Celebrating St. Stephen’s in Ireland.

After a particularly rough end to 2009, my best friend, Lara, and I decided to ring in 2010 the best way we knew how…with a trip to Europe. Our small plan grew to three countries over seven days: first, Ireland to visit my family, then Belgium to visit her friends, and finally, The Netherlands to celebrate New Year’s Eve. It fell perfectly into place, and on Christmas night we set off for Europe.

Lara and I at Trinity College.

Lara and I at Trinity College.

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My First Travel Companion.

Growing up, I was an only child for six and a half years. My parents would travel around a bit with me, but the real fun began when my younger brother, Thomas, was born. It was then, that I got my very first travel buddy.

Washington D.C.

Washington D.C.

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North Island Adventures.

One of the greatest adventures I have had in my lifetime occurred while traveling on the North Island of New Zealand almost three years ago. My cousin, Michelle, who is from Ireland, was spending her summer vacation traveling between Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji, and I decided to join her on the last leg of her trip. It would be an experience that would bind us together as sisters from day one.

Self-portrait with Huka Falls.

Self-portrait with Huka Falls.

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Africa Plans Finalized.

On Thursday night, I decided that it was finally time for me to book my plane ticket home from Africa. As thrilling as it was to purchase my one-way ticket there, I actually did have to come home at the end of my adventure. School would start up again in September and as much as I want to one day complete a trip around the world, it wouldn’t start with this trip.

Before booking my flight home, however, I had to do a bit of planning. A few weeks ago, Jeff and I decided that he would come to meet me in South Africa when my tour ended. Our original plan just included spending time together in Cape Town: heading to Table Mountain, seeing Cape Good Hope, and diving with Great White Sharks. But, we had a week together and decided it was enough time to head elsewhere after our South African escapades.

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Dreaming of Thailand.

Day 27: BootsnAll Indie Travel Project

Today’s Prompt: WanderlustShare a photo or video that just makes you want to GO. RIGHT. NOW

Chiang Mai.

Thailand is a country I dreamt of visiting for years, for so long that I cannot remember feeling otherwise. This photo, at a temple overlooking the Thai country-side, serves as a constant reminder that my dream became a reality.

As I was touching down in Bangkok, alone in the plane from Hong Kong, the excitement filled up within me. I felt like I was arriving in Disney World for the first time. Finally, I would be fulfilling my dream.
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A Love Story Set in Vietnam.

Day 12: BootsnAll Indie Travel Project

Today’s Topic: MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONSTravelers meet dozens, if not hundreds, of new people on every trip. They may become friends, enemies, lovers, and resources; they may stay in your life forever or be forgotten the next day. Tell about a time you felt a powerful connection – for however long – to another person while traveling.

Nha Trang.

This is a topic that I can closely connect with, and one I recently wrote about, Those We Meet Along the Way. My favorite part of traveling is meeting people from all around the world. Sometimes we remain friends only for a night, and others I have stayed in touch with throughout the years. But, my most recent connection was one that was truly special. Continue reading

Happy. Thank You. More Please.

On my way to Bangkok, during my sixteen hour flight to Hong Kong, I stumbled upon the movie HappyThankYouMorePlease. While I had seen previews for it during the winter, I never got around to actually seeing it. However, being stuck in the air for sixteen hours made it quite easy for me to find time to watch the film. And, I’m happy that I did. Continue reading

How to See Chicago Like a Local.

Chicago is one city in America that I had always wanted to visit. I finally got that opportunity over the past Labor Day weekend. Lucky for me, I also had a place to stay in the Windy City, which meant the trip would be extremely affordable. This also meant that Lara and I got to see a completely different side of Chicago: that of a local. Here’s my advice for seeing the city as a local would, since that’s exactly how I spent my three days.
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Those We Meet Along the Way.

“How far we travel in life matters far less than those we meet along the way.” Mark Twain

New friends in Vietnam. July 2011.

The world is a classroom. Every single day, we learn from what we see, smell, taste, hear, and touch. This is true whether we stay home or are abroad, but traveling expands our horizons and broadens the groups of people that we encounter.

While we are often changed by what surrounds us, we are more often shaped by those we meet along the way. Traveling brings wonderful opportunities, but the greatest of those is getting to Continue reading

A Perfect Holiday Weekend in America.

Whenever a holiday weekend arises, Lara, my friend and devoted travel partner, and I decide to hit the road. To us, there’s no better way to spend a long weekend than with a quick road trip somewhere new.

Ready to Goooo!

We find a place that best embodies the holiday, hop in the car, and drive. When we get there, we check out the shopping, call up friends who live in the area, visit some graveyards, historical landmarks, and parks, eat at the first restaurant we stumble upon, venture out and explore the night life, find good coffee the next morning, then do it all again or hop in the car and head somewhere new for the day.
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