Category Archives: Europe

On the “Misery Olympics”

Oh, Imodium (aka Loperamide), how much I owe thee….

This morning, I again participated in an event that is one of the highlights of my week: the #WeGoSolo Twitter chat, hosted by super-blogger Mariellen Ward of Breathedreamgo, one of the top India travel blogs.

(Side note: if you are a woman interested in solo travel, you should definitely join the conversation.  It is a great community, and you will learn quite a bit!)

This week, the topic was “travel challenges”, and the chat questions gave plenty of scope for all of us to tell funny stories, share inspiring lessons learned, and provide support and advice to one another.

The best part for me, though, was the discussion surrounding the final question: “What advice would you give a would-be solo traveller about the bad patches?” Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on July 2, 2014 in Asia, China, Europe, Miscellaneous, Spain


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Photo of the Week: Cabo da Roca, Portugal

Sunset at Cabo da Roca

To start the weekend, here is a lovely sunset photo that I took at Cabo da Roca, Portugal, the westernmost point in mainland Europe.  Here’s to using the next few days to recharge for the upcoming week!

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Posted by on September 15, 2012 in Europe, Photo of the Week, Portugal


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What to Eat and Drink in Portugal (and One Item to Skip….)

Homemade barbecue at my hostel

There is a lot to love about Portugal.  The people are kind, the nightlife is fun, and both the architectural and natural parts of the landscape are breathtakingly beautiful.  One of my favorite things about Portugal, though, is the food.  From the delicious seafood to the world-famous wines, my taste buds and belly were always sated during my trip!  My only regret is that, since I was traveling solo, I didn’t get to try cataplana, a traditional Portuguese seafood dish that, due to its size, can only be ordered by at least two people.  Oh, well–another reason to go back to Portugal!  Despite this disappointment, the food that I did get to eat (with one exception) has earned Portugal a solid spot amongst my top five food destinations in the world.  Read on to discover all of the tasty treats that you should definitely try (and one “specialty” that you should definitely skip) when you make it to Portugal!

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Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Europe, Portugal


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Photo of the Week: Douro Valley, Portugal

Overlooking the Douro Valley

I’m not going to lie–I feel just a tad bit envious of all of the travel bloggers who are getting to meet each other and learn more about the industry at TBU Porto!  To console myself, I’ve been looking at my pictures from Portugal.  Here is one of my favorites from the Douro Valley winemaking region, just outside of Porto.  To everyone at TBU Porto, please live it up and drink lots of port on my behalf!


Posted by on September 8, 2012 in Europe, Photo of the Week, Portugal


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Facebook + Travel = Staying In Touch

Valerie’s Birthday in Madrid, 2002

Facebook takes a lot of flack–some of it deserved (e.g., privacy concerns, ahem), some of it less so (e.g., your Facebook friends don’t have to be fake friends if you’re good about managing your friend requests).  One thing that I love about Facebook, though, is that it allows me to keep in touch with the varied, amazing people that I meet on my travels.

Case in point: ten summers ago, I lived and worked in Madrid.  While I was there, I was lucky enough to be part of a great group of girlfriends who were also expats living in Spain.  When one of the girls–Valerie–had her birthday roll around that July, the rest of us put together a surprise celebration for her.

Last week, on Valerie’s birthday this year, I posted this photo to Facebook as a sort of anniversary reminder.  Because of the magic of Facebook, I am actually still in touch with each of these women today.

In the ten years since we first met, our group has collectively been blessed with advanced degrees, marriages, awesome careers, and babies (including two sets of twins!).  Obviously, this means that we can’t hang out on anywhere close to a regular basis.  For that reason, I am super-thankful to Facebook (and modern technology in general) for allowing me to both stay up-to-date on everyone’s life and share fun memories.

On that note, Happy Birthday again, Valerie, and Happy 10th Anniversary, ladies!

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Posted by on July 17, 2012 in Europe, Spain


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Photo of the Week: Bath, England

Looking down on the Roman Baths

I spent a good part of last weekend watching movies based on Austen novels (“Sense & Sensibility”, “Northanger Abbey”) and just general Austen-ophilia (“Lost in Austen”).  My falling down the Austen rabbit hole, of course, made me think of Bath, a frequent setting in Austen’s writing (not to mention her own home for a great part of her life).  Back in 2006, when I was working out of my firm’s London office, I obviously made time for a weekend day trip out to Bath so that I could see it for myself.  Between visiting the baths, the Royal Crescent, and the Jane Austen Centre, I was in Austen heaven.  In fact, I barely finished up sightseeing in time to catch the last bus back to London.  Still, as someone who has read every one of Austen’s books, it was an awesome trip–100% worth taking.


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Photo of the Week: Madrid, Spain

Enjoying delicious, homemade paella in Madrid!

As the weather is warming up here in NYC (bit by bit), I can’t help but speed ahead to dreams of summer.  Ten years ago (wow, time flies!), I spent a summer living in Madrid, and it was aMAZing.  For the first few weeks of my time in Spain, I stayed with two other language students in the home of an older Spanish couple.  One day, our host mom served us homemade paella.  Take a minute to let that sink in, guys.  Homemade paella.  All of us ate so much that we couldn’t move for the rest of the day, and it was clear that our host mom was thrilled with how much we loved it.  Basically that summer exposed me to, amongst other things, the best paella that I have ever had.  Oh, summer, you always leave too soon, and you never get here soon enough!


Posted by on April 12, 2012 in Europe, Photo of the Week, Spain


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