10 Safety Tips For Traveling Solo

July 29, 2014 by Ali

Greetings from Florence! I have a few extra minutes between stops around town this morning, so I thought I’d pop in with a little post today about…yes…traveling! Specifically, tips on traveling alone.

This is especially dedicated to all of you single people out there, whom I highly encourage to get out there and travel if you’re not doing so already. (I may even do a follow-up post about my 10 favorite and least favorite things about traveling alone — would there be an interest in that?) But this post also definitely also goes out to anyone who’s going to be traveling alone for an entire trip, or even part of a trip like I’m doing this time around in Europe.

When I sat down to think about it, I realized that I actually have quite a bit of experience traveling completely solo. I have done plenty of the typical solo business trips around the States, but I have actually been traveling internationally on my own since the age of 16. And it has been great! But as a single, young, and (notably when visiting many other countries) blonde girl traveling on my own, I’ve also learned a handful of tips over the years about how to travel smart and safe. Because while most people and places around the world are totally trustworthy, (close your ears, Mom) I have definitely found myself in numerous situations over the years that felt less-than-safe. And I have learned the importance of knowing good strategies beforehand to make it out of those situations (hopefully) safely if needed.

So for anyone planning a solo trip in the future, here are 10 tips I’ve learned for traveling safely (with a few special pointers for women). It’s a quick list, because I’ve gotta take off in an hour (yes, on my own) to meet up with my sister at the Uffizi. So if you have extra tips to share, please add them in the comments below. The more the merrier!

Safe travels, friends!

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What Movies Shaped Your Childhood?

July 12, 2014 by sarah

What Movies Shaped Your Childhood? {Gimme Some Oven}

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Judy Garland / The Wizard Of Oz / (c) 1939 Warner Home Video

It’s movie Saturday again! Today our film lover, Sarah, is back talking about the films that shaped our childhoods. Would love to have you join the discussion!

During a 4th of July pizza feast, some friends and I had a long conversation about what movies we watched as kids. And by watched, I mean watched and watched and watched. In the pre-Netflix era, “binge watching” meant rewinding and repeating the same tape over and over again. I have several movies that looped in the background of my childhood, creating a mesh of memories and meaning that influenced my life and worldviews in surprisingly profound ways. I’ll tell you about three from my very early days (3 to 5 years)…if you tell me some of yours!

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10 Amazing People I Met In El Salvador

July 10, 2014 by Ali

10 Amazing People I Met In El Salvador {Gimme Some Oven}

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Wow. It has been a month since I’ve returned home from my trip to El Salvador with Unbound, but the dear people I met are still on my mind often.

I think of my sponsored friend, Josefa, in the morning when I drink my morning coffee from the matching mug I gave her. I think of women like Blanca Estela, who work hard in the El Salvadoran fields each day actually growing and harvesting coffee. I think of Maria, who spends her days in the kitchen cooking food to share with people just as I love to do. I think of Victoria and Kristin, two of the Unbound staff members who traveled to El Salvador with us, working hard each day just a mile or so away from my house in Kansas City.

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How To Start A Book Club

July 1, 2014 by Ali

5 tips on how to start a book club…that’s awesome…and that lasts. :)

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June In Photos

June 30, 2014 by Ali

June In Photos {Gimme Some Oven}

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Anne of Green Gables once said, “I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.”

Well, if I had to live in a world that was like this past month, I’d take it.

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10 Things I’ve Learned: Meg

June 29, 2014 by Ali

Happy Sunday, friends! We’re finally back with another post in our “10 Things I’ve Learned” series. And I’m happy that our guest-poster today is my lovely, long-time friend, Meg.

I actually met this pretty girl back in the year 2000, when my high school boyfriend took me to his “cool friend, Meg’s” house for a party after prom. I instantly saw a spark of a kindred spirit in this artsy, people-loving, deep-question-asking, song-writing, faith-seeking, life-celebrating girl. And as luck would have it, our paths crossed again for a year attending the same small liberal arts college and we became friends. Then our paths crossed again while doing an AmeriCorps stint in Dallas. And now, she is one of the friends I rearrange my schedule to make sure that I see anytime we’re both in Wichita with our families over the holidays, with hopefully a road trip to visit one another at least once a year in between when we can stay up for hours and hours talking just like in college and also make sweet treats like these. So yep, 14 years of friendship in, I’d say she’s a keeper. :)

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July in Movies: Five Summer Sundance Films

June 28, 2014 by sarah

Sarah shares her thoughts on five Sundance 2014 films coming to theaters this summer: Boyhood, Land Ho!, I Origins, Wish I Was Here, and A Most Wanted Man.

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How To Make 10% Better Decisions

June 19, 2014 by Ali

I totally just read a business book for the first time in years.

Yes, the irony of this fact is not lost on me. I used to eat up business and self-help books back when I was in college and while I had a steady job during my twenties. But during the past two years that I have been self-employed while running my blogging business full-time – the time when I probably needed business advice the most – I have barely prioritized time to even get through my book club’s monthly fiction pick, much less dive into the hippest business books, podcasts, blogs and resources available galore.

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