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Laura Finkelstein

Laura Finkelstein


Laura has not stopped traveling since her father took her to England when she was 17.  After completing an MBA at Michigan State and working as a CPA, consultant and university instructor in Information Technology, she transformed her career to become a travel professional in 2000.  She returned to the UK, and then journeyed throughout Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and India traveling independently out of a backpack, working on farms, studying dance in India, and living in Turkey, always traveling slowly and experiencing every place and its people intimately.  "I consider Turkey my second home and love sending travelers to experience its vibrant culture, historic landscapes, and amazing cuisine." Laura exclaims.  "If Turkey is my second home, then India is my heart."  An avid reader, Laura was the map buyer and accountant for Seattle-based Wide World travel store for 10 years

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The best travel moments are accidental While wandering in the small alleys of Mykonos Island I came upon this older gentleman resting and watching pedestrians pass by. To me this moment captured the relaxed atmosphere I was so enjoying in Greece, so I set up to take a perfect photo, Click and oops – I got photo bombed! As the photo-bomber approached I showed him his photo and he explained he is a photo-bomb expert. A while later after perusing the local shops, I peeked into to one of the inviting cafes that lined the street. In this area, called Little Venice, the restaurants are on a cliff directly over the Aegean Sea. Stunning! I get ready to snap another photo and who do I see but my photo-bomber! He calls out to say this means we must meet. So this is how Benjamin and I met Yanni visiting Mykonos from Northern Greece with his brother,...

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Vietnam and Cambodia through the eyes of locals The Wildland difference is we send our travelers into remote corners of our world to see countries through the eyes of the locals. Our new Ultimate Vietnam and Cambodia is a perfect opportunity to do just that: work alongside a Vietnamese farmer in a valley near Hoi An and talk to a war photographer in Ho Chi Minh City. Stay with a family in Cho Lach and learn how they make a living with crafts such as weaving and brick-making. Explore the isolated Khmer ruins in Cambodia and relax as guests at a family home in a small village. Meet street kids at a restaurant in Pnomh Penh where they work to gain experience in the hospitality industry. There are plenty more amazing historical and natural sites we will visit on this incredible new journey, too many to list in just one blog! With these intimate experiences at hand, you will...

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The Art of Organized Packing My first step for packing for any adventure is to write my pack list and the second is to pull out my packing cubes and my RuMe Reveal Pockets . When traveling with all of my belongings on my back, I try to stay as organized as possible. I can’t count how many times my Ziploc bags have broke during travel and The RuME pockets are a great solution. They are durable, lightweight and TSA approved. The packing cubes are also great as you can see through them and they are flexible - no need to sit on them to make them close! I put dirty clothes in one, my clean clothes in another and my son’s clothes in a third. Finally, my dirty shoes get a fully-closed cube. When you get to your hotel, just pull out the cubes and you are unpacked! Or go to the beach with one...

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These sandals have seen the world I have been a huge fan of Chaco’s Z1 Sandals for longer than I can remember. I am currently wearing out my 4th pair. My Chacos have traveled with me to several continents: through rivers, on mountain trails, and pounded street pavement from Mumbai to Seattle. What makes me such a big fan, you ask? Comfort for one – put them on and forget they are there. Single-strap tightening adjusts them. They have a high, supportive arch so they feel like a quality gym shoe. Durability is the second benefit. Chacos can take a beating. Don’t worry if you get them wet or muddy – they dry quickly. This was especially useful traipsing through Bangkok’s flooded streets as I knew I could wash them off along with my feet. Each pair has lasted me 5 – 8 years.  The third reason is they are useful. You can wear them while...
15 Years Going Strong - My Favorite Suitcase Where ever you find me when I travel, you find my favorite ultimate suitcase, the MEI Convertible.  It has become my trusty travel companion and I highly recommend it.  I have had this bag for over 15 years, with nary a tear or scuff.   Why do I like this bag so much?   It converts to a comfortable backpack with a waist-belt and shoulder pads. I have walked miles with this pack.  You can stow the straps away and use the side shoulder strap or handle to change the bag to a standard suitcase. It is small and malleable – fitting under your seat on nearly any plane or on overhead rack on a bus.  It fits smaller adults, such as me, quite well.  I recommend it for adventure cruises where space is minimal such as on our Turquoise Coast Odyssey.  The MEI convertible bag is high-quality, USA-made by...
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