Category Archives: General

Safe Travels: 7 Tips for Staying Safe while Traveling

“Safe Travels.”

You probably heard or said that phrase dozens of times. Usually the meaning behind it is simple – we hope your car won’t break, your flight will be uneventful, and nothing bad happens while you’re on your way. However, the phrase could also mean – I hope won’t encounter any natural or man-made disasters while you travel, be it a tsunami, an earthquake, or, recently, a terrorist attack.

Wherever and however you travel, you can make your travels safer with a few precautions.

I assume that you have already researched the destination where you’re going, whether on U.S. Department of State’s Country Information pages, or an equivalent site.

Here are a few other tips from me and my fellow travel bloggers on how to stay safe while traveling:

#1. Register Your Itinerary with a Government Agency

Susan from Gen X Traveler says: “I register my travels with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveller Enrollment Program (STEP) program. That way our government know where to look for me if they need to evacuate Americans.”

Sally from Our 3 Kids v The World adds: “Australia has the same, it’s called Smarttraveller website. You fill in your itinerary & if anything thing happens our government will know where we are. The onus is on yourself to register your movements on the site.”

Canadian traveler Alouise from Take Me To The World, registers with Registration of Canadians Abroad.

Do a bit of research to see if your country offers such registration service. Continue reading Safe Travels: 7 Tips for Staying Safe while Traveling

Looking back at 2015 and forward to 2016

I’d been thinking that 2015 was not the greatest year for me, travel and otherwise.

I didn’t get to do a long weekend trip to Montreal in 2015, as I was hoping to.

My husband and kids went on vacation to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina without me, because I was crazy busy at work during the April school break.

Peter and the kids having a great time in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, while I worked
Peter and the kids having a great time in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, while I worked

Continue reading Looking back at 2015 and forward to 2016

Thanks to a stranger… Stories of Strangers’ Kindness around the World

As our family gets ready for the annual holiday of Thanksgiving, probably the most important holiday in the U.S. because it’s celebrated by people of all faiths, I think back to a November more than twenty years ago, when my husband and I, married just three months prior, got stuck on I-89 in Vermont when our car broke down.

We had just visited my husbands’ parents in Vermont, and with a huge turkey they gave us slowly thawing in the trunk of our old station wagon, we were heading back to our apartment in Boston, to celebrate our first Thanksgiving together.

Our car broke down about half an hour after we got on the highway.

And it was raining.

That was before everyone had cell phones, and in those days if you broke down along a stretch of a highway far from the nearest emergency call box in cold November rain … Well… it wasn’t fun.

Continue reading Thanks to a stranger… Stories of Strangers’ Kindness around the World

Recognizing Fellow Travel Bloggers – Liebster and the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Awards

If you’ve been part of the travel blogging scene for a while you have undoubtedly seen several mentions of the “Liebster Award” and the “Sisterhood of the World Bloggers” award. Heck, you might have already been nominated for either or both awards yourself.

For those who haven’t heard of the Liebster and the Sisterhood yet – it’s basically a way to recognize your fellow travel bloggers, and get to know them a bit better by asking them questions that they are expected to answer as they, in turn, write a post about the award.

Technically the Liebster award is supposed to be given to new blogs, with very small following, and I have first received the Liebster nomination from BEATRAVELING way back in October 2014, when I was just a new kid on the block. (You can read about that in “Liebster Awards, or as I’ve been calling it #blogspotlight.“)

liebster award
Liebster award button

The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers on another hand is supposed to showcase female bloggers, because, as Kate of Adventurous Kate pointed out during her keynote at WITS15 (Women in Travel Summit held in 2015), female bloggers deserve more attention than they are given by the media.

(I don’t think there’s a video recording of that speech but you can at least look at the slides of Kate’s presentation “Gender Inequality in the Travel Blogging Industry.”)

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers button

Continue reading Recognizing Fellow Travel Bloggers – Liebster and the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Awards

Nerding Out with My Son over Corning Gorilla Glass

It’s late Saturday evening. I had just come home from the opening day of WITS15 – Women in Travel Summit, and my son and I are looking through the SWAG – the free items we received from the conference sponsors.

One of the items is a charger from Corning Incorporated, maker of Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4.

“You had CORNING there?” my son exclaims with more enthusiasm than I would have expected from a “cool” (thir)teen.

“Yeah,” I reply, surprised. “They made a presentation about their glass during our lunch break. Why? What’s so exciting about Corning?”

He looks at me with disbelief, then pulls open his laptop, opens YouTube, and in a few seconds finds what he was looking for.

“Watch this,” he practically orders.

The guys on the screen look familiar – it’s Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman and the clip is titled “The Glass Age, Part 1: Flexible, Bendable Glass.”

Continue reading Nerding Out with My Son over Corning Gorilla Glass

The gift of “me time”

It is 6 a.m. I close the door, set the timer for 30 minutes, and sit down in my swivel chair, with my eyes closed, and my hands loosely resting on the arm supports.

It’s an assignment for a “Social Media and Analytics” class I’m taking, taught by Leila Samii (@reallyleila) – “sit alone, with no technology, friends, family, or reading material for 30 minutes, then blog about it.”

I admit, I’m a social media junkie – I love, love, love Facebook and because of the class I have also recently been spending a lot of time on Twitter and Instagram, tweeting, retweeting, participating in Twitter chats, and posting photos like crazy, frantically trying to keep up with the tsunami of incoming information and images.

And then, just before Thanksgiving, I’d had enough.

It was too much. I just simply could not keep up with it all, no matter how hard I tried.

So I stopped – for a few days I had not tweeted anything or posted any photos – even though I knew that my Klout score would go down.

That’s why this assignment – to be alone for 30 minutes – didn’t feel like a chore, or a homework, but was more like a gift, a gift of “ME TIME” that I don’t get very often.

Continue reading The gift of “me time”