huntin’ for a new city

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When looking for a place to move post-graduation, I am unashamed to say I’ve googled “best places for single people.” This guide to 10 Most & Least Attractive Cities in America by the Huffington Post may also help out in the decision-making process.

Travel is all about exploring new places, eating new foods, and meeting people that aren’t like you. A good travel experience requires you to step outside of your comfort zone. Breaking out of your comfort zone by Nomadic Matt talks about the rich experiences you can gain if you are willing to do something out of the norm and talk to someone you wouldn’t normally stop in the street for.

When looking for a hotel, people will pay big bucks for a great view. Gadling’s Alex Robertson Textor’s article Top 10 Hotel Rooms with a View is a great lineup of the hotels around the world with the best views.

If you’re a woman looking to move to Japan, check this out first. No sex in the city by Reannon Muth of tells about her experience as a Western woman trying to get the attention of Japanese men.




Written by Lauren Allen

November 15, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

travelin’ made possible

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Trips to countries you thought were impossible, or nearly impossible now seem achievable, thanks to Adam Seper and Boots’n’All for 10 Difficult-to-Visit Places and How to Get There. Includes: Bolivia, Vietnam, India, Russia, China, Libya, Iran, Cuba, Syria, Lebanon and Israel.

From a Swiss prison to an igloo in Finland, Antony Ham of Lonely Planet explores Europe’s most unusual hotels.

Since Thanksgiving is next week, I thought including  Gadling’s Lauren Miller Seattle’s Sunday Suppers: Top Restaurants Host Family Style Meals was appropriate. I know a lot of families that choose to spend their Thanksgiving meals dining out; they end up saving a lot of money but minimizing the amount of food they waste.

Again, this blog was started for a multimedia journalism class.  We often talk about the effect Twitter has on the world of journalism. In Using Twitter to Pressure Airlines: It Works Scott McCartney of The Wall Street Journal talks about how Twitter is also used to affect the airline market.

A big downfall of starting a new hobby-maybe backpacking, for example-is the overwhelming amount of products out there to help you out. Art of Backpacking’s Michael Tieso’s My Backpacking Filming Setup helps narrow down the choices for film equipment for a backpacker.

Written by Lauren Allen

November 7, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

votin’ time

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Aside from travel, I will interject my soapbox comment about how it is our obligation as Americans to vote. The election for governor (and other local representatives) is in a week and a half. There are no excuses for not voting, including living temporarily outside of your voting district. Apply for an absentee ballot–it’s not too late!


Also in regards to voting, time is almost up to Be the 5th Vote to Decide Who Wins the Live Backpacker Contest, Foxnomad’s contest to award a lucky person a free backpacking trip. Voting is over October 23 at 11:59 pm. There are 3 awesome contestants with stories about really interesting places. Check it out!

Being a seafood lover and a Georgian who travels to the Gulf at least once a year has made me and many of my friends concerned about the safety of the seafood coming out of the Gulf since the oil spill. Gadling’s article From the Shores of Louisiana-Is Gulf seafood safe? explores the issue and what the FDA has done to “prevent the problem.”

I love this! Vagabond’s feature story of the week by Charlotte Halligan, Taking the Plunge: How to Conquer Your Fears Through Travel.

Globe Trooper’s HOW TO: Choose a Backpack for RTW Travel has tons of great tips for getting started and getting the right gear!

It’s always important to research where you are going (especially if it’s abroad) before you go to be educated AND to avoid embarassment. Here’s Boots’n’All’s Emily Starbuck Gersen’s First Timer’s Guide to Avoiding Embarrassment at a Turkish Bath.

Written by Lauren Allen

October 22, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

fun factin’

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Las Vegas–I’ve never been, and honestly, I don’t really have a desire to but I am a fun fact junkie. So here’s Everything-Everywhere’s 8 things you might not have known about Las Vegas. Pretty interesting!

One of my best friends, Ashley, is absolutely and irrationally terrified of riding on airplanes. Even when given the stats on the odds of getting killed in a plane crash versus a car crash, she’s still hysterical. So, in honor of her, I felt it was only appropriate to pass on FoxNomad’s 7 plane crash tips if you ever are in the situation…which again is extremely unlikely!

When I was in London, I literally lived on fish and chips because I hated everything else. So if you ever find yourself in London and in the same  position, take Art of Backpacking’s advice for Boroughing for the Best Food in London.

Gadling’s Top 10 Overrated U.S. Travel Destinations/Attractions is so true! I’ve been to 6 of the named places and with the exception of Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco (just because I loved the city as a whole), I’d have to agree that they are pretty overrated locations. So before you plan your next trip, see if your destination is on this list and rethink.

I’m the master e-mailer to myself. My friends always make fun of me for the number of emails I keep in my inbox and how they are all masterfully organized. Buy hey, you never know where you are going to be when you discover you need that paper or that phone number so why not keep it on your portable file storage!? Gadling has some great ideas for ensuring your most important travel documents will be with you no matter where you go in this article: Top 5 Travel Documents to Email Yourself.


Written by Lauren Allen

October 17, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

surfin’ for good travels

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Oahu, Hawaii

Over the summer, I had the privilege to go to Hawaii for two weeks. BootsnAll’s article 10 Reasons to Visit Hawaii Now seemed to be a really accurate portrayal of the highlights of the islands, not some phony way to make tourists flock to a favorite vacation spot.

There isn’t much to say about this post because the photos say it all. Stunning Vietnam Photography by David Terrazas. Vagabondish has his album linked to their page.

Since this blog was started for a multimedia journalism class with a lot of focus on social media’s role in the world of journalism, I found it fitting to feature Gadling’s Top 5 Social Media Destinations.

Tim Leffel’s blog post 7 Ways to Offset Your Round-the-World Travel Expenses is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to find when I started this blog. He suggests teaching English, freelancing, nannying, or working on a farm abroad to save money on your travels.

I went on a study abroad trip last summer with a Dutch teacher. We all found out quickly that his biggest pet peeve was the assumption that the Netherlands are only good for their infamous lax drug and prostitution laws. In tribute to him, who taught me so much about life and travel, here are 20 things the dutch are known for besides legal marijuana, clogs and cheese. Thanks Art of Backpacking!



Written by Lauren Allen

October 8, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Posted in Travel

belated postin’

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Sunset in Ahmed, Bali (Photo/Nathan from

I think it’s a universal fantasy travel destination: Greece. It’s always been a place on my list of places to go once I strike gold. Pause the Moment’s How to visit the Greek islands on the cheap article gives some great tips to mingling with the Grecians without breaking the bank.

While traveling across the world sounds appealing, staying in the U.S. is a lot more practical for most of us. And there are amazing places here right here in our country to see. Here’s an article from Gadling about America’s favorite park: Bear Head Lake State Park, MN

I’m a huge reader. I often neglect my schoolwork for my current pleasure read I am always on the hunt for a new book to inspire me to do something with my life. Most of my friends hate the crazy ideas I get from my books.  So it’s no surprise that Globe Trooper’s article Non travel books to inspire travel is right up my alley. And I’ve already borrowed the first book on the list to begin asap!

A big obstacle of travel is the getting over the first hump. Will you plan the trip on your own or will you go on a packaged tour put together by a local travel agency? Packaged group tour v. independent group trips from Globe Trooper outlines the basics and pros and cons of both so you can decide which best suits your needs.

Wanting to strike out on a backpacking adventure but scared your body won’t be able to keep up with your heart’s desire? The Poor Travel Blogger has some tips about Travel Exercises you should do before you get going.

Written by Lauren Allen

October 3, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

free fallin’

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One day this will be me! (Photo/Dan Wayland)

Number 1 on my bucket list, once I find the guts, is to skydive. Vagabondish’s article highlights the best places to skydive around the world.

While most people love to travel, most also hate the dreaded 3-day car ride it can take to get across the country, when avoiding airfare. Here are Tripbases’ 55 ways to enjoy a long car ride. While most of these are best suited for children, when you are trapped in a car, desperate times call for desperate measures. So next time you’re on a road trip, retreat back to your toothless days and enjoy yourself!

As someone who has never really backpacked, as in no more than one day, I’ve always wondered how you decide what to pack. All the things you once thought were necessary don’t seem so important when your pack’s weight starts rising. Poor travel blogger give’s a detailed description (complete with photos) about what gear he packs on his trip. Also helpful are the comments left by other readers.

Like I said in my last post, travel is usually thought of as a selfish adventure to get away from the hustle and bustle of real life. Cheap travel tips (one of my new favorite blogs, btw) tells why traveling is actually beneficial for our health. Next time you want to take a trip–don’t feel guilty, pretend it’s doctor’s orders!

Everyone needs a little trashy news–and, hey, at least this one pertains to travel! Apparently, Paris Hilton got denied access into Japan. This article by Gadling has a few speculations as to why.

Written by Lauren Allen

September 24, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Posted in Travel