Feature post: IBIT.

https://twitter.com/#!/spinstercompass/status/108616191165210624

Greg, founder/blogger & writer/everything else of I’m Black & I Travel (IBIT) (Twitter hash-tag #IBIT), happens to be an internet friend of mine. I’ve followed him since I simultaneously started my blog & Twitter account. I appreciate his musings on the connections between people of color & traveling, getting more people of color (namely Black Americans) to travel, and his weekly travel news digest & travel tips geared towards people of color yet are useful for any human being who loves exploring the planet. Greg read one of my posts about the recent riots, and he liked it enough to feature me on his blog’s occasional series, “Out There!”, on August 18th.

Check out my post on his award-winning blog, and follow him on Twitter @ImBlacknITravel. Thanks for the opportunity, Greg. 🙂

Click here >> OUT THERE: Me

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Feature post: Try Anything Once.

https://twitter.com/#!/spinstercompass/status/107144631468302336

Terri, founder of Try Anything Once“exploring food, continents & life” – is focusing on expatriate life in her blog this week. She asked me to write a short piece and of course, I obliged. Check out my post on her blog, and follow her on Twitter @TryItFoodTravel. Thanks for the opportunity, Terri. 😉

Click here >> The Positives & Negatives Of Expat Life

My guest post on Solo Traveler Blog.

My post is now live as of 05.21.2011. Check it out, leave honest feedback here and/or on the post itself, and hopefully you’ll enjoy it.

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About a month ago, the owner/founder of Solo Traveler blog, Janice Waugh, asked a question on a Facebook group that we’re both part of.  She asked if people would volunteer for her May theme, Iconic Cities, due to popular demand by her readers.  One of the cities was Sydney and I’ve been there.  While I hate putting myself out there for reasons I’ve mentioned on here many times, I figured it’d be nice to give ideas to those who’d be interested in traveling solo to Sydney one day.  (It’s also a nice way to advertise this blog; however, that’s the least important reason to do it.)

Well, to my surprise, Janice sent me a private message asking if I’d write something.  I obliged.  I was late handing it in because I had to head home to handle some business/tie up some loose ends, but I finished it as soon as I got back.  And while Janice was away traveling solo in Jordan, the associate editor of Solo Traveler, Tracey Nesbitt, made contact with me and helped me with my write-up.

My post is now live as of 05.21.2011.  Check it out, leave honest feedback here and/or on the post itself, and hopefully you’ll enjoy it.  The post includes information about accommodation, solo travel, and my pictures of things to do & see.  My humble thanks goes to Janice & Tracey for giving me this opportunity, as well as thinking that my writing is decent enough to post on their blog (which is my favorite travel-related blog, by the way).

Here it is:  Solo Travel In Sydney

GUEST POST: Oh, that’s proper.

Ashley is a friend of mine who was also my very 1st visitor from back home a few weeks ago. Here’s her guest post, my first ever on this blog.

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Ashley is a friend of mine who was also my very 1st visitor from back home a few weeks ago. She’s a freelance writer & tutor. For more about her, check out Mochalocks In The City or follow her on Twitter @middleofmarch. Here’s her guest post, my first ever on this blog.
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April 5, 2011 – It’s been two weeks already since I’ve been across the pond. I’m talking about London, England. I took time out from being a busy American and I actually took a vacation to a country that I always wanted to visit.

Can I say that I love their accent? LOVE IT. With a capital L.

My trip was only for a week, but I suggest staying there for at least 2 weeks or more if you can afford it. I already made up my mind that I have to stay longer than a week on my next trip to England.

First rule of thumb when arriving in England: Learn their English. A lot of their words mean the same but they use different words from American English. For example:

Television/T.V.= Tele.

Bathroom = Toilets. (I know, this sounded weird as hell to me when I first heard it coming out of the mouth an airport employee.)

Garbage = Rubbish

Parking Lot = Garage (pronounced GAH {like the 1st syllable of the name Gary}-rage)

And so on, but you will learn their way of speaking, etc. as you venture out of your hotel room.

I was lucky enough to stay the week with my friend “Spinster”. Spinster lives in a nice little neighborhood – lots of shopping within 5-10 minutes walking distance from her house, and close enough to public transportation.

The food is good. I didn’t notice a difference between British food and American food at all but as expected, some items on the menu have different names, i.e. French Fries = Chips. And believe me when I say I’ve had enough chips in a week, to not care to have them again for another month. But you’re on vacation right? So who’s really worrying about how much you’re going to eat? British food portions are a lot smaller than American food portions. So a large size plate of rice and chicken is really a medium.

The top two restaurants I suggest you visit while in London are 1) Nando’s (it’s an American version of Dallas BBQ or even Applebee’s) and 2) Haandi (Indian restaurant). We went to one Nando’s restaurant in south-east London and another one in south-west London. With Haandi, there are only 4 of them in the world, 2 of which are in England. Spinster and I went to the one in Kingsbridge, London.

There’s no need to rent a car while you’re there because London has a good source of public transportation. If you decide to drive though, take note that the steering wheel is on the right side of the car.

What’d I love about London? It’s a little version of NYC, but it still has its old but classical buildings intact, some of them with a modern twist. For instance, they still use the antique door key.

I love that you can park any way on the street (with the hood facing each other). Crossing the streets take time to get used to because when you’re on the left side of the street, the cars are coming from your right, and vice versa.

The (over-ground) trains and the tube are very easy to use. I LOVED the fact that everywhere you go they have CCTV (security camera), especially on the bus. If there is one thing NYC can steal from London, then it should make sure all buses have a camera installed. The buses are a breeze to take as well. They use an electronic ticketing system to read the Oyster cards you use to pay to get on the bus. The same Oyster cards and electronic tickets can also be used on the trains and tubes.

What’d I hate about London? I hate that the sidewalks are small as hell but you get used to it after awhile.

Overall this trip was a learning experience, as any other trip is. But I loved it and like I said, London deserves a second trip. It’s worth the 6-8 hour plane ride.

Cheerio!

Spinster’s travels.

Hello ladies & gentlemen. I have an announcement to make.

Before being crazy enough to move to another country, I’ve always had a deep love for travel. Last year, I made one of my travel dreams come true…..

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Hello ladies & gentlemen. I have an announcement to make.

Even before being crazy enough to move to another country, I always had a deep love for travel. (Please see my Hello world! entry.) Last year, I made one of my travel dreams come true, thanks to a dare that I looked into for kicks & giggles but wound up becoming all too real. I definitely don’t regret it because it was something I always wanted to do, but if anyone told me in the past that this would happen so early in my life, I wouldn’t take the person seriously. As a result of my trip, I blogged about it afterwards, entitling the blog And She’s Off!: Spinster’s Travels, but abandoned it a while later. (Believe it or not, I entered all but the last 2-3 days of the trip into that blog. Not to worry though – for those of you who’d be interested, that blog will resurrect again for my future travel jaunts. It’s hidden for now and under construction.)

When I started this blog last month, I received positive feedback from George, whose main site is CheapOair, a website/search engine for cheap airline tickets. Because he liked what he read, he asked if I’d be willing to do a guest post on his site. I said yes. A few things got in the way but now it’s finished.

So without further ado, please take a look at my guest post for CheapOair about my trip to Oz. Click on the link below. Please leave feedback on my blog (and CheapOair too, if you want). Get a drink, sit back, relax and enjoy reading it. 😉

My humble thanks goes to George for giving me this opportunity.

My CheapOair guest post >>> Spinster’s Travels: The Wizard of Oz

Oz.