Author Archives | Kyle Ellison

About Kyle Ellison

Kyle Ellison is an American who has worked and traveled in many places around the globe. His blog, Kyle the Vagabond, chronicles his life abroad and serves as a way for him to inspire others to see the world. Follow him on Twitter for more travel stories and updates.

The Hobbit’s Ultimate Guide to New Zealand

Matamata, the famous setting for Hobbiton

Luckily for travelers to New Zealand, this fantasy-world of rings and hobbits was shot in a very real place, and thanks to the convenience of movie-themed tours, it’s easy to visit the same outposts where dwarves and trolls once voyaged. To take a walk in the footsteps of The Hobbit, here is a guide to many of the locations where scenes from the movies were filmed.

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December 16, 2013 by | 2 Comments

Uruguay: One of South America’s Best Coastal Road Trips

Road trip Uruguay

With the exception of Motorcycles Diaries, most travelers don’t associate South America as a place you go on road trips. Uruguay is different, however, and there is a feeling of freedom that comes with cruising down the coast on entirely your own agenda. Add in the fact that that there aren’t any freeways and you can cross the country in six hours, and Uruguay sits high on the list of the continent’s best coastal road trips.

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August 19, 2013 by | 0 Comments

A Guide to Hawaii Island Hopping

Pu’ukohola Heiau

Of the eight major Hawaiian Islands, six are openly accessible to tourists. Only four, however, are regularly frequented by most Hawaii visitors. Whereas Maui, Kauai, Oahu, and Hawaii (commonly known as the “Big Island”) all see millions of visitors annually, the islands of Lanai and Molokai see only 50,000-75,000. Of the two inaccessible islands, Kaho’olawe—a former bombing range—is open only to volunteers, and Ni’ihau has been privately owned since 1864.

Although all the islands fall under the veil of “tropical paradise”, each island has its own unique set of quirks and qualities which makes it appealing to a certain type of visitor. If shopping is your priority, you’re better off heading to Oahu than Molokai. For empty beaches, reverse it.

Given the differences, the following is a rundown of which islands may be best for certain travelers, as well as the logistical info on how to plan the vacation.

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November 28, 2012 by | 2 Comments

Mexico’s Burgeoning Wine Country

Mexican wines are proving themselves to rival vintages found anywhere across the globe. In fact, the soil in Baja was historically so amenable to grape production that in 1699 Spain banned the production of Baja wine because of the dire effects it was having on wine exports to the New World.

In modern, independent Mexico, however, the production is growing, the grapes have returned, and two shifts are slowly beginning to take place: The secret is getting out, and the Mexican people are warming to the taste of wine.

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November 5, 2012 by | 0 Comments

Follow the Lord of the Rings in New Zealand

While Middle Earth may be a fictional combo of legend and lore, the actual setting for the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit movies couldn’t be more real. Shot on location in some of the most scenic corners of New Zealand, a series of Lord of the Rings tours and Hobbit tours now allow fans to stand in the same location as the characters who once roamed these mythical peaks and pastures.

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September 13, 2012 by | 2 Comments

11 Movies to Inspire Travel

There are few better sources of inspiration than movies. The dramatic scenery, the complex character development, the range of raw emotions—all are elements of films which successfully make the viewer feel as if we’re there. When it comes to travel, movies give us the ability to soar across the world and experience foreign cultures without ever having to leave the comfort of our couch.

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August 2, 2012 by | 2 Comments

8 of America’s Lesser-Known National Parks

The U.S. National Park system is arguably one of the greatest collections of preserved space the world has ever seen. From snow-capped glacial peaks to meandering coastal shorelines, some of the United States‘ most awe-inspiring natural sights are found within the national parks. That being said, utter the phrase “national park” and most people will only be able to cough up a few of the usual suspects: Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon. In 2010, the most visited national park in the United States was Great Smoky Mountains National Park with an astounding 9.4 million visitors.

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April 24, 2012 by | 1 Comment

10 New Zealand Hot Spots Off the Beaten Track


Already sporting enough “must-see” destinations to keep travelers occupied for months on end, there are myriad off-the-beaten-track locations which lay scattered across both islands. While New Zealand hot spots such as Milford Sound, Queenstown, the Bay of Islands, or Lake Taupo are still well worth the visit, here’s a list of ten New Zealand off-the-radar spots yet to be experienced by the majority of travelers.

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March 20, 2012 by | 6 Comments

[PHOTOS] 7 Southeast Asian Islands You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Koh Mak

With tens of thousands of islands in the Southeast Asian region, there is no end to the exploration opportunities constantly rising from the nearest horizon.

Here’s a list of seven islands to keep your Southeast Asian wanderlust alive.

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March 6, 2012 by | 4 Comments