Traveler’s Block

Traveler’s Block

“Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all”
Charles Bukowski

Today I have nothing.

I have written about packing and not packing, carry on luggage, check in luggage, travel clothes, travel companions,  souvenirs, my bracelet collection, my Starbucks collection, my good luck charms, LA – where I live, Manhattan and Brooklyn where I am from, places I love, places I hate, my mother, my dog, people who have died, animals that have been killed, airports, airplanes, stewardesses, airport security, things I’ve learned from traveling and not traveling, hotel rooms and things Ive left behind in them, travel addiction, people who think they are black, superstitions, proverbs and quotes from around the world, movies, books, children’s books and songs that have inspired me to travel, food, restaurants, turkey burgers, acting like a tourist, not acting like a tourist, tourist traps, tourist attractions, holidays, traveling alone,eating alone, random photos, being a godmother, travel etiquette, third world countries, countries that have changed names, countries not to travel to, misspelled countries, auto-correct, photography, art, urban art, music, world affairs terrorists and should you blame your parents if you are one,  philosophy, spirituality, religion, prejudice, meditation, things to say and not say to a world traveler, places I haven’t been to, bucket lists, top ten everything, travel problems, imaginary places, movie locations, trip planning, weddings, World Cup, Olympics, first world problems, blogging, Nellie Bly, touching strangers, things i like, things I dislike, the 100th monkey, coffee, sunrises, how to avoid the paparazzi, travel tv shows and people in the world.

I don’t know why they call it writer’s block. I have idea block. I could start reblogging pieces, post other writers, post more instagram photos, read more books and think about writing. I could hope that this is only a temporary setback, go out and do something and then write about it – like move to Spain, go to a wedding in Africa or perhaps the new Broad Museum in LA.

Fly safe,

Why You Should Read My Blog (If You Travel And If You Don’t)

Why You Should Read My Blog  (If You Travel And If You Don’t)

“When asked, ‘How do you write?’ I invariably answer, ‘One word at a time,’ and the answer is invariably dismissed. But that is all it is. It sounds too simple to be true, but consider the Great Wall of China, if you will: one stone at a time, man. That’s all. One stone at a time. But I’ve read you can see the motherfucker from space without a telescope.” Stephen King

 I’m not paid to write my blog which in our society makes it undervalued by many of my friends and family. It hurts my feelings when my friends or family can’t be bothered to follow it or read it sometimes. I’m not referring to everyone. Some of them are very supportive. On the other hand the blogging community is friendly, informative and generally cheering for you to succeed.

Travel is my passion. I am writing about what I love to do and what I see in the world. I do a lot of research before and after I travel so my facts are always checked. I love reading other people’s blogs because I want to know what they loved about where I am going. Though I read everything, I’m less interested in what paid travel writers have to say. I go for the passion.

You definitely shouldn’t read my blog for the photographs but I’m getting better. There are some seriously amazing travel photography blogs out there like,     and They write well too and I want to go everywhere they have been. I like people who write from their heart not for their audience.  I like blogs  about navigating spirituality, literature, poetry and life from,,, and I like this blog called, They transport pets around the world.

Writing is something I never thought I would be doing.  It  has changed my life and how I track the experiences in my life. It forces me to become more observant of the world around me and articulate my life and my decisions. It’s an interesting exercise in how much you want to reveal about yourself to others. I started revealing very little and now I tell more of my story from time to time. I realize that It is helpful to put your story out there. There are a few times when I’m writing about myself that I feel  l’ve lived an important life and have something to offer others. If nothing else, my story is “in the cloud” for posterity.

Thanks for reading and fly safe,


Everything The Internet Now Knows About Me From My Travel Blog

Everything The Internet Now Knows About Me From My Travel Blog

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends… The mind can never break off from the journey.” – Pat Conroy

What countries I have been to.

Countries I like. Countries I hate.

Countries that I’m afraid to travel to.

Places on my bucket list.

The coffee addiction.

My screen name. My website.

Where I live.

My dog’s travel anxiety. My travel anxiety.

Where I grew up.

My spiritual views. My religious views.

My racial views.

My meditation obstacles.

That i have kids.

My camera skills.

Mistakes I’ve made.

My favorite quotations.

That I like art. My favorite graffiti art.

My computer skills or lack of.

My social media challenges.

That I’ve faced challenges.

Languages I speak.

My favorite band. My favorite music.

How I pack.

My favorite TV shows My favorite movies.

My favorite documentary movies.

My favorite foreign movies.

That I get car sick.

That I’m afraid on small planes.

My favorite books. My favorite authors.

My favorite restaurants. My favorite foods.

My favorite interests and activities.

My favorite countries to eat in.

My perfect travel days.

How many times I post a blog in a week. How many people read my blog.


What I look like in a hat and sunglasses.


Fly safe,








How To Travel Alone

How To Travel Alone

“All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and I promise you something great will come of it.” Cameron Crowe and Alice Mckenna

Just to be clear. If you told me ten years ago I would be writing any blog, I would not have believed you.   First of all, I’m not a writer. Second , I didn’t go to a PTA meeting alone or anywhere else. My life and my future were on a safe, secure path . Then everything fell apart. I picked up the pieces of my crumbling life. I didn’t do it willingly, quickly,  easily or happily. But after a while, you just get tired of looking at them on the floor.  I had to build a new life.

Soon after that, I became an empty nester. I would like to go on record as saying I hate those words. It just creates a sad picture in your head.  I’ve seen those nests. They are so cute with the baby birds in them and then you are left with  a dry crumbly mess of twigs.  I leave them for a while in case the birds come back.   When you pick them up, they fall apart in your hands. The nests looked so sturdy with the birds in them. A lot of metaphors arise in my head.  I think we need to go into this time in our life with different words.  Once you get over the sadness, it is kind of nice to get your house and your life back. In my case, it was a life I never had. I never took the time for myself to create one.

You have four choices as you get older: to go back to adolescence -marry a younger woman get a new sports car etc; to prepare to die and feel that your life is over; to live in the past; or to become wise, check your value system and continue on as a better human being.

I stood on the verge of uncertainty and thought, what kind of life do I want? What do I love?  For me it was travel.  I traveled as much as I could when I was single and then I spent the next part of my life not traveling.

But now I have a choice. I’m not brave or lucky. I just stopped worrying about what was logical, attainable or expected anymore. It became about how I constructed the possibilities in my life.

At first I traveled with friends. My destinations were based on other people.  I went where they were going or  visited where they lived.  But there were other places that I really wanted to see. The first time I went on a tour alone I cried most of the nights. I was not the cool, young girl anymore  but I was now one of those people that I used to make fun of. I was one of the on the bus off the bus  older alone women. Meals were traumatic.

On my first tour, a ninety year old man came up to me. My mother told me that people weren’t nice to old people so I tried to be nice and planned my escape. I asked if it was his first trip to Spain. He said “No. The last time I was here, I was working with Reuters and touring the bullfight circuit with Hemingway.” He was trying to write a book on it and this trip went to a lot of the places he had been to. I googled him. It was true.  As we walked in Rondo, Spain ( a city on the bullfight circuit ) he remembered everything.  “Hemingway called me the kid,” he began and I was right there with them.   I learned from that first encounter never to  prejudge anyone. I’m not going to  say that everyone I meet is as interesting as he was  (though Australian author Susanne Gervay and British Peruvian explorer Peter Frost come close) but everyone has a story and I love to hear them.

It was nice to have a tour leader make all the decisions, pick up your luggage, deal with the trains and  airlines.  There was usually plenty of free time to do what I wanted to do.  I learned an awful lot from local tour guides which I hadn’t used before.

It was an easy way to travel alone and not be alone. It was a great option to go wherever I wanted to go. I have now found the kind of small group tour companies that I like to travel with.  A week is perfect.  I mix it with time alone  in a place and with friends before or after.  A little of everything is a good trip. You get the taken care of  experience and the  exploring a city alone and having adventures experience.  I’m fine alone in a city but lately I am exploring deserts, rainforests, mountains  and villages. It is much easier to do that with a guide.

I learned  how to be alone as well.  It was really hard at first. I always try to have a book or magazine with me.  Reading has probably saved a lot of people from loneliness . I learned how  to ask if I could sit with someone on a tour for lunch or dinner. (I admit that  I could be better at this). When I am by myself, I use a health spa or gym at night or stay out all day  late instead of sitting in a restaurant alone.  I hire a local tour guide from the internet if it is a country that I’m not comfortable in by myself. They have all been amazing. .

I’m not going to tell you how to go to bars and restaurants alone .   You are either a person who is comfortable sitting at a bar alone or you are not.  I am not. It is a different trip than traveling with a mate, family or friends. But lately I have been meeting people.  I’m not outgoing – I have to work at it.  I’m not adventurous and I don’t take chances or put myself in situations or places that I can’t get out of easily..

When I started traveling, I wrote funny things to my friends and family about my trips.  The thing about traveling alone is that you observe a lot more of the world around you.  It turns out that writing is something you do best alone.  I was encouraged to write a travel blog. My computer skills included email and google.  I had no idea how to blog  and worse, I had no idea about social media. I make a lot of mistakes. At first no one but my friends and family read my blog because I didn’t know that I was supposed to “put it out there”. But little my little I am learning.

I don’t have to worry anymore that I’m not good enough or talented enough or smart enough. I’ve already failed  at what I thought I was good at. I don’t have to explain myself to anyone.  I have no more personal limitations or restrictions and not a lot of time to do all the things I really want to do. I have no more if onlys.

I love writing about a subject that I love. It’s great if people read it.  But even better is the moment when it comes together and I think – this doesn’t suck. I can put it out there now.  It is a blog so it doesn’t have to be perfect. There is no stress.

When you are  a kid, everyone encourages you to follow your dreams. When you are older,  you don’t get that kind of support. Don’t let the people who didn’t have the courage to follow their own dreams discourage you.  Maybe it doesn’t  matter anymore which way you go.  It just matters that you go somewhere.

Fly safe,


Things That I Will No Longer Do On The Computer While I Am Blogging

Things I Will No Longer Do On The Computer While I am Blogging To Have More Time For Reading Books and Travel Stuff

“It is named the “Web” for good reason.” David Foster Wallace

I will not look up old boyfriends or people that I used to date.

I will not look on facebook at people who are no longer my real friends. This includes people that I was never friends with who happened to go to my elementary school, high school, college and grad school. This also includes people who used to be friends with my kids, parents of my kids’ friends and people their age that they were not friends with.

I will not watch youtube videos of people that I used to know.

I will not google relatives who no longer speak to me. I will not google other people’s relatives.

I will not look up anything that has to do with the Real Housewives franchise. Teresa and Joe will have their trial, Kathy will make her cannolis and the Atlanta housewives will be cray cray without me. I will not look up the American Idol or the Voice contestants.

I will not google every random ailment that comes into my head. This includes the weird spot on my hand, cramp in my left leg and rash on my elbow.  Neither one of my kids have blood clots. Hypochondriacs (and I include myself here) stay off the internet!

I will not google every random thought that comes into my head.

I will not try to find every single song I like on the radio and put it on my ipod.

i will not buy anything that I think I need in the middle of the night.

I will not read menus of restaurants I have not been to yet.  I will not read menus of restaurants that I have not been to in a long time. I will not read menus of restaurants that I did not like to see if they have changed.

I will not google every “what if” scenario that could happen to me in whatever country I am going to.

I think we had a lot more time before computers.

Fly safe,


Things I Have Learned In My First Year Of Blogging.

Things I Have Learned In My First  Year Of Blogging

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” Lao Tzu

You must promote your blog shamelessly . I thought that would be a problem for me but it turns out that I can be pushy.

The internet is all about social media and less about content.

Hits and followers are different.

Views and visitors are different.

Widgets are  important.

Plug-ins are important. I don’t know how to use them yet.

Search engines are your friend.  Like real friends, you have to take the time to get to know them and sometimes they are hard to figure out.  Google Plus and Stumble Upon are also friends.  They are more like the kind of the friends that do for you what you do for them.  It turns out that Lonely Planet  is a good friend.  Who knew? I didn’t think I was that kind of traveler. Reddit is my best friend.

The Internet loves food.

The Internet likes lists.

There are all kinds of tools for social media. There are many online self-help tutorials. You probably have to know social media or have that kind of brain to get through the tutorials.  For me, it is math all over again.

On the internet, as in life, you can always pay people to help you. The only ones I have found are very expensive and deal with corporations.  I need one of these people.

You can also pay for hits to your blog. This sounds stupid because you are not building readers but apparently is a good thing because the more hits, the easier you are to find on google.  I havent done it. It reminds me of being friends with  kids whose parents gave me candy (I wasn’t allowed to have  sugar as a kid)

As the birds in my neighborhood say, It’s always better if you tweet. I don’t.

The people closest to you will probably not read your blogs every week. Do not take this personally. Your friends probably don’t read them  so much either.  When you talk about a blog, they stand there with a glazed expression and hope you don’t question them.  My neighbor reads my blog every week.  Guys who  like you  sometimes read your blog. Guys who like you a lot read enough of it to ask a question every week.

The people who do read them are people who are interested in what you write about. I have travel writers, photographers, bloggers , tour guides and tour companies,  travel agents, travelers and people who want to travel more, who do read it.

You know your blog is getting out there when people start writing mean things.  Some internet people are not so nice.  Also, if you are going to write something mean, spell it correctly.

People from 102 countries read my blog. The top countries are US, Turkey, UK, Japan and Canada.

In the past year one person from each of these countries has read my blog –Bahamas, Latvia, Uruguay, Kenya, Costa Rica., Aruba, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Guernsey (where is this?), Kuwait , Uzbekistan, Togo, Ethiopia, Yemen, Iceland, Nepal, Cambodia, Macedonia, Malta, Lithuania, Georgia, Guatemala,  and Palau. It is like the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.  Who are these people?

I spend more time trying to learn social media than actually writing. It is not as much fun.

I need all the help I can get.  Anyone who knows about this stuff, ( im supposed to say tweet me, facebook me, email me )but  at least comment on my blog and hook me up.

Thanks For Reading and Fly Safe


Top Ten Reasons For Going To Salta And Jujuy

Top Ten Reasons For Going To Salta And Jujuy  ( Northern Argentina)

1 Porque no?  (Why not?)

2.I can practice my Spanish.

3. I have never been there.

4.Most people have never been there.

5. I can try cow trachea, intestines, stomach stew and various other organs.  ( new food blog – animal parts i have never eaten before)

6.It looks like another one of those most beautiful places on earth.

7.I’m going to beat my car sickness on those windy mountain roads (or im not and feel sorry for my car mates unless I am so carsick that I don’t care.)

8. I want to see the salt fields.

9.  I get to spend time in Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls.

10. I love the Andes and the altitude.

Adios, Seguia con cuidado,


Ten People Who Can Not Help You Put Your Blog Out There


“For us there is only trying. The rest is not our business.”

TS Eliot

1. THE PEOPLE AT THE APPLE STORE.  Apple techs are very accommodating with all things Apple.  Blogs are not Apple…yet.

2. YOUR COMPUTER GUY. He is very helpful with all computer related issues, such as how your computer works, how it is connected, servers, printers, keyboards,  etc . Blogs are not that.

3. FRIENDS.  They have trouble signing up for my blog.  My friends are very supportive if they  can figure it out.  They are annoyed when I beg, plead, whine, cry or ask them to tell their friends to sign up.

4. KIDS. My kids have assured me that they are not computer literate. They are not like other people’s kids who help them do all things technical. They would love to help if they could.  It is so weird because they  seem so technically savvy with their own stuff.    My daughter calls me the “the blog bully” because I ask people to read my blog all the time.

5.WORDPRESS.  They could be helpful if I knew what a widget was.

6. SIGNIFICANT OTHER OR SOMEONE YOU ARE DATING – “I don’t read blogs” –like it is some strange secret religion that only members know to use.

7.PARENTS  – If you are young, your parents have no idea what this is. I’m sorry to blow this for the rest of you, but there is no internet in the afterlife. If there was, my mom would help me.

YOUR KIDS’ FRIENDS OR FRIENDS’ KIDS.  “We don’t blog.” Like “We don’t eat red meat”.

YOUR NEIGHBORS  “You would be great at writing a travel blog – no – I don’t know anything about how to go about doing it.”

ANYONE YOU KNOW PERSONALLY.  Humans that I know personally, do not blog or know anything about it.  My virtual cyber friends do.

So for those of you who do read this blog, thanks very much.  I am having so much fun writing it and I have no idea how you find it.

Fly safe,


Travelers Don’t Know Where They Are Going

Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux

I must confess that I have more travel knowledge than computer skills.  I think I finally have this blog correct and have been able to send it to friends, family and facebook.   Sorry about the slow start up.  I’ll try to write more regularly. We have a new site.

I don’t travel with a laptop or an ipad. (I do have an ipod and a kindle)   I take a computer break when I travel.  I read a lot more.   I get lost much more and usually have to ask real people for directions instead of mapquest and navigation.   I do a lot of research beforehand so anything that changes becomes an adventure.  I’m a planner so it is good for me to get out of my comfort zone.  The restaurants I plan to eat in   get changed the moment I run into a place where the grandmother is cooking.  If I like the food somewhere, I take recommendations from the chef.  If I connect with a good concierge or tour guide, I do the same. You have to be careful with that because sometimes they recommend places that pay them or give them perks.  I have found myself in some tourist traps.

 I get a lot of info at home about the cultural events in a city. There is always something I miss and  when I get there that becomes a priority. ( Diana Vishneva  is dancing at the Maryinsky Theatre in St Petersburg; an International Music Festival  is in Dubrovnik,  a morning market in Vienna,  No Sex Thai Massage in Bangkok,)

 I use the business center when I need a computer  and meet  kids from different  countries playing  computer games. They always show me how to use the computer there even if I don’t speak their language. .  (The kids from Kazakhstan did not think  that  Borat  was funny . The French kids   cursed nonstop in English . They said that was the only English they knew  – Merde)

My notes are with a pen or pencil (preferably taken  from a hotel or my friend Cindra) and one of those moleskin notebooks.  There is something about taking out a pen and notebook in a village somewhere, that makes me feel more like Hemingway  and less like Carrie Bradshaw.   But I don’t always have it with me, so at the end of  a trip I have a collection of bits of paper, envelopes, napkins, business cards, pieces of place mats , menus and hotel stationary.  Not the most organized data, but definitely the most colorful.

It is from this  collage of notes that I will  be telling you my  stories.

Does anyone  still have my Russia and the Baltics info?  Mine is missing.

                                                                                                              Fly safe,