3 Delicious Veg-Friendly Cafes in Bali

So… let me begin by saying that (a) this doesn’t even scratch the surface of the incredible vegetarian dining scene in Bali, and (b) of course there’s a whole lot more to the island than just Seminyak and Ubud, the only two towns represented here. But, you know, I only get so much time off, so I’m going to have to return at some point to eat my way through the rest of Bali.

With that disclaimer out of the way: Man, there is some good vegetarian food in Seminyak and Ubud. I wasn’t sure what to expect of Bali’s vegetarian scene—I wasn’t really sure if that was even, like, a thing. Happily, it both exists and excels. Here are three of my favorite places—I sourced all of them from Foursquare and highly recommend that as a strategy, whether you’re in Bali or anywhere else in the world. Continue reading “3 Delicious Veg-Friendly Cafes in Bali”

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Things to Do in Bali: Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest

Even though my first hotel in Bali was just a ten-minute walk from Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, the insane horror stories around the internet almost made me leave it off my itinerary. My interest level in having my purse snatched by a thieving monkey, or having to take my travel insurance for a spin after getting bitten, was, uh, less than zero.

But the Monkey Forest also sounded like one of the most interesting places in Ubud. Not only did it offer a chance to see a whole lot of monkeys up close (600, to be exact), it’s also a spiritual center, home to three 14th-century Hindu temples. And the expanse of forest seemed like it could provide a welcome escape from the Balinese heat and humidity. Continue reading “Things to Do in Bali: Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest”

How to Save Hundreds of Dollars on Flights

I get asked pretty frequently how I manage to travel as much as I do. Fair question, given that I’m 23 and live in one of the most expensive cities in the U.S. and, like, am definitely not making a six-figure salary. A lot of it is good fortune (cheap rent, no crippling student loan burden). But a lot more of it has to do with my luck in finding great flight deals.

Lately, I’ve been spotting most of those deals on Scott’s Cheap Flights List. A friend turned me onto it a couple of months ago and it is magical. A few weeks ago, I booked a mistake fare on TAP from Newark to Heathrow for $290.45 for my trip to Europe in November. One more time for the folks in the back: I’m flying across the Atlantic Ocean for TWO HUNDRED AND NINETY DOLLARS. Continue reading “How to Save Hundreds of Dollars on Flights”

3 Places to See DC’s Cherry Blossoms

Since it would probably be meteorologically impossible for DC’s chilly winters to immediately give way to swamp hell summers, District residents get a few weeks’ reprieve in March or April to actually enjoy being outside. Lucky us, this also means we get to enjoy the historic cherry blossoms.

Granted, peak bloom means peak traffic. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s 110% worth battling the crowds to take in one of the most impressive sights DC has to offer.

We’re currently mid-Cherry Blossom Festival (this year, it’s running from March 20 through April 17). Peak bloom just happened on March 25. And between two early morning Tidal Basin visits, a morning and afternoon run, and one drive out to Bethesda, I’ve gone cherry blossom spotting on, uh, five separate occasions in the last five days.

Continue reading “3 Places to See DC’s Cherry Blossoms”

Staying in London: Stratford

It’s a challenge to find a place to stay in London when you’re on a budget—particularly when you also have a jam-packed itinerary and can’t risk leaving your precious few hours of sleep in the hands of unknown hostel bunkmates. I look forward to the day when money’s not an obstacle and I can just crash in Mayfair or whatever with the posh people, but right now, I’m 23 and work at a nonprofit. So I spent many, many, many hours scouring Expedia for accommodations on those nights when I wasn’t going to sleep on a bus.

Ultimately, after weighing several dozen options and getting dangerously close to my departure date, I settled on the Epsilon Hotel in Stratford. At $70 per night with free wifi and breakfast included, the price was right, and though it’s not especially centrally located, the tube stop ten minutes away meant it wasn’t too much of a sacrifice location-wise.

Honestly, I liked my hotel in Stratford precisely because it was a bit out of the way. Continue reading “Staying in London: Stratford”

Cat on a Plane

Almost 8 years after I got my learner permit, I still haven’t managed to pass my road test. Or, uh, bothered taking it. To the shock of some people who find this out, I do manage to function as an adult human despite my lack of a driver’s license, thanks very much.

But when my first holiday season as a cat owner rolled around, I did find one big inconvenience. At the holidays, DC is a ghost town. And petsitter fees skyrocket. And I have no one to care for my cat but also can’t just drive her home like my roommate did with his cat.

And that was how Lily ended up paying the price for my stubbornness/ineptitude and racking up her first thousand miles on American Airlines. Continue reading “Cat on a Plane”