BIG NEWS (Plus something for you!)

currently playing on my iPod: Agora by Bear Hands

On St. Patty’s Day, I accepted Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency’s offer of representation!!!




I could go on and on about how excited I am about how excited she is and how exciting it all is. Believe you me. I want to. She is already amazing and we have so very much in common and I want to have a sleepover and listen to music and watch movies and braid our hair like we’re Vikings extras,


until I have a beautiful book ready, you need something just for YOU, my fun-loving, history nerdish, travelholic, adventuresome blog buddies.


So here it is: a list and mini-description of some ideas I use when indulging in my passion for travel planning!

1. Skulk about the tripadvisor forums. You can search all sorts of things like city names and specific events and where to sit. People post tips on local places to eat all over the world, naming even the owners and what nights are gnocchi nights and so on and delicious so forth.
2. Mimic some of the Rick Steves tours. Even if you don’t go exactly where he does, you can find the cool hotels and B&Bs if you look around his site. It is invaluable for spotting a great place to stay that doesn’t cost more than it needs to. You can also get activity ideas. I checked out a walking night tour of Rome for my trip last summer and it was amazing. I knew if all those Rick Steves people were doing the walk, it would most likely be safe and interesting.
3. Find some local day tour companies. My favorite from travels abroad so far is Rabbie’s in Edinburgh. With local companies (if their website looks strong), you usually get guides from the area, smaller groups, and fantastic personal stories. I went to the Scottish Highlands with Rabbie’s and my guide bought us treats that she grew up enjoying and shared tales about eating leftover oatmeal out of a special drawer in the kitchen (you can’t make this stuff up). She was hilarious. And she looked like Ellen. Which is completely awesome. Just saying.
4. Check out all the things on youtube too. Of course, you’ll want to watch things like Top Ten Sites in London or whathaveyou, but also search for Walk Through (insert neighborhood here) and go down the rabbit hole from there. It can lead to cool experiences most tourists miss.
5. Facebook. Ask friends of friends of whotheheckareyou about their journeys and what they liked/hated. They might have a niece who stayed in Italy for a year and knows the best place for pizza in Florence (true story).

YAY!!! for me and my agent and YAY!!! for you on travel planning brainstorming stuff! Together, we have so many adventures coming right at us!

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