Growing up, my family hosted home-stay students from around the world who were studying English in Vancouver. Soo Yeong lived with my family in 2002. Years later we reconnected through Facebook (the magic of social media!) and I reached out when we were travelling through Asia. Dan and I were unsure if or for how long we wanted to visit South Korea for but shortly after talking with Soo, we booked our flights to Seoul. Having her as our personal tour guide and local friend was probably one of the main reasons that our stay in Seoul was so fantastic! No matter how many “travel like a local” blogs you read, you never really experience a city ‘like a local’ unless you are with one. Continue reading
For the first time in over a year of travelling, we missed a reservation we had made. Our early morning flight from Boracay to Cebu was delayed almost three hours. When we finally landed we quickly hopped in an Uber and rushed to the bus station but got stuck in typical Filipino traffic. We hopped on a bus/ferry combo to Dumaguete and hoped we’d make what we had read online was the last ferry to Siquijor (7:20 PM). We arrived at 7:00 PM and raced down the street towards the port. Turns out he last ferry actually left at 6:00 PM. Continue reading
It’s been less than two weeks since we left Europe for Asia, and yet it feels like a lifetime ago. That could possibly be because we’re in Varanasi, India which is a whole world different than Europe. Having had enough of the sensory overload from the city, we’re hiding in a café drinking coffee (made with filtered water) and reflecting on our 100 days in Europe. Continue reading
Budapest has it all. Seriously, within a few hours of being there I had settled on the fact that it was my favourite city so far in Europe. And that’s not an easy feat, we’ve covered most of the ‘must-see’ European cities: Reykjavik, London, Brussels, Paris, Zurich, Rome, Florence, Milan, Venice, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Athens, Munich, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Berlin, Warsaw, Krakow, Prague, Vienna, and Bratislava. Yes, I admit we’ve missed a few, but you get the point. I thought Budapest would be cool, but I didn’t expect that much – and it blew my expectations away. The city just has so much to offer from modern vegan and raw food eateries to wine bars and hip cafes to a huge influx of craft beer and brewed-in-house bars to organic food markets and Christmas markets all mixed with traditional markets and delis selling Hungarian sausage and around the corner from a crumbling church hundreds of years old is a crumbling building turned into a Ruin Bar. I mean, every European city is a complex mix of hundreds (usually thousands) of years of history and modernization (which in many ways is synonymous to Westernization) but Budapest seemed to pull off the mix of new and old best. It has managed to keep it’s complex and lengthy history alive while showcasing how far the economy and people have come in the past decade. Continue reading
Favourite Tropical Vacation Spot: Little Corn Island, Nicaragua
Favourite Ruins: Machu Picchu, Peru – As ridiculously expensive as this place is, it is worth every penny.
Favourite Waterfall: Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil – Make sure to visit the falls from both countries, the different viewpoints are worth it.
Favourite City to Visit: It’s almost impossible to chose one, so here’s our top three:
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (especially during Carnival)
- Medellin, Colombia
- Miraflores, Lima, Peru (oddly Peru has three mentions on this list but as a country as a whole, we disliked it)
HONORARY MENTION: Chiang Mai, Thailand – We spent a couple days here on a previous trip and absolutely loved it, which is why we are going to spend a whole month in the city in the Winter of 2016. Stayed tuned for a detailed post.
Favourite Wine Region: Maipu, Argentina
–> Italy is filled with wine as well, but the entire experience in Argentina was something else. Much more so than we found anywhere in Europe. In Croatia we visited a winery advertising “wine tasting” and when we showed up the response was “what do you want?”; you had to pay per glass and when we asked our options, they were bluntly put “red, white, or rose” with not details about the grapes.
Favourite Glacier: Perito Moreno, Patagonia, Argentina
–> Another perspective that is equally beautiful but very different: Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Iceland
Favourite Sunset: Máncora, Peru – This town deserves a mention on this list not only for it’s sunsets but its laid back vibe and our awesome beach bungalow
Most Picturesque Beach: Varadero, Cuba
Most Fun Beach: Montanita, Ecuador – it had everything from the best surf to the best parties, beautiful sand and endless beach, along with international food, bars and shops
Favourite (most unique) Landscapes: Iceland – Iceland has an incredibly diverse landscape in a very small area and you will find something new and stunning around every corner (highly recommend renting a car here!)
–> A close second is Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Favourite Foodie Spots:
A top list is necessary in this case:
- Miraflores, Lima, Peru (La Mar – you have to go there)
- Juayua Food Festival, El Salvador (something completely different, tasty and unique)
- Playa del Carmen, Mexico (There’s much more quality to offer here than in resort-covered Cancun: Ceviche Tacos are my first choice, with guac, tacos, burritos and fajitas not far behind)
- Modena, Italy (It’s amazing how many specialties and delicacies originated here, and everyone proudly shows it off)
Cheapest Country: Nicaragua
–> El Salvador might have been cheaper but we didn’t spend long enough there to judge and it has less to offer (it’s REALLY small)
Let us know what else you’d like to here our favourites on in the comments below and we’ll update the list!