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October was an enormous break. Not from work, but from travel.
I made an eleventh hour decision to axe my trip to Greece. If you subscribe to my email updates — in which I reveal stuff that I don’t include on the blog — you already know why. If not, check it out here. (And if you want to receive those weekly email updates from me, sign up in the widget at the bottom of this page.)
It’s been nice taking a break from being on the road all the time. I’ve spent my time at home hard at work, getting much more done than what I would have been able to do while traveling.
By the time I get back on the road again, I will have been home for two months straight. It’s been more than two years since I stayed in one place that long!
Reading, Lynn, Boston, Cambridge, and New Bedford, Massachusetts
It’s hard to pick out some favorite destinations when they’re all my usuals. New Bedford was the only new place, and I really enjoyed the New Bedford Whaling Museum and the cobblestone streets and old houses.
My best friend Beth got married! This was far and away the highlight of the month. It was a really wonderful wedding at a very cool venue (the aforementioned New Bedford Whaling Museum).
The wedding was fun, especially because I got to hang out with so many of my close friends. We don’t do that often enough. And one AWESOME thing was that Beth got a fantastic makeup and hair team to primp us at the hotel. This is the best hair and makeup I’ve ever had — and they even gave us fake eyelashes!
Other October highlights included spending lots of time with friends and family, enjoying the gorgeous fall colors of Massachusetts, making a pilgrimage to the Maine Diner, and showing my Australian friend Georgie (whom I met on my Croatia cruise) around Boston.
Being at home, I’m constantly running into people I know but don’t talk to often, which means I have this conversation over and over:
Other Person: “So how long until you go back to London?”
Me: “I’m here for a few more weeks, but I’m actually going to Sri Lanka, then coming home in time for Christmas.”
OP: “But don’t you live in London?”
Me: “Not anymore. I think I’m going to move to New York next year.”
OP: “But…aren’t you…”
Me: “…You know Mario and I ended our engagement, right?”
OP: “Yes, I did!/No, I didn’t!/I didn’t know you were engaged in the first place!”
Imagine having that conversation over and over and over.
I’m grateful to my family and friends for doing the bulk of spreading the breakup news ahead of time so I didn’t have to — but going through these conversations is still incredibly awkward, both for me and the person to whom I’m speaking.
Most Popular Post
Where to Stay in Paris: Best Neighborhoods and Accommodation — After many visits to Paris, I’ve finally put together my monster guide detailing my favorite places to stay — both in terms of neighborhoods and specific accommodation.
Norway’s Fjords in Photos — A beautiful trip through Norway’s fjord country.
Rocking Out at Cologne Music Festival — Can a non-concert-goer have fun at a music festival? Absolutely.
Three Days in Bergen: The Perfect Introduction to Norway — One of my new favorite cities in Europe! Bergen is so beautiful.
Scenes from the Flåm Railway, Norway — It’s one of the most beautiful train rides in the world.
Win a Trip to Yemaya Resort, Little Corn Island — A VERY cool contest — you could win a 10-day trip to the Caribbean for two with airfare!
A Street Food Crawl Through Queens, New York — This is my new must-do activity when visiting New York.
News and Announcements
Some exciting news this month: I was invited to the White House!
I’m among the 100 travel bloggers and digital media influencers invited to the White House for their first ever Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship. The summit will take place in December.
As much as I’d love to meet the President and First Lady, it’s not that kind of event — but that’s okay. It’s still really cool to be invited and I’m especially excited to see the White House decked out for Christmas.
And that’s not all! In January, I will be speaking at the New York Times Travel Show on a panel led by the U.S. State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs. I’ll be talking about travel safety for women. The New York Times Travel Show is geared toward people who like to travel, not industry people, so I hope to see you there!
Most Popular Photo on Instagram
I haven’t been very active on Instagram this month, so it’s mostly images from my daily walks. But if there’s anything Instagram loves, it’s sunsets, and this Boston sunset was my most liked photo of the month.
What I Read This Month
Yet another month went by without me reading anything. I blame my current workload…and HBO on Demand.
If you’re looking for a book recommendation, check out my Travel Resources page — there are lots of good ones on that list!
Image: Hafiz Issadeen
Coming Up in November 2014
It’s finally Sri Lanka time. I’ll be flying into Heathrow on November 11, then flying from Heathrow to Colombo the next day. I’ll be attending TBC Asia, the first conference for the Professional Travel Bloggers Association.
I’ll be there and in the Maldives for the rest of November, though I haven’t made any solid plans yet. Which is nice! I like being open.
38 thoughts on “AK Monthly Recap: October 2014”
I love reading your blog!
Thank you, Arlene!
WOW what an awesome announcement. Even though you won’t be meeting the President, it’s still very amazing! 🙂
I’m excited for it!
I am sure you will have an awesome time in Sri Lanka, just loved every minute of it! If you have to do only one stuff, I would highly recommend Adam’s Peak hike/ pilgrimage in the hill country. http://littlebigexplorations.com/2014/01/10/5200-stairs-within-buddha-and-marco-polo-s-steps-adams-peak-pilgrimage/
Simply one of my strongest travel memory ever 🙂
Have an awesome time!
I’m really disappointed that I’ll be leaving just before pilgrimage season starts! It’s too bad; I really wanted to do this. Technically you can do it out of season, but it won’t be lit and people won’t be there, and I’d rather not do it in those conditions.
i love reading about ur adventures especially around the USA which i havent visited much apart from the usual vegas/new york, lots of character in cities like boston and new orleans. Cant seem to plan a trip not involving Asia! Didnt know u had split with ur fiance sorry for ur loss hope u are feeling positive. Was it due to travelling? I split with my gf last month as she dont like adventure/moving 🙁
Keep travelling, keep smiling.
Thanks, Nk. There were lots of reasons behind the breakup, but I’m not going to get into them here. 🙂
Was just in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. 🙂 Check out the cultural triangle, tea fields, and of course Galle! Stayed in Maafushi Island in the Maldives and highly recommend it if you’re on a budget!
I hope to do every single one of those!
Ooh I can’t wait to hear about your time in Sri Lanka & the Maldives! My husband and I will be there for our honeymoon in December, and I’ve just started researching (I realized I don’t know much about Sri Lanka at all!)
Wow! Congrats on being asked to the White House and speaking at the NYT Travel Show. Those both sound like amazing opportunities! Very exciting!
I don’t blame you for blowing off TBEX and your other travel plans. I occasionally have problems with pushing myself too much as well. It’s a wise idea to slow down now, before you are sick and exhausted! I can imagine that those awkward conversations while at home were miserable… 🙁 it will get better. Time heals all.
Also, I am VERY excited for some posts on Sri Lanka and the Maldives! Both are destinations I would like to get to in the near future.
Blowing it off made all the sense in the world. I feel great now. 🙂
I was actually a little happy you made the decision not to go to Greece – it was inspiring for me, because it is all too often travel bloggers spread themselves too thin. It made me realize that it’s OK to take a step back every now and then.
P.S. Lovely fall photos 🙂
Well, I’m happy it made you happy! 🙂
Highlights in Sri Lanka: eat hoppers & cashew curry at Green Cabin in Colombo & go to Mount Lavinia to watch people & go for a sunrise/sunset run/swim on the beach. Catch some awesome waves at Arugam Bay with fresh prawns at night. Definitely climb Sigirya!
Wow, Rina, it all sounds amazing!
I love Sri Lanka! I highly, highly recommend the train from Kandy to Ella. Hanging out the side of the train and taking in the views are some of my favorite travel memories of all time.
Lots of people have told me that, Katie. Sounds like the perfect way to get to the highlands.
It is good to slow down and get a dose of family and friends now and again. Sorry to hear about the break up, but excited for you about the White House. Congrats and safe travels.
Wow! Some exciting updates here–congrats on being invited to the White House! Funny coincidence–your friend Beth looks just like someone I taught near in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, who was also named Beth.
That’s the same Beth! She taught in the Valley! I visited her down there in 2007.
Wild! I lived there from 2005-2010, but I now live in…Boston! Enjoy your time up here, and I hope you have another meetup for readers before you leave the area!
So exciting re the White House! Looking forward to seeing what you think of Sri Lanka, as it’s on my list for next year!
Amazing stuff for the rest of the year Kate. Look at you, getting invited to the White House and who said “it’s not that type of invitation,” how many can say that they’ve had the honour to be identified officially as the top 100 digital media influencers in America. That is a big deal and you deserve the kudos!
I look forward to reading all about Sri Lanka as I’ve been hearing good things about that small island country. Have a great time in Boston and take full advantage of “the break!”
Thank you, Victoria! I’m very excited about it.
Sri Lanka and the Maldives sound so exciting! Congrats on the White House invitation and speaking engagement 🙂
So many exciting things happening for you, congratulations! I hope you’re feeling better, it sounds like you really needed to slow down for awhile. Travel plans can always be postponed, health is a priority 🙂
Thanks, Grace. It was the best thing I could have done. 🙂
Congratulations on being invited – it sounds like a great initiative and bringing in travel bloggers is a brilliant idea!
I’ve heard so many good things about Sri Lanka and I’m looking forward to your posts!
I loved the way you recapped the month. It took some time to get through the post, but it was worth the effort. Thanks for sharing!!
Kate! SO exciting about the White House. I’ve been following your blog for more than a year now, and I actually live and work in DC. If you need any good recs on where to eat or stay, I have plenty! Congrats!! What an honor.
Thanks so much, Katie! 🙂 I think I’ll only be in DC briefly. I did stop at Ben’s Chili Bowl last time!
I love your blog. I live in Chiang Mai. I teach at an international school there, and I also lived in Kenya, Tanzania, USA (SC and NC). As you can guess, I love traveling too. I particularly appreciate your philosophy about traveling and the way you approach the whole exercise of travel blog. Thanks a lot Kate, and keep up the good work. It is extremely nice too not to see any mistake (spelling or grammar) in your writing. Some blogs are atrocious that way. Keep it up! PS. Sorry to hear about the end of your engagement to Mario. It sounded like you had found each other.
So exciting month you had – even without traveling! Coming home sometimes is easy and sometimes can be awkward, especially with people asking questions you don’t want to answer! But i see you have great future planned – and that is so great! Will be waiting for your posts from Sri Lanka – have a brilliant time there!
Maldives = Suba. ‘Nuff said. Enjoy!
That is so cool! Can’t wait to hear alll the details about the White House – will you be able to take pictures?? Enjoy Sri Lanka, I don’t know much about it so looking forward to your posts!
As part of unleashing one’s creativity I would also add that some posts should be timeless content, meaning content that is applicable and interesting today and years from now. Those posts will be bookmarked, linked to and returned to by many people. Something unique could be something controversial, that will ruffle more than a few feathers.
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I like your detailed analytical point of view .. this is how we succeed 😀