Travel Thoughts

Here you'll find a list of travel-related posts that don't fit into any of the other categories on this site.

They're loosely categorized for you to browse here.


You Don't Have to Ditch the 9 to 5 in Order to Travel
The World is Not Safe – But You Should Explore it Anyway
Why I'm Not Afraid to Travel Alone
Life is Short. Travel Now.
26 Things Travel Has Taught Me
5 Ways Travel Has Made Me More Adventurous
Dear Americans: Please Use Your Vacation Days
When Their Dream is Not Your Dream
5 Things My 86-Year-Old Grandma Taught Me About Travel
10 Inspirational Tolkien Quotes About Travel and Life


8 Truths About Traveling as an Introvert
Why I Won't Get Mad if You Call Me Lucky
9 Reasons You Should Never Travel the World
Am I a Lame Traveler? (Or Why You Should Never Let Anyone Tell You Where You Should or Shouldn't Travel)
Should You Quit School to Travel the World?
Why Traveling as a Female Rocks (and Why it Sucks)
Why Sustainable Tourism Should Matter to You
The Traveler vs. Tourist Debate and Why I Don’t Give a Crap
5 Times When It's NOT OK to Take a Travel Selfie
Is Travel the Best Education?
Why Guided Tours are Not the Devil
The Pros and Cons of Travel
What is travel? Why do we do it?
“Dark” Travel as a Way to Pay Tribute
Musing on My Concept of Home and How Travel Has Shaped It

Personal Posts

Why I DIDN'T Quit My Job to Travel
My Travel Tattoos and Their Stories
Where it All Began: It’s Carmen Sandiego’s Fault

Solo Travel

Top 9 Questions About Solo Travel Answered
11 Tips to Help Make Your First Solo Trip Great
Why I'm Not Afraid to Travel Alone
Dear Dad: Please Don't Worry (a Treatise on Solo Female Travel)
3 Great Destinations for First-Time Solo Female Travelers
7 Great Places for Solo Female Travel in 2015
5 Reasons Solo Travel Sucks


Travel Checklist: 11 Things to Do Before Going on an International Trip
Travel in the Time of Zika: How to Avoid Mosquitos on the Road
How to Deal With Travel-Wary Parents
How to Survive a Long-Haul Flight
9 Money-Saving Tips For Travelers From Travelers
Converting to Carry-on-Only Travel (and Some Packing Tips)
How to Photograph the Northern Lights
7 Essential Tips for Flying Budget Airlines in the US
6 Easy Ways to Use Less Plastic on Your Travels

Gift Guides

Amanda's Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers
Amanda's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers
Amanda's 2014 Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers
Amanda's 2015 Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers
Amanda's 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers


7 Reasons You Should Go on That River Cruise
River Cruising: What's it Really Like?
Cruising Solo: What It's Like to Go on a Viking River Cruise Alone
Christmas Markets with Viking River Cruises
Meet Giannina – Life as a Cruise Ship Employee
Cruising to Alaska: Tips for Success
Why Cruises Make Great Family Vacations


5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Going on a Digital Detox
9 Lies (and One Truth) People Tell You About Seeing the Northern Lights
Love Locks Around the World
9 Signs You Are NOT a Hiker

Travel Blogging

Because sometimes I do write posts for other bloggers.

How I Make Money as a Blogger
How to Start a Travel Blog in 10 Easy Steps
Turning a Blog into a Business: 7 Things I Did Right
How to Work With Tourism Boards
5 Lessons from 5 Years of Travel Blogging
How Blogging Has Changed the Way I Travel
My Life as a Travel Blogger
Is Anybody Out There? Hang in There, Travel Bloggers
Secrets to Running a Travel Blog When You Aren't Traveling
Why the Travel Blogging Community is Awesome


17 Comments on “Travel Thoughts

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  1. Amanda thank you so much for shearing your experience and work with us. I would say sums up and enterly faculty in tourism 🙂 You`re sure helping us sheaping the travel bug some may have hidden in us. Just reading your posts I understood travel the world equals accept the world and self the way it is. Keep up the good work!

    Thanks so much for this blog. It’s delightful and inspiring.

    I have a question. I’m in my twenties and interested in going on a backpacking trip through Europe for about 6 weeks–by myself. Without using a travel program. (I’d have a self-made itinerary but it wouldn’t be through intrepid travel etc.). Does this seem like a stupid idea? Not safe? Any advice or experience you can share would be so helpful.

    Thanks again for being an inspiration!

      That doesn’t sound like a stupid idea at all, Rachel! Europe is GREAT for a solo backpacking trip, because there’s so much to see and so many other travelers around all the time, too.

      I traveled around Western Europe for a month two summers ago with Busabout, using their hop-on, hop-off tickets. It’s not a guided tour at all – it’s just a bus pass, basically. But it was great because it made it really easy to meet other travelers, and I never had to worry about how I was getting from one place to the next!

      I’ve written about Busabout here if you want to read more:

      i am a female in my 20s from ireland and i am going volunteering in a chrildrens orphange alone in bangkok . is it safe for women to travel alone in bangkok. any advice ?

        There are always lots of tourists in Bangkok – and for that reason alone, I think it’s quite a safe destination. I would expect some culture shock, though – Bangkok can be really crazy!! Also, I would make sure to read up on common scams in Thailand and Bangkok. The most danger you face is falling prey to a scam. Which of course isn’t terrible, but also isn’t fun!

    Thank you so much for your response! I feel much better. You’ve got a really great site here. The best travel blog I’ve come across.

      Aww thanks so much, Rachel! 🙂

    Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within.What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do – especially in other people’s minds. When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.

    Firstly I would just like to say that your site is pretty awesome; I’m loving the Tolkien theme!
    Currently I am writing a persuasive speech for my communication class on why everyone should travel at some point in their lives, and I’m looking for a good solid quote from a blogger who has been out and about in the world. So my question for you is, “How has the world changed you? And what would it be like if you weren’t able to travel?” How would you compile all your feelings about it into a single sentence or two?
    I’m very excited to get your response! In fact, if any travelers have a thought on this I would be enthralled to read all of your responses!

      Traveling the world has changed everything about how I see the world. The media often makes the world “out there” seem so dangerous, and yet traveling has taught me that people all around the globe are far more similar than they are different.

    While I haven’t read all the postings and comments I get concerned about something not mentioned. Yes, I was one of those worrying parents when my eldest daughter (I have 2) went off to Europe with 2 friends immediately after College graduation – and yes, all they took was a backback each. As a parent you start to worry “what if this or what if that”, but the benefit of travel is undeniable. The one IF I took care of was that each of the girls had a Travel Medical policy – I won’t go into all the details of the dozens of benefits built in and will only mention that the company (whose products I do sell) maintains a 24/7 Emergency call center that is multi-lingual capable, that they have medical experts on call should someone be needed to “oversee” the level of care being provided, and even considerable “Concierge” type services. Knowing that should those types of services is a phone call, fax or email away makes it (only) a bit easier for a parent. I’d like to know if you have the possibility of accepting advertising towards that end – or if I could offer to answer any questions your readers may post regarding this topic. Most people, and not just Americans, do not realize that in all probability their domestic health insurance will not cover them outside the country. That could cause life-long financial problems, not to speak of possible physical consequences. I look forward to a reply. Thank you for your time and consideration.

      I always get travel insurance for big trips abroad and agree that it’s important – especially for those “just in case” circumstances. I’m not currently running any insurance advertising, but if you want to get my rates, please shoot me an email (

    In my country (as in Western Europe) it is rather common that families don’t travel without an additional travel insurance.
    I have one for all -year- round, whether I travel just across the border (or in my own country) or to another continent (in that case, I just pay some more euros.

    I would be a happy mom if MY children would travel like yours. Backpacking and other big trips are often better life-lessons than studying 😉 or words that parents keep repeating 😉 🙂
    (hope you understand my English, it ‘s not my mother language, neither 2nd language…) 🙂

    When you travel, do you have to know the language? Or at least bits of it? Or do you just go and hope someone understands English?

      You definitely don’t need to know the language. A few words is nice (like hello and thank you), but you’d be surprised how many people abroad speak English – especially in places that lots of people visit. And when someone doesn’t speak English, you can usually still get by. 🙂