Away Is Home

The Elliott Family is planning the ultimate road trip across the USA, and you're invited. This is the trip preparation and planning site for Kari Haugeto, a.k.a. "Aren, Iden and Erysse Elliott's Mom."
~ Saturday, August 30 ~
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Oh, the places you’ll never go

Oh, the places you’ll never go

Australia. New Zealand. Israel. Ireland.

These are all places I’ve been invited to, and that I almost visited. But you know what they say?

Almost doesn’t count.

Turns out a destination unvisited can teach you almost as much as one you do visit. Yeah, I know that sounds like corporate speak or some Confucian proverb. But it’s true.

For example, take my trip to Australia and New Zealand, which…

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~ Friday, August 29 ~
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I’m in a hurry so I’m going to go first

I’m in a hurry so I’m going to go first

I was waiting in a long line to go through security at LAX when I noticed a woman in a wheelchair being pushed to the front of the line by a LAX airport security employee. After an hour long wait to get through security, I made it to my gate and noticed that the same woman was boarding my flight. The woman was first to board and it took two airport employees to get this passenger and her luggage…

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~ Thursday, August 28 ~
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Who’s the bigger road hazard: pedestrians or cyclists?

Who’s the bigger road hazard: pedestrians or cyclists?

Pedestrians do the stupidest things.

So do bicyclists.

Here’s someone who walked into the middle of an Interstate highway at 2 a.m. and was killed by an oncoming truck.

He was wearing dark clothing.

And here’s a cyclist who, in the words of one of the commenters, “wanted to be an organ donor.”

Now, before you cast judgment, let’s…

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Tags: bicycle cyclist death pedestrians road
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~ Wednesday, August 27 ~
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You call that distracted driving?

You call that distracted driving?

On a trip back to college from my home town one weekend, I noticed a gentleman engrossed in the Sunday comics.

Normally I wouldn’t have taken a second look, except that this man was enjoying the funnies while driving a 4,000-pound family sedan, zipping along a busy interstate at 65 miles per hour, comics conveniently supported by the steering wheel as he drove.

Sure, I had heard horror stories…

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Tags: accident distracted driving eating statistics texting
~ Tuesday, August 26 ~
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Every traveler should be a houseguest - but can you handle it?

Every traveler should be a houseguest – but can you handle it?

You know that saying about houseguests and fish? It’s true — both begin to smell after three days.

Sometimes, it doesn’t even take that long. Years ago, I spent the night in a friend’s apartment. On the first evening, we went out for dinner. Things did not go well.

He had a little too much beer, and it turns out he was one of those angry drunks who hurls insults and makes a fool of himself. The…

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~ Monday, August 25 ~
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How do you handle overly talkative strangers?

How do you handle overly talkative strangers?

I have a friend who loves to chat with her in-flight seatmates. After seemingly every trip, she tells me of the romantic interest, professional contact or inspirational person she met (and subsequently exchanged contact information with) at 30,000 feet.

Once, she befriended the man sitting next to her only to find out he was a member of the band Grizzly Bear.

I’m not like her.

If a stranger…

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~ Sunday, August 24 ~
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Excuse me, is that your luggage in my overhead bin?

Excuse me, is that your luggage in my overhead bin?

Thank you for reading the Away is Home newsletter. We’ve spun off our destination site into a new blog and newsletter — and you’re reading it. Remember, you can subscribe to our daily email newsletter here.
(more…)

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Tags: newsletter
~ Saturday, August 23 ~
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What do you do during Orlando’s Frozen summer?

What do you do during Orlando’s Frozen summer?

In August, there’s only one certainty in Orlando: the heat.

It is always there, damp and overpowering. Morning, noon and night. There is no escape from it. The only respite — if you can call it that — is the late afternoon thunderstorm. In the immediate aftermath of the lightning, thunder and torrential rain, there are small moments of relief, of coolness and of dryness.

And yet, Orlando is home.…

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~ Friday, August 22 ~
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Excuse me, may I take your picture?

Excuse me, may I take your picture?

Question: I’m visiting France this fall and planning to take lots of photos. I hear there are laws against taking pictures of people. Is that true? Could I get into trouble for taking a snapshot of a person, even if it’s accidental?

Answer:You could. When I was in Paris a few months ago, a friend told me the story of his aunt, who he described as an “attractive” woman. She was at the French…

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Tags: France manners photo polite
~ Thursday, August 21 ~
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Why waste money on a first class seat?

Why waste money on a first class seat?

There are times when flying First Class is actually worth the ridiculous extra price. But it’s not always just about the money.

I’ve flown in the premium cabins on long-haul international flights and on short domestic flights. You’ve probably read about some of the airlines that offer really over-the-top service.

I recall one flight on Thai Airways from Melbourne, Australia, to Bangkok,…

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Tags: airlines Economy First Class money value
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