adventure

THE MOST POWERFUL FEELING

I love the feeling of going somewhere new for the first time. It’s a special kind of exhilaration, a sense of being alive and experiencing the world.   I’m always anxious and scared as I prepare for a new journey. The comfort zone feels so…comfortable. It’s so safe and so easy to stay there; sometimes I wonder why I would ever leave.   But then I force myself to take the leap. Suddenly, I’m on a plane and a new place is coming into focus below me. My eyes are glued to the window, my heart quickens, and I am so in awe of this world. So big, so beautiful and so different, yet similar everywhere. It’s a powerful feeling to know you can show up in a new city, country, wherever and be able to figure it out. It’s not always graceful or glamorous (in fact, in my experience, the first few days in ...

A LITTLE GHOST STORY FOR MODERN TIMES

Over the summer, I ventured to Canada for the first time. Two friends and I decided to explore Montreal and Quebec City, hoping for slightly cooler weather, French-style pastries, and Canada Day celebrations. We succeeded in two of the three experiences (we happened to visit during a record-breaking heat that sapped our energy and resulted in the over-consumption of gelato and iced coffee—not necessarily a horrible way to cool down).  Once we arrived, we had intended to stay in a quaint little hostel in the middle of Vieux-Montréal. After checking in and lugging our bags up multiple flights of tiny, winding stairs, we arrived in a small room on a top floor with an adorable view of the city and no air conditioning. The air sat still in the room and the three of us toppled onto the bed, our ...

AREN’T YOU AFRAID TO TRAVEL ALONE?

“How does your husband feel about you traveling alone?” “Why doesn’t he go with you?” “Why don’t you bring a friend?” “Aren’t you scared?” “Don’t you get lonely?” “Do you watch the news?” “But… you’re a woman. Isn’t that dangerous?” I am a wanderer. To me this means that my brain craves more than the small space I occupy can provide for me. I am not fearless, nor am I stupid. To tell you the truth, the idea of being able to stand on a glacier, see a camel in it’s natural habitat and walk through the lands of ancient history is one of the very few things that keeps me alive. To answer some of the questions that I usually like to roll my eyes at, of course my friends and family don’t love the idea of me trotting the globe solo; however, if I waited around to find someone else who shared the ...

GETTING TO CUBA

My obsession with getting to Cuba starts with my Aunt Suzanne, who unexpectedly died in the summer of 2015, which was very hard for everyone in the family. But of course, it was the hardest for her husband, Mike; they had been married for 40 plus years. We all saw how a part of him died the day Suzanne died. After Suzanne passed, Mike became more obsessed with traveling. I think the depression of losing his one true love drove him to want to do some very ambitious travel. He wasn’t well – he was sick for well over a decade, a heart transplant led to lung cancer for the 63-year-old nonsmoker. He probably should not have traveled internationally at all, so it took us all for a surprise when he told everyone we would be doing a family trip to Cuba the Christmas after Suzanne died. He wa...

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...

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