Hi, I’m Shannon

In 2008, I began traveling the world. Since that day, quite a few things have happened. The folks at National Geographic named me Traveler of the Year for my work in responsible tourism (I’m still reeling). Millions of you found your way to this corner of the internet (holy cow!). And together we created an entire community with one common belief: A life of travel creates a story of the world worth telling. Thank you, and welcome to A Little Adrift.

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Travel stories, personal ones, advice about life on the road—it’s all here.

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Free destination guides and curated stories from 60+ countries.

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A Little Adrift covers a range of topics written from experiences spanning more than a decade of travel—from stories of transformative travel and stories of life on the road, to thorough destination guides and practical tips on packingbudgeting, and planing travel.

Everything you read on A Little Adrift comes from firsthand experience, or recommendations from the ALA community. We share with a goal of empowering everyone to use travel as a force for good.

A Little Adrift… Dispatch from Russia: Upending Cultural Assumptions

Cold air gnawed through my layers, persistent and unrelenting. As an avowed lover of all things tropical—smoothie flavors, color pallets, and, yes, temperatures—I had dreaded exploring St. Petersburg, Russia in November, a month marked by gray skies, drizzling rain, and pervasive chill. Although my unsuitability for cold weather panned out, St. Petersburg upended my every…

A Little Insight… What Goes Into a Sustainable Tourism Industry?

Around the time that I was struggling to hold down my breakfast, hiking at a clipped pace across the wild Kyrgyz countryside and up a mountain, I realized a few things needed to change. Having just finished hiking 500 miles of Spain’s Camino de Santiago a few weeks earlier, I was fit enough for the…

A Little Adrift… Dispatch from Barcelona: Finding Home

Finding a way to stop traveling has been an evolving process. When I booked that one-way flight ten years ago, a year of travel loomed before me, an epic round-the-world trip that would fulfill my dreams to see more of the world while also preparing me to contentedly return to Los Angeles at the end….

A Little Delight… Stories of Responsible Travel in Hoi An, Vietnam

Drizzling rain pattered on my umbrella as I wove through throngs of tourists, their rainbow-hued ponchos forming sudden pops of contrast against the canary-colored walls. I dodged locals pedaling rickety bicycles on the rain-drenched streets, and darted into the calm oasis of a local teahouse-cum-social enterprise in Hoi An, Vietnam. The rain hadn’t let up…

A Little Photoessay… Two Weeks of Nuance & Culture in Japan

The chaos of Tokyo crashed over me in waves when I first landed in Japan. I had booked my tickets on a whim—I found an affordable last-minute flight and jumped at the opportunity. Luckily, I had time to secure a Japan Rail pass, which allowed me to zip around the country on the speedy…