Camping in Wharton State Forest, New Jersey

saleem ahmed for live seasoned camping 1 copy

Happy August! July has come and gone. I feel like I’ve had enough adventures this past month that I’ll be busy talking about them all August. I’ll start today with my birthday camping trip in Wharton State Forest, New Jersey. Originally I had planned on conquering this epic hike, The Great Range Trail, but I got some pretty gnarly blisters during a recent backpacking trip in Washington, so hiking was out. Then I wanted to go to Cherry Springs State Park, but the weather looked iffy and it was a bit far north. I called Saleem, my travel partner, and we together we decided on Wharton. This is the first time I’ve camped in Wharton State Forest and if given the opportunity, I would certainly do it again.

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Koh Lipe & Thai Islands Packing List

18015712_10155074277711217_653301825_o Happy Monday fools! I’m back with yet another packing list post. What can I say? I know how to fill a bag. Packing for a trip to a Thai island is pretty simple, you don’t need too much since you’ll likely be lounging in your bathing suit most of the time.

Most recently I visited Koh Lipe, Thailand’s southern most island. Wow. Koh Lipe is pure magic. I’ve been to a number of Thai islands during my time as an English teacher, but there is something really special about this particular island. It’s really tiny and therefore easy to explore by foot and that’s what I did most days when I wasn’t lounging on one of the pristine beaches.  If you’re visiting Koh Lipe, here’s a short list of what you’ll need. I linked to the exact products I use – enjoy 🙂


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Thailand : 30 day packing list

Happy Monday! Last night I slept in my bed for the first time since mid-January. Wow. What an amazing feeling. I love traveling, but who can beat snoozing in their own bed, hogged by their own huge dog? I didn’t think so. I wanted to republish this post today since I’ll be stuffing all this goodness into my own bag this evening. On Wednesday, I’m embarking on my first official travel guiding trip. Five first-time travelers (to Asia) will be in my hands – better wish us luck 😉

Katie here : Sarah’s in Thailand! What a lucky bum! But really, I’m so excited for her and can’t wait to hear about the adventures as she travels. During her first stint in Thailand, she kept a lengthy journal on her Tumblr account and it was amazing – all of our friends and family were anxious waiting for each new post. If you’re interested in that experience, those posts are still accessible – just scroll down to November 2011 through April 2012 in her archive. Today she’s checking in with a timely post on packing and staying calm when your luggage takes a different plane ;-). 

Once upon a time, packing was a completely daunting task. I remember I would call my friend Kandy and we would pack together, which really meant wandering around our respective rooms talking about random things and placing an item or two in a bag every twenty minutes or so. Fast forward ten years and packing is a breeze. I have an easy foolproof method that I stick to and my packing gets completed in no time. Today I wanted to share a sample packing list for spending one month in Thailand and how I go about packing in general. Continue reading

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Pack Your Bags: Sarah’s Carry-On

Who doesn’t love to be prepared? Last week we talked about our essential gear for van camping and backpacking trips. Today we’re back with a double feature (did you catch Katie’s carry-on essentials this morning?) focused on our respective carry-on strategies.

I would say I’m a bit of a traveler.  I’ve been to over 15 countries and with all those flights I’ve learned a thing or two about packing a carry on bag.  Just like Katie, I don’t want to be weighed down by my luggage, but I do want to make sure it has everything I need to:

  1. Keep me warm and cozy while traveling
  2. Entertain me in the airport and during the flight
  3. Keep me fresh, healthy, hydrated and happy
  4. Keep my equipment safe and sound

Depending on where I’m headed and how long I’m staying, I’ll either pack a small rolling suitcase or my osprey pack.  I always pack my camera equipment in my carry on, which can become quite heavy after awhile.  If I’m traveling to a convenient and stable environment (house, hotel, or somewhere where I’ll be renting a car) then I’ll gladly pack a rolling suitcase.  If I’m going on an adventure where I anticipate moving around a lot, taking all types of transportation and general craziness (ie: big cities, boats, buses and unknown environments) then I’ll take my pack.  It’s a little more work, but it makes things a whole lot easier when all my gear is on my back while I’m strolling down crowded sidewalks, boarding busy trains or wading through waters to catch a ferry.  That being said, I like to analyze everything that goes into my bag to avoid toting around any extra weight.  While traveling, it’s not uncommon to haul your bags around from hostel, to ferry, to bus, to train.  Usually I stack my stuff under my seat and fall asleep.

Screen shot 2014-05-26 at 5.24.30 PM



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Pack Your Bags : Katie’s Carry-On

As summer approaches, we have travel on the brain. Last week we talked about our essential gear for van camping and backpacking trips. Today we’re back with a double feature (check back for Sarah’s post this afternoon!) focused on our respective carry-on strategies.


Between the security lines, extra charges, and crowds, we hear plenty of complaints about air travel, but I can assure you, you aren’t going to get any of that here. We love to travel, and are equally amazed and thankful every time we hop on a plane and land a few hours later and thousands of miles from home. We would rather spend our time enjoying the ride than letting the lines get us down. So today we’re sharing our packing strategies that help us maximize the fun and minimize those aforementioned annoyances, because truth be told, they’re bound to hit everyone once in a while.

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