Looking to plan a transformative travel experience of your own? After traveling to more than 30 countries on six continents, I’ve put together resources on planning and packing.
Meaningful travel experiences don’t have to be expensive, and transformative travel often means going it alone, so I’ve also included my specific tips for budget travel and solo travel.
Got a specific place in mind? Check out my trip itineraries below, or visit the Destinations page for more information about other countries and regions.
This weekend I zig-zagged across Europe, visiting Latvia, Romania, Slovenia, Italy, Denmark, and Belgium in just six hours.
How did I do it, you ask?
It’s a little thing called the EU Open House. All the European Union embassies in Washington, D.C. (plus Croatia, who will officially join July 1!) were open to the public. And we’re not just talking a tour of the embassy. Most embassies went all out. Many of the larger, more well-known countries (think Italy, UK, Belgium, Ireland) gave away freebies (ranging from bags to beer!), while even the smaller countries had samplings of traditional food and drink. And of course there was lots of music, dancing, and funky traditional clothing! (more…)
I recently did an interview with Alexa Hart on Atlas Sliced, a travel show about living and working abroad.
Alexa is awesome and I had a great time talking to her about what it’s like to work abroad in Australia as an American on the Work & Holiday Visa. In addition to the basic nitty-gritty breakdown that everyone wants to know, I talk a bit about why working abroad in Australia is an awesome thing to do, and how it’s helped me get to where I am today. (Dare I say I had Alexa convinced?)
You can watch the interview below, or better yet, check out the episode on her site to get tons of other info and watch other inspiring interviews with people who’ve taken to the wind and gone abroad to build upon their careers and life experiences!
I began the year working as a newspaper reporter, a job I never thought I’d do but that I ended up really enjoying. As I’ve mentioned, I was a very shy child, so I think for a long time part of me thought I could never do such a job that required so much high-level interaction with people. But I did it, and it was great.
But at the same time, I was applying for my visa to move to Sweden to live with Oscar, who I had been dating for nearly four years, spending a lot of it long distance. Once my visa was approved, I left my job at the paper and moved to Sweden. And then we broke up. It was a friendly breakup, and I think we’re both better off now because of it. But it was hard. (more…)
It’s been a long time since I’ve spent Thanksgiving with my family. The past handful have been spent in various, slightly nontraditional ways — with international students at university in South Carolina, with an Ecuadorean host family in Quito, eating Swedish-prepared kebab-pizza with Australians and Koreans in Perth, and now in Florida, where it appears I might be eating home-cooked Indian cuisine for my Thanksgiving meal. (No complaints here!)
I don’t share this to brag, but to illustrate just how lucky I am to have the parents that I do. While it’s always nice to be home with family enjoying a home-cooked meal, I am thankful for all those other holiday experiences I was able to have. And none of those Thanksgivings would have been possible without my parents’ support, love and understanding.
Not all parents would be supportive (emotionally and financially) of their child going to school 600 miles away. Or traveling alone through South America. Or moving to Australia for a year. Or temporarily taking over their house in Florida. (Super thanks!)
In travel and in life, my parents have always been my biggest supporters. (more…)
Autumn has settled in around us and the weather is growing colder in many places. In Southwest Florida, the sun is still shining, the beaches are still bustling, and the locals (myself included!) are shivering if the temperature drops to 70º.
Whatever your interests, Southwest Florida has a beach for you. Even if you don’t have a trip to the Sunshine State in the works, who says you can’t enjoy a little eye candy of blue skies, turquoise Gulf waters, white sand and tanned bodies to keep the impending winter blues away?
Would you travel across the globe and climb into a volcano to ask your date to prom?
Well, when I was in Sicily a few years ago it appeared that someone did just that. Now I can’t be sure, but I don’t think they have prom on the tiny Aeolian island of Vulcano, just off the coast of Sicily. Furthermore, I’m betting if they did the students wouldn’t be asking their date to prom in slang-y English.
And yet, I spotted this inside Gran Cratere volcanic crater on Vulcano:
To give a sense of what it would be like to climb into this active volcano to write this message, here’s the full image: