Remember my post discussing my suburban Chicago food favorites from a few months ago? Well, Nadeen over at The Sophisticated Life, a premier travel, wine and lifestyle blog, took note and asked me to narrow my choices down to my 5 top Chicago food picks. Check out the whole post to see my featured faves list. And thanks to The Sophisticated Life for the feature! Eat up!
The idea of solo travel can be scary. Especially if the travel is for pleasure, not business, where your time will be occupied with work-related events and meetings. The idea of leaving it all behind—traversing the globe all by your lonesome—can be frightening for
It certainly was for me. But after I got tired of waiting for others to get on board with my travel desires, I was forced to pull the trigger or give up. I chose to pull the trigger, and it was one of the best decisions I have made in a long time. I had such a memorable experience that I would definitely do it again in the future.
And you can have the same thing. But before you embark on that journey, there are some considerations to take to ensure an unforgettable trip. Below are my reflections, having just taken my first solo trip, for newbies and experienced travelers alike, on how to have an amazing solo excursion.
Sometimes we just can’t get away. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take a moment—a weekend or even a week—to take some time to ourselves.
Enter the “Staycation.” But what exactly is a staycation? My idea of a staycation is a mini getaway, either in your hometown or somewhere within a quick drive of home. The purpose: to have a vacation in your hometown and feel like you are getting away while kind of “staying” put.
So if you aim to get some rest and relaxation and rejuvenate yourself, check out these 5 tips that make for a successful staycation.
“Never did the world make a queen of a girl who hides in houses and dreams without traveling.
~Roman Payne, The Wandress
I would love to say that my first foray into solo international travel was based on some grandiose plan, some well thought out quest to see the world. But really, it was because I was simply tired of waiting.
Sure, in my Goals post that I wrote earlier this year, I laid out the fact that I wanted to take a solo, international, pleasure trip. But when I wrote that, I wasn’t sure I was ready to do it so soon. But I made a goal for myself—along with the goal to see one new state and one new country every year—and I wanted to stick to it. And all of my friends had reasons—some valid, some not so much—about why they couldn’t travel with me internationally this year, even though I had been trying to orchestrate a trip for well over a year. I had finally reached my ‘put-up-or-shut-up’ point with myself. So I pulled the trigger and booked something on my own.
I can’t believe I waited so long.
Initially, I had chosen Turks and Caicos as my destination. But after a series of unfortunate events, I ended up with a solo ticket to Panama.
And. It. Was. Awesome.
“No tengo Instagram. Mi memoria fotographica. / I don’t have Instagram. My memory is photographic.”
I had one request: To try some great, authentic food in Panama City. That simple request turned into an expansive walking tour of Panama City, complete with views, history, photo ops, rooftop bars and street art.
To be fair, we did hop a $3 cab because a restaurant I wanted to try was closing. And we also took a 3-stop, 35-cent subway ride. Yes, the subways of Panama, which are only about a year old and cleaner than most streets, were only 35 cents per person. Score.
“Panama’s a really wonderful country. There’s obviously the Panama Canal, which brings a lot of tourism, and a huge American influence; it’s just a mix of so many great things: African, Caribbean, Latin American Spanish, all kinds of influences there.”
~J August Richards
I will admit, when I booked my trip to Panama, I didn’t know much about the country. The booking was caused by a change of plans, and the location was chosen on a bit of a whim. I knew, quite obviously, that a huge draw was the Panama Canal, that Panama City had supposedly become very metropolitan, and I knew I enjoyed neighboring Costa Rica. That was all I had when I booked.
So I decided a couple of weeks before leaving that I should perhaps look into this country I had just committed myself to visiting. A friend from a travel group I am in had a contact who lived there and put me in touch with him. And when I did some basic research, I realized that this country had some amazing cultural aspects that I wanted to explore. Another traveler from the travel group said she was going the same time I was, so we decided to explore together the country together.
“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”
Been hankering to eat your way across the country on a coast-to-coast road trip but don’t have the time? Thrillist has the solution for you.
Whenever I visit a new location, I try to experience the local food delicacies. I want to enjoy the foodie spots and items that a local experiences. Well, Thrillist had the same idea. So this weekend it hosted the “Culinary Roadtrip,” which was a smattering of local delicacies at Siren Studios in Hollywood.
All of the delicious food and none of the driving? Let’s dig in.
“A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun. Enjoy the trip.”
As another year comes and goes, I am taking some time to reflect on the past year. I wanted to assess all of the things I have learned, in my travels and in my life. I will admit, I didn’t even have time to reflect (or even realize my birthday was imminent) until the week of my bday. Life has been so hectic lately…
Nonetheless, this is what I came up with.
“I think fearless is having fears but jumping anyway.”
On my latest trip home, I decided to do something a little different. Wherever I go home, I see family, shop, and have great food and great drinks. I will sometimes, depending on weather and schedule, make it into the city proper, but usually to meet up with someone or enjoy a good meal.
It has been forever since I did some of the quintessential Chicago things that people coBut I don’t know how I feel about a 45 min cab ride by myself me from far an wide to partake in. It has been forever since I was a tourist in my hometown.
“The great thing about Dallas is there’s no paparazzi.”
When I first went to Dallas, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know much about the city, other than the fact that it was in Texas and was apparently a fashion location. Oh, and barbeque and Tex-Mex, of course.
Word on the street is that Dallas is quickly becoming an unexpected fashion location, with various top designers deciding to come to Dallas as their first stop in the U.S. So I was curious to observe the city, and the state, since it was my first time in Texas.