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.


Don't trust this man

Anyone that's been following my London estate agent scam artist saga might be interested to read this article. It's the second time the London Mirror has tried to shine some light on his company's underhanded dealings. However, even I didn't realize the grand total was so high, especially considering those that haven't come forward...yet.

As you can read in the article, I actually managed to get contact Robin Larkins several months ago. Knowing he had just lost a court case to another victim, I threatened to do the file the same claim. Mr. Larkins responded by promising he would return my money - a full year late, mind you - if I removed my warnings about his company from this blog. And though I conceded, I still never heard from him after that.

My warnings have been republished, to say the least.


Dusty Aussies

Anyone following Aussie news?
They're enduring a massive red dust storm right now.
The photos are incredible.

Sydney Harbour in the middle of the day:
(Yes, that's Sydney Harbour Bridge!)

Bondi Beach:

Manly Beach:

Hang in there, Australia!

PS - it is intimidating to consider we are going to the other side of the globe. Now it looks like we're going to Mars. ::gulp::


What time is it?

I'm having a bit of trouble with the vast time difference we're going to experience this time around. I mean, think about it. Sydney is quite near the International Date Line, one of the first cities to see the day. With the exception of New Zealand and parts of Indonesia and Siberia, the rest of the world falls in line behind Australian Eastern Standard Time. They greet the day and pass it back.

Seattle, on the other hand, is near the caboose of this train. Pacific Standard Time is seventeen hours behind Sydney, eight hours behind London, three hours behind New York City. Pretty much the only ones behind us are Alaska and Hawaii...and they admittedly have their own non-concept of time anyway. (wink, wink)

This goes beyond thinking in terms of hours in jet lag; to fly from Seattle to Sydney means you have to start speaking in terms of days. These two cities only inhabit the same calendar day for seven measley hours. Just as Seattlites are waking up to start their Monday, Sydneysiders have lept into Tuesday without looking back.

This is doing my head in. Our flight to Sydney departs on Monday and arrives on Wednesday. We lose an entire day on a fifteen hour flight. On the flip side, we arrive home five minutes later than we departed. When we want to call our loved ones at home, when do we do it? What time is it at home? What DAY is it at home?!

I hope this gets easier...


The England I Miss Today

Wandering through the echo
of a massive stone cathedral
filled with the smells
and sounds of history.

St. Paul's.



Candles flicker. Light floods through the stained glass. Everyone whispers. Hushed awe, if not solely for this magnificent edifice, than for what the building stands for.

And from the center of this great expanse, from inside the warm, wooden quire, a boy's choir sings a flawless evensong:


Winged beauties

Sometimes it's the little things
that remind you how far from home you are.

I hope I see some of these beauties in Australia.
I don't even know what they're called,
but they're absolutely stunning!


Shifting my thinking

I'm realizing a strange trend as we plan our trip to Australia.

Ask any citizen of a commonwealth country if they would like to visit down under, and their answer is usually that they have already been there. Australia is a common destination for them.

However, ask an American if they'd like to visit Oz, and though their answer is almost always an emphatic YES, they have never actually gone and are likely never to go. In the same vein, the travel sections of American bookstores have bookshelf after bookshelf of American, European and Mexican cities, but the Australia section never consists of more than ten books. Considering how large Australia is, ten books doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. When it comes to the topic of Australia over here in the American bubble, no one knows much, no one offers much information. It is almost as if Americans view Australia as some kind of Neverland, much revered but never visited.

For this reason, I can't help but feel like this trip is more of a rite of passage than others in the past. When we were planning our first trip to Europe, everyone had opinions and advice. Now, we mention we are planning a trip to Australia, and the responses are limited to, "Wow! Cool!"

I'm beginning to grow curious as to how many - or more aptly, how few - fellow Americans we will encounter on our trip. It is exciting that we could very possibly be in the tourist minority, though I can't help but hope our trip will encourage more Americans to follow suit. Pop the bubble. Pack a bag, buy the ticket and go. Even though it takes a great deal of effort, it is never not worth it.

(As a sidenote, I'd like to thank the Brits and Kiwis for taking on the position of most resented visiting nationality. It's a nice break for an American!)
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