Friday, January 30th, 2015

Five Years of Travel Blogging: Hitting the Reset Button

On this day five years ago, I was putting together the elements of this blog. Securing hosting, buying a theme, working out every detail so that it would be set for its first post to go live on February 6. Five years. Not a lot of us make it to five years. I feel like I’m [...]

Sri Lanka From Above: Climbing Sigirya

France has the Eiffel Tower. Egypt has the pyramids. China has the Great Wall. Three different countries, but they have something in common: there is a monument that epitomizes or even defines the country to outsiders. And even though the Eiffel Tower doesn’t represent all of France, it’s one of the first things that come to mind when [...]

Just Added: More Tours to Central America!

When our trip to El Salvador and Guatemala sold out in just a week and the waiting list grew and grew, there was only one thing to do: add more tours! Leif and I have decided to add two more tours this spring! Leif will be running one on his own and we’ll be running [...]

Colombo: Learning to Love an Unlovable City

Sri Lanka might be full of fascinating places to visit, but Colombo isn’t often listed as one of them. It’s not a city like Phnom Penh and Delhi that gets a lot of flack but redeems itself with its cultural and historical sites. Colombo is the kind of city that people urge you to skip, saying that there’s nothing there. [...]

On Christmas in New York

The bar might have been bathed in neon turquoise light, but I still noticed Monica’s nails. Long, lovingly cared for, perfectly squared off, and resplendent in layer upon layer of cherry-red lacquer, topped with a few coats of red glitter. Christmas nails. So festive, yet not garish or obvious. Her nails weren’t made to look like mini [...]

Where I’m Going (I Think!) in 2015

In the past, I’ve started the New Year with at least the first six months booked solid. For once, this isn’t the case — I’m excited at the novelty of the flexibility in my future. I’ve got nothing officially scheduled past March. This is great! Even with the travel plans that I do have in my pipeline, they’re different from [...]

New in New York — The Latest Edition

Here’s one thing I will never do in New York: run around like mad trying to see as many sights as humanly possible. I’ve made peace with the fact that I’m never going to see everything that I want to see — so I don’t try. I move at a leisurely pace and know that I’ll [...]

Strolling Through Galle, Sri Lanka

My time in Galle was far too short – but it was more than enough for me to declare it my favorite place in Sri Lanka. Galle is a Dutch colonial town on Sri Lanka’s southwest coast anchored by a World Heritage-listed fort. The architecture gives it a feeling like nowhere else in the country. What [...]

Join Our Tour in El Salvador and Guatemala this March!

Image: alq666 “Kate, can I come traveling with you?” It’s one of the questions I get the most, and I’m happy to share that the time is finally now. Leif from The Runaway Guide and I are running a tour to El Salvador and Guatemala this March! Run Away to Central America With Us The [...]

AK Monthly Recap: December 2014

It’s the last monthly recap of the year! December 2014 took me to three countries and a few of the world’s most iconic cities. Because I’ve been doing lots of recapping to celebrate the end of the year and you’ve already heard many of these stories already, I’ll keep this one brief. Destinations Visited Hikkaduwa and Colombo, Sri [...]

The Lessons My Friends Taught Me in 2014

On this, the last day of 2014, I wanted to give a special thank you to my friends. More than anything, 2014 was a year of friendship. The second half of 2014 was one of the darkest and most difficult periods of my life, and I wouldn’t have gotten through it without the unconditional support of [...]

An Epic Stay at New York’s Hippest Hotel

I think I’ve ruined myself for life. Before this December, I had never stayed at a hotel in New York before. Not just in Manhattan — no hotel anywhere in or near the city. I’ve got a lot of friends and family in New York; they kindly let me crash with them as needed. But now I’ve [...]

Visiting the White House During Christmas

I recently had the opportunity to do something that I hadn’t even thought about before – visiting the White House during Christmas. I visited Washington, DC to take part in the White House’s first ever Travel Blogger Summit, focusing on making study abroad accessible to more students. While the summit itself was an exciting, inspiring event [...]

My Worst Travel Moments of 2014

You’ve got to take the good with the bad. And just because I’m on the road most of the time, it doesn’t mean I’m immune to bad times. Far from it. No matter how much you travel, it can often be challenging and stressful. I really enjoy writing about the crappy times on the road — [...]

My Best Travel Moments of 2014

What makes a perfect travel moment? For me, it’s not always about seeing an iconic sight or taking a memorable journey — it’s how I feel in one small moment, whether it lasted a few minutes or a few hours. It’s a moment when the rest of the world floats away and I’m perfectly present. [...]

Sri Lanka, What Took Me So Long?

If you’re a very longtime reader, you might remember this very early post, which I wrote back in 2010 just before leaving on my six-month trip to Southeast Asia that unexpectedly turned into four years and counting around the world. (What a baby blogger I was back then!) I had been dreaming of visiting Sri [...]

My Favorite New Destinations of 2014

It’s time for my annual collection of “best of the year” travel lists! Since I have no plans to travel to any new destinations before the end of the year, I’m ready to reveal the first: my favorite new destinations of the year. Every year, I do a round-up of my favorite new destinations of the year. In [...]

Heading to NYC for an Epic Adventure with Booking

Most of my visits to New York are anchored in Harlem, crashing on the gray couch I gave my sister when I left to travel the world four years ago. And as much as I love staying with her (complete with playing Cards Against Humanity, watching her boyfriend’s latest favorite YouTube videos, and eating all [...]

AK Monthly Recap: November 2014

Well, I finally did it. After two and a half years, I finally took a vacation. But aren’t you always on – STOP! Don’t even! Believe me, I know how ridiculous it sounds. I travel the world full-time, stay in luxury hotels, and people get me to do things like fly like Iron Man and climb [...]

Ask Kate: Should I Book My Accommodation Ahead of Time?

Is it necessary to book your accommodation in advance? If so, how far in advance? The latest Ask Kate question delves into the pros and cons of showing up to book. Hey Kate! Let’s say you book a plane and go with it, you just pretty much research the area best as possible for places to [...]