5 Reasons to Use a Tour Company for Your First European Adventure

Dreaming of a trip to Europe? Not sure how to get started on planning your trip? No worries, there’s not much to think about beyond packing if you do your trip with a tour company.

I won’t lie that it’s a pricy option, but if you have pinned locations all over Europe to your Pinterest board, then this will be the simplest and cheapest way to make your dreams a reality.

Not convinced? Here are 5 tips that may make you change your mind: Read more

4 Things To Do in Minca Colombia

When I was in Cartagena I stumbled onto this town called Minca.

I use the word stumble loosely as this place was 5 hours away from the city of Cartagena. But I only heard about it from another backpacker.

Anyways, it is a small mountain town. Or as I refer to it a hippy town. The coffee shop I went into when I first got there had no doors on the bathroom. You feel me?

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12km Walk Under the Boiling Sun – Santorini Style

Have you heard about the 12km walk in Santorini? No?

Well prior to asphalt roads being built, the two main cities (Thira and Oia) of Santorini were travelled to and from along the top of the coast. The path, as you may have guessed, is 12km long.

If you have the time, I suggest you walk it. The view is stunning and so is the environment. Because Santorini is affected by an active volcano, the erosion is quite fantastic with its mix of colours. As you walk along the path, you will see black rocks and then a whole area that is completely red.

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Cartagena – The New “IT” Place

Colombia has risen to the top of people’s travel bucket list – and for good reason. It is a beautiful country that is clawing itself out of it’s bad reputation. You say Colombia, and people automatically think cocaine capital of the world.

For a while, this was true. However, now a days the government has started to clean up areas of the country and wipe out the production of drugs. In areas like Minca, a town in the mountains, that residents used to make money from working the cocaine fields, are now profiting from tourism and coffee farms.

So, is it a safe place to go to? Yes and no.

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La Tomatina: What to Expect

Planning to go to Spain for La Tomatina? Here are some things you should know before you go get tomatoes thrown at your face.

La Tomatina takes place at the end of August (varying every year), for a celebration that no one really knows why it started. Speculation is that the village people got angry at the government and started throwing tomatoes at them to show their anger. Anyways… The annual event is hosted in a Small town near the coast called Buñol, Valencia.

Where To Stay: the obvious choice would be to stay in Valencia. And if you have the time to spend a night there then I suggest you do so. However, book it in advance, it is a small town. You may end up getting a room at their university. You can also stay in Barcelona and  get your tickets through a company that will drive you overnight to Valencia. Read more

Packing for a Trek to Machu Picchu

I was under the impression that bringing a few layers of clothing would be more than enough to trek to Machu Picchu for four days. Well… turns out I was mistaken.

I ended up wearing ever piece of clothing I had in order to stay warm. So please read this blog, and don’t make the same mistake as me.

The best time to go to Machu Picchu is from May – November to avoid the rainy season. Unfortunately, this means you are going to be in Peru during their winter months. Which at an altitude of over 3,000 meters feels quite cold.

If you are doing the Inca Trail or the Salcantay Trail you will probably have to pack slightly different items. The Inca Trail is all stairs and if you go in the dry season you will be in the sun all day. If you are doing the Salcantay Trail part of it goes through the Amazon so it is humid and there are more chance of encountering mosquitos. The climate also varies on the time of the year you go, as well as, how long a trek you are doing, as a 2 day trek and 5 day trek may have different paths.

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4 Tips for Travelling Solo

I was determined to spend my birthday this year in Paris. Preferably with friends, but none of the 10 people I invited could come. I know, LAME!IMG_0425

So I ended up doing a solo trip to Paris. Was it an amazing time? Yes. Would I do it again? I don’t know. I personally enjoy having people to share experiences with. Am I glad I did it? Yes.

If you are planning a solo trip and don’t want to be the lead role in your own remake of the movie Taken, here is some advice to keep in mind.

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The City That Wasn’t Built In A Day – Rome

I don’t even know where to start. My heart is torn between Rome and Paris. Both are breathtaking places that are just too hard to describe in words.

I’ve heard the expression “Rome wasn’t built in a day” many times… And it is a very accurate statement. Whenever I heard this saying my mind would wonder to the Colosseum… but that’s only 1 monument Rome has contributed to the world. And they are ALL astounding. And they definitely were not built in a day.

I think the reason behind my admiration for Rome stems from423900_10151658202987631_740763560_n an experience I have never encountered anywhere else. I had my breath taken away. Not just one but twice.

The first time was at the Trevi Fountain. Imagine God like statues (both for looks and size) adorning the back of this massive building in the middle of nowhere.
I don’t know if you understand this, the fountain is the entire back side of a 3 STORY BUILDING – 84 feet tall.

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How I Started 2017: Realizing I’m Closer to 30

It is currently 1pm on January 1, 2017 and I can’t help but reflect on how different it is to spend new years outside of your “home” country.

I decided to finish 2016 in Argentina visiting my family that I have not seen in 2 and ½ years. It is and was a great idea.

For those who have never spent the holidays in a Latin American country here is some key information to prepare you:

  1. You will be sweating all day on December 31st as if it truly were the last day on Earth. It reached 40 degrees Celsius in Cordoba Argentina – plus thermal sensation.
  2. You will need to take a siesta to keep up with the locals
  3. You will not be having dinner before 10pm
  4. You will be spending the first hour of the new year (i.e. from 12pm to 1am) with family ringing in the new year
  5. You will gather all the energy you gained in your siesta to go out with friends at 2:30am
  6. You will not get home until after 5 in the morning

If this sounds like a great time to you – which it is – then you need to plan new years in the south.

Here is a run down of my last day in 2016 and my first day of 2017:

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Argentina

I have traveled to Argentina probably 10 times – aside from having lived there for the first 8 years of my life. But despite all my time spent there, I can’t find a way to describe my experience. It is very different than going to a country for the first time. I don’t get off the airplane and get filled with excitement to explore a new place, I get excited to spend two to three weeks with family.

I have never experienced Argentina as a tourist. So I think the best way to show you what Argentina – in this case Córdoba – looks like is through pictures. Read more