5 Haunted Forests That Will Give You Goosebumps

While the Southern Hemisphere’s blossoming flowers and sunny weather may not be putting me in Halloween spirits (pun intended) as much the chilly, dark evenings I’m used to in October would, it’s still one of my very favorite holidays. Today’s spooky guest post has me dying (intended again) to explore some of the world’s most haunted forests.

5 Haunted Forests That Will Give You Goosebumps

Halloween is nigh, and its entourage of ghosts and goblins is preparing to descend on your neighborhood in search of sugary treats. But where do the paranormal citizens reside when they aren’t hoarding sweets or pelting houses with eggs? Continue reading  

8 Favorite Memories from My First Year in Australia

The sad thing is, on the nights when I come home from work too exhausted to do much more than sink into my bed, watching Gilmore Girls while eating raw cookie dough, or on winter weekends when it’s too cold and rainy to go beyond my block, or on those days where all I can do is long for Spain and a return to exotic travel, I lose sight of the fact that it’s actually pretty darn cool here. When a destination stops being a vacation and starts being your regular, adult, full-time working home, it’s easy to take it for granted.

Sydney, Australia - O Bar

Even this.

But when I started contemplating a post to celebrate my one year anniversary in Australia (which was the 28th of September), looking back on the moments I’ve loved most in this past year, I suddenly remember how much I’ve enjoyed it. Here are some of the memories from year one that I cherish most. Continue reading  

5 Cities I’d Revisit in a Heartbeat

You know that age old question, “Do you live more in the past, present, or future?” I find it tricky to answer, as I do a mix of all three, until I realize just how ridiculously often my mind plays clips of trips gone by and cities I’ve fallen in love with. Yes, I am living in Australia (and often loving it), but travel results in your head always being in a different place!

Take me back to chillin’ like a villain in Maui as a wee one

Cassandra of Gee, Cassandra has nominated me to list five destinations I’ve visited and would love to return to. I’ll say before I begin that I disqualified Madrid and Sevilla, as, although I cannot wait to go back, because I’ve lived in both, nowhere can compete. Narrowing it down to just five was tricky, but, in no particular order, here we go! Continue reading  

A Little Taste of Travel at Last

Visiting sixteen countries in 2013 made for pretty much the best year imaginable. But, as anyone addicted to travel understands, it also fueled my wanderlust, instilling an even greater yearning to see the entire world as soon as I can. Instead, somehow, my three to six months in Australia plan turned into over a full year here (happy Australiversary to me yesterday!), which I have zero regrets about, but, having only spent the past year in Australia with a few weeks back home, I’m dying to visit new places.

Working full time, using my vacation time for trips home, and being in a country as geographically isolated as Australia, my travel options are fairly limited. So I’m completely thrilled to have booked my flights home for Christmas and to have tagged onto that trip a four-day “layover” in a place completely new to me.

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Studying Abroad in Madrid: A Five-Year Retrospective

I’ll be the first to tell you that nothing compares to the opportunity to live abroad. But anyone who has experienced it knows that it’s not always the fantasy vacation we imagine it to be.

If only there were one of these for every step of the expat life.

If only there were one of these for every step of the expat life.

My first day of studying abroad in Madrid, just over five years ago, was far from smooth. After over three years of non-stop contemplating and dreaming about my return to Spain, I was finally back, with just about Continue reading  

How to Save Substantial Money While Rocking the Expat Life

One of the biggest barriers holding people back from traveling is cost. Paying for hotels, eating out, and buying attraction tickets may seem like a fast way to hemorrhage money, but while many refrain from traveling because they believe they can’t afford it, the truth is that you actually can save quite a bit while traveling, especially living abroad for an extended period of time.

Rolling in the Romanian lei. Never mind the fact that one Romanian leu equals about 23 euro cents.

Rolling in the Romanian lei. Never mind the fact that one Romanian leu equals about 23 euro cents. (photo credit: my travel buddy Lauren)

Of course, you’ll need savings to get yourself started, purchasing flight tickets, covering your food and lodging until you’ve found a job, etc., but I’ve found that there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to earn that back and save loads on top of that. Here are seven ways you can live life to the fullest as an expat without emptying your bank account. Continue reading  

Double the Love from My Lovely Readers

I’m honored to have been nominated by both Kristina at Seize the Globe and Betty at The Pumpkin’s Head for a Liebster Award! The award may basically be a chain letter, passed on from blogger to blogger, encouraging them to forward it to others, but, while I’ll refrain from begging you to send an email to your entire address book to avoid being eaten by a zombie with no eyes, I do support the cause of appreciating fellow bloggers’ work. Plus, answering questions about travel is always fun.

Liebster Award

The rules (there are a few variations on these around the web)

  1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award
  2. Answer eleven (the number varies) questions that the blogger gives you
  3. Nominate eleven blogs that you think deserve the award
  4. Let the bloggers know you have nominated them
  5. Give them eleven questions to answer

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A Fa Napoli! + The Ruins of Pompeii

Fun fact: “A fa Napoli!” in Italian means, “Go to Hell!” but literally translates to, “Go to Naples!” Not exactly a ringing endorsement for Italy’s third-largest city, but would it prove fitting?

Hell?

Hell?

After kicking off our Easter week trip to Italy with a few days in Rome, my mom and I headed south toward our next destination, Naples. We navigated an intercity train to a dodgy metro and then, in limited Italian, found our way up a funicular to the luxurious, five-star Grand Hotel Parkers, where my mom had scored a great deal. Continue reading