4 Must-Visit Speakeasies in New York City

4 Must-Visit Speakeasies in New York City

  In the 20’s, when booze was outlawed in the States, people had to go underground to get their fix. Now that liquor is legal, you’d think that hiding your establishment would be bad for business. Turns out that’s not the case in New York City.     The Origin of the Speakeasy Traditional speakeasies were established between 1920 and 1933 during Prohibition. During this time, alcohol was illegal in the United States; but that didn’t stop bars from bootlegging the booze and selling it for massive profits. People used these hidden safehouses as places for secret meetings and rendezvous points. It was even a place where people of different color could come together and mingle. Speakeasies were special for the fact that they were underground establishments that were only spread by word of mouth. You only knew about them if someone told you where to go. Under some circumstances you even needed a password to get in and grab a drink.   Kenn Wilson/Flickr   We didn’t even know that Speakeasies still existed until we arrived in the city and were recommended to them by a friend. After a bit of research, we learned that there are several of these ‘secret’ bars scattered around New York City. Some, of course, are more well known than others. Since part of the fun is discovering them on your own, we won’t spill the beans on all of them. But if you are spending any amount of time in the Big Apple, a stop at a speakeasy is highly recommended. Some of the more fantastic speakeasies include:   2nd Floor on Clinton We...
How Saving #JustOneRhino Could Win You A Dream Vacation Of A Lifetime

How Saving #JustOneRhino Could Win You A Dream Vacation Of A Lifetime

Ever since I could remember, I have always wanted to go to Africa. Over and over as a child I watched Simba, Pumba and Timone frolicking around the Savannah, surrounded by zebras, giraffes, and elephants, and dreamed of seeing them one day in the flesh. And of all the amazing African animals to see, rhinos were always at the top of my list. I had a secret fascination with these temperamental animals. After all, they are the closest things to unicorns we have left!     So you could imagine how shocked I was when I learned that according to the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, one rhino is killed every 7 hours and poachers killed over 1020 rhinos in 2014 . That’s right. We lost over a thousand rhinos to the illegal killing and selling of an endangered species. At the current rate, rhinos will almost certainly be extinct within the next 20 years. You and I may very well live in a world where there are no rhinos, and that’s not a world I want to be a part of.    Photo Courtesy of Susan Portnoy  Photo Courtesy of Susan Portnoy   Fortunately, there is hope. The Rhinos Without Borders project is led by National Geographic Explorers In Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert. It has made its mission in 2015 to move 100 of the rhinos from highly poached regions of South Africa to well-protected areas in Botswana, which has some of the lowest poaching rates in Africa. To ensure the future survival of Africa’s wildlife, Botswana is forming a “Tusk Force.” The Tusk Force comprises of hand-picked members of the...
A Day In The Life Of A Yogi In Training

A Day In The Life Of A Yogi In Training

I’ve really been struggling with what to write about for this week’s yoga teacher training update. It’s not because I don’t have anything to say—actually, it’s quite the opposite. So much has happened in the past seven days that I simply haven’t quite figured out how to verbalize it all. My mind and body are absorbing insane amounts of new information, and I’m so excited about it all that part of me wants to ramble off every bit of it to you. But this is also a travel blog (not a yoga blog), so I understand that most of you have no interest in hearing the philosophy behind the Yoga Sutras or the energizing effects of different asanas. I’m also feeling a little bit selfish and want to keep some of the bits and pieces to myself for now.     So after starting and deleting about ten different drafts, I finally decided to start simply and dive into what the schedule of an immersion yoga teacher training program in Costa Rica looks like. Our itineraries will be changing slightly as we start to teach more, but this is at least a good introduction :-) A Typical Day At Yoga Teacher Training In Costa Rica   4:15 am:   First alarm goes off. I should really go ahead and get out of bed now, but instead, I hit snooze and cherish the next seven minutes.   4:22 am:   Second alarm goes off. Now I really do need to wake up, because putting my contacts in and stumbling around in the dark at this hour takes longer than it...
Updates from Blue Osa: The First 24 Hours of Yoga Teacher Training

Updates from Blue Osa: The First 24 Hours of Yoga Teacher Training

So Yoga Teacher Training has officially begun at Blue Osa in Costa Rica. I have literally been looking forward to this moment since mid-January, and now that we’re here, it all feels a little bit surreal. It also feels pretty freaking amazing.   We felt a heavy load lifted off of our shoulders when we arrived at Blue Osa—and it wasn’t just from dropping our overflowing bags into our temporary abode. Within hours of arriving at Blue Osa, we had already heard the signature sound of howlers monkeys calling out in the distance, spotted trees full of rainbow macaws, and stuffed ourselves full with farm-to-table deliciousness. (We’re back here for the yoga, but the evening desserts are a close second.) And though we might not love the bugs or the cold-water showers, we can feel a tangible difference in our energy from being surrounded by the jungle and just steps away from the ocean.     Which brings me to yoga teacher training. It’s only been one official day of the course so far, but I can already tell that this month is going to hugely impact who I am as a person. I think that any type of yoga teacher training is incredibly special, but there is undoubtedly something really powerful about participating in an immersion program.   All outside worries, superfluous to-do lists and non-essential responsibilities have seemed to slip away. And various practices I know I wouldn’t begin at home (like waking up at dawn to use a Neti Pot) are more accessible.  But more than anything else, I am so grateful for this sacred space to...
House Sitting in the South of France – What It Was Really Like

House Sitting in the South of France – What It Was Really Like

House Sitting is all the rage right now with travel bloggers and digital nomads who, like us, are trying to balance their penchant for wanderlust with wanting a few creature comforts. If you haven’t heard of house sitting yet, don’t worry—while it’s not necessarily a new phenomenon, it seems only recently that the craze has really caught on. Before we get into our experience of house sitting in the South of France, here is a quick explanation to get everyone on the same page:     What Is House Sitting:   Everyone loves a good vacation, right?! So do homeowners, and while they are away, they need trusted individuals to take care of their belongings and furry friends. In exchange for offering a bit of TLC and keeping things in order, you get free accommodation. House sitting gigs can be found all around the world for all sorts of time frames, ranging from a few days to many months. If you’re a traveler with a flexible itinerary, then house sitting can be great as you not only get free accommodation, you also get to live like a local, enjoy the comforts of a home-away-from-home, and (often) take care of adorable pets.     House sitting isn’t for everyone. After all it is a job, which requires you to be respectful and responsible over another person’s possessions. You’ll have to follow certain house rules and routines that might limit your ability to go out and explore the surrounding region. And you never know what crazy mishaps might happen, which you’ll have to be prepared to deal with. But for the right person, house...
5 Easy Ways To Travel More (And Still Keep Your Full-Time Job)

5 Easy Ways To Travel More (And Still Keep Your Full-Time Job)

We talk a lot about being digital nomads, or traveling the world-full time as we work from anywhere with a WiFi connection. But we get that not all of you can – or even want – to travel that much. You’re balancing your passion for travel with a career and family and hobbies, all of which aren’t so easy to pack up in a suitcase and travel the globe with. And we think that’s totally awesome. Obviously being location independent isn’t for everyone. But with that in mind, one of the most common things we hear from you is:   “I love travel and I would love to travel more, but I can’t take the time off to do so.”   We totally understand that. When we were teaching English in Taiwan, we were balancing our wanderlust with a job that required us to work 5-6 days a week and had limited vacation time (though admittedly way more time off than most our friends in the U.S.). Even though we were living abroad, we still wanted to travel more. A lot of advice out there tells people if they want to see the world, then they should take a career break, ask for unpaid leave, or work abroad for a change of scene. Those are all great tips, but again, not practical ideas for people who love their current jobs and aren’t interested in such a trade-off. If you’re one of the people we just described, then don’t worry – there are still plenty of ways to travel more without having to sacrifice your job in the process. Today we’re...