adventure

THE OLIVE TREE WITHIN

With 12 weeks of vacation time to use and a bargain rental on a Spanish villa, I dug out my passport from my catch-all drawer filled with safety pins, pens and old makeup, and I dusted off the Nars Perfect Peach blush. Both of my parents had died when I was very young. My grandmother raised me, and she passed away a year ago, which left me feeling homeless.  I was an adult now at the ripe age of 32. I had a nice apartment in Tampa, Florida and a good paying job. I didn’t have a spouse or family of my own, so holidays felt particularly lonely as my family consisted of a black mini schnauzer and the occasional stray cat that I took in because we seemed to be kindred spirits. I had the vacation time saved up and it seemed to be a great time to take that European vacation that I had always dre...

SOLO TRAVEL SOUTH KOREA LIKE A PRO

You’ve dance the Gangnam Style, you’ve watched the food docos and now you are itching to visit Seoul to experience Korean culture. You want the unedited, raw octopus galore kind of holiday where you can chat to the locals and after, dazzle your friends with your stories! I’m sharing my experiences from my solo travel in the hope that it pushes your comfort boundaries a little so you can declare that you went on a genuine escapade. After all, we only live once. Memorise 1330 Before we rush off, this is something you must know. 1330 is your lifeline to everything a traveler needs during their stay in South Korea. The Korean government acknowledges the importance of their tourism industry therefore is prepared to help visitors extensively. When you are on the ground, nothing beats having a nu...

TRAVEL GUIDE TO ZAGREB, CROATIA

What is it When it comes to city breaks, there are the usual suspects which crop up time and time again – Paris, Amsterdam, Prague… but sometimes you want somewhere a bit different. Something new and something still culturally connected to its roots – somewhere that doesn’t have tacky tourism shops on every corner and that plays host to more holidaymakers than it does locals. And this such place is Zagreb. Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and a real city gem. Often overlooked in favour of Croatia’s coastal destinations such as a Split or Dubrovnik, Zagreb is a destination in its own right and one more than worth of a visit. Why not head for a long weekend, or even for a couple of days as a stopover on your way to the coast? It feels like a real secret and real hidden gem just waiting to be...

THE LITTLE THINGS

I do believe in “the little things.” The little things are what makes the journey after all. You might take a specific trip somewhere with a certain purpose, but the ride there and back and everything that led to this point or to the end of a journey are worth remembering. Sometimes they’re not as easy to remember after the big adventure but in the end they are part of the adventure as well. I keep a traveling journal with me on the road, not really to spread emotions and thoughts, but more for the little things. I like to have it around and write my day before going to bed every day. It helps me remember things for later or sometime let go of things. The little things are sometime good and sometime bad but we should learn from all of them. Whether they are personal or shared adventures. A...

THE UNKNOWN

Sometimes knowing is not the answer but the unknown is what we all crave for The mystery keeps us alive   The insatiable nature of a human is very puzzling yet resides in the every corner of a person unsatisfied no matter what we do   When you’re born you’re curious about the new worldly things that surround you From the small particle of dust, to the huge human with a lovely smile on her lips, From the small speck of light, to the big old eyes talking gibberish to you Everything seems so exciting! You want to talk like them, you want to see every sunlight, feel everything and explore more, But That only lasts until it is unknown to you.   The particles are no more interesting The smile is no more lovely The light is what you feel bored of now The “gibberis...

WHAT I FOUND IN FAIRBANKS

Booking spontaneous trips is a habit I got into after I turned 21. I wanted to go everywhere and see everything, which meant that anytime I had any extra money to spare, I booked a ticket and searched for the cheapest hotel, AirBnb or hostel around. In August, Chicago was hot and humid and I was tired and getting a little loony during my long retail days. During a lunch break, I decided on Seattle. It looked like my type of city: by the ocean, with plenty of culture and coffee. And so began my countdown for October and my continuous search for things to add to my list of sights and eats to check out while I was in Seattle.   My friend and I were on a brunch outing when she commented on my upcoming trip. With enthusiasm, I began sharing all my travel plans. That’s when the idea to visit Ala...

BLUE IS A PLACE

The Blue Ridge Mountains are varied hues of blue at sundown. Cobalt, sapphire, navy and midnight blues against a sunset ripe with fire-burning clouds hanging low over heavens. These are heavens stretching far out to where the mountain peaks greet the sky. There I was with no cell signal, a flask of Jack Daniels and a sixer of unopened Budweiser. An open blanket of stars like loud graffiti mandalas stretched across the Southern sky. I played John Denver songs from my phone’s music library until my phone ran out of battery. I scratched out new poems in an old journal I’d thrown into my backpack at the very last minute. I listened to the choirs of cicadas and realized I was finally writing enough words again to call myself a writer. I was lonely. But this was only a loud cry for self and my s...

I DIDN’T HAVE TO JUMP OUT OF A PLANE TO BE ADVENTUROUS

I used to think being adventurous was for others – the thrill seekers, the risk takers, the brave. It meant jumping out of airplanes, backpacking through the Himalayas or doing any number of other risky things that weren’t up my alley.  I shrugged it off and accepted that I wasn’t the adventurous type. But, with each passing year, I felt more restless, and I knew I needed ‘more’ from my life. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but it had to be something to make me feel more challenged, excited and alive. I needed something that allowed me to get lost in the moment and feel like a kid again.    Talking with friends, colleagues and other women led me to a discovery: I wasn’t alone. Women everywhere wanted to get out of their rut, feel the wind in their hair, and live a little. But, like me...

FOUR DAYS IN U.S.V.I – OUR GIRLS TRIP

Now that my daughters are older, I wanted to plan a trip for just us, a getaway that combined the things that all of us enjoy. After some research, I settled on the U.S. Virgin Islands — St. Thomas and St. John, to be specific. As I have noted in previous posts, we travel when others don’t typically – so travels not too expensive and we can enjoy more. We traveled over the 4th of July holiday, flying when others were barbecuing and watching fireworks. The resort I chose had an all-inclusive option, however, I did not opt in to that part. While I enjoy all-inclusive for some trips, I don’t on all, as it forces you to get out and explore; to find dining options and to take tips from locals.  On day one, we just relaxed and decompressed from our hectic lives. The resort offered a ...

WHAT THE HECK DOES HOME MEAN ANYWAY?

Fall River, MA Boston, MA San Diego, CA Buenos Aires, Argentina Warsaw, Poland Prague, Czech Republic The first on this list of cities brought me up to the ripe age of 17. A lot of the population in Fall River hangs right around the poverty line and I knew my fair share of heroin addicts. I thought gangs and knives at school were normal occurrences. My mother and father were young when they were made parents and neither got to finish a 4 year degree with the pressure of raising children and paying a mortgage. But I knew, even at a young age, college was expected of me. After graduating 12th in a class of 600, I left Fall River and went just an hour north to study in the pre-med program at Boston University. The idea of fulfilling a lifelong dream (become a M.D.) in one of the best ranked c...

GIRLS WEEKEND GETAWAY TO CLEVELAND

About two months ago, three of my closest friends from college shocked me and showed up on my doorstep for a girls weekend! I was pleasantly surprised and while I obviously didn’t have an opportunity to plan much, we had a great time exploring my lovely hometown of Cleveland, OH. If you’re interested in planning a girls weekend getaway, I would highly suggest that you consider CLE as your location. Take a look at my below suggestions and start planning your girls weekend getaway to Cleveland! Getting There: Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is located only 12 miles away from downtown Cleveland and offers over 150 daily nonstop departures. If you’re on a budget, there are quite a few low-cost airlines that fly in and out of the LAND like Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines. If you’r...

ONE WORLD CUP JOURNEY

Our World Cup journey began with a “hey, we should” – how most things start with us. Once those words come out of our mouths, the gears in the brain start working and somehow the plan begins to form. I was not a big soccer (futbol) fan at the start, in fact, I had never watched a match from start to finish, much less live in a stadium. We were living in Chicago and there happened to be the final of the Gold Cup taking place and Soldier and I, on a whim, we went. The United States beat Panama and it was so exciting, not bad for my first experience. See, we needed to know I enjoyed it if we were going to travel and experience all that the Cup offers. We researched the lottery for the tickets and what we needed to do to get to Brazil. We had an idea, but nothing would even make sense if...

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