About Travel Oops and Steph

Here I am at Uluru, Northern Territory, Australia in 2010 with my daughter Kasey

A Travel Oops. We’ve all had one whether it was taking the wrong train, miscommunicating in another language or simply not knowing how to flush a toilet.

Sometimes these mishaps lead to a cultural breakthrough, understanding  or another adventure. At the very least you have a great story to tell — a Travel Oops!

Most of the stories in this blog are my own misadventures during my years of travel from college days in the late 1980’s up until recent times. Several stories are about my year as an American exchange teacher living in Adelaide, Australia with my husband, Kurt, and my kids, Eddie and Kasey. We were lucky to travel heaps in addition to living as honorary Aussies. We are back in the US, but that doesn’t mean our adventures have diminished. Stay tuned…

Also, featured on Travel Oops, from time to time, are the misadventures of other people as well. Additionally, I like to cover the Oopses to avoid. Some travel mishaps you want to keep from happening in the first place, so I offer tips and insights from seasoned travelers on how NOT to have these experiences.

My jobs have changed througout the years from copywriter/editor to travel guide book updater to English teacher to freelance writer, but my love of travel remains the same. Finally, I love to laugh at myself, and I hope you laugh at me, too!

If you’d like to contact me, here’s my e-mail stephg@traveloops.com

© Kurt Glaser

© Kurt Glaser


Steph with butterfly on face OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

© Stephanie Glaser

© Stephanie Glaser

Steph and Eddie on Ruby Horse Thief


This happy woman beckoned me over to take a photo with her, and then when I rose to leave she said, "One dollar!"  My friend Silk said, "She is Crazy." But, she's the most likable crazy person I've met.

This happy woman beckoned me over to take a photo with her, and then when I rose to leave she said, “One dollar!” My friend Silk said, “She is Crazy.” But, she’s the most likable crazy person I’ve met.


Family at Mesa Verde

Julie, me, Eddie and Romeo

Julie, me, Eddie and Romeo

Here I am (left) with my sister, Suz (right) at the Brighton Beach boxes near Melbourne.

Here I am (left) with my sister, Suz (right) at the Brighton Beach boxes near Melbourne.

I celebrate with Deb as we land on French soil.

I celebrate with Deb as we land on French soil.

You can see that I'm becoming bitter in this photo.

You can see that I’m becoming bitter in this photo.


coober pedy

I'm standing in front of the beautiful St. Michael's Cathedral of the Golden Domes.  © Edward Schuck

I’m standing in front of the beautiful St. Michael’s Cathedral of the Golden Domes.
© Edward Schuck

Arthur and I "nose" each other

Arthur and I “nose” each other

We've been blessed by Hindu holy men.  © Stephanie Glaser

We’ve been blessed by Hindu holy men.
© Stephanie Glaser

Vegemite -- Yank approved

Vegemite — Yank approved

© Debbie Bacharach 1987

© Debbie Bacharach 1987

© Stephanie Glaser

© Stephanie Glaser

steph with kids on ning reef dream boat

© Stephanie Glaser

© Stephanie Glaser

Here I am with Ganesha on Hosier Lane in Melbourne.

Here I am with Ganesha on Hosier Lane in Melbourne.

koala and family

66 thoughts on “About Travel Oops and Steph

  1. Steph, Because our bookclub was discussing a book that was placed in Australia your dear mom served dollops of a gooey brown yeast on rusks. We discovered this favorite Aussie topping was not a particular comfort to our American taste buds. I’m curious about the nutritional value that makes this a must for Aussie children and their parents.
    Love your Blog,
    Ann Lewis

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Ann! Actually Vegemite is quite nutritious, believe it or not. (I know a beer byproduct does not sound like the greatest thing for kids.) However, Vegemite has heaps of the B vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid. You’ll be happy to know that it’s fat free, gluten free and added sugar free although you may have detected there’s a bit of salt.

      It’s definitely an acquired taste for “Yanks.” Thanks for your interest!

      • Many of us Aussies have grown up loving Vegemite. I often had Vegemite sandwiches for lunch at school when I was a kid. If we are travelling overseas, we sometimes take a jar of Vegemite with us in case we can’t get in in other countries.

        An American once told me he’d tried Vegemite, and it was like sump oil, except it didn’t taste as good.

      • It took me a while — but I finally could appreciate Vegemite (although I needed heaps of butter). I always equated the Australian love of Vegemite like the American love of peanut butter. Thanks so much for the comment! Cheers, Steph

      • I just ❤ love ❤ Vegemite, and I'm Italian!! My roommate was from Queensland and she's the one who introduced me to it. Lovely blog you got Stephanie.

  2. Omg I love this idea! You have to see my post on my trip to Venice last year-Epic oops! I can’t wait to read all about your adventures. Thanks so much for checking out my blog 🙂

  3. Dana, thank you so much for the kind words and for following! I really appreciate your feedback since I’ve enjoyed reading your posts (I’ve just discovered your blog). I just read the one about men’s shorts — funny and perceptive. I look forward to reading your Venice post — I love Epic Oopses! Thanks again. 🙂

  4. Hello!
    I’m really enjoying reading your blog, your writing is fantastic and full of such imagery, it gives me a glimpse of moments in places I’ve never been. Especially liked your posts about your teaching experiences. You have pictures of incredibly places (Brugge, Belgium) and so many adventures behind you!

  5. Nathanael, thank you so much for your kind praise! I love travel and I love to write and take photos, so I’m thrilled that you enjoy the blog. I’m especially glad you like the teaching stories since those are the ones I enjoy writing the most.

    I know you are on an incredible journey and have (and will have) wonderful stories and photos to share as well — looking forward to them! Again, thank you so much for your kind words. Steph 🙂

    • Haruko-chan — I’m so honored to be on your blogroll! Thank you so much for adding Travel Oops and for your kind words. I’m thrilled you like the blog since I enjoy your blog very much, too. I have learned so much about Japan from your posts, and one of these days, I hope to ask for your recommendations, because I would love to go there. Again, thank you again for including me on your blog roll — it means a great deal!

      • I hope you get the chance to visit Japan sometime. I’d recommend it to anyone, it’s such a beautiful place! It’s not so far from Australia actually (compared to Belgium atleast).

    • Amy! I’m so honored by your nomination of Travel Oops — I greatly respect your writing and your passion for travel. Thank you so much for reading, supporting and appreciating Travel Oops (and me!) Again, I’m humbled and thrilled to be nominated for Blog of the Year by you! Cheers, Steph 🙂

  6. Thanks for the like on my blog post!! Your blog is pretty cool too – I love fellow wanderers & travellers! I’m also on Twitter – @holliegraceanne. Happy blogging!:)

  7. Here’s a travel oops for you. Our friend Matt, a nice American on exchange in Australia was shocked at how many people seemed to treat him poorly. He wanted to prove to the Australians that Americans are kind and lovely people. We kept telling him to pretend he was a Canadian as we never encountered any prejudice when traveling. About 3 weeks before his teaching exchange was up, Matt had a small car accident with the nasty neighbour down the street. As she got out of the car and asked some pointed questions, she realized by his accent that he was not an Aussie. She asked where he was from. Now many things went through Matt’s mind at the time, like the fact that she might decide to take him to court and he only had 3 weeks left before returning home and he didn’t want all this trouble. So he simply answered “Canada”! The neighbour was quite cordial after that. Yes, Matt sold out after trying so hard all year to prove what a good American he was. As his Canadian friends, we were delighted he finally took our advice.
    Love your blog! Keep writing those great stories and I’ll keep reading.

    • Thank you so much for the kind words! Wow..that’s too bad Matt had a bad experience in Oz. I’m really surprised since I never experienced any bad or unkind treatment by Australians. Actually, I felt completely welcomed and like an honorary Aussie. People would talk to me honestly if I asked them their thoughts about the US, but I was never offended. Mostly, people were curious about the US and many people either wanted to visit or already had.

      Of course, definitely, during my travels in the late 1980s, I thought about “selling out” and saying I was Canadian. I know my parents, who have traveled extensively, joke about having wanted to sew a Maple Leaf patch to their luggage. This was during the presidencies of the Bushes. Luckily, I was on exchange right after Barrack Obama was elected so most people abroad believed Americans had regained some sanity. Thanks so much for the story and comment. Cheers!

    • Thank you so much, Mark — your words mean a lot. Life can get pretty heavy so this is my way to keep the laughter coming (at least for myself and I’m thrilled that you find the humor here, too) I really love reading your posts — they’re so poignant, insightful and lovely. Mutual admiration society here we come! 🙂

    • Yes — definitely everyone has had an Oops. I thought people would be able to relate to the blog — so glad you have checked it out! Thanks so much for the kind words. Cheers — Steph 🙂

  8. You have a interesting blog. Looking forward for more interesting stuff

    Thanks for following my blog dnamto.wordpress.com

    • Thank you so much for the wonderful words! I definitely want to keep humor in my life as much as possible. Your blog is very inspiring and you convey your passion for animals and the Earth so beautifully!

  9. Hello from India! Hopping from link to link, I somehow landed on your blog. And no regrets at all there! I just skimmed through a few posts and I really appreciate how you spot that rib-tickling thing everywhere you go. I have a travel blog too, I have had some misadventures too, so I can easily relate to you! Will stumble upon this page often hereafter :).


  10. Namaste…thank you for visiting and following my blog…it was very sweet of you 🙂 your blog looks fabbo ~ Lakshmi x

  11. I am so excited that I came across your blog! Lately I have been tossing around the idea of a nomadic lifestyle for a couple years once I graduate college, but the fear of not knowing what I’m doing while traveling makes me think twice. Your humorous take on the mishaps makes me feel better about traveling! (: Can’t wait to read your posts!

    • Madison! You’ve made my day — thanks so much for the fantastic compliment. Definitely, travel the world — it seriously makes you a more understanding, compassionate and open-minded human being in my opinion. I’m glad if I can make you feel more at ease with my travel bloopers!

      While the unknown can definitely be daunting, it’s actually quite freeing once you get past the initial fear. The more mishaps I have the more I learn and the more confident I become. I’ve discovered, too, that the world is full of wonderful, kind people who want to help and will come to your aid. I’ve met many people while asking for assistance whether it’s how to buy a metro ticket or how to say “thank you” in another language. Ultimately, I love to find the humor in life and travel — especially the misadventures — provides plenty of that.

      Thanks again for the lovely comment! I look forward to following your stories as well. Cheers — Steph

  12. Enjoyed reading all about Sapa. It brings back memories! You may be my muse. I think I want to retro blog my travels to date! Looking forward to exploring your archives and upcoming posts!

    • Kim, how lovely!! Merci beaucoup!!Thank you so much for nominating me for a Liebster Award! I’m so glad you find Travel Oops funny. I’m looking forward to checking your blog out, too. Maybe I can learn some French. Cheers 🙂

  13. Enjoyed reading your account of arriving Down Under. 🙂 I had a friend visit there once & ship me back a jar of Vegemite. You’re right about it not appealing to our American tastes. I’m ok with that really! I was almost sweating while reading along. Thanks for the laughs. Your grasp of Celsius was hilarious!

    • Thank you for reading and for the comment, Sheri! I can’t believe how clueless we were about temperatures. Also, I was the same way with the metric system! Cheers.

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