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A Quick Travel Phrase Tutorial: Guest Blogger

For June, our theme is wanderlust and we could think of no better person to wax poetic on foreign adventures than Kate Thorman, a professional travel writer. Kate’s impressive credentials include being an editor for Mr. & Mrs. Smith as well as the host/producer of the web-based travel and food program The Innocents Abroad. (In fact, she’s actually the cofounder of the show’s production company Abbott & West.) If you think you had the itch to explore before, we can guarantee that you’ll be ready to pull the trigger and book your next plane ticket after reading her travel-savvy posts this week. 

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One of my most terrifying travel memories remains the moment, on the train from Paris to Köln, when I realized the only thing I could say in German was ‘auf Wiedersehen.’ ‘Good-bye’ is definitely the most useless travel word ever.

As soon as I met up with a friend in Berlin, I asked her how to say a phrase I’ve discovered to be one of the most important in my travels: ‘I don’t speak [insert language here].’ I even know two ways to say it in Turkish, just in case they don’t believe me the first time (which has happened before – in multiple languages).

It might sound ridiculous, but once you’re off the beaten tourist path, people will just repeat themselves louder and more slowly as the few words you’ve picked up suddenly escape you and you find yourself staring like an idiot.

To make sure you can at least somewhat effectively communicate wherever you might be jaunting off to next, here’s a quick little tutorial on some useful phrases in some of my favorite languages:

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Secrets of a Boutique Hotel Enthusiast: Guest Blogger

For June, our theme is wanderlust and we could think of no better person to wax poetic on foreign adventures than Kate Thorman, a professional travel writer. Kate’s impressive credentials include being an editor for Mr. & Mrs. Smith as well as the host/producer of the web-based travel and food program The Innocents Abroad. (In fact, she’s actually the cofounder of the show’s production company Abbott & West.) If you think you had the itch to explore before, we can guarantee that you’ll be ready to pull the trigger and book your next plane ticket after reading her travel-savvy posts this week. 

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Back in the day, when I was young and broke (okay, maybe not that long ago), I knew all about finding a good, cheap hostel or homestay. After all, travel is about exploring a new place, not worrying about where you sleep, right? 

And then I discovered boutique hotels, where pedigreed designers decorate rooms I could only dream of living in. And the food is exceptional, the bar is right there, and they often give you free cookies and fancy bath products. I was ruined.

In the last few years, I’ve stayed in some pretty exceptional not-your-average-hotels. Here are a few of my favorites – go ahead, give them a try. Your bank account might regret it, but you definitely won’t…

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The Overpacker’s Guide to Travel Style: Guest Blogger

For June, our theme is wanderlust and we could think of no better person to wax poetic on foreign adventures than Kate Thorman, a professional travel writer. Kate’s impressive credentials include being an editor for Mr. & Mrs. Smith as well as the host/producer of the web-based travel and food program The Innocents Abroad. (In fact, she’s actually the cofounder of the show’s production company Abbott & West.) If you think you had the itch to explore before, we can guarantee that you’ll be ready to pull the trigger and book your next plane ticket after reading her travel-savvy posts this week. 

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After too many trips lugging a 50-pound bag from bus to subway to walking across a city, I realized I had to pare down my packing. I certainly don’t abide by the ‘leave half of what you want to take’ rule, but I do have a few pieces that I use as a base for each trip. Sometimes, on a quick trip, I might even just stick to these basics:

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Where to Eat in Havana: Guest Blogger

For June, our theme is wanderlust and we could think of no better person to wax poetic on foreign adventures than Kate Thorman, a professional travel writer. Kate’s impressive credentials include being an editor for Mr. & Mrs. Smith as well as the host/producer of the web-based travel and food program The Innocents Abroad. (In fact, she’s actually the cofounder of the show’s production company Abbott & West.) If you think you had the itch to explore before, we can guarantee that you’ll be ready to pull the trigger and book your next plane ticket after reading her travel-savvy posts this week. 

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If you’re like me, you structure trips around when and where you want to eat. I can tell you all about the cafés, markets, bakeries, taco stands, and beer gardens everywhere from Mumbai to Minneapolis, but don’t ask me for directions to major tourist sights.

Normally, this is a foolproof system. After all, everyone eats, and it’s not usually hard to get good food. In Cuba, however, I ran aground. The country has been on rations for half a century, and it shows. Before 2011, most of the country’s eateries were government-run tourist institutions, with no incentive to improve.

Now, however, paladares–privately run restaurants–are legal, and locals have spent the last couple years improving recipes and service. As ingredients slowly become more available, a hierarchy has begun to emerge, especially in the capital city of Havana, where truly delicious meals are possible if you know where to look…

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Where To Stay in Paris: Guest Blogger

For June, our theme is wanderlust and we could think of no better person to wax poetic on foreign adventures than Kate Thorman, a professional travel writer. Kate’s impressive credentials include being an editor for Mr. & Mrs. Smith as well as the host/producer of the web-based travel and food program The Innocents Abroad. (In fact, she’s actually the cofounder of the show’s production company Abbott & West.) If you think you had the itch to explore before, we can guarantee that you’ll be ready to pull the trigger and book your next plane ticket after reading her travel-savvy posts this week. 

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So you’re going to Paris. Que je suis jalouse! But where are you going to stay?

As a former resident, I get that question more than any other from friends planning trips: what neighborhood to stay in? The fact is that your quartier, as the locals say, will determine your experience of the city—Paris is not a ‘one size fits all’ place.

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