Arrival in Melbourne
November 212018

This will be a short post to start off our adventures in Melbourne, Australia. Sorry it has been so long since I have written. I’ve been trying to figure out some behind the scenes issues when it comes to blogging, and realized I didn’t not know as much as I thought I knew. It’s back up and running though, and I’ll be posting more regularly, even though I’m a year behind!

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Road Trip Essentials
November 202018

Obviously, the most important thing to a road trip is a car – and I just recently got a new one! After having many struggles with my first and only car, a 2006 Kia Sportage with over 200,000 miles, I made the jump to a 2016 Subaru Forester. I rented one when I drove to the Oregon coast and loved it so much,  I had my eye on it when car shopping. Of course, I got green! I picked this size because it’s not overly big but still fits my road trip mattress in the back. I talked about road trips quite awhile ago, mainly focusing on car camping: The Good of Roadtrips, the Bad of Car Camping. But today I’m sharing some things I always try to have on a road trip! Always be prepared.

Instead of blowing money on whatever mediocre snacks I can find at the gas station I stop at, I always try and get snacks a couple of days before a road trip. Not only does this help me save money, it helps when I know I have something I’ll want (that’s also healthy!). I will usually bring protein bars, like Clif, RX, or Lara. I love bringing a bag of apples because that freshness is always welcome when you’ve been in the car for a few hours. And weirdly enough, chips and salsa is one of my favorite road trip snacks! It’s easy enough to dip straight out of the jar and easy to keep mess-free if you’re careful (or not driving). I’ll also pack pb&j ingredients because it’s my favorite hiking food, but after a terrible mishap in California I’ll never make another sandwich while on the road again.

The truth of road trips is you’ll probably have to have fast food now and again if you’re trying to save time and want something warm. Being a vegetarian, it’s not always easy to get something good. I’ve definitely learned where my favorite stops are. The market base salad at Chik-fil-A is great because it’s cheaper without the meat and is full of yummy fruits and nuts. I’ve also become a fan of the simple egg biscuit at McDonald’s. I’ve learned that too much fried food when stuck on a road trip is a bad idea, so I definitely try and stay away from fries and hashbrowns even though they’re so delicious. Of course, it’s not always easy to count on a certain fast food place to be around on the route, so I’ve learned to be flexible with the side items on the menu.

There’s only a couple of comfort items I keep on hand, mainly because I usually have a bed made up in the back. It’s an old futon mattress I cut to make it a single or double sized depending on how many of us are on the trip. We usually make it with one sheet, one pillow, and one blanket so that stuff doesn’t take up too much room. (Especially when we also have our sleeping bags with us.) One of my most important items is a pair of easy slip-on shoes no matter the weather. Getting out for a tank fillup without shoes – or having to put on boots – is so obnoxious that I always throw some sandals in my door side. It’s a no-brainer and I have a few pairs at all times in my car, but sunglasses are obviously essential for any road trip.

One of my favorite thing about road trips is discovering new things you hadn’t even thought to  look for. It’s important to know in your trip itinerary when you have extra time for stops. It’s when I leave this time that I love looking for billboards or shops that look fun or interesting. These random stops are responsible for me checking out the Georgetown caves in Texas, stopping to pet a baby alligator in Louisiana, and  the cute coffee shop find in the middle of nowhere New Mexico.

It’s important to note there’s a few things I bring just in case of emergencies. I always have a lot of stuff for the car: spare tire, automatic air pump, various fuses and tools for easy fixes. I always have lots of water just in case. (Water! Yes! Always water, usually in jugs that I pour into the two different water bottles I have with me.) I always have my taser just in case. (Especially if I’m camping or doing a lot of night driving.) I also always have my mini first aid kit with me because accidents do happen. I got a splinter at a gas station once (gross) so I was glad to have the medical tweezers.

What do you bring on your road trips?

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Ever find yourself obsessively refreshing your weather app in the run-up to a vacation? I’m definitely guilty of keeping one eye on the elements when planning a trip away. But rainy days are all part of the travel experience – especially in Western Europe!
Luckily, Amsterdam is one city that can handle a little rain. Packed full of world-class museums, vibrant indoor markets and a blossoming foodie scene, there’s plenty to keep you entertained, come rain or shine.

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My scariest travel moments
November 152018

I love to travel, it’s exciting, it’s new, you’ll discover beautiful places and meet great people. However, not every moment is great when you’re traveling. In this article, I’ll share six of my scariest travel moments.

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When I thrift, I mostly head to various Goodwills and various stores with the word Thrift in the name. However, for some who aren’t necessarily interested in going through a lot of bad for a big reward, there’s better secondhand shops that carry a lot more name brands and current trends. Not only that, there’s a couple of places in the Dallas area that are known for collecting amazing vintage finds. Here’s a roundup of some of the best Dallas thrift (with a focus on vintage) shops.

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As the sun was rising, we were waking up while walking from Penn Station towards the Empire State Building. The lit-up buildings, and almost-empty streets (streets in Manhattan are never empty) were a nice combination for an early morning stroll.

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Touring through east and south Rajasthan on our motorcycle gave us a unique perspective and a greater appreciation of the things we experienced. Here are some glimpses of our experiences in Jaipur, Ranthambhore and Bundi.

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Hunder, Nubra Valley
November 132018

After our wonderful journey and sigh-seeing around in Leh, we started the next day to Hunder in Nubra Valley.
Before I start with the journey, need to share a short experience that we encounteredclose to Nimoo Village where our car had a tire burst and we had to have a spare tyre fitted in. We tried exploring all of Ladakh the next morning but had no luck until around 11ish to get the tyre fixed before we head out on our further journey.

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Flying on an airplane for the first time is an exciting experience, but it can also be daunting for some. How can you prepare for your first flight?
This step by step guide for first time flyers includes all the tips, recommendations and instructions you need, so you can fly stress-free and avoid all sorts of common mistakes.

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Kinsale and Cobh lie within easy reach of Cork and should be included in any itinerary of Ireland. Cobh is the famed last stop of the Titanic and Kinsale is the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way. We visited both on the same day and this was our agenda.

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It was cold and raining in Morristown when we visited the site of the Continental Army’s winter encampment. In late October, the weather helped give us the perspective of what the soldiers had to deal with.

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With many National Parks and scenic landscapes, you will find some stunning campgrounds in Southwest USA. In this article, I’ll share my 5 favorite campgrounds for tent camping.

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I’m an avid traveler, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. But as any good traveler knows all too well, you unfortunately just can’t hop on a plane and go anywhere you wish without the proper planning and paperwork (well, you can, if you’re willing to be sent back or fined in some cases). As much as I detest it, many countries and regions require a special visa, and all of that depends on your nationality. Some are as easy as filling out a quick online form, and others require tons of paperwork and appointments that last for months (dare I say it, even years?!). Before traveling anywhere, it is crucial to do your research and make sure you have all of the required documents, copies, translations, etc.

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After the awesomeness of El Malpais, we were fine that El Morro was a little disappointing. The El Morro National Monument is most known for its sandstone cliffside. Deciding our drive up to its massive edge was good enough, we got our stamp and continued on.

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Travel gadgets are clever little things that save you time, money, stress and space in your luggage.
I selected some of the travel gadgets I think are both useful and smart, to make your backpacking trip easier. I’ve included both tech and non-tech gadgets.

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Cork is Ireland’s second city and we celebrated our first wedding anniversary with a stay at one of its top hotels, and an outing to the beautiful Fota wildlife park.

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This year we went back to New Jersey to see fall foliage. We were planning a trip to the East Coast for a while, and we thought autumn would be the best time to visit.

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How much does it cost to travel in The Philippines? During my trip in the Philippines, I wrote down every expense. In this article, I’ll share the costs of transportation, accommodation, food, and activities.

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The three of us (well, four, counting Florence the dog) left our airbnb pretty early so we could get on the road. We stopped at an independent coffee shop in Santa Fe, called Betterday, for a little caffeine kick. Then we were catching the sunrise from the windows of my car. Even better, since we were driving past Albuquerque, we caught a sky full of air balloons from afar. It was great up close watching them launch the day before, but it was also great seeing them all laid out across the big blue sky.

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Dallas Ghost Tour
October 302018

Since Halloween’s tomorrow, this is a special spooky blogpost! My mom and I loved the ghost tour we took on our trip to Jefferson, TX, so we decided to try out one in the Dallas area!

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Museum lovers will definitely love Turin!
You can spend a good few days in this beautiful city in the north of Italy just exploring all the museums and palaces it has to offer.
If you plan to visit Turin’s museums, and want to see more than two or three, I recommend you get the city pass, called Torino + Piedmonte Card. It will give you free entry to all the major museums, plus discounts on some other tourist attractions.

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Tatva may just be Hyderabad’s best kept secret, as far as vegetarian restaurants go. With excellent Italian, continental and north Indian cuisine, this is a place foodies should try at least once.

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I’m a huge fan of Canada as a whole but I really do have a soft spot for the West coast city of Vancouver. It’s a unique mix of shiny skyscrapers, funky food joints and is both cosmopolitan and historical. And let’s not forget the craft beer revolution and incredible day hikes nearby.

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The cities of Cork and Dublin are two fantastic stops on the Irish landscape. But sometimes the journey is as exciting as the destination, and the M8 Road doesn’t disappoint. This is a journey to take in the slow lane.

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Phoenix is home to a few great museums that might make the city worth even a summer visit. Or not. I admit; this might be an exaggeration. I think nothing can make Phoenix a summer destination. With temperatures reaching the 120s, and never lower than 105, the city feels like an oven. Yes, it’s a dry heat, but so is inside an oven. Though we are finally experiencing some cooler temperatures.

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Cold air beats against our faces as we fly down the street in our tuk tuk. Once again we are up before sunrise. This time our early rise is intended so we meet the sun not dolphins on the sea. We didn’t realize how cold it can be in Siem Reap this early in the morning. We huddle into each other until we reach the fabled Angkor Wat.

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I’ve been on my very first business class trip! Last weekend I treated myself to a luxury weekend in Prague. Flying business class, a 5-star hotel, and spending some time in this gorgeous city.

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Originally, I hadn’t planned on doing a whole blog about just Meow Wolf but here we are. This art installation in Santa Fe had been on my list for a long time after a friend sent me a link telling me to go there almost two years prior. So now with some free time Friday evening in the Santa Fe area, it was time to check it out!

With my main knowledge of this art installation being pictures, I imagined it was very similar to the Sweet Tooth Hotel art installation that had been back in Dallas, which you can read about in this post: Sweet Tooth Hotel. I thought it would be a lot of people taking pictures, with only a handful of things to see, with a time limit so the next specific group of people could enter. No to all accounts.

This place was insane!

What’s great about Meow Wolf, is you’re not just taking pictures of everything, you’re actually going through it to explore. There is so much to see – so many different paths to take it feels like a secret garden. Except instead of a garden, it’s a forest, a house, a spaceship, another world entirely.

I went into this a little buzzed from trying a local cider, but I felt sobered up as soon as I entered the house. There’s truly just so much to look at! There were (supposedly) two actors creepily watching a television, a forgotten seance at the dining room table, a lonely looking dryer machine – except, wait! I opened the dryer and bright colors met me and I saw a path to a new place. So I slide down the tunnel and ended up staring at a big mystical tree.

Seriously, if this place sounds like a fever dream – it’s not. It’s just art.

I took pictures when I remembered, but mostly I just explored and tried not to lose track of my friends, Jenna and Lola. With so many different paths to choose, so many different colored rooms calling me, it was hard to figure out the maze-like exhibit. Every inch had something new to see. But also so many different things to do – like playing the magic mushrooms like a xylophone.

I’d definitely make another visit, because even after spending more than an hour here (till the ten o’clock closing time just as a concert started in another wing), there’s no way I saw everything. And they’re adding to it all the time!

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Hall of Fame – Leh
October 232018

I could not hold myself from writing about the “Hall of Fame” which is very special and wanted to take this opportunity to share with you to plan your visit to this place during your Leh Trip.
“Hall of Fame” is not just a memorial or a place of attraction, it is a place which talks about the forces behind us having a peaceful time, about the conditions they work in, about the sacrifices these brave hearts make not caring about anything other than their “Motherland”.

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I’ll be honest, a lot of the National Park sites are very similar. I’ve been all over the Southwest region and seen an assortment of battlefields, ruins, forts, and pictographs left by lots of different Peoples. In most cases, it feels like you seen one, you’ve seen them all. But every now and then, there’s room for surprise.

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After a week in Centro we moved along to Botafogo for our final week of 52 away from home. As most of you will know by now if you follow us on Instagram,@2going1way, we didn’t have the best of luck in Rio. Getting robbed twice within a week, leaving us cameraless, GoProless and out of pocket really brought a downer to the end of what has been the best year of our lives.

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Mallorca is an incredible island, full of picturesque landscapes, idyllic little coves and clear, turquoise waters. It is the perfect place to get away for awhile, unplug, and enjoy some perfect relaxation. Or if you prefer to stay active, there are a ton of hiking opportunities with jaw-dropping views along with many extreme sports to cater to every taste.

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What is the secret to packing light?
The secret behind packing light is… bringing less stuff!
Simple, isn’t it?
Well, not really.
Because when we’re packing for a trip, be it a weekend city break or a year long round the world trip or anything in between – we will find ourselves packing all sorts of stuff that we think we might need, but actually don’t.
That’s perfectly natural.

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In most parts of India, October is all about celebrating Navratri and Dussehra. But some parts of the country celebrate Durga Puja instead. And no one does Durga Puja quite like the Bengalis, wherever they are.
For the people of West Bengal, Durga Puja is arguably the most important and looked-forward-to event of the year. So much so that they mostly just call it Pujo (the Bengali pronunciation of ‘puja’), with no qualifier needed. All other religious ceremonies fade to insignificance in comparison.

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High up in the Andes mountains of North-Eastern Chile, lies a town like no other. A tiny dot in the middle of the driest desert in the world, San Pedro de Atacama is an other-worldly landscape characterised by magnificent craters, looming volcanos and never-ending sand dunes.

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Get Leh’D – Leh
October 212018

Leh holds a special place for anyone who is going on a Ladakh Road-trip. Leh is the headquaters of the Leh District and was also the capital of Ladakh kingdom. Leh is at a altitude of 11,562ft (ASL).
Most of us do the mistake of combining and calling it Leh Ladakh which is not the case and it is just Leh.

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It’s the wettest October on record in Phoenix. And we, desert dwellers, love it. Sure, we’ve seen the desert after rain, it is always beautiful. But after as much rain as we got in the past two weeks, it’s not just green, it’s vibrant, it’s when I remember why I live here in the first place.

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RVs are becoming increasingly popular for family vacations, and you don’t have to own one to take advantage of this great way to travel the country. In fact, if you don’t have an RV, renting one is a great way to find out if RV travel is for you before you buy. It may save you quite a bit of money too. PKF Consulting USA revealed that a family of four may save from 27 to 62 percent by taking an RV vacation.
If you’ve never rented an RV, use these tips to ensure the best experience.

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Sydney is the most well-known city in Australia. An impressive skyline, beautiful parks, and beaches, it’s a place you shouldn’t skip when you’re traveling to Australia. In this article, I’ll share my top 5 favorite things to do in Sydney.

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I’ll be honest all I really knew about the city of Albuquerque was a Weird Al Yankovich song. What’s funny about falling in love with Albuquerque, New Mexico is that originally the first time we were just passing through. Being a major city, it makes for a great pit stop on a road trip.

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Trinity College is Ireland’s top university and most historical and is an unmissable attraction in the Irish capital. It is also the home of the famed Book of Kells. Here’s my guide on visiting the college.

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Solo travel is growing in popularity these days, and for quite a few years now it has been my favourite way of travel. In this post, I’ll share why and how you can travel on your own.
Solo travel has many benefits. I value freedom and independence (that’s probably why I travel so much) and solo travel gives me just that.

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A long motorcycle tour will give you a great feeling of freedom, excitement and adventure—if it’s done right. Here are 16 tips that can help make sure you have a great time on the road.
I’ve learned a few things during my years of riding across India, and these tips are based on my experiences. They might not be applicable to every situation, but if you’re planning your first (or even fifth) motorcycle tour, I guarantee that you’ll find some of them useful.

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If like me you just can’t wait to travel, doing a Working Holiday is the perfect option for becoming Dora the Explorer ASAP. So I’ve decided to start a series of interviews with fellow travellers who have done a Working Holiday anywhere in the world to help fuel your wanderlust and encourage you to do a Working Holiday, because it really is one of the best ways to broaden your mind and your experiences of the world.

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In recent years, Colombia has been a very common destination on the backpackers radar. The country’s relatively cheap prices and great variety of landscapes – from wild jungle to pristine beaches – have always been the perfect match for seeing the best of Colombia even for those on a tight budget. Nevertheless, those travelers who…

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Cholula is home to the largest pyramid known in the world. Don’t worry if you didn’t know this, a few months ago I didn’t either. Most people think of looking in Egypt if they want to find the largest pyramid in the world. But the Great Pyramid of Cholula, with a base of 450×450 meters (1480×1480 feet), a total volume of 4.45 million cubic meters and 66 meters tall, it’s not only the largest pyramid base but also the largest monument constructed anywhere by any civilization on the planet. Yes, it’s in the Guinness Book of records.

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Roadtrippin in India
October 122018

Roadtrippin in India is fast catching up with more and more enthusiastic travelers opting to travel by road while having the time to play with the itinerary and be flexible.
This blog post is to help such travelers who predominantly use a four wheeler (bikers don’t need to pay Toll in India).

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The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the most beautiful (and most famous) multi-day hikes in the world. But you have to arrange a couple of things before you go. How to get a permit and what do you need to bring? I will answer all of your questions in this article.

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It’s Fall, Y’all!
October 112018

Well, it’s kind of fall. Technically, October has arrived – but the weather hasn’t exactly gotten it together in Texas. I might’ve unpacked my sweaters, but I’m still wearing short-sleeved shirts the majority of the time. However, that wasn’t going to stop me from visiting a pumpkin patch!

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Whilst the majority of my fellow Brits are lamenting the end of our long, hot summer, I’m secretly thrilled about the seasonal change. Call me crazy, but I love packing my flip flops and sun cream away for another year and getting out my chunky knits ready for Autumn.

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The city of Eger is set in a valley within reach of the wooded hills of Zemplen and Matra. The slopes of the area within are a wine lovers paradise, with line after line of vines being cultivated here. How better to see them than a roadtrip.

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A Day In Amsterdam
October 82018

Here we are again on another trip over to The Netherlands. Second time for Amsterdam. Last year when we went the weather was horrendous, the rain lashed down and put a dampner on some of the things we wanted to do. Hopefully this time it will be different. We booked through National Holidays so our meals on board the ship,…

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They say the rapids on the White Nile in Jinja give the river its name. And rafting them is an adrenaline rush like no other.
In June 2018, we headed on a three-week visit to Uganda and Kenya. Our itinerary was a week in Kampala; another week on safari in Kenya; a few days in the coastal town of Malindi; and another week in Kampala.

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Apart from the many famous destinations on the tourist route, Colombia also boasts plenty of less-known yet gorgeous places scattered all around the country. Real traditional markets, forgotten colonial cities, isolated archaeological parks – these are just few of the list. If you’ll ever visit Colombia and decide for a more off the beaten path…

 

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Xochitécatl, meaning “Place of the Flower Lineage” is Cacaxtla’s sister site, another set of ancient Mesoamerican ruins near Puebla City. It was dedicated to Xochitl, the Goddess of flowers and fertility. (Joyce Kelly, An Archaeological Guide to Central and Southern Mexico).
Open to the public since 1994, and close to a major city, it still stayed off the beaten track. When we stopped, I realized that, as in Cacaxtla, we were the only visitors.

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After a gorgeous 3-day tour in the wilderness of the Andes and crossing an isolated border outpost, it was time for us to leave Bolivia (for which we were guests for only couple of weeks) and start our adventure in Chile. Our first stop in Chile was San Pedro de Atacama. Even though both Uyuni…

 

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Our Cambodian long boat motored across the vast ocean passed lush green islands and black rocks that jutted out of the water. I stared into the distance as wind whipped through my hair, sharing short sentences on and off with a girl from Italy. Then our boat slowed to a purr and we pulled up…

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A great place to settle down for a couple of days is the city Nice in the south of France. It’s easy to get around, and there are a lot of places to explore. In this article, I’ll share my travel tips for Nice.

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Eger is a highly regarded within Hungary as one of its most amazing cities. With a vast number of attractions crammed into its compact centre it’s a city that demands you leave the confines of Budapest’s impressive metropolis.

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There’s nothing quite like the sense of freedom you get from jumping in a car and taking to the great open road. You have nothing and no one to answer to; all that awaits is…

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After a girls day in Mexico, we were ready to cool off along the South Padre coast. Perfectly along this drive between my friend Jenna’s home and the beach, was a National Park site (almost like we planned it, huh). The Palo Alto Battlefield was about to close, but we made it just in time.

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After the easy yet full of scams border crossing of Kasani here we are, the time has come to leave Bolivia and start our adventure to Chile. Once again, crossing into Chile might seem hard (many regulations, strict police officers) but it really is a piece of bread. Similarly to when we crossed into Peru…

 

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London is a huge and fascinating city, and visiting it takes a bit more preparation compared to other big cities.

There are common mistakes that first time visitors make when they come to London, and this post will help you avoid them.

It’s a really fun city and the better you plan for it the more you’ll enjoy all the things it has to offer.

Pin this for later!

London tips for first timers

This isn’t a post about the top 10 things to do in London or the best places to stay or eat etc. It’s solely about helping you not get lost, not get ran over, conform to some local cultural requirements and make the most out of your time in London.

There’s so much to see in London – Don’t try to see it all

No matter how many times I’ve been to the city (double figures..), I still discover more things to see and do.

The city seems to reinvent itself every couple of months, while at the same time preserving its history.

London view from above

London is huge. Massive. If you try to see it all on an average visit, you will cause yourself endless frustration and FOMO.

My best tip would be to plan your London itinerary in a way that gives you enough time to see the things that interest you most, but also relax.

Take your time.

And take into account the distances… Check on Google Maps how long it would take to get from one place to the next. Even things that look close on the map could be an hour away from each other by public transport.

Remember that even if you won’t be able to see everything, that’s fine.

It’s better than rushing around and stressing out every single day of your trip. London has a stressful side to it and if you can avoid it, it would make your experience of the city so much better.

Make a list of the things you want to do and see in London, check the distances and make time for rest and relaxation (London’s parks are great for that).

Accommodation: Book in advance and stay central

This may sound obvious, but in case it isn’t, bear in mind: London is always full of tourists.

To make sure you get a good deal, you want to book your accommodation at least a couple of weeks before you arrive in London.

If you travel during high season (e.g. July-August or Christmas), book even a couple of months in advance.

My second piece of advice is: stay in central London.

If you have a limited time in the city, you don’t want to spend a couple of hours each day on public transport. It can easily amount to that… It would be a complete waste of time, especially on your first visit.

Choose a place to stay that’s close to an underground station, ideally.

Staying in central London and close to a station means that getting around will be easier and many of the main attractions will be relatively close.

My tip is to search for hotels or vacation rentals on the map. This gives you a clear idea of where you’ll be staying and of the distances you’ll have to cross.

London hotels map - find accommodation in London by searching on a map

To find places to stay on the map, I recommend you use TripAdvisorClick this link and then click “View Map” on the left (and change the dates to the ones you need).

The site shows you the hotels on the map, plus reviews. As you move the map, you will see hotels in different areas. It also lets you add restaurants and things to do to the hotel map as extra layers.

This way you can really see what’s nearby, find the best location easily and book directly from the same page.

You can do the same with vacation rentals on Airbnb – After you enter “London Homes” in the search box, enable “Show Map” at the top of the screen and tick the “Search as I move the mouse” box.

Bring good walking shoes

This is a good tip for any traveller, but London being as massive as it is, it’s worth mentioning here.

You walk a lot in London. Even if you use public transport, you still have to walk to the station, inside the station (this could even reach a 10 minute walk inside big stations…) and then around the city as well.

I once had a friend who came to London with a pair of walking shoes. The only problem was, those were new shoes and she had to break them in before the trip… She didn’t and she suffered badly for the first couple of days.

If you don’t have a good pair of walking shoes, check Amazon’s list of top rated walking shoes (I filtered the search results to show only the shoes with the best reviews).

Always be ready for rain

British people like to talk about the weather, and they have a good reason to.

In London it might rain any day.

Whether or not it’s forecast to rain, always assume that it might, because the weather in London is known for its unpredictability. It could rain even in the middle of summer during a heat wave (true story…)

If you find yourself in London when it rains and need a place to hide or a way to pass the time, check out my post on What to do in London when it rains.

An umbrella or a rain jacket are essential items on your packing list for London.

Lightweight rain jacket - essential in London packing list

I personally prefer a waterproof rain jacket to an umbrella. I recommend a folding jacket that’s small and lightweight, because:

1 – It takes up less space than an umbrella;

2 – It weighs less;

3 – It’s an extra warm layer;

4 – If it’s large enough, it can cover your purse or bag as well.

If you don’t have one already, get a rain jacket before your trip to London. Here’s a list of lightweight rain jackets from Amazon (top reviewed only).

Buy a UK travel adaptor in advance

The power plugs in the UK are Type G and the voltage is 220-240V. If you’re visiting from a country that uses a different plug and/or voltage, you will need a travel adaptor.

Those are usually inexpensive and take up very little space in your luggage.

UK travel adaptor / adapter

Get and adaptor or two online before your trip. You want to buy it in advance, as it would be more expensive to buy at the airport.

It’s also a good investment for your future travels. You will be able to use the same adaptor in other countries, including Ireland, Hong Kong, Cyprus, Malta, Malaysia, Singapore and quite a few others.

My tip is to get an adapter that has a couple of USB ports, so you can charge your phone and power bank overnight with just one plug.

If you’re already in the UK and need an adaptor, beware that some shops will overcharge unprepared tourists, but there’s no need to pay too much for something so basic. I found the cheapest adaptor at Argos.

London is your Oyster!

Oyster is the unlikely name of London’s public transport card.

You buy it once and then top it up (load it) with the amount you need or with a weekly or monthly pass, depending on how long you plan to stay in London.

Don’t use paper tickets; they cost almost double.

Oyster cardOyster card

You can use the same Oyster card across many different modes of transport – underground and overground trains, buses, trams, light rail etc.

If you get a London Pass (the city pass that gives you discounts and free entry to London attractions) you can also get it with an Oyster travelcard to save more money. Read more about how it works here.

Stand on the right on station escalators

Going on the underground train with masses of people can be quite overwhelming.

But it’s rare to see anyone pushing or shoving, even during rush hour.

That’s’ because there’s a very easy rule that everyone in London follows:

When you go on the escalators remember to always stand on the right. If you want to walk up or down – do that on the left.

Sometimes there’ll be a service announcement to remind people of that.

Londoners get annoyed when people stand on the left, and quite understandably – when you’re in a rush to catch a train you want that left lane to be available.

Carry a map of London with you

Even people who know London well still use a map from time to time.

Whether it’s Google Maps or another app or even an old school paper map – always take it with you.

London is huge and it’s easy to get lost, so a map is always handy.

You also want to pick up a tube map from any underground station and carry it with you. The public transport in London is mostly efficient, but can be rather confusing.

You can also download the Tube Map London Underground App (iPhone / Android) or CityMapper (iPhone / Android) to help you navigate, or simply use Google Maps for transport directions

Avoid Oxford Street on Saturday

Oxford Street, being the main shopping street in London, is extremely busy with tourists, shoppers, cars, buses and taxis.

Human traffic jams are a common sight any day of the week, but especially on Saturday.

It’s no fun. You can hardly cross the street or even move forward on the pavement. If you choose to do your shopping on Oxford Street, best plan to go there on a weekday.

How to cross the street in  London

Cars drive on the left in the UK, so crossing the road in London can be confusing.

Look left look right - London directions for pedestrians

One of the first things you’ll notice in London is that at every crossing there are directions for you to look left or right or both ways.

I suggest you make a habit of always looking both ways.

Don’t get locked in a park

This happened to me a couple of times in the past, even when I was hanging out with Londoners…

Many parks in London are locked at night. If you’re having a picnic or a walk in the park and forget about the time, you may find yourself locked inside.

This isn’t the end of the world, of course, as you can often climb over the fence. Still, best avoid that.

At the entrance to the park there’ll be a notice board or a sign with the opening hours. Sometimes it wouldn’t specify the hour, but just say the park is open till “dusk”…

Park opening times in London

Also, listen out for the bell – the person who locks the park would walk around with a bell to alert people just before the park is locked. I’m not sure this applies to all parks, but I’ve seen that in quite a few.

Travel on public transport outside peak times

Trying to take a train in central London during rush hour can be a pretty nightmarish experience.

Sometimes the stations are so packed that you can’t even get into the station, not to mention board a train.

Avoid the massive crowds on Monday to Friday between 06:30 and 09:30 and between 16:00 and 19:00.

Get in line!

British people love to queue.

It’s part of the culture and they have a great reputation for forming an orderly queue, even if not instructed to.

As a tourist you will encounter that every day when boarding buses or trains, entering museums and attractions, when you go to concerts, shows or festivals and so on.

It makes a lot of sense, especially in such a hectic city, and helps prevent all sorts of chaotic situations.

More links to help you prepare for a trip to London:

Top 10 things to do in London

How to visit London on a budget

Day trips from London 

London city guide from Lonely Planet

Share this guide on Pinterest

London tips for first time visitors

London tips for first time visitors

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For every traveller, stopping at Uyuni and taking a tour into the gorgeous salt flats is a must on ones Bolivian road trip. That said, the salt flats are not the only attractions around – wild flamingoes, geysers, coloured lagoons, hot springs, active volcanoes – are just few of the unique sights to enjoy while…

 

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For years I’ve been reading about the murals of Cacaxtla, but I never paid much attention to it. If it’s not in the Yucatan it can wait, I thought. So it waited, didn’t go anywhere, and we finally got to it on our recent trip to Puebla City.

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I know I’ve probably said this about numerous towns along my travels, but Pai stands out as one of my favorite places in the world.
We arrived in the late afternoon, after a long winding drive from Chiang Mai. The town’s main road buzzed with motorbikes and backpackers, yet it maintained a silent calm only small towns can manage. We already felt a warmth brimming in our hearts for Pai. It had us at hello.

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Did you know there are many awesome themed hotels in Las Vegas? Especially at the Las Vegas Strip, you can visit New York, ancient Egypt, and Venice in just one night. In this article, I’ll share a couple of the best-themed hotels in Las Vegas.

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With only a few more National Park sites left to visit in Texas, it was time for a weekend road trip. All three sites were along the southern east edge of my home state, two being very close to my friend Jenna’s hometown. So it was a perfect time to visit the house where Jenna grew up (in the plains with big homes next to goats!)- and just over her town’s bridge you could walk to Mexico!

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I’m a big fan of road trips. If you ask me, there’s no better way to explore a country. When I first moved to Australia from Canada, I began planning my first rugged roadie almost…

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If you’ve ever flown Spirit Airlines you know they charge for every little thing, including a carry-on. Because my trip to Mexico would only be 48 hours, I was sure I could fit everything I needed into a little backpack approved by the airlines as a “personal item.” What made this idea even better was that I already had a little day hike bag on order that would perfectly fit the dimensions allowed.

Of course, this bag that would be perfect for both my California and Tulum trip (back-to-back weekends) showed up exactly one day after my flight had me due back home. In a last minute scramble for a small backpack that wouldn’t be a total waste, I went for a cute cheap one that cost me only eleven bucks.

I was so proud of fitting an additional day’s swimwear and outfit in this little bag! I’m pretty good at packing light, mostly because I can plan what I will wear for every thing planned in my itinerary. Knowing what I will need and be wearing makes it a whole lot easier to pack. Then with any leftover room, I’ll throw in an “option” outfit. Plus, I’ve been doing the “army roll” packing technique since I was twelve.

Unfortunately, even though I’d planned outfits perfectly, my cheapness would come back to haunt me (doesn’t it always?) and my zipper would be giving me trouble the first hour after landing. It just wouldn’t work right with everything I’d crammed in! So after less than twenty-four hours of struggling (even though I’d perfected the departure flight), my backpack was broke and I was traveling around Mexico holding my bag flaps together.

I spent a lot of my last night in Playa del Carmen scouring souvenir shops for a bag that would fit the Spirit requirements, wasn’t too expensive (like the gorgeous embroidered leather backpacks I kept seeing but knew I was too poor for), and would be something I could keep using even after returning home. Finally, I found a cute cotton tote that would be perfect for my light grocery shopping when I made it back home. I cleaned out my bag, only had to lose one swimsuit cover-up that just wouldn’t fit, and thought all would be well on the flight back.

Unfortunately, it would be this clean-out and not the new bag that would cause me to almost be left in Mexico. Ai yi yi.

Tracy and I, both being Type A, had gotten to the airport three hours early after dropping off the rental car. We wanted no stress of rushing through the airport, dealing with any customs stuff, and finding our yet unnamed gate. Even after the unnecessary line at the “one” Spirit ticket kiosk, we still had time to explore the airport shops and have a sit-down meal at the airport Margaritaville. We were living a very relaxed airport life. Then it was time to board and right as they were asking for my boarding pass it was mentioned that I also needed the customs form that hadn’t been needed since landing in Mexico two days earlier. Even as I dumped my new bag out, I clearly remembered disposing (carefully, I might add) of that little slip of paper that hadn’t seemed at all important at the time.

I would not be allowed on the plane without it and there was only twenty or so people left to board before take off. I was freaking out. I got instructions from the flight attendant twice on where I had to go to get a replacement. Tracy handed me two 20 dollar bills quickly – because of course they would only take cash – and then I began to run through the airport. My destination was outside of security and by now it was midday so those lines were long, very long. I ran to the side where it looked to be a handicap access area and said, “I’m getting a new customs form. I’m coming right back through here.”

Without waiting for approval, I ran out to the main entrance of the Cancun Airport. I got a new customs form (thankfully I’d brought along my passport with my wallet – my bag was with Tracy back at the boarding line). And then ran back to the security checkpoint. The lines were so long it looked like it would take me at least half an hour to get through – but no, I ran back to the side line and rushed back under the handicap sign. I nodded to the woman who I’d spoken to without waiting for confirmation, threw my stuff on the conveyor belt, and ran back through the duty-free shops. At the gate, it was just Tracy and the flight attendant left, the later giving me a surprised, “Oh, you made it.” So some people don’t make it?!

After wasting more time by checking all my stuff, dangerous chemical test swabs and a pat down, they finally let me on the plane. Tracy was a trooper for waiting; I would’ve hated if she got stuck in Mexico because of me! We could somewhat laugh about it after taking our seats, but mostly my heart was still pumping and I couldn’t yet appreciate crossing a new experience off my bucket list – running through an airport.

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For many travellers, heading to Uyuni to see the famous salt flats is probably the last stop on their trip to Bolivia. Some people might opt for taking a night bus from La Paz (or even farther) but if you ever happen to travel the road that connects Potosi to Uyuni by day, you’ll realize…

 

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The Tokaj wine region is a UNESCO recognized historical wine area in North-Eastern Hungary. We spent two days here exploring the town, its viticulture, and the surrounding area.

Wine has been produced on the slopes here for an unknown amount of time, with evidence suggesting that celts in pre-Roman times engaged in the production. It’s fame and perhaps the reasoning behind UNESCO’s 2002 decision to award it World Heritage Site status is due to the Tokaj Aszu wine, which is the world’s oldest botrytized wine. This is when a fungus infests the grapes and when they are picked at a certain stage, a very sweet wine can be produced.

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There are several activities to do during your stay in La Paz but one of the most unique, interesting and arguably entertaining ones is something very uncommon: Cholita Wrestling. Similar to the Lucha Libre in Mexico, this type of fighting show developed not long ago in the country with the aim to empower indigenous women…

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Kukulcan, the mythical feathered serpent of the ancient Maya, still shows up every year on the pyramid named after him in Chichen Itza. At least his shadow does. I can attest to it, I’ve seen it.
It happens during sunset on and around each equinox.

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A Surprise Trip To Rome
September 202018

Last year it was my (Jason’s) 40th birthday. I wasn’t really up for celebrating the big ‘four zero’ but the year before Vicky had an idea, “lets go away” she said. I definitely wasn’t going to argue, there was one condition though, the destination was to be a surprise and I would only find out at the check-in desk on…

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We scaled over the rocky steps of the waterfall, as it rushed against our feet. The cool water felt so rewarding after our long ride up here.
As people snapped their last pictures and a guard blew his whistle to signal the closing of the park, we swam on, ignoring everyone. We made it to Erawan National Park just an hour before closing, but we refused to acknowledge that we must get out. Water cascaded over the stairway of boulders, fanning out before us. We carefully inched across the various hidden rocks beneath the waters surface until reaching the deep pool. Under the pounding waterfall, we massaged our heads and laughed. We never wished to leave.

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Road tripping is one of the most fun ways to travel. I love the freedom, you can go wherever you want at any time. After road tripping in the United States, France, Cuba, and Canada, I consider myself to be a quite experienced road tripper. In this article, I’ll tell you how to plan for a perfect road trip.

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Yet again, checking into our next Airbnb in Mexico would turn out to be rough. Tracy and I had moved on to Playa del Carmen for our last night, wanting to be closer to Cancun where we would fly out in the morning. Even though it was a pain to find, once we did we realized we found our second paradise! Not only did it come with a “hot tub” and a freaking rope swing(!), we got beach access passes as well.

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The gateways to Lake Titicaca, a.k.a. Puno and Copacabana, are for many people either the first or last stop on their trip visiting the countries of Peru and Bolivia. Even though the Lake is spread over a huge area, these two touristy hotspots, conveniently located at just 3-4h bus ride from each other, are the…

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Santa Marta was a nice change after the bustle of Cartagena. It is a quiet port town with a scenic view out to the Caribbean sea. There were enough hostels, bars and restaurants to have a good time and the locals were quite happy to put up with my broken Spanish, so all was good. The restaurant scene seemed to be booming, with a couple of different areas in the town coming to life at night!

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Legend has it that when former First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, first set eyes upon Iguazú Falls, she was so wowed that her immediate reaction was to exclaim “Poor Niagara!”
I’m yet to pay Niagara Falls a visit, but I can easily believe that any other waterfall pales in comparison to the sheer size and power of Iguazú. Consisting of 275 different falls, and spanning a distance of nearly 3km along both sides of the Argentine-Brazilian border, it’s easy to see why this aquatic phenomenon has been crowned one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.

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Budget Your Trip: Ecuador
September 182018

Trying to live off a tight budget in Ecuador might not be an easy task for the casual backpacker but with a bit of research and careful spending, travelling around the country can be cheap. Even though Ecuador is mostly known for the Galapagos Islands (budget at least 100€+/day per person there) and have embraced…

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This weekend saw us head-over to Gandikota popularly known as “Grand Canyon of India” situated in Andhra Pradesh.

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After a night of just drinking and exploring the souvenir shops, it was time to get up early and hit the tourist spots. The main attraction in Tulum is the Tulum ruins, which is the site of old Mayan temples and buildings. As you may know, I’m not super into ruins, but these ranked number one on almost every Tulum tourism list.

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Debrecen is Hungary’s second city and a city worthy of a day trip, or alternatively it serves as the perfect base for exploring Eastern Hungary and the Hungarian Great Plain.

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Brick Lane is an iconic street in East London with a lot of exciting things to discover and an atmosphere you can’t find anywhere else.
London’s Brick Lane is where you go for a vibrant mix of food markets, street performers, vintage shops, curry restaurants, trendy cafes, incredible street art, independent bookshops and rainbow bagels…
If the description above sounds a bit eclectic, that’s because it is. It’s a very mixed part of London. It is colourful, lively, exciting and quirky

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If you think Kenya is just about wildlife, think again. With beautiful beaches, coral reefs, unique heritage and European influence, Malindi is a great place for a break from hectic safari-ing.
Our main reason for visiting Kenya was, of course, the incredible wildlife. But after a week of driving—both from one park to another, and within each one—we knew we would need a break. And Malindi seemed like the perfect coastal getaway.

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A short trip to Isla del Sol
September 172018

Away from the city noise of La Paz, right on the coast of the Lake Titicaca, lies the city of Copacabana, also known by many as the more touristy version of Puno. Similarly to Puno, the city is the weekend gateway for nationals but also a brief destination for the passing-by travellers. Apart from a…

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While travelling around Peru you might slowly get used to the typical meal a.k.a. soup, rice, potatoes, salad and a type of meat, but this country is also home to some interesting street-foods that could make it among yours “weirdest food” list.

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Seeing Vienna as a Local
September 162018

Our love for Vienna is an understatement. We are lucky to be frequent visitors and even had the opportunity to live there for a while, although for way too short of a time. While Vienna is loaded with world-famous attractions, you can see some of our top tourist sights here; we love some of the more local spots. The best advice we can give anyone visiting Vienna…go off the beaten path. Walk down the side streets. You will find so much more of what makes Vienna so easy to explore and you’ll fall in love instantly. Unless you’ve already tried the wine, in that case, you’re already in love!

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We travelled around Colombia for 6 weeks and we absolutely loved the city of Cartagena! With it’s vibrant architecture, lively food scene, caribbean heat and friendly locals you just can’t beat the vibe here. The walled city of Cartagena has some stunning colonial architecture and the streets are lined with beautiful colored houses. So where are these Instagrammable photo spots? Here are my top picks for the best photo spots in Cartagena.

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After spending a couple of days around the Lake Titicaca visiting Puno and the floating islands of Uros, it is time for us to start a new chapter of our trip: Bolivia. Even though it felt we barely scratched the surface of Peru in over a month that we were here, the idea to see…

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Puebla city has been a place I wanted to visit for some time now. A couple we met in Tulum got me interested when they told us about it as a place they considered moving to.
When I looked into it I realized that the ancient site of Cacaxtla I wanted to see, and its sister site, Xochitécatl, were close by. Adding a few volcanoes, one active and smoking, the largest pyramid in the world in nearby Cholula de Andrés, and the first and largest library in the Americas made this city I didn’t even know existed before one of my top destinations.

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Puebla city has been a place I wanted to visit for some time now. A couple we met in Tulum got me interested when they told us about it as a place they considered moving to.
When I looked into it I realized that an ancient site I wanted to see, Cacaxtla, was close by. Adding a few volcanoes, one active and smoking, the largest pyramid in the world in nearby Cholula de Andrés, and the first and largest library in the Americas made this city I didn’t even know existed before one of my top destinations.

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For many travellers, spending a couple of nights in the Lake Titicaca area around Puno is usually the last stop in Peru before entering Bolivia. The unattractive city of Puno might not be your ideal destination but it undeniably is the starting point to organise tours in the region. But apart from Lake Titicaca most…

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Do you want to travel a month in Peru? In this article, I’ll share the perfect itinerary, including the Andes mountains, the desert, colorful cities, and a lot of ancient Inca ruins.

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Tequila + Tulum = No Worries
September 132018

Since last minute getting my passport last year, I made it my goal to travel outside of the US at least once a year. I started getting nervous because I didn’t have an international trip planned and I think this realization spurred my sudden obsession with going to Tulum. I’d read a blog about some great places in Tulum and the more research I did, the more I saw how affordable a weekend getaway to Mexico would be!

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Although I’ve lived in Barcelona off-and-on for the last 4 years, I never made it to any of the islands nearby (Canary and Balearic Islands). It’s a crime, I know. The thing is, I never really stayed in the summers, which is the most popular time to go. More than once, I saw cheap flight deals in the autumn or early Spring months, but my local friends would tell me that it wasn’t worth it, and that I should wait for beach weather (looking back, I wish I would’ve ignored them and gone anyways).
So I never made it there, until just recently. Since it was August, prices weren’t cheap like those I had seen before, and because we planned a bit last minute, not many inexpensive accommodations were left. We wanted a relatively budget-friendly vacation, so our first step was choosing which island.

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If you wanna know more about whether you can trek the Colca Canyon on a tight budget or not, this is the right article for you! Don’t forget to read our Ultimate Guide to Hike the Canyon. Considering that we started our 2 days/1 night trip from Arequipa, over the length of the two full…

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Once in Arequipa we only had own thing on our minds: trekking the Colca Canyon. Lots of people we met on the way sometimes didn’t even mentioned the city but the canyon right away. Surely something you can’t miss if you’re around! On a relaxed sunny afternoon, after doing our deal of research online, we…

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Whether before or after visiting Cusco, chances are that the white city of Arequipa will be among your destination list. The city features some nice activities and a decent night-life but what most of travellers really look forward to see, or better to hike in, is the Colca Canyon. Even though a 4-6h drive separates…

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Summer is wonderfully busy in Minnesota with so many exciting events and activities. However, the transition of the seasons from Summer to Fall brings empty nesters, like us, the opportunity to recharge our batteries by planning a weekend away to escape from life and put the everyday hustle and bustle of life on the back burner. Stillwater is the perfect destination for relaxation, wonderful food, and a great atmosphere to soak in the fading summer days. In this article we will show you that Stillwater Minnesota is the Best Getaway near Twin Cities.

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We visited the Hortobagy National Park on a day trip on our recent trip. It is Hungary’s first and largest national park and was given UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1999 due to its rich cultural history and presence in folklore.

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As I’m sure is true of most kids from Texas, I have never surfed. I grew up with the fake ocean at the water park, Hurricane Harbor. My first beach was going to Port Aransas on a high school trip. The water was murky and full of lifeless jelly fish. (It was still incredible.) But believe it or not, I recently learned to surf in the middle of Texas, at a “surf resort” in Waco.

My dad is big into surfing on wave riders, like the one he originally  learned on at Hurricane Harbor. When I mentioned to him that I wanted to learn to surf on a real surfboard, he was interested in joining me. Just when I thought there’d be no time in my schedule for an impromptu trip to a real beach, my dad mentioned the BSR cable park that had only recently opened their surf section.

After a lazy Sunday morning, I met up with my dad to head down to Waco. I’d been bummed that I couldn’t make it to Colorado again this summer (to retry our kayaking adventure), so planning on spending the day together was nice.

We got there early to check out the place. It was cool checking out the wake boarders using the cable pull system to ride the lake. They also had a little lazy river where people floated and big slides that sent people launching into the air. We headed over to the “beach” area to check out some surfing. The current session was a beginners’ crowd, but a lot of people looked like they were pretty good.

Eventually it was time to grab our own boards because our hour time slot had approached. A helpful guy told us to grab the longest boards possible because it would be easier. (I would find out later this was bad advice.)

No one really monitored to us after we got our boards, so my dad and I kind of just swam out to where ten or so other surfers headed. The wave was produced every five minutes or so evenly across the water, and immediately people started going for it. My dad and I had definitely expected an instructor, but we started by just watching everyone around us and mimicking what they did.

Luckily for me, the beach manager started coming around and saw me struggling so took me under his wing. He told me where to lay on the board, where to put my arms and legs, and taught me the timing of the wave and when to swim hard. Finally things were happening! Every time I paddled back I’d shout the information over to my dad.

After four waves the manager told me since I’d gotten good at timing and form, to just get on my knees to ride the wave. And then he left to help another girl nearby. The hardest part was definitely timing. Looking back and learning when to start swimming hard and cresting the pull of the curl started to feel rhythmic.

For my last couple of waves I rode it on my knees all the way to the shore. Just as I was getting ready to try getting up (or at least on one knee) our hour was up. It had gone by so fast! The sport mentality had taken over and I really got submersed in learning new things, but overall it had been so fun! It was surprising how little I was able to talk to my dad though – it really felt like a singular sport.

The manager met up with us again to take our boards and said we had done great for our first time so that was nice. He said it took a lot more hours to be ready for the advanced group, but that we could definitely do it if we practiced. Watching the advanced group, who had now taken the waves, was awesome. They made it look so effortless!

I will for sure be surfing again some day! But I might stick to the man-made waves for now. Much less swimming means much less getting tired out means much more practice! Now don’t get me wrong, I was still sore as heck the next day.

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Kargil War Memorial, Drass
September 112018

The moment an Indian hears about Kargil, he is reminded of the Kargil conflict dating back to 1999 between India and Pakistan and “Operation Vijay” which was implemented by India to regain control of various posts captured by Pakistan and the brave soldiers who lost their lives serving their motherland.

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Every place has some kind of history, with the past of some being longer and more complicated than that of others. But history leaves its mark in the heritage and architecture it leaves behind. And here are places with heritage sites that we found particularly fascinating.

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8 Things to do in Cusco
September 102018

At some point, in every traveller’s itinerary through Peru the city of Cusco pops up as a destination. It’s the perfect base for visiting the Sacred Valley, start your trip to Machu Picchu and do some of the best hiking in the country a.k.a. the perfect basecamp. That said, Cusco’s enchanting hispanic architecture is something…

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Yesterday, our trip in the area of the Sacred Valley up north of Cusco was a relaxing half-day trip but today we’re planning to spend more time visiting sites, pretty much like we did on our first day. The idea is to visit all the leftover highlights in the east area of the Sacred Valley,…

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Visiting Rainbow Mountain is currently one of the hiking highlights of the Cusco area. But whether you’re planning to do it by yourself or with a tour, before you see those unique colors and desolate landscapes, there’s some things you need to know to make the most out of that hike. Here our list of…

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Though easy to reach if you know where to go, Aké Ruins of the ancient Mayan city escaped the tourist crowds so far. Chances are, if you go, you’ll be the only visitors, just like we were. True, the site is not as spectacular as some well-known ones, but it has a few structures that made the drive worth it for us.
Being the only visitors, we got the rare feeling we were explorers who stumbled on an unknown site. It felt like the Yucatan of the old days when few people were interested in visiting ancient structures.

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If you’re visiting Peru chances are that you’re also planning to visit the ancient city of Machu Picchu, nothing but one of the new wonders of the world. At first, there might not seem to be many possibilities to get there but with a bit of digging, even those with on a backpacker budget can…

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When you’re traveling in Australia it’s hard to miss: there are tons of different tours and they all look awesome. But which one of the tours in Australia are the ones you really shouldn’t miss? I’ll share the best tours on the East Coast in this article.

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This blog is one year old today!! So I don’t truly believe in horoscopes, but sometimes it’s fun to look at them after the day has passed. I officially started this blog on this date, exactly a year ago. Before taking time to think about how far I’ve come (a lot!), I wanted to share my horoscope of that -this- day, 2017.

“A critical turning point arrives in your life today via the full moon in Pisces, dear Gemini. You need to find a better balance between your personal and your public lives.”

How funny, as a pretty private person, that day would be the one I would start sharing my journey on the internet. So why did I start a blog? Mainly because I love writing, always have. Secondly because I was excited to be actively pursuing adventure instead of just dreaming about it.

Once I started traveling and having new experiences, I realized how easy it is to do! If you make it a priority, if you chase your interests, it’ll happen. So now not only do I hold myself accountable by blogging twice weekly, I try to encourage readers to get out and and explore also! Sometimes it seems we’re just afraid to take that first step.

I’ve started my mission to collect all of the National Parks stamps – I’ll even be done with the entire Southwest Region by the end of this year!

I made it my mission to travel internationally at least once a year – after booking impromptu trips this and the previous summer to Belize and Tulum, respectively.

I made it a goal to be a tourist in my hometown, Dallas, so I could experience all the hot spots as well as find new local things to do.

I’ve prioritized hiking, by trying to make it to every trail and park in my area. I wanted to prove to myself I could find amazing nature in the backyard of a big city.

And finally, I’ve strived to say yes more and more. When a friend invites me to a sage-making class, when my dad invites me to learn a new sport – I go!

So yeah, I’ve shared a lot with all of you. On my Instagram, I try to post daily to keep myself active in adventure. But I’m still pretty private, and that’s good. I’m very protective of my relationship, I try not to be too obnoxious with picture-taking, and I totally understand when a friend doesn’t want to be mentioned in a blog.

I’ve learned a lot about balancing! For me that mainly means pursuing what makes me happy and being so, so grateful for everyone in my life. It would’ve been much harder on this journey alone (i.e. impossible). So thanks everyone for a fantastic, unimaginable first year!

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We were so excited to stay at this beautiful little boutique hostel in Santa Marta. It’s centrally located, just a couple minutes walk from the beach and the Exito supermarket is just a 5 minute walk away.

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Where I hear you say? Nyiregyhaza is a small city in Hungary’s east of around 200,000 people. It’s hardly on the tourist trail. But it’s where Beata calls home.
As a small city it’s not without its merits. It served as a good base for us to explore the lesser seen side of Hungary.

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Yesterday the journey through the north-west area of the sacred valley was surely a long one but for today we’re planning to do a shorter route. The idea is to visit all the important archaeological sites just on the northern city limits of Cusco, these being Sacsayhuaman, Q’enqo, Puca Pucara and Tambomachay. Cusco to Sacsayhuaman…

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10 Photos that prove Fraser Island is (K'Gari) paradise

Sitting off the East coast of Australia is the world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island. It’s one of Australia’s most unique attractions, with over 100 freshwater lakes and home to packs of dingoes, snakes, turtles, sharks and a sh*t tonne of birds.

The post 10 Photos that prove Fraser Island is (K’Gari) paradise appeared first on Hilltops and Flipflops.

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Before my friends and I could head into San Francisco, we needed a coffee stop to become more human. After camping for the last couple of days and getting some odd hours sleeping cramped in our little rental car, we needed the caffeine and a restroom.

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Seeing Vienna as a Tourist
September 32018

Vienna, Austria is one of our favorite cities in the world and we are fortunate to travel here often and know it quite well. Vienna is no stranger to tourism as it brings in hordes of tourists from all over the world and the number seems to be increasing every year. There is a wealth of knowledge on Vienna and a visitor can spend days if not weeks touring all the sights. However, if you are a tourist with a limited amount of time, these are the top tourist sights we would recommend. Stay tuned for our upcoming post on seeing Vienna as a local.

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The digital nomad lifestyle is envied by many people who feel unfulfilled in their day jobs and are dreaming of seeing the world while making an income at the same time.
The first interview is with Nimrod Dean Kuchel (aka Dean). He’s been living as a digital nomad for the past four years and has been to over 88 countries so far.

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Bocagrande is in the north western area of Cartagena, where all the modern hotels are. The one place you would probably go to use the beach if you wanted to stay close. So keeping that in mind I thought I’d suggest a couple of locally situated lunch options for you to check out.

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Discovered just over a couple of years ago due to melting of the glaciers, today visiting Rainbow Mountain is nothing but the pinnacle of the hiking tourism around the area of Cusco. Up above at 5100m over sea level, the seven different colours in display are an incredible sight for all those looking to see…

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As a self-proclaimed travel addict and globe trotter, I’d like to think that I’ve gotten quite good at booking affordable accommodations for trips. For the last 5 years that I’ve been traveling across Europe, I’ve consistently found quality hotels, hostels or Airbnbs at reasonable prices and in ideal locations. I love to do my research before a trip, and generally have a set and detailed itinerary before leaving.

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After renting a car yesterday evening, this morning we’re ready to start exploring the beautiful Sacred Valley. Today, the plan is to visit all the sites West of Cusco e.g. Chincero, Maras, Moray, Urubamba, Yucay and finish up with Ollantaytambo before heading back to Cusco for the evening. We rented the car for three days…

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If you look at the cinder cone volcano of Sunset Crater as the sun’s last rays illuminate it, you’ll see why it got its name. The top of the volcano seems to glow in the gold and orange colors juxtaposed to the black lava around its bottom.
This gorgeous view stays even during the day when the bright sun washes out most colors. It might not be as bright, but it still showcases the same combination of colors.

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We took the same route as the previous day into the city but this time traversing the Elisabeth Bridge. Again the architecture from simple regular buildings to the Budapest Inner City Mother Church of the blessed virgin really caught my eye. I adore the steeples of churches in Hungary.

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Each Thursday, I will post a throw back Thursday post from my old website about my trip to Australia and SE Asia! This week’s is a post about volunteering on a Buddhist Monastery in Northern Thailand!

During our last two weeks in Thailand we watched eight sunrises. You must be thinking, “wow, what partyers!” It’s not what you think though. For the past ten days, we volunteered at an amazing project in Northeast Thailand near Khon Kaen and woke up at 5am everyday to do yoga and meditation.

The Mindfullness Project, started a year and four months ago by Christian and Anja, a German couple that once took the vow to be monk and nun in Wat Pho Monastery in Khon Kaen. Now their project has moved from the monastery grounds in the city to a forest monastery.

Their vision for the project is to raise awareness and funds to restore the forests of Northern Thailand. At the moment though they are just at the beginning of building their new center in the forest.

Each morning we awoke at 5am to a chorus of partying roosters and dogs. Their hoots, hollers, and howls made it difficult to fight the alarm ringing in my ear to wake up. With bleary eyes, we each walked down to the school for our yoga and meditation. We all looked like zombies meandering in the dim light of headlamps.

In the flickering light of a candle, we observed our every breath as we practiced mindful yoga. Each stretch helped to awaken our limbs. Once our body felt more alive, we focused in on our minds. At first I experienced a lot of frustration with meditation. My mind seemed to drift in and out of dreams as I attempted to wake up. Then near the end of the ten days, I started to succeed in focusing my mind and watching my thoughts. It felt so enlivening.

As we each slowly exited the yoga school and welcomed the new day, we were greeted by a happy rising sun. Each day presented us with a different array of colors painting the morning sky. I always took time to pause and observe the suns glorious ascent.

On the slow walk home, we each took our time to absorb our surroundings. I tried to walk slowly and listen to every crunch of gravel beneath my shoes and every bird singing it’s morning song. Somedays my mind became immediately distracted with thoughts but on a good day I could be present in the moment and observe my surroundings. Focusing my mind got easier as the week went on.

Everyone ate breakfast in silence. I chewed each bite of fresh fruit and coconut yogurt with a conscious mind. I tasted every sweet bite. After breakfast we all worked on different projects in groups. Twice I volunteered at the local school teaching English. The children had zero structure in the classroom making it challenging. I enjoyed connecting with them though.

Other projects included building the kitchen out of stones and cement, making a mosaic, preparing lunch, and gardening. I worked on all of these projects except for gardening.

After a hot day working in the sun, we all gathered on the steps and helped prepare lunch, which was always vegetarian and half raw/half cooked. The raw component always amazed me, because I never knew eating raw could be so good. A lot of the sauces were made with nuts and coconut milk making them tasty and healthy. Lunch was always eaten silently not because we had to, but because it was so good it made us speechless.

In the afternoons, we relaxed or swept the path around the monastery. At 6:30pm everyday we had a sharing circle to share our honest feelings from the day, good or bad. Everyone felt comfortable to share openly in front of each other. The group always felt like a close family, no matter who came or left. We all respected and loved each other from the start, making it difficult to say goodbye when people left.

It is truly amazing how each person that passed through the project doors brought true hope and joy to the project. Everyone also had inspiring skills and stories to share with the group. Each time a person left, we had a proper goodbye of prayers and love for them. I cried during mine.

On the weekends, we visited Khon Kaen for the night market and a break from sleeping on the floor. On our last Saturday it was Buddha day. On Buddha day you prepare food all morning then bring it to the monastery to offer to the monks. We listened to the beautiful chanting of the monks and meditated, then shared our food with the monks and villagers in attendance. The lovely women of the village also shared their food with us. Each food brought to my lips was a surprise in flavor and texture. I loved this practice, which happens each week in accordance with the moons cycle.

Later that day we visited Khon Kaen and wandered around the city before going to Wat Pho, the temple where Christian and Anja were monk and nun. Here we saw the beautiful grounds where they built an earth back dome with mosaiced walls and interior used for darkness meditation. Then we sat in the temple for more chanting and meditation. I really felt connected to these words even though I couldn’t understand their meaning. The chants place a warm guiding hand on my heart. I felt love inside me instead of the usual fear.

Leaving this project and these wonderful people made me feel like I was leaving the nest for the first time, scared but prepared to face the world with new eyes.

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It seems odd to be heading to the Big Lagoon in Redwood National Park, but after our morning hike we were ready for a bit of a cool down and some relaxation. I’d never been to a lagoon before, but this one just ended up looking like a little pond. I had imagined lush greenery and cool blue waters. The water was pretty cold though, so after a dip it turned into taking a nap in the grass.

It was getting late in the afternoon, so Austin, Jenna, and I headed to the showers so we could get some of the trip’s grime off us before one final hike. Yes, if you’re wondering, we would’ve liked to shower after our final hike, but since the campsites were full we would be backcountry camping in the area of the Tall Trees trail. Logistically, we were going to take it easy on our hike and try and remain comfortable for camping.

As mentioned in my previous post, you need permits to get to the Tall Trees trail and you have to drive a bit of rough road to get there. Having the code to get into this “private” area was so cool. Plus, we were finally going to spend some time with the actual redwoods! So much of Redwood Park is devoted to nature that isn’t exactly tree related. I was ready to finally walk among the tallest trees in the world!

This trail started at the top of a hill, so the trail itself had a bit of elevation and several switchbacks. But being in the trees that blocked the surrounding stuff out was amazing. I haven’t grown up with much woods in my life, so being in a huge forest with massive trees was definitely different.

Once we reached the bottom, we were in the “Tall Trees Grove” which was full of the biggest trees I’ve ever seen. We hadn’t run into hardly anyone, but now that we had hiked a couple hours we could hear campers not too far from the creek. It was lovely. However, we had not hiked down with our tent, so after some photos (of course), it was time to head back the way we’d come.

The sun was definitely setting, and we’d planned on setting up our tent in the dark, but Jenna had us on a mission to hike back up and out before all the light was gone. Even with some steep spots of elevation, we made it back up in less than an hour. We’d turned on our lights only five minutes before we were done, so we basically accomplished our goal.

Setting up camp though, seemed like a tiresome ordeal. We hadn’t had a great night’s sleep previously, we were all pretty amped from our vigorous hike, and as we were scouting for a location to set up our tent, we wondered if it was worth it. The time of sleep we’d get would be almost equivalent to how long it would take to set up and break down camp. We scrapped our plan and decided to just go ahead and get on the road while we were still wide awake.

This would prove to be kind of awful, because all the motels along our drive were completely booked or super expensive. We didn’t realize how much traffic had headed to the California coast to escape the big Carr wildfires. Plus it was summer, prime time for camping and road trips. After getting too exhausted to keep driving, we finally pulled over and grabbed a few hours sleep in our cramped car. The plus side is the sun was rising soon and we had gained more time for a stop in San Francisco!

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Hiking in Bryce Canyon is something I can highly recommend. Walking in the canyon surrounded by the impressive red hoodoos is amazing. In this article, I’ll show you around the Queens Garden & Navajo Trail.

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Fraser Island on Australia’s east coast is no ordinary paradise. Sure, it’s got white sand beaches and crystal blue waters but it’s called K’gari (pronounced “gurri”), or paradise, for more than your typical reasons.

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El Poblado or El Gringlado as the locals call it, is the most popular area for us white folk to stay and visit in Medellin. It’s more built up, and a lot more money has been invested in the hospitality sector. Streets are lined with cafes, bars and restaurants all entertaining the travellers and holiday makers. We found the prices are a little higher than Laureles but not too noticeable, just avoid the central square bars if you’re after a cheap beer, the prices seem to rocket!

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Laureles was our first port of call in Medellin. A nice little family based neighbourhood with some lovely bars and restaurants set amongst the terraces.

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This was in July that we started planning a roadtrip to Ladakh region in August and I was also scheduled to go on a work trip to Ireland. Not wanting to miss visiting Jammu and Kashmir in August to celebrate India’s Independence Day in Kargil (Drass War Memorial), started planning with ScoutMyTrip and RoadTrippersClub who were supporting me on the roadtrip to Ladakh region.

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When visiting Lima, you’ll more than likely stay at hostel, hotel or homestead located inside the Miraflores district. Over the years, this seaside neighbourhood has been improved a lot up to the point to become today’s most famous backpacker hub. You can find shops, nice parks and several others activities to do but most importantly,…

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After a little bit of a restless night’s sleep – I had to pee but had done so much bear research I’d scared myself into getting out of the tent in the middle of the night – it was time for our first full day at Redwood National Park! Since we were at the northern edge of the park, we first drove the Newton B Drury Scenic Parkway.

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Now that I’m sitting on a beach in Playa Blanca, Colombia in 34 degrees, I can finally bring myself to write about our time in Peru on tour with G Adventures. Starting with our Inca trail experience… strap yourself in for this one.
For some reason, before Georgi and I left the UK back in October 2017, we thought it would be a great idea to book an organised tour through STA Travel with G Adventures. We booked onto the Andean Discovery (north to south) totalling 20 days, taking you from Lima in Per, to La Paz in Bolivia, which includes the 4 day Inca trail to Machu Picchu. (I will be writing about the overall tour soon, stay tuned.)

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If you’re heading to Peru, you’re most likely be landing in Lima, the capital of the country. After spending sometime wandering Miraflores, seeing the colonial centre and enjoying the beautiful Malecon you might be looking at the next stop. And if you’ve come all the way to Peru, who isn’t planning to visit the gorgeous…

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This was the first day of a two-week August trip to Hungary. Our trip would take in two days in Budapest before heading east, to Beata’s homeland before exploring the surrounding region.

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After visiting Chachapoyas, we headed to the coast to see a bit of archaeological sites in the cities of Chiclayo and Trujillo. We didn’t really have limited time and for that reason decided to go and visit them both to see what the coast of Peru had to offer. That being said, if you do…

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Wandering around Colombia was a great opportunity to see the country from a traveller’s perspective. Needless to say that during our two-month stay, we were lucky enough to be able to make those perspectives ours through the viewfinder and while we took a lot of photos, here follows just a small collection showing the beauty…

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Though the place is named Aztec, the people who built these structures and inhabited them have nothing to do with the Aztecs of Mexico. They were ancestors of the Pueblo people, including present-day Hopis and Zunis. The ruins are in New Mexico, in fact in the Four Corners area of the US.

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The central citadel of Golconda Fort is one of the most popular tourist spots in Hyderabad. But most visitors don’t realize that there are some magnificent sights among the outer fortifications, too.

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Following on the coast of Peru, a “short” 4-hour bus ride bring us to the city of Trujillo, a unmissable stop for those looking to know more about Peru’s culture and history. Even though the city might seem as chaotic as Chiclayo at first, strolling around the Plaza de Armas and seeing the cathedral is…

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My friend Austin had Alaska Airlines vouchers that he needed to use by the end of August, so it was time to make a trip back to the west coast! He’d been to Seattle and I’d been to Portland so we made a compromise and made plans to head to Redwood National Park in California. Funnily enough, our flights would take us briefly to Seattle and through some of the coastline of Oregon, giving us a bit of a win-win!

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Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world and I’ve been there four times already. I’ve seen many things multiple times (it’s never boring!), but I discover great new things and places every single time. In this article, I’ll share my top 5 favorite things to do in Paris.

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I’m not the most artistic person in the world, and I’ve never been too great at remembering different artists, methods, or artistic periods… it just really isn’t my thing. But, of course, there are a few artists who stick out in my mind and have caught my attention. One of them is Gaudi, the designer of the beautiful Sagrada Familia. Another is Salvador Dalí… I mean, whose attention hasn’t been caught at some point in their lives by his melting clocks or infamous upturned mustache?

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After a while in the Northern Sierra of the country spent visiting archaeological sites and nature hiking, it was time for us to move onto the coast to a warmer (or at least we thought so!) destination: Chiclayo. On a misty cold morning of August, which got us thinking we took a night bus to…

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Roadtripping in Ireland
August 212018

Road-tripping in Ireland is going to be fun as well as a bit of costly affair if not carefully planned as you need to focus on the huge insurance costs that would come with a car rental. I recently had been on a journey myself and I booked an #AvisIreland vehicle.

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Colourful cities, traditional markets, unspoiled nature and loads of hiking: Colombia won’t be easy to leave. Especially because this is one of those countries where traveling on a small budget is not difficult to achieve. Cheap food, sort of cheap accomodation and plenty of opportunities to visit places on your own are nothing but the…

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Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock with no Wifi for 2 years, then you must have noticed the pictures of Rainbow Mountain taking over your Instagram feed by now. You’d be forgiven for thinking that these colourful pyramids had been photo-shopped to create that picture-perfect effect… but, believe it or not, this place is for real.

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Regent’s Canal is one of London’s loveliest secrets, and one of the most relaxing places in the big city.
After you visit all the bucket list London spots – the London Eye, Big Ben, the Tower of London, the British Museum and so on – you may want to discover one of its less touristy and most gorgeous places.
Regent’s Canal is a wonderfully serene place to visit in London. You can walk or cycle along the canal, and also take a boat tour.

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Even though many people come to visit the famous Galapagos Islands, just few take the time to visit the amazing beauty that the Ecuador mainland holds. From gorgeous colorful architecture, unique wildlife to amazing landscapes: having the chance to snap around this country was a great experience full of opportunities to train more than one…

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We were headed to Vienna for part of our summer vacation and found a good deal on a flight from Berlin Tegel Airport. If you’ve been following along with us for a while, you’ll already know that we like to arrive to the city we are flying out of a day in advance in case…

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The city of Chachapoyas is one of the famous destinations found in the north of Peru. Even though the city itself might not have a special charm, the several archaeological sites scattered in the surroundings are something worth visiting. (August 2018) At time of writing the city centre and many of its streets (including the…

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Among the most beautiful archaeological sites to see while in Chachapoyas sits Karijia, a small but rewarding reminder of the long-gone indigenous people living in the area located in the village of Cruz pata. While the site itself can be visited in less than 30min, the entrance price is very small (5 soles/pp) and getting…

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Cobá is one of the largest and oldest ruins on the Yucatan peninsula. It is also one of the better-known ones. Thousands of people flock to the site to climb the famous Nohuch Mul and walk around the rest of the ruins.

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One of the full-day activities to do from the city of Chachapoyas is organizing a visit to the Fortress of Kuelap. The fortress, built by the chachapoyas indigenous people (a.k.a. warriors of the clouds) back in the 6th century BC, lies on the top of a huge hill close to the villages of Maria and…

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It’s not everyday that you get to see one of the waterfalls listed among the tallest top ten waterfalls in the world. The Yumbilla waterfall is located at a short hike from the Cuispes, a small village just next to the town of Pedro Ruiz Gallo, a very known stop before reaching the touristy Chachapoyas….

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Party Pants and Abba, join Alicia in Bishop Arts District of Dallas as she discovers tea shops and vagabond shops.

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One of the things I love most about Barcelona is that there’s just so much to see and do. No matter what you’re interested in, whether that be museums, architecture, parties, food, etc, you are guaranteed to find a ton of things that you’ll enjoy. I’ve been living here for 4 years now, and there’s still so much I have yet to discover! I find that it is impossible to get bored here and if you do find yourself bored, you’re doing something wrong!

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Don’t be alarmed. I’m merely telling you about the time I scratched the number one thing from my bucket list, and did a tandem skydive. Without that shove most first time jumpers would probably still be sitting on that plane.

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I was a bit nervous about traveling solo for the first time. Wouldn’t it be boring? Would I be able to meet and connect with other travelers? But I did go and had a blast. In this article, I’ll share all my tips and tricks for traveling solo, and I’m sure you’ll have a great time as well!

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Whether you’re looking to pamper your pet, exchange notes with other pet parents or just hang out with pet people over good eats, The Pet Cafe is for you.
Pet-pampering venues are few and far between in Hyderabad. Enter The Pet Cafe, a hangout for four-legged furries and their two-legged companions. With menus and toys for both, and an easy-going atmosphere, this cosy café is one day-long ‘pawty’! Bonus: The Pet Cafe is right above the Allvet Pet Clinic. Does your furry friend tend to have their feathers (and fur) ruffled by a visit to the vet? Nothing some pet-friendly ice-cream won’t soothe!

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Right in the heart of the Valley of Longevity there’s the small town Vilcabamba, an usual stop for all those on the way out of Ecuador from the little known border crossing on La Balsa. Nice mural near the central plaza After coming back from out trip on the Pacific Coast (Puerto Lopez and Silver…

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As most of you know by now, I love finding hidden nature trails in the city! Nestled in the Northern suburbs of Dallas we have some hidden gems like the Katie Jackson Trail.

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Nowadays, the most travelled border to cross into Peru from Ecuador is known as Macarà and it’s very well-connected to the city of Loja with buses heading all the way to the city of Piura in Peru. Even though, only the most avid adventurers have been using the lesser known border of La Balsa things…

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Everybody knows about the famous Galapagos Islands but not everybody can afford spending 100$+ per day, especially all of those who fit into the backpacker category like us. Luckily, Silver Island (the name derives from a legend of pirate Drake, very much like Amapala) is a great and much cheaper alternative to see some of…

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Back in Tierradientro, when a fellow Austrian traveller told us about Puerto Lopez and surroundings, he completely bought us (thankfully he was not a travel agent!). Initially, we were not sure whether the 8-hour side journey from Cuenca was worth the time but how can you say no to… whales! Town and Fish Market Now,…

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Spending a relaxing day out exploring the Playa Los Frailes in the Machalilla National Park is a great budget-friendly activity to see more of the surroundings around the “left-behind” village of Puerto Lopez. Even though the beach is located just at a short 10min bus ride from the village, getting to it by walking the…

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To spend more time in a forest, we set off for Silverton, Colorado, the coolest spot within driving distance from us. It’s not the Pacific Northwest, my favorite spot for old-growth forests. But it is still forested. At least it was before a good chunk of it burned down.

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Pompeii And Vesuvius
August 92018

The third and final instalment of our recent trip to Naples. I decided that visiting Pompeii and Vesuvius needed a blog of its own. Here we share some helpful tips and advice on prices and how to get there. Day Four – The Finale The Roman city of Pompeii has been on my bucket list for a while along with…

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Carlingford is one of our favourite towns in Ireland full of history, famous for oysters, and at the foot of the small mountain range the Cooley’s, which are crisscrossed by perfect walking trails.

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This road trip in Southwest USA is probably my favorite trip ever. In just 3,5 weeks you visit 4 states, 9 National Parks and 3 awesome cities. This is the perfect road trip itinerary for Southwest USA.

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Ecuador might not be like Europe but after spending a while in Cuenca this could change your mind. The city’s modern vibe features a great night life backdrop, a great variety of activities for any liking and nothing but an architecturally gorgeous historical centre listed in as a UNESCO heritage site. Not a bad place…

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When I first moved to Barcelona 4 long years ago, I was living with host families (yes, plural – I had to change families every 3 months. Fun, right?). Thankfully, my first host family was super active and very excited to show me around their beloved city, which I had only visited previously for a single day. So I grabbed my camera, put on some comfortable shoes, brushed up on my Spanish, and we were off for a day of exploration! If there’s one thing you learn when traveling the world, it is to always say yes to new experiences!

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Krakow is a wonderful city for vegans and vegetarians. From Polish traditional cuisine with a vegan twist to plant based fast food, Krakow has so many vegan and vegan-friendly places to eat.
If you’re planning a short city break, you may want to stay longer just to enjoy all the vegan food!

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Things to do in Baños
August 52018

Even though the small town of Baños de Agua Santa is quite pleasant, the surrounding area around the once-active volcano Tungurahua and the Pastaza river offer plenty of activities for all those adventure junkies looking for some adrenaline. A swing on the top of the world, plenty of zip lining, hiking, canyoning, rafting, rock climbing…

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I don’t think I’ve ever known of my fear of heights until I walked on Deception Pass bridge. Climbing pyramids and standing on top of them high above the jungle canopy, climbing lookout towers on rickety, open stairways didn’t bother me much. It wasn’t always easy, but I always managed without feeling too scared.

Deception Pass Bridge180 feet above the water, walking across Deception Pass Bridge is scary if you have a fear of heights.

But walking across Deception Pass Bridge was terrifying for me, made much worse because hundreds of people kept walking across both ways,  chatting, stopping, laughing, at ease. My girls stopped to look down and take tons of photos.

View from Deception Pass BridgeView from Deception Pass Bridge

I ended up screaming at my younger one when I saw her bending over the rails. “This is why your hair is grey, mom,” she told me. “You worry too much about everything we do. I was fine.” Easy for her to say. Though I knew she was in no danger, the image scared me to death. She might be right, I probably aged another few years in those moments.

View from the Deception Cross Bridge, WashingtonThe views from the bridge made the scary walk through worth it.

It seemed like I was the only one worried about anything among hundreds of people crossing this bridge back and forth.  Embarrassed, I was trying hard not to let anyone notice I was shaking inside as I walked. I even stopped in the middle to take a few photos.
The views on both sides were gorgeous, breathtaking (literally, in my case), worth the walk. Even if you’re scared of heights.

Deception Pass. View from the bridgeThe view from Deception Pass would take my breath away

Table of Contents

 

Where Is Deception Pass Bridge?

The steel bridge, one of the scenic wonders of the Pacific Northwest, connects two islands, Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands, in Washington State. The two-lane bridge, with pedestrian walkways on both sides, is one of the most photographed landmarks in Puget Sound, listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

View of Deception Pass Bridge from the beach on Whidbey Island View of Deception Pass Bridge from the beach on Whidbey Island

Before the bridge, travelers used a ferry to cross between the islands. Since the ferry wasn’t on a schedule, they would have to call it. In an era before cell phones, they banged a saw with a mallet – I guess that sound travels far – and sat back to wait.  It was a slower pace of travel.

With cars and people wanting to travel more and in a more convenient manner, the State of Washington built this bridge between 1934 and 1935.

The steel bridge at Deception Pass . View from below.The steel bridge at Deception Pass took a year to complete. View from the trail below.

Its height from the water is about 180 feet, more or less depending on the tide. Doesn’t seem extreme, but looking straight down, it’s a lot of height. It comprises two bridges, connecting the two larger islands through a tiny one, called Pass Island. The total length of both is 1487 feet or 0.45 km. Not bad, but long for a high and narrow bridge. Still, spectacular.

Deception Pass BridgeDeception Pass Bridge was built between 1934-1935

You can’t get a true feel for it from the car though, so they set up parking lots on both sides, so travelers can stop, walk through this marvel of architecture and enjoy the views.

Why the Name “Deception Pass”? A Bit of History

If you are like me, you wonder who named this place Deception Pass and why? I had to find out. Turns out that Captain George Vancouver gave it the name “Deception” because the pass deceived him into thinking Whidbey Island was a peninsula.

The area was home to people of different Coast Salish tribes for thousands of years before Vancouver saw it, and I’m sure they had a different name for it, though I could not find out what it was.

The first Europeans who saw Deception Pass were Spaniards, members of an expedition set out in 1790 by Manuel Quimper on the Princesa Real. They named the pass Boca de Flon.

View from the Deception Pass BridgeDeception Pass Bridge was called Boca de Flon by the Spaniards who first found it

The Vancouver expedition, sent by the Royal Navy that lasted four years, between 1791 and 1795 was mapping the area. A group of sailors from the expedition, led by Joseph Whidbey, found Deception Pass. But they didn’t find it on their first attempt. After exploring the area the first time, Whidbey returned thinking Whidbey Island and Fidalgo Island were a long peninsula attached to the mainland. Only when they returned later, they found out that in fact, these were islands.

Deception PassDeception Pass is connecting islands.

Exploring the Area Today

As hard as it was to explore the area for members of the early expeditions, roads and trails make it easy today. Yes, you can just stop in one of the parking lots and walk on the bridge, enjoy the views and continue on your way.  But when you look down to the beach below, you might feel you’ll want to stop and stay awhile. At least that’s how we felt.

The perfect opportunity for this is the Deception Pass State Park, with the entrance close to the bridge. Considering it is the most visited state park in Washington, I suspect that we are not alone in our quest to explore the area beside the bridge.

Ocean view from the North Beach of Deception Pass State ParkOcean view from the North Beach of Deception Pass State Park

The Park comprises areas on both Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands and includes three lakes besides the gorgeous ocean shoreline and trails in old-growth forests.

Forest in the Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey Island In the forest of the Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey Island

Spending A Day In Deception Pass State Park

After driving through the gate at Deception Pass State Park, I felt like we were in a maze, with narrow, small roads leading in all direction in the middle of a forest. I’m not good with maps, every time I am a navigator, we end up getting lost. Not that it mattered in this case, we wanted to explore the whole park, but the map once again confused me. So, to start out with, we took the road that led to North Beach.

A short walk through the forest got us out onto the beach, with a gorgeous view of Deception Pass Bridge and the surrounding islands. The weather was perfect, a pleasant breeze accompanied us as we made our way to the far side of the beach.

North Beach in Deception Pass State Park North Beach in Deception Pass State Park

The tide was coming in by the time we went back, so it was more difficult to pass around one of the outcropping rocks without getting wet, but we managed.

North Beach, Deception Pass State Park, WashingtonThe tide was coming in by the time we were making our way back

Later in the day, we drove towards the West beach, taking the road through the campsites and around Cranberry Lake.  We parked at West Point and walked around.

A sunny day in the Pacific Northwest brings people outside. As much as we hide from the sun, people here love it and enjoy it. With plenty of amenities for picnics, boat rentals and campsites, this part of the park was most crowded.

Beach at West Point in Deception Pass State Park WashingtonThe beach at West Point was filled with people

We didn’t stay long, just enough to notice we had a better view of Deception Island from here, though none of the Bridge.

Just Another Beautiful Day in the Pacific Northwest

By the time we left the park, we felt that we spent another perfect day in the Pacific Northwest. In one park alone, we walked on the beach, across a historic bridge, and in an old-growth forest. I don’t know of many places where we can do all this in one day.

I felt lucky to be able to visit this place.

Deception Pass Bridge


Sharing this post on The Weekly Postcard hosted by Travel Notes and Beyond, Two Traveling Texans, California Globetrotter, TravelLatte

Travel Notes & Beyond
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Emese Fromm is the editor and the main writer for Wanderer Writes. Some of her travel articles have been featured in publications like Matador Network, GoNomad, DesertUSA, MapQuest Travel, among others. She loves to travel the world with her family, trying to find the less-traveled path anywhere she goes (sometimes she succeeds).

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The Dingle Peninsula
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As we walked into the Visitor Center in North Cascades National Park, a ranger greeted us with two bear hides laid out on a table in front of her. Guess which one was a black bear as opposed to a grizzly. While it was a no-brainer for my daughter, she played along and pointed out the differences.

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Have you ever had an adventure that you have dreamed about for so long but you never really believed that it would come true? Whenever we would drive up to Duluth Minnesota and head up to the North Shore I would see people sailing in very large sailboats on the huge waters of Lake Superior and look on dreamily wishing that I would be on board. It was like a childlike romantic dream. Now it is time to be Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin.

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It’s finally time for my last destination in Peru: Cusco. I’ve had plenty of time to explore this beautiful city and the Sacred Valley before walking the Inca Trail.

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We recently had to fly back to the United States unexpectedly at the last minute and quickly began our search for airfares. As we had to book about 5 days before our departure date, we feared the worst and thought we would have to pay an arm and a leg for a last minute transatlantic flight.
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Hong Kong is one of those places I’ve always longed to go. I’m forever reading about it’s eclectic mix of Chinese and British culture, but I’ve never actually made it there. The former British colony is a major business hub, an urban playground and a perfect blend of old and new.

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“Vedi Napoli e poi Muori” or “See Naples and Die” is a famous quote coined during the reign of the Bourbons. To see Naples in all its beauty is something you absolutely have to do. We spent four nights at the Rex Lifestyle Hotel in the San Ferdinando district on the seafront between Borgo Marinari and Via Santa Lucia and here’s…

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One of the most interesting archaeological sites in Colombia is found just next to San Andres de Pisimbala, a tiny tiny village (not even 1000 inhabitants) tucked away in the middle of the hilly countryside. The site’s name has a history that goes back to the first conquistadores who explored the region and while on…

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Hiking around the archaeological park of Tierradentro is a unique opportunity to discover the mysterious indigenous past of Colombia. On site there are five different sites where you can visit anything from artifacts, tribal idols, statues and hypogea (a.k.a underground tombs) while enjoying gorgeous landscapes. While statues and artefacts might not be the most exciting…

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Krakow is a uniquely charming city that will make you want to visit again and again.
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Anantagiri Hills is one of the most preferred weekend Getaway.
Due to its proximity to Hyderabad, this is the third time we ended up visiting this beautiful location.

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We spent around ten days in Perth. We didn’t do a whole lot and used our time to rest and relax. After ten days though, Andrew started to worry that we hadn’t moved on. We had not found a car we wanted to buy (which was our original plan). We decided to try a car transfer. You can use the following sites to find a really cheap, and sometimes free car to rent. The catch is that it is one way, and usually on the dates they want you to move the car. We found and were approved for an SUV with a rooftop tent!

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The Ring of Kerry
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The Ring of Kerry is a 179km drive through one of the most picturesque parts of Ireland, past mountains, lakes and along the Kerry coast. This is our experiences on this famous looped driving route.

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L.A, Hollywood and the United States in general can be expensive and a bit overwhelming when you’re attempting to backpack on a budget. We managed to fit in loads of the main sites and do it all whilst sticking to our travelers budget. Below are some tips on how to save some dollars and still seeing everything you want in Los Angeles.

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By our last day in Jefferson, Texas, mom and I were experts. We knew to take our time in the morning, tie back the curtains, and enjoy the lazy start of the town. We eventually moseyed on to breakfast after nine, heading to the Jefferson Outpost. This store opened “early” to serve breakfast in the back. We ordered our meal, taking in the easy nature of the community.

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Rottnest Island
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Inspired to Thrift
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Getting a Working Holiday visa is becoming more and more popular as people start to realize that travelling is awesome and don’t want to stop. But seeing this incredible world is pricey and unless you’re a super hot Instagram superstar (seriously, why are there so many?!), it takes a lot to save enough cash to fund your travels.

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Dubai is an ever-evolving city of delights, where newer attractions compete with the existing all the time. If you’ve not been to the city within the last few months, here’s some news for you: The Museum of the Future is open and so is IMG Worlds of Adventure. Every time you turn around, there’s something brand new, vying for your time and attention, and aren’t you happy about that? That’s the sort of magical city it is. Check out our Dubai City Guide of things to see and do in Dubai, and you’ll agree with us that this is one city you simply must not miss enjoying.

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We’ve been travelling regularly for over a decade now, and have had to learn a lot of things about packing right. Here are 17 packing tips that could come in handy on your next trip.

We started travelling in 2007 and, since then, we’ve gone on at least two trips every year, and sometimes more. Along the way, we’ve picked up some useful tricks for packing well. Some we’ve learned from other travellers, and some we’ve learned the hard way. But every one of them is rooted in a real travel experience, and could help you travel more comfortably.

So here are 17 packing tips that you might find useful the next time you travel.

Also read: Don’t make these 10 travel mistakes that we did

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1. Check the luggage rules of the airline you’re travelling with

Airlines have different rules for the size, weight and number of pieces of luggage you can take. Some set a weight limit, regardless of how many pieces you carry. Some have a limit on the number of pieces. And some have a combination. So it’s a good idea to read their luggage rules carefully before you pack. Otherwise, you might just end up having to re-pack your stuff at the airport, and nobody wants that!

2. Research the weather carefully

Very often, our idea of the weather in a particular place is formed by the pictures we see online. Chances are the pictures you’ve seen were taken at a different time—or even a different place—from where you’re going. Checking on the overall climate, monthly temperature and rainfall of the place you’re visiting will help you decide what to pack. Otherwise, you run the risk of ending up wearing light clothes in cold, rainy weather. Or heavy, warm clothes in blistering heat.

Mountains over Leh in Ladakh, India - Packing tips from a regular traveller

Ladakh can be both blazing hot and freezing cold. At the same time!

3. Pack clothes that can be used in layers

Whether you’re travelling to a hot or cold place, the weather can sometimes be unpredictable (especially nowadays). So rather than carrying one heavy jacket or only tee shirts, pack clothes that can be worn both singly or on top of each other. That way, you can wear or take off layers, depending on the weather. For example, a light sweater and jacket instead of a heavy jacket, or a light tee shirt and a long-sleeved top, instead of just a tee shirt.

Sillery trek, Kalimpong - Packing tips from a regular traveller

The advantage of layers

4. Think of a back-up for single items

Besides a bunch of tee shirts, socks and underwear, you’ll probably need single items like a jacket, a pair of shoes or even a pair of glasses. But what if your jacket tears, your shoes get wet, or you break your glasses? It’s good to have a backup plan for these things. I’m not saying you should pack two of everything. But think about packing things that can be used as a back-up in case of emergencies. Like a pair of shades that you can use instead of your glasses. Or a pair of sandals in case your shoes get wet.

5. Pack a change of clothes and a hand towel in your cabin baggage

We’ve all heard stories of travellers left high and dry because the airline lost their luggage. Pack a change of clothes and a small towel in your cabin baggage in case that ever happens to you. It’s also great to have a change handy during a long journey. A quick wipe and a change of clothes in the middle of that 24-hour journey can make you feel almost human again.

6. Consider sharing packing space

If you’re not travelling alone, consider sharing packing space with whoever you’re travelling with. For example, if you each have a suitcase, pack some of your stuff in the other’s suitcase and vice versa. That way, if one of your suitcases gets lost, then you’re not left completely helpless. Of course, if you don’t know the other person too well, it might feel weird. But it’s still a good idea.

7. Pack some laundry detergent

Even if you’re not planning a long trip, packing some laundry detergent sometimes comes in very handy. If you get muddy during an impromptu walk, or someone spills their drink on you, you’ll quickly be able to wash it out back at your hotel. And many hotels have a washing line or rack that you can use to dry your laundry on. It makes even more sense during a long vacation. You can pack light, and wash your clothes as you go. Just make sure you do so at the right place and time, like not immediately before your next journey, or in the local well.

Blankets airing in the sun in Valparai, Tamil Nadu, India

Blankets being aired outside a neighbor’s house in Iyerpadi near Valparai

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8. Distribute your money

Because of the lost luggage scenario—and because thieves and pickpockets love tourists—don’t keep your cash and cards in one place. Keep some on you (in different pockets), and some in different pieces of luggage. That way, if you lose one set, you always have something to fall back on. If it seems like too much trouble, remember that it’s far more trouble to be stranded somewhere without any money.

9. Wear easily-removable shoes while flying

This isn’t technically packing, but shoes are something you’ll take on your journey, so I’m including this tip anyway.

Airports nowadays are getting stricter with their security checks, and some even have more than one check. You have to take off your shoes at many of these, and having to hop around undoing and redoing your laces is very frustrating. It becomes a nightmare when you have connecting flights, so it goes a lot easier if you wear loafers, sandals, slippers or anything else that’s easy to take off and put on.

Also read: 21 simple tips to be a responsible traveller

10. Pack small items into shoes to save space

While on the topic of shoes, they tend to take up a lot of space when packed in your luggage. This may seem obvious, but you can save on space (and keep your shoes in shape) by stuffing them with things like socks or underwear. You could also give small, breakable items like souvenir liquor bottles an extra layer of protection by putting them inside the shoes.

The Rann of Kutch - Packing tips from a regular traveller

Pack your shoes, and pack things in them too

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11. Consider packing daily bundles

If the schedule for your trip is reasonably fixed, you could consider dividing your clothes into daily bundles. For example, you could roll together one tee shirt, one pair of underwear and one pair of socks for each day of your trip. That way, you don’t have to pull everything out individually, messing up your packing. It also saves a lot of space. Some people like using packing cubes to keep things neat, but I think making tight rolls works just as well.

12. Pack liquids in something waterproof

You might want to consider packing liquids like shampoo or insect repellent in a waterproof bag. Differences in air pressure or just being squashed by other luggage could cause them to leak. And you don’t want shampoo all over your clothes, right? You could even use a water-tight box for all your liquids, to give them more protection from being squeezed. If you’re using shampoo bars, on the other hand, you can just carry them in your hand luggage.

Takamaka spiced rum - Five dark rums from across the world you need to try

Liquids can leak in your check-in baggage. Try and wrap them in something waterproof.

13. Keep your hand luggage light in case of long layovers

If you have a long layover as part of your journey (or you have a long way to walk during your layover), try and keep your hand luggage light. Carrying a heavy bag or backpack around can be really tiring, especially if you’re already tired from your journey. Just pack the essentials, and you won’t find yourself bowed under your bag’s weight while trudging endlessly through airports like Dubai or Frankfurt.

14. Keep a copy of your passport in your luggage

Losing your passport abroad is a huge pain, and will throw your entire trip out the window. To make it easier to deal with in case it happens, keep a copy in a separate piece of luggage. Having a copy will save you a lot of time when you apply for a temporary travel permit at your local embassy or consulate. If you don’t like printing, you could email it to yourself to download later, or save a copy on your phone. But remember that you might not be able to access your email when you need it.

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15. Carry copies of your tickets

At most airports nowadays, having your ticket on your phone or tablet is fine. But at some airports, you need to show security personnel your ticket before they let you into the airport. And they sometimes refuse to recognize digital versions of tickets, weird as it sounds. So if you’re sure that carrying your ticket in digital form works at the airport you’re travelling through, then fine. If you’re not sure, it’s probably better to print a copy. And if you’re eco-conscious, you could always print on used paper.

16. Pack a travel adaptor

If you’re carrying any electrical appliances on an international trip (think mobile phone, hair dryer or shaver) you should probably carry a travel adaptor, too. The plug points and power outlets could be different where you’re going, not to mention the voltage. So rather than having to hunt for an adaptor when you get there, it’s a good idea to pack one by default.

Travel adaptor - Packing tips from a regular traveller

We would’ve been lost in Uganda and Kenya without our trusty adaptor

17. Keep some cash in USD or Euro handy

When travelling abroad, keep some of your cash in US dollars or Euros, if you can. It can save a lot of space in your wallet, and they make for a handy backup in case you run out of local currency. They can be exchanged quite easily in most places, and locals sometimes accept them in place of local currency. It’s usually more economical to pay by cash than by card anyway—especially at airports. So if you have any spare US dollars or Euros hanging around, take them with you.

Do you have any packing tips you’ve learned on your travels? Leave a comment and let me know!

Also read: Five great dark rums from all over the world that you need to tryz

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The idea of Hampta Pass Trek happened with the idea of Everest Base Camp Trek in September 2018 (which is now deferred to March 2019). I wanted to check for the endurance and also the fitness that I was able to garner a similar (Himalayan Trek) before going on the most ambitious EBC Trek.

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Wandering around Guatemala for about a month was a great experience full of opportunities to bring memories back home through the viewfinder. From the huge metropolis of Guatemala City to the little lakeside towns of lake Atitlan, every corner was a street-photography heaven. Don’t like street-photography? Well, just hike a couple of hours up to…

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The MIM, Musical Instrument Museum, is one of those places that might make even Phoenix a summer destination. Or maybe not. With temperatures above 110 degrees on a regular basis, I don’t encourage anyone to visit Phoenix in the middle of the summer. Still, if you have to be here for any reason, this is the place to spend a great day. Not to mention “travel the world” by learning about music all over.

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Since I’ve been sharing my trip in Jefferson on the blog, and today is Friday the 13th (Oooh), I thought it’d be a great opportunity to share with y’all the spookier side of Jefferson, TX! And um, my very own ghost experience while staying in this “sweet” little town. Boo!

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My mom called me one day to ask if I wanted to go to a little town called Jefferson, located right on the east edge of Texas. I think her old lady club (love ya, mom!) had been talking about it and she wanted me to go with her because she knew my old lady soul would enjoy it too. Spoiler alert: she was right!

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The Beauty of Salento
July 122018

Welcome to Salento, a small village full of colours in the heart of the Colombian Coffee Region. We set off to discover the Quindío region to see what this well-known town and its neighbouring wax palm valley (Valle de Cocora) has to offer. That’s why its so special! After leaving Jardin in the morning, around…

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If after spending a couple of days strolling around Jardin and are now looking to find a way to visit Salento’s wax palm valley, then this is the right post for you! Here follows a detailed article on how to move from Jardin to Salento all using local buses.

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Who hasn’t read about the famous wax palms of Colombia? Located at a short jeep-ride from the well-known town of Salento, hiking the Cocora Valley is a must for all those loving hiking and breathtaking landscapes. Here follows our all you-need-to-know guide for having a blast in this beautiful place. How to Get There The…

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During my last summer of living in Canada (July 2017), I took the chance to see more of the incredible country and drove from Whistler, British Columbia, to the Canadian Rockies. My road trip was one of the best road trips I’ve ever done, and one I think everyone should do if they find themselves that side of the world.

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After our stay in Medellin, trying to figure out next step of our trip was quite challenging. We knew we wanted to spend sometime away from big cities but Colombia is so full of amazing places but choosing which is hard. Thankfully, the evening before a chit-chat with the hostel manager cleared our mind and…

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I only stumbled upon this trail after passing it a few times while grabbing lunch on my work break. The entrance is tucked under a major highway on the edge of Dallas. So one morning before work, the weather was nice, I had on sporty sandals, and I decided, heck, why not?

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Basel also known as Basle holds a very important place in my heart as I have been here for more than three times since 2012.
Basel is a city of culture, art and more importantly Museums depicting its rich culture as it also boasts is the third most populous city in Switzerland.

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The Antrim and Causeway Coastal Route is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and is billed as one of the Worlds greatest coastal drives. With the UNESCO world heritage site of the Giants Causeway as its prime destination, we gave it a go.

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Riding over river rapids. Trekking through Martian landscapes. Swimming over surreal coral reefs. And, of course, admiring the breathtaking wildlife. This short video has best of our memories of Africa.

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Krakow has so many good museums! Every exhibition I saw in Krakow seriously impressed me with its high standards.
I knew little about the city and about Polish culture before visiting, but Krakow’s museums make the learning experience fascinating.
It’s the clever curation, the multimedia displays, the convenient explanations in English and the beautiful aesthetics that really make a world of difference.

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The city of Medellin has changed a lot in time but over the last few years has really become one of the most visited cities in Colombia. Thanks to the newly built metro, moving around the city has become quite easy for all those wishing to sleep outside the center (most preferably in Poblado or…

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When visiting new cities I have started to look into the best spots for that all important Instagram shot. So instead of you searching all over the web to find spots, I thought I would compile my favourite places into an easy list so you can also get the perfect pic.

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This small Mexican restaurant was the first we visited in San Francisco and the experience and taste stuck in our memories for the rest of the trip. We went for everyone’s favourite for starters, their nachos were tossed in guajillo sauce, with guacamole, pico, cotija cheese and sour cream.

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Colombia is surely a place with beautiful landscapes but you’ll find very little similar to what the locals call “La Piedra”. We might have used “feeling on the top of the world” a bit too often but climbing to the top of La Piedra de Guatapé has never made such statement more true! The “Peñon…

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San Francisco has definitely been one of our favourite cities we have visited. Not just for the sites, crazy hills, endless piers but also for the fantastic food! We enjoyed so many restaurants I thought I would split them into lunch and dinner categories and pick our top three for each, enjoy.

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One afternoon on the Oregon Coast we were looking for a new trail to explore, something we haven’t done yet. We’ve done some tidepooling in the morning, but we still had plenty of sunlight and weren’t ready to call it a day yet. By chance, we found one of the most beautiful trails I could imagine, a Nature Conservancy trail, between Otis and Neskowin.

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Bogotá is a fascinating metropolis full of surprises at every corner. How couldn’t we fall in love with it? Discovering the murals of La Candelaria, checking out the amusing Botero Museum and overlooking the city skyline from the height of Monserrate are just a few amazing activities to do in Colombia’s capital. This morning we…

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I know, I know, it’s July – it’s meant to be hot. But trust me, having lived through 30 summers on this little island, I can confirm that a British heatwave is the equivalent of a solar eclipse or a Jumanji reboot – miss it and you might be waiting another 20 years for it to come around again. So while the sun still has his hat on, there’s no better time to get out and explore. And there’s nowhere prettier, or more quintessentially English, than Bibury.

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My friend Derek’s wedding was terrific (so great I took zero pictures) and we were down to our final hours in Washington DC. The friend group had varying flights out, but I had almost a whole twenty-four hours left to see what I could get up to! A few of us left on Sunday decided we would check out the International Spy Museum.

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We were on our way to the USA, flying American Airlines, and needed a hotel to stay the night before our morning flight. Our normal hotel of choice at the Frankfurt airport is the Frankfurt Airport Sheraton Hotel, but due to limited availability and high prices we looked elsewhere to stay around the airport. We decided to use up some of our Radisson Rewards points and stay at the Park Inn Frankfurt Airport Hotel. It’s definitely not the Sheraton or even the Moxy, but we truly just needed a place to sleep, shower, and leave from quickly to get to the airport.

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Besides monuments and museums, there was only one other highly recommended activity in Washington DC: Drag Brunch at Nellie’s Sports Bar. The local who had given us tourist tips had said it was a must if we had time – and it was one of the top activities on TripAdvisor.

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Among the things to do in Bogotá, visiting El Salto de Tequendama and enjoying the beautiful views of this waterfall (definitely not the smell) from one of the many miradores, is something worth half day of your time. When trying to reach El Salto by ourselves is was not quite the easiest city adventures and…

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If you’re in Kampala and looking to take it easy for a few hours, head over to the cozy Kardamom & Koffee for some delicious, fresh-made eats and brilliant conversation. And maybe even pick up a few things to brighten up your home on the way out.

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Happy Canada Day friends! 151 doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as the 150th celebrations did but there’s still plenty of reasons to visit Canada this year. Not to mention the fact that Trudeau and his Disney-prince-good-looks are bossin’ it on the world stage right now… but I digress…

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Nestled up in the mountains just an hour away from Tunja, the little town of Villa de Leyva is the perfect spot for those looking to spend a relaxed weekend of adventure sports, trekking and beer tasting. At an altitude of 2500m above sea level, this is also the place where to finally enjoy a…

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Lighthouses stand sentinel on rugged coasts, helping ships navigate the dangerous cliffs, reefs, and rocks. They served as a beacon for navigation, marking dangers close to shore. They each had their own signature flash, acting like a GPS, helping sailors understand their location.

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Whether you’re visiting for a day, week, month or year, you’ll never be stuck for adventure and I guarantee you’ll forever talk about its beautiful nature — if there’s one thing Canada is synonymous with it’s those bright turquoise glacier-fed lakes. You will have seen them somewhere before, online or on the front of a glossy magazine. A lot of people think they can’t possibly be real, but I assure you they are!

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There aren’t many places in the world where, in less than 48 hours, you can see towering volcanoes, colourful lagoons, sweeping deserts, rainbow-coloured mountains, perfectly reflective lakes, active geysers, 30-foot-high cacti, wild flamingos… not to mention the largest salt flat on Earth. But that is exactly what you can expect on a multi-day tour of Bolivia’s famous Salar de Uyuni – and it is every bit as unforgettable as it sounds.

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Guatemala is a country that among others in Central America is very budget-friendly to travellers, especially backpackers. Finding cheap accomodation, food and transport can be easily accomplished as long as you stick to locals places instead of touristy areas often named “international” zones. Here follows a collection of our budget experience during our one-month roadtrip…

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Surrounded by mountains and cut in half by a river we’ve finally reached San Gil, a touristy village with much to offer. A beautiful town center, friendly locals and up & down roads san francisco style are just a few things which makes this place worth exploring for at least a couple of days. Today…

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On our first full day in Washington D.C., we had plans to play tourist! After lacing up our comfortable walking shoes and grabbing a breakfast which included homemade poptarts at the cutest diner, Ted’s Bulletin, we made our way to all of the nation’s capital’s hot spots.

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Following the Camino Real to its final destination, the Chicamocha Canyon, can be an incredibly rewarding experience for those wishing to take up the challenge. Small gorgeous villages where time stopped long ago, old ghosts towns isolated from the world and breathtaking landscapes are just a small part of what you will experience. About the…

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The excitement to leave Santa Marta for the small town of Santa Cruz de Mompox is real! And there we are, once again after an infinite bus journey (which included a “short” stop at a mechanic to fix an issue), the lights of Mompox can be seen at the horizon. Tonight, we’re staying at La…

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When you travel to a new place, you want to see as much as you can, right? It’s common to spend all day wandering the streets, snapping away with your camera, in search of Instagram-worthy views. But there’s more to a city than just its famous sights! A culture is defined not only by its architecture and history, but by its people and food. What better way to explore this side of the city than by visiting local hot spots, where you’ll get served not only the best bites, but get a peek into the daily lives of the people who are lucky enough to call that city their home?
If you’re planning to visit Barcelona, or really anywhere in Spain, do not miss these amazing tapas while you’re out and about!

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Planning the Spiti Circuit: This was August 2017 and i was searching my way round on what should I do and i ended up deciding out of blue to do a roadtrip to Ladakh. All was set and I was all set to book tickets and that was when the reality came to the front…. Self-Drive cars are not permitted there was the constant feedback i received from all corners…. The idea churning factory started, me feeling dejected, what should I do now, lets try posting on FB, maybe someone may say, Yes buddy, you can take a self-drive car there.. but was not the case and that was when a good friend from work recommended Spiti..

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Trip planning can be complicated depending on how much time you have and how many people there are to please. But, while I do like a bit of spontaneity, having an itinerary when I travel is always a big help! It makes sure I get done the big things on my list and can also save time and money. Below is the easiest way to lay out a trip!

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It’s been a couple years since I visited Grand Canyon National Park and I’ve spoken to quite a few people lately who are planning a trip there soon, so I figured it was about time I shared some information on one of the wonders of the world.

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Santa Marta, located on the coast of the Caribbean Sea of Colombia, its a port city that has deceived us a lot. We can firmly say, that this was definitely one of the worst places we’ve been in the last 9 months! At least the place has a pretty name! Sadly enough, even before reaching…

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Krakow Design Guide
June 252018

Krakow is a beautiful city with some great gems for lovers of beautiful things.
In this guide I shares some of the best and most aesthetic shops and galleries I found during my visit to Krakow. It features graphic and interior design, fashion, illustration and places to shop for original gifts.

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As mentioned in the Complete Guide to Tayrona National Park if you’re planning to spend more than just one day wandering around the Park then you’re doing the right thing! During our time there, we trekked around the park for 3 days (2 nights) and we absolutely loved every little part of it. Some paths…

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Featuring breathtaking landscapes, pristine white beaches and flourishing jungle, the Tayrona National Park is a must-visit for all those wishing to see some of the Colombia’s best. Situated at a short bus ride from both Santa Marta and Palomino, the park has been developing fast over the last few years, becoming a more touristy-friendly destination…

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Ah, where to begin on my adventure to Washington D.C? Since we were headed there for a friend’s wedding, a big group of us decided to hit up our nation’s capital for a long 5-day weekend. I felt a little awkward “making” my friends embark on my quest for National Park stamps, but they were all for it! I was glad I’d been able to take charge of the schedule so I could make sure friend time and National Park time was fair. I mean, you can’t take a trip to the nation’s capital where there are almost forty stamps to collect – and not let me try for them, right?!

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On our flight from Panama City to Cartagena we didn’t even have the time to close our eyes that in less than 45min we’ve already landed in Colombia. And that is it, after 8 months of wandering Central America, below us Cartagena de Indias welcomes us to South America. After a quick security checkpoint, there…

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Getting a Working Holiday visa is becoming more and more popular as people start to realize that travelling is awesome and don’t want to stop. But seeing this incredible world is pricey and unless you’re a super hot Instagram superstar (seriously, why are there so many?!), it takes a lot to save enough cash to fund your travels.

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Thai Bloom, Portland
June 202018

After spending a month in Thailand early on in our trip, we’ve missed authentic Thai cuisine recently. It’s so hard to find a good restaurant outside of Asia that brings the same complex flavours and spice to their food. We haven’t had the pleasure of working with many Thai restaurants on our trip so far, so when we got the invite to Thai Bloom in Portland we were so excited for a great evening. It didn’t disappoint!

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Our first taste of breweries in the north west and what a great way to start! They have a fantastic philosophy at Culmination Brewing, to build around the idea that sustainable manufacturing and building practices can and will lead to superior products and customer satisfaction. Great beer, with good food and the community can be brought together in one concept, under one roof.

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Our next spot on our west coast journey was Portland, home to the Timbers and the Trail Blazers. We travelled down from Olympia on the Amtrak, which we would highly recommend. If you book in advance it can be as cheap as the Greyhound bus, but with a bar, large seats and wifi – it’s a much better option. Portland is a quirky place with lots to see, so we thought we would put together some famous spots where you can take that insta worthy pic.

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Seattle has some amazing restaurants. The food scene is really taking off with cuisines from all over the world. We decided to showcase a couple of restaurants that we really enjoyed, not just for the food, but for the commitment and passion behind the scenes.

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Our journey down the west coast of the United States of America has started in Seattle. What a great way to get going, with the iconic skyline and bustling downtown. It was a perfect way to start our trip. We’ve compiled a list of the must see attractions from our time in the emerald city, hope you enjoy!

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Vaud Region has Lake Genève on the Switzerland side and Lac Léman on the French side is overlooked by the Swiss Alps which gives you great experiences and picturesque postcards.

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Dubai is the most accessible city in the middle east! With Emirates flying to pretty much everywhere in the world, I definitely think it’s worth leaving the airport to explore. You can experience the glamorous and the traditional in the United Arab Emirates largest city. This was our second trip to Dubai and I found myself loving it even more. There is so much to do and see, and it’s crazy to see what man-made structures are being created!!

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Our introduction to Canadian restaurants, and what a great way to start. Fable Kitchen has a great story, from a TV cooking show to fruition on the streets of Vancouver. While competing on season 2 of ‘Top Chef Canada’, Trevor Bird came up with the name for the team’s farm to table restaurant concept: FABLE. The vision was born and Trevor found the perfect location that shared his vision of an open kitchen, where he and his team could interact with guests, while showcasing their talents.

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I’ve been living in Barcelona for 3 years now, and I’d like to think that I’ve done a fair amount of exploring. I’ve done various walking tours, entered in the more important architectural buildings and museums, and of course been in my share of tapas bars. However, I had never explored this beautiful city by bike.
So when the opportunity presented itself, I just had to try it out! Beautiful Views + Sunny Day + Some Exercise = sounds like a good combination to me!

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The old city center of Cartagena is full of nice spots where to relax, have a tasty Colombian coffee, enjoy some free wi-fi, cool down with a bit of AC and spend a couple of hours working on your PC. If you’re looking to find out where this hidden gems are keep reading our article…

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Have you ever wondered what are the transport options to travel from the Cartagena to Santa Marta? Whether you’re looking to use buses, taxis or private minivans, we have it all covered! Just keep reading our post and you’ll discover the fastest and cheapest route that connect these two beautiful cities. By Bus If what…

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I woke up to my last day at Big Bend National Park very optimistically. The day felt endless and so I had no doubt I would be able to accomplish every single thing on my Big Bend list. In retrospect, this is hilarious because I had five hours to try and cross off sixty miles of driving and twelve miles of hiking. Plus, you know, enjoy the views. Good luck!

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For the past several years, we have been living in the city of Erfurt, Germany. Outside of Germany, Erfurt is relatively unknown and sure to draw many blank stares when mentioned. Erfurt is a mid-sized city and is the capital of the state of Thuringia. Erfurt was an important trading town during the Middle Ages and is filled with historical buildings and other worthwhile sights. The wonderful thing about Erfurt is that it was not as heavily bombed during the Second World War as other German cities and therefore has one of the most preserved old towns in the country. Medieval architecture and half-timbered buildings dot the city.

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For most people who travel to Peru, Lima is little more than a quick stopover on the way to Machu Picchu or Cusco; a convenient place to rest their heads after a long flight, before immediately moving on to some of the country’s more well-known and – dare I say it – Instagrammable attractions.
But thanks to its exploding food scene and vibrant culture, Lima is a city on the rise and is worth at least a day to explore in its own right. In fact, Peru’s capital turned out to be one of our favourite cities in South America and is definitely somewhere we’d like to return in the future.

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Getting a Working Holiday visa is becoming more and more popular as people start to realize that travelling is awesome and don’t want to stop. But seeing this incredible world is pricey and unless you’re a super hot Instagram superstar (seriously, why are there so many?!), it takes a lot to save enough cash to fund your travels.

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Sweet Tooth Hotel
June 122018

There’s a new trend in pop art that promotes interaction and temporary installations – that will then last forever through social media. These pop-ups are appearing allover. The main purpose? Get people to take pictures in the art and then post it to their followers.

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Panama City is an interesting mix between modern and past history. Whereas the business area known as Obarrio is nothing but skyscrapers, malls and offices, the old city center, known as Casco Viejo, is full of beautiful alleys, coloured houses and buildings of a time long gone. Finding accomodation just outside the city center in…

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After our long stay zig-zagging throughout Nicaragua, we decided it was time to stop for while, possibly work to get back our finances and change from the day-to-day moving around routine. This is how we ended up in Tamarindo, a small Costarican party town on the coast of the Nicoya Peninsula. The reason why we…

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Are you planning in spend sometime working and living in Tamarindo? This is the post for you! Keep reading and you’ll find out how we managed to keep the costs low during our long-term stay of 3 months in this expensive beach town. Read our post on Living in Tamarindo! From accomodation to shopping costs…

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Working abroad sounds cool right? But there are a few things to consider before you step into this world of foreign 9-5 routine, just… keep reading! The Permit The first thing you’ll have to figure out is the working permit. Technically speaking, you need a working permit to work in any country of the world…

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Well Joyful Noise 2018 is in the books. Another amazingly fun, worshipful, wonderful family time for the huge, diverse faith community.
What is Joyful Noise you ask? Joyful Noise is a Christian Music Festival in the Minneapolis St Paul Metro area. The festival is put on by 98.5 KTIS, a powerhouse Christian Radio Station started by The Reverend Billy Graham.

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Looking for street art was high on my list of things to do in Krakow, and I found some excellent art.
Krakow has very impressive murals, as well as some political and thought-provoking artworks on its walls.

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It’s 9:32am on a bleak Monday morning and you’re sitting at your desk Googling holidays and wishing you were far, far away. You scroll through your Facebook and Instagram feeds envying Insta models (yes, they’re models because no one goes trekking through the jungle looking that perfect!), and you spend a good hour or so pinning new travel destinations to your endless Pinterest boards. You desperately want a holiday where you can just sit and be. Maybe with a drink (or two) in hand. Enter the all-inclusive holiday.

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Surry Hills was one of my favourite spots in Sydney! With quirky bars, restaurants and shops down every street, it makes for a much more fun atmosphere than the boring old CBD. There are some amazing food spots, but I thought I’d give examples of low to high budget dining with exceptional quality.

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After living sometime in Tamarindo its time for us to get back on the road and keep backpacking like we used to be. Unfortunately, whilst enjoying the life of the party town we realised that Costa Rica was very expensive for our current budget and agreed to leave for a future trip. In the future,…

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It’s finally time for me to share my trip to Big Bend! Being a Texan, this National Park has been on my list from the beginning! When planning my visit to Big Bend National Park, I knew I wanted as much time as possible to try and get as much done there as I could. I gave myself a three day weekend and researched as much as I could. I even highlighted a printout map for the first time!

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For as long as I can remember, I have suffered with Emetophobia, or vomit phobia as it is more commonly known. I can remember every instance of ever being sick from the age of around 3 as well as every time I have witnessed someone else being sick. It isn’t just that the smell and the noise makes me a little grossed out (I’m sure the majority of people would rather avoid seeing or being sick) – for me it is so much more than that and something I have battled for most of my life.

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Getting a Working Holiday visa is becoming more and more popular as people start to realize that travelling is awesome and don’t want to stop. But seeing this incredible world is pricey and unless you’re a super hot Instagram superstar (seriously, why are there so many?!), it takes a lot to save enough cash to fund your travels.

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Some things have become kind of infamous just for being something that “needs to be seen.” Marfa, Texas is kind of like that. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, doesn’t exactly have a lot to do there, but people still flock to it. I won’t lie, I’ll tell you right away that Marfa felt pointless.

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Belize is definitely not a budget-friendly destination for those deciding to visit the country for a little or long while. The absence of hostels in most cities/towns and the high transport price will make your budget levitate but as usual cooking most of your food will save you a good penny. Here follows a collection…

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After celebrating a beautiful New Year’s Eve in Antigua and having explored the North of the country, we finally end up in the capital of Guatemala. The choice of leaving it last on our trip was due to the fact that all buses headed to El Salvador could only be taken there and hence why…

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Whistler, British Columbia, is one of Canada’s most popular resorts. Most people come for the skiing and snowboarding in the winter but when the snow melts, the fun doesn’t stop. If you find yourself looking for things to do in Whistler in the summer, look no further.

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I had a heavy wedding season this spring, so I had to halt all traveling for too long. I was so excited to finally get back outdoors and start checking off more National Park sites! Not only that, but resume driving the beautiful countryside from sun up to sun down.

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Between Cairns and Townsville there are so many beautiful waterfalls and swimming holes to explore. We were fortunate enough to spend a month discovering this part of the world, documenting our trip as we went. When we were looking into where to go, we couldn’t find the sort of information we were looking for, so thought we would create this blog for future travellers in the area. We have put together our top 5 waterfalls and a bonus secret spa pool, which is way to surreal to miss… the colours are amazing!

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Because our time in Perth was mostly spent indoors, planning, and being lazy travelers my posts on Perth will not follow a linear path. This post I will focus on a few things we did with a few people we met and re-connected with! As depicted in my first post on Australia, Maddison is an awesome person. We didn’t do a great deal with Maddison since she works a full-time job, but we did share a few meals, most of our evenings, and she gave us excellent information on Australia. Sort of an introductory crash course.

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When we’re out and about, doing our site seeing thing, we’re always on the lookout for great lunch spots. So I thought I’d share our favourite finds from major tourist spots around Sydney.

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Manly was a great day out! Getting away from the busy city centre and getting back on the golden sand was what Georgi and I were craving. Manly is tourist central but there are a couple of lovely little eateries off the beaten track, where you can relax and eat some incredible food.

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Sitting on an airport floor is probably as low as one can get and feel, but we’ve all been there right? I’ve missed one flight before because the ticket agent wouldn’t let me check my bag and it was too big to carryon, until now. We missed our flight to Perth because I forgot to buy our visas online. When we arrived at the airport check-in they would not let us on the flight.

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Finishing off our last day in Belize with a visit to Caracol was simply great but this morning its time to move on: we’re ready to cross into Guatemala! After taking a ride back to San Ignacio from Santa Familia (the place where we were volunteering on workaway), getting a bus to the border with…

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This Saturday is National Trails Day! I’ll be busy with a friend’s wedding, so I’m hoping to get in my hiking before the weekend arrives. Hiking has become very important to me, so I wanted to share my most personal hiking thoughts.

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Arriving in Granada, one of the most important cities in Nicaragua, we are gifted with a beautiful surprise: today started the XIV International Festival of Poetry! Every year around the 15th of February, poets from all parts of the world meet here to share and celebrate the beauty of poetry. But there’s more! This year,…

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Rubyos brings a touch of style to the bustling King Street strip. With its heritage charm and relaxing contemporary interior, Rubyos is the perfect place to enjoy a celebration. Australian cuisine with a “fusion” mix of international flavours – to be shared in true tapas style. We were so surprised with the standard of food that came out of the kitchen. It felt like tapas food done in a fine dine style, it was truly amazing.

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A word of advice from a savvy traveller: Download some useful travel apps before your trip. They’ll make your life so much easier.
You want to have the right travel apps on your phone not just because they’re useful, but also because using them will free up your time to enjoy your trip more.

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Nothing says Hyderabad like the Charminar. The 400 year-old monument and mosque was built when Hyderabad was founded, and is still the symbol of the city today. And though it’s impressive at any time of day, we decided to try and avoid the crowds and the summer heat by going at 7:00 AM in the morning.

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How did it all started? In the past Cuba has always had a rusty relationship with USA but amazingly enough the currency that could have been used around to pay goods in Cuba were the National Peso (CUP) and US dollar (USD). In 1994, the Cuban government introduced a new currency named the Cuban Convertible…

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David and Janet run this family owned business, that has won major awards in USA, UK and Europe for its array of beers. From start to finish the hospitality and service on show was text book. We were looked after so well, I’d love to have a team like that if I was running a restaurant/bar in the future. We started off with a tasting paddle of beers, which were fantastic!

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#1 Infotour your best friend This travel company is state-owned and has the sole purpose of helping tourist to travel around Cuba. Here anyone can fetch maps for the most known locations within Cuba but also ask for tour prices, Viazul times and much more ! #2 Beware of the many fake guides/tour operators A…

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Travelling around Cuba on the usual backpacker budget is nothing easy to accomplished. Due to the closed economy of the country, the absence of hostels (which are substituted by homestays called casas particulares) and a whole transport system created for tourists, everything ends up being a little more expensive than your average latin america country….

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Every year we look forward to our free night certificate we receive from Marriott for being Chase Marriott Visa cardholders. We receive ours towards the end of January or beginning of February. We usually take the opportunity to use it in the next large city, Leipzig. Using it here is enjoyable for us, because we take a weekend to relax and truly use the amenities of the hotel. Leipzig is a city of around half a million. It’s a nice size city to walk around, see the sites, go to good restaurants and bars, see a Redbull Leipzig Bundesliga soccer game, or attend a conference.

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A suburb directly north of Dallas, Richardson has some pretty cool events now and again. The Wildflower Festival is definitely one of them. I grew up going to the festival almost every year, but it’s only now in adulthood that I really appreciate it.

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The Ternary, Novotel’s beautiful concept restaurant, is a must try for any Sydney foodie, or anyone in general. Situated in the heart of Darling Harbour, and in walking distance of some of Sydney’s best attractions, The Ternary is perfect for any occasion.

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Verona is a dream come true. One of the most romantic cities we’ve ever been in, you can really feel the passion of the people.
We highly recommend Maria Pia Tours for this vibrant city. We took two tours with her and it was incredible. She is so knowledgeable and entertaining. A lovely Italian sprite. Our first tour was the story of Romeo and Juliet (or Giulietta if you will). We stopped by their houses, the place where they supposedly met, stood on Juliet’s balcony, regaled in the dreams of the most romantic story ever heard, and even got to drop a love lock off at Juliet’s house.

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#1 The mystery of the green buses If you are wild enough to venture and use public buses you’ll also have to be brave enough to stop them! In fact, in India there is little info on where buses are going and at what time they are passing (in most towns apart from big cities)….

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14th March 2018 saw me plan a trip to Mount Titlis and i was all set to ensure I reached the Basel SBB railway station by 0800 Hrs to catch the InterRegio to Luzern from where I would need to connect another train to Engelberg. The journey was around 01:45 hours from Basel.

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In celebration of the Deep Ellum Wine Walk this evening, it’s time to share my love of this event. I’m always looking for local Dallas happenings, so I was excited to find out about a Deep Ellum one seeing as that’s about five minutes from my house. That it involves drinking wine is even better!

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If you’ve always wanted to visit the Lakshadweep islands but don’t know how to plan your trip, this short video guide will get you started.
The Lakshadweep islands had been on our ‘visit list’ for a long, long time. So, at the end of 2016, we finally started planning a new year’s holiday there. We soon realized that the information we needed for proper planning was frustratingly difficult to find. But we managed to scrape things together, mainly through trial and error. And we ended up having a really good time!

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You could spend ages travelling through India and leave the country with the feeling of having missed out on way too many things. Needless to say that during our – short – month trip we never stopped a second taking in all the beautiful sights that unfolded in front of our eyes. It was hard…

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In honor of Mother’s Day being yesterday, I wanted to share a trip I took recently out to Pilot Point, TX. My wonderful mom and I were already headed out near the area to see my brother’s fiancé’s wedding venue. A quick little detour west and we’d have a chance to check out the “Texas Tulips” that local Dallasites had been raving about.

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Making a plan for your expenses on your trip is easy and will save you time, money and stress when you travel. Here is a step by step guide to creating you travel budget.

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Since the first few moments we landed in Tamil Nadu (southern region in India), we knew Hindu temples would have been the norm for the rest of our trip. A couple on the main street, five more around the corner and a last hidden one that nobody knows its precise location – those were…

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After 10 days of visiting wonderful Western Australia, it was sadly time to begin our long trip back to Germany. Thankfully, we were able to stop in Bangkok for 4 nights on the way so our vacation was technically not officially over yet. We had flown to Perth from Singapore on Qantas (you can read our review here) and to get from Perth to Bangkok we were flying Thai Airways on their Boeing 787-8. We had redeemed United MileagePlus points for a one-way award flight. There is nothing better than free flights!

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India is definitely one of the most budget-friendly countries in the world. Independently of what you’re willing to spend, you can be sure that there’s gonna be the right option for you. Living with less than 10$/day, this including transport, food & some occasional tours, is possible. Here follows a collection of our budget experience…

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It is downright difficult to keep your head up when it seems like the world keeps kicking you when you are down. Sometimes we just go through tough times or tough years and it is hard to see beyond our troubles. One thing I always try to remind myself to do, even when I feel like nothing is going my way, is to be grateful. Whether you just make a list in your head or keep a journal, thinking about all the things you do have instead of all the things you don’t have will help you put life in perspective.

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I was very excited about this local hike. I’d seen one of my friends frequent it and it looked a bit woodsy and very spacious. It was a bit further north of Dallas in the city of Plano, so I invited my friend Lola for a morning hike since she was on the way.

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We took a trip south from Cairns, stopping in Mission Beach for a week, then moving down to Townsville. We really enjoyed this dry, hot part of Tropical North Queensland, there was quite a bit to do. We thought we’d jot a little list down to help anyone who’s travelling that way.

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Before planning our trip to Townsville we hadn’t realised the amazing array of street art we would come across. It was only on our first day, whilst walking around, we spotted numerous pieces of fantastic art. All the destinations listed below are pretty central to Townsville, meaning you can walk around and tick them off pretty easily. It does get seriously hot, so make sure you take a pit stop at Townsville Brewery and sample the local beer before finishing the street art tour.

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What a beautiful part of the world! The 4 mile beach lined with palm trees is an incredible sight, especially at this time of year when it’s a little milder (28-30 degrees) lol.
The town is so relaxed and chilled, it was the perfect setting to enjoy some incredible food.

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As you know, I’ve been trying to experience new things in Dallas – so when I heard that there was something called “goat yoga” I knew I had to check it out!

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Traveling can be an amazing experience, but it often comes with challenges when it comes to your health. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, interrupting your daily routine can throw your health off balance. Luckily there are precautionary steps you can take to keep your health on track while also enjoying your travel destination. Let’s look at the 6 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling.

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On the last leg of our trip to Western Australia, we stayed one night at the Hyatt Regency Perth Hotel. We were finishing our 10-day stay in the Western Australia area, having spent 5 nights in Perth at the Four Points by Sheraton Perth Hotel and then another 5 nights exploring the Margaret River wine region. For this stay, we used a free night certificate that we receive annually for being a Chase Hyatt credit card holder and allows us to stay at any Hyatt hotel that is category 1-5. We were happy to stay here, as it is a beautiful and comfortable hotel.

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We hadn’t planned on coming up to Palm Cove until friends mentioned how beautiful the area was. They weren’t wrong. This neck of the woods is stunning! When the wind dies down the water turns a light turquoise colour, becoming the perfect back drop for some top notch food. All the venues we visited were along Williams Esplanade, looking out through the palm trees and across the golden sand into the blue horizon. It was a mesmerising place and the chefs didn’t disappoint.

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Last month I spent a week in Cape Town and it just re-confirmed that this is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to. With Table Mountain hugging the city on one side and the Atlantic on the other, it’s never short of a beautiful view. Then between that is a city full of life, culture, history and delicious food. There’s so much to do in Cape Town (and if the weather is good) I’d find it hard to ever get tired of being there.

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Our time spent in Townsville was a hot one, spent sun baking on our roof top and dipping in and out of the pool. In between which we were treated to some exceptional food. There is a huge array of restaurants in Townsville and we could have easily visited another 10-15 top class establishments. My aim as always is to bring a varied selection, to accommodate all budgets and show off the fantastic talent Townsville has to offer. My picks are in no particular order, please check them out if you’re in the area, you’ll thank me later.

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We seemed to plan our trip to Cairns perfectly, the weather was glorious and the whole town was alive due to the Commonwealth games being in town. We ate some fantastic food, drank some good beer and chilled out in this wonderful part of Tropical North Queensland. I’ve put together some ideas to help with cost free activities in Cairns, enjoy.

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It’s been a little more than year since I started this travel blog, and it’s been tough but fun! Though I’ve enjoyed writing everything I’ve published, here are the top 10 posts I’ve enjoyed writing the most.

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Mission Beach is a stunning place along the eastern coast of Tropical North Queensland. Even though it’s a quiet little town, there are still a few fantastic venues to grab a lovely meal. I’ve put together a list of my top 3 for Mission Beach, check them out if you’re in the area!

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Jungfrau region needs no mention should you be a Indian movie lover which would have a romantic number from one of these regions. Having said, that, this place also boasts to be the top of Europe which makes it a must visit place for someone on a trip to Switzerland.

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Mount Rigi is a fascinating part of Alps in Switzerland and offers a whole massif surrounded by water on all three sides from Lake Lucerne, Lake Zug and Lake Lauerz. Rigi region is also connected by the oldest cog railways of Europe which makes the journey all the more fascinating.

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I’ll never regret quitting a job to travel, but it’s returning afterwards that is always super tough. It’s easy to get depressed when you go from traveling and seeing and doing new and exciting things every day to sitting at home applying to jobs and being broke. I’ve been in this situation twice and it never feels good. After how down I felt the last time, I’m determined to stay positive this time around.

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The necropolis of the Qutb Shahi kings—also called the Qutb Shahi tombs—is over 400 years old, and still shows you something new with every visit.
The Qutb Shahi tombs near Golconda Fort are one of the most popular tourist spots in Hyderabad, and most Hyderabadis have visited them at least once. But learn a little about the four centuries of history that surround them, and you’ll see them in a different light.

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During my recent trip to Africa I spent a few days in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. We were on our way to Zanzibar from Rwanda and the flights we were looking at stopped there anyway…. So why not! Landing into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport I was surprised at how close the runway was to the national park, such a big open space right next to the city skyline.
Exploring Nairobi was definitely an experience, it’s one of the craziest cities I’ve ever been to, winding, dusty streets, that were constantly busy! I always felt very disoriented and never knew where I was going. It probably didn’t help that half the time I was walking with my head down. I don’t think people were aiming for this but I often found them to be very intimidating, mainly because we were getting a lot of stares and men regularly yelling out “Mzunga” (white person).

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After our previous day of nature adventures, I slept good and hard. Now it was time to actual explore the city of Portland. Our flight home was at 3:40pm, so that gave us about six hours to try and tackle the must-sees on our Portland list.

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Having only 5 days in Margaret River, we had to make the most of our time exploring all there was to see in this gorgeous wine region. Five days might seem like a lot, but in fact, we wish we had more time. Not only did we spend plenty of time exploring Margaret River, but we also spent quality time sipping our way through several vineyards, sampling a few breweries, trying a distilling company, and of course refueling our bodies with food. The Margaret River region is a true delight for those who enjoy good food and drink!

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If you’re looking for a day out that is active and free then make sure that one of these National Park walks is on your to do list!
The Noosa Heads Coastal Walk is the most recommended out of the 5 you can do through the National Park. It has some amazing view points and beaches along the way, and there are plenty of opportunities to see some wildlife. The whole coastal walk is advised to take up to 4 hours, but I would definitely leave a little longer for all of the photo opportunities.

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When most people think of Zanzibar they picture beaches and perfect turquoise ocean – which is exactly what you’ll find! I do think it’s worth telling you about how awesome Stone Town is though; the old town in Zanzibar city is definitely worth exploring. Before heading up north to Nungwi, we wanted to take a day to explore Stone Town, to see all the markets and learn about the dark history of this little island.

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