I am a freelance writer and photographer with a background in medicine and an unquenchable thirst for travel. If you have a need for health, healthcare, nutrition, lifestyle, or travel articles, I can provide grammatically-correct articles and accompanying photographs on time.
When I'm not traveling, I enjoy caring for my very demanding rescued pets, biking, quilting, weaving, and watching short-track speedskating.
By 1854, an estimated 34,000 abandoned or orphaned children filled New York City's streets. Many of their parents had immigrated to America, lured by the promise of free land out West.
It started with a random photo of the Top Notch Lunch sign in Great Falls. Originally an ice cream parlor, the sign was added in 1938 when the place became a diner.
Across the Great Plains in both the U.S. and Canada, up to 30,000 prairie skyscrapers dotted the landscape during their heyday in the 1920s and 1930s. Today only about a third of the old wooden grain elevators are left.
Distinctly Montana Magazine
Are you looking for a Mississippi Gulf Coast road trip itinerary? You know how baby boomer travelers feel about road trips, especially if beaches and southern cuisine are involved. Teresa Otto shares her experience traveling along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, also known as the Secret Coast, on a three-day road trip.
St. Tammany Parish, also known as Louisiana's Northshore, is an easy day trip from New Orleans across the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. Northshore begins on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, a 630-square-mile body of water that's the second-largest inland saltwater lake in the United States (after Utah's Great Salt Lake).
When Nita Magnuson returned to Chinook, Montana, for an all-class reunion in 1994, she noticed that the Elk Bar's iconic neon sign was gone, leaving a terrible void on Indiana Street, the town's main road. The once-scandalous " Lass in the Glass " sign (the G-rated version of its various local nicknames) had been sold when the bar closed.
Meteora, Greece, is stunning and otherworldly - and James Bond was here. Need I say more? The landscape is as dramatic as the climbing scene in For Your Eyes Only. Bond (Roger Moore) scales a 1,300-foot rock cliff to recover a British encryption device from the villain's hideout.
I fell in love with Istanbul in 1996. Compliments of the U.S. Army, I was sent to Wurzburg, Germany, for six months. I made the most of every free weekend I had traveling in Europe. While in Germany, I took the dreaded mandatory fitness test and happened to get a perfect score on all three events: push-ups, sit-ups, and the 2-mile run.
It's imperative to feel comfortable and safe while traveling. Medjet provides premier air medical transport, travel security, and crisis response memberships, providing peace of mind for an affordable price. In December of 2018, I retired from practicing medicine. As an anesthesiologist, I spent my days in an operating room putting people to sleep and waking them up when their surgeries were finished.
On a recent road trip to Coastal Mississippi from my home near Houston, I traveled by way of St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana. It's also called Northshore, as in the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, north of New Orleans. If you're imagining live oaks dripping with Spanish moss and historic Creole homes, you're on the right track.
Mandeville, Louisiana, sits on the northern edge of Lake Pontchartrain and is an easy day trip from New Orleans. If you take the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, the trip from New Orleans to Mandeville is 35 miles long, with an impressive 24 miles of it along the causeway.
OCEAN SPRINGS, MISSISSIPPI - Rumors circulated that Al Capone spent time here. He ran rum from the barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico. Then in 2005, a local fisherman, Michael Pluckett, fished Capone's wallet out of Davis Bayou. We know Elvis was here, too.
I thought Montana was big until I moved to Texas. When I began planning a trip to Big Bend National Park, I discovered the park was almost a 10-hour drive from my house near Houston. And Big Bend ranks in the top 10 for the biggest national parks in the lower 48, so I expected getting around to its attractions would take time.
Well before the town of Pascagoula was established in 1892, the Pascagoula tribe lived here along the river. Only traces of them are left now. Did they move westward, succumb to disease imported by European explorers, or become absorbed into the Choctaw Tribe? Or, as local suggests, perhaps they committed mass suicide in the Pascagoula River.
On my first evening in the nearby coastal town of Pass Christian, straight down Highway 90 from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, the chef at Whiskey Prime struck up a conversation. He stayed and rebuilt his life here after Katrina. "People are good here, laid back.
Grab a kolache, check out the museums, and consider a hike through history in quaint La Grange, Texas.
According to author A. A. Milne, "Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon." My first hot air balloon ride was a gift from my mother-in-law. She had a knack for giving her son and me great birthday gifts since our birthdays were two weeks apart.
Within the Yellowstone ecosystem, Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area offers visitors 188 square miles of pristine wilderness. It is overshadowed by its famous neighbor, Yellowstone National Park, about 110 miles to the west. For visitors to Bighorn Canyon, that is a good thing. Visitors to Yellowstone numbered 3.8 million in 2020.
Due to changing advisories, please check local travel guidelines before visiting. TravelAwaits participates in affiliate programs with various companies. We may earn commission when you click on or make purchases via links. Growing up, I remember seeing the killed and missing in action counts on the evening news -- back in the day when changing the channel meant getting up to turn the knob.
St. Petersburg, Russia - Once the country's imperial capital has been nicknamed the Venice of the North, the City of White Nights, and the Palmyra of the North - all fitting names. Over the course of 300 years, it has had several official names. Tsar Peter the Great named the city St.
Paradise Valley links Livingston, Montana, with Gardiner, Montana, and the North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park -- the only entrance open all year to private vehicles. Paradise Valley is certainly scenic with the Yellowstone River running through a fertile valley with rustic barns and majestic mountains towering over the valley on either side.
Helena, Montana, started with a gold rush in 1864 and became known as the Queen City of the Rockies because of its grand architecture. Its cathedral, art and history museums, capitol, and more also speak to the city's rich history.
Due to changing advisories, please check local travel guidelines before visiting. The first time I drove through Concordia, Kansas, I noticed the "Home to the National Orphan Train Complex" sign on the outskirts of town. A quick Google search showed it wasn't open at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning.
Due to changing advisories, please check local travel guidelines before visiting. Bozeman is a trendy city in Southwest Montana. With great museums, restaurants, and boutique hotels, Bozeman is a perfect place to spend a weekend. For outdoor enthusiasts, the area's pristine rivers and mountains provide ample opportunity to enjoy Montana's deep blue skies and fresh air all year round.
Butte, Montana, has a rich history -- both literally and figuratively. Nestled against the continental divide in the Rocky Mountains, Butte boomed in the 1800s with the discovery of gold. Butte's main industry is now tourism. It's eager to share the town's rich history of mining, millionaires, and immigrants in an amazing array of attractions and experiences.
Being retired military, I usually visit military museums, war memorials, and monuments to great American leaders in Washington, D.C. So you don't wind up navigating the capital like a ricocheting pinball, here are a few tips for visiting the city, followed by popular military attractions listed by neighborhood.
Yellowstone National Park in Spring, Fall and Winter Story and photos by Teresa Otto The Other Three Seasons to Visit Yellowstone National Park Electric Peak with Roosevelt Arch (photo by Teresa Otto) Our nation's first national park, Yellowstone National Park, has been captivating visitors since 1872, and with good reason.
When it comes to buying turquoise, knowledge is power. If you're in New Mexico, begin, like I did, with a guided tour of the Turquoise Museum -- or, at the very least, bring these tips for finding the best turquoise jewelry in New Mexico along with you.
"Any day above ground is a good one," according to the National Museum of Funeral History in Houston, Texas. The museum's exhibits range from hair art to hearses, and serve as a reminder that, as Benjamin Franklin once said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
For an epic adventure, we recommend a Trans-Siberian rail trip from Europe to Asia across more than 4,000 miles, through the Ural mountains, past Lake Baikal, through the Gobi Desert, across the Mongolian steppes, and into China. Here are seven of the best experiences along the Trans-Siberian Railway.
South Dakota is home to some prime examples of Americana - Mount Rushmore, the Corn Palace, Wall Drug, and the event of the year - Sturgis' motorcycle rally, where chaps are standard but other clothing is optional. It is also home to one of nature's finest examples of badlands.
After my father passed away, my mom and I decided to try one trip together to see a speed skating event. It was such a success that we went on to attend World Cup competitions in Canada, Bulgaria, China, and Japan. Here's what I learned about travel with an older parent along the way.
Learning about famous residents, taking in a few museums, and enjoying some time in nature makes for a perfect day in Huntsville, Texas. The Sam Houston Statue, the Texas Prison Museum, and more make this town a unique stop on I-45.
"I don't like turquoise," says Joe Dan Lowry, curator of Albuquerque's Turquoise Museum, as he opens the doors of the former mansion located a few blocks from Central Avenue, or Old Route 66. His statement catches me off guard.
Due to changing advisories, please check local travel guidelines before visiting. Japan is one of my favorite countries to visit. It is culturally rich and extraordinarily beautiful. I often traveled with my mom. Japan was one of her favorites, too, in part because of the respect and kindness she felt while there.
Due to changing advisories, please check local travel guidelines before visiting. Portland, Oregon is called the City of Roses for good reason. In the late 1800s, a large pink hybrid tea rose, Madame Caroline Testout, made its way to Portland from France.
Due to changing advisories, please check local travel guidelines before visiting. St. Louis is home to the Gateway Arch, St. Louis-style ribs, a population that consumes more barbecue sauce than any other in the nation, and two historic Catholic cathedrals. St. Louis was founded by immigrants from France, Ireland, and Germany and named for St.
Due to changing advisories, please check local travel guidelines before visiting. Whenever I mention that I am from Montana, people comment on how beautiful the mountains are, how nice Glacier National Park is, or how much they love Yellowstone.
Due to changing advisories, please check local travel guidelines before visiting. Waxahachie is named after the Waxah Indian tribe and the Coosaw tribe's word hachie, meaning creek. It got its start in 1850, along the banks of the Waxahachie Creek as an agricultural town.
Due to changing advisories, please check local travel guidelines before visiting. Located in eastern Utah, Moab is surrounded by natural beauty, rugged landscapes, and national and state parks that are ideal for photographers and outdoor enthusiasts. The terrain is a product of erosion, with softer rock yielding to water and wind, leaving behind arches, striated canyon walls, hoodoos, and towering monuments.
Related: Due to changing advisories, please check local travel guidelines before visiting. Editor's Note: Unfortunately, this year's Red Lodge Christmas Stroll was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but be sure to include this magical event in your 2021 holiday plans! Red Lodge, Montana, with a population of about 2,300 people, lies in the shadow of the Beartooth Mountains.
Due to changing advisories, please check local travel guidelines before visiting. Red Lodge started as a Crow Native American hunting, worshiping, and resting place well before Europeans settled. The town's name comes from the red clay-covered tepees the Crow people used. Just like many towns in the Territory of Montana, Europeans settled in Red Lodge because of mining.
Most summers, Yellowstone National Park is overrun by visitors. Bison jams back up traffic and bear sightings make the two-lane highway a parking lot - not the kind of vacation any of us aim for. Touring Yellowstone in the winter, on the other hand, is magical.
Due to changing advisories, please check local travel guidelines before visiting. Back in 1990, when it was the U.S.S.R., my best friend and I traveled with a group to Leningrad, Moscow, and Kyiv. Fast forward nearly three decades. Two friends and I booked a private trip through Travel All Russia.
Due to changing advisories, please check local travel guidelines before visiting. From Ekalaka to Hardin, seven museums take visitors from prehistoric, dinosaur-roaming days to back-breaking homesteading days to the bloody days of the Little Bighorn Battle in the unforgiving and beautifully austere land of southeast Montana.
On an ambitious road trip from Montana to New Mexico, I drove and hiked through the badlands, viewed the wildlife, and took in the vastness of the Western U.S. These are seven of America's most beautiful badlands, from North Dakota to New Mexico.
As I pass through the wrought iron gate of 1313 Mockingbird Lane in Waxahachie, Texas, I'm transported to Mockingbird Heights. The home, an exact replica of the house from the 1960s sitcom The Munsters, is a loving tribute to the famous family of monsters, vampires, werewolves, and Marilyn, a normal human.
Due to changing advisories, please check local travel guidelines before visiting. My mom was a huge fan of short track speed skating, and I am a huge fan of traveling. We explored the world together at the intersection of skating and travel one international competition at a time.
Due to changing advisories, please check local travel guidelines before visiting. Yellowstone National Park, our nation's first national park, is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined. More than half of the world's active geysers lie within the park's 2.2 million acres. And the greatest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states calls Yellowstone home.
Patmos is an island of Greece found in the Aegean Sea and belonging to the Dodecanese group, off the coast of Anatolia in Turkey. Patmos holds special meaning for Christians from Greece and beyond. In 95 AD, Roman emperor, Domitian, exiled St. John to the prison island of Patmos for preaching Christianity in Ephesus, Turkey.
Making the Move from Montana to The Woodlands, Texas Story and photos by Teresa Otto (unless otherwise indicated) OVERVIEW of The Woodlands PLAY Golf in The Woodlands EAT and Drink at B52 Brewery near The Woodlands Living in Billings, Montana Dramatic sandstone cliffs along the Yellowstone River in Billings Montana with storm clouds overhead and ...
Related: Due to changing advisories, please check local travel guidelines before visiting. Reading about Marco Polo's Silk Road travels conjures up images of desert oases with bustling markets, mosques, minarets, and, of course, merchants with long-lashed camels bearing precious cargo. The Silk Road was actually many trading routes linking China and the Far East with Europe and the Middle East.
(This article by Teresa Otto originally appeared in Military Officer, a magazine available to all MOAA Premium and Life members. Learn more about the magazine here; learn more about joining MOAA here.) COVID-19 packed a powerful punch affecting all aspects of life, including travel.
The nation's oldest, continuously-operated Chinese restaurant, Pekin Noodle Parlor, is surviving yet another pandemic. Tam Keong Yee opened the restaurant's doors in 1911 in Butte, Montana, a boomtown that welcomed surges of immigrants from all over the world. Many came to Butte in the 1860s looking for gold, but ultimately made their fortunes with copper.
The Turkmenistan government hid it for more than 40 years. To be clear, it was in plain sight the whole time, but off the radar for the few Western tourists that ventured into rural Turkmenistan. Called the Door to Hell or Gate to Hell by locals, Darvaza Gas Crater is a 225-foot wide and 65-foot deep gas-belching, fire-breathing pit.
Light shone in a display case protecting a dainty golden crown. Visitors, whose faces were obscured in the dimly lit underground chamber, murmured in hushed tones - awed by the magnificence of the museum's precious metal treasures. I, too, stood in darkness, seeing the illuminated entrance to Royal Tomb II.
Jordan, safe and neutral, is referred to as the Switzerland of the Middle East. While it is both those things, it is in no way bland or predictable. On the contrary, the country is exotic and rich in history, the people warm and generous.
If you're roadtripping in Montana , visit Little Bighorn on an exploration of Big Sky Country. It's a somber lesson on what happens when two cultures collide. Teresa Otto, from The Nomads Daughter , shares her experience visiting Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument plus tips on how to get there.
Montana (MT) is a big, diverse state with 147,000 square miles, a little over a million people, seven Native American tribes, and a changing landscape from mountains to plains. A climber's paradise, Montana is home to 244 peaks from 10,000 to nearly 13,000 feet in elevation and 100 named mountain ranges, many of which are part of the Rocky Mountains.
In the 1960s, aerial views of Yellowstone National Park revealed a caldera, a super-volcano, of enormous proportions, measuring about 30 by 45 miles. Evidence of human settlements in the park date back 10,000 years, but an explorer with Lewis and Clark, named John Colter, was the first person of European descent to visit the area in the winter of 1807 to 1808.
Hoi An is midway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City but feels a world away. Situated on the banks of the Thu Bon River, Hoi An dates back to the 1400s when it was a major port and commercial city between Europe and Asia.
Three loud whaps, then silence. No humans witnessed the grisly scene, but the next morning, Ritchie Doyle found three dead mice in traps he'd set the night before.
I had lived in Billings, Montana for 20 years before I discovered the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, located an hour southeast in the private town of Garryowen (2012 population: 2). I'd visited similar monuments in Arlington, Virginia, and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, but I didn't have to go far from home to pay my respects to one of the first casualties of the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
Vietnam is a destination that speaks to travelers for a number of reasons, but has an especially emotional connection with Americans. Visiting the country today is an eye-opening experience for many.
Japan is one of the world's most intriguing travel locations. With a staggeringly vibrant blend of traditional and modernity, the country has just about something for everyone, and then more. On a visit to Japan, people normally spend their time exploring the ancient temples as well as the modern architecture that makes up the country's major cities.
I wanted a Goldilocks layover on a return flight from Vietnam - not too long and not too short. I never imagined the nine-hour layover at Seoul's award-winning Incheon airport would be just right. Deplaning after an overnight flight and in search of a restaurant to kill a few hours over breakfast, I noticed a Korean Transit Tour kiosk, aka, the answer to my prayers.
Updated 05.07.2020: Add exploring Hildene mansion and farm to your New England road trip. Vermont has long been known as a charming area to visit, and it is a very popular tourist destination on the East Coast.
For owner Joanie Swords, love is the first ingredient. Joanie brought Harper and Madison to life in a former neighborhood market dating back to 1925. She also set out to perform an experiment. If the focus was on love - love of staff and patrons - rather than money, would the restaurant succeed?
Summer is prime time for National Park travel , but getting away from the tourist pack isn't always easy. Thankfully, there are quite a few amazing parks that are every bit as breathtakingly beautiful as the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone .
As a travel destination, is one of the most popular countries in the world. It's got a bit of everything from culture, history, architecture, culinary gems and a whole host of things to do and see.
A pashmina for the pet sitter, check. Sterling silver earrings for my sister, check. A mosaic for my mom, check. These souvenirs from Jordan complete my list for shopping in Jordan. Souvenir shopping is a memorable way to interact with people no matter where you travel.
I didn't expect to shed my coat on the switchback trail half way up the mountain. It was October. And it was Siberia. It had snowed yesterday, but now the sun was peeking out and the weather glorious. We were on a mission.
One life-threatening reaction to anesthesia, called malignant hyperthermia, runs in families and is triggered by certain medications your anesthesiologist can easily avoid. Discuss any postoperative nausea and vomiting you've had. Avoiding some common anesthesia drugs and giving medications will minimize your upset stomach. Mention postoperative weakness, too.
By Teresa Otto~ If you have a surgery scheduled, you will most likely meet your anesthesioliogist before you head into the operating room. Together, you'll decide upon the best type of anesthesia based on your surgery and underlying medical conditions. This is a good time to answer some questions, and ask some of your own, as well.
Eleven Ways to Achieve the Best Outcome When Anesthesia Is Used By Teresa Otto~ World Anesthesia Day is October 16th and commemorates the delivery of the world's first successful general anesthetic with ether at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1846.
The opioid crisis has touched every state in the union, reaching epidemic proportions. No matter where your next assignment takes you, knowing the state's requirements for continuing medical education pertaining to narcotic prescriptions and treatment of acute and chronic pain is a must.
Just because you're on the road doesn't mean you need to set aside hobbies you enjoy. Wondering what hobbies are particularly amenable to a locum tenens' lifestyle? Here are eight portable ways to enjoy your free time away from home.
We all strive to do right by our patients, including abiding by their wishes surrounding resuscitation during surgery. I'm guilty of visibly cringing when I see the dreaded Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) sticker on the front of the chart. "This is a bad sign," crosses my mind.
As luck would have it, your assignment coincides with a Joint Commission (TJC) inspection. The organization is beefing up protocols, tucking away all that equipment stored in a back corridor of the operating room, and double-checking expiration dates on medication vials. They don't have time to coach you.
Asking yourself these five questions and reflecting on your honest answers will help you decide if a career as a locum tenens physician is a good fit for you. Do you embrace travel by plane or car, even with its hiccups, because you view it as an adventure?
You seem to fit perfectly in the organization's anesthesia department and hope to extend your stay. From learning a surgeon's preferences, to properly documenting the care you give, here are seven ways to show you're a valuable member of the surgical team:
Most New Year's resolutions fail by January 12th, at least for resolutions involving exercise and dieting. Other popular resolutions, such as improved money management, stress management, and working on relationships, barely fare better. Overall, 80 percent of all New Year's resolutions are history by the end of February.
You're on assignment over the holidays and not able to join family and friends at home for the festivities. These five ways will not only help you cope with being away, but will help you thrive during this special time of year: Virtually join your family and friends via JusTalk or Skype.
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." - Eleanor Roosevelt To say I have an unquenchable thirst for travel would be an understatement. I feel alive when I'm on the road. So several years ago, during a particularly grueling 24-hour shift at the hospital, I googled "travel photography."
5 Ways to Downsize for a Digital Nomad Lifestyle Before I retired from practicing medicine, I began looking for a home base for travel in South America. I wanted a location that was safe, had first-world healthcare, would allow me to brush-up on Spanish, and had a rich history and culture.