wanderlust

Stops in West End Nashville & The Grand Ole Opry

BY TARA BURKE

We may have stumbled upon the craft fair at Centennial Park, but we stopped by to see the full-scale replica of the Parthenon. Some refer to it as the “Athens of the South” and we have to say it was pretty impressive. We spent some time marveling at all the details and how small we felt among the soaring columns.

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Beach Hopping the Nicoya Peninsula

BY CAILIN BURKE

For our last few days in Costa Rica we wanted to just relax on the beach after packed days of rainforest hiking and adventure activities. So we headed to the Nicoya Peninsula on the Northwest Coast which is known for their beaches. Basically every town on the coast has it’s own beach so we wanted to visit as many as possible and ended up hitting three of them! We started at Playa Brasilito which was the longest beach and perfect if you want to walk all along the shoreline (which is what we did during the sunset!) Connected to Playa Brasilito is Playa Conchal so it was easy just to go from one to the other!

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Manuel Antonio –> Drake Bay

BY CAILIN BURKE

For our next leg of the trip we headed to the small (like really small) town of Sierpe to catch a boat to Drake Bay. Drake Bay is a part of the Osa Peninsula, one of Costa Rica’s most biodiverse sections, which made it more difficult to get to – but totally worth it. After arriving in Sierpe and leaving our rental car in a grassy knoll for $3 a day, we hopped on a boat and off we went!

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Manuel Antonio National Park

BY TARA BURKE

On day two of our time in Manuel Antonio we went to the national park! We decided to forgo a guide since we were going to another rainforest later in our trip, but because this park is so popular you can see where big groups of people are looking and chances are they’ll be looking at an animal. Right when we got in the park that is exactly what happened to us.

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Manuel Antonio- El día número uno

BY TARA BURKE

After our day on the road we stayed in Manuel Antonio for a few days! On our first full day there, we had plans to go ziplining at El Santuario Canopy Adventure Tour. Our tour van picked us up bright and early at 7:30am and we headed to the tour site. We drove through acres of palm oil trees to get to the tour’s campsite where we were greeted with fresh cut watermelon. The guides suited us up with all our ziplining gear, gave us a quick rundown of all the safety procedures and we were off! As we were hiking up to our first tree platform we actually got to see a about five toucans sitting in the canopy. It ended up being the only time we saw toucans, so we were extremely happy we saw them on our tour as they’re one of Cailin and I’s favorite bird.

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Liberia, Puntarenas & Jacó

BY TARA BURKE

This January we had the chance to travel to Costa Rica. We were super excited to go on this trip since it had been in the works for years. We landed in Liberia, picked up our rental car and stayed the night in the city. Our hostel had this cute little backyard with string lights and hammocks, so we stayed out there a bit and talked with the other hostel guests.

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¡Hola from Costa Rica!

As you may have seen on our Insta, we’ve been in Costa Rica! We will have plenty of posts coming up all about what we did and where we went! To get you excited for what’s to come from this beautiful country, here is a little vid we put together with some highlights.

Stay tuned and Pura Vida! 

*Make sure to hit settings to change the video quality to HD!

A Mini-Getaway to Newport

BY CAILIN BURKE

Tara and I decided that we desperately needed to see something new and get out of the city for a bit, and Tara had the great idea to go to Newport, Rhode Island! It had always been on my list and since it is their off-season right now, it was a really affordable trip. Tara couldn’t take a lot of time off from work, so this was the perfect way to getaway for a few days and see a brand new place, without actually going too far. Newport ended up being the perfect choice because it really felt like a vacation, complete with the ocean on one side of the island, Narragansett Bay on the other, an amazing hotel, and tons of seafood. We were there for a couple of days and did too much for just one post, so part II and III of our trip will be coming up shortly.

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Feature Friday: Traveler’s Little Treasures

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It’s already the last Friday of September! Which means this week’s Feature Friday is all about travel! For this Traveler Series, we talked to Katrin Tochtermann, of Traveler’s Little Treasures. She’s only 20 years old but has traveled all over the world!  We were particularly excited to feature Katrin because she has been to several parts of Asia, and that is definitely on Tara and I’s bucket list next. Katrin is consistently traveling, so she keeps everyone updated through her website, travelerslittletreasures.com and describes her experiences in both English and German! Plus she has some amazing photos from each country and great advice. Keep reading and you’ll have a very hard time trying to stifle your wanderlust.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Tell us about yourself.

logo: Hey my name is Katrin and I am a 20 year old travel addict, living in Frankfurt, Germany. I am studying Media and communication management at an online university and specialize in journalism and publishing. Beside my studies I work as a flight attendant, which is a great way to combine my love to meet new people with the opportunity to travel.
I am a very outgoing, positive person and believe that you should follow your dreams and do what you love. And also that family and friends are the most important things in the world.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Give us a little info about your website. What made you want to start it?

logo: Traveler’s Little Treasures is a travel blog that focuses on flash packing, personal travel experiences and giving tips on destinations away from the typical tourist path. The idea for the blog came when I was working on a tiny island located in the South China Sea in Malaysia. After I finished my daily work in the dive base there, there wasn’t much to do, so I started flicking through my photos on my laptop and remembered what my grandma always told me: “You should keep a travel journal- so you will memorize your trips better.” Since I am quite good at losing things, I decided to write an online journal- first it was just for me and I didn’t expect a lot of people to read it, but I got a lot of feedback from friends and also strangers, so I continued writing, putting more effort in my articles and photos and now I am hoping to do this as a profession some day.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Why do you think people should travel?

logo: I think all people should travel to learn more about other cultures, but also to understand their own personality better. When you are traveling, you are usually moving out of your comfort zone. You are leaving home behind and you are going to have to adapt to new circumstances and not be afraid to talk to strangers. Beside discovering stunning places this world has to offer, you will also make friends for life and in the end traveling is all about the people you meet on the road.

Traveling doesn’t necessarily have to be to a far away country; sometimes it only takes a short car ride to change the scenery and see something new.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Why did you start traveling?

logo: I can’t remember why I actually started traveling, I have always been of curious nature and was very keen to go to new places. When I was six years old, my au pair from Hungary invited me to visit her home country. We took the bus together and I spent a wonderful time with her family and she showed me around. Probably from that moment I have been hooked on traveling and whenever I got the chance to join friends or visit family members who lived abroad, I would take it. And that has never changed. My job as a flight attendant is perfect to cure that wanderlust. I get the chance to go to new places on a regular basis, get paid to do something that I love and when I am at home I value that time even more.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Out of everywhere you’ve been what is your favorite city of them all? Which city could you see yourself living in the most?

logo: London will always have a place in my heart. This city is so buzzing, so vibrant, multicultural and inspiring. A part of my family lives there and I always try to go there at least once a year. The first time they took me to all the tourist attractions, but when I returned the next year they started showing me the things they liked to do. Seeing the city through the eyes of a local was wonderful and from that moment on I always try to ask locals what they can recommend in order to get a more genuine experience of a city.

I also loved Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. It offers a great mix between tradition and modernism. A lot of cultures and religions live peacefully next to each other and that mix guarantees many sights, delicious food and interesting conversations. Furthermore I had the best party nights there.

From all the places I have visited I would love to live in Barcelona, London, Singapore, Bangkok and Berlin for a couple of years. Even though I haven’t been to Australia before, this is also a place I would love to move to and live in for a couple of years.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What has been the best food you’ve tried or best meal you’ve had?

logo: The best food on my travels was in Thailand. I would always come back just for the food. They manage to make healthy dishes full of flavor, everything is fresh and simply mouthwatering. The secret is that they try to combine all flavors together: spicy, salty, sweet and sour. Love the Thai curries, the green papaya salad and Tom Yum soup. I even participated in a Thai cooking class, so I can cook those dishes at home but it is not so easy to find all the ingredients, so I have to go back to Thailand again very soon 😉

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Have you ever been scared to try a certain type of food? Or scared to do anything in particular while traveling?

logo: Since I believe that traveling is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and making new experiences, I try to be curious and say yes- most of the time. I tasted fried scorpion in Bangkok and of course I was a bit nervous before but I am glad I tried it. I don’t advise you to not be careful, but go with your guts and be open-minded.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Have your travels in Asia differed from your travels in Europe?

logo: Definitely. A lot of places in Europe are similar: similar shops, similar culture and religions. I loved traveling to Asia because it was like going to a different world. It was crazy, noisy and nothing like I was used to from home. It never got boring because there was so much to do, see and experience. Another aspect is that travel in Europe can be pricy and Asia is fantastic for people traveling on a budget: A meal is 1-3 $; accommodation between 5- 10$ and buses take you around the country for very cheap too.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Give us some tips for a few of the cities you’ve been to.

logo: 1) This one is for all the ladies, if you are in Kuala Lumpur on a Wednesday make sure to go to Changkat, the bar street. On Wednesdays you will be able to get free drinks in most bars and clubs there.

2) Never take chewing gum to Singapore! It is forbidden in that city state and I got in trouble when I crossed borders from Malaysia.

3) Don’t eat pizza in South East Asia, or Western food in general. It is always a disappointment and the local dishes are just so much nicer.

4) When you are in Phuket don’t book expensive tours. Rent a scooter and discover the island yourself. It is very easy to navigate and there are signs that lead you to the main sights.

5) Try to look for options to volunteer in those places and give back. There are so many schools or orphanages that are desperate for help or you can help protect the environment by cleaning up the beaches for example.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Where do you want to visit next?

logo: My list is long and I just ordered a whole bunch of Lonely Planet guide books to look through. I hope this will make my decision easier! There are just so many awesome places on this planet to visit. But I think it will be South East Asia again. Thought about stopping in Bangkok for a few days and then making my way to Vietnam. Have heard so many fascinating stories by fellow travelers and it is a big dream of mine to go backpacking through that country. Either this or Japan. Just love to learn about new cultures.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Has there been any similarities that you’ve found between your own culture and the culture in other countries?

logo: Mhhh, that is a difficult question. The Germans are known for the fact that they are very punctual, efficient, hard-working, accurate, organized, honest and lack humor. Those are obviously clichés but there is some truth in it too. I think Dutch and English people do have a quite similar culture, but I prefer their sense of humor to ours 😉 People in Asia are very hard working too, but apart from that, their culture is very different.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Any advice for people who want to travel?

logo: It is worth it! Try to go at least once a year to a place you haven’t been before and always remember that traveling doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. There are always ways to save money. Use Couchsurfing, stay in hostels instead of hotels and organize your own trip instead of booking an organized tour by a travel agency. You are way more independent that way. Save money and you can choose where you want to go and if you want to stay in one place longer.

What is also really helpful is to learn a few words of the country’s language you are going to. A hello and thank you in the local language goes a long way and make things easier.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What has been the best part about traveling and what has been the most challenging?

logo: The best thing about traveling has been that I got the chance to meet people I probably wouldn’t have encountered in everyday life. Their stories have been inspiring and make me want to travel even more. Travel has taught me that we have to go through the world with open eyes and admire what is around us.

Even though I had a wonderful time in South East Asia traveling solo, sometimes I really wanted to have some close friends around to share those moments. You do meet a lot of people but having someone around you, you know for years is different. I spoke to my friends on Facebook and Skype but that wasn’t the same thing. I hope I get the chance to take them with me at some point and experience everything all over again with them.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Is there anything you’ve encountered in a different country that you wish your own country had?

logo: I wish we would be more grateful. We are so lucky that we are born in countries which are safe and offer us a perspective. Furthermore I wish people would smile more and just be more relaxed in general. And if Germany could get some good, genuine Thai restaurants then I could no be happier 😉

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 Follow Katrin’s travels and get more tips for around the world at:

www.travelerslittletreasures.com

Instagram: @travelerslittletreasures

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oxfordstreetlondon-parismetro-benandsadeyBY CAILIN BURKE

It’s the last Friday of the month which means we’re back to our Feature Friday Traveler Series! This week, we’re showcasing Ben and Sadey of The Wanderlusty who are always traveling and sharing their experiences with others, whether it’s on Instagram, their website, or even Trip Advisor. These two are lucky enough to be able to travel in their careers and it definitely will inspire you to try to find a job that allows you to pursue your outside interests as well. After Ben and Sadey’s interview, I’ve added Helsinki, Finland and Berlin, Germany to my travel bucket list and I hope you guys will want to go to some new places too! Read more for some travel inspiration, advice, and beautiful photos from all over the world.

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Tell us about yourself.

wanderlustylogo: We are Ben and Sadey, 20 something, husband and wife, travel junkies otherwise known as The Wanderlusty. We own an advertising agency based out of Texas with clients across the states. Our line of work allows us to travel both for work and pleasure. Passionate about music, the arts, history, food and most of all culture. We’ve set out on a mission to experience the world. Our journey has been filled with unusual experiences, great people, crazy adventure and wild nights to say the least.

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Where have you traveled to so far?

wanderlustylogo: Costa Rica, Panama, Canada, Hawaii, most of the Caribbean, a good amount of Mexico, England, France, Italy, Germany, and Finland.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What’s next on your travel bucket list?

wanderlustylogo: At the end of the year we’re heading back to England, France, Germany and Scandinavia but we’ll be marking off a few new ones from our bucket list by going to Estonia, Morocco and Spain. We are currently planning for our next trips to South Africa in the summer of 2015 and Asia in the winter of 2015.

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Out of all of the places you’ve visited, what is your favorite?

wanderlustylogo: As Graphic Designers, Helsinki inspires in every direction you look, the streets are filled with amazing design right down to the street signs. The Finnish have pride for their country and it shows. They’ve been able to keep the old and incorporate the new and still have the city be enchanting.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What is your favorite thing about traveling?

wanderlustylogo: For us its the ability to live a different life. Being home can become routine, so jumping on a plane, flying half way around the world, and sitting in a cafe or walking around a city that is completely different from where you live is… rejuvenating. It’s that point when your most lost, you find yourself.

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What advice would you give to people who want to travel but are unsure of how to proceed?

wanderlustylogo: RESEARCH. It’s an obvious one, but If you’re interested in a certain city or country, do your research on it.. customs, exchange rates, hotels, transportation, etc. When planning our first trip to Europe, we can’t even begin to explain how much time we spent onTripadvisor.com. Become a member of an airline & hotel loyalty program that has routes/hotels around the world. Our preferred airline is Virgin, and with their partner airlines, we’re pretty much covered worldwide. For hotels, hands down is Hotels.com, we book every hotel through them. We like not being tied down to just one hotel chain. Hotels.comoffers great discounts and you get a free night after 10 stays… with no cap. Lastly, you should lose any fear or anxiety of leaving your comfort zone. Travel is about new experiences, learning, living, and letting go.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What are some of the best things you’ve eaten throughout your travels?

wanderlustylogo: Theres this little restaurant in Rome, in a dimly lit alley off of Via Del Corso called Il Falchetto… oh my god. We stumbled into this place after being denied at a top rated restaurant due to no reservation, THANK THE GODS! Everything here is wonderful, but the Insalata de Carciofi is hands down my favorite. Ben’s favorite is definitely 600 grams of meat flesh and potatoes at Black Dog, this metal dive bar in Paris, France that doubles as a Argentinean kitchen during lunch and dinner hours.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What is the most exciting thing that has happened when traveling? What is the scariest thing?

wanderlustylogo: The most exciting… probably when Ben proposed in his total cheese ball style, on a beach in Cozumel at Sunset. For him, it was probably the scariest, because I told him the ring was fake and I wasn’t falling for his tomfoolery (Totally horrible I know, but we laugh about it now, and it makes for a funny story).

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Do you have a favorite moment from any of your trips?

wanderlustylogo: There’s too many amazing moments to pick just one favorite, but anytime you’re able to blend with the locals is awesome… we’ve met a lot of friends from just being in the right place at the right time.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Do you have any tips for some of the cities you’ve visited?

wanderlustylogoTIPS– 1. In London, not all pubs are created equal. If you walk in, and there’s only tourists, leave. Move on, find a new one, don’t be scared, sit down, order a pint, and enjoy.

2. In Paris, they have great public transportation, the metro may seem overwhelming at first, but it’s really simple. It’s color coded, and labeled my area & landmarks, just make sure you’re paying attention to the announcements for your stop.

3. In Jamaica, it’s all about leaving your resort… don’t be frightened, the locals are welcoming and happy to share their life stories and a laugh with you. The food outside the resorts is amazing! Eat where the locals eat and you won’t be disappointed. Try Scotchie’s if you’re staying in Montego Bay or De Bus in Negril.

4. In, Venice, DON’T take a private boat from the train station to your hotel, take the Vaporetto (water bus) it’s much more affordable than the private boats. Once on foot, you WILL get lost, Venice is one big maze… when lost, grab a glass of wine or if you’re brave a shot of Grappa, and then try again.

5. In Berlin, Go in December.. Berlin is a great city, but it really comes to life during Christmas. German Christmas markets is really something that everyone should experience. You’ll enjoy amazing food and drinks (try the Gluhwein with a shot of rum added, it will warm you right up), you’ll find unique and sometimes unusual gifts, and feel real Christmas spirit… German style.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Describe your transportation and living arrangements.

wanderlustylogo: We’re all about the boutique hotels. When it comes down to it, comfort, cleanliness and sleep quality are at the top of our list, so we tend to splurge a little on hotels… but this is where our loyalty to using hotels.com comes into play, during the year since we travel a lot for work, we bank our free nights then use them on our end of the year trip. It cuts our cost for hotels by at least a 1/3 which leaves us with money to splurge on dinner at the best restaurants in town. For transportation.. its really about how we feel and the time factor… Tired or Time Crunch = Taxi, No place to be = Walking or Public transportation. For Air travel within Europe & the UK, check out Easyjet, they’ve got great rates even on last minute flights, just make sure you pay for your luggage ahead of time and don’t go over their weight allowance for luggage.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: How has traveling changed you?

wanderlustylogo: We’re no longer Tourists, but Travelers. Traveling has inspired us, to try new things, jump in head first, immerse ourselves in culture, and to live life to the fullest. Travel to Live, Live to Travel.

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If you’d like to follow us as we trade our briefcases for suitcases and share our love for this earth and the people on it you can find us at:
www.thewanderlusty.com
instagram.com/thewanderlusty
twitter.com/thewanderlusty

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