“It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you might be swept off to.”

– J.R.R. Tolkien

This quote is really the basis of my travel philosophy and, therefore, my blog. I think one of the best things about traveling is the ability to just get lost in it. To set aside the maps and itineraries (although I also love those, too), and just see where the road carries you off to, learning and evolving and relishing in the experience along the way.

It’s my goal to get swept off as often as possible.

Who Am I?

My name is Amanda, and I like to travel.

Oh, you already figured that part out? Okay then. Here’s the brief history of my life:

I grew up on a Christmas tree farm in a small Ohio town with a good football team and even better marching band (go Raiders!). Nothing incredibly exciting happened there, except for the time in the early 90s when my neighbor (who was a mob boss) got shot and killed in his driveway.

I was the geeky, smart kid in school. I liked horses and books and “Harry Potter.” I did competitive gymnastics and tried out for school musicals. I wore a lot of tie-dye.


I also have always loved Carmen Sandiego.

It was in high school that I decided that I wanted to travel. I was obsessed with the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and vowed that I would save my money so that I could go to New Zealand after I graduated. It was all over after that. I ended up going to New Zealand with my mom for two weeks in 2005, and I’ve been swatting at that pesky travel bug ever since.

Since that first big adventure abroad in 2005, I have been to more than 20 countries on 4 continents, and am always on the lookout for my next big adventure, be it on the other side of the world, or just around the corner.

Because, when it comes to travel, there’s no “best” or “right” way to do it. You could fly 10,000 miles to have an adventure, or you could simply walk down the street and discover something new. Unlike some travel bloggers, I’ve never taken time off from my “normal” life to travel long-term. I just travel on my own time, on my own terms.

And guess what? You can too. And hopefully this site and my stories will convince you of that.


Here’s more stuff to know about me:

The important things:

  • I have a journalism degree under my belt, which I hope to one day use to rid the world of bad grammar and “there, their, they’re” confusion.
  • I am obsessed with travel. And New Zealand especially.
  • I am currently a graduate student and travel in my free time, by carefully saving my money.
  • I like to consider myself to be mildly adventurous and open to new things (though not necessarily when it comes to food).
  • I have a minor in German, but can’t speak it at all.

The less important (but probably more interesting) things:

  • My most recent job consisted of designing pages for a newspaper. Apparently some people think this is cool.
  • I love the scent of freshly-cut grass.
  • I have been bungy jumping three times, and would love to do it again.
  • Fall is my favorite time of year, though I don’t like that it leads to winter.
  • I took Irish Step Dancing lessons in high school.
  • My favorite color is green.
  • I’d like to think I’d be a decent surfer if I lived in the right environment.
  • I really hate all things “Twilight.” (See here if you do, too.)
  • To contradict the previous statement, I like chick flicks, no matter how corny or predictable they are.
  • I can write my name upside down.
  • I like crossing things off lists (like my bucket list).

Interviews With Me

In case you still haven’t learned enough, check out these interviews starring yours truly to learn more about how/why/where I travel:

Good Posts to Read

Want to get to know me EVEN BETTER? Check out these posts:


Want to get in touch with me? Here’s how.

Other Fun Stuff

Check out some of my guest blogs, as well as where else I’ve been featured around the travel blogosphere by clicking here.


61 Responses to About Me

  1. Anil says:

    Hi Amanda,

    Saw your post on the TBEX forum about link exchanges. If you’re interested shoot me an email :)


  2. We would love you to consider a link exchange.

    My partner Danielle and I are currently traveling to nearly every country in Africa (we are writing now from Dakar, Senegal) meeting with farmers, workers, NGO’s and community groups writing about innovations and projects that our working to alliviate hunger and poverty. We travel blog everyday at BorderJumpers (www.borderjumpers.org). We are trying to highlight stories of hope and success.

    Thanks so much for your consideration!

    All the best, Bernie and Dani

  3. Hi, I’ve seen your blog at TBEX. I’ve an travel blog http://business-flights.iflybusiness.com/ and I’ve been interested in link exchange. Can you give me a link for my blog on your blog at http://dangerousbusiness.wordpress.com
    under BLOGROLL section ?

  4. Daniel says:

    Hi! We are interested in a link exchange as per you message on ‘The Travel Blog Exchange’. We’ve gone ahead and added your blog—you can find it here:


    My wife and I launched our blog almost a year ago and have since been actively seeking blogs on which to link to, comment on, and actively support!

    • ijustwannago says:

      Hi there! Thanks for adding me; I’ve just added you to my blogroll as well, and checked out your site — I love it! Definitely will be checking in regularly.

  5. Hi Amanda – I’ve been running Dave’s Travel Corner for the past almost 14 years, http://www.davestravelcorner.com and I was wondering if you have some time to check my site out and if you like what you see, perhaps you could add a link back on your
    blogroll. I have already added your site under my Resources >> Blogs of Travel section.

    Thanks :)


  6. Oh wow, you’ve been to many places! I’d love to visit Australia and NZ someday too!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Yes, I’ve definitely been lucky, getting to see so much of the world at my age. And you should definitely visit OZ and NZ if you ever get the chance!

  7. Gabriela says:

    Hi, I’m a PhD student (also a journalist by degree) undertaking a research on Global Nomads, on professionals that have adopted a hyper mobile lifestyle. I’m particularly interested in individuals who have lived and worked in at least three different countries. All it takes is a 40mins Skype call, so please let me know if you would like to participate. Also, I would like to know if you grant permission to use the textual content of your website for the analysis (it may include a few short quotations that will be referenced accordingly).
    I hope you have a small gap in your busy schedule!
    Gabriela recently posted..Its about YOU

  8. Nat says:

    you wanna know something awesome? i have a ton of things in common with you, and as a junior in high school, my dream is to travel the world :) your blog is really awesome and i look forward to reading more about your adventures! :D

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Hi Nat! That is indeed awesome that we have so much in common! It was about the time when I was a junior in high school that I decided I wanted to travel the world, too.

      I wish you the best of luck, and would love to hear about YOUR adventures, too!

  9. Kelly Pillar says:

    I see you haven’t been to Los Angeles yet! I love my city and would totally show you around if you ever make it out to the West Coast. Represent!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      The only times I’ve been to L.A. have been when I’ve flown through the LAX airport! But, my sister and I are planning a road trip for later this summer that should see us in the LA area for at least a day or two!

  10. Dear Amanda,
    I dig your blog! I was wondering if you wanted to exchange links. http://www.runawayguide.com
    Also, if you have any guest post opportunities, let me know.

  11. C. Deminski says:

    Hi Amanda,

    I like your enthusiasm when it comes to travel. I have a few U.S. recommendations, if I may be so bold!

    First – it looks like you have never been out west! California is huge, and of course this should be on anyone’s travel list if you live in the U.S. including San Francisco, Monterrey, Big Sur, and Yosemite National Park. If Southern Cali is more your thing then you’ll have L.A./Hollywood and San Diego on the list.

    But it would be a crime to skip over the Grand Canyon; Sedona, AZ; Zion National Park, Badlands, Capitol Reef or any of the other completely fantastic natural wonders you’ll find between northern Arizona and Utah too.

    A little closer to home, if you drive a bit east into upstate New York, you’ve got access to the Adirondacks, which is a wonderful playground of mountain peaks. Lake Placid (of Olympic fame) sits in the center. It’s surprisingly close to you and won’t require a plane ticket, nor will it break the budget. A little further south, closer to the Catskills, don’t overlook Woodstock, NY or New Paltz and Saugerties which are both charming and small. If you go WAY north in NY state – even above the Adirondacks, you’ll hit Lake Champlain.

    If you keep going east, you’ll get to see the Green Mountains of Vermont (and if you like to ski, Vermont has some great spots…)

    None of these places require a passport and all hold the amazing potential for adventure.


    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions, Carol! It’s true that I have not yet conquered much of the U.S. But, my sister and I are planning a road trip out west this summer, so hopefully I’ll have the chance to visit a lot of the place you mentioned here!

  12. Paul says:

    Hi Amanda

    Great site! If you’d like to swap travel links, my site is at http://PaulKilfoil.webs.com/Leisure.htm. I’ll put a link back to you at http://paulkilfoil.webs.com/TravelInfo.htm.

    - Paul

  13. Michela says:

    Love your blog! I’m a small town girl (from NY), grew up on a Christmas tree farm and love to travel too. And I live in Columbus, OH. If you live near C’Bus and ever want to do an informal OH Tweet up of 2 (or maybe there are more of us) let me know.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Michela! You grew up on a Christmas tree farm, too? No way! How cool.

      I currently live in the Findlay area, and will be moving back east this fall. But the next time I’m in C’bus, I’ll be sure to drop you a line!

  14. JeffA says:

    Saw you posts in planning a trip to Chicago…and you missed my hometown, Cambridge, NZ by 20 miles….nicer than Matamata …so ok no hobbit town…but more trees and horse!1 regards
    Ft Smith AR

    • DangerousBiz says:

      I lived with a girl in Wellington whose family was from Cambridge, I think! And yes, sadly, I have not yet been everywhere in New Zealand… maybe someday!

      Thanks for stopping by! I hope my Chicago posts were helpful to you.

  15. Paul White says:


    Do you need “Guest Bloggers” for your blog? I represent a large community of writers who are trying to get their unique family friendly content published on sites such as yours. My writers are just looking for exposure so there is no charge to you for the content.

    The writers I represent are professionals and are not churning out garbage content that reads like a sales ads. Each piece takes time to create and is usually 700 words or more in length. We hope to establish a long term relationship with you. You can also feel free to monetize the articles with banners ads or Google Adsense etc.

    PS. I am sure you will want to see some writing samples so just let me know and I can show you several.

    Paul White
    Inventory Manager
    (913) 837-3055

  16. Vanessa says:

    Hi Amanda,

    It’s nice to come across someone similar to me – I like to have my house and dog and job, but I love to travel too. It’s hard balance, but I enjoy it a lot. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    Vanessa recently posted..Nudgee Beach

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Hey Vanessa! Thanks for dropping by and saying hello. I know my travel style isn’t ideal for everyone, but it works for me. I like having a home base!

  17. Zhu says:

    Nice to meet you!

    I had no idea there was such a thing as “Christmas tree farm”. And I didn’t know some towns in the U.S. didn’t have McDonalds. One article and I learned two things already! :lol:

    I’m also a travel junkie, also looking for a life at home/travel balance, also love writing. And traveling. Duh.

    I move from France to Canada a few years ago and I love being based in Canada even though the travel bug is still there… It’s somehow comforting to see we are all struggling with the same balance problems!
    Zhu recently posted..Pre-traveling Rush

  18. nice to meet you Amanda…i am also a travel addict..not really a pro writer and photographer but i just simply love to travel and take pictures of all kinds…
    Ruby Travelling recently posted..Interesting Places To Visit in Queensland, Australia

  19. Laura says:


    Just wanted to leave a comment to say I think your attitude towards what defines a traveller is great – you dont have to be on the road continiously to be a traveller – I take a few trips a year cause thats what I can manage & reckon thats good enough – others have a different attitude though eh?!

    Glad to have stumbled across your site.


    Laura recently posted..All Aboard!

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Thanks for the comment and kind words, Laura! I’m a total believer that there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to travel. Whatever works for you is what you should do!

  20. Euroangel says:

    nice to meet someone with the same interest…travel travel and travel..wish you a safe and sound travel all the time..who knows one day our ways would meet…let me know if your heading to germany in your future travel..
    Euroangel recently posted..A Day-Sightseeing in Amsterdam

  21. [...] part of our “Travel Tips” series, we interviewed Amanda Williams who spent 5-months living in Wellington on a study abroad program. She lived right in downtown [...]

  22. Amanda says:

    Hi Amanda!
    I stumbled upon your blog and love the Lord of the Rings quote, was it one of Bilbo’s? Anyways, just thought I’d leave a comment and say thanks for the wonderful website! I’m going to book mark it and check back! All the best for your future adventures.

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Hi Amanda! So glad you stumbled upon the site and like it — and yes, that quote is indeed one of Bilbo’s!

  23. Stacey says:

    Hi Amanda!
    I’m a kiwi from Christchurch, currently living in San Diego and working as an Au Pair. I just found your blog and I’m enjoying reading through your posts :) Loving your Tolkein quote by the way-my website is onetravelsfar.com- “Little by little, one travels far.” Great minds hehe
    Stacey recently posted..How I ended up as an Au Pair

  24. Nick says:

    New fan, love your site!

  25. JJ Abrahmsmenburg says:

    Hey Amanda,
    I love your blog particularly because your the photos. That said what’s up with not being able to pinterest the photos?

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Hey JJ! The only explanation I can come up with is that I host my photos on Flickr, and have a copyright on all of them. I read a while back that Flickr was going to disable sharing to Pinterest, so maybe that’s why you aren’t able to? I haven’t done anything on my end to prevent sharing, so that’s the only thing I can think of!

  26. JJ Abrahmsmenburg says:

    Oh I see – Flickr’s got beef with Pinterest, eh. Seems a bit odd to me that Flickr would make the choice on behalf of its users to cut off (or at least stifle) that traffic stream. But I’m no insider so what do I know. Only time will tell if it was a wise move.

    Well I have a hack that circumvents Flickr’s block. I could link it back to your site for example: “Photo courtesy of http://www.dangerous-business.com “. Is that cool with you; what do you say?

    Double J

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Like I said, I think it mostly has to do with copyright concerns. I don’t mind if you still pin my photos, though, as long as that’s all you’re doing with them! :)

  27. [...] is a very beautiful photo essay of Amanda in her blog A Dangerous Business that show how San Francisco’s Chinatown looks like. Although [...]

  28. Dave says:

    Hi Amanda – very nice site layout and content. Enjoying your blog very much. Cheers Dave
    Dave recently posted..Top Tips to Keep Your Holiday Costs Down

  29. Sarah says:

    Hey there, Amanda! I just found your blog, and I really like it!

    I also am beginning to wonder if we were separated at birth. ;D You mentioned going to New Zealand with your mom for two weeks in 2005. Well, guess what? My first overseas trip was to Germany…. in 2005… for two weeks… with my mom!

    Okay okay, so maybe that doesn’t make us twins, but I still thought it was funny. X) I’m also a grad student (and thus feeling guilty about spending so much time looking up travel stuff!), and I also speak some German. :)

    So here’s a big energetic wave from me! Keep traveling, keep writing!

  30. Hi Amanda!

    It’s awesome to see adventurers like you out exploring the world. A couple of years ago, I taught English in France to elementary students and had the opportunity to travel to another 11 countries on the European continent (while on break of course). I know what you mean about that pesky travel bug! I call it my itch I can’t stop scratching!! And New Zealand! Ahh….my ultimate destination, and why? I too was a LOTR nerd in high school; how stoked are you for The Hobbit to come out??

    Anywho, I just wanted to tell you about our great app INTERPRETRAVEL. It’s the first to market, on-demand, live interpretation app! In lieu of a faulty translation, INTERPRETRAVEL connects you instantly with an interpreter from our language catalogue. INTERPRETRAVEL just adds that confidence, reassurance and security knowing you literally have an interpreter right in the palm of your hand.

    If you have any questions on INTERPRETRAVEL, please email me and let me know. I’d love to hear more about your adventures! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest; that way we can keep in touch!

    Safe travels my friend!

  31. Suz says:

    Amanda! So amazed at your blog, I don’t know how I’ve not come across it before. As a fellow kiwi I’m glad you have such an obsession with my country – makes me proud. I just recently watched The Hobbit and planning to get married near Peel Forest.

    I’d have to say I can also blame Carmen Sandiego and the road trips I took with my dad across the North Island.

    You truly are an inspiration and now I know I should “just do it” when it comes to writing about my travels, past; present and future.

    Thanks and keep on spreading the good travel karma :D


  32. Inma says:

    Quickly stopped by before dinner after reading your response to the 1000 1000 challenge! You’ve built a cool blog! We kinda feel identified with your “normal” style and would love to read more! We know challenge’s 2nd part is around the corner! :)

  33. Love it that you can write your name upside-down.
    Just discovered you on Landlopers. Great site!
    If you’re ever in Paris and would like to go on a treasure hunt at the Louvre or Musee d’Orsay, drop me a line. It’s what my company, THATLou, does.
    Kind regards,

  34. Andy Santos says:

    Hi Amanda,

    You have a fantastic blog. I like how your travel blog was
    fueled by LOTR as I am a Tolkien fan too.

    On a different note, you should visit South East Asia – Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia if you haven’t yet. Lot’s of wonderful places – you can even do “temple run” in Sim Reap.

    All the best!
    Andy Santos recently posted..Laiya Travel Guide

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