Gypsy Wednesday – Wandering Carol

Welcome to Gypsy Wednesday! Every Wednesday, I strive to highlight all the juicy morsels related to travel and beyond.

When I conceived of this wacky idea I never imagined meeting a woman of Carol Perehudoff’s caliber.  Carol is a Toronto-based freelance travel writer and blogger. She writes a travel column at the Toronto Star, Canada’s biggest newspaper. While somewhat new to the blogging community, writing a fantastic site full of quips and travel stories at Wandering Carol, the Toronto Star is only the tip of the fountain pen, the meat of her work is in the ink.

Her articles have appeared in a variety of magazines including Spalife, enRoute, Review Magazine, Pure Canada and Royal Wings and a whole slough of newspapers like the Chicago Tribune, New York Post, San Francisco Chronicle, St. Louis Post Dispatch, New Orleans Times-Picayune, New Hampshire Union Leader Post, the Halifax Chronicle Herald, Vancouver Sun and St. Petersburg Times.

Oh, that’s not all. Her narrative essays have appeared in the travel anthologies A Woman’s Europe, published by Travelers Tales, 2004, and Go Your Own Way: Women Travel the World Solo published by Seal Press, 2007.  She’s currently working on a travel memoir.

Head spinning yet? Mine certainly did, but a precious opportunity lit up my interview sensors. If travel writing is a kernel bubbling, why not ask the source? With gumption and a lack of starstruck inklings, I’m the perfect thick headed gal who would ask De Niro for an interview, not even realizing the significance of De Niro. Carol Perehudoff is resoundingly significant – read on to find out more.

Q: You’ve written for many periodicals, newspapers and anthologies,

March 31st, 2010|Categories: Write|Tags: , , , |10 Comments

Shameless Promotion? Nah

Could be fate.

Divine gift from the Gods.

Just my lucky hour.

Louise Brown from Travel Blog Sites laid down the news in her usual nonchalant, easy manner:

“Just so’z you know, Nomadic Chick is ranked #73 on our Travel Blog Sites leaderboard.”

My response:

“OH MY GOD. Seriously? Wow. I. Am. Speechless. Figuratively, not literally.”

And I was. Speechless, that is. With the blitz of information coming at me on a daily basis, I had a trickling of Travel Blog Sites, but didn’t comprehend that some of my contemporary travel heroes and heroines are on it.

73 is not massive, but nothing to whine about. It’s respectable. The slippery slope could be to fall into the hype, let my ego and focus wane. Fame is the spring water delivery boy, distracting and enticing. Oh, is he ever.

However, my Canadian humbleness always wins.

The fact is #73 wouldn’t be possible without readers. So, THANK YOU. Thanks for enjoying this site.  Thanks for encouraging my creative process. Thanks for enjoying the writing. Virtual high fives all around!

Woo Hoo!!

March 25th, 2010|Categories: Life|Tags: , |24 Comments

Gypsy Wednesday – 100 Places Every Woman Should Go

Welcome to Gypsy Wednesday! Every Wednesday, I strive to highlight all the juicy morsels related to travel and beyond.

It is the Oprah Winfrey of travel books. Seriously. If you’re a solo woman traveler, or looking to tailor a trip with girlfriends, get this book.  In 2007, Stephanie Elizondo Griest amassed a comprehensive source built on sensory overload in the most pleasurable ways, oozing with female power. Not power that crushes the weak or sickly, but it made me remember why I love being a girl.

Griest deftly organizes 100 Places Every Woman Should Go to suit any personality, because women are as varied as orchids.

If you’re a thrill seeker, partake in a ship wreck dive for pearls in the Persian Gulf, or face the formidable conditions in Antartica by landing a job at a base camp.

Seeking a dialogue with enlightenment? Climb Mount Kaliash in Tibet and experience a symbolic death at the apex of Zutulpuk Monastery, cause every gal needs rebirth once in a while. Discover peace in the chaos at the River Ganges, a sacred portal representing the life-force of the universe. What you’ll witness in Varanasi, India will test your assumptions about faith.

I adored the section on important women and their places in history. Imagine yourself channeling Frida Kahlo or Catherine the Great, ladies who battled convention to emerge wholly unique and strong. It was reassuring to know others blazed a trail before us.

Any travel guide worth the typeface has a section called “Just-Go-There Places”. My mind injected with vivid, ecstatic visions after digesting descriptions of Dubrovnik, Croatia and the best places to spot a mermaid (pssst..

March 24th, 2010|Categories: Travel Tips|Tags: , , , , |11 Comments

How to Maintain a Blog, Work F/T & Plan a Trip Without Killing Yourself

It’s becoming clear that I almost did. Over a month ago my immune system buckled to a cold, and now this. For the past two weeks a meltdown occurred in the form of bacterial pink eye. I woke to swollen slits for eyes, appearing more Asian than I thought possible. With full knowledge of what a plastic surgery disaster must cart around on a daily basis, I’d rather not return to that state.

In some respects, I regret starting this site so early. However, the people I’ve met, potential friends I’ve connected with, has been worth it. It’s just overwhelming at times. The title of this post speaks volumes to that.

If you’re in the same boat as me, working towards new doors opening, but trying to shut old ones, how the heck do tasks get done without succumbing to a heart attack or life-threatening virus?

Some tips for the constantly exhausted, over stimulated round-the-world planner.

1.  Get a whiteboard. In order to stop little pieces of paper from piling up on your desk, because honestly piles of notes is exhausting to sift through, buy yourself a stick on whiteboard at the dollar store. Mine is below. I write big action items on it – trip planning, blog related, gear purchases, and the like. Having those ‘to do’ items in a central area makes it seem less daunting. Plus, a whiteboard is more environmentally friendly than paper. Goodbye paper cuts!

‘To Do’ in One Place

2.  Put websites into a single source. An Internet marketer friend recommended I buy a cheap address book to list all the sites I use alphabetically with username and passowords.

March 21st, 2010|Categories: Life|Tags: , , , |51 Comments

Gypsy Wednesday – Our Travel Lifestyle

Welcome to Gypsy Wednesday! Every Wednesday, I strive to highlight all the juicy morsels related to travel and beyond.

Something has been disturbing me of late. My links page is sorely lacking in the family way. For every ten solo travelers, there are one or two families choosing a nomadic lifestyle. If I’m wrong, correct me.  Add yourself to my links page, I’d love to have you.

Based on that unsubstantiated statistic, I sought out Colin and Tracy Burns, a lovely couple with young children who recently left their native Australia for Asia, and who knows where else. Colin and company launched a website to share trials, lessons, and successes as a traveling family called Our Travel Lifestyle.

The Burns Family, Cute Aren’t They?

Why choose such a path? It seems contrary to the standard family model. Find out, and perhaps deep seeded ideas that were previously dashed away might come alive. Despite my links page, families do this, why not yours?

Q: Give us a little backstory on Our Travel Lifestyle?

BOTH: For a few years, we had been discontent with our life in Brisbane. Sick of living in a city, we were debating moving to a smaller coastal town to have a better day-to-day lifestyle. But the cost of living in Australia was still an issue for us. Neither of us particularly wanted to work the long hours needed to afford a nice lifestyle in Australia and miss out on seeing a lot of our children’s formative years while we worked. Halfway through 2009, we discussed the idea of traveling the world, focusing on staying in more affordable countries where

March 17th, 2010|Categories: Life|Tags: , , , , , , |8 Comments


This article is part three of a seven part series on unplugging from the cubicle. Read the full introduction here.

It’s Not Goodbye, We’re On a Break

12 hours. That’s how long I worked one fateful day. Not my normal hours, but 8 + extra adds up to 12.  Exhausted, annoyed, and angry to sink so much of my day into this. The worst? I hadn’t even noticed the sun setting. My eyes blinked away from the monitor towards darkness. A fully lit office tower amidst the black of night always strikes me as wrong. A strange scene of forced production in a serene setting. That night I cried.

The next day I woke to a new day of work. A fresh slate. I chalked up the previous night’s reaction to tiredness. After all, I need this job. It’s important to meet critical deadlines. I mustn’t turn such trivial worries inward. The luxury of my neighborhood are the delightful shops devoted to my two loves: shoes and fashion. After work, I found myself at a store trying on a few items. My black dress slacks are getting frayed, should replace those. And the office is bloody cold all the time, a wool sweater is in order. I really should replace those lost earrings. Those were my favorite baubles.

As the salesperson rang up my purchases, contentment suffused through me, a heady rush of joy filling the spaces of anxiety. Any thoughts of those 12 hours dissipated, my mind occupied with these new finds. Even though my love affair with the job turned sour, probably eons ago, somehow I resolved to keep it coasting, because yeah, I need this job.

Codependent relationships always dance the line between disaster and

March 15th, 2010|Categories: Life|Tags: , , , |16 Comments