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Home / Adventure Travels / Travel America | Along the Colorado River Discover Utah Off the Grid

Travel America | Along the Colorado River Discover Utah Off the Grid

Updated: June 26, 2017
By: Emily Long

Moab Utah Outdoors Arches Landscape Rocks

The western United States is famous for its rocky mountains, alien deserts, big skies, and endless opportunities for adventure. Before I moved to Utah from the hot, humid, and flat East Coast a few years ago, I’d never seen anything like the Wasatch range towering over Salt Lake City or the rolling red rocks and arches around Moab. There’s just so much…space. I immediately set out to explore every national park I could drive to, from Glacier National Park in northwest Montana all the way to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Utah alone claims five unique national parks, along with miles and miles of open federal and state land.

National parks offer a friendly gateway to adventure for families and outdoor newbies, but after several summers of busy campgrounds and highly-trafficked trails, I was ready for something new. After all, national parks attendance is hitting record highs, it’s becoming harder to get off the grid, and nature in general feels more crowded.

Moab, a bustling desert town in southern Utah that serves as the jumping-off point for Colorado River float trips, ATV excursions, and all manner of mountain biking, hiking, and camping adventures, is a great base for exploring the desert. It is just a few miles outside of Arches National Park and within an hour’s drive of Canyonlands National Park, so it can feel like a circus during peak season. Luckily, as with much of the western U.S., it’s possible to find complete isolation within spitting distance of busy cities—if you’re willing to.

Our plans took us west from Moab out Kane Creek Road, which quickly meets and follows the banks of the Colorado River. The pavement ends just under five miles, and that’s where the fun begins. There are plenty of camping spots, mountain biking and hiking trails, and rock climbing routes. The road turns to red dirt leading up to Hurrah Pass (~mile 10) and then into jeep track with big boulders and steep dropoffs and all manner of off-road fun. For those with a high-clearance vehicle, the road also leads to one of the three most extreme disc golf courses IN THE WORLD, as well as remote riverside camping and caving. We spent two days playing in the desert—doing yoga on the rocks, exploring dark caves, hiking sun-soaked trails, and watching sunsets over the Colorado—before heading back to the real world.

Mountain Biking Adventure Moab Utah Red Rocks Bike

 

As incredibly fun as this trip was, it wouldn’t have happened without some careful planning. Here’s a newcomer’s guide to preparing for off-road adventures:

Do Your Research

Experienced travelers of all shapes and sizes know that there’s a time and place for spontaneity—and a trip out to a remote location is not it. Know where you are going, what obstacles you might encounter, and what there is to do along the way. Preparedness is the key to a safe and fun off-road experience.

Prepare for the Remote

Your smartphone more than likely won’t be much help out in the wild. Download offline maps, write down any key information about your destination, or simply use an old-school paper map.

Take Maintenance and Emergency Prep Seriously

There’s no excuse for heading out on any road trip with overdue service issues. Get your oil changed, check your tire pressure, stock your emergency kit, and fill up with gas. Take high clearance and 4WD recommendations seriously, and never head out on a road for which your car isn’t suited!

Gear Up

There’s nothing more exciting than gear—and having the right gear matters when you’re out in the desert (or in the mountains, on the water, anywhere in nature). In addition to having the right tools for your vehicle, prepare yourself for all weather conditions and scenarios. Take warm layers, camping gear (if appropriate), plenty of food and water, and any equipment for hiking, biking, or other activities. Remember that you’ll likely be several hours from resupply resources.

 Slow Down

Much of the fun of off-roading is in the bumpy ride, the unplanned stops, and the views along the way. Focus on the journey rather than the destination, and enjoy!

Share you comments below to let me know what adventures you found off the grid and how these tips helped you discover something new!

Home / Travel Tips / Family Travel / Family Travel| How to win at parenting on your next flight

Family Travel| How to win at parenting on your next flight

Updated: May 22, 2017
By: Krystal Rogers-Nelson

Mom and son checking out an airplane before flyingFew things are more precious to parents than creating memories with their children. From travelling to new places to visiting family members, I treasure the moments I’ve shared travelling with my child.

Getting there by plane, though, can be nerve-racking. We’ve all seen the open letters and blurry phone videos posted online of disastrous airplane experiences involving kids. Confining a child to a small seat or a parent’s lap on an airplane is a herculean task.

But flying with kids doesn’t have to turn into a miserable excursion parents must endure. If parents prepare for the worst-case scenario, the airplane ride can evolve into a fun adventure with kids. Here are flying tips, packing essentials, and relaxation must-haves for you and your little ones.

Pay Extra and Book Early for Good Seats

Federal regulations allow children under twenty-four months to fly without a seat as a lap child. Though it sounds great to save money on tickets, babies are divas and may require some extra room. If you can afford it, pay extra for seat perks to keep your baby happy:

  • Book a bulkhead seat. If you book early enough, you can pay for a bulkhead seat that has extra legroom. These are the first row of seats that don’t have another row in front of them, so your child won’t have a seat back to kick and another row of people to torture.
  • Getting the best seats for your familyBuy another ticket. Pay extra so baby can have their own seat next to you. If your baby has a separate ticket, you can bring their car seat on the plane, too, and strap them in for the duration of the flight. Babies are typically much more comfortable in their snug car seat than wiggling in an adult’s lap.
  • Bring a travel vest or baby carrier. If you check the car seat as baggage at the airline’s front desk (this service is free, but bring a trash bag or car seat bag to wrap the car seat while it’s stored with the rest of the luggage), consider using a baby carrier or a travel vest for your child. Both will keep your baby strapped to your chest so you can attempt to relax hands-free during the flight. And, if I’m being honest, carriers and vests keep my baby from sliding off my lap when there’s turbulence.
  • Secure an aisle seat. Nothing is more annoying that constantly climbing over your fellow passengers to take your toddler to the bathroom for the fifth time or to bounce your restless baby down the aisle. If I can’t take up the whole bench with my spouse and kids, I book an aisle seat because it’s so much easier.

As of 2015, average passenger load factors for domestic flights were the highest they’ve been in over ten years, according to the Bureau of Transportation, with that number dropping minimally in 2016. These factors influence how airlines handle family seating. Though you could formerly expect a gate agent to rearrange passengers so children and parents could sit next to each other, those days are long gone. Parents will have to navigate this situation themselves, asking neighboring passengers to switch their seats. But you can take some steps to solve this problem.

  • Book early. The earlier you book, the more likely you will secure seats side by side.
  • Pay extra. The peace of mind will be worth the extra money.
  • Check in early. Check in right at the 24-hour mark before your flight so you can hopefully rearrange your seats if need be.
  • Contact customer service. Use a public social media site like Twitter or Facebook to ask for help from the airline.

Over Anticipate Food Needs

Eating a bananaThere will likely be zero plane food to interest your child outside of tiny cups of soda. And a hangry child is miserable for everyone to endure. Pack lots of food options for your child, but stay away from too much sugar to keep them calm. Granola bars, fruit pieces, and cheese sticks are easy options that are hard to spill. Remember to follow the TSA guidelines—no canned food or liquids.

The one exception to this rule is formula, breast milk, and even juice for a baby. Those liquids can be screened separately if they’re over 3.4 ounces. Keep your baby drinking or at least sucking during takeoff and landing, when the changing air pressure is painful for children who don’t understand how to yawn and pop their ears. The sucking motion will open the ear canal and relieve the pressure.

For my toddler, I bring a sippy cup or water bottle with a straw, since airlines don’t have cups with lids. I make sure my child is either drinking out of the sippy cup or eating something chewy, like fruit snacks, during takeoff and landing to help with the pressure changes.

Pack a Bag of Distractions

To keep my child quiet and occupied, I pack a few new trinkets. I wrap up the toys for him to open during the flight, which adds to the excitement. Stay away from anything with lots of tiny pieces, like DUPLOs or LEGOs—trust me. The airport floor is a black hole that will claim a tiny toy piece, never to be found again. Magnetic toys and anything that features buttons (like an old calculator) are entertaining and less likely to get lost.

I include some easy arts and crafts in my arsenal of tricks, too. I pack some small, inexpensive items that keep my child occupied for long lengths of time. Triangular crayons are a genius item to bring on plane trips because they won’t roll off tray tables, and sticker books are another fun, small option to pack.

Make Technology Your Best Friend

Family Illustration getting ready before the flightNo judgement here: hand over your phone to your kid the moment they’re bored on a flight. It’s a great way to kill time without disturbing other passengers, so give your child free reign of a tablet or smartphone. Before you leave, download new games and movies for your child. I pack some kid-sized headphones, too, so the rest of the passengers won’t give me the evil eye when they are forced to hear the “creature report” on Octonauts.

Before you get to the airport, also spend some time toddler-proofing your phone. Otherwise, your child may take control of your phone and remove apps, randomly call a stranger, or browse questionable YouTube videos.

While these general tips will help you avoid most of the struggles when flying with your children, each age group is different and presents their own set of travelling challenges. Here are some age-specific tips, along with packing essentials to help your little one feel happy and safe on a flight.

For Babies

Packing Essentials: Extra diapers, change of clothes, blanket, milk/formula

Take Nap and Bedtimes into Account

It’s cute when parents think their baby will sleep through a red-eye flight. I’ve made that mistake, and I caution you: don’t do it. Schedule your flights around your baby’s sleeping routine. Chances are small that a baby will peacefully slumber through a red-eye or nap on the mid-day flight if it doesn’t match their sleep schedule.

Make Kindness Your MO

Treat everyone on the plane with kindness, even the unhelpful stewardess and the eye-rolling passengers. If I’m overly sensitive to the other passengers and the fact that none of them want to sit near a baby, they reciprocate with kindness. One parent went so far as to make goodie bags for the passengers around them on their baby’s first flight. Though you’re certainly not expected to make a mini care package to your fellow travelers, a kind gesture goes a long way.

For Toddlers

Packing essentials: Sippy cup, smartphone, new toys, comfort item

Give Them Lots of Love

Children are keen at sensing their parent’s stress, and they can then mimic those feelings, especially as toddlers. Be ready to shower your child with extra hugs and kisses during your flight. The affection will ease their fears in an unfamiliar place and reassure them that everything is going to be alright. I make a point to check in on my toddler’s wellbeing frequently on a flight and offer my lap as a pillow and my hand for back rubs.

Bring a Comfort Item

I always bring my child’s lovie, his special toy he can’t leave home without. A favorite plush animal or blanket helps kids feel happy and safe when they’re on a potentially scary airplane ride. But keep a vigilant eye on the lovie—the last thing you want is to misplace your kid’s favorite item.

For Older Children

Packing Essentials: Small carry-on, simple crafts, tech devices, kid-friendly headphones

Teach Proper Etiquette

While a lesson in airplane courtesy will be ignored by my toddler in my home, older children will often listen to and hopefully follow behavior standards on a flight. Advise them to refrain from any actions that will disturb other passengers or brand you as “that family” by the flight crew. This includes talking loudly, aggressively playing with the tray table, touching all the buttons, repeatedly moving the seat up and down, and using the aisles as a lap track.

Put Them in Charge of Their Bag

Past toddler-hood, I put my child in charge of their own carry-on luggage. Consider a backpack or a small suitcase with wheels. I give my young child free range to pack their bag, reminding them that I make final editing decisions. Books, self-containing toy sets, and card games like Go Fish are great items for older children.Todder adventures on thier first family trip abroad

Flight Relaxation Tips for Parents

Once my little ones are happy, I do some things to keep myself comfortable on a flight, too. Here are some ways parents can relax during air travel.

  • Bring a good travel pillow. Travel pillows come in all shapes today—from a three-armed J pillow to an expanding foam pillow. The extra neck support relieves tension in my neck and shoulders that builds up if my child acts up during the flight.
  • Change into slipper socks. Removing my shoes during a flight is a tiny bit of relief, but I don’t want to walk around on the plane without my shoes. I bring a pair of slipper socks that I change into so I feel hygienic while I walk around the plane.
  • Use a face mist. Airplanes are notoriously dry—the outside air pumped in is void of moisture at high altitudes. Face mists are my favorite way to hydrate my face. Full of calming scents, they’re a wonderful luxury to indulge in throughout the flight.

You can never be too prepared for a flight. Even if the flight doesn’t go well, go into it determined that you won’t feel guilty if your child has a YouTube-worthy meltdown. You are a great parent, and a flight is a small blip of your child’s life.

What’s your number one life saving tip when flying with your little ones?

Comment below, and share this article with friends who are planning a summer getaway with their kids.

Home / Asia / India / Discover India| Epic Guide to 10 Best India Road Trips

Discover India| Epic Guide to 10 Best India Road Trips

Updated: May 5, 2017
By: Borderless Travels Team

India Rickshaw Driving

Yes, it’s almost the time of the year when you should pack your bags and hit the road, but that great North American & European past-time deserves the new hot spot of Asia. Irrespective of how many birthday candles you have blown out, you need to discover your next Asian road trip adventure.

India and a great road trip across Thailand offer what we hope will show you new world with impressively beautiful routes or destinations that will help you discover Asia in a new light

1. Driving from Mumbai To Goa India

Yes, its legendary ‘Dil Chahta Hain’ route! Fun, frolic and feni! Whenever holiday plans are tossed around, it is hard to resist the charm of this route. Driving on National Highway 48 is a pleasurable experience with several food joints to satiate your taste buds en route before you reach the party state of India— Goa.

Approximate Distance: 607.9 kms (via NH 48)
Estimated Drive Time: 10 hours and 34 minutes

2. Driving from Jaipur to Ranthambore India

Indian Bearded Man

Presenting a perfect mélange of mustard fields and vast open spaces, the highway that takes you from Jaipur to Ranthambore is as picturesque as you wish it to be. Start your journey early in the morning from Jaipur and head over to State Highway 24 which proceeds through various villages, like Lalot, Bassi, etc. Consider yourself lucky, if you spot a tiger in Ranthambore wildlife reserve!

Approximate Distance:  180 kms
Estimated Drive Time:  2 hours and 47 minutes via SH 24

4. Driving from Bengaluru to Nandi Hills India

Fall head over heels in love with the beauty of this beautiful road trip that takes you to Nandi Hills from Bengaluru! Once you reach Nandi Hills, be ready to get the warm welcome from various rare species of birds and plants. Even if you are not a history lover, plan a visit to a Tipu’s Drop, where Tipu Sultan used to condemn prisoners by throwing them to death.

Approximate Distance: 70 kms via NH7
Estimated Drive Time:1 hour and 45 min

5. Driving from Chennai to Munnar India

If the scorching heat of Chennai is bothering you, it’s time to travel to Munnar to enjoy the pleasant weather out there. Once you reach the destination, either unveil your adventure side by indulging in activities like paragliding, rock climbing, etc., or spend time in learning tea-making process. Spending some quality time in the lap of nature is also a nice idea!

Approximate Distance: 586 kms
Estimated Drive Time: 10 hours and 39 mins

6. Driving from Delhi to Agra India

Thanks to Yamuna Expressway, Taj Mahal has come closer to the national capital. In fact, so close that Delhiites can plan their quick weekend getaway to Taj Mahal—the seventh world of the wonder—without complaining about an exhaustive journey through jam-packed roads. After Taj Mahal, it’s time to visit Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. Get lost on an incredible Agra adventure or enjoy a wonderful Agra tour before adding Jaipur to your list and making it a Golden Triangle! The rich heritage of the city combined with its hospitality reflects the beautiful culture that is so typical of Jaipur. After sightseeing, it is the time to visit Chokhi Dhani, which is an ethnic village offering all types of entertainment options like dance, music, food, etc.; in royal styles.

Approximate Distance: 232.7 kms via Taj Express Highway/Yamuna Expy
Estimated Drive Time: 3 hours and 35 minutes

Taj Mahal from the Arga Fort India

Taj Mahal from the Arga Fort India

6. Driving from Puri to Konark India

Don’t make a mistake of considering this as just any other route. In fact, what it offers is every traveller’s dream. The Puri-Konark highway is one of those fabulous roads to do photography which when you start will compel you to drain the entire battery of your camera. The canopy formed by trees on both sides of the road, the cool breeze and the tranquil beauty will enthrall, now and forever! Famous for the Sun Temple, Konark witnesses the presence of artists, dancers, and musicians throughout the year. Don’t miss Chilka Lake in Konark which is also the second largest lagoon in the world.

Approximate Distance: 35.5 kms
Estimated Drive Time: 49 minutes

7. Driving from Dehradun to Nainital India

A car trip from Dehradun to Nainital is filled with all the scenic beauty, including hills and great weather, making some perfect shots for photography. You can enjoy the delectable taste of cuisines at Chandni Chowk— not the busy area of Delhi but a quiet restaurant on the Mall Road of Nainital. For an adventurous soul like you, there are options like rock climbing, trekking, etc.

Approximate Distance: 285.2 kms
Estimated Time: 7 hours and 26 minutes

Nandi Hills Deccan Plateau Karnataka, India

Nandi Hills Deccan Plateau Karnataka, India

8. Driving from Manali to Leh India

This long stretch that sees visitors only a few months in a year, will test you, scare you and mesmerize you. The experience of riding through tough terrains in your car is something which you will always cherish in your life. With the snow-capped mountains smiling at you and distant valleys welcoming you with their open arms, you will be amazed to see the exotic beauty of Mother Nature.

If you have a travel partner who also knows driving, you can cover the distance between Manali and Leh in one day, otherwise, it is advised to have a stopover at Sarchu before recommencing your journey.

Approximate Distance: 474 kms
Estimated Drive Time: +24 hours

9. Driving from Kalimpong (West Bengal) to Zuluk (Sikkim) India

If you are a daredevil traveller, the trip from Kalimpong to Zuluk is an apt choice for you. Over the last few years, the hilly terrain of Zuluk has risen in popularity as a picturesque tourist spot due to its 32 wild hairpins and bends. The pristine clear view of Kanchenjunga makes the trip memorable.  West Sikkim is also home to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institutes Mountaineering Base Camp.

Approximate Distance: 87.2 kms
Estimated Drive Time: 3 hours 14 minutes

Landscape Gangtok Sikkim, India

Landscape Gangtok Sikkim, India

10. Driving from Assam India to Thailand

Undoubtedly, it is an incredible road trip passing through some of the lovely mountains and valleys in the northeast region, taking travellers to Thailand, all the way from Assam! During your trip, you will pass through stunning Assam, Megalya and Manipur before reaching Myanmar and finally, Thailand.

You can spend a day at Myanmar which is widely appreciated for its exotic cuisines, breathtaking views, and Bagan— the place which is known for its superb architectural splendor. The sunset view of Bagan is something which you should not miss.

Approximate Distance: 2,146.1 kms via Ah Myan Lan
Estimated Time: 43 hours

Logistics: Know how for a successful India road trip

A road trip doesn’t mean impulsive travelling. A lot of preparation needs to be done before heading out. So, let’s start:

Choose your vehicle wisely: Indian roads are always ready to surprise you. You will experience some extreme road conditions and landscapes across its length and breadth. So, don’t underestimate the power of potholes as they can disrupt even the journey of an SUV. Be careful while choosing your vehicle.

Take it easy: A road trip doesn’t mean a long stretch without a halt. Spare a few days to make proper stops at places that interest you. Remember, it is a vacation, and not any exercise regime that you have to complete.

Tuk Tuk Agra India

Tuk Tuk Agra India

Have a Travel Companion: Long drives aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, so if feasible, travel with a person who has good driving skills. Also, if you’re driving with four people, make timely rotation of seats.

Carry essential items: For a smooth journey, carry some basic road trip essentials that you can buy for almost nothing!

  • Flash light
  • First Aid kit
  • GPS/Navigation System
  • Toolbox

Getting your vehicle repaired: Get your car isn’t a rental and your traveling with a friend or buying it make sure it’s repaired and properly functioning before taking a trip. At the service station, inform people about your plans of long drives so that they can do a proper check of your vehicle. Also, while you are on a road, hit a repair centre at the first sign of a trouble. Don’t take any risk on unknown terrains.

Carry cash: Seems simple but is essential because while driving you’ll come across a lot of toll and police check posts. Make sure to carry enough cash to pay toll taxes. Here, change comes handy. As for police check posts, you might be subjected to a lot of checking as your vehicle bears other state’s registration number. Make sure you have all the valid car papers, including driving license, registration paper, car insurance, etc.; to avoid hassles.

Do advance hotel bookings: To avoid any last-minute fiascos, make your hotel bookings much in advance. It will help you get some good rates as well.

Essentials: Two must have insurance policies for a safe and smooth journey

Car Insurance

Never ever start your road trip without having a comprehensive motor insurance for your vehicle. When you are on a road, accidents can happen not because of your carelessness, but because of the fault of the other driver. The reason is simple—You can have a control over you and your vehicle but you can’t control the other person! So, it is best to have a comprehensive car insurance policy which will come handy in case of any accident or loss or damage to your vehicle. For instance, if you meet with an accident, contact your car insurer in India who will come to your rescue and help you recoup all losses or damages.

If a damage happens to another vehicle due to your fault, the insurer will cover third-party liability as well. You can also add roadside assistance cover to your main car insurance policy and enjoy assistance during mishaps, like flat tyre, mechanical breakdown, dead battery, no fuel, etc. Some insurers also arrange for alternative accommodation if the vehicle repairing time is over 12 hours and the breakdown/accident spot is more than 100 kms from the address as stated in the policy document.

Nandi Hills Forest India

Nandi Hills Forest India

Imagine, you are on a Delhi-Agra highway or driving through the Nandi Hills Forest when mechanical failures halt your journey or the fuel tank of your car goes below the reserve point and there is no petrol pump nearby. What will you do—make SOS calls to friends or spend the night on a road? Both the situations are less than ideal.

However, if you had purchased a roadside cover, your one call to the insurer would have helped you. For instance, in case of a flat tyre, the insurer will send a mechanic to replace the flat tyre and in case your vehicle runs out of fuel, the insurer delivers emergency fuel to the breakdown/accident location.

Travel Insurance

Some audacious people also include foreign locations in their road trip itinerary and make only a half of their journey by road and the rest by air. In such a case, it is necessary to buy a travel insurance before embarking on a journey. Though you are on a vacation, accidents and emergency situations aren’t! So, buy a comprehensive travel insurance policy which will come handy in case of situations like a personal accident, losing your passport, a personal liability, etc.

Get Set, Go

Now that you know where to find some of the worlds most epic road trips it’s time to plan your next visit to India and discover your next epic life experience!

Home / North America / USA / Travel America| 5 Best Car Camping Spots in Southern Utah

Travel America| 5 Best Car Camping Spots in Southern Utah

Updated: May 1, 2017
By: Krystal Rogers-Nelson
Utah, US - Southern Utah Camping in the wilderness (iStock)

Utah, US – Southern Utah Camping in the wilderness (iStock)

While Yellowstone National Park may get a lot of attention, southern Utah’s national parks are waiting to steal your heart. Utah hosts striking red rock formations and diverse wildlife like gray foxes and desert horned lizards. Rivers slice through deep canyons. Cool lakes, perfect for dipping in after an afternoon hike, abound. You can even spot petroglyphs and other testaments of humanity’s attempts to tame the wild.

Even though Utah doesn’t fall in the ten largest states, it still has the third-most national parks—which means you don’t have to travel far to visit them all. The Mighty Five national parks—Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and Zion—listed here follow a travel itinerary starting in Salt Lake City and finishing near Las Vegas. Each section below includes must-see sites, best campgrounds to stay at, and a safety tip to keep you well rested, protected, and ready for adventure.

1. Arches National Park

Utah Arches

Utah, US – Delicate Arches in Utah’s Arches National Park are created from centuries and millennia of weather wear (Eric Nelson)

Arches National Park owes its name to an obvious feature: arches, naturally formed in the rocks. You will see many arches from bulky ones to ones so ethereal that they seem like something out of a fantasy novel. Delicate Arch is the most well known, and you should make time to see it. Try taking an early morning hike to beat the crowds (and the heat).

When planning your trip, be aware that the main camping area, Devils Garden Campground, will be closed for construction until November 2017. There are plenty of other BLM campsites nearby, such as Goose Island and Granstaff. But reservations go fast, so you may want to venture further out toGoldbar, Kane Creek Rd.  You can also try your luck at getting an individual site, but they are first-come/first-serve, so you need to get there in the morning and act fast.

Safety Tip: Visiting a national park puts you in close proximity to desert flora and rock formations.  Make sure to pack a 1st aid kit for hiking that can handle scrapes, sprains, and cacti spines.

2. Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands possesses four distinct areas separated by rivers. Some sections showcase majestic cliffs, mesas, pinnacles, and domes. Others are home to the Green and Colorado Rivers, which you can raft. Must-see sites include Island in the Sky and Mesa Arch.

You won’t find any proper campgrounds inside the park, but multiple options exist outside it. Squaw Flat Campground and Willow Flat rest near the Needles District and Island in the Sky, respectively. The Bureau of Land Management maintains much of the land in and around Canyonlands, so you can always rough it and pitch a tent.

Safety Tip: Many of the hikes in Island in the Sky are family friendly, but come prepared. Some of the hikes involve steep ascents and require good hiking shoes. Canyonlands is also more remote and far from services, so it’s a good idea to pack an emergency kit in your car and note that cell service may be spotty.

Green River Utah

Utah, US – Gaining perspective overlooking Green River Utah’s Canyonlands National Park,(iStock)

3. Capitol Reef National Park

Once inside Capitol Reef, you’ll see why Native Americans termed it “Land of the Sleeping Rainbow.” The park’s prismatic colors and historical sites, which include a harvestable fruit orchard, will capture your attention and possibly your affection.

Campgrounds for Capitol Reef are on a first-come-first-serve basis. The best sites include Fruita Campground, Cathedral Valley, and Cedar Mesa. Fruita offers more amenities while the other two are more primitive.

Safety Tip: Like the other southern Utah parks, you’ll do a lot of walking in Capitol Reef. Take plenty of water with you, even if it means your pack is a little heavier. You won’t regret it. Make sure to balance your water intake with salty snacks like trail-mix or add a powdered electrolyte drink to your water bottle.

Capitol Reef

Utah, US – Capitol Reef “land of the sleeping rainbow” (Bob Rogers)

4. Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon boasts the largest number of hoodoos (tall, thin spires of rock) in the world, and the landscape feels magical, resembling castles in a fairytale. The park also displays ancient bristlecone pines, with some approaching 1,800 years in age. Also considered an oasis for stargazing, you can attend special Astronomy Ranger programs where you could see over 7500 stars on a moonless night!

Most travelers stay at a campground because of the chance to see the stars, as well as to see the sunrise and sunset transform the surrounding sandstone. The best-known sites include North and Sunset. Both accept reservations between May and September. You can also find yurt rentals nearby.

Safety Tip: Bryce Canyon starts at an elevation of 8,000 to 9,000 feet, so swath your skin in sunscreen to avoid sunburns and drink lots of water.

Bryce Canyon

Utah, US – Bryce Canyon National Park (Bob Rogers)

5. Zion National Park

Zion tends to be the most visited national park in southern Utah, perhaps because of the Virgin River and the park’s towers and monoliths. For must-see sites, put Angel’s Landing (age 8+), Emerald Pools, and Weeping Rock on your list. Observation Point is also one of my favorites. Child backpacks are essential for hiking with babies and small children, though there are some paved paths that can accommodate strollers or wheelchairs.

Zion Observatory

Utah, US – Posing at Zion National Park Observatory in Zion National Park Utah (Krystal Rogers-Nelson)

Most people prefer to stay at the Watchman or South campsites. Travelers who enjoy a more rustic site may wish to stay at Lava Point, which is over an hour drive from the main entrance of the park. Watchman requires a reservation, but the other two are open. To stay off the beaten path but in luxury, reserve a spot at the glamping site Moonlight Oasis.

Safety Tip: Some of the hikes, like Angel’s Landing, have specific paths marked to keep you safe. Stay on the trails to make sure no one gets hurt.  If traveling with young children, consider a child GPS tracker since it can get crowded on the shuttle, at the trail-head and hiking on the popular trails.  I personally have found the My Buddy Tag to be useful with my rambunctious three year old, though cell coverage may vary depending on where you are in the park.

Overall, you can’t lose no matter which national parks you visit in southern Utah.

Have you been to any of southern Utah’s Mighty Five before?

Comment and share which places to camp are your favorites.

Home / Europe / Belgium / Discover Belgium| How to get a fairytale experience ‘In Bruges’

Discover Belgium| How to get a fairytale experience ‘In Bruges’

Updated: May 11, 2016
By: Ian Yacobucci
Bruges

Bruges, BE – Spring Daffodils in March at the tranquil Begijnhof Beguinage of Bruges (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

Welcome to Belgium the land of chocolate, waffles, and beer.  For most tourists, a visit to this small yet dynamic Western European country would not be complete without a stopover in it’s romance capital, Bruges.  Famously the location of the 2008 crime drama In Bruge, the city is nothing short of its description as “a fairytale”.  Yet for most tourists, visiting the city of Bruges is often a four hour mad dash of walking, eating, and drinking before returning back to Brussels.

Not surprisingly, this is exactly what I’d recommend you do, but with a little more time and some recommended sights.  If you’re like me, slowing down in Bruges will be relaxing and give you time to appreciate its architecture, quaint streets, Belgian beers, and serene parks. Bruges is a city where you should at least spend the night and unwind from busy travels.

Discover Bruges on foot

Start walking to nowhere in particular, because around every corner in Bruges is a photograph waiting to be taken.  Meandering through the narrow streets filled with artisan shops, bistros, and pubs is best way to discover the city of Bruges.  You don’t need a guide or trip advisor to tell you where to go.  Simply pick the local map (which you can get upon arrival at the train station) then visit Markt (Market Square) and Burg square before heading over to some of its famous churches and historic buildings.

As you amble through Bruges, put your map away for a while and get lost exploring the side streets and canals, you’ll always find your way back.  My recommendation would be to make time for the city parks of Astridpark and Minnewaterpark.  If you’ve been off visiting the metropolis cities of Europe the serenity you’ll find strolling along the riverside will fill you with appreciation.  Be sure to bring your camera and if you’re not a photographer simply tuck into a pub or two and try one of the 1600 beers Belgium has to offer.

Explore Belgian beer and eat at Cambrinus restaurant

Yes, Belgium boasts 1600 beers that are brewed within its borders.  That’s roughly four beers per day if you want to try them all in a year! One of the most popular places to sample Belgian beer in Bruges is Cambrinus.  This traditional Belgian restaurant boasts more than 400 Belgian beers and traditional food to acquaint your Belgian palate.

Cambrinus offers up a pub like atmosphere with wonderful traditional dishes such as Flemish onion soup with cheese and beer (I had this twice), and my personal favourite Flemish carbonades prepared with dark beer (a sumptuous stewed beef that goes nicely with a Trappist beer).

Cambrinus Restaurant

Belguim, BE – It was as delicious as it looks! Flemish Carbonades with a Trappist Beer at Cambrinus Restaurant (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

Never heard of Trappist beer?  Picture this; only eleven Trappist beers exist in the world and six of them are from Belgium.  Brewed by monks in Trappist monasteries these beers are created following strict criteria.  In order for a beer to be labeled as a ‘Trappist’ beer the International Trappist Beer Association says it must be brewed within Trappist monastery walls by monks or supervised by them.  Secondly, the brewing of the beer must be secondary to the monastic practices and way of life.  And finally, the beer must not be brewed for profit.  Instead is should be brewed so as to cover the costs associated with monastic life and care of the monastery with left overs donated for charitable purposes.

Visit ‘De Halve Maan’ brewery

Of course, a trip to Belgium wouldn’t be complete without a brewery visit.  Luckily, within the city walls of Bruges you can find ‘De Halve Maan’ brewery.  Translated to half moon brewery in English, it’s the only beer brewed in within the city of Bruges.

Family brewed and run by the Maes family since the mid 1800’s a brewery tour here includes more than just a beer with your ticket entry.  Along with the usual brewery history, tour of the old techniques used in making the family recipes, and a freshly brewed beer pumped straight from the vat is a great view of Bruges from the roof of the brewery (so you don’t have to pay to go up the Markt tower).

Hopefully you’re lucky enough to get there during the seasonal brew of their Heritage beer, which is aged for a year in old oak casks from France.  Uniquely, every year the Half Moon breweries Heritage beer tastes different, since the barrels are used in the processing other liquors.

Bruges city view

Bruges, BE – City view of Bruges from the rooftop of Half Moon Brewery (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

Capture a tranquil moment at Begijnhof (The Beguinage of Bruges)

After signing up for a brewery tour at ‘De Halve Maan’ brewery, with a half-hour to kill, my fiancee and I stumbled upon one of the most beautiful courtyard gardens we’d ever seen.  Surrounded by the quaint white facades of old-world buildings, with the sun streaming through the trees illuminating the daffodils and the shimmering off the brooke, it was as if we had left middle earth and entered Rivendell (shameless Lord of the Rings reference).

Later we discovered that this place was a convent dedicated to bequines who, according to UNESCO, are women who devote their lives to God and founded beguinages (convents) in order to fulfill both their spiritual and earthly needs.  To see the daffodilIs you’ll need to visit during the month of March and don’t forget to take some quiet time for reflection; it’s why places like this were created.

Sitting by the fire sipping a freshly brewed beer as you overlook a canal at Half Moon Brewery, wandering through the timeless fairytale streets and canals of Bruges, attempting to try every Belgian beer, or just sitting in the park watching the swans, it’s easy to lose yourself in the company of your partner, a few good friends, or even some new ones while, ‘In Bruges’.

Home / Asia / Cambodia / Angkor Wat Tips| Help yourself tour Angkor Wat like a boss

Angkor Wat Tips| Help yourself tour Angkor Wat like a boss

Updated: March 9, 2016
By: Danielle Aniceto
Sunrise at Angkor Wat

Siem Reap, CM – Arrive at sunrise to capture your perfect picture at Angkor Wat Cambodia (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

Showing up at the 6:00 am sunrise at Angkor Wat was not exactly what I expected it to be. Being a Lara Croft fan myself, I was hoping to have to swing down from a jungle vine into an undiscovered tomb and watch the sunrise from behind a mysterious untouched ruin. Instead, I arrived to a field full of people with the exact same idea. Having to fight for a place in the crowd for the perfect sunrise view, I couldn’t help but think what the rest of the day exploring would be like. It wasn’t exactly as I imagined it, but it was still pretty spectacular.

Angkor Wat is full of tourists, but if you can accept the fact and use a little imagination, you can have a lot of fun. Here are the tips and tricks I came up with during my visit to get as much time with my inner Lara Croft as possible and the least amount of time avoiding being in someone else’s photograph.

Angkor Wat photo

Siem Reap, CM – Capturing sunrise at Angkor Wat Cambodia (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

1. Sunrise at Angkor Wat

If you are into getting that beautiful sunrise photo at Angkor Wat, I would recommend you still go but not exactly at sunrise. Google the time of the sunrise at Angkor Wat the night before (it will depend on the time of year) and plan to arrive 15/30 minutes after. This will guarantee the best light for photographs and ensure that most tourists would have already left.

Angkor Wat Mistake: Most people arrive too early and get sick of waiting in the crowd by this point.

2. Angkor Wat

Sunrise at Angkor Wat is definitely a splendor to witness. The only problem, once again, is that everyone else wants to witness it at the same time too. I would recommend trying to go off the beaten track for a more authentic and reflective experience. It can be done! Just avoid the flow of the crowds and explore the ancient temples for enjoyment, not to go where everyone else is.  Trust yourself and discover what other people are missing.

Angkor Wat secrets: Start at a less well-known temple in the morning. Such as Bayon or Angkor Thom. Large tour groups always start at Angkor Wat.

If you want to learn about the history of Angkor Wat, I would suggest hiring a tour guide. The books that are being sold all over the grounds for various prices, are also a good idea but may not provide the interesting and more intimate details that the well-trained multi-lingual guides do.

People at Angkor Wat

Siem Reap, CM – Hundreds of people taking photos at sunrise at Angkor Wat (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

3. Bantaey Kdei

This temple complex takes up a lot of square footage and if you tire of crowds, it is one of the least busy temples in Angkor Wat. There are many passages and doorways to venture through and you can get that awesome picture beside a massive tree with fewer tourists to compete with.

4. Ta Phrom

The temple from the Lara Croft movie. The Tomb Raider temple was definitely a sight to see. However, it is also one of the most popular temples because of the allure of the large trees that grow throughout the complex.  If you’re not afraid to venture off you can find a space to get your photo but beware of the most famous tree from the 2001 film version of Tomb Raider.  You won’t get a moment alone there.

Ta Phrom secrets: After 3:00 pm, many tourists start clearing out of the temples. Perhaps the best time of day to get that selfie you were dreaming of.

Tomb Raider Tree

Siem Reap, CM – The famous Tomb Raider tree at Ta Phrom temple in Angkor Wat Tomb Raider tree Ta Phrom Angkor Wat (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

5. Angkor Thom

This temple is stunning and a lot of fun because there are tones of small temples throughout the forest in the surrounding area. This is a temple where you can really get off the beaten track and explore!  Remember the Angkor Wat temple complex is massive and if you’re willing to explore you’ll find hidden treasures that represent the spiritual setting these temples were designed to embody.

Angkor Thom secrets: Just don’t get stuck in the tall grass with the huge spider webs. I am still not sure what kind of spiders were hiding in those webs but I am glad we never found out.

As one of the most famous temple systems in the world Angkor Wat will far exceed your expectations.  Just remember that there are many temples to explore and all of them are several kilometers apart so be prepared to spend a lot of your day enjoying the jungle by tuk tuk (yes, you should definitely spend the little money it costs for a tuk tuk).

No matter how many times you visit you’ll always feel like you’re just scratching the surface of Angkor Wat’s mysteries.  So be kind to yourself and take my advice, get the three-day pass. It is well worth it, and with a little imagination and some childish enthusiasm, you can really make the experience your own.

Have fun and safe travels!

Home / Europe / Top 5 Things to Do In Dublin

Top 5 Things to Do In Dublin

Updated: November 23, 2015
By: Graeme Billinghurst
Guiness Brewery Dublin Ireland

DUBLIN, IR – Tourists at the Guiness Brewery (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

Dublin can move a mile a minute, but if you want to get the most out of your stay in Ireland’s capital, make sure to do these five things.

1.  Drink a pint of Guinness

If it’s not Ireland’s official drink, it probably should be. Guinness is a staple across the country, but is brewed and is most popular in Dublin. Whether you’ve decided to have one at the bar down the street from where you’re staying or overlooking the city on the 7th floor of the Guinness Storehouse, a pint of the black stuff will surely help you settle in.  If you want to further your Guinness experience, the Storehouse provides visitors with the option to become a certified Guinness pourer and will award you with a certificate to prove your expertise.

2.  Listen to live music

It seems that almost every bar and restaurant you walk into in Dublin has a local band playing music. If you don’t mind spending a pretty penny for a few drinks, heading to the Temple Bar District at night will guarantee you a chance to dance the night away with a mix of tourists and locals. While traditional Irish music is the most plentiful, rock and roll, acoustic sets and even rockabilly musicians will be somewhere around the corner.  Be ready to spend about 7-8€ a pint.  If you’re lucky enough to visit in mid July, the Longitude Music Festival has some fantastic headliners, many of whom like Hozier in 2015, are some of Ireland’s best-known acts.

Temple Bar Dublin Ireland Borderless Travels

DUBLIN, IR – The infamous Temple Bar in (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

3.  Talk to the locals

Irish people are known to be some of the friendliest people in the world and those in Dublin are no different.  One of the country’s famous sayings is “A hundred thousand welcomes” and this welcoming attitude is reflected throughout the city.  Locals are usually up for a conversation and if you catch them sitting down for a few pints in the bar, you’re likely to pick up some new vocabulary while deciphering exactly what they’re saying to you. If you’re lucky, you’ll end up with an off the beaten path recommendation that could drastically improve the authenticity of your trip as well as a few new words like fech, craic, and what it means to be wrecked.

4.  Take a Free Walking Tour

Dublin is a very walkable city and with that in mind, a free walking tour can be the best way to see the sights. Companies such as Sandeman’s New Dublin Tours offer a comprehensive two and a half to three hour sightseeing tour to catch some of the buildings and neighbourhoods that make Dublin famous. Trinity College, Dublin Castle, Christchurch Cathedral and the Temple Bar District are just a few of the stops made along the way. It must be noted that free isn’t always free as these tour guides depend on tips to make a living.  Although there’s no minimum, anything around 5-10€ is a common tip at the conclusion of the tour.

Trinity College Dublin Ireland

DUBLIN, IR – tourists and students exploring Trinity College (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

5.  See the natural landscape

This might sound like a difficult task in a city as old as Dublin, but the village of Howth which is accessible by public transportation will give you a taste of what’s outside the city limits. Cliff faces, lighthouses and fishing boats are only a short walk from the village and make this peninsula a must see for anyone who only has a few days in Ireland and can’t make it out to the country or the coast. For those tourists interested in hiking and small town life, Howth is the perfect getaway from the busyness that is downtown Dublin.

Cliffs of Howth

DUBLIN, IR – The Cliffs of Howth overlooking Dublin (Graeme Billinghurst/Borderless Travels)

Home / Asia / Japan / How to buy a cellphone in Japan

How to buy a cellphone in Japan

Updated: April 30, 2015
By: Ian Yacobucci
TOKYO, JAPAN - Buying a prepaid cellphone in Akihabara (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

TOKYO, JAPAN – Buying a prepaid cellphone in Akihabara (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

With wifi and roaming plans it’s easy to keep in contact with family members and friends these days, but what happens when you need a cellphone to stay connected with new friends while you’re working in a new country.

I found it important to buy a prepaid cellphone in Japan because I wanted to be a part of the community I was living in.  The problem was that getting a prepaid cellphone in Japan isn’t as easy as most countries.

I learned the hard way because the last time I was working in Japan I wasn’t able to get a prepaid cellphone.  Back in 2008,  getting a prepaid cellphone wasn’t an option. Back then, even wifi didin’t exist, and I wasn’t interested in buying a several hundred dollar cellphone under contract for a three month work trip.

Today, if you’re needing to get connected with your community in Japan, you can stop wondering “if” you can get a prepaid cellphone in Japan and start the process to getting one.

You can easily get a pre-paid cellphone or a contract if you’re planning on working in Japan. However, if you’re just visiting for a short time it’s easier to either go without a cellphone and use internet services like Skype and Magicjack, or rent a cellphone from a Japanese airport (which you return upon your departure).

As an expat, before you get a cellphone in Japan, there are a few things you need to have with you.

1.  You need to have a residency (alien) card that you’ve already registered with city hall.

2.  You need your passport.

When buying a cellphone there are two options to choose from. The first is a pre-paid option where you buy a phone and add money to a sim card. The second option is to get a cellphone under contract. If you want to get a contract you need to make sure that you’re going to be in the country for two years or more because the minimum contract period is two years, no exceptions, and no cancellations.

If you’re living in Tokyo here’s a breakdown of how to get a cellphone, how much it costs and where you can get it.

SoftBank – Prepaid option

Phone:

The cheapest option is the 2000¥ ($20 USD) option for the phone.   There is also a 5000¥ ($50 USD) option if you’re interested in watching TV on your phone.

Prepaid Card:

There are two prepaid options. The first costs 3000 ¥ ($30 USD) and the second costs 5000 ¥ ($50 USD). There are no deals for buying the more expensive card, it just gives you more money.

What you get:

Unlimited texts – 300 ¥ for 30 days

National calls – 9 ¥ for six seconds (price as listed in the SoftBank cellphone brochure) or 90¥ per minute

Where to get a prepaid cellphone in Tokyo:

If you’re in Tokyo the best place to buy a prepaid cellphone is at “Yotobashi Camera” located in Akihabara

  • To go to Akihabara station
  • Take the Showa-Dori (Akihabara Electric Town) Exit
  • Turn left and you’re there

Happy Travels!

Yak

Home / Africa / Morocco / Discover Morocco’s Blue City Chefchaouen

Discover Morocco’s Blue City Chefchaouen

Updated: April 22, 2015
By: Graeme Billinghurst
Morocco's blue city Chefchaouen from a distance

Morocco’s blue city Chefchaouen from a distance (Graeme Billinghurst/Borderless Travels)

 

For world travellers, there are few destinations that stand out as places that are unlike any other on the globe. The northern Moroccan city of Chefchaouen, however can legitimately stake the claim as a travel destination like none other.

Having visited this beautiful blue city in the height of the Moroccan summer and at the tail end of Ramadan, we were unsure of what to expect. Upon arriving via a Grand Taxi from the port city of Tangier, we were dropped off near the bus terminal and after orienting ourselves for a few minutes and adjusting to the sights and sounds of our new destination, we immersed ourselves in the blue maze that is the town’s medina with the goal of finding our hostel.

Navigating a medina can be an arduous task, but one that is a necessary skill to master when spending any extended amount of time in a Moroccan city. Once we found our bearings, we were able to locate Casa Amina, a centrally located hostel which was to be our home for the next few evenings.

An olive tree growing in the Medina (Graeme Billinghurst/Borderless Travels)

An olive tree growing in the Medina (Graeme Billinghurst/Borderless Travels)

Chefchaouen is a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of Morocco’s major cities. The laid back atmosphere of the blue medina coupled with the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape creates a peaceful and relaxed vibe that is contradictory to busier Moroccan cities such as Marrakech, Tangier and Fes. This laid back feel also allows tourists to wander the medina without feeling like they are about to be swindled or tricked by locals as can be the case in the aforementioned locations.  Chefchaeouen does have it’s own unique form of harassment as locals will offer you hashish as often as several times a day, which if to be believed, is readily available, albeit officially illegal.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner can all be found at very reasonably priced restaurants that make up and surround the Grand Place. Meals are experiences in themselves as local delights such as tajines and pastillas can be enjoyed while listening to the evening prayers. Following meals, people-watching while drinking mint tea, locally referred to as Moroccan whiskey, is a favourite past time.

For the more adventurous traveller, the Rif Mountains provide a taste of the natural beauty that can be seen from the town square. Within a short, thirty minute ride, you can get to a commonly used hiking trail that provides a full day of exercise and some spectacular views. As a reward, the end of the trail results in the Cascade d’Akchour, a beautiful and exceptionally cold waterfall that is a well earned culmination of the day’s efforts.

Overall, Chefchaouen is a traveller’s dream. It offers something for everyone and at a very affordable price. Even during the heat of the summer and at the tail end of Ramadan, a memorable experience awaits you in northern Morocco’s blue oasis.

Home / Travel Talk / Interviews / Anna Everywhere: secrets to blogging, studying & traveling the world

Anna Everywhere: secrets to blogging, studying & traveling the world

Updated: September 29, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci
Ana everywhere ecuador

Ana Everwhere standing an egg on the Equator in Ecuador

More than just someone who travels around Anna Lysakowska shares her experiences combing traveling with work in order to progress her career development while experiencing what it’s like to live in different countries as an expat.

Borderless Travels caught up with Anna in Amsterdam, Netherlands where she’s currently living and working at Flipit.com as well as a writer, traveler, translator, and blogger at AnnaEverywhere.com.

While supply teaching at an all girl’s Catholic school in Toronto, Canada I asked them what they wanted to know; here’s what they came up with:

With degrees and diplomas from multiple universities, including studies in journalism, fashion marketing, Dutch studies, international law, and Latin American studies, how has education played a role in your work and travel experience?

First of all, studying allowed me to travel more by simply putting me in the place where I studied and also by giving me scholarships that allowed me to fund my short-term trips. Did my diplomas help me to get various jobs? Probably, but most of the time I treated the university as a longer project while pursuing other types of work such as marketing. Don’t get me wrong, studying helped me a lot, but there is a huge difference between a theory gained through studying and practical work experience.

What strategies did you use to fund your education and how do you fund your travels?

I’m simply always working, anytime and anywhere I can. I’m currently working full-time along with some freelancing projects on the side so this is the source of my money.

As a journalism and fashion-marketing student what did you learn that you directly apply to your blog and personal businesses?

I think I’m still learning how to manage my blog (especially time-wise) and make it more known. Ironically when I travel I have less time to write, because I constantly want to do things. A writer once said that if you want to write a book go live in a boring place – I think he was right.

With all those studies why did you keep changing your area focus?

I actually believe I was working towards the same goal. It might seem like I’ve been changing my focus a lot, but if you look at it in a different light, that isn’t the case: I started from history and art history, followed by journalism (along with a brief romance in Dutch studies) and fashion marketing. I was able to use all of this knowledge to become a travel writer because every place has its own history and culture. After living in Latin America and getting involved in a lot of political issues I used the opportunity to study International Law and Latin American Public Policy at Leiden University in The Netherlands to go back to Mexico and conduct my research. My attempts resulted in the publication of my book about Mexican abortion laws.

You have a lot of education what is the most important thing you’ve learned?

Funnily enough that studies are not enough! ;) I saw a lot of well-educated people studying with me, who had no idea what they wanted to do with their lives. I guess studying and living abroad has made me face so many difficult situations I had to overcome to move any further.

Ana Everywhere Amsterdam

Ana Everywhere in Amsterdam

 In all the countries you’ve worked and lived how did you adapt to the way of life and culture there, and what did you do to get to know people?

I think the most important for me was learning a local language. In some countries, such as Argentina, it was particularly difficult. I was vegetarian at the time and when I moved there I spoke no word of Spanish. Noone spoke English and even when I finally told my host family that I don’t eat meat they treated me like some sort of exotic species that doesn’t want to have bacon on my eggs.

Unlike many travel bloggers who live a nomadic lifestyle why do you choose to stay in one place and share your experience as a working expat?

I’d say there is a huge difference between just visiting a place and living somewhere for a bit longer. You get to know people, culture and how the real life can be somewhere only after you get to know the place as an expat. Do I actually stay in one place? I guess not. For instance, this year even tho I’ve been based in the Netherlands I was able to visit Marrakesh, London, Warsaw, Tokyo, California and I’m still planning a trip to Asia at the end of the year.

How do you juggle relationships (family, romantic, and friendships) with all your travels?

I have a very small family so keeping up with them isn’t much of a problem because combine traveling and living, I am usually in a specific place for a moderately long time so having a romantic relationship comes naturally. Friendship is the hardest of the three for me to manage and it’s not surprising that my friends are spread out all over the world. I try and talk to my close friends often and we visit each other semi-frequently.

What struggles do you face as someone who is constantly traveling and working around the world?

First of all that I can never organize a proper birthday party, because all my best friends are spread around the world ;) I guess in some countries, like for instance in Holland, finding a job is tough, so getting settled becomes a bit more complicated. However, with a lot of patience and hard work everything is manageable.

Ana Everywhere Zimbabwe

Ana Everywhere walking lions Zimbabwe

Of course, what would an interview with a travel blogger be if we didn’t ask those hard hitting travel questions.

What’s drawn you to traveling?

Growing up, everyone told me that a girl from Poland going out and traveling the world on her own was a ridiculous idea. While I had always been somewhat interested in travel out of general curiosity, I think the fact that everyone discouraged me when I told them I wanted to do it pushed me to travel more than anything.

 What has been your most memorable travel experience?

My most memorable travel experience has got to be when I volunteered at Zimbabwe’s Antelope Park to work with lions in April 2010. I got to help raise lion cubs and take them for walks.

Many travelers have a travel trinket what’s yours and what do you collect things from different countries?

It might sound a bit stereotypical, but I collect key-chains and earrings. Why? I don’t know, I guess it just happened. As a young traveler I used to bring different items home from every place I visited, but in less touristic countries there was not much to buy, so I randomly picked a few handmade key-chains and eventually I realized I have quite a collection. I’ve always been a big fan of earrings, so I was buying them anyway – my favorites are the ones I bought in Fiji.

 

Ana Everywhere in California

Ana Everywhere kissing a dolphin in California

Anna Lysakowska is a blogger at Anna Everywhere. She has visited more than 45 countries and lived in 7, including Mexico City, Boston, London, Cape Town, Florence and Leiden. She studied journalism at Harvard, international law at Oxford Brookes and obtained her Masters in Latin American Studies from Leiden University. Since 2013 she has been residing in the Netherlands where she works at a marketing company, but this doesn’t stop her from traveling. Connect with her through FacebookTwitter and Google+.