Updating the blog :-)
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Golden Gate Bridge
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Gallery of a Great Summer: Fort Lauderdale >>> Washington, DC >>> New York City >>> Paris >>> Toulon
Gazing outward: window view at B Ocean Hotel
Echostage, Washington, DC
Old Post Office, Washington, DC
View of Jersey city from New York city
Brunch at Five Points, Manhattan
On my way to the Musee du Louvre in Rainy Paris
Probably my favorite spot in Paris
The biker gang
The window of my friend's apartment in Paris
In beautiful Toulon
The pristine Mediterranean Toulon
Petit dejeuner on the beach with the multi-talented Souchi, an amazing amazing amazing friend.
The beautiful Toulon sky. And that's all folks. How was your summer??
Sunday, September 22, 2013
San Juan, Puerto Rico
There's always a scandal popping up here and there. Recently, the daily mail ran an article about volunteer scams. Aptly titled "Fake orphanages. Bogus animal sanctuaries. And crooks growing rich on Western gullibility...why do-gooding gap year holidays may be a horrifying callous con," it is a must read. Click here for the illuminating piece. This is the main reason why I am always on the look out for free volunteer programs with a transparent agenda. When I traveled to South East Asia a few years ago, it literally took me months to find a transparent organization I could volunteer with for free. I thankfully stumbled on Isara and documented my life-changing experience in this post.
A few years back, I was living and going to school in a city I didn't like and everything seemed excessively stifling. When summer came, I knew I had to rejuvenate myself, so I began looking for free volunteer programs. I came across WWOOF and discovered a wonderful opportunity in beautiful Puerto Rico. WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Their mission, according to their American website, "is part of a worldwide effort to link visitors with organic farmers, promote an educational exchange, and build a global community conscious of ecological farming practices." I used the WWOOF option to explore Puerto Rico and it was a phenomenal trip. I discussed my experiences in this post. Here is how WWOOFing works.
En route to Utuado
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Travellers: It was our birthday weekend, and we were looking for an inexpensive and local getaway. We were very busy with work at the moment, so we were looking for something close yet cheap, convenient and adventurous. We did some research on Google and discovered a multitude of fun activities in the small independent cities (Buena Vista, Luray, Natural Bridge, Lexington etc) within the Rockbridge Country area.
A stunning replica of the Stonehenge in Natural Bridge, Virginia. The first time I saw this picture, I have to confess, I thought I was actually looking at the Stonehenge. An impressive photocopy right? Even more impressive is that the entire thing is made out of foam.
Foamhenge Natural Bridge, Virginia
Viola and Hermann, our travellers.
Me: Was there any particular website that effectively helped you guys to plan your trip?
Travellers: Yes! The official website of the city of Lexington was incredibly beneficial. The website is organized, up to date and outlines all major events happening in the area.
Me: How did you get around Rockbridge County?
Travellers: A car.
Natural Bridge, Virginia
Natural Bridge, Virginia
Me: Where did you stay?
Travellers: At a comfortable local inn.
Me: Why would you consider this travel location "Unexpected"?
Travellers: We had never heard of Rockbridge County before. While we were doing our research, we were shocked to discover how historically and geographically rich and diverse the area is.
Hiking, Buena Vista
At a local winery, Lexington, Virginia
At a horse riding event, Lexington, Virginia
Me: What was the most unexpected part of the trip?
Travellers: While we were driving to Natural Bridge, we were stunned to see what looked like the Stonehenge. The passengers in the car ahead of us were equally stunned, so we all stopped our cars and went out to examine the mystery. It looked exactly like the Stonehenge, but it was made out of foam hence the name Foamhenge.
Native American Village, Natural Bridge
Me: What were the highlights of your trip?
Travellers: Where do we begin? We went to a horseback riding event, and we saw a brilliant performance of Pride & Prejudice at a local school. We also went hiking in Bueno Vista, visited a Native American Village in Natural Bridge and tasted impeccable wine at a local winery. The Luray Caverns were also a spectacular experience; they are extremely beautiful and the stalactites and stalagmites are impressive. You have to see it to believe it. The Lexington downtown area is small but bustling with vibrant shows and bars. And FYI, The drinks are cheap. The entire Rockbridge County area is very small and compact, so all these activities are literally happening right next to each other.
Luray Caverns, Virginia
Me: Thank you for sharing your "Unexpected Travel Location"
Travellers: You are welcome. Thank you for having us.
Viola and Hermann are young professionals and business owners based in the DC area. You can learn more about Viola's business ventures at ALOIV
And that concludes the first feature of my "Unexpected Travel Locations" series. My goal for this project is to showcase the underrated and under the radar destinations we invariably ignore when we travel. If you have any unexpected travel location you would like to share, it could be a city, a restaurant, a hostel, a bar, a club or anything unexpectedly fun, please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org Cheers xx
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
The living room area at Not Another Hostel
While browsing through Airbnb, I stumbled upon Not Another Hostel. This amazing hostel (the only one in Pittsburgh by the way) was founded by Jon, and his vision for the entire project is inspirational and impressive. Jon runs the hostel on a donation-based policy. I'll let him speak for himself, "Hostelling started as a way to help travelers. Period. Unfortunately, people have tried to cash in on a travelers' need for a cheap place to stay. This is not one of those places...This is my home, and I'm opening up the doors to help travelers. I ask for donations simply to help me pay bills. I recommend donating 25 USD per person, per night." Read more about his mission statement here. Sounds suspicious? Think again.
The map on the hostel wall