REDESIGN COMING SOON!

UNDER

This site is currently being redesigned! Come back in March of 2016 for a much better experience. I plan to share my travel advice but in a much more interesting way! Until then, I’m letting the site live in this ugly state so you can still browse the archives (which will be going away soon). Enjoy it while it lasts!

0 comments

WHERE SHOULD YOU TRAVEL NEXT?

People are constantly asking me where they should travel next. It can be a hard question to answer because I often don’t really know what kind of traveler they are or what exactly they are looking for. Relaxation? Romance? Adventure? I find it easier to learn what kind of traveler you are based on which previous trips you’ve loved. Here are just a few recommendations with some photos from my travels:

10298703_10103191272251707_4769365163681638783_n

If you like Colorado… go to Alaska.
Every time I’ve been to Denver, it’s been fantastic. The air is clear, the sky is blue, the sun is warm, and the mountains are snow capped. How could it get any better? Just go to Alaska and you’ll find out. Imagine those snow-capped mountains and bright blue skies mixed with a massive ocean, lush forests, and unbelievable marine life.

329832_10100704707796807_6680556_oIf you like Paris… go to Vienna.
I don’t care if it’s cliché — I love Paris. I want to live there. And there’s one other city that had the same love-at-first-sight effect on me — Vienna. It’s another romantic city with gorgeous architecture and a very fancy vibe. In both places, you can waste the day away drinking wine outside, indulging in desserts, shopping markets, and going to the opera.

39705_10100099117240137_5422860_nIf you like Chicago… go to Toronto.
Toronto felt like home, and Chicago is the only other city that feels like home to me besides my adopted home of Madison, Wisconsin. Both Chicago and Toronto are trendy cities with a laid-back vibe, great food and shopping, and interesting architecture. Both cities also are divided into many different neighborhoods that are sometimes drastically different from one another.

Read the rest of this post over at my personal blog at aubreandrus.com.

0 comments

THE CHICAGO COFFEE SHOP REPORT: WHERE TO WORK SUMMER 2015 EDITION

photo (1)As a freelancer, the number one question I’m asked is whether or not I get stir crazy working from home. Funny enough, I tend to get cabin fever in the summer not the winter. In the winter, I’m more than happy to avoid a snowy commute and cold temps, but in the summer I want to get out there and join the world. Because of that, I’ve been frequenting coffee shops often lately. Just like the Eater 38 (an updated list of the best restaurants in the city), I want to compose a quarterly list of the best places for freelancers to work from in Chicago. If you know of any great places to work from in Chicago that meet the strict requirements, let me know! I’d love to check them out!

When I go to a coffee shop, I expect a beautiful place where I can do good work. I want to avoid coffee shop disasters. As always, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Free wi-fi
  • Plentiful outlets
  • Food made in-house
  • Good music
  • Great ambiance
  • Comfortable seating

1. Buzz Killer Espresso (Wicker Park)
Despite the two-hour wi-fi limit (I just grab multiple wi-fi cards from the counter… shhh…) and the fact that there’s no food (I sneak in my own and sit upstairs… shhh…), the lighting in this place can’t be beat. My favorite place to sit is in the upstairs booths — each table has a plug and there’s a bathroom just a few steps away. I love that they leave the windows open so it’s never freezing. There’s also a small outdoor patio overlooking Damen. Oh, and the iced coffee is addicting.

2. Bourgeois Pig (Lincoln Park)
This is a new find for me so now I’m obsessed. It’s an incredibly overpriced sandwich shop (with dishes named after literary characters) on one side, a coffee shop on the other, and it’s all built into an old house with cozy nooks and rooms. I love the upstairs seating on the coffee side and the weird portraits hanging from the wall. Apparently the owner lives above the sandwich side. Old school jazz plays all day and it’s amazing. No limit on the wi-fi despite what the Yelp reviews say. Small outdoor patio.

3. Filter (Wicker Park)
An old reliable. There is a full working kitchen here with legit breakfast and lunch options plus tons of vintage couches, seats, and tables plus plenty of outlets. Filter always has a laid back vibe and there’s no limit on the free wifi. You’ll never be disappointed here — unless you want to sit outside because there is no outdoor seating. Cash only but you can also pay with the Level Up app, which hooks up to your credit card.

Read the rest of this post over at my personal blog on aubreandrus.com.

0 comments

NEW INSTAGRAM OBSESSION: @GirlEatWorld

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 4.02.15 PMImage via @GirlEatWorld on Instagram

There are many times — mostly on Kickstarter — when I’ve stumbled upon something and I’ve thought, OMG WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT? Or more importantly WHO THOUGHT OF THIS MAGICAL THING AND HOW CAN I BE THEIR FRIEND? This was one of those times. A girl who’s obsessed with food and travel (ahem, sound familiar?) takes photos of her food. But they’re not just regular boring food photos — they are photos of local food in their natural surroundings. DUH. We are soul mates, @GirlEatWorld! Let’s hang out!

As I went through my Instagram, which is filled with boring food photos from around the world — sorry, everyone! — I noticed that I tend to do these slightly-more-interesting food shots too but with drinks and ice cream. I didn’t even realize I was doing it. Here’s my local-drinks-in-natural-settings montage, which features Thailand, Cambodia, China, Italy, Alaska, and Chicago (the Slurpee one obvi). I need to eat a few more ice cream cones before I can make a montage.

If you want to participate in the @GirlEatWorld fun, use the hashtag #WeEatWorld and she might repost your Instagram food pic to her feed.

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 4.00.08 PM

This post originally appeared on my personal website at aubreandrus.com.

0 comments

ADD ALASKA TO YOUR BUCKET LIST

I went to Alaska and came back with a Ziplock of smoked salmon, a bag of Juneau coffee beans, and a ton of Instagram photos. (View them all here.) Alaska was like the Pacific Northwest on crack. If a constant trifecta of snow-capped mountains, lush green forests, and icy blue waters are your definition of beauty, escape the lower 48 immediately and head north. We saw whales, porpoises, sea lions, and moose. We biked, we hiked, we camped, we fished, and we lived to tell the tale.

Actually, it’s not much of a tale to tell. Because Alaska is just so damn beautiful that all we said the entire time is “Omigoditsobeautiful.” I felt like that Double Rainbow guy. I could not stop gaping at the scenery and talking about how gorgeous it was and then turning around and repeating the whole process all over again. Mountains + ocean + trees just made me lose it, probably because I live in the midwest where there are no mountains or ocean and it’s a good day in Chicago if I see a tree. In Juneau, you’re surrounded by it on all sides. Photos will never do this state justice. Just go. Go! It’s expensive (like a trip to Europe expensive) but it’s so worth it.

Alaska 1

View from John Muir cabin in Juneau.

Alaska 2

Just a pit stop on the Seward Highway between Anchorage and Seward.

1466114_10103191286203747_3670073981818466721_n

Views from the Seward Highway.

1798574_10103191286143867_7182031336556525543_n

Pulled over at a rest stop along the Seward Highway. This was the view.

10177270_10103191298174757_179537046806432911_n

“Flightseeing” is popular in Alaska. Now you know why.

10406746_10103191285475207_7898565025741906510_n

A trail in Girdwood, Alaska.

10426656_10103191298578947_4447321356798465292_n

View on the way up to John Muir cabin in Juneau.

10426750_10103191299142817_3499352870435149769_n (1)

View of the marina in Seward.

This post originally appeared on my personal website at aubreandrus.com.

0 comments