This year has been one of the best years of my life. Why? It’s because I spent half of it traveling the world. This year, I went through a transformation that I could have never anticipated. Although I have done a lot of world exploration in the years previous, 2011 and some of 2010 was the longest I have hopscotched the globe and expanded my mind on an entire new level.
The internet is a crazy place and if you aren’t careful, you can definetly get lost in cyber space. It takes time to find websites that you can rely on to give you the best travel advice. However, when it comes to finding a great hostel/guesthouse online, I know I can rely on….
Budget backpacking isn’t just about South East Asia or South America. Those looking a little closer to home can get their culture fix and pit their wits in some challenging environments, while also enjoying some of the most stunning scenery anywhere in the world. Central Europe has been a favourite amongst backpackers for a number of years due to good value accommodation, cheap cost of living and some very diverse cultures.
Looking back at some of the travel deals we got in 2011, there were some big standouts – like the remote cabin we scored in Alaska for about $50 a night.
Below, we’re highlighing five deals (okay, 3 deals and 2 trends) that really rocked our world. We want to see more things like this in 2012.
Want a place where you can literally get away from it all? Here is the spot for you, because this little beach village has no electricity. It was one of my favorite little spots I discovered on my RTW trip and I spend about four glorious days there, totally off the grid. Literally.
Angkor is one of the best places to take photos anywhere in the world. It is literally almost impossible to take a bad photo there and here are some of the best ones I took during two trips that I had there this last fall. It is one of my favorite places in the world.
The New 7 Wonders of the World is one of the biggest scam operations going on in travel today. This post is the result of me pulling every bit of information I could find out about it anywhere on the web. Suffice to say that it is must reading.
September saw the Ultimate Train Challenge. Lisbon to Saigon, all by trains, all in 30 days. It was an amazing and exhausting journey, but totally one of the best things I have ever done in my life. Come check out the final wrap up of this adventure.
While I was living in Rishikesh, India for a couple of months, I met a yoga teacher from Canada who spends half of the year teaching in Canada and the other half teaching in India and Thailand. She introduced me to both acro yoga and Passport to Prana. Now some of you may know what acro yoga is but what is this Passport to Prana?
Ibiza may be the most well known party island in the world, but there is so much more to offer from the Golden Isle than hedonistic all night parties. Making a trip to the Balearic Island outside the clubbing season is an experience not to be missed. It’ll be much cheaper too.
The other morning I took a bus to get to the subway station so that I could get to the gym. It was a fairly early rise for me as I tend to often sleep in. As I walked out my door, the bus literally pulled up right in front of me – I love it when that happens. I walked onto the very crowded bus to see almost every single person on their crackberries or iphones. Seriously, who are you texting in the early morning?
Good thing we got all rested up and contemplative on our crawl through the Mediterranean and across the Atlantic. Turns out we needed that huge reserve of physical and mental energy for what was to come next.
Did we ever tell you that we are planning to bus all the way down to the southern most tip of Argentina? I have seen some of the most amazing sights just starting out the window. As we headed out of Medellin to Bogota, I saw the most stunning landscapes I had seen in quite a while. They literally took my breath away.
I felt like I was going to puke. My travel nerves were at full force that day – something I hadn’t really experienced since Mexico. I was a pro at this. Why was I feeling so shitty? “You’re already missing them.” Shaun’s replied. And you know what? He was right. Our travels have taken a completely different direction.
Now that we’ve been to Italy – and had us a lot of gelato in the country – we really get the obsession that gelato devotees have with the stuff.
During this travel adventure, we’ve had a few days that are a pretty accurate representation on what life is often like for us on the road. Balancing working and exploring can be frustrating at times. And, because we’re away from home-base so much, we try hard to keep fitness and some awareness of nutrition an active part of the mix (or this would be a weight loss blog).
We loved Bologna the minute we arrived. By the time we made our way to our hotel – we even splurged and got a cab – it was well into the evening and dark.
Having arrived in italy and ready to start our “pick a random city” experiment, we had only one thing on our minds.
Whether one should travel to a country or not, based on what is going on internally there, is one of the thorny questions for every traveler. Right now, Egypt is in the midst of some internal turmoil (though we all hope it ends soon) and in this post, I address my feelings on current travel there.
During my week in Jordan, I saw Roman ruins in Amman, the world wonders of Petra and the Dead Sea and the desert/canyons of Wadi Rum. Anything else you think should be on the list of must-see sights in Jordan?
One of the things that surprised me when I traveled in the Middle East earlier this year was that there are some really good wines made in that part of the world. Both Lebanon and Israel have a series of good wineries, but I was most pleasantly surprised by the Zumot Winery in Jordan. There were some wines here that would retail for $60-100, if the label said Napa Valley.
I was lucky enough to get to the Monte Carlo train station while it was almost empty one afternoon this summer, so I had a chance to take some longer exposure shots and turn them into HDR photos. I hope you enjoy them, as it is one of the prettier stations I went to on the Ultimate Train Challenge.
Dear Older (hopefully healthy!) Selves:
Remember all of the talking you used to do about getting to the Cinque Terre one day? Well, this letter is about what happened back in 2011 when you were hoping to make it there, but it didn’t work out.
You’ve probably forgotten a lot over the last few decades, so let us refresh your memories…
Last night I cried. I cried tears of happiness as the first baby of the family was born. I cried because I couldn’t be there physically to hold her in my arms. There is one thing that I am ever so grateful for – today’s technology. We are connected at a level that has never been seen before in history.
Contrary to popular belief, there are no jaguars in the Jaguar Rescue Center. Long story to be honest – but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take the time to hit this place up. It was a gloomy, rainy day – something we had gotten used to over the past 3-4 months had gotten used to over the past 3-4 months following rainy season south.
Our latest adventure begins.
Notes from our first few days in London…
There are different ways to travel for an extended period of time. You can save up money for a while and then quit your job like I did, travel and work various jobs along the way, or find a more permanent job that involves traveling. For Nadine Sykora, traveling and sharing her experiences through Youtube videos is her job.
When I think back to the summer I spent in Ghana, the first memory that comes to mind is of the night I spent at Big Milly’s Backyard in the small fishing village of Kokrobite.