River Rafting in Costa Rica: The Resplendent Río Pacuare

Costa Rica is considered one of the best destinations in the world for thrill seekers, and it’s easy to see why. With abundant ziplining, kayaking, bungee jumping, trekking, diving, and climbing opportunities amid the country’s rainforests, volcanoes, beaches, and jungles, the home of “pura vida” is a adrenaline junkie’s dream. So where better to embark on a river rafting trip than Costa Rica’s popular Río Pacuare?

Río Pacuare river rafting, Costa Rica

Rafting the Río Pacuare (photo by Ríos Tropicales)

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7 Ways to Earn Money While Traveling the World

“If travel were free, you’d never see me again.” Travelers have surely seen this unattributed quote pasted in funky fonts over dreamy photographs and plastered across social media. Newsflash: travel ain’t free. Globetrotting can be costly, sometimes prohibitively so, but no need to give up on your wanderlust-ful dreams. Here are seven ways you can maintain a steady cash flow while seeing the world.

Granada, Nicaragua

Granada, Nicaragua

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Scenic Spain: Madrid’s Best Nature Escapes

When you imagine a visit to Madrid, you may picture yourself strolling through its cobblestone lanes, sipping wine over a plate of tapas, studying the masterpieces of Dalí and Goya, or admiring the city’s stately architecture. If natural beauty is your cup of tea, you’re likely to turn to remote regions rather than a major urban area, but, when it comes to Madrid, you don’t have to go far.

Parque Natural de Peñalara, Madrid, Spain

Madrid looking like this? Believe it! Parque Natural de Peñalara

While the capital’s man-made delights are certain to impress, Madrid is also a fantastic city for nature escapes: hiking trails, scenic views, peaceful parks, and adventure opportunities abound in the city and its surrounding areas. Here are just a few of Madrid’s best natural destinations. Continue reading  

The Best of Belize and Guatemala: A Two-Week Travel Itinerary

Belize and Guatemala, two absolute gems in Central America. I’ll admit I had never given much thought to them before planning my Latin America itinerary this year. However, two weeks of traveling the region made one thing very clear: this is a part of the world you have to see!

Flores, Guatemala

Flores, Guatemala

Whether you choose to dedicate a trip solely to these neighboring countries or you decide to visit the two as part of a larger Central America, Latin America, or global trip, here are my tried and true suggestions for how to spend two weeks in un-Belize-able (sorry, couldn’t help myself) Belize and Guatemala.

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8 Things You Should Know Before Traveling to Cuba

Cuba has, without a doubt, become one of the world’s hottest tourist destinations over the last few years. The formerly isolated country is slowly opening up to Americans, and the resulting boost in the tourism industry is encouraging travelers from around the world to experience the fascinating Caribbean island for themselves. In many ways, Cuba remains a world of its own, a stark contrast from most places you’ve ever traveled. Prepare yourself for a trip by reviewing these eight must-knows.

Trinidad, Cuba

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Travel Talk with Hilary: An Auxiliar de Conversación in Madrid

I’m back with a new installment in my Travel Talk interview series! This time, I spoke to Hilary Leslie of Oregonian Overseas, who is currently in her second year of teaching English in Madrid, Spain as an auxiliar de conversación (language and culture assistant). I participated in the same program from 2011 to 2013, so I was curious to hear about her experiences and travel plans.

Visiting Acadia National Park, Maine

Hilary visiting Acadia National Park, Maine

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Vietnam Beyond the Bustle: Mai Chau Valley

Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, Saigon… Most travelers to Vietnam know these city’s names well and are sure to include them in their itinerary. But Vietnam is a massive country (far bigger than I imagined!) with a wealth of remarkable places to visit. One of the best? Mai Chau Valley, several hours from Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi.

Mai Chau Valley, Vietnam

Vietnam’s Mai Chau Valley

Knowing very little about the region, Mai Chau hadn’t been on my Southeast Asia bucket list prior to my travels, but a friend had strongly recommended Vietnam Backpacker Hostels’ Mai Chau Valley trip, and I couldn’t pass up a chance to see Vietnam beyond its hectic cities by paying a visit to the valley’s peaceful villages and rice paddies. Continue reading