An Encounter in Rome: Tales from the Road

An Encounter in Rome: Tales from the Road

“OK, I’ll go around the block, and if I don’t find somewhere else, I’ll come back here.” This might sound like part of a conversation, but this was just me negotiating with myself, with the convincing voice in my head making a mental deal to only look just a little bit further to find a place to eat lunch. On this brisk day last fall, I was walking around by the Pantheon in Rome, Italy. It’s a pretty popular part…

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Top Tips for Taking a Cruise

Top Tips for Taking a Cruise

“Oh, this is obviously not your first cruise!” This sentence was uttered at dinner the first night of my most recent cruise, and was spot on about the couple across the way. How did my tablemate know? What you may not realize is that not all information about taking cruises is intuitive or readily available on your cruise line’s website. So there are all sorts of tips and tricks that you only pick up with experience. And so you if…

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9 Reasons Why a Road Trip is the Best Way to See Oman

9 Reasons Why a Road Trip is the Best Way to See Oman

Oman wasn’t on my radar at all until a friend in Milan visited with her daughter and came back raving about this Middle Eastern country that I honestly hadn’t given much thought to before that moment. She described Oman to me as an unspoiled corner of the Middle East, which is the perfect thing to say to me to plant the idea of a new travel destination in my mind! Oman doesn’t have the over-commercialized sheen of Dubai and you…

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Exploring Belize’s ATM Cave, a Mayan Archaeological Wonder

Exploring Belize’s ATM Cave, a Mayan Archaeological Wonder

I’m in a cave mostly engulfed in darkness, swimming. The water is cool, but I’ve just nearly become acclimated to the chill. I’ve hit a rhythm with my strokes, despite being in clothes and shoes as I chug along, weighed down ever so slightly. And then I see it. An outcropping of rock nearly touching the surface of the water, not leaving much space to squeeze through with my head above water. I’m petite, so I feel like I can…

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Best Wineries in Charlottesville, Virginia: The Monticello Wine Trail

Best Wineries in Charlottesville, Virginia: The Monticello Wine Trail

If I asked you to name US wine regions, what would be the first ones that come to mind? Probably Napa and Sonoma valleys, in northern California. Possibly some other California regions that are up-and-coming for wine making, perhaps Oregon for its Pinot Noir production, Hill Country in Texas, or maybe even the Finger Lakes region of NY. Far less likely to cross your mind? The wine region of Charlottesville, Virginia. Even though I think that some of the best…

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What It’s Like Celebrating July 4th Abroad

What It’s Like Celebrating July 4th Abroad

There is something particular about being overseas for a national holiday – especially your country’s Independence Day – and I’ve had my fair share of experience celebrating July 4th abroad. Which for me has always been a very different experience from celebrating at home. Perhaps my desire to mark the day somehow is due to the many all-American July 4th celebrations I’ve had stateside. As a kid on a road trip with my sister and grandparents, we spent the evening…

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Summer Reading List: Books to Read on Vacation

Summer Reading List: Books to Read on Vacation

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Like many of you, I typically take a vacation of a week or longer during the summertime, and one of the best ways I relax and unwind is curling up with a good book. I love easy reads on vacation, but if I’m gone longer than a weekend I want to have some more serious books too, and a mix of fiction and non-fiction to choose from. That way as I finish each…

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Cefalù: Perfect Day Trip from Palermo, Sicily

Cefalù: Perfect Day Trip from Palermo, Sicily

Palermo, Sicily makes for a great weekend trip, and there are also great spots around the city that you can easily fit into your trip (like Cefalù) especially if you make your visit a long weekend. I’m so glad that my friend Isabel and I planned for an extra day, which let us enjoy one of my favorite formats for 3-day weekend trips – a city day on each end with the middle day to spend outdoors or doing something…

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Summer Bucket List: Making the Most of the Season

Summer Bucket List: Making the Most of the Season

Summer is a season where as a child you likely were off from school, and had a whole bunch of activities to enjoy while on vacation. For me, the thought of summer evokes the warmth of the summer sun and memories of playing and frolicking outside while I could. In a way, even then, I had a ‘Summer Bucket List.’ Even though I’m an adult older now, not much has changed. I’ll use any excuse to stay outdoors and have…

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Rules for Travel That I Swear By

Rules for Travel That I Swear By

Travel is something so personal, so particular to the individual, that it might seem weird to think about rules for travel. Certainly you should take trips that work for you, but over lots of different types of travel – backpacking, luxury, weekend getaways, & everything in between – I have honed my own travel savvy guidelines for making the most of any trip: The first time you see something you like, buy it. It sounds simple enough, but in the…

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