Feature Friday | Natasha from The World Pursuit

Feature Friday with Future Friends

I strongly believe that people who love to travel are the best kind of people. This series will introduce you to some of the amazing women travelers with whom I have been fortune enough to connect. Women travelers who are overcoming adversity and crushing societal norms are a huge source of inspiration for me and I believe their stories will inspire you as well.

Tell us about yourself. Who are you? Where are you based? When and how did you start traveling?

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Hi! I’m Natasha, I’m one half of the website The World Pursuit. I’m an only child from the Midwestern United States. Growing up my family did a lot of domestic travel, but my first international trip was when I studied abroad in Australia for 6 months. Studying abroad opened my eyes to a new world, and I met so many people from all around the globe – I knew I couldn’t stop traveling.

I guess you could say I’m homeless. I don’t have a base as I am currently traveling indefinitely. However, at this very moment I am sitting in a hostel in Sorrento, Italy.

What is the hardest thing you have experienced while traveling? What did you learn from this experience?

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I backpacked solo for 8 months with a boyfriend back home. He met me off and on for about 3 of those months to travel with me, but the other 5 months were very tough for the relationship. There were many lonely days for both parties, and then other days when I would meet a huge group of other travelers and feel bad. Fortunately, we stuck through all this, moved to New York City together, and now we travel long-term together. If someone loves you, they won’t stop you from living your dreams.

What is the most unique meal or dish you have eaten in a foreign country? What made it so special?

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I’d really like to believe that I’m an adventurous eater, but the plain simple fact is I’m just not. If something doesn’t look good to me, I won’t be tasting it. I didn’t particularly love a lot of the street food in Hong Kong, but I did decide to try frog legs, and won’t be having it again. I didn’t know there would be so many little bones to dig out. What made it so memorable was the owner telling my friend and I that we should be okay with high prices in the city since we were from the US and Australia. That didn’t change the fact that we are on a budget!

Have you ever traveled solo? If so, what was the best part of the experience? If you haven’t, why not?

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I have traveled solo quite a bit through Europe, Asia, and parts of The Middle East. I cannot recommend solo travel enough, and believe it is something that every woman should do at least once in their lifetime. I love being able to do whatever I want, whenever I want and not abide to anyone else’s schedule. You also meet a crazy amount of people when you go solo, so you are never truly “alone” for that long.

In your opinion, what is the biggest misconception that most people have about travelers?

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That long-term travel is a giant vacation. Many people ask me how I can afford to travel, but I actually spend less traveling per month than my rent in our old NYC apartment. I think many tend to believe that travel is nothing but nice hotels, steak dinners, and taxi cabs. While in fact, I meet most other travelers in hostels right before we take public transport to the cheapest grocery store.

If you could give one piece of advice, about anything, to a large group of people, what would it be?

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The Golden Rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated. I know that sometimes local people get annoyed with travelers and can be rude, but I’m sure they would not like to be treated that way if they went to a different country. This also goes vice versa. Be kind to foreigners, you never know when you are traveling next!

Make sure you follow Natasha on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest to stay updated on her journeys!

Be sure to check in every Friday to meet other awesome women travel bloggers and future friends! If you follow a female travel blogger that you love, please send suggestions my way so that I can reach out to her! If you are interested in being featured yourself, please shoot me an email: [email protected]

Happy Travels,

B

 

3 Best Local Brunch Spots in Seattle

Hipsters love brunch. It is a simple fact of life that the flannel-clad masses will line up around the block to spend $40 on eggs every weekend. Local bars and restaurants have responded in overwhelming numbers delivering high-quality menus composed of smoked salmon benedicts and fully loaded bloodies. If you, like me, enjoy nursing your hangover with a couple of cocktails surrounded by a group of  twenty of your closest friends, brunch in Seattle needs to be a part of your next trip to the city. Don’t worry, Seattle is no New York. We don’t expect you to be dressed to the nines, and showing up in sweatpants and a beanie is completely fine at all the places on this list. Judgement goes out the window when you are stuffing your face with greasy chicken and syrup smothered waffles. Those uptight New Yorker’s are doing it wrong, in my opinion.

The biggest drawback to the Seattle Brunch Culture is that the sheer number of options is overwhelming. It feels as though every restaurant in town has come out with a brunch offering to keep up with the Joneses. How then does one choose where to eat? Locals definitely have an advantage here because we can try out two new brunch spots every weekend. However, if you only have a couple of days in town and are looking to fill up on overpriced delicacies or drown your shame in mimosas, you need to be much more strategic with your choices. To assist with the decision-making process, I have curated a list of the best local brunch spots in Seattle.

Americana

Address: 219 Broadway E, Seattle, WA 98102
Hours:
9AM to 10PM on Weekends

Cuc-Berry Martini – muddled cucumber and strawberry with vodka and a mint syrup

A photo posted by @americanaseattle on

Americana is listed at the top because it is the number one place I bring out-of-town guests. It is located in the center of everything, on Broadway in Capitol Hill. I want to preface this next statement by saying that I am not a sweet breakfast person. I don’t eat waffles, pancakes, french toast…ever. Unless I go to Americana. Their french toast is OUT OF THIS WORLD. I am a pretty harsh food critic and compliments like this are hard to come by. I kid you not, every single time I have been to this restaurant, I get a side of the french toast topped with whatever rotating fruit compote comes with it that day. Sometimes I dream about it. It’s that good.

Smith

Address: 332 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112

Sunday brunch ☕️🍳

A photo posted by Smith (@smithseattle) on

Smith was my first brunch love. When I moved to the city, I was on the prowl for a spot that I could call my own. Somewhere that I felt safe, at home, and where I could eat my feelings in peace. Smith quickly became that place for me. The staff are awesome, the food is consistently high quality with a rotating seasoning menu, and the atmosphere can’t be beat. It is located in a more residential part of Capitol Hill, away from the hustle and bustle of Broadway which makes the experience feel a bit more intimate. The decor throws people off sometimes, but I personally feel that it adds to the charm.

Capitol Cider

Address: 818 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122
Hours:
10AM to 2AM on Weekends

Weekend = brunch! #Glutenfree #brunch even! Photo by @macleanshaun (gorgeous, thanks!)

A photo posted by @capitolcider on


This is the most underrated brunch spot I have ever been to. In layman’s terms, that means NO LINES. This place is on Broadway too, and there are STILL NO LINES. Every time I have been here, I have had the same server, sat in the same booth and been one of only a handful of customers. I am slowly working my way through their menu, and there has not been one item I haven’t liked so far. My personal favorite is the goat cheese and mushroom scramble. I distinctly remember my eyes rolling into the back of my head after the first bite. Enjoy.

So you may be wondering, why are all the places I listed are on Capitol Hill. Where is the variety? Well, that is an excellent question. First of all, I don’t have a car so going to restaurants in other neighborhoods costs me an arm and a leg. Second, I figure that because the rent on Capitol Hill is insanely expensive, the restaurants that exist there have to be pretty damn good. That theory hasn’t been proven wrong yet. So if you are in or around the Hill on a Saturday or Sunday and you get a craving for Hollandaise sauce, check out one of these places. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

What are your favorite brunch spots in Seattle? Did one of your favorites make the list? Is there a new or unique place that just opened? I want to hear all about it in the comments below!

Happy Travels,

B

 

**These opinions are my own and are in no way affiliated with the respective restaurants. My visits were not sponsored.

 

Feature Friday | Sarah from Paper, Ink, and Passports

Feature Friday with Future Friends

I strongly believe that people who love to travel are the best kind of people. This series will introduce you to some of the amazing women travelers with whom I have been fortune enough to connect. Women travelers who are overcoming adversity and crushing societal norms are a huge source of inspiration for me and I believe their stories will inspire you as well.

Tell us about yourself. Who are you? Where are you based? When and how did you start traveling?

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My name is Sarah. I’m a 30-year old traveler currently in New Zealand on a working holiday visa. I grew up in the States, the oldest of three and the only one with any interest in traveling. My childhood was spent in suburban Kansas, as far from the ocean as one can get. We traveled through most of my childhood, a couple of times to Europe to see family/explore, and a three week trip to New Zealand when I was 9. I began traveling solo in college – some study abroad trips that segued into backpacking trips – and, when I was 21, moved to Scotland for a Masters degree.  After that, I returned to the States for four years. Those four years were depressing and hard for me; I met someone, but I believe (now) that we were never truly happy with each other. I applied to graduate school for architecture, but while on a ten-day trip to Ireland, I realized I didn’t want to be an architect. I deferred, but a year later when they called me to ask if I still wanted my place, I said no. I was not just unhappy: I was struggling with severe anxiety and depression. My relationship was crumbling, but I did not end it. In 2012, I took two trips: one to Istanbul, to attend a friend’s wedding, and to Alaska with my family; sans boyfriend, both of them. It was here that I saw what would make me truly happy. I began working for an expedition cruise ship that took me along the Pacific Coast from Alaska to Panama. I also took the opportunity to travel to the Arctic on another ship during a vacation. My time off was mine alone – a month to go wherever I wanted. I came back to New Zealand for three weeks, I went to Scotland twice. And then, when it looked like I was getting burnt out from my job, I quit. I came to NZ four months later.

What is the hardest thing you have experienced while traveling? What did you learn from this experience?

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It can be very hard to be a solo traveler. By this, I mean lonely, depressing, and scary. You don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off of, you ride buses alone, fly alone, hike alone, eat alone, explore alone. I am an extroverted-introvert, so I do enjoy being alone, but there are times (New Year’s Eve, weekend nights, long hikes) where I just wish I had a travel companion. I am constantly finding new ways to keep myself occupied when I am traveling – I browse used bookstores, I find new cafes, I take short hikes around the water, etc. I use Facebook and Tinder to meet new people to hang out with, but many of these people are travel companion flings, joining me for a hike or a kayak, only to move on the next day. Another one is getting set up in a new country: learning a new system, a new bank account, new grocery stores. So many people tell me I’m brave for doing this. It’s taught me that I’m stronger than I think – being able to go this alone.

What is the most unique meal or dish you have eaten in a foreign country? What made it so special?

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Some of the coolest meals are the ones that you make yourself. A few weeks ago, I joined a former coworker on his sailboat near the Bay of Islands. We had two others with us and we caught snapper and lobster one night; catching them and subsequently eating them was pretty special. Other meals include the ones that happen spontaneously with friends or fellow travelers. The image is from my last night in Lucerne with two of my best friends. They had never met before – one is a good friend from undergrad and the other is a good friend from grad school. We convened in Jon’s flat in Lucerne for a few days, and at the end of it, Jon wanted to make us traditional Swiss fondue. I remember having so much fun sitting there, laughing over stories from the last ten years with both of them. I particularly like the dinners that evolve into late nights of wine and laughter, without the craziness of a night out.

Have you ever traveled solo? If so, what was the best part of the experience? If you haven’t, why not?

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I usually travel solo; I’m single and my friends have jobs/families that don’t allow them to travel. Quite honestly, at times, I think no one wants to travel with me! As someone who is living off savings and writing freelance to make money, I can work anywhere in the world. Like I said above, the hardest part of traveling solo is the crushing emptiness at times. But the most rewarding part is conquering a fear. I skydived last year; I also climbed a mountain by myself. In June, I took a cruise by myself because no one else could go. One thing I enjoy about solo travel (sometimes) is not adhering to anyone else’s schedule or plans. I can do what I want, when I want.

In your opinion, what is the biggest misconception that most people have about travelers?

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That we are slackers. I came across this a lot in my last job (working on the expedition cruise ship.) Some people assume that backpackers/full-time travelers are dropouts, lazy, not wanting to work hard to live. But in reality, most backpackers I know work harder than anyone. I’ve met some that are taking time off work to travel for four months before returning to a well-paying job at home; others are trying to make it on the road, working remotely or making money as they go from place to place. Others own their own business (and work remotely.) I have met very few (but some) slack packers – people who think that being on the road will solve their problems.

Personally, I am trying to make it as a freelance writer/travel curator. I’ve got a business “plan” and I have other things in the works. I spend several hours each day writing and working, and when I do take time “off” it’s to have experiences that I can write about.

If you could give one piece of advice, about anything, to a large group of people, what would it be?

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Get out of your comfort zone. This can be as simple as walking around an unfamiliar city without a map or guide book, or as adrenaline-rushing as bungy-jumping. Take adventures as they come and don’t be afraid to say yes to something that initially sounds crazy.

Make sure you follow Sarah on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to stay up to date on her adventures.

Be sure to check in every Friday to meet other awesome women travel bloggers and future friends! If you follow a female travel blogger that you love, please send suggestions my way so that I can reach out to her! If you are interested in being featured yourself, please shoot me an email: [email protected]

Happy Travels,

B

 

Feature Friday | Michelle from Sonderbarmii

Feature Friday with Future Friends

I strongly believe that people who love to travel are the best kind of people. This series will introduce you to some of the amazing women travelers with whom I have been fortune enough to connect. Women travelers who are overcoming adversity and crushing societal norms are a huge source of inspiration for me and I believe their stories will inspire you as well.

Tell us about yourself. Who are you? Where are you based? When and how did you start traveling?

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I’m Michelle, creator of Sonderbarmii, a 31-year-old legal secretary and based in Hamburg, Germany. I’m half-Indonesian and half-German, that’s why my family traveled quite often to Indonesia when we were children. I’ve always loved the atmosphere at the airports, buzzing with so many people and languages. I think, that’s when I started to love traveling because I got to see so many, new and exciting things!

What is the hardest thing you have experienced while traveling? What did you learn from this experience?

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I think, the hardest thing for me was to be separated from my family, especially my brothers. We are quite close and I missed them terribly when I went abroad to study in Japan. On the other hand, I learned to be more independent and to trust in myself and my own abilities to survive in a completely foreign country by myself.

What is the most unique meal or dish you have eaten in a foreign country? What made it so special?

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Raw horse meat. We have horse sausage in Germany and I don’t like it very much, so I was very surprised to find it raw on a plate in an Okinawan restaurant as a specialty. I didn’t think I would like it but surprisingly I did!

I guess growing up with an Indonesian heritage, I am less disinclined to try out weird foods. I’ve encountered quite a number of weird meals during my travels, including jellyfish, sea urchin (not a favorite!), crocodile or ostrich meats. I have tried a lot but can’t say I liked everything.

Have you ever traveled solo? If so, what was the best part of the experience? If you haven’t, why not?

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I went to Japan by myself and found out that I actually loved traveling by myself. I don’t have to compromise with anyone else, I can go everywhere at my own pace and traveling solo means you are more open to meeting new people. If you haven’t tried traveling solo, you should do it. I think you will learn a lot about yourself because you will be forced to keep yourself company.

Even though I’ve been in a serious relationship for a few years now and we travel a lot together, I still like to go away by myself for a long weekend. It’s my version of getting some ‘Me-Time’, I guess.

In your opinion, what is the biggest misconception that most people have about travelers?

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I think the biggest misconception is that many people think you have to be very rich to travel. I have a 40 hour work week and still manage to go traveling, most of the times with my boyfriend and sometimes by myself (I just can’t give up solo traveling for good and why should I?). My colleagues all think I must be super rich to be able to afford that, when in reality I look for the cheapest airplane fares and mostly use airbnb to find a cheap accommodation. It’s not that hard!

I’ve stayed in airbnb apartments in London, Paris, Valencia, Milan, San Francisco, LA and Tokyo and I’ve always had good to very good experiences. The places were clean, the hosts friendly and easy to communicate with, always ready with a tip for restaurants or sights to see and I get to have my own space. Usually these apartments were cheaper than hostels/hotels, too.

If you could give one piece of advice, about anything, to a large group of people, what would it be?

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Let me say it with one of my favorite travel quotes:
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

Make sure you follow Michelle on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date on her journeys!

Be sure to check in every Friday to meet other awesome women travel bloggers and future friends! If you follow a female travel blogger that you love, please send suggestions my way so that I can reach out to her! If you are interested in being featured yourself, please shoot me an email: [email protected]

Happy Travels,

B

 

Are Inspirational Travel Quotes Really Inspirational?

As an overly emotional 25-year-old female, I love quotes that touch on the human experience. I mean, take one look at my Instagram, and you can instantly see that I am a bumbling mess of emotions. Quotes put into words what I am feeling but can’t verbalize, and they have helped me through some of life’s toughest moments. As a self-diagnosed travel addict, inspirational travel quotes were something I wanted to love. After being bit by the travel bug, I dove head first into Pinterest, Goodreads, and BrainyQuotes trying to find the best words to explain my undying wanderlust to those around me. What I found were a bunch of old, clichéd sayings that have been floating around the interwebs since the dawn of cyberspace. They were uninspired, overused and some had lost their meaning entirely. You can imagine my disappointment.

“Not all those who wander are lost.”

“The world is a book and those who don’t travel read only a page.”

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”

Shoot me now. Sure, all those things are true, and they were probably super inspirational and innovative when their respective creators first said them. However, if I read one more anecdote about people throwing caution to the wind and running away while crediting these quotes with giving them the inspiration to pull the trigger, I am going to scream. Why is it that the production of travel quotes seemed to end in the 1900’s? Why does it seem like Mark Twain was the last person to write anything about traveling that struck an emotional chord with anyone? He died in 1910 people! Of course I realize that there have been great writers since Twain. I am looking at you Bill Bryson, Jack Kerouac, Paul Theroux, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Cheryl Strayed. The problem is that quotes created more recently have not had enough time to permeate the internet. They have not spread to every corner of the world and they have not touched as many lives. Thus, travelers everywhere continue to reuse and abuse the travel quotes of yesteryear.

To be completely honest, I am just sick of reading the same words over and over again. Thus, I have decided to take control of the situation, because bitching about it isn’t going to change anything, obviously. I am determined to highlight a new class of inspirational travel quotes; quotes that will resonate with travelers on a whole new level. I want to inspire others by making them realize that people today are still writing about the adventures of their dreams and the words they are seeking are out there, just waiting to be found.

Truly Inspirational Travel Quotes

She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city.”― Roman Payne

“Cities were always like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler. Depending on the city and on the traveler, there might begin a mutual love, or dislike, friendship, or enmity. Where one city will rise a certain individual to glory, it will destroy another who is not suited to its personality. Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected.”― Roman Payne

“It does not matter how many times you leave, it will always hurt to come back and remember what you once had and who you once were. Then it will hurt just as much to leave again, and so it goes over and over again. Once you’ve started to leave, you will run your whole life.” Charlotte Eriksson

“There is something about arriving in new cities, wandering empty streets with no destination. I will never lose the love for arriving, but I was born to leave.”― Charlotte Eriksson

“Trust me, it’s paradise. This is where the hungry come to feed. For mine is the generation that travels the globe and searches for something we haven’t tried before. So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite & never out stay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience— And if it hurts, you know what? It’s probably worth it.”― Alex Garland

“I was amazed that what I needed to survive could be carried on my back. And, most surprising of all, that I could carry it.”― Cheryl Strayed

“But that’s the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don’t want to know what people are talking about. I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.”― Bill Bryson

“The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving. I didn’t want to destroy anything or anybody. I just wanted to slip quietly out the back door, without causing any fuss or consequences, and then not stop running until I reached Greenland.”― Elizabeth Gilbert

And my last piece of advice…

“I’d like to repeat the advice that I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.

If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. (…)I guarantee you will be very glad you did. But I fear that you will ignore my advice. (…) 

Don’t settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience.

You are wrong if you think joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. (…) It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living.

My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.” ― Jon Krakauer

Happy Travels,
B

inspirational travel quotes