Posts of the Moment
This is the 'diary' of Karl, a small-minded Welsh guy whose friends thought it would be a fun little experiment to put him on a trip to see the 7 Wonders of the World. Pilkington has no interest in travel and describes frustration in the smallest changes in his daily routines. He brings a genuine naivety into his travel experiences and is entertaining, genuine and oddly reflective...
Tips for adventurous female travelers ranging from obvious to 'Wow, never would've thought of that'... When searching for some previous female travel tips from solo-travelers who did Manila, I had a lot of trouble surprisingly. While I didn’t scour the Internet, it wasn’t nearly as easy as it is to find solo-female travel articles as other cities in Asia, Europe, Latin America, etc, but maybe for good reason. I felt uncomfortable walking around by myself...
I had a 16 hour layover in Seoul, which I certainly wasn't going to waste in the airport! After exploring I found one of these little spas ...She wasn't wasting any time with subtleties or being gentle; she'd just start moving my naked body for me until I understood what she was trying to get me to do...When she took me out of the sauna I felt a moment of relief until she hosed my naked body down with freezing water and then put me in a lukewarm spring pool....brought me upstairs to an abandoned looking room that was low lit with concrete walls and low ceilings. There stood a massage table that was covered in hard, magenta plastic. Finally...time to relax!?
Why I Blog
My original blog started in spring of 2012!
I really started blogging when I was living in a tiny township in Taiwan and needed a place to share and vent my first time living abroad! It just naturally progressed into talking with other travelers and reading other blogs.
Since I found it challenging to find out what I wanted to before moving to Taiwan, I wanted to write this blog for people in the situation I was in: unaware, curious and maybe not knowing where to start. I found it was hard to learn about anything but the capital city and major tourist spots. A Lonely Planet guidebook told me not to even stop by in the city I was soon moving to... I try to seek and share places on and off the beaten path for other travelers and also expats in my current location. Get off the guidebooks, get on travel blogs!
Last year's focus was on Taiwan and Asia, because of my slow-traveling, teaching ways. This year, it's Prague and Česká republika! I've shifted the focus to Czech Republic and Europe, though South America is still very much on my mind!
Why "Traveling Vanilla Bean"?
My dad had a million nicknames for me growing up and still does today. Heather Bean-stroganoff. HRich (yes, like JLo). Beano. Reano Beano. I don't need to go on. They generate seemingly from nothing, but Vanilla Bean always stuck. Add an addiction to travel and there you have it!
A taste of...
The Czech Republic
New England: Home
It all started when I studied abroad in Perth, Australia in college. It was a life-changing experience. I saw the light! Soon time was up and it was back to Massachusetts to finish my degrees. Soon my experience in Australia felt merely like a dream I'd had that I couldn't leave behind. My other travel friends seemed to forget and get 'busier' and everyone molded back into their everyday lives. I eventually readjusted too but still had a tight hold on those memories, and an undeniable desire to see more.
However, AFAR magazines and Anthony Bourdain had to do for a few years as I finished my BA and then got my MA in Teaching. I took trips when I could to Colorado, San Fran, New York City, Boston and Sonoma Valley, which left me high and fiending for more!
Once I finished my degrees I was free as a bird. I skipped my graduation ceremony and headed for Asia! My experience in Taiwan was really eye opening and is pushing me to adapt and be stronger. The Czech Republic challenges me in different ways and provides different types of travel opportunities. Bring 'em on!