The Brisbane of My Existence

Posted July 12, 2013

PART 6 (DAYS 12-14): “Put your bag on the scale,” the nice Virgin Australia employee requested of me in Los Angeles International Airport. While my luggage’s width and height were within carry-on boundaries, its long depth made it look (and weigh) suspiciously heavy. “You’ll have to check it in.”

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Posted July 21, 2013

PART 7 (DAYS 14-17): “Things could be worse, right?” I told Ally, California-native who worked for the Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority (in LA), who had organized the press junket I was traveling to PNG for.

“That should be the motto of PNG,” she told me. “‘Things could be worse, right?’ with a question mark at the end.” She shrugged her shoulders with a funny smirk for that last word, after a comic beat. In fact, Ally’s whole personality was full of great comic delivery; she mentioned this one time during an open mic in Venice Beach, she’d gone up and did Dave Chappelle’s stand-up routine in The Nutty Professor verbatim (“Women be shoppin’! Women be shoppin’!...) to see if anyone would notice, before abruptly segueing into a deadpan, “But seriously folks, poverty is crazy, right?”

Little did we know at the time, that the first three-day part of the junket’s proposed itinerary would be canceled (due to a missed chartered flight connection to Tufi), and have to be replanned on a whim, based on whatever activities or accommodations were available in and around PNG’s gritty capital city, Port Moresby.

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Team Go-Getter

Posted July 23, 2013

PART 8 (DAYS 18-20): “We’re literally in the middle of nowhere,” I said when our motorized canoe paused for moment as it entered a small tributary of the Sepik River, in the middle of the jungle of northwestern Papua New Guinea. Nearby, a flying fish jumped out of the water, followed by another. “If my phone rang right now and they asked me where I was, I would say I have no idea.”

“Well, we took a four-hour bus ride, then two hours on a boat, then another hour…” Ally explained. We had “gone deep,” as she put it.

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Mask Tourism

Posted July 25, 2013

PART 9 (DAYS 20-24): “Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to seek out tradition, not traditional tourist traps.” This was a comment that had appeared onto Tina’s Facebook page, when were back in the glory of wifi after not having had it for so long.

“It’s from this guy that used to be a missionary I know,” Tina told me.

“Oh, a missionary? Well, he has a lot of questions to answer too,” Ally retorted.

Regardless of its source, for the travel journalist, such a statement is a little off-putting. We’re out in the world to discover new places off the beaten tourist path — or rather, discover new stories or angles of destinations already written about because, “Every place is ruined,” I told Tina. The former missionary’s disconcerting message had come in as we were having a one-to-one over SP Export beers in the bar of the Kokopo Beach Bungalow Resort in Rabaul, our base of operations for our third and final leg of our press trip in Papua New Guinea.

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Rabaul Adventures

Posted July 29, 2013

PART 10 (DAYS 20-24): “It’s five o’clock all the time here,” I said, noticing the wall clock stuck on 5 a.m. (or was it p.m.?) in the baggage claim area of Rabaul’s airport, when we touched down from our flight from Wewak around 11:30 a.m.

“It’s happy hour somewhere, and that somewhere is here!” Emily proclaimed.

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When he’s not making a living as an interactive/motion designer or playing with fast food, Erik R. Trinidad is a travel writer, blogger, video host and producer focusing on adventure and culinary content. His work has been featured on National Geographic Intelligent Travel, Adventure.com, Discovery.com, Saveur, Condé Nast Traveler, and Hyenas Laughed at Me and Now I Know Why, which also includes the work of Tim Cahill, Doug Lansky, Jennifer Leo and Rolf Potts. He has also referenced his travel experiences in his solo book, Fancy Fast Food: Ironic Recipes with No Bun Intended.

For over ten years, Erik has traveled to the seven continents of the world — from Timbuktu to Kalamazoo — with a curiosity for exotic foods and a thirst for adventure (and writing material).  In his travels, he has been mugged at knifepoint in Cape Town, extorted by corrupt Russian police on the Trans-Siberian Railway, stranded in tornadic storms in the American midwest, and air-lifted off the Everest Trail by a helicopter that was thankfully paid for by his travel insurance.  But it hasn’t been all fun; he has also donned a tuxedo amidst the penguins of Antarctica, paraded with Carnival-winning samba school Beija Flor in Rio, run for his life at Pamplona’s “Running of the Bulls,” cage-dived with great white sharks, gotten shot point-blank in the stomach in Colombia (while wearing a bulletproof jacket), and above all, encountered many people around the world, including some Peruvian musicians in Cuzco who learned and played “Y.M.C.A.” at his request. He loves the irony that, after everywhere he’s been, he has never been to Mexico.

Erik writes stories and news articles when he’s at his base camp in New York City, and continues his blog when he is on the road — provided he’s not occupied tracking down lost luggage.

Additional news/article clippings at ErikTrinidad.com.

See Erik talk about travel in an American Express ad:

Read about Erik in this feature article from Filipinas magazine by National Geographic Traveler Associate Editor Amy Alipio.

The views and opinions written on The Global Trip blog are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the official views and opinions of the any affiliated publications.
All written and photographic content is copyright 2002-2014 by Erik R. Trinidad (unless otherwise noted). "The Global Trip" and "swirl ball" logos are service marks of Erik R. Trinidad.
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