TRAVEL STORIES FOR THE WANDERER:

 
 

When traveling, we're often told to stay within the lines. Sometimes lack of planning and leaving the tourist zone can bite you in the rear. We have those stories too. Puerto Barrios, Guatemala; poor planning dumped us in  a near-abandoned resort with nothing else around us, no real form of transportation, and nothing to eat but Ramen Noodle for two days....

As we travel, we collect all sorts of things; maps, seashells, foreign currency, bus tickets. A rare mixture of souvenirs and stories. Littered throughout my house are small reminders of people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting along the way and places I've been fortunate enough to explore. Many of them have slowly started to blend into the background, gathering dust, and no longer demanding my attention. But, there is one thing I haven’t been able to tuck away. One ‘souvenir’ that never fades from my memory. My husband, Aaron, and I joined a walking street-food tour through Saigon, Vietnam. We wandered between a handful of street vendors and open-air restaurants sampling the local food: Vietnamese pancakes, broken rice, spicy green papaya...

Cuba : a country that has few luxuries but an undeniably alluring personality. Whether it's the classic cars that are held together by tape and string, the crumbling buildings held up by wooden scaffolding, or the welcoming people that have an irresistible charm - there are countless stories to be told here. Rooftop bars awkwardly open into a family's living room, old men ride oxen carts down the main road, and on every other corner pizzas and tamales are sold straight out of someone's living room window. Cuba is drenched in natural and almost indescribable beauty, not just aesthetically, but in every way possible. Luckily for the traveler, the faded beauty that cloaks this time-warped country doesn’t hide it’s raw and pungent...

Safari : Southern Africa There are few experiences in life that excite you down to your core. Few moments that leave you in awe, mouth open, eyes wide, and completely speechless. A safari is one. Imagine herds of hundreds of elephants walking mere feet in front of you, prides of lions chasing buffalo, and a stray giraffe walking in front of your car. Imagine being tucked back in the African bush, far from civilization. Landscapes that rival storybooks and crystal clear night skies lit up with an incomprehensible amount of stars. Then imagine the people that live here. The locals, familiar with wild elephants and dangerous hippos. Imagine their stories, their lifestyle, and their culture. Every part of this experience is...

Koh Phi Phi Islands : Thailand This is the type of place that can make postcards jealous. Its breathtaking, its extremely well traveled, and its filled with picturesque long tail boats. The islands of Koh Phi Phi and Koh Phi Phi Lee are ripped from a fairytale. The tall limestone crags frame in crystal clear waters and the powdery white sand melts softly between your toes. While your risk of getting a little too drunk, or a little too sunburned are extremely high here - there isn’t much else to worry about. The tourism industry makes it very welcoming for backpackers and families alike. Hire a local boat and explore the neighboring islands - many of which are hardly visited. - Everything here is...

I don’t think you could package paradise much better. There isn’t much the sleepy beachside town of Tulum doesn’t offer. There is a pleasant city center filled with culture and trendy hangouts. The beaches are magnificent with pristine waters and white, powdery sand. The food scene is world famous, have you heard of Hartwood? The people are friendly and the streets are lined with charming boutiques and picture worthy scenery. Ancient Mayan Ruins peek out from behind the palm trees and overlook boulder lined beaches. Most importantly, Tulum isn’t like the rest. Unlike its cookie-cutter neighbors, Tulum has beauty and charm. Get here quick before the spill over from Cancun devours it. + Shopping Tulum is dripping with posh boutiques and trendy shops....

Don’t drink buckets of alcohol. I feel like I should have known this, or this wisdom would have been passed down by a concerned parent or experienced friend. But it wasn’t – and I’m sure I can say this about any liquid you are contemplating drinking from a bucket, it probably won’t end well. Sunburned and excited, we found two unoccupied rugs in the sand and sat down. Rumor has it, when in Koh Phi Phi you must partake in a ritualistic evening of drinking beneath the stars with other well-cooked tourists. We had our seat. The crystal-clear Thai water gently broke on the shore in front of us and massive limestone crags framed in the bay. The view was ripped...

It’s funny how much emotion one picture can evoke. The first picture I took during our Central American adventure was of my breakfast. We arrived in Nicaragua late. Immediately took a taxi to our hostel, had a celebratory drink and fell asleep after 24 hours of travel. We woke to explore a brand new city, innocent and fresh, lacking any signs of a weathered traveller. We didn’t have a tan, our clothes were crisp and clean. We were well groomed and probably more noticeable than the rest, we were lost in our surroundings. We had taken the easy route that morning and went to a well known breakfast joint that was recommended by our travel guide. We sat on the balcony...




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