Author archives: Emily

10 Weird Things About the USA

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I’m American. No, like, I’m incredibly American. I’ve felt pride in my bones, and an intense attachment to the freedom of speech, ever since I was born in the small suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. When I lived in New York City, I worked as a singer for the USO, and have incredible memories of visiting military bases and giving back to the folks who sacrif[...]

How Coronavirus Has Me Feeling as a Traveler... and as an American

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Seven years ago, 21-year-old Emily was heading off for her first solo trip abroad (to Vietnam) when the word “travel insurance” was dropped in one of the friendly emails from the adventure travel group I’d signed up with. Travel insurance? Huh? Wasn’t that a thing for old worrywarts? I had no intention of purchasing travel insurance, and I thought th[...]

Are You Obsessed with Mad Men? You Have to See This Hotel

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Don Draper’s Uncle is Alive and Well in Germany. (Hamburg, specifically.) When I was a kid, I dressed up as a “poodle girl” for three Halloweens in a row. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the technical term “poodle girl,” it was the 8-year-old saying for a wannabe ‘60s sock hop gal, complete with a baby pink, flouncy skirt adorne[...]

Want to stay like a local? Try this Airbnb alternative

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Craving Something Local? If you’re reading this, you probably like to experience a somewhat authentic slice of local life whenever you travel somewhere new. After all, you’ve found this blog, which has never exactly celebrated the Hard Rock Cafes and big bus tours of the world (not judging.). And while the desire to live like a local is a common thre[...]

A Complete (and honest) Guide to Getting a Visa in Portugal: Part Three

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I call this: The Imposstil-ble Roadblock. Well folks, we hit a major bump in the road this week. And when you’re staring at the calendar with only five business days left in the USA, bumps become VERY SCARY. How did said bump occur? Well, I’d like to blame the visa application company VFS, and their confusing customer service line, but it’s most like[...]

To All Those Who Won't Be Home for Christmas

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I won't be home for Christmas. For the first time ever. Now don’t go reading this and get depressed, or start thinking this is going to be a sad, pity-filled bit of words. Give me a chance. While yes, I will indeed NOT be going home this Christmas like the iconic song, I’m not searching for pity. In fact, if you’ve ever questioned how many friends[...]

A Complete and Honest Guide to Getting a Portuguese Visa (Part Duas)

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How to get a visa in Portugal… Part Duas (2) As I typed the words “how to get a visa” I had to laugh at how straightforward the title sounds, and how opposite the actual process is. But here we are. We’ve arrived at part two of my journey towards a legal life in Europe. Portugal is my chosen destination, and a freelancer’s visa is my golden ticket[...]

Picture Perfect Wine Country... in Portugal

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I like wine. Not in a “Why yes, monsieur, if I spit this out of my mouth, I get a lingering sensation of toasted chamomile and tree bark” kind of way. But I enjoy a nice glass of wine. When I was in the US, I liked visiting local vineyards (shoutout to Big Cork Vineyards for making miracles happen in Maryland! YES, Maryland!) and I even made my way to Na[...]

Who, What, and Where are the Mentawai Islands?

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I have a confession to make. You know those beautifully shot tourism commercials for certain countries or states? Like “West Virginia, Wild and Wonderful” or “Incredible India” or “Australia: There’s NOTHING like it.” I love them. Maybe it’s because I’ve primarily watched international TV for the past two years, but there’s somethi[...]

What Lies 36 Hours Away in Indonesia? The Perfect Getaway.

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Your weekend getaway. The perfect island getaway. Blah blah blah getaway. In the vacation world, the word getaway is synonymous with a successful retreat from everyday life. But this word is everywhere. Are that many people really “getting away” from it all? And what does it even mean to “get away”? Get away from what? Your obligations? That’s any[...]

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