Announcing the Winner of The Lion Cub Encounter Contest!

Okay, so I know you probably don’t care, but I have learned that giveaways are exhausting. Between reading your touching stories, answering questions, promoting the contest, and assisting in cub care, I’m ready for a week-long nap. The outpour of support and interest in this giveaway and The Lion Habitat Ranch has been so overwhelming. We are all so grateful for your support and enthusiasm! On behalf of NomadGrad.com and The Lion Habitat Ranch, we thank you.

lion cubs

And after a grueling week, reading your heart-felt entries and what this encounter would mean to you, The Lion Habitat Ranch trainers have chosen a winner. Drum roll please… Continue reading

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The Las Vegas Lowdown: The Female Tourist Misstep

As I’ve navigated my way from Australia to Fiji, I can’t seem to stop uttering mental thank-you’s to all of my fellow travelers and readers out there. Reading your blogs and messages with tips and suggestions about where to go and what to do has significantly eased the stress of this adventure. I am so grateful to have such a gracious following and have been touched by the offers I’ve received for guides in each city.

As a solo female traveler, I often have to rely on the kindness of others for directions or advice, but the generosity I have received has been paramount in making this journey a memorable one!

I can’t wait to share with you all that has gone on, but while I wait for more consistent internet access, I’ve decided to give back to you the only way that I know how: by sharing my knowledge base. You’ve been so kind as to share with me your advice on your home cities, now it’s my turn to do the same. Continue reading

Hilary Goes Hiking Part I: The City Girl Adjustment

I sat on the curb in the still of the morning, listening to the hum of traffic on the I-15. I glanced at my phone, wondering if my decision to get up so early would end up being as regrettable as it felt at the moment. There was nothing I wanted more than to crawl back into my bed and drift into a deep slumber. I, however, had committed to seeing this day through. I had never been hiking before and today was the day I decided to redress this sad fact. Damn me.

I’ve always been aware that my home town sits surrounded by beautiful hiking trails that would take little effort on my part to experience. And for as much crap as I have gotten from my friends about it, I’ve just been more focused on having foreign adventures. But now that I was back in town, it was time for me to start familiarizing myself with the beauty surrounding Las Vegas.

When fellow writer and friend, Matthew O’Brien, expressed interest in checking out one of the national preserves, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get my hike on. So here I was at the crack of dawn sitting on the curb in front of my house, cursing my enthusiasm.

Continue reading

City mouse takes the leap (i.e. flight)

If you are reading this, then I have boarded my flight to Nicaragua. Huzzah!

Now, that’s not to say this wasn’t preceded by a few meltdowns, crying sessions and panic attacks, but the takeaway message is that I successfully departed McCarran Airport. Double Huzzah!

There came a point this week when I was eating Cheerios on the couch that I realized had to go on this trip. I have been able to dissect my reasoning into the following list:

Hilary’s Rationalization for Facing Her Fears and Going to Nicaragua

1. The trip was already paid for and the deposits were non-refundable. Continue reading