When I arrived in Bruges in October 2013, I was half asleep and not quite sure what language they even spoke there (I had heard French at my 5am stopover in Brussels.) This was on my second Euro Trip: my first had been inspired by my long term ‘dream destinations’ list: London and Paris. This next trip, a year later, was more based on things I had learnt since. I had actually never heard of Bruges until I talked to other travellers. But everyone loved the beautiful Bruges.
Overwhelming and often so much at once, travelling in India can be off putting. In a country where the unexpected is always around the corner and anything can happen (from pickpockets to wedding parades), India is a country where a little advice can help make a huge difference.
While not exactly a city, Rishikesh sits on the foothills of the Himalayan mountains upon the Ganges River. Most famous for being the World Capital of Yoga and for the Beatles’ long ago visit to the now abandoned Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram, my visit to Rishikesh holds its place as my favourite travel experience. While traveling in Varkala later on, the culture seemed to be smothered by all the tourists, while in Rishikesh they are just witnesses to it. Relaxing and awash in spiritualism, Rishikesh was a welcome break from the chaos of New Delhi.
Staying in LA twice in fall of 2014, there is a lot that can be said about this chaotic city, having seen it from the centre of all the madness: Hollywood Boulevard, where my hostel was. With Michael Jackson impersonators keeping us up at night and throngs of crowds for movie premiers around the corner from lines of homeless people waiting for free meals, LA is everything at once.
The first real trip I ever went on was to New York when I was 22- ‘real’ meaning it wasn’t a school trip and my parents weren’t there as well. It was sort of a spur of the moment type trip planned hastily a few weeks in advance, and was prompted by my desire to go to a book signing (for The Fault in Our Stars). Even with the last minute-ness, a few people were quick to give me warnings about being mugged, telling me how unsafe the city is. When I went to India two years later, the warnings obviously intensified. Not for the first time (or the last, I’m sure) the movie Taken was brought up and I was given advice to go with a tour group, or not go at all. After my first flight not long after I went to NYC, a kind lady in a Bath hostel advised me to spend one day in London, jumping on one of the hop on, hop off buses to see the major sights, then getting out. None of the …
In the state of Oregon, there is a city where people still care about things, what went out of business in the 2000’s everywhere else live on, and dreams really do come true (whether you want to open a doll asylum or start a doughnut shop.) Portland is everything you’ve heard about and more. Well there’s no doubt that the city is a must see for the odd, eccentric and the hipster set, here’s how you can bring a bit of Portland life to wherever you live.
I never wanted to go to Las Vegas. When my friend Jess first brought up the idea of heading to the City of Sin, we were sitting in a Sports Bar in San Diego. I tried to come up with a lot of excuses: the expense, the distance, the fact that it wasn’t in our plans. But with our plans pretty open and with me finding $9 megabus tickets from LA to Vegas, and a $13 a night hostel, I stopped complaining and decided to suck it up and go.