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Many consider solo travel daunting. They worry, Will I be safe? Will I be lonely? Will I be able to do it? To which I reply, ABSOLUTELY! To date, I’ve traveled to over 20 countries alone, and it’s been one of the most rewarding, challenging things I’ve done. Solo travel is the greatest opportunity for self-discovery. You realize really quickly of what you’re capable and how independent you truly are.

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To fully enjoy your travel adventures, you must prepare! While I'm infamous for showing up in a city/country not knowing a thing nor where I'll be staying, we should all at least follow these top tips for how to prepare to travel!

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Don't underestimate the pleasure of traveling with a partner. Experiencing adventure and beauty with another deeply sweetens your memories. But of course we're human, so naturally we can get annoyed with someone who's in our space constantly. It's all about choosing wisely! Don't travel with just anyone; be mindful of whom you are asking to join in on an adventure.

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Travel doesn't have to be expensive! Yes, I said it. Of course, staying at luxury hotels and dining at 3-star restaurants can be desirable, but you can still travel very well on a budget. Transportation, Accommodations, Dining, Activities...

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Food is amazing! It fuels and heals us. And though I believe in eating a wide range of colorful foods, when I travel to less-than developed areas I limit myself to avoid sickness. I'm extremely careful and strict about what I do and do not eat and drink because getting sick ruins a trip. 

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I get it. Your dog is your best friend. The thought of leaving her/him makes you sad. So don't! Travel with your dog! To date, I've taken my pug Monkey on 5 international trips and to 6 US cities. She makes trips that much more fun. Of course, adding a furry friend to your travel plans complicates things a bit, so here's what I've learned to do so travel goes as smoothly as possible.

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While we like to think we're invincible and nothing bad can happen, reality is shit happens! Here are my top tips for how to stay safe while traveling!

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I'm a water baby. The morning my mom went into labor with me, she swam laps. That's right, she exercised. So it's no surprise wherever she travels she makes sure the hotel has a lap pool for her daily morning swim. Every time my mom plans a trip, she Googles: "large lap pools in [insert city name]."

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No matter where I'm going, I go as lightly as possible! It's much easier to hop from one hotel to the next, one city to the next. Of course, where you are going and for how long heavily determines how much you need to pack.

Here are my top tips for packing for a couple weeks in most warm-weather destinations! Get all geared up and then book that trip!

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DESTINATIONS

International

If you’re like me, a few times a year I get an itch, an urge to explore, to dive into the unknown and feel both re-enlivened and uncomfortable all at the same time. So, when that happens, here’s a travel guide with a potential itinerary for Guatemala.

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In August 2015, I set out on an international adventure with my pup Monkey. Our previous trip to Guatemala was such a blast we just had to do it again! hHere you go: my Nicaragua Travel Guide. Let me take you on an adventure!

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My trip to Sayulita, Mexico and the surrounding areas was magical. And I want to share with you some travel tips so you can get the most out of your trip there!

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I spent a summer studying in Prague when I was 20. Way, way long ago in 2006. With help from my college intern, Cole, here is my Czech Republic Travel Guide (focused mostly on Prague with a few added suggestions elsewhere in the country!).

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Cambodia was a total surprise. I knew very little about the country upon arrival, and within a few days, it completely stole my heart. The people were so kind, the landscape was lush and rich, and the cultural experiences were life-changing. If you in or around Southeast Asia I highly recommend visiting. Here is my Travel Guide Cambodia style!

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I spent 5 months in Southeast Asia, flip flopping between class at an international Thai university on the outskirts of Bangkok with traveling neighboring cities and countries. So here is my Travel Guide Thailand with all the go-to spots and tips!

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If ever asked to go to Rwanda, you say, "YES!" Always say yes. At 21, I found myself in Rwanda for 2 weeks, exploring cities, villages, and the backcountry, searching for all the magic of a country that was divided decades before. Join me on an adventure. Here's my Rwanda Travel Guide!

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In The United States

As you fly into Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the Grand Teton mountain ridge marvels you, making you wonder why it took you so long to explore this area of the country many consider the greatest outdoor destination. High-end, high-altitude, high vibes all around. Here are my Jackson Hole travel guide slash best tips to make your trip as awe-inspiring and fun as mine was!

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When I was deciding where to move after grad school in Chicago, everyone and their mother yelled, “Austin!” The town where people are encouraged to be weird. I guess people think I am a bit looney after all. With a ton of insider knowledge, here is my Austin travel guide!

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When I moved to Chicago in August 2012, I heard it everywhere: “Nothing beats a Chicago summer!” It was 85 degrees, and sunshine practically swept people onto the beach and into the streets and parks. The energy was electrifying. Smiles enveloped every face I biked past. I quickly fell in love.

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The last time I was in San Francisco, I was a teenager visiting my sister at UC Berkeley. The thing I vividly remember was cruising down the city's treacherously steep hills. At 31, I was ready to re-explore the Golden City to see if my teenage memory had exaggerated. Turns out, the hills really are that steep! But I wasn't as scared this time! So let's get right into it. Here's my San Francisco Travel Guide!

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Where I've traveled so far!