Nomad by Trade

A travel blog for the kid at heart.

Litli Geysir Hotel

The Geysir area is one of the most iconic stops on Iceland’s Golden Circle route. Imagine spending the night in a room where you can see its most active geyser, Strokkur, erupting right from your window. That’s exactly what we experienced at the Litli Geysir Hotel in Haukadalur. The hotel doesn’t look like much when you approach, but the interior is beautiful and the service was top-notch. It’s a fantastic choice when you’re looking for affordable hotels near Geysir.

View of geysers from the Litli Geysir Hotel in Iceland

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The Grown-Up’s Guide to Epcot

After being a bit neglected over the last few years, Epcot is about to see some big changes that will be a bit of a departure from its original vision. I picked it to be my first park guide in my series about Disney World for grown-ups because it’s historically been considered the non-kiddie park. I dispute that, as it was always my favorite as a kid, but I was also kind of a weirdo. This is the place where you’ll see the most childless adults hanging around, so feel free to start here if you still feel awkward. Read on for my top tips about Epcot for adults.

Drinking around the world

I guess I have to start with this one. Any Disney fan over the age of 21 (sorry, even though you’re drinking in pavilions made to resemble other lands, the standard American drinking age still applies) has probably heard about drinking around the world. It’s a pretty simple concept: you head to World Showcase – that’s the part around the large lagoon at the back where all of the different countries are– and have a drink from each of the 11 pavilions. You’ll want to get an early start – most places open at 11 – to make sure you can pace yourself throughout the day. You don’t want to be the person who gets kicked out of Epcot because you’re falling over drunk. I highly recommend saving your last drink for just before Illuminations so you can enjoy it during the fireworks show.

Margarita inside of Epcot's Mexico pavilion

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Tahquamenon Falls in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Tahquamenon Falls State Park

I love spontaneous adventures. So, when my boyfriend mentioned that he’d never seen Tahquamenon Falls when we were packing up to leave St. Ignace, I immediately suggested that we stop there before heading home. Sure, it was a couple hours in the opposite direction from where we needed to go, but we had all day to kill and it had been a long time since I’d been there too.

What’s generally referred to as Tahquamenon Falls is actually a series of waterfalls on the Tahquamenon River. The larger Upper Falls is more spectacular and is one of the most well-known spots in the state. The Lower Falls area consists of multiple smaller cascades that require some more effort to view, but offer a chance to play in the water a bit.

Tahquamenon Falls in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

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Alamo in San Antonio, Texas

An Evening in San Antonio

After spending a week in the much smaller border town of Laredo, I got to have one whirlwind night in San Antonio. It was exactly the kind of Evening Tourist adventure that I specialize in. We made the drive up after work on a Thursday inght so we could catch a direct flight home first thing in the morning. We didn’t leave Laredo until almost six, so by the time we got to San Antonio, it was getting close to nine.  Even with our late arrival, I still got to have a great evening in town. Read more about the fun things you can do in San Antonio after work.

Dinner time

After checking into the hotel, our first stop was a nearby Mexican restaurant/bakery that I had read about. After three days of authentic Mexican food in Laredo, Mi Tierra felt like a return to the cheesy (both atmosphere and food) Tex-Mex I’d grown up with. The décor was close to being over the top, but things like that amuse me so I kind of loved it.

Mi Tierra restaurant in San Antonio, Texas

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The Amateur’s Guide to Photographing the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights are one of nature’s greatest wonders. Taking pictures at night can be challenging, and it helps to have some decent equipment, but even a cell phone can capture them at their brightest. Here’s how I – with no formal training – took some pretty good pictures of one of nature’s most spectacular phenomena. Read on for my best tips for photographing the Northern Lights.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, and should you choose to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. If you use an ad blocker, you may need to disable it for this site in order to see the product images.

Familiarize yourself with your camera settings

The beginner's guide to photographing the northern lights

You’ll need to practice adjusting your camera settings a bit first – you don’t want to spend the whole time flipping through unfamiliar menus – but even an amateur photographer can get some pictures worth sending home. The automatic modes that take great daylight shots aren’t going to cut it for shooting the Northern Lights. You don’t necessarily need a lot of technical knowledge, but you should dig through the menus and check out the different options available to you. Practice setting your camera on manual mode (usually the M on the dial if your camera has one) and following the tips in this article somewhere else in advance.

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Sunset at Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA - The fun side of business travel

The Fun Side of Business Travel

I’ve spent the last few years traveling for work almost every week. I’m notorious amongst my coworkers for spending my evenings out exploring town and finding interesting things to do after work. The chance to travel the country on my company’s dime is too good to waste watching tv in the hotel, so I try to take advantage of this opportunity to see and do as much as I can. Along with some other travel bloggers, here are some of my favorite fun things to do on business trips in the United States.

Waldameer Water World – Erie, PA

Waldameer Park in Erie, Pennsylvania

One of my most surprisingly fun buisness trips was to Erie, Pennsylvania. I found Waldameer, a little amusement park near the lake, and was thrilled to discover that it was pay-per-ride. That meant that instead of having to buy a full admission ticket to ride a couple of roller coasters, I could buy just enough credits to ride what I wanted. Their biggest ride is a coaster called the Ravine Flyer II. I wasn’t expecting much, but I was absolutely blown away. I ended up going back to buy more credits just so I could ride it again. Afterward, I looked up the ride, and it turns out that it’s one of the highest rated wooden roller coasters in the country. It deserves every accolade. I finished the evening at nearby Presque Isle State Park, watching the sunset over Lake Erie from one of the many beaches.

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Disney Springs is a great spot for adults at Disney World.

The Grown-Up’s Guide to Disney World

Disney is just for kids, right? Think again. Whether you’re reliving childhood memories or visiting for the first time, a Disney vacation is a blast for adults of all ages too. As a veteran of several grown-ups only trips, here are my best tips for making the most of your vacation to Disney World for adults only.

Don’t be self-conscious

A bus ride at Disney World - Disney World for Adults

I’m wearing a Pocahontas tank top. I’m drinking pop for breakfast. I am ready for some Disney magic sans kids.

Even if friends and family back home think you’re a little weird for going to Disney World or Disneyland without kids, no one at the parks will care. If you look around, you’ll see plenty of adults there by themselves from college-aged travelers to honeymooners to retired couples to intrepid solo travelers soaking up the magic on their own. And even if you were the only adults there sans children, everyone else would be too busy enjoying themselves to care. Don’t let worrying about what other people think of you put a damper on your fun.

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Banner of rainbow colored travel photos

Worldwide Color: Best of June 2017

My Instagram feature account, Worldwide Color posts three photos every day, rotating through all of the colors of the rainbow. I love looking through all of the pictures other Instagrammers send in for a feature, and the feed is turning out to be gorgeous (if I do say so myself). Keep reading to see the Instagram’s most colorful travel photos.

Red

The red lanterns in this shot from Kuala Lampur are gorgeous. There is so much natural and man-made beauty in Malaysia, and this picture captures it perfectly. Like this shot? Follow @travelandblog on Instagram.

Other top red photos were of red poppies at the Tower of London by @wangaringugi and a palace in Lisbon, Portugal by @meusroteiros.

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Be prepared for the beauty of Jokulsarlon with this packing list for winter in Iceland

What to Pack for Winter in Iceland

Winter is an incredible time to visit Iceland, and offers the best chance to see the Northern Lights there. However, winter travel has its challenges and requires a bit more packing than a warm-weather beach vacation. Everything we found in Iceland was expensive, so you’ll want to bring everything you need to avoid making pricey purchases. Here’s my essential packing list for winter in Iceland. I left off the basics like underwear and a toothbrush because I have faith that you’ll know to bring things like that.

Note: This  post contains affiliate links, and should you choose to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. If you use an ad blocker, you may need to disable it for this site in order to see the product images.

Outer Wear

Waterproof winter coat

This is important. It’s going to be cold. Set yourself up to be warm and safe by bringing a good coat. I’ve always been partial to Columbia coats like these. Mine is a couple years old now and no longer on sale but I love the ability to separate the two layers in case it warms up a little – and it did on my trip. Columbias also have a metallic heat blanket-style lining that keeps you warm without a lot of bulk. Make sure the outer shell is waterproof, as you’ll likely be encountering snow, rain, or mist from waterfalls. My advice? Pick one of the pretty, bright colors that’ll stand out in pictures, because you’re going to be wearing your coat in most of them.

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Alberta Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park

Hiking Alberta Falls

The Alberta Falls trail is fairly easy and offers a rewarding view of a cool little waterfall. The trail to the falls is about 1.6 miles, and hikers can continue past the waterfall for a few miles to view some scenic lakes and ponds. We decided to turn back after reaching Alberta Falls because we wanted to explore some other areas on our last day, and it made for a perfect morning warm-up hike.

Alberta Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park

The destination

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