2019

  • 09.09 | Trip Report: Overnight Backpacking Bishop Pass to Dusy Basin
    If you're looking for an overnight backpacking trip from Bishop, I highly recommend this trail from South Lake to Dusy Basin. 6 miles one way, 2000 ft in elevation gain. It's steep, but short with big sceneries. It's an Eastern Sierras classic!
    Dusy Basin
  • 16.08 | 8 Most Scenic Day Hikes in The Dolomites
    Are you looking for amazing day hikes in the Dolomites, Italy? Here are 8 of the best outdoor day hikes in the Dolomites. If you love hiking, you’ll appreciate the miles and miles of hiking the Dolomites has to offer.
  • 07.08 | 3 Weeks in the Dolomites, A Roadtrip Itinerary
    My recent three-week trip to the Dolomites and Lake Garda was one of the best trips I'd taken in awhile. Now I'm sharing our of 3 week Dolomite itinerary with you: best hikes, viewpoints, stunning lakes, and how best to see them.
    Val Gardena
  • 17.07 | Hiking Lagazuoi Tunnels in the Dolomites
    The Italians' plan was crude but simple: dig a tunnel to bring a large amount explosives under the Austrian troops who controlled the summit - Lagazuoi Piccolo - and blow them up. Today, hiking Lagazuoi tunnels is one of the most popular activities in the Dolomites.
    hiking Lagazuoi tunnels
  • 10.07 | Why Dolomites? Adventurous Reasons to Visit Italian Dolomites
    The reason to visit the Dolomites can be summed up in one sentence: it's the ultimate alpine playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Jack and I recently spent 3 weeks in the Dolomites and we loved it so much. The whole region is one breath-taking panorama after another.
    Adventurous things to do in the Dolomites
  • 02.07 | The Best of Iran, A Guide to the Best Places to Visit
    Where to go and what to do in Iran. Iran's best places to visit: mosques, palaces, and natural landscapes.
    Nasir-ol-molk Mosque is one of the places to visit in Iran
  • 07.06 | Masuleh, Visiting Iran’s Prettiest Village
    This picturesque 1000-year-old village on a steep hilside is tucked deep in Alborz Mountain in northern Iran. Masouleh is a popular weekend destination among Iran urbanites escaping summer stifling heat.
    visiting masuleh iran
  • 29.05 | How to Travel to Iran as An American
    On this post, you will find all the necessary information for traveling to Iran as a US citizen. You'll also find my thoughts on safety issue, traveling to Iran as a vegetarian, and other brain-dump type of commentaries.
    Iran guide for us citizens
  • 23.04 | Winter Hiking in Snow Canyon, Utah
    Utah in winter? What a great idea! We came to Utah for a mini winter road trip during Christmas holiday. With a rented campervan, we headed south to St. George and nearby Snow Canyon State Park where winter is mild enough for some sandstone scramble and desert hiking.
    st george, snow canyon state park utah
  • 16.04 | How to Get Iran Visa for US Citizens (2019)
    The following is my experience getting an Iran tourist visa as an American passport holder. TLDR: it wasn't easy. I found that there was a lot of outdated information online when searching for the latest Iran visa application process for US citizens - so I thought I'd share my experience here. The procedure will be similar to Canadian/UK passport holders as well.
    iran visa for us citizens
  • 16.04 | Planning Your Solo South Africa Road Trip
    Planning to rent a car in South Africa? Everything you need to know about renting a car and planning a South Africa roadtrip including cost and safety tips.
    South Africa road trip
  • 09.04 | A Guide: The Tugela Gorge Hike in South Africa
    Everything you need to know about hiking the Thukela Gorge trail in South Africa on your own.
    Tugela gorge hike south africa
  • 04.03 | A Daytrip to Hierve El Agua, Oaxaca’s Calcified Waterfalls
    Hierve el Agua and its petrified waterfalls is an easy daytrip from Oaxaca City and totally worth the trip. Here are 3 ways you can visit it.
    Visiting Oaxaca’s Calcified Waterfalls, Hierve El Agua
  • 28.02 | How to Hike The Magnificent Tugela Falls, South Africa
    The Amphitheater is the most famous geographic feature of the Drakensberg mountain in South Africa. The hike up the Amphitheatre is often considered to be the most scenic in the country and it's something that you shouldn't miss.
    amphitheatre hike south africa
  • 25.02 | Sani Pass, A Spectacular Day Trip to Lesotho
    Sani Pass, also known as the Roof of Africa, lies between South Africa and Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho (pronounced Le-su-thu). It is a series of treacherous switchbacks that takes you up to 2865m and delivers spectacular scenery as it slowly makes it way over the Drakensburg Mountains.
    Sani Pass and the highest pub in Africa
  • 21.02 | The Ultimate 2-Week South Africa Road Trip Itinerary!
    My 2 week South Africa itinerary, packed with all the best adventures S. Africa has to offer including: Cape Town, The Garden Route, the Drakensberg, and Sani Pass.
    2 weeks south Africa itinerary
  • 25.01 | How to Celebrate Dia de Los Muertos in Oaxaca
    Celebrating Dia de Los Muertos in Oaxaca was the most beautiful cultural experience I've ever had. Here's how to get the most of your visit.
    oaxaca dia de los muertos
  • 23.01 | Trekking Kyrgyzstan: Packing List (Downloadable PDF)
    If you're planning to do some trekking in Kyrgyzstan, I hope you find the following treakking gear list helpful. Download the PDF.
    trekking kyrgyzstan gear list
  • 10.01 | Puerto Bujaruelo, Hiking from Spain to France
    Puerto Bujaruelo (known as Port de Boucharo in French) is a mountain pass on France-Spain border. The path across this mountain pass has been in use since the Roman time, so that's kind of cool. We chose this particular gate for the novelty of being able to say "We walked all the way to France!"
    puerto de bujaruelos aragon pyrenees
  • 08.01 | Hiking Faja de Las Flores, A Spectacular Hike in Ordesa Valley
    The spectacular Faja de Las Flores is one of the Pyrenees' best hiking trails and yet one that sees few hikers. It’s long and it’s highly exposed. But the scenery? Whoa. It belongs in our Top 10 Hiking experiences for sure.
    faja de las flores hike

2018

  • 30.11 | Trekking Heights of Alay in 3D/2N (Tips and Resources)
    Going trekking in Kyrgyzstan's Alay mountains was one of the reasons I came to Kyrgyzstan. It proved to be quite an epic trek. And hard. But mostly epic.
    Alay Trek Kyrgyzstan
  • 20.11 | Our W-Trek Patagonia Experience, Unfiltered
    Its low elevation and tame ups and downs means W Trek isn't the most difficult trek out there. But to complete this 5-day trek still requires a certain amount of fitness. This is our story on this famous trail in Patagonia. Unfiltered.
    W Trek Patagonia
  • 12.11 | A Taste of Granada – Culinary Tour with Spain Food Sherpas
    Spain Food Sherpas was one of the highlights of our time in Granada. Our Granada food tour sherpa took us to one of the oldest shops in Spain, a sampling of award-winning tapas, a sampling of a variety of Spain's Iberan ham, and lunch at a local restaurant that looked as if it hadn’t changed since the early 1970s.
    Granada best food tour
  • 05.11 | Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas For Adventurers and Travelers
    I promise you won't find gag gifts, or single-use items, or "fad" items. Instead you'll find products I truly love (and have bought with my own money), causes I support, and gifts that do good. Conspicuous waste should never be celebrated.
  • 25.10 | A Complete Guide: Ala Kul and Altyn Arashan Trek in 2 Days
    A guide on how to do Kyrgyzstan's most popular hike, in 2 days. The Ala Kul trek rewards hikers with a turquoise lake surrounded by glacier-capped mountain peaks.
    Ala Kul Trek Kyrgyzstan
  • 10.10 | Traveling to Turkmenistan – What to Expect, Highlights, and Photos
    What to expect when traveling Turkmenistan. Highlights, tips & resources, and photos from one of the least visited countries in the world.
  • 14.09 | The Three-Colored Crater Lakes of Kelimutu
    Easy hike and awesome view! What makes Kelimutu famous is the 3 summit crater lakes of varying colors. These lakes are very close to each other but each has a different color that changes throughout the years. In 2016, the colors of the lakes even changed 6 times!
    Kelimutu Crater Lakes
  • 14.08 | The 6 Most Haunted Ghost Tours San Francisco (Reviews)
    These San Francisco ghost tours will take you to haunted places in San Francisco while telling stories of murders, mysterious deaths, and hauntings.
    ghost tours san francisco
  • 01.08 | Why Ashgabat, Turkmenistan is the Oddest City I’ve Visited
    I came to Turkmenistan looking for something different. I wasn't sure exactly what I was looking for myself, I just knew I was looking for something that made me go, "Now isn't that interesting." Well, Ashgabat delivered in oh-so-many levels.
    Why Ashgabat is the weirdest city I've visited.
  • 20.07 | Visiting Komodo Island and Island Hopping Around Flores
    I loved my time in Flores, Indonesia and I regret not spending more time on this island. This post is an island hopping guide to see a pink beach, komodo dragons, and more in Komodo National Park (Flores, Indonesia).
    pink beach in Flores
  • 17.07 | Nowruz Festival, Celebrating Persian New Year in Turkmenistan
    In 2018 and my tour group was lucky enough to be the only foreigners to attend the Nowruz Festival in Turkmenistan. This year was also the very first time that Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, the President of Turkmenistan himself, would attend the festival. We were told that this was a big deal.
    nowruz festival in turkmenistan cover
  • 14.06 | Camping at Darvaza Crater of Fire, Turkmenistan’s Gates of Hell
    For many in our group, Darvaza Crater was THE reason to visit Turkmenistan. One can argue that it's the only legit tourist sight in the whole country. For me? It was the icing on the cake. A fitting end to a week of wonderful encounters, eyebrow-raising moments, and the most memorable travel experience.
    darvaza crater turkmenistan
  • 05.06 | 9 Reasons to Fall in Love With Bali All Over Again
    This post contains places that aren't normally on first time visitors' list of things to do in Bali. If you've been to Bali before, or maybe it is your first time here and you're looking for something different to do in Bali, you should check these places out. It might make you fall in love with Bali (again).
  • 09.05 | Under $25: Must Have Travel Accessories for No-Fuss Travelers
    From camera protection, to portable door alarm, these are must-have travel items under $25 for practical, non-sense travelers.
    Dinner preparation. The smoke helps keep mosquitoes at bay.
  • 13.02 | Practical Tips on How to Plan Your W Trek (Torres del Paine)
    On this post I'll talk about how to plan your W Trek with just a daypack by renting tents and sleeping bags along the way.
    Practical do's and don'ts of planning your W Trek in Torres del Paine, Patagonia.
  • 08.02 | Travel Books to Read from 20+ Countries (to Get More Out of Your Travels)
    Doing some pre-trip reading is one of the easiest ways to get more out of your travels. Books have inspired many - if not all - of my travels (my upcoming Turkmenistan trip is partly inspired by an entry in Atlas Obscura on Darvaza gas crater). They've also given them a deeper meaning. I get so much, so much, more out of my travels having these stories at the back of my head and seeing them come to live "on site" so to speak.
    Pre-trip Reading Recommendation for 20+ Countries
  • 04.02 | Day Hike to Laguna de Los Tres Patagonia: Things to Know
    It took us 2 tries for us to complete Laguna de Los Tres dayhike, one of the most popular dayhikes in Patagonia. But when we made it, it was glorious! Read on to learn about everything you need to know about doing a dayhike to Laguna de Los Tres: our experience, the trail, and the cute basetown of El Chalten.
    DAY HIKE TO LAGUNA DE LOS TRES PATAGONIA
  • 09.01 | Torres del Paine, Patagonia Packing List (For Lazy Trekkers)
    Not having to carry around a tent and sleeping bags meant that this packing list for Patagonia is quite minimalistic. We managed to pack very light. Light pack = happy trekkers. We got nothing to prove 🙂
  • 08.01 | La Peninsula Estancia, How to Be Gaucho for A Day in Patagonia
    Visiting an estancia in Patagonia is an opportunity to see what goes on in "real" Patagonia and to meet the people who work the seemingly inhospitable land. For many, it ends up being one of the highlights of Patagonia trips.
    How to be a gaucho in Patagonia

2017

  • 11.12 | My Favorite Villages in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
    Is Lake Atitlan one of the most beautiful lakes in the world? I think so. Here are my favorite villages in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. I stayed in 3 different villages (Pana, Santa Cruz, and San Pedro), and visited a total of 8 different villages around Lake Atitlan.
    Best of Lake Atitlan villages guatemala
  • 16.11 | Sunrise at Tikal, Guatemala Kinda Blew My Mind
    Who knew that a jungle sunrise can cause such a commotion? Sunrise at Tikal was eerie and beautiful, it gave me goosebumps. Guys, it was simply magical (and I don’t use this world lightly)
    tikal at sunrise
  • 09.11 | 10 Day Itinerary In Guatemala
    10 day in Guatemala wasn't enough time to do everything I wanted to do so, but I did manage to see what I felt was some of the best highlights Guatemala has to offer.
    10 days in Guatemala itinerary
  • 17.10 | Lehman Cave is Gorgeous (and Other Great Basin NP Highlights From My Roadtrip)
    As one of the least visited national parks, Great Basin sounded kind of great, exactly what I was looking for. I love the fact that more and more people are getting outdoors, but some of my favorite outdoor places started to feel a little crowded this year.
  • 11.10 | What’s It Like to Travel Tibet: Photos and Stories From 8 Days in Tibet
    So what's traveling in Tibet like? The following are my random observations, tidbits of memories, and highlights of Tibet.
    tibet plateau landscape
  • 22.09 | Summer Recap and Upcoming Birthday Trip 2017
    There were cooking over campfires, swimming in lakes, travels to new countries, and conversations with friends and families. Things that great summers are made of.
  • 29.08 | Via Ferrata in Murren (also cheese, Eiger, cows, and time travel)
    Guys, Switzerland is beautiful. Unbelievably beautiful. This wasn't my first time in Switzerland but whoa - I forgot how just mind-numbingly gorgeous this country is. We went to Switzerland this summer for a wedding (It was by a lake! Mountain casual dress code! I got to wear my hiking boots!).
  • 21.08 | The Great Beijing to Lhasa Train Ride
    At 40 hours, the Beijing - Lhasa train is the longest train ride I've been on. I am now convinced that train journeys are way more romantic in books than in real life. Next time I'm going to Tibet, I'll be flying.
  • 31.07 | A Taste of Sicily: The Best Things I Ate in Siracusa
    All of my favorite food in Siracusa, Sicily and where to find them. Visiting Sicily is all about food, right? The fresh seafood and the creamy granitas I ate in Sicily were some of my favorite things I ate.
    Ortigia Market, Sicily
  • 07.07 | A childhood bucket list: Hiking the Great Wall of China
    I wrote my first bucket list when I was in 2nd grade. There were 2 things that constantly made it to the top of the lists: to see the Great Pyramids in Egypt and to stand on the Great Wall of China. I still haven't been to Egypt.
    Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall Hike
  • 21.06 | All My Favorite Things About XiAn
    The Muslim Quarter, the City Wall, and more. I was ready to brush off Xian as a jumping point to some other destinations but ended up enjoying so much.
  • 29.03 | Berlin Weekend Trip: Saxon Switzerland National Park, The Rock Spire Forest
    If you're looking for an adventurous weekend getaway from Berlin, Saxon Switzerland is where you need to go. I mean this park has it all: a river to kayak in, hiking trails, via ferratas, scary climbs, and this being Europe - a castle.
  • 06.03 | Beyond the Beach: Offbeat Miami Attractions
    South Beach is all about the glams and the blings. South Beach is where excesses are flaunted and skins are shown. In theory I should feel more at home in low key (har har) Key West, but in reality I fell in love with South Beach vibe the moment I stepped out of my cab in front of my hostel.
    Things to do in Miami beside going to the beach.
  • 01.03 | Classic American Roadtrip: Florida Keys Highlights
    There are a lot of great stops along the way to Key West - many are nature or outdoor related. My Florida Keys itinerary includes state parks, snorkeling stops, and plenty of breaks for key lime pies and conch fritters! As with any classic roadtrip, getting there is 90% of the fun.
    One of US Classic Roadtrips: Florida Keys
  • 20.02 | How to Swim With Wild Manatees in Florida
    I came to Crystal River, Florida to snorkel with manatees and the experience went above my already ridiculously-high expectation. Manatees are officially my new favorite water animals.
    Swimming with manatees is one of the best things to do in Florida
  • 15.02 | The Mermaid Show of Weeki Wachee, Florida
    In Weeki Wachee, Florida, mermaids are real enough. As a matter of fact, there are more mermaids here in than the town's inhabitants (Weeki Wachee, pop: 12, slogan: “The Only City Of Live Mermaids!”).
    Mermaid passing by
  • 11.02 | What’s It Like to Travel in Tokyo?
    For me going to Japan was like having a part of my childhood come to life. I grew up reading mangas where I learned about eating taoyaki, going to onsen, and sitting around kotatsu before I knew there was a "Japan" beyond these stories, if you know what I mean.
  • 31.01 | Hakone Day Trip from Tokyo
    Hakone is a perfect day trip destination from Tokyo. There are onsens, beautiful scenery, and easy access from Shinjuku. With Hakone Pass, it's very easy to see all of Hakone attractions.
    Why and how to visit Hakone as a daytrip from Tokyo
  • 28.01 | How to Watch Sumo in Tokyo
    When I learned that my visit would coincide with one of Tokyo's sumo grand tournament, watching a sumo match became one of the top things I wanted to do in Tokyo.
    The Makuuchi (top division) ring entering ceremony
  • 10.01 | Solo Travel in Cuba: Memorable Moments
    I didn't love Cuba. I didn't hate it either. Looking back at my time in Cuba, some memories shine brighter than others. Here are a few of them. Not all are pleasant, but they are all definitely memorable.
    Classic Cuba
  • 09.01 | Why Go: The Best of Sumba Island, Indonesia
    I'm not going to sugarcoat it, as of right now, Sumba Island is still reserved for the most adventurous of travelers. The roads were bumpy and long. The lodgings were basic. The beaches were beautiful, but lacking in the most basic of infrastructure (no bathrooms, no cafes/restaurants, nothing but sand, water, and mangroves). I thought I'd been to deserted beaches before, but Sumba's beaches took the phrase "deserted" beaches to a new level. But was it worth it? I think so. I'm so glad I went.
    Highlights of Sumba Island, Indonesia
  • 03.01 | Recap of A Whirlwind of A Year: 2016
    2016 recap. The last time I attempted to write an end-of-year recap, it was May by the time I finished it and I scrapped the whole post.

2016

  • 31.12 | Things to Do: Taipei in 4 Days
    Instead of spending a bleary 10 hour layover in Taipei Airport, we had 4 days to relax, eat, and see Taiwan. Spoiler: we ate all the food.
  • 30.12 | Skopje Highlight: Matka Canyon
    Matka Canyon was one of the few things I really wanted to do while in Skopje. This limestone gorge is easily reachable by public transportation from downtown Skopje and a perfect day trip destination for nature lovers. The walls above the canyon offers hiking trails and climbing. In the summer it's also possible to kayak the Treska river.
  • 29.12 | Love Kitsch? You’ll Love Skopje
    Skopje, Macedonia's capital, is having an identity crisis. And this is what you get.
  • 02.11 | How We Afford Our Travel Lifestyle
    How do we afford to travel 4-5 times a year? We don't earn anything close to 6 figure salary. But we've been good about saving up by prioritizing travel above all else.
  • 27.09 | Hiking Seven Rila Lakes in Bulgaria (Lots of Photos and Tips)
    7 Rila Lakes is a popular daytrip from Sofia, Bulgaria. Bundle it with a visit to the famous Rila Monastery for a full day of culture and outdoor adventures.
  • 31.08 | A Vegetarian Guide to Bulgarian Food
    As a couple consisting of a vegetarian (reluctant pescaterian when traveling) and a picky eater, food is always a challenge when we travel. Especially here in Bulgaria where meat features heavily in local cuisine. Everywhere I look, everyone is gorging on meat. Big pieces of meat. As in, what-animal-does-that-come-from big (on this trip I learned: pig knuckle is HUGE).
  • 25.08 | Summiting Mt. Vihren and Koncheto Ridge, Bulgaria
    "Koncheto" means "Small horse" in Bulgarian. The ridge is so narrow that you might have to traverse it like you'd ride a horse: on your butt.
    Hiking the knife edge ridge of Koncheto in Bulgaria's Pirin National Park
  • 22.08 | A Roadtrip to Melnik, Bulgaria’s Laidback Wine Country
    Did you know this that in its pre-communist days, Bulgaria was one of the largest wine producers in the world? I certainly didn't.
    Wine tasting in Melnik, Bulgaria
  • 17.08 | Bansko, Bulgaria Summer Guide
    Bansko is a small town 2.5 hours south of Sofia. Located in a valley between 2 mountain ranges, it has a hot summer, and cold winter. Even though Bansko is mostly known as a ski resort, there's plenty of outdoor things to do here in the summer.
    Why visit Bansko, Bulgaria in the summer
  • 01.07 | Into the Winds, Freemont Peak
    Wyoming's Wind River Range is one of my favorite discoveries during our year-long climbing road trip. I can spend a whole summer here. I can keep coming back year after year. Our destination on this trip is Freemont Peak.
  • 15.06 | Beyond Kotor, Abandoned Fort Vrmac
    Some people from the hostel told us that there's a hiking trail that starts next to the police station in Kotor that goes to an abandoned fort in the forest. Abandoned fort? In a forest? Sign me up.
  • 29.05 | High Above The Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
    Kotor, Montenegro is one of my favorite small towns in Europe. How could you not love this place? The view from the hill top castle is as good as one can imagine.
    Bay of Kotor
  • 24.03 | Zadar, Experience Croatia Without the Crowd
    Zadar has its own version of charms. It hasn't been completely overrun by souvenir stores selling identical knick-knacks. Go a few blocks beyond the main street and I found tell tale signs of a 'lived-in' city: a city with offices, stationery stores, bookstores, and government buildings.
  • 08.01 | How To Ski Tahoe California For Cheap
    Let's be honest, skiing Tahoe on a budget is getting harder and harder nowadays

2015

  • 28.09 | A Birthday Tradition: Our Upcoming Travel in The Balkans 2015
    Few years ago I started a tradition where I give myself a plane ticket for my birthday present. I get to get where ever I want in the world. Alone. This time, I'm heading somewhere special and I won't be alone.
    Our Balkans Trip 2015
  • 22.09 | Huayhuash Trek, Peru: Everything You Need to Know
    Huayhuash Trek is a 10-day trek in Huayhuash mountain range in Peru. It's one of the most underrated treks and still one of our favorites up to this day. Its length and difficulty makes this trail relatively less crowded but the scenery is BIG.
    Huayhuash Trek, Best of Peru
  • 11.09 | #VanLife, Our Solar Power Setup For Fulltime Van Living
    Our adventure Sprinter van is powered by solar panels and GoalZero's Yeti 400. This is how we did it.
    How we set up our Sprinter Van's solar power system
  • 18.08 | Into the Winds, Climbing the Cirque of Towers
    Before we came to Wyoming, I'd never heard of the Cirque of Towers. Or the Wind River. I hope to return to this place again and again in the future.
    Morning reflection of Mt. Mitchell on Lonesome Lake in the Wind River Range. This is probably my fave part of Wyoming.
  • 11.08 | Neither Up Nor Down, Stuck on Castleton Tower
    In general, I've been pretty lucky in all of my travels *knock on wood*. I'd never gotten sick. I've only been robbed once. And the only drunk ever vomited near me got the person next to me instead. But every now and then I encounter a string of bad lucks in one particular place that I can't help but think that, 'Man, this place just does NOT like me.'
    Castleton Valley seen from La Sal mountain
  • 16.07 | Doing the Via Ferrata in Telluride, Colorado
    The Via Ferrata in Telluride is just another reason to come visit the Southwest part of Colorado (I think it's the most gorgeous part of the state.) It's the most fun you can have scaling a rock wall while safely attached to a cable.
    via ferrata in telluride
  • 25.06 | Life in An Adventure Mobile: Month 6 Update
    We left California to travel America in a converted van. After 6 months and 15k+ miles and I still love waking up and taking a moment to remember where I am.
    6 months of van life
  • 31.03 | Boondocking in Sedona
    Living in our converted Sprinter van we found our temporary home in the wilderness around Sedona.
  • 24.03 | Wildflower Hunting in Carizzo Plain
    Carizzo Plain was an impromptu detour on our way from California to Arizona. This National Monument is located 100 miles north of Los Angeles and had a feeling of being in the middle of nowhere (because it is). We were hoping that we'd be there in time to see the wildflowers.
  • 10.03 | Kampung Naga Garut, Off the Beaten Path in West Java
    Most families bond over dinner in their living room, mine bonds over countless roadtrips. On our last visit to Indonesia (Dec 2014), we went to Garut (Tasikmalaya) to visit Kampung Naga, a traditional Javanese village.
  • 03.03 | Memories of Hong Kong in Pictures
    This is a series of unrelated and unfiltered snippets of highlights, tidbits, and memories from our visit to Hong Kong.
  • 24.02 | Snow, Sunset, and Climbing: Van Life in Joshua Tree
    Where else would you go climbing in the middle of winter in California?
    snow in Joshua Tree 2014
  • 21.02 | 10 Tips to Help You Pick Your Next Outdoor Gear
    Here are some of the lessons we wish we had known 4 years ago:
  • 17.02 | Exploring Tai O, Hong Kong’s Laidback side
    Once common throughout Hong Kong, Tai O is one of the last remaining communities where you can still see these stilt houses. It is connected to the outside world by a windy, motion sickness-inducing mountain road. There are no skyscrapers here, no neon signs. There aren't even any cars. This was exactly what we were looking for!
  • 10.02 | The Why, How Much, and Other Difficult Questions About Living in A Van Full Time
    He handed me a fresh cup of coffee with a shot of Bailey's, just the way I like it. Just when I thought life couldn't get any better, someone comes and brings me coffee! I have to say, I'm loving this lifestyle.
  • 03.02 | 5 Reasons You Should Visit Sri Lanka Hill Country
    Whenever someone asks me how Sri Lanka was, I always end up thinking of the time I spent hiking and exploring this region of low lying mist and clouds.
    Ravana Waterfall, Sri Lanka
  • 13.01 | Lipton’s Seat, Haputale – A Poor Man’s Horton Plains?
    I started thinking of all the things I can get for $25 in Sri Lanka. 3 days' accommodation. 25 lunches. A tuk tuk load of Tambili coconuts. $25 is a lot of money in Sri Lanka.

2014

  • 30.12 | The Do’s and Don’ts of Traveling Sri Lanka
    Tips for visiting Sri Lanka. Come visit my favorite Asian country.
    The Nine Arch bridge in Ella
  • 16.12 | Introducing the Sprinter Adventure Mobile
    Seriously, installing a curtain rod should not take a whole day. But it did. It was just one of the many examples of #1 lesson we learned in our Sprinter conversion project: things will take much longer than you anticipate.
  • 09.12 | Sri Lanka Highlight: Beruwala Fish Market
    I always recommend people to check out the local markets when they're traveling. To be honest it's not always the colorful tapestries you see in magazines. Sometimes it's a photographer's heaven, other times it's just 'meh' if not downright dangerous. Beruwala fish market is an example where it's particular rewarding.
  • 03.12 | 8 Reasons Iceland is For (Road Trip) Lovers
    Between Iceland's scenery, quiet roads, and campground networks, I can't think of a more perfect road trip destination than Iceland.
  • 25.11 | Rauðfeldar, Iceland's Canyon of Doomed Birds
    The Canyon of Doomed Birds is not something you'll find on any Iceland's Top Destination list. It's because I made it up. But the place do exist.
    iceland roadtrip
  • 08.11 | Lonely Monastery in Armenia
    We are also prone to be afraid of being afraid, and the conquering of fear produces exhilaration...
  • 04.11 | Upcoming Fall Travel and A Big Life Change
    What's coming up in travel and life. Big changes ahead.
  • 08.10 | The Curious Landscapes of Iceland
    For such a small island, the varieties in landscape is astounding. It was one of the things that struck me most about Iceland.
  • 30.09 | Why is Porto so Captivating?
    I got out of Porto's underground Metro and was instantly blinded by the sun. It was the first time I'd seen that kind of blue sky and sunlight - the kind that held no promise of rain - in almost a week. After over a month traipsing through France's Brittany and Northern Spain, I was feeling a little tired of traveling, but Porto a refreshing change. It felt rejuvenating and I couldn't wait to explore more.
  • 24.09 | Bulnes and Covadonga, More Beautiful Hikes in Los Picos National Park
    I’m convinced that Los Picos is a gem of Spain that any self-professed outdoor lovers should not miss.
  • 16.09 | Hiking the Cares Gorge (Garganta del Cares), A Northern Spain Highlight
    I've been back for about a week and I still can't stop blabbing about Los Picos and the Cares Gorge. It's surprising how little known this national park is in the States, even among my hiker friends. Even if you're only remotely into hiking, the Cares Gorge (and Los Picos) is truly spectacular and is worth a trip if you ever find yourself in Northern Spain.
    Cares Gorge Northern Spain
  • 09.09 | What to Do in Bilbao: Stuff Your Face with Pintxos
    Armed with my Kindle, I decided to go on my own txikiteo. I was hesitant at first because it seemed like such a lonely thing to go on a solo bar crawl. But honestly, after the first glass of wine, I didn't even care. The tip is to find just the right bar.
  • 26.08 | Le Roadtrip, A Journey Through Brittany’s Most Beautiful Towns
    In case you haven't figured it out, I love roadtrips! Despite the crappy weather and the crowd, this roadtrip through Brittany medieval villages and coastline was no exception.
  • 19.08 | Visiting Paris in August, What’s It Like?
    What's it like to travel in Paris in August? It can be surreal sometimes, a virtually empty city mobbed by tourists. But the good thing is? It's still Paris.
    paris from montparnasse tower
  • 12.08 | The Golden Circle, An Iceland Sampler
    If Hawaii and Alaska had a baby, it would be tiny Iceland.
    gulfoss waterfall, Iceland
  • 22.07 | Roadside Wine Making in Areni, Armenia
    Wine making is still a big part of life here in Areni. A lot the wine you see on the roadside was still made through the old stomp-your-feet way before being fermented in blue plastic vats.
    Noravank Monastery in Armenia
  • 15.07 | Lonely Adventure Through Armenia (With A Side of Walnuts)
    Armenia is known for its gorgeous monasteries in beautiful and remote settings (more on this later). For me, the highlight of Armenia will always be its people.
  • 01.07 | Climbing Smith Rock – One of the 7 Wonders of Oregon
    Little known outside climbing community and Oregonians, Smith Rock State Park in Western Oregon had the kind of sceneries that leave you bug-eyed and slack-jawed.
  • 24.06 | Is Savannah The Most Romantic City in the USA?
    After spending some time in Savannah, I couldn't come up with a better word to describe the city other than 'romantic'. In fact, I think Savannah might be one of the most romantic cities I've ever set foot in.
  • 18.06 | Mardi Gras World is Both Fun and Amazing
    Who makes the floats? Who pays for them? What's the deal with the masks? Those are the questions I'd never asked myself. Having a big aversion to rowdy and drunken crowd, Mardi Gras is not high on the list of things I'd like to do.
    mardi gras world in New Orleans
  • 10.06 | My Highs and Lows of New Orleans
    I decided to take a 10 hour bus ride to New Orleans, one of the places I'd wanted to visit for a while. Here are the lowlights and highlights of my visit to New Orleans.
    Colorful doors in the French Quarter
  • 29.05 | Half Dome Reloaded, A Snake Dike Trip Report
    Climbing Snake Dike in Yosemite is one of those trips. Those who have been to Yosemite National Park will be familiar with this iconic feature in the park. Many might have even hiked to the top, a grueling 16 mile round trip that rewards you with one of the best views of Yosemite Valley.
  • 06.05 | Canyoneering in Zion, Deep Into the Slot Canyons
    I was keen to try out a version of canyoning that doesn't have 'God, I'm going to drown' aspect, and what better place to do that than Zion? Zion's famous slot canyons is just the place for breaking into canyoning.
  • 01.05 | Antelope Canyon For the Win, A Southwest Highlight
    When planning the itinerary of this Texas - California roadtrip with the 2 people I met on ThornTree, I made it clear: I don't really care about the other places, but we have to stop by Antelope Canyon.
    Colors of Antelope Canyon
  • 29.04 | We’re All Strangers Here, A Southwest Roadtrip Story
    I had wanted to do a cross US Southwest roadtrip for a long time but I have been unable to convince any of my friends to go with me. I know this made me sound like I had really lame friends...
  • 10.04 | Ways to Enjoy Spring in Yellowknife
    Yellowknife's snowcastle
  • 08.04 | Chasing the Northern Lights in Yellowknife
    There's something absurd, and some might even say insane, about the whole endeavor of chasing the northern lights.
  • 15.03 | Backpacking Denali – 7 Mistakes NOT to Make
    Learn from our mistakes. Here's what NOT to do when backpacking in Denali National Park. We couchsurfed and camped our way from Juneau to Denali National Park and saw some of the most beautiful sceneries we'd ever seen.
    Tips and Advices for Backpacking in Denali National Park
  • 04.03 | Photo Gallery: Hidden Ushguli, Georgia
    If I have to pick one highlight of Georgia, Ushguli would be it. Pig manure or not. It was everything I imagined Georgia to be: remote, wild, and utterly gorgeous.
    A photo gallery from Ushguli, Georgia
  • 27.02 | Georgia Is All About Monasteries
    To me, Georgian monasteries is as iconic as the mighty Caucasus. After seeing so many monasteries (too many) in Georgia I've come to the conclusion that Georgians sure know the real values ofreal estate: location, location, location.
    The road to Sapara
  • 28.01 | Discovering Kakheti, Georgia’s Wine Country
    Kakheti is the oldest wine producing region of the world. Wine has been made here for so long that it becomes part of a big part of the country's identity. The whole region seems to be overflowing with wine and vodka.
    Signaghi, a pretty town in Georgia's wine region
  • 21.01 | Scenes from Georgian Military Highway
    Georgian Military Highway connects Tbilisi and Russia through the spectacular valleys and passes in the Caucasus. It was one of the highlights of my visit to Georgia. It was such a gorgeous drive that I did it not once, or twice, but THREE times.
    Tsminda Sameba church
  • 14.01 | Tbilisi – Favorite Finds and Day Trips
    Tbilisi wormed its way into my heart despite our mutual initial indifference. It wasn't an easy city to love, but at the end of my time in Georgia, it started to feel a little bit like home.
    View of Kakheti wine region

2013

2012

2011

  • 30.12 | The Hottest Place on Earth, Danakil Depression in Pictures
    Danakil Depression in Ethiopia turned out to be one of the most colorful, alien, and beautiful landscapes I'd ever seen. There's nothing else quite like it on this earth.
    The colorful Dallol, Danakil
  • 28.12 | Erta Ale, Ethiopia – Looking Into the Bowel of the Earth
    Looking into the bowel of Erta Ale lava lake was like staring at the surface of the sun.
  • 26.12 | Tips and Facts on Visiting Danakil Depression in Ethiopia
    How and where do I begin to describe the things I saw when I visited Danakil Depression, 'the hottest place on Earth'? "Amazing" or "breath taking" doesn't seem to cut it. It's too pedestrian. "I must be dreaming because I can't quite possibly see what I'm seeing right now" is more like it.
    Visiting Danakil Depression, Ethiopia
  • 25.12 | Everything That Went Wrong in Ethiopia
    One of the most difficulty countries I've traveled to, I have a strong suspicion that Ethiopia wants to get rid of me. Let’s start the story from the very beginning.
    Bag slasher, Ethiopia
  • 22.12 | Thoughts and Tips on Visiting Fez, Morocco
    The souks of Fes is what I always imagined Morocco to be: a frontal assault on the nose, the eyes, and the ears. Here are my thoughts and tips for visiting Fes, which I enjoyed so much more than Marrakech.
  • 14.12 | What’s It Like to Stay in a Moroccan Riad?
    Staying in a riad is definitely something you have to do when traveling to Morocco. We were so amazed by the beauty of our riad (Riad Al Moussika) and so pampered by the attention that the staff gave us - it will be really hard to go back to staying in hostels.
    Moroccan riad
  • 12.12 | Oh My Hammam! The Time I Was Blind and Naked in Morocco
    Took me 2 weeks to gather up the courage to go a hammam (read here if you're not sure what a hammam is) in Morocco. Being naked in public has never been on my "Things I'm Dying to Do in Morocco" list. It was more like on my "Things I Still Might Not Do Even I Ever Got Bored Enough" list.
  • 07.12 | Camel Trekking – A Very Humpy Ride
    Going camel trekking in the desert has been something I'd dreamed of doing for many, many years. And finally, here in Morocco, I had a chance to make it happen. It didn't turn out quite how I had imagined. (Most things never do).
  • 05.12 | Camel Trekking – Welcome to the Desert!
    Jack making a makeshift thermal using my scarf on the freezing night bus to Merzouga
  • 29.11 | Photogenic Chefchaouen in Colors
    Chefchaouen blue
  • 27.11 | Ruins of Chellah – Where Cats and Storks Roam Free
    The first thing we noticed about the ruins of Chellah in Rabat is not the ruins itself, but the friendly community of resident cats who greeted us on the path towards the ruins. To greet and cuddle every single one of these cats, as one can imagine, makes for a very slow going. But as animal lovers (who miss having cats terribly), how could we not do it? Unless some of the cats in the medina, these ones look like they're well taken care of. That fact alone makes us feel like our 10 Dirham entrance fee is worth it.
  • 25.11 | Easing in into the Madness in Rabat, Morocco
    When I think of Morocco, I used to think of the madness and chaous of the souks of Marrakesh and the hassling touts in Fez. Well, Rabat is nothing like that. We surely didn't expect to walk out of the train station to find wide boulevards with palm trees, lined with imposing white buildings. Smartly dressed diplomats (it is Morocco's capital after all) in suites mingle with traditionally clothed men and women on the wide sidewalks.
  • 17.11 | Is it safe to travel to Colombia?
    Colombia? The food is not much to talk about. The bus rides will probably kill you. Other than that traveling in Colombia is just as safe as any other countries we went to in South America. Or as dangerous. Depending on how you look at it.
    Salento, Colombia
  • 02.11 | Mexico City – All the Fun You Can Have in 10 Hours
    Long layover sucks. On the way to New York from South America, we had a 10 hour layover in Mexico City. But getting out of the airport to enjoy a little bit of the city definitely beats moping around at the airport.
    mexico city zocalo
  • 31.10 | 3 Reasons to Visit San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
    The desert is not for everyone, of course. San Pedro de Atacama desert’s beauty is one of the understated kind with its muted colors under harsh sunlight. Barren landscape dotted with knee length growths – so skinny and naked it’s not right to call it a bush just yet.
  • 26.10 | The Quest for the Best Picanteria in Arequipa
    The main reason we came to Arequipa was for the food, typical comida Arequipeña such as 'rocoto relleno', 'chupe de camarones', 'chicharrones' and more. We had never considered ourselves foodies in the slightest bit before we got to Peru. Never before being obsessed with food, I think being away from good food for months in Colombia and Ecuador finally took its toll.
    Rocoto relleno by travelingman
  • 25.10 | How Much Does It Cost to Travel Peru and Other Stats
    How much does it cost to travel Peru?
  • 21.10 | Humberstone – A ghost town in Chilean desert
    But Humberstone was not anything like that. The reason it was abandoned was something less sinister than a deadly extra terrestrial virus. For awhile it was a prosperous town of 3500 that thrived on nitrate mining for fertilizer. These people had a town complete with a hospital, a public swimming pool, and even a theatre.
  • 14.10 | Getting Scammed at the Peru – Chile border
    Something fishy in Tacna border crossing
  • 11.10 | How to Survive Cuzco on a Budget
    It turned out that Cuzco is not as expensive as we were led to believe either: Our hostal and food cost is not any higher than the average we've been spending in Peru. The thing is: it's easy to spend a lot money in Cuzco.
    Cusco Plaza del Arma
  • 03.10 | Tripping on San Pedro in Hatun Machay
    There are two main groups of people who come to visit Hatun Machay: 1. Climbers 2. Druggies They come here for the same reason: to be among the weirdly-shaped rocks of Hatun Machay.
  • 29.09 | How to See Peru’s Erotic Moche Pottery
    When we read that Museo Larco contains a notable collection of pre-Columbian erotic Moche potteries - it got us all curious. This is definitely a museum we'll have to check out.
  • 27.09 | Peruvian Ceviche for the First Time in Lima
    We met our host in Lima, Ana, when we were volunteering in Banos, Ecuador. When we finally were making our way to Lima and making plans to meet up with her, we told her that there are 2 things we'd like to do in the 2 days we're in Lima: 1. See the 'erotic pottery' exhibition in Museo Larco 2. Eat yummy Peruvian food And boy, like an awesome host that she is, she fulfilled both of our wishes.
  • 23.09 | The colorful salt ponds of Maras
    Salt pond of Maras
  • 01.09 | Eeew, raw fish – Gluttony in Trujillo
    Ceviche in Trujillo, Peru
  • 30.08 | Kuelap – The Pre-Inca Ruins of Chachapoyas
    As the first city in Peru that we've stayed in, Chachapoyas had the unfortunate responsiblity of giving us a good first impression of this 3rd country in our RTW travel. Fortunately, Chachapoyas had nothing to worry about. Its neat and tidy plaza and white painted buildings brought us back to all of those cute Colombian pueblos that we loved so much. And if you're into ruins, you'll love it even more. This area is not only blessed with dramatic sceneries, but it's dotted with more ruins that you probably have time for.
  • 18.08 | How Much Does It Cost to Travel Ecuador (and other tidbits)
    How much does it cost to travel in Ecuador? Not counting Galapagos, Ecuador turned out to be surprisingly cheap. Here's our budget breakdown during our travel in Ecuador.
  • 16.08 | Playing Americans in Trujillo, Peru
    Big cities are never quite our things. We've been on the road for 4 months and the number of big cities we can safely say we've explored is very few. There were those 3 days we spent in Medellin. The 1 day spent in Quito. So safe to say that for the 4 months we've been traveling in South America we never had the opportunity to enjoy big city stuff. Things such as concerts, museums, and the hustle bustle of a city life. Things such as shopping malls. Western style shopping malls.
  • 14.08 | Epic Adventures You Can Do in Banos, Ecuador
    Baños is known as Ecuador's center of extreme adventure activities. You can do anything here as long as it involves climbing up stuff and falling down stuff. And if it involves water and volcanoes, it's even better. We felt right at home there. Here are some of the things we did that we've survived:
  • 10.08 | Vilcabamba to La Balsa to Chachapoyas – The Long Way to Peru
  • 08.08 | Where Have All the Hippies Gone?
    Apparently they all ended up here in Vilcabamba. I've never seen so many old people and tie dye-clad people - sometimes they're the ones and the same - since... Well, never, actually. Vilcabamba is experiencing some sort of gringo boom, it seems like. It's especially popular with the retired folks. We came to Vilcabamba on our way to Peru from Baños. We didn't really know what to expect - but surely we didn't expect a town overrun with expats and tourists.
    Handsome Vilcabamba main square and church
  • 05.08 | Postcard from Baños, Ecuador
    Baños is located at the bottom of a still very much active volcano, Tungurahua. So active that it's constantly spewing smokes. It definitely makes life exciting.
  • 04.08 | The Best of Baños
    Having stayed in Baños for almost 2 months, both Jack and I have discovered some places that quickly became our favorites. We'd love to share some of them with you.
  • 01.08 | Jumping Off San Francisco Bridge in Banos
    When we're not working or partying, we're jumping off bridges. There's this bridge in Banos called San Francisco, which is the longest, tallest bridge in town. Go to the bridge at any given time and you'll find a couple of guys hanging out offering a chance to swing jump off the bridge.
  • 26.07 | Taking A Break From Hostel Living – Come See Our $7 Apartment
    We stumbled across this apartment when we were trying to help our friends, Miin and Neil, to find an apartment here in Baños. The guy quoted us $25 per person per week to this 3 br apartment right in the center of the city. (You should've seen the face of the wife when she found out - she knew she could've charged us more.) It comes with cable TV, free WiFi, and hot water. And we even have hot water in the kitchen - the first we've ever had in South America.
  • 22.07 | Volunteering in Baños – 30 Kids and 100 Soda Bottles
    What happens when you hand 30 kids soda bottles 3 days in a row? Fun creatures is what happens. All of the stuff below were made during activity time at the Foundation in Baños - where we spent 3 weeks working with local kids and teaching English to adults.
    Jack at the Bib, Baños, Ecuador
  • 19.07 | Ingapirca, Not Quite Blown Away
    In case you're curious, we're still in Baños, Ecuador at the moment. We've been here for 5 weeks. Don't worry, the end of this week we're really, this time for real, going to move on. A couple of weeks ago, I left Jack behind in Baños while a girlfriend and I made a weekend trip to Cuenca. On the agenda: girls-only time and visiting Ingapirca. Unfortunately, for my first Inca ruin ever, Ingapirca turned out to be only mildly entertaining.
    Ingapirca ruin, Ecuador
  • 15.07 | Postcard from Galapagos
    We had a plan to send postcards to our families back home from the places we've visited during our around the world trip. But not until Galapagos did we finally get a chance. It was interestingly hard to come up with something to write about knowing there's no 'Ctrl-Z' button to save us if we make a mistake. We couldn't remember the last time either of us has written so much using pen and paper.
    postcard from Galapagos
  • 13.07 | The Quirky Museum in Baños: The Dead and the Decaying
    We're on our last week here in Baños. It's hard to believe that we've been here a month. It's sad to think that soon we'll be leaving our newfound friends behind and once again we'll be facing the unknowns and the unexpected that our travel will bring. We've spent our month here in Baños wisely, we think. We've volunteered our time working with the kids of Baños (more on this later) and both Jack and I have improved our Spanish by taking private lessons. We now know how to express our confusions in words other than mute blank stares (boo yah!).
    Museum in Baños
  • 05.07 | Our 5 Little Joys of Travels
    As we all know, traveling is not without challenges. Especially when you're traveling in a country where you don't speak the language. Especially if you're traveling in a country where you don't speak the language during rainy season.
    casa del arbol banos ecuador
  • 01.07 | Canyoning Rio Blanco – More fun and less fashionable than expected
    With so many waterfalls and rivers around Baños, it's no wonder that every tour agency in town offers some sorts of water related activities, like canyoning. I had my doubt about this whole canyoning thing at first. Rappelling is just a fancy name 'Don't let go of that brake hand or you'll get in serious trouble.'
    canyoning_rio_blanco_ecuador
  • 29.06 | (Willingly) Stuck in Baños – A Personal Update
    We've been in here for 2 weeks now. The longest we've ever stayed in a place. And the crazier part? We now have a routine. We have English classes to teach and children to supervise. We have Spanish classes to go to. We've been busy.
    Baños from the Bellavista Viewpoint
  • 27.06 | Stories and Photos from Galapagos – A Photo Collection
    We took close to 800 pics during our trip to Galapagos. Which is not that many compared to other people. My seasickness prevented me from being photo-happy like I usually am. Regardless, we'd love to share some of these pictures along with the stories behind them with you guys. Hope you enjoy!
    Galapagos Marine Iguana
  • 23.06 | Couchsurfing With Llamas and Goat
    I have to admit that I hit the 'Couchsurf with me' button as soon as I saw that they keep llamas at the place we were looking to couchsurf in Quito. "Llamas?! How cool! How... South American!" I squealed with delight. Visions of ourselves frolicking on top of llamas in high Andean meadows quickly came to mind.
  • 21.06 | Easily Amused in Galapagos
  • 16.06 | Learning to Appreciate Galapagos
    What are the images you see in your mind when you think of Galapagos? Tortoises? Lizards? For me, it's finches. Finches from a poster my third-grade Biology teacher put up on the blackboard of all the different finches that can be found on the islands. You know, Darwin's famous finches? Finches. Birds. Small birds at that. I'm not a small bird person. I guess safe to say I'm not a bird person at all.
  • 14.06 | Surviving Galapagos: From Seasick to Landsick
    Where we are now: Recovering from land-sickness in a Quito hostel
  • 07.06 | Last Minute Everything Galapagos
  • 05.06 | Visiting the Otavalo Market, Ecuador
  • 02.06 | How Much Does it Cost to Travel Colombia, plus our Colombia Itinerary
    Colombia, a country that's trying so hard to reinvent its image (and is doing a good job in our opinion). Arriving in Colombia, we didn't know what to expect. The brutal coastal heat in Cartagena drove us south to San Gil and then Medellin where the temperature was cooler and the landscape was greener. That was when things got better.
  • 29.05 | The Wonderful Things We Love About Salento
    We stayed in Salento for 10 days, much longer than any other place we went to in Colombia. Salento didn't really have a cute plaza where you can hang out (unlike Jardín), nor did it have the prettiest houses (that's Guatapé). But we ended up staying much longer than we expected for other reasons.
    The wax palms of Valle de Cocora
  • 27.05 | Escaping the Time Warp in Jardín
    There is something about Jardín that makes you feel like you've entered a time capsule and transported back to a non-descript time in the past. A time when people did nothing much other than hanging out on the main plaza and drinking coffee or tea - was there ever such a time?
  • 24.05 | Beautiful Valle de Cocora – A Photo Collection
    You might think, 'Palm trees? I've seen enough palm trees to last me my lifetime.' Well, that's what we thought too. But Valle de Cocora still managed to impress these palm-tree hardened hearts. The photos don't do this place justice.
    The wax palms of Valle de Cocora
  • 22.05 | Barichara – Where Is Everybody?
    The very first thing we noticed as soon we got off the bus in Barichara was how quiet everything was. Every now and then an old person would walk by. He would stare at us in the same curious way I imagine we were staring at him. Glad to see somebody else is out and about.
    The empty street of Barichara
  • 20.05 | The Lazy Hikers Guide to Valle de Cocora
    it's unfortunate that there seems to be an implication that unless you have 5 hour to spare, you won't be able to see the palm trees at all. A couple of people at the hostel didn't feel like they would be up to such a tough hike and were quite bummed at the fact that they might not be able to see the trees. But see, it doesn't have to be that way.
  • 15.05 | Looking for imperfection in Guatapé
    This pueblo in Colombia looks like it's taken straight out of an old Disney movie. The buildings in Guatapé are painted in highly saturated colors. The front side of the walls are decorated with painted reliefs. Different buildings, different motifs.
  • 09.05 | Cueva de La Vaca – From Caving Virgins to Caving Addicts
    So when a couple of people from the hostel said they were going caving at a nearby cave, Cueva de La Vaca, with little hesitation I signed up. Then I remember that not only am I not a big fan of the dark, I'm also terrified of being in water where I can't touch the bottom.
  • 05.05 | Eating ‘Hormigas Culonas’ – Colombian Ants With A Large Arse
    When I first heard about it, I couldn't wait to try it. I also couldn't wait to try to get Jack to eat it. See, he's somewhat of a finicky eater so it should be fun to try to cajole and bribe him to try it.
    An up close and personal Hormiga Culona
  • 03.05 | Colorful Cartagena Barrios – A Photo Collection
    We knew that the old city of Cartagena is divided into three districts or barrios: Getsemani, El Centro, and San Diego, but did not realize how different in characteristics they are. Here's a short photographic tour of each of them.
  • 01.05 | Giron – Where The Locals Told Us To Eat Chinese Food
    Jack and I looked at each other, 'I can't believe they took us to a Chinese restaurant. Do you think it's because I'm Asian?', I wondered. Jack only shrugged.
  • 27.04 | The Restaurant With An Identity Crisis
    "Hold up a sec!", I stopped Jack on his track. "This restaurant was not here before!" See, we would know. We love Indian food, and because we've walked down this street so many times before I would've spotted this Indian restaurant just around the corner from our hostel in Cartagena.
  • 25.04 | My Solo Traveling Moments in Cartagena
    I love getting up early in a new place to wander around and take pictures. My early morning walks is my chance to go as slow as I want and make as many photo stops as I want, it’s a taste of selfishness that’s a privilege to solo travelers out there
  • 23.04 | Into the Mouth of A Volcano In Colombia
    "It's kinda gross. I don't think I'm going to jump in." That's what I said as I looked down upon the pit of mud filled with mud-covered limbs that are attached to dozens of mud-covered people.
    Jack and Jill at the Vulcan del Totumo
  • 21.04 | Celebrating Small Victories in Cartagena
    After a small glitch in the plan, we've finally arrived in beautiful Cartagena in the late afternoon. Not without some small apprehensions. See, Jack and I don't speak much Spanish. We each took a semester of Spanish in college - so we get the general gist of how the language works and know how to craft rudimentary sentences. Only in present tense of course.
    View from Hotel Marlin, Cartagena
  • 06.04 | Climbing SE Cathedral Peak, Yosemite – A Trip Report
    We dabbled with trad climbing on our second summer after we got into the whole climbing business. We were inevitably drawn to the beautiful Cathedral Peak
    Beginning of Cathedral Peak
  • 03.04 | Roughing It Out on the Alaskan State Ferry
    At $300 per person for the 3 day journey, getting to Alaska by the state ferry is not the cheapest, nor the fastest way to get from the mainland US to the 50th state.
    Our ship to Alaska
  • 28.03 | The Best Chicken Noodle in Indonesia and A Tutorial
    My Indonesian parents' biggest fear is to have guests leave the house hungry and they were concerned that Jack wouldn't be able to find anything to eat during his first visit to Indonesia. What if he can't eat rice everyday? What if everything is too spicy for him?
  • 13.03 | Yogyakarta: Things to do when you only have 24 hours
    24 hours in Yogyakarta.
  • 10.03 | Getting Up Close and Personal With Mendenhall Glacier
    For a drive-through glacier, you know - the type of glacier where you can simply drive to, park, and gawk at, Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau was still impressive. So when our Couchsurfing host told us about Mendenhall glacier hike - we jumped at the chance.
    Medellin Glacier, Juneau
  • 06.03 | Hiking Mt. Whitney in One Day (and Losing My Pants)
    When my co-worker randomly blurted, 'You and Jack should climb Mt. Whitney with my husband!' - I had little idea what I was so enthusiastically agreeing to. But it's just hiking. How bad can it be?
    Trail Crest on the way down
  • 10.02 | Getting Scammed Buying Batiks in Yogyakarta, or Not
    Buying batik in Yogyakarta is not as simple as going to a store.
  • 06.02 | Climbing and Visiting Joshua Tree National Park
    There's something about camping or hiking in the desert that feels "clean". No dead leaves getting stuck to your shoes, or wet boggy terrain to step on, fewer bugs, no trees that get in the way of sunset viewing...
  • 03.02 | Get Off The Tourist Trail, 10 Favourite Destinations in Java, Indonesia
    My family's list of best places to visit in Java. Growing up, my family would go on road trips all over the island, discovering Java's many hidden highlights.
  • 27.01 | Sleeping On A Bed of Straw in Switzerland (and the story of a big pizza)
    Even after being warned how expensive everything was in Switzerland (especially for a couple of poor college students that we were), we decided to make a short trip to Switzerland during our Western Europe trip.
  • 10.01 | Ujung Genteng Beach — Java’s Hidden Treasure
    Quite possibly the prettiest beach in Java. Despite the bone-jarring 7 hour drive over rutted road, this place stole our hearts.
  • 05.01 | How Much Do Things Cost in Indonesia?
    Here are some examples of our expenses during our visits to Indonesia. Hopefully this will give you an idea how much things cost in Indonesia.
  • 02.01 | 7 Endearing Quirks of Indonesia
    Let me tell you one embarrassing thing: the first time I used a western bathroom, I didn't close the shower curtain. As you can guess. Water got everywhere! The worst part? Having so used to wet bathrooms, I didn't even know that I did anything wrong and I left without cleaning up, soggy bath mat and all.

2010