Last Updated on October 2, 2020
Hello! My name is Adrienne, and I want to thank you for checking out my blog!
I’m a traveler, blogger, and amateur photographer based in Washington, D.C. This blog is just my side gig; I have a full-time “9-5” that helps take care of my passions: travel, photography, mid-century modern design, and my cat Juniper.
But I’m pretty lucky with my job too! It intersects with international exchanges, so I get to meet lots of people from around the world and even travel internationally a few times a year for work.
I started this blog to share my love of travel, photography, and culture. But I also wanted to share information and resources that I wasn’t able to find before my trips.
When did I start traveling?
I actually flew on a plane alone for the first time when I was 4! My parents were divorced, and I flew alone from Ohio to see my dad in Connecticut. You were supposed to be 5 years old to fly then as an unaccompanied minor, so I had to practice saying I was 5. Yes, this blog is built upon a throne of lies. (Don’t come at my mom — it was the 80’s, and there were basically no rules then. People could smoke on planes. Also I was freakishly well-behaved as a small child.)
Anyway, my sweet mom put me on the plane, fastened my seatbelt, and gazed at me with tears in her eyes… and I looked up and said,”It’s OK Mommy, you can go now.”
And that was how I became a solo traveler my first time out of the gate!
Where did my blog name, The Haphazard Traveler, come from?
Ya’ll, when I started traveling internationally, I was a TERRIBLE traveler. Like, epic-ally, embarrassingly, I-wince-when-I-remember-it bad.
My first international trip in 2007 was for work, and it started out like this: five hours before my flight, I caught my coat on fire with a space heater in my office. Then I spent 10 hours crying intermittently in Frankfurt during a missed connection. Finally, I arrived in a small town in Bulgaria at 3AM with only a few hours until my first meeting.
I was a hot travel mess. Quite literally, since I even caught my coat on fire.
Did I mention I was scared, too? I was terrified. I couldn’t sleep on the plane because I was digging my nails into the armrest and breathing like a serial killer.
But over the next few days, after exploring Roman ruins, getting swept down a street in a traditional wedding procession, and overindulging in shopska salad and baklava, I was hooked on travel.
As I kept traveling and learning from my mishaps, I would post funny Facebook updates for friends. (“The Haphazard Traveler Tip #17: Just because you CAN plug your hairdryer from home into the socket without a converter, doesn’t mean you SHOULD.” Yes, there was a small fire; no, there were no fatalities. (Also: Hot Travel Mess, Exhibit 2.)
But with each subsequent trip, I slowly grew from a haphazard to expert traveler.
How did I become a better traveler?
All you need is a little faith, trust, and pixie dust. I AM JOKING. It was more like blood, sweat, and tears. After a disastrous solo trip in Thailand where I ended up at (what I thought was) a botanical garden but was more geared toward photos with chained-up tigers, I vowed I had to get my act together.
I soon discovered G Adventures (then Gap Adventures) and Intrepid Travel, two small-group adventure tour companies. I went on several trips with them, learned a lot from awesome fellow travelers, and built the knowledge and confidence I needed to travel solo.
- Learn more here about why I think small group tours are the #1 way to get started traveling for solo travelers and budget travelers!
What are some of my favorite travel experiences?
- Seeing sunrise at Angkor Wat in Cambodia
- Taking a sunrise hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, Turkey (and crying a little because it was such a bucket-list experience for me!)
- Trekking into the Sahara by camel to spend the night in a Moroccan desert camp
- Experiencing Dia de Muertos in Oaxaca
- Climbing Mayan ruins at Tikal in Guatemala and hearing the forest wake up at sunrise
- Spending a week with my family on a catamaran in the Virgin Islands (my most “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” adventure to date)
- Hiking the Inca Trail with my sister
- Swimming with whale sharks and sea lions in La Paz, Mexico
- Hiking 26 miles in 3 days to explore Petra solo
- Visiting 1,000 year-old-tombs of kings in Samarkand, Uzbekistan
- Staying in a 17th century star fort-turned-boutique hotel in Tavira, Portugal
- Visiting Chernobyl
- AND SO MANY MORE!
What you’ll find on my blog
- Super-detailed itineraries and guides (I’m still overcompensating from my hot travel mess days)
- Offbeat destinations, plus hidden gems in more popular spots
- History and cultural experience tips to help you dig deeper into the places I write about
- Virtual travel tips since so many of us are not able to travel this year
Want to get in touch?
Find out more here about causes I support in communities I’ve traveled to.