All posts by hkword

Best Restaurants, Cafes, and Desserts of Charleston

Charleston calls to mind the quintessential Antebellum town: towering eighteenth and nineteenth century homes, dressed in classic whites and pretty pinks, gulls circling in the harbor, the rush of water and tang of salt in the air. And let’s not forget the food: fluffy biscuits, creamy grits with shrimp, light tea cakes in airy parlors. If you are looking for something other than the traditional Southern fare of Charleston, for brilliant flavors with a Southern twang, check out some of my favorite cafes, restaurants, and desserts of Charleston in my new Huffington Post article!

4 Must-Sees in Montreal

The old town of Montreal is alive with a fusion of both French colonial charm and modern delights. From the long pathways alongside the port to the gently watching hills in the distance, Montreal offers a banquet of attractions for those who dream of old Europe – combined with the convenience of easy and affordable flights from the Eastern Seaboard. On your visit to this Old-New-World capital, be sure to: climb Mont Royal, devour some of the best bagels in the world, sit awestruck before the intensely creative Cirque du Soleil, and eat your way through the charming Old Town.

Read my full suggestions here:

5 Places to See, Things to Do and Foods to Eat in Buenos Aires

”Paris of the South,” medley of Spain and Italy and France and South American flair, Buenos Aires is home to striking architecture and vivid graffiti walls and wide boulevards where tango dancers whirl around one another and street-criers shout, “Cambio, cambio – change, change” – offering the money variety, of course. After recently spending nearly four weeks in Buenos Aires, here are a few of my favorite hotspots for travelers to this southern capital.

Read on here!

Why I Keep Returning to Key West

Life proceeds at an alarming rate in the United States, busy seconds and minutes ticking away on strict timelines and sleepless work nights. But there still remain a few spots in our ever-busier nation that are oases of uninterrupted relaxation. Key West is one of those havens.

I first met Key West as a child. Two years ago, I had the chance to travel to this southernmost point of the U.S. From there, it was all too easy to fall in love with this colorful little town.

So, why does Key West draw so many back to her shores, just as once upon a time the wreckers pulled ships by night with their blinking bright lights? Here are a few reasons I’ve come to love Key West.

Read on here.

Four Must-See Museums in Key West

Eternal summer and sunshine, crystalline waters grading slowly from ultramarine to aquamarine, boozy and bright Duval street dressed prettily in painted pastels, Key West is not only home to outdoor adventures, but also to a rich history. If you are searching to learn a little bit about the Southernmost point of the United States and some of its most famous tales, be sure to check out these four museums while in Key West.

Key West’s Best Key Lime Pies

Key West … Key Lime Pie

When thinking of Key West, I cannot help but link the city with the tart treat. Throughout the town, stores boast the “original” and “best” key lime pies – but who are the real winners? During a recent trip, I decided to try every key lime delight I possibly could in the span of five days. The following are my top picks for where to eat the best key lime pies in Key West…

3 Reasons to Fall in Love with Raleigh

After spending more than half of last year abroad, I can’t help but think of home, and why after travelling to 55 countries – and counting – around the world, I keep returning to Raleigh, North Carolina.

Despite the ever-intriguing fluctuations in sun and rain and wind and hail and spring’s annual snow-dusting of pollen, Raleigh is a world-class city with world-class opportunities and world-class universities, a technology capital with growing entrepreneurial capacities. Raleigh is young – a city of just-emerging professionals and students striving to mold their city into something bright, beautiful, and exciting.

Read on here:


All Who Wander

“Not all those who wander are lost.”

I am a wanderer.

In four Madrid months, I wandered far beyond what I knew. I have been lost (sun-drenched Madrid streets blending into one another, winding and circling in the dizzying heat, cream colored building after cream colored building); I have found (ruins from the time of the Moorish Emirs, squares sparkling with light refracted from the water leaping from fountains, peacocks scrambling through the mazes of a monastery-palace in a glimmer of sapphire and emerald).

My favorite ballroom dance is Quickstep. When one learns to dance quickstep, the instructor yells, “Slow, Slow, Quick-Quick” until nothing but those words can resound in the dancer’s mind. Those Madrid days were a dance – Quickstep in particular.

Slow, Slow: lazy days meandering through the capital of Madrid, captivated by walls of art, stumbling upon festivals and rifling through stores and sitting for hours with a single cup of coffee in an overstuffed chair.

Quick-Quick: rushes of weekends, countryside blurring from car and airplane and train windows, exam proctors yelling “time” as dozens of pens scratch out final responses, standing on the edge of Moncloa watching the cars race into the distance.

Somehow, the days melted away in that dance and I came to the end of my Madrid wanderings.

So if I can offer one piece of advice for my fellow dreamers and nomads, it is to never cease to wander and never cease to see wonder.

Read the original blog here:

Packing for Study Abroad

The time is coming to pack up, to squeeze the suitcase shut and kiss your family and friends goodbye, to start a new chapter of your life in a different country, perhaps even on a different continent. And so the question becomes:

How do you pack an entire life into a suitcase or two?

As I prepare to pull my suitcase from its closet in my rented room and close the zippers on the life I created over the last four months in Madrid, I am reminded of the days of agonizing that went into closing that suitcase the first time in my room in Raleigh.

So after surviving and thriving over four months living from my suitcase, here are a few of the tips I found most helpful for packing for my time in Madrid:



Celebrate Christmas in Madrid

Is it your first winter in Madrid? Are you wondering how to make the most of the chilly days here? Madrid in December is like nothing I have ever seen before, filled with light and color and excitement. After exploring the brightly lit and decorated streets in the newly cold weather, discover here some favorite Madrid winter traditions that I have stumbled upon!