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Illinois Improbable: A Story of Upending Expectations


When I was a high-school student in Bethesda, Maryland, and beginning to think about college, my parents sat me down and set a parameter: they would only allow a school within 1000 miles of our home, with the idea that I would be more likely to visit over holidays if within that range. My elder sister had already picked a school, Knox College, in Galesburg, Illinois, and now it was my turn. I pulled out a map, cut a string keyed to 1000 miles, … [Read more...]

Cruising Bordeaux with Viking River Cruises

bordeaux (1)

Viking River Cruises was established in 1977 as a fairly small operation with just four ships offering Russian River cruises marketed to Europeans. The company has expanded quickly over the years - entering the US market in 2000. They are now the world's largest river cruise company offering a variety of trips in Europe, Russia, China, Southeast Asia and Egypt. In addition to their main cruise offerings, Viking can arrange airfare and post and … [Read more...]

Top 10 Things You Must Do in Jaisalmer

puppets, string puppets, rajasthani puppets, jaisalmer

If cities like Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur bear the mark of luxury and opulence of royal Rajput lifestyle then Jaisalmer epitomizes rural Rajasthan. A day or two in this remote town will give you a closer look to the daily life in this desert land. If you are a traveller and believe in experiencing rather than seeing Jaisalmer is the place to visit. And here are the top ten activities to make the most of your Jaisalmer travel. Walking tour … [Read more...]

Layovers are great*


I am fortunate enough to participate in non-rev travel. This has its obvious ups and downs. I know where to find free WiFi in Houston International. I've spent dozens of nights sleeping in airports. And I’m certainly no stranger to being stuck in cities I’d rather not be in. When I was marooned in Paris last November, I was faced with the difficult decision of how to spend the next 24 hours. I was exhausted from a brief romp around Spain and … [Read more...]

Five Ways to get the Most out of Solo Travelling


Planning a little solo jaunt across the land? If this is your first time planning your virgin solo adventure, I understand completely how excited and nervous you are. I was once in your shoes. Before you slap on your backpack and march out that door, here’s a small checklist of things you might want to do to ensure a better trip. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH It doesn’t matter if you’re headed into uncharted territory or a bustling … [Read more...]

Summer Highlights in Québec

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With plenty of Festivals, Food events and Road Trips - summer time is a busy time to be in Québec. Geographically, this is Canada's largest province and the second largest by population. With so many activities coming up this summer, I have picked out a few of more intriguing ones. Festivals The Feux Loto-Québec is Montreal's International Fireworks Festival having been held annually since 1985. Not only is this a spectacular fireworks event … [Read more...]

A “Royal Holiday” in the Heart of Caribbean at Park Royal Cozumel


I first became enamored with all-inclusive resorts two years ago. There is something incredibly liberating about knowing everything is all taken care of in advance. No need to budget your dollars over the course of a vacation. No need to even carry around a wallet. It takes an element of stress away allowing your vacation to feel like a royal experience. My most recent all inclusive experience took place at the Park Royal Cozumel. Arriving … [Read more...]

The Introvert’s Guide to Backpacking


“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Bilbo Baggins, Fellowship of the Ring I never wanted to go backpacking. I had no interest in staying in hostels. An introvert by nature, I found the peace and privacy of a hotel room necessary, not only for the enjoyment of the trip, but for my mental sanity. Then the cheapskate … [Read more...]

Life in Bogotá: 12 things you’ll soon discover


1. Queuing for a bus is rare On the TransMilenio bus system in Bogota, it’s every man for himself; unlike London buses, on most TransMilenio buses there aren’t specific doors for people getting on or getting off (although these are being introduced on certain routes, thank God!), so as the doors open at the station it’s like two opposing armies clashing as each side struggles to board or disembark. If you wait for people to get off before you … [Read more...]

The Best Snorkeling Locations in Cozumel

El Cielo Reef

The previous day had darkened Cozumel as the storm clouds rolled in bringing rain and winds and choppy water. But I awoke Thursday with the fresh breeze rolling off the ocean and into my hotel room through the open patio. The smell in the air was fresh and I knew today would be prime snorkeling weather. My travel companions and I headed to the dock to meet up with John Cherba and Captain Luis of Reel Adventure Sur. They would be our guides and … [Read more...]