Category : Travel Activities

temple_group
India, Posted by Amy, Travel Activities
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Love and the Kama Sutra in Khajuraho, India

Mandi asked me if there was anywhere in India I really wanted to go. When I joined the trip, the itinerary was already planned, but there was still room for some changes. “Um… yes”, I said. “I want to go to that place with all the erotic carvings on the temples.” Because, is there any cooler historical site than 1,000-year-old naughty carvings?

It's a bit out of the way from common tourist destinations Agra and Varanasi.

Getting to Khajuraho

Khajuraho is kind of out of the way. It’s not really near anything else in India and not on any of the normal tourist paths. Once you get there though, you’re rewarded for going out of your way. Khajuraho is small. It’s not crowded. It’s relaxed, and there aren’t many tourists to fight for viewing space with.

We flew on a short flight from Agra on Air India, and left on an overnight train to Varanasi 2 days later. Our travel agent warned us that there was only 1 flight a day and it was very unreliable.

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bangles in an indian market
Bargaining, Posted by Amanda, Southeast Asia, Travel Activities
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Bargaining at Markets in a Foreign Country

Shopping in local markets is one of the best ways to explore a country. It’s a great way to interact with locals, try new foods and get unique souvenirs that will remind you of your trip for years to come. There are also amazing deals to be had! Souks, Marchés, Bazaars, Night Markets whatever their name, they are all similar in that they carry everything under the sun, you name it they’ve got it! Traditional clothing, spices, key chains, bowls, delicacies, scarves, paintings, jewelry, sculptures, rugs, bags, shoes, lamps, wallets, postcards, even animals are a just a few of some of the hidden gems that you can find! Most vendors in markets sell their goods for about half the price of items sold in store fronts or at the airport but there is a definitely an art to bargaining and getting the most bang for your buck. It is a challenge and can sometimes be overwhelming since there are no fixed prices. At times you may feel pressured to buy things you don’t even want and all of the sudden you are walking back to your hotel with not 1 but 5 throw pillows that you had no intention of buying and no room for in your luggage. Here are some tips for bargaining when shopping at international markets.

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Lotus flower in water
Destinations, Posted by Amanda, Travel Activities, Travel Quotes, Traveling Alone, Types of Travel
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Vipassana Meditation: A Trip Into My Mind

When I first arrived to New Zealand I met a girl from Finland whom I hit it off with immediately.  After hanging out for a few hours, she apologized for acting a little weird.  “What do you mean”, I asked. “Well I just finished this 10-day silent Vipassana meditation course yesterday and it feels strange to be back in the real world.  “10 days of silence, that sounds horrible, I can’t even imagine, tell me more,” I urged.  “It’s hard to explain and I can’t even begin to describe it although I will say it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done but the most rewarding experience of my life, everyone should experience it at least once in their lifetime.”  She left it at that so I made a mental note to look it up upon my return home.

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Photo Nov 28, 5 25 55 PM
Posted by Amy, Travel Activities
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Travel Souvenirs and Holiday Traditions

Like many people, I like to purchase some memento (or maybe a couple of mementos) of my travels. You can look at a something you brought back and recall all the great memories of your trip while getting excited about your next adventure. The problem for me is that I hate clutter. I hate stuff. Stuff stresses me out. Everything displayed in my home is purposeful or useful. It’s unlikely when traveling you’d always find something you already needed, so what is a girl (or guy, or family) to do?

For my first few trips, I brought home no souvenirs. I wasn’t going to buy something I didn’t need that would just clutter up my home and life. But that kind of sucked, so I came up with a solution to this problem: every place I go, I bring back a Christmas tree ornament.

The result has been better than expected.

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Photo May 17, 1 54 25 PM
Accommodations, Family Travel, Posted by Amy, Travel Activities
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Spending the Weekend in a Treehouse

Earlier in the year, I was looking for something interesting to do for a non-typical (aka not Vegas) bachelorette party for a good friend. At some point in my googling, I stumbled across a treehouse for rent. A treehouse? My interest was piqued, and after some additional research (basically geeking out over treehouses) we decided to book a weekend at the Out ‘n’ About Treehouse Treesort.

The Out ‘n’ About Treehouse Treesort is basically a Bed and Breakfast in Cave Junction, Oregon run by nice people who love tree puns. And your bed is in a treehouse. And it’s awesome.

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ceksy krumlov castle
Destinations, Posted by Amy, Travel Activities
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A Criminal in the Czech Republic

I was warned before going to the Czech Republic that the police were corrupt. That they often tried to extort money out of people. No matter, I thought, that will not apply to me as there is no reason at all I would interact with the cops. Well, the cops found me and I had no choice in the matter.

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prague_header
Destinations, Posted by Amy, Travel Activities, Traveling Alone
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3 Days in Prague

Last month I had a few days between work trips, and already being in Europe decided to stop for 3 days in Prague for a solo trip. I spent some time researching and put together an itinerary that would hopefully allow me to see and do as much as possible. So lets see how that worked out! Hint: It worked out really well, until my unplanned encounter with the police.

Because I had left Barcelona at 8:30 on Day 1 and didn’t land in Prague until close to 1pm, this is more like 2.5 days in Prague, or even 2.33 days in Prague. But that sounds kind of weird for a title, so lets stick with 3.

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Paris rooftops
Paris, Posted by Amanda, Recommendations, Travel Activities, Travel Quotes
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3 Things To Do On A Return Trip To Paris

Ah Paris! The City of Lights, Paname, The City of Love– whatever you want to call it, this capital city is enchanting all the same. Little or no introduction is needed as it’s already known for art, fashion, cuisine and its architectural beauty. Of course it’s important to see the iconic sights such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre, Sacré-Cœur and the Champs-Élysées but that’s just the beginning.  Many tourists find themselves planning their next trip back before they’ve even left. Here are a few other things to experience upon your return that will take you off the major tourist circuit.

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varanasi
Posted by Amy, Travel Activities
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Open Air Cremation in India and Nepal

Warning: This post contains images of dead bodies (from a distance) as part of funeral rituals.

In the United States, we have a generally standard way of handling death. There’s visitation, a funeral, either burial or cremation, and perhaps a wake. I hadn’t often thought about how other cultures deal with death and dying, but had a very eye-opening and moving experience observing Hindu death ceremonies in India and Nepal.

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prague map
Food, Planning, Posted by Amy, Transportation, Travel Activities
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Planning a Trip to Prague

I am super excited that I was able to sneak a short trip to Prague in in-between two other work trips to Barcelona and San Francisco. I only have 2.5 days, and need to do some aweseomsauce planning to really take advantage of my time in the Czech Republic. This method of planning trip activities can be used for any place you visit.

Check back in a few weeks to see what my actual trip was like compared to the plan!

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