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Footwear

SLEEK AND CHIC: Merrell Veranda Ankle Boot.

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SLEEK AND CHIC: Merrell Veranda Ankle Boot.

My search for a cold weather travel boot began as soon as my husband and I made the decision to spend the winter in the mountains of central Mexico.

A previous winter stay in Cusco, Peru, where I’d given away a favorite pair of boots, had taught me that I wanted a boot that would provide stability on uneven, cobblestone streets, was warm and comfortable and versatile enough to be worn with jeans or dress pants, leggings or skirts. 

The Veranda Mid by Merrell ticked all the boxes. Sleek and chic, they look fabulous and felt like a natural fit straight out of the box. 

Ultimately though, I balked at the hefty price tag ($160) and assured myself that I could do without. Instead, I decided to give the money to a friend who works hard and rarely splurges on herself. 

I’d waited until the evening before our Mexico departure to slip a check into a beautiful card and give it to my friend. It felt good to have forfeited something I desired. To give instead of get. 

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".
WHAT TO PACK for an African Safari.

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WHAT TO PACK for an African Safari.

“What to pack?” is the number one question I hear from friends, family and travelers who are setting off on a new adventure.

So, as I prepare for dual safaris in Namibia and Botswana, here are my 10 packing essentials for an African safari

 

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".
COLD WEATHER FAVORITES: Stylish Winter Essentials

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COLD WEATHER FAVORITES: Stylish Winter Essentials

 

Winter: It’s cold. It’s snowy. It’s wet. So what. 

It may not be the easiest season to pack for. But with a few chic essentials, it’s not as difficult as you think to stay warm and stylish, no matter how frosty it gets or how small your suitcase.  

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".
GALS ON THE GO: El Naturalista Yggdrasil Clog

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GALS ON THE GO: El Naturalista Yggdrasil Clog

That these clogs are stylish and comfortable, that much I knew. What I didn’t know was the story behind their manufacture and the El Naturalista brand - an environmentally and socially responsible footwear company.  

I saw a shoe that looked different yet functional, sturdy and well-balanced. A shoe that once I put it on, I didn’t want to take it off. Footwear that was made for traveling with perfect slide-on-and-off ease for airport security and long-haul flights. 

Who knew they were crafted in Morocco by a Spanish company with social projects in Peru and that Nordic mythology was the inspiration behind its unusual name?

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".
Cozy Warm in Cusco: KEEN Prescott Boot

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Cozy Warm in Cusco: KEEN Prescott Boot

As a North American, June has always been flip flop and sunshine weather. But June is wintertime in South America and the coldest month of the year in the ancient Inca city of Cusco, Peru, where we’re spending the next few months. So, in place of my usual sandals and flip flops, this June it’s alpaca socks and KEEN’s Prescott Boot keeping me warm and comfortable in cold Cusco.

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".

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Summer Essential: Sanita Nina Sandal

I’ve always had a soft spot for shoes. But as any traveler will tell you, when it comes to packing light, shoes are not your friend. So, any footwear that’s going in my bag not only has to look and feel good, but it also has to go the distance, anywhere in the world. 

I chose these Sanita sandals because I thought they’d be a cute and comfy way to add a little punch of color to my tried-and-true travel classics. 

Now that I’ve been wearing them non-stop for two months—ahhhh!—life is good. I love the breathable footbed, the 30% recycled outsoles, and airport-security-friendly slide-on design.

At home, or on the road, they look great with everything from skinny jeans and summer capris, to flowy skirts and casual dresses

 

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".

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Keen for KEEN: Targhee II Hiker Shoe

My feet loathe the confinement of shoes. I’m more a year-round sandal-wearing kinda gal. In fact, I first fell in love with Keen footwear when I found myself wearing their cushy Barbados sandal non-stop during a six-month stay in Mexico. Whether I was walking over crudely cobbled streets, beachcombing or wading into the surf, you can bet I had my Keens on. The color never faded, the sturdy soles withstood daily use like a pro and the unique Keen toe protector stood strong against dropped objects and the vagaries of uneven sidewalks.

At home in the mountains of southern New Mexico, where a slip-in won’t cut it on warm-weather trail hikes, I upgraded to the Keen Whisper. Its quick-draw elastic cord means no slipping and sliding. Better still, the Whisper is sturdy when the going gets tough and perfect for river crossings.

When I signed on for a walking vacation in France and terrain that clearly called for something more substantial than a sandal, again I turned to Keen. Enter the Keen Targhee II hiker shoe: The waterproof cross-training shoe delivered just what the trip demanded: tenacious traction, sturdy ankle stability and best yet, foot-lovin’ comfort.

Favorite feature: Compared to my Vasque hiking boots, these shoes are feather weight. That alone had my feet smiling. But I knew they’d passed muster when I started wearing them off-trail. They’re on my feet as I type, and I’m in Baja! It’s winter here, so the sandals come out for walks on the beach. But morning and night, I’m wearing the hikers.

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".