Monthly Archives: February 2012

Travel Tip Tuesday!

Today’s tip comes a little late but is very valuable. The tip: Date a girl who travels! Aleah, the Solitary Wander, is a solo traveler who has all kinds of adventures and words of wisdom. Her latest post is about all the reasons why girls who travel make great partners. They are special because of their unique travel experiences, the misadventures they have run into while traveling and their humility they have developed from seeing and experiencing the world.

READ THE WHOLE POST HERE!!! It’s awesome. And it will make your heart flutter for that special someone.

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Categories: Adventure, Around the World, Art, Asia, Backpacking, Communication, Explore, Love, Travel, Travel Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why We Love Florida

Moving to Florida (we bought a beachside business on the Gulf) has been absolutely fantastic. Besides having a great starting location for our travels with easy access to the Caribbean, Mexico, Cuba and Central America, it’s warm even in the winter, we get an abundance of Vitamin D, there are palm trees and grapefruit trees in our back yard and the wildlife is awesome. We’re both from the midwest (Michigan and Pennsylvania), so the tropical flora and fauna are very exotic to us. (How often can you just pull off at a roadside park and see live gators!?). If you have never been to Florida or are looking for great location for a getaway, we highly recommend the Sunshine State. Oh, and stop by our shop – Beach Snoballs – on Treasure Island – we’d love to meet you!

This is a picture I took while we were moving into our new house – I found this little guy crawling on our mailbox!

Categories: Adventure, Animals, Backpacking, Beach, Beach Snoballs, Explore, Family, Florida, Food, Landscape Photograph, Nature, Ocean, Outdoors, Photography, Planning vacation, Plants and Flowers, Top Knotch Gear, Tourist Site, Travel, Travel Photography, Travel Tips, United States, Water, Wild, World Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Life’s a Beach

Check out this treasury on Etsy called Life’s a Beach! It’s all beach-related art by artists from all over the world! Excited for summer yet??

Categories: Adventure, Art, Beach, Black and Blue, Bracelet, Etsy, Explore, Family, Gear, Jewelry, Landscape Photograph, Ocean, Outdoors, Photography, Pinterest, Plants and Flowers, SCUBA Diving, Top Knotch Gear, Travel, Travel Photography, Water, white and blue, World Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel Tip Tuesday!

We’re back! After a brief hiatus to handle a family emergency, we’re back in Florida.

This week’s Travel Tip Tuesday is all about how to save money WHILE TRAVELING. So you’ve already hit the road, you’re on an adventure and you want to be sure you stay within your budget. The tips below will help effectively budget your money and not go broke while traveling.

How to save money while traveling:

Forego fancy restaurants – Utilize the local markets and vendors to make your own food or eat the street food (which is MUCH cheaper than restaurants, usually). That being said, you’ll want to navigate street foods carefully and have anti-diarrhea pills handy.

Save the souvenirs – My first trip to China, I bought 3 tea sets (I’m an impulse buyer) without factoring in that China was only the first stop on my itinerary. The lesson: Buy souvenirs and ship them home or stick to smaller items that you can easily put it your pack and carry with you (jewelry, magnets, etc.)

Tipping – An easy way to save money while you’re traveling is researching local customs to see if tipping is necessary. In the U.S., we tip for everything but in some cities in China, it’s rude to tip. Do the research and you may be able to save a chunk of change.

Taxi Troubles – If you can get around without using a taxi, do it. If you can’t, try to negotiate the fare before getting in. (If you’re a woman, fight hard. There are many countries that will try to take advantage of you if you’re a foreign woman).

Exchanging Money – Exchange money for the currency you want BEFORE you get to that country. Don’t exchange at the airport and if you use a kiosk, don’t forget there are fees. I like to use ATM’s… but watch out… there are international and bank fees that apply to ATM’s, too.

Tours and Tickets – This is my weakness. It’s so tempting to book every boat charter, snorkeling trip, zip line and caving tour out there but these activities will drain your bank. Set a budget and stick to it. Or investigate what the tours do (where they go, how they get there, what’s included) and do some of the same activities on your own.

For more tips and tricks to saving money while overseas, check out AirTreks Travel Blog.

Categories: Adventure, Alcohol, Around the World, Asia, Asian Food, Australia, Backpacking, Bracelet, Camping, Caving, China, Circumnavigation, Climbing, Europe, Explore, Extreme Vacation/Adventures, Food, Fresh Food, Gear, Globetrotting, Hiking, Jewelry, Nature, Packing, Planning vacation, RTW, Seafood, South America, Top Knotch Gear, Tourist Site, Trails, Transportation, Travel, Travel Tips, Trek, Trip planning, Vegetarian, World Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fork in the Road

Categories: Adventure, Around the World, Explore, RTW, Top Knotch Gear, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

People We Wish Would Be President (excluding Obama)

Florida just had its primary at the end of January but political ads continue to litter television commercials and news broadcasts. In honor of all the drama, here’s a funny article from Matador Network on 40 people we wish were running for president (of the U.S.).

 

 

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Travel is Priceless

Travel is priceless

Categories: Adventure, Hiking, Outdoors, Top Knotch Gear, Travel, Travel Photography, Travel Tips | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Islands for Everyone!

As cabin fever sets in and winter blues hover in the air (unless you live in Florida, no winter blues here), why not take yourself on a tropical getaway? Say, to an island that’s perfect for your personality?! CNN Go has put together a list of islands that are perfect for all kinds of people – nudists, families, loners, lovers…. you name it. Here are some of the findings:

World’s Best Islands For…

Naughty Nudists
Rab, Croatia – The birthplace of skinny dipping where clothing is optional. There are 3 different nude beaches where all of your parts can get some Vitamin D.

Nature Nuts
Sark, Channel Islands – It’s here, off the French coast of Normandy, that you can see the Milky Way nearly every night. There are no street lights or headlights because cars and bright lights are outlawed – perfect for stargazing space freaks (like me)!

Family Frenzies
Oahu, Hawaii – I’ll admit, the thought of visiting an island where are bunch of kids are running around is a turnoff to me. But Oahu is a great destination for families because of all the activities to keep young ones entertained – things like surfing school, giant mazes and water slides.

Lusty Lovebirds
Lizard Island, Australia – Between the 24 private beaches, the torch-lit dinners at the resorts and the Great Barrier Reef, this island is sure to make sparks fly. I know it’s going on our itinerary…

Laid Back Loners
Ogasawara Island, Japan – Traveling solo isn’t a bad thing, especially if you enjoy the quiet of being one with nature. South of Tokyo, this island has few inhabitants and a ferry is the only means of connecting the island to the “real world”… otherwise, you’re on your own! (Bring your survival bracelet!)

Party Peeps
Ibiza, Spain – Yes, the same Ibiza that J-Lo sings about. Known for its sweaty summer raves, there are tons of clubs with head-throbbing trance music if you’re looking for a party scene-getaway.

Movie Star Madness
St. Barts, French West Indies – Pretty, posh and full of paparazzi, this is THE island for celeb sightings. It’s also a gorgeous place with white sand beaches, just like in the Hollywood movies.

To read about the other island recommended, check out CNN Go’s article.

Happy island-hopping!

Categories: Adventure, Around the World, Backpacking, Celebrities, Explore, Family, Globetrotting, Landscape Photograph, Love, Naked Hiking, Naturalist, Nature, News, Nude Beach, Nude Hiking, Ocean, Outdoors, Photography, Planning vacation, Plants and Flowers, RTW, SCUBA Diving, Summer, Top Knotch Gear, Tourist Site, Transportation, Travel, Travel Photography, Travel Tips, Trip planning | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel Tip Tuesday!

It’s Travel Tip Tuesday today! And the theme today is light & smart packing.

The following tips are geared more toward backpackers and hikers but general travelers could definitely apply some of these, too. Below are 7 tips for smart packing:

  1. DON’T pack when you’re hungry – just like don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. You’ll pack more and spend more.
  2.  Don’t waste space on bringing items in their original packaging. If they are loose and have to be stored in something, downsize to smaller containers that aren’t as bulky.
  3. Small bottles, big help – Tiny bottles (like eye-drop bottles) make great storage containers for small amounts of soap, disinfectant, even hot sauce if you can’t live without it… which I can’t.
  4. No redundancy – if you’re traveling or hiking with a group, check to see what the others are bringing so you don’t bring any duplicates. Why carry 2 of something when you only need 1?
  5. Multitask – bring items that have multiple uses. Double-duty = more space and lighter pack.
  6. The essentials: Fire starter, food, clean water, shelter/rain gear, and sleeping bag.
  7. Don’t forget it gets DARK in nature – so pack things like your flashlight, headlamp, etc. either in the brain of your pack so you know exactly where they are or with glow-in-the-dark tape so you can find them when the lights go out. (Or you can use our GLOW paracord to help with this!)

Categories: Backpacking, Camping, Gear, Hiking, Nature, Outdoors, Parachute Cord, Paracord, Survival Bracelet, Survival gear, Top Knotch Gear, Trails, Travel, Travel help, Travel Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Check it out! I was featured on 1001 Scribbles’ blog as a guest poster. This is all about my teaching in China!

1001 Scribbles

During my time in college, I was fortunate to participate in a summer abroad program that sent small groups of students overseas to complete various projects. Projects included everything from building recycling centers in Ghana, weaving with the natives in Peru, preserving the Maori culture in New Zealand and for me, teaching English using the arts in China. I had danced for nearly 20 years and had taught for many of them but never had I used dance as a medium for ESL (English as a Second Language) instruction.

I was assigned a class of elementary students at an organization in rural China that houses children and orphans who had been infected with HIV/AIDS. As I prepared lessons for my elementary students, I incorporated American songs about colors, numbers, animals, and directions of movement – I would teach them the words in English and they would have to listen for…

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