“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” – Bill Bryson

Hey there!

Hey there!

I'm Ashley. I'm a wine drinker, bookworm, and travel enthusiast. Since college I've au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo for a year, lived in Colorado and Uganda, and walked the Camino de Santiago. Read more on my About Me page.

Latest blog posts

11 Super Unique Things to Do in Baku, Azerbaijan

There is no shortage of interesting things to do in Baku, Azerbaijan - by any measure, it's a fascinating place. Some people like to say that Baku is "the new Dubai". I'm here to tell you it's not. Thankfully, Baku couldn't be the new Dubai - it has too much history....

What Living in the Czech Republic is Really Like

Welcome back to American Expats, a series that shows you what expat life is like in cities around the world. Today we're speaking to Cynthia, an English teacher living in the Czech Republic. Ahead, she talks about quirky Czech fashion, the live-and-let-live Bohemian...

20 Photos That Will Inspire You to Visit Azerbaijan

Have you ever gone somewhere you knew nothing about? That's what Azerbaijan was for me -- the unknown. My friend Matt and I decided to travel there in a 'Why not?', spin-the-globe sort of way. We wanted to go somewhere different. What we found was a former stop on the...

Popular posts

Tieks by Gavrieli: My Favorite Travel Flats

On most of my backpacking trips, I packed only two pairs of shoes: flip flops and running shoes. Which of course meant I had nothing to wear in dressier situations. In Asia I was even turned down at several clubs for not having proper footwear. (Like at the Skybar in...

How to DIY a Budget Yoga Retreat in Bali

One of my goals at 23 was to get in the best shape of my life, and where better to do so than beautiful Bali? But as a budget-conscious backpacker I knew I couldn't afford a $1,500+ packaged yoga retreat- so I devised a plan to do a yoga retreat on a budget. More...

How to Become an Au Pair

One of the most frequent questions readers ask me is, "How did you become an au pair?" So I thought I'd take the time today to finally answer that question, as well as talk about my personal experience working as an au pair in France. What is an au pair? An au pair is...

Travel tips

12 Travel Accessories That Drastically Improve Long-Term Travel

As many of you know, I've spent months, if not years, living out of a backpack. By the end of my year-long RTW trip, I had gotten packing down to a science and could pack and repack in thirty seconds or less (thank you, packing cubes). Which is why I wanted to make a...

How to Plan an Inexpensive but Awesome Trip Abroad

There is a widespread (and erroneous) belief that traveling has to cost a fortune. Let me let you in on a little secret- it doesn't. I have traveled to 35 countries and besides family vacations as a kid, all on a tight budget. With a bit of finagling, you can save...

How to Become Fluent in a Second Language

So you want to learn a second language? Good. In my humble opinion, everyone should learn another language. But let me first say- it's not easy. In fact, it's really hard. But, it's also incredibly satisfying, fun and rewarding. And not to mention useful. What is...

Books I love

8 Wonderful Books to Read in 2018

As much as I love blogging about travel, I also enjoy writing about books. This is in large part due to you guys - whenever I write a post about books, you give the best recommendations. It's how I've found a lot of my recent favorites (see: 97 Orchard and Born to...

Why I Don't Do Reading Challenges

Reading challenges seem to be all the rage these days. The annual PopSugar Reading Challenge is especially popular, which prompts you to read an impressive 40 books in a year. The list ranges widely, from 'a book from a nonhuman perspective' to 'a book involving...

6 Cookbooks that Travelers will Absolutely Love

I like to cook and host dinner parties more than basically anything. And I love to cook food from all over the world - from countries I've lived in (France, Argentina), countries I've visited (Japan), and countries I'm dying to visit (Iran, Korea). So I wanted to put...

Musings

My 7 Favorite Cities in the World

To quote Carrie Bradshaw, I'm what you might call a bonafide city girl. From the time I left home at 18, I've lived in as many cities as possible: Chicago, Buenos Aires, Paris, Denver, Boulder, and Kampala, Uganda. Excitingly, I just moved to a new city -- Ann Arbor,...

Is It Smart to Travel Young? A Follow-up Five Years Later

Five years ago, I (melodramatically) posed the question, “Is it smart to travel young?” At the time, I was 22, working in Paris as an au pair. Though I loved my life in Paris, I feared I had preemptively ruined my career by taking a gap year. I certainly hadn't, but I...

The Real Truth About Dating as an Expat

Throwback to when I lived (and dated) in Paris When I first moved to Uganda, I thrilled at my newfound dating options. Finally, a pool of politically savvy, well-traveled men interested in things beyond dogs, hiking, and marijuana! At first glance, dating abroad...