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Hakone: Mt. Fiji and Onsens

Heading south from Tokyo, towards Nagoya, we stopped in Hakone for one night. Yet another hot spot for tourists, Hakone is most widely known for its picturesque views of Mt. Fiji and its abundance of natural hot springs. However, the chances of actually seeing the infamous image of Lake Ashinoko with Mt. Fuji in the background are quite slim due to weather and poor visibility. Continue reading

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Takayama: More Food & More Temples

En route from Kanazawa to Tokyo, we stopped in Takayama, a city in the mountainous Hida region of Japan. According to Japan-guide, Takayama “now ranks as one of the prime candidates among travelers wishing to add a rural element into their itineraries.” I had a desire to see as many cities as possible in Japan – something very different than the relatively slow-paced travel style we had become accustomed to. But here we were, a year and a half into travelling and breaking almost every rule we had. We had a jam-packed schedule in Japan with day trips and one-nighters; we booked things in advance (although not far enough); bought an unlimited two-week rail pass and even slept in dorm beds. One thing we should have done was research cities in advance because WiFi was (shockingly) incredibly limited in Japan. Continue reading

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Siquijor

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

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100 Days in Europe: From Iceland to Hungary

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

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Ljubljana: Finally a Couple Days off the Beaten Path

After Venice, we planned to head to Croatia, a country I have heard so much about and always wanted to visit. When we looked at a map, the distance was quite far, so we decided to split the journey in two and stop in Ljubljana, Slovenia; a country I had heard very little about. I had no idea they won “Green City of Europe 2016” award, or that they have a completely unique cuisine or that their forested mountains are reminiscent of British Columbia. Continue reading

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In the Swiss Alps, Cows Wear Bells

That’s right, you read it: in the Swiss Alps, cows’ wear bells. Not a small dinky bell, very large, very noisy solid bell dangles around their necks. Supposedly, there are even ongoing discussions involving animal cruelty and these bells, but that’s not the topic of this post. The sound of the bell is pleasant at first but after about an hour of sitting on top of a mountain in what should be a peaceful and silent area, the constant noise from the bells becomes something else. Continue reading

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Seven Day Stopover in Iceland

Our plan was to fly from Vancouver to Europe and we were looking for the cheapest city to land in – Paris, Frankfurt, London, etc. We checked prices to Reykjavik out of curiosity (I had always wanted to go Iceland) and they turned out to be surprisingly cheap. While Icelandair offers a “free stopover up to one week” en-route to Europe, it was even cheaper to only book a flight to Reykjavik with them and then another airline to England (we flew into Bristol with EasyJet). Continue reading