Crying at Cruising Altitude: My Emotional Relationship with In-Flight Entertainment


I am the queen of the ugly airplane cry. Puffy and red faced, I am mucousy mess who can barely speak between asthmatic sobs. It is not pretty – and for some reason it’s triggered by one thing: watching movies on planes. I am not a big crier on the ground, but put me on a plane in front of in-flight entertainment and let the waterworks begin. On the upside, when you are the crying girl on the plane, no one wants to talk to you, not even chipper barbed wire salesmen from Omaha.


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Episode 18: Guatemala


In this episode, Kathy interviews Ines about her recent Guatemala holiday. They address practical issues (safety, getting around, food and lodging), touch upon Guatemala’s turbulent political past, and discuss why Ines will never hike up a volcano again.

Listen on Podbean or iTunes.


Taste Antigua – Ines highly recommends this food tour to sample the local flavors.

La Casa del Mundo Hotel – This tranquil hotel, with its hospitable staff and communal dinners, is perched atop a cliff and is only accessible by foot or by boat. Need we say more?


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Episode 17: How to Travel Successfully for Business with Mare Swallow


On this episode, we sit down with special guest Mare Swallow to give us her expert tips on traveling for business. From dealing with speeding tickets in Pennsylvania to powering through client dinners in Houston to asking French colleagues to skip their long lunches, Mare has gone through it all. Take a listen and learn how to pack, prep and even party (a bit)on your next business trip.

Listen to the podcast on iTunes or click here.

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Meet Mare Swallow, Experienced Business Traveler

Traveling for business conjures images of swanky dinners, hotel freebies, and international people of mystery. Those who do it for a living, though, know that it can also be a source of constant stress, jet lag, and cross-cultural miscommunication. Nevertheless, the experience can be rewarding with a bit of preparation. To make the best out of your roaming work duties, special guest Mare Swallow sat down with us to give us her expert tips. You can listen to all her sage advice on Wednesday, when our episode on business travel drops. Read on to learn more about Mare.

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Searching for Ernestina Hemingway in Oak Park

“My name is Ernest Miller Hemingway. I want to travel and write,” wrote Ernest Hemingway in his high school yearbook. Replace the name with “Ines Bellina” and I could have easily written something similar at the time. Much like the Papa himself, I knew from a young age that I wanted to devote my life completely, even exclusively, to those two things.

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Episode 16: New York Times List of 52 Place to Go in 2016

Illustration by Rafael Lopez for the New York Times

In this episode, Ines and Kathy discuss the New York Times’ list of 52 Place to Go in 2016. The list is an annual compilation of of what the NY Times believes will be 2016’s hottest travel destinations. Per the usual, the ladies have a lot to say about this. They discuss where they’ve been and where they’d like to go, as well as the selection criteria and points of contention with how the list shapes up.

Listen to the podcast on iTunes or click here.

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The Best Hotels for a Chicagoland Staycation

Today we’re guests on the blog Queen of the Land of Twigs ‘N Berries. One of Amanda’s (a.k.a. the Queen’s) focuses is family travel and she asked us to chime in with staycation destinations for when you’re not with your kids. Take a look and let us know if you have any other suggestions!

The Best Hotels for a Chicagoland Staycation – Queen of the Land of Twigs ‘N Berries