"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." Helen Keller

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Adventures in Los Angeles: Atwater Village


Bourdain blew up my taco spot!

But who can blame him? Tacos Villa Corona is just one of the phenomenal eating places in Atwater Village, a trendy, walkable neighborhood in central Los Angeles that’s relatively unknown outside of the city. Located right across the 5 freeway from Silver Lake (named #1 in “America’s Best Hipster Neighborhoods” by Forbes), this easygoing area has none of the pretense of the “Hipster Headquarters of the World” – but with numerous independent retailers and oddball businesses, it’s just as interesting. Continue reading

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QUIZ: Are You Gauche or Droite? Paris, City of the Seine

AF008901_3(Place Monge)

The constant river Seine flows through the heart of Paris, a meandering muse that divides the city into two distinct halves, the rive droite (the right bank, or northern half) and the rive gauche (the left bank, or southern half). Most travelers find themselves strangely attracted to one side or the other and remain fondly enamored for the rest of their lives.

Are you gauche or droite? Answer the questions below and find out. Continue reading

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Backpacking Europe Planning & Essentials Guide – Available Now on Amazon!


Experience Europe Your Way with the Bakpak Europe GO Kit!

Note to readers: I am the co-writer on this guide to backpacking Europe and created about 90% of the content. It is available for purchase on Amazon.

Discover your travel personality, enjoy amazing discounts and find everything you need to plan the European adventure of your dreams with the Bakpak Europe GO Kit.

A fun travel guide that is easy to read and packed with essential information, the GO Kit not only provides you with up-to-date tips on European trip planning, it also helps you to understand your travel preferences so that you can customize your journey around your personal interests and desires. From insider tips on different types of accommodation and transportation to help with budgeting and itineraries, the GO Kit contains the expert travel advice you need to backpack Europe – along with exclusive discounts on your trip. Continue reading

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Harvest Time in Humboldt: Trim Camp


Unless you have a thing for seedy brown schwag, every bud that you have ever smoked has most likely been “trimmed” somewhere along the way from the farm to your prescription bottle. This work of finishing the bud – pruning the leaves and removing the large stems- is performed by a subset of underground workers called “trimmers,” young, mostly female vagabonds who follow the harvest and travel with the herb. Identifiable by sticky green fingers, a verdant aroma and stray buds caught in their hair, trimmers are an integral part of West Coast weed culture. Continue reading

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Los Angeles Apartment Hunting Guide


Moving to Los Angeles is the continuation of the American dream, of traveling west towards the setting sun and carving out a life on the edge of the world.

The good news: You can do it. Renting an apartment in LA is far easier and cheaper than in cities of comparable size like San Francisco and New York. Legions of dreamers, wanderers, pioneers, artists and those in search for a better life have picked up and moved to the belly of the beast, and so can you.

The bad news: Los Angeles has over 100 definable neighborhoods, and deciding which one of them to live in can be intimidating. However if you do your research, you too can join the masses in the land of milk and honey, the entertainment capital of the world, the center of the universe: the City of Angels. Continue reading

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Death in Paris: A Guide for the Gothically Inclined

There is no better way to feel alive than to travel, except perhaps by having a brush with death while on your trip.  With beauty, art and history manifested on almost every corner in Paris, it is the perfect place to use your heightened state of awareness for a little contemplation.  While some may prefer to keep their near-death experiences on the table (another crème brulee, anyone?), others will want to visit in the flesh the city’s offerings in the realm of the gothically inspired and downright creepy.  Get a copy of some Baudelaire and prepare to experience your own humanity. Continue reading


94 Lambs, 12 Piglets and One Ass: My Life as a Farmhand for Endangered Livestock Breeds

Here piggy pig pig pig!

“Have you ever worked with livestock before?” the farm manager asked.

“Well,” I replied with a chuckle, cleverly avoiding the real answer with a little shrug: “I grew up in Texas.”

And that was enough to land the job as a farmhand at Kelmscott Rare Breeds Foundation in Lincolnville, Maine. The truth was that I had never worked with livestock before. Although I did spend many fine hours playing in the dirt and crawling around with puppies on my grandparents’ farm as a little girl, they raised grain- not animals. Continue reading