Dec 142014
 
Why Was the White House Conference Mostly White?

One of the biggest honors of my life is that I was able to attend the White House Travel Bloggers Summit on Study Abroad and Global Engagement. One of the greatest sadnesses of this wonderful conference, however, was that, despite the fact that a stated aim of the conference was to encourage students from all racial backgrounds to study abroad, nearly all of the bloggers in attendance were White.

Now, I have great respect for [...Read More!]

Dec 122014
 
Join the White House #StudyAbroadBecause Movement!

Today I returned to my Boston classroom after the White House Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Engagement. Breathless and exhilarated from the amazement of the previous 48 hours, I asked my 7th grade students, “Why do you think the U.S. government is putting all this new energy into getting more Americans to study abroad?” Students’ hands shot up.

“Studying abroad makes the world a safer place because people from one country can [...Read More!]

Nov 282014
 
A 1st Birthday Party: Tips in 7 Funny But True Steps

Want to win at throwing a 1-year-old’s birthday party? Stink at entertaining, like me? Follow these easy steps, laughing all the way.

Step 1: Force baby into overwrought formalwear. Purchase discount baby tuxedo (replete with frilly blouse), and slip it onto squirming baby. This is worth it, despite the fact that the following will happen to this tux: bow tie crumpling, crotch ripping open to permanently expose diaper, and baby soiling tux via an impressive variety of methods.

Step 2: Cake Smash… [...Read More!]

Nov 232014
 
How to Decorate Your Home in Photo Collages of Travel

Love travel? Take nice photos? Here’s how to decorate your whole house in a creative way that few people try: Photo collages in large, secondhand frames! Below are the instructions, accompanied by pretty photos of my finished products. 

1. Get secondhand frames. Gorgeous, large, high-quality frames can be purchased for less than $5 each at thrift stores, yard sales, fundraising bazaars, internet sales (watch out for Craigslist weirdos), and acquaintances. Note which kind of back opening each [...Read More!]

Oct 212014
 
The 600th Article I've Published on This Travel Blog!

This is the 600th article I have written and published on Around the World “L” Travel Blog! To celebrate, I will do two things I love in this article: First, sharing photos of my favorite city in the world, Boston, in all its autumn beauty. Second, answering questions that readers have submitted. Enjoy!

Q1: What were you doing for your 500th, 400th, 300th, 200th, and 100th, and 1st articles? 

A1: Click and see! For [...Read More!]

Sep 072014
 
Did You Know This About Visiting the Taj Mahal in India?

Don’t slap me for procrastination, but I’m FINALLY writing about seeing the Taj Mahal during our 2012 India teacher tour. So without further ado, here are 12 things to know about visiting the Taj Mahal: the world’s most famous monument to love, built by emperor Shah Jahan in 1653 in memory of his wife.

1. Contraband. There are all sorts of items you are not allowed to take into the Taj Mahal. Study the sign above and see if you agree that some [...Read More!]

Aug 142014
 
I Got a Professional Fashion Makeover in Boston!

“You’ve got to tell me how your professional fashion makeover went!” friends demanded since they learned I’d booked a company called Stilista Boston to save my ailing style.

“I mean, what did the fashion consultant do?” they pried. “Did she make fun of your clown-like shoes? Did she throw that hideous orange shirt out the window? Did she burn that ragged brown cardigan?” (Sheesh — clearly I wasn’t the only one who knew I needed some fashion resuscitation.)

Given how great my [...Read More!]

Jul 252014
 
The Famous, Beautiful Forts of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

“Of course, you’ve GOT to see the forts in Old San Juan,” anyone will tell you when you ask what to do during travel through Puerto Rico. But why, exactly, are these forts so famous and popular?

The background you must understand is that Puerto Rico was incredibly important, geopolitically. The island was a vital strategic base from the 16th through 18th century as Spain battled with other European powers for colonial control of the region. Whoever held Puerto Rico controlled the [...Read More!]

Jul 112014
 
Must-See Colorful Buildings of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico is a delight. Wander the centuries-old blue cobblestone streets, gaping at the brilliantly colored historic buildings. Did you know, however, that this treasure was nearly DESTROYED?

Old San Juan was settled by the Spanish in the early 1500s, and the conquistador, Ponce de Leon and his subsequent offspring lived in the city for centuries. By the late 1940s, however, Old San Juan had become decrepit, unsightly, and dangerous. Politicians called [...Read More!]

Jul 092014
 
A San Juan, Puerto Rico Resort Pool for Baby's First Swim

Hello from San Juan, Puerto Rico! This is our first big voyage as a family of THREE, and Puerto Rico is just as I hoped: Easy to travel to and through with a 7-month-old, but different enough from Boston to quench my ongoing ache for Latin America for a time.

Before diving into the sights of San Juan, however, let’s celebrate a momentous and hilarious occasion: Our baby had his first ever pool swim today, and [...Read More!]