Paris, London, New York, Venice! You’ve seen the pictures, you’ve dreamt of the delights, but now that you’re planning your round-the-world trip your budget is not cooperating. Some of the most coveted destinations come with shocking price tags.
While the usual advice of cooking your own meals, using of public transport, and travelling at off-peak season can help you save plenty, without affordable lodgins, your all-star destination may still be out of the bounds of you typical round-the-world budget. Staying outside the city core is, of course, a well known strategy for major travel savings but it has to be done right or the travel frustrations may end up being worth more than the savings.Read More
As we reflect over the past year, it’s incredible to think of all that we’ve seen and experienced. It seems like it was just yesterday we were sending out a Christmas wish from the heat of Vietnam. This holiday season, we’re home after 13 months on the road and we’re glad to share some time with our families and loved ones.
2012 was an amazing year of wandering the world and 2013 is looking to just as exciting. Although we’ve now made our way home, our travels and stories won’t stop; we will continue to travel and post about our journeys as we continue to twirl onwards.Read More
There are several ways to get to Aguas Calientes (or Machu Picchu Pueblo), the base of any visit to Machu Picchu. The most conventional way involves taking the train from either Poroy (20 min. from Cusco) or Ollantaytambo (1.5 hours from Cusco). Once you factor in the expense of getting to Poroy or Ollantaytambo with the train fare, you’re looking at spending at least US$100 just getting to and from Aguas Calientes. (Visit the handy folks at Seat61 for more details on the train options)Read More
We travel not only to fill our eyes with new vistas, but to open our minds and souls. We travel because we seek to learn and better understand the world we live in and to shine a light on our own homes and lives.
Peter and I are both multilingual and while the benefits of a second or third language are great for arranging those practical details of getting from a to b, what we’ve most appreciated in our travels are those happy moments when our ability to speak another language has allowed us to connect with a local or a fellow traveller. These moments are often brief, but the insights and fresh views give context to the places we’ve been, open our eyes to the complexities of this world and fill in the gaps in the news we read.Read More
Border regions can often be zones of tension and hostilities. Our goal for travelling in South America was to start in Colombia and head south overland. This meant that we would be crossing a number of potentially interesting borders. The first on our list – overland from Colombia to Ecuador – was perhaps the most intimidating border we could have started with. According to the Canadian Foreign Affairs travel advisory for Colombia, the southern region between Popayán and the Colombia-Ecuador border should be a no-go zone. More specifically it states:Read More
There are three possible land crossings from Ecuador to Peru: along the coast through Huaquillas, deep in the Amazon basin through Nuevo Rocafuerte, and along the southern sierra through Macará. As we were travelling down the highlands, the most convenient and easiest crossing was through Macará.
Despite having crossed many a land border with nary an incident, it is still one of my most hated parts of travel. Luckily this is one of those easy crossings where one bus will take you all the way through from Loja, Ecuador through the little border town of Macará to your final destination of Piura, Peru.Read More
When we did our planning for our round-the-world trip, we had very vague plans for our South America leg. Other than setting a $50/person budget for the region, we didn’t plan for any major tours or excursions. This, in hindsight, was a mistake and we’ve had to do some budget manoeuvring since.
One of those major budget recalibrations came when we got to Ecuador and, along with our friend Anusha who joined us for 3 weeks, decided that the Galapagos was a must do. The question was how to do it without breaking the bank?Read More
The lovely folks at Discovering Ice nominated us for the Travelsupermarket’s Capture the Colour contest about a week ago and we’ve been biting our nails with indecision since. The contest asks for pictures that capture the following 5 colours – Blue, Green, Yellow, White, and Red.
We love photos and have taken tens of thousands over our journeys. Choosing favourites is not easy. Each photo has a fond memory attached, all of which remain special within our minds.
The following are our entries and we hope you like them!Read More
The sweat drips off my forehead as the sound of my heartbeat thumps in my ears. It drips freely as I’ve stopped trying to staunch the flow. There is little point as I’m already bathing in it. At this point I don’t give a damn about how I look, I just want to make it to camp. And this is day one.
We’ve been going straight up for over 40 minutes and every turn of the road only brings more road. I’ve underestimated the difficulty of the climb and am lagging in the back with Alex, a fellow trekker from Kansas, short of breath and struggling ever upwards through the 30 degree heat and thick humidity. Gabriel, our ever smiling guide, slowly matches our footsteps and councils patience. “Lento y seguro,” he says.Read More
Being a couple has its challenges under normal circumstances, but add long-term travel to the mix and challenges can become major issues. Travelling the world has countless rewards, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy or comfortable. Unresolved issues and annoyances can amplify when you spend 24 hours a day together and have to navigate new landscapes and cultures, often in languages you don’t speak.
While we’ve never been the type of couple that fights much, over the past 9 months of travel, we’ve worked through our share of disagreements, frustrations and annoyances. The road hasn’t always been smooth but I believe the lessons we’ve learned over the past 8 months have helped us become better partners.Read More