I’m not quite sure how the universe has conspired to get me here, but I am here. In Champagne! Champagne, the land of the one spirit to rule them all, the spirit best known for opulence, indulgence, and most of all, exclusivity. You can imagine how bewildering this is for a backpacking, bordering hippie like myself. But, as I’ve said, I finally found myself here. Let’s drink to that! Continue reading “Breaking Out the Bubbly in Champagne”
Have you always wanted to explore Amsterdam on a bike, but feel that you’re not ready for hustling it with the breakneck-speed-riding locals? Fret not, I got your back.
Continue reading “A Dutch Treat on Wheels”
It’s going to be hard to top this adventure. What I do know is that a journey as epic as this one deserves a sequel. I’ll see you again soon, Iceland!
Song: Shooting Star by Dexter Britain
Thanks to Eyjafjallajökull, it is now common knowledge that Iceland is laden with volcanoes. The second thing that in abundance is less obvious: water. The country is an island after all. Given its combination of unique geographical gifts (perched on a hotspot, on top of the American and Eurasian continental plates, way way up in the North), Iceland can be quite a hotbed of earth-porn, so to speak.
For a girl who grew up tropically-oriented, to be lost in a Land of Ice is nothing short of magical.
Continue reading “Iceland: Water, Water, Everywhere”
If you want to emerge a whole lot smarter after a tour in Iceland, here’s a good recipe:
1.) Grab a geologist (or better yet, a glaciologist!).
2.) Make him show you around.
Luckily, we stumbled onto GeoIceland Tours, ran by the very witty Javier — a glaciologist-turned-land-surveyor, who eventually found himself creating his own tour-guide business. From the moment we set off from Reykjavik until he dropped us back home, he rattled on facts one after the other — not just about geology, but also about history, folklore and everyday Icelandic life. There was no lull nor dull moment, I kid you not.
“So, this is how I die,” I sigh to myself.
I stare hard at the long wall of loose gravel, then shoot a look at our guide, waiting for him to say that he was just kidding and that this isn’t a part of the trail. Except that he wasn’t. And yes, this is the trail. A light kick sends a rain of pebbles tumbling down. Yup, that’s a long slide from here.
Geirmundur, our guide, patiently holds my hand as I shuffle slowly sideways, facing the wall. Deep breath, baby-step. No, don’t look down. Deep breath, baby-step. All my wits are funneled into this delicate dance, until we finally make it to solid soil after what seemed like forever. Lucky me, I live another day! And this was only Day 1.
Ever since I stumbled on the Holstee Manifesto, it has been my beacon for when I’m lost, or for when I lose sight of my real dreams. What’s so striking about it is that it speaks of things that you already know true, but also things which you just need help being reminded of every now and then.
If you want to learn more about the story behind the Holstee Manifesto, or if you want to download your own Holstee wallpaper (like the one below), you can check out their site at www.holstee.com.
Song: Ultima Version by Jenifer Avila
1. Surfing, snorkeling, playing beach volleyball all day — some things are worth the sunburn. The pain of being sun-scorched will eventually go away, but as for regret — that often stings for a lifetime.
2. So you’re loaded. And really smart. And gorgeous to boot. But can you leave the shore and swim? The world belongs to the brave.
Mountains and beaches, forest trails and seaside drives, luminescent grottos… I don’t think I’ll ever run out of reasons to fall head over heels for Amalfi. This has been my second visit to Italy, and I still think that the Land of La Dolce Vita might be my happy place. 🙂
Sharing the clips I’ve compiled while meandering along the glorious coastal towns. If you want to read the stories behind the videos, just saunter over to the links below. Ciao and enjoy!
As we lay down together, legs intertwined, I can’t stop chuckling as I think to myself, “Ish, what crazy thing have you got yourself into now?!”
It may be easy to think that Capri is solely about the ultimate seduction, a haven for indulgence, opulence, and above all, romance. However, being my stubborn self, I sought to find out if it could also have a space for cheapskate solo backpackers like moi. After leaving my beloved Atrani, I hopped on the earliest ferry to Capri.
During the boat ride, I looked at the seats in front of me. Couple. Beside me? Couple. Behind me? Yup, couples on a double date. When we docked, couples shuffled out one after the other. Maybe this was going to be more challenging than I thought. Continue reading “Capri for One”
There it is!… Is it real?
Nah, it can’t be… are you sure?
Yes, silly, you bought the ticket yourself!
I know that, but… wow, is this really happening?
This was the weird conversation going on inside my head as the bus was making its way to Amalfi Town. A few more seconds, and everything sunk in. This is it. This is the realization of a life-long whimsy. I am being whisked away on a drive along the Amalfi Coast. You know when people say they had to pinch themselves? Yes, I had to do that too.
The sharp cliff drops along the narrow highway are actually more bewitching than terrifying. (Then again, that might just be because of the years of training I’ve had with the suicidal bus drivers from my home country.) As our bus zigzagged through every corner, a new scenery unfolded. Hillside houses and hanging gardens revealed themselves, and the long glistening coast seemed to never end. It was hard not to gawk. Continue reading “Swept Away by the Amalfi Blue”