New Year’s Eve in Prague, Czech Republic

by Rachel Staggs
( December 17th, 2014 )

prague old town

New Year’s Eve in the Czech Republic is known as Saint Silvester’s Day or the Feast of St. Silvester. The locals simply call it Silvestr.

St. Silverster was Pope from January 31, 314 until he died on December 31, 335.

In Prague, the day is full of toasts and food leading up to the midnight hour, when public and private fireworks displays merge into one.

prague new year's eve

Traditional foods include chlebíčky (open-faced sandwiches) and brambůrky (potato chips), as well as an assortment of nuts and jednohubky (canapés).

River cruises on the Vitava are a popular way to see the fireworks. Book the Jazz Cruise and listen to a live jazz band perform while you dine, followed by dancing. As midnight approaches, the boat heads towards Charles Bridge for a perfect view of the fireworks.

If jazz is not your scene, the Prague Party Boat hits all of the famous sites that border the river. While you dine, a DJ spins tunes from the 1980s up until the present. As midnight approaches, this boat also heads for Charles Bridge.

The State Opera offers a New Year’s Eve performance that includes a grand buffet dinner and dancing on the stage until 3am!

prague new year's eve

Most merrymakers gather along the river, in Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, or at the foothills of Prague Castle to watch the fireworks.

Everyone toasts the New Year with šampaňské (champagne) or the local sparkling wine, Bohemia Sekt.

Parties go on until dawn and many Czechs set off their own handheld fireworks, so be cautious!

Bonus: Prague Christmas markets are open until New Year’s Day.

Stastny Novy Rok!

May your journey be your muse,

Photo Credits
Fireworks: Damien Te Whiu
Crowd: Thomas Raggan


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Gift Ideas for the Wandering Artist in Your Life

by Rachel Staggs
( December 11th, 2014 )

block shop textiles

block shop textiles logo

Based in Los Angeles, Block Shop Textiles was founded by sisters Hopie and Lily Stockman. They work with 5th generation master printers in Bagru, India to bring their creations to life. Everything is done by hand, as it has been in Bagru for 350 years.

The company invests 5% of its proceeds into a community healthcare fund for families of their printing cooperative.

Their designs are beautiful and limited.

You can watch my scarf being made in this video that showcases the process from design to printing and packaging.

Block Shop Textiles from Andrew McLain on Vimeo.

 stash minimalist tote


stash logo


I’m a huge Stash fan. The minimalist tote was my first purchase and I use it daily. I have stuffed so many items in this bag, expecting to break the straps at some point, but nope. It is built to last.

Bag builder Cheryl Schulke utilizes hand-tools and vintage boot making equipment to create her masterpieces. She is dedicated to mindful production over mass production. Her thoughtful, minimal designs are timeless and just get better with age.

Handmade in in Texas.


hold fast money maker camera strap

hold fast gear logo

This beauty has been on my wishlist for a while. It’s the only item here that I have not personally used, but I sure hope to someday!

It holds up to three cameras, on your body, so you don’t have to dig into a camera bag if you want shoot with a several cameras, which I always do. There is even a special option for those of us with long hair!

After years of back pain, Matthew Swaggart created a brand with a nod to the past while embracing functionality. Brilliant.

Handmade in Oklahoma.



tilley jersey flip skirt

tilley logo


I’m a fan of Tilley Endurables and really love this skirt for traveling. It is wrinkle resistant, so often it’s the first thing I wear after arriving in a new destination. It dries overnight and is easy to style for many occasions and different types of weather.

The fabric is soft and I love the secret pocket for stashing cash and my ID.

Made in Canada.


jao brand gal deluxe holiday pack

jao brand logo

Every product I’ve tried from Jao (which is nearly all of them) has become a staple in my life and travels. I am sensitive to chemicals so their all natural approach is perfect for me. Even the mosquito repellant smells good and doesn’t irritate my skin!

Gale Mayron, the daughter of a chemist, has created a fresh line of products that are unisex and multipurpose. She believes in less products that do more.

Check out my post from two years ago to learn about the items I use on a regular basis. Oh, and add the LipJao to that list. I hadn’t tried it when I wrote the post, but of course once I did, I was hooked.

Made in Pennsylvania.

lulu organics hair powder

lulu organics logo

I actually have a four ounce container of their hair powder, but this one ounce version might be better for traveling. I purchased mine in Marfa nearly two years ago and I still have plenty left. It really goes a long way.

It will extend the life of your hair when you don’t have time to wash it (or don’t feel like it). Plus, it’s organic and talc-free!

Made in Minnesota.

Artists, these are items I desire when I wander, what are you wishing for?

May your journey be your muse,

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Photo Essay: Las Vegas Street Art

by Rachel Staggs
( November 21st, 2014 )

las vegas street art

Las Vegas never really held an appeal for me because I have no desire to gamble. I had no idea the city is full of art and artists! I spent three nights there and didn’t gamble until the midnight hour, just 12 hours before departure.

las vegas street art

I lost 90% of what I gambled.

las vegas street art

I sat down in front of a “Mayan” machine and put in $1. I got 10 cents back. It spun some wheels. I really have no idea what happened. Which is why I don’t gamble.

las vegas street art

I had fun watching some of my travel companions gamble seriously. Blackjack was a popular game and probably the only one I would ever consider. I’ve forgotten how to play poker.

las vegas street art

Now that I’ve been, I can see how it would be fun to prepare mentally for weeks and give yourself a budget for gambling. I used to really enjoy playing cards. I guess with access to computers all the time and the growing demand to get more work accomplished, I have let the art of playing cards go.

las vegas street art

As I’m writing this, I remember having a Mahjong group and we’d play at least once and month. I think that was more than 10 years ago. I digress…

las vegas street art

I fell in love with the Las Vegas art scene. From street art to high dollar installations.

I visited the 18b Arts District in downtown Las Vegas, which is helping to revitalize the neighborhood.

The James Turrell’s light installation at Louis Vuitton was otherworldly. Call the store to make an appointment to see it. Perfect for a hot afternoon.

las vegas street art

I stopped to take both digital and film photos of street art in the area. I was overwhelmed in the best way because there seemed to be an endless amount. Every piece held a colorful story. I could have spent hours documenting it.

las vegas street art

las vegas street art

las vegas street art

las vegas street art

las vegas street art

When you find yourself in Las Vegas, don’t forget, there’s art everywhere!

Have you been to Las Vegas? Did you explore the art world? Do you have a favorite installation?

Also, if you know where I can play Mahjong in Vegas, let me know!

May your journey be your muse,

Some or all of this experience was sponsored which may include travel and other costs. All opinions are my own.


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