Jan 012010
 
10 Most Beautiful Places of Around the World, 2009!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

May these (totally-unrelated-to-the-article) photos from climbing the Duomo in Florence with my sweet family put you in a good mood for 2010!

Now… I resolve: For as long as the savings hold out, and perhaps longer, I will see this thing through. Travel! Writing! Connections! Crafting a career that will contribute positively to society, while keeping the passion going!

A giant THANK YOU to you for reading this blog. [...Read More!]

Dec 312009
 
Touring Florence 2: The David!

We all fell in love today. How could we not? Michelangelo’s David is stunning.

You see the photos everywhere, and you don’t really care. Meh– just another curly-haired naked dude, right? But listen: if you pay the ten Euro entrance fee to actually see Michelangelo’s David sculpture in person, you WILL feel as if you’ve gotten your money’s worth, and more.

Here is a smattering of guidebook facts and [...Read More!]

Dec 282009
 
Nine Years Ago on this Bridge in Rome...

Nine years ago, on this very bridge in Rome, I realized that a trip around the world would be possible as a woman traveling alone.

How? I was nineteen years old, it was eleven at night, and a psychotic Italian vagrant was trying to attack me on a bridge.

The summer after my Sophomore year in college was the first time I traveled abroad alone. I had searched the internet and found [...Read More!]

Dec 272009
 
Bangkok to Rome, Via Dubai!

I have just woken up in a drafty high-ceilinged room in Rome, surrounded by five fifteen year old Italian boys and one sweet college lad from Hong Kong named Himmy. Did you know that “Mixed Gender Hostel Dorm” actually means, “Lots-a Boys”?

The Italian fellows are gesturing wildly as they explain to us how they are traveling for ten days and will need loads of presents to make it up [...Read More!]

Dec 242009
 
Ways to Meet Other Solo Female Travelers, and Why it's Essential

Beverly Daniel Tatum’s book, “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria,” is a standout text in teacher training courses. In it, Tatum argues that self-segregating with members of our own “groups” is not always so bad.

Sometimes self-segregation is positively essential in maintaining our sanity!

I realized last week that I’d started talking with my male travel buddies as if they were women. Really, this is just dumb. [...Read More!]

Dec 222009
 
Geographically Un-Chained: Could YOU Work on the Beach?

Luigi had a revelation as we watched Ko Lanta’s azure ocean behind the “Free Wi-Fi” sign.

“I only need to be supervising the sausage company in person for six months of the year, during festival season…” he murmured slowly, putting thoughts together, “and the other six months I’m just behind a computer, coordinating sausage marketing and production.”

My British sausage-making friend gazed out at the white sand stretching luxuriously to our right and [...Read More!]

Dec 192009
 
The Urge to Work

Epiphany: It only took 4.5 months of travel to get to this point, but suddenly… I’m looking forward to working again! GASP!

“I was wondering if it was all starting to get old,” my friend wrote to me, “all that wandering.”

Across the oceans right now, former students are pulling all-nighters to finish term papers and raise those GPAs up before Winter Break.

Across the Earth, former co-workers are bubbling in Term, Behavior, [...Read More!]

Dec 182009
 
In College and SEAsia: The Danger of Your Own Demons

“What does your status update about “consequences” mean?” I typed yesterday to my A+ superstar former student. “It’s really scaring me. I thought everything was going well for you in college!”

The student took a little while to respond, but at last he did: “I got kicked out of school housing for ongoing violations of school rules.”

“WHAT?!” I gasped aloud, startling the entire Thai island. “Please explain what happened,” [...Read More!]

Dec 172009
 
To the Lighthouse! (on Ko Lanta)

Ethelred the Unready re-filled the inflatable pool in the trunk of the pick-up truck. Denzel, Luigi, and I hopped in the vehicle, and we were off! Destination: the lighthouse at the very Southern tip of Ko Lanta, Thailand.

The British boys were on their tenth 80s mix CD since they departed Bangkok a week ago, and the synthesizer bass of “Take on Me” oompah-ed the hot metal of the [...Read More!]

Dec 162009
 
Why You Should Come to Ko Lanta if You’re Awesome

I was just informed by the owner of this stunning Ko Lanta beach restaurant that business in Ko Lanta is down thirty percent so far this year, partly because a rumor was started that tourists shouldn’t come to this island because it is majority Muslim.

This is RIDICULOUS!

I have been traveling for four months around Southeast Asia, now, and Ko Lanta is one of the best places I have been. [...Read More!]