Travel Journal

Personal reflections, challenges, and musings about my travel experiences.

Helpful Travel Resources

Carry-On Travel Packing List

Minimalist Travel Packing List

Best Minimalist Travel Backpacks

Van Life Essentials

Complete Travel Resources Guide

Living in China: What Life is Like as an Expat (Pros & Cons)

Living in China, whether residing in an uber-modern city of ten million in the far east or a bustling mega-city of 16 million, sounded absurd. With everything I previously knew about China coming from stereotypes and media stories, I was curious. Is China a good place to live? Could China provide a foreigner with a … Read more
Takoyaki chefs in Osaka, Japan

Osaka’s Unreal Street Food: 12 Street Eats in Japan’s Kitchen

I heard it repeatedly — for a taste of Japan’s very best food, I had to sample Osaka’s street food. And in Osaka, street food in the Dotonbori neighborhood was the best-of-the-best. As a foodie, I clearly had no choice, so I booked a hotel in Dotonbori and set out on a four-day exploration of … Read more
Minimalist traveler walking down street in Puerto Morelos, Mexico

My Ultralight Minimalist Travel Packing List for 2024

Executing minimalist travel is simple: Choose a suitable bag that you can carry onto an airplane Fill it with clothing, gear, and other travel essentials Leave everything else behind By doing so, you’ll experience the world feeling light as a feather, unbothered by the burden of unnecessary stuff. I’ve learned the value of minimalist travel … Read more

Traveling Sucks (Sometimes): My 12 Worst Travel Stories

Traveling sucks sometimes, it’s a fact. Life on the road has the tendency to unravel and spiral out of control when we least expect it. The best-laid plans can fall apart at a moment’s notice, and there’s nothing any of us travelers can do about it. I’ve watched helplessly as my backpacking trips have turned … Read more

5 Days in Hong Kong: Highlights of My Itinerary-Free Trip

My spur of the moment trip to Hong Kong was born from a late-night conversation with a travel-hungry friend 10,000 miles away. It was a wild, impulsive, and indelible adventure; a chance journey that wasn’t really meant to take place, but played out perfectly nonetheless. Our five-day meet-up was a blur of world-class food, bumpy … Read more
A woman driving a red cart full of baskets of stawberries

Unreal Chengdu Street Food Marathon: 32 Snacks, 10 Hours

Was I really going to eat 32 different types of Chengdu street food in just one day and live to blog about it? A gluttonous marathon to challenge both my stomach and self-control? Why would I risk such a culinary overload? There have got to be more relaxing ways to celebrate my birthday, right?! Let … Read more
Red arch with Vietnamese text over an open road with mountains and blue skies in the background

My 10-Day Vietnam Motorbike Road Trip (Route + Itinerary)

My plan for Vietnam never involved a motorbike. It also didn’t involve riding that motorbike 1600 kilometers for 10 straight days with someone I had just met. Crashes, break downs, and wrecked itineraries – those weren’t part of the plan either. I wasn’t supposed to get caked in mud, freeze my ass off, or stare … Read more
Solo traveling couple split-screen. Man trekking Torres del Paine. Woman in Kayak in Thailand.

A Couple Traveling Solo: Why We’d Rather Divide & Conquer

Yes, it’s true. Keri and I are a loving couple who would rather travel the world separately. December 24th, 2017. This was the day we kissed each other goodbye and flew to opposite sides of the world. We’d been traveling together for three months at that point, and we were ready for the adventure to truly … Read more
Seven foster kittens sleeping in a pile

Fostering Pets Abroad: Kittens Have Taken Over Our Apartment

I awoke before sunrise this morning to the frantic skittering of little paws sliding across the slick laminate floor of my apartment in Chengdu, China. I pried open my eyes to a brief flash of fur zooming across my bed and over my nightstand. In the distance, someone was stripping the dead leaves off a … Read more

Braving Tepito: My Trip Inside Mexico City’s Infamous Barrio

“Don’t go there. You’ll get robbed.” This was the popular advice given to me by taxi drivers and hostel managers when I asked about Tepito, Mexico City’s most notorious neighborhood. I’m usually great at listening to advice from locals, but this particular day I decided to keep asking until I got the answer I wanted. … Read more
A man sitting in a natural pool of water above Mooney Falls in Havasupai, Arizona

Travel Savings 101: How I Stashed Money for Long-Term Travel

Life in my late-20s wasn’t going as planned. I was a travel-hungry restaurant worker with $31,000 in debt and nothing in my savings account. I spent my days working an increasingly frustrating job, and I was unsure if I’d ever lead a life that inspired me. Long-term travel had been a goal of mine since … Read more