Watching the botafumeiro in Santiago de Compostela

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about returning to the Camino de Santiago. In fact, I’m having a hard time getting my head to go anywhere else these days. Thinking back to September 2014, I stood among crowds of peregrinos and daytrippers in the path of giant incense burner, feeling like I accomplished something significant in my life, even though the purpose wasn’t entirely clear at that point. So, today, I think about the Camino and whether we’re meant to meet again sooner, rather than later.

Brooklyn Pizza Showdown: Grimaldi’s vs. Juliana’s

If you love pizza, I mean really love pizza, you will want to become a warrior in the legendary pizza feud between Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s, located next door to each other under the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighbourhood.

Pizza for brunch at Juliana's in Brooklyn. #pizza #travel #newyork

A photo posted by Krista Spurr Bite-sized Travel (@kristaspurr) on

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Visit New York in the winter? YES!

New York is a year-round destination, but the tourist population is at its most dense in the summer and between American Thanksgiving and New Year’s. If you want to experience a slightly quieter New York, visit in the dead of winter, like I just did.

NYC from the air winter
Approaching NYC in the winter. Photo by @miss_close

Winter travel can be a drag. Snowstorms are common in the Northeastern United States, and temperatures can vary wildly. However, hotels are a little cheaper, tickets for shows are the same price, but the seat choices are better, restaurants and bars are easier to get into, and if you want to see a tv show taping, far less effort may be required on your part.  Continue reading Visit New York in the winter? YES!

Sleeping and Accommodations on the Camino de Santiago

In the Camino forums and the pilgrim gatherings I’ve attended, a lot of people have a lot of questions and anxiety about one important matter: sleeping. So much so, a lot of prospective pilgrims I met put their feet down and booked private accommodations before they even laid a foot on the path.

Experienced pilgrims will tell you, “Everyone walks their own Camino,” and sleeping is no exception. There is no right way to sleep across Spain, but I’m of the opinion you’ll get more out of the Camino experience if you experience more than a private room with ensuite. Except for two nights, I stayed in the common room of public and private albergues every night, which I ended up really enjoying in a “We’re all in this together!” sort of way and recommend for all of the good, bad and indifferent things that go along with that.
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My 2014 Travel Year in Review

Short version: 2014 was an amazing year of travel for me.

I went to four different places I’ve wanted to visit for a long time and managed a return to New York while I was at it.

New York (hello, old friend)

2014 was remarkable because I only made it to NYC once this year (not a real problem, I know). Even though I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve visited NYC, this was my first trip taking public transit to and from Laguardia, thanks to a late-2013 change to the Q70 routing. It’s now an airport limited service, connecting Laguardia to the E/F/M/R/7 trains into Manhattan.

I visited in May, when spring was in full force and it was simply splendid. However, we did have a cracker of a storm one night, which yielded this unforgettable image captured by a lucky fellow over in Brooklyn:

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Eats, drinks, epic treks & travel adventures at home and abroad