A to Z Blogging Challenge: 26 Post Recap

A2Z-2013-BADGE-001Small_zps669396f9Wow, what a month! 26 posts in 30 days. Sorry, make that 30 posts because each week I also posted a quick recap. Phew!

I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into. It challenged me to go beyond just those things I knew I wanted to post and to think more creatively about what I wanted to share. As a result, I wrote a series of writing advice articles, expose pieces on my book series, and a number of other things I ordinarily would not have thought of. Oh, and I met some really awesome bloggers along the way. Pretty cool.

That said, I’m not convinced I would do it again. It limited me on what I could post about, and I ended up with a ton of posts I had to push until May (I know I could do several posts per day, but that’s overkill), and it was incredibly time consuming. BUT…I definitely recommend everyone try the challenge at least once. It will challenge the way you organize your thoughts, in a good way!

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Week 4 Recap

A2Z-2013-BADGE-001Small_zps669396f9In case you missed any of my A to Z Challenge posts from Week 4, here you go!

And here are the posts from A-R:

Whirlwind Travel – Taipei in a Weekend

Taipei is the capital of the island of Taiwan, part of the Republic of China. The city is divided into two parts: the east side is filled with western-style boutiques, restaurants, and upscale hotels, and the west side displays some of the older cultures of the city, with street vendors and temples. There are many things to do and see in the city, regardless of your interests: from the temples of Longshan (Buddhist) and Baoan (Taoist), to the markets (the famous Shilin night market is especially fun) and street vendors, and even the towering Taipei 101 building, there are things here for everyone. Continue reading

Scarves from Around the World

Scarves from Around the World

Like most travelers, I have specific mementos I collect from my trips. My main collection is shot glasses (I have over a hundred), and secondarily I always look for a “unique” memento (something I can wear, like jewelry, or something for around the house that isn’t too tacky). Along the way, I started noticing a new pattern in my collections: scarves. Continue reading

Whirlwind Travel – Copenhagen in a Day

Copenhagen, Denmark comes up on list after list as having the highest quality of living in Europe, and in some cases, the world. Having spent about a day and a half in the city, I can see why. This might be the cleanest city I’ve ever visited. I’ve never seen so many people riding bikes (my cab driver told me that there were more bikes than cars per household in the city), and all of the residents looked fit. There is a huge focus in the city on clean, outdoor activities, which can be seen in the large number of parks. Of course, all of this comes at a price: Copenhagen also has one of the highest costs of living in the world, and as a tourist, that can make budget travel a challenge. Continue reading

Whirlwind Travel – Gibraltar in a Day

Gibraltar is a British overseas territory, located at the southern tip of Andalucia, Spain. The territory of Gibraltar is about 2.5 miles, and has its own airport, customs area, and parliament. It also has a number of places to shop, including names tourists might find familiar. Of course, the reason tourists go there is the giant Rock of Gibraltar: a jutting, limestone beast of nature that features neat stuff like a Moorish castle and an entire colony of semi-friendly barbary macaques (monkeys). Continue reading

Whirlwind Travel – Budapest in a Day

Budapest is quickly becoming a popular destination for European-bound travelers. It has just the right combination of history, culture, and modern conveniences to appeal to almost anyone. The city is really divided into two halves: Buda, the “older,” historical district, and Pest, which is often referred to as the modern side. They are separated by the Danube, which offers some of the best views of both sides (examples: Castle Hill and Buda Castle on the Buda side, Parliament on the Pest side). Continue reading

Hop on, Hop Off Travel Buses – 10 Insider Tips

The Hop On, Hop Off style tour buses are your best friend when you are traveling in a time crunch. They allow you to see the most of the city in a short span of time, and you can pick and choose where you want to spend a little extra time. It is also a very inexpensive way to see an entire city. Continue reading

Whirlwind Travel – Vienna in a Day

Wien. The capital of Austria, home of the Habsburgs, and the seat of power for the historic Austro-Hungarian empire.  When I thought of Vienna, I envisioned palaces, Viennese balls, Mozart, and Empress Maria Theresa. While all of Austria appeals to me, with only one day at my disposal I decided to spend it in Vienna. Continue reading

Travel Series- Overview

I have always been one of those not-so-rare people whose greatest dream was to spend their life traveling the world, spending months in one place before moving on to the next, taking in every little nuance and experience of the culture. But I am also a realist, and I realized a long time ago that unless I won the lottery, this life was impossible. If I wanted to see the world I would need to get creative. Continue reading