AMBFSO: An Unusual Training

Welcome! This site has a variety of information - mostly around travel, the Foreign Service, and books, all of which I love. Monday and Friday, I will post a travel review and/or tip. Wednesdays, I will post a book review. Please comment to share your stories!

book reviews

I binged on this series and I have some good things to say and some not-so-good things. But first… Plot (spoilers!):  Our story first starts in Chicago, where Kricket is hiding out and staying under the radar from the Department of Social Services until she turns 18, as she’s an orphan that’s run away from […]

book reviews

Phew. Well, now that vacation is over, I can get back to posting. I finished recently a book recommended by a friend called “Feed.” It isn’t my usual type of book (a bit more “real” than I like), but I’ve recommended to her so many books that I figured I should do the same and […]


Amritsar started out great and kind of ended difficult. It has it’s beautiful parts, and it’s not beautiful parts. I don’t know if this had to do with my mentality of being a little “India-d out” (I think a lot of expats/workers abroad experience this, unfortunately) or just the city itself, so do take what […]

book reviews

Apologies again for the slight delay. I finished this series last week while I was on my business trip, so I’ve known that I was going to write about it, but well…I think because I didn’t like it (!), I didn’t want to write about it. Sigh. It’s not that I didn’t like it, but…well, […]


We went all over Jordan: Petra, Wadi Rum, and Ma’In. We did not go to Amman. We decided a bit on a whim to go to Jordan. We knew we wanted to travel in February, but we didn’t have a place picked out yet. So, come end December, we decided on Jordan. Jake and I […]


I apologize for missing Friday’s update. I had just returned from a three-day conference and was wiped! Then toured and cooked a big dinner Saturday, so just haven’t had time! I learned something serious about traveling – and possibility about life – while on this trip: don’t have expectations. Expectations – either high or low […]

book reviews

Though I finished the first three books in the series about three months ago, I just finished the 4th book in the series, The Heir, and figured it would be a good next book review for the blog. If you had told me I’d read a book quite like this one, I would have probably laughed […]

Pondicherry Beach

In honor of the slightly hipster town I visited with my India travel buddy this weekend (review will come Friday), I’ll do the other hipster town I visited with her: Pondicherry. Pondicherry, aka Puducherry or Pondy , was a French colony in India from 1674-1954. Didn’t know the French had a colony in India, didja? […]


I was going to do a “what’s in your suitcase” picture post, but, well, honestly this weekend isn’t typical. I’m only going on a 2.5-ish day trip down to Bangalore and I’m packing in such a way in case I buy things, which isn’t usually how I pack. Someday I’d like to do one of […]

book reviews

At this very moment, I just finished the 4th book (out of five) of a series near and dear to my heart: The Heralds of Valdemar “Collegium Chronicle” series. This isn’t going to be like the last book reviews I recently did, as I have four books to do (!) and that would take WAY […]