The How’s and Why’s of Travel Insurance

Four years ago I wrote a post titled “9 Ways I Break Conventional Travel Wisdom”. One of the items (which I wasn’t proud of at the time) was that I traveled for a significant time without travel insurance. I got lucky that nothing serious happened to me while I was traveling without insurance. I have several friends who have had serious accidents while they were on the road, some of which required evacuation.

For the last 3 years I’ve been traveling fully insured. Given how much I travel, I get an annual policy which covers all of my trips for a given year. I now make sure that my policy gets renewed at the beginning of every year and that not a day goes by where I don’t have coverage.

Many people are confused by travel insurance. What I hope to do here is a give a brief overview of what travel insurance usually covers and what it does not.

Read moreThe How’s and Why’s of Travel Insurance

Black is the New Mediterranean: Discovering Hidden Treasures along Bulgaria’s Less Traveled Sea Coast

I first visited Bulgaria in 2011 as part of a G Adventures trip from Budapest to Istanbul. I was able to visit cities like Belogradchik, Sofia and Veliko Tarnovo. However, I never got to the Black Sea. My agent Stephen Hanselman (who took the photos for this post) and his wife Julia Serebrinsky recently visited the Black Sea and came away with a newfound respect for the country and the region. Here Julia’s story about what she discovered in Bulgaria and why it is not what people expect.


In the aspirational world of international travel, Bulgaria is not a country that gets much respect, not even from its neighbors. In Moscow, where I spent my early childhood, a popular proverb about the former Soviet satellite went something like this: “As a hen is not a bird, Bulgaria is not abroad.”

In other words, lower your expectations prior to landing.

Some things never change. In 2013, when my husband booked a three week summer vacation in Burgas, a port city along the Black Sea Coast of Southeastern Bulgaria, book-ending it with stays in Dublin and Istanbul, I found the reaction of our incredulous American friends tinged with familiar dismissiveness:

“Why Bulgaria?” they asked, picking it out as the oddity on our itinerary.

Read moreBlack is the New Mediterranean: Discovering Hidden Treasures along Bulgaria’s Less Traveled Sea Coast