Come Join Us for the Women in Travel Summit!

What could possibly be better than spending a weekend in a gorgeous city with 300 smart, influential, incredible women? (I'll wait while you think about it). Probably not much. So, then, I'm super excited--and humbled, and nervous, and all the good stuff that comes with the anticipation of an upcoming trip--to announce that I've been invited to do … [Read more...]

Oh, Switzerland: A Night with Cheese Fondue

The first question that goes around the table as the seven of us sit down to eat is whether or not I am lactose-intolerant. This is a question that the Swiss always ask their foreign friends when they come to try fondue, they tell me, because we’re about to collectively consume and then digest two very large ceramic bowls of thick, creamy cheese … [Read more...]

Bronze Award: NATJA Travel Media Competition!

PASADENA, CA-- The North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) recently announced that I won Bronze place in the 2013 Annual NATJA Awards Competition in the Personality Profiles category! (My submission, Becoming Mahout, was originally published in Perceptive Travel, and came out of my experience working with mahouts at the Maetaeng … [Read more...]

Travel Writing 2.0: An Interview with Amanda Black

First, it's probably important to start off by letting everyone know that yes, I'm back! Life has been nothing short of crazy lately, probably because in the last two months, I have: 1. Married my unbelievably talented best friend Ryan (pics to come from our awesomely talented photographer, Pie Bell) 2. Took a wonderful mini-moon with my new … [Read more...]

Why I Travel

I've noticed that a lot of travel bloggers lately are writing and sharing posts specifically dedicated to "why they travel." Check out any travel blog--you'll see what I mean. Not surprisingly, a lot of them offer anecdotes of heartbreak, boredom, apathy, curiosity, and a desire to see the world (the usual suspects). And it makes sense--readers … [Read more...]

Photo Essay: Colours of 1 Malaysia Festival

The Colours of 1 Malaysia festival, which was held on May 25th, 2013 at Dataran Mederka, Kuala Lumpur, is hard to describe in words. Founded in 1999 to reflect and celebrate the cultural, racial, sexual, and economic diversity of Malaysia, the event has become an enormous parade, complete with thousands of dancers, costumes, floats, props, and … [Read more...]

24 Hours In: Reflections on Kuala Lumpur

Some cities are hard to get to know--people are unpredictable, the weather can make a huge difference, and depending on where you go, you might get a cranky waiter, a tired taxi driver, a leering comment by an insensitive man on the street, or (insert annoying or frustrating travel experience here). Conversely, at first glance, some cities are … [Read more...]

Travel & Writing Post-Comprehensive Exams

As I sit here thinking about how to start this post, my first reaction is, well, to stare at the keys and wonder where the past two months went. I feel so out of practice that I'm not even sure where to begin. So where did these past two months go? In a word: comprehensive exams. (Ok, two words, but who's counting?) For those of you who know … [Read more...]

Liebster Award – 11 Questions About Me

Thanks to travel bloggers Jeff and Erin at AWeekOrAWeekend, I've been nominated for a Liebster Award. This doesn't really mean I've won anything, technically--it's more of  a fun way for bloggers to spread the word about other blogs they like (kind of like a word-of-mouth blog-tagging game). I'm not sure exactly what the criteria are (Number of … [Read more...]

Solas Silver Award – Legend of the Betelnut Princess

Last week, Travelers' Tales press announced the winners of the 2013 SOLAS Best Travel Writing awards, and to my delight, one of my essays took home the silver in the Travel and Food category. Of course, I'm most humbled to be included among a number of other excellent travel writers, some of whom  I've had the immense pleasure of interviewing on … [Read more...]

The World’s Top 5 Most Unromantic Places

In the mood for something a little different from the usual holiday fare of "most romantic places in the world" this Valentine's Day? To honor the places I've been that I find weird and, at first glance, oddly unsettling, here is an honorary round-up of my top five picks for most unromantic places I can remember visiting. Of course, any place can … [Read more...]

Falling in Love with Fruit: A Thai Love Story

At home, I am generally not a fruit person. If you know me, you would know the following to be true: put a strawberry, watermelon, grape, cantaloupe, or banana  in front of me, and I’m likely to bat it away with my fork and refuse to eat it. For some reason, melons, strawberries, bananas, and I just don’t get along as much as I'd like. In … [Read more...]