In the World Cup I always root for the US first and Italy second. I don't know what I'm going to do in 2018!!

Is your team in it? If they're not, who are you rooting for?

("PS -- Spain is the hottest." "SHUT UP, KATE, NOBODY CARES WHO THE HOTTEST TEAM IS.")

Some of you may be seeing news of a huge fire in New York. Biggest fire in a long time: five alarms; 170+ firefighters on the scene. It's actually in my neighborhood -- Hamilton Heights. 145th St. and Broadway, a place I walk by at least twice a day.

I am safe. This isn't close enough to threaten my apartment or those of my friends and family.

Follow @FDNY on Twitter for updates. Apparently the building was unoccupied when the fire began; so far there are two non-life-threatening injuries.

I have an amazing Las Vegas sale to share with you from Hotwire. It's called the Million Dollar Sale -- 5-star Vegas hotels for just $50 per night. As someone who just booked a Vegas trip of her own, THAT IS ABSURDLY CHEAP. You're never going to find 5-star hotels for $50 anywhere else.

You know what the 5-star hotels are in Vegas? ALL THE BEST ONES.

Here's how it works: travel dates are December 8-28, 2017, and a maximum of two consecutive nights may be booked at this price. They're called HotRates.

When you book a HotRates hotel, the hotel name is not revealed to you until you book it -- but Hotwire DOES tell you its star rating and also things like what neighborhood it's in, what amenities they have, and whether it's a chain or not. So you'll understand the quality that you're getting.

I sometimes use Hotwire's HotRates to book high-end hotels for much cheaper than the list price, most recently in Luxembourg (on my own dime).

Why is Hotwire doing this? They are literally investing one million dollars in this sale alone, so they're selling them until the million dollars is spent. And hotels like to take part in these so they can fill their hotel rooms without making it public that they're selling them for cheap.

So if you're thinking about a quick getaway to Vegas during these dates, check out Hotwire.com and see if you can land the resort of your dreams.

**This is a sponsored post, written by me and brought to you by Hotwire.**

The Stunning Trulli of Alberobello, Italy

Have you ever gone sightseeing at the speed of light? Because I sure did in Alberobello, Italy!

I had most of a day to drive from Carpino to Castel del Monte to Alberobello to Bari to catch my flight, all in Puglia, the heel of Italy's boot. That is a very ambitious itinerary.

The trulli, the conical white buildings of this region, are SO worth seeing. I just wish I didn't have to run around like a madwoman! I ran around so fast I DECIDED TO JUST NOT EAT THAT DAY. In Italy.

Sydney ferry named Ferry McFerryface

Dear Australia: You are beautiful. Please never change. 😂

Note: this only happened because "Boaty McBoatface" was not an option.

The 8 Best Old Towns in Europe

I am VERY curious to hear your opinion on this one. What are the best old towns in Europe? I chose my top 8, painstakingly, but I would love to hear what you think!

ASK KATE ANYTHING! Ask me any questions you'd like about travel, blogging, New York, books, fitness, anything!

I'll answer questions here for an hour and I'll respond to the rest later.

Happy Sunday, everyone! I'm trying to finish up as many books published in 2017 as possible, and here are four that I haven't read yet.

--The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
--Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks
--The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne
--The Power by Naomi Alderman

Have you read any of them? Which one should I read next?

Happy Saturday from New York -- it's the first day to dip below freezing! Yikes!! Glad my new, much warmer winter coat arrived this week!

What's the weather like today in your part of the world?

Drunk Surprise - Lamebook.com

Truth -- I would sh*t myself if I lost my wallet and woke up to a bill for first class tickets to the Maldives.

Solo Female Travel in Thailand — Is it Safe?

I've spent several months in Thailand over the past seven years, and I consider it to be an excellent destination for solo female travelers. Even first-time solo female travelers.

Here's what makes Thailand great -- and all the things you need to know if traveling alone.

This is the closest thing I have to a backyard in Harlem. It's pretty great!

Don’t Expect Travel To Solve Your Problems

A lot of people choose to travel because they don't know what to do with their lives, or they don't know if they should go to college, or they're struggling in their relationship.

Can travel help you with that? Sometimes. But you've got to put a lot of work in on your end, too.

I've got very exciting news to share. This winter, I'm heading to ANTARCTICA! Seven years after quitting my job to travel the world, I'm visiting the seventh continent! 🐧

I'm traveling with Quark Expeditions on their Crossing the Circle itinerary. This means I will be on one of few Antarctica voyages that crosses the Antarctic Circle, as it's only crossable late in the season. I will also be kayaking throughout the trip, which is very exciting!

The trip isn't until early March, so you won't be seeing penguins for awhile -- but OMG! Antarctica!!!

Have any of you been? Any tips for me?

The Best Halloween Dogs in Hamilton Heights, Harlem

You wanted more Halloween dogs -- and here they are! The cutest dogs in Hamilton Heights, all decked out for Halloween. Let me know which one is your favorite!

Sailing Down the Coast of Belize

To everyone who is starting to plan their winter travels -- this is one of the most fun things I've ever done. Sailing in a catamaran along the Belize Barrier Reef, stopping twice a day to snorkel, camping on an uninhabited island, dancing to Caribbean music with the most inappropriate lyrics ever. The cruise is through Raggamuffin Tours.

I never had a huge desire to go to Belize, but once I went, I TOTALLY GOT IT. Have you been?

This Is What You Eat When Everyone Is Struggling For Food

This is a remarkable piece of travel photojournalism. In Niger, food is scarce. This is a photo essay of what people eat in times of crisis.

If the proverbial "good guy with a gun" isn't in church in Texas, he doesn't exist.

Our country is dying. We can't take more of these tragedies. We need sensible gun laws now. But in a country where money overrules democracy and corporations are people, I have no idea how we dismantle the NRA.

US woman charged over tweet allegedly insulting Robert Mugabe

Earlier this year, TBEX, the largest travel blogging conference, made a shocking decision to host a conference in Zimbabwe, sponsored by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.

What's shocking? That a media conference would take money from a government underneath the world's most notorious dictator, Robert Mugabe. A government that routinely murders journalists.

How can bloggers be safe in an environment like that?

You can read my post on the subject here: http://www.adventurouskate.com/tbex-zimbabwe-an-unethical-and-irresponsible-choice/

I also published responses to my post by New Media Expo (which owns TBEX) CEO Rick Calvert and Conference Director Shane Dallas. While both were quick to defend the merit of TBEX as a conference, neither responded to my questions of how TBEX would protect their bloggers in Zimbabwe.

Well, yesterday, an American woman was arrested for insulting Mugabe on Twitter. Her tweet read, "We are being led by a selfish and sick man." She was charged with plotting to overthrow the government.

This should be a wake-up call to anyone who bought a ticket to TBEX Africa.

Where's your next trip? Comment with a GIF! 😁

AK Monthly Recap: October 2017

This was my first October in New York EVER. I've always traveled before! This month I hung out with Halloween dogs, went to New Jersey to see if their pizza was the best in New York, took medieval knights on a tour of the city, and rode the Staten Island ferry six times...

My Favorite Experiences in Western Australia

This time last year, I had just finished an unforgettable trip to Western Australia. What an incredible place. It's one of my favorite photography destinations in the world and there are so few tourists there that you feel like you've discovered something special.

If you haven't seen these photos yet, you've got to!

A Getaway to Tybee Island — Savannah’s Beach

This month I visited Tybee Island, Georgia -- a.k.a. Savannah's Beach. As a huge Savannah fan, I can't believe it took me so long to get there! It's gorgeous and a throwback and I took the best sunrise photos of my LIFE there. Hope you enjoy it.

At Least 8 Reported Dead as Truck Careens Down Bike Path in Manhattan

Terrible news coming out of New York today.

I'm okay. I'm far uptown.

The New York Times wants to hire a journalist to travel the world

Today is the LAST DAY to apply for that New York Times dream job, traveling to the their Top 52 Places to Visit next year.

Since this went live, pretty much everyone has been sending it to me, saying, "You should do this!" And I get it...for the right person, this would be a dream job.

But 52 places within in a year, covering the whole globe, is EXHAUSTING. It sounds so good until you consider the realities of moving every few days and producing a ton of work on each destination. And I have the feeling that it doesn't pay that well, considering that the "benefits" are the draw of the job in the first place.

The younger me would be all over this job. The current me? I still love travel, but I'm at peace capping it at a max of 25% of the time. I love my New York life (and all the people in it) too much.

Whoever gets this job -- I hope you find a way to build peace and routine into what's going to be a VERY busy year!

10 Scary Stories to Fuck You Up at Night

If you're looking for some new and highly entertaining scary stories this Halloween...these ones are good. The one at the library FREAKED. ME. OUT.

Today is Day 10 of #Whole30: 10 days of eating clean, no grains, no dairy, no legumes, no sugar, no alcohol.

It's going well. In fact, I'm shocked at how easy it's been. Here are some takeaways:

1) I'm so glad I've broken my constant takeout habit. I wonder if my delivery guy from La Oaxaquena misses me.

2) I'm eating a sweet potato and two poached eggs for breakfast every morning and LOVING it. (So does my trainer.)

3) The hardest part has been the constant need to do dishes.

4) I've had almost no side effects. Many people who do Whole30 struggle with headaches, irritability, or hangover-like symptoms, but I've experienced barely anything.

5) I already know how to socialize without alcohol since I do a sober month every year, and for the most part it's fine, but some situations are harder than others. Like Halloween weekend.

6) I keep dreaming I'm eating noncompliant food and wake up in a panic. This is very common, I've heard.

7) I made my first Thai curry EVER last night. With zoodles (zucchini noodles) instead of rice. I hope this expands my cooking abilities!

8) On Day 7 I felt so unusually amazing, it made me realize that maybe I'm used to constant mild discomfort. That feeling faded a bit but I hope it comes back.

9) Strangely, I'm barely drinking coffee. I'm already used to drinking it black, but I'm just not in the mood for it. I drink herbal tea instead.

10) I'm trying to work out more, and I tried Pilates for the first time ever and really loved it!

Overall, this is a test to see if I can permanently change some of my more harmful eating habits. I love eating this way, only meals, not snacking, no dessert, preparing everything myself, not grabbing anything that looks delicious, not using food as a reward.

Photos from Adventurous Kate's post

Today my neighborhood, Hamilton Heights, put on a Halloween Dog Parade and 5K fun run. I'm photographing both events for them. Here are some of my favorite costumed pooches!

I'm thinking of doing a full post on my favorites. This is only the tip of the iceberg...

The Towns of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

It's that time of year when we start planning our winter travels! People always ask me about good, cheap places to visit during the winter. One of my top recommendations? Guatemala. So interesting and beautiful, wonderful warm people, and it's extremely cheap, especially if you're coming from North America!

The best destinations to travel to in 2018

Lonely Planet has released their annual Best in Travel list. I always look forward to this list; I used to collect the Best in Travel books!

Some interesting choices for this year. Djibouti was definitely a surprise. I'm happy to see the love for Poland, South Africa, the Southern US, and my recent destination of Tallinn. And this is a reminder that I need to get to Chile, Georgia, Guanajuato, and Alaska.

What do you think of the list?

Editing photos tonight. This isn't the usual kind of edit I do, but I thought I'd try something different! 😘 Tybee Island, Georgia.

What happens when you superimpose the Mediterranean Sea on the United States? Interesting...

Today in Things That Are Perplexing: I was wandering a grocery store in Brooklyn and came across vegan olive loaf.

Vegan olive loaf.

WHY.

I mean, is the need there? Of all items that vegans miss after giving up animal products, is olive loaf that high on the list? "Man, I love being vegan but some days I really miss chocolate and cheese...and I'd kill for some proper olive loaf."

Even crazier -- the olives in the vegan loaf weren't olives. THEY WERE PISTACHIOS.

Today I finally start Whole30: 30 days of real food. No sugar, no alcohol, no dairy, no grains, no legumes, no processed foods. No snacking. No nutritionally compliant versions of junk food (no coconut flour pancakes!). No weighing myself.

30 days.

I've wanted to do this for a very long time, but it's been hard to find a 30-day time period when I have no travel scheduled. There is no way I can stick to Whole 30 while traveling, especially while working on a campaign. The time to do it is now, wrapping up just before Thanksgiving.

I love the idea of doing it as a disciplinary exercise. But I also look forward to finding out how good my body can feel when I cut out junk completely, and whether my body is sensitive to certain foods in particular.

I'm also afraid. I'm afraid of messing up. (So that's why I'm posting here -- accountability.) I'm afraid that I'll do everything right and work out extra hard on top of it and still only lose, like, two pounds. But the thing I'm most afraid of is if I learn that my body can't handle dairy, or grains, and eating pizza is going to be hell on my body for the rest of my life! CAN I GIVE YOU UP FOREVER, PIZZA?!?!

If any of you have advice, or recipes you love (especially fish recipes as I'm still trying to be environmentally cautious and not eat too much meat), I would love to hear them!

Today *I* was the weirdo on the subway.

Here's a life tip: don't ride public transportation while reading a book that has a graphic, detailed scene of at-home surgical finger amputation.

I gasped. I jumped. I flapped my arms. I threw my Kindle down and grimaced. And once I let out a mild shriek.

The woman sitting next to me got up and moved to another seat. Yikes.

The book is My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent. I hated it. I chose it because it had a lot of buzz; after reading it, I don't think any buzz was warranted. Detached characters, American Gods-style; grossly unrealistic dialogue; and a tale that seems to savor the pain of a girl being sexually abused by her father. When a male author takes on the tall order of writing from the point of view of an abused young girl, he needs to knock it out of the park. That didn't happen.

The Women Who Have Traveled to Every Country in the World (Media Fact-Checking Guide) - Rapid Travel Chai

Today I got yet another email from a woman saying she wanted to be the second woman to go to every country in the world. And once again I had to be the one to tell her, "Nope, you won't be the second."

Earlier this year, Cassie De Pecol claimed to be the first woman to visit every country in the world. She had a strong publicity team behind her and her story went viral. The truth? She did get the Guinness record for being the FASTEST person to visit all sovereign countries as well as the fastest woman, but she is not the first woman to visit every country, not by a mile.

And the media dropped the ball. They didn't verify this story. And by the time the truth came out, it was too late. Some major news outlets updated their stories, but so many people still think that she's the first woman in the world.

Never forget that we stand on the shoulders of giants. Every achievement we make is because of the brave women who strived before us in much more challenging circumstances. I'm grateful to them every day.

Here is a list of the women who DID travel to every country. Social media didn't exist at the time for most of them, but that doesn't mean their achievements are any less valid.

How Men Can Fight Toxic Masculinity and Rape Culture

#MeToo. Because obviously. But we shouldn't have to relive our trauma in order to convince men how widespread sexual harassment and assault are.

Here are some things men can do to be better allies. It's too late for you to be shocked anymore.

Earlier this year, the New York Times caused a commotion with the headline "Is New York's Best Pizza in...New Jersey?!"

With a review like that, I HAD to go!

The place is called Razza Pizza Artigianale. The pizza is very thin, crispy and charred. The toppings are lush and innovative. I loved the Panna: tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, cream, and arugula.

The best pizza in New York? I wouldn't say QUITE the best, but it's in the top 5 for sure! Maybe even the top 3. Well worth the trip to Jersey City.

Photos from Adventurous Kate's post

Last night I went to Rue La Rue Café, the first Golden Girls cafe in New York, for the ultimate fandom event! Golden Girls trivia!

Rue La Rue is run by Michael La Rue, a close friend of Rue McClanahan. He inherited much of her estate and the cafe is FULL of it -- including the yellow phone from the kitchen! And the prizes for the trivia winners were INSANE -- one of Rue's cancelled checks and a bank statement! A letter Rue wrote to her parents when she was at dance camp in the 50s! A coffee mug that Rue had in her kitchen!

I need to go back and photograph the cafe properly so I can write a whole post about it. WELL worth a visit!! There's nothing like singing "Thank You For Being A Friend" with 60 Golden Girls superfans!

You know you know Paris when you see a fraction of a storefront in the background of a magazine photo and you know you have a photo of that same storefront!

The top pic is from the newly launched Airbnb Mag, taken by Ériver Hijano. Bottom pic by me.

Back in New York and delighted to be sleeping in my own marshmallow-like bed again....but part of me wishes I could move my marshmallow here.

Miss you, Tybee.

How to Spend Three Days in Savannah

I only had a few hours to hang out in Savannah today -- not nearly enough time for one of my favorite cities! I spent today hitting up my favorite spots (Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room, Back in the Day Bakery for pastries to take home, Collins Quarter for a lavender spiced mocha, The Paris Market to buy something cute and Parisian) and a few new ones (the Owens-Thomas House where LA-FAY-ETTE! once stayed, Coffee Fox for a horchata latte).

If you DO go, though, go for three days. Here's my recommended itinerary.

Today in Savannah I *HAD* to eat at one of my favorite restaurants on the planet: Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room.

Get there early. Wait in line. Monday to Friday lunch only. BUT you will be rewarded with an enormous family-style Southern feast! The fried chicken is fantastic. So is the cheesy potato gratin. I never visit Savannah without stopping here!

Easily my favorite mailbox on the island.

DOLPHIN SIGHTING! The waters off the Georgia coast are teeming with dolphins, and today I took a spin with Captain Derek's Dolphin Adventure to see them up close!

Super good value, too. Just $15 for an hourlong cruise!

I actually made it to the beach for sunrise today. SO beautiful! Good morning from Tybee!

"Why would anyone buy a vacation home?! That just means you'll keep going to the same place over and over!"

That used to be my way of thinking. It's not anymore.

Visiting destinations multiple times -- whether it's Savannah or Key West or Edinburgh -- floods me with happiness when I return for another visit. The familiarity is exciting; you get to feel like an expert. And everywhere you go, you're surrounded by memories.

Plus, if you have kids -- or nieces and nephews, or might-as-well-be nieces or nephews -- it's great to grow up with them in the same place.

Plus, if you get a place in Tybee, you can name your house Coral House and paint it bright coral. But don't do that, because someone here already has. 😉

What do you think? Are vacation homes or time-shares, places you go to over and over, worth missing trips to new places?

Finland in the Summer: Quirky, Isolated, and Pretty

On my summer trip to Finland, I went to the Air Guitar World Championships, sauna'ed through the wilderness, and explored one of the prettiest towns in the country (pictured here). Finland can be WEIRD. But also awesome.

Good morning from Tybee! I'm going kayaking on the creek with Sea Kayak Georgia this morning.

I am always a comical kayaker at best so check out Instagram Stories (adventurouskate) to see how it goes!

Strange question, but -- have you ever seen a baby seagull before?

I feel like I haven't. They're mythical creatures. But there were a ton on the beach on Tybee Island today!

They're so cute when they're not dive bombing you for your ice cream...

longbeachdripper.com