An Adventure in Angkor Wat

An Adventure in Angkor Wat

This post was last updated on July 21st, 2016 We stumbled down the outdoor staircase and passed reception where a man stood, a bit dazed in the early morning hours. The clock face on my watch flashed 5:00 a.m. We were directed to one of several waiting carts hooked to the back of a moped, called tuk-tuks, where a local wrapped in a light jean jacket greeted us. I crawled onto the tattered leather seats behind my lone companion on this escapade, a friend and fellow student, Mitali. It was mid-March in Cambodia and when the sun was at its highest, it seared through any resemblance of comfort. Thus we joined several tuk-tuks rattling through the dirt roads of Siem Reap in the almost cool morning air hoping to escape the inevitable afternoon swelter. Several upscale resorts whirred past us, a bit out of place in this desert landscape, as we made our way towards today’s adventure — Angkor Archeological Park, or perhaps better known as Angkor Wat. Joining the Masses The UNESCO World Heritage site stretches 400 square kilometers and boasts remains from the Khmer Empire dating as far back as the 9th century. Angkor Wat is just one of its temples, and arguably its most magnificent. Many people whose ancestors once occupied the site still live in villages scattered across the property, heralding guests with food and souvenirs. It’s riddled with history and religious significance, and on this morning, many tourists like ourselves. Our driver, who we’ve paid a mere $10 US to drive us between sites for the next eight hours, took us to the ticket center...
Stay Connected On The Road With These Must-Have Travel Accessories

Stay Connected On The Road With These Must-Have Travel Accessories

This post was last updated on October 12th, 2017Love it or hate it, the vast majority of us rely on technology when we travel. Whether it’s Waze to get from place to place, Skype to chat with loved ones or PayPal to send money to any corner of the globe, constant connectivity has forever changed the way we travel. Staying connected is especially critical for the many of us who work online and need to be able to combine our passions for our businesses and travel at any given time. But as we all know, things don’t always go according to plan. We’ve all been there. The 10-hour bus ride where your phone dies. The travel adapter that fails after just a few uses. Internet issues aside, it’s impossible to get anything done if your uncharged devices are nothing more than bricks. Whether you’re a digital nomad who needs to stay connected for work or you’re simply headed out on a weekend backpacking trip and want to stay charged for emergencies, here are the latest travel gadgets we’re loving: Travel Accessories We’re Loving   Portable Chargers     We never go anywhere without portable chargers. However, not all portable chargers are created equally, and we’ve had quite a few in the past that aren’t durable or long-lasting enough for our adventures. When Zendure offered to send us a few of their portable chargers to try out, we were immediately intrigued. And so far, we are very impressed with their high-quality features.   For Multiple Devices + Long-Haul Trips:     If you’re hitting the road with multiple devices that...
Exploring Croatia’s Wine Country: Four Must-Visit Wineries In Istria

Exploring Croatia’s Wine Country: Four Must-Visit Wineries In Istria

If decadent cuisine (think truffle mashed potatoes), local wine varietals (like orange wine) and spectacular scenery sound like your ideal components for a perfect vacation, then you’re going to love Istria, Croatia.  Often referred to as “The New Tuscany,” I prefer to think of Istria as a similar but also unique region that’s distinctly Croatian—and an absolute must-visit while in the country.      While Croatia might not be the first destination to come to mind for wine tasting, it definitely deserves more credit than it receives. Wine has long been an integral part of the culture in the Croatian countryside, in large part due to the demanding labor that was required to survive. It’s said that life without a good wine after a hard day’s work was inconceivable. Now, Croatian wines are exported throughout Europe, and the quality only continues to improve. The crown-jewel of Istria is Rovinj. Located on the coast, the city is a picture-perfect spot to base your explorations of the countryside. With boutiques, art shops and wine bars dotting the winding alleys and coastline, it’s easy to spend all your time in the quaint city. But there are more rewards to be had in the hilltop villages in the surrounding countryside—especially when it comes to food and wine.     Here’s an introduction to wine tasting in Istria. Be sure to read to the end, where we’ve included our top tips for getting around the region and tasting our favorite wine accompaniment—truffles.   Indigenous Grapes of Croatia     One of the best parts about wine tasting in Croatia is getting to try indigenous...
Sanctifly: An Easy Solution To Staying Fit While You Travel

Sanctifly: An Easy Solution To Staying Fit While You Travel

This post was last updated on September 22nd, 2017What do you do during long layovers or delays at the airport? While we try to get in some airport yoga or a short walk through the terminal, the reality is we end up at a mediocre bar where we spend too much money on fatty food and overpriced beer. Actually doing yoga at the airport instead of drinking beer! ;)   Not a huge deal if you only travel here and there, but when you frequently fly for business or pleasure, it’s not the healthiest habit for your body or wallet. So we were immediately intrigued when introduced to Sanctifly.     What if instead of being stuck at the airport, you could easily access an airport hotel’s pool or gym to swim, workout or just recharge? And then get to freshen up with a shower, so you arrive at your destination looking and feeling your best? Unfortunately, if you’ve tried this on your own, you were most likely turned away. Airport hotels don’t let just anyone in due to insurance and security considerations. Enter: Sanctifly What is the Sanctifly travel app?     Sanctifly is an app that gives travelers access to airport hotels’ gyms, pools and spas—without having to book a room. You can use it at airports all around the world, either during long layovers or before or after you arrive at the airport. The Sanctifly app takes care of those pesky security and insurance issues we noted above, finally making it easier to stay fit while you travel. Sanctifly has membership options that make sense for...
10 Incredible Abandoned Places You Can Hike To

10 Incredible Abandoned Places You Can Hike To

This post was last updated on September 6th, 2017   For most of us, hiking means trekking up mountains to enjoy spectacular views or walking briskly through the wilderness to take in the breathtaking beauty of our surroundings. But what about the places that have been forgotten? The ancient ruins that were once rich in architecture, the ghost towns that were once home to families or even a dark and gloomy graveyard? These unusual hikes are generally overlooked but are often the most memorable. Walking through these derelict and dilapidated scenes might even bring out the Indiana Jones in you! We have put together a list of the top 10 abandoned hiking trails, so dust off those hiking boots and get ready to explore!   Awesome Abandoned Places to Hike   1. Kayakoy, Turkey     This hike is truly incredible. Kayakoy is 13km from the gorgeous town of Fethiye in Turkey. In 1932 a population exchange took place and left this gorgeous town abandoned. Standing at the bottom and looking up at the small stone houses climbing up the hills is truly awe inspiring. It’s so easy to imagine the hustle and bustle of the community and the families going to one of the many stone churches and courtyards in the town. A round trip through Kayakoy’s tiny streets is roughly 10 kms. Only 20 minutes from the ghost town, is the gem of the Turquoise coast, Oludeniz beach. If time allows, be sure to visit one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet.   2. Serapong Trail, Singapore     Situated in one of the long...
The Vintage House Review: A Luxury Escape In The Heart of the Douro Valley, Portugal

The Vintage House Review: A Luxury Escape In The Heart of the Douro Valley, Portugal

This post was last updated on September 26th, 2017The Douro Valley immediately shot to the top of our travel bucket list the moment we decided to celebrate our six-year anniversary in Portugal. Luckily, this spectacular wine region did not disappoint.     From the rolling green hills to the rushing Douro River to the lush vineyards and olive groves, the Douro Valley is easily one of the most romantic places we’ve visited. Top it all off with spectacular wines from family-run wineries and mouthwatering local cuisine, and it’s hardly any wonder why we’re already dreaming of a return visit. For such a magical destination, it only makes sense to splurge on a memorable and luxurious hotel to match. And in the Douro Valley, there is simply no comparison to The Vintage House.   The Vintage House: A Luxury Hotel In The Douro Valley, Portugal     The Vintage House is a five-star boutique hotel just steps from the famed Pinhao Train Station. Located in what was once an 18th-century wine estate, The Vintage House is all elegance and style. From luxury bedding to sophisticated furnishings, you’ll find all the amenities you would expect from a five-star hotel. The true highlights of the rooms are the private terraces, each with unparalleled views of the Douro River. There’s nothing quite like sipping a cup of coffee in between wine tastings on your personal terrace while soaking in the outstanding views of the Douro Valley all around.     The Vintage House also boasts a lovely pool with panoramic river views, which looks particularly scenic when lit up at night. We didn’t...
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia: What To Know Before You Go

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia: What To Know Before You Go

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2017 If you’re planning a road trip through Croatia, then chances are Plitvice Lakes National Park is high on your bucket list. This fairytale setting of aquamarine water, dazzling waterfalls, colorful dragonflies and scenic woodlands is one of Croatia’s most renowned tourist attractions—clearly for a good reason.     You’ll have to share the picture-perfect scenery with heaps of other visitors, (Plitvice Lakes National Park sees some 1.2 million tourists each year) but don’t let this deter you. Nearly every turn along the wooden trail is more beautiful than the last, revealing waterfalls of all shapes and sizes that plummet into sparkling, crystal-clear pools below.                                 If you’re ready for the ultimate trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park, here’s what to know before you go: Navigating Plitvice Lakes National Park   Plitvice Lakes National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprised of a series of 16 terraced lakes; the cascading lakes are grouped into the 12 upper lakes and four lower lakes, with some 90 waterfalls along the way. Convenient wooden walking trails make exploring the park simple and accessible. Avid hikers can opt to adventure further into the park along well-marked dirt paths.   You’ll want at least three hours to do Plitvice Lakes justice, though you’ll likely find that’s not quite enough to walk around both the lower and upper falls. We parked at Entrance 1, walked around the lower falls, then took the ferry to the upper falls where we walked a...