Monday, March 2nd, 2015

AK Monthly Recap: February 2015

Nicaragua, I have fallen madly in love with you! Before I came to Central America, I knew I was looking forward to Nicaragua the most, so I made sure to allot myself a good amount of time (four weeks). That was a smart decision. I could easily stay here another month or longer — there is [...]

The Best Things to Do in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

I’ve only been walking around the Nicaraguan beach town of San Juan del Sur for 20 minutes, but already three guys have stopped to talk to Alex. Three HOT guys. Hot Canadian surfers with incredible upper arms and ponytailed hair and the perfect smattering of chest hair. I have one question for my friend: “HOW?!” I [...]

The Most Colorful City of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

There’s so much I have to write about San Juan del Sur. I planned on coming for three days; I ended up staying for eight. I haven’t felt such a strong pull to a place in a long time. At times it almost felt like a time warp — traveling back to a time when I [...]

How to Travel Solo to a Party Destination

Imagine walking into a bar and knowing nobody inside. Everyone is laughing and drinking and seems to have been best friends for ages. Do you find that as terrifying as I do? God, it’s the stuff of nightmares! I’ve talked a lot about how to make friends while traveling solo. But party destinations are a special case [...]

In Search of Perfect Beach Towns: Sámara, Costa Rica

For the past few years, I’ve always been on the lookout for the perfect beach town. Perfect for me, that is. You may disagree. What I like most in a beach town is a big, beautiful, airy beach with lots of space, west-facing sunset views, and the perfect level of development. More on the development in a [...]

The Most Important Item I Pack: Pacsafe Travelsafe Review

The single most important item I pack on my travels is my portable safe: my Pacsafe Travelsafe 12L. For years, I’ve been recommending this product to every traveler I know. Budget, luxury, mid-range, family, solo, everything. I’ve urged everyone coming on our Central America tours to buy one for themselves. And yet so few travelers have a portable safe. [...]

Into the Cloud Forest of Monteverde

My time in Costa Rica didn’t get off to the smoothest start. After a stunning drive through the Guanacaste landscape, I arrived in La Fortuna to thundering rain. It proceeded to rain about 22 hours out of the day for the next three days. (In the dry season!) It wasn’t a complete washout. I enjoyed [...]

AK Monthly Recap: January 2015

Greetings from lovely Nicaragua! I am loving the heat and sunshine, loving that I’m avoiding the snow back home, loving the Patriots’ Super Bowl win, and loving all the adventuring I’ve been doing! Here’s what I’ve been up to in the first month of 2015. Destinations Visited Reading, Lynn, Boston, and Cambridge, Massachusetts New York, New [...]

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 [...]