Amsterdam Bicycle Tour for Independent Travelers

Amsterdam bicycle tour

Independent travelers avoid organized tours because we hate other people. Okay, I’m mostly joking, but tours make us feel restricted, like captives. The self-determination of independent travel allows us to make choices about the direction we take, our mode of travel and how long to stay in a locale according to our …

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Packing for Travel: Know Thyself

Packing for travel ©2016 BGabriel, stealjustoneday.com

Packing for travel has one certainty, one hard and fast rule: there is no certainty and no hard and fast rule. Packing is an evolving science and art for every person who explores our world, whatever their mode of travel. Online advice about packing for travel will blow your brain …

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You Never Forget Your First Time: Let’s Get it On

Click to read "You Never Forget Your First Time"

You never forget your first time. Furtive and fumbling, painful or sometimes (should we even admit this?) disappointing, that experience gets seared on your brain like grill marks on a prime steak. The memory is absorbed by every cell in the body and replayed throughout your lifetime just when you …

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Disconnecting to Accept the Promises of Travel

Travel Journal 2015, page 1

With a plane ticket and a smart phone, you can take the family and all of your friends along on pretty much any trip. Selfies and food photos, along with a wifi connection is all you need. I struggle with this constant connection while traveling. Sure, it’s great fun to share …

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Rules for Travel: Travel Journal 2015, page 11

Travel Journal, page 11~ 7 October 2015

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This Traveler’s Got a Brand New Bag

A member of a writer’s group I belong to recently posted this question: If you had to name the dumbest purchase you’ve ever made, what would it be? “Easy one”, I thought, “my first marriage license.” After I finished cracking myself up, I thought back on the massive ton of …

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Safety Tips for Travelers: 10 Common Sense Ways to Stay Safe

©BGabriel, 2015 stealjustoneday.com

In a previous Steal Just One Day post I reflected on whether the world is really as dangerous for travel as the media, your cousin, or my dentist would have you believe. Hint: it’s not. As a woman who takes travel seriously and has spent months, even years, on the road …

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The Traveler as Ambassador: Around the World in 32 Teeth

©BGabriel, 2003 stealjustoneday.com

My new dentist, Dr. Patel, took a trip to several of the world’s countries last week while examining my teeth. It went like this: Dentist: Hmmm. (Tapping a tooth.) Me: Cartagena, Colombia. Dentist: Excuse me? Me: That tooth. I had it filled in Cartagena. Dentist: Ah yes. Perilous country. And …

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Subterranean Paris: the Sewers Below the City of Light

This post is Part 4 of a series about visiting Alternative Paris. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, click to read Heading to Paris? Pack your Post-it notes, and part 2, Catacombs of Paris: Do I see Dead People?, and part 3, Falafel, History and Remembrance: Jewish Paris. Then return …

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Falafel, History and Remembrance: Jewish Paris

click to read Falafel, History and Remembrance: Jewish Paris

This post is Part 3 of a series about Alternative Paris. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, click to read Heading to Paris? Pack your Post-it notes, and part 2, Catacombs of Paris: Do I see Dead People? Then hurry back here to read about Alternative Paris-Jewish History. I …

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Catacombs of Paris: Do I See Dead People?

©BGabriel, 1999 stealjustoneday.com

This post is Part 2 of a series about Alternative Paris. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, click to read “Heading to Paris? Pack your Post-it notes“. Then hurry back here to read about Paris underground. Standing outside the entrance to the Paris Catacombs, I had second thoughts. Reluctant about …

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Heading to Paris? You May Want to Pack Your Post-its.

©BGabriel, 1999 stealjustoneday.com

[note: This is the first in a series of articles about Alternative Paris.] They make their way from Dubuque. New York City. Portland, Maine and Dallas, Texas. But also from Moscow, Frankfurt, Tangier and beyond. They come to write, to paint, for fashion and film. For the perfume and the …

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Possessing Paris: Coffee and the Lost View From a Rooftop

©BGabriel, 1999 stealjustoneday.com

There used to be two great bargains in Paris. A pair of not-so-secret traveler’s secrets to explore the city like a local. The first deal was the utterly free, 360-degree view of the City of Lights from the rooftop of a department store. You read that right: a department store. …

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Travelers Guilt: 5 Ways to Shut That Whole Thing Down

©BGabriel, 2013 stealjustoneday.com

I blame Pliny the Elder. For the whole ‘home is where the heart is’ claptrap. For providing the ammunition used to torment travelers with travelers guilt. Whether you are a long-term, ‘round the world, endless adventure sort of traveler or someone who barely manages to stockpile two weeks of vacation …

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Space Cowboys and Frontierswomen

Space Cowboys & Frontierswomen

If you grew up in the 1960s and ’70s, you are forgiven for thinking that we would all be living in space ships by now, eating vitamin pills instead of actual food, and communicating using only our minds. We had it on good authority (after-school television) that each home would have …

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A Broad-Ranging Local

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I think I’m done whining about Austin’s winter weather. No one should whine about Austin’s winter weather when they know for a fact that it is minus 2000 and snowing flakes shaped like bullets in Minneapolis. But my neck hurts from the routine whiplash of temperatures—33 degrees at dawn to near …

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On Beverages and Bonding: Art, Chemistry and the Human Connection

Being a traveler can be isolating. Sure, you’re out there on the road, interacting with local people in fascinating places around the world, seeing the stuff of a Barcalounger’s travel dreams. You smile at each stranger you encounter, seeking connection. If you are lucky, or pushy maybe, you might even …

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Who Says You Can’t Go Back?

“You eat the food here?” That was the question our guest asked. Tad was an American guy we met at a campground in Meknes, Morocco. We had invited him to join us for dinner the evening before and apparently he had been keeping an eagle eye on our activities, because …

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Mile-High Class Warfare

Not long ago, I was accidentally seated in First Class on a flight from Portland to Houston. Accidentally, because there were no seats available back in steerage when I booked the flight, courtesy of my husband’s frequent-flyer work miles. The news of my good fortune came via my check-in 24 hours …

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Scratching Beneath the Surface of Your Town

We are moving soon from Portland, Oregon to Austin. The one in Texas. The reasons we have decided to move don’t really resonate with most people who ask, so we generally tell folks that Austin is closer to Brian’s work. Which is technically true, since he works on a ship …

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