Which Ancient Temples to See in Luxor, Egypt

The sun beat down from a nearly white sky. The air was dry, the ground hot. The only shade to be found was in the ruins—colonnades with swollen pillars, towering statues of crossed-armed rulers, thick walls laden with the deep carvings of ancient kings and queens. This is Luxor, straddling the banks of the Nile,…

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Why You Have to Visit Abu Simbel

It looked like a giant pile of dirt. Maybe it was because of the harsh morning sun. Or the fact that we’d been traveling since 4am, coasting on 3 hours of sleep from the night before. It wasn’t until we’d followed the neatly tiled path down a sweeping curve that the famous temple—one that’s often…

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7-Day Egypt Itinerary Without a Tour

I entered my thirties with one goal: to get out of my comfort zone more often. Our recent trip to Egypt flung the door to my comfort zone wide open, and with surprising gentleness, ushered me out of it. What exactly does that mean? Well, it was way easier to tour Egypt than I imagined…

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Top South African Safari Sightings

Country 27: South Africa | This post is part of my 30×30 series. Read more here! Our sweeping South Africa trip took us from Johannesberg to Cape Town (break for Namibia!) and then back again to the Vredefort Dome, a lush and dramatic area about an hour and a half outside of Jo’Berg. We’d seen some animals…

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Planning a bike tour in the Netherlands

Country 6: The Netherlands | This post is part of my 30×30 series. Read more here!

Biking through the Netherlands

My 6th country was your classic study abroad in Europe tour, with a slight twist. Rather than staying in an apartment or university dormitory, I spent four months living in a medieval castle in the middle of nowhere. And you know what? Despite being a city girl, I loved it. We all rented bikes from the local shop and I spent the hours I wasn’t studying or traveling tooling around the Dutch countryside, watching frolicking spring lambs, finding dunes, and rolling through charming little villages.

After we left, my castle friends and I always planned to do a big reunion bike tour, and when I was researching how it could be done, I found Vrieden op de Fiets (Friends with Bicycles), a homeshare program designed for bikers and hikers visiting the rest of the Netherlands. For 19eur a night you get a comfortable bed, a nourishing breakfast, and the chance to meet and bond with local Dutch people. If you’re thinking about doing a biking tour through the Netherlands, I highly recommend checking them out!

https://www.vriendenopdefiets.nl/en

A View on Viewing Animals – Featured on Written From

I’m super excited to share today that I’m a featured contributor on Written From! Check out the story—a reflection of what I’ve learned about interacting with animals while traveling—here! Written From is a really interesting blog—a conglomeration of posts that reflect, think deeply, and even critique the travel experience. From their mission statement: “We want…

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Tips for Doing a Self-Drive Safari

“It doesn’t matter how much experience you have,” said one of the rangers as we pulled into Pilanesberg park. “Seeing animals comes down to luck.” That’s absolutely true—you may visit the same park on two consecutive days and see wildly different groups of animals. Or you might nab sightings of every member of the Big…

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Self-Drive vs. Guided Tour Safari

So, you’re planning your epic adventure somewhere in Africa. Obviously, you want to incorporate an African safari of some sort—the question is, do you want to splurge for a guided tour? Or do you want to drive yourselves? There are pros and cons to each, it just depends on your travel style. Should I do…

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Three Alternatives to Kruger Park in South Africa

Kruger National Park is highly lauded and applauded as being the best park for safaris in South Africa. As one of the largest game reserves in the entire African continent, I guess it’s not hard to see why. But if you are looking for something less touristy and more off-the-beaten-path, here are three varied and…

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ChaZen, the honest safari

Joe’s bright eyes pierced into mine. “If he charges the fence,” he said, “You need to stand your ground. Don’t run away. You got it?” I nodded. We were standing knee deep in the bush, alongside a thin wire fence where, just beyond, a massive male African lion was thoughtfully sniffing the air. But this…

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