World

Boldly Going Where Practically Everyone’s Gone Before: An Ode to Hot Spots

An Ode to Hot Spots

Considering I live in the middle of nowhere (at least, as middle-of-nowhere as you can get while still living in the Netherlands), it may surprise the casual reader to hear I don’t make a habit of avoiding popular places.

To the contrary: I might live in the Dutch countryside, but I take pretty much any excuse to go to Amsterdam. I’ve blogged about Parc Guell in Barcelona, the London Eye, and Hamburg’s Christmas markets. I spent seven months in Melbourne and more than two years in Queenstown, New Zealand. Clearly, I have zero qualms about visiting big tourist destinations. READ MORE +

Celebrating and Critiquing the Women’s March + Links


Photo by Austin Schmid

When I opened up my social media feeds this past weekend, I was blown away.

Blown away by just how many people were out on the streets on Saturday protesting hate, inequality, and injustice. Blown away by the photos of the crowds, the witty signs they made, the powerful words they spoke and posted. Blown away by the sheer size of it, not just in DC or across the US, but around the world. I saw some amazing awareness, compassion, understanding, and support taking place, and it warmed my heart. READ MORE +

The Unexpected Side Effects of Staying in a Hostel

The Unexpected Side Effects of Living in a Hostel

When it comes to hostels, I’ve got a bit of experience. I’ve stayed in dozens of them, and for more than 700 nights altogether. On the internet, that basically makes me an expert.

Of course, hostels vary wildly — big and little, charming and soulless, clean and, uh, not so much — but staying long-term in any kind of shared accommodation will certainly change you and your life. Just look at me: if it weren’t for hostels, I probably wouldn’t have met Simon, or be living in the Netherlands right now. READ MORE +

Hostel Backpacking: Do You Have What It Takes?

What Makes a Good Hostel Backpacker?

I’m not sure where I stand on the whole nature-nurture debate (or, for that matter, where anyone stands — the last time I heard anyone talk about that was eighth grade biology). So I can’t tell you if great backpackers are born or made, or whether that even matters in the end. READ MORE +