Go Go Go. We Went and Came Back.

Go Go Go went on a bit of a hiatus, and ultimately went away in to the ether of the interwebs, but hey, look at this! We’re back up and running.

The blog will evolve this fall, with the intention of adding more travel tools to the usual travel tales. Until then, we’ll keep sharing everyday photos we take as we go about our daily business.

Stay tuned!

Hey, where’d you go go go?

Somehow the world managed to keep spinning despite Go Go Go’s sudden and unannounced flat line. But we know you missed us. So never fear, we are back and ready to give you something to look at instead of whatever you should be doing right now.

I’d like to take a minute to thank Claire Podulka, our fearless and awesome editor-in-chief, without whom there would be no Go Go Go. I’m sure she’ll pop back in now and then to share her adventures, but for now, she’s off to pursue other very awesome things.

Laura and I will soldier on, and, with the help of guest posts (Send us your pitches and pictures!), we hope that Go Go Go will continue to inspire you to find adventures in your life, be they big or small.

Stay tuned!

Get me out of here.

Things are getting desperate. Technically, winter is approaching its end, but realistically, here in the Midwest, we all know better. Expecting good weather before late April will just leave you disappointed. And that means we have to bear up under cold, dreary wintery weather for at least another six weeks.

Most of us are ready for a change of scenery. It doesn’t matter where, it just matters that it’s not “here,” wherever “here” may be.

If that’s the case for you, you might be interested in the search tool at Airfarewatchdog.com, which allows you to search for deals from a particular city to wherever’s cheap. As opposed to most other deal sites, where you have to have a destination in mind, this site allows you to keep your budget the first priority.

And if you’re going somewhere, tell me in the comments so I can travel vicariously. Currently I’m grounded in Chicago until late May, and if I can’t get out of here sooner, then I’ll simply have to rejoice in your escape.

Highs and Lows of 2013

Happy New Year! Here’s to many happy travels in 2014, readers!

Travel is a wonderful thing, and that’s why all us at Go Go Go carry on with this blog. But traveling isn’t all sunshine and roses. Today, we’ll take a look back at the best and worst moments of our 2013 travels, in the hopes that we can use our newly gained experiences to prepare us for all the adventures ahead of us this year.

Claire says: 

There were a couple of specific moments that were the best of 2013: the deep, bright turquoise of the sea off Cozumel, the delicious orange-blossom smells of Seville, and the insane, intricate music machines of the House on the Rock.

The worst of 2013 was the harassment and anxiety I experienced in Morocco. I knew, theoretically, what to expect, but in practice, it was so much worse than I’d thought it would be. Being shouted at, grabbed, and followed down the street–I’ve never been in a position where I felt like I couldn’t really see a place I was visiting because I was too afraid.

Laura says:
GIRLCAMP was a high. Camping is a nice change because you not only disconnect from your job and regular hassles, but your entire way of life. Unless you usually cook over an open fire and sleep on the ground, in which case, it’s just business as usual.

I can’t talk about my low point without leaving incriminating evidence, so I’m going to plead the 5th.

Brooke says:
Meeting a monkey has been on my bucket list since I was a little kid, so my best travel moment was standing face to face with a troupe of white-faced monkeys at Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica, and then watching them tumble around together in the trees. Moments later we watched a momma and baby sloth hang out in a tree.

The worst travel moment? The day after we got home from Costa Rica, we both got severely ill with an intestinal infection from something we ate or drank on the trip. We  spent well over a week on the couch with intense stomach cramps, only getting up to run to the bathroom, and subsisting exclusively on Pedialite and chicken broth. Future travel goals involve avoiding situations that will result in the need for a stool sample.

The Biggest Luxury

“Time,” said the wise man relaxing in the hot tub on his first vacation in way too long, “is the biggest luxury.”

He’s right. All of the fourteen-pillowed beds and turquoise ocean vistas and fountains of champagne and gold-flake-sprinkled cupcakes don’t matter a bit if you don’t have the time to stop and breathe and enjoy them. That’s why this past weekend–a short road trip, a kitschy hotel, a slice of Americana–was one of the best vacations I’ve ever taken. Because rarely in my life have I ever needed so badly to just take some time.

Right now, all of us at Go Go Go are a little busy. Our beloved writer Brooke has started her own business (try looking at those photos and not drooling). Ace art director Laura is busily producing law books at work and wrangling a small menagerie at home (these two are strikingly similar). I’m trying to teach the students of America how to actually think. We’ve got tons of great things going on. What we don’t have enough of is time.

Which means we’re going to scale back here. We’re not going away; we’re just slowing down a bit. We’ll still publish each weekday, but either a photo or an article, not both. That way, what we post will be more quality, less fluff (like this), and hopefully leave enough time for ourselves to actually go out into the world and have the kinds of adventures that you then get to enjoy vicariously here.

In the meantime, we are always accepting submissions, if you want to help us fill out these pages with your own tales from the road.

Where No One Has Gone Before

I spent Sunday going to places that no one has ever gone before, including a planet populated by cows who don’t breathe, a land where the king keeps all the money in a hole in a volcano, and a country full of orchards where candy falls from the sky. That is, I spent Sunday teaching the awesome student-writers at 826CHI about travel writing–by having them invent their own places and then write travel guides for them.

I’ve been volunteering at 826CHI forever–since they first opened their doors back in 2005. 826CHI is the Chicago chapter of a network of writing and tutoring centers called 826 National, started in San Francisco by Dave Eggers of McSweeney’s fame. I’ve had the good fortune to work with so many classes of talented, creative, excited student writers on topics from family histories to poetry to food writing and now travel writing.

This class is a fun–and admittedly silly–way for me to share my love of writing and travel with students. Some of them were well-traveled; one boy had been to Brazil and Pakistan, because those are the countries his parents are from. Others said they hadn’t been anywhere. I told them that they were equally well qualified to be travel writers, because they brought either a wealth of experiences to compare to or a fresh pair of eyes and a hungry curiosity. The fact that they were inventing fantasy lands made things a little easier, too.

Working with the kids on their writing made me think about some of my favorite aspects of traveling to a new place. Figuring out the language. Eating new foods. Trying to blend in so as not to be decapitated by immortal warriors. Oh wait… I think that one only happens in the aptly named Death Land, a world just invented by one of my students. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

[Seriously, guys: 826CHI is a fantastic organization doing important work for Chicago students. If you’ve got a couple of bucks and you don’t want to donate them to the lovely ladies of Go Go Go, 826CHI should be your next choice. You can donate to them here.]