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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

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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

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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

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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,

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Liebster Blog Award

How exciting!  I’ve been nominated by brilliant bloggers, Nat and Stu over at  Where’s My Passport for the “Liebster Blog Award”.  I’ve been blogging now for a few years, but have really become passionate about it over the past year.  So to even be nominated is a great honor, so thanks guys!  Keep up the awesome!

The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers to give them more exposure and klout in the blogging community.  Not to mention the readership!  On top of that, it gives readers new and old a glimpse into the life of the person behind the blog.

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So, without further adieu, here’s 11 random facts about me!

1.)    I started playing the piano at 4.  The first song I learned was “House of the Rising Sun” closely followed by “Hey Jude”.
2.)    I started playing the violin when I was 7.
3.)    I’m super awesome at climbing trees.
4.)    I am a huge fan of all things zombie related.  In fact, I’ll be participating in the Zombie Run Race in Philadelphia April 7Email me if you are going to be in town and want to be on my team (Team Bite Me).
5.)    F. Scott Fitzgerald is my favorite author of all time.
6.)    I am a history nerd and mostly enjoy stories of our founding fathers, especially those of Ben Franklin.
7.)    My favorite thing to order at a diner is “two eggs any style” – I like them over easy.
8.)    I like to bake with beer.
9.)    I am the master of biking in heels.
10.) My motto:  “Write drunk, edit sober” – Ernest Hemmingway
11.) I have a huge celebrity crush on Adrian Brody.

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And here are my answers to Nat and Stu’s questions:

1.) What’s the strangest thing that’s happened to you on your travels?
The strangest thing that has ever happened to me on my travels has to be celebrating Karneval in Mainz, Germany.  I’ve never seen an entire city shut down so that chaos could take over the streets.  We danced, drank, completely trashed the streets and some German guy dressed as a sailor tried to lick my face.  Much merriment was made.

2.) What item could you not travel without?
I can’t go anywhere without my camera – gotta preserve them memories, yo.

3.) When you’re not travelling, what do you spend most of your free time doing?
I spend my days exploring all of the hidden gems in Philadelphia.  I enjoy contributing articles about Philadelphia to publications to try and encourage tourists to visit America’s birthplace.

4.) What’s the one place you’d tell people to visit and why?
I always tell people to go to Edinburgh, Scotland at least once in their lives.  It is certainly a city with a lot of character.  There’s a story and a legend on almost every corner, the architecture is fariytale-like and the fact that the royal family often goes there to hang out makes Edinburgh a very place.  It’ll certainly spark your imagination!

5.) What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever done?
I recently went to Austin, Texas on a whim.  With almost no plans, my good friend and I just drifted through the city, stumbling upon wonderful adventures – one of my favorite moments of that trip was playing Chicken Shit Bingo; a game that takes place in a tiny bar and everyone bets on what number a chicken is going to poop on.

6.) What’s your biggest achievement?
Honestly, I’m most proud of the fact that at such a young age, I can fund my vagrant lifestyle using a myriad of tricks and trades I’ve learned over the years.

7.) If you were stuck on a desert island, what 5 music tracks would you have?
1.) “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore

2.) “Despite What You’ve Been Told” by Two Gallants

3.) “Late July” by Shakey Graves

4.) “DIY Orgasm” by Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains

5.) “Anna’s Sun” by Walk the Moon

8.) They say a picture says a thousand words, what one photo means the most to you and why?

These are my two very good friends, Gregor and Taylor.  This was taken outside of our dorms in Heidelberg, Germany.  All I did was put the camera on my shoulder to take a picture of what was happening behind me.  At the moment I took the photo, they both made this face.  Something disgusting happened somewhere and to this day I still have no idea what it was.  I could only imagine!

9.) How do you cope with missing home when you’re travelling?
Whenever I begin feeling homesick, I start connecting with people from home.  I’ll write postcards, write emails and Skype with family and friends.  Honestly, it’s never the place I long for, it’s the people I miss.

10.) What’s your biggest fear?
Vomit – seeing it and watching someone during the act scares me worse than anything else in this world.

11.) Who’s your biggest inspiration?
Ben Franklin is my hero.  He was an inventor, a politician, a writer, a philosopher – and he was one bad ass rebel.

So here are the 11 folks that I nominate!

Jessica of The Life Outside
Lindsay Young of This is How I Travel
Amanda (Fellow Philadelphian) of Amanda Elsewhere
Sammy of Sammy’s Generic Travel Blog
Elaine of Runaway Brit
Ayngelina of Bacon is Magic
Sarah of Sarah Somewhere
Dan and Linda of As We Saw It
Simon of Man Vs World
Jack and Jill of Jack and Jill Travel
Natalie of Near Afar

And here are the questions that I have for you!

1.) What inspired you to start traveling?
2.) What is your favorite destination so far and why?
3.) Where you’ve had your favorite meal?
4.) What’s your favorite travel memory.
5.) Share with us your favorite photo and a little bit of detail about the photo.
6.) What are some words you live by (quotes, your motto, a mantra)?
7.) Why did you start a travel blog?
8.) Do you have a favorite place in the airport to hang out before a flight?
9.) When you fly, what do you like to do to keep you occupied?
10.) What’s the strangest thing a local has every told you about their city?
11.) When it comes to travel blogging, what do you find is your biggest obstacle?

These are the rules for the nominated bloggers:

  • Link back to the blogger that nominated you
  • Write 11 random facts about yourself
  • Answer 11 questions from the blogger that nominated you
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers
  • Ask them 11 new questions

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