Nature is an integral component to living a balanced life. The fresh air. The silence. The beauty.
Personally, I try my best to spend some time with nature during my travels as I live in a metropolitan city.
While I was traveling in the Philippines, I made sure to give myself time for hikes in nature. Coincidentally, prior to my arrival to the country of 7107 islands, I heard about a person’s wonderful experience from hiking in Sagada. So I did my best to include Sagada to my itinerary. Continue reading →
Hong Kong, the land of mixed ideals and unimaginable contradictions. It has attracted tourists, travelers, expatriates and mainlanders for decades. In some ways, not much has changed but it has also changed in many countless ways.
There is a charm in Hong Kong that is not found anywhere else. Today, I will share with you some unique phenomenons found only in this little piece of land that is my birthplace.
Have you ever been to a new city and want to make the most of your time?!
Well I tried to do just that when I had only 18 hours to spend in Haifa, Israel. I had arrived in Haifa at around 11am on a Wednesday from Tiberias, Israel and then I had a train to catch at 5:25 am the next morning, to catch a flight from Tel Aviv (Ben Gurion airport) to Istanbul Turkey. So after my check-in at the hostel, I scurried and tried my best to explore the port city as much as possible.
I still don’t know much about Haifa but I had 2 places I wanted to check out – the famous Baha’i Gardens and Wadi Nisnas. As the Gardens is up on top of the hill, I figured I’d see Wadi Nisnas first and capture the sunset while up high over looking the city.
Wherever I travel to I tend to seek out at least one location for a bit of self-care, spa time, “Me” time. When I was in the Northern reaches of Israel early in November of 2014, I looked for a natural hot springs that is easily accessible from Tiberias.
Tiberias is a city on the Sea of Galilee. Minutes from Tiberias is the Tiberias Hot Spring which is accessible on foot or by taking the local bus. It is located at the just South of the Hamat Tiberias National Park. I found out about it when I saw it from the bus en route to my day hike in the Yehudiya National Park.
However, when I consulted with the hotel owner, he said “Don’t waste your money there, if you want to visit a proper hot spring, go to Hamat Gader!”
Recently I spent 2 weeks traveling from the South to the Northern reaches of Jordan. I must say it’s not an easy country to visit – especially for a solo, independent, female traveler. Luckily I met a fellow solo, independent, male traveler from Germany with a rental car so we had an impromptu road trip together for a few days.
The public transportation in Jordan only connects Aqaba and Petra in the South with Amman and Madaba in the North. Access to the other beautiful historical sites can only be gained with a private car, taxi or a tour bus.
While on the road – alone – it can be challenging. Everyone is a stranger. And if your parents or guardians told you to not talk to stranger when you were a kid growing up and you want to keep following that adage – you’d be inadvertently on a silent retreat.
Sooner or later, you will HAVE to talk to a stranger… for directions, for help, to check into your new accommodation.
Then if you’re on a budget and staying in dorm rooms, there comes another level of interaction with strangers. No you’re not sharing a bed with them but you are paying to share a confined space with them. Your personal space is a little smaller. All your current personal belongings on display.
Personally I have never had the need to share a room with a complete stranger until I started my solo travels. Yes I was fortunate – I did not share a room with my brothers or cousins when we traveled. I tend to trust people by default – some times I trusted too much.
Some hostels, pensions or whatever they are called in your destination provide a locker for all or part of your belongings. Some do not.
Question: What happens when one of your roommate is intentionally waiting for the opportunity to steal from you? Continue reading →
My first time in Europe was back in 2002, I pre-purchased a EUrail pass and traveled to multiple countries in Western Europe. That was the thing to do with a backpack. Pick the number of travel days within a limited time span and a number of countries and you are set to explore the continent. Though expensive, it made traveling between countries and within each country scenic, fast and efficient. EUrail also has a historical significance as that was the method in which millions of travelers moved from one location to anther for decades in Europe.
In 2006, I visited 5 different countries (England, Ireland, France, Italy and Germany). The 4 of us flew with Ryanair within the European continent. I still remember the flight between Milan to Paris was only 1 euro plus applicable taxes which cost us less than $25 CAD in total. However, we failed to consider the additional costs required to commute between the city center and the smaller airports that Ryanair used. Though I think it was still much cheaper than traveling on the train and took us less time.
12 years later, in 2014, I’ve discovered bus travel in Europe as a new method to save money and see the landscape! After arriving in Hamburg, Germany my friend spoke of her 15€ bus ride between Hamburg and Berlin. When I moved into a hostel, my dorm mate took a 11-hours bus ride from Gothenburg, Sweden to Hamburg.
Earlier in June of 2014, I was ready to leave Northern Greece for the South. I had arrived in Greece on a bus from Istanbul and thought I would continue my odyssey by bus – to save money and see more of the landscape as I could afford the time.
I started searching online while I was in Meteora and Corfu about what’s there to explore between the North and Athens. There are countless points of interests depending on preferences. Direct buses does save money but I have to consider what I really want to see.
So I paid more and spent a bit more time and decided that on my way to Athens from Corfu, I would make a short visit in Olympia. If you’re not aware, Olympia is where the very first Olympics where held back in 776 BC. So I figured it would be worth the trip!
Brace yourself for a taste of “The Amazing Race” style of traveling.