What to Do When Your Travel Companion is A Dud.

We've all heard the stories, traveling with a friend will either make your friendship, or destroy it altogether. You've ignored the warnings & gone on an international trip with a friend... who turns out to be a complete nightmare. So, what do you do?

I've unfortunately had a bit of experience in this arena. From a life changing trip to France as a teenager, where my trip buddy only wanted to shop (seriously, she wanted to skip the Louvre!) to my recent excursion to Mexico City with a former friend who did absolutely zero research about the place (she thought CDMX had a beach... it's landlocked) I've dealt with all kinds of bad travel buddies & still managed to have an amazing time!

Without further ado, my five tips for how to salvage a trip when your travel buddy is crap.

1: Stick to your guns.
What are the sights you want to see? Make sure you hit those babies. Don't compromise on the things you want to do just because your buddy is too lazy to walk 10…

Mexico City Roundup!

You've probably surmised from this, this, & this post that I had an amazing time in Mexico City. It's a destination I highly recommend, especially for Americans who are interested in dipping their toe in international travel. Mexico City is a relatively easy distance from much of the United States, is super affordable, & very explore-able making it ideal for those who might be a little wary of a bigger trip. But it's not just for the travel shy! CDMX is a beautiful, vivacious city anyone can have a great time visiting.

So, to help you plan your Mexico City adventure I've got all the tips!

Getting around.
The subway is amazing in Mexico City. Very affordable (roughly a US dollar) & it goes just about everywhere. A word of warning: it is extremely crowded, especially during rush hour, so be ready to get to know your fellow passengers very well. Yes, Mexico City does have a reputation for pickpockets, so keep your eyes on your bag at all times, don't carry …

248 Steps to the Top: Teotihuacan (Mexico City part 3)

My first vague inclinations toward Mexico City were because of its artistic heritage: I wanted to see the streets Frida Kahlo walked down. But then I learned about Teotihuacan, & I absolutely had to go.

This place is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. To call it stunning is a major understatement, but no other word seems to apply. It is magical. Haunting. Tragic. Beautiful. Teotihuacan defies explanation, but I'll give it my best shot.

Just a short bus ride north of Mexico City is the Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan (pronounced, I believe, teo-tea-wah-ken). At its most populous & prosperous it was the largest city of pre-Colombian America, a focal point for ancient life, & a major exporter of fine obsidian which was revered throughout the Mesoamerican empire. So densely populated multi-level apartment compounds were built within the city to house residents. I have never imagined an ancient city with apartment complexes, but Teotihuacan had them. Besides i…

Mary & Me: Mexico City Part 2

If you're making a trek to Mexico City you're going to see a lot of Mexico's patron saint, Our Lady of Guadalupe. She is literally everywhere you look. On the sides of buildings, on shopping bags, in small altars hanging from low roofs, in massive churches, on tee-shirts, & adorning bumper stickers. You can't go more than 5 feet without seeing her on something

The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the most visited Catholic pilgrimage sites in the world. Why is she such a big deal around here? Well, in 1531 she appeared to a indigenous man named Juan Diego on several occasions beginning 9 December (her official feast day is 12 December, the date of another of her appearances) on the, now infamous, Tepeyac Hill. 

In the 1500's Tepeyac was outside Mexico City, but now it's a northern suburb, & home to one of the most impressive Catholic compounds I think I've ever seen. The Old Basilica, finished in 1709, was a major place of Mexican Cathol…

Tree Town: Wandering Coyoacán & Museo Frida Kahlo (Mexico City Part 1)

If you've been following my instagram, you know I've been in Mexico City recently. I totally fell in love with the place! There is no way to talk about this sprawling metropolis in a single blog post, so I'll be breaking up my Mexico City chronicles into parts. Part one? The reason I've wanted to visit Mexico City for years, Museo Frida Kahlo & the stunning surrounding neighborhood Coyoacán.

Coyoacán is a former independent village & now one of the boroughs of Mexico City. It was used by Cortes as his base of operations during the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs in the area, as the villagers were largely Tepanec & not friendly with the Aztec people. The village was then the capital of New Spain from 1521-1523. Coyoacán was actually completely independent of Mexico City until 1857, when the federal district's sprawl swallowed up the neighbourhood. When, in 1928, Mexico City was divided into boroughs, Coyoacán the district as we see it today was formed. As…

So you wanna do a crazy road trip?

You may have noticed, over the past several weeks, that I am quite the aficionado of epic road trips that lean a little bit toward the crazy & follow routes tending toward the unexplored. I've been a road trip fan since my youth, when my mom & I would set off on adventures around the West Coast. We drove from our home in Portland, Oregon, to the Grand Canyon; Los Angeles; Sedona, AZ; Las Vegas; Vancouver BC; Seattle; New Orleans, LA; & just about everywhere in between. Once we flew to the East Coast & road tripped around Massachusetts & New York from Salem to Utica!

The open road is a friend of mine, & I especially love driving through & to the otherwise forgotten strange side towns no longer on the main highways. Especially in the desert. I love the creepy lost towns of the desert. My mom & I have been to ghost towns & old mines, exploring whatever we could find close-ish to home. That love of driving has stuck with me to this day.

Now I am a c…

Bright Dead Things: The Lost World of The Salton Sea

I first stumbled upon Salton Sea while en-route to the famous Salvation Mountain, which is relatively nearby. Its weird whitewashed landscape is absolutely covered in the bleached bones of fish & birds, & the salty stench of decay & drainage runoff haunted me for months until I made a second trek out to explore the strange beach of this once thriving resort lake.

Salton Sea is a saline lake in the California desert south of Palm Springs. Surrounded by artificially irrigated farmland, abandoned structures, & a small handful of trailer dwelling locals, Salton Sea was intended to be a destination resort town in the 50's but its popularity waned as the lake increased in salinity & pollution. If you know anything about me by now, you've probably noticed that I am a sucker for the decaying weirdness of once thriving places, & Salton Sea is as weird a wasteland at they come.

The lake itself is what's called an Endorheic Rift Lake, which basically means it&…