10 small strategies that will improve your journey

About five years ago, San Francisco Chronicle travel editor John Flinn published a column called “A few things I’ve learned in a quarter-century-plus of travel.” I enjoyed his insights so much I saved the article as a text file — and I recently stumbled across it again on my laptop. Here are my ten favorite bits of advice from Flinn’s column:

1. When you’re on a lean budget, one step up from rock-bottom … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (4)  | November 6, 2015
Category: Food and Drink, Hostels/Hotels, Vagabonding Advice

Learning to cook Thai food in Krabi

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Traveling often implies a few things about food. In Thailand, for example, it’s assumed that visitors are interested in diversifying their palates and will order Thai iced tea, pad see ew or panang curry, eschewing plain old burgers and pizza. And so, it is a given that most meals will be eaten at a restaurant or a street cart. It makes sense that you’d … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | February 25, 2015
Category: Food and Drink

What the frugal foodie eats in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Stroll past the dozens of stalls serving food to the fascinated tourists excitedly pointing at giant, steaming woks of noodles, dried sticks of skewered insects and whirring blenders filled with local fruits, and you’ll find the experience to be an exquisite assault on the senses. Bright lights above each stall harshly illuminate the menus, which are rarely also in English. If the menu can even be seen through the steam and smoke from the never-ending … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | January 13, 2015
Category: Asia, Food and Drink, General

Signs of confusion


One afternoon late last year, I went out for lunch at a restaurant not far from the south Thailand guesthouse where I’d been staying. My landlady ran the place, and on this day she seemed particularly pleased to see me. “We have new English menu!” she exclaimed, presenting me with a glossy list of entrees.

I took a seat and scanned the menu, which listed … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | November 8, 2014
Category: Food and Drink, On The Road

5 Ways to eat healthy while traveling

Hannah eating-Chiang Rai

Eating healthy is important to us.

I’m a relentless “do it myself” sort of girl. I was raised freezing and canning a lot of our own food. I make most things from scratch. It’s really important to me to feed my family healthy things so that the children grow properly and so that healthy eating patterns are established for life.

Lots of people … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | September 23, 2014
Category: Food and Drink, On The Road, Travel Health, Vagabonding Life

What I remember most – meals with friends

I’ve spent the past few weeks traveling around, catching up with old friends. I’ve been through Paris, London and am now sitting in the Yotel hotel in New York City. As I was thinking back, deciding what to write about – the moments that burned brightest were the meals that I shared with friends. The exquisite home-cooked meal that David and his wife made in Paris. The Argentinian wine and bar snacks in London. The … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (0)  | September 12, 2014
Category: Food and Drink, On The Road

Slumming the golden arches

Golden Arches, Barstow Station

Image credit

This month marks the beginning of student-travel season in Europe, which means that — at any given moment — continental McDonald’s restaurants will be filled with scores of American undergraduates. Quiz these young travelers, and they’ll give you a wide range of reasons for seeking out McDonald’s — … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (2)  | June 7, 2014
Category: Backpacking, Europe, Food and Drink, Travel Health, Vagabonding Advice

Anthony Bourdain: On food and travel


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I have a confession to make: I’m falling in love with Anthony Bourdain.

After twelve years without a television to share my life with I discovered his shows when we were wandering in New Zealand. The food. The locations. His sass. I was smitten. Then, I began to read, you know he’s a writer, don’t you? Swoon. He writes about … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | March 4, 2014
Category: Food and Drink, Travel Writing

Christmas in England: music, food and decoration

In the final entry in my series of posts on the subtle but interesting variations in how European cultures celebrate Christmas, I take a look at one of the finest places to spend the holiday season, England. It’s not just a beautiful country with a joyous approach to the holiday; it’s also the spot where some of the most cherished Christmas traditions originated.

Throughout Europe, the sound of carols spill out from churches great and … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (2)  | December 25, 2013
Category: Europe, Expat Life, Food and Drink, General, Notes from the collective travel mind

Tamales and coffee

I spent some time talking with local residents of Monteverde, asking about the history and traditions associated with their Christmas holiday celebrations. Everyone got so excited that they started talking over one another, but I had a translator, so I think we captured everything they wanted to share with me. Here is some unique insight on Costa Rican traditions, and more specifically, traditions of Monteverde.

Festival de la Luz is a holiday festival held in … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (1)  | December 23, 2013
Category: Central America, Food and Drink