Category Archives: travel

What’s a completo you ask?

One of Chile’s not-to-be-missed culinary treats is called a completo.

Wikipedia explains a completo like this:  The completo (Spanish for “complete”, “total”) is a hot dog variation eaten in Chile, usually served with ingredients such as chopped tomatoes, avocados, mayonnaise, sauerkraut, a variation of the sauce américaine, Chilean chili, green sauce and cheese. Its size can be twice of an American hot dog.

A bite or two was really all you needed, which is why three of us shared one. However, Cara’s friend, Raphael from Germany accepted the challenge:

  • chilean hotdog


There is really a hot dog buried under the cheese, tomatoes, mayonnaise, avocado mixture.

And the completo, while not my favorite, wasn’t as gross as it looks.


close up of completo


Where’s the best place to relax? Hint: the beach

Once we picked up my new medicine, where’s the best place to relax?

Yes, the beach.

as it should be

all smiles, as it should be


vina beach

bus sponsorship

bus sponsorship on the beach


guardavida (lifeguard)

view from the sand

behind us – beachfront property

For Shame!

Boy did I goof. Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the boyfriend and I went to DC for a weekend trip back in October. And boy did I mess up. I overpacked. The horror!

I broke several of my packing cardinal rules.

Problem 1: packing the night before

Problem 2: packing after dinner (and wine) with girlfriends

Which led to problems 3 and 4…

Problem 3: Not packing outfits that worked with the shoes

Problem 4: Not packing for the right weather

Not only did I overpack, but I packed for frigid weather. That weekend we were there, the weather was gorgeous.

I also packed non-practical outfits. Yes, on our departure day I wore my tall boots so I did not have to pack them, but I had not taken into consideration that the jeans I packed – did not work with those boots. Which means, the boots could only go with limited outfits. Thankfully, I had packed my trusty Converse to go with the jeans. While the boots paired with my leggings, I only packed one thing that actually looked normal with leggings, being leggings. The rest of what I packed made the leggings look like pants. Big no no.

On top of that, this was the boyfriend’s first trip to DC since he was a kid. Did I remember the camera? Of course not. Do either of us have smartphones? Nope.

So at the Lincoln Memorial, we did what any tourist who comes to a place unprepared, we bought, oh yes we did, a disposable camera. Stop laughing.

Let it be known I only was recently weened off of disposable cameras in the past few years, so I had no shame. Though it was hilarious looking around us – not one single person had a disposable camera. People had smartphone cameras, small digital cameras and high-tech cameras. Not us. We had the very desirable Fuji QuickSnap.

Hey, it did the job. Well, we don’t know yet because I just finished the roll and mailed it to be processed.


The boyfriend and I went to DC for a weekend trip back in October to visit old friends.

We took Amtrak down and we were pleasantly surprised when we accidentally found ourselves seated in the only quiet car on the train down.


I had a book to read and plenty of magazines to catch up on and I was excited for the silence in which to read. there were several people who needed to be continuously reminded that this was the quiet car.

Because the train was full the boyfriend and I were not seated next to each other. I had been behind on checking my voicemail, and later received a few calls during the ride, so I simply wanted to listen to them.

As I dialed, I felt like his eyes were boring holes into my head as he must have been fearful that I was going to <gasp> make a call. If only the poor guy knew we were on the same quiet loving team. In fact, he was so keen on his quiet that when the conductor came around collecting tickets, I could see my seat partner exchange a look with the conductor and then nod his head to me.

Just to piss him off, I checked my voicemail twice, during the two hours I spent sitting next to him. I was never going to make a call, but with plenty of reading material in front of me, I wouldn’t have wanted to!

2012 Ticket #indie30

Today is the final prompt of the BootsnAll indie writing project.

Where are you going in 2012?  Why is that place great for indie travelers?  

Somewhere cool.

Stay tuned.

Budget #indie30

Budget is the 18th prompt of the BootsnAll indie writing project.

Every traveler has a budget; for some it just might be higher of lower than for others What’s your style? What do you spend very little on and what are you always willing to pay more for?

I’m willing to splurge on experiences. After all, what’s the point of being somewhere if you can’t take it all in?

Sleep = bed and breakfasts keep the cost low, and get you more immersed in the local life.

Food = eating in markets, or restaurants that locals frequent are usually much cheaper, and better, than tourist places, or places with menus in many languages, or in key tourist locations.

Experiences = and well worth the splurges.

Embracing change #indie30

Here’s another prompt from BootsnAll 30 day indie travel project. This writing prompt is embracing change.

Sometimes you don’t want to. Sometimes you have no choice but to. I have written this quote before and I will write it again.

“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” – Clifton Fadiman

Meet Plan Go

Meet Plan Go is leading the career break movement in North America. On October 18th, hundreds of people, including myself, attended the second annual nationwide Meet Plan Go event.

Meet Plan Go’s co-founders, Michaela Potter, Sherry Ott and Michael Bontempi, organized an event that was held the evening of October 18th in 17 cities across North America – from New York to Toronto to St. Louis to Honolulu! Events in each city featured a local host, a panel of veteran career breakers and crowds of people filled with wanderlust.

If you have been reading my blog for some time, you may recall previous posts from my experience at the Meet Plan Go local NYC meet up here and also here.

What are your thoughts on taking a break from your career to travel?

Do you think it’s ‘crazy?’

— It’s not. There is a whole community of long-term travelers who are doing it, who have done it and who are contemplating it.

Are you thinking it’s got to cost a lot of money?

— The cost of living in North America is among the highest in the world. For example: the price of my usual lunch (a sandwich) here in NYC is equivalent to a day’s (or two or three) worth of food elsewhere in the world.

Or do you think, now is not the time?

— There will never be a right time. Life is short.

And for those of you who think you can’t do it because you have young children…

— Many people have taken their kids along for the ride. Including my friend Rainer, his wife and two boys who visited 28 countries in one year.

Sherry recently addressed career break travel myths with CNN. It’s good reading for those of you who may think it’s ‘crazy.’

If you are interested in learning more, Meet Plan Go is committed to continuing the momentum online through Facebook and the #MeetPlanGo hashtag on Twitter. Check it out.

City Mouse or Country Mouse?

Just because I have been to Paris does not mean I have seen France. It would be like a foreigner coming to New York City and telling people he has seen the United States.

Large cities only give a taste of the local culture. I think travelers may (I said may, as this post might spark some debate!) get more out of small or even rural towns that may not even have a name, to really get a sense of a place.

Of course in a city there are more opportunities to take advantage of cultural opportunities (museums, theatre and the like), but in my experience, the people you are interacting with, came from somewhere else! And that ‘somewhere else’ is what I like to explore most on my travels.

Being that I spend a good deal of time in NYC in my ‘normal’ life, I like to get outside of cities when I travel and/or vacation.

Comment below. Are you a city mouse or a country mouse when you travel?

Great medical care in unexpected places

One of my fears about traveling is getting sick and just wanting to be home.

After reading this story from Legal Nomads and being surprised with the level of care found in Siberia, it’s good to remember that Western medicine may not be the be all end all, and to have an open mind about medical care while on the road.