My 12-Hour Toronto Layover

My 12-Hour Toronto Layover

I gotta be honest. When I realized that my flights had been changed to include a 12-hour layover in Toronto alongside a 10-hour layover in Munich, I groaned. And complained. And moaned. Until a wise guy said, “Ooo! What a cool adventure.” With that my perspective shifted: click. He was right. This was an opportunity for more adventure on top of an already exciting destination to be reunited with a dear friend. How To Plan For A 12-Hour Layover Research...
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Partner in Crime: Traveling Companions

Partner in Crime: Traveling Companions

Nothing sets your ideal partner in crime a part from the crowd when you become traveling companions. Traveling tests your plans and spontaneity. And, if you’ve done any type of traveling, you quickly figure out who you like to travel with and who you’d literally run away from if they said, “So I was wondering…” *you run away* And when I say traveling, it absolutely includes road trips, train trips, walking trips, and plane trips. If your body is moving,...
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A Thankful List For Traveling

Thankful Travels

In the spirit of gratitude that drapes across the fireplace mantle in deep green pines and brilliant garnets and flickering ambers, I’d like to sprawl the decoration further. Twine thankfulness up the banisters and scatter laughter as ornamentation to the garlands of gratitude. And if you step back far until your back touches the wall to breathe in the whimsy, you’ll see sparkles along the edges. A lightness of feeling glistening. The moments that could have been tears turned to...
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Dream Destination: Where Two Oceans Meet

Dream Destination: Where Two Oceans Meet

Did you know that sometimes when oceans meet that you can see the divide between them? It’s seamless water, and yet, something’s different. How can it be water and yet separate? This phenomenon is as mythical and magical as it sounds. But you can sometimes find it in Alaska! Eventually, the waters mix, but for that moment, you can see the separation of two bodies of water. The most common explanation is when two bodies of water carrying different earth...
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Connecting With Family While Traveling: The Stone Lion

Connecting With Family While Traveling: The Stone Lion

Traveling far from family and friends can be difficult (adventurous and exciting, yes). But there are days where you just want to tackle-hug your brother or cuddle up on the couch with your sister for a cute movie. On those days, you need a way to connect with your loved ones, even when you’re far away. I don’t know what that will mean for you, but I can share what I did. It all started with a photo that my...
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Barbara’s Tiny Cheat Sheet to Austrian German

Barbara's Tiny Cheat Sheet to Austrian German

Before moving to Austria, I remember trying to learn as much German as possible. I had beginner German CDs. I used Duolingo, and I listened to songs in German. I even read books that were set in Austria. I stuffed the German vocabulary into my head. And then, when I arrived in Austria, I realized that “willkommen” was not “you’re welcome”. Sure, in English, we’d translate “willkommen” as “welcome.” But in Austria, you would not use it in response to...
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Why You Should Travel To Russia (an interview)

Why You Should Travel To Russia (an interview)

Erin and I met through Pinterest at first, and then e-mail, and then in real life (when we lived, worked, and explored Austria together). Isn’t it funny how internet friendships begin? When Erin and her sister visited Russia (why didn’t I go!) for a sister vacation (oh, that’s why), she fulfilled one of her pipe dreams. You can’t live a dream unless you make it happen. So Erin did. Erin’s cool. Do what Erin did. You can’t live a dream...
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Book Recommendation: Give Your Child The World

Book Recommendation and Giveaway on barbarabrutt.com: Give Your Child The World

Books instilled in me the desire to travel the world, to explore it, to meet people from other countries. My fondest memories from growing up are long car rides where my mother would read to me and my siblings about far away places. When I could read for myself, a whole new world opened to me. Fast forward ten years, I’ve traveled to almost 20 countries, lived abroad for months at a time, and begun writing my own books (while...
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Tourist vs. Traveler

The words “tourist” and “traveler” are not interchangeable. If you travel or want to travel, you probably have an ideal plan of how you want to see your destination. Maybe an all-expenses-paid tour? A food-focused trip? A DIY meandering? Each word defines a certain way of traveling, and they’re not the same. A couple of weeks ago (on my most recent travel), I had just seated myself at the table for the evening’s fine dining experience after exchanging greetings with...
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7 Souvenirs for Souvenir-Haters

I’m against souvenirs. They’re usually cheaply made items that tourists will throw away after the first showing to all their friends and family at Christmas. If it’s not the stress of buying a souvenir for everyone, it’s the frustration of trinkets upon trinkets. Will it fit into the suitcase? Does it fit in the budget? Will the receiver like it? When I first began traveling, I bought souvenirs for everyone. It seemed like the thing to do. But then, my dad didn’t...
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