Going Places

Matthew Brumley is the founder of Earthbound Expeditions, which organizes group travel to destinations around the world for various clients, including KNKX. "Going Places" is our new weekly travel segment exploring all aspects of getting from Point A to Point B.

Going Places is hosted by Ed Ronco and produced by KNKX Public Radio. 

Ryan Kang / AP Photo

The legal fight over President Trump’s travel ban is working its way through the courts, in part because of a lawsuit brought by Washington state.

The ban is suspended while that happens, but seeing the ban take effect a few weeks ago got knkx travel expert Matthew Brumley thinking about his own passport.

Elaine Thompson / AP

The snowfall earlier this week that blanketed much of Western Washington created some problems for travelers. Flights were canceled or delayed at Sea-Tac Airport as crews worked feverishly to clear runways. 

Ramon Espinosa / AP Photo

A delegation from Washington state recently visited Havana, on the first Alaska Airlines commercial flight to Cuba. Among the group of elected leaders and other dignitaries was University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce.

Dan Noon / Flickr

Travelers from the United States spend a lot of time abroad, mostly in Europe. Far fewer head to South America. KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley has five things everyone should see and do in two South American countries — Chile and Argentina:

Books Can Take You To Far Away Places, For Real

Jan 19, 2017
Ed Ronco / knkx

They say reading a book can take you far away. That’s usually a metaphor.

But for many, books inspire literal travel, to follow in the footsteps of great authors or stories.

“Literature is a really big pull for travel,” Brumley said. “Just think of the impact [Ernest] Hemingway has had on Havana. People are visiting his bars, and his house is stunning.”

Ed Ronco / knkx

Last week on Going Places, we talked about the ethics of traveling to countries with oppressive regimes, or whose governments might have tense relationships with the United States.

It got us thinking more generally about being a responsible traveler. Most of it comes down to just being a kind and thoughtful person. But knkx travel expert Matthew Brumley has some specific tips to help you travel responsibly:

Ed Ronco / knkx

Previously on our Going Places segment, we've discussed visiting places like Russia, North Korea and Cuba. In fact, we talk about Cuba a lot, in part because it's changing so quickly.

All three countries have varying levels of tension with the United States. And travelers often wonder: Am I doing the right thing by visiting? 

Composite image / Various sources

Knkx travel expert Matthew Brumley will not give you a list of places to go in 2017. It’s not you; it’s him. He hates lists.

“I don’t know who’s writing them. I don’t know who these experts are,” he said. “To be honest with you, I think it’s a bunch of baloney.”

There are a few reasons for this. Let’s, uh, put them in a list:

Hacienda La Colora / Flickr

Once upon a time, traveling overseas meant it was difficult to call back to the United States, unless you carried a calling card or wanted to pay exorbitant fees. That’s not the case anymore.

This week on Going Places, special guest Tyson Verse tells us some of his recommendations for keeping in touch while traveling. Verse is a tour leader who spends a lot of time in Asia.

Provided by the Senior Nomads

About four years ago, Debbie and Michael Campbell were sitting around the house with their daughter, Mary, who lives in Paris and was visiting Seattle for the holidays.

They were talking about what Debbie and Michael might do in their retirement. Travel was at the top of the list.

“She asked us if we had ever heard of Airbnb, which we had not,” Michael Campbell said. “So she promptly opened up her laptop and gave us a little tour.”

Tyson Verse / Earthbound Expeditions

Thailand has become a hub of tourism in Southeast Asia. Tyson Verse has traveled there extensively as a tour arranger and guide. 

"There's nothing like a nice evening stroll with a little mix of curry-scented air with exhaust from the tuktuk three-wheeled taxis floating by," he said. "It's magic."

He's our special guest on this week's Going Places.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

The death of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro topped international headlines this week. What happens now to Cuba? We called our friend Alejandro Infantes, a tour guide in Havana, for a look at what’s going on there right now, and what the future might hold for his country.

Daniel Peckham / Flickr

This is a story about a missed flight and a new friend.

Matthew Brumley, our knkx travel expert, was trying to get home from Munich, via Amsterdam. But between a de-icing delay on the ground in Germany, and some extra security steps he had to take with his luggage in Amsterdam, Brumley missed his connection.

cheukiecfu / Flickr

Thanksgiving week marks the opening of the holiday travel rush. Back in 2014, Ed booked a flight to Michigan scheduled for the day before Thanksgiving. Foolish mortal.

“Don’t do that,” said knkx travel expert Matthew Brumley.

It’s not SeaTac Airport’s busiest time of the year (that’s summer, they say), but it’s pretty close. In this encore presentation of "Going Places," knkx travel expert Matthew Brumley offers tips to make it manageable.

(And yes, you can bring pie!)

1. If Possible, Travel On Thanksgiving Day

Matthew Brumley / knkx

The last time Matthew Brumley was in Prague, we talked about the city itself. It has an incredible history, astonishing architecture, and great food. But Brumley says there’s a lot outside Prague worth seeing, too. And the best time to do it is in the fall.

Bohemia and Moravia

Bohemia is centered on Prague. The region full of rolling hills is famous for castles and villages, carp ponds, and, of course, beer.

Katie / Flickr

When knkx travel expert Matthew Brumley was a student in Copenhagen in the mid-1980s, he says no one knew much about Halloween. But that is changing. Brumley has been overseas for about 15 Halloweens, and has watched it catch on, gradually.

Why?

“It’s Hollywood,” he said. “It’s the exportation of American traditions.”

Maybe it’s not the movie industry specifically. But as American popular culture spreads around the world – through films, music, the internet and more – so do our traditions.

A replica of the Oval Office is one part of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.
Mark Weston / Flickr

As the nation prepares to pick its next president, we thought we’d take a moment and get some perspective on the people who’ve already held the job.

Knkx travel expert Matthew Brumley says he loves visiting presidential libraries and museums. There are 13 official presidential libraries, and a host of museums dedicated to past presidents.


Dave Nakayama / Flickr

This time of year makes us think of a particular scene in the NBC television series "The West Wing," in which President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) is recording his weekly radio address.

“The weekends will be devoted by many of you to leaf peeping, and football …” he says, his voice trailing off as the engineer stops recording.

Catchpenny / Flickr

No one travels alone. Even if you're a party of one during your journey, we all rely on others to get where we need to go. This week, we offer two stories from knkx travel expert Matthew Brumley -- one about needing help, and the other about paying it forward.

Needing Help