A Look Back at 2014

don't tell me how educated you are. tell me how far you have travelled.

I began 2014 completely exhausted after coming off several months of much-too-fast travel and without any sort of direction. Do I keep traveling even though the thought of being on the go makes my stomach hurt? Or do I lie low and go back to work even though the thought of sitting in a cubicle makes my heart hurt?

I made a compromise: travel a bit, work a short contract, and travel some more.

While I didn’t set out on an endless nomadic journey again, I still managed to travel quite a bit while still holding down a job and building up some more travel funds.

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Tips on What to do in Albuquerque – #CityLove

albuquerque

Albuquerque wasn’t really on my travel radar until “Breaking Bad” (more on this later), but after additional research and glowing recommendations from friends, it’s certainly a place I’d like to visit soon. I’m not much of an outdoorsy gal though. There are plenty of options for those types of activities (golf, hiking, fishing, etc.), if that’s your thing. But no, my style is more like leisurely strolls, popping in and out of shops, stopping for fabulous cocktails and amazing food, and enjoying whatever cultural activities are available. Here are a few of the things I plan to do when I head to Albuquerque.

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Photo Friday: Cowans Gap State Park

cowans gap pennsylvania

A couple of weeks ago I visited Cowans Gap State Park in Pennsylvania for the first time. There are plenty of hiking trails there, up through the mountains and around the lake, which offer some gorgeous views. But, my favorite view of all, was when I left Cowans Gap. Just down the road from there, you’ll see a scenic overlook sign next to a gravel road. When you take that to the very end and park, you can walk up to a few rocks on a cliff where you’re rewarded with one of the most stunning views I’ve seen in Pennsylvania. I can’t wait to go back again in the fall to see all the leaves changing, but I loved seeing the mountains, lush vegetation, and beautiful skies.

Like the photography on Meganotravels? Check out my Etsy shop to order prints!

Best of Austin: Tacos, Bars and Restaurants, and Entertainment

best of austin

It’s been almost exactly one year since I left Austin behind in search of something that fits me a bit better, and while I haven’t quite found it yet, I feel like I’m well on my way. I don’t miss Austin with the great pangs of sadness that I thought I would, but there are a handful of things that I miss on an almost daily basis and I wish I could take them with me wherever I go. So, with that, I’ve compiled a list of what I think is the best of Austin. If you’re headed to Austin, be sure to check out the following places!

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Non-Touristy Things to do in Philadelphia

non-touristy things to do in philadelphia

No matter what you’re into, Philadelphia has a ton of things to see, do, and eat. But if you’re sick of the normal tourist trail and want to see something that won’t have crazy lines or crowds (i.e., the Liberty Bell), check out these equally awesome options.

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Photo Friday: Milky Way

milky way photography

Two weeks ago I visited upstate Pennsylvania for a cousin’s wedding. Before I left, I had a thought: I’ll be in the middle of nowhere, with no service, surrounded by woods. After a bit of research, I found that the area of Pennsylvania where I was headed was one of the darkest areas in the state. I was beyond excited to try my hand at shooting the Milky Way. I’d tried my hand at star photography in Iceland and Morocco, but hadn’t quite figured it out, so I was bound and determined this time. After stopping to buy my third tripod (I always forget I’m missing a part that connects the camera to the tripod until I actually need a tripod and don’t have time to order a part), I waited for the sun to go down, set up, and was grateful that the moon wasn’t going to be anywhere in sight that night. The sky was mostly clear and I could see the Milky Way with my naked eye, so I was hopeful my photos would turn out. After my first couple of shots, I was thrilled to see the images even before post-processing.

This was one of my four favorite shots from that evening. It took a bit of editing to get it exactly how I wanted it, but I am so happy with the way it turned out and cannot wait to try my hand at it again! What do you think?

Like the photography on Meganotravels? Check out my Etsy shop to order prints!

South Philly Food Tour

where to eat in south philly south philly food tour with jeet yet?

Over 1.5 million people call Philadelphia home, and of that number, around 600,000 are immigrants. That means one amazing thing in my eyes: diversity. Of culture, of language, and especially food.

I visited Philadelphia last weekend with one mission: go on a food tour of South Philly with my friends Dana and Chad, who run the awesome podcast, Jeet Yet?, highlighting and reviewing some of the tastiest eats in the City of Brotherly Love. We tossed around a lot of ideas for this food tour and ultimately settled on one that pleased both of us: exploring the cuisines of the burgeoning ethnic groups moving into South Philly. The area was originally Jewish, then Italian, but has now seen an influx of Southeast Asians and Mexicans, meaning the food choices have grown beyond pizza and pastrami.

So, we spent about seven hours walking roughly nine miles, stopping at one eatery after another, tasting as much as we could before our stomachs, feet, and wallets started to feel the impact.

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Photo Friday: Philadelphia

philadelphia skyline from loews hotel

I’m not typically a fan of overly processed photos, but I loved playing with this photo of Philadelphia’s skyline. I made probably 15 different edits of this in a variety of ways, but I loved this super saturated and colorful version of this city that I love. I usually stay with friends when I go into the city, but this particular time I stayed at the Loews and requested a view of City Hall (my favorite building) and was rewarded with quite the view. Watching the sun go down over the city was fabulous and made for quite a few great photos over the course of that long weekend. Philadelphia is such a beautiful city, and this view was perfection.

Like the photography on Meganotravels? Check out my Etsy shop to order prints!

Five Greatest American Cities

five greatest american cities

It’s almost Independence Day and while people around the country will be taking advantage of the three-day weekend by traveling, having cookouts, going to see fireworks, drinking themselves into stupors, and playing with sparklers, I want to celebrate the United States by highlighting what I think are the five best cities in America (which are in no particular order).

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What to Wear in Philadelphia

what to wear in philadelphia pennsylvania

Philadelphia can experience a wide range of temperatures and weather patterns especially in the summertime. If you’re spending a day exploring the city, be sure to wear something kind of lightweight that breathes because the humidity can be overwhelming sometimes. Pack a sweater or bring one along in the evening as the temperatures can get kind of chilly as the sun goes down.

If you’re spending a lot of time in center city, you’ll see that it can be a pretty cosmopolitan area and wearing something to reflect that might make you feel a bit more like a local. Most of the city is pretty casual, but people still dress fashionably. Ultimately, wear something that you’ll be comfortable spending all day in and be sure to wear supportive footwear.