Pretty much every traveler — self included — has going on safari at the top of their bucket list, and rightfully so. As a professional food and travel writer, it’s always been one of my dirty little secrets that I hadn’t yet been, but I’ll tell you this much: it was worth the wait.
This summer I headed off to Botswana with Abercrombie & Kent to visit their Sanctuary properties and came back with so many wonderful memories, stories, and content that I felt like my head was going to explode. There are very few places in the world that make you feel so humbled, and truly give you a deep respect for nature, wildlife and conservation, and Botswana is one of them. I loved that the Sanctuary properties partnered up with local charities to give back to the communities where their lodges were based, too. That element of giving back is so important for me as a traveler.
And, of course, in typical Krista fashion, I made a video with my partner and excellent aerial videographer, Michael Kretovics below. I hope you too get to experience safari in your lifetime. It’s everything you have dreamed of, and more!
One thing you should know about me is that I’m a HUGE fan of the staycation. Much as I love exploring around the globe, there’s something wonderful about looking at your own city with the eyes of a traveler. Of course, it doesn’t hurt when some place as beautiful as Santa Monica is right in your backyard.
This beach city, which is just a hop skip and a jump away from LAX airport, has always been a favorite. Having grown up in L.A., I have fond memories of driving over to Ray’s for biscuits and gravy with my family, then heading over to the beach for a day of boogie boarding and soaking up the sunshine. (Remember the times where you could do load up on junk food and then jump into a bikini and not even think twice about it. Oh, to be a kid again!)
I got to tap into that same childlike sense of fun and wonder when I partnered up withSkyscanner this month to showcase some of my favorite parts of Santa Monica with my lovely friend (and fabulous travel writer!) Lacy Yamaoka, aka The Expate. We had such a blast wandering around SaMo that it’d be selfish NOT to share some of my top reasons to visit the city right now.
Santa Monica has it on lock when it comes to accommodation. One of my favorite places to stay is the Viceroy. You’re literally within earshot of the beach, which you can ride to on their complimentary stylish Linus beach cruisers. If you want a little bit of R&R, their poolside cabanas are the perfect spot to kick back, read a book, and enjoy a cocktail. It’s truly the best of all worlds.
You didn’t think I’d write about this and not mention the eats, did you? Santa Monica has heaps of incredible restaurants, and there’s truly something for everyone. One our Periscope adventure, Lacy and I had some incredible food, from craft beer and burgers at the darling Ashland Hill to oysters and rose at BP Oysterette. (Don’t worry, we threw a smoothie in there too. We went toKreation to start our day out on the right foot and then let the mayhem ensue from there.)
If you’re an outdoor junkie, the’s no place more ideal to stay than some SaMo. The second you set foot on Ocean Avenue, you’ll realize the entire city is basically one giant wellness center. People gather for hiking, walking, yoga, personal training, slack lining, and more, and down on the beach you can watch the folks on the rings try their hand at being circus performers. You can easily rent a Breeze Bike to enjoy by the minute to see the city, or just walk around and breathe in the fresh sea air. There’s nothing more invigorating.
Leave it to Santa Monica to build one of the most darling outdoor malls in the world. At Santa Monica Place, they even have a concierge that will send your bags to your hotel so that you can keep wandering or riding your bike around without schlepping your haul. How cool is that?
Tapping Into Your Inner Child
Lacy and I had such a blast going down to the historic Santa Monica Pier and riding the ferris wheel. I have to admit, as a local I sometimes poo poo touristy attractions, but the view from the top was absolutely spectacular, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone, locals or visitors alike.
You can check out a little video recap of our day on Periscope here.
Hope to see you in Santa Monica soon, and happy travels!
You guys! I’m so stoked. Uproxx just named me one of thetop travelers to follow on Snapchat. I’ve been totally loving using this medium as a way to share all my culinary adventures around the globe, from farmers market tours to behind-the-scenes looks at some of the world’s hottest hotel properties.
Thanks so much for giving me a follow! And be sure to let me know on Snap what you want to see more of.
Costa Rica is well known for its lush rainforests, epic surf spots, and three-toed sloths, but its food scene is also worthy of attention. Its rich culinary culture is strongly influenced by the dizzying array of fruits and veggies made possible by the same biodiversity and microclimates that make it a destination for nature lovers. The food scene there is definitely worth checking out — from epic farmers markets to high elevation coffee plantations and great street food.
You can check out my article at Travel + Leisure that goes along with the video here, which details all the dishes I recommend you try out when in Costa Rica.
Each month I write the Departures Magazine Dining Agenda, giving you the scoop on what’s shaking in food and beverage around the world. I’m talking everything from festivals to openings and chef shifts — all so you can stay in the know on what’s going on around the globe. Here’s what’s happening this December.
Getting around LAX can be a lot like navigating the city of Los Angeles; for the uninitiated, it can seem like an absolutely daunting maze, especially during the upcoming holiday season. But I grew up in L.A., and have some helpful hints for how to make the most of any layover or pre-flight experience in L.A. You can check out my tips over at LAXisHappening.com, and be sure to watch the video below.
It’s hard not to get swept up in what’s #trending, especially when it comes to travel. Trouble is, once you get to a destination that’s been infiltrating your feed, you realize your friends somehow managed to crop out the throngs of tourists that populate it.
If you’re looking for something a little more off-the-beaten path, something that harkens to the early, undiscovered days of your favorite destination, I combed the map to find an alluring alternative for each one. I picked out 10 destinations that make fine replacements that are worth exploring now—before they catch up to their siblings.
Remember way back when I started that Dishlist column — you know, the handy dandy one that gave the rundown on the absolutely essential dishes you have to try in a given region, city, or country? Well, it’s baaaaaack! And now, in Travel + Leisure magazine!
I first started this series because as a food-focused traveler, I’m always looking for a list of must-trys before hitting the road, how to say the dishes’ names like a native, and where to find the best.
I started my first installation for T + L with none other than Tokyo, a city I fell in love with a few months ago on my first trip to Japan.
Characterized by an unrelenting attention to detail and the persistent pursuit of excellence, the megalopolis of Tokyo is known as one of the world’s best eating cities.
Last month I had the pleasure of traveling to Anguilla, a teensy Caribbean island located about 20 minutes north of St. Martin by boat. I flew down for the Festival Del Mar, a local celebration of everything the sea has to offer, from traditional Anguillan sailboat racing to bountiful seafood.
I tried everything from massive lobster and crayfish to cowfish, which looks a lot like puffer fish, but isn’t nearly as poisonous as fugu.
What were my favorite bites? Take a look to find out!
A while back I wrote about an old Indian health drink called shilajit that is regarded by Ayurvedic healers for its restorative properties. This resin pitch is made of humic substance, and it’s very rich in fulvic acid, which is created by the decomposition of plant material. Translation: you’re drinking really old, hardened compost. When the weather warms, the stuff oozes out of the ground — mainly in Himalayan mountains between India and Nepal — to be collected by its believers.
Which is all well and good, but let me tell you, the stuff tastes gnarly.
At The Springs, an adorable multipurpose restaurant, workspace and wellness spa in DTLA, they dilute a brand of shilajit called PurBlack with water and sell it in a 1 oz shot form with a lemon wedge chaser for $4. I couldn’t resist a taste when I heard the crazy story from one of the bartenders, and ended up writing about my experience sipping on the stuff for a story headlined “L.A’s Latest Bizarre Health Drink Tastes A Lot Like Bong Water.”
Apparently the ridiculous recounting grabbed the attention of NYT writer Brooks Barnes, who did a bang-up job of making me chuckle in his story about The Springs, which you can check out here.I can’t blame him for poking fun of L.A. in this story. I mean, much as I am obsessed with the design of The Springs, the place offers everything a caricature of a health crazed Angeleno would need: yoga, food, juice, music, and colonics, all under one roof.
So, tell me, have you tried shilajit? What’s the strangest thing you’ve done for the sake of health?