Top Must-Visit Cities For A Great South American Vacation

§ September 10th, 2014 § Filed under Uncategorized § No Comments

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil13602426825_696eca253e_z

Home of the “greatest show on Earth”, Carnival is what attracts most people to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Visit the infamous Copacabana Beach for some fun in the sun while playing volleyball, sunbathing, and stunting bikini thongs on the hot beach. After experiencing the sexiness of Brazil, it’s time to find out what the Copacabana neighborhood has to offer. International shopping, a vibrant nightlife and great concerts with random street bands is something for everyone to experience. Take the cable car to the Sugarloaf Mountain to see the spectacular views of the city. Christ The Redeemer statue is one of the 7 Wonders Of The World and you can take a trolley, cable car, or walk up to the statue if you choose. The Christ The Redeemer statue is astronomically big and boisterous with Jesus’ arms extended. This is usually the representation of Brazil that everyone see on pictures of Rio. The statue overlooks Rio with the best views in the city. Tourist can’t deny the friendliness and welcoming energy of Brazil, and that is why they continue to return to this ultimate South American vacation hotspot.

Bogota and Cartagena, Colombia

Bogota is a colonial city located about 8,000 feet in the mountains above sea level. This friendly place has plenty of tours to museums and cathedrals throughout the city. Bogota is home to one of the most unique public transportation bus systems in the world; Transmilenio. This bus system operates similar to a train system. After riding the bus, you can catch a ride in a cable car up to the mountains overlooking this environmentalist city. Bogota has a No Car Day where only bicycles are allowed on the road. This beautiful heterogeneous cultural city is one of the best places in South America.

The city of Cartagena is considered the “Miami of Colombia”. There are many 5-star luxury hotels located near the beautiful beaches. Cartagena’s historic center is labeled a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This city is well-preserved with a colonial old town and brightly colored buildings. Exquisite city walls and narrow streets surround the city’s center. Cartagena has some of the tastiest food in Colombia, and the city itself has a romantic vibe to it. With a relaxing Caribbean feel and lots cultural events to enjoy, Cartagena is a colorful city offering a lot of history from early Spanish settlers.

The Amazon Rainforest Tri-border of Leticia Colombia, Tabatinga Brazil, and Santa Rosa Peru

Known as “Triple Frontier”, this tri-border of Leticia Colombia, Tabatinga Brazil, and Santa Rosa Peru is a must visit. This place is a real gem to the experienced traveler who knows about it. Located in the center of the Amazon Rainforest, this is usually the starting point of adventure travel for nature enthusiasts. There are public ferries that sail the Amazon River daily and you can experience this for a very affordable price. If you take the slow ferries, they may take about a week or so to reach your destination. But if you were to take the fast ferry, you would get to your destination in days. Whichever option you choose, you will not miss the chance to bask in the raw amazement of nature. If you want to explore the Amazon Rainforest intimately, backpacking and hiking is your best option. Avianca and LAN airlines fly regularly to Leticia from Bogota. You can visit each country’s border city without going through immigration. But if you decide to travel beyond these border points, you need to get the proper documentation before leaving your original city.

Machu Picchu, Cusco, Peru

The ancient ruins of Machu Picchu is a must-see. At one point in time, this place was dominated by the Mayan civilization. This place offers a lot of history, spiritualism, and physical activities for the thrill-seeking tourist. Machu Picchu can be a very good vacation spot for you and your family. They will learn a lot about ancient Indian culture and history. Imagine the lush greenery rolling over the vast mountainous canyons while taking your breath away. This will give you time to connect with the city. When the rain mist blankets the top of the mountains, it will feel like you’re connecting with the Mayan ancestors. This is the best place to learn about one of the earliest ancient civilizations in the world. You can arrange tours to hike up to Machu Picchu along the Inca trail from the main city of Cusco. picture

Best Things To Do On A New Zealand Vacation

§ August 11th, 2014 § Filed under Uncategorized § No Comments

New Zealand LandscapeA Vacation In New Zealand

New Zealand will be a memorable place for your vacation! You will find yourself wanting to enjoy everything that New Zealand is known for. This is a place that will welcome you with its splendor, and wonderful people. You’ll be surrounded by the majestic atmosphere.

Embrace The Diversity

New Zealand will offer you adventure if that is your idea of a great vacation. If you enjoy seeing the views, you’ll see plenty. Whatever your style is, you’ll find it in New Zealand. Diversity is offered here. There are places that you wont want to miss out on experiencing. You will be very impressed with the diverse scenes and opportunities that you will find in New Zealand. Here are the top 10 things and places you must do and see!

The first thing that will strike you is the amazing views that will engulf you in Splendid New Zealand. You will be awe stuck at all of these sights!

The Top Ten
*The first sight you will enjoy is the magnificent Lake Wanaka! You will be offered a spectacular view of this peaceful lake. When the moon is full, the magic of the sky will take your breath away. If you enjoy soaking up the beauty of a lovely lake scene, New Zealand offers over three thousand lakes! You’ll want to take in the splendor of New Zealand’s’ wide variety of lakes. These lakes may offer a sense of majestic quiet. The lakes are the most magical spots to see. They offer the most loveliest blue water that may be filled with the wonders of the animal sea world

*The next place that you’ll want to see while you’re here is Home of Middle-earth there are many tours that are offered for this beautiful hot spot. You’ll have the opportunity to see some of the most magnificent places in Middle-earth. There have been many movies made here including Lord of the Rings, you may want to see those locations where filming has taken place.
*The third item on this list that you’ll want to see is The ‘City of Sails,’ this is Auckland. This city is spread out amongst volcanic landscapes. You’ll be offered much entertainment on Queen Street. This is the world’s largest city! It is quite cosmopolitan in style.
*The fourth on this list is Wellington, New Zealand. This is the nation’s capital and is filled with art and culture. You will have the view of the hilly suburbs along with the scenes of the waterfronts. There is much beauty to take in here.
*The fifth item is Milford Sound.There have been many who have named this to be an exquisite site. It is filled with scenic beauty.
*Item number six will be Queenstown. A touch of adventure along with scenes of the powerful mountains. This has been named as an adventure capital. You will find it surrounded by the lovely shores. You’ll have an opportunity to experience a little bit of adventure here along with the majestic beauty.
*Number Seven is Huka Falls. This will show you the power, and grace roaring water that rushes along the ravine. There is some water recreation offered as well. You can also take a hike on a trail. You’ll stroll through the native forests.
* Eight on this list is Abel Tasman National Park. This is the smallest national park however good things come in small packages. You are invited to explore this small piece of heaven.
*The ninth item on this top ten list is Christchurch-Canterbury. This is set right in the middle of the South Island. You’ll find many activities here along with classy vineyards and lovely gardens. It is not uncommon to watch the wales here.
*The final place that is one of the best places to see in New Zealand is The Tunnel Beach Walkway. You will enjoy exploring the caves, cliffs, and the rock arches here. You may even enjoy looking for fossils as you Stoll through this walkway tunnel.This is only a sample list of some of the best places to see while you’re on vacation in New Zealand. There is so much more beauty that you have the opportunity to soak in. You may need to take more than one vacation here. Your vacation ought to be one that gives you the opportunity to fully enjoy and experience all that you can during your visit.
These top ten items will definitely fulfill you vacation must see list. New Zealand offers the perfect vacation spot regardless of your age or background. You will be more than thrilled with your vacation here. You will have everything you need including accommodations and any travel arrangements.
Photo Credit 1

Hiking Mt. Saint Helens

§ July 12th, 2014 § Filed under Uncategorized § No Comments

397203827_5437466d54_zYou may not know this about me but I’m an avid hiker.

I love to travel and I love to hike.

So last summers biggest adventure was hiking Mt. Saint Helens.

What an amazing trip it was.  It was 12 hours of absolute joy and pain all wrapped into one.  We hiked this mountain in August and we got lucky and it was relatively clear views all the way up.

I’ve heard many people climb this mountain and never see much past a few feet ahead of them because of the constant layer of clouds and fog.  The pacific Northwest is known for its rain and clouds.

Video Research Via Hulu

If you want to know more about Mount Saint Helen’s then I highly recommend you check out the amazing documentary of this mountains history on Hulu.com.  Oh and for my international (non USA) readers if you can’t get Hulu access, then you’ll just need to follow this guide.  This method is highly recommended by a Canadian friend of mine.  I watch Hulu all the time and don’t have cable (but that’s a story for another day…)

This Hulu show is only 4 minutes long but it’s beautiful to watch and gives you a good sense of this mountains history.

Back To The Climb

The morning started out with great cool temps and views.  The first hour or so starts out in dense Northwest forest.  All of a sudden you come out of the forest and start the climb on the old Lava rubble.  Since it is still very early in the hike you are excited and filled with lots of energy.  It seems like we just bounded up the mountain at a record pace.

About 2 more hours in we start to fill the heat and slow down a bit.  The good news is that there was a most excellent breeze.  This breeze kept us cool as be climbed through a series of rock summits.  This mini summits seemed to never end. They just kept coming and coming.

About 5 hours into the hike we finally reached the Ash Field.

What a brutal hiking.  This last part of the mountain is very steep and the terrain is ash (or similar to sand).  Each time you take a step you gain 3 feet and then lose a foot.  It takes a ton of energy to make it to the top.

Once you reach the top, you’ll see one of the most incredible views in the entire world.  The power of that explosion was just incredible.  There is still tree debris in the lake on the bottom of the blast zone.

The Power Of Mother Nature Is Absolutely Mind Boggling

So we spend about an hour soaking up the views and eating our lunch.

Then we headed back down the mountain which you would think would be easy and enjoyable compared to the climb up. However, by this time our knees were screaming in pain and every step down hurt A LOT.

By the time we got back to our cars and head out we were exhausted and still had an hour drive back to our hotel.

Well, that was an amazing adventure and if you ever get a chance to hike it then DO IT.

 

Its Been Awhile Since I Posted Last

§ July 4th, 2014 § Filed under Uncategorized § No Comments

I know its been awhile since my last posts.  It’s just that work and life got really busy for me since I returned from Canada.  I still remember my recent Canadian trip like it was yesterday and will remember it always.

I’m excited to start thinking about my next big adventure.  Maybe New Zealand??

I hear that the flights to New Zealand are not cheap and most people recommend that you spend at least 3 weeks over there to get the full experience.  Sounds good to me!

I don’t think I’ve ever been on a 3 week vacation.  I’d sure think I would enjoy that.

Anyone have any advice on where I should focus my next trip to?  I’m really looking forward to everyone’s advice here.  I’m open to traveling just about anywhere as long as I can save up the funds for it.

Quick Update From Canada

§ February 3rd, 2014 § Filed under Uncategorized § No Comments

Canadian FlagI promised a couple of mid trip updates so this will be a quick post just to give you all a taste of what’s going up here.  I will tell you I’ve been having a fantastic time.

The flights and travel to Calgary were uneventful….which is the way I like my travel.  Nice and boring!  ;)

Once I got through the airport my buddy was there to pick me up.  Seeing a friendly face in a foreign country was very nice.  I fully expect to get that “alone and on my own” feel at some point in my travels but this was not the case for this trip.

My friend (who wishes to remain anonymous for this blog) drove me around the town to see all the main sites.  I’ll get into more detail in my followup posts (due to time restraints) but I’ll just say the Calgary is a beautiful city and people are very friendly.

Ok, so I got in Friday and today is Monday so here’s a quick list of all the things I’ve done since Friday.

Friday – General Tour of the City

Friday Night – A little bit of downtown fun

Saturday – Went to the Calgary Tower

Saturday Night – Flames Hockey Game – This was fantastic and was such a great time.  The Flames won (who hoo!) in overtime.  Very exciting, Canadians are very passionate about their hockey.

Sunday – We went to Banff National Park.  It was incredible!

Sunday Night – Exhausted from the National Park excursion

So that’s been the basic agenda so far.

Interesting observations so far:

So a lot of you might be interested in the major differences between America and Canada.  Even tho they are pretty similar, I have noticed some significant differences.

1) Tim Horton’s is very popular coffee place.  It’s basically the Starbucks of Canada

2) Hockey is very popular…mainstream

3) It’s cold but not too bad (so far) its not like everyone stays indoors all winter.  But its not Palm Springs either

4) Digital Content restrictions.  I was quiet surprised about how limited the digital content is in Canada.  They don’t have access to sites like Pandora or Hulu. Plus their Netflix is severely limited.  My buddy showed me a website on how he gets around these restrictions (a how to get american netflix in canada guide) but I was shocked and knew nothing about any of this.

Well, that’s all i really have for today.  It’s a quick post but it has been so much fun.  I have a busy rest of the trip planned so I will try to get one more quick update in before heading home.

Photo Credit 1

Not Much Response…

§ January 28th, 2014 § Filed under Uncategorized § No Comments

Well, its been a couple of days now and I haven’t gotten much response yet.  It’s probably more due to my lack of BLOGGING knowledge than any thing else.

Since this blog is so new, I have a very small audience so far, so if you are one of the few who are currently reading this post….Thank You!

I do have some good news to share with you.  I have decided to pick my first country to travel to.  Now I wanted to choose New Zealand first but to be honest I need more time to plan for such an incredible trip.

Plus everyone I have talked to who has traveled to New Zealand, have said you need to spend a minimum of 3 weeks to be able to take it all in.  Unfortunately for this first trip I don’t have 3 weeks.  I have 2 weeks…sigh…

It is what it is, so I have decided to travel somewhere that feels like a good first “out of country” travel experience.   You have probably already guessed which location I have chosen.

And you would be right if you said “Canada“!

Whats really cool about me traveling to Canada is I have a friend that lives there.  I have already reached out to him and he has invited me to stay with him for a significant portion of my Canadian stay.

What’s even cooler is that my buddy is going to take some time off in order to show me around.

I will be staying in the Calgary area of Canada and I’m most excited to see the Northern Rockies.  They look to be majestic.

He also is planning to go to a Calgary Flames hockey game with me.  I have never been to a hockey game before so this is sure to be a “new” experience for me.  I’m not a big sports guy so I might feel a little like a fish out of water but that kinda the point of this entire blog.

To travel and to experience things I normally would not.

My bags are packed and I’m ready to go.  I actually leave this upcoming weekend!

OK…so how often can you expect some Blog Updates?  I don’t want to over promise and disappoint so I’ll say that I’ll post at least twice while I’m traveling and then I will post with a bunch more details once I get back home.

I want to share my experience in real time but I also don’t want to be blogging the entire time and missing opportunities to do more.

That is the basic reasoning behind the 2 times while gone and then a bunch once I’m back.  Twice to keep you my readers in the loop on the gist of whats going on and then a bunch once I’m back in order to get all the fresh excitement down on “digital paper” before I forget.

So plan on seeing an update sometime next week.  Until thing enjoy this Canadian History Video….

Decisions – Decisions

§ January 21st, 2014 § Filed under Uncategorized § No Comments

I’ve always been an avid planner and struggle with pure spontaneity.  Its not in my nature to throw caution to the wind….its just too scary.

My default personality when it comes to traveling consists of something like the following:

– Agonize over where to travel

– Make a list of all the things I might possibly need on my travels

– Make a list of all the thing I need to get done to prep for travel

– Make a list of contacts who need to know times and dates of travel

– Create a day by day (hour by hour) schedule of all travel activities

– Make a list of resources for emergencies situations

You get it…it can go on and on and on and on

Now these are all worthy efforts for those who believe they can control every aspect of their lives.  We are people who show up to airports 3 hours early, Just In Case.  We pack weeks ahead of time.  We have our mail held, have our neighbors water our plants and keep just the right number of lights on in the house to make it “seem” like someone is home while we are gone?

Sound familiar?  You are either in this camp or you know someone who is.

Either way, I believe my tendency to plan/prepare to this level was first instilled in me by the Boy Scouts of America.

Now before I get myself into some hot water, let me just say that the Boy Scouts is an awesome organization and does an great job to instill many needed values in our youth.  However, what you gain in one aspect of your life you lose in another.

If you always preparing then you lose spontaneity.  When you are planning every step of “everything” you lose creativity.  It just is what it is.

So this is all a long intro to tell you that I want to start my traveling adventures on a very spontaneous, uncontrolled way. I have decided to leave my first destination up to faith.  I put my travel plans in the hands of YOU.

Now I cannot quite give up absolute control…..so I have a list of 5 countries that I would like to travel to sometime in 2014.  What I will do is share these 5 countries then allow you to vote.  I will then tally up all the votes and the one that gets the most, is the place I will travel to first.

Drum Roll  **..**..**..**..**..**

Canada (safe but I’ve never been and would love to go)

Mexico

Japan

New Zealand

Brazil

Ok there are the 5 you can choose from.  Now give it to me….let me know where you want to send me and that’s where I’ll go.  Feels so Freeing to be so Spontaneous!!