Wordless Wednesday:- Window with a View

Stone wall window at Machu Picchu, Peru

Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life (Peru)

People watching can be entertaining and a learning experience. Studying body language. Wondering the reason behind their facial expressions. Noticing unique, unexpected events. I enjoy observing.

Normal daily life in Peru

Normal daily life in Peru

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I have a dream…

When traveling, sometimes I keep quiet and observe – people watch. Sometimes I want to participate and interact. Sometimes I want to communicate; listen and be heard.

From traveling I have met a diverse bunch of human beings. Not all of them are fellow travelers. Some are locals who have never been on a long distance bus, train or airplane – never left the town they were born in. Their background varies. Their age varies. Some inspires me. Some humbles me. Some makes me look at life from a different angle. Some distracts me and makes me stop thinking.

Regardless of the length of time we actually spent together – be it a millisecond or hours or days – I am grateful our paths have crossed. Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

Well I’m still learning the ropes of WP and the fun ideas they have to help bloggers. SO I’m gonna give the Weekly photo challenge a try!

Family – when I’m on the road, traveling, exploring – I call those that I value, family.

When a special bond is created. When a life-long memory is created. When an unforgettable experience is shared. Those involved become my family. Continue reading

My first time… Hiking and Camping

Would you believe if I told you my first time hiking and camping was on the Inca trail in Peru?!

Well that is the truth – I’m a city girl with curiosity and an unfounded adventurous heart. Growing up in Hong Kong on Hong Kong island, my family rarely crossed the harbour to Kowloon, let alone visiting the ‘country-side’ of the New Territories. Then when we immigrated to Winnipeg, Canada – we didn’t venture out of the city to explore the rest of the province. Let’s just say my family is not the nature/outdoorsy type.

Fast forward to 2008, after visiting Bolivia the year prior, the itch for nature grew. Actually before I left Bolivia I decided I need to return and explore more of South America. So I had my heart set on the Inca trail and the Galapagos islands. Continue reading

The mysterious Amazon…

Back in 2008, after my 4 day trek to Machu Picchu, I went to the Peruvian Amazon river basin to recuperate. From Puerto Maldonaldo, we took a boat ride up the Tambopata river to stay in a jungle lodge. During the day, we would go on exploration walks into the forest with a guide. At night, we would take a ride up the river to look for caimans or explore the forest. The rainforest holds a mystery that cannot be found anywhere else.

Take a journey together - Tambopata river, Amazon, Peru

Take a journey together

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She did What!?! ~ with Diane

Single Woman Travels! (SWT) is a place to inspire and motivate women (and men) around the world to travel. She did What?! is a monthly series of Q&A – asking women around the world to share their past travel experience. From this, I hope a few more women who are on the brink of expanding their world will be inspired and motivated to turn their dreams into reality.

Bio…    Diane Chung www.drdianechung.com, Toronto. I’m living in the dream, baby… 😉

SWT:    Where was the destination of your first solo trip?

DC:       Europe (France, Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands)

SWT:    How old were you?

DC:       19

SWT:    Were you single or attached at the time?

DC:       Attached

SWT:    What inspired the idea?

DC:       A boy–that’s all I am saying…

SWT:    What was your trip style? (backpack, tour group, comfort, meetup with family/friends)

DC:       Urban backpacker. Wanderer/adventurer. Allergic to tour groups.

SWT:    What type of accommodations? (family owned, B&B, tents, if a hotel, how many stars)

DC:       Combo of backpack/hostel, staying with friends and 3 star hotels.

SWT:    How long was your trip?

DC:       3 weeks

SWT:    Who looked after the logistics?

DC:       I did logistics when alone, friends handled some when staying in their cities.

SWT:    If you planned and/or booked the itinerary, did you enjoy the process?

DC:       Yes… fun and all part of the adventure, journey, experience… though it did take time.

SWT:    If you worked with a travel agent, how was the experience?

DC:       N/A

SWT:    Would you / have you booked subsequent trips yourself?

DC:       Yes

SWT:    What would you do different – in hindsight?

DC:       I wanted to make sure I got the “most” out of my trip and made up an itinerary that covered all the major sites, museums and galleries = tourist fatigue. In hindsight, I would’ve left more times open and fluid for spontaneous detours, surprises and discovery.

SWT:    Did you feel comfortable traveling solo?

DC:       Yes… though homesickness did start to set in after the 2 week mark.

SWT:    How much research did you do in advance?

DC:       The Lonely Planet guidebook was my bible—I poured over it, dog-earred and highlighted it for nearly 2 months. They didn’t have the interwebs back then…

SWT:    What was the biggest surprise on the trip?

DC:       How easy it was to travel on my own, that people tend to be helpful, and that I over-prepared. I realized afterward that I would’ve been fine with less prep, and even potentially could have had more spontaneous fun, had I not planned quite so much. That said, all that prep as a first time, single woman traveling did give me a lot of peace of mind.

SWT:    What did you learn about yourself during the trip that you weren’t totally aware of beforehand?

DC:       My own level of initiative and courage.

SWT:    Was there any close calls or run-ins?

DC:       Missed the last train to a relative’s house in the suburbs of Paris because I was out just a little too late. Had the giant Metro gate close right in front of me while I was changing trains somewhere in the outskirts. Had to take an expensive and dodgy cab ride the rest of the way.

SWT:    Where is your next dream destination?

DC:       Iceland…or Peru

Next time, we’ll hear from Bela who chose to travel on her own…

If you’d like to share your story, contact me! 🙂