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. 

Deanna Keahey / Flickr

Editor’s note: This is an encore presentation of a Going Places episode that originally aired on Dec. 10, 2015.

Winter in the Northwest is famously gray and drizzly. And that causes many of us to look for a temporary reprieve. KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley says how far you travel to find it depends entirely on what you’re looking for.

 

Cold Sunshine

Sometimes, all we need is a little sunshine. If that’s the case, you’re in luck, Brumley says. Here are some nearby recommendations.

Bathing With A Couple Hundred People In Budapest

Jan 4, 2018
A peek inside one of the pools at the Rudas Baths in Budapest.
Romuald Le Peru / Flickr/Creative Commons

This time of year, the Danube River is about 40 degrees Fahrenheit as it flows through Hungary. But right next to the Danube, in Budapest, are some much warmer waters that get well above 100 degrees.

Missed Your Flight Connection? Here's A Silver Lining

Dec 28, 2017
Chris Ford / Flickr

Editor's note: This is an encore presentation of a "Going Places" episode. It originally aired on March 31, 2016, but we thought it might be particularly timely given the holiday travel season. 

“I hope I miss my flight sometimes.”

Not words you expect to hear from a flyer as frequent as KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley. But he's a huge fan of layovers, including those that begin when the pilot comes on and announces a flight delay before takeoff.

Mauritius offers a diversity of cultures, languages, cuisines and activities.
Ludovic Lubelgt / Flickr

If you go to Africa, and venture out to Madagascar, then keep going east, you’ll find a small island nation called Mauritius. About 1.3 million people live here, and it’s often held up as an example of a peaceful, diverse paradise.

This week on “Going Places,” KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley speaks with Avi Erish. They met recently while they both were working aboard a river cruise in Europe. Erish grew up in Mauritius and is part of the country’s Hindu majority.

Piazza Armerina, on Sicily, is famous for its ancient mosaics.
John McLinden / Flickr/Creative Commons

If there’s one rule KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley adheres to, wherever he goes, it’s this: Always talk to the locals.

The New Cool: Cuban Jazz Meets American Pop

Dec 1, 2017
Eduardo Rawdriguez / billboard.com

I'm always suspicious of collections of modern pop covers. The songs of today don't normally equal the quality of the Great American Songbook. But the collaborations on the new album AmeriCuba from the Havana Maestros bring fresh energy and explore unexpected opportunities for improvisation.

Some Thanks For The People Who Help Us Travel

Nov 23, 2017
Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The most important parts of travel are often the parts you don't see.

Without ticket agents, baggage handlers, ramp workers, hotel housekeeping, museum staff, dock workers, ship crews and more, we'd all be flailing.

This week, in honor of Thanksgiving, we observe what is becoming a Going Places tradition. KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley and host Ed Ronco say thanks to the people who make it all work.

Matthew Brumley / KNKX

In the center of Prague is a soaring building with arched windows, a towering dome, and lavish artwork. It was all put in place in the early 20th Century, making it relatively young for Europe.

But the building itself speaks to a much longer history, involving national identity in what is now the Czech Republic. KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley takes us inside the Prague Municipal House.

Matthew Brumley / KNKX

Editor’s Note: This segment originally aired on April 7, 2016.

South Africa’s history includes apartheid, civil unrest, and political scandals. Last year, President Jacob Zuma survived an impeachment vote on charges he used public money to upgrade his private home.

But the country is also a favorite among travelers, including KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley, who visited Cape Town in 2016.

Collin Key / Flickr/Creative Commons

On maps, and officially, Transylvania is a region in central and northwestern Romania. But for nearly a thousand years, it was part of Hungary.

This week on “Going Places,” KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley introduces us to two brothers who are working as merchants in the Grand Market of Budapest.

KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley spends a lot of time on the road, leading group travel in Europe, Africa, South America, and other places.

As a result, he spends a lot of money in foreign countries. And he’s noticed something lately, when he goes to the cash machine to make a withdrawal.

Berlin is not a "classically beautiful" city, says tour guide Shlomit Lasky. She says you need the city's story to really appreciate a visit there.
Matthias Leibing / Flickr

We’re heading to Berlin this week on “Going Places.” KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley visits with Shlomit Lasky. She’s a journalist and tour guide who was born in Israel. They met at a bar to talk about her experience in Germany, which is steeped in a very particular history and culture.  

Interview Highlights

Manu Fernandez / AP

Matthew Brumley has long urged travelers to avoid the crowds.

Among other things, the KNKX travel expert encourages people to take off-season trips and find lodging  away from the hot spots in big foreign cities.

Matthew Stinson / Flickr

Editor's note: This is an encore presentation of a "Going Places" episode that originally aired on Oct. 15, 2015.

Hainan Province, an island in the South China Sea, is one of China’s most popular tourist destinations. It’s also where former KNKX Production Assistant Shunying Wang grew up.

Gary Davis / KNKX file photo

For a lot of people, fall means a return to routine. The kids are back in school, for example, and organizations start having meetings again.

The official start of autumn this week has KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley thinking about breaking up that routine through quick getaways.


Michael and Debbie Campbell, the "Senior Nomads," near Almaty, Kazakhstan this summer.
Senior Nomads

About four years ago, Michael and Debbie Campbell sold their home in Seattle, put their things in storage, and began living full-time in Airbnbs. Since then, the self-described “Senior Nomads” have stayed in 68 countries and 168 different homes.

They told us about their adventures on a previous edition of “Going Places.” But now they're on to new things.  

Getting out of your usual surrounds -- even if you're just hopping a water taxi to a different neighborhood -- can be a nice change of pace for not a lot of money.
Ed Ronco / KNKX

Sometimes we all need a change of pace. Vacations are good for that, but they can cost money and time. This week on “Going Places,”  KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley talks about quick, local, affordable getaways.


brando.n / Flickr

Students in Seattle, Tacoma and elsewhere in western Washington head back to school next week. Chances are at least some of them will spend time talking to friends about what they did over their summer vacations.

KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley took his family to the United Kingdom and Taormina, Sicily. Over the summer, he was also nice enough to send us updates from both England and Italy.

Going Places: Seeing Foreign Cities On Two Wheels

Aug 24, 2017
People ride bikes in Amsterdam.
Matthew Peoples / Flickr

If you live in Seattle, you’ve seen a lot of infrastructure pop up to accommodate bikes: Bike racks, then bike lanes, then bike traffic signals. Now there are bike sharing programs in the city.

Getting around on two wheels is often more common outside the United States. KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley says it can give people a new perspective when they’re visiting foreign cities.

Leaving Seattle's waterfront aboard KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley's boat on a sunny -- and slightly smoky -- Thursday evening in August.
David Dodman

Editor's note: An earlier version of the audio on this segment misstated the size of the state ferry system. Washington State Ferries is the largest ferry system in the country.

KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley was on a ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island when he heard something from a couple visiting from Kansas.

"Sure is pretty around here," Brumley remembers one of them saying, "but wouldn't want to live here with all of this water."

Earthbound Expeditions

We’ve all seen the books: An author picks up and moves to Europe, simple as that, rediscovers himself or herself, and then, after the book is out … so are they.

Maria Cannavo, on the other hand, moved to Sicily about a dozen years ago and is still there. She spoke with Earthbound Expeditions co-founder Danna Brumley about why she stayed:

“It was always in my mind and it was certainly always in my heart,” Cannavo said.

In 2000, her family rented a villa in Tuscany. A good visit, she said, though not her first. But Italy really grabbed her.

Onofrio, with Earthbound Expeditions co-founder Danna Brumley, at his shop La Pignolata Guinness, in Taormina, Sicily.
Matthew Brumley / KNKX

KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley loves visiting Italy.

In Taormina, Sicily, he was walking down a narrow street when he found himself drawn into a bakery full of cannoli.


Elise Morin moved to the Seattle area from France when she was 16. Her parents opened a bakery in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood.
Ed Ronco / KNKX

Bastille Day, July 14, marked a turning point in the French Revolution in 1789. These days, it’s marked as a day of national celebration.

We’re using it as a good reason to talk to our friend Elise Morin, who was born and raised in France and moved to the United States just a few years ago, at age 16, when her family came to open La Parisienne bakery in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood.

5 Tips For Taking Your Family On Vacation

Jul 6, 2017
Climbing above Lake Michigan, at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore,
File Photo / Flickr

This story was originally published Jan. 16, 2014.

So, you're planning the next big family vacation. There are a lot of questions to consider: Where to go, what to do, who to invite. In this encore presentation of Going Places, KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley shares advice for families looking to travel together.

Luke Makay with Footprints Tours leads visitors through Oxford.
Matthew Brumley / KNKX

What does an experienced travel guide do when he's on vacation? Why, he signs up for a guided tour, of course.

That's what KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley did in Oxford, England, where he and his family have stopped on their summer vacation. He met Luke Makay, with Footprints Tours, who was nice enough to share some of his insights about Oxford and its famous university.

The countryside near Bernières sur Mer, Normandy.
Olivier Engel / Flickr

We've talked about France many times before on Going Places. But this week, we're going to see the country through a slightly different perspective.

Joan Harkins lives in Seattle and recently started importing cider and calvados — a French apple brandy — from the Normandy region of France. She spends a lot of time traveling in the more distant parts of the countryside, away from the path usually beaten by tourists.

Her recommendations:

Harbor
Matthew Brumley

Going on vacation can give you a break no matter where you end up. But for a lot of people, “getting away” means going to a place where not even the roads can reach you.

KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley is a huge fan of heading to islands for time away. He grew up on one (Whidbey), lives on one (Bainbridge), and often vacations on one.

cheukiecfu / Flickr

Editor's note: This piece originally ran in March of 2016, but our travel expert's advice stands: Sometimes on a long trip, it's good to take a break.

“I hope I miss my flight sometimes.”

Not words you expect to hear from a flyer as frequent as KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley. But he's a huge fan of layovers, including those that begin when the pilot comes on and announces a flight delay before takeoff.

Earthbound Expeditions

The high season is approaching across much of Europe. Summertime crowds are swelling in the centers of Berlin, Paris and other major cities.

That’s also true in Venice. The city of canals is a must-see for many European travelers, and summer can be a difficult time to visit.

Shoppers browse a market in Barcelona, Spain.
Jesús Pérez Pacheco / Flickr

Food and travel are intertwined. Sampling a local cuisine is as much a part of visiting a new place as seeing the sites or talking with the locals.

Just ask Brendan McGill. He's the chef and owner of Hitchcock Restaurant Group on Bainbridge Island. He’s spent time staying with families through the exchange group Servas. Doing so has allowed him to take in local cuisine in a way restaurants might not allow. 

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