It’s sexier than it sounds.

Image: Sam Kolder | Pexels

My cousin Alan started dancing at age 6 and never stopped. Today he is a pro dancer on the hit show Dancing With The Stars. Not just any pro dancer, but the reigning champion.

Now, if you had asked 6-year-old Alan what he wanted to be when he grew up, would he have said “I want to dance shirtless for millions of people and post Instagram stories of spooning in bed with my Mirrorball Trophy”?

Well, maybe. Alan has known almost unwaveringly that his life purpose revolves around dance. To entertain and perform and choreograph body movements set to music.

And other heart-opening wisdom from Guatemala’s Chocolate Shaman

My view for two magical months in Guatemala (own photo)

Step off a water taxi onto the small public dock in San Marcos La Laguna, and it’s only a matter of time before the term cacao ceremony enters your consciousness.

San Marcos is one of the sleepier Mayan villages hugging the shore of Guatemala’s stunning Lake Atitlán. Surrounded by volcanoes, some still active, the lake is a sacred site for the Maya people, a hashtag heaven for Instagrammers, and a travel magnet for backpackers with yoga mats.

I belong to the last group.

I don’t know a soul out here, but my own having been flagged as lost and directionless…

Alluring stock photo of pirate ship from Pixabay

“Just don’t write about me!” you said, minutes after we met.

A purely playful request, as what little I knew about you then would fail to captivate readers: Tall, Cute Guy Spotted At Coffee Shop In Roatán, Honduras.

The aforementioned male had towered over my MacBook and asked, with genuine interest, what was I working on? A book proposal, I said. I was a travel writer, or aspired to be.

I would get exactly zero writing done in your presence.

When I asked what brought you to the island of Roatán — aside from every view being a stock photo…

Bernie, think like a marketer, not a politician.

NBC News

I half-watched the Democratic debate last night and wholly cringed every time Bernie shouted excitedly about “Medicare for All” as the messiah of modern healthcare.

Is the current system a broken shitshow? Duh. Should every sick person be able to afford meds? Double duh. Should healthy people be able to view their monthly premiums without elevated blood pressure? Ideally.

But what you name the solution matters.

Old-people-care for all? That’s the best we’ve got?

You can wrap it in unicorn glitter or serve it with avocado toast, but at its very core, the word Medicare makes you think of old…

The ancient Greeks worshipped a memorable roster of deities. Apollo, god of the sun. Dionysus, god of wine. Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty. Tales of these immortal beings helped demystify natural phenomena like why the sun rises or how we fall in love.

A few millennia later, we have more scientific means to explain the former and are still largely clueless on the latter.

One such clueless mortal has spent the last few months exploring the Greek islands, visiting sacred historic sites like the ruins of Delos and sampling enough local wines to make Dionysus proud.

I’m still no…

Surprisingly simple ways to ease your travels, from a full-time nomad

Photo by Ajay Donga from Pexels

1. Boil eggs in a kettle

Whether you’re staying in a budget hotel or a fancy resort, there is usually a kettle in the room, because caffeine is a universal language. Need a quick breakfast or a pre-workout energy boost? I’ve successfully used this trick dozens of times (admittedly never pre-workout). Get some eggs from a local store or a neighborhood chicken, plop ’em into the kettle, and bring to a boil 2–3 times for softer eggs or 4+ for hardboiled. Peel and enjoy.

2. Make a bedding taco

Hard mattresses are a nightmare for us side sleepers. I’ve woken up with actual bruises on my hips. Until I discovered this…

It’s not all snoring and sex

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

I travel about six months a year. Sometimes I stay in dorms to be more social and save a few Mexican pesos, Sri Lankan rupees or, on this particular day, Portuguese euros (like regular euros, but now you know where I am.)

Hostels have become more trendy and luxurious as 30-somethings and digital nomads join the boozy college backpacker abroad. For $10–20/night, your dorm accommodations may include rooftop terraces, heated pools and down blankets.

But no amount of privacy curtain fabric will block out the noise that comes from sharing a bedroom with 5…

Scuba diving is a surprisingly foolproof form of meditation

Photo by Sebastian Pena Lambarri on Unsplash

By now we have all heard about the benefits of this super ancient, suddenly trendy activity called meditating. Most of us have tried it to see what the fuss was about.

Okay, it does kind of work. But it also feels like work. So we don’t do it with any consistency. Even as a self-described yogi who gets on her mat daily, I amaze myself with my ability to bend over backwards to avoid the meditation part.

Luckily six months ago I discovered a delightful life hack for quieting down my squirmy mind: going diving!

On the surface (pun intended)…

Why certain stuff always seems to happen to you

As a restless gal who travels like it’s her job (if only), I’ve noticed some amusing cosmic patterns over the years. Here are eight laws that seem to govern our womanly existence as we explore the world:


Whenever biologically possible, your period shall deviate from its regularly scheduled cycle, starting early or late so it can better coincide with your surf camp / yoga retreat / Tahitian getaway.

My period LOVES to travel. I’ve had ’em start on airplanes, cruise ships, and without fail, during any…

Why divers are obsessed with diving, from a recent convert

Photo by Maël BALLAND from Pexels

“In Roatan, you either drink or you dive.”

My friendly new neighbor, Rino, imparted this binary activity guide for how one generally allocates his time on a Honduran island that doubles as a stock photo for tropical paradise.

Rino Jackson owns a local dive shop, and his family is one of the oldest on the island, dating back centuries — to the pirate days— so if anyone can sum up life on Roa, it’s probably him. But I had gathered enough conflicting evidence in my first week to flag a discrepancy.

“Actually, I’ve met quite a few people who seem…

Alla Gonopolsky

Brand strategist. Binge traveler. World's Least Annoying Millennial.

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