We were recently tagged by the hilarious Lucy from On the Luce and D.J. from the World of Deej in the Travel Blogger’s “A to Z of Travel” meme that has been doing the rounds on the interweb for the last few months. We thought it would be a great chance to look back at not only our last 2 and a half years of travel as a couple but also our travels individually.
All of the questions were pre-picked so grab a cup of coffee / tea / juice sipper and sit back and join us on our journey into the past…
A: Age you went on your first international trip:
Cole – Does it count if I was in my Mum’s tummy when she travelled to Canada? If not then probably when I was a few years old to hop across the ditch to Surfer’s Paradise with the family. Went back several times and always loved the beach, weather and theme parks.
Adela – Not sure if this is the first trip but it is certainly the first one I remember. We went on a family trip to Noumea and I think I was about Seven. Having the luck that my family does it rained every day! And me being the bossy/naughty kid I was, I ran off from Mum and Dad when we were in town. Needless to say I was on a very short leash for the rest of the trip!
B: Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where:
Cole – Tough call but having a cold Bintang in Jimbaran Bay, Bali, always springs to mind when thinking about tasty beers. I think it’s more about the setting rather than the beer!
Adela – Singa beer in Thailand. I agree with Cole its all about the setting. Drinking in an outdoor bar right on the beach is pretty damn good!
C: Cuisine (favorite):
Cole – Since it’s about travel it has to be France apart from when I ordered just a plate full of beans for Adela with my hopeless grasp of the French language. Otherwise BBQ’s in New Zealand win hands down.
Adela – Italian! I could eat pasta every day!
D: Destinations, favorite, least favorite and why:
Adela – Favourite; Munich is an awesome city. The buildings are beautiful, especially the glockenspiel. The feel of the place is awesome with beer gardens and awesome food markets. Least favourite; London is just too big for me!
E: Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow”:
Cole – Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt.
Adela – Going to the “Edge of the World” in Jasper National Park.
F: Favorite mode of transportation:
Cole – Bicycling anywhere whether it is Mountain Biking in Scotland or cruising in Paris.
Adela – I definitely agree with Cole unless snowboarding counts?
G: Greatest feeling while traveling:
Cole – The freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want.
Adela – Seeing places that you have dreamed of and saved for months then turning those into memories that you will treasure forever.
H: Hottest place you’ve traveled to:
Cole – Definitely not Scotland! But I would say Marrakech was fairly hot and we were only there in the off-peak season.
Adela – Probably Thailand. Lots of afternoon naps required.
I: Incredible service you’ve experienced and where:
Cole – Always staying with friends and family when we travel. It is so nice to have a “local” show you around an area and cook a nice home cooked meal when you are on the road. Beats 5 stars every time (but that’s because we never stay in 5 star places haha).
Adela – I am goingto be cheesy and say we had some damn good service in Canada but then their motive is getting a tip. So its not really genuine good service haha.
J: Journey that took the longest:
Cole – We had to rush back home to New Zealand from Scotland when a loved one was sick. Not only was it the longest trip in terms of time, 37 hours, but it was also hard not knowing if we would make it in time.
Adela – Journeys that feel the longest are the ones where you get delayed. If you do get delayed use a company like Flight Delay Claims 4 U as you will not be ready for the time you have to spend in the airport otherwise! On the way back from Egypt we sat on the runway in Amsterdam for an hour and didn’t take off before spending a further few hours in the airport. Not fun.
K: Keepsake from your travels:
Cole – Photographs and this travel blog are our only ones at the moment. I did use to collect nail clippers until they started restricting them on flights!
Adela – Badges that I sew on my backpack. Except my backpack broke so now I am just adding to the pile of badges under my bed.
L: Let-down sight, why and where:
Cole and Adela – The Mona Lisa. Its smaller than we pictured it and you have to fight your way to get a spot to actually see it. In fact the whole of the Louvre was pretty boring. Have been to wayyy better museums elsewhere.
M: Moment where you fell in love with travel:
Cole – I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love travel. It was always just one giant adventure as a kid and when solo travelling and now with a partner it is completely different again.
Adela – I used to browse through travel brochures as a kid. Probably a sign I was always addicted to travel.
N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in:
Cole – No places immediately jump out at me. I guess I am too much of a cheap-ass to afford a nice place.
Adela – Kata Beach Hotel in Thailand. Right on the beach, amazing pool and great value for money.
O: Obsession—what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?:
Cole – Landscapes. Nothing beats Mother Nature. I just hate that my pictures never look as good as the human eye but I am getting better.
Adela – Capturing the locals in their daily lives.
P: Passport stamps, how many and from where?:
Cole – Wow I had no idea how many Countries I have been to (with an overnight stay) until now! So make that 18 countries with at least another 2 to be added over the next couple of months.
Adela – No one will stamp my British passport as I am part of the EU which sucks!
Q: Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where:
Cole – Drumheller in Canada where they have the world’s largest T-Rex statue.
Adela – There is a bridge in Paris where people stick locks on to show there love for their partner. There are so many on there its crazy!
R: Recommended sight, event or experience:
Cole – Oktoberfest was a highlight from last year although I cannot remember a fair chunk of it…
Adela – Snowboarding in the Canadian Rockies.
S: Splurge; something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling:
Cole – We are stingy when we travel and hate forking out for a cup of coffee to warm our freezing hands. But for the sake of a good night sleep we usually stay away from hostel dorms unless sharing with friends.
Adela – Fruit. Its really lame but I have to eat healthy even when I am away. Gotta keep up the 5 plus a day.
T: Touristy thing you’ve done:
Adela – I felt the most touristy on the tour in Egypt. On the bus, off the bus, on the bus, off the bus. But a tour is the best way to go as its safer and you know you are not getting scammed for your money as you have a local guide.
U: Unforgettable travel memory:
Cole – Every time we travel it is unforgettable. I love waking up in different countries.
Adela – Sailing around New York Harbour watching the sunset over an incredible skyline.
V: Visas, how many and for where?:
Cole – My first visa was for 5 months to work at Mammoth Mountain, California for a winter in 2006. Then Jasper to work at Marmot Basin Ski Area and as a White Water Rafting Guide in Canada for a year in 2009/2010. Now we are living it up in Scotland and have been here for just over a year now. Looking to extend that before heading to Asia to teach English in the not to distant future.
Adela – Canada for a year but it was not long enough! Plus I am one of the lucky ones who has a british passport 🙂
W: Wine, best glass of wine while traveling and where?:
Cole and Adela – We are not really wino’s unless it is at a BYO somewhere and then it is always the cheapest from the local supermarket.
X: eXcellent view and from where?:
Cole and Adela – Sshhhh, it’s a secret spot in Jasper called “Edge of the World”.
Y: Years spent traveling?:
Cole – If we just take our current trip in to consideration then 2 and a half years so far. I would say we are about halfway at the moment!
Adela – 26? travel with mum and dad, with sport, with friends and now with Cole. Enjoyed every bit of it.
Z: Zealous sports fans and where?:
Cole – Kiwi’s are proud supporters anywhere the All Blacks play even though we act all staunch but we have nothing on Europeans and their fanatical watching of football.
Adela – I realy like the tennis especially Nadal 🙂 Sorry Cole hahaha.
Scottsdale – Come for the Sights, Stay for the Experience
Scottsdale, Arizona is one of the most popular destinations in the Grand Canyon State. Known for its resorts, natural trails, and association with nightlife, the city has become a must visit for anyone who wants to experience contemporary life in a former desert.
Scottsdale is very famous for its modern hospitality and geographical sights. Keeping this in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising to know that finding a Scottsdale nightclub is on the minds of many tourists who pay the city a visit – even those who do so to explore one of its mountainous ranges.
If you are planning to head down to the Copper State anytime soon and enjoy life, then Scottsdale may prove to be a great summer destination.
To help you understand what the city would have to offer in terms of recreation, here are some of the top Scottsdale vacation and dining options that make the West’s Most Western Town, a must visit.
Old Town Scottsdale
Old Town Scottsdale is perhaps the most popular destination in the city. With its unique lineup of culturally rich events, this colorful area has a vibe that defines old West meeting its modern counterpart to a T.
While Scottsdale remains famous for its modern nightlife, club scene, and luxurious resorts, Old Town Scottsdale brings about the old Western charm for tourists to experience firsthand. Old architecture, preserving museums, and cultural activities are just a few of the many things that you could experience at this destination.
With an array of fine dining restaurants that prove to be the best in the state, you could grab a bite in luxury after roaming around in the sun.
And if you feel a bit more adventurous, then you could do that exploration while riding on a Segway instead of using your good old feet. With plenty of Segway tours being conducted each day, you will easily be able to find something that suits your schedule.
As the winter home to famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Taliesin West boasts of an unmatched architectural design.
Now a museum, the destination doesn’t only showcase the building in all of its glory, but also offers insights into Wright’s work and his mind through detailed tours of the facility.
It is due to these reasons that Taliesin West ranks as one of the topmost destinations to visit in Scottsdale among many professional guides.
Since the building or its experience cannot be replicated elsewhere, it remains a must visit for whenever you are in Scottsdale.
Scottsdale Fashion Square
Want to visit the biggest shopping mall in Arizona? You would find it to be located in the heart of Scottsdale.
With around 2 million square feet of shopping space, the Scottsdale Fashion Square is one of the biggest malls in the whole country. Made up of high end, luxury retail locations, it is literally the one stop shop for upscale items that you may not find elsewhere in the city. With that, the mall holds plenty of fine dining locations as well. What more could you want from a shopping destination, really?
Due to its modern inventory and access to high fashion, the Scottsdale Fashion Square could be a must visit before you hit the popular nightclub scene of the city. Whether you are finding some club wear or just want to spruce up your existing outfit with some Loboutins, this mall would provide you with plenty of choices and fun to boot.
Scottsdale Has Something for Everyone
Depending upon your personal preference, Scottsdale has plenty to offer. Whether you want to indulge in the city’s party scene or just explore its natural history, you would find that the destination has something for everyone.
So the next time that you are about to visit the Wild West, don’t forget to put Scottsdale at the top of your list. You won’t be disappointed with what you get to work with.
5 Fun Adventure Activities in Vietnam
A stunning country with glorious scenery and an amazing culture, Vietnam offers many attractions for the modern tourist. It would be easy to spend a holiday in Vietnam just sightseeing and immersing yourself in the culture – which thanks to a heavy French influence, is different to its South Eastern Asian neighbours – but why pass up on some of the fun adventure activities in Vietnam?
Also called sand surfing, sandboarding is an extreme sport, exactly like snowboarding, but on sand dunes instead of snow. Regularly named among the best sandboarding destinations in the world, are the Mue Ne Dunes. A series of red dunes around the resort town of the same name, sandboarding has not yet hit the professional heights here but is more of a fun cultural experience. Women in cone hats rent out boards to everyone from kids to saffron-robed Buddhist monks.
Mue Nie is also home to the magical Fairy Stream. This small shallow river winds through moon-like rock formations and is fun to walk through. You can watch the fish as you walk up to two kms in the water or you might try your hand at fishing. You’ll need some basic tackle including rod and reels. Check out these great options for beginners.
Take on Mount Fansipan
Nicknamed “the Roof of Indochina”, Fanispan at 3,143 metres is the highest mountain in the region. Located in Sapa, a town in the Lao Cai province in Northern Vietnam, the mountain can be conquered via two main climbing routes, one categorised as 2D1N, the other a longer 3D2N route. Both climbs require a guide. For those who prefer an easier way to the summit, the Fanispan cable car takes just 15 minutes to achieve what climbers do in 2-3 days, travelling on cables high above primitive forests.
Ride a Motorbike from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi
One of the enduring images of Vietnam is the streets of Ho Chi Minh crowded with motorbikes, but motorbikes are also popular outside the cities and Vietnam has become known for some amazing motorbike routes. One of the favourite journeys is from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi. There are various routes to cover the distance of more than 2,000 kms, all taking you through gorgeous scenery and fascinating towns and villages.
Marble Mountain Rappelling Tour with Temple and Cave Exploration
You might think that abseiling down a vertical rock face is for experienced adrenalin junkies but not so on a rappelling tour in the Marble Mountains in Vietnam. Located just north of the popular resort city of Hoi An, the Marble Mountains are known locally as the “Five Elements Mountains”. Tours start in the city and once in the mountains, all equipment and instruction is provided to complete at least two rappels (depending on the tour company you choose). Besides the rappelling, the tours have spectacular views of the coast and include trekking through the mountains, visiting caves and temples
Canyoning is a thrilling adrenaline rush of an adventure sport wherein you jump into a fast-flowing mountain stream and allow yourself to be carried at high speed downstream. The most popular place for canyoning in Vietnam is Dalat. Dalat is in the Central Highlands and is a lovely resort town near a lake becoming renown as a destination for honeymoons as well as the adventure sports of cliff jumping, waterfall rappelling, natural water slides, and hiking, as well as canyoning. Various companies offer canyoning tours in Dalat all at similar prices for similar itineraries, so just choose which appeals most.
The 4 Best US Cities for an Outdoor Adventure
If you are looking for a destination that will get your heart racing and adrenaline pumping, you will be spoilt for options in the US. Offering various landscapes and tough terrains to tackle, outdoor enthusiasts can find some of the biggest and best challenges in different states across the country.
If you want to enjoy an adrenaline fix in 2019, check out the following four best US cities for an outdoor adventure.
- Los Angeles, California
There is more to Los Angeles than celebrity homes, high-end stores and boutiques, and fun Hollywood tours. Not only can you book charter jets Los Angeles to touch down in the city with ease, but there are many superb outdoor pursuits for adventure enthusiasts.
For example, you could try your hand at horseback riding at Griffith Park, or you could hike up Mount Baldy, which is the highest mountain point within Los Angeles County. Also, if you want to come face-to-face with various forms of marine life, you will be happy to learn you can snorkel in the stunning Lover’s Cove.
- Seattle, Washington
As Seattle is surrounded by water, you can choose from a multitude of fun watersports during a visit in the Emerald City. For example, you can take to the city’s lakes and waterways to enjoy a spot of:
- Jet skiing
- Paddle boarding
- Kite boarding
While hikers, cyclists, and runners will love to tackle the Burke-Gilman Trail, which is an extensive trail located north of Ballard by Puget Sound.
- Portland, Oregon
Offering more than 40 state parks and eight beautiful beaches, those looking for a fun outdoor adventure should look no further than Portland. Avid hikers should head straight to Forest Park once they arrive in the cool, laidback city, as it covers approximately 5,100 acres and is one of the largest urban forests in America.
Visitors can also escape the hustle and bustle of the city at Columbia River Gorge, which offers the largest concentration of waterfalls in the US, including the 620ft tall Multnomah Falls. It will offer a great hike for almost every age and can help visitors to reconnect with nature.
- Aurora, Colorado
Offering more than 300 days of glorious sunshine throughout the year, it is easy to see why many people make their way to Aurora to enjoy its many outdoor pursuits. One destination you shouldn’t overlook is Aurora Reservoir, which allows visitors to enjoy a spot of fishing, sailing, swimming, windsurfing, and boating.
If, however, you are looking for a destination that offers superb horseback riding opportunities, don’t miss out on 12 Mile Stables, which has been serving both locals and tourists for many decades. It’s an experience you will not forget in a hurry, as you can enjoy 27 miles of riding trails across 3,300 acres at Cherry Creek State Park.
If you are considering an outdoor getaway in the United States, you can rest assured the above destinations will not let you down.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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