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Welcome Gutsy Traveler!

We’re a National Geographic author, an educator and an entrepreneur. Join our travel blog for tips and inspiration to journey around the world.  
About Us

Bucket List Trip: Cruise Australia and New Zealand

  Australia and New Zealand kept calling our names, but let’s face it, they are a long way from home. I was a little overwhelmed by the complicated planning aspects of trying to fly around the huge continent of Australia and how to navigate both islands in New...

Chasing the Midnight Sun in Norway. Hut-to-hut hiking and Freedom Camping.

Hut-to-hut hiking and Freedom Camping is the way to go in Norway if you love the outdoors and want stay on a budget. Last summer my partner and I hiked above deep fjords, slept in comfy huts, drove scenic remote roads, soaked in panoramic views of sheer mountain faces...

Rodeo Fever at the Calgary Stampede. Giddy Up Cowboy.

I’ve always loved rodeos, and the Calgary Stampede in Alberta, Canada was on my bucket list for years.  I finally dusted off my cowboy boots and joined daredevils, horse enthusiasts, music lovers, families, and wannabe cowboys, at the western extravaganza....

Revel in Barcelona and Beyond

Barcelona’s sensory-rich food scene, stunning Gaudi-designed architecture and glitzy nightlife lure big crowds in the summer. Last year over 18 million tourists descended upon the Catalan metropolis of 5.5 million people. If you want Barcelona to yourself and you want...

Yellowstone Country wildlife. Welcome bear cubs, bison calves and wolf pups

Spring is an exciting time of the year to see Yellowstone wildlife, especially newborns. If you ask the locals, most residents of northwestern Wyoming’s Cody – situated east of Yellowstone National Park – will tell you the season truly begins when the babies make...

Paris Tips for women, solo travelers, romance.

  Paris promises something for everyone – sophistication, beauty, culture, history, cuisines, art, escape and that nebulous quality called ambiance and tips from a resident help you capture it all. Hopefully when you visit Paris you’ll carve out time to do more than...

Loving Lucerne

Along the shores of Lake Lucerne, ringed with snow-capped peaks, couples promenade arm-in-arm as the sun dips behind the mountains. Families, catching the last light, head home pushing strollers past docks decked with flower boxes spilling red geraniums. Seagulls...

Istanbul, Turkey Tantalizes the Senses

Considered a favorite city by many Europeans, Istanbul, Turkey is vibrant, exotic, chaotic and very exciting. I spent eight dynamic days in Istanbul, wandering the lesser known neighborhoods, riding the trams and ferries, zipping back and forth between the Asian and...

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Planning Your Trek on El Camino de Santiago

Since the ninth century, millions of world travelers have embarked on Spain's ancient Camino de Santiago trail, the pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela where it is believed the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried. Kurt Koontz,...

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Solo Travel is Easy and Rewarding

Have you ever wanted to see a Broadway play in New York City, take a road trip to see the fall foliage,  or splurge on a vacation to Paris, but couldn’t find anyone to go with you?  Solo travel is the answer! It’s easier to meet people when you’re alone. Here in Bali,...

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My San Francisco is Aglow For The Holidays

Our Holiday Favorites Every December, when my daughters were young, they dressed up in their holiday finery – red velvet hair ribbons and patten leather shoes — and we  left the suburbs behind and crossed  the Golden Gate Bridge for a memorable  “overnight” in San...

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Discover Southern Comfort in Savannah

Find relaxation in quaint Savannah, Georgia with decorative architecture and lush green landscape throughout the downtown. It is an urban forest where Spanish Moss hangs from giant oak trees. There is plenty of eating, dining and shopping throughout the meandering...

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Safari Adventure in South Africa

On an exploratory adventure to the Northern Cape, a few months ago, I hunted for lions with a bushman guide and tracked rare white rhinos, on foot, in the Kalahari.  The landscape is a dramatic mosaic of rugged mountains, deeply incised valleys and rolling terrain of...

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How to Prepare for Your European Trip

My best trips to Europe began long before departure day. Thanks to advance planning I had more choices and less stress.  Here's how I streamline  my research and reservations. How to start Research online at guidebook websites such as Lonely Planet, Frommer’s and...

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A Local’s Guide to Traveling in Saigon

  The past six years of my life have been spent in Southeast Asia—more specifically in Thailand, Cambodia and now Vietnam. Living and working in Saigon gives me a unique perspective on one of the most fascinating cities in the world. I enjoy this city so much. It has...

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Tasty Travels: The All-American Corn Recipe

Have you seen a corn dish on a menu in Europe or Asia? Corn casseroles are as American as meat loaf. I grew up anticipating holiday meals -- the only time my mom made this wickedly wonderful, sinfully rich corn dish. When I was an exchange student in Luxembourg, I...

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