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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How I Almost Became a Professional Wrestler (and Other Near-Careers)

When I was 5 years old, I decided to become a wrestler. The All-Star kind, not the Olympic sort. My future lay within the confines of a black and white television, where the inhabitants sported thigh-hugging tights, sequins as blinding as flashbulbs, lace-up leather boots, and mullets. I had a …

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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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Ciao for now, Minneapolis

So long, Minneapolis. The AWP conference is over and I head back to Austin, Texas this morning. This was my first AWP and I feel exactly the way I expected to, based on advice I got and posts I’d read before I ever arrived. Exhausted in brain and body from …

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Hello, Minneapolis. Remember Me?

Tomorrow I fly out of my new hometown, Austin Texas, to my old hometown, Minneapolis. The annual AWP Conference for writers begins Thursday. This will be my first time attending; I am excited to see writer friends from around the country, though my inner introvert already pictures me face down …

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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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Somebody Out There Liebsters Me

Steal Just One Day has been nominated for the Liebster Award! Right. The Liebster Award was a mystery to me, too. So when Tess, from Whisperings of the Mind nominated me, I got right on it. Being a master detective/nosy parker, I went sloothing. I sloothed. Well, I googled, which is …

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The Tribe Encounters a Beast: Lunch with Old Friends

I write a lot about the philosophy of stealing a day from fate because I believe it is an important part of our mental health, both individually and collectively, to step out of our everyday existence and see what might happen. It’s not always easy to walk away from a …

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Bicycling Burglar Seeks Stuff

click to read Bicycling Burglar Seeks Stuff

I watched a burglar bicycle past my house today while I drank a delicious cappuccino and watched my dogs wrestle in the sun-filled yard. Maybe the heavy bag he was toting over his shoulder while madly pedaling his (stolen?) bike should have been a dead give-away, but at the time …

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Green Pajamas and Reinvention Through Travel

At camp in Sale,, planning route south

In a Dispatch a while ago, I mentioned an Irish radio show I listened to one morning while driving from Ireland’s south coast up to Dublin. The show was about why people travel. Although it happened to be perfect timing for me to listen to the show, since I was trapped …

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Whiskey Expert: Have Paper? Have Flask? Will Travel.

There’s a theory (you can look it up and read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers) referred to as the 10,000-hours rule, which basically says that if you practice something for that many hours you will pretty much be an expert at it. But the 10,000-hours rule notwithstanding, here is what makes someone …

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Sometimes a Vague Notion

I had this vague notion about my first trip to Ireland 15 years ago: that I would seek out some connection with an Irish ancestor who had emigrated sometime in the nineteenth century, landed in Minnesota and started procreating. The family had very little information about him. Because my husband …

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Two Tales of One City: Dublin

I lost my map of Dublin in the toilet of the restaurant I had breakfast at today. Or maybe I left it on the bench where I sat in St. Stephen’s Green. Or it could be up in the belfry of Christ Church Cathedral, but I’m not sure. What I …

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On Dublin and the Cold Shoulder

I have entered an alternative Irish universe called Dublin. At breakfast this morning at O’Malley’s guesthouse in Kilkenny, I was musing on the past three weeks of travel in Ireland. On listening to “Trad” music in Dingle with Irish folk on holiday from Cork and Dublin and Belfast, after the …

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The Weight of History and the History of Weight

Today began with an early delivery of beer kegs, rolling down the sidewalk to the door of the pub below my window. If you thought that might have been a bother, don’t fret. I was ready to get up anyway and it was a “fine, soft day” in Clonakilty, County …

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Oslo: The New Big Smoke, or, “Hallo, Kettle, this is Pot Speaking: You’re Black”

credit: Brian Gabriel

London has cleaned up its act, in terms of ye olde air polluters, and so the old nickname “The Big Smoke” no longer applies literally. It has been relegated to a fond and hazy moniker by people who aren’t old enough to remember breathing in coal-fired chimney smoke mixed with …

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