Paris Fashion Week: Death by Fashion

Posted on October 11, 2012 by Sylvia Sabes

Thanks to Sylvia Sabes, a fellow Girl Who Gets Around, for contributing the following post. For more from the Parisian expat, writer, photographer, and mom, mosey on over to her blog, Finding Noon.

“JOHANNA! JOHANNA!!” the crowd was shrieking in an eclectic blend of foreign accents, trying to get the attention of the very made-up young woman. “OVER HERE, LOOK MY WAY, OVER HE–” Suddenly, I could hear no more, distracted by the pain shooting from a sharp point in my side. I looked to my right, where I spotted the sweetest, mildest-looking Japanese photographer who had just elbowed me in the ribs like a frantic shopper during Black Friday sales. I glanced down at her feet, noticed a pair of 4” spiked (with metal studs) heels, and hightailed it away from the utterly mad crowd.

Paris Fashion Week: From left, obviously: Nicole Ritchie dressed to kill, a Scandinavian designer, and well, an eclectic fan of fashion

No mistaking the scene: It was Paris Fashion Week, and I had stumbled upon the most coveted spot of the entire ten day circus: the back stage entrance to the Chanel fashion show. Photographers had traveled from across the globe to shoot this very moment and fought for a prime spot as limousines disgorged fashionistas, superstars, and the incomprehensibly rich, one after the other.


Cruisin’ for Crocs in Northern Queensland

Posted on May 29, 2012 by Matthew Nunn

Normality is a word that Australia has never really been at home with, and for travelers many countries fail to fascinate in such an absurd and wonderful way as the land down under. From bouncing marsupials to red dirt and the world’s most impressive collection of dangerous creatures, there’s something to draw your attention all over this vast country.  This absurdity is one of the major factors that draw people here and makes travelers willing to put up with the long haul over to Australia.

An area that is definitely worth a visit is the Daintree Rainforest, a place incredibly lush and rich in life that opposes the typical desolate, barren environment that most people picture when they think of Australia. What’s even more surprising is that it’s home to large crocodiles; creatures most people believe reside in dusky areas such as the Outback or Africa. These are animals which the Aussies live fearlessly side by side, and luckily for travelers they are more than happy to take you on a cruise to see the famous neighbors.

(The cruises rarely disappoint, and a local male was the first sighting)



How to Explore Like a Local (When You’re Actually a Local)

Posted on May 14, 2012 by Jessie Kwak

Thank you to Jessie Kwak of for contributing as the May 15th Travel Instigator. Stay tuned for a new feature on the 15th and 30th of each month from a new adventurous traveler.


The travel bug bit me early. We can blame my parents, who bravely trundled my sister and I along on road trips, camping trips and even to Venezuela almost as soon as we could walk. I eagerly embraced study abroad programs in university, and had trouble staying in country for more than 18 months at a time after I graduated.

Seattle Skyline (photograph by Beth Yost)

Lately, life circumstances have meant that I can’t just jaunt down to South America at the drop of a hat. When waiting tables I could take 6 months off no problem and know that I’d be able to talk my way back into a job when I got back to town, completely broke. Somehow I don’t think that’s going to work as well with an “adult” desk job. I mean, paid vacation is awesome, but I hear they want you to come back after your two weeks is up. Seriously.

I’ve always been the kind of traveler that spends a lot of time in one place, rather than trying to fill up a backpacker’s bingo card of destinations. When I returned solo to Venezuela in 2006, I had intended to backpack through the whole country for two months. I accidentally acquired a job in the tiniest little border town in the Gran Sabana, however, and spent six months in the same village. When I got home people asked me about Angel Falls, Los Roques, the beach. I’d seen none of those things, but I wouldn’t trade the friendships I made in Sta Elena for all the tourist hotspots in the country.


Living Like a Local in Seattle (video)

Posted on April 29, 2012 by Tawny Clark

Thank you to Tawny Clark of Captain & Clark for contributing as the April 30th Travel Instigator. Stay tuned for a new feature on the 15th and 30th of each month from a new adventurous traveler.

We recently realized that while we have videos from various nooks and crannies of the world, we have little on our beautiful and diverse hometown of Seattle, Washington. Being the birthplace of Starbucks, Seattle is notorious for its coffee culture. Take a peek as we step inside the world’s first Starbucks, the legendary Pikes Place Market, and stand under one of the state’s largest erections. We’re talking about the Space Needle… obviously.

We hope you enjoy our small virtual tour of one of the greatest cities in the world. Trust us, we’re not biased.


Five Days, Four Nights on a Catamaran in the Galapagos Islands

Posted on April 15, 2012 by Rachel Tavel

A big thanks to Rachel Tavel of  Travel with Tavel for contributing the following post as the April 15th Travel Instigator. Stay tuned for a feature post and Q and A from a new adventurous female traveler the 15th and 30th of every month.


It started when the flight attendants sprayed the overhead compartments on the airplane. I knew we were going somewhere different, somewhere delicate, somewhere barely touched… They sprayed our luggage to make sure we wouldn’t bring any foreign species onto the islands, which began to seem more like a fragile sick person than a beaming cluster of endemic life. I could tell this wasn’t going to be like other trips I had been on. Spending five days and four nights on a luxury catamaran in the Galapagos Islands was going to be special. That, I knew.

The Galapagos Islands

In the months leading up to this trip, it seemed like everyone who traveled to the Galapagos Islands had taken some sort of vow of secrecy. Friends who had gone would give me short responses when asked to describe the experience. They’d say, in one quick shot, “It was AMAZING,” or “You have to try and go before you leave.” My six-month stint working as a travel writer in Quito, Ecuador was coming to an end, and I was beginning to realize that this might be my only chance to ever visit the Galapagos. Despite hearing from several coworkers who had visited, and the author of the Galapagos guidebook, which I was copyediting, I couldn’t get a grasp of what visiting the islands was really like.

Photo taken by Rachel Tavel

I had seen photos here and there, but nobody wanted to give anything away. My French friend Clemence refused to show me any photographs before I left. She told me, “I don’t want to ruin it; you have to go and find out what it’s like for yourself.” I was running out of time in Ecuador and my strategy to wait for a last-minute deal wasn’t working, so I began to make moves to ensure a trip would happen. Even if I ended up paying over a thousand dollars (standard) for only three days on a shitty boat, and puking my brains out from seasickness, I wanted to know what the secret was; I wanted to be a part of the less than 160,000 people who are permitted on the island annually, and I wanted to understand what it was about the Galapagos Islands that nobody seemed to be able to describe. But the deal I was waiting for never seemed to come.

I began trying to accept that maybe this final adventure in Ecuador wouldn’t pan out. Yet, a part of me was unconvinced. I had to go. During my lunch break on the last day at my job, I headed to a travel agency as a last resort. I walked in, credit card in hand, ready to reserve my place on a four day, three night cruise. The ship was given two out of five stars and looked like a red tug-boat just waiting to retire. It didn’t feel right, but the islands were calling me… I had to get to the Galapagos anyway that I could.

Photo by Rachel Tavel: The Nina on the Galapagos Islands

As I sat at the travel agent’s desk, holding the cruise pamphlet, clinging to my credit card, something in my gut told me not to pull the trigger. It was 1pm, and the cruise was leaving the next day, so the agent told me I had to make a decision by 6 pm to get onto the 10am flight. I told him I would wait out the afternoon and see if the deal I was desperately waiting for cropped up. If it didn’t, I’d come back after work and book the trip.

At 4:30 pm, thirty minutes before I was to purchase tickets for the crappy cruise, I got the email I had been waiting an entire month for: there was a spot on The Nina — the #1, nicest, most luxurious boat in the Galapagos Islands — and I was going to be able to get on the 5 day, 4 night cruise, which usually costs $2,700, for less pennies in exchange for writing/translating sales brochure’s for the company upon my return. It was unbelievable, unreal… This was the best of the best. I was going!


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