Friday, May 7, 2010

My Travel Family: Karissa

Best friends are always fabulous. But combine road warrior and best friend, and I think you've pretty much created a soulmate. That's how I feel about Karissa, a very important person in my travel family!

Karissa and I started our friendship on the road, and have it taken it to many different locations besides our home-away-from-home in Arkansas. We've taken it to:

Santa Monica, California

Sonoma County, California

Denver, Colorado

 (We were unfortunately having too much fun to take photos...)

...and plan on taking it to many more exotic places (Spain, to name one). I've said before that it's the people that travel with you who really get to know you, from how patient you are to how nice you are to strangers to how well you can make the best of any messy travel snafu. They know what you love and what you hate, who you flirt with and who you avoid. No matter how much your personal friends may love you and try to know you, they will never know you as well as those you travel with.

I am lucky that she is both my traveling partner in crime, and my best friend.

The girl knows my Starbucks drink order. She knows if I'm hungover, I'm gonna be a little late to meet her downstairs for work in the morning. She knows she can always pressure me into having a few drinks with her, and she knows that, at times, I can be bossy and gossipy. And I know about the time her bag fell down the escalator and forever slumped to one side, and I know who she hates to sit next to on the plane. But it's nice not having to explain funny situations that happen to me on the road and look at a blank stare... because she was there to experience every moment with me!

Traveling has it's ups and downs. Sometimes you're going to be delayed, or your flight cancelled. Sometimes you'll be on vacation and catch the flu. Sometimes a boy broke your heart and you are stuck in a city without your friends and your bed and your ex boyfriend voodoo doll (just kidding). So it's just nice to know that there's someone who can make you laugh through it all.

Furthermore, she travels really well...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lonely Planet? Yes Please!

I apologize for being out of touch. I was on an exciting adventure "down under", investigating unexplored terrains, jumping deep caverns, and wrestling against deadly animals... otherwise known as: I took a nice, long vacation in Australia. And it was amazing. Lots of new writing material!

Ecstatic to be near the ocean...

One of my best discoveries while in Australia actually occurred at the Sydney airport. I was feeling a bit perturbed, because sometime between when I arrived in Australia, and prepared to exit, I lost my Dromamine (an absolute essential for me when suffering through long flights). So, I went in search of a drug store that would carry it. Alas, I did not find my precious drug, but I found something much more interesting...

A Lonely Planet Store!

What is this?! I walked into the store, with it's warm lighting and climbing book shelves of travel books, and my eyes widened. The amount of unique and valuable travel accessories was outstanding. I found a book on Cape Town (my next adventure). I found unbreakable water bottles that included their own filters and displayed beautiful Japanese designs. And I found adorable, biodegradable cloth animals (kangaroos, koalas, and a whale) that adhere to a keychain or purse (bought six). I found a travel sanctuary.

I talked to the young woman behind the counter, and she explained that it was a concept store, the one and only of it's kind. I asked if it was successful, and she smiled and said yes, but there were no announced plans to open more. She asked what I did for a living, and when I lied and told her I was a travel writer (actually I said, "I'm a very well known and successful American travel writer"), she suggested I get in touch with their company and apply to do some writing for them.

I figured I'll see how successful my blogging becomes first.

Travel gurus and junkies, check it out: