“It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you might be swept off to.”

– J.R.R. Tolkien

This quote is really the basis of my travel philosophy and, therefore, my blog. I think one of the best things about traveling is the ability to just get lost in it. To set aside the maps and itineraries (although I also love those, too), and just see where the road carries you off to, learning and evolving and relishing in the experience along the way.

It’s my goal to get swept off as often as possible.

Who Am I?

My name is Amanda, and I like to travel.

Oh, you already figured that part out? Okay then. Here’s the brief history of my life:

I grew up on a Christmas tree farm in a small Ohio town with a good football team and even better marching band (go Raiders!). Nothing incredibly exciting happened there, except for the time in the early 90s when my neighbor (who was a mob boss) got shot and killed in his driveway.

I was the geeky, smart kid in school. I liked horses and books and “Harry Potter.” I did competitive gymnastics and tried out for school musicals. I wore a lot of tie-dye.

London

It was in high school that I decided that I wanted to travel. I was obsessed with the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and vowed that I would save my money so that I could go to New Zealand after I graduated. It was all over after that. I ended up going to New Zealand with my mom for two weeks in 2005, and I’ve been swatting at that pesky travel bug ever since.

Since that first big adventure abroad in 2005, I have been to more than 30 countries on 4 continents, and am always on the lookout for my next big adventure, be it on the other side of the world, or just around the corner.

Because, when it comes to travel, there’s no “best” or “right” way to do it. You could fly 10,000 miles to have an adventure, or you could simply walk down the street and discover something new. Unlike some travel bloggers, I’ve never given up my “normal” life to travel long-term.

And guess what? You don’t have to, either. And hopefully this site and my stories will convince you of that.

Carmen

I also have always loved Carmen Sandiego.

Here’s more stuff to know about me:

The important things:

  • I have a journalism degree under my belt, which I hope to one day use to rid the world of bad grammar and “there, their, they’re” confusion.
  • I also have a master’s degree in hospitality and tourism management.
  • I am obsessed with travel, though do not travel full-time.
  • I like to consider myself to be mildly adventurous and open to new things (though not necessarily when it comes to food).
  • I have a minor in German, but can’t speak it at all.

The less important (but probably more interesting) things:

  • One of my past jobs consisted of designing pages for a newspaper.
  • I love the scent of freshly-cut grass.
  • I have been bungy jumping three times, and would love to do it again.
  • Fall is my favorite time of year, though I don’t like that it leads to winter.
  • I took Irish Step Dancing lessons in high school.
  • My favorite color is green.
  • I’d like to think I’d be a decent surfer if I lived in the right environment.
  • I really hate all things “Twilight.” (See here if you do, too.)
  • To contradict the previous statement, I like chick flicks, no matter how corny or predictable they are.
  • I can write my name upside down.
  • I like crossing things off lists (like my bucket list).

Interviews With Me

In case you still haven’t learned enough, check out these interviews starring yours truly to learn more about how/why/where I travel:

Contact

Want to get in touch with me? Here’s how.

Other Fun Stuff

Check out some of my guest blogs, as well as where else I’ve been featured around the travel blogosphere by clicking here.

Want to know what goes in my backpack or suitcase? Check out my Packing List page!

Curious about where I turn to search for flights or book a hotel? Head over to my Travel Resources page for lots of great tips and secrets.

 

86 Responses to About Me

  1. Anil says:

    Hi Amanda,

    Saw your post on the TBEX forum about link exchanges. If you’re interested shoot me an email :)

    Thanks,
    -Anil

  2. We would love you to consider a link exchange.

    My partner Danielle and I are currently traveling to nearly every country in Africa (we are writing now from Dakar, Senegal) meeting with farmers, workers, NGO’s and community groups writing about innovations and projects that our working to alliviate hunger and poverty. We travel blog everyday at BorderJumpers (www.borderjumpers.org). We are trying to highlight stories of hope and success.

    Thanks so much for your consideration!

    All the best, Bernie and Dani

  3. Hi, I’ve seen your blog at TBEX. I’ve an travel blog http://business-flights.iflybusiness.com/ and I’ve been interested in link exchange. Can you give me a link for my blog on your blog at http://dangerousbusiness.wordpress.com
    under BLOGROLL section ?

  4. Daniel says:

    Hi! We are interested in a link exchange as per you message on ‘The Travel Blog Exchange’. We’ve gone ahead and added your blog—you can find it here:

    http://www.twortw.com/links/blogroll/

    My wife and I launched our blog almost a year ago and have since been actively seeking blogs on which to link to, comment on, and actively support!

    • ijustwannago says:

      Hi there! Thanks for adding me; I’ve just added you to my blogroll as well, and checked out your site — I love it! Definitely will be checking in regularly.

  5. Hi Amanda – I’ve been running Dave’s Travel Corner for the past almost 14 years, http://www.davestravelcorner.com and I was wondering if you have some time to check my site out and if you like what you see, perhaps you could add a link back on your
    blogroll. I have already added your site under my Resources >> Blogs of Travel section.

    Thanks :)

    Dave

  6. Oh wow, you’ve been to many places! I’d love to visit Australia and NZ someday too!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Yes, I’ve definitely been lucky, getting to see so much of the world at my age. And you should definitely visit OZ and NZ if you ever get the chance!

  7. Gabriela says:

    Hi, I’m a PhD student (also a journalist by degree) undertaking a research on Global Nomads, on professionals that have adopted a hyper mobile lifestyle. I’m particularly interested in individuals who have lived and worked in at least three different countries. All it takes is a 40mins Skype call, so please let me know if you would like to participate. Also, I would like to know if you grant permission to use the textual content of your website for the analysis (it may include a few short quotations that will be referenced accordingly).
    I hope you have a small gap in your busy schedule!
    Gabriela
    @GabbyGNomad
    gabbygn@hotmail.co.uk
    http://forthenomads.blogspot.com/
    Gabriela recently posted..Its about YOU

  8. Nat says:

    you wanna know something awesome? i have a ton of things in common with you, and as a junior in high school, my dream is to travel the world :) your blog is really awesome and i look forward to reading more about your adventures! :D

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Hi Nat! That is indeed awesome that we have so much in common! It was about the time when I was a junior in high school that I decided I wanted to travel the world, too.

      I wish you the best of luck, and would love to hear about YOUR adventures, too!

  9. Kelly Pillar says:

    I see you haven’t been to Los Angeles yet! I love my city and would totally show you around if you ever make it out to the West Coast. Represent!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      The only times I’ve been to L.A. have been when I’ve flown through the LAX airport! But, my sister and I are planning a road trip for later this summer that should see us in the LA area for at least a day or two!

  10. Dear Amanda,
    I dig your blog! I was wondering if you wanted to exchange links. http://www.runawayguide.com
    Also, if you have any guest post opportunities, let me know.
    Cheers,
    Leif

  11. C. Deminski says:

    Hi Amanda,

    I like your enthusiasm when it comes to travel. I have a few U.S. recommendations, if I may be so bold!

    First – it looks like you have never been out west! California is huge, and of course this should be on anyone’s travel list if you live in the U.S. including San Francisco, Monterrey, Big Sur, and Yosemite National Park. If Southern Cali is more your thing then you’ll have L.A./Hollywood and San Diego on the list.

    But it would be a crime to skip over the Grand Canyon; Sedona, AZ; Zion National Park, Badlands, Capitol Reef or any of the other completely fantastic natural wonders you’ll find between northern Arizona and Utah too.

    A little closer to home, if you drive a bit east into upstate New York, you’ve got access to the Adirondacks, which is a wonderful playground of mountain peaks. Lake Placid (of Olympic fame) sits in the center. It’s surprisingly close to you and won’t require a plane ticket, nor will it break the budget. A little further south, closer to the Catskills, don’t overlook Woodstock, NY or New Paltz and Saugerties which are both charming and small. If you go WAY north in NY state – even above the Adirondacks, you’ll hit Lake Champlain.

    If you keep going east, you’ll get to see the Green Mountains of Vermont (and if you like to ski, Vermont has some great spots…)

    None of these places require a passport and all hold the amazing potential for adventure.

    Enjoy!
    Carol

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions, Carol! It’s true that I have not yet conquered much of the U.S. But, my sister and I are planning a road trip out west this summer, so hopefully I’ll have the chance to visit a lot of the place you mentioned here!

  12. Paul says:

    Hi Amanda

    Great site! If you’d like to swap travel links, my site is at http://PaulKilfoil.webs.com/Leisure.htm. I’ll put a link back to you at http://paulkilfoil.webs.com/TravelInfo.htm.

    Regards
    - Paul

  13. Michela says:

    Love your blog! I’m a small town girl (from NY), grew up on a Christmas tree farm and love to travel too. And I live in Columbus, OH. If you live near C’Bus and ever want to do an informal OH Tweet up of 2 (or maybe there are more of us) let me know.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Michela! You grew up on a Christmas tree farm, too? No way! How cool.

      I currently live in the Findlay area, and will be moving back east this fall. But the next time I’m in C’bus, I’ll be sure to drop you a line!

  14. JeffA says:

    Saw you posts in planning a trip to Chicago…and you missed my hometown, Cambridge, NZ by 20 miles….nicer than Matamata …so ok no hobbit town…but more trees and horse!1 regards
    Jeff
    Ft Smith AR

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I lived with a girl in Wellington whose family was from Cambridge, I think! And yes, sadly, I have not yet been everywhere in New Zealand… maybe someday!

      Thanks for stopping by! I hope my Chicago posts were helpful to you.

  15. Paul White says:

    Hi,

    Do you need “Guest Bloggers” for your blog? I represent a large community of writers who are trying to get their unique family friendly content published on sites such as yours. My writers are just looking for exposure so there is no charge to you for the content.

    The writers I represent are professionals and are not churning out garbage content that reads like a sales ads. Each piece takes time to create and is usually 700 words or more in length. We hope to establish a long term relationship with you. You can also feel free to monetize the articles with banners ads or Google Adsense etc.

    PS. I am sure you will want to see some writing samples so just let me know and I can show you several.

    Thanks,
    Paul White
    Inventory Manager
    (913) 837-3055
    pwhite.blogger@gmail.com

  16. Vanessa says:

    Hi Amanda,

    It’s nice to come across someone similar to me – I like to have my house and dog and job, but I love to travel too. It’s hard balance, but I enjoy it a lot. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    Vanessa
    Vanessa recently posted..Nudgee Beach

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Hey Vanessa! Thanks for dropping by and saying hello. I know my travel style isn’t ideal for everyone, but it works for me. I like having a home base!

  17. Zhu says:

    Nice to meet you!

    I had no idea there was such a thing as “Christmas tree farm”. And I didn’t know some towns in the U.S. didn’t have McDonalds. One article and I learned two things already! :lol:

    I’m also a travel junkie, also looking for a life at home/travel balance, also love writing. And traveling. Duh.

    I move from France to Canada a few years ago and I love being based in Canada even though the travel bug is still there… It’s somehow comforting to see we are all struggling with the same balance problems!
    Zhu recently posted..Pre-traveling Rush

  18. nice to meet you Amanda…i am also a travel addict..not really a pro writer and photographer but i just simply love to travel and take pictures of all kinds…
    Ruby Travelling recently posted..Interesting Places To Visit in Queensland, Australia

  19. Laura says:

    Hello,

    Just wanted to leave a comment to say I think your attitude towards what defines a traveller is great – you dont have to be on the road continiously to be a traveller – I take a few trips a year cause thats what I can manage & reckon thats good enough – others have a different attitude though eh?!

    Glad to have stumbled across your site.

    Cheers,

    Laura
    Laura recently posted..All Aboard!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks for the comment and kind words, Laura! I’m a total believer that there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to travel. Whatever works for you is what you should do!

  20. Euroangel says:

    nice to meet someone with the same interest…travel travel and travel..wish you a safe and sound travel all the time..who knows one day our ways would meet…let me know if your heading to germany in your future travel..
    Euroangel recently posted..A Day-Sightseeing in Amsterdam

  21. [...] part of our “Travel Tips” series, we interviewed Amanda Williams who spent 5-months living in Wellington on a study abroad program. She lived right in downtown [...]

  22. Amanda says:

    Hi Amanda!
    I stumbled upon your blog and love the Lord of the Rings quote, was it one of Bilbo’s? Anyways, just thought I’d leave a comment and say thanks for the wonderful website! I’m going to book mark it and check back! All the best for your future adventures.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Hi Amanda! So glad you stumbled upon the site and like it — and yes, that quote is indeed one of Bilbo’s!

  23. Stacey says:

    Hi Amanda!
    I’m a kiwi from Christchurch, currently living in San Diego and working as an Au Pair. I just found your blog and I’m enjoying reading through your posts :) Loving your Tolkein quote by the way-my website is onetravelsfar.com- “Little by little, one travels far.” Great minds hehe
    Stacey recently posted..How I ended up as an Au Pair

  24. Nick says:

    New fan, love your site!

  25. JJ Abrahmsmenburg says:

    Hey Amanda,
    I love your blog particularly because your the photos. That said what’s up with not being able to pinterest the photos?

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Hey JJ! The only explanation I can come up with is that I host my photos on Flickr, and have a copyright on all of them. I read a while back that Flickr was going to disable sharing to Pinterest, so maybe that’s why you aren’t able to? I haven’t done anything on my end to prevent sharing, so that’s the only thing I can think of!

  26. JJ Abrahmsmenburg says:

    Oh I see – Flickr’s got beef with Pinterest, eh. Seems a bit odd to me that Flickr would make the choice on behalf of its users to cut off (or at least stifle) that traffic stream. But I’m no insider so what do I know. Only time will tell if it was a wise move.

    Well I have a hack that circumvents Flickr’s block. I could link it back to your site for example: “Photo courtesy of http://www.dangerous-business.com “. Is that cool with you; what do you say?

    Double J

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Like I said, I think it mostly has to do with copyright concerns. I don’t mind if you still pin my photos, though, as long as that’s all you’re doing with them! :)

  27. [...] is a very beautiful photo essay of Amanda in her blog A Dangerous Business that show how San Francisco’s Chinatown looks like. Although [...]

  28. Dave says:

    Hi Amanda – very nice site layout and content. Enjoying your blog very much. Cheers Dave
    Dave recently posted..Top Tips to Keep Your Holiday Costs Down

  29. Sarah says:

    Hey there, Amanda! I just found your blog, and I really like it!

    I also am beginning to wonder if we were separated at birth. ;D You mentioned going to New Zealand with your mom for two weeks in 2005. Well, guess what? My first overseas trip was to Germany…. in 2005… for two weeks… with my mom!

    Okay okay, so maybe that doesn’t make us twins, but I still thought it was funny. X) I’m also a grad student (and thus feeling guilty about spending so much time looking up travel stuff!), and I also speak some German. :)

    So here’s a big energetic wave from me! Keep traveling, keep writing!

  30. Hi Amanda!

    It’s awesome to see adventurers like you out exploring the world. A couple of years ago, I taught English in France to elementary students and had the opportunity to travel to another 11 countries on the European continent (while on break of course). I know what you mean about that pesky travel bug! I call it my itch I can’t stop scratching!! And New Zealand! Ahh….my ultimate destination, and why? I too was a LOTR nerd in high school; how stoked are you for The Hobbit to come out??

    Anywho, I just wanted to tell you about our great app INTERPRETRAVEL. It’s the first to market, on-demand, live interpretation app! In lieu of a faulty translation, INTERPRETRAVEL connects you instantly with an interpreter from our language catalogue. INTERPRETRAVEL just adds that confidence, reassurance and security knowing you literally have an interpreter right in the palm of your hand.

    If you have any questions on INTERPRETRAVEL, please email me and let me know. I’d love to hear more about your adventures! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest; that way we can keep in touch!

    Safe travels my friend!

  31. Suz says:

    Amanda! So amazed at your blog, I don’t know how I’ve not come across it before. As a fellow kiwi I’m glad you have such an obsession with my country – makes me proud. I just recently watched The Hobbit and planning to get married near Peel Forest.

    I’d have to say I can also blame Carmen Sandiego and the road trips I took with my dad across the North Island.

    You truly are an inspiration and now I know I should “just do it” when it comes to writing about my travels, past; present and future.

    Thanks and keep on spreading the good travel karma :D

    Suz

  32. Inma says:

    Quickly stopped by before dinner after reading your response to the 1000 1000 challenge! You’ve built a cool blog! We kinda feel identified with your “normal” style and would love to read more! We know challenge’s 2nd part is around the corner! :)

  33. Love it that you can write your name upside-down.
    Just discovered you on Landlopers. Great site!
    If you’re ever in Paris and would like to go on a treasure hunt at the Louvre or Musee d’Orsay, drop me a line. It’s what my company, THATLou, does.
    Kind regards,
    Daisy

  34. Hi Amanda,
    I am loving reading through your site……. you are so lucky to be able to travel where and when you want to….
    I have only managed Thailand and Cambodia and of course my country of the Philippines. We have so many problems with visas and also earning enough money to pay for trips.
    I am a registered nurse and love to travel when i can.
    May i ask you if it is possible to exchange links with my website http://islandgirltraveller.com/
    and i will reciprocate. Thankyou and enjoy your RTW trip. hope you can drop in to Philippines on the way and especially my island of Sibuyan
    Dhie Rey (Islandgirltraveller) recently posted..You can take the girl out of the islands

  35. Andy Santos says:

    Hi Amanda,

    You have a fantastic blog. I like how your travel blog was
    fueled by LOTR as I am a Tolkien fan too.

    On a different note, you should visit South East Asia – Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia if you haven’t yet. Lot’s of wonderful places – you can even do “temple run” in Sim Reap.

    All the best!
    Andy Santos recently posted..Laiya Travel Guide

  36. Austin says:

    You have a fantastic blog, particularly your photos. I can see that you’ve been to many places, but I hope next time you’ll travel to UK for a balloon hot air ride experience. Its a good experience I had in UK. It’s a bit adventurous but full of fun. Anyway, thanks for sharing your beautiful photos with

  37. Ankita says:

    Hi Amanda,

    I have always loved traveling and took to travel writing recently. I have been looking at various travel blogs for some inspiration to start travel blogging. I felt an instant connect with your blog. You have some really wonderful posts on traveling and I really got that much needed push stop procrastinating. I am from India and would love to tell me more about my country when you plan a trip here. All the best.

    Ankita

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks for reading, Ankita! So glad to hear that my site has inspired you to stop procrastinating and get traveling!

  38. Fiona says:

    Amanda, I love your writing style and your pictures. I have just nominated you to enter the Capture the Colour photography competition
    Fiona recently posted..Nyika National Park

  39. Hi Amanda –
    I just nominated you for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award, here is the link:
    http://thetravelwench.com/2013/12/15/dragons-loyalty-award/
    I really enjoy your blog!
    Thanks!
    Michelle
    Michelle Grabuski recently posted..Cruising the Caribbean

  40. Laura says:

    Hi Amanda!

    Just wanted to let you know that you are a HUGE inspiration! It’s great to see that you are making the Travel Dream work, and look like you’re having a great exploring and writing/blogging! Wish I could meet you (ohmygosh, HUGE Lord of the Rings and horse fanatic as well while growing up!!), maybe we will cross paths someday, I am hoping to spend my twenties wanderlusting around the world as well! Until then, I’ll be following your amazing blog!

    Hantalë ar mára mesta. ;)

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks SO MUCH, Laura! Always great to “meet” a kindred spirit, and of course always awesome to hear that I’m inspiring people! Good luck following your own travel dreams!

  41. Danielle says:

    Hey Amanda! I just discovered your site and I love it! It’s great to see another Ohioan traveling the world, I don’t meet too many of us out there.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Yay traveling Ohioans! I’ve met a couple more of our kind on the road, but you’re right – we need to be better represented!

  42. Liesha Bear says:

    Hi Amanda, I always love to check the “about me” section to get to know why and how people ended-up making a great blog like you did. I really love travelling but after a series of event in mid 2013 (my dad got really ill), I have to uhmmm well.. kinda stop travelling to far away places. After reading your blog, I had an idea to write posts about my hometown. I can still travel in nearby places on weekends. I’m currently living in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, so if you would like to have a post about it (I haven’t seen mush of Asia on you travels), I would really love to be a guest blogger (and I love photography too). I’ll be following your blog then :) seen you around ;)
    Liesha Bear recently posted..The hills are alive

  43. Hi Amanda! I love your writings on Bulgaria. Would you mind if I link to them from our website? Our marketplace is http://www.balkana.bg and our blog is at http://blog.balkana.bg. Thanks!
    Bryant Ingram recently posted..Ancient Symbols in the Bulgarian Chiprovtsi Carpets

  44. watso says:

    Hi Amanda, I also travel…North America, or as we call it, Indian Country. We live on a reservation in Murky Water ( Minnesota ) and also hang out in San Francisco and Arizona. I came across you while looking up Yellow Springs, OH. So, you are welcome to come and visit us (our family) anytime, just figure where we are at…from a PowWow in the woods to a street fair in Frisco, maybe blasting across the desert. We paddled down the Hudson last summer and have been talking of going to Slab City – RU familiar with it? My name is watso. Well, enough for now. May smiles be your companion.

  45. Gina Minick says:

    Hi Amanda! I stumbled on your blog through BootsnAll Travel. From one Ohio girl to another, I like your spirit, your writing style and your openness to having fun. In 2013 Len and I spent 6 weeks exploring North and South Islands of NZ using workaway.info (check out “Be a Workawayer: An Affordable Travel Option” my post on their blog) to plan our stays with families in exchange for room and board. It was such a fantastic experience that we are returning this October for a 6 month stay. I am thinking about starting a blog…I like your blog and it gives me some hope that i can succeed too. Any advice for a beginner? Gina

    • Amanda says:

      Welcome, Gina! Really glad you found my blog – and that you share my love of New Zealand!

      As for starting a blog, I would say give it a go if you really love writing and want a place to share your stories!

  46. I found your blog on twitter and loved reading it especially the post about riding elephants, which i believe was your recent post. your writing is very sublime. keep up writing about the good stuff, you are inspiration for many people. thanks & regards @KASHMIR_LADAKH
    kashmir ladakh recently posted..Colors of kashmir in autumn

  47. Hi Amanda,

    We just wanted to reach out to you to let you in on some exciting news; very soon American travelers will have access to free rental cars courtesy of transfercarus.com.

    Transfercar is the market leader offering free rental cars in Australia and New Zealand, and will be the first to offer this service to the American public.

    We get our supply of rental cars from rental car companies who need to relocate vehicles to a new location to position their fleet for new hires.

    So far, we have serviced over 100,000 happy customers Across Australia and New Zealand and look forward to offering the same service in the US.

    If you think this service would be of interest to your audience, please feel free to help us spread the word and let them know.

    Your can check out our websites at the below links
    http://www.transfercarus.com – New site for the USA – rental cars will be available soon!
    http://www.transfercar.com.au
    http://www.transfercar.co.nz

    Hope to hear from you soon!

    Best regards,

    Wesley Bradley

  48. hi Amanda,
    extraordinary travels indeed! i am just beginning my travel journeys again- starting with a bit of biking in NZ and then to North/South America next with my trusty surly- so excited. there is so much to see in the world, everywhere! i will definitely be keeping posted on your adventures!
    esse

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