IMPORTANT NEWS regarding the latest US immigration protocols

Ellis Island

Since 2010, in addition to many fine programs, the fledgling Brand USA (aka the Travel Promotion Act), “dedicated to increasing inbound international travel to the United States,” has spent untold millions of dollars making their immigration procedures quicker and simpler. While this effort should also ease things for US citizens…

The 10 best Lonely Planet articles of all time (that I wrote)

listicle

Why yes, this is a full-tilt, vanity listicle, shamelessly basking in personal achievement. You wanna make something of it? All right, then. I’ve already forgotten how this got started, but for some reason I was cataloging all the Lonely Planet articles I’d written from late-2010 to early-2015 and figured out…

Announcing my upcoming book: BACKPACKING WITH DRACULA

count

A travel book investigating Vlad “The Impaler” Dracula and the vampire monster he inspired   ~ Coming in fall 2015 ~   The undisputed A-lister among Transylvania’s cabaret of supernatural blood-drainers and face-eaters, Count Dracula is both a publicist’s dream and nightmare. Like Justin Bieber, despite unremitting horrifying behavior, the…

How to set up a travel blog – a reading by Leif Pettersen

howtosetupatravelblog

I had the pleasure of reading a piece at “Notes from the Road” on April 11th with a bunch of other great travel writers. Many of them read from award-winning material or excerpts from their books. I decided to balance the night out and read a goofball blog post, a…

Leif Pettersen juggles with Tom Weber at MPR

MPR

Last fall, MPR invited me to come in to shoot video with Tom Weber and talk about juggling. Yes, video. They were trying something new. Then nothing happened forever and I assumed the project was dead. Lo and behold, they posted the video a couple weeks ago! I’d just come…

European Games 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan what to do and see

Flame Towers at night

The inaugural European Games will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan June 12-28, 2015. The event is a high point in Azerbaijan’s campaign to raise their tourism profile in recent years, as well as the New York Times listing Baku among its “52 Places to Go in 2015” and Lonely Planet…

Pretty Major Life Announcement – Leif Makes a Career Change

meinalmeria

Brace yourselves for a Pretty Major Life Announcement (PMLA) that I myself can barely believe is happening. It’s been 11 years, seven months and some change since I quit my idiot-proof career at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, sold my car, my house and everything in it, bought a…

Duck and Cover juggling gym highlight video, fall 2014

jugglinghighlighvideo

Since competing in the International Jugglers’ Association team championships in July, my teammate Steve and I, released from drilling the same 21 tricks ad nauseam, have had the luxury of indulging in some fun/stupid tricks during our practices. I’ve pieced some (mostly) recent video together into a Duck and Cover…

The world juggling championships: how I became a competitive athlete at age 44

Leif Pettersen (right) wearing his silver medal from the International Jugglers' Association 2014 championships

I already know what you’re thinking, so let’s address the question right out of the gate: is juggling a sport? There are wide ranging opinions on the subject, from snot-shooting, helpless laughs to those who argue that juggling is in fact an art form. I fall on the sport side…

You’ll think twice about seaside dining after seeing this video

hugewave

Ah! Seaside dining. So, novel, so romantic. Until the incalculable power of nature decides that breakfast is over and it’s been too long since your heart rate topped 120 beats per minute. The wackadoodle weather and storms plaguing California right now have included flash floods, a tornado warning, high tides…