Why Tuscany is More Than Just Wine And Cheese

When you think "adventure travel," Tuscany, Italy is probably not the first place that comes to mind. It might not even be the last place that comes to mind. Even though it's one of the world's premier destinations for food, wine, art and history, somehow the secret isn't yet out that it's a great place for outdoor adventure, too.

Here's why Tuscany should be your next adventure travel destination.

Read the full story at Travel Channel.

Gifts for Hikers & Campers

Whether you’re shopping for a seasoned backpacker or a high schooler who’s just starting to venture outdoors and get into camping, we’ve got gift ideas to make everyone on your list psyched to head out on the trail before they’ve even finished opening the box.

Read my full guide, of 40 products for men and women, at gearinstitute.com.

Photo courtesy of Glerups.

Innovative Ways to Make Your Home More Sustainable

At this year’s Solar Decathlon, 11 teams of students from the United States and Europe competed to build the most efficient and best-designed solar-powered homes. They built their homes in their own communities, then took them apart, shipped them to Denver, and reassembled them on the site of the competition, run by the Department of Energy. Here are just a few of the innovative touches that make these homes unique.

Read the full story at DIY Network.

How to Eat at Trader Joe's for $50 a Week (Or Less)

For someone like me who often lets speed get in the way of planning, easy food options eat up my budget, fast. Sometimes, I end up spending $40 or more on lunch and snacks in a single week. I always feel guilty for it.

So when my editor here at Earnest challenged me to eat for a whole week at Trader Joe’s with $50, I was up for it. It seemed like a good way to keep from spending too much money, and a good way to force me to plan ahead a little better and eat much healthier.

Read more at the Earnest Blog.

First Timer's Guide: Taos, New Mexico

Taos, New Mexico, is a vibrant community about an hour and a half from Santa Fe. At the heart of the town, you’ll find more art galleries and chile dishes than you’d think possible for a population of just over 5,700. And beyond the city limits, you’ll be thrilled to find ample opportunities for adventure.

Pursuing My Journalism Career While Paying Off My Student Loans

Less than a year out of college, making barely enough to cover my student loans and no-frills living expenses, I only wore shirts that covered my elbows.

I desperately wanted to put money aside to travel internationally, move for a better job, and get ahead. So twice a week, I drove to a clinic at the edge of town, rolled up my sleeve, turned my head and squeezed my eyes shut as a technician stuck a needle in the crook of my arm and siphoned my plasma. I was not proud of this. It felt shady. It probablywas shady.

This was the price I paid to pursue a writing career in journalism.

Summiting Old Rag Made Me Fall in Love with Solo Adventures

At the end of the ninth switchback of Old Rag, I sat on a rock to drink in the view as I nibbled on fruit leather. I talked for a little while with a woman who seemed to be about my age. I don’t remember anything that we said, but I remember being fulfilled by it. We would never see each other again, but the kind pleasantries we exchanged mid-gruel were enough.

We each, on our own, were enough.

Read the rest of my story at Hiking Project.