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Ladies and gentlemen, the end has come for Fly Brother as you’ve known it.

Since 2008, I have traveled the world and talked about it through various incarnations as an expat educator in Colombia, a globetrotter traipsing through ten countries on a shoestring and several couches, a journalist and bon vivant in Brazil, a college professor in Miami, a lover and doctoral student in Germany, and a storyteller setting down roots in South Africa and Sweden (why not?). To be sure, the journey—with its many disparate chapters and episodes—continues.

Despite a few attempts at resuscitating this website, however, I’ve come to the realization that sometimes, you have to set things down that no longer serve you in order to have a free hand for the brand new goodness coming your way. So, while “Fly Brother” is indeed in the process of being trademarked and just might resurface in another form sooner or later, this website, with its tales, tips, and inspiration for flying far and flying often, will soon be going dark.

In the meantime, please continue to witness all the high-flying shenanigans via Fly Brother’s alter ego—Ernest White II, storyteller and explorer. There will be travel narrative and fiction and cultural essays and a memoir. There will be presentations and workshops and film and television. There will be organized excursions and small-group adventures and travel.


There will always be travel—in unabridged, unapologetic, full and complete color.

Thank you for flying with me this far. Now let’s fly to the moon!
-Ernest White II

Follow Ernest on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or subscribe at ErnestWhite2.com for features and updates.


Image by Hitchster via Flickr

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Sorry for the radio silence, folks. Working two jobs (at least until universities start offering flight benefits). 🙂 More to come.

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Forty-three years ago today, my parents got married. As high school teachers, they had to wait until summer break before jetting off for the honeymoon, and some kind of way, they heard that it was better in the Bahamas. Well, that’s debatable, but my parents seemed to have enjoyed it (I’m not 43, by the way…or maybe I am and just look damn good for my age ;-)). Personal logistics aside, many of the world’s airlines sold fantasies of post-nuptial holidays to eager newlyweds back in 1970, and I unearthed a few of the contemporary travel posters used in trafficking exotic destinations to would-be travelers in bell-bottomed trousers.

Eastern Airlines travel poster 1970

Royal Air Maroc travel poster 1970

National Airlines travel poster 1970

Pan Am travel poster 1970

TWA travel poster 1970

El Al airline poster 1970

Braniff travel poster 1970

United airline poster 1970

BOAC travel poster 1970

Mexicana travel poster 1970

Japan Air Lines travel poster 1970

BONUS: The #1 radio hit on April 29, 1970? That’s easy:

Please don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @FlyBrother, and “like” me on Facebook! You can subscribe, too! ;-)

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A Christmas StorySometimes, you just can’t flout rules, even with an eagle on your passport. As tourists or businessfolk, we star-spangled Americans are allowed to spend up to 90 days in any given six-month period in most of Europe without having to actually visit a country’s consulate and applying for a visa. And as a star-spangled American, I simply took for granted that I could come and go as I pleased, the consummate jetsetter, throwing diplomatic caution to the wind and never paying attention to the 90-day rule on any of my previous visits. Well, as of December 22, 2012, I had hit Day 90, having entered and left the European Union six times since July. I had only discovered this grievous transgression on December 21st.

Now, I, Fly Brother, should have known better. I’ve lived in four countries outside of the States and have snagged more than a few visas with little more than a Coke and a smile for the consular official, so I’m usually up on my visa game. But we’re talking about Europe, here; specifically, Germany. I mean, we spanked Germany in 1945. Badly. By rights, I should have the run of the place, nahmean?!

Remember dat?
Remember dat?

Well, I’m in the process of applying for a PhD program in Germany (fingers crossed), and the Germans are actually pretty good about letting foreigners (well, Americans, at least) apply for work and student visas while on German soil. Catch is, you have to register with the municipal government in the city you’re living in before your 90 days are up. In order to register, you have to provide a lease agreement or some other proof that you’re indeed living in Germany, and in my case, I was going to register as the roommate of a German friend I live with.

Well, when I went to register with the municipal government, I found out that said friend never registered with the municipal government. In fact, he’d moved from his hometown, two hours away from Berlin, ten years ago and never filled out the simple single-page document stating his new address in the German capital. So in order for me to register, we’d have to wait for the landlord to send a letter stating that said friend still resides in the same apartment. Two weeks later, no letter. Landlord’s office said they’d send another one, but it wouldn’t arrive before Christmas. That’s when I get the idea that maybe I should check to make sure I’m not spending a little too much time in Germany. This was December 21st, Day 89.

Well, I had to get the hell outta Dodge. Immejitly. Germany is known as being a stickler for rules and regulations (me, not so much), but I didn’t want to jeopardize any future chances of obtaining a work or student visa in Europe—remember, we’re talking almost the entire EU here, not just Germany—so I went online and found a 600-euro one-way ticket from Berlin home to Florida, including a transatlantic crossing on—ta-daa—the Singapore Airlines Airbus A380! For an airline geek like me, it can’t get much better than this: flying on the world’s largest passenger airplane operated by arguably the best airline in the world.

Singapore Airlines A380 NYC

Well, my elation was short-lived, however, when I realized that a) I didn’t really have 600 euro earmarked for last-minute plane tickets, b) I had, oh, about 12 hours to pack for a trip with an undefined return date, c) I would conceivably have to remain out of Germany for another 90 days minimum, and d) all the plans that I’d made, including Christmas and New Year’s parties, work projects, German lessons, social activities, errthing, had to be postponed indefinitely or canceled. Yes, I’d get to spend Christmas with my family (always a good thing, even though I’d just seen them at Thanksgiving), and I could send off my PhD application and apply for the student visa from the States, but damn if this wasn’t an expensive way to take an unscheduled break from the limb-numbing central European winter.

Pretty. Cold.
Pretty. Cold.

Well, on Day 91, I embarked on my six-airport, five-leg, three-airline itinerary (the type you get when you snag a “cheap” last-minute deal): Berlin to Munich to Frankfurt on Lufthansa, Frankfurt to New York on Singapore (the route goes JFK>FRA>SIN and back), and New York to Washington to Jacksonville on US Airways.


The saving grace was that borderline-luxurious flight on Singapore, which included two full meals in economy, plus between-meal snacks, served up by an attentive, courteous flight crew. To top it off, I caught four great films I’d either been meaning to see for a while, or figured, “why the hell not?”: Frankenweenie (Tim Burton!), Oslo, August 31st (poignant and evocative), ParaNorman (EXCELLENT soundtrack), and Vertigo (one of the few Hitchcock opuses I hadn’t seen).

Kim Novak emoting on the A380
Kim Novak emoting on the A380

And though I’m still unsure when exactly I’ll be returning to Germany, I did make it home in time to catch the 24-hour A Christmas Story marathon on TBS. All is right with the world.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Please don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @FlyBrother, and “like” me on Facebook! You can subscribe, too! ;-)

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Image by PaulSh

Hello, my good people. I’m moving into another stage of growth and development with the site and I’d like to make sure that I’m moving in a direction that is of most use to you, my readers. Therefore, I’ve devised a very quick survey just to get an idea about how I can best encourage, inspire, and enlighten you to travel. So, please do me this quick solid and many, many thanks for reading!

-Fly Brother

***** Click here to take the survey! *****

Back in 2009, I took a three-month round-the-world trip to a planned five continents, and with the help of Fly Mother and some Zip-Lock bags, I was able to squeeze an adequate amount of clean underwear and other necessities into two very light-weight carry-ons. Observe:

That would be: One dress shirt and a pair of khakis, some jeans, 6 pair of draws, four pair of socks, 3 white tees, swim trunks, gym shorts, four short-sleeve t-shirts, two long-sleeve tees, and a pair of size-13 loafers.


Gracias, Mamita!

Please tweet your comments @FlyBrother, or email me (see About page). And don’t forget to “like” me on Facebook!


I’m participating in Vai Via’s 15 Day International Travel Challenge, but doubling-up, as I’m not a daily blog poster. So…

Day 06 – What does “home” mean to you?
Of course “home” will mean wherever my family is, but I consider my circle of good friends as family as well, so there’s no geographic limit to “home” for me anymore. There’s also the feeling of belonging to a place, of walking down the street and being claimed by that place. For the moment, that place is São Paulo.

Day 07 – Besides people, what did/do you miss from home?
Barbecues, driving through cities at dusk with the perfect music for each place, cheap domestic airfares, cheap everything.

Day 08 – A favorite food from another country/culture
Mangú (mashed plantains) from the Dominican Republic. Yum! And a nice, flavorful chai from India (though they sell that at Starbucks here).

Avenida São João – aka Saint Johns Ave, baby – in the ‘new’ half of ‘old’ downtown São Paulo. For a few decades, The Ave was the place to see and be seen, with the sidewalk cafés, movie houses, bijou apartment blocks (like mine – the Palacete Ibis, built in the 30s), and an efficient trolley whisking the aspiring elite and their maids and doormen to and fro. Now, there are crackheads, sex workers, retirees, Bolivians, Nigerians, bohemian artists, foreign pseudo-intellectuals, surprised out-of-towners staying at one of the many faded business-oriented hotels, all buzzing on the streets and in-and-out of bedraggled and salacious commercial businesses all hours of the day and night, anchored by the 35-floor, Empire State Building-inspired Banespão. Damn, I love this street!

The famous street corner from Caetano Veloso's urban hymn, "Sampa."
At the turn of the 20th Century.
1949 (Credit: Carlheinz Hahmann)
Bem Nova Iorque, hein? 1960s
2008 (Credit: Paulino Tarraf)
Dayum! Oh, and that's my building; the cream-colored one in the middle. (Credit: José Patrício/Agência Estado)
Avenida São João from the Banespão, 1986 (Credit: Cristiano Mascaro)

Please tweet your comments @FlyBrother, or email me (see About page).


Fly Brother Service Update: This weekend, subscribers will continue to see older posts in RSS feeds due to blog platform conversion. We apologize for any inconvenience, but hope that you enjoy some of the older quality content here at Fly Brother. Thank you.

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Hello good people:

I’ve been in New York this week taking a much-needed vacation and finally decided to stop trying to force myself to sit still long enough to finish my assessments on the last two episodes of Black in Latin America. I fly to Portland, Oregon, tomorrow evening to attend the World Domination Summit and will have plenty of sitting-still time on the flight.

Meanwhile, if you’re in New York or Portland, drop me a line and let’s make a meet-up happen!

Fly Bro