11 Gift Ideas for the Traveler on the Go

What do you give to someone who’s always on the go? A nomad who minimizes their belongings so he or she can take off whenever they want? A few months ago, I shared a collection of some of my favorite travel gifts from around the web, but for those who are always on the road, away from their home base, here are a few more of my favorite gift ideas.

Celebrating my 21st birthday in Mallorca. This view was gift enough for me, but for those who can't hop on over to the Mediterranean for their birthdays...

Celebrating my 21st birthday in Mallorca. This view was gift enough for me, but for those who can’t hop on over to the Mediterranean for their birthdays…

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What Makes You Feel at Home Abroad? 8 More Travelers Answer

What makes you feel at home when you’re overseas? Many of us are thrilled to visit new places that are as different from home as we can find, but “There’s no place like home” has become a familiar phrase for a reason. Even the most enthusiastic travelers, those most eager to explore new cultures, look for bits of comfort overseas, so I asked travelers and expats all over the world this question. Check out the answers from my first post, and here’s what eight others had to say.

Feeling at home in Sevilla with a visit from my sister

Feeling at home in Sevilla with a visit from my sister

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A Sydney Staycation at PARKROYAL Darling Harbour

Finish a day of work, head straight to the airport, and board a €20 flight to spend the weekend in a foreign country. Insanely enough, that became standard fare for me while I was living in Spain, with all of Europe just a hop, skip, and a jump away. Now that I live in Sydney, where a flight anywhere will easily set me back hundreds of dollars, it’s been quite an adjustment. Luckily, I live in a city that has no shortage of things to do and see, so, these days, my best vacations are often staycations.

PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

A bit of rest and relaxation after playing tourist in my own city

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The Ultimate Sydney Day Out

It’s crazy to think that, as of September, I’ll have lived in Sydney for two years. But for as much as I’ve seen of this Australian city, I’ve barely scratched the surface of all there is to see and do here, so this weekend called for some exploring with a little help from PARKROYAL Darling Harbour.

Parsley Bay, Vaucluse, Sydney

Parsley Bay, the first stop of the day

Eager to discover a new side of Sydney, I jumped onto PARKROYAL Darling Harbour’s nifty Ultimate Sydney Day Out planner. Take a quick personality quiz, answering questions like “What’s your style of drinking den?”, and the tool puts together a personalized guide for what to see, eat, drink, and do during a day in Sydney. Armed with my results, I set off to see more of the city I currently call home. First stop: Parsley Bay. Continue reading  

7 Expat & Travel Bloggers Share What Makes Them Feel at Home Abroad

We travel, among many other reasons, to be away from home, to get out of our comfort zones. However, there’s also quite a lot to be said for having that occasional taste of home when you’re traveling around the world or living in a foreign country. I recently spoke to a few fellow travelers and expats and asked them: What makes you feel at home when you’re traveling or living abroad?

Feeling at home in Sydney this Fourth of July

Feeling at home in Sydney this Fourth of July

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Manageable Mandarin: A Beginner’s Guide to Learning Chinese

If I could have any superpower, I’d choose the ability to speak every language in the world. Sadly, I’ve yet to be bestowed with this power, but I can at least work toward it slowly. Since October, I’ve been taking a weekly Mandarin course here in Sydney. While I’m far (believe me, very far) from fluent, I’m thrilled that I can now at least hold basic conversations. I even had my first experience using Mandarin in the real world (however briefly) the other week! It can be an extremely challenging language to learn, so for anyone learning Mandarin or thinking of picking it up, here are a few tips I’ve acquired in my nine months of studies.

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Travel Talk with Jayne of Girl Tweets World + Her New Guide to Sydney

Today I’m talking to a fellow Sydney-based blogger, Jayne, who runs the popular travel blog Girl Tweets World. She has also recently released her first e-book, Girl Tweets World Guide to Sydney, so I spoke to her about her blogging success and the e-book.

Hi Jayne! Tell us a bit about yourself – where you’re from, where you live now, what you do, etc.

I’m a Brit who spent 12 years living in London before making the move to Sydney last June. I work full time as a travel blogger and freelance social media manager and am very lucky that I can take my work anywhere, so the transition to Sydney wasn’t as hard as it might have been. Continue reading  

Dinner and Ghost Hunting at Sydney’s Haunted Quarantine Station

The year is 1835. You’ve left your homeland on a long journey to the British colony of Australia, and tragedy strikes. The coughs and moans of your fellow passengers grow louder, and, before you know it, half the ship is infected. At long last, you catch sight of Sydney’s shores, only to learn you won’t be settling into your new home and building a life in the colony after all. Instead, you’re taken across the harbor to be quarantined, and you are told you won’t be able to leave or see any loved ones for at least forty days…that is, if you survive at all.

Enter if ye dare.

Enter if ye dare.

The Quarantine Station in Sydney’s North Head, near Manly, opened in the 1830s to serve this purpose. Immigrants arriving in Australia who were suspected of having an infectious disease were kept here until they were safe to be released, often under harrowing conditions. Think overcrowded hospital rooms, mandatory carbolic acid showers, rudimentary medical techniques, and rampant contagion. Continue reading