Share on Pinterest

There's a smell to Asia. A mix of lemongrass and coriander and durian and mango. A mix of incense and sweat and fermented meat. Something like that. It's a scent that's enhanced with the sticky humidity. Intensified. It's a scent that's just there, saturating the air. It was a comforting, familiar, smell when I arrived in Bangkok last October. I could breathe in and know I was back in Asia. I was back. If only for a two-week vacation. It was odd returning to a city I hadn't been in for three years, returning to a country that meant a lot to...

Last year I went to TBEX Dublin and left with more inspiration, more motivation, to take my blog where I wanted it to go than I had ever had before. And then my laptop got stolen a week later and I couldn't do anything for nearly two months. This year I went to TBEX Athens and left with more inspiration, more motivation, to take my blog where I wanted it to go than I had ever had before. And then I came home a few days later and threw myself into jet lag and my new old job....

It was a sign. I wasn't supposed to go to Ireland. I wasn't supposed to go to TBEX - the travel blogging conference I had been holding a ticket for for months. I was supposed to turn around and stay home and stay far away from traveling to a part of the world I couldn't afford to travel to in the first place. I had reluctantly boarded the plane to Dublin, Ireland that afternoon and, when it took off, right on schedule, I thought, "this is it, I'm actually still doing this." I was actually still doing this. Half an...

I'd never been to a conference before, but I'd been looking forward to TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) for a while. I first heard about TBEX through Twitter hashtags while it was going on in Chicago two summers ago. And then I didn't get my act together to go last year in New York. And so I decided to go this year, to Vancouver, to my first conference ever. So I booked my ticket and grabbed a flight to Seattle and a train to Vancouver because it was way cheaper. And luckily my flight out of O'Hare left only an hour...