travel

How to Order Coffee in Australia and New Zealand: Tips from a Barista

Decoding Australian and New Zealand coffee lingo | Photo by Tyler Nix via UnsplashPhoto by Tyler Nix

When it comes to New Zealand and Australian coffee culture, I’ve got a fair amount of experience on both sides of the counter.

I was a barista for nearly 10 years of my life — four of which I spent working in the afore-mentioned countries. I’ve been yelled at, lectured to, and relentlessly interrogated about everything from extractions and grinds to, if you can believe it, “cups” vs “mugs.” I’ve probably spent more hours of my life covered in milk splatters and coffee stains than I have sleeping. CONTINUE READING

Why I Skipped the Tongariro Crossing in New Zealand

Photo by Daniel Chen

The Tongariro Crossing in New Zealand is widely considered to be one of the best day hikes in the country, and maybe even anywhere in the world.

Well, I can neither confirm nor deny the veracity of that claim. Though I spent nearly three years living, working, and traveling in New Zealand, I never actually did the Tongariro Crossing — and it wasn’t because I never got the chance. CONTINUE READING

My Top Bars and Cafés in Melbourne, Australia

My Top Bars and Cafés in Melbourne, Australia | Linda Xu via Unsplash.com
Photo by Linda Xu

Looking for somewhere to grab a drink or a bite in Melbourne? Well, let’s be real: you probably won’t be looking for long. This Australian city is packed to the gills with cafés, bars, restaurants, dives, markets, stalls, food trucks, and holes-in-the-wall (hole-in-the-walls?) that cater to nearly every budget, style, and preference. Finding a great bar or café in Melbourne is like finding hay in a haystack. CONTINUE READING

Good Hikes in New Zealand for Not-Quite-Hikers

Good Hikes in New Zealand for Not-Quite-Hikers

When it comes to the outdoors, on a spectrum from “about to climb Mount Everest” to “Shelley Long in Troop Beverly Hills,” I reckon I fall somewhere in the middle.

My family actually used to do a fair amount of camping and hiking all over the United States when I was a kid, and though I didn’t always enjoy it, I’ve probably retained at least a few skills (we’re talking Girl Scouts, not Hunger Games). That said, I still spent more of my summer vacations in front of the television than my mother would have liked. CONTINUE READING

What to See and Do in Overijssel, Netherlands

What to See and Do in Overijssel, Netherlands

Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Overijssel, the Netherlands before. Anyone?

Well, it’s a good thing I’m here.

Overijssel is a province in the eastern Netherlands, and it’s been my adopted home for the last two and half years. One of the reasons I started this blog was to share this area with the rest of the world; and it’s high time I gave a proper introduction. CONTINUE READING