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...]

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...]

One Question with Wendy Gunderson: Photographing People

Wendy Gunderson, a freelance travel photographer, has devoted much of her work to the Caribbean, a place that, in her words, has helped her attain a true sense of irie, which in Jamaica means "an overall feeling of well-being." (Love it, wish I had it). Today, she inaugurates our new One Question segment in which I ask a writer or photographer to … [Read more...]

Text-Speaking in Taiwan at the Lulu Spa

Nina has the cutest pair of dimples I’ve ever seen on a teenage girl, and she’s got her black hair with red streaks pulled loosely into an adorable ponytail. She gestures toward the seat in front of her desk, pours me a warm cup of oolong tea, and points to the dressing room. Together, we look at the pictures in the catalogue of women getting hot … [Read more...]

Finance Lessons and Taiwanese Dollars

While I’m more or less getting used to the conversion between the New Taiwanese Dollar and the U.S. dollar, I do have my moments. One moment was this morning. Generally, the standard conversion rate is 1 USD to every 32 New Taiwanese Dollar. Therefore, something that should cost one dollar—a bottle of water, a bowl of noodles, something from a … [Read more...]

Learning Mandarin…And A Slip of the Tongue

I have just discovered, after a full day of being so proud of myself for jumping in and attempting to speak Chinese from the very first moment I arrived in Taiwan, that I have actually been telling everyone I meet, everywhere, that I have to urinate. You can imagine my mortification, especially since I didn't realize this until I'd already … [Read more...]