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I love traveling alone. By myself. Solo. I can be on my own schedule. I can do what I want to do. And only what I want to do. I can go where I want to go, eat where I want to eat, drink where I want to drink, see what I want to see. (Side note: feel free to read that last line to the tune of Addams Groove, because I totally just did.) I can be as ambitious or as lazy as I want. I have no one to answer to and no one answering to me. I...

I may be one of the most skeptical people you'll ever meet. For every extreme political meme you post on Facebook I immediately go to Snopes to fact check. I assume all news stories are grossly exaggerated. I assume all personal stories are grossly exaggerated. I read marketing text and say to myself, "50% fewer calories than what?" And, if you drag me to a motivational speaker, I will probably spend those three hours rolling my eyes and trying to hold back laughter. I just don't buy into a lot of crap. I'm jaded. I'm cynical. I'm skeptical as fuck. But psychics?...

I'd been to Seattle three times before. The first time, in 2009, I did everything my guidebook told me to do there. The second, in 2011, I explored for a few hours between a train from Vancouver and a flight back to Chicago. And the third time, in 2013, I spent a few days after a trip to Hawaii. I went back to Seattle, for five nights, for the fourth time, a couple of weeks ago. I had friends I could stay with and just needed to get away for a few. Part of me always feels like I should travel...

A few weeks ago, I had a day. A day where I was both upset over something and excited about something and my emotions were all over the place. And all I kept thinking, all that day, was, "I need change." "I need to make my world what I want it to be." "I need to reclaim my life." So, that day, I signed up for guitar lessons and bought a Groupon for salsa lessons and looked up tattoo artists and booked a flight. Because, sometimes, I go overboard. But anyways. I booked a flight to Austin that day because it's been on my list...

I had but one goal for my four-night vacation in Austin, Texas: eat everything. Austin's food scene excited me. The city is probably best known for tacos and Tex-Mex and barbecue. And who wouldn't be excited for tacos and Tex-Mex and barbecue? But it goes beyond that. There are food trucks on seemingly every corner, in every empty lot, attached to every bar. And those food trucks specialize in every cuisine and fare imaginable. Indian food. Eggrolls. Bacon-wrapped hot dogs. Peruvian creole. And there are just as many brick and mortars, from tiny whole-in-the-walls to fancy cocktail joints. And...

Every Fourth of July the best eaters in the world congregate at Coney Island and go head to head in the world's greatest hot dog eating contest. Half of those eaters are women. You might not know that from the media coverage of the contest. After all, the men's eating contest gets broadcast on ESPN while the women's is only ever available online. The women's contest is lucky to get a thirty second spot on the televised broadcast. And Joey Chestnut and Matt Stonie, ranked the number one and two eaters in the world, dominate the press, become trending topics on Facebook,...

Joey Chestnut and Matt Stonie took their prime spots at the center of the table and, from the moment the clock started ticking down, they were both fully focused on the win. For the first few HDBs they were neck and neck but, by two minutes in, Joey Chestnut had eaten to a steady lead. As the minutes ticked down and more hot dogs were eaten it was no longer a question of who would win, it was a question of whether the record would or would not be broken....

I spent Fourth of July weekend in New York. Obviously. It was my eighth visit since my first time in 1999 and my seventh Fourth of July spent in the city since 2007. Whew. I was there, mainly, for the annual hot dog eating contest but, with an extended weekend, I also got a little chance to wander the city. I suppose the more times I end up in New York the less time I spend in Manhattan and the less time I feel the need to do actual things there. This time, I hung out in Park Slope with Amber, who...

I didn't particularly love Koh Samui the first time around. Nothing against it, it just wasn't the most memorable place. But that's where I ended up for my last few days of vacation in Thailand. I was having a terrible time deciding on where to go, what to do, and was second guessing everything. I had every intention of going somewhere new, somewhere I hadn't been before. But, when it came down to it, I just wanted to go somewhere easy. Somewhere with a beach. So, I chose somewhere I could fly to. Truth was, all I wanted to do with...