AK Month-to-month Recap: February 2023

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The month began with every week in Sicily and ended with a model new, fully unexpected product launch. Fabulous!

Let’s check out what made February nice.

Kate smiling, sitting at an outdoor table, holding up an Aperol spritz in one hand and a bowl full of fried seafood in another.
Spritzes and fritto misto — that’s what Italy does!

Locations Visited

  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Palermo, Monreale, Castellammare del Golfo, Mazara del Vallo, Marsala, Erice, San Vito Lo Capo, Scopello, Calatafimi, and Balestrate, Italy


Launching Passport to Confident Solo Female Travel was an unimaginable trip! I’m going to jot down about this within the “Aspect Tasks Replace” part additional down.

A enjoyable journey to Western Sicily. This was going to be our winter 2023 escape — 10 days in Sicily, based mostly in Palermo for more often than not, then some driving round and exploring!

First off — the climate sadly was not on our aspect, which I’ll go into within the “Challenges” part, and sadly that put a damper on a lot of the journey. However there was lots of nice stuff, too.

Palermo is certainly one of my new favourite locations in Italy. It’s such a cool metropolis — energetic and pleasant but surprisingly chilled (and much more low-key than I anticipated — I believed it will be like Naples). It’s additionally FANTASTIC worth for cash, the place you’ll be able to eat extraordinarily effectively for below 10 euros and get an enormous, filling arancini for a euro.

We dove into Sicilian meals, hardcore. Palermo has lots of uncommon dishes that you just gained’t discover elsewhere in Sicily, and we labored our method via an extended listing I had put collectively. Anticipate the massive Sicilian meals submit quickly!

Past Palermo, we bought to go to a number of cool cities. Erice was a spotlight — a lovely hill city perched up within the clouds, with spectacular views from above. And San Vito Lo Capo is a spot I wish to return to in summer time — a North African-flavored city with beautiful cliffs alongside the seashore and sq. whitewashed buildings on the town.

The Segesta ruins have been fairly cool, too, and I’m not an enormous ruins individual ordinarily. The view from the amphitheater on prime of the hill is spectacular!

Lastly making it to Lumina Park. You would possibly recall that final month Charlie and I have been supposed to satisfy our pals at an Alice in Wonderland-themed outside mild present — then we bought trapped within the snow behind a fence!

We made it right here this monthand it was enjoyable strolling round in the dead of night round mild sculptures of enjoying playing cards, mushrooms, and the Cheshire Cat.

Discovering a pair of marriage ceremony sneakers I really love. I can’t put on most heels because of arch points in my proper foot, so formal sneakers are all the time a ache. This month I discovered a pair of low gold peep-toe heels from French model Jonak. On sale, too!

They’ve a beautiful retro look and can work for the authorized Prague marriage ceremony and the massive Prague marriage ceremony. (I’ll nonetheless maintain the gold wedges I purchased in Massachusetts for the Boston marriage ceremony, because the ceremony can be on grass.)

A square stone church topped with unusual red domes.
Church of San Cataldo, Palermo


Sicily was SO MUCH COLDER THAN I EXPECTED. As we deliberate our journey, it regarded like temperatures have been going to be round 55 F (13 C). And it WAS like that the primary day and a half. And the final day.

However in between the climate turned chilly and wet. It was across the low 40s F (5 C). And buildings in Sicily are BARELY insulated in any respect — every day, Charlie and I went to work in our eating room, sporting layers of sweaters and piles of blankets!

You’d suppose it will be higher if we went out to a restaurant or cafe. Nope! Freezing chilly air got here in between the home windows and partitions! Bars and cafes left their doorways open all day and simply stayed as chilly as attainable!

The one time I used to be heat on that journey was after we have been in our automobile. A minimum of we may flip the warmth up in there!

However this serves as a priceless lesson — to me, and to you. The Mediterranean could also be “good” in winter — however will probably be a lot colder than you suppose will probably be. Carry all of your layers and put on all of them. And keep in a metropolis, not a village, as a result of there may be one bar open and that’s it.

Murray has stopped pooping within the litter field. This has been laborious to cope with so I’d like to solicit my cat homeowners for suggestions, if in case you have any. Murray has all the time peed within the litter field high-quality, however he’s not all the time been nice about pooping — he would typically stand within the litter and poop off the aspect, or sometimes poop on the bathtub mat.

However now he’s began pooping in entrance of the entrance door on a regular basis (man, that’s enjoyable to come back dwelling to). We bought him a further litter field subsequent to the entrance door, and he managed to make use of it as soon as…whereas pooping off the aspect. Ah, Murray. Any tricks to repair this??

The US Embassy tousled my marriage paperwork. They listed Charlie as a Czech citizen fairly than a British citizen.

That originally led me into an unlimited freak-out, as you’ll be able to solely get Embassy notary appointments a month prematurely and Czechs want worldwide marriage paperwork lengthy earlier than the marriage date — however I contacted the Embassy they usually simply let me pop in and bought me new paperwork without spending a dime. How about that.

Murray the gray tabby cat sticks his head out of a carrier backpack, his eyes wide and expectant.
Murray, child…please poop within the litter field!

Weblog Posts of the Month

23 Fabulous Issues to Do in Palermo, Italy, Sicily’s Scorching Capital — I actually cherished my time in Palermo! It’s certainly one of my new favourite Italian cities, and it wasn’t very like I anticipated to be.

40 Italy Landmarks To Expertise As soon as in Your Lifetime — My blogger colleagues helped me with this collab submit, highlighting among the coolest spots in Italy.

Lewis the gray tabby cat with a white stripe on his nose, posing regally on top of a red towel, next to several oranges.
Nonetheless Life with Lewis.

This Month on Patreon

On the Adventurous Kate Patreon, I publish unique content material and never-told tales that you could entry for $6 per 30 days. We even have a non-public Fb group and members get free entry to the E book Membership every month.

This month on Patreon my lengthy kind submit was about Sicily within the chilly — and the realities you face when visiting the Mediterranean in winter, as a result of the climate isn’t all the time pretty much as good as you count on!

I additionally revealed a preview of a BIG BIG BIG journey I booked for August — a solo journey to what can be one of the adventurous locations I’ve ever visited. This journey goes to be NUTS, in a great way!

I additionally gave my patrons a free copy of my new $5 Mexico information that I’ll be promoting shortly.

And so they bought a further 50% off Passport to Assured Solo Feminine Journey.

A dark park with a lit-up arch creating the shape of the outline of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, its two eyes gleaming.
Lumina Park was a enjoyable go to!

E book Membership This Month

Our subsequent guide membership will happen on Sunday, April 16, at 1:00 PM Jap Time. (FYI, at the present time occurs to be Orthodox Easter.) We can be studying The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories by Afghan-American writer Jamil Jan Kochai.

“Pen/Hemingway finalist Jamil Jan Kochai ​breathes life into his up to date Afghan characters, transferring between modern-day Afghanistan and the Afghan diaspora in America. In these arresting tales verging on each comedy and tragedy, typically starring younger characters whose bravado is matched by their tenderness, Kochai as soon as once more captures “a singular, resonant voice, an American teenager raised by Outdated World Afghan storytellers.”

In “Taking part in Metallic Gear Stable V: The Phantom Ache,” a younger man’s online game expertise turns right into a surreal exploration on his personal father’s recollections of warfare and occupation. Set in Kabul, “Return to Sender” follows two married docs pushed by guilt to go away the US and care for his or her fellow Afghans, even when their very own son disappears. A school pupil within the US in “Hungry Ricky Daddy” starves himself in protest of Israeli violence in opposition to Palestine. And within the title story, “The Haunting of Hajji Hotak,” we study the story of a person codenamed Hajji, from the angle of a authorities surveillance employee, who turns into entrenched within the immigrant household’s life.

The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Different Tales is a transferring exploration of characters grappling with the ghosts of warfare and displacement—and one which speaks to the instant political panorama we reckon with at this time.”

You can sign up for the book club here. Patreon members have their very own sign-up within the Patreon.

The view from the top back row of a half-moon shaped amphitheater, with views over a hilly green countryside and a blue sky studded with puffy clouds.
Segesta was effectively definitely worth the go to!

Aspect Tasks Replace

This month I got here up with the concept for a brand new product from scratch — Passport to Confident Solo Female Travel — and did a full launch. Think about ranging from zero and going to a completely created, offered, and launched product — and promoting greater than 70 copies!

How I used to be really in a position to try this is one thing I’m going to debrief within the Patreon.

However now I’m trying towards the long run. Individuals who purchase this product get lifetime entry and all updates, and I’m already planning how will probably be up to date for the subsequent launch.

That took up a lot of the month, although I did publish Things to Do in Hanover, NH and Things to Do in Concord, NH on New Hampshire Means, my New Hampshire website.

Issues have been a bit extra quiet on my new area of interest website that I haven’t revealed but — simply persevering with to publish content material. We’ve got 18 posts dwell and some are already rating on the primary web page of Google!

What I Watched This Month

At this level, I’m perpetually hooked on Under Deck. How is that this present SO ENTERTAINING?! I can’t imagine I didn’t comprehend it existed till after a dozen seasons had come and gone!

We’re presently on Season 8 of authentic Under Deck, the place the blackout drunk visitor Delores jumped overboard at evening in opposition to the Captain’s orders, needed to be baby-sat by the crew all evening, and was kicked off the subsequent day. FUN TIMES!

This month we’re additionally working our method via most of the Oscar films. I particularly cherished All the pieces All over the place All at As soon as and can be rooting for it on Oscar evening! I loved Tár too; I really like films that dive right into a morally compromised fictional character so deeply. The Banshees of Inisherin began out so stunning however turned SO darkish — I didn’t prefer it after its ugly flip.

A car slowly driving down a Sicilian street, a big crowd of dozens of sheep in front of it!
Sicilian site visitors jam close to Marsala!

What I Learn This Month

The Survivalists by Kashana Cauley (2023) — Aretha is a success-chasing Black lawyer at a prime agency in New York. When she falls for espresso entrepreneur Aaron, she’s passionate about his brownstone in Brooklyn. Quickly she strikes in — and realizes that his roommates are hardcore survivalists, stocking weapons and constructing bunkers and consuming nothing however nutrition-optimized soy.

This was a enjoyable learn. Whereas it was slightly long-winded in occasions, I cherished that this was a journey right into a group that places stereotypes on its head — as an alternative of older white dudes in a rural space, these are Black New Yorkers planning for the apocalypse.

One factor that I cherished most about Cauley’s writing is how playful it’s. One cater-waiter strikes to Arizona and Cauley imagines her serving tiny items of cactus with the spikes nonetheless in it. Two folks ill-advisedly hook up and Cauley compares them to trekkers efficiently summiting Mount Everest and instantly breaking their very own legs to verify it by no means, ever occurs once more. Simply actually enjoyable stuff.

Scatterlings by Resoketswe Manenzhe (2022) — This novel tells the story of an interracial household in South Africa in 1927 whose lives collapse after the Immorality Act is handed, criminalizing interracial marriage. The mom, Jamaica-born Alisa, poisons herself and makes an attempt to kill each kids to spare them from this life; one survives and takes off along with her father as they seek for security.

This was this month’s guide membership choose, and to be fully trustworthy, none of us have been feeling this guide. It felt prefer it had such audacious ambitions, however ended up dropping itself in such long-winded passages that didn’t transfer the plot ahead. I made positive to decide on one thing a bit extra constructive for this coming month.

Paris at night, on a long street of gray buildings with some cafes and a motorcycle barreling down the street. In the background is the Eiffel Tower, lit up in bright gold against a dark blue cloudy sky.

Coming Up in March 2023

This month, Charlie and I are heading to Paris for 4 days! It’s Charlie’s birthday and that is what he urged we do. It’s really his first journey there, ever, so I’m feeling plenty of stress to make him fall in love with town!

We have already got a couple of actions booked (a day cheese tasting in a cellar, a market tour and charcuterie hunt), however for probably the most half, we’ll be exploring, chilling, and consuming good meals.

You probably have any particular suggestions for Paris — particularly in the event that they’re comparatively new locations — I’d love to listen to them.

What are your plans for March? Share away!