Thursday, February 18, 2010


Welcome to the Beware of Wild Monkeys Travel Blog. I am a 48-year-old freelance writer and journalist based in Oceanside, Calif., just north of San Diego, and over the past 15 years, I have spent as much time as possible traveling to countries around the world. At first, my wife, Ava, and I indulged our travel passion as a couple, but after awhile, we took on a hitch-hiker, our daughter, Salome.

Our first trip as a family was in 1998, when we flew to France and drove across the country after sight-seeing in Paris. Salome was 18 months old at the time, and we had no idea how challenging the overseas flight with a toddler would be. We were so naive that we booked only two seats, and flew with Salome on our laps. An ugly situation was averted when the plane was delayed and sat on the tarmac for more than an hour, thanks to a kindly stranger who produced a lolly-pop just as Salome started to get really irate.

Another rookie mistake: we ran out of Huggies on the overnight flight, and didn't even know the French word for diaper when we landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport. A taxi driver figured things out and drove us directly to a drugstore. (The word, by the way, is "couche.") After the initial speed-bumps, the trip was wonderful, and people went out of their way to be nice to us when they saw we were traveling with a small child.

On this blog, I will post musings, travel tips, news tidbits, and anything I can think of related to family travel in today's wired, wacky world. While information for adult travelers is plentiful and easily accessible, I have found over the years that it can be much tougher to come across travelogues, how-to books and articles, and guides written by and for those traveling with kids, whether toddlers or teens.

I will also post occasional travel articles I have written about our rambles to far-flung locales, from Europe to Asia to South America.

I plan to post updates as we continue planning for a five-week trip to South Africa this summer, where we will attend World Cup matches and take a self-drive safari through Kruger National Park. Our itinerary includes an 11-day drive from Cape Town north to Nelspruit, which should be interesting, considering those folks drive on the wrong side of the road. When possible, I will keep this blog updated from the road, as well as from the confines of my home office.

So, I hope you enjoy this blog and I look forward to your stories, suggestions and feedback.

(FYI, the name of this blog, and a forthcoming book about our travels, came from a sign we saw on a bathroom door near Agra, India. See below.)

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