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Posted by on Oct 6, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Top Things To Do In Colorado

Colorado might not be the first place that comes to mind when deciding on your next vacation, but it should be. With pretty much anything a vacationer could want— gorgeous scenery, plenty to do, and a ton of sunny days, the only thing you might still be wondering about is where to stay when visiting the one of the most underestimated US destinations. The best thing about Colorado? It pairs rugged outdoors with lush accommodations like nowhere else. With ample luxury homes in Colorado to choose from for your rental retreat, all that’s left is to book a flight, and figure out how you want to spend your time. Read on for some of our favorite things to do in Colorado.

Take a Hike

Colorado is literally covered with national parks and forests, and with so much wild green space, there’s no question— you should explore it. Wherever your vacation takes you in CO, be sure to spend some time in the great outdoors. Hike up a mountain or just make time daily for a long walk outdoors. Even in the winter you’ll find other hikers on the trails here. With most days of the year being sunny, it makes the outdoors enjoyable even when snow blankets the ground and temperatures drop down low. So be sure to pack the right clothes and shoes for your adventure and factor in some time in the gorgeous wild backdrop that is Colorado.

Hit The Slopes

Colorado is known for its impressive skiing and snowboarding spots. Places like Aspen, Telluride, and Vail make the area one of the best in the country (if not the world) for hitting the slopes. So if a winter retreat is in the stars for your next vacation, plan on spending at least a few days checking out one of these amazing ski resorts. Even if snowsports aren’t your thing, these resort towns offer plenty of things to do off the slopes. Like mini towns that come alive during the ski season, these towns have a ton of great shopping, food, and nightlife to keep anyone busy, whether you ski or not.

Check Out The Food Scene

Another thing that Colorado does extremely well is food. Known for offering an amazing variety of foreign cuisine (especially considering its geographic location in the middle of the country), the big cities like Denver and Boulder will meet up to even the highest brow food-snob. With awesome Italian, Mexican, and even German cuisine, you’re never far from an amazing meal in Colorado. The coffee shops and bakeries throughout the state are also not to be missed. With western-style boutique coffee shops roasting their own beans and imagining up different combinations of flavors for speciality drinks and lattes, it’s easy to fall in love with the java in this state.

Visit a Brewery

Nothing is more like a native Coloradoan than to hit up the breweries after a long day on the trails or slopes. Beer is definitely bigger than wine in this state, and it shows by the sophisticated breweries and bars you find even in the smallest and most remote towns. Try local delights like raspberry beer in the summer or a heavy lager in the winter. Cider is also big here, and made to your tastes- either sweet or dry. After time spent outside, there’s nothing more rewarding than a cold beer (or a hot cider), so be sure to make time to explore the brew scene in this state.

Visit the Landmarks

Photo wiki commons

Colorado has a ton of natural landmarks and iconic places to visit as well. From the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside Aurora, there’s a lot you can visit for a day trip or more. In the northern part of the state visitors tend to hit up Rocky Mountain National Park for amazing photography and wildlife opportunities. All of the best ski resorts are in the north as well, and natural hot springs can be found scattered within the national parks and other protected lands. In the southern part of the state, places like Black Canyon or Great Sand Dunes National Park tend to make most visitors’ bucket lists. And let’s not forget the many historical and art museums sprinkled across the state. Places like the Denver Art Museum, the Forney Transportation Museum, and the Molly Brown House are a few favorites that shouldn’t be missed, but more obscure museums covering old railroad and mining histories are equally interesting for the out of town visitor.

Curl Up In Front Of A Fire

When all else fails, or even if you just need some down-time, there’s nothing quite like retiring to your luxury retreat with a good drink in front of a gorgeous fireplace. Many of the luxury rentals in Colorado center around a giant well-furnished living space that is equally accommodating for several guests as it is cozy for just one. Hunkering down in your beautiful retreat, protected from the weather is a great way to spend an afternoon or even a whole day. So whether you choose a rustic cabin in the mountains, or a modern villa in town, you can enjoy a relaxing vacation in Colorado without even leaving your rental retreat.

 You will leave feeling rejuvenated and full of life after your break. Many people do this just to de-stress themselves and it pays off in the long-term. Colorado is one of those magical parts of the world, so take advantage and make sure you visit it.

10 quick tips to survive in Thailand

Posted by on Jun 25, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

 

Although Thailand is an absolutely beautiful country with some of the most incredible sights and scenes on offer, there are still a few things you’ll need to know before flying out to the Asian paradise. Here are ten essential tips for you to know before jetting away.

Be aware of the traffic

Traffic.

 

Thailand holds an unfortunate statistic to its name – its roads are the second most lethal in the world. The traffic in the country is constant, busy and largely unregulated, meaning that you’ll find it to be a massive challenge trying to traverse the land in a vehicle. Stay away from the busy junctions and main roads and instead take the quieter routes. They may take longer but they pose less of a risk.

Embrace the food

Thailand’s street food is some of the best in the whole country. It’s all freshly prepared in front of you and for ridiculously cheap prices. Bangkok thrives with the best examples of street food such as noodles and curries, at prices that are usually equivalent to less than a British pound. Go ahead and try some – you’ll find some stalls could beat some restaurants in terms of taste and price!

 Lost in translation

Sure, the locals would appreciate it if you knew a slight bit of the Thai language, but be aware that it isn’t easy to grasp. Tones play a massive part in speaking Thai, and so saying something in one tone could mean something completely different! And that’s not to mention the fact that the Thai alphabet consists of 44 consonants and 32 vowels. It’d be a fun challenge trying to master the art, but maybe stick to your “khob khun ka”s for now.

Dress appropriately

Although it’s not applicable if you’re bathing in the turquoise Thai waters in your swimming costume, it’s expected for you to be covered up when possible. Don’t expose your shoulders or chest when entering a temple, and always wear relatively smart clothing – smart casual will do! As long as you don’t look unkempt and exposed, you’ll fit in just fine.

Take your shoes off

 

Shoes

 

When entering any temple, religious building, home or a majority of shops in Thailand, you’ll have to take your shoes off. As your feet are the furthest thing away on your body from your head (the part of your body with the highest importance) they’re considered dirty and physically and spiritually lesser. This is a shared value throughout the country, so keep it in the forefront of your mind.

Avoid making a cultural faux pas

There are a lot of different cultural values and practices that you’ll have to obey and embrace in order to fit in. Every day people will stop to hear Thailand’s national anthem, played on every TV and radio station as well as in public spaces at 8am and 6pm. It isn’t hard to miss, but respect the locals and stop with them. Also, be careful not to say anything negative about Buddhism or any religious sites, as it will cause great offence.

Learn how to haggle

Marketplaces are big and frequent in Thailand, and if you’re easy to spot as a tourist, be prepared to haggle your way through the stalls. Often enough vendors will hike up prices knowing that you’re not a local, but you can easily negotiate the cost down – even to half the original asking price if you’re good enough!

Go slow

 

Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

 

With so much to see and do throughout the country, it’s important that you take your time and savour all it has to offer. Pick the best temples to visit instead of rushing through them all, and perhaps create an itinerary that gives you an equal balance of exploring and relaxing. Thailand is full of incredible sights and historical scenes, so don’t try and fit it all in at once. Who knows – it might entice you enough to come back!

Know the local emergency numbers

With the risk of theft and bag-snatching in Thailand, you’re going to want to know the numbers to call if you find yourself in danger. 1Cover’s handy guide includes those you’ll need for all parts of the world, as the frequency of tourists having their bags taken from thieves on motorbikes has grown recently. There’s a special tourist line for you to phone if you need to, but stay vigilant and aware that there’s potential for crime.

Enjoy yourself

Don’t feel overwhelmed. Thailand is a beautiful country with so much to offer – whether you desire to lose yourself in the bustle of Bangkok or retreat to the seclusion of the Phi Phi Islands, there’s something for everyone. It’s important to let yourself go and have fun, as there’s an abundance of it to be had wherever you go.

MOVING TO PARRAMATTA? PARRAMATTA TOP 4 ATTRACTIONS

Posted by on Jun 2, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

 

Parramatta is a suburb of Sydney, located west of the business district on the banks of the Parramatta river. With a humid subtropical climate, offering mild cool winters and pleasant summers, Parramatta is an ideal place to live, specially for families who prioritize life quality.

Services are plenty, with great schools, excellent public transportation and easy access to the city center. There are plenty of bars and good restaurants around. Parramatta is a lively suburb packed with office workers and students. It is very safe and known for its quiet neighborhoods.

 

Some useful contacts may include:

Family Lawyers Parramatta

Environment outcomes: (02) 98065558

Library (02) 98065174

Costumer service and after hours emergency: (02) 98065050

If you’re moving to this area, either as an expat, a student or for professional reasons, you may want to check out some of these amazing spots.

 

Parramatta River

Parramatta River

Parramatta top 4 attractions

 

PARRAMATTA PARK

A must see for visitors to Sydney and residents alike; Parramatta Park is listed as a world heritage. The entrance to the park is formed by a beautiful rose garden, which contains a rare collection of heritage roses.

Families will find 2 playgrounds for children, where they can play safely. Parramatta park is ideal for picnics on a sunny day, to enjoy the many events and festivals hosted at the park, to run and cycle as well as to explore the local history.

 

LAKE PARRAMATTA RESERVE

Located within two kilometers of the of the Parramatta central business district, this reserve will amaze you with its 73 hectares of bushland and parkland.

Opened all year round from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm (7:30pm during daylight saving), this beautiful reserve is an ideal place to swim and enjoy other water recreation activities, have a picnic with friends and family or going for walks following the different trails along the area..

 

OLD GOVERNMENT HOUSE

 

Old government house wiki-commons

Old government house wiki-commons

 

In July 2010 the Old Government House became one of the 11 Australian sites listed at UNESCO as a world heritage.

The Old Government house is a symbol of the colonialism of New South Wales and an obvious display of the expansion of European power through the presence of the convicts work. For the ones who love history and want to explore more about the old days of Parramatta, this is a site not to miss.

 

RIVER WALK

Before the European settlers arrived, this area was the home for the Darug people. From Church street there Is a pleasant pathway filled with aboriginal artwork. Parramatta got its name from the Aboriginal word “burramatta” which means “where the eels lie down” You will have information along the pathway, helping you understand more about the history of this area.

Five amazing S. Valentine’s presents

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

It’s Valentine’s day…. Love is in the air and you know, that even the smallest gesture can melt your better half’s heart. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to express your love and appreciation for the one you love. Sometimes, the most memorable presents, are actually the ones that require some imagination and a little bit of thought.

 

“Being loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage…” – Lao Tzu

Five amazing S. Valentine’s presents for 2017

 

GO TRADITIONAL AND SURPRISE HER WITH FLOWERS

Flowers were my very first gift on Valentine’s day. And I know this is probably the most conventional of gifts, however, I truly believe some things are so special, they’ll never get out of fashion.

 

flowers

 

Why not order a beautiful bouquet of flowers and get them delivered to her place early in the morning when she’s just waking up? If you happen to be traveling around Australia with your sweetheart or if you’re an Australian resident, maybe you’d like to check out Flowers for Everyone. “Our flower delivery service guaranteed in the same day if ordered before 2pm”.  If you wish so, add a little gift with it, like a bottle of wine so you can have a romantic dinner together.

 

SURPRISE HIM / HER WITH A SPECIAL VEGAN DINNER

You can either go out for dinner…. or you can forget about the world and simply stay home. Cook a romantic dinner together, and enjoy every moment of it! Put your favorite music on, and rock that kitchen with a delicious organic meal.

 

myafood

 

One of my most memorable Valentine’s day, was actually when my sweetheart and I decided to stay home and simply spent time together, cooking and dancing in the kitchen.

Simple Chinese wok, spicy Thai, Indian curries, or that forever favorite Italian? If you need some inspiration, check out my vegan recipe section for great ideas of foods of the world. And remember that bottle of wine you sent with the flowers from Flowers for everyone? Enjoy it together!

 

HAVE AN AROMATHERAPY  MASSAGE TOGETHER

Imagine the two of you…laying side-by-side, relaxing from the worries of the world, in a warm room with the relaxing sounds of peaceful ocean waves, the aromatherapy of calming essential oils, and the nurturing of a customized therapeutic massage.  It is the perfect environment to enjoy a special bonding session for couples, to indulge in the shared experience of peace and well-being.  You don’t need to do anything except relax and enjoy!

 

GO FOR A MAGICAL SUNSET TOGETHER

 

SAMANTHA

 

Climb the highest point of your city or village for a magical sunset together. If you have a nice (and safe to climb!) roof top you can go to, surprise him /her with this unconventional spot.  Bring some food and have a picnic together while you watch the sun kissing the sky goodbye.

If you’re traveling the world together, this is a great excuse to explore a new spot together.

 

Love makes the world go round. With the stress of daily life, we sometimes forget to show appreciation for the ones we truly care for. Taking time to express your feelings, sharing quality time and surprise the other with a little gift, can bring us closer together, make our love grow stronger.

How traveling made me love myself

Posted by on Jan 16, 2017 in Articles | 7 comments

How traveling made me love myself

Growing up I never thought I was beautiful. I never considered the fact I could be attractive. (more…)

Vegan and vegetarian food Philippines – the advice guide

Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Asia, Philippines, vegan / vegetarian | 1 comment

Vegan and vegetarian food Philippines – the advice guide

Vegan and vegetarian food Philippines: the Ultimate advice guide.  (more…)

Save Money by Holidaying Locally

Posted by on May 25, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Save Money by Holidaying Locally

If you’re anything like me then as soon as you returned from your first travel experience you immediately began planning and saving for your next trip. However, if you’re also like me, you find yourself feeling the need to escape earlier than your budget will allow. If this resonates with you, I have a few tips to holidaying locally which have helped me keep my sanity in between my big adventures.

 

heartofavagabondcom-56a22675791e3

 

Beach Bound

There’s one thing I loved about the Mediterranean and that was the beaches. There were days where I would spend the entire day on the beach without speaking to anybody just enjoying the time to myself. When I felt like I needed this experience again, I found that I could get a similar sense of relaxation from visiting a local beach. With so many to choose from, a relatively inexpensive domestic flight is all it takes to enjoy a similar atmosphere. Load up your tablet with books and music, plug in your headphones and laze the days away on the sand.

Coming Back a Changed Person

The last time that I went traveling I returned home with a suitcase full of new and very different clothes along with a shaved head. No joke. And while this change of look came from a cultural journey I was lucky enough to be taken on, coming back a new person doesn’t require extensive travel. When vacationing locally, spend your budget on getting a haircut and color, completely revamp your closet and, of course, a mani and pedi. Utilizing discounts at Chicago nail salons is a great way to keep your costs down while you continue to save for your next big international adventure whilst still getting a total makeover feel.

Go It Alone

There have been a few times where I’ve taken an overseas vacation with a group of friends, but if I can be honest, I prefer to travel alone. There is a lot more which you can learn about yourself when you are alone with just your thoughts. Instead of a quick weekend away with friends, take a few extra days for some solitary camping. Find yourself a nice secluded camping spot, take a few good books and some music and enjoy the time to yourself. If you’ve been feeling stressed about a number of things in the lead-up, make a list and sort them out while you’re away.

Don’t let a restricted budget get in the way of keeping you sane in between big international adventures. Remember to keep it cost effective, look for discounts, and above all, enjoy yourself.

Costa Rica: Sand, surf and sun!

Posted by on Apr 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

We all know Costa Rica is one of the best preserved tropical islands in the world. Ecotourism and environmentally conscious businesses have thrived in this small paradise, turning it into one of the best destinations for nature lovers, adventure seekers and honeymooners.

You’ll find warm weather throughout the year, welcoming locals and beautiful spots that will leave you breathless.  Some have come for a visit and stayed forever. Many others fall in love with the island and return for more year after year.  You can plan your Costa Rica family vacations  in the comfort of your home and simply enjoy your time once you arrive!

 

 

Costa Rica is for surfers

Costa Rica is one of the world’s top spots for surfers in search for the perfect wave, but this is also the case for many folks wanting to learn how to surf.

Costa Rica is a well known and well developed surfing destination – especially since featured in Endless Summer 2, that classic surf movie that enchanted the thrilled seeker adventurers. The surfing can be broken into three main areas: The Pacific North (Guanacaste-Nicoya), the Pacific South (Punta Arenas) and the Caribbean. Surf towns are developing in places such as Jaco, Tamarindo and Puerto Viejo. Year round warm water, warm air and offshore breezes (in Guanacaste) make for great conditions.

 

Costa Rica is for spirituality seekers

If you’re a wellness and Yoga fan, then you’re off to the right place! Costa Rica is the capital of everything spiritual and healthy. You’ll find yoga classes, personal development groups, healthy restaurants and inspiring people who will make you never want to leave this place.

 

Costa Rica is for the vegetarians and vegans

I have previously shared many reasons why vegans and vegetarians keep on choosing Costa Rica, on my vegan and vegetarian Costa Rica guide.

 

Tropical fruit – photo free license

 

Costa Rica is a great place to find exotic tropical fruits. Many of these fruits are native to Costa Rica, but many others were introduced from Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, and North and South America. Almost all are regularly found in the stores and farmers’ markets of Costa Rica.  Most of them are 100% organic and incredibly fresh.

Vegetables are mostly grown naturally in Costa Rica and you can feel the explosion of flavors in every meal.

 

Costa Rica is for family fun

For about half the price of a top-shelf Disney vacation, you can explore a whole new world with your kids. Kids can swim and splash all they want in ocean surf, swimming pools, rivers, and hot springs. Families are amazed by the tropical wildlife-butterflies, tree frogs, monkeys and toucans-and a treetop canopy tour is not to be missed by kids or grown-ups.

 

 

COSTA RICA INTERESTING FACTS

Costa Rica has 800 miles of beaches and coastline and rugged tropical mountaintops over 12,000 feet.

Costa Rica visitors can choose from San Jose International Airport (SJO) near the capital city, or Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR) near Liberia in the north.

According to Wikipedia, Costa Rica  is home to more than 500,000 species, which represents nearly 4% of the total species estimated worldwide, making Costa Rica one of the 20 countries with the highest biodiversity in the world. Of these 500,000 species, a little more than 300,000 are insects

Costa Rica has no real winter period, and the sun shines here throughout the year. In general the weather can be classified as a dry or high season and a wet or green season. With over 12 hours of sunshine a day, the sun rises at about 5:45 am and sets at about 5:45 pm consistently throughout the year.

Take the Waters of Scintillating Scandinavia

Posted by on Mar 23, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Take the Waters of Scintillating Scandinavia

Travelers to Scandinavia can immerse themselves in many unique opportunities: taking in the culture and sophistication of major Northern European cities, discovering a multitude of activities and attractions and drinking in savoring landscapes that boast glaciers, forests, fjords and rocky coastlines. Adults and children alike will be captivated by the region’s extraordinary natural phenomena, including Lapland’s Northern Lights and Iceland’s majestic ice-caps and volcanoes. Wildlife lovers will also enjoy meeting a cacophony of snow-dwelling critters; from shaggy Huskies to Santa’s reindeer.

Scandinavia’s ancient Viking legacy makes exploring the whole region by water the natural choice. A range of Scandinavian river cruises are available through companies such as Saga Travel — so why not follow in the footsteps of one of the world’s most fearsome sea-faring races?No visit to Scandinavia would be complete without a trip along the Norwegian fjords (the most popular place to visit on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.) These long, narrow inlets edged by steep cliffs were created by ancient glacial erosion and their awe-inspiring heights must be seen to be believed.

With its rich seafaring history, Scandinavia also has a large number of historic ports that can be incorporated into the itinerary of your Scandinavian river cruise.

Here are five destinations that span the range of what Scandinavia has to offer.

1. Copenhagen — Denmark
The stylish, cutting-edge capital of Denmark boasts a lively restaurant, bar and fashion scene. The city also hides a network of quaint pastel painted houses crouching on cobbled streets, dotted with cozy cafes where you can watch the world go by. Copenhagen also has a number of museums should you wish to dabble in Denmark’s cultural heritage.

2. Stockholm — Sweden

Comprising 14 islands connected by 50 bridges, Sweden’s capital city is truly one of a kind. This buzzing modern metropolis is an endless maze of pretty parks, shops and cafes. Combined with the historical Old Town (peppered with museums and palaces) Stockholm’s diversity has something to offer every type of traveler.

3. Helsinki — Finland

Helsinki’s strong appreciation for contemporary design makes retail therapy easy to come by, the port being renowned for its boldly patterned textiles, glass-wear and jewelry. Founded in 1550, Helsinki is steeped in history, from its Lutheran Cathedral to the neo-classical buildings of Senate Square. The avant-garde Museum of Contemporary Art and the Design Museum are also well worth a visit.

 

 

4. Tallinn — Estonia

Founded in 154AD, Tallinn is one of Europe’s best preserved historic cities. Take in some history at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, but be sure to combine this with witnessing the modern face of Tallinn and take a trip to the Parliament building.

5. Oslo — Norway

Oslo is a somewhat provincial city, but there are many delights to be found in Norway’s capital. Located on the Aker River at the head of the Oslo Fjord, Oslo combines modern architecture with hundreds of lakes, numerous parks and some world-class museums and public statues. Oslo residents are nature lovers, rightly proud of their pristine forests and fjords. For cruise passengers, the ship’s approach and departure through the Oslo Fjord provides superb views of the natural scenery and small fishing villages.

Of course, these are just some of the highlights. Scandinavia has all sorts of wondrous sights to offer. The best way to learn about them is to visit!

 

Images by garybembridge and Rob Hurson, used under Creative Commons license

Can’t get passport & visas? 5 helpful travel tips for you

Posted by on Mar 20, 2016 in Articles | 2 comments

Can’t get passport & visas? 5 helpful travel tips for you

More than half of the world’s population can’t get a passport & visa to travel. Here are some cool tips for you! (more…)