Benjamin Link

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Ben Link is a writer, film producer and sustainability advocate living in Atlanta, Georgia. He likes automatic doors.

Locked Up Abroad Lessons Guyana: The False Allure of Pre-Paid Vacations

The tiny South American nation of Guyana has one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world. Also known as the “land of many waters,” Guyana possesses a bountiful assemblage of mammals, and nearly 4,000 species of plant growing exclusively within its lush rain forests (70% of which are in pristine condition). The nation…

Locked Up Abroad Travel Tips: Colombia

Colombia is a serious traveler’s paradise. With dense Amazonian forests, remarkable beaches and white-powdered Andean peaks, the country has inspired visitors since before the Spanish conquest in the early 1500s. Vast stretches of land still remain untouched by modern civilization, so there’s plenty of mysteries yet to be discovered. Of course, they might have been…

Locked Up Abroad Travel Tips: Saudi Arabia

On the surface, Saudi Arabia’s social climate appears thick with oppression. There is a strict observance of Wahhabi rules of moral and social behavior, and varied interpretations of Sharia law are applied to everyone in Saudi Arabia, regardless of your religion. It is strictly enforced by the Mutaween, the religious police. Most of what westernized…

Locked Up Abroad Travel Lessons: Cocaine Mule Mom

Peru holds some of Earth’s most cherished landmarks and ancient mysteries: the Amazon, Andes Mountains, Lake Titicaca, Machu Picchu and the Nazca lines to name a few. The ancient Inca centered their empire in Peru, and their presence is still felt in modern times. One of the Inca traditions that has not only survived but…

Locked Up Abroad Travel Tips: Mexico

Year in, year out Mexico ranks near the top of the world’s most popular travel destinations, and rightfully so. The Mexican food, music, art and dance all contribute to a unique cultural identity that has far-reaching appeal. In spite of that, Mexico’s multi-billion-dollar tourism industry is often overshadowed by an even larger industry: the illegal…

Lessons From Locked Up Abroad: Escaping Your Captors

The men and women drawn to military contract work do so for various reasons, but the main one is risky jobs pay well. Really well. For example, at the beginning of the Iraq war KBR’s starting salary for a truck driver was around $125,000. To put that into perspective, the starting salary for a US…

Lessons From Locked Up Abroad: Running From the Law in Argentina

The southern half of the South American continent consists mostly of Argentina, the eighth largest country in the world. The distance from the north to south stretches 3,650 kilometers (2,263 miles) going from jungles to icebergs. Both South America’s highest and lowest points are found in Argentina, and the same goes for the continent’s highest…

Lessons From Locked Up Abroad: When to Abort Your Drug Smuggling Trip

Mark Greening was caught smuggling hash by Japanese customs when he broke his friend/drug supplier’s golden rule of drug trafficking: don’t body pack drugs. It’s asking for an instant sentence, because there’s practically no way to disprove possession when drugs are found on you or in your belongings. Unlike Mark’s previous two trips to Kathmandu,…

Locked Up Abroad Travel Tips: Kathmandu

Once believed to be the fictional city Shangri-La from James Hilton’s Lost Horizon, Kathmandu has fast become an international gateway to the Himalayas. The vibrant nature of the Nepali people welcome mountaineers, seekers of enlightenment and other wayward souls to the region, and Kathmandu’s cultural heritage dating back over 2000 years leaves visitors inspired. The…

Locked Up Abroad Travel Tips: Bali

Indonesia’s Bali is a mecca for global wanderers. The allure lies in the stunning landscapes and spiritual optimism of the people. You’d be hard pressed to find a comparable gem on our planet, even if you were a famous gem collector and possessed the best gems. Bali’s light shines bright, and it serves as a…