Off the Beaten Path

An Honest, Detailed Travel Guide to the Aeolian Islands, Sicily

The coastline of Stromboli, black volcanic sand next to bright blue water, people bathing in the sea, green slopes leading up to the tip of the volcano.

Have you heard of the Aeolian Islands in Sicily? I’ve been dreaming about traveling to the Aeolian Islands (Isole Eoglie) since my semester in Florence in 2004. I huddled over my Let’s Go: Italy guidebook, reading about a Sicilian archipelago with lava-spewing volcanoes and black sand beaches. Finally, I got my chance 17 years later. …

An Honest, Detailed Travel Guide to the Aeolian Islands, Sicily Read More »

Can Americans travel to Cuba? I did. Here’s how. [2021 Update]

A bright green car in front of blue and white colonial homes in Havana.

I’m nervous in the waiting line at Cuban immigration, but I know I shouldn’t be. I did everything right. Still, this is Cuba. I’m visiting Cuba as an American. Can Americans travel to Cuba? Yeah, we can. This country has been off-limits to us since 1959 — though that hasn’t stopped lots of Americans from …

Can Americans travel to Cuba? I did. Here’s how. [2021 Update] Read More »

Two Weeks in the Caucasus: Travel Itinerary for Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan

Kate poses on a balcony in front of the three flame-shaped towers of Azerbaijan as the sky turns pink at dusk.

If you were going to spend two weeks in the Caucasus, what’s the best itinerary? I recently visited the Caucasus for the first time: first Azerbaijan, then Georgia, then Armenia. First off — the Caucasus is such an interesting place that you could spend months there without seeing all the points of interest. But most …

Two Weeks in the Caucasus: Travel Itinerary for Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan Read More »

Reasons to Travel to the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Canada

Kate stands in front of a field of wildflowers and faces cliffs and a rocky beach in the distance.

The Îles-de-la-Madeleine are a mysterious archipelago just north of Prince Edward Island in Canada. They’re isolated, hard to reach, and precariously perched in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where the wind whips like mad and erosion threatens their existence. But these are islands of great beauty — of bright red cliffs and lighthouses, of purple …

Reasons to Travel to the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Canada Read More »

Subscribe to the blog: