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330 days. 26 countries. 336 seconds.

Winter in Iceland

If a friend asks me about my trip to Iceland, I tell them about the people. My multi-continental travel buddy who agreed to meet me in Iceland for Christmas. Our new bestie from Couchsurfing. The board games and matchmaking and bracing ourselves against the wind, and the board games again. The long winter's nights give you plenty of time indoors.

But if a friend who's going to Iceland asks me about my trip to Iceland, I tell them so much more about what I loved of the country itself.


The Northern Lights
Now that I've seen them, I can be honest. The Northern Lights were the reason I wanted to go to Iceland in the winter. And they were totally totally worth it. But between solar activity and cloud cover, it is highly likely to miss them. So it was important to me to focus on the other reasons to go, and to make sure I wasn't setting myself up for a very expensive disappointment.

Once your travel dates are set, there are three remaining guidelines that optimize …

to a friend visiting Medellín

I'd been in Medellín about a month the first time a friend asked me for recommendations. After one lonnnnnng draft to her, then a few more weeks and a few more edits when other friends asked the same question, I ended up with what you see here. All shared with tons of love for this vibrant and fascinating city!


First things first, general stuff....

Neighborhood. Everyone's going to tell you to stay in Poblado. Don't. It's like the Khaosan Road of Bangkok or the Cancun of Mexico -- it's not awful and it definitely has some stuff worth seeing/eating, but knowing you and how you travel, it's not your Medellín. I recommend Laureles personally: still a little touristy, but on a whole different scale. Plenty to do and eat, but with much more of a neighborhood vibe. If you want more hustle and bustle, El Centro is gritty and has a lot going on. On the opposite end of the spectrum would be Envigado.

Food. Obviously I can't speak to the meat dishes, but they're re…