backpack and me

Is Solo Travel Lonely?

They say childhood is when you form deep wounds that carry over into adulthood and affect your behavior. I don’t know if that’s true (I’ve never been a big fan ...

Me at Machu Picchu

10 Ways to Avoid Altitude Sickness in Cusco and Machu Picchu

You’re scared. I know. I was too. Before heading to Cusco, I obsessively scoured the Internet for information about altitude sickness. I even read a couple of articles about people ...

My Heart Is a Map

When I was little, my grandma would leave the U.S. every few months to visit the Philippines. I always cried when she left. With hands pressed up against the cool ...


How to Start a Blog

How to Start a Blog (in 10 Steps)

People often ask me how to start a blog. This post has ...

I Quit My Dream Job

Yesterday was my last day at work. For most (some of my closest ...

Four Exotic Foods I’ll Never Eat Again

Sea urchin gonads, duck fetus, and baby eel--yep, I've eaten all of ...

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Cuy al horno, baked guinea pig

Eating Guinea Pig (Cuy) in Peru

Would you eat a guinea pig? In Peru, cuy is a delicacy. Check out photos and details of my experience eating cuy in Cusco!

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Faces of Peru | Marko the Estonian

Among a crowd of Peruvians in Cusco, Marko the Estonian is easy to spot. He is tall, blonde, and perpetually in shorts and flip flops despite this city’s chilly weather. On his left arm, a black tribal tattoo reaches down, like roots, from his left bicep; on his right arm, a black lion tattoo sits [...]

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Man on rope in Cusco Peru

Cusco Has a Party Problem

Dear Cusco, This is an intervention. I have stood idly by for too long while you blasted music, set off fireworks at all hours of the day and night, threw confetti everywhere and drowned yourself in Pisco sours. But yesterday was the last straw. As I walked past a lovely Catholic church in the Plaza [...]

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In front of Huayna Picchu in Machu Picchu

My Trip to Machu Picchu Part 2: How Much It Cost & How I Did It

If you’re one of the approximately one million people planning a trip to Machu Picchu this year, you’re probably wondering how to get to this secluded ancient Inca city. There are several options, from taxis, to trains, to hiking, to buses–or a combination–but in this post I’ll detail exactly how I planned my trip to [...]

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Machu Picchu, Peru

My Trip to Machu Picchu Part 1: What I Thought of This Famous Inca City

Machu Picchu has just been named as the most desired travel destination. held a survey that asked users to pick which trip they would most want from a list of the world’s 30 top destinations; Machu Picchu won by a landslide, surpassing the second best pick by more than 1 million votes. In 2013, 1,177,308 [...]

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Me at Machu Picchu

How I Afford to Travel (Yes, I Reveal Exact Dollar Amounts)

How do I afford to travel the world? In this post I reveal all my “secrets,” along with detailed expense reports, so you can figure out how to travel too.

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Do not throw toilet paper in toilet, sign in Cusco

14 Surprising Things About Cusco, Peru

Alpacas in the street, guinea pigs for lunch, water shutting off at night…just some surprising facts about Cusco, Peru.

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An outstretched hand

And Then He Kissed Me

As a solo female traveler, I’ve had many rules dictated to me. One of the main ones is I am never to walk alone at night. But be alive for any amount of time, and you’ll see how difficult it is to never be on your own when it’s dark outside. The other night I [...]

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Me at Machu Picchu

Reflections After One Month on the Road

I almost didn’t make it to South America. If Fear had had his way, I wouldn’t be here in Cusco. I wouldn’t be sitting in this charming cafe in the bohemian San Blas neighborhood, savoring a dark chocolate, banana and coconut crepe, listening to people speaking Spanish, French and Chinese around me; I wouldn’t be living [...]

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The hills of Cusco, Peru

How Much It Costs to Live in Cusco, Peru (With REAL-TIME Daily Spending Log)

Almost every traveler you meet in Cusco, Peru is merely “passing through” on their way to Machu Picchu. I really think if you don’t stay and live here for a while, you’re missing out! The cost of living in Peru is pretty low, the people are friendly, Cusco is rich with Quechuan/Incan history and influences, [...]

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