Nov 152009
Why Tropic of Cancer is Perfect Backpacking Literature

(Note: All photos accompanying this article are from the two-day Mekong Riverboat journey from Luang Prabang, Laos, to Huay Xai on the Thai border… including some serious elephant action at one pit-stop. Yeah, I have no idea why they were there, either, but they’re awesome!)

“Ah, I see you just finished “Tropic of Cancer”!” said Rebecca from across the aisle of the Mekong riverboat. “Shall we swap books? I’ve got [...Read More!]

Nov 142009
An Update on the Around the World Itinerary

Sheesh, folks, calm yourselves!

After posting my flight plan changes (staying in Southeast Asia until late December and postponing the Dubai/Turkey leg) I received a veritable barrage of flustered emails. Let’s answer some of the questions you posed to see if we can all soothe our souls a bit.

Q: “Why aren’t you going to Turkey or Dubai?? I really want to hear your perspective on those [...Read More!]

Nov 142009
The Heavenly Mekong Riverboat

I cursed foully when my friends electronically forced me to take the two day riverboat up the Mekong.

“You’ve taken every other form of transport!” hollered one chum. “Another bus would just be boring for us to read about.”

“Grr, then,” I grumbled, and fearfully hopped aboard.

Today, however, emerging from an absolutely delicious two days on the water, I bless you, oh prophetic souls, for your forceful mandate!

I HIGHLY recommend [...Read More!]

Nov 132009
I'm on a Boat! (from Laos to Thailand)

By the time you read this pre-programmed post, I will hopefully be deep into day two of a two-day long boat trip up the Mekong River to the Thai border.

I have heard both wonderful and bonkers reports of this journey, so I have very little idea of what to expect.

I do know that I’m supposed to bring water to drink, that my rump will hurt from sitting on the hard planks, [...Read More!]

Nov 122009
How Do You Know Where to Go?

For years, it has been my fantasy to be one of those columnists who dips into her mail pool to answer reader questions… and (dah da da DAH!) that day has finally come!

“Could you please tell me,” asked a kind reader, “How do you choose which places to visit? Do you have it all planned in advance? Do your plans change?”

Here is the multi-part answer, adorned in the background [...Read More!]

Nov 112009
An Irish Expat's Insight into Luang Prabang

(Note: The photos that accompany this article are from around Luang Prabang, Laos, including a free Lao fashion show at a local restaurant.)

“It’s crazy to hear all the tourists come into this bar saying, ‘Oh, the Lao people are so simple and shy and sweet!’ ” said Clara, her magenta lipstick and hearty Irish face framed by graying blond hair.

“I’ve been working here in Luang Prabang for three years now, [...Read More!]

Nov 102009
The Tourist Trail Versus Other Budget Ways to See the World

I used to hate whirlwind tourists and avoid any famous site like a high schooler avoids homework. After three months of hardcore Tourist Trail backpacking around Asia, however, I’ve grown to see the fabulosity in every type of travel.

Let’s look at some of these varied ways to see the world on a budget, in order from least “touristy” to most “touristy”…

(In the background, please enjoy scenes from Luang Prabang, Laos!)

The [...Read More!]

Nov 092009
Beautiful Sights of Luang Prabang, Laos

So what’s so different and charming about this Luang Prabang, Laos, place, anyway?

Plenty. Here are some beautiful sights you might see if you were to wander the streets for a few days.

1. Quiet, clean avenues graced by tourists and locals on bicycles. Through a wondrous feat of balance, nearly all the locals steer their bikes with one hand and hold a parasol with the other to shield themselves from [...Read More!]

Nov 092009
Preparing to Travel? Bring your Laptop!

A cute little 10-inch netbook computer can be in your hot little hands for less than $200 nowadays. If you stuff one into your backpack before your next trip to anywhere, you will be endlessly thankful.


All of the beautiful photos in this article are from spaces in Luang Prabang, Laos, that have free Wi-fi internet access. Honestly. Isn’t that amazing??

“WHAT?!” you holler, jumping closer to the screen. [...Read More!]

Nov 082009
Myths About Staying in Contact with Travelers

A massive reason why I am keeping this blog (besides an obsessive passion for writing and a rabid quest for fame and fortune) is to keep in close touch with loved ones back home. This here article, therefore is a big hug to all of you. It is an analysis of the things you do to stay connected, all of which warm my little heart.

In the background, unrelated, please enjoy [...Read More!]