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5 Tips to Enjoy Los Angeles on a Budget

August 8, 2013

Los Angeles was admittedly never at the top of my travel bucket list, but when the opportunity arose to travel to LAX, I knew I couldn’t miss the chance to explore a new place.

Beverly Hills... on the cheap?

California, and Los Angeles in particular, is known to be pretty expensive. But you’d be surprised how much you can do for free! In three days (two nights) of “fun” time, I spent probably a little more than $200. That amount could easily be less if I had not rented a car (or had someone to split the cost with).

So how do you do Los Angeles on the cheap? Here’s the breakdown.  Read more…

7 Free Things to Do in Los Angeles

August 4, 2013

Hollywood sign

It’s kind of amazing the amount of things you can do for free in Los Angeles — a lot more than you’d expect. In fact, most of the most famous things to see and do in the area are actually free! So put away those wallets and follow me in on a little journey into the budget traveler’s wonderland that exists in this warm, sunny southern California hotspot.

Join a Live Audience

I had never seen a live show before, so seeing a taping was one of the only things I really wanted to do when I was in LA. Read more…

How I Traveled to 6 Countries in Europe in 6 Hours

May 15, 2013

EU Open HouseThis 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!  Read more…

Hey look, I’m famous!

March 16, 2013

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!

Greetings from Baltimore!

February 1, 2013

Baltimore form Fed Hill
I officially live in Baltimore! The past month has been a whirlwind of moving (driving up from Florida was an adventure on it’s own – more on that another time), finding a place to live, moving in, and starting my awesome new job. Oh, and also my friend Travis came down from NYC to visit and we went to the Presidential Inauguration in DC!  Read more…

Saying goodbye to 2012

December 31, 2012

Being a reporter has its advantages!What a year it has been.

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. Read more…

An Open Letter of Thanks to My Parents

November 21, 2012

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. Read more…

How I Became a Traveler: From Shy Kid to Fearless Adventurer

November 13, 2012

I remember quite vividly the moment I decided to travel abroad for the first time.

I was 12. A letter had come in the mail from People to People, inviting me to travel to Australia for two weeks as a student ambassador with a group of other sixth graders. At first, I set the letter aside without much thought.

In my mind, there was no way I could do something like that. It didn’t even seem like a remote possibility. I don’t think it was even the fear of going, though I was a painfully shy kid, but simply the thought that such a trip was not something people actually do.

Maybe my parents pushed it a little bit, I don’t remember. In all likelihood, my dad encouraged me some, while my mom probably felt she would rather not send her little girl take off to the other side of the globe.

But then something happened. Read more…

Southwest Florida’s best beaches for the eclectic traveler

October 31, 2012

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?

Read more…

The Craziest Prom Proposal You’ll Ever See

September 21, 2012

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:

Read more…

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