

In the afternoon, pay a visit to the renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art. This museum is so massive that you won’t be able to fully appreciate it in just a few hours, so it might be a good idea to just choose a couple of sections that interest you most and browse through those. If you prefer modern art, you can check out the Guggenheim Museum nearby.

In the evening, make your way to Midtown to marvel at the blinding lights and frenzied activity at Times Square. Afterwards, you can catch a show on Broadway, or have a nice dinner in the Upper West Side.

Day 4: All About Architecture

NYC is home to some of the most beautiful structures and buildings anywhere in the world. On your fourth day in the city, stop by Grand Central Terminal where you can take in the magnificent soaring ceilings and have some fun with the famed “whispering gallery.” Afterwards, head to the New York Public Library, where you will pass three prominent landmarks: the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the Flatiron Building.

Later on, it’s time for some shopping! You can spend hours along elegant (and expensive!) Fifth Avenue, or shop till you drop at the giant Macy’s in Herald Square.

Day 5: A Visit To Lady Liberty

On your last day in the city, make your way all the way downtown to hop on a ferry to Ellis Island, where you can see the world-famous Statue of Liberty. It would be wise to book this trip in advance, and if you want to thoroughly enjoy both sights, be prepared to spend half the day there. Otherwise, if you’re pressed for time, simply ride the ferry to Staten Island and back, then return to Manhattan to visit the World Trade Center and pay your respects at the 9/11 Memorial.

For your last night in the city, consider splurging a bit and dining at one of the fancy restaurants in Tribeca.

Some final advice for your trip—a visit to New York can be quite expensive. If money is no object, you can stay in Midtown or the Village, which would make sightseeing more convenient. For more budget friendly options, book accommodations in Astoria, Long Island, or Williamsburg. You can also adjust this suggested itinerary and switch the days around to better suit the location of where you’re staying.

Star Wars resort LARP survey on Swagbucks – would you pay $900 for 2 nights?

Star Wars, resort, and live action roleplaying (LARP) sounds like a winning combination to me. It may never happen, but we can be sure someone is considering it because there is a marketing research survey on Swagbucks right now.

The potential Disney resort would feature a Star Wars theme where guests stay stay in a starship. It’s interesting that video games often go with strong science fiction or fantasy brands. I’ve seen games based on intellectual property (IP)s inlcuding Star Wars, Star Trek, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Marvel, DC, and more. LARPing is a much smaller business and the business model doesn’t include money for licensing a name brand. There was a magic school LARP recently that was either inspired by or a ripoff of Harry Potter, but they didn’t actually use / pay for the Harry Potter IP.

So a Star Wars LARP would be pretty unique – so far we’ve never seen a LARP based on such a famous IP. What do you say to $900 per person for…

  • 2 nights in a luxury resort that looks and feels like a starwars space craft
  • Rooms for up to 4 people with a galaxy view or a pool/atrium view
  • Meals provided, including buffet breakfast and dinners with entertainment (Jaba the Hut style entertainment?)
  • 1 day of Walt Disney World admission to Hollywood Studios
  • Live character chance encounters
  • Take part in a Star Wars story through personalized secret missions, flight training, starship exploration, and lightsaber training.

Please leave a comment to let us know what you think about a Star Wars LARP. Also, if you’ve taken the survey, please let me know if I’ve missed any important details.