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active 13 hours ago

Ash Merscher

I help readers and travelers navigate their trips, writing articles about how to get from point A to point B. As a traveler myself, I love the adventurous feeling that a foreign destination gives you; but I also love knowing a little about what to expect. I appreciate the idea of experienced vagabonds sharing insider details on how to travel between cities and popular destinations. The adventurous unknown—the travel butterflies in the pit of your stomach—are still there, but you can picture a place before you get there.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"I've called a handful of European countries my home, including Ireland, Spain, Hungary, and Romania. I've taught English and freelanced as a writer. During my time abroad (I'm currently living in Bucharest, Romania) I've been lucky enough to enjoy extensive travels across Central and Eastern Europe. My countries of expertise include Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia, Poland, and the Balkans. I'm a big fan of architecture and food, which are my two main reasons to keep traveling. I love a budget trip, so road trips are my go-to vacation. I'm also very much into wine, so it's a good thing I live in Romania!"

How did you get involved in travel?

"Growing up in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, trips across the border to Canada were a childhood norm. The allure of international travel was always there, tempting me across the water and prompting my first big trip abroad when I was in my early 20s. I studied abroad in Ireland and felt far more comfortable in a foreign country than at my own university. I spent the next decade trying to be in Europe as much as possible, working multiple jobs and stockpiling my wages. For me, travel gave me a sense of adventure while teaching me some of my life's biggest lessons. "

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"After a whirlwind trip around Western Europe with my best friend, I decided to stay longer and volunteer at a farm in County Cork, Ireland. Each afternoon, after I finished my duties for the day, I'd grab the family dog—who was very pregnant at the time—and we'd walk up the hill to the cliffside. There, I'd sit on the edge (but not too close), Bella the golden retriever lounging just at my side. We'd listen to the Irish wind, which I feel has its own unique spirit. It'd whip through tall tufts of grass, dancing across fields and plummeting down the cliffs, seabirds catching its drift and gliding across the horizon. I will never forget those afternoons with the sun just melting into the Atlantic Ocean. They occurred a few years after I had experienced a tragedy in my family, and they helped to heal a broken heart and a lost soul. Travel tends to perform that sort of magic."

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