While many Americans celebrate their 21st birthday by getting drunk at a bar for the first time, I was studying abroad in Madrid when I rang in year 21, so what better way to mark the occasion than hopping on a flight to the Spanish island of Mallorca? Three years later and living in Madrid once again, I treated myself to an early birthday present by hitting up the Mediterranean island once again.
Thrilled beyond belief to be heading to Cuba in T-minus 34 days, I’ve been sharing the news with just about everyone I talk to. More often than not, I get the same reaction: “Oh, right, Americans can now travel there without any restrictions!” While it is true that U.S.-Cuba relations are changing rapidly these days, it is a misconception that Cuba is completely open to American tourists now. So, what is the deal currently? Can all U.S. citizens travel to Cuba? And how can Americans get there? After months of researching this trip, I have your answers!
If you’ve heard of the Spanish region La Rioja, it’s likely because of their world-renowned wines, in my opinion some of the best in the world. But it’s also one of Spain’s 17 comunidades autónomas, located in the north, and its capital Logroño was our final destination for the May long weekend that also took us to Zaragoza, Huesca, and Pamplona.
In my Travel Talk series, travelers all over the world have shared their experiences. Today, I feature Danielle from Seoul | Tapperilla, a fellow Californian who has taught English in both Seoul, South Korea and Madrid, Spain. She shares her experiences with both and her international travels past and present.
Happy birthday to Venga, Vale, Vamos, a little blog that was born seven years ago today!
This blog was born out of my UCLA dorm room in 2008, before I had even been admitted to my study abroad program. I was just so darn excited to go – and (as a web design geek since the age of 10) happy to have any excuse to launch a new website – that I kicked off a new blog, hand-coded my own WordPress theme from scratch, and began rambling to myself.
Venga, Vale, Vamos has been through various incarnations, changed from La Vida Madrileña to Entre Flores, Fandanguillos y Alegrías to suit the Andalucían theme when I moved to Sevilla, then finally to Venga, Vale, Vamos when I returned to Madrid and continued on to Sydney. It began as a total hobby with one reader (me), then a handful (my family), and somehow, here it is seven years later, a mini side business with a network close to fifteen thousand.
Scream, shout, kick me out of the bona fide travelers club, but it’s true: I’ve technically never “backpacked” before. Yes, for as much as I’ve embodied the backpacker lifestyle by living out of cheap hostels and making a diet out of Nutella on stale baguettes, I have always dragged along a rolling suitcase instead of a traditional travel backpack. Please forgive me.
Rolling suitcases do have their advantages: they save your back, they make it easier to pass discount airlines’ carry-on restrictions, and you can fish through your belongings without having to reach into a deep abyss to find what you need. However, I think the time has come. I’ve had enough violent massages as I yank a suitcase over cobblestones, and I need to declare a moratorium on running over innocent bystanders’ feet in crowds. I’m on the hunt for the perfect travel backpack.
Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, soaring over the rainforest, and stopping in what is, quite possibly, the most picturesque town I’ve seen in all of Australia. Could Tropical North Queensland be any cooler? You may remember my recent adventure on Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Its terminus is the “village in the rainforest”, Kuranda, population 3000 but sights and activities aplenty.
What is it about the new year that inspires epic travel plans? I recently announced my exciting plans to roll into 2016, and 2015 kicked off just as spectacularly with a four-day layover in the tropical paradise of Fiji. After staying on a private island and relaxing at a quiet resort, we returned to Viti Levu, Fiji’s mainland, for a final day at Anchorage Beach Resort and the city of Nadi.