Avid Wonderings

Packing Cubes Review

Usually when I pack I use my trusty plastic zip lock bags to keep my clothes organized. This year, I thought I’d class things up a bit and try out packing cubes. After a bit of time on google, and checking out the ones Alex in Wanderland uses, I decided to order 3 different sets from Amazon with the aim being to return the ones that didn’t suit me as well. I’ve tried out a few different cubes so you don’t have to!   WHAT I ORDERED: Item 1 : The Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Set I ordered this…
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Choosing a Tour Company: Intrepid Travel Review

This summer I did something I haven’t done in quite a few years. Instead of being the usual googling and research guru I pride myself in being, I decided to be lazy for my trip to the Balkans, and join up with a group tour where all of the logistics and details were taken care of.Though the lazy side of me was excited, the side of me that is accustomed to researching every detail and creating an itinerary that suits my whims was nervous. This was my first trip with Intrepid Travel, a tour company I first heard of through Nomadic Matt, and I…
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Solo Travel for Women – Is it Overrated?

As I reach the upper tier of my twenties I’ve been ill-advisedly clicking on more and more articles about things you have to do while you’re still “young”.  Many lists are entitled things to do before you turn 30 or things everyone should do in their twenties, and other headlines which make me worry I’ve missed out on something extremely time sensitive things and after 30 I’ll be too old and decrepit to do whatever it was. Though many of the items are fairly eye-roll worthy (try a new sport – really?), one thing I did take away was solo travel. I…
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A Lesson in Age

As I somberly careen towards the upper end of the decade where my age begins with a 2, I’ve found that I’ve aged in a very real way with very little knowledge of it. I actually didn’t even know it had happened… until I spent an evening attempting to socialize with a group of 19-22 year olds. They were nice. I didn’t dislike them. I did want to rip my own arm off just for a bit of interest.   My evening of awakening began in Galway, where I went solo to a pub crawl. Usually I find with a…
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It Was the Best of Times; it Was the Worst of Times

With people often asking me the best and worst places for certain types of travel I’m kicking off my list of the best and worst travel destinations in a few different categories…offering advice and of course my personal successes and, well, less successful dabbles in these arenas. These will be bias based on the places I’ve been – so check out the travel map   Western Europe on a Budget – The Best : If you’re looking for a taste of Europe, but want to spend a modest amount of money on your travels you should absolutely be kicking it…
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The Russians are Coming

I’ve spent a fair bit of time convincing strangers I’m not Russian. When I was a teen the phenomenon started. I was on a lunch break from work and had stopped by Five Guys to get a massive cheese burger and escape from the asylum that was my office. When I got up to the counter ,a Latino guy said I could have free fries, because “foreigners need to stick together”. I squinted. He asked me about my accent, and about Russia. Sir – I’m quite literally 5 minutes from the town I’ve been living in my entire life. I…
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She needs to sort out her priorities…

venice

As Ron Weasley once said, it’s all about priorities.   “Wow! You’re so lucky.” It’s not that it’s meant to be insulting, but it ends up feeling that way. If I run into someone who has followed a trip I recently took, I’ll often get a chorus of “you’re so lucky”. If I’d won the trip I would agree, but luck insinuates that I don’t have to pay, work for, plan, etc. With a standard office job I don’t have a plethora of paid vacation days. Travel doesn’t fit easily into my work life. I don’t find myself sitting around with…
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Peru : The Best & Worst in Pictures

Cusco, Peru

I wish when you googled pictures of places they were a little more all-encompassing. Sure, you can do a street view in some places, but I think the images should have to be a realistic representation of a visit. It’s hard to explain to people that yes, Ireland really is that pretty while also saying dear God I don’t recommend Naples unless you want to become a trash monster.  That’s because both locations yield google searches with tons of stunning pictures, but they definitely are not accurate for either. It’s natural to want to crop the less desirable aspects out of…
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Travel Intrigue : North Korea

North Korea

This past week I circled back around to one of my biggest curiosities : North Korea. A few years ago I was lost in the depths of the internet and googling backpacking trips in Iran. I had no intention of going, but I was pretty amazed to see the vast number of travel companies, and the large number of rave reviews from travelers all over the world. That spurred me thinking about tourism in places that never really seem to make the front of the brochure, the last places you’d actually take a holiday. Thus beginning my obsession with North Korea. Usually…
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Album Review : One Direction Made in the A.M.

Made in the AM

The anticipation of a new album has been at a critical high. There’s so much riding on this release with the obvious and conspicuous absence of the traitor Zayn (hence forth known as He Who Must Not Be Named). We’re SO ready for the boys to step out as the new One Direction, and also to pulverize the sniveling child bot Justin Bieber in sales. Our majestic guys have changed so much over this past year, and our curiosity wants to know where these changes have taken them. Here we go… Track 1 – Hey Angel G: When I hear…
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