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.

205 Comments on “About Me

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  1. Enjoyed reading one of your travel stories.
    After reading about Morocco it has come to the top of my bucket list of places that I would like to travel to.

    You stated you are from a town outside Cleveland. I am also from Cleveland and grew up in Rocky River.

    Where are you from?

    Planning a trip from Mentor to see our son and family in Portland OR. Found your site. Excellent!

    Loved your article on Asheville! Although a day at the Spa at the Grove is a treat!

    Hi Amanda. I hope you are well and safe. I am wondering can I use your video clips to advertise vieques as a place to work and play. I am willing to pay you. Kind regards Robert

      Hi Robert. Feel free to send me an email! adangerousbusiness[at]gmail[dot]com

    As a newbie to blogging but a keen traveller and photographer, I’m interested to read this and to find out more about how you’ve balanced working with travelling and blogging. I’ve always worked full time (until retiring earlier this year) so travel has been fitted into my limited time off work. The plan was to travel more once retired but a certain virus has put paid to that for the time being 🙁 So I’m developing my blog (just for fun) and exploring other people’s blogs, as well as inevitably adding to my travel wish-list!

    Thank you for all your travel information!

      I hope to visit Ireland at some point! Hopefully more than once!

    Good day to you – Amanda,

    I really enjoyed your “dangerous-business” tongue in cheek story about Wells – that I came across while starting to research my 30% England/Wells dna” per Ancestry – still looking why England/Wells together?
    In your reply section I was bewildered that so many responses simply – did not read the full story and reply negatively that reflected on themselves – what a shame and pity on that person! I find you are honest and truthful and reply to “that person “
    Thank you for today’s enlightenment and also to think about a trip overseas?
    more research on my other 30% Spanish and 24% Native American?
    Robert – southwest USA

    I’m enjoying reading your blog and dying to know what small town you’re from. I grew up in Vermilion. Do you know where that is?

      I do indeed know where Vermillion is! I grew up in North Lima, near Canfield.

    Dear Amanda
    Thank you for this page with the tips on what to wear when you go to Egypt as I plan to visit Egypt in the future

    Just ran across your blog when I was looking for recommendations for road trips. I too, am a buckeye (Lima). I’m looking to expand my horizons before I’m too old to do it. Thanks for all of the wonderful posts!

    Your articles are really encouraging to me. I’m still just a high schooler In Michigan and have been wanting to explore the world as long as I can remember (especially New Zealand-yay hobbits!- Iceland, and Scotland). I just wanted to let you know that you are doing an amazing job and am happy to see you do what love. I hope someday I can put your travel tips To use, so thank you.

      Thanks for stopping by, Ralph! I hope you get the chance to travel to all those places you mentioned and more some day!

    Wow!!!! I will be camping out on your blog some when I have time! I feel like I’ve met a soul sister!

    Hi Amanda, My hubby and I want to travel for eight weeks in Europe next year. The Busabout company sounds good, although we are older travellers and would need private accommodation each night. Do you have any details of hotels etc. and we would be grateful for any tips that you have picked up during your travels. Thanks. Kind regards, Julie. ?

    Hi Amanda! It is so awesome that you have this Blog! I have always wanted to travel but something is always getting in my way. Like lack of money!! Nevertheless, I am not giving up and will keep reading to learn more about your adventures. Thank you!!!