Category Archives: Miscellaneous

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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How to Avoid Looking Like A Tourist

Keeping covered while keeping cool

My apologies for not posting last week–my day job got crazy, and I’ve got to focus first on the work that pays my bills and permits me to travel!

Still, to show my contrition for laying off this blog, I’ll share some helpful advice with you.

First off, don’t worry–this is not a post on the tiresome “tourist” versus “traveler” debate; I’ve already briefly weighed in on that.  No, this post is focused on making sure that you blend into your environment as much as possible when you’re traveling so that you can stay safe.  While it’s great to have the opportunity to see the world, once you step past your backyard, you may stand out in ways that make you more vulnerable to sketchy situations.  Sometimes, depending on your look and where you’re traveling, there will really be little that you can do to keep a low profile.  However, in many cases, if you follow my tips below, you will be able to have more success in flying under the radar during your vacation.  Plus, if you’re really on your game, a local will stop you and ask you for directions–highly satisfactory proof that you are a cool traveler!  So, how do you avoid looking like a tourist?

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Posted by on August 7, 2012 in Africa, Miscellaneous, Morocco


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Zen and the Art of Passport Maintenance: 5 Tips

My U.S. passport, beautiful and pristine! (Well, relatively. Also, it’s only a few years old, but I’m still proud of its good looks!)

I have spoken before about how much I value my passports.  Heck, I love them so much that I even named my travel blog in their honor.  That being said, in the past, I haven’t always treated them as well as I should have.  Fortunately, after years of globetrotting, I have learned my lesson (well, lessons plural, actually) and now know how to show my passports the love that they deserve.  Read on for some tips to ensure that you, too, show respect for that all-important document that lays the world at your feet.

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Posted by on July 25, 2012 in Miscellaneous


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Trendsetter, Jetsetter: We have a winner!

If you had won, you would be this happy, too!

Thank you to everyone who entered to win earrings from KTCollection!  The winner of the Trendsetter, Jetsetter contest is….drumroll, please: Helen Ogbara!

Thanks for entering, Helen–please reach out to KTCollection to claim your prize.

To everyone else, I’ll keep my eyes peeled for more giveaway opportunities that I think would be awesome for you.  In the meantime, if you haven’t snagged some already and you want to try KTCollection jewelry for yourself, now’s your chance.  If you’re in New York City, you can visit KTCollection in person.  Otherwise, you can always shop online on the KTCollection website–the shipping is super-fast, as I recently discovered when I ordered new earrings to replace a pair that I lost while I was in Las Vegas (whoops!).

Thanks again for being such loyal and dedicated readers!


Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Miscellaneous


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Trendsetter, Jetsetter: Win earrings from KTCollection!


A big part of travel is deciding what to bring with you.  Usually, especially if you’re traveling on a budget, a premium is placed on packing light.  Frequently, the advice you get involves choosing items based on functionality only.  This works fine for a lot of people, but, for me, I like being able to dress with at least a touch of style while I travel–it just makes me feel like myself, no matter how far I am from home.  So, how do you pack light but still allow for looking trendy once you hit your destination?  One way is to focus on accessories–they don’t take up much room in your luggage, they’re versatile, and they can add a hint of spice to plainer outfits.  Personally, I love earrings, whether brought with me or purchased during my travels.  But, what’s better than buying jewelry?  Getting it for free!  As a thank you for being my loyal readers, here’s your chance to score some free, awesome earrings from KTCollection that you can sport on your next trip!

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Posted by on June 21, 2012 in Miscellaneous


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Tongue-Tied: 3 Tips For When You Don’t Speak the Language

Close enough?

One concern that many people have about traveling to somewhere more off-the-beaten-track is how they will be able to muddle through when they don’t speak the language. While English tends to be the lingua franca of travel, it may not be enough to get you through your travels if you stray away from larger cities.  In some countries, even in larger cities (like Beijing), most people that you encounter in your comings and goings will have, at best, a limited grasp of English.

Before I go on, full disclosure: in addition to English, I also speak Spanish (which I studied in school for nine years), French (which I taught myself off an on over four years), and Portuguese (which I taught myself sporadically over two years); thus, I have a bit of a leg up in terms of being able to communicate in various locations and circumstances.  That being said, I’ve been to all seven continents, and, unsurprisingly, just using English or a Romance language doesn’t always cut it.  Plus, you may be cooler than I am and not want to spend so much time learning new vocabulary and grammar.  So, what can you do to make it through?  Here are three tips: Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Miscellaneous


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5 Tips for Going Solo

Sipping a Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore

While I have taken my share of group trips (e.g., to Morocco), the vast majority of my travels have involved me going solo.  When people hear about this, their reactions tend to fall into two camps.  Some are impressed by my “bravery”.  Others express concern about safety, loneliness, and other issues.  I don’t think that solo travel necessitates any particular extra level of courage, nor do I think that a lot of the concern is justified.  The main thing to keep in mind when you’re going it alone is that, since you can’t rely on a travel buddy, you have to be prepared to be your own best resource.  Here are five tips to help you do just that on your next trip:

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Posted by on June 5, 2012 in Miscellaneous


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