All posts tagged: featured

What to pack for backpacking around the world

You’ve mapped out your dream destinations and started researching what to do when you arrive. Now, what do you pack?

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8 important lessons I learned from traveling the world

As I contemplate the last four months of world travel, I realize I’ve learned a lot from the experience of backpacking across Europe and Southeast Asia. I’ve discovered places that eclipsed my wildest imaginings, explored modern cities and ancient ruins, watched sunrises and sunsets with newfound friends, climbed literal and figurative mountains and stripped away layers to reveal a stronger, smarter and braver version of myself.

I know I’ll want to remember a few of the lessons I’ve learned along the way, so here’s eight of the important ones…

Too broke to travel? 7 travel hacks to get you there sooner

At least once a week, somebody tells me “I wish I could travel too, but I don’t have the money.” Well, guess what?  It’s a lie. Stop telling yourself this convenient story and get out there and start exploring the world. As I write this, I’m cozied up at a hip cafe in Canggu, Bali eating divine vegan food. I drove here on a motorbike I got for free, five minutes from the surf/yoga camp I’m staying at (also for free). This afternoon, I’ll drop in at a discounted yoga class before meeting friends for sunset at the beach. All together, my awesome day will cost less than $15…and it could even be free, if I chose to take advantage of the restaurant back at the camp (but I have a weakness for trendy eateries, which Canggu is overflowing with). So, without further ado, here are seven resources to help you stretch even a small amount of cash into months or even years abroad: Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOFing) Browse hundreds of listings from organic farms …

Salzburg: city of music

I arrived in Salzburg at night, in the rain and was immediately lost. Luckily, a kind local went out of his way to walk me to the hostel I had brilliantly decided not to book in advance. Apparently, Salzburg is the place to be on a Friday night in October in Austria, because this large hostel didn’t have a single bed left. The receptionist handed me a map, scribbled a bus number on it and circled a point far across the city where she said they might have a hostel bed. Back into the cold, rainy night I went. After several more mistakes that ended with me trudging in circles (hey, it was a roundabout), I finally staggered into the hostel around midnight, three hours after arriving in the city. “Yes, we have one bed left,” said the nice young guy working at the reception desk. If I’d had any energy left I would have jumped over the desk and hugged him. Instead, I handed him my passport. I spent the next two days roving the city of Salzburg, entranced …

8 perfect things to do in Paris

Here are a few of my favorite things I did in Paris, in no particular order: Sacre Coeur Climbing the steep hill to Sacre Coeur left me breathless. When I stepped inside this immense cathedral I felt awed by the grandeur. Arriving at sunset was an extra treat…Paris was awash in golden light. I brought a picnic dinner and sat on the grass to enjoy my feast with a view, then stayed until dark to watch the city begin to twinkle. Arc d’Triumph  A short subway ride from Sacre Coeur, the Arc d’Triumph was impressively large and gave a wonderful view of the Eiffel Tower and the wide boulevards of Paris, laid out below on interlocking axis. I found myself thinking, if city planners back then knew how to lay out such a beautiful, livable city, why don’t modern city planners apply some of these same ideas? As the Eiffel Tower twinkled in the distance, I savored a moment of being fully present. I felt overwhelmed with gratitude that I had begun my journey. Beneath the Arc was the …

A delayed bon voyage

After an unexpected plot twist set my departure back a day, I was eager to start my journey through Europe and Southeast Asia. My first destination? Paris. I hadn’t even left home yet, but the world of travel was already teaching me some valuable lessons. C’est la vie. Lesson #1 — Avoid flying on a budget airline. Lesson #2 — If ignoring lesson #1, triple check your departure time, especially when the budget airline you are flying on changed the departure time by shifting it forwards almost 12 hours in a cryptic email with departure times listed without AM or PM. Lesson #3 — When you have missed your budget airline flight to Europe and need to book a last minute flight because no refunds or rescheduling, airline miles are a girl’s best friend. So, how did it feel to embark on the trip of a lifetime, one that had been several years in the making and had taken countless hours of planning? It felt a little bit like the nervous excitement on your first …

Roadtrip: Zion National Park to the Grand Canyon

I knew it was going to be an adventure the moment we left the all-night party. Our three backpacks were stuffed into the back of my Ford Escape, with blankets and pillows and other cozy necessities crammed into every possible space.

It seemed crazy to set off on a trip like this with practically zero sleep, and perhaps it was. But the southwest was singing and we heard its’ siren call.

Driving into the rising sun, the desert was beautiful in a palette nothing like the coastal hues we had left behind in California. Sienna, sage, ochre and rust dotted the sandscape in pastel swathes and splotches of color…