Category Archives: Travel Tips

What Makes a Good Hostel?


When I first left to move abroad for university in 2007, a friend of mine let me in on a little secret for weekend getaways in Europe: Hostelworld.

Okay, so it isn’t so secret, and it isn’t so little, but I hadn’t yet heard of it and it quickly became one of my most important travel tools because hostels became essential to my travels. At the time, iPhones weren’t as prominent as they are now (and anyway, my friends and I all had those crappy little Nokia phones with about $20 US of credit per month on them), so there wasn’t necessarily an app for traveling and hostels and everything like there is today.

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Category: Backpacking, Travel Tips | Tags:

Why I like Staying in Hostels


I’ve slept in a lot of weird, weird situations throughout the past eight years of traveling: on the side of a road in Cambodia, on a mattress in a maid’s closet in Malaysia, in a homeless shelter (I thought it was a really crappy hostel until old men started showing up and unfolding lounge chairs all around this big room) also in Malaysia. I’ve also stayed in some of the world’s best and swankiest hotels in Indonesia and Mexico, but I find that hostels have always been my favorite places to stay.

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The Most Common Fears About Traveling


My younger brother Christopher and I sat in the car driving to visit my grandmother. We had just been talking (re: arguing) about that saying that goes something along the lines of, “While you’re down here making plans, God is up there laughing,” as it is a saying that greatly irritates Christopher to no end.

“Do you have a plan?” he asked me.

“What do you mean do I have a plan?” I tried to keep my eyes on the road. I am a notoriously bad and nervous driver.

“I just never really asked you, and I don’t know. I wasn’t sure exactly what your plan is,” he said.

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Category: Random, Travel Tips

7 Tips on How to Plan Your Travels


When readers write me, they tend to ask me all about the logistics of a trip – how do you plan your travels? How do you go about saving for your travels? How do you go about traveling in general.

Travel isn’t as easy as it seems, but getting yourself out the door is half the battle. I have a antique-looking map that is framed above my bed. There are times when I look at that map and I feel so small and so dwarfed. My eye wanders to Sydney, and there is literal an entire planet between there and here.

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