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Nevada from Lake Tahoe mountain ridge

View out over Nevada from the top of the 7,600 foot mountain ridge that forms the divide between California and the Silver State at the southern end of Lake Tahoe. Although the valley in view is only 1,500 feet lower than the lake, the Sierra Nevada mountains block much of the rain and snow that […]

top travel apps - Polarsteps Travel Tracker

I started using the Polarsteps app in March 2018 at the outset of a 31-day trip to Dubai, Australia, and Thailand and immediately got hooked on it. I’ll be honest. I’ve always thought taking photos and keeping a journal while traveling were self-indulgent and a waste of time. But there’s something about the visual, tangible, and […]

Country security websites

Is it safe to travel to <your intended destination>? It’s a common question for travelers and one that you can always find an answer to by referring to the websites listed at the end of this post. Note that each of these is a government-run, government-hosted site. As a result, you can and should make […]

Karl Bushby social media sites

That’s a good (and popular) question. If you don’t know who Karl Bushby is, check out our review of his book Giant Steps: The Remarkable Story of the Goliath Expedition: From Punta Arenas to Russia. It’s the fascinating story of the first part of the epic walk he is undertaking from southern Chile back to […]

Delicious Pocari Sweat sports drink

Japanese sports drink Pocari Sweat on sale at a mini-market in Dubai, UAE. In addition to this unfortunately named beverage, Japanese consumers can also buy Calpis (which sounds like “Cow Piss” when pronounced by the Japanese) and Moocos (pronounced “Mucus”). Perhaps not as bad as the delicious Japanese chocolate treat Crunky Ball Nude.

best food in Nice

If you’re looking for the best food in Nice France, you have an abundance of great places to choose from. On both sides of Castle Hill, you’ll find a wide variety of excellent restaurants, cafes, boulangeries, and patisseries providing delicious meals and drinks at all price points. The following list aims to narrow down the […]

top travel apps - Meetup.com

One of the newest travel apps I’ve added to my smartphone is Meetup.com and it’s rapidly becoming a staple of my social life. This despite having the worst corporate logo I’ve ever seen. I’d love to pick the brains of the Meetup Marketing team that decided that “bloodsplatter” was the imagery they wanted to associate […]

Grand Harbour, Malta

When traveling by ferry from Malta to Sicily and beyond, there are two companies from which to choose. And the one you end up selecting will likely have a lot to do with your budget and why you’re taking the ferry in the first place. It’ll also depend on how much inconvenience you’re willing to […]

Musee d'Orsay rooftop statue

One of three large statues on the rooftop of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris looking across the Seine to the Louvre Museum. This statue, entitled Orleans, was created as an allegorical representation of the city of Orleans, which was one of three major cities served by the train line that originated in the building when it […]

MyTaxi Ireland

If you’re wondering if there’s Lyft or Uber in Ireland, the answer is “not exactly, but more or less.” Lyft does not operate (yet) in Ireland and Uber can only be used to call a taxi or limo. That’s because private drivers in Ireland are not allowed to carry paying passengers. In order to charges […]

Santa Cruz breakfast spots

If you’re looking for breakfast in Santa Cruz California, you’ve got a lot of great options. The combination of a beachy, outdoor vibe, warm weather most of the year, and a young, very social population means people really get into breakfast here. And that’s great because you end up with menus filled with locally sourced, […]

Trompe-l'oeil (optical illusion) art works in Nice, France

Located in the heart of the French Riviera, Nice has a lot going for it. Warm, sunny summers; short, mild winters; two world-class art galleries; great food; and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Tens of thousands of tourists come each year, but most don’t even notice that some of the most impressive works of art are […]

Ancona Split ferry

What this post covers If you’re arriving by train to Ancona station and need to pick up your Ancona to Split ferry tickets, this blog post should make the process a lot less confusing. Because let me tell you, there’s nothing intuitive about any of it. I took the ferry on March 26, 2019 and […]

Irish slang words

So, you want to learn how to curse like a leprechaun, do you? Well you’re in luck, ya jammy bastard. Because one of the first things you’ll notice in Ireland is that everyone swears. All the time. From little babies ask for their “fooking bottles” to old women shouting “I will in me hole!” when asked […]

Old Sligo petrol station

First things first: you fuel up your car at petrol stations, not gas stations in Ireland. “Gas” in Ireland refers to natural gas, which you would use to heat your home. Other than that, petrol stations in Ireland are virtually identical to those you’ll find in the U.S. The main difference is that by American […]

bondi to coogee coastal walk

The Bondi to Coogee coastal walk is an easily accessible and not too strenuous way to get up close to some of the spectacular coastline in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. The walk hugs the coast for 3 1/2 miles and consists of a gently rolling path with occasional stairs. On sunny days, it provides spectacular photo […]

top travel apps - Google Translate

When traveling in non-English speaking countries and Australia the Google Translate app is my lifeline. In fact, it’s probably the most valuable travel app I’ve got on my smartphone. And the great thing about this free translation tool is that it’s being continually updated by some of the best developers in the business. Which means […]

Photo by Victor Garcia

Overview If you’re looking for cool places to visit in Madrid, you’re in luck. The city is teeming with world-class museums, beautiful architecture, great restaurants, and vibrant public places. This short guide is intended to highlight some of the better known, lesser known, and over-rated attractions in town. Off the Tourist Track Plaza de Oriente […]

Wicklow countryside

View out over County Wicklow, Ireland. Despite being just south of Dublin, which is experiencing a huge internet-fueled building boom, much of Wicklow remains undeveloped. Small towns and patchwork fields bounded by hand-built rock walls line the coast. Inland, wild scrubland prevails, with soft bracken and hearty gorse covering the gently rolling hills.

Survival tips for long bus trips

You might be asking yourself, “Why would anyone need survival tips for long bus trips?” Aren’t long distance bus trips inherently exciting for the solo traveler? Getting all the way from Point A to Point B at a fraction of the cost of flying. Being at eye level with the landscape. Kicking back and soaking […]

Musee des Beaux-Arts

The Musee des Beaux-Arts is one of the smaller art museums in Nice, but it’s one of my favorites. Because it’s somewhat isolated and competes with the world-famous Chagall and Matisse museums, it’s never crowded. That’s everyone else’s loss as far as I’m concerned. What they’re missing is a number of truly beautiful works of art, some […]

breakfast in bondi - top 5 cafes

Bondi Beach is world renown for great surf and a vibrant social scene. It also has a wide range of excellent casual restaurants where you can get locally sourced, fresh, and delicious meals. So to help you narrow down the list of choices, here are what I consider the five best places to grab breakfast […]

Review of The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Lost

My latest book recommendation for solo travelers is The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost. It’s the true story of author Rachel Friedman’s personal evolution through travel. In the beginning, she’s your stereotypical “good girl.” She tries to please everyone and focuses so much on that, she can’t see anything beyond her immediate surrounds. And […]

Tales from the Road: Villareal rodeo

During the third week of March each year, the small town of Villareal, Costa Rica holds its annual Fiestas Patronales (Patron Saint Festival). Designed to celebrate and showcase the bravery and skills of the local cattlemen, it’s the biggest event in this little corner of Guanacaste Province. The Villareal rodeo is the highlight of the […]

Budapest skyline

Budapest skyline, showing Buda Castle on the western side of the Danube. The current castle and palace complex was constructed in the 18th century and is now home to the Budapest History Museum and the Hungarian National Gallery. Pedestrians coming from the Pest side of the river can get to the Castle by crossing the […]