Books to Inspire Travel (and Love)

books to inspire travel

When I was growing up, I had a wicked imagination. It ran wild with all sorts of ideas and stories, so it’s only fitting that I had and still have a deep and profound love for the written word and for well-crafted and well-written books.

In the past few years, I’ve read some incredible books. Ones that have not only inspired in me a love of the world, but also a love for the characters, and a deep desire to have just that: love. Love, in this context, doesn’t necessarily mean in a romantic way or even for another person, but just in general. A love of language, of culture, of countries, of people. So, because I’ve gotten great joy and felt deep connections to these books, I wanted to share them with you. Here are some books to inspire travel (and love) in your lives as well.

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Photo Friday: My Travelin’ Pup

dog in texarkana
It’s my little guy’s seventh birthday in a couple days, so I thought I’d make this week’s Photo Friday all about him.

In 2010, I was ready to adopt a dog. I’d wanted a Pomeranian for years because I thought they just looked like the cutest and happiest pups imaginable. I scoured the internet for months, checking every adoption site around Austin and within a 3-hour radius to try to find the perfect addition to my little family. And then that’s when I saw this photo and fell in love.

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How to Photograph the Northern Lights

how to photograph the northern lights

ISO 400; 18mm; f/3.5; 30 seconds

Seeing the Northern Lights was one of my all-time favorite experiences. It was one of those things I’d dreamed about for years and after watching them for a bit, I wanted some photos to remember the experience.

Photographing the Northern Lights isn’t difficult, but it takes the right equipment, the right weather, the right settings, and a bit of trial and error.

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Photo Friday: Jemaa el Fna, Marrakech

jemaa el fna marrakech morocco games

When I visited Marrakech, Morocco, one night I met up with my lovely friend and fellow travel blogger, Jill, and her beau Mike for a night in the square: Jemaa el Fna.

There’s so much to see in Jemaa el Fna, at all hours of the day. You’ll find people touting spices and cookies; orange juice stands; women who will chase you down and try to put henna on you; snake charmers; pop-up restaurants; monkey handlers; and cross-dressing men who dance in front of audiences. But one very popular past-time seems to be this odd game where you have a weighted ring tied to the end of a string that dangles from a wooden pole. You then try to get this ring around the cap and neck of a bottle of soda, which are arranged in a circle, and if you get it–you get to keep the soda! It’s a pretty inexpensive game, but also a mildly irritating one because it’s a lot more difficult than you’d think! The men who run the stands make it look so easy, but stand around and watch the people try it for a few minutes and you’ll see that it’s not. The guy who ran the place even explained to us how he did it, but none of us could figure it out.

If you’re hanging out in Jemaa el Fna, spare a few dihram and give it a shot!

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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Photo Friday: Northern Lights

northern lights thingvellir iceland

Well, the Northern Lights season has officially begun, and because of that, I thought it’d be appropriate to share a photo I took of the Northern Lights in Iceland last October.

If you’ll recall, I spent a week zipping around the South coast of Iceland trying to spot the elusive Northern Lights. It finally paid off on my last night there. It was spectacular–and it wasn’t even one of the high activity nights. Seeing them dance in the sky above me was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life, and I look forward to the day when I get to see it happen again.

I’m working on a post right now about how to shoot the Northern Lights, so be on the lookout for that if you’re headed somewhere to spot them! It’s not terribly hard to catch them, it just takes a little trial and error to get the right settings!

Ethics of Travel

boat dubai fountain dubai mall burj khalifa

When I visited Dubai a few months ago, I ran across quite a few naysayers; people who disagreed with my choice to travel there because of their moral objections to the city. As a traveler (and wanna-be anthropologist), my goal is to visit and observe a place and its people. I am not there to pass judgment or to tell people how to do things better or differently. It’s my belief that every country–its culture and its people–are different and should be respected for those differences. But given the response I got from some when I decided to go to Dubai, I began to think about the ethics of travel–both with regards to Dubai and in general.

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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: Marrakech Souq

marrakech souq marrakesh souk

When I traveled through Morocco, I made a point to stay within the medina in every city in which I visited. While that meant a lot of chaos, cacophony, getting lost, and sometimes being overwhelmed, it also provided me with what I felt was an “authentic” Moroccan experience. I loved meandering through the souqs and seeing how regular people lived, how they shopped, and how they relaxed. This photo was taken early in the morning in Marrakech before the hordes of people filled the souq. I loved the light streaming through the thatched roof and the sort of quiet calm before the storm. The mornings and evenings were my favorite times of day in Marrakech–the mornings for their quiet beauty and the evenings when the streets and square were teeming with people.

Best Travel Quotes (in Photos!)

It’s no secret that I am kind of obsessed with Pinterest. I spend a lot of time on there curating my boards and finding new places to discover and quotes to inspire wanderlust (such as the one below, which I found on Pinterest).

i left my heart in so many places

I decided to try my hand at creating a few of my own (using others’ quotes, of course). Here’s a selection of what I think are some of the best travel quotes around! (And you’ll find the location of the photo afterward.)

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