About Me


Amy E. Robertson is a Seattle native who has long been obsessed with travel. She studied in Boston and Madrid for her bachelor’s degree, and upon graduating took a job with an international consulting firm. This position led Amy to a life of globetrotting — she traveled to more than 50 countries in less than three years.

She then returned to school, earning a master’s degree in development studies at the London School of Economics, where she also met her husband, who hails from Italy. After working in international aid for five years in New York City, Amy and her family began life as expats in Ecuador, brought there by her husband’s job with an international agency.

Amy made the career switch from development to travel writing while in Ecuador, a livelihood that was easy to bring along when they made the move to Honduras in 2007, where she and her family resided for nearly five years.  Amy moved to Beirut, Lebanon, with her husband and two children in 2012, and spends three months a year divided between her family’s hometowns: Seattle, Rome, and Messina, Sicily.

Amy is the author of guidebooks for Honduras, including Copán and the Bay Islands, as well as on Volunteer Vacations in Latin America, all published by Moon Handbooks.  Her writing has also been published in Delta SkyNational Geographic Traveler, Christian Science Monitor and Travel + Leisure, among others (see links below). She is a contributing editor for the online travel magazine TransitionsAbroad.com, and a regular contributor to the Lebanese magazines Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavor, and Lebanon Traveler.

Transitions Abroad, Connected Traveler Contributing Editor

AOL TravelWhat’s Going on in Beirut and What You Should See If You Go

Budget TravelOld-world Revival in Quito

Christian Science Monitor, Ecuador invites world to save its forest

Delta SkyDespegando: La Abundancia de Roatán (Roatan’s Bounty)

National Geographic TravelerIn Search of Jewish Rome

Travel + LeisureThe Best of South America’s Haciendas

VolVacayCover  moon-honduras-the-bay-islands-6e

28 thoughts on “About Me

  1. lindseywitmer says:

    Hi Amy, I am considering traveling to Beirut and Tripoli, Lebanon in July to visit my local business colleagues in Tripoli. I am aware of the travel warnings but very much wish to go. I’m wondering if you would be willing to connect; I would love to hear the perspective of a fellow American there. For more information on my work, my website is lindseywcollins.com. I look forward to hopefully hearing from you soon! Lindsey

    • cupcakeamy says:

      Hi Lindsey,
      Travel to Beirut is much safer than the international media and State Department warnings lead meany to believe. While the bad news that are reported out of Lebanon are true, they are one small part of what life is really like, and I find daily life in Beirut safer than daily life in Rome, New York, etc. Tripoli has had more security issues than Beirut, and I have yet to visit, but locals (your colleagues there) are the best ones to comment on the current situation, and I would think it’s possible to visit Tripoli now also. I will email you privately with more details. Enjoy Lebanon!

  2. Amy, That was exactly what I wanted to hear. 😉 You made my day. Thank you! I would love to connect via email, too. Thank you again, Lindsey

  3. rachall says:

    Hi my name is rachall I am from oz and looking back to beirut. I am lebanese but lived in Australia all my life. I have no friends there so worried things will get lonely and lifestyle change s different even though i live beirut I would love to meet with others, can you direct me to fb groups or any places like that. I have to sound boys also. I also am a maternity/newborn and family photographer

    • cupcakeamy says:

      Hi Rachall, good luck on the move!
      There is a facebook group called Expats in Lebanon. I also suggest you check out the website for InterNations and their Lebanon group. There are many people like yourself in the group – people of Lebanese descent who have lived overseas. Enjoy Beirut!

  4. globalnuance says:

    Hi Amy! I have been reading your blog for a while and love it! I am from San Francisco and have been living in Beirut off and on since 2012 (love, study, writing etc). I would love to grab a coffee with you if you ever have free time! Not many Americans here as you know 😉

    Looking forward to connecting! Ciao

  5. globalnuance! I’ll be in Beirut the 18th, and I’d love to meet up, too. Triple date? 😉

  6. Natalie says:

    Hi Amy
    I want to travel to Beirut mid September but know there are travel warnings. I am from Toronto Canada and live in UAE. Would you consider visiting Beirut safe at this time?

    • cupcakeamy says:

      Hi Natalie, the travel warnings have been in place for years. Although there have been recent protests because of the garbage issue, Beirut continues to be a place that is safe on a daily basis. It’s true that something could erupt at any time – but it’s not common and you’d have to be darn unlucky to be at the right place at the right time and end up affected. You could say the same for many cities/countries unfortunately. Come enjoy!

  7. Ashleigh Bugg says:

    Hi Amy,

    Thanks for following Travel Bugg. Also, thanks for sharing my blog on outbounding.org. I’d never heard of the site before, but it looks like something I would be interested in. Looking forward to reading more of your stuff.


  8. thirdeyemom says:

    Amy, I can’t believe it took me to long to find your blog! I saw you retweeted a few of my tweets so came over here. Wow it sounds like you’ve done a ton of cool things! I regret I didn’t follow you sooner! Looking forward to reading about your life in Lebanon. I have two kids too but my husbands job is here to stay in Minneapolis for a long time. 😊 So excited to finally connect! Nicole

  9. Andrea Nelsen says:

    Hi Amy,

    I’m an American visiting Beirut for a month and taking Arabic classes. I just found your blog and look forward to reading more of it! I’d love to meet some local expats while I’m here, and I’m looking into some of the links you’ve mentioned here like Internations, and the Facebook group. If you have other recommendations about how to get out and meet folks, I’d love to know! Thanks!

    • cupcakeamy says:

      Welcome to Beirut! What are your interests? Where are you studying Arabic? Many local expats study at Saifi Institute, which also has a lively quiz night once per week, and a hostel, bar, etc, so could be a good place to meet folks. I will send you a private message.

  10. Carla79 says:


    Im sorry to repeat what so many people have already asked, and you have so clearly answered… but my boyfriend is travelling to Beirut in July for a few months. Im worried about him, and not sure I feel confident enough to visit. What with the flight over such war torn countries, and it looks like travel from the airport to North Beirut takes you right through the South, which all foreign offices ive seen say to avoid at all cost. Im just really concerned. I understand the city feels safe, but travel from the airport, and the plane journeys? Id love anything to calm my nerves a little and give me a push to just go and see him out there. I know it could be amazing, Im just really concerned,



    • cupcakeamy says:

      No problem – I always advise people who want to travel to countries like Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt to check in for the latest situation update, and that’s what you’re doing. It’s a smart thing to do. I am not sure why you mention a flight over war-torn countries. If flying in from Europe, you would not fly over Syria. The only flights that go over Syria nowadays are with Middle East Airlines from Beirut toward other destinations eastward (such as Jordan or Egypt), and they fly at an extra high altitude because of the problems in Syria. Easy to avoid if desired by taking a different airline. But a flight with any airline, including MEA, from Europe to Beirut would not fly over Syria.

      There are very few places in Lebanon that it would not be safe to drive through. I would avoid the neighborhoods of Tripoli where there has been fighting. That’s it. There have not been any problems in my four years living here on the airport road to the center of Beirut. That is not an issue. And it is only a 10-minute drive without traffic, half an hour if there is traffic.

      Tensions are higher right now than at some points during my four years here, but not at their worst either. I would not hesitate to tell a friend to come visit.

      I saw this interesting map yesterday online, which maps the countries around the world that the UK Foreign Office rates as having a “high” risk of terrorism. Of course Lebanon, but also Spain, Australia, and 37 more. Kinda helps put things in perspective I thought.

      • Carla says:

        Amy, thanks.

        Really good to hear all of that, and all makes total sense. The brain is annoying I guess and doesn’t see risk in a proportionate way, mine particularly at the moment. Thanks for your thorough response. I’ll definitely be coming to visit him.

        All the best xx

      • cupcakeamy says:

        Yes, well you are right to be concerned. There was a bomb in Beirut this evening. Thankfully no one was killed. As you may know there was also the US’s biggest mass shooting today in Orlando. I wish there were guarantees on safety, there are definitely risks in Lebanon. But there are elsewhere also. 😦

  11. Kate says:

    Hey Amy!
    I’m a student studying Arabic from the US and looking to join an international consulting firm in a year. I would love to hear about how you got a job there and how that was different than applying to offices in the States.

  12. Helena says:

    Dear Amy,
    I want to thank you for your blog – I have been trying to find out information about living in Beirut as we might go to live there with my family next year (for a couple of years, because of my husband’s work). Your blog is great and it has given me a lot of information. However, my concern is mostly about the schools in Beirut: we are from Northern Europe and I am trying to find a good international school for my kids (who do not speak English yet) – which means they should need some help with learning English. Can you suggest any schools? Would be happy to hear about your experiences regarding international schools in Beirut (preferably via email, if possible for you?) Thank you so much in advance already!

  13. Kattia Halaoui says:

    Hi Amy, your farewell to Beirut blog truly touched my heart. I am a 32 year old mother of 3 (5,7,8) married to a loving husband from Lebanon. We currently live in Chicago, and have a wonderful job, however the daily news worry me about the cultural divisions in the states, crime rates and overall negative influences my kids receive from social media and daily lives in the states. I’ve had this “dream” (call it a dream because I don’t know if it’s possible) or living in a country where life is not as materialistic as it is in the states, were there is more innocence and kids get better education focused on family values. Since my husband is from Lebanon, that seems to be the obvious place we consider relocating to. I would like to have some of your insight as a mother and how this affected your kids. How did you do it? Was it positive for your family. Please, would love to connect with you. Sincerely, Kattia Halaoui

    • cupcakeamy says:

      HI Kattia,
      Thanks for your message! I absolutely loved living in Lebanon and thought it was a great experience for my kids. However, as we all well know, no place is perfect – the focus of my blog is largely on the positives of Lebanon because there is enough news already about the negatives, and the positives really do outweigh the negatives! But there *is* terrible pollution of the water, a complete lack of green space, and rampant racism and classism, just to name a few… What I did especially appreciate was the very low rates of crime, the general sense of the importance of family and community, and the wonderful weather! Sometimes I think it would be perfect to have kids in the US until middle school or high school, and *then* go to Lebanon – because there are really so many amazing things for younger kids in the US in terms of parks, sports, etc. I’d be happy to chat more, I’ll send you an email to your email address. best, Amy

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