5 Items That Have Upgraded My Long-Term Travels


My style of travel is to move to a new country, then use that place as a homebase for exploring. When I moved to Ethiopia in May, I didn’t exactly pack light, but I packed smart for living abroad and taking shorter trips from here. These are a few recent, well-loved additions to my packing checklist:

An Impromptu Trip to Ethiopia’s South Omo Valley


Today in the life of a travel trade gal – I’ve been invited to tag along on a fam trip to Ethiopia’s South Omo Valley. The region is famous for its decorated tribes and bartering markets. My 4WD ride leaves early on Friday morning (36 hours from now!). I’ll be on the road and offline for 8 days. More details, photos, and stories to follow …

Away Message: I’m in Kenya on Safari


I will be away from my office in Addis Ababa from Saturday August 22 to Thursday August 27. Chris and I will be escaping the rainy weather with a trip to Kenya, Chris’s old Peace Corps stomping ground. We’re finally getting around to that thing people do in East Africa – a safari. We’ll be peering through binoculars on game drives through the Maasai Mara by day and retreating to tented camps by night.

Why I’m Running the Ethiotrail Half Marathon

Simbo lodge

Let’s be frank: I’m no runner. I’ve never had the special shoes or the Fitbit or the love of pain to really get into it. Yet here in Addis Ababa, I’ve just signed up for a trail run called Ethiotrail. I skipped the 12k option and went straight for the half marathon as my goal for August 9 (i.e. four weeks from now). Is that crazy? Probably. Good idea anyway? I think so. Here’s why:

“How Are You!” and First Impressions From Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa from above

When I walk down the street in my new neighborhood in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, there’s no blending in. I’m a blatant ferenji (foreigner). The diplomatic capital of Africa sees its fair share of ferenj, but still, my otherness seems to invite shout-outs. After offers of “taxi!” the most common call I hear is “how are you!”