Advice and Tips

Seven years ago, I boarded a flight that forever changed the direction of my life. The flight took me from Los Angeles, my home for the previous two years, to Sydney, Australia. Sydney was the first stop on a largely unplanned year of traveling around the world. The route would take me home by way of Asia […]
For seven months, the gaping absence of Africa stories on my blog has nagged me. During this time, some of you wrote me with concern. Thank you, all is well. I needed time to sort out personal things post-Africa. As this new year takes shape, I am jumping (maybe limping) back into writing. And for starters, I thought […]
Five years ago today, I sat at Los Angeles International Airport watching the ground crew load the plane outside the window with baggage and fuel. Conflicting emotions warred inside of me. In two short hours, I would board a one-way flight to Australia to start my year-long round the world trip. This moment was the […]
One of the scariest obstacles to international travel is often the health question. In my planning stages for my own round the world trip I fretted over the health side of the equation because it was the big unknown. Beyond vaccinating myself, stocking my medical kit, and buying really good travel insurance, the rest was […]
Over the past few months I’ve talked a lot about relaxation, and how it’s one of those pieces of life at which I have not excelled in the past. I spend far too much time on the computer even though I had a palapa full of hammocks just 100 feet from my doorstep for months. […]
Two years ago, I lived in Chiang Mai, Thailand for five months after having traveled steadily for two years. It was the first time I stayed put in one spot and became a semi-expat. As the months passed, I was so surprised by how affordable living there was that I shared a cost of living […]
Concerns about my safety on the road plagued those who love and care about me when I first announced my plan to travel solo around the world. Long-term travel is still an uncommon practice in the United States (compared to Europe and Australia) so perhaps the chief issue I dealt with was the fact that most […]
Dear Young Dreamer, The end of the school year is here and freedom whispers on the air. Your attention wanders in these final days of lectures, homework, and classroom chatter and trust me, I understand why. Though I’ve graduated through life into “adult status,” I remember the keen yearning to spend my days hunting through the […]
Every so often, readers email me asking what compelled me to travel solo back in 2008. Then they wonder why I never stopped traveling. They ask: “Why were you willing to pack up your life and leave my friends and family behind?” Their curiosity leaps from the page. I hear the gentle upspeak at the end […]
Over the years I have shared stories and snapshots of life on the road — glimpses into the beautiful people and places I have experienced. Sometimes, I shared the obstacles along the way, the harder and more personal moments of travel that were more wholly rooted in who I am as a person than the stories […]

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Using Pre-paid Travel Money Cards

My brother first told me about prepaid travel money cards a couple of years ago. He and his wife used a cash passport for their year long trip through South America and raved about how easy and convenient it was. Read more >