Culture · Education · Europe · Food · Germany · language · Tourist · Travel Philosophy · Travel Styles

It’s All German (and Turkish) to Me

One of my linguistics professors once said to me, “Language is culture.” He didn’t mean that it’s a part of one’s culture but that it both encompasses and permeates the culture. It defines—and is defined by— it. And whenever I travel, discovering the quirky phrases that make a culture tick helps me to get inside the… Continue reading It’s All German (and Turkish) to Me

Adventure · Education · Entertainment · Germany · Logistics · packing · Planes · Religion · Travel Philosophy · Travel Planning · Travel Tips & Skills

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Germany

Confession time: I’m a last-minute packer, sometimes finishing up just hours before a flight. Fortunately, I pack so often that I’ve got my incomprehensible-to-most system down pat. On most trips, procrastination serves as stimulus to “get ‘er done.” Rare is it that something needed is forgotten at home. I get to the airport with sufficient… Continue reading A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Germany

Caribbean · Culture · Tourist · Travel Planning · Travel Tips & Skills

Cuba: Just the Facts, Ma’am

Rick Steves and I have been getting so many requests regarding the logistics of our Cuba trip. And with travel restrictions slowly easing for Americans, we know more and more people will soon be heading to our neighbor in the Caribbean. With that in mind, Rick has asked me to create a nitty gritty list… Continue reading Cuba: Just the Facts, Ma’am

Caribbean · Tourist · Travel Planning · Travel Tips & Skills

In Cuba, Mi Casa Es Su Casa…Really

For Americans traveling to Cuba, finding a place to stay can feel stressful. With few hotels and high demand, most resort to staying in a casa particular—a privately run B&B. But even that can prove difficult if you don’t know the ropes. Read about my family’s experience to help save yourself time and tension when you book your own Cuban… Continue reading In Cuba, Mi Casa Es Su Casa…Really

Caribbean · Culture · Education · History · Tourist · transportation · Travel Philosophy · Travel Planning · Travel Tips & Skills

Bienvenido a Havana: Cuba at First Glance

Weary from 14 hours of travel (in the middle seat of three different airplanes from Seattle to Mexico City to Havana), my body longed for a simple bed to sleep in, but my mind was awhirl with anticipation of a trip of a lifetime. Rick, his son Andy, his daughter Jackie, and I were Cuba-bound,… Continue reading Bienvenido a Havana: Cuba at First Glance

Americas · Architecture · Art · Tourist · USA

Chicago: Travel Shows, Tours, and a Birthday

One of my favorite “side gigs” as a Rick Steves’ guide is promoting our tours at the Travel & Adventure Show every winter. This 2-day event happens in a different major city almost every weekend from January to March. Thousands flock to the city’s convention center, which is jammed aisle after aisle with travel booths… Continue reading Chicago: Travel Shows, Tours, and a Birthday

Adventure · Culture · Latin America · transportation · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills

Adventures in Los Cabos

Tiny beads of sweat tickled my dusty brow. The grease accumulating in my hair could have fueled an SUV. The metallic grind of the engine drowned out all conversations on the jostling bus as we made our way from the airport to Cabo San Lucas. I had neglected to book a shuttle, and forking over… Continue reading Adventures in Los Cabos