Roundup: Tin Foil, Budgeting, Two Continents, and an Ocean

by Nora on October 17, 2011

Taking time to Smell the flowers in Grenada

Taking time to Smell the flowers in Grenada


After finishing the Ultimate Train Challenge in Saigon, I had the good fortune to land at the Thien Thao Hotel for just over a week to recover. I loved this place; away from the over-priced over-filled tourist district rife with touts, and instead nestled in a thriving area with a more local feel and appeal. The kind owner took us around to some areas of Saigon where foreigners are so uncommon they’re a downright novelty – a great experience we couldn’t otherwise have had on our own.

But before I was truly ready to leave Saigon and Vietnam, a pressing date with a plane pulled me away. In fact, it was three planes – across two continents and an ocean – that delivered me to my new home in Grenada, where I’ll be house-sitting for the next three months.

I’m already loving the people, the weather, the atmosphere, and the accommodation. It’s perfect, and I’m quickly getting into a comfortable pace of life here.

Here are my latest published articles: with some (really) creative uses for tin foil, a budgeting technique to help you stay on track, some very funny signs I spotted in Asia, and a few great articles featuring our Ultimate Train Challenge adventures.



Wise Bread

36 More Uses for Tin Foil

From hardware to household and cooking to cleaning uses, here are 36 more creative uses for tin foil; saving money and increasing productivity.



I have imparted many words of “wisdom” to the readers of Vagabondish in days of yore, but not so many so recently. However given my latest traipse through Asia, we’ve resurrected my Signposting series, since there’s just so much great material to go with in Asia. Here are a few:

Signposting: Finding Table Delicacies at McDonalds, Beijing

Signposting: Strange Eats in Hanoi, Vietnam


Profiles & Shout-Outs

While in Saigon, I met Angela and Max – a couple from Seattle who currently lives in Saigon. Angela also writes for TravelFish, and after spending the better part of a week with her, low and behold, we got a mention! Here’s her “inside scoop” about our mighty Ultimate Train Challenge finish in Saigon.

Ultimate Train Challenge Ends in Saigon


The revered travel site Boots’n’All came out with a great article profiling nine epic round-the-world adventurers on epic quests. Guess what? The Ultimate Train Challenge was one of them! Check out this article for some creative travel inspiration.

RTW Travel Themes: 9 Epic Quests to Inspire Your Trip

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 despina October 17, 2011 at 7:48 am

Hi Nora,

hope you’ll get the chance to relax and take things slowly in the warm Carribean (the 1st photo is really pretty btw).
The Sun is indeed the ruler of all things including my mood. Alas, our weather is rather gloomy today. When we don’t have the sun, we don’t have anything over here, it seems.

If you got time to play, check out my playlist for this week, you might like it
(or not ;).

Take care & speak soon


2 theprofessionalhobo October 17, 2011 at 1:12 pm

@Despina – Yup, relaxation is the name of the game! I’m loving it. The weather here is highly variable – one minute the sun shines, the next it’s pouring. Don’t like the weather? Just wait 10 minutes…you’ll be right! 🙂
Nice playlist, BTW!


3 theresa October 17, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Hey you! I have been following you for a while-the ultimate train trip was amazing! I have been considering doing a trip of my own. Things are a bit different, I am a single mom of a 7 year-old. We live in NYC-but I spent 4 beautiful years in Hamburg, Germany (back in the day!) In addition, my daughter is half-brazilian (and speaks fluent portuguese). Most folks would think I am NUTS (we live on the upper eastside-a blessing and a curse!) but I am actively thinking about pulling Sofie out of school for a year and backpacking. There are very little resources on this topic. You have a tremendous travel reportoire both figuratively, and literally. What do you think? Would I be doing my daughter a disservice? I can homeschool her. I feel the lessons she would potentially learn would outweigh the negatives-10 times over. Sofie is an amazingly outgoing, and precocious child (she is no wallflower!) The situation in the U.S. is precarious-I feel that NO amount of schooling will ever be enough. And, I feel (as a Mother) teaching her (firsthand-through seeing the devastation, and EATING the mud) may be the only way-in this day and age. Please tell me if you feel I am wrong. I defer to your experience and knowledge. I have tremendously enjoyed your travel stories, and continue to look forward (with grace!) to the next. Thank you for doing all that you do! xo Theresa and Sofie


4 shawn October 18, 2011 at 2:36 am

Hey Nora,

Grenada sounds awesome. Enjoy exploring the area and taking it easy a bit. Looking forward to more posts.



5 Nancy & Shawn Power... Inspiring YOU to travel! October 18, 2011 at 2:38 am

Ahhh! That’s the much needed rest/break you were looking forward to! Good for you!

Enjoy it and stay safe!

Nancy & Shawn


6 theprofessionalhobo October 18, 2011 at 8:26 am

@Theresa – Go girl! Do it! Sofie will have an amazing experience, and your relationship will grow exponentially as a result – I know it!
(And yes, I can understand how an upper-east-side life is both a blessing and a curse. Keeping up with the Joneses is harder than it looks, especially if your heart isn’t in it!)

There are a number of people who travel with their kids. Here are a couple:
A family of seven:
Mike and Vesna and their three boys:
And one that I think will resonate most with you: a single mum traveling with her nine year old:

Hope this helps! Have fun….what an adventure for both of you!


7 Henry Williams October 18, 2011 at 8:28 am

this looks great


8 Used Car Dealer October 18, 2011 at 8:50 am

Love you blog, it’s very candid. Hope to see more pictures of places and food too that you have visited and enjoyed.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: