Chai Digest: Forged Visa, Blogger Press Trips, and more

Why I Traveled to Yemen for My Vacation from Wandering Earl explores a destination for which I particularly want to see Socotra Island. Wandering Earl candidly discusses why he went:

The question then becomes, “Why would I travel to Yemen? Why would I spend 9 days in a country that appears to be so dangerous?

The answer is easy. This is my drug, it is my ‘high’. Traveling to these kind of destinations, destinations that few people know anything about and that fewer people seem to visit, regardless of whether or not they seem safe, brings me the most satisfaction. It also provides me with the most interesting and eye-opening of experiences by placing me far out of my comfort zone, something that is difficult to reach these days after 13 years on the road.

So I Forged a Visa? What Would You Have Done? on a sticky decision in crossing countries in central Africa (Brendan’s Adventures).

View from the Wing reliably stirs up interesting debates, check out the discussion in Are Travel Blogger Who Take ‘Press Trips’ More Ethical Than Traditional Travel Media? I am attending TBEX Toronto this year out of curiosity, I am fascinated by the travel bloggers who think it a badge of honor to in some cases to not even be members of frequent flyer programs. Will be nice to talk travel.

Flying with Fish reports on TSA agents not recognizing US Passport Cards. I advocate US Passport Cards as a handy backup ID though people usually do a double-take.

Randy Petersen, godfather of the miles and points community and founder of MilePoint, BoardingArea and many other businesses, is profiled in Colorado Springs Business Journal.

Saudi Arabia launches powerful ad campaign against domestic violence caught my attention as my wife and I are hearing there soon. (Washington Post)

Processing Credit Cards and Anger from the NYT’s You’re the Boss Blog.

Abu Dhabi to Get US Customs Preclearance. Dubai seems like it would be more widely useful, I hope it quickly follows. (Live from a Lounge)

9 questions about Chechnya and Dagestan you were too embarrassed to ask. (Washington Post)

6 Dos and Don’ts for Negotiating With North Korea. (The Atlantic)

A Hong Kong Tale of Two Bridges is a case study on the endless ‘bigger is better’ rivalry among anything in China that can have a rivalry. (WSJ)

NYT tech columnist David Pogue writes on tech and travel things in Europe that would be nice to have in the US. I particularly like the airport sloped rolling tracks for security bins, I took this picture of one in Istanbul.

IST Security Bins

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  • john

    Thanks. good stuff this week.
    I am itching to go to Yemen.

    I wonder about other’s opinions of preclearance. I have only experienced it in Aruba and it is absolutely terrible. I do not really see the advantage. In Aruba, it is understaffed. There is only one line for everyone. No global entry. So it goes reallllllly slow. Instead of being able to spend two extra hours on vacation, I have to spend it in line.
    contrast that to typically quick processing in well setup Miami and it is just a joke. I did have to wait 1hour at JFK once, but that is not worse than the time in Aruba.

    I just do not get the advantage.