travel

We Reached the Highest Point in Thailand - Chiang Mai

The next part of our journey brings us to Chiang Mai - the largest city in Northern Thailand. Chiang Mai was once ranked 24 of 25 Best Destinations in the World (According to Trip Advisor).

You may have also heard of it as a location for the famous Lantern Festival, Loi Krathong, that occurs yearly around November. (We hope to make it for this one day..)

The sky lanterns released are believed to help rid troubles and have attracted the attention of people worldwide for its overall beauty.

Floating-Lantern-Chiang-Mai

Even if you're not here for the Lantern Festival, there's still plenty to do. About a 1 hour airplane ride from Bangkok, and you've arrived.

The main area is a square (literally) where you can find restaurants, local businesses, souvenir shops, hostels / hotels, massage centers, and more. Fairly easy to navigate, you have a wide selection of things you can do and see.

What To Do:

A trip to Chiang Mai wouldn't be complete without visiting at least one of the temples.

We're here during the rainy season and as a result it rained quite often while we were in Chiang Mai which made it difficult to visit multiple temples as planned. However we did visit one of the main ones, Wat Chedi Luang, and enjoyed its architecture, beauty, and energy.

temple

Around the corner we were able to have a conversation with a young monk. Monk chats are available here to the curious daily from 9am to 6pm. We asked him questions such as, "What do you do for fun?", "What inspired you to walk the path of a monk?", and will be posting a video with his answers soon.

He was a very nice gentleman who was happy to spend time answering our questions.

Chiang_Mai_Monk.jpg

We asked how he makes money and he mentioned that many monks live off donations from tourists and local businesses such as restaurants. We attempted to give him a donation ourselves but he declined stating he can only accept donations in the mornings from a temple.

Fun Fact we learned: There are City Monks and Forest Monks and they actually have their own forms of social media!

We found it quite interesting to see how they are a part of every day society but also dedicated to the many "rules" that are followed as a monk.


Grand Canyon

Story Time!

This was not an original part of our plans but one day as we were riding the Songthaew (bus taxi service of Chiang Mai), Giancarlo and I met two other young travelers. One of them - a wedding photographer based out of Mexico - told Giancarlo about a place called Grand Canyon.

We looked it up and Giancarlo was psyched. I however was nearly mortified (lol). Basically it is a man-made pool between mountainous canyons where people go to jump and swim.

Grand-Canyon-Chiang-Mai

Having a fear of heights, I wasn't exactly thrilled, but Giancarlo lives for that type of stuff and I know that every time we push ourselves past our comfort zones – it leads to a good experience.

We checked the weather and were happy to see that a sunny day finally awaited us! We woke up early, hopped in an Uber and traveled over (Yep, they have Uber here - but more on that later). It was about a 30 minute ride and my heart was racing as we approached the area.

My mind kept replaying scenes of people jumping off cliffs and I questioned if I was ready.

With Giancarlo's encouragement, we went inside and my mind was eased to see that the Grand Canyon had been renovated to be much safer with railing along the canyons and lifeguards by the jumping site.

Grand-Canyon_Chiang-Mai

The highest point had been closed off due to accidents (I suppose) and while this other point is still high, it at least seemed manageable to me, haha.

Giancarlo jumped first and screamed on the way down. Then it was my turn.

I knew if I was going to make the jump - I'd have to just go for it. No looking down or around. So I walked away from the ledge and got ready to run. Without actually seeing how high I'd be jumping from, I ran towards the water and once I met the edge of the canyon, my eyes opened so wide you could probably see them from down below. I belt out an, "Oh shittt" as I fell towards the water and thought, what did I just get myself into?!

Of course that feeling subsides once you hit the water and realize you survived. The biggest hurdle - getting over the fears in your mind.

One girl waited at the top going back and forth about jumping for nearly 20 minutes and I didn't blame her.

For the adrenaline junkies, don't miss this place! And even for the fearful, come overcome the limits of your mind. More than likely, you'll be glad you took the leap.

Overall we ended up spending nearly half the day here having a blast, talking with others from all around the world, and enjoying a day in the midst of nature under the warm sun.

Grand_Canyon_Chiang_Mai

The Grand Canyon of Chiang Mai is truly quite the gem!


How To Get Around

While in Bangkok, you could depend on the low prices of a meter taxi, but things are a little different here in Chiang Mai.

The local taxis are called Songthaews and they are actually flat bed trucks with a covered sitting area that turns it into a mini bus / taxi. They travel along the main roads and can be flagged down, dropping people off usually in the order that they hopped on.

songthaew_ChiangMai

As a tourist, you can show them your destination on Google maps or have them look it up on theirs. Prices for this bus taxi service vary with the lowest being about 30 baht per person. You can try to negotiate a price, but if it's a certain distance and you're not willing to pay the price - they won't be shy to kindly tell you no and drive away.

Our hotel was a bit out of the way from the main area so after having to hop on a motorbike with an employee two times to then get to the main road where we could catch a taxi, we looked into Uber. Viola! Uber is actually the best way we found to get around Chiang Mai as it picks you up right at your hotel and brings you to your destination without making other stops along the way. Also it provides the luxury of  A/C which Songthaews do not and can simply be charged to your credit card for a ridiculously low price!

They do have surge times during rush hours (Uber's doing) so make sure to check the estimated cost first.

There is A LOT of traffic in Chiang Mai, especially along the main roads. For this reason and others, we wouldn't recommend renting a motorbike here. Although it can seem like the cheap and convenient option, Chiang Mai is one of the more dangerous places to ride a motorbike. We saw several people with "Thailand Tattoos" aka scars from accidents and also heard stories of people in the hospital so beware.

Uber is definitely our recommended form of transportation here. Another bonus is that many of the drivers actually speak English (somewhat rare in regards to locals here - few and far between) so you can interact with them along the way which makes for an even more enjoyable ride.

Doi Inthanon National Park

Doi_Inthanon

This park is not exactly in Chiang Mai, however it is worthy of the trip while you’re in the area. To go here we rented a car for the day through Sixt for just $16 (although we ended up paying $30 for gas so be aware, it adds up).

What you get to see in return are lush green landscapes such as this and more.

Doi_Inthanon_Trail

Another intriguing aspect of Doi Inthanon is that it is base to the highest point in all of Thailand.

Doi_Inthanon_

We walked through clouds at different points throughout the park which was an amazing feeling.

Doi_Inthanon_View

It’s at least a day full of adventure as you can hike, see waterfalls, and their King and Queen pagodas. We were bummed to have missed seeing the pagodas first hand since they closed at 5PM. We did our hike first and then planned on seeing the Pagodas on our way out of the park so be sure to go early. Also keep in mind that the last time for the hike is 3/4PM.

(Not my picture but to give you an idea of what can be seen at the pagoda area..)

(Not my picture but to give you an idea of what can be seen at the pagoda area..)

During the busy season, they also have a Karen Village Market open, but again, being here during the rainy season – we ended up being one of the very few people in the entire park and as a result the market wasn’t open.

Doi_Inthanon_Views

Nonetheless we loved all the natural beauty and opportunity to escape the busy city life of Chiang Mai. I felt like this was the first place I breathed truly clean air which was glorious.


Where To Eat

Chiang Mai is FULL of great places to eat!

My favorite restaurant there was Imm Aim which means happiness – and that is exactly what it brought us.

Imm Aim is committed to eco-friendliness and had the freshest tasting food I’ve tried in all of Thailand. No straws are given (yay), he sources from local organic farmers, and has a free purified water refill station to help promote the use of reusable bottles.

I would like to note though that this may not be a good restaurant for people who are used to eating processed foods. Because it is a healthier type of restaurant, they do not use oil to cook and therefore the food can taste a little "bland" to some.

Personally, I don't enjoy many fried foods or dishes cooked in oil so to me it was perfect. If you go, enjoy a smoothie with coco milk and try any dish with their homemade hummus!

Other great restaurants we tried in the area were Amrita’s Garden, Salad Concept, and Taste from Heaven (Giancarlo's favorite - see dish below ;p ).

TasteFromHeaven

Where To Stay

We stayed at Get Zleep while they had a great promotion running on Hotels.com for just $11/night. However, this may not be the place for everyone. If you want to be in the center of the city and action, I’d recommend looking into other options. But if you’re interested in a cozy space for a great price – this is your place! It was right next to a University which was neat as we were in the mix with students and received an authentic glimpse into their life and culture.


Places we Didn't Get to See That you May be Interested in:

Temples: Wat Chiang Man, Wat Phan Tao, Wat Prathat Doi Suthep

Cooking Classes

Wat Rong Khun - The White Temple

WatRongKhun

Wat Maha That - (Where you can find the famous Buddha Head in Tree)

BuddhaHead_WatMahaThat

Chiang Mai was a great way to see northern Thailand. If you go, I'd also recommend looking into the city of Pai which is nearby. Although we didn't go ourselves, fellow travelers had a lot of positive feedback to share, making it a location we hope to visit someday.

Until next time friends! Thanks for reading <3

24 Hours in Bangkok

I’ve long heard of Bangkok but wasn’t really sure when I would end up there myself. When my partner and I decided to take a leap of faith and coordinate a 1-month journey throughout Thailand – the vision became a reality.

Notorious for it’s feature in movies such as the Hangover 2, Bangkok has a reputation of crazy night life, chaos, and even crime. In reality, nearly any place has those aspects of life.. especially if you go looking for them. What we experienced however was far from that widespread perception that movies and TV shows depict.

bangkok

What you focus on expands, and what we chose to focus on were historical sites and good food.

The Floating Market

We started our day off at one of the many floating markets, Khlong Lat Mayom, which was my favorite part of the activity-packed day! We had read about this supposed non-touristy market where mainly locals go and we’re glad we did. (Note - this is only open on the weekends)

The abundance of fruits, food, and more was a party for the senses. I was elated to find durian, one of my favorite fruits for its cancer fighting properties and other benefits! Normally very pricey in the states, I enjoyed a large chunk for 100 baht ($3 US dollars).

The fruit indulgence didn’t end there – dragon fruit, another normally pricey favorite, was only 50 baht (about $1.50 US). Basically, I found fruit heaven!

Dragon_Fruit

We walked around and observed the environment – soaking in the Thai culture and energy.

The floating market seemed to be a popular place for families to come and enjoy the day. A lot of people bought bread and other foods to feed the fish which made for an entertaining feeding frenzy.

Of course, we had to get on to the “floating” part of the market so we hired a long tail boat for 150 baht/pp ($4). It took us not only along the market, but through the floating village as well where we received a glance of how people live along the river. The ride lasted a little more than 30 minutes and took us further than we expected – very much worth it in our opinion.

Floating_Market_Bangkok

We had originally planned to see two floating markets that day but we enjoyed ourselves so much at this first one that we ended up just spending all the time there until our next destination.

The Grand Palace

A trip to Bangkok is not complete without a visit to the Grand Palace. It certainly lives up to its name, with awe-inspiring architecture and divine craftsmanship. Pictures really don't do it justice.

Although the name gives off the idea of being one large building, the Grand Palace is in fact a collection of buildings along the highly visited property so make sure that you allow yourself enough time to fully explore. I’d recommend at least 2 hours. We didn’t get a guide but my thought would be that it’s probably worth it. (Note: Entrance fee is 500 baht ($15 US) and can only be paid in cash.) Once we were inside we were almost overwhelmed by how much there was to see.

Grand_Palace

We set our focus towards the Emerald Buddha, where pictures aren’t aloud but it’s truly a site to see. It is a statue of the meditating Buddha seated in a yogic posture, made of a semi-precious green stone, clothed in gold.

By the time we arrived here, it was about 2PM, very hot – and after recording video and taking pictures, we realized it was nearly 4PM and time for us to head over to the site of the Reclining Buddha before it closes at 5PM.

Note: Proper dress code is strictly enforced at the temples for women AND men. Your shoulders, knees, and ankles must be covered out of respect. If you’re not wearing the proper attire at the time, I wouldn’t worry too much as there are many stores outside of and within The Grand Palace that sell long pants / skirts for only 100 baht ($3). They had a light feel which makes them much more comfortable to be wearing in the heat rather than jeans or even yoga pants.

Wat Pho

Pronounced Wat Po – This temple is the site of the famous Reclining Buddha. It felt like a dream come true to see this in person! Costing only 100 baht to visit, this is worth every penny and only just down the street from The Grand Palace so don’t miss out!

Reclining_Buddha

From there, we rushed back to our hotel to take quick showers and attempt to catch the sunset from a rooftop in Bangkok. We chose Octave, a lounge on the 45th floor within the Marriot. The rooftop view is 3 stories and offers a 360° view of Bangkok. Although it was a cloudy day and we didn’t quite make it in time for the sunset, we loved it nonetheless! Definitely make it to one of the rooftops to see the city light up at night.

Octave_Rooftop

City Life
While yes, the roads are busy, that only makes sense considering Bangkok is one of the most populated cities in the world and amplified by foreign travelers. Aside from that though, we didn’t find it to be anything beyond the ordinary.

Where to Eat

For those who don’t know, I live a vegan lifestyle and my partner is vegetarian so we do specifically search out restaurants that cater to our demographic. Please keep in mind though that the places I’m about to recommend can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone. If you don’t believe me – just check their reviews ;).

On our first day we visited Suananda which is also a yoga studio and ayurvedic center. Out of all the places we ate, this was my favorite!

Suananda

We ordered spicy mushroom soup, green curry, the falafel salad, and pad thai – all of which were delicious!! For dessert, we topped it off with carrot cake and savored every bite. You could really taste the freshness of all the plates and although we left full, it wasn’t the type of full that leaves you ready for a food coma like other foods do.

Suananda_Carrot_Cake

The next day we enjoyed breakfast at the Floating Market (a mix of fruits) and then ventured over to Mango by The Grand Palace for lunch. The inside is quaint and the portions are large!

They have a massive menu so everyone is sure to be satisfied. The first thing that caught our eyes was their Kombucha selection! We ordered ginger and lemongrass to which a generous amount of each is served. No exaggeration when I say the ginger kombucha was the best I’ve ever tasted! For anyone who loves the kick – don’t miss this.

Underestimating the portion sizes, we over-ordered a tempeh burger, more curry, and pad thai. (If you’re noticing a pad thai pattern – that’s alll my partner Giancarlo who is a fiend determined to try pad thai at every restaurant we visit). Seriously, order one thing here at a time and take it from there haha.

Next meal was dinner, and since our night started at Octave we enjoyed a drink here first. Giancarlo ordered the mojito and I order a non-alcoholic Rose beverage that was super tasty! PS: If you get there between 5-7 it’s happy hour which means 50% off the drinks.. You’re welcome ;p

For dinner we found ourselves at the highly recommended May Veggie which prides itself on being a place for even meat lovers. In that sense, it did not disappoint. It has a wide selection of vegan fish, chicken, and even bacon.

We ordered the fresh spring rolls (raw vegan) which were great, and a spicy mushroom soup which honestly we couldn’t finish because it was crazy spicy – so consider yourself warned! Aside from those appetizers, Giancarlo ordered item A21 (lol) - Soft Tofu Meat Stir Fried with Black Pepper which he says had the texture and taste of meat. (Further evidence that an innocent animal doesn’t need to die in order for people to still enjoy their favorite flavors.)

I kept it simple with A48 (these references are cracking me up – but it’s what’s on the menu) Minced Tofu Stir Fried with Basil Leave. And just to give you an idea on cost – my dinner only cost me $4 US. Let’s just say we’re eating realll good around here ;p stay tuned for more restaurant recommendations!

Where to Stay

After 26+ hours of traveling across the globe from Florida – we were happy to have a hotel close to the airport. Great Residence Inn, was honestly far from living up to its name, but it sufficed for the night. I wouldn’t recommend it for anything beyond that. The room had mosquitos flying around, there was no shower curtain or anything to divide it as a shower as it was basically just a high faucet next to the toilet. I wrote more in length about it on TripAdvisor,  but in summary – I wouldn’t recommend. The next morning we woke up and Giancarlo found iCheck Inn which felt like a tremendous upgrade! It was only $9 more than Great Residence and was like your own apartment with a shower door AND get this - a bathtub! Also, much safer setting with security on the grounds. We highly recommend!

It wasn’t necessarily in the center of the city, but a taxi never cost us more than $3 to get around.

How to Get Around

Bringing me to the next topic.  When researching and preparing for this trip – there really wasn’t a clear consensus on the best way to get around. Some people spoke of buses – but we rarely saw them or information on how to get to them. We experimented with Uber which can be a good way to go if you don’t want to spend cash on a ride but we found that it charges nearly double what a taxi would cost.

Taxis in Thailand are insanely cheap! The meter starts at 35 baht (which is about .50 I think) and then goes up only 2 baht per km. Basically, a 30 minute taxi ride cost us an average of 160 baht (about $4 so we usually left a tip wondering how this is even a profitable business and how much the drivers themselves must get paid).

Kind of off topic – but I really feel that when traveling to another country, you should try to leave it in better condition than when you arrived and that includes helping to support the people who live there. We are so blessed to be able to travel to the other side of the world. Yes, I’m on a budget – but at the same time, the last thing I want to do while I’m here is short-change the locals who are trying to supply for their family.

Back to this main topic though, while most taxi drivers are hard working honest folks, there are some who may try to get one over on tourists. The best way to avoid this is when telling a taxi where you need to go, say meter to ensure they turn it on. If they refuse to use it, it’s often because they want to charge you more than what you would be paying for the ride. If they charge more than 200 baht to go somewhere within 30 minutes, don’t take that ride. Some drivers tried to charge us 500 baht ($15 dollars which is really pricey given Thailand prices). I’d rather use my money to go with a meter taxi and leave them a tip.  OR maybe you find a taxi that will agree to a price that you know you’d be paying anyways, but doesn’t use the meter. In this case, as long as the price is fair – I’d say go for it. They probably just need the extra money for themselves. We’ve all been there.

Another option is Tuk-Tuks. Without A/C this should generally cost you less than an actual taxi.

Somewhat embarrassing but also comical is the story of our first (and so far only) Tuk Tuk ride. We had just left from having lunch at Mango nearby the Grand Palace and were excited to take a chance on a Tuk Tuk. The driver said 100 baht to the Grand Palace and we agreed but in retrospect, this is pretty high for what should’ve been just a 10 minute ride. Not to mention, when we got out we realized the driver brought us to the wrong place! We laughed as we realized he brought us to a museum that he probably receives a commission for.

We were so caught in the moment of being in a Tuk Tuk that we didn’t pay attention to where we were actually going – a lesson learned.

TukTuk_Bangkok

Tip of advice – when you’re in wifi, pull up where you need to go in Google maps. Most of the time it’ll stay active even once you’ve left the wifi area. This way, you can see which way you should be going and be sure that a driver isn’t taking you elsewhere. Just note that sometimes Google maps pulls up toll roads which a taxi generally won’t take because it cuts out of their profit so be aware of the alternative routes which are more likely.

In Summary

All in all, we enjoyed our time in Bangkok and were happy to be able to experience the ups and downs of the city.

On our last day, we took a morning flight to Chiang Mai where we’re spending 5 days.

More to come on this Thailand adventure! Thanks for reading and being a part of the journey..

Budget Traveler's Paradise at Room 2 Board - Jaco, Costa Rica

Yoga_Costa_Rica

You wake up along the beach and can hear the waves crashing along the shore. The breeze brushes upon your sun-kissed skin as the palm trees sway. Morning yoga classes will have you finishing with a heart-felt Namaste. 

A getaway at Room2Board will certainly deliver more than you even bargain for. Listed as a hostel, it actually provides the ambiance of a hotel with the option of shared rooms for budget travelers, and private rooms for those desiring a more exclusive experience. It’s a newly constructed building which is very well maintained, with the cleanliest of rooms and bathrooms for your comfort. 

Room2Board_Jaco

The 1st floor hosts their check-in area with an in-house restaurant and bar right by the pool so you can lounge and enjoy your favorite drinks and plates. Reggae music is often flowing out of the speakers to compliment the vibe of the beach side environment and you can also make special requests for music of your choice. At night, surf videos play on their big screen projector. Even if you don't surf, these videos are entertaining to say the least.

Room2Board is a great place to connect with fellow travelers sharing stories, laughs, and great times. No exaggeration - the friendships I’ve made while staying here have lasted far beyond our time in Jaco. I stay connected to many of the people I met here still to this day.

Besides making new friends, during the day you can sign up for surf lessons, walk along the beach, relax in the pool, explore the town, or enjoy an adventure on one of their many tours by going to see a nearby waterfall, riding horses, etc. 

This is especially my favorite place to stay in Jaco because of it’s location. You’ll be right along the beach and it’s just a few minutes walk into town. Also, on the way, you have to drive along a bridge that I call Crocodile Crossing. Stop here if you can and get out to see why! Pictures don't do it justice.

Jaco_Crocodiles.jpeg

You'll know you're approaching it when you see colorful tapestries along the road. Plus, many people stop and get out here so if you see groups along a bridge, that's the spot :)

Jaco_Crocodiles

In addition to all this fun, (and this is what I love most) when you stay at Room2Board - you are just a short walk away from a hike to a glorious sunset view point. 

costarica_sunset

Traveling up this nearby mountain, you’re likely to cross paths with mountain-bikers, runners, and others walking and journeying to this majestic view that allows you to see Jaco in a way that can’t be done anywhere else in town.

Rumor has it that a restaurant was meant to be opened at the top, but funds ran out so now what’s left is pieces of it’s coliseum type architect. Fortunately for us, it makes for a divine space to enjoy the Pacific coast sunset. It’s about a 20 minute walk to the top view, and I consider it a MUST each time I’m in Jaco. Luckily, Room 2 Board is the closest stay to this point which makes it even more appealing to me. 

Go Green_Costa Rica

In addition to the location, the environmentalist in me loves that they have recycling options in place (super important - help save our beaches by using plastic minimally and if you do use it, please recycle!). Light sensors are throughout the hallways and bathrooms to conserve energy, vegetarian options are on the menu.. And maybe they’d even be keen to add vegan options if enough people ask ;)

They also provide a communal kitchen with all the necessary utensils for people like myself who save funds by personally cooking most meals. Both the kitchen and in-house restaurant are fun atmospheres so you’re bound to have dining experiences that you will much enjoy.

Just in case you want to venture out though, I also recommend Taco Bar or Namaste Cafe. Taco Bar offers an awesome salad / buffet and they have the option to sit on swings which I always find fun.

When the sun begins to set, if you’re not interested in a hike, just head upstairs to Room 2 Board’s third floor where you can also enjoy a great view and hammocks setup for your relaxation.

When I’m in Jaco, there is never a doubt that Room2Board is where I want to stay. Check out my video recap to see more of why. 

Pura Vida! 

The Trip that Changed my Life

CostaRica

Sometimes your intuition directs you to a place you've never been, and although it can be intimidating to find yourself in a completely new environment.. Deep within, you can feel that this journey is a part of your divine destiny. 

At least that is how it has felt for me. 

When I went on my first solo trip as a 21 year old female, my head was filled by friends and family with, "What - ifs" and, "Do you know how dangerous that can be?" 

Despite the concerns, my heart had been called on a mission: and I was going to answer it! 

Where to?

Costa Rica to experience La Pura Vida ~ 

playa_esterillos

I had been working as an Administrative Assistant to the Pediatric Heart Transplant Program of my local Children's Hospital when I realized, I too needed to heal. 

My father passed away from cancer when I was 10 years old which was quite traumatic. Watching him undergo surgeries and chemotherapies only to deteriorate in front of our eyes was the most painful time of my life that I had not yet dedicated time towards truly transcending.

So my intuition led me to research how I could do some soul searching.

I came across a learning vacation at School of the World where I signed up initially for spanish classes.. But little did I know, that something much larger awaited me. 


Along with spanish classes, I decided to sign up for daily Yoga as well since I had heard so many great things about it.

The intention had been solidified. I respectfully resigned from my job. I was set! 

A month in Costa Rica learning spanish and Yoga! I thought, I can immerse myself in the culture and return with new insight, plus being able to finally make my family proud by speaking spanish more fluently. 


Ha, well.. Let's just say that I still struggle with my spanish :x. 

BUT, I received the greatest gift that saved and changed my life forever.. and that gift is.. 

Yoga. 

The beginning of my journey with Yoga is an expansive post for another time and space. I'll keep you posted ;)

As far as the travel experience, School of the World has an amazing team of teachers and the facility is so comforting, I felt right at home. Offering not only spanish and Yoga classes, but surf lessons and photography as well, the school attracts people of diverse backgrounds from all around the globe. 

My desire for culture and global awareness was easily exceeded.

I made friends with locals as well and have remained in close contact with the people I met along this journey years since. 

It's a deep connection that is shared when you meet people through travel. Such unique experiences that although the relationships may be short in time, are heart-warmingly fulfilling in spirit. 

Traveling alone, you learn more about yourself than you could ever imagine. You realize the strength and courage you possess, and it grows through each experience.

During my time there, I volunteered at a local preschool teaching english, helped a missionary feed the homeless, climbed mountains and watched the sunset, made life-long friendships, cried, laughed until it hurt, wandered aimlessly, donated clothes, and fell in love..

With life and with myself.

A feeling I had long lost. 

If you are considering traveling, my advice would be to research your ideal locations, keep an open mind and open heart, and if your intuition is truly calling you to this place.. Follow it! There is probably a life changing gift waiting for you there too :)

 

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PS: School of the World did not ask me to write about them, but I am personally so grateful for the experience I enjoyed there, that I feel inclined to share it with as many people as I can. If you're interested in a vacation that involves more than simply laying along the shores of a beautiful beach (although there's nothing wrong with that), I would highly recommend SOTW

It's a great way to meet and connect with new people while visiting another country. The classes are worth every penny. Plus, big bonus as a solo female traveler, I always felt safe and even at home during my time there. (I actually flew back 2 weeks later because I felt homesick once I got "home"). 

Have you been on a learning vacation before? I'd love to hear about your experience! 

Thanks for reading! Lots of Love.. Namaste <3