Travel Newsletter: 22 October 2021

Thailand reopening news, the junkyard airplane abandoned at an Indian airport, the train from China arrives in Laos, and vending machine flights.

TIRANA - It’s been good to spend more than a week in one location. I have time to really explore the city, and also do some research for some other stories. I’m currently reading about proposed railways in the Balkans, and how that will change travel in the region in the years to come.

[Skanderbeg Square, Tirana - Albania via @nomadicnotes.]

Here are this week’s travel reads of note.

COVID-19 and travel

Quarantine-free Thailand reopening for vaccinated tourists from 1 November 2021

The pandemic made me recognize an unexpected reason I love travel

Assorted travel reads

Crossroad of memory

Paul Salopek resumes his round-the-world walk:

“For more than eight years, I have trailed the first human beings who roamed out of Africa during the Stone Age. My storytelling journey, called the Out of Eden Walk, has been stalled for more than a year in Myanmar.”

The remote British island hoping to see more visitors

“Located some 1,200 miles (2,000 km) west of the African nation of Angola, and 2,500 miles east of Brazil, St Helena has a population of around 4,500 people, and is 47 sq miles (121 sq km) in size.”

Rice, Fat, Meat, Streets

“Why does biryani mean so much to so many people on the Indian subcontinent? The answers may be found on the streets of one of the world’s food capitals: Karachi.”

On the things you carry and the things you leave

“The objects and objectives of travel are subject to mysterious forces — and sometimes cosmic jokes.”

The story of a guy's dad's junkyard airplane abandoned at an Indian airport is fascinating

A very big little country

“For the past two decades, the micronation of Westarctica has grown in prominence—and is now using its power for something other than Antarctic domination.”

• As an avid solo traveller I could relate to this article:

Rick Steves says hold on to your travel dreams

“The guidebook guru discusses a year and a half without seeing Europe, the next chapter in post-pandemic travel, and why you should order whatever beverage the locals are having.”

Train vs Plane: which is fastest between London and Edinburgh?

“As Lumo makes its first run between the English and Scottish capitals, our travel correspondent sets off by air – and rail, bus and foot – to race the train.”

Historic moment as first passenger train along Laos-China railway arrives in Laos

I will ride this train as soon as it’s possible to travel to Laos again.

Why more Australian women are choosing a solo van life

The traveler who's spent the entire pandemic backpacking

These vending machines sell flights to surprise destinations

No prizes for guessing that this is in Japan, where vending machines are practically on every street corner. Here is another article related to the vending machines of Japan: A tiny gas meter? The more mundane the better for Japan’s capsule toys.

The Nomadic Notes Travel Newsletter is a weekly newsletter of the best travel reads and interesting travel news from around the web, and random ramblings by the editor.

- James Clark