There's more to Las Vegas than The Strip. Looking for day trips from Sin City? Here's five day trips to enjoy from Las Vegas.

On a Normal Life

Water is cascading down from the ceramic-tiled roof of my apartment. Under the gray summer sky, even the terracotta orange of the tiles are muted. And the rain, with its plump droplets and thunking onto the sand-colored stones below my window, has a whirr about it. A gentle humming that hums along with my heart. Which has been racing a lot lately. Racing overtime.

Yesterday marked six years since I arrived in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Six years since that first definition, that first identity of myself (aside from travel blogger and publicist) which defined me.

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5 Day Trips that Will Make You Love Las Vegas for Different Reasons

Las Vegas is a lot of things. It’s a desert town rooted in the tourism industry. It’s a mecca for foodies; a hotbed of night clubs; a gamblers go-to. But, it’s also a place to use as a launchpad for checking out what’s outside of the mega resorts, hip Downtown and ‘burbs, so Expedia.com asked me to share my insiders tips.

In fact, Las Vegas boasts some incredible spots that aren’t far from vacationers’ hotels, but an entire world apart from what people know and expect of time spent in Sin City. To get you ready for your unique Las Vegas vacation, check out the many hotel options at Expedia.com.

Where to head on a free day in Las Vegas?

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A reflection of life two years at home after traveling and living abroad.

Two Years of Home

A reflection of life two years at home after traveling and living abroad.

December 15, 2015.

I remind myself regularly of this date. When I’m up at night, my brain whirrs as I count the days, weeks, months and now years since I turned my back on expat life.

It seems like no time has passed at all, and yet all the time in the world has passed.

December 15, 2015.

It hovers over me at times, gently bringing back memories.

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On Gratitude

on-gratitude

“I’m moving home,” I announce to my parents when I touch down in Philadelphia, fresh off a few days in Las Vegas.

“What?” they both ask, confused.

And, I get it. I really do.

Only few weeks ago I had told them I was meeting with immigration lawyers in Madrid to see how I could get another visa … to see if I could continue living my expat life for another year.

But, then it hit me like a proverbial ton of bricks: the last thing I wanted to do was stay in Madrid. Stay abroad. I was tired. Mentally. Physically. Every -ally you could imagine, that was me.

I had tossed the idea around with them a week earlier, after piercing my nose, and the words just flowed out of my mouth with zero censor:

I want to move home.

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Street art in Downtown Las Vegas, a part of Life is Beautiful, but can be viewed year-round.

Street Art in Downtown Las Vegas

Street art in Downtown Las Vegas, a part of Life is Beautiful, but can be viewed year-round.

Las Vegas isn’t a city known for street art. In fact, I’m confident that most people would never even put the two together.

That’s changing.

Thanks to Life is Beautiful, a three-day festival that takes over Downtown Las Vegas, the city is upping its street art cred.

This year’s LIB runs from Sept. 23 – 25 and blends music, art, food and inspiration to create a massive festival that brings incredible acts and garners national attention.

Sure, I love the music. But, what I really love is street art, and the street art in Las Vegas for Life is Beautiful makes me all kinds of giddy.

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Why I Canceled My Trip to Spain

Why I canceled my trip to Spain via solo female travel blogger dtravelsround.comWay back in December, when I was rushing through the process of returning to American life and giving up my Spanish student visa … and life as an expat … I purchased roundtrip tickets for my mom and I from Madrid to Vegas.

“When would you like to return to Madrid?” The agent had asked over the phone. With Google Flights’ trusty fare calendar displayed on the screen, I scanned for the cheapest option: July 25.

“July 25th,” I said, not giving it much thought.

And thus, I had two tickets to return to Europe seven months after I left. The tickets were cheap. Half of what they are if flying return from the States to Europe.

I’ll be ready to hit the road by then.

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It’s a Beautiful Life

Do you fear re-entry? Are you running? A look at how life is different when you're happy.
It’s a mild evening in Las Vegas. Hot, by winter standards if you don’t have desert (or jungle) blood.

The sun has already begun its descent behind the rugged, snow-covered peak of Mt. Charleston to the west of the city. The mountains on the east, the ones covered in trees, are a deep purple. Sunrise Mountain, the naked, red, jagged mound to the northeast of The Stratosphere, glows a dusky pink.

It’s a serene setting, despite the fact I am sitting in one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. A beautiful life outside my windows.

It’s home.

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