A Walk Through Athens Greece

As a hardcore history nerd and amateur cultural anthropologist (yes, I’m only two classes away from having a bachelors in Anthropology), Athens was the perfect opportunity to finally live out my fantasy of exploring and studying ancient cultures and their ruins. It was an honor to have a personal experience with one of the most prolific civilizations that has ever graced this planet.  Think about it!  Without Athens modern democracy wouldn’t exist!  The idea of forums and a government by the people for the people was a concept that arose from the Athenians who, like the goddess Athena for whom


Port of Hamburg: Photo Essay

Sorry Philadelphia, but I’m having a love affair with Hamburg, Germany.  I love its old traditions balanced with a spirit of new ideas, its humble, working class beginnings, and this port city’s seafaring feel.  Where Philadelphia’s shipping history was almost snubbed out because of America’s highway system (in recent years, there’s been a huge push to revitalize it), Hamburg’s is still thriving 826 years later.  Honestly, a life at sea is not complete with a stop at Hamburg Harbor. This past winter, I took a trip back to visit Hamburg and was welcomed by unseasonably beautiful weather.  As a result,

Heini Hiltunen Timo Kaukonen, left, sweats it out at the Sauna World Championships.
From ESPN "Sports from Hell"

That Time I Almost Died in a German Sauna

There are two types of people in this world: there are those who go to saunas for relaxation.  Then there are those who turn relaxation into a competition.  Yes, there are literally people who go to saunas to challenge one another on who can stay in a sauna the longest.  Back in 2010 I read a story about that Russian guy who died in a sauna competition in Finland.  The relaxation aspect of it I can get, but I think it’s a bit crazy that people take it to a whole new level and put their bodies through stress just

dall sheep

Have You Seen the Dall Sheep?

Alaska is teeming with wildlife.  In fact, Denali National Park & Preserve is home to 39 species of mammals, 169 types of birds, 14 fish, and 1 amphibian.  Amongst them are wild bears, moose, coyotes, wolves, eagles, and other creatures worth excitedly wiping out your camera and accidentally dropping it for.  But no animal in Alaska gets the older male tourist population more pumped than the Dall sheep. When compared to the other majestic creatures that you encounter in Alaska, the Dall sheep are simpletons.  You can usually observe them far off in the distance, hanging out on the peaks

Sun Rise

From the Darkness Comes Light

Hey there readers, On A Travel Broad, I tend to focus only on the positive and exciting side of my life and travels.  I share with you pictures from my time living in Germany and stories of my jaunts through Europe and North America in hopes of inspiring you to go out and experience the world for yourselves.  But I hardly ever discuss the difficult times I sometimes face.  Some of these challenging times are by my choice because I love traveling and sharing my travels with you gives me purpose.  In the 5 years since I’ve started this blog,

deutsche bahn

How to Navigate Germany When Deutsche Bahn Train Drivers Go on Strike

If you want to tick off a group of Germans, tell them that the train is going to be fifteen minutes late. But if you tell them that none of the trains will be running due to a strike? Utter chaos! Hundreds of thousands of travelers depend on the Deutsche Bahn to transport them to airports, cities and neighboring countries in Europe. But as Deustche Bahn train drivers prepare to go on strike tomorrow through Monday, these travelers, many of whom will be converging on Berlin this weekend for the 25th anniversary of its fall, are scrambling for an alternative.

roma kids

Playing with Roma Children

Below Acropolis in Athens, Greece, Roma children work as street performers, playing accordions, drums and the bouzouki, a type of Greek guitar, for money.  They purposely target marketplaces and tourist areas, knowing that that’s where the cash flows the fastest.  There are several levels of aggressiveness when it comes to begging.  Some casually perform on the street corner — in fact, the older kids are very talented at playing folk music, turning street corners in to concerts.  Then there are others who go from cafe table to cafe table playing music while simultaneously begging for money. Some get creative by

favorite place in the world

Answer to the Infamous Question, “What’s Your Favorite Place in the World”

“What’s your favorite place in the world?”  It’s often the first question that everyone asks when they learn that I’m a travel writer.  In my younger years, I often answered with a place I had recently gotten back from, mostly for the sake of conversation.  “Oh I was surprised how much I loved Denmark” or “I loved Barcelona for the food”. But the more I travel, the more I realize that there is no definitive answer to this question.  People sometimes expect me to pick a favorite place because of the sites (“isn’t Paris the best because of the Eiffel

York Post

York: England’s Most Haunted Town is Actually Charming

York: England’s most haunted town.  Seems like a bold claim, but when you look at York’s gruesome history of the Black Death, murder, poverty, war, and genocide you can kind of see where these ghost stories come from.  As a result, many businesses in York are cashing in on things that go bump in the night.  Nightly ghost tours take upwards of 75 thrill-seekers at a time to go ghost hunting at famous sites, hotels offer premier rates to stay in their “haunted suite”, and pubs have banners and signs claiming York’s most haunted pub, not because of any quantifiable

cats of athens

The Cats of Athens

People often talk about how many dogs are roaming around Athens, but let’s take a moment to enjoy the cats. With the picturesque views and the natural coyness of cats, I have enough photos to do a 15-month “Kittehs of Athens” Calendar if I wanted to.  Here’s a few of my favorite felines so far.

I Love You, Austin Texas

One chilly day in January, my roommate Nicole DiPonziano and I , were sitting at our usual South Philly coffee shop, chatting about our same old topics including get rich quick schemes, Dragon Ball Z and the dumb things men in Philadelphia do.  We eventually arrived on the topic of future travel plans.  We each had some money saved up after the holidays and were both itching to get out of the city.  Suddenly, a tattooed, leather-clad girl from the table next to us yelled “I LOVE AUSTIN, TEXAS — YOU GUYS SHOULD GO TO AUSTIN!”  She then explained to us of a mystical dreamland where the nights were warm and filled with food truck feasts and live music venues.  Intrigued by her passion about this city, Nicole and I opened up our laptops and purchased our tickets to Austin immediately.

A few short weeks later, we were on our way to Texas.  I, honestly, didn’t know what to expect, but quickly discovered within the first couple of hours what all the fuss was about.  After a night of being treated to drinks and meeting friendly 20-somethings like ourselves, we realized that we had embarked upon what was to be the best vacation ever.

WOAH!  That’s a pretty bold statement coming from a travel writer.  Yes, it is, however, this was the first trip in my three years as a travel writer that was a trip for me.  I didn’t go to visit friends or family, I wasn’t there on business and it wasn’t a press trip.  This was finally a real vacation where I went with only one mission: to enjoy myself.

Here’s some of the highlights from our trip:

The Governor and Protestors at The Capitol

On our first morning, we set off to find the Capitol building.  Upon arriving, there was a small group of protestors outside.  The message was mixed.  People were holding up signs ranging from general complaints to a group of teachers protesting laws that prevented them from carrying guns into schools.  The coolest part, though, was that the governor of Texas was outside talking to the citizens about the issues.  It was refreshing to see a government official talking to the locals about how he was going to represent his state.




Thrift Shopping at South Congress

On the other side of the river that flows through Austin is a quaint area called South Congress.  The streets were lined with unique stores carrying antiques that were very characteristic of Texas and the local culture.  I purchased a pair of antique cowboy boots and an antique belt buckle for my grandfather for his birthday.  He’s a southern gentleman from North Carolina, so these gifts certainly brought back a bit of nostalgia.  Meanwhile, Nicole bought a beautiful southern belle gown along with a handcrafted necklace.  I say that was quite a successful shopping trip.

A Transcendental Walk Along Lady Bird Lake

Many evenings were spent relaxing by the river at the park watching locals play with their dogs, bike, job and canoe along Lady Bird Lake.


Food Truck Feasts

I grade food using three categories; flavor, local tradition and price.  And Austin food trucks are a triple thread in my book.  The trucks were as creatively decorated as the food was unique and flavorful.  Take those aspects and add in a very fair price and you’ve got a budget savvy way to eat your way through Austin.  Food trucks are a quick and easy way to eat local delights.  Everything from Tex Mex to BBQ is served up from food trucks!



Night Life and Live Music

Austin’s claim to fame is being the live music capital of the world.  And when it comes to a night out on the town, locals in Austin know how to have a good time.  Nightlife in Austin is certainly a highlight of the town.  In fact, I feel that this city has more to offer in terms of night life than it does for daytime activities.  I theorized that days in Texas are normally too hot to bare, so everyone just goes out at night.


Austin, Texas is a magical land where the young go to live out their youth and the beer is only $3 but it doesn’t matter because everyone wants to buy you one.


  1. Katie Reply
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