Travel Advice

Q&A: traveling after graduation - live chat!

Q&A: traveling after graduation - live chat!

I just wanted to drop you a line and say hello! We had chatted a bit before, but I just wanted to let you know that I admire your love for travel and your pursuit of that passion. I will be graduating from undergrad at Columbia in a couple of weeks and would love to hear your thoughts on graduating and how you thought about pursuing travel as a career/intense hobby after graduation. I know I won't have winter and spring breaks to escape to the jungle or dazzling cities, but I would certainly hope to continue to do so somehow.

I hope you are well! Wishing you all the best for wherever you may be. -Natalia

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Q&A: Field trips vs. independent travel on SAS

Q&A: Field trips vs. independent travel on SAS

I think there's merit in going on a field trip (or field programs, used to be FTPs in my day) in the first location, because–as cliques form quickly–you can meet random new people and create relationships with many people from the get-go. I did a quick trip to El Yunque rainforest in Puerto Rico, and this pulled together some adventure-loving travelers who were excited to get their new hiking boots dirty.

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Q&A: Dealing with cash and cards on the road

Send in your questions, too! 

Hi Lindsay, I am just wondering about money situations when you are traveling? Soon i am about to embark on a year long journey to central America and have been struggling with the whole money idea and how much i should take and what credit card or travels checks i should take. I was just wondering how you do it and did it in the past on your world travels.

I know there are fees for credit cards when you want to take money out and i do not want to travel with more than a 1,000 dollars on me in cash and i am just not sure about the whole travels checks. So if you could help me out or give me some pointers or tricks you have up your sleeve that would be great. And i would really appreciate it.

Just what ever run down you have about traveling with money and where you get it when you run out. Thanks Lindsay, i appreciate it. Have a swell day. -Pavla M.

Foreign currency, cash

Foreign currency, cash

Hi Pavla. Thanks for your message. I'd be happy to provide insight into what I did for money along my similar travels.

I haven't taken traveler's checks anywhere since 2003 as they've never proven convenient. Those might be becoming a thing of the past. Of course, I've never found myself in a situation where they would have been helpful, and I thankfully keep a good hold of my valuables.

Instead, I've always just used debit cards to withdraw money in large sums. If you're going to be in a place with the same currency for a while, just take out as much as you can every time, so as to avoid excess fees. I consider those fees ones for convenience, because I also don't like carrying around a lot of money. I take out a couple hundred at a time, slowly use it, and give my credit card/debit card for purchases as much as possible.

One important note: make sure you have both a MasterCard and a Visa card, also at least one credit card and one debit card. That worked very well for me, because some countries only have one or the other. And if you need to rent a car or something similar, a credit card is far better. That diversity should serve you well. Keep them in separate places but always in secure spots (clearly).

If you run out, have someone Western Union more to you as you get your bank account sorted out. Hopefully this doesn't happen to you on the road, and with good planning, it won't.

Was this post helpful? Have any more questions about dealing with money abroad? Any questions period? Send a video or message to me with your queries, and I'll be sure to get back to you!

Q&A: Easing parental worries about travel

Q&A is a series that uses questions posed by readers and commentators to address topics of travel, alternative lifestyle design, blogging, and other interests. You can expect to see this series one or two Saturdays a month right here on To send in your questions, contact me! This summer I was planning on doing a study abroad program, and now I'm waiting to hear back for responses.

I love how you encourage going somewhere if that's of utmost desire. I would die to do something like that, but how do parental worries factor into that?

Not to intrude, but do you happen to have lax parents who are chill with that? -Natalia

That's funny. You're funny, Natalia.

When it comes to my travels, my parents started off as anything but go-with-the-flow kind of people. It was very hard for my mom to come to terms with my travel desires, and she barely slept when I took off on my own in Vietnam (my first time solo in a foreign city).

Why All The Fear?

Saying goodbye to parents

Saying goodbye to parents

I've got all sorts of dramatic stories of parting from my parents for the road. And from the sounds of those stories, I seem like a terrible offspring - leaving my mother on her birthday for the next 187 days. I think parents really dread those moments of departure, feeling the weight of the lonely and troubled days in-between your safe arrival home. Of course, it's not without due cause - and, heck, I'm no parent - but I do think that's normal and temporary.

All parents are skeptical at first, fear the worst constantly, but eventually get used to you going solo the more you come back with reassuring statements about your experience. It's normal to want to take their fears into strong consideration, but my advice is to do your research yourself and not listen only to what your parents are concerned about from news and media exposure, as well as comments from their friends. Not everyone travels or sees the world the same way. Talk to other travelers who move and see the world the same way you do, and read books about the place; that will tell you whether you should be worried or not about your experience in a destination.

Curb Their Lack of Enthusiasm



Be sure to include your parents' concerns into your evaluation of future travels - doing otherwise will make you seem rebellious or immature - and be sure to follow it up with all the solid facts, research, and advice from experienced travelers/writers. The more they know you have your head on straight, the more they will trust your intuition as you fly solo.

It's also important to think about your track record and how it relates to your street smarts, travel savvy, and ability to take care of yourself. Your parents will probably always see you as a green 16 year-old, but as long as you've proven in the past you're not easily pushed over or taken advantage of, you can reason with them that you're prepared for what the world is ready to throw at you.

My parents still aren't cheerleaders for my non-professional travels, but at least they understand that I want to do it. When I had doubts about traveling around the world alone in 2008, my mom was surprisingly the voice that encouraged me to do what I want, which was against what she wanted for me. They tolerate my leisure travels these days, but my paid travel makes much more sense. It's a generational thing, as well.

Communication Makes the Difference

As a graduation present, my parents were kind enough to get me a World Edition Blackberry, which enabled constant communication via e-mail to my parents from wherever I was in the world - excluding Malawi, Cambodia, Kashmir, and Zambia, which weren't set up at the time for data usage.

While overlanding in Africa, I would wake up to the alarm on my phone and immediately receive an e-mail from my mom about the weather outside my tent flap. She was six hours behind me but still knew the weather I would experience that morning. This was certainly a way to placate her worries, because when I didn't respond to her e-mails for twelve days in a row (in Kashmir), nerves nearly sent my dad on a plane to find me.

It may be inconvenient to pay a phone bill or constantly find internet cafes to correspond from, but a quick e-mail affirming your happiness and safety are great ways to facilitate your parents' sleeping patterns.

A Mother's Perspective

It seemed only fitting to ask my mother her opinion on my travels, safety, and her feelings toward my independent travel lifestyle.

The summer before I entered sixth grade, I asked my parents if I could attend a military camp an hour north of our town, a camp my brother attended the previous two summers. Though his camp sessions were only two weeks at a time, I decided I wanted to experience the six week, intensive summer camp, which involved three different sessions of learning new skills, bunking with fifteen other girls in a log cabin, and all things military: general inspections, personal inspections, marching, etc. I went to this camp knowing no one previously.

Most ten year-olds don't normally ask for such experiences, and my mom noted this as major characteristic difference between myself and my peers. My independence was obvious at a young age.

Goodbyes at airports

Goodbyes at airports

When I wanted to travel alone for seven months through dangerous African cities and over-populated, crime-ridden regions in Asia, my mom was unnerved but also comforted by looking at my track record. According to her, I had proven myself, through my voluntary college responsibilities, multiple situations that exhibited my leadership, my friend choices, previous trip motivations, and a track record of wise decisions in life.

I've always been a passionate person, but that didn't stop me from analyzing my decisions carefully in the context of my life. Because I conducted myself well in high school, used my free time thoughtfully, dealt well with other people, I seemed like I could handle the road.

One thing that made my travels much easier on my parents, especially my mom, was the steady progression of my trips from easy to advanced: family trips, solo domestic trips, static study abroads, global study abroad, and finally solo global travel. I was weened slowly from my bubble life in northern Indiana and given the gift of time to slowly make mistakes and learn from them.

Mom Recommends...

To the hopeful world travelers in easing parental worries:

Showed maturity in what you do with your time and the people you chose to be with.

To the freaked out parents/mothers of world travelers:

We all want the best for our children and for them to do what makes them happy. If what they do to make themselves happy doesn't do the same for you, know the strong character they've always exhibited will carry over to the streets of India and help them deal with the world they encounter (hopefully they've researched!).

And don't believe, for one second, that one trip will get the bug out of their system. It never leaves their system. Trust your child, and don't make yourself sick. Bad things can happen anywhere. Living in fear is a choice.

The Bottom Line

We can't force our parents to feel the same way we do about the world and traveling through it. If it matters to you how your parents and family feel about your travels, approach the idea of changing their minds with as much fact, reason, and sensitivity as you can gather. Parents know better than anyone that college isn't the end of the learning experience. Hopefully we are all striving to be lifelong learners, and the fast track to learning is often located far from anyone's comfort zone.

World travelers aren't running from family, they're pulled by two worlds, both of which can't be ignored. To deny the movement impulse would be just as difficult as disregarding the friends and family that make us solid. Parents, we're going to be okay, and sure you remain okay. People are hoping you come back home.

My Family

My Family

Was this post helpful to you as a traveler or as a parent? Do you have any comments or anything to add? Please don't hesitate to comment below or contact me personally!

Consume & Update: Air Traffic, Hatred and Two Days To Go

Soak it in, boys and girls. This is the last dose for a while! This week's good news...

World Air Traffic in 24 Hours

Really Going Rogue

Numbers 15 and 31 on my Life List mention an inexplicable draw towards countries not easily accessible to foreigners (or just Americans). Well, maybe not so inexplicable...

  • Pakistan = mountains

  • Afghanistan = rural landscapes

  • Cuba = culture and salsa

Digging into the archives a bit, I found Chris Guillebeau's How to Travel to Rogue States, which of course got me salivating for Cuba again. Who knows when my next new country will be blazed and if it could be one of these massive non-trail destinations. Any plans for a trip like this in your future?

When To Put The Camera Away

Visiting orphanages for 30 minutes?

Visiting orphanages for 30 minutes?

I've been checking out the Acumen Fund this week and found a compelling blurb on travel and documentation called When To Put The Camera Away. Marc Manara makes a comment on our intentions for taking photographs and how they come off to the subject of the moment.

Though the desire to snap a telling shot of reality may seem harmless for the sake of your own memories or appear a good move for the sake of informing others of what you've may be bruising someone's dignity or making them feel like a mystery species on a game drive.

There are times when I truly wish I could have secretly snapped the photo, but I also think that frequent inner turmoil - when these opportunities present themselves - has a lot of truth and validity. I think spending more time with the people/potential subject matter of the photograph(s) helps smooth over many of the worries one has with taking vulnerable photographs of others.

I get upset when people stare at me, and I get especially testy when people photograph me without my consent (e.g. in Doha, Qatar). I definitely don't want to make others feel the same way, especially when there could appear to be a socio-economic difference and a stress on personal dignity.

Travel and Hate

What has often been a companion of my culture shock is something akin to hatred, an ugly emotion that has the ability to take hold of my soul even against protest. I've come home angry at many things, and though it's not the way I actively choose to be, Joel Carrilet gives me a little comfort in knowing it's not just a massive character flaw. It happens with due cause.

Travel frequently introduces us to beauty, but it shows us other things too. As we lay eyes on situations and listen to voices in places we previously knew little about, our love for the world and its people will deepen. The flipside of this, however, is that our hatred—of attitudes, ideologies, and policies that take advantage of others and harm—will also deepen. For if we love with all our might, we will also be bound to hate some things with all our might.

Read Joel's article on How Travel Teaches Us To Hate, and let me know if you find travel's combined effects of love and hate in yourself.

Other Discoveries

Chris Guillebeau's new site for Unconventional Guides

Rolf Potts' interview with new writer and former English teacher in the Marshall Islands

Join in the conversation about Women Hitchhikers over at Vagablogging

Don't forget to have quiet time on the road

28 Things I Wish I Knew Before Traveling

Update on Nomadderwhere

In the coming months, I'm going to be a bad consumer. This will be the last weekly Consume & Update as you've know it until I return to reliable internet coverage, constant electricity and a life not centered in a remote village. However, I will still attempt to keep updates coming on a weekly basis or as often as I can.

The last steps in preparation:

Emptying out the piggy bank

Emptying out the piggy bank

1. Buy mosquito net: check. All supplies in bag: also check. Empty the piggy bank and cash in for dough: oh geez check. The village knows we're coming, and we have two days until departure! Nothing left to do but document every step and meet Garrett at LAX! Our sponsors are stacking up and sending their contributions. We're so grateful for all the people finding this project relevant.

2. I threw a Michael Jackson Dance Party in my basement to fundraise for the project. It involved Dirty Diana martinis, trivia and prizes, black and white food and a chronological ordered playlist with every great hit by MJ ever created. I also dressed up as MJ throughout the decades: the Jackson 5 era, the Bad/Thriller era...yeah, I get carried away. I'll let you know how the event went and how much was raised at a later date.

3. BJB Challenge: Remember this? I wanted to write 20,000 words in my narrative on the Big Journey. This challenge began a month ago, before I had booked the tickets for Fiji. Needless to say I was preoccupied this month to keep up with my own, self-imposed deadline for writing. It was sad, as I continue to grow away from these experiences from 2008. But among other things in Fiji, I hope to find time to write about this experience in the detail it deserves. I'll be a word machine before you know it.

Consume & Update: Place, Patagonia and Chicago

What's better than good reading material on our favorite topic: Travel!

Mental Mileage

New contributor of Vagablogging, Colleen Wilde, brought a beautiful quote to the surface this week with her post of the same title:

Measure Travel Inwards

-Henry David Thoreau

I thought this was lovely, and it got me thinking about my diverse reactions to culture shock and the implications of them in terms of what I've learn and grown to believe in.

Dream Jumps

Ain't nothing finer than a dreaming in your recliner. Check out Cole's photo work, which remind me of the way I like to feel when romping around in fields.

Yeah, I Know That Place

Though this post has been up a few weeks, I thought it was an interesting examination by a long term traveler. When can you say you know a place? Matt has his stance figured out on the topic:

No matter how long we linger, little markets we explore, or non-touristy things we do, as travelers, we’ll never fully know a place- only someone who has lived there can claim that.

If you're fairly young and have a good number of destinations under your belt, chances are you haven't spend much extended time in these locations. When people ask for advice on Melbourne or China because you've graced those coordinates, can you really say you know that place well enough to comment on the lives and mindsets of the resident public? Do you know how things really function in that place?

It’s not until we begin to live like a local that we can truly get an appreciation for the rhythm of life there. That is why Couchsurfing is such a great thing. You can stay with locals, see where they go, go out with them, and put your self into the local rhythm.

The Beauty of the Far South

Vagabondish's Photo of the Moment of Patagonia is pure eye candy, is it not? And November is the start of the springtime and clear skies for this lovely wilderness. Anyone planning on hitting up these parts soon? I'm tagging along.

Is Anyone Copying You Online?

Photo Courtesy of

This one's more for the bloggers out there. We slave pretty hard for our readers, but what if someone lame-o is out there copying all your original material for their own uses? Problogger was all over this issue last week with his post Stop Scrappers and Spammers Fast. I checked and am free and clear of cling-ons. And you?

The Enjoyment of Unemployment II

Bob Fawcett brings a solo road trip across the States to life in his trailer for The Enjoyment of Unemployment, II. You may remember Bob from the STA WTI applicant pool, showing off his city of Chicago. Well, he's now living his dream out in L.A., plowing his way into the film and TV industry. Go get 'em, Bob.


Other Discoveries

Nerdy Nomad is off to do Hands On volunteer work in Indonesia. Sounds like a great idea.

The corporate world goes local (kinda goes against the point). It's something called "Localwashing."

Bourdain responds to his fans going nuts about the new animated web-series, Alternate Universe.

Update on Nomadderwhere

A week from now, I will be in Chicago in order to:

-meet up with old friends and turn on my giggle box

-capture footage for the new STA application video

-take in the art, food and streetscapes with my parents

-hopefully make some connections, create some content and make some garsh-darn money

Specific plans include: going to Nookies for omelets, Kingston Mines for some blues, ordering a chocolate shake at the Weiner Circle (gulp...), possibly catching a showing of Jersey Boys or Million Dollar Quartet, taking tips from Jessie Barber's "Free Chicago" post on the STA blog,who really knows...

Are you familiar with the Chicago area and holding onto a great entertainment/food/cultural recommendation? By all means, toss them my way. Tweet me or comment below. I'm all ears.

Also, I'm starting my book challenge today to write 20,000 words by November 30th. Hopefully the act of updating you all via these posts will encourage the writing and maybe inspire you to push yourself harder at whatever you're doing!

Reviewing JanSport's Air Kirkwood (Day) Backpack

JanSport Air Kirkwood

JanSport Air Kirkwood

Anything that can last through two and a half months of rigorous travel, changing climates, and the constant use of the World Traveler Internship deserves some feedback on its performance. Since my bag from the Big Journey ripped at the seams, I was out a day pack until JanSport sent the top ten finalists a set of three luggage pieces. Included was the pictured Air Kirkwood Backpack with all sorts of snazzy elements. I'd used JanSport's classic backpacks in grade school but had yet to use their more specialized models.

JanSport describes itself as "the Original Outdoor Gear Brand that embodies a culture of fun and discovery. We equip people globally with quality, enduring and reliable products that enable the freedom to experience life's adventures." I'm here to tell you if they delivered on this promise.

The Bag - Air Kirkwood (TQK1)

"Our goal at JanSport is to design, engineer, manufacture and market products that can help you get from point A to point B, wherever that may be."

My points A and B were the same place: home. The route between them was one heading westward across the Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe and America. The Kirkwood bag needed to last those 38,322 miles and still make me look stunning. The bag functioned as a laptop case, a camera case, a filing cabinet, a plane nighttime bag, a library, and oh so much more. It was always my carry-on piece and was able to carry nicely the 10 pound maximum sometimes enforced on certain airlines.

Let's take a look at the details, shall we?

AirLift™ shoulder straps

Padded by a solid gel-like matter, referred to by JanSport as AirLift, the straps held the loads nicely by distributing the weight across their wide surface. Curving and contouring to the body, they didn't cut into my underarms or back of the neck.

One large main compartment

In this middle, main pocket, I normally held my books, DSLR and HD cameras, clothing, or larger items purchased out and about. I always had to be careful setting it down because the bottom isn't padded at all, but I don't suspect many backpacks have this feature. I often filled this, as well as all, compartments to the brim and never did the zippers snag or malfunction in any way.

Organizer compartment with dual accessory pockets

One main compartment with Quilted-padded Laptop Sleeve

One main compartment with Quilted-padded Laptop Sleeve

The dual accessory pockets were great for pens or an old school Nokia phone, but I especially liked the central zip pocket perfect for storing extra coins from world currencies. They didn't clutter up the floor of my bag, and I believe me when I say nothing gets me more urked than reaching into my bag and fingering through undergrowth of pen caps, food, coins, and gum onto get a rogue crumb lodged under my finger nail. Pure hell.

Quilted sleeve fits 15" laptop

The laptop(s) always slept soundly in this rear compartment, which obviously had adequate padding (though I sometimes worried about the bottom of the bag and the impact of placing it on the ground. It's also a nice place for folders and papers.

Fully padded back panel with ventilation channel

The center of the backpack's back has a little air canal amidst mounds of padding for your left and right shoulder/lat areas.

Tricot lined V-loft pocket

I don't know what that description is really talking about, but I enjoyed the soft lining and convenient positioning of the pocket on top. Quite shallow and easy to access, this was perfect for ear plugs, eye cover, aspirin, and anything else I utilized on transportation. Large enough to hold iPods and decks of cards, I really appreciate any bag with a little specialized pocket, for which you can apply a much-needed purpose.

Side water bottle pocket

Also good for catching dirty tissues when your hiking with the swine flu, roll of toilet paper in hand.

Reflective details for nighttime visibility

Yes, this bag can see in the dark.

Side compression straps keep pack close to the body and manage the load

These straps certainly keep the load to the body for enhanced movement, and they also create instant cleavage.

Padded grab handle

When this bag is packed to it's 30.32L capacity, it can be a little too much load for one feeble and travel-weary back. That's when having a padded grab handle comes in handy. Without cutting into your hand as you walk around the airport or museum, you can only blame your discomfort on your poor upper-arm strength.

The Pro/Con Balance

How many runway models, jet-setters, and local inhabitants do you see wandering around cities with backpacks on if they're not business men who bike or obviously going/coming from school? Not many. In certain destinations, backpacks are incredibly vulnerable to petty crime (e.g. bag slashing in Zanzibar's Stone Town). In others, it's just an easy indicator of an out-of-towner, and this sometimes-unavoidable distinction can create more difficulties for the toter.

However, wandering Kata Tjuta's massive, red formations is a perfect opportunity to utilize a bag like the Air Kirkwood. And what was beneficial for me, someone who likes having all their valuables and entertainment nearby, was the fact that the two straps put the load across my entire back and not on one shoulder (like a messenger bag would). Not to say this bag didn't add stress to my frame, but evening out the load makes things much easier on an already fatigued back.

A backpack is, put it brilliantly, a backpack: it must be taken off to be inspected; it can never come across as a purse or a man bag; it immediately makes any ensemble look sporty or ultra-casual. It all depends on how you function on your travels. If you're always running across rocks and plains, hiking up clay-like mud heaps and carrying heavy loads, the Air Kirkwood would fit your needs quite well. However, it's no fun placing your backpack on your front when walking through a crowd or a notorious area for petty crime. Museums hate backpacks and make you store it or hold it at your side.

It's also something to think about how your day pack is carried when you wear your large backpack. I found my combined JanSport Klamath and Air Kirkwood duo was quite uncomfortable while in transit, and I wouldn't want to walk around a city or even an airport too long like this.

The Real Travel Situations

Even fully loaded, this bag fit in every overhead compartment and under every seat in front of me.

The lack of accessories on the front of the pack enable this surface, as well as the padded back, to be used as an impromptu pillow while waiting for transportation or trying to sleep on a plane.

A travel partner in South Africa, to put it nicely, blew chunks (maybe that wasn't such a nice way to put it) all over this fully packed bag. It came out victorious, barely soaking in any of the moisture and keeping my articles dry.

After washing the bag for the first time in the washer, it came out smelling like dirty feet. I don't know what that was about...

Bottom Line

Leaving Indy with my JanSport Klamath and Air Kirkwood bags

Leaving Indy with my JanSport Klamath and Air Kirkwood bags

JanSport delivers on their product mission of designing, engineering, manufacturing and marketing products that get you from A to B, accentuating quality, endurance and reliability, and they certainly do "equip people globally," as I've seen children across India, Africa and America carrying their classic backpacks. When this item was put to the test this summer, it proved victorious on virtually all accounts, except for maybe a versatility factor. You definitely can't seamlessly go from the farm to a chic club with this bad boy.

Did this product review help you out? Comment below!

Consume and Update: Life, Tolerance and Free Guides

If you're always learning, hopefully you're never bored. Here's my attempt at bringing you the quality information I'm learning by this week. Christine created a series this month on what she knows best: giving a lifestyle some massive alterations to become one's dream life.

This series seeks to give you the practical, real world steps you need to take to get from wherever you are, to exactly where you want to be– traveling the world and living the lifestyle you want.

Today marks her 20th day in the series, and even if you don't harbor a desire to drop what you're doing to live at large in the world, reading her steps toward being location independent can uncover whatever dormant lifestyle shifts that are begging to be released in you. I personally enjoy Day 16: Becoming a Digital Nomad, The Freelance Edition as well as some assorted tips from Day 15: The Not-So-Secret Trick to Finding Cheap Airfare.

Brave New Traveler's Ian MacKenzie brings to our attention a video about tolerance and diversity that is worth the 8 minutes of attention.

Spiritual Enlightenment

Spiritual Enlightenment

Christine Garvin continues to think philosophically about travel's influence on personal identity and self-respect. It's the underlying theme of it all, and there's no point in continuing whatever mission you have if you don't have a conscious emphasis on this in your life. It helps to read these works regularly.

l now feel in my bones something that has been said to me time and time again over those last 10 years: to have others look at you with appreciation, you must first appreciate yourself. And the way to attain that appreciation for the self and connect to spirit is to gain some understanding of all those other people out there roaming the earth.

Other Discoveries This Week and As I'm beginning my freelancing career, it's important to know there are websites like these making it easier to bridge connections between suppliers and demanders.

Kayak Buzz: I've been looking for something like this. It's almost like having an eject button.

The Happy Planet Index: An independent think tank that believes in economics as if people and the planet mattered.

Phoenix: Four French dudes that make up a quality band

Update on Nomadderwhere

Speaking Engagements: On Thursday, October 1st, I will drive to Northern Indiana to present my travels to interested Hoosiers. If you're a friend of my grandparents, you'll be seeing me in a Peabody conference room, chatting about travel photographs and the dramatic stories behind them. If you live in Wabash, Indiana, be sure to reserve your space at the Honeywell House fast, because the room is already filling to capacity for my later presentation. But there will be no lectures, because in the spirit of lifelong learning, I won't for one second pretend I'm not there to learn from the audience as well.

Free Guides: I receive e-mails fairly frequently from friends and family asking for tips on certain travel destinations. In an attempt to offer what I know to those who may benefit, I've created free guides to cities and countries I've visited, which will continue to grow in number as I continue to get those kind of e-mails. Thus far I've offered my city guide of Florence, a first timer's guide to India, and some pointers and background for the Greek isles. With each guide, there is the option of the pretty or the printer-friendly version, depending on how you will read and enjoy the material! Email lindsay {at} if you have a request for a free guide!