Category Archives: Travel

Vacation on the Road

Road Trip collage

 

( Road trip Book – Scenic Drives in a America, Lonely Planet – California, GPS – Garmin, Eye cover – Travel Eye Cover, Neck Pillow – Travel Pillow)

 

So last week I wrote about a bunch of fantastic places in Europe, and named some of the most popular tourist sites in those countries. Well if you are the conscious traveler, then you would have read that article and saw a giant price tag associated with traveling overseas. Well you wouldn’t be wrong. Vacations overseas are expensive and booking flights alone cloud set you back a few thousand dollars. So the question is, where can I go on vacation that won’t break my bank? Well if you own a car and live in America, I have two words for you: ROAD TRIP!

Yes, the good old fashioned road trip. A chance to get out and see what really makes America the land of the free and home of the brave. To experience all of the land of liberty from sea to shining sea. By this point, you are probably thinking “But America is full of great places, where should I go first?” well to help you out with this, you should plan your route, and a Road Trip Book of some of the most scenic routes in America would be a perfect place to begin. Start your trip from your home and plan out where you want to go first. If you live on one of the coasts, try exploring the entire coastline before going cross country. If you live in the Heartland of the country pick a coast and explore it! The point is, of course to have fun and enjoy the experience of the trip, not just to look forward to the destination. But try not to get lost that would definitely put a sour mood on your trip. So to stay on task and get to your destinations bring along a GPS. Sure you could use your Map apps on your phone, but car mounted GPS are designed for road trips and offer great advice on traffic and surprisingly accurate time-of-arrival estimations, meaning if you’re in a rush, you’ll never be late!

This brings me to another point. Make sure to bring along friends and family. While it’s perfectly fine to go on a road trip solo, it may get a little boring and the experience may not be as exhilarating. Plus, if you bring some friends along, you get the added bonus taking turns behind the wheel. And that means less stoping on motels on the highway and less money you have to spend. Instead of having to rest at hotels every few hundred miles, just prop up a pillow throw on an eye cover and take a snooze while your friends make up a few miles.

So what places would I recommend? Well as a Bay Area native, I would have to say that touring California is a must do if you plan a road trip. And since there’s simply so much to do in the best state in the country (totally not biased) read up on some of California’s most popular tourist attractions and see what appeals to you.

Like I said earlier, the point of a road trip is to enjoy both the journey and destination, so don’t get frustrated at some traffic and don’t rush yourself too much to get from one place to another. Just pack your bags, pick a route, and see where the road takes you.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Activities, Books, Travel

Euro Travel Destinations

Lonely Planet FranceLonely Planet ItalyLonely Planet Germany Lonely Planet EnglandLonely Planet FrenchLnely Planet Italian

(Lonely Planet – France, Lonely Planet – Italy, Lonely Planet – Germany, Lonely Planet – England, Lonely Planet – French, Lonely Planet – Italian)

 

 

For me, Summer vacation is already halfway over and in several weeks I’ll be back to the grind of schoolwork. However I realized that during this summer I haven’t actually had time to go on a proper vacation. This got me thinking, if for some reason I had enough time from between now and until mid-August to go traveling, where would I want to go? The first thing that came to mind was Europe. But Europe is full of different places and cultures so where exactly did I want to go? Well I’ve compiled a list of European countries that I think would be great summer destinations.

First off France. When you think of “vacation to Europe”, France is most likely one of the first countries to come into mind. It is a very popular tourist attraction spot, not just because of the giant iron tower in the middle of Paris, but because of the rich cultural history of France. Whether it’s touring art and architecture in Paris, wine sipping in the south near Marseilles (Marseille) or along the Rhône river, or enjoying the beautiful view of the Alps near Grenoble, you can never get bored in France. However, if you’re not fluent in french, you might want to take along a french phrase book, just in case you find yourself in a room without any English speakers.

Second item on the list is England. For all Anglo-Americans, England is the “Old Country” that place where your ancestors came from on a boat back some four hundred years ago. As far as travel destinations go, England is quite a popular choice, partly because everyone there speaks English. Of course there’s other reasons to visit England: London is a very popular tourist attraction with lots of places to go sightseeing – Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, The London Eye and the River Thames just to name a few. If you want to get away from the big cities you could also tour the English countryside, and maybe stop in to see a few castles along the way. For me personally, I would like to visit the place of my namesake, the Isle of Sheppey, in Kent, mostly just to have a picture of me in front of a sign with my name on it.

Germany is one of my favorite countries, mostly because Germany is itself quite diverse. Visiting cities in the South such as Munich (München), Nuremberg (Nürnberg), and Stuttgart is a very different experience from visiting northern cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, or Hanover (Hannover) mostly because Germany is historically one big melting pot of various Germanic cultures. Cities like Munich tend to be very spread out and seem to retain most of their historical appeal, whereas cities like Berlin have a unique modern quality to them. Even after it’s rough history in the past century with the two wars and a divided country, Germany has rebuilt itself into one of the most modern countries in Europe since it’s reunification in 1990. And if you don’t speak German, don’t worry! Most people in Germany can speak fairly decent English, and even for someone like me – an American who speaks German – most people will hear my Americanized accent and automatically start speaking English. Pretty convenient.

Last on my list, but certainly not least is Italy, the land of pasta, pizza, and that funny looking tower that looks like it’s about to fall over. Italy of course has a history that dates back a couple thousand years to the Roman period and throughout the centuries has been home to some of the greatest artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michealangelo, Raphael, Sandro Botticelli, and Giovanni Bellini. Italy is also home to some well known cities such as Venice (Venezia), Milan, and Florence (Firenze). Rome of course is one of Italy’s most well known cities and probably one of the most well known cities in Europe. Why? Well besides it’s history as being the seat of the Roman Empire, it is also the location in which the Vatican city is located. As a result, Rome holds some of the old ruins of the Roman Empire, such as the Colosseum as well as some important Catholic sites such as the Vatican and Castel Sant’angelo. And in case you don’t know any Italian, or if you want to start learning, why not bring along a lonely planet Italian phrasebook to help get you by.

If any of these places interest you, check out the lonely planet travel guides to get more information on some of the popular attractions in these countries.

Of course this is not an exhaustive list of countries to visit. There are great places such as the Czech Republic, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, and many more. So the question is, where will your next Euro-Trip be?

1 Comment

Filed under Activities, Books, Holidays, Travel

My Travel Bag

TravelfortheSoul

(Camera – Canon SLR, iPhone – Apple, iPhone case – Jagger Edge, iPad – Apple, iPad case – Penelope & Parker, Apple chargers – Apple, Kindle – Amazon, Kindle case – Mulberry, Swimsuit – Morgan Maillot, Wallet – Kate Spade, Shoes – Capezio, Hat – OndadeMar, Shades – Vera Bradley, Sunscreen – CLARINS Sun Wrinkle Control SPF 30,  Sandals – American Eagle Outfitters)

What’s in My Travel Bag

I absolutely love my Kindle (I have two, the Kindle Fire and the Kindle with the Keyboard) because not only am I an avid reader, sometimes flying is the only free time I have for reading! With the Kindle Fire, I could also listen to my audibles and watch downloaded movies on the plane.

After flying for hours and checking in at a hotel, I love to relax in a jacuzzi or heated pool, so I always pack a swimsuit – just in case.  Plus, if your destination is close to a beach, you are all set without worrying about where you could find a swimsuit.

Since I rarely wear tennis shoes, do not want to lug a suitcase of heels and desire to wear a dress from time to time, I always bring a pair of heels made for dancing. It is light, functional and looks fabulous with any dress or jeans. When I visited New York City a couple years ago, I comfortably walked over 30 blocks in a pair of Capezio – without any blisters!

And of course, don’t forget your chargers, Apple products and sunscreen!

Food for the Soul

As I travel and discover new places, cultures and people, however, I appreciate how it broadens my horizon.

1. Opens my mind. I organically learn about new and diverse places, people and cultures  that may or may not do things the same way as Americans. Even if I travel to the same place more than once, each experience is new – and different. And I love delicious food from all over the world, from a cart in the middle of the street to a restaurant in the middle of an isolated island.

2. Challenges me to thrive. By far, I am not the most athletic person. I am afraid of heights, and I cannot swim well.  However, I have challenged myself by (safely) zip lining in Costa Rica and black water rafting in Rotorua, which made snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef a piece of cake!  I come back loving myself and appreciating life even more!

3. Allows me to see the beauty of a people globally.  All over the world, I’ve discovered that many of us value inner beauty – love, respect, purity, integrity, friendships and family. There are people in Fiji who are happy just because they are surrounded by beautiful lagoons and clear blue sky. There are people in Slovenia who are happy just because they are surrounded by friends – and cooked wine.

Thus, go forth and explore!

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Electronics, Fashion, Style, Travel, Work