How to breathe in Hanoi

It took me all of a day to decide I didn’t like Hanoi. I arrived at night under a sky that was starless and rainy, air that felt cool and clammy—and in a taxi that cost me $15 more than I had anticipated. Come morning, a grey haze hung over the city, drizzly rain seeping…

Somewhere named Sligo

It’s the palm trees that get you. There are some things you expect to see in Ireland: rolling green hills, fields of sheep, rainbows with leprechauns at the end pouring pints of Guinness. But not palm trees. And yet, in a little pocket of the northwest known as Sligo, you’ll find them. You’ll also find…

The taste of truth: Honesty, press trips and travel writing

The travel world was abuzz a few weeks ago with news that Conde Nast Traveler will now permit writers to accept media rates. This is serious news for the revered publication, which, along with big names like National Geographic Traveler and Travel + Leisure, has been famed (and alternately praised and criticized depending on which…

It’s not all beef in Calgary

Pop quiz: You’re headed to Calgary for a culinary weekend. What are you going to eat? Beef, you say. Of course. Well, not exactly. Sure, the west is known as the beef headquarters of Canada, and the first time I visited Calgary, I ate so much of Alberta’s acclaimed AAA beef that I’m pretty sure…

I don’t want you to live vicariously through me

The first time someone told me they were living vicariously through me, I felt a little thrill inside. It meant I was doing something admirable and, dare I say it, worthy of jealousy. And then I heard it a few more times. And a few more. And each time, it rang a little differently in…

That time TBEX made me cry

People who know me know that I’m a tad emotional (read: cries at mountains and Christmas carols). It’s a trait I inherited from my mother, along with blonde-ish hair, chronic hiccups and a severe case of the giggles (side note: thanks to Daniel Noll of Uncornered Market who taught me this past weekend at TBEX…