Category Archives: Man Travel

Man Travel Thanksgiving

In honor of American Thanksgiving, VIVA Man Travel brings you a few things manly travelers should be thankful for:

Speaking English – In countries where the international language of business isn’t the native tongue, women want to learn it and many are too poor to afford lessons, so they’ll pay you in other ways. Give thanks for your grade four reading level and head to Turkmenistan!

photo by acme

photo by acme

Meat – In Brazil it arrives at your table on a sword; in Austria, in a wheelbarrow; and in Japan, on a woman’s naked body. Notice to countries that serve it on plates: A little more imagination, please.

Foreign Women – Manly travelers don’t sightsee, they check things out. And by checking things out, that doesn’t mean admiring a frieze or contemplating a church buttress. Manly travelers oggle the handiwork of a plastic surgeon in Cali, Colombia, and the quality of glass and red light that draws women to stand barely clothed in Amsterdam’s street-facing doorways. In a foreign country, a trip to a strip club counts as a culturally revealing experience.

photo by tostie14

photo by tostie14

Long-Distance Bus Trips – The longer the better, say the manliest of travelers. The good: the grinding of gears lets you know that someone is indeed at the wheel. The very good: A showing of the Nicolas Cage classic, City of Angels, dubbed in Spanish. The great: A Bolivian woman, wrapped in 40 blankets, asleep with her head on your shoulder.

Fútbol in South America – You’re thankful for it because it’s fast and there’s lots of falling down and whinging. And though, judging from the fans’ chanting, the referee is always gay and favors one team over the other, fútbol matches in South America are never predictable. You might wait 45 minutes or more to queue up for the loo at half-time. Or you might pee in an empty bottle and throw it at the lesser men in the cheap seats. Your sweaty, shirtless section-mates will teach you how to identify which players are whores and which ones are sons of whores. They’ll even trample you during a riot so you don’t lose your seat.

photo by Payton Chung

photo by Payton Chung

Your Home Country – No matter where you go (Ko Phanang, Malaga, Irkutsk), what you see (10s, butter faces, two baggers), or what you do (buy drugs off your taxi driver, drink a fishbowl of booze, pass out in the hostel lobby), there’s no place like home. In your home country, no one talks funny and eats strange animal parts, and people can do basic things like walk and drive a car. That doesn’t happen where you are now, and once you sober up, eat a hoof or two and listen to that incessant honking, you’ll agree and be thankful you’re from somewhere else.

Man Travel and the Meaning of the Moustache

photo by flickr user lowtech511

photo by flickr user lowtech511

Throughout history, the moustache (also known as mustache, ‘stache and mo) has been much more than a hairy upper lip. It is commonly said that a man’s moustache reflects climate, custom, religious belief and personal taste, but a ‘stache also symbolizes honor (in the early Ottoman Arab East you insulted a man’s mother, but never his moustache) manhood (mos for men on the island of Crete) and wisdom (Confucius).

Tacky and Taboo

Past and present, moustaches have been persecuted. Banned in ancient Egypt, taxed by Peter the Great, moustaches have been often wrongfully demonized. The Fu Manchu style ‘stache was sported by countless villains in literature and film. The Toothbrush, which graced the upper lip of Charlie Chaplin, was made taboo by Adolf Hitler.

photo by flickr user

photo by flickr user

More recently, an Indian hair guide declared facial hair unfashionable–this in the country of the world record holder for longest moustache (12 feet, 6 inches). And in July, Brazilians staged a moustache strike, in which people were urged to grow moustaches, post photos of themselves online and refuse to shave until José Sarney, Brazil´s mustachioed senate president accused of nepotism and embezzlement, resigned.

Moustache Awareness

From time to time, moustaches are celebrated rather than damned. Movember, a charity project in which men grow moustaches in November to raise awareness and money in support of men´s health issues, particularly prostate and testicular cancer, has taken sprouted in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Spain, New Zealand and Australia. Every other year, the World Beard and Mustache Championships take place, most recently this past May in Alaska. Competitors compete in six moustache categories, including Imperial, Hungarian and Dali.

photo by flickr user Steve Weaver

photo by flickr user Steve Weaver

Have Moustache, Will Travel

Viva Man Travel believes that facial hair is an ideal enhancement to the traveling man’s appearance. In addition to looking more manly, you can save weight, space and money by leaving cans of shaving cream, bottles of aftershave, blades, and bulky electric razors at home. Beards are easy to cultivate as they need very little tending. But the moustache, which requires more concerted grooming, presents the man traveler with something that he inherently seeks in his globetrotting adventures: a challenge. Is your upper lip ready to man up?

Man Travel Things

by Mark Samcoe

From James Bond to Inspector Gadget, all great men travel with an arsenal of gizmos, gadgets, and thingamajigs. Viva Man Travel believes that you can be great, too, which is why we’ve compiled a list of 10 accessories we recommend that you bring on your man-tastic voyage.

Voltaic Backpack Solar Charger

The solar panels protect and charge your PDA, GPS, iPod, camera, cell phone, and other handheld electronics. There’s a battery pack that stores your power, 11 different adapters, and 30 liters of space for your laptop and the rest of your manly gadgets. Beat that, man-purse.

Ultra Light Hammock

When the hippies are hogging all the hammocks at your hostel show them how a real man rocks a hammock by setting this bad boy up in under a minute. The Ultra Light holds up to 113 kilograms (250 lbs., or an adult male cheetah), reduces to a svelte 0.3 kilograms for packing, and comes with everything you need to set it up, minus the perfectly spaced palm trees.

Grilliput and Grilliput Compact FireBowl

These lightweight, stainless steel, easy-to-carry, easy-to-assemble best barbecuing buddies give you license to grill. When stored, the Grilliput resembles a track and field baton. Put it together, put fire to charcoal or wood in the collapsible FireBowl, then start searing some flesh.

Braun PocketGo P-70 Men’s Shaver

From the look of it the PocketGo could be a compass to help you navigate the galaxy or a phaser that zaps aliens. In reality it’s an unassuming, compact electric razor that shaves and trims your hairy mug, making you halfway presentable. Tote around your disposable blades, your bulky containers of shaving cream and aftershave, if you like, but showing a little scruff actually makes you more attractive.

Swiss Army Knife SwissFlash

No more fishing around the bottom of your pack among the loose pesos for your memory stick. The Swiss Army has arrived with another nifty tool, which comes in 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 GB storage sizes. The usual suspects are present: blade, scissors and screwdriver; plus, there’s a nail file and pressurized pen. Most distressing, however, is the absence of the corkscrew and bottle opener–the Swiss Army’s unsung heroes. At least they’ve done right by ditching the toothpick and tweezers. Leave that piece of meat stuck between your teeth. Wear that uni-brow with pride. Store some memories.

Charcoal Companion Amazing Bug Zapper

As an 8 year-old, burning ants with a magnifying glass, you had no idea this is what was in store for you. It might not be the most essential or convenient gadget, but damn if it isn’t fun. An electric current runs through the face of this tennis racket-shaped fly swatter. Forego the bug spray and Federer-ize flies, mosquitoes and moths. You name it, try to fry it.

Workout Cards

Each card in this 32-card deck illustrates an exercise with instructions and recommended reps. The cards are color-coded according to core, upper and lower muscle groups and feature names like Forearm Rockers and Ice Skaters. No more making excuses for your shrinking pythons. If you’re a complete fitness-phobe, use the cards in a drinking game, and suddenly, Bear Crawl becomes Beer Crawl.


Want to avoid queuing up for a beer and missing a two-out grand slam, a set-piece strike, or rioting fans being maced by police? You need the Beerbelly. Consisting of a sling, a bladder pouch that holds over 2 liters (more than a six-pack), and a tube for drinking and dispensing, this stealth device is worn under your clothes. You’ll look like you’re sporting a spare tire, thus fooling the frisk and enabling you to enjoy a hands-free beerfest at the game.

Reef Fanning

Stop trying to impress people by opening bottles with your teeth. Just show ’em your Fanning. Flip this sleek beach sandal over and behold the bottle opener embedded in its sole. The geniuses at Reef also make a sandal that conceals your money and keys. That’s all very well, but what if you lose your sandals? First prize goes to the Fanning.

What did we miss? Let us know what other whizbang gadgetry is essential for your trip.