New Beginnings in a Wanderlust Nation

Hello loves! Thank you so much for all the love and support you’ve given Taylor’s Titillating Travels over the years. It’s been amazing and I’ve loved sharing all my stories with you. I will still be bringing you fun little stories, but I’m broadening my horizons. Soon we will launch Wanderlust Nation, a new website-based travel blog with more videos and varying media. I enjoy sharing my personal stories, but I really want to bring the focus on to inspiring others to travel in new ways. I am very sad to let go of my slightly suggestive title, but I think Wanderlust Nation is going to capture a whole new realm of traveling. It’s going to be slow going at first, but I hope you all hang in there! I’ll leave you with a little something I wrote. For me it’s hopeful, it’s saying goodbye to one chapter and opening another.

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These Days

I keep a suitcase packed by the bed
Ready to go at a moment’s notice, passport in hand
I’m nearing thirty and I’m still a teenage runaway
But I guess they just call it leaving these days

Most days the real world stagnates around me
And I escape to far off lands
Just a little movement to keep myself from atrophy
But I guess they just call it surviving these days

You tell me jetlag is a myth
But how do you know if you never leave the zone?
You stay tethered to the still life you’ve created
But I guess they call it stability these days

I’ve missed a funeral, weddings, and a birth
I miss the late nights at The Pub, paying for our youth
Those moments that remind us of what we all have in store for us
But I guess that’s what they call reality these days

I keep my family and friends close to my heart
Yet I keep stepping out, always leaving them behind
In hopes of forgetting the one thing I’m missing
But I guess that’s what they call loneliness these days

The rhythm in my soul keeps beating
A drumming pulling me on at an invisible pace
Away from the known into the expanse of the lives I haven’t lived
But I guess that’s what they call wanderlust these days

So I’ll see you when my feet hit the ground
And be gone before you can remember my face
Leave you with the memories of girl once etched in your mind
But I guess they just call me a gypsy these days

I just want you to remember my name

 

xoxo Taylor

The Truth of Becoming a Travel Writer

So, you’ve got the talent for writing, you’ve got the love of travel and adventure, but that’s not the most important element of travel writing. It has to be more than just a passion. It has to be a way of life you can live with or one you simply can’t live without.

When looking to get into travel writing you have to ask yourself, as I did with just about every profession I’ve ever considered (acting, flight attendant, teacher in the Alaskan bush), what are you willing to sacrifice? If you’re just starting out and don’t have a super high paying job with massive amounts of free time or work you can take on the road, then you’re probably going to be living on a shoe-string budget. There are bills to pay and equipment you’ll need before you even leave town. Once you’re in your destination you might be staying in hostels, which means giving up personal space, living out of a suitcase (that you can’t allow to explode all over the room), and trading in your comfy bed at home for the bits of cardboard that pass in most hostels for a bed. But you’re not just giving up the freedoms of having a place of your own. You’re exchanging your every day relationships with your friends for part-time friendships. Most travel writers tend to be gregarious people who make friends easily, so it’s not that hard to find someone to grab a drink with, but these are not people who know you inside and out and sometimes you’ll get somewhere in the middle of winter with hardly any other people in the same lodgings as you. Can you handle getting dinner or drinks alone? Odds are that you’ll be spending a large amount of time by yourself. So it’s important to know who you are and know your own mind.

Speaking of relationships, for some people the hardest adjustment deals with romantic relationships. If you’re lucky enough to have someone at home who doesn’t mind you being away all the time then you’re in great shape, but often times the men or women you meet might not take a relationship with you seriously if they know you’re not going to be around to cultivate it. Even if you find someone who is willing to do these things, there is an immense amount of work that goes into maintaining that relationship compounded on top of the work it takes to maintain a presence in the media world while traveling. Are you prepared to put forth that effort into a long distance relationship while working towards your goals?

Despite the aforementioned lack of outward glamour when you’re beginning, or for any writer who isn’t employed by a luxury travel magazine, you are trading all of those things for mountains towering overhead, awe-inspiring landscapes, beachside rides on horseback, city lights glittering in the night, new friends from every walk of life, evenings with a drink in hand listening to live music, afternoons in street side cafes, whirlwind romances, and endless adventure.

What it really boils down to:
“Would you be willing to trade all of this, from this day to that, for once chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they may never take our freedoooooom!” Wait a minute… that’s from Braveheart, but the point is the same. To rephrase, would you be willing to trade every bit of a normal life for the chance to tell the world how you lived free?

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Traversing Tempe

Let’s get this out of the way, Arizona is HOT! I mean that literally and metaphorically. It was well over 100 degrees during my little Jaunt around Tempe, but that didn’t deter me. I was determined to show you all the city has to offer.

There’s much more to it than just the college scene. It’s a better city in the other 8 months in the year when it’s not over 100 degrees, but there’s still plenty to do int he summer. And, boy, do they LOVE their air conditioning.

Keeping cool in between filming

There’s a million and one places to eat and drink on Mill Avenue during the day (at night college kids take over). There’s plenty of activities to do like horseback riding at Papago Stables if you want that western experience, kayaking Tempe Town Lake, hiking in Papago Park, and catching a comedy show at the famous Tempe Improv.

However, instead of telling you all about what there is to do how about I show you?

Presenting my first ever video blog! I anticipate this to become a monthly staple of Taylor’s Titillating Travels. So, please, sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Here is a close up of that fascinating gentleman(?) in a skirt.

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So next time you’re dropping off a son/daughter, sibling, or relative off at Arizona State University or just looking for a place to go where the weather is always warm consider visiting some of these places. Be sure to check out the links to some of the places we visited!

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Happy travels!

A very special thanks to:
Curry Corner
Jorge Cajones @ World of Beer
ASU Gammage
Casey Moore’s Oyster House
Four Peaks Brewing Company

Stepping Out in Seattle

First off, I have to praise the many wonders of the site Airbnb. After hours of searching for a hotel with a decent location and price last minute for the first week of summer vacation I came up empty-handed but one of my travel buddies suggested Airbnb and we found a beautiful apartment in the young, hipster area of Capitol Hill. Walking distance to everything we could possibly want and a doable walk from the light rail station downtown. The best part is that we had a whole apartment to ourselves, complete with fridge, dishes, and a washer/dryer and it was cheaper than a hotel. If you haven’t checked out Airbnb then do it now. Don’t even finish this post. Just go check it out.

Like all great journeys getting to Seattle was a bit of a hassle. I won’t bore you with details but we finally got on a flight to Seattle and we hit the ground running.

While wondering around in search of food we happened across Von Trapp’s, a German chateau styled bar. Inside it was dimly-lit and completely wood interior with everything you could want to entertain yourself: shuffleboard, arcade games, bocce and various bar-style games. The real prizes of the place were their beer brats, pretzels (oh and that mustard!) and extensive list of German and Belgian beers.

Von Trapp's

For the life of me I can’t remember which German-style beer I ordered but the second I tasted it I was transported to a cabin in the springtime with a fire roasting nuts in a little hearth. It was magical and love at first taste.

The next morning was tourist time! We walked around downtown and hit the Space Needle and Pike Place Market. These are musts if you’re going to be in Seattle and Pike’s offers a lovely array of trinkets and souvenirs to bring home.

Downtown Seattle

We grabbed lunch at Piroshky Piroshky which is the best piroshky I’ve had outside of Russia (that adventure coming soon).

Pike Market

We topped our lunches off with a few wonderful glasses of wine at The Tasting Room hidden in one of Seattle’s alleyways. If you’re like me and can’t ever pick just one thing you’re in luck because they have themed sample arrangements for whatever kinds of wines you’re in to.

Tasting Room

Finally, we hit the gem of the journey. We met up with the Youtube vlogger for Asians Unite and Rant at Bathtub Gin Co.

Bathtub Gin

This is my favorite little speakeasy in the world thus far. The atmosphere is cozy and classy with a wide selection of liquors I’ve never heard of. Our experience was so magical that, by the end of our trip, we were all convinced our spectacular bartended, Matt James, was a figment of our imaginations and the Bathtub Gin Co. was simply a beautiful dream.


Weekly Vlog #3 with Fernet!

If you decide to go to the Bathtub Gin Co you will have to look very hard as it’s in a back alley with only a tiny placard on the back door to signify it’s existence (I still don’t believe it exists). Don’t give up, whatever you do, don’t give up in your quest to find it. You will be greatly rewarded when you do.

Seattle 'Murica!

Check out my travel buddy @YousefH