Tag Archives: China

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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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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Photo of the Week: The Great Wall of China

Trekking the Great Wall near Mutianyu

I just finished Rolf Potts’ classic long-term travel book “Vagabonding”–I know, I know: as a longtime travel fiend, I am way behind the ball on reading this, but better late than never!  In any event, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, especially because it made me reminisce about some of my past travels.  In particular, I thought about my time in Beijing when I was reading Rolf’s thoughts on the silly, long-running “traveler” vs. “tourist” debate (i.e., that tourists just check the box as they wander amongst the typical sights while travelers are more “authentic” and make an effort to get off the beaten track and meet people).

Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on April 26, 2012 in Asia, China, Photo of the Week


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