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Living the Adventuress Life: El Carnaval de Negros y Blancos, a New Zealand winemaker, bedbugs & a g
June 15, 2016
Dear VIA (Very Important Adventuress)

Welcome to another edition of Living the Adventuress Life, the e-zine from You haven’t heard from me in a couple of months because I’ve been distracted by my new personal adventure, illustrating adult coloring books. (If you want to know more about that, you can visit In this issue, we want to tell you about some amazing Healing Hikes in Colorado, those devil bedbugs, and share a great packing tip!.

True Tales

Two great new features have been published since you last received Living the Adventuress Life.

Ann Randall writes about her exciting experience with El Carnaval de Negros y Blancos in Pasto, Colombia.

Ann writes, “Standing on the street, I was saturated from head to toe with white foam, flour and the blue greasepaint that a passer-by smeared on my face.”

To read what happened next, CLICK HERE for Ann’s feature article, complete with colorful photography.

Kurt Jacobson is a semi-retired cook pursuing full-time travel writing, and New Zealand is one of his favorite countries. That’s where he discovered Poppies Vineyard. In his interview he writes, “Poppy says her grandfather used to make elderflower wine at home, which created for her an interest in the winemaking process that eventually would pave the way to owning her own label.”

To read the story of Poppy, a New Zealand female winemaker in the Marlborough region, CLICK HERE

Who else besides me finds the very idea of bed bugs creepy?

A flight attendant friend of mine tells a story about her entire crew staying in a hotel where they all got infected with lice. At least you can see lice. You can’t always see bedbugs.

With all my stays in hotels worldwide, I’ve never encountered bedbugs. Even in that cheap Miami motel with the protective rubber sheets.

Still, the very thought of bedbugs is creepy.

They come out at night to feed on your blood, and they’ve been around forever. Hence the old goodnight words, “Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite.”

Now there is a BEDBUG REGISTRY

This free database even offers a mobile app so you can check a potential hotel while you’re traveling. And you might be surprised at some of the major US chain hotels (mostly in the northeast) that have problems with bedbugs.

So if you’re already settled in for the night, what signs should you look for?

Tiny black spots (you may need your reading glasses) inside drawers, on the headboard, or on the pillows or sheets may be signs of their droppings.

Bedbugs can also travel easily from the bed to your luggage, so to avoid bringing the little buggers home be sure to use the room’s luggage rack rather than putting your suitcase on the bed. When you get home, unpack your suitcase someplace other than on top of your bed. I’ve read that packing your clothes in plastic bags helps protect them, as well.

There’s a UV light you can bring to check out the room, but I think that’s a bit obsessive and not really necessary.

The good news is that most hotels have contracts with pest control companies and really do care about problems like bedbugs. After all, the last thing they want is you posting a bug review on TripAdvisor.

Above all, don’t let the idea of bedbugs keep you from traveling. Unless you’re allergic, their bites are no more annoying than mosquito bites.

And you could be lucky, like me, and never get any bites from bedbugs.

We love this packing tip:

Don’t fold your clothes. Roll them. You’d be amazed at the space you’ll save!

For a detailed direction on the best way to do this (with pictures) CLICK HERE. and scroll down to number 5.

(My biggest worry is that after I’ve packed my bag like a Chinese puzzle, those TSA guys who paw through it may not be able to get everything back inside…)

Travel Quote of the month

In this time of curious and questionable political activities in the US, I want to share these thoughtful words from Maya Angelou:

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.”

Have you had a memorable adventure you’d like to share?

We welcome your travel stories from home and around the world.

You don’t have to be a "professional writer" to submit a story. A breezy, letter-home-to-your-best-friend approach suits us just fine, with a few facts thrown in, of course. 

We like your personal observations, how you felt about the place, what you ate, your most embarrassing moment, etc. CLICK HERE to learn more about the perfect length of your essay, and how to submit photos along with it.

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Also let me know if you have any ideas for types of travel information you’d like to see. And tell me what you think about the Facebook page.

Happy travels!


—Carolyn V. Hamilton, Editor and Chief Adventuress

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