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A Travel Angel at the Vatican: Exploring the Papal City-State with the Wife of a Swiss Guard

So often when I travel, I feel like the universe conspires in my favor. Perhaps I’m inclined to be more open to adventure and opportunities that come my way, or maybe, because I seek those moments, I recognize them more readily. Or perhaps there truly is a divine hand at work that guides me towards people and circumstances that stretch and shape me for the better. Whatever the reason, in that chapel and in that moment, I knew precisely how fortunate I was, and I was grateful.

Architecture · Art · Culture · Destinations · Europe · Family-friendly · Food · History · Italy · Religion · Tourist · Travel Philosophy · Travel Planning · Travel Styles · Travel Tips & Skills

Rome by the Dozen: 12 Images of The Eternal City

Anyone who’s ever been to Rome knows that it’s impossible to contain all of its magnificence in a handful of photos, but that doesn’t stop most travelers from trying. There are (quite literally) millennia of things to see, explore, taste, and experience in this city that was once the center of the largest empire in… Continue reading Rome by the Dozen: 12 Images of The Eternal City

Culture · Europe · Food · Germany · History · Tourist

Market Day in Freiburg: The More Things Change…

Unless today’s Sunday, it’s Market Day in Freiburg. As early as six in the morning, merchants and farmers from near and far descend upon the town, setting up their tents and stalls and artfully displaying their harvests and wares. As sleepy-eyed Freiburgers awake to a new day, the market begins to pulse with activity. … Continue reading Market Day in Freiburg: The More Things Change…

Adventure · Art · Culture · Europe · Food · Italy · Music · Religion · Tourist · transportation · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills

How to Find Great Values in Venice

Centuries-old former palaces crackle and peel away in the thick, briny air. Bottom floors of old merchants’ warehouses sit empty and still cling half-heartedly to their romantic patina of a time long past, slowly but beautifully decaying under the Venetian heat, humidity, and rising waters. As I glide down the canal on a slow vaporetto,… Continue reading How to Find Great Values in Venice

Adventure · Architecture · Art · Culture · Europe · History · Iceland · Religion · The Great Outdoors · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills

Iceland Iceland Baby

What do you do in Iceland when you only have two days to visit?  Lots, that’s what. Instead of flying directly from St. Petersburg to Seattle, my partner Rick Steves and I decided to take advantage of spending some time (for the first time) in Iceland.  We hoped to break up our jet lag and… Continue reading Iceland Iceland Baby

Adventure · Architecture · Culture · Europe · France · History · The Great Outdoors · Travel Tips & Skills

From Travel Idiot to Travelphile: One Woman’s “Travelution”

With the start of a new year, many people take stock of their life in the last twelve months: choices made, goals achieved, promises broken, dreams unfulfilled.  In optimistic form, resolutions are made in the hopes of making this year even better than the last.  In a similar vein, I’ve been thinking about my travel… Continue reading From Travel Idiot to Travelphile: One Woman’s “Travelution”

Adventure · Culture · Food · Latin America · Travel Tips & Skills · Volunteer Travel

Tijuana: Impressions Confirmed and Shattered

When people ask me what I do, I often find myself wincing on the inside before responding.  It can be a loaded question, depending on who is asking the question and what the circumstances are.  For nearly fifteen years, my answer was simple:  I’m a Spanish and Dance teacher at Carlsbad High School. My standard… Continue reading Tijuana: Impressions Confirmed and Shattered