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.


Adorable safety procedures?

We all hate this part. We've heard it a million times before.

But Thomson found a way to capture our full attention:



Rush Hour London from Chris Searson on Vimeo.

Where are you from?

One of my favorite parts of traveling is the inevitable, “Where are you from?” It is that brief initial moment when you first interact with a local, when you are as much of a novelty to them as their city is to you. And you start to learn just how others view your country, your city or your continent.

The first time I answered this question, I answered in a very standard American way. “Seattle, Washington.”

You see, it is customary here in the great US of A to include your state, which fiftieth of our big ole country you call home. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that half our city names are duplicates of each other, but the only time you wouldn’t include your state is when you’re from somewhere huge, like New York City or Los Angeles. Otherwise, tack your state name on the end.

However, that is generally not how people think of a country that is not their own. Just like the Englishman who once answered my inquiry with, “I’m from Derbyshire.” My American brain was immediately confuzzled. Where the heck is Derbyshire? In those terms, it makes perfect sense that the moment we say Washington to a non-American, the inevitable reply is, “Oh, the capital!”

Now, if you’re still stuck in Ameri-think, like I was during my first encounter, you immediately wonder, “That’s strange. The capital of the state of Washington is Olympia,” and look at them strangely. It takes a moment to realize they’re referring to the only Washington most non-Americans are aware of.

“Oh, you mean DC! No, I’m not from DC. I’m from the opposite side of the country.”

Well, now they’re totally confused.

Okay, forget the whole Washington thing; focus on Seattle. “Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Space Needle?” seems to be understood internationally, as you immediately bond over, “How’s my butt?”

And if all else fails, grab a map. Our cab driver in Vienna had a worn world atlas on the passenger seat of his car covered in little dots, presumably all the hometowns of his fares over the years. And as soon as I pointed to Seattle, his immediate response was, “OH! Near Canada!”

Well, yeah, I suppose we’re near Canada. Kind of. It’s a three-hour drive that hardly anyone actually takes. I’d never really thought of it that way.

Or the guy in Canterbury, England who responded with, “Oh, Seattle! That’s on the West coast, right? I’ve always wanted to go to San Francisco.” Okay, that’s two states away, but it’s definitely closer than DC. So I responded with, “Yeah, we’re only a two-hour flight from San Francisco.”

To which his friend provided my absolute favorite where-are-you-from response to date: “TWO HOURS?! How is that close?! I could cross my entire country in a two hour flight!”

Ah, it’s all relative. And I simply love it!



Sometimes I find something
that makes me love London just a little bit more.


Australian visa, check!

My first foreign country visa application ever...

Things just became a little more real,
and whole lot more exciting!


Bring it on, Branson

I've wanted to give Virgin Atlantic an opportunity to knock my socks off for several years now. I hear the experience, while still being economy seats stuck in a metal tube for hours, is as positive as you can possibly get up there in the big blue. Travelers simply love Virgin.

So when Virgin America started flying our friendly domestic skies, Sis and I vowed we'd jump on the opportunity whenever it came our way. And it finally has!

That's right, people. We're foregoing earning/redeeming miles on our regular airline partnership to test out Mr. Branson's party in the sky. We're flying VA to San Francisco, and we're quite excited about it!

(And you better believe I'm mentioning my 30th birthday when we check in. Upgrade, please?)

San Francisco in 31 hours

The focus of our trip in November, of course, is Australia. But there simply aren't any direct flights from Seattle to any Australian destination; we must layover in California. Our choices: Los Angeles or San Francisco. We've been to LA multiple times, don't quite understand the appeal, and kind of loathe LAX. So, SFO it is!

You may remember San Francisco has been on the table before. So we made arrangements to make this an extended layover and stay as long as we could possibly afford to. But that only came to a single night. So we now have the challenge of seeing as much of San Francisco as we possibly can in the dead of November in a grand total of 31 hours, including airport and sleeping time.

I'm starting to realize just how much this city has to offer and just how much of a whirlwind this will be. A private, customizable tour guide has become a serious consideration. And I'm definitely bringing my sexy poncho!



Why'd the siblings cross the ocean?

To get to the other side...


Signs of Anglophelia

I miss polite British apologies for...well, everything.

I miss irreverent British humour, even in warning signs.

I miss product names like Utterly Butterly.

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