Finding new perspectives on familiar places

It can be difficult to find new angles through which to view places you already know well. Human nature being what is, it takes a conscious effort to see anything through new eyes. We tend to see only what we’re familiar with, and what strikes our vision on the most surface levels: the old buildings, the people, the streets, the here-and-now bustle that is so easy to get caught up in. But shifting our approach is sometimes needed if we are to really appreciate all the layers and the richness any place has to offer. As a travel writer I’m… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (1)  | September 14, 2014
Category: Europe, Notes from the collective travel mind, Travel Writing

A New Yorker goes to the Minnesota State Fair

[caption id="attachment_21863" align="alignleft" width="225"] Butter heads at the fair[/caption] It was December of 2004 when I took my first Contiki trip for two weeks in Australia. On the first night I met two girls from Minnesota and that’s where the love affair with the State Fair began. For years Cara has been teaching this New Yorker about all things Minneapolis and although I’ve now been many times I was never able to hit it at the right time to take part in the festivities. It took just about a decade but I finally made it to the Minnesota State Fair.… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | September 6, 2014
Category: General, Notes from the collective travel mind

The power of nostalgia for travel

Travelers are curious. Why else would they put up with the more uncomfortable bits that make up "travel"? Squatting toilets for instance or anything that has anything to do with an airline. Many of us are so curious that we want to see it all. The whole world. At the very least, a sample of each region from the world. That "see it all" curiosity is especially true for my husband. His initial thoughts on creating an itinerary are never "I'd like to go back to...." but always "We haven't yet seen...". I, on the other hand, am a very… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (2)  | August 28, 2014
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

Just go!

Why travel far and wide you ask What will you perhaps find? There’s so much here to see and do Why go far to unwind? So much to say – the words are hard They make so much sense to me Stay here to find the everyday Or go abroad and see? The fun, the peace and curiosity It runs deep in my soul Adventures to have and experiences I seek The journey itself is the goal In travel I find a piece of myself I’ve yet to find at home Truth and identity are ones that I seek And… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | August 23, 2014
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

The Value of Time

It’s an increasingly accepted as fact that, as a nation, we have allowed a work culture to develop where taking time off is seen a sign of disloyalty or lack of care, and where extended time off is more of a concept than a reality. It’s also a given that more and more data suggest that the costs of this approach in stress and lack of free time for rest, recreation and family is having a profoundly detrimental effect on our society. Traveling in Europe always brings the difference between the US and European cultures with regard to work/life balance… Read More...

Food: A Delicious Reminder of Our Travels

[caption id="attachment_21587" align="alignleft" width="224"] Columbian Arepas first tasted at The Vic-recreated in Long Beach, New York![/caption] At the age of twelve, I visited my friend Jill’s house and tasted what I still believe to be the best barbecue sauce around. Her dad’s friend Steve brought it with him on a visit from Toronto, Canada and I have never found its equal. Today, Diana's Sauce lives in my own cupboard and I order it by the case. Before I ever ventured out of my post-code, my mom shared my grandfather’s travel advice. “Take out half the clothes and put in twice the… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | August 9, 2014
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

Thank you, Victoria Falls.

Day 63 of our year long ‘round the world honeymoon will be forever etched in our memory. In October 2009, my husband and I had just concluded a three-week G Adventures tour of southern Africa and had a few days to spend in Livingstone, Zambia. The falls called to us. Knowing only it’s mammoth size, endless supply of rainbows and something called Devil’s Pool; we went in search of adventure but what we found was both a literal and metaphorical ‘jump’. The water rushed past us with its continual flow symbolizing the twists, turns and sometimes, jagged edges of life. How… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | July 26, 2014
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

Lessons from a tour guide, part I

This week I returned from a month and a half overseas working as a tour guide, helping to lead two different groups on an epic Best-of-Europe grand tour. The experience was a new one for me; after years of exploring the continent’s cobbled backstreets and ancient cities as a solo travel writer, I found myself with the unique opportunity of being a guide for one of America’s most well-respected touring companies. A couple of concerns dogged me as I flew over the Arctic Circle, the plane making its slow path from my home base of Seattle to the tour departure… Read More...

How to be a traveler in the everyday

From the very first time I ever went on a trip, I never wanted to leave. Friends used to tell me they thought I feared reality and wanted to live in a permanent state of holiday. ‘What’s so wrong with that’, I’d reply. It has only gotten worse with age, I’m afraid. I used to think it was because I didn’t have to handle any chores at that time. Since then I’ve gotten sick while traveling, have had to pay bills while on the road and deal with other disheartening realities, but, even to this day, I never want it… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | July 12, 2014
Category: General, Notes from the collective travel mind

You’re Doing What?

We’d been dating long distance for over three years. We got engaged in Australia in January of 2009 when I was still in New York and he in Melbourne. We’d traveled overseas together on every holiday break we could and loved it. We knew we wanted to share the same space for more than a few weeks together and thought long and hard about how to do it in perhaps a non-traditional way. We decided to take a ten-month honeymoon after we got married and travel around the world. A couple of years later, we did it again for a… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | June 28, 2014
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind, On The Road