I'm a 37-year old Seattle girl who was bitten by the travel bug on my first tour of Europe in 2004. This personal blog follows my attempts to visit as many countries as I can, as often as my budget will allow. Since starting this blog in 2007, I've also worked as a freelance copywriter for an online travel publication. This only served to add even more must-see locations to my already extended list.
Follow me as I try to balance "real life" with exploring the world, all while trying to conquer a wickedly ironic case of homesickness.


Why Not Linger?

I've spent the last six years investing in travel. Not irresponsibly, mind you. We have savings for a rainy day, and we put a little bit toward our pension every month. But we don't live for the housing market or a fat portfolio of stocks. We simply put a higher value on memories than dollars, and that works just fine for us. But the most frustrating part has been the incredulous ridicule from "responsible" people that can't understand why we would prefer to invest in life experiences as opposed to a bigger 401K.

Then the recession hit and the tables turned...quickly. All of the sudden, our outlook doesn't seem so foolish, and I'm grateful that the rolling of the eyes and the constant "advice" has almost entirely ceased. Now it is my turn to look at these former CEOs and powerhouse business people that seem lost without their fat wallets and their huge houses. If I were to offer them advice, it would sound an awful lot like this great article from this month's issue of National Geographic Traveler.


G'day, indeed!

I'm quite giddy and busy getting ready for Austria and England in less than three weeks.

However, we decided to jump on a Qantas deal tonight that was just too good to pass up. Hubby, Sis and I are now booked on a flight to Sydney, Australia in November. SQUEEEEEAL!!! I will indeed be celebrating my 30th birthday Down Under with a long layover in San Francisco!

(And I will admit I'm also excited to travel with my two favorite travel partners together for the first time. Hopefully this won't be a bad thing!)

But more on that later. I still need to get in the Deutsch/Wurst/dirndl mindset. Ich bin thrilled!


Salzburg confirmed!

Tickets purchased, vouchers printed. We're going to Salzburg! And for a girl that watched "Sound of Music" four-hundred times before she turned six, it's a dream come true!

Is there a Luggage Lovers Anonymous?

I'm pretty sure I have a luggage addiction problem. And I've completely accepted that I will never be a backpacker.

That's what I should be using on this upcoming trip; my carry-on travel backpack. We're carrying on to eliminate baggage claim issues during our tight London/Vienna layover. My sister has become a carry-on packing guru; I'm doing so begrudgingly.

I tried, I really did. My first three European jaunts were entirely carry-on. And I now know it is possible to completely loath an inanimate object, like a heavy, awkward, headache-inducing backpack.

That is how this twenty-one-inch roller ended up leaving the store with me the other day. It's still tiny, but it rolls. And it's posh; I've dubbed the vintage tapestry look, "Mary Poppins chic." Think I'll be able to get 9 days worth of a European trip into that thing?

I remain very skeptical.


Crushed silk in a backpack

Okay...what do you do when you want to
pack as efficiently as Rick Steves

yet look as fabulous as Carrie Bradshaw?

I'm beginning to think there is no middle ground.

Carrie wouldn't carry on a single backpack.
Rick wouldn't bring crushed silk and four pairs of heels.

Is the best of both worlds too much to ask?


Read the fine print

Just a heads up to penny-pinching budget travelers like me. I just received a notification in the mail that Bank of America is redefining the term "Foreign Transaction Fee" for their credit cards. They are now including all transactions made outside of US soil no matter what currency the transaction is made in. This includes US dollars. Cheeky buggers.

So now when you buy that whatchamahoozit at Harrod's and the clerk kindly asks you if you want to process your purchase in US dollars, B of A will still charge you with that nasty foreign tranaction fee because you're standing in the United Kingdom at the time of purchase.

Now, to be honest, I advocate using Capital One while abroad anyway since they don't charge any foreign transaction fees at all. And I'll admit that a 3% charge generally isn't that huge. So it's up to you whether you think it's worth it.

But I personally want to save as much as possible. And on a $5000 trip, 3% comes out to $150 I'd rather spend somewhere other than some CEO's pocket. And if I hadn't caught this tiny addendum in this almost forgettable piece of mail, I wouldn't be aware of this re-definition.

So there you are. Charge wisely.


How to turn 30

November in Seattle is dark, cold, wet and dreary. Who wants to turn 30 in November in Seattle?

So I've decided I'm going somewhere where the sun shines in November. I'm going to do the BridgeClimb for my 30th...in Sydney, Australia.

Even if I'm doing it alone because my travel mates are acrophobic, I'M DOING THIS!

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