A Birthday Blog and Why it Made Me Cry

This weekend I turned 24. Or rather, I had my 24th New Year. I like to look at it this way because I view every birthday as the opportunity to revel in the past 365 days of life and opportunities as well as anxiously look forward to the future.

And with this birthday looming, I spent the past few weeks drafting an apropro birthday post. In a perfect world, it would summarize my year of travels, experiences, encounters, and and all my hopes and dreams for the future (insert sappy music here).

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Hostile Hostel Roommates: How to Deal

Yes, I know. I don’t normally post twice a week but I have been receiving lots of e-mails from you adventurers out there wanting advice. Looks like cheap travel is in the air and we’ve got a lot of adventurers preparing to embark on their first hostel experience. Whoohoo!

And I get it; there’s a lot of fear to be had about sharing space with strangers. “What if I get crappy roommates?” “Will it be like the movie? I don’t want to die!” “I’m traveling alone. What am I going to need?”

So by popular demand I am releasing this blog early (I can’t leave my homies hanging). No worries mate; just read so you can breathe easy about your upcoming adventure. =)

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Things Travelers Never Tell You: When Travel Bites

I heard someone splash into the pool outside. Laughter, 90’s music, and the smell of pot drifted in through the windowpane. I could hear the giggles of twenty-something girls as they flirted with the single studs in sunglasses. Friends bonded over beers and talk of their daily adventures. The humidity and light rain made my loose curls stick to my forehead. This was Cairns.

It was dark in the room but I liked it that way. Direct sunlight was unfitting of my mood. I shifted the ice pack on my ankle, trying to balance my leg on the ladder of the bunk bed. I looked at my phone hoping a text would magically appear.

I stared at it, willing a connection to someone, anyone, who could tell me things were going to be okay. I put it down and covered my face with a pillow, trying to stifle what had been obvious to me for the past few hours: Sometimes solo travel SUCKS. Continue reading

10 Tricks for Getting That Memorable Photo

I’ve been in Sydney for a few days now and still cannot get over the view of The Opera House from the hostel. This world is full of unforgettable moments and places. I feel so blessed to be able to experience this and can’t wait to post more pictures to share (many thanks to Anika for this one)!

But marveling at the view got me thinking… As awesome as it is to be able to experience such a visual, it’s even more awesome to be able to share the moment later on with friends and family. And in order to do that, you need a good photo. And as easy as it is to point and click, grabbing that unforgettable moment is much easier said than done. I’ve seen more poorly constructed photos than I care to remember.

So how can you be sure that you walk away from your once-in-a-lifetime experiences with photos worth framing? I mean, most of us aren’t professional photographers, so how would we know anything about objectives, exposures, or distances? No worries mate; I’ve compiled the following steps to help you capture that memorable moment before it’s gone. Follow these tips and your friends will be begging you to take all their photos for them! Continue reading

The Ask All Tell All’s of Nomadic Life: Financing Your Fun

Are you interested in pursuing a gypsy lifestyle? Traveling the world professionally? Constantly making new friends and exploring new places? Welcome to the club!

Don’t know where to start or how it can be done? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, I am constantly receiving e-mails and comments from people asking how they too can pick up and go.

Often times, I feel like its difficult for people to fathom how I lead my life. It’s like I’m constantly trying to act out the season finale of Lost. No-one gets me.

This is partly my fault. I just kind of started this journey and continued to blab about it without much regard for others looking to travel. Sorry about that.

So this is the beginning of a series of blogs elucidating the best kept secret of full-time travelers: how they manage to make it happen. You’ve asked for it, and now I’m giving it to you, starting with the foundation: finances. You can send me a thank-you card later. =) Continue reading

How to Get Everything You’ve Always Wanted: A Guide to Jealous-Free Living

Since taking to documenting my travels and fortunate mishaps, I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of support I’ve received from readers like you. When I started this blog, I thought I would just record my insane adventures to laugh at down the road. But I’ve been touched to find that there are so many others out in the world who identify with my experiences and want to laugh with me. Everyday I receive an e-mail, a comment or nod from a kind and encouraging soul. It’s support from inspiring and creative people that keeps pushing me through untrodden territory, and for that I thank you.

But what I’ve been more surprised to see are the number of e-mails, Facebook messages, or comments from people expressing jealousy and envy of my situation. I can’t understand why anyone would want to be in my shoes when they could be experiencing their own unique adventures.

Over the past year I’ve learned that jealousy is a mark of discontentment and resentfulness with one’s own situation. It’s a draining feeling that wastes valuable energy on unattainable ideals (I mean, I can never be you, so being jealous over your situation is pointless). I think people turn to jealousy not because they want to, but because society accepts this emotion over challenging the status quo.

And since you have all been so supportive of me, I now want to help you. You too can live the life you’ve always wanted. Continue reading