I skipped my university graduation to spend a week in Colombia, and then went on to spend a few months in Barcelona. None of that was anywhere near the disaster that I (and my mother) thought it would be. However, I did mess up a little, and I’m going to tell you all about it so you don’t do the same things. 1. Make sure you know the visa requirements for wherever you’re going way before you go. As romantic and adventurous as it sounds to…Continue Reading “7 Travel Mistakes I Made–And How You Can Avoid Them”

In 2011, when I was fresh out of high school and not prepared to start college yet, I took a gap year in which I spent four months working in my hometown of Santa Cruz, California and then three months volunteering with a non profit organization in Antigua, Guatemala. Since I had only ever been out of the country on two family trips to Mexico, my mother and I (mostly my mother) were a little scared for my safety and general well-being. My mother suggested I…Continue Reading “Tourlina: The Tinder for Travel in Twos”

After four days of visiting Barcelona in 2015, I was completely in awe of the city and knew I wanted to come back and live here. So, a year later, I did. While I’m obviously still technically a tourist in Barcelona, since I’m not from here and have only been here for four and a half months, four and a half months is a lot different than four days. So, knowing what I know now, here is everything I wish I knew before I went. 1. Spanish…Continue Reading “10 Things I Wish I Knew About Barcelona as a Tourist”

Guest post by Michelle Rick. You can find her on Instagram or at michellearick.com. According to Pinterest, there’s a place that has beaches for days, because it’s an island, and islands tend to be surrounded by water. Its menu is designed to nurture the taste buds of a deliciously, nutriciously Instagrammable diet. And there’s many an opportunity to get in sunrise yoga selfies until you literally can’t even. If you find yourself headed to Bali in the near future, buy yourself a Bintang bro tank and…Continue Reading “GUEST POST: A Basic B***h’s Guide to Bali”

In August 2010, most of my friends left my small hometown of Santa Cruz, California to go off to college in various other parts of the country. I was taking a gap year, so I stayed in Santa Cruz for six months working at a daycare before I moved to Antigua, Guatemala to volunteer. When everyone left, I was a wreck. I had grown up with these kids, they had made Santa Cruz what it was for me, and now they were all leaving. At…Continue Reading “Why Friendships Abroad are Different than Friendships at Home”

Cartagena’s streets are lined with colorful houses, bustling with the constant sound of horse-drawn carriages clopping down the cobblestone and full of guys with push carts selling beers for the equivalent of 33 cents each. That’s probably not what you picture when you think of Colombia, though. Thanks to movies, television and the widely-known fact that Colombia is a major hub for cocaine, the country is regarded by most of the rest of the world as a highly dangerous country, and certainly not a safe…Continue Reading “I Went to Colombia and Didn’t Die, and You Can, Too!”

As someone who was still prone to getting lost in San Francisco after living there for five years, I got a lot of raised eyebrows when I told people I a) bought a one-way ticket to Colombia to meet up with friends and b) was traveling alone after. Three weeks before my flight to Cartagena, I took a job in Barcelona, fully aware that that’s nowhere near Colombia, and spent literally an entire day researching the cheapest and most effective way to get there from…Continue Reading “My First 48 Hours of Traveling Alone Were One Big Misadventure–And I Lived to Tell the Tale”

When I was backpacking across Western Europe (Friends references will never get old, that’s a fact), I had some experiences that negated some “advice” I had heard before I went. I’m here to debunk some “Euro myths” about your upcoming Euro trip. (See what I did there? That was funny.) 1. “Hostels are dirty and full of sketchy people who will stab you in your sleep.” I’ve said this before  and I’ll say it again: despite what a lot of people think, hostels are awesome. Everyone loves…Continue Reading “EuroMyth: Common Misconceptions about “Euro Trips” and Why They’re Wrong”