Friday, September 4th, 2015

Requiem for a Beloved Purple Dress

Four and a half years ago, I found myself shipwrecked and posession-less in Indonesia. After jumping off a boat and swimming for my life in the middle of the night, I ended up with only four pieces of clothing: my Vang Vieng tubing t-shirt, my black and blue hippie pants, my pink Beerlao tank top, and […]

AK Monthly Recap: August 2015

Is it March that goes in like a lion and out like a lamb? Well, that was pretty much my August. It began with a bang, gallivanting in Riga before a wild sojourn through eastern Sicily. After slowing down a bit in Scotland and Iceland, I came home to Massachusetts and came to a stop. […]

The Genealogy Trip: Tracing Our Roots in Latvia, Sicily, and Scotland

In late July, two special ladies ratlew across the Atlantic to Latvia. For the first time in my nearly five years of travel, family members were coming to travel with me. My mother, Debbie, and my sister, Sarah. Wait? When did you mention a big family trip?! I didn’t mention it, actually. My mom is conservative when […]

Copenhagen in Photos

It’s been two months since I visited Copenhagen, and for some reason, I’ve been struggling when trying to put my visit into words. Copenhagen was lovely. But what made this trip so different? Well, first of all, I failed at tourism. I planned for only four days in Copenhagen without accounting for how the seven-hour eastward jet […]

100 Travel Tips for Paris

Visiting Paris is an experience that every traveler should have. Paris is the first city I fell in love with. More than 60 countries later, it’s still my favorite city in the world. Since my first trip at the age of 16, I’ve returned seven more times, trying to uncover more layers of the city on each visit. […]

What’s it Like to Travel in Albania?

Image: travelFREAK Albania was the country I was most looking forward to visiting this summer. It fit my dreams — home to a fascinating culture and some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, yet a bit of an underdog. A Balkan country I hadn’t visited yet? Sold! But the biggest factor was meeting two lovely Albanian girls […]

How to Protect Your Belongings on the Beach

Imagine relaxing on the whitest beach you’ve ever seen. The breeze is gentle, the sun is warm but not harsh, and you’ve got your eye on the bright blue sea before you. And that’s not all — you’re here alone. Because you feel like it. And you’re having a kickass time. Ordinarily, you’d trade off swimming […]

AK Monthly Recap: July 2015

Oh, July 2015! You are going down in history! Could I have had any more fun this month?! Let’s not answer that. It was a very Balkan month. This month I continued my annual summertime getaway to the Balkans, this time visiting Albania, Montenegro, and Serbia, bookended by visits to Greece and Latvia. Here are the highlights […]

Why Snapchat Matters

Over the past several months, Snapchat has been becoming a more and more prominent social network. What was once though to be the domain for teenagers sending each other nude photos has become a powerful new medium of communication. As a publisher, I’ve watched as all of the social networks became more perfection-focused for bloggers and […]

30 Things I Didn’t Do Until I Turned 30

Yesterday I turned 31. I spent a wonderful day with my loved ones in Riga. It was a day filled with plenty of my favorite things: photographing a World Heritage Site, wine, cheese, getting recognized by a reader, and Magic Mike XXL. I also spent time reflecting on how far I’ve come in the past year. […]

7 Fantastic Food Experiences in Chicago

As soon as I decided to visit Chicago for a few days, I began planning meticulously. I started talking to everyone I knew who lived in Chicago or had visited there. I asked questions, took notes, even had a document in my Evernote compiling my information. All this information…was about food. I mean, yes, I wanted to do an architecture […]

15 Lessons From Turning My Travel Blog Into A Career

There are a handful of questions that I get asked several times a week when on the road (or even at home). The first, far and away the most popular, is, “What’s your favorite place?” So hard to answer! (Though stay tuned, because an upcoming feature in October will answer that once and for all.) […]

A Day Trip to Andorra from Barcelona

The mysterious country Andorra wasn’t on my original itinerary for Europe this summer. From my launch pad in Copenhagen, I planned to head to Athens, then upward into Albania and through the Balkans until I arrived in Belgrade. In fact, I had no flights booked until two weeks before I arrived! But then after learning that my friend Becki wouldn’t […]

Is it Safe to Travel to Greece Right Now? Absolutely.

After spending time in Greece this summer, I’ve constantly been slammed by questions from travelers with one eye on their vacations and another on Greece’s financial crisis. Is it safe to travel to Greece right now? My short answer: ABSOLUTELY. Neither I nor several of my friends traveling in Greece this summer had a single problem […]

The Secret to Solo Female Travel Confidence: Drink Champagne

The older I get, the more I realize that nobody has a clue what they’re doing. We’re all just winging it, hoping for the best. And that goes for me with my solo travels. After nearly five years of constant travel, most of it solo, I’d like to think I’ve gotten a bit better at […]

Viewpoints: Traveling While Overweight with Pamela MacNaughtan

Pamela MacNaughtan of Savoir Faire Abroad was the first person I met when I started traveling the world long-term: we met on my first day in Bangkok in 2010! Years later, she’s still traveling solo, with a particular love for Asia and Québec City. But a few months ago Pam wrote a post that rocked the […]

Milwaukee Rocks! Who Knew?

Here’s an egregious travel oversight of mine: until this June, I had never been to the Midwest before. Not even Chicago! But the spring I was invited to serve as a mentor at Navigate Media Group’s latest Bloghouse, this one taking place in Milwaukee. Milwaukee, it turns out, was the perfect introduction to the Midwest. As much […]

Snorkeling with Sharks in Belize

Splashes erupted from the side of the sailboat. Giant brown sharks thrashed out of the water, surrounded by silvery tuna, each of them vying for the fish bits thrown on the surface of our daredevil crew. Sharks. Sharks were waiting for us. And it was time to dive in and swim among them. Snorkeling with Sharks […]

Caye Caulker: A Good Place to Go Slow

Just off the coast of Belize lies a sleepy little island. Pastel wooden houses on stilts line the seashore. Palm trees sway slowly in the breeze. People of every shade of the rainbow call this island home, from Rastafarians pushing fruit carts to blond-haired, blue-eyed cafe owners and Chinese shopkeepers. Welcome to Caye Caulker, Belize. Don’t think of Caye […]

The UNESCO Hunt: 92-101

Back in November, I achieved my long-held goal of visiting more than 100 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I was thrilled to reach this milestone. Doing this challenge has made me feel like I’ve experienced so many of the world’s finest natural and cultural treasures. That said, it’s been a while since I covered World Heritage Sites […]