Fulfilling a Dream

chai in india

Has there ever been a country that has just called to you? Imploring you to visit? To explore its cities and roam its streets? To taste its foods and experience its culture? To buy its wares and immerse yourself in everything it has to offer?

I have known many: Italy, Iceland, and Morocco, to be more specific. And after visiting each one of those, my heart grew a little larger to make room to fit all of them inside. Each one of them was special and amazing in its own way and, despite some difficulties in a couple of them, they each earned this rightful place at the top of my favorite-places-in-the-world list.

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2015 Travel Wish List

2015 travel wish list

Given that I’m going to be working full-time again, I’m unsure how much time I’m going to spend outside of the US this year, but I’ve already requested three weeks off for two different trips that are in the works, so there’s potential!

Here are some places that are on my wish list this year. Hopefully I’ll get to check off at least a few of these!

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When Plans Change


It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since I packed my things into a storage unit, quit my job, left Austin, and embarked on a several-month journey to various places across this great planet. In fact, I’ve been “home” (in Pennsylvania) now and living a “normal” life again for 9 months, and that time has flown by.

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Mainstream Media and the Brainwashing of Americans

This week I started an almost full-out war on my personal Facebook page. It started innocently enough: I posted a conversation I’d had with a guy who I think was initially trying to flirt with me, but ending up just being insulting and ignorant. Not to me, but to an entire country in general: Iran.

It’s no secret that I’m drawn to Muslim-majority countries. I’ve been to a couple and there are several on my must-see list. So, when this guy asked me why the hell I’d want to go to Iran (and then suggested that I’d be decapitated if I went), I was more than a little upset and irritated with his level of ignorance of what I consider to be an enigmatic, diverse, and beautiful country. In any case, the conversation on my Facebook sparked a debate in which people were very strongly divided: totally for visiting Iran or totally against.

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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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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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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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On the Concept of Home

home sweet home

In my short 30 years on this planet, I have lived in more than 18 homes. Most of these have been centered around two geographic areas, but 18 different bedrooms, 18 different streets, and 18 different Zip codes nonetheless.

When I decided to stay put in Pennsylvania for a while after my travels, I had to register my car in state and get a new driver’s license. The lady at the DMV noticed in my records that I’d previously lived in Pennsylvania, and when she handed me my paperwork to go have my photo taken, she simply said, “welcome home, honey.” Welcome home. It’s something I haven’t really stopped thinking about since.

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Traveling with an Anxiety Disorder

anxiety girl

I have touched on my issues with anxiety in other posts, but never fully in depth. I think a lot of people are unfamiliar with exactly what it means to have an anxiety disorder–instead thinking that sometimes those of us with one are perhaps just a bit too Type-A personality/high-strung. While that’s probably not a stretch for some of us, anxiety disorders are more than that.

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In Remembrance

world war two wwii world war ii

With Memorial Day last week and today marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day, I thought I’d write a post in remembrance of the soldiers who fought in WWII, and specifically, my grandpa, who was in five campaigns (including Normandy) and earned five Bronze Stars for his service.

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