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! – and took inspiration from it for the name of my site.

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 60 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).

(I did try to be a digital nomad once, but it didn't end well.)

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.
  • 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:

  • Before I was a blogger, I worked full-time at a newspaper as a copy and layout editor; I started out editing obituaries.
  • I love the scent of freshly-cut grass.
  • I have been bungee jumping five 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 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 250,000 visitors per month and being promoted to an audience of more than 100,000 followers 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 2021, A Dangerous Business was awarded a Gold Award for Best Travel Blog in the 2020-21 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition, which is hosted annually by the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). ADB had previously won the Silver award in the same category in 2018.

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.

I'm also a big proponent of responsible tourism. If you want to learn more about my own pledges towards sustainability, check out my environmental disclosure.

Amanda headshot


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

You can email me at adangerousbusiness [at] gmail [dot] com, or fill out my contact form.

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.

199 Comments on “About Me

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  1. Amanda I love your description of the Niagara Falls trip. Who did you book the trip with? Did they arrange for everything? It is such a chore to find the destinations, hotels, travel arrangements.

      Hey Katalin! Unless I mention that I used a tour company, then I usually do plan all my travel myself. But I usually try to make my blog posts helpful by recommending hotels and activities that you can book yourself, which hopefully helps narrow down your choices!

    I will only have ten days. Flying into Sioux Falls on July 26 evening and departing from Doug falls evening of August 5th. Can you suggest a modified itinerary for my timeframe that hits the best sites?
    Thank you

      Hi Mark! I’m afraid I don’t do any custom itinerary planning – but hopefully you can find enough info on my site to piece together an itinerary that will work for you!

    Be sure to include spearfish canyon drive if traveling near Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota in spring/early summer. They dry up mid-late summer but 10 waterfalls of various sizes in 40 miles make it a beautiful drive. Another fun adventure is riding the 1880’s railroad in keystone for about 11 miles, having lunch, then riding back to keystone. If you are within a week or two of sturgis motorcycle rally, it is fun to see all the bikes lined up in the center of the street. People are very friendly and patriotic.

    An older male here and I just today ran across you blog. Interesting,love it because you like travel and I like all people who like to travel and you are encouraging women to ” hit the road, Jacqueline”.

    I think, though, that somewhere in you and many who love travelling is something like a “hobo” gene. Not a bum, not a homeless person, but one who get ticklish feet when the grass growing under them gets too high.

    I would encourage you, and many others, to read the book, or better yet, see the movie, if you can locate it ,called ” Housekeeping”. There is a line in the movie spoken by a young girl to her care taker aunt that (for he aunt) “” Time, to you, is just the name of a train”. That line has haunted me for almost 30 years since I saw the movie.

    Thank you for your attention.

    I have visited this blog 3 years ago literally. Now I am here in 2019 and what blog you’ve built amazing <3

      Thanks so much, Tracey! I’m pretty happy with how this little blog of mine has evolved!

    I met your husband Elliot at work the other day and he was telling me all about you. (He is VERY proud of you!) ?. So I had to check your blog out. We will be retiring soon and would like to travel to Europe at some point so I look forward to getting your advice/recommendations!

      I travel to Europe quite frequently, so hopefully you can get some ideas here!

    Hello Amanda,

    My son is 20 years old and he is traveling to Iceland with two other friends. They will be taking a road trip and staying at bnb’s, I am excited for him as well as a bit nervous. However, I know that I have to let him explore the world. Any suggestions that I can give him?

      I have a ton of Iceland content on my site, so if you’re looking to send him suggestions for what to see and do, I’d start on my Iceland page! Otherwise, Iceland is a very safe country, but I’d let him know that it’s also a very expensive one. Gas, food, lodging, and activities can all be pricey – tell him to hit up gas stations for excellent hot dogs if he’s looking for cheap meals (Icelandic hot dogs are actually really good!).

    In the audience at you forum ‘Focus on Travel Bloggers’ at the New York Times Travel Show! Great Information.
    Thank you,

    You are such an inspiration, Amanda! Thanks for all that you offer and share!

    Norway trip looks great. Good ideas are appreciated.

    Just discovered your blog, read your “Tips for Visiting Yosemite National Park in One Day,” and can’t wait to read more. I love travel and love writing, both reasons why your creative journey is inspiring.

    Amanda, though you may have corrected this glaring oversight by now (Fall, 2018), your “places I’ve been” map shows you have barely dangled your big toe in South America. To remedy this sad situation, I suggest you book a flight to Lima, Peru ASAP. Even in the metropolitan capital city of 10,00,000, you can walk down a city street, turn the corner and be confronted with a ruin from the Inca era. Other must see destinations in Peru: Cuzco and Machu Picchu, the Atacama Desert (driest desert in the world) and the Amazon (fly into Iquitos).

    I, too, majored in English–teaching ESL, to be precise. My pet peeve is the ubiquitous misuse of possessive ‘s. I loved teaching adult ESL for many years, wrote a weekly column for my state’s largest newspaper for a few years and was the associate editor of and writer for an international women’s travel newsletter. I traveled as much as possible and lived in both Hawaii and Peru. I would love to globe-trot with you, but chronic illness ended my travels. I’m pleased to have run across your blog so that I can travel vicariously.

    May your adventures continue for many years to come.

    PS You mentioned not being much of a food adventurer, but in Lima you must try the anticuchos.

    Thank yo so much for your write-up on Northern Norway, islands other than Lofoten. We plan to go soon, and this gives us a nice guide with options for viewing some lesser known attractions. I’m glad to have run into your site.

      Thanks, Don! I’m glad, too, and hope you enjoy your trip! That part of Norway is beautiful.

    The new blog format looks good!

      Thanks! I’m very happy with it.