About Me

Amanda headshot

“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

No matter how much we like to control and predict things about our lives, the fact is that traveling is often unpredictable. It's surprising and messy and beautiful all at the same time. I really identify with the above Tolkien quote – when you travel, you really never know what might happen!

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 auditioned for school musicals. I wore a lot of tie-dye and teal mascara.

Amanda headshot

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. 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 50 countries on 6 continents, and am always on the lookout for my next big adventure.

BUT, I'm not a full-time traveler or “digital nomad.” In fact, ever since I started this blog in 2010, I've either been working full-time, in school full-time, or working/freelancing from a home base in Ohio. As much as I love traveling and having adventures, I also enjoy coming home to sleep in my own bed, drive my own car, and cuddle with my kitty (and I guess my husband, too).

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. You don't have to quit your job or leave your loved ones behind indefinitely in order to be a traveler. And hopefully this site and my stories will convince you of that.

(Check out my 10-Day Adventure Project, where I focus on amazing trips you can take with 2 weeks or less of vacation time.)

Amanda headshot

Some more fun facts 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 have a minor in German, but can't speak it very well at all.
  • Contrary to popular belief, I 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 live near Cleveland, Ohio, and love the city; I love it so much that I started a second blog about it: Cleveland Traveler

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 four times, and am always up for doing it again.
  • I took Irish Step Dancing lessons in high school.
  • 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).
  • I am awful at video games.
  • I have a ginger cat named Weasley.

Amanda headshot

Read these posts

Want to get to know me EVEN BETTER? Check out these posts:

And go check out my travel timeline if you're curious about where I've been!

What is A Dangerous Business?

A Dangerous Business is a travel blog that was begun in 2010. I started it because I was bored at work; I was working as a copy editor at a newspaper at the time, and really needed a creative outlet. My blog was purely a hobby for the first few years of its existence, but I began looking at it as a potential business by the time I decided to go back to school to get my master's degree.

After getting my master's in tourism management in 2013, I decided to only work part-time and focus more on my blog. I went full-time as a blogger in late 2015.

Today, A Dangerous Business is one of the top travel blogs on the internet, getting more than 170,000 visitors per month and being promoted to an audience of more than 90,000 followerws on social media. I've partnered with brands and destinations all around the world (learn more on my Work With Me page), have spoken at conferences and events like the New York Times Travel Show and TravelCon, and have been featured on sites like Travelzoo, The Huffington Post, and USA Today Travel.

In 2018, A Dangerous Business was awarded a Silver Award for Best Travel Blog in the 2017-18 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition, which is hosted annually by the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW).

The main goal of A Dangerous Business is to show people how to fit more travel into the lifestyle they already have. I cover global destinations and bucket list-style trips, and always focus on how people can realistically replicate these adventures themselves.

Amanda headshot

Contact

Want to get in touch with me? Here's how:

You can email me at adangerousbusiness [at] gmail [dot] com

You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Other fun stuff

Want to know where all in the world I've been? Check out my Destinations page, or my Travel Timeline.

Want to know what goes in my backpack or suitcase? Check out my Packing List page! It lists all my favorite gear, and is also where you'll find my trip- and destination-specific packing lists.

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.

Want the low-down on my favorite places to stay all around the world? Find my personal recommendations on my Where to Stay page.

And, lastly, if you'd like to work with me in some way, check out my Work With Me page.

 

 

*Note: My new headshots (which you'll see throughout the site, including on this page) were taken by the super-talented Jessie of Jadie Foto. The watercolor illustration you'll find behind my new newsletter sign-up box was done by the lovely Candace Rose Rardon.

 

151 Comments on “About Me

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  1. Hi Amanda,

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

    Thanks,
    -Anil

      Just found your blog and am loving your posts! It may be because I’m a small town Ohio girl moved to Fl, so I can appreciate your point of view. Thanks for sharing!

        Happy to hear it, Erika – and welcome!

    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

      Would love to exchange links. I’ll shoot you an e-mail.

    Hi! We are interested in a link exchange as per you message on ‘The Travel Blog Exchange’. We’ve gone ahead and added your blogβ€”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!

      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.

    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 πŸ™‚

    Dave

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

      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!

    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/

    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 πŸ™‚ your blog is really awesome and i look forward to reading more about your adventures! πŸ˜€

      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!

    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!

      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!

    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

      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!

        Hi,
        Ive Traveled to 75 countries + and lived overseas a few times, alot of the places Ive dug into deep once all the touristy stuff was complete! Alot of the European countries Ive lost count of my visits. I dont have a blog, I enjoy reading others. I have a FB which oneday I may open publicly for others to follow. Im on my way to Haiti, Cayman Islands, and Jamaica in a few mths (78). Carol thanks for mentioning all the US travels, Ive been to 38 of the states so far! We live in a beautiful country for those who dont wanna Wanderlust overseas! Ciao

          Thanks so much for dropping by! πŸ™‚ Enjoy your travels!

    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.

      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!

    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

      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.

    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

    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

      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!

    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! πŸ˜†

    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!

      Nice to meet you as well, Zhu! It’s always great to hear from fellow travel enthusiasts.

    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…

      Nice to “meet” you as well, Ruby. Thanks for stopping by!

    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

      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!

    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..

    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.

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

    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 πŸ™‚ Loving your Tolkein quote by the way-my website is onetravelsfar.com- “Little by little, one travels far.” Great minds hehe

      Welcome to my site, Stacey! So glad to hear you’re finding things you like!

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

      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!

    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 https://www.dangerous-business.com “. Is that cool with you; what do you say?

    Double J

      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! πŸ™‚

    Hi Amanda – very nice site layout and content. Enjoying your blog very much. Cheers Dave

    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. πŸ™‚

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

      Hey Sarah! Welcome to my blog! Hopefully my travel stories help keep your grad school spirits up (we all need distractions sometimes!!)

        Wow, that was fast! πŸ˜€ Thanks! Yes, we certainly do… Off to browse some more, and then… homework!

    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!

      I am SO excited for the Hobbit!

      And thanks for introducing me to your app. I’ll have to check it out.

    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 πŸ˜€

    Suz

    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! πŸ™‚

      Thanks, Inma! Glad that you can relate to my travel style!

    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

    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

    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!

    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

      I would love to take a hot air balloon up over the UK!

    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

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

    Amanda, I love your writing style and your pictures. I have just nominated you to enter the Capture the Colour photography competition

    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!

    HantalΓ« ar mΓ‘ra mesta. πŸ˜‰

      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!

    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.

      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!

    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 πŸ™‚ seen you around πŸ˜‰

    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.

    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

      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!

        Thanks, Amanda! I’ll stay in touch…

        Gina

          Definitely! If you do decide starting a blog is something you’d like to do, feel free to check out the blogging courses I’m offering now (linked at the top of my page, as well as in the sidebar!).

    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

      Thank you very much! I’m glad you like my site.

    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

    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