USA Travel Guides for Backpackers

Coastal Culture: The Best of South Korea’s Islands & Beach Towns

The small nation of South Korea is often characterized by its heavily militarized northern border and high-tech, neon-charged cities. However we can’t forget this east Asian peninsula also has about 2,400 kilometers of coastline and 3,000 islands within its territory. This makes for unique mixed landscape of sandy beaches, lush forests, mountainous peaks, and volcanic rocks. Whether you’re wanting to try out a new water-sport, eat freshly caught seafood, go to a festival, or just bond with nature – these five locations have vibrant cultures with something to offer every traveler. 1. South Chungcheong-do, Anmyeondo / ????, ??? Located on the west coast of Korea south of Incheon, Anmyeondo is the sixth largest island in Korea characterized by rocky coastlines and several busy beaches. The island is also home to Anmyeondo NationalForest which during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392 B.C.) was managed by the royal family. Now visitors mostly come to stroll through the forest and see the beautiful vegetation and fauna. Two must see beaches on the island are Kkotji Beach and Anmyeon Beach, both of which offer clean sand, clear water, as well as views of the stunning rock formations that dot the horizon. During peak swim season, you can also rent innertubes, water toys, tents, and umbrellas. Camping is available for those who want to barbeque on the beach and wake up to the sound of the sea. Generally you can find a seaside hotel during the off season for around 50,000 KRW, though there are many great resorts and pensions to choose from. 2. Jeollanam-do, Mokpo & Jindo / ????, ?? & ?? In the southwest corner of Korea you’ll find Jeollanamdo, a province that contains a large portion of the 3,300 islands in Korea. Here you can find Mokpo, a small port city of about 250,000 people. When the Japanese occupied this territory, it served as an important location for commercial trade and public transportation. Nowadays, tourists flock here for the unique seafood and indigenous products found in the vibrant fish markets. If you’re looking for something romantic, try taking a sunset sailboat ride near the marina. You can hire a private captain for an hour tour for around 25,000 KRW per person. A short drive out of the city is Jindo, the third largest island and the southwestern most tip of the Korean peninsula. Jindo is most famous for its annual sea parting festival where the extremely low tides allow visitors to walk to the neighboring island of Modo. The Korean Jindo is a breed of hunting dog that originated on this island and their national cultural legacy live on today in the many dog sculptures you will see around the area. 3. Gangwon-do, Gangneung, Yang-Yang, and Sokcho / ???, ??, ??, & ?? Gangneung may be small in population but it is rich in spectacular mountain views and tranquil nature. Located on the east coast of Korea, this town is also known as a literature and arts hub. The sm all coastal village is a thriving hub […]

Where to go in Bali for 16 days

I would like to introduce to you my holiday in Bali. I was there last year in August with my boyfriend. Bali has been for us a very strong experience. We felt like in paradise. We wanted to go to some special place which would give us memories until the end of our life. Bali was that place. I dreamed about it for around two years, but I didn’t know how to get there. I was looking for any information on the internet, in books, etc. First, we had to buy plane tickets. We found tickets with lower prices to Jakarta for 500 € (per person) and afterward we purchased tickets from Jakarta to Bali for 40 € (per person) via a low-cost flight company. Day after we booked our tickets we were so excited, that we have already started planning our trip. We were there for an amazing 16 days. Day 1-3: Ubud On the first day, we landed in Denpasar. We took a taxi and went to Ubud, which is located in the middle of the island. From Denpasar to Ubud it took approximately 1 hour by car, so while we came to Ubud, it was almost late evening. It wasn’t a problem to find a taxi, but I would recommend to use application GoJek or Grab. It’s very useful as it can save you a lot of money. After we arrived at our accommodation Narendra, we went out for dinner, and then we fell to bed exhausted after long flight-day. You can find some tips for accommodation here on the link. The next morning we woke up full of expectations and started exploring Ubud. Ubud is situated in the middle of the jungle. It was very hot but also really humid. There were many exotic plants such as orchids, palms, and Frangipani (a tree with nice white and yellow flowers). You could see behind every corner at least one saint altar with daily “offerings”, interesting sculptures and incense. Balinese “offerings” are created from palm or banana leaves commonly filled with fresh flowers, money, a small bit of food and a burning incense stick placed on top of the offering. You could find it everywhere — the sidewalks, streets, stairwells, ledges, and temples were patterned with them. The surroundings were very colorful. We felt like in a chaotic but at the same time a beautiful garden. Balinese “offerings” Saint altar near a house In Ubud was a big market with different fine products. You had to be a good trader if you don’t want to lose a lot of money. They don’t use any fixed prices. Native people are very good sellers with a lot of experience. In Ubud, they also had some temples with free entrance. We stopped in a restaurant near the temple with many lotus flowers among us. It was a beautiful place. Temple with lotus lake Then we rent a motorbike and went to the Bali bird park. It was near Ubud, the entrance fee was 385 000 IDR per […]

5 things that make Sitka, AK different than the rest of the USA

Alaska, in my opinion, is one of the most precious assets of the USA. The beauty of this land is well-known and if you’ve ever been to Alaska you know that no words can do justice to the beautiful mountains, trees, river, glaciers, and views that cannot be seen anywhere else on the planet but, these are not the only things that make this place different than anywhere else, in fact, it has a lot more to it. I consider myself lucky that I got to experience the beauty of this place firsthand. I spent my last year in Sitka, Alaska. It is an island with a small community of around 9000 people. It’s a place that will surely surprise you and you have to visit it in order to experience a different side of America. Here is a list of a few things that make Sitka different than the lower 48: Nature: A lot of beautiful views. Sitka without any debate has the most beautiful nature I have ever witnessed. It is so effortlessly mesmerizing that you don’t even have to go to a particular place for sightseeing. A simple walk on the road or a trip to a grocery store, every place has the most beautiful view you have ever seen. Sitka also has a lot of hiking trails, if you want to experience nature at its finest. I wasn’t very fond of any kind of exercise, but I still couldn’t resist going hiking in Sitka. Every trail has such a calm environment with hundreds of trees in the surrounding that are even 1000s of years old and then different lakes or rivers in every trail. I swear there is nothing more peaceful than sitting on the edge of a river and just listening to the peaceful noise in the surrounding. The Culture: Natives Sitka is a place that has been home to many different cultures including the native Alaskans, Russians and now Americans but what surprises me the most is how preserved that culture still is. This is something that I didn’t see in the rest of the US. People of Sitka are also aware of the importance of the native culture and treat it like one of the most precious assets of Sitka. They even teach a native language called “Tlingit” at schools. There are a huge number of native people in Sitka making up to 45% of the total population and you can see their influence in the city. There are also many different festivals that you can go to in order to experience this beautiful and rich culture but one of the best experience that I had was talking with natives and getting to know more about the culture. You can also find jewelry and other stuff that represents native culture in the local shops. The Community: Extremely friendly nature. The people of Sitka are one of the nicest and welcoming people I’ve met. Unlike the rest of the US, they prefer a more […]

The Best Of Kusadasi

Turkey is a popular touristic destination. One of the most famous resort is Kusadasi because it is a beautiful place with a lot of nice beaches, history and really good prices. The service in the Turkish hotels is really good and usually, everything is all inclusive which can save you a lot of money in your vacation. Close to Kusadasi are the Ancient City of Ephesus, the House of Virgin Mary and Artemida’s Temple, which is guaranteeing you a lot of nice experience through the history. There are many sightseeings you can visit in Kusadasi without spending so much money and still to enjoy your vacation. Main street You can start your walk from the top of Barbaros Street which is the main walking street where are all bars, restaurants and shops and it is car-free. This is a perfect place to have some nice Turkish sweets, fruit tea or a nice Turkish coffee, buy some clothes or a souvenir. During the night there are nice bars and music. Walking down the street you will see a Tower, a Mosque and an Old Castle – Kervansaray which nowadays is a hotel and club. You can usually experience there special Turkish dinner with traditional kuchek dancers. Down the street close to the sea and to the Kervansaray is the Oriental Bazaar which is an amazing place for buying nice Turkish spices, teas and souvenirs or traditional Turkish clothes, scarves or carpets.   Harbour and Pigeon Island Close to the Kervansaray is also the main harbour where are stopping all ferryboats and the big cruise ships. The place is really beautiful because you can see the old castle, a beautiful garden next to the sea and from there to reach the Pigeon Island. In the gardens, you can have a nice refreshing drink or water in the hot day and to hide under the shadow of palm trees. All the town there is situated on a cliff with many houses and hotels with a beautiful view of them. Walking on the boardwalk towards the Pigeon Island you will pass close to the touristic boats which can bring you on nice beaches and lonely islands during the day. On Pigeon Island, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the town or have a nice walk next to the sea and around an old ancient castle.   Yacht harbour If you go back to the Kervansaray and walk on the opposite side next to the water you will pass through the city beach and you will see a nice monument with birds and you will enjoy the beautiful view of the yacht harbour. Exactly there usually during the summer religious holidays are made the amazing festivals with music, lights and many 5-stars hotels are cooking food for all the people for free, so you can taste amazing Turkish dishes.     Beaches From the top of Barbaros street, you can take shuttles that will drive you to the most famous beaches – Ladies’ Beach […]

USA’s Last Frontier | Visiting Juneau Alaska

Visit USA’s last frontier, Alaska, a state mostly untouched by humans and discover why so many people fall in love with the beauty and magnificence the state represents. Juneau, Alaska is the capital city and a place you can only reach by boat, ship, ferry, or airplane. Juneau’s only roads lead to the south and north ends of the city and Douglas Island. Locals joke you can go to the end of the road or the other end of the road. Juneau and Douglas Island have everything you could want on a visit to the last frontier, including a sandy beach, skiing, hiking, wildlife tours, and quality cuisine. Arriving in Juneau Choosing a cruise through the inside passage from Washington, through British Columbia and up to Anchorage is one way you can see more of Alaska than the capital city. Anchorage is an hour from Denali National Park, where you can take a train ride through Central Alaska, enjoying landscape views untouched by huge cities. Planes travel from all over the world usually stopping in Seattle, Washington, or Anchorage before arriving in Juneau. Alaska also has the ferry system with runs from Bellingham and outside of Anchorage to bring visitors throughout the many islands and shoreline that makes up the state of Alaska. Tours in Juneau If your sights are set on Juneau, make sure you plan a week at least to see all the wonders the capital city has to offer. Mendenhall Glacier Tours: you can decide to book a tour or drive to Mendenhall Glacier with your rental car. The glacier is the only one accessible by a short walk in Juneau. Other glaciers like Tracy Arm Fjord requires an hour’s boat trip from Juneau through the Inside Passage. Walking tours provide a visitor’s centre, a journey around three-quarters of Mendenhall Lake, and a hike up toward the waterfall to the top of the nearby mountain. Helicopter tours will fly you over the glacier, as well as find a safe location to stop and walk on the top of the glacier. Juneau Whale Watching Tours: taking a boat out of Auke Bay is the best way to see humpback whales and potentially orcas. Orcas are known to come into the Inside Passage during the summer months, but not as frequently as the humpback whales that arrive from Hawaii during the summer. On a tour expect water breaches, feeding behaviour, and plenty of flukes. Sandy Beach: Sandy Beach is on Douglas Island to the south. The beach is the best for campfires, viewing downtown Juneau, and sandcastle fun. From Sandy Beach, you can hike the easy paths around the old Treadwell Mine. The old gold mine shafts are shut, but the buildings and glory hole remain and make a nice step into history. Dining in Juneau Downtown is the best place to find hamburgers, nachos, pizza, and fresh fish. Hanger on the Wharf is known for their fresh catches. Based on the season, you can find salmon, halibut, king […]

Jerusalem: the Old City must-see

Ever wondered about visiting Israel? The holy land, as it is commonly labelled in predominantly Christian Europe, plays a major role in Islam and Judaism as well. The best way to witness and experience the coexistence of these religions is to arrive right in the centre, Jerusalem. My first impression that I put down in my diary was: it’s all yellow. Everywhere are fencing. Everything is made of stones and full of children. After landing in Tel Aviv We arrived in the night to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. Luckily caught the last sherut, which is a local minibus used as a shared taxi. They usually stand in front of the airport waiting for those who are brave enough not to have anything pre-booked. And it only takes about an hour. That’s how we ended up in the middle of nocturnal Jerusalem, searching for dinner. Successfully. My first of many street foods, hummus and falafel, yum! The dark streets of Israeli unofficial capital (note: it became officially recognised by the US by the end of 2017) were surprisingly welcoming, warm and entertaining. The local art picturing Israel as the centre of the world, squares filled with stationary bicycles connected to street lamps and huge statues willing to be climbed kept us busy quite a while before reaching our hostel. Here comes the first story. Finding a hostel Did you know that you can touch a foreign passport only in gloves? To be honest, I’m not sure until today if it is a common practice or we just got this weird experience. The Arabic man took us up the stairs, under the arch and in between the columns into a gloomy tiny space without door or window, with one mattress on the floor and a hole in the ceiling. Mhmm, we do like low cost, underground, alternative -fit in your fav expression- places but this, after the flight, customs and long wander through the city, was a bit too much for us. So we left, to meet the night again. With backpacks on, determination and slightly withering smiles we started unpopular rounds around hostels. And got lucky considerably fast. Mouldy walls and window into an inside corridor couldn’t discourage us and thus we gratefully fell into the bed. Yes, single bed. Yes, two people. The breakfast on the rooftop, though, with the view over Dome of the Rock and Mount of Olives compensated everything. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the starting point To confess, I’m not much of a planner. So, reading the Lonely planet the evening before visiting a place was already an effort. We picked a couple of spots and hit the streets. Our first stop was the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is claimed to be a place of Jesus’s tomb. Do not mistake, the empty one. He’s been resurrected, after all. Hanging chandeliers of flickering candles and traditional stained glass create an iridescent light and peaceful atmosphere only disturbed by a crowd of visitors. […]

Solo Travel: Mindful Day in Boston

Got a day in Boston, Massachusetts, USA? If you don’t like to play the hectic tourist and are looking for a mindful stay with a student-feel on your solo travel, here’s a quick guide for you. Even if you just have half a day or a couple of hours – if you like immersive travel and a taste of everyday life with little highlights of food, arts & culture, I’ve got a list for you. Where to stay Famous for housing the most prestigious educational institutions in the world, Cambridge doesn’t just convince because you’ll be close to roaming the beautiful campuses of Harvard and MIT. If you’re looking to stay in a nice neighborhood that is alive enough to meet spontaneous desires like a beer at night but not noisy and distracting, Cambridge is the place to stay. With a ton of students always around, you’re sure to be kept in the loop. If you need a café to work in during the day or even the night – there’s plenty of choices around. A great place to return to as well after a day in Boston. Start the day with a local class This might not be for everyone, but my way to settle into the day in a new place is to take a class. One of the downsides of travel for me is that it gets me out of practice – returning home can be dreadful because there are so many parts to catch up on, exercise being one. If you like dancing, I really recommend starting the day with an open ballet class at José Mateo’s Ballet Theater in Cambridge. These are so much better than the overpriced and oversupplied low-quality yoga classes nowadays. The school is located in an old church with stained glass windows, making it an epic way to start the day. Not only do you get a nice stretch and a good core workout, but there’s also an actual live pianist (I know) accompanying the session. The drop-in rate is really fair – I don’t think your morning can get any better. Well, actually, if you get the granola at Tatté Café around the corner afterward it can. If ballet is not your thing, check Groupon for deals in local classes. What to eat Cambridge Best Ramen Ever The trick with food is to go for specific. Santouka specializes in Ramen and O My God. Whether for lunch or dinner, they offer amazing Ramen for good deals. The place is normally packed which speaks for itself. Whether traditional Miso or other soup bases, all of their broths are true to Japanese tradition, with the pork slow-cooked for eight hours. Traditional If you like to try local specialties, go for the oysters at The Red House. It’s a cute place with a really authentic American small-town feel, and the prices for their oysters are unbeatable. All-day breakfast for cool kids If you’re a breakfast-all-day-person, try Tatté Bakery & Café. They offer a […]

USA: Which Florida Key is best for you?

With turquoise water as far as the eye can see, postcard beaches, world famous pie, and an irresistible tropical vibe, the legendary Florida Keys are on the bucket list of many travelers from the USA and all over the world. If you are thinking of visiting, you may be wondering which is the best Florida Key for you. Well, the answer is all of them if you have time! But for those in a hurry, check out these top recommendations in the main Florida Keys.   Things to do in Key Largo, Florida Keys: the closest island Ready for the best beach views in Key Largo? Best places to eat in Key Largo Key Largo’s restaurants are excellent, and you will be spoiled for choice. But I had to pick some, so…. Mrs. Mac’s kitchen Featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine as having the Best Key Lime Pie. I can vouch as it was the best key lime pie I’ve ever had. We ate here three times during our stay, and the service was outstanding! Snapper’s Key Largo Wonderful ocean views and cocktails. I highly recommend the shrimp pasta and gator bites (especially if you’re looking to try something local and out of the ordinary). Hobo’s Cafe Great local joint with a solid patio. They’ll also cook your fresh catch of the day at a reasonable price including the sides. Where to stay in Key Largo MB at Key Largo Renovations from Hurricane Irma are ongoing, but this is a great bang-for-your-buck spot with oceanfront views. Plus, Snapper’s restaurant is next door! Coconut Palm Inn This spot has a great atmosphere, nightly fire pit, and gives out free drinks. Need I say more? Waterside Suites and Marina (Recently renovated – a real bargain) My girlfriend and I were a little skeptical when we first booked the room and mainly did so based on price. But, wow, we were totally blown away with the room we got. The renovations were awesome, and the service from the front desk was outstanding. Best Beaches in Key Largo Cannon Beach – John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park This is one of two beaches inside the park, and it was lovely. However, don’t let the ‘reef’ in the name of the state park fool you. The reefs are protected, and you’ll need to book a snorkeling tour in order to get out to the reefs and see the awesome underwater sights. Far Beach – John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Far Beach is a little less crowded than Cannon Beach as it is located at the back of the park. This is a great spot to chill out and have a picnic while enjoying some rays. Harry Harris Park We were told the park took a big hit during Hurricane Irma bus is open again. The beaches were very nice, and this spot was pet-friendly as well.   Things to do in Marathon, Florida Keys: the stylish haven Enjoy the relaxing oceanside views in Marathon, Fl Best places […]

3 unusual things to do in Los Angeles, USA

Hollywood, Santa Monica, Venice Beach… I am sure all these places ring a bell. Either you’ve already visited Los Angeles, or you are planning a trip to the USA and will stop in the city of Angels, but you’ve definitely already heard about these iconic spots or know people who’ve been there. Well… As much as I love those, I think the city is much more than its famous locations. Los Angeles is full of secrets and sweet spots you’ve never heard of. If you want to experience the dreamiest city of the United States in a different way, here are three unusual, but really cool, things to do in LA! Chase the painted walls of Los Angeles Street art is one of Los Angeles’ strong suits and you will find a lot of awesome murals signed by wonderful artists all over the city! Some of them are famous (think pink wall and made in L.A) and are definitely a must-do, but there are more to see while wandering through the city. Planning a trip to Los Angeles and chasing its street art murals is a really fun way to visit the city. And for the ‘grammers’, it does assure you some pretty wild pictures! Depending on your style of planning, you can either look them up before or decide to wander around a neighborhood and just stumble upon one. Some of them are located on Melrose Avenue, some in Downtown while others are in smaller neighborhoods. My favorite, California Dreaming, is on La Cienega Blvd. Don’t forget to look down also, because you might found some masterpiece on the sidewalks of Los Angeles, who knows? Discover Los Angeles through secret stairs You’ll quickly see that Los Angeles is built on several hills which makes it perfect for short hikes to move around and get to know the city better. To move faster in those neighborhoods, you’ll find « secret stairs » to get to the highest streets. While some of them don’t really lead anywhere, it is still a pretty fun way to wander around hip neighborhoods and admire some fancy houses. They usually are full of street art too. But some of these stairs will lead you to beautiful hikes and astonishing views of Los Angeles. My favorite is the Berendo Stairs. First, you’ll hike up the stairs and visit a cute neighborhood, but then you’ll follow a trail in the Griffith Park that will lead you to the Griffith Observatory. Make sure to stop along the way and enjoy the pretty views of the city! Visit Skyspace LA and admire the view Head to Skyspace LA for a rooftop offering a 360° view of the city. The entry costs around $25 to $45 but I can assure it is worth your money as you’ll never forget the awesome view of the city up there. It is the perfect spot to end a long day of visit and admire the pretty sunsets of California. There’s even more as […]

My trip to Peru: colours, smiles and a thousand landscapes

Before setting off, the only few things I knew about Peru were that the Inca civilization lived here over 5 centuries ago and that the Machu Picchu is one of the seven wonders of the modern world. I definitely had to add quite a few more interesting facts on my short Peru knowledge list and now I would like to share them with you! LIMA- The capital Lima not only is the capital city of Peru but it also is the second largest capital city after Cairo in Egypt. For this reason, it rarely rains in the city and the temperature never goes under 15 degrees Celsius. And that is during the winter. I will let you imagine what summer feels like! If you want to reinvigorate your spirits and sit in the shade sipping something to quench your thirst, then you will have to try the most famous Peruvian drink: Pisco Sour. Pisco Sour is made of the liquor Pisco, lime, bitters and raw foamy egg white on top. It sounds bizarre, I give you that. But it is deliciously refreshing! Fun fact Pisco Sour was allegedly first invented in Lima and it is so appreciated (like mums and women) that it has got its own celebration day: Pisco sour day is celebrated on the first Saturday of February each year. I think it should be celebrated every day!   PARACAS- Sea Lions and Humboldt penguins Paracas is a beautiful small village 160 miles south of Lima, on the coast. It has become very famous for the Ballestas Islands, home to sea lions, pelicans and Humboldt penguins! You can reach the islands only through organized tours that will bring you as close as you could only wish for to the majestic sunbathing sea lions. The Ballestas islands are part of Paracas National Reserve and they have been named “Poor’s man Galapagos”. The reserve is a protected area that spans not only the islands but also desert, ocean and the peninsula. Here, you can find what is called the Candelabra (chandelier in English) which is a massive prehistoric geoglyph etched into a hillside that has been dated back to 200 BC. The mysterious purpose and meaning of the Candelabra still remain unknown. You will have to go and speculate for yourself. Have I mentioned it is 700 ft tall and can be seen from as far as 14 miles out at sea? Yes, pretty impressive for a chandelier! Fun fact Before the invention of synthetic fertilizer, the guano extracted from bird droppings on the Ballestas islands was widely exported to Europe and North America making Peru the biggest producer in the world!   HUACACHINA- The Oasis in the middle of the dunes When we first reached this stunning, unreal, small agglomerate of buildings and palm trees, I could not believe my eyes. Huacachina is a small village which was built around a natural lake and it is surrounded by sand dunes. It used to be a resort to the local […]

Seattle: A guide to a musical experience

If there is a place where music is born, blooms and never dies in the USA, it is Seattle. You might know that Seattle was the city in which grunge music bloomed, back in the nineties a new and refreshing genre was born out of visceral sound and attitude. But grunge is just the top of the iceberg, for a long time Seattle has been a seedbed for super talented people in the music scene. At least that was enough reason for me to go and visit the legendary city where rockstars were born or became famous. I’ll give you a tour of the city, my special tour for music lovers that everyone will enjoy. So if you are curious and wild at heart, go ahead and keep reading! Grunge is not dead, it lives in Seattle Seattle’s sound became the spotlight when many elements came together to make the music scene the big thing that we know about now. On the late eighties, college radios, independent distributors and fanzines were crucial to broadcast the sound that was slowly turning into the grungy, dirty sound that a generation was crying out loud with guitar riffs. One of those fanzines, Sub Pop, started cassettes compilations with indie, local and national music. By promoting new artists, Sub Pop became an identity that supported and boosted the movement that later turned Seattle into the new Liverpool, as said by Rolling Stone magazine. Seattle- Tacoma International Airport house a Sub Pop store that host album presentations occasionally (after I picked up my luggage I was able to see Tomo Nakayama, folk musician, playing live). Grunge was about not been seen, not been noticed. From fashion to music, everything was just what fit at the moment, cheap thrift clothes and loud dirty noise. The youth was a generation that did not have the ambition to succeed in music and life from a classic point of view. They were not the musicians that would go to LA to get a contract signed. At least at the beginning. A rainy moisty city, coffee in the morning and hard rock at night. A lifestyle that describes the city, and a city that describes grunge. Messy hair, ragged clothes, and a fierce attitude. The Moore Theatre is the oldest currently active theatre in the city. Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains recorded videos and concerts at this place. The Crocodile used to be a home base for grunge artists still active nowadays, it works as a restaurant bar with good wood-fired pizzas and signature drinks named after Seattle iconic rock stars, and as a music venue at night. If you go a little up North to Volunteer Park, you’ll find the original sculpture that inspired Soundgarden’s song Black Hole Sun. Black Sun is the original name and it was built in 1969 by Isamu Noguchi. In front of it, there is the Seattle Asian Museum that is worth the visit, bring comfy clothes to take a nice walk/run […]

Vienna: more than sausage, coffehouses and classical music

When people hear the name of the Austrian capital, Vienna, they think about three things: the Vienna sausage, classical music, and coffeehouses. For many people, these are not convincing reasons to visit the city, and many people think of Vienna as a boring destination but there are so many cool things to see and do there! I was lucky enough to live, study and work in this city for three years and during this time I discovered many different faces of Vienna. What to do in Vienna Vienna offers diverse must-see attractions and activities which make the city a great destination for different types of travelers. Explore the classical and imperial Vienna Vienna is known for its stunning classical and baroque architecture, and the imperial palaces that used to belong to the Habsburg family which was ruling over the territory for centuries. Start your walk in the inner city (1st district), where you can find  St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg palace complex, housing various museums: the Sisi Museum, dedicated to Empress Elisabeth, wife of Franz Joseph. The Hofburg also hosts the Austrian National Library which is open for visitors and features a richly decorated central hall. To tick off the majority of the classical sights, walk along the Ringstrasse, a circle boulevard around the inner city. Along the way, you will find the City Hall which looks like the Disney castle, the oldest university of Vienna, the Austrian parliament building, several museums, and the Opera. If you like palaces, make sure you visit the Schönbrunn Palace which is a must-see attraction in Vienna and used to be the summer residence of the Habsburgs. You can visit the beautiful royal suits and the gardens where you can also find the world’s oldest zoo. Vienna is known as the City of Music, so make sure you watch a play in the Opera or visit a classical concert. The City Hall, one of the most beautiful buildings in Vienna The Austrian Parliament building built in a neo-Greek style Visit the Prater Park and the Danube Canal If you are more interested in something “fun”, you can visit the Prater park which is among the oldest amusement parks in the world. You can also stroll along the Danube Canal (Donaukanal in German), the only place where graffiti is legal in Vienna. It is full of man-made sandy “beaches” and street food stands during the summer. You can also visit the Hundertwasserhaus, a very colorful and funny-looking building designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser.   Ferris wheel in the Prater park Discover the art and architecture in Vienna If you are into art and design, Vienna is definitely a place for you! There are many museums you can visit: the Albertina and the Museum of Fine Arts for timeless pieces and the Museumquartier for modern art and performances. If you like Gustav Klimt, head to the Belvedere Palace, housing The Kiss, his most famous painting. If you like modern architecture, you should definitely visit the campus […]

What to do in NYC with a low budget

Traveling in the USA is a dream for a lot of people, especially from Europe, where everybody loves the American style and still lives with the idea of the American dream.  The problem is that – most of the times – it is really expensive and sometimes you can only dream about going beyond the ocean because of the crazy flight/hotel prices. Well, this is something I was really aware of but – when I had to decide where to spend a couple of months of self-discovery and internal growth – I knew in my heart New York City was my destination. And in two months, even if I didn’t have a great budget, I managed to do everything I wanted – and sometimes even more! So, how could I survive in one of the most expensive cities in the world? That’s a secret I really want to share with everybody.   Activities New York is a charming city, a place where is very difficult to get bored. But it is really not simple – especially for one-week tourist – to find low budget but still funny and creative things to do. Even if there are!   Pay As You Wish System Museums, “free” tours by foot, live music in clubs, the pay what you wish system is really appealing for everybody’s pockets! Nobody – especially in NYC – would ever judge you if you only can afford to pay 5$ for a museum or a tour. I had absolutely no shame! Traveling with a low budget can be tricky and difficult sometimes but possible! Especially when cities like the big apple offer tourists the possibility to do so.   Museums Several are the museums that support the pay as you wish system: American Museum of natural history The Cloisters The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bronx Museum Brooklyn Museum Queens Museum of art The Whitney Museum Others museums prefer to organize free tours once/twice a week, in order to offer the possibility to everyone to visit the museum completely free. The Museum of Modern Art- free tour on Friday 4pm-8pm Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum – free tour on Saturday 9/11 Memorial Museum – free tour on Tuesday 5pm-8pm Neue Galerie – free tour on Friday 6pm-8pm Even Botanical Gardens, Aquarium, and Zoo are really fond of this method: Brooklyn Botanic Garden – free on Tuesday and on Saturday 10 am-noon Bronx Zoo – Pay as you wish on Wednesday New York Botanical Garden – Free on Wednesday New York Aquarium – on Friday 3 pm – closing pay; as you wish Free activity in Bryant park The cloisters This picture was taken during one of the free tours by foot in Hoboken   Free Tours By Foot What better way to discover hidden gems of the city? Daily, this organization coordinates tours by foot in every part of the city: from Bushwick’s street art to Ghost tour in the village, from Thrift shopping to Broadway backstage tours, you can do […]

Hermann Missouri's #1 Coffee Shop: Espresso Laine

As I walked up to the two-story brick building glistening and twinkling with Christmas lights in the chilly evening air, I smiled and silently wondered who I would see behind the counter, working on the day after Christmas. In the small town of Hermann, Missouri, USA most businesses operate only during good weather and daylight, but the quaint, little coffee shop on the edge of town has always been different from the rest. Espresso Laine at the Junction, or “The Coffee Shop” to those who know it best, is open 363 days a year, only closing on Christmas Day and Easter Sunday. The shop stays open come rain or shine and has even had its fair share of flood days, when the water from the Missouri River, next to which it sits, covers the parking lot and makes customers work just a little bit harder for their obligatory Cup of Joe. On this winter day, however, there is nothing to stop passersby from stepping inside and relishing in the comforting scent and taste of a freshly-brewed, hot cup of coffee. Opening the door, I am greeted by the familiar, old-fashioned smell of coffee beans mixed with a hint of cocoa gently wafting through the air. I have smelled this aroma before and the memories it brings with it help me remember why this little coffee shop on the edge of town has always been Home to those who need it the most. Hermann’s Finest in Customer Service For a small-town coffee shop, Espresso Laine has never skimped on employing as many friendly faces as necessary to keep the business running smoothly. From my sophomore year in high school to my freshman year in college, I was one of the many employees who unlocked the doors at 6:30 am with a smile on my face and a cheery “Good morning” to the folks who patiently waited on the porch for their morning pick-me-ups. Being friendly wasn’t in the job application, but to those who worked and continue to work at the shop, it just comes naturally. The owner of Espresso Laine, Lainee Landolt, is a self-made businesswoman who treats her customers like old friends and her employees like her own family. She is a small, soft-spoken woman who doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. Always offering free samples and discounts, even to travelers who have never stepped foot in the shop before, the most important thing Lainee, and all her employees offer, is a listening ear. When you’re inside Espresso Laine, rest assured, you are in a place with people who truly care about you. Most of the employees are aged 16-20, but even at such young ages, they are wise beyond their years. They take time to listen and converse with even strangers they have never met before and laugh with regulars who have shared their stories many times. They make drinks and bake sweets, but more than that, the employees at Espresso Laine take the time to […]

7 Best Places to Visit in Detroit

  The city of Detroit in the USA may not have the greatest news reputation, but if you give this city a chance, you will find how underestimated it truly is. Growing up near Detroit I have personally been able to enjoy a few of the many great places that this city has to offer! Whether you are here for a day visit or staying for a week, these experiences will answer the question, is Detroit really worth it? Detroit Institute of Arts The Detroit Institute of Arts, also known as the DIA, is an amazing art museum in downtown Detroit. This museum has over one hundred galleries spread out between three floors and includes a café, store, auditorium and lecture hall. On the first level, you can explore the Asian, African, and Egyptian arts. With my personal favorite- mummies! Head to the second level to view works by Vincent van Gogh, Andy Warhol, and Pablo Picasso. The third floor includes British, Dutch Golden Age, Decorative arts and more! The extensive collection on the inside and outside of this museum is amazing and definitely worth a visit! Belle Isle Park Belle Isle is a park located on the Detroit River. This park is an island in between Michigan and Canada! Belle Isle has many attractions including an aquarium, nature center, conservatory, and beach. All attractions are free with admission to the park! All vehicles accessing the park must have a recreational passport which is $11 a year for residents and $31 for nonresidents or $9 for a day pass. A visit to this island park is special in so many ways, proving how beautiful the city of Detroit is. Conservatory on Belle Isle Detroit Zoo If you’re looking for a closer experience with animals while visiting Detroit, the Detroit Zoo is the perfect option. This zoo has many exciting species on exhibit. Tigers, polar bears, giraffes, and penguins are just a few of the animals that this zoo is home to. The zoo offers other attractions on top of all the amazing animals. A simulator ride, 4-D theater experience, and carousel are some of the additional attractions available. While exploring the zoo, dining can be found at one of the various restaurants on site such as the Arctic Café, Buddy’s Pizza, and Safari Grill. The Detroit Zoo is the perfect daytime activity for any animal loving family. Eastern Market Stop by the Eastern Market during your visit to Detroit for fresh produce, baked goods, and locally made items. Eastern Market is not just one market, there are multiple markets throughout the week! The Saturday market is open year-round while the Sunday street market, Tuesday market, and Thursday night market are open June through September. They even offer holiday markets during the holidays! The various times and dates for each market are listed on the Eastern Market website. Each market provides a unique and fun experience for shoppers. The Saturday market, which is the biggest and most […]

Places To See On The Nusa Islands

Getting bored and tired of being stuck in traffic when traveling in Bali, Indonesia? Why not escape to The Nusa Islands! The Nusa Islands consists of a trio; Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan, and Nusa Penida. These remote islands have amazing breathtaking views that go on for miles, and I’m always in search of white sand, quiet beaches, and turquoise water when I’m on a beach holiday – The Nusa Islands are perfect for that. The best part is, they are only a 20-minute ferry ride away from the hustle and bustle of mainland Bali. There are multiple fast boat options you could choose from Sanur, which is only about 30 minutes from Seminyak. Note: You are strongly advised to take antihistamine,  which will be provided by the fast boat companies because the journey might get really rocky and choppy! 1.  Dream Beach (Lembongan) Throughout the trip, we were blessed with blue, cloudless skies – which means incredibly sparkly turquoise water combined with huge waves rolling and crashing into the shore. After having researched about this dreamy beach, I decided to book a night at Dream Beach Huts which is a beachfront resort located at Dream Beach itself.    The infinity pool overlooking a beautiful coastline is right outside my room. This resulted in me lounging at the pool and the beach the whole day, suntanning and taking a dip (y’all beach bums know what I’m talking about). As I do not know how to ride a bike, I stayed in the resort come sundown as the trails and roads were too dark for me to explore by feet. Fortunately, the in-house cafe kept me occupied and well-fed. The resort offered their local taxi services but we figured it was too much of a hassle anyway. 2.  Devil’s Tear (Lembongan)   Only a 3-minute walk from Dream Beach and the resort, this majestic sunset spot is a must-see if you are in Nusa Lembongan. Waves come crashing and get sucked into the cove at high speed and then gets spewed out with a high force that they tear up in the air. Mother nature really is powerful. We just sat there for hours admiring the spectacular show of crashing waves. There are tons of little coves and corners in this huge area for adventures and exploring. Don’t be taken aback by the huge amount of tourists when you arrive. Just wait a little longer for them to disperse in order to get that Instagram shot ? 3. Atuh Beach (Penida) We hired a tour guide from Lembongan to Penida, as we were told it would be dangerous to explore alone given the condition of the trails and the distance between locations. From Lembongan, it was just a mere 15 minute slow boat ride to Penida, where we were greeted by our guide and thus beginning our journey to our first stop, Atuh Beach. It was raining cats and dogs while in the car, but fortunately, the weather cleared up and once again, we […]

Vacation in south beach Miami Florida

Thinking about a nice place for vacation, but you just don’t know where to go? Well no need to worry, just got back from vacation. Hopefully, my experience in Miami can help you make an informed decision about where you would like to go. Around June 15th myself and four friends decided we were going to go to Miami Florida USA for vacation. The idea was we would split the cost of everything, so we could maximize the experience without seriously hurting our already depleted pockets. So after roughly a 15hr plus drive we arrived at our destination, we decided we would all pay for a house instead of a hotel. The house we secured was above expectations, it came with items and accessories I didn’t even know was included upon purchase. For instance, pots/pans for cooking, a mountable TV and a fully operational washer and dryer for dirty clothes. While we were getting settled in, we discussed what our agenda would be for the week. For the most part, we all agreed on going to clubs and bars, beaches and boardwalks. Our 1st night was a mission of exploration, we wanted to see the Miami nightlife from an observer’s point of view. Accordingly, we did not go to any places we agreed on visiting, we used that night to locate the cream of the crop, or only the best spots. For this reason alone, I think our Miami trip was so successful, having scouted the best spots prior and hearing about them from other people provided less time looking for them and more time having fun at said spots. What came for the next 7 days can only be described as a fun and excitement I have never experienced and am not likely to experience again unless I’m in the same or a similar setting. I have heard stories of the Miami nightlife, but to be a part of it is something entirely different. Imagine an environment with beautiful women from all over the country coming to together for a night of fun. In a nutshell that is the Miami life in the summer every night. What to expect from Miami south beach During the daytime when most people were at work or busy and none of the popular places were open, I and my friends spent most our time at the beach. Now in my honest opinion, the beaches in south beach were actually not all that great, the algae mixed with the water and the sand in a discomforting way. Also, you couldn’t swim too far from the beach without getting a stern whistleblowing from the lifeguard. To my surprise, there were no boardwalks located near the beach. There were, however, trails that went on for miles but no place to get souvenirs or a bite to eat. Other than those couple things that can’t really be blamed on anyone, in particular, the beach itself was enjoyable. The best part about it was the number of beautiful […]

Things to do in San Diego – Food, Beaches, Hotel & Hiking

You are probably asking yourself, “Why should I travel to San Diego?” The answer to that question is simple: its beautiful, hip and most importantly, has year-round perfect weather. Many people joke about the weather, and their ability to visit the beach when it’s snowing in other places around the country. San Diego is not only an amazing place to live–but it’s one of the top travel destinations in the USA, understandably so. Also, don’t forget, San Diego arguably has the BEST authentic Mexican food! Continue reading if you want to learn more about why you should make San Diego your next trip! San Diego Attractions: There are so many things to do in San Diego.  So if you find yourself visiting, you’ll always have something to do. There are plenty of social and community events and even places to hide out for privacy and quiet time. Below is a list of some of the must-see/must-do events in the city: Balboa Park: Family-friendly, beautiful architecture, amazing museums (residents in free every 3rd Tuesday of the month) Seaport Village: Beautiful boat dock, shops, and food available. Great for a day out with the family near the water. Awesome areas nearby to catch scenic views of the city. For beautiful views check out “Top of the Hyatt” on the top floor of the Hyatt directly adjacent to Seaport Village. You’ll get panoramic 40 story views of downtown and beyond, plus great drink options! *Free entry and opens daily at 3 pm! After 5 pm, 21+ only. Gaslamp Quarter: This is where all of the downtown action is! Great restaurants, bars, the Horton Plaza Mall, Petco Park, and much more! Must-Visit Bar: Altitude Sky Lounge–> Beautiful views of Petco Park, if you’re lucky you can even catch great views of the San Diego Padre (baseball team) game! North Park: Hip neighborhood area with plenty of restaurants and bars, and thrift shops if you like thrifting! San Diego Zoo: With tickets costing around $54 for adults, you can bet on it being well-worth-it! San Diego Safari Park: Want more exclusive views of the animals? This is your best bet! The Safari Park is an awesome way to have a close-up experience with the animals. There are options for a cheetah safari, caravan safari, jungle ropes safari, and much more! Seaworld: One of the best places to visit for family and friends! Most natives have gone 2-3 times, and plan to visit again at some point. San Diego County Fair at Del Mar Fairgrounds: if you happen to visit San Diego between the months of  June and July, you have to visit the fair at-least once! *Note: Extremely LONG wait to get off the freeway to access the fair. If you don’t mind traffic, definitely check it out! Best Places to Eat in San Diego: The restaurants in San Diego are the best! Gaslamp quarter is probably the best place to visit if you want options. Plus, everything is walking distance which is convenient if you […]

Tips To Travel Like A Local Korean

Most of our lives being filled with everything about Korea. From the Korean legend pop group – Super Junior to the latest uprising star – Wanna One. From our face beauty products, makeup products, fashion or even our hairstyles. Everyone is being crazy about Korea. Hence, they tried to make their dreams came true and travelled to Korea. There were tons of people visited Korea every year and I’m pretty sure everyone is grabbing the chance to make themselves look more like a local. I’ve visited Korea- Busan, Jeju Island and Busan back in 2017, so here, I’m going to share some tips on how to be more like a local while you’re travelling to Korea.   1. Be Trendy   First thing first, if you want to be like a local, you have to mix yourself among them and don’t let people catch you as a total foreigner. What I mean is you have to wear like you were a Korean regardless you are a guy or girl. Korean care a lot about their outlooks and they always trying to look the best whenever they left home. So, remember to do some research on how they dress up. Do check the weather when you plan to travel to Korea and dress up according to the weather. Don’t wear a huge fluffy jacket while you are going in the summertime.   2. Be Manners   Most of the Korean (girls or guys) have good manners. They won’t laugh loudly inside a public transport either eating ferociously in any restaurant. I’m not saying ALL of them but MOST of them have good manners. They will give up their seats for eldest in public places such as bus and LRT. If you want to be like a local, please do so. And, always greet “annyeong haseyo” (Hi or Hello) when you enter a store and “kamsahamnida” (thank you) when you are done purchasing your item or when someone hands you something – especially when the waiter/waitress hands you food in a restaurant or worker hands you an item in a store.   3. Eat what a Korean will eat   Korean like to drink alcohol. They can drink a lot and never get drunk. So, if you really want to be like a local, you should try some of their famous alcohol beverage. i) Soju If you’ve watched Korean movie, you will definitely know what is Soju. Soju is a colourless alcohol beverage which contents about 16.8% of alcohol. Some foreigner gets drunk easily within a bottle of Soju. Still, it is a worth of try.  Korean like to drink Soju while eating Jokbal (pig’s trotters cooked with soy sauce and spices). Pig’s trotters might look gross for some people but they don’t serve it like a foot. The staff in the restaurant or shop will cut it into thin slices and it is delicious to eat. It tastes a little bit salty and sweet which perfectly matched with the burning taste of Soju. You can also replace Jokbal with […]

Best Places to Eat in Waco, Texas

If you had told me that Waco, Texas, USA was going to be a hit tourist destination when I moved there at the beginning of my freshman year at Baylor University, I would have laughed in your face. But by the time I graduated four years later, the city was hopping every day with visitors, many coming because of American network HGTV’s show Fixer Upper. Before the boom, road trippers would bypass Waco for nearby cities like Dallas and Austin, places that boasted an endless amount of activities, from food to museums to nightlife. Whenever I could take a break from my busy college life and get out of the campus bubble, I found that there was plenty to do in Waco, and most importantly, plenty of yummy food to eat. Fast food may be cheap and convenient, but there’s nothing like sitting around the dinner table with a bunch of friends over a steaming plate of edibles, lovingly prepared in a local kitchen. A popular hashtag in Waco is #wacoisawonderland, and I believe that applies to my beloved college town in more ways than one. Waco is not a locale to be underestimated, starting with the food. Eating your weight in delicious has never been so easy. Here’s how to eat your way through Waco.   Breakfast Lula Jane’s Across the river from downtown Waco, Lula Jane’s is a cozy place, boasting an ever-changing menu and a heavenly array of made-from-scratch baked goods and inviting guests to enjoy the simpler things in life. They also have the loveliest little garden. Co-Town Crepes Located at Magnolia Market, the building looks like a Pinterest-worthy little cabin, and the high-caliber crepes match that look. Co-Town offers a variety, from sweet, fruity crepes, to savories filled with chicken, bacon, and avocado. Ask for the homemade whipped cream! Cafe Cappuccino This downtown eatery boasts pancakes larger than my face and an impressive drink menu of hot coffees and teas. Cafe Capp is a common spot where students bring their parents when they visit; you get a lot of food for the price. Come hungry! Lunch Schmaltz’s Sandwich Shop The best sandwiches around, Schmaltz’s has been a Waco staple since 1975, and it has two locations. Better than Subway, Schmaltz’s bread is baked fresh every day and their sandwiches are filling and delicious. Club Sandwich My favorite food truck in Waco, Club Sandwich doesn’t have sandwiches at all. Surprise! The cuisine is an Asian Fusion, putting your choice of meat, veggies, and sauces over rice. Also located at Magnolia Market, it provides a great break from a heavy morning of shopping. Cafe Homestead Part of Homestead Heritage, a community dedicated to simple living and high craftsmanship, Cafe Homestead carries those values over to the table. Breakfast is served all day, although there some other lunch options, like burgers and sandwiches. All the food is local, and the cafe is well known for their ice cream, homemade, of course.   Coffee Common Grounds A Baylor campus […]

City of Stars: Traveling to Los Angeles

Whether it’s your first found article on a topic of ‘must know + must do when traveling to LA’, or another one of a zillion you have already gone through, it’s just the very one that keeps answers not only for a good dozen of million questions of yours, but for the one which should go first (especially if you’re a tourist on a tight budget, half of which already went for a flight ticket to the US): should I take a trip to Los Angeles while being in the US? Let’s find it out together! Must do before you go to Los Angeles Decide where you want to stay. LA is immense, so you want to make sure you’re staying close to places which are on top of your list to visit. As soon as ghetto areas are not on it, make sure you google them and then keep your nose out of them. If Hollywood sign goes on it by number one and you’re up to nightlife, then Downtown with its skyscrapers or Hollywood itself are good towns to go. If you still want to be able to get to those areas in less than 20 minutes, but prefer a quieter and cheaper location, then you want to check out Koreatown with its nice church architecture and delicious Asian food. Beverly Hills is perfect in case if you want to spend bunch of time doing shopping on Rodeo Drive. And last but not least, Santa Monica and Venice Beach. Yes, they are close to the ocean and have a different atmosphere than the rest of the city. How can I get to…? When you’re ready, come and get it. Ready for what, you’re saying? For the longest traffic in the world! No exaggeration. The second longest one is in Moscow. Get what, you’re saying? A car! Americans know that their nerves worth a rental car. But the longest traffic? It’s still not going anywhere! Whether you’re using Uber, Lyft or going by bus, the traffic is what makes LA LA. And the reason I mentioned nerves is that waiting for a bus can take as long as learning all Chinese dialects for a non-native speaker. The chances of your ability to learn them all equal the possibility that that very bus can just never come. So don’t forget to put ‘becoming a part of the longest traffic in the whole Universe’ on your list and cherish hope that subway may save you from time to time. Take most comfy shoes and high resolution camera you have. Find out why in the next paragraph. Must do when in Los Angeles Hike to see Hollywood Sign. No other comments. It’s just worth doing and seeing. And it’s free! Go to Santa Monica. Green palms, golden sand, the ocean as blue as skies + Ferris wheel! If you visit Los Angeles in the middle of October, you can be lucky to see neon waves as I call them. Don’t miss out […]

Salvador Dali's Museum is So Surreal

This past weekend, I was trying to think of things I haven’t experienced yet in my current city: Tampa, Florida. Florida seems to be a popular destination for people visiting the USA, but most visitors come for beaches or theme parks. I was looking to do something else. I was driving down the interstate when I saw a billboard advertising The Dali Museum and its guest exhibit with Marcel Duchamp’s work. Growing up in Florida, I had always heard of people who absolutely loved visiting this museum and its collection of 2,100 works than span the course of Salvador Dali’s career as an artist. I quickly learned that the museum began when a couple known as Reynolds and Eleanor Morse donated their life’s collection of original Dali artwork to be seen by the public. The city of St Petersburg, Florida, was desperate to be the new home of this one-of-a-kind artwork and petitioned itself to be chosen by the Morses. The museum opened its doors in 1982, but it was remodeled in 2011 so that the building itself could be a fitting host to thousands of surrealist artwork. The Architecture When I first drove up to the building, I was immediately impressed. From one side, it looks like a plain, concrete building; However, the other side has a formless geometric window that seems to be bursting out of the wall. The window is composed of countless triangular pieces of glass – its tallest point is 75 feet in the sky. The dome-shape of the glass is said to resemble the Dali Museum in Spain. Through the window, a spiral staircase can be seen the spans the entire height of the building. Outside of the building, below the glass window, is the “Avant-Garden.” It was raining (as it often does on the coast of Florida) when I visited, so I was not able to explore what the garden was all about. However, I heard that there is a labyrinth! Inside the Museum There is a $10/vehicle fee to be able to park at the museum. Generally, tickets are free for children 5 and younger, $10 for children 6-12, $17 for teens or college-students, and $24 for anyone else. However, the museum runs lots of specials on ticket prices for military members and teachers. Tickets are also discounted after 5:00pm on Thursdays. The museum offers guided tours at no extra cost, but they also offer audio-tours for anyone who wishes to guide him or herself. I opted for the audio tour, since I didn’t arrive at a scheduled start-time for a tour guide. Essentially, museum employees provide guests with an iPhone attached to a headset. The iPhone has an app on it with images of various pieces of art in the museum, as well as a link to hear about the history and story behind the pictured painting or sculpture. The app also has a challenge feature with trivia questions for guests to attempt to complete before leaving the museum. Food and […]

West Virginia – Wild and Wonderful

“Where are the skyscrapers, neon signs and Macdonalds? This is the USA!” It was my first thought when I arrived in West Virginia. Instead of everything “that is supposed to be in America” there were mountains, one-story houses and deer. The thought that I had to live there for a whole year was scary – it seemed a very boring place. I was very wrong. The day when I was leaving West Virginia I was ready to give my ticket to anybody to stay there longer. This place became a second home in my heart and I want to tell you why you should travel to West Virginia. About the state West Virginia – is a small state on the east of the USA surrounded by neighboring states: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. It is the only state in America to be fully located in the mountains and is also called a “mountain state”. There is a famous in a country anthem of the state: “West Virginia, mountain mamma. Take me home, country roads…” Here you won’t find any bid cities. ?harleston – is a capital and the biggest city in the state with a population of only 50 thousand people. I lived nearby Wheeling town, there are 27 thousand people and the locals regarded it as a big town. I am from Russia but I am not a very big fan of winter. That is why I loved the climate of the West Virginia during the whole year. It was never too cold. Even though you will need some warm clothes in December-January, in February-March it is almost summer again. What to see in West Virginia If you are looking for architectural monuments, museums or bus sightseeing tours – this is a wrong place. The nature of the state is the reason you should come to West Virginia. It is a state in the Appalachians. Therefore, it’s a mix of rocks, caves, waterfalls and mountain rivers. It’s a perfect place for mountaineering, down-hill skiing, hiking and riding a mountain bike. I traveled to all the corners of West Virginia and want to share my “TOP-5 must-see places”. New River Gorge Bridge Not far from a city Fayetteville there is a breathtaking place. There you see a view that you will want to enjoy for hours and to stand there embracing all the beauty. There is no point in describing what I saw, just look at the picture. Coopers Rock State Forest It’s a national park nearby Morgantown. It’s a good place for hiking and cycling with scenic landscapes. Besides, there are a lot of tables with seats for picnics, playgrounds and trails. Many families love to spend their leisure at this park. The most impressive thing for me at this park was a viewing point Ravens Rock. You have to go up the hill for 30-40 minutes – I recommend you to wear comfortable shoes for this walk. Then, when you get to the top, a stunning view of […]


Not very well known to the public, Nusa Penida is a virgin island outside of Bali, Indonesia’s main land. It’s a perfect spot for travelers who love to discover unspoiled paradises and utopias. Around 202.8km2 in area, Nusa Penida has a lot to offer, from a wide range of fine sand beaches, ocean cliff views, gorgeous villas, to a wide range of snorkeling and diving spots. This article is a travel guide for first timer travelers who are planning on visiting Bali, Indonesia in the near future. How to get to Nusa Penida from Sanur Harbor: There are a lot of fast boats heading to Nusa Penida from Sanur harbor, leaving every hour or 30 minutes depending on the fast boat company. You can also go to Nusa Penida from Padang Bai Harbor, but if you’re planning to stay around Kuta, Sanur is the most convenient place to get there. Roundtrip tickets cost around 750K ~ 1000K IDR depending on the fast boat company you’ll be choosing. It’s best to book them ahead of time to save yourself from the hassle and save time when you get to Sanur harbor. Although there are a lot of fast boat options to choose from when you get there. During our 2 days and 1 night stay on this beautiful island, we were able to visit 9 tourist spots: Day 1: Atuh Beach Rumah Pohon Tree House (Thousand Islands) Kelingking Beach (T-Rex Island) Day 2: Manta Point Crystal Bay Gamat Bay Wall Point Broken Beach / Pasih Uug Angel’s Billabong 1. Atuh Beach Among the beaches in Nusa Penida, Atuh beach is one of those virgin beaches with some decent facilities. I can compare it to some of the beaches in the Philippines with white sand, clear waters and several mini islands nearby, except that the waves in Atuh are strong. Some even go there to surf. To be able to get to the beach, you need to go through quite a long staircase down the cliff. But believe me, the view was worth all the sweat! I also love that the beach was not crowded at all when we got there. Just enough tourists around to get your beautiful photos right on the perfect spots. 2. Rumah Pohon Tree House (Thousand Islands) The Rumah Pohon Tree House or what they call the Nusa Penida Tree House, is located within the Thousand Island viewpoint, which is not far from Atuh beach. From the view at the tree house, you will already see the islands nearby. It was quite a challenge to trek around the viewpoints but the minute you get to each point, you will truly be awestruck. It was paradise. 3. Kelingking Beach (T-Rex Island) Kelingking beach, well-known for the island’s T-Rex form, was my personal favorite Bali attraction. It has a steep staircase from the cliff that leads down to the beach which makes it chilling to go down. Unfortunately, we were not able to go to the beach because me and my […]
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