I was sitting in a Dim Sum restaurant in Hong Kong, reveling in some succulent Siu Mai, Har Gow, and Sesame Balls. Surrounded by steam stackers towering all over our table, I reach for my soup and take a nice hearty sip from the bowl. Uh Oh. A huge spill down the front of my white blouse.
I glance around the table and restaurant. No napkins in sight.
Suddenly, a woman across the room who had apparently seen this clumsy blunder, gets up from her table. She gently walks over. As I look up from the piles of Bo Loh Bao I was eyeing, she is standing next to me. Her hand extended, she offers me a pack of tissues. Completely surprised, I grasp the pack from her hand, remove a couple tissues and politely hand it back to her. The woman smiled sweetly and motioned with her hands for me to just keep it. Overwhelmed with gratitude, I profusely thank her and she returns to her full table to enjoy her meal.
There have been countless moments like this throughout my travels. Kindness is the same in every language.
The Eternal Question: Where to Next?
Growing up in the USA, I heard from time to time a lot of fear based remarks about travel.
“You’re going where?!”
“But …. is it safe?”
“Oh, I would never travel there“
I seemed to observe a running theme: people sometimes form some pretty strong opinions about places they’ve never been and people they’ve never met.
The thing is, the vast majority of the world can be traveled to, seen, experienced and connected with safely… as long as you are equipped with the right information, knowledge and travel skills. That’s where I, and thousands upon thousands of other Travel Blogs come into play. We are here to communally provide tips, guides and expertise to help you take that safe, smooth and unforgettable trip.
My style of travel is immersive. When I visit a destination, I want to learn everything I can about the culture. I want to eat the local food. Where do the locals like to go? How do they feel about various topics? What are their traditions?
I learn as much as I can, and then share it with others. That really is the mission of this blog. To share anything I’ve learned from my journeys to help save you time, money and just generally help make travel better for you.
But Who Are You?
Howdy. Hola. Konnichiwa. Bonjour. Ciao. Hallo. Namaste.
I’m Amanda Abbott and I created and run this blog. At any given moment, you can find me amidst planning my next trip, with a packed suitcase by my bedside. I am a native Californian and have lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco and just outside of Las Vegas. I have now traveled across 6 Continents, thousands upon thousands of cities and 37 US States. I’ve learned a couple things along the way. I hope to share these things with both the seasoned explorer and the aspiring traveler.
Wherever I am headed, I’m always interested in staying somewhere unique. I want to find out where all the most delicious food is and what the grooviest adventures are I can partake in. Possibly the best part, though, is learning from local friends about their way of life.
I am also a PADI certified Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver. So, I’ll be sharing some of my diving escapades from time to time as well.
That’s a great starting point for us, I think.
What has Travel Done for Me?
Though many find this surprising, I have always felt like a high functioning misfit my entire life.
Until… I found the travel community.
Despite being social in many circles, I had never felt, well, aligned.
But, then I would take a trip and find myself on a boat on the Amazon river feeling instantly connected with the fellow travelers as we excitedly await our adventure camping in the Rainforest. I felt in tune, listening to our guide, whom, is now a friend of my husband and I tell us what life was like as a kid growing up in the Amazon Jungle.
Or I’d find myself sitting around a table, spinning a lazy susan full of delicious Chinese cuisine in Beijing. Around the table is our guide, William, a Beijing native and local. Two more American solo travelers, from the other side of the country and a lovely Australian couple.
We all just hiked the Great Wall of China and were enjoying a communal meal together at a locals favorite restaurant. William not only taught me how to read the Chinese characters and emojis on an iPhone, but took it upon himself to teach us all a popular Chinese drinking game during lunch. Our lively laughter could likely be heard from the parking lot. We all just enjoyed good conversation and company. I felt so connected.
Travel Creates Friendships Around the World
I still keep in touch with some Spanish friends we met while Camel trekking across the desert in Morocco. They were part of our camping group, and we got to know each other during our journey. My husband and I shared what were to become special memories while sitting on hand woven carpets, staring at the stars, around a campfire near the Sahara Desert.
So much to think about laying across the sand, surrounded by the vastness of the Sahara Desert, staring up at a moonlit sky. I felt fulfilled.
Through travel, I have found purpose, fulfillment, connection & community.
The Travel Blogging Journey
After years and years of travel, and a series of life changing happenings, I decided to pursue my dream and calling of writing full time. The aspiration had always been to write, and it only made sense to write about one of my most profound passions – travel. This led to me pervading the Travel Blogging faction.
By golly, I had finally found my tribe.
As previously nuanced, prior to finding this global network, I had always felt … misaligned. Whether or not I was perceived as such, I always felt like an outsider looking in. As I started to get to know peers also pursuing or actively in this profession, I suddenly felt: seen, understood and could relate.
Turns out, other people exist that think doing the trek to Everest Basecamp in Nepal sounds like a dream excursion. Moreover, there are many more people than I ever imagined that think sailing to Antartica is a dream bucket list vacation.
More and more, ‘experts’ are touting the importance of community and its unquestionable centrality to our human experience. It not only gives us a serious sense of belonging (that I had never felt before), but also can improve our overall happiness and well being.
It’s making such a difference in my life.
I’d love you to join my community on Facebook, where I share new articles frequently!
More About the Purpose of this Blog
Over the years, I found that the best travel advice or tips I would find, that really helped me craft the most wonderful, fulfilling and effective trip itineraries were from… other travelers.
I’m also the gal that all my friends and family come to if they want a stellar restaurant recommendation or advice on something cool to do while they are in a particular destination.
It is my hope that this blog not only provides a source of inspiration for those who might need the extra nudge to get out and see the world, but also be a resource for excellent travel tips, reviews and information.
I hope to get in touch with others who resonate with the travel lifestyle and provide a community space for many to feel included and connected.
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