Adventures Abroad

Adventures Abroad
Machu Picchu

Monday, April 23, 2012

Austria & the Inappropriate Town of F*cking

Hello, fellow wanderlusters!

I don't know about you, but gloomy days sometimes bring me down. So, I am taking a quick study break to bring you something to brighten your gloomy day.

Are you aware that tourists are visiting a small town in northern Austria and are causing the poor town to lose money? I see that you are not aware of this...let me fill you in!

In German: Not so fast!
In northern Austria near the border of Germany, there is a little town that has become quite popular for tourists. Of course, it has not become popular for its spectacular and peaceful countryside. Instead, tourists constantly steal signs and pose naked next to the town signs. The theft has cost the town over 250 Euros in sign replacements. Why would people do this? Well, the poor town is called Fucking (pronounced "Fooking").

The town of Fucking recently tried to vote to change their name to Fugging, but apparently the name is already taken by a town in northeast Austria. Hopefully the small town will figure something out and won't have to worry about theft anymore. I wish the town of Fucking luck on their journey!

Fellow Adventurers, book a flight asap if you want to see the town before it changes. Have fun taking photos, but do not steal the signs! Or, check out other towns with unfortunate names, such as Shitterton in the UK, Middlefart in Denmark, and Dildo in Canada.

Visit Wanderlust Magazine for more of the story!

Want more information? Check out the sites below!
Welcome to Austria!
No F*cking Way!
Austrians Not Amused

"Don't be a tourist. Plan less. Go slowly. I traveled in the most
inefficient way possible and it took me exactly
where I wanted to go."

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Exploring Japanese Cuisine

Hello, fellow adventurers!

Have you been wanting to explore Japan, but do not have the funds to do so? Well, worry no more. Be brave and let your taste buds do the exploring!

Restaurant: Izakaya Blue Ocean 

Location: 9440 Main Street, Fairfax, VA 22031

Phone: (703) 425-7555

Price: Reasonable

Review: The food is absolutely delicious!

Dinner: I got the Tonkatsu Ramen for $11.50. The bowl of soup and noodles is very filling. I suggest asking for the spicy oils that is handmade in the restaurant. It will give your soup a little bit of something extra.

Ramen and Green Tea
Drink:  I ordered the Iced Green Tea. Of course, I loved the taste of the iced green tea, but B thought it tasted like "grass." To each their own?!

Dessert: For dessert, I dare you to try Mochi Icecream, which is icecream wrapped in a sticky rice cake. This does not sound appetizing, but I promise you will enjoy it if you can get past the powdered stickiness. I suggest trying my favorite, the Green Tea Mochi.
Green Tea Mochi

***The restaurant also serves sushi and a large variety of classic Japanese dishes for a reasonable price. Be aware that some dishes must be ordered two hours to a day in advance. Take a look at the dinner menu!

Go forth and let your taste buds experience Japan! 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Book of the Month:The Tao of Travel

"One of the reasons we are still ignorant of what space travel or lunar exploration is like: no astronaut has shown any ability to convey the experience in writing. There has never been a Melville on the moon, or even an Updike." -FAF

Yes, the time is upon us. The time for the book of the month. 

Book: The Tao of Travel: Enlightenments from Lives on the Road
Author: Paul Theroux
Price: $16.50 from Amazon

Book Description:
"Paul Theroux celebrates fifty years of wandering the globe by collecting the best writing on travel from the books that shaped him, as a reader and a traveler. Part philosophical guide, part miscellany, part reminiscence, The Tao of Travel enumerates “The Contents of Some Travelers’ Bags” and exposes “Writers Who Wrote about Places They Never Visited”; tracks extreme journeys in “Travel as an Ordeal” and highlights some of “Travelers’ Favorite Places.” Excerpts from the best of Theroux’s own work are interspersed with selections from travelers both familiar and unexpected: 

Vladimir Nabokov                    J.R.R. Tolkien       Samuel Johnson           Eudora Welty               Evelyn Waugh                          Isak Dinesen         Charles Dickens            James Baldwin                Henry David Thoreau               Pico Iyer               Mark Twain                  Ernest Hemingway      Anton Chekhov                        John McPhee        Freya Stark                     Graham Greene                 Peter Matthiessen         

 The Tao of Travel is a unique tribute to the pleasures and pains of travel in its golden age."

When you are done reading the book, come back and share your opinions!

My adventure on a railroad track.
"Travel is a state of mind. It has nothing to do with existence or the exotic. It is almost entirely an inner experience."  -FAF

Monday, April 9, 2012

Camping Essentials

The great outdoors is calling…how will you answer? Just about all of us will answer that call with a tent, sleeping bag, boots, fire, a guitar, and mosquito repellant. Not adding up? I’m talking about grabbing your friends, a backpack filled with essentials, and camping out under a star filled sky.

Click for EXPERT advise on tents!
What are the essentials for camping?
1)   Tent
a.     Things to think about:
                                               i.     How many will be sleeping in it?
                                              ii.     Weather conditions?
                                            iii.     Weight?
                                            iv.     Price?
2)   Sleeping Bag:
a.     Things to think about:
                                               i.     Weather conditions?
                                              ii.     Length?
                                            iii.     Price?
                                            iv.     Down or Synthetic?
3)   Hiking Boots:
a.     Things to think about:
                                               i.     Weather conditions?
                                              ii.     Price?
                                            iii.     Size (always get a size bigger because your feet will swell and you will be wearing thick socks)
                                            iv.     Hiking socks (hiking all day or short distance?)
4)   Clothing:
a.     Things to think about:
                                               i.     Weather conditions?
                                              ii.     Activity?
5)   Backpack:
a.     Things to think about:
                                               i.     Size?
                                              ii.     What will you be carrying?
6)   Cooking:
a.     Things to get:
                                               i.     Backpacker Stove
                                              ii.     Packaged foods
                                            iii.    Silverware and Pots
7)   Survival Essentials:
a.     Things to get:
                                               i.     First Aid Kit
                                              ii.     Toilet Paper
                                            iii.     Matches and/or lighter, and a Headlamp <---I just bought this one by Black Diamond!

Where do you find these?
Well, I personally love REI because it is a one-stop shop for all camping essentials, but feel free to shop around, read reviews, and borrow from friends. Here is a link to REI’s Backpacker’s Paradise if you are interested in making a one-stop shop.

Top rated gear:

Happy camping, fellow adventurers! Please share your funny camping stories with us!
The ultimate camping trip I will take one day!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Ten Commandments of Travel

Once upon a time in NYC, I met an Australian couple who took almost a year off to travel the world. Currently this couple is backpacking through Spain. I'm green with envy because this couple is living the life I want...and perhaps you too. 

From left to right: James, Vanessa, Hill, me, and B
(Australians: James and Vanessa)
So, how to you plan a trip like that? 

According to Wanderlust Magazine, The Ten Commandments of Travel are:

1.             Thou shalt time your trip well: Go off-peak, or in the ‘shoulder season’ just before the masses arrive. For example, African safaris in the rainy season cost up to 40% less, and offer the chance to see more new-born animals; the Gal├ípagos Islands in May are 20-30% cheaper than December / January or high summer – and offer warmer, calmer conditions
2.             Thou shalt not book the first trip you see:  Work out your itinerary and then compare prices from different tour operators. Use comparison websites like to check flight prices, and an up-to-date guidebook to assess the going rate for activities on the ground
3.             Thou shalt go where the pound is strongest If possible, avoid the Eurozone, where the pound is weak. Instead, head for economies linked to the dollar (the US, central America) or other weakening currencies (Iceland, South Africa, Bulgaria)
4.             Thou shalt be flexible:  Be willing to fly a day earlier or two days later, or with a stopover you hadn't thought of, to save money. For example, flying to Australia on 10 December – the beginning of peak season – can cost up to £300 more than flying on the 9th
5.             Thou shalt consult other travelersTalk to people who have already travelled to your planned destination – log on to a travel forum like our own myWanderlust or for recommendations and advice from real travelers
6.             Thou shalt seek out local knowledgeMany destinations offer free ‘greeter’ tours run by volunteers – a great way to save money, meet the locals, and pick up insider tips. Destinations include ParisNew York and even Thanet in Kent.
7.             Thou shalt ask – if thou dost not ask, thou dost not get: “Is that your best price?” “Are you able to offer a discount for cash?” “Could you include breakfast / an airport pickup / an activity for that price?” It’s not that hard, is it…
8.             Thou shalt book early (and late): Book budget airline tickets as early as possible, but keep an eye out for late deals on packages and tours. Sites and help you monitor fluctuations in airline fares to get the best price.
9.             Thou shalt travel to former troublespots Don’t put yourself in danger, but countries rebounding from political turmoil or natural disasters need you – and will lower their prices to entice you. Current bargains include Bali and Sri Lanka
10.             Thou shalt know when not to saveSome things you shouldn’t scrimp on – travel insurance, for one. And is it worth saving £50 on a flight if you end up flying from a remote airport at stupid o’clock with no meals?

       ***Yes, this list of ten commandments is from the UK, so please don't think too much about the euro! Take the advice and start planning! 

Good luck, fellow backpackers!

In the Bahamas with my 1st backpack.