Robert Reid

of Reid on Travel

As National Geographic Travel's Digital Nomad, Robert Reid investigates the whys and hows of how we experience the world and encourages people to follow his lead by "traveling like travel writers."

What does this mean? Reid often uses his own hobbies and interests to build trip itineraries, research articles, and provide a framework for video storytelling. He's been to Mountie boot camp, followed Billy Joel's lyrics (literally), counted Siberian mustaches, and used a Monopoly board as a map to explore Atlantic City. While Lonely Planet's U.S. Travel Editor, Reid appeared regularly on television to discuss travel trends, and now lives--with messier hair—in Portland, Oregon.

Follow Robert on Twitter @reidontravel.

Celebrating a Century of Dada in Zurich

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Dada is art. Dada is anti-art. Dada is manifesto. Dada is jibberish. Dada is a costume so cumbersome one has to be carried when wearing it. Whatever Dada is, or isn’t, most agree it’s long dead. But not in Zurich, the avant-garde movement’s birthplace. Best known as an international banking hub, the city—Switzerland’s largest—has long turned a lukewarm shoulder to…

The Art of the Quest: St. Lucia By Clarinet

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Fake Elvis’s rose-colored shades are straight out of an old Starsky & Hutch episode. Behind him, a faded tapestry emblazoned with the real Elvis flaps in the breeze, while the King’s “Welcome to My World,” released in 1977 just months before his death, crackles through cranked boom box speakers. Soon Fake Elvis leans into a stance, then pumps…

Texas’s German Roots: New Braunfels

“Do you speak German?,” I ask. “Un poquito.” Joyce is minding the register at the oldest bakery in Texas, Naegelin’s. Opened in 1868, the establishment remains a landmark in downtown New Braunfels—and a quirky reminder of the Lone Star State’s German roots. Around Joyce are bins brimming with traditional German goodies: Lebkuchen cookies, ornately embossed Springerle biscuits, and sweet,…

Overnighter: Baker City, Oregon

Tucked between the Elkhorn and Wallowa mountains in northeastern Oregon, Baker City found form during an 1860s gold rush. Today, its Main Street is home to a strip of recently opened brewpubs, boutiques, and eateries, most of which are run by converts from Portland, California, and New York. That outsider influence—and old-timers who welcome change, and want to be a part of it—make the town of 10,000 well worth an overnight stop.

The Curious Case of Fudge

People like to debate the differences between “travelers” and “tourists”—and whether such distinctions exist or even matter. I listen to them sometimes, nodding at the points being made. And then I change the subject to fudge. Because, at least in America, wherever you roam, you can only go to one of two kinds of destinations: those with fudge, and those without.

How to Eat the World in America

The empty stomach is the ultimate travel icebreaker. Everyone eats, everyone loves food, and the less you know about what’s on offer in a place, the more people want to help you. Whether you live in the United States or are simply visiting, you don’t have to leave the country to get a taste of the…

Why We Need ‘Travel Experts’

More travelers are going DIY, opting to—as the buzzy phrase goes—“travel like a local.” This usually means skipping expert advice and typical attractions, and following recommendations found on crowdsourced review sites.

The results of going this route are often great. But the trend begs some questions. Do travel experts have a future? Are they even necessary anymore? Can I say, yes?

Sherlock’s Cheeky Switzerland

Meiringen is the ultimate pilgrimage site for Sherlock fans. Literally. In the story “The Final Problem,” Sherlock (along with his nemesis, Professor Moriarty) plunged to his death at Reichenbach Falls just outside the Swiss town.

You Know You Wanna: Walla Walla

You can’t say “Walla Walla” aloud and not feel a bit happier. Try it. Though most of us haven’t given a thought to visiting this pleasingly alliterative town in southeastern Washington (population 32,000), increasingly visitors are driving the four hours from Seattle or Portland to see what’s there. Many arrive with a smirk or low expectations, but leave with plans to return. Here’s why.

The Ultimate Digital Detox: Walking

The digital detox bandwagon is growing these days. People are increasingly looking for vacations that offer a break not just from the daily grind at home or at the office, but from their smartphones. Quick tip: It’s not about where you go. Once we reach a destination, we have to make the same decisions as we do back home. The real way to disconnect–wherever you happen to be–is what writer Rebecca Solnit calls “the most obvious and the most obscure thing in the world.”

Offbeat Travel: Rebels With a Cause

Welcome to the Local Offbeat Travel Club. We’re the ones who consider “off the beaten track” to be less to do with where you are, than how you approach where you are. In other words, we never say “ooh, weird,” snap a photo, and then move on. Instead, we linger–to find out the “why.”

What’s Wrong With ‘1,000 Places to See Before You Die’?

Since the fateful first edition of Patricia Schultz’s “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” was published in 2003–a few years before that Jack Nicholson-Morgan Freeman dying-buddy film would lend the concept a buzz-worthy name–”bucket lists” have hijacked popular discourse on travel. Here’s what’s wrong with that.