2016 wasn’t exactly the best year ever, but I did manage to take my traveling watercolor set to Nicaragua, Paris, and Tierra del Fuego.
Surfing isn’t about catching a wave. Fly-fishing isn’t about catching a fish. Nothing is about anything.
Last Christmas, I received a travel watercolor set. In 2015 I took it to Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, the Grand Canyon, California, Spain, and Nicaragua.
In travel, as in life, there’s a comical contrast between the images we choose to share — and everything else that’s happening outside the frame.
Revisiting ‘terra da felicidade’ (the land of happiness) for Lonely Planet.
On the job for Lonely Planet.
A trip to Tangier, Fès & Marrakech inspires a creative collaboration.
There’s a reason why there are a thousand resorts here, why the cruise ships all stop here. It’s the same reason that some phrases become clichés: because they’re true.
Film it, paint it, map it, put yourself in the frame.
Maps you make for work, maps you make for fun, maps that inspire you, maps that force you to be practical, maps that cause you to fight with your boyfriend.
In a follow-up to my runaway, practically-went-viral smash – the hard-hitting piece of culinary reporting ‘Things We Ate in Ecuador’ – I present you with the things I ate in Peru.
The start of a new year always makes you think. Traveling alone also makes you think. So what happens when you travel alone to a foreign place over New Year’s?
From a five-star hotel in Uruguay to the villas (slums) of Buenos Aires? Now that’s my kind of work week.
Or bidding farewell to an icon as we’ve known it. ______________________________
Moving around is easy. Staying still is hard.
We’d never been on such a long trip together, you and me, so I didn’t know how it would go. Six weeks of traveling through Brazil – no, seven.
‘The city of Bahia, black and religious, is almost as mysterious as the green sea…’
As New Yorkers left the city in mass exodus, we rolled into Penn Station just in time for the holidays.
After one bicycle ride down Ocean Drive, I was ready to chop off my hair, start smoking cloves, and ditch my Macbook for a vintage typewriter.
On traveling alone: accepting solitude, tolerating jerks and being your own best friend.
I just spent one of the happiest weeks of my life in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile.
‘Remnants of a lost Los Angeles, city of the mind, remembered and yearned for, the neon lights of LA – celestial fires of another sort, green, gold, ruby red, electric blue…
Sunshine, coconuts and white sandy beaches – and wild crocodiles – and armed robbery – oh, Colombia.
I spent a whole month in Vegas, and I’m still recovering.
First, I have to say: I should have just camped out at Red Rock Canyon last weekend.
Siestas, asados, pelopinchos, empanadas… oh, how I love the laid-back charm of northern Argentina.
When mechanical error strikes: how to calm down an angry mob of frequent fliers.
We toasted the end of 2011 with heart-stopping steak sandwiches and wild fireworks on the sand.
When you stay in a foreign home, you learn what the locals wear to bed and how they take their coffee (in this case? Instant Nescafé with steaming hot milk and liquid sweetener.)
Velvet ropes, champagne and ballerinas at the State Opera House in Prague – for less than the price of a movie ticket in New York?
I skipped the museums. But I had breakfast in the subway, pretended to shop for apples and saw lots of beautiful Hungarian women.
Yesterday I floated in the waters of Budapest’s thermal spas. Yes, the system is confusing if you don’t know Hungarian – and yes, the older gentlemen are satisfyingly rotund in their tiny swimsuits.
Reporting live from vinobraní, Prague’s young wine festival.
Or the ways in which revisiting a city where you once lived is like seeing a person you were once in love with.
A week of gourmet meals on a yacht in the Galapagos – plus a week of cevicheria-hopping in Quito?
The islands startled me. They’re rougher, colder and more spectacular than I expected – somehow bleak and lush at the same time.
Peruvian ceviche and Chinese pork dumplings get all the hype. But the Amish pretzel dog is an unsung hero.
I like to stay in. I like to cook. I don’t like to be separated from my family. How on earth did I end up as a travel writer?
‘My life, which seems so simple and monotonous, is really a complicated affair of cafés where they like me and cafés where they don’t, streets that are friendly, streets that aren’t, rooms where I might be happy, rooms where I shall never be…’ — Jean Rhys (Good Morning, Midnight)
Parisian architecture, Peruvian street food, handsome gentlemen in three-piece suits, crowded bookshops, glamorous old cafes… what’s not to like about living downtown?
“I like to be with other people who don’t need to fit the mold or belong to some kind of tribe. Then we can feel free to celebrate art and music however we want.”
On most Lonely Planet trips, I’m a stranger in a strange land. But here in California, I have a gym membership, happy hour dates, and friends with boats.
I was a tough sell. But the deed is done – I really, really like southern California.
Another holiday, another cake, another desperate attempt to carry on our family traditions far from home.
I used to collect keepsakes from my travels – batiks from India, espresso cups from Italy – but things got out of hand.
Can you learn anything about a destination from inside the airport?
I like talking about the stuff that never makes it onto a postcard. The unexpected failures and mini-disasters, jet lag haze, upside-down maps. Interpersonal dramas.
In the past week, I’ve been to Portuguese farmhouses, bohemian apartments in Pamplona, birthday parties in the Algarve and a dinner party in an old Spanish barn. (Oh yeah, I also spent a night at the Holiday Inn in Lisbon. Don’t ask.)
This isn’t my first time in the Catalonian capital – it’s one of my favorite cities. But until this week I thought that the leafy settings of Vicky Christina Barcelona were just another of the director’s urban fantasies.
I don’t care to be the girl with the overstuffed suitcase. It’s a matter of pride.
It’s a bittersweet fact of travel – we discover some of our favorite things about a place in the moments before we leave it.
I’m kidding. But it wasn’t easy traveling up one of the world’s most rugged and desolate highways on a beat-up old bus with thirty backpackers – and my mom.
What do Robert Duvall, Francis Ford Coppola and Al Pacino have in common? A lot more than stony facial expressions and severed horse heads.
My boyfriend and I are planning a last-minute vacation to Spain and Portugal. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say I’m planning a vacation while he tries to get a word in edgewise.
I’m a high/low traveler – at least when it comes to work. I stay in five-star hotels and backpacker hostels. I like chocolate crème brûlée as much as I like the candy bars sold in German vending machines.
Everyone’s abuzz about the BBC’s recent piece on an ‘uncontacted tribe’ living in the Brazilian rainforest. And by everyone, I especially mean those of us who recently researched and wrote Lonely Planet’s Brazil 8 book.
Avec, check (liked the stuffed olives and the cool all-wood interior with communal tables.) Purple Pig, check (liked the quartino carafes of Greek chardonnay and the fried brussel sprouts with lemon, thyme and pepper.)
Much as I adore my friends, I loathe the phrase ‘girls’ getaway.’ I like ‘mini-break,’ as the Brits say – or better yet, the Spanish word ‘escapadita’ (little escape.)
I know it’s a greeting-card holiday. But I decided to plan a mini-vacation for two this Valentine’s Day – in my defense, I had a very good reason.