My name is Damian James (a.k.a Gringo With A Green Bag). I’ve never met a habanero chile I couldn’t handle.
I’ve been traveling and exploring this wonderful Earth for over 20 years now. It all began in Spain. Lived there for three years in the US Navy. Learned how to drive defensively. Ate some cow tongue. Ran with the bulls. Bargained with gypsies on the street. Danced ’til the sun came up. I was hooked.
I was sitting in a bus station in Honduras many years ago. The buses were running way late (pretty typical in remote parts of the world). I went up to the guy behind the counter to see if there was another means of transportation. He called a van driver. Driver came in and asked who was looking for transportation. Guy behind the counter points to me and says, “El Gringo con la bolsa verde” (The gringo with the green bag). And so it began.
After a few whirlwind tours around the “blue planet”, I decided to set up a blog to share some cool travel stuff. Here is where I share some of my more memorable experiences from many great places that I’ve been lucky to visit so far, and offer as many tips and resources for successful independent travel as I can muster. As they say (first noted in a Shakespeare play, and later in that famous Murray Head song), “The world is your oyster”…and if you take the time to discover and open it, there are many pearls to be found!
So, if you’re still reading up to this point, I hope that you will follow me and my green bag full of travel necessities as I trek along those unpaved roads and questionable paths…exploring, discovering, learning, getting inspired, getting lost…and most importantly, finding a purpose. Thanks for joining me in this virtual journey around the blue planet. Don’t forget your passport (though I have been known to entertain some food bribes for a safe return!).
A few tidbits…
Favorite Travel Snack: Twizzlers and Red Vines (fyi, Red Vines become glue-like in humid temperatures, so stick to Twizzlers if you’re headed in the direction of the Equator)
Most important travel item (besides passport): Wet Ones (for obvious reasons)
Something I always do on an airplane: Drink tomato juice…sleep with my mouth wide open…and get leg cramps (in any order).
Favorite street food: Esquites (Mexico) – Boiled corn served in a cup and layered with cream, mayonnaise, chile, Mexican cheese, salt and lime…ay, ay, ay chihuahua!
Favorite exotic fruit: Maracuja (Brazilian Passion Fruit) and Hawaiian lilikoi (Jamaican Passion Fruit)
Zaniest locals I’ve ever met: At any gas station in Australia
Best dressed indigenous people: (Tie) The Kuna (of Panama) and the Bolivians on market Sundays…big pimpin’
Worst layover ever: Madrid airport while under construction
Best layover ever: 8 hours in London…just enough time to paint the town and throw down some pints!
Favorite city tour: Heineken Brewery (Amsterdam, Holland)
Most dangerous travel moment: Riding a bike back to hotel after the Heineken Brewery tour
Best answer to a question I asked a local: Me: “What’s your favorite beer?” Aussie guy: “Me next one, mate!”