“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 expat in Africa. Since college I've au paired in Paris, backpacked Europe, Asia, and India for a year, and lived in Colorado. Read more on my About Me page.

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. By...

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.  Just to clarify, an au pair is a...

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

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...

The 16 Best Books I Read in 2016

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday! As many long-term readers know, I love to read. As I know many of you are also readers, I wanted to share my favorite books of 2016. Reading this list you'll notice a few trends. I read lots of non-fiction, i.e....

10 Outstanding Travel Memoirs to Read on Vacation

Ever since I was a kid, I've had my nose in a book. I remember the summer I turned nine my school had a summer reading challenge and the goal was to read 10 books. I read 78. (Neeeerd.) And while I read lots of genres, nothing enthralls me like a good travel memoir....

Musings

Does Snapchat Ruin the Moment?

A few months ago, I was riding a wild-maned horse down a black sand trail in Iceland. The sun was shining, the sky blue for the first time in days. All of a sudden, my horse bolted. As she careened and bucked, I gripped the reins and tried not to get thrown off. When...

25 Things It Took Me 25 Years to Learn

25 has been a pivotal year for me - this stage of my life feels very adult in a way that my early twenties didn't. As Adele so wisely wrote, the future didn't matter then like it does now. Like most of us, I've become more confident and secure with age. I'm proud of...

What I Miss Most About Long-Term Travel

Around this time last year, I returned home from a year of backpacking. And although it's so nice to be settled, sometimes I'm nostalgic for my nomadic lifestyle. There are so many wonderful things about long-term travel. Long-term travel lets you live your life to...

Latest blog posts

The Life-changing Magic of Korean Skincare

Over the past few years, I've fallen in love with Korean skincare. It's inexpensive, customizable, and gentle. Most importantly, it's improved my skin ten-fold. The only problem is I've never been able to find a Korean skincare routine that works for me. Most of the...

When Loneliness Strikes Abroad

A few weeks ago, a Swedish girl invited me out to a bar with her friends. The bar was in Kampala’s industrial district, on top of a warehouse. When I climbed the stairs to the rooftop, I saw a scene out of East London or Brooklyn. There were countless young people...

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...