Adventures Abroad

Adventures Abroad
Machu Picchu

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Travel Safe

Have you ever heard the horror stories of people traveling and getting their passports and/or valuables stolen?

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Once upon a time in Nicaragua I heard a story of a girl who got everything stolen from her. She was in the country for humanitarian efforts. Unfortunately, one day she needed to go somewhere and jumped into the first taxi she saw, which already had two men in it. Within a few seconds she had a gun pointed at her and two men yelling in Spanish that they wanted her money. After a few ATM stops they left her on the side of the road and miles away from civilization.
This is not a story meant to scare you, but maybe keep you on your feet…just a little!

Rules to live by when traveling:

·      Don’t wear flashy jewelry
·      Don’t carry all your money around
·      Lock your passport up or hide it, but always carry an I.D. on you.
·      Be careful with your camera (I personally use the handle strap on the camera to loop it through my belt loops because it makes it hard to steal/drop.)
·      Always trust your gut instincts
·      Be aware of your surroundings
·      Be wary of taxis
·      Don’t be scared

Be sure to have fun while traveling!

Do you have any horror stories of traveling abroad?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Vietnamese Cuisine

How many of you wish you could travel to an exotic place? Well, lets travel on a budget to Vietnam. How can we do this? Easy! Lets travel to Vietnam through cuisine because it is a cheap way to begin exploring exotic places.

The best way to survive a chilly fall day is by consuming warm food. I personally love pho, which is a hot noodle soup that consists of beef or chicken. B turned me on to a hole in the wall restaurant in Manassas called Pho Nguyen, which has the best pho I have ever consumed.
The best bowl of pho is different for everyone; so don’t be scared to add in basil leaves, bean sprouts, lime, and different sauces to perfect your soup. I personally love the kid size bowl of beef pho with lots of limejuice. However, B prefers to take full advantage of all the ingredients available, so again to each their own.

Now, if you are really adventurous I want you to try bubble tea. It is a delicious frozen treat with chewy balls made of tapioca starch. There are many flavors to try, but my favorite is the honeydew flavor. My advice to you is don’t be scared to experiment!

Click for more information:Vietnamese Food

Are you brave enough to try pho and bubble tea? 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Delicious Wine and Good Times

I awoke to a cold, dreary day and thought well, I guess there will not be a wine festival today due to rain. Of course, I was wrong.
The 36th Annual Virginia Wine Festival was held September 17th and 18th at the Bull Run Special Events Center. The event was a little steep because it cost $30 to enter, then inside you have to think of the cost of each glass ($5) or bottle of wine ($17+), food, and maybe even souvenirs. (As I have mentioned in previous posts, have a budget in mind so you don’t overspend for events like this.)
B and I at the festival.

I personally love wine, so I entered with high hopes and a budget. B and I walked into the event and met up with a few friends who knew the band playing, which was an excellent Beatles cover band. Then, we headed to a tent of a winery we had never heard of and bought a glass of wine. We proceeded to stroll around the event and it was quite fun because I like watching people go from “flat foot walkers” to “sideways walkers(drunks).” Incase you are unaware of what I am referring to, take your foot and walk on the side of it…now you are a “sideways walker." 

My favorite wine from the festival is called “POW WOW” and it is a chocolate strawberry wine. Yes, you read that right. The wine smells of chocolate and it is the perfect dessert wine. Who could pass on a dessert wine? I left with two bottles. The winery is called Mattaponi Winery located in Spotsylvania and I highly recommend checking them out.

What is your favorite wine (if you are of age)?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Travel Smart

Peru: I paid them about 50 cents for this picture!

I awoke to a stewardess telling me to put my seat in an upright position because we were ready to land. Finally, we have arrived. I rubbed my eyes as a voice replayed in my head. The voice was of my travel partner, B, mocking me for overpacking. As a backpacker, you are supposed to travel with the bare necessities. Well, I had stuffed my hand-me-down red bag with sweaters, long sleeve shirts, tank tops, shorts, and a fall jacket. I was hoping I didn’t overpack because I had to carry that bag all over Peru from the mountains to the jungle. I let out a sigh of relief when I saw my red bag come around on the baggage carousel. I collected my stuff and continued on to my journey of the unknown. As the airport doors opened a gust of cold air came rushing in. Yes, for once I won the game of “ the best traveler!” I pulled out my jacket with a smile and realized I did not overpack.

How do you avoid overpacking?
  • ·      Read up on the location
  • ·      Map out a plan of attack (or if you are spontaneous like me, don’t worry you can just show up)
  • ·      Check the weather
  • ·      Ask yourself simple questions (i.e. Do I really need to bring a pair of heels?)
  • ·      Pack travel sized bottles (i.e. shampoo, contact solution, etc.)
  • ·      Pack lightly because there are laundry services
  • ·      Take away half of the clothes that are in front of you (5-6 days worth is perfect)
  • ·      Always wear your bulkiest items on your body on travel day (i.e. sneakers, hoodie, & jeans)

How do you prepare for a trip?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bucket List

Wanderlust: the desire to travel
I use to be like many kids…a dreamer. I always wanted to travel, but it did not become reality until about 3 years ago.
The story is, my dad passed away almost 4 years ago and that is when it hit me, life is truly short. We all have a bucket list and I chose to start crossing mine off. I decided to start with the basics, which are school and travel. I want to finish school, so I attend a University and it is my last year. On holiday breaks I travel. Yes, traveling is expensive but that is why I accepted the “backpacker’s lifestyle.” I live on the cheap and stay in hostels. Where have I traveled you ask? Well, I have been to almost all of Central America, Peru, a few Caribbean Islands, and Italy. My adventures abroad are not even close to being over. The next thing on my bucket list that slightly involves traveling is surfing. I was born in Hawaii and I don’t know how to surf. One day I will learn and cross it off my list.

What is on your bucket list?