Archive for the “Random Musings” Category

The Accidental Traveler

I can count on one hand all the places I visited before I was 23. Travel wasn’t part of my upbringing. It wasn’t something my family did outside of the occasional road trip to visit my grandmother in Florida. In college, I skipped studying abroad because I was afraid I might miss something. I went to Montreal twice because when you’re under 21 and can’t afford Spring Break in Cancun, Montreal is the closest place to go when you live […]

Why Tourists Ruin the Places They Visit (and What to Do About It)

Last summer while I was living in Sweden, I met up with travel writer Doug Lansky, the man behind several worldwide destination guides for Rough Guides. We were talking about travel (of course) and began discussing the philosophical question about whether, as traveler writers, we end up destroying the places we love by sharing them with the world. By writing about those off-the-beaten-track destinations, those little local restaurants and quiet parts of the city where you’re free of tourists, do […]

Getting Back to What Matters Most

I had an awful realization a few weeks ago. The last time I went abroad and crossed an ocean in the process was when I went to Africa in December. That is so long ago (at least for me). And this realization might have led to that nightmare I had last week in which I was trying to get this really sweet Air Canada deal to Europe, but no matter what I did, I never could get a confirmation. In […]

Taking Time to Answer Your Feedback

A few weeks ago, I opened my biannual reader survey. I do it because your feedback matters, and I like to make sure I’m best serving you in your quest to travel more without spending craploads of money. I received hundreds of amazing responses (yes, I read them all!). The detail you provided in the open-response questions was phenomenal, and since you took the time to write out such great responses, I want to take the time to talk about […]

Updates on Life, Speaking, and My First Reader Tour to Europe

My life is a whirlwind right now, which is why this blog has been so quiet lately. I just spent 10 days in Austin, Texas attending the SXSW film/music/tech festival, and in addition, I’ve been finishing my book tour, doing lots of interviews and events for my new book, and overall, just trying to keep my head above water. I’ve been sort of neglecting the blog. March hasn’t seen many posts and probably won’t. That’s not to say I have […]

The Settled Life in New York City

It’s been almost a month since I signed my lease and picked up the keys. I’ve bought a bed. I’ve unpacked my bag, hung up my clothes, and filled my fridge with food. I’m settled. I have roots. I have a neighborhood. I’m no longer fully nomadic. Am I at least semi-nomadic? I don’t even know. People keep asking me when my next trip is. “I don’t know,” I tell them. I’m currently on my book tour until April and […]

Paris is NOT a Touristy Destination

As winter continues and the days get colder, I find people begin to think of travel: warmer places, tropical beaches, and spring trips. My inbox fills up more than normal with questions on where to escape to, what to see, and things to do. And lately there has been a common theme to these emails: people want to get off the beaten trail and avoid the “touristy” stuff. ”I don’t want to go to Paris. It’s too touristy. Where else […]

The End of My Solo Travels

“Africa will change you,” people said to me,”There’s something about it that affects us all.” Well, Africa didn’t change me. I’m still the same old me, but that doesn‘t mean Africa didn‘t teach me something or, should I say, reaffirmed a long-felt feeling. If 2012 was defined by anything, it was my personal struggle over coming to terms with settling down. 2012 was an internal struggle between knowing I was ready to settle in one place and my desire to […]

What’s in Store for 2013

Welcome to 2013! I’m really looking forward to this year as it will bring just as many changes as the last one did. Last year was a big year for me: I finished my book, realized I want to settle down, lived in Sweden for a bit, redesigned my site, launched a blogging course, and somehow still found time to visit 20 countries and enjoy life. This year will also be full of change and I want to kick off […]

Expectations

I woke up in a haze. “Why is my iPhone screen cracked? Did I break it while I was sleeping?” Half awake, I looked closer. No, not broken, just a deceptive-looking black-and-white album cover. I was simply groggy, confused, and slightly stupid from the few hours of sleep I had gotten. I opened the window shade and looked out the window. The sky was changing from black to a rainbow of colors as the sun ushered in a new day…one […]