• Asia,  China,  Solo Travel

    unexpected kindness: taiyuan, china

    My way out of Kunming took a string of flights and trains. The first leg was Kunming to Taiyuan. My flight arrived at 9 pm, and I wouldn’t leave until 11 pm the next day. So I booked a hostel (use my affiliate link here!) and thought nothing of it. The flight went smoothly, and upon arrival, I took a taxi to my hostel. I’d been told it was inside another building, so I got dropped off at the closest intersection. I entered the series of buildings booking.com/maps.me/google maps told me it was in and just COULD NOT find it. I went back out and asked a security guard if…

  • How To,  Tips

    unexpected tips: how to safely explore as a solo female traveler

    If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that solo travel is my favourite kind of travel. It’s so wonderful exploring a place completely on your own, then meeting people and creating the best memories with them. Quite often, girls tell me that they’d “never travel alone; it’s just not safe as a woman in this world.” And while yes, I agree that being a solo female traveler sometimes comes with some difficulties, it’s totally possible in most places! It all comes down to how you carry yourself. I know, I know, women shouldn’t HAVE to act a certain way or do certain things just because it’s less…

  • How To,  Tips

    unexpected tips: how to NOT look like a tourist

    We all know the guy… Khaki pants (occasionally zipoffs), white sneakers (not the trendy kind), big old backpack hitting everyone around him, but he doesn’t notice, as he’s too busy taking photos of everything in sight… The classic tourist. There are definite advantages to NOT looking like a tourist… First off, and probably most importantly, you won’t be the first target for pickpocketing. You’ll also be able to blend into the country/city you’re visiting more, which enables you to see your destination a little bit more true to what it is. Here’s how NOT to look like a tourist. 1. Don’t sightsee through your camera lens (or phone) Take photos! I’m not…

  • Asia,  Nepal,  Trekking Tips

    unexpected decisions: why i decided to cancel my dream trek

      I’ve been dreaming of doing the three passes trek since the first time I came to Nepal. After hearing about crossing three high passes, seeing the Gokyo Lakes, and making it to Everest Base Camp, The Three Passes Trek quickly jumped to the top of my list. I’ve returned to Nepal twice since initially making the trip out, and the third time I was in Nepal, I knew I was going to complete it. After spending some time interning in Pokhara and trekking up to Annapurna Base Camp, I set out for the three passes, absolutely determined to get it done! And, well, I didn’t. I decided to abandon the first…

  • Asia,  Eats,  Nepal

    unexpected eats: my favourite restaurants in pokhara

    As you guys definitely know by now, I am a MAJOR food lover. Last year, after returning from the Annapurna Circuit to Pokhara, I quickly learned that Pokhara was a little city that treasured food (at least Lakeside does!). I spent a little less than a week there, but dreamt of returning to my favourite places for yummy post-trekking food! Unfortunately, upon my arrival this time ’round, I learned that most of my favourite places had closed…. which meant I had to try new places! I found these restaurants through luck, recommendations, and chance, and they’ve become my favourite places! If you wanna get that Instagram Go to The Juicery Cafe! …

  • Asia,  Nepal

    unexpected holi: what i loved and what i hated

    This past Sunday was Holi, the festival of colour! Holi is a Hindu holiday celebrating Spring! It’s better known for being an absolute party, with coloured powder and water being thrown at you. Holi in Lakeside was an absolute blast. We’d been having some pretty bad weather lately, but it was clear for Holi!   I really enjoyed being right in the thick of the action and having powder thrown at me. The water, not so much, as it was cold! There was a stage in Center Lakeside, with live bands playing both Nepali and Western Music. We danced, we drank, and we made friends, all while completely covered in…

  • Asia,  Nepal

    unexpected women of the world

    I headed into Kathmandu for a day of celebrating women! On February 18th, I was able to attend the Women of the World (WOW) Festival, a day of panels, talks, and workshops all about women. I was lucky enough to hear some of the most influential women of South Asia, from the first Sri Lankan to summit Everest to Nepal’s Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, speak about their experiences as women of power. Wow. What a day. We discussed women and the idea of power, trafficking, and women’s rights. We also talked about ability and disability, and where that intersects with gender. I nearly cried, I laughed a whole…

  • Asia,  Nepal

    unexpected peek into a Nepali wedding

    The other week, I was so kindly invited to a Nepali wedding! I was able to get dressed in a beautiful outfit, get a tikka (get tikka??? apply tikka???), and experience a beautiful wedding. The entire celebration was full of laughter, dancing, music, and food. It was colourful and vibrant and absolutely wonderful. Everyone was so kind, and although I don’t speak a stitch of Nepali, I was warmly welcomed into the celebration. I had a tough time understanding what was happening (language barrier problems), so I can’t tell you exactly what was going on, but it was such a lovely cultural experience. It was less of the actual ceremony joining…

  • Reads,  Thailand

    unexpected reads: The Beach

    I love books. Even before I could read, I’d recite books read to me. I bring books on all of my travels and don’t mind the extra weight they take up. Unfortunately, I don’t get to read for pleasure as much as I’d like to. It’s actually a resolution of mine to read more. What better way to get myself into the reading habit than by starting a blog series on travel books? Every once in a while, I’ll be posting & introducing you to new books that I’ve found a liking to! First book, here we go! The Beach by Alex Garland Where I got it: I picked this up…