We all know the trope: a young college student leaves the country for the first time and then returns home acting the part of a world-weary jetsetting dilettante.
We all also know that that person is annoying.
While there’s nothing wrong with going on an awesome vacation and coming back feeling relaxed and happy, there’s a fine line between wanting to tell your friends how cool it was to deep sea dive in the Indian Ocean and being a humblebragger. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t cross that line. Keep reading »
Unfortunately, unless you’re Richard Branson or a card-carrying member of NASA, it’s not looking good that you’ll be able to vacation on another planet anytime soon. Instead of mourning the fact that you’ll likely never wander the terrain of Mars or Jupiter, I have 15 suggestions for bizarrely beautiful otherworldly travel destinations right here on planet Earth.
A few weeks into my relationship with “Ben,” I left town for about two months. The week after we moved in together, I left again. Every couple comes into a relationship with baggage, but mine was a little more literal. I’m a travel writer, and my job sends me on the road regularly. As much as it’s awesome to go to Mexico City or Copenhagen to report stories, my on-and-off travel schedule has made it hard to build relationships. And when it came to building a relationship with a dude I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, I had to learn how to make it work – even when “it” was an ocean away.
In some ways, our relationship is just like any other long-distance relationship. We chat on Skype, keep in touch on IM, and make a point of checking in just to talk about normal stuff like what kind of mischief the cat has been up to. But it’s hard to get rid of the guilt I feel when I’m sitting on a beach or in an outdoor café when I know that Ben is chained to his computer at the office or going to boring meetings. Keep reading »
There are a few things in life I feel like I’m pretty good at, among them, roasting a mean pork tenderloin, giving sad sacks hours and hours of life advice without pay, drinking a whole bottle of champagne without getting slurry, drawing meaningful dating wisdom from unlikely sources (like “Star Trek”), and traveling alone. Interestingly, I’ve gotten good at all these things, as different as they are, through being a thirtysomething woman with no dependents or serious love interests. The perks of being single abound!
But seriously. I love traveling alone. Initially, traveling alone was something I did out of necessity. Following the big breakup of 2008 (never forget), I suddenly found myself making enough money, finally, to afford a regular vacation, but without a built-in travel buddy/boyfriend. While I obviously had friends, the vast majority of them were either A) in serious relationships and used their precious vacation hours to travel together or B) too poor to go anywhere besides a stops on the Long Island Railroad. That meant that if I was going to get the hell out of New York City — and seriously, you have to leave NYC sometimes or you’ll end up going crazy and painting song lyrics in menstrual blood on your bedroom walls — I was going to have to embark on a solo adventure. Luckily, I have always been someone who savored me time so aside from a few vague fears (would I get bored? would it be safe?), I was stoked at the prospect of having seemingly limitless hours to explore a new place on my own terms, unencumbered by anyone else’s needs and desires. How luxurious.
And, oh, how it is. I have adored every single one of my solo vacations to the point where I genuinely prefer traveling the world alone. For one thing, untethering yourself, however temporarily, from the demands of your fellow man adds a whole new level of relaxation to a vacation. For example… Keep reading »
This past week, I had the pleasure of traveling to St. Simons Island, a little island about the size of Manhattan off the southern coast of Georgia. St. Simons is on the ocean, but also surrounded by marshland, and is home to around 15,000 people full time. St. Simons is part of what’s called the Golden Isles, which also includes a place called Sea Island, and another called Jekyll Island (which, seriously, maybe consider a name change?).
I spent a lovely three days on St. Simons and learned quite a few things about island life — lessons that I’m hoping to take into my completely land-locked existence. Keep reading »
It wasn’t until we were sitting on a bench on a beautiful, sunny March day in London’s Kensington Gardens, that Patrick and I had what I recall as being our first actual argument. Just under a year into our relationship, we took our first big vacation together. The details of the disagreement, of course, were beyond stupid: I didn’t like the way Patrick exchanged money. I thought he should exchange his money differently. More specifically, I thought he should exchange money the way I exchanged money, the way I had explained to him was the best way to exchange money.
I told you it was stupid. And it was our first day together in London. I had a whole week of being annoyed at money exchanges ahead of me.
Of course, it wasn’t about the money exchanges themselves, but about the fact that I felt like Patrick wasn’t listening to my valuable input about logistical minutiae. And I am the kind of person who feels like “my valuable input” roughly translates to “literally the only input you need.” Keep reading »
IndieGoGo is a fundraising platform that helps people generate money for “passion projects.” On the homepage of IndieGoGo’s site, there is a campaign to help a young girl with brittle bones. Another aims to fund an indie film project. And yet another is in support of an ocean clean up feasibility study. IndieGoGo explains itself as “a crowdfunding platform where people who want to raise money can create fundraising campaigns to tell their story and get the word out. IndieGoGo is also a place to discover what people all over the world are passionate about and how to get involved.” No, there is nothing that says the funding raised via IndieGoGo must be used for some altruistic project or entrepreneurial end, however that seems to be implicitly understood by people who start campaigns on the site. Successful projects are ones that are able to capture the hearts and minds of potential funders because they provide a worthwhile service, or help those in need.
Sure, you can try to get funding for any old thing via IndieGoGo. But should you? Should you try and get funding for a total pisser of a vacay to Japan just because you really want to go to Japan and hang out with your buddy there? I’m gonna go with no. And yet! This person feels like it’s totally cool to expect people to fund her vacation. Keep reading »
I have a love/hate relationship with Las Vegas. I hate the roving bands of douchebags, the smell of stale cigarette smoke, the rampant objectification of women, and the baffling popularity of Ed Hardy trucker hats. I love the sequined dresses, the free drinks, the “Star Wars”-themed slot machines, and the awesome concerts. After spending another weekend in Las Vegas recently, I thought it was time to compile a list of some of my favorite things to do in Sin City. Read on for my Las Vegas lowdown, and as always, please feel free to share other ideas and suggestions in the comments! Keep reading »
Judging from the excitement surrounding the third season of “Portlandia” and all the emails in my inbox from readers who want to know more about visiting the city, Portland is having another moment (our really big moment happened back in the early 00s when The New York Times realized that not only did Portland exist, but the people here have beards and eat artisanal cheeses–it’s like a trend piece wet dream!).
When I asked my Portland friends for recommendations of things to do in this weird, wonderful city, their suggestions ranged from “Streak across the Steel Bridge” to “Drop out of graphic design school” to “Occupy something,” so obviously the Portland experience is tough to encompass in a single list (or even a single trip), but I’m going to try to focus on 10 activities that will guarantee a fun, fulfilling trip. Oh, and maybe finally convince my NYC-based Frisky coworkers to come visit me… Keep reading »
I am curious about what Anne Hathaway and Valentino Garavani (yes, that Valentino) discussed while on holiday together in Switzerland. Her “craft”? The endless benefits of an oatmeal paste and kale diet for young starlets? Whether her wedding headpiece was a headband, a crown, a tiara, or something else entirely? Does she ever lecture him on his deadly tanning habit and the fact that while standing side by side they look like a diagram of healthy human flesh vs. sad leather? Speaking of sad leather, as a vegan, how does she feel about his fur hood? Oh, the imagined conversations …