I not only like to travel, but I love to travel. So imagine my surprise when, even for me, I end up out of my comfort zone! Where on earth could this be? Where was I when I felt this was? It happened to be Montañita, Ecuador. It was just one of those places that made me feel a little uneasy. Montañita is a small
Petra, Jordan By Night - A Practical Guide Petra by night is an after-dark, guided excursion down the Siq to the Treasury in Jordan's famous carved city. It gets mixed reviews on the travel forums and Tripadvisor about whether or not it is worth it to go while visiting Jordan. I thought it was an amazing experience and one worth doing, so don't let the
Crowded in the back of a forest green jeep with the top down, I was hanging onto the metal bars of the truck. A slight breeze touched my face in the muggy weather when suddenly light droplets began to fall from the sky. Crouching down into the vinyl black seat below the metal racks, I covered my head, iPhone and DSLR camera with my scarf.
Have you ever heard of Lviv Ukraine as a tourist destination? I hadn’t really. It is a popular weekend retreat for many Ukrainians, Russians, and Europeans, but somehow it has not been discovered by the American tourist yet. It seems there are many cities in Eastern Europe that will take your breath away and Lviv Ukraine is now on my bucket list as one of
Bonjour! Won’t you come with me to Provence in the South of France? Let the Romance Begin in Southern France Don’t blame Southern France; they just can’t help themselves with their lavender-filled shops, hilltop villages, old churches, and their seductively gorgeous coastline. Heck, even the Vatican transplanted to Provence in southern France during the fourteenth century, as they decided they just might like this location
Photo by Donnie Sexton Hands down, the most spectacular event I’ve ever witnessed has to be the Carnival of Venice. I didn’t rent a costume or pay to attend any of the masquerade balls, but I had the time of my life wandering this historical city and being utterly bedazzled by the continual parade of costumed people there to celebrate the Venice Carnival.
Let me be the first to admit that this travel experience was a little out of my comfort zone. But nonetheless, at a jungle lodge in Guyana is where the simple rugged life of the Amazon River Basin and South American Rainforest began for me. From the hustle and bustle of Georgetown, the capital city of Guyana, to the howling of the Guyanese Red Howler
I will admit to being slightly disappointed when we rounded a hill that overlooks Chefchaouen. I was expecting to see an entire city awash in blue, which this northern Moroccan town is renowned for. What I saw was a mix of blue and lots of white clustered together down in a valley. But by the time I left "Chaouen," as the locals call it, I
A quaint little town, known for its privileged geographic location by the Mediterranean Sea, Begur, Spain in the Costa Brava has distinctive Cuban style houses, a crumbling medieval castle, and astonishing crystal-clear beaches. This is an area of Spain that I am wild about! There are so many little medieval towns within this area, that it will be hard to choose which one will be your favorite. The
Batik Art in Malaysia: The Fabric of our Lives My western mind always has a problem wrapping itself around things it cannot understand. This was a new concept for me and I was interested to find out what it was all about. Entering the studio, immediately I was enamored by the skill of the artisan in front of me. He has this instrument in his
As I continue my series of articles about the Baltic Capitals, the next one I am writing about is Riga, Latvia. You have probably never even considered Latvia as a destination to visit, as I hadn't either. Despite how many times I've been to Europe, I had never really considered visiting the Baltic regions – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. I had heard of these countries
Positano Beach: There is so much to say about the beloved Positano Beach, and yet nothing you can say that will give you the true essence to explain what Positano is all about. It speaks for itself, without superfluous words. It is so stunning that it makes you hunger for more. I can say that I absolutely loved the amazing drive we took down the
It was a photo of some old buildings reflected in a canal labeled “China water town” that caught my eye on Pinterest. I did a bit of sleuthing on the web and found out there are eight ancient water towns about 1-2 hours from Shanghai. When a trip to Thailand was materializing for me, I decided on a stopover in Shanghai to check them out.
Have you ever wanted to take a tour of the Baltics? Well now is your chance! Since 1991 when the fall of USSR occurred. The idea of combining multiple countries that have so much in common, all taken over by USSR and then freed, should be reason enough to want to visit the Baltic Capital Cities. And honestly, it is not that hard to do,
Get off the beaten path... Have you ever heard of the Blue City Morocco? Some call it the "blue pearl of Morocco." Every time I think of it, I think of that Willie Nelson song called Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain. "In the twilight glow", for me, I see Chefchaouen -often referred to as simply Chaouen. The name refers to the shape of the mountain tops
Cesena is a gorgeous local community located in the central region of Italy called Emilia Romagna. This city is just 9 miles from the Adriatic Sea and was once an important town during Roman times which was famous for its wines in the region. My impression is that not that many people have heard of this region of Italy even though it has much to offer
I had heard about the best Christmas markets in Europe (Christkindlmarket) for years but I wanted to find out for myself exactly what they were like. I had no idea what to expect. Now I know and I can share with you the best Christmas markets in Europe along the Rhine River. I took a Christmas Market Cruise on the Viking River Cruise ship TOR
Having Spanish tapas is so much fun for foodies in Spain to do. There may be a bit of misunderstanding about what exactly tapas means, but regardless of that, you have to try them! The Spanish tapas I tried were bite-sized morsels of food that ranged from tiny serrano ham sandwiches to prawn cones to quail eggs, as well as amazing desserts. So many of the
Tallinn Old Town – Vibrant Capital On the Shores of the Baltic Sea Tallinn Old Town- Tallinn Guide Tallinn, Estonia is a vibrant, medieval city sitting right dab on the shores of the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe. With her old world charms, you will be glad you visited the Tallinn Old Town during the post-Soviet era to see how she has
Sometimes in life, as in travels, we really don't know what to expect when encountering other cultures, countries, and continents. Some things come as a pleasant surprise, and other things, not so much. You can imagine my bible-belt cultural shock when I found out about how Finn's love their saunas. In fact, the sauna is a huge part of Finnish culture. On average, a Finn
Colombo, Sri Lanka is a city full of treasures to discover: sitting directly on the Arabian Sea the city has an oceanside feel. In the evenings, kids fly kites against the sun setting into the sea at Galle Face Green, as onlookers happily munch fried snacks. Colombo is an architectural treasure trove, too - with colonial ruins from the Portuguese, Dutch and British eras, alongside
Costa Rica is the kind of place where you can commune with nature. It provides the perfect backdrop with its hidden beaches, volcanic mountains, hiking trails, and lush tropical rainforests. In fact, 25% of Costa Rica is dedicated to wildlife and nature, in the form of wildlife preserves and jungles. Making it the perfect place... to retreat to. For many - including me - that
Often dubbed the "land of smiles", Thailand is every bit the "land of temples" as well. Thailand is home to no fewer than 40,000 Buddhist Temples (yes, forty thousand!) and Bangkok is a great place to start exploring them and the place to get familiar with Thai culture. The Thailand temple of Wat Arun is a great place to start and is arguably the main
The Bremen Town Musicians statue is based on one of the many Brothers Grimm Fairytales and is a major attraction in Riga, Latvia. The story is simple enough. The Brothers Grimm story is about a donkey, a cat, a dog and a rooster who are past their prime. They feel too old to be useful and are terrified they will be put down by their
Chao Phraya River is one of the major rivers in Thailand, running thru Bangkok. It is known as the River of Kings, formed by four major tributaries including the Ping, the Wang, the Yom, and the Nan Rivers. Ultimately though, it flows into the Gulf of Thailand. It is a very important waterway for the people of central Thailand whose cities lie along this river.
Have you ever wanted an escape? A place you can go to relax, unwind, and forget about life for a while. I found that at the Cosa Rican Yoga Retreat Blue Osa Retreat & Spa Beach Resort. At Blue Osa, they offer tailor-made experiences for just you, your group, or even for leaders of a retreat/group. Their smart luxurious packages include yoga, spa therapies outside
There is no place on earth more important to the religions of the world than Jerusalem the old city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is made up of several key sites to many religions, such as the Temple Mount and the Wailing Wall for the Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for the Christians and the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque for the Muslims. People from all these religions come
Many women in the Middle East are known for their exotic beauty. Almost all of them looked beautiful to me! Actually, it was difficult to figure out if they were beautiful or not, based strictly on their eyes. However, it is understandable that they would use any form of Kohl eyeliner to deepen the mystery about their eyes. They also use Khol (كحل) Eyeliner with excellent precision.
Regensburg, Germany is a Bavarian medieval city along the Danube River in southeast Germany. It is well known for its well-preserved medieval old town. It also has a famous 12th-century Stone Bridge that has 16 arches that cross the Danube River to the old town center. Located in the south of Germany, Regensburg is a popular day trip from Munich. An atmospheric and charming town,
Photo by PointsandTravel Aomori, Japan: A Japanese Culture Experience As luck would have it, I finally had a chance to make my very first visit to Japan! It had been on my bucket list for quite some time! There is so much mystique and legend about Japanese culture, that I was excited to find out where in Japan I was going! I was invited
The Champagne region of France is like no other wine region in the world. The nearest vineyards are only an hour from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport (CDG) on the fast TGV train to Reims. Reims is a perfect justification for a tour of the Champagne Houses in Reims, but don’t forget to walk around the city and enjoy its Gothic Cathedral, a UNESCO world
Taking the short trek on bus 42 from the main square of Piazza de Ferrari in Genoa to Bocadasse, Italy for a half-day excursion was quite simple. I had just arrived in the city and had a few hours to spare before I knew the jet lag would set in, so I hopped the city bus and made my way over to Boccadasse, a place
For Dominican culture, food, drinks, and plenty of things to do, look beyond the beach resorts and head to the colonial city of Santo Domingo... while beautiful beach resorts may be the Dominican Republic’s calling card, there are plenty of other riches to be found on the island. Dominican Republic Culture I had wandered these streets before and knew that a return trip was inevitable.
Quinta Mazatlan I am a diehard about Spanish/Mexican architecture, interior design, music, language, and dance, so when I took one peek inside the Ann Maddox Moore room at Quinta Mazatlán, I was immediately enamored with her collection. This assortment, which is only a part of her personal collection, was of cultural Mexican craftsmanship that she had collected on her many trips to Mexico. This is
It was my good fortune to take a tour of the Lucchese Bootmaker facility in El Paso. You are probably thinking I would see how handcrafted boots are made from start to finish. And you are right. But I walked away from there with some insights into life that can be a meaningful byproduct of traveling. As these boots are made for walking. Read on