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The Poet: A Soleful Shoemaker

In Europe by Mallory3 Comments

My bare feet tapped in anticipation. The rich scent of leather filled my lungs. The stone floor beneath my toes was cold and littered with scraps of leather. I was at Melissinos Art, a colorful Athenian sandal shop tucked in an alley near the famous Monastiraki Square. The world-famous shop is run by Pantelis Melissinos, “The Poet,” a third generation …

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A Week in Crete, Greece

In Europe by Mallory12 Comments

After a week in Amsterdam with my dad, I caught a plane to the island Crete, which is on the complete opposite side of the continent. I can’t help but laugh at my travel route, which is starting to resemble a toddler scribbling on a map of Europe. Random and unpredictable, I love it. I landed in Crete at about …

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A Visit to Amsterdam (The Motherland) with Dad

In Europe by Mallory13 Comments

I just finished a week in Amsterdam with my dad. After two months of traveling solo it was great to see a familiar face, especially the face of a man I love to pieces! My dad was born in Eindhoven and still has a lot of family and friends in Amsterdam that I got the chance to meet. It made …

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In Bruges

In Europe by Mallory13 Comments

Bruges, a small city just a day trip from Brussels, is well known for two rather conflicting images: Image #1: Bruges is a beautiful fairytale city sometimes called Venice of the north. Image #2: Bruges was made famous when Colin Farrell called it a shithole in the movie In Bruges. Since I was only an hour away in Brussels, I …

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Tour of the Old Town of Brussels

In Europe by Mallory4 Comments

Brussels doesn’t set out to make you fall in love with it. The ongoing joke is that most people, especially the ‘eurocrats,’ hate Brussels when they arrive, but learn to love it the longer they stay. Cry when you get here, cry when you go.  In just three days, it’s uniquely muddled characteristics – from the cobblestoned streets with a small-town …

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Getting Schooled by the Germans

In Europe by Mallory14 Comments

My two days in Cologne turned into five after meeting a really fabulous group of Germans. Bjarne (who was an exchange student at my high school) and his roommates hosted me for three days, so I got to eat with the locals, hang with the locals, not pay for the metro like the locals, but mostly just look confused when …

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City Under a City

In Europe by Mallory4 Comments

After learning about the Cold War at Checkpoint Charlie, I was itching for more history. On my last day in Berlin, I did a Berliner Unterwelton Tour, which follows the traces of the Cold War in the underground. After the building of the Berlin Wall, the West German government invested millions in civil defense shelters in preparation for possible nuclear …

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Eau de Cologne, Picasso & an Unexpected Surprise

In Europe by Mallory2 Comments

I arrived in Cologne, Germany after a long and stuffy bus ride from Berlin. Considering the stench I had to endure for seven hours, I was relieved to finally arrive in the city where Eau de Cologne originated. Cologne is best known for the Cathedral Cologne, a beautiful example of Gothic and Neo-Gothic architecture. Outside, the cathedral is a bit …

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Is Travel a “Break” from Life?

In Europe, Thoughts from the Bus by Mallory13 Comments

When I first started telling people about my journey, I heard a lot of this: “Good for you to take a break from life!” “So you’re off to go find yourself, eh?” There is a stereotype that long-term travelers are all wanderers on a journey of self-discovery. Although self-discovery may be a thrilling bi-product, there are many travelers (myself included) …

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Another Overnight Train “Experience”

In Thailand by Mallory2 Comments

Our last day in Chiang Mai snuck up faster than we expected. We started the day at a travel center booking our elephant trek in Mae Rim. We assumed we would have plenty of time to grab dinner with Melissa and Daytona, pack our bags and catch an overnight train to Ayutthaya. But things never go as planned, which is …

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A Missed Flight and Expat Friends

In Thailand by Mallory4 Comments

Our time in Haad Salad was short-lived. Two of my old roommates were teaching English in Chiang Mai and we had booked plane tickets to visit them a few days earlier. Chiang Mai is basically on the opposite side of Thailand, but we lucked out since there was an airport on a neighboring island with affordable airfare. [Side note on …

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Same Same but Different

In Thailand by Mallory9 Comments

Traveling is like dog years, you have to define ‘time’ differently. You see more sights, meet more people and learn more than you would in a normal day so it feels like it should actually count for more than one, right? Before you know it, only a few days have passed and you think to yourself, “well that felt like …

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{Enter:} The Austrians

In Thailand by Mallory2 Comments

One day, in the midst of doing hippie things (i.e. wearing long skirts, skipping the shower and watching poi while we laid in hammocks), we met two Austrians. Before you get judgmental, allow me to remind you that we were staying at the “hippie bungalows,” so this was acceptable behavior. Oh, and our “shower” was a hose above the toilet. …

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Koh Phangan: Hippie Bungalows & A Tour with the Locals

In Thailand by Mallory3 Comments

After a 12-hour overnight train, 1-hour bus ride (where we found great real estate on the floor), and a 3-hour ferry, we finally made it to the beautiful island of Koh Phangan. One of the greatest things about transportation in Thailand is that you can always count on the fact that there will be someone to take you where you …

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Thailand: To Be Determined

In Thailand by Mallory7 Comments

Alli and I left the O’Hare airport at noon on New Years day for our trip to Thailand. Armed with our backpacks and a Thai phrase book, we were crossing our fingers that our plan (the no-plan plan) would work out in our favor.  We had spent the past four years of college planning – for classes, tests…the ever-looming future and …

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Is Travel a “Break” from Life?

In Europe, Thoughts from the Bus by Mallory13 Comments

When I first started telling people about my journey, I heard a lot of this: “Good for you to take a break from life!” “So you’re off to go find yourself, eh?” There is a stereotype that long-term travelers are all wanderers on a journey of self-discovery. Although self-discovery may be a thrilling bi-product, there are many travelers (myself included) …

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Serendipity

In Trip Preparation by Mallory10 Comments

My things are packed away in boxes. My car is sold. Two hours ago I said goodbye to my two biggest fans (mom & dad). Now I’m sitting at a Potbelly’s on my layover in Washington D.C. listening to Lord Huron and I’m feeling pretty normal. Normal isn’t exactly what I expected. There was one word that popped into my …

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How I Prepared for Long-Term Travel

In Trip Preparation by Mallory5 Comments

  If I’ve learned one thing in the past couple months, it’s that extended travel requires a bit more preparation than short getaways. You have to consider things like your bank account, cell phone and travel insurance, which are easy to write off if you’re only gone for a few weeks. By no means do I consider myself a long-term-work-and-travel …

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My Year to Live Differently

In Trip Preparation by Mallory31 Comments

If you are reading this post, you’re probably aware that I quit my job to travel the world. On March 20th, I’m boarding a plane to travel solo for five months. I’ve always harbored a deep desire to see the world, but this time I’m not just traveling. I’m experimenting with the idea of location independence, which I define simply …

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