Tag: art

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Sharon Mendelaoui from Dream Travel Magazine

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Current city: Toronto

Age: 45

Total countries visited: I have to count these?

What makes you interesting: I guess I’m a goofy girl at heart. I love life and want to focus on the fun and good in life. Definitely a glass half full girl!

What brands do you love: I love my Heys luggage. I travel with it everywhere. I’m also a fan of Lug bags. They are super organized with all these awesome pockets inside!  

What’s your Travanality: I would say I am a culturist. When I visit a place I like to take it all in. The food, the art, history, music, the people – I just want to try it all!

What are your travel pet peeves: On Airplanes I don’t like people who don’t follow the carry-on restrictions, people who wear perfume (it’s stinky, especially on a plane), people who bring smelly food on the plane, and loud talkers. Travel in general I can’t deal with people who don’t respect the culture or people they meet during their vacations. Sometimes I shake my head at tourists who think they are entitled when they visit another country. They are ignorant to the laws, cultural practices and just have a general disregard for the place they are visiting. Respect!

What is your favorite mode of transportation when you travel: I used to love that feeling on the plane when you take off. Lately I dread airline travel. They have just made it so complicated with luggage restrictions, overbooking flights and all their rules about carry-on luggage. Now I love road trips in the car. Turning up the tunes and just driving and stopping when you see something interesting just because you can. There is less of a strict timeline with road trip travel.

What does “Travel” mean to you: Travel has changed my life. When I started Dream Travel Magazine, I was just a girl sitting in front of her computer dreaming about all the places I wanted to go. When I took a trip I would share my photos and do some writing and my friends would read it. But then things started to change. I was asked to go on my first press trip and I had a moment on a tree-top trekking experience where I couldn’t complete the activity. I was very overweight and it was just too strenuous. It was a humbling, humiliating and invigorating experience all at once. I realized as I was being repelled down a tree that this was what I was meant to be doing. I had a unique story about getting rescued out of a tree! On one side I was devastated but on the other I was never happier than in that very moment!

In the month’s after this trip I realized I didn’t want to be restricted by my weight again. I dedicated myself to building Dream Travel Magazine into a site that inspired women to get out there and travel and I started a more clean and healthy lifestyle. I find ways to travel all the time. Travel is not just big vacations! It’s getting on the subway and walking around in Downtown Toronto, or getting in a car with a bunch of girlfriends and driving to a dot on a map for a day. For me Travel is discovering cultures, art, food, music well it’s all around us.

Describe your most unique or funniest travel experience: That would have to be staying at the Tent Hostel in Munich when I did my Backpacking through Europe university trip. It was a huge circus tent in the middle of nowhere and we were all given a foam pad and a blanket and just told to find a spot under the tent. I remember the hard floor, the line up the shower and hearing people screech in different languages while in line. Then when it was finally my turn – the water was ice cold but that is not what people were screeching about, there were frogs in the shower! The amazing thing about it was they had a campfire at night just outside the tent and I remember all these people from all over the world that spoke different languages suddenly start to sing beatles songs around the campfire. Music was one language and I never felt more connected to a group of people I couldn’t communicate with than in that moment.

If you were given a free trip tomorrow, where would you go: Australia. It has been on my dream list since I was in my 20s I’ve wanted to go on school exchange programs and I’m always dreaming up ways to get there. It’s only a matter of time before I make this trip happen.

Next travel destination: Currently I’m planning a trip to Croatia. Also always driving around the province of Ontario and have some plans to head out to Quebec before year’s end too.

TWIPPERS OF THE WEEK

Twippers of the Week: Josh & Liz from Peanuts or Pretzels.

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Total countries visited: 30

Current city: Guangzhou, China

Age: Low to mid-thirties (both of us)

What makes you interesting: That’s a tough question, but our friends would say that it’s our personalities that make us interesting. We are naturally happy, smiling people, who are always up for fun. Plus, we are super curious. We enjoy meeting new people and learning new things. Whether its history, art, dance, music, food, landscapes, etc. — we just find everything so interesting.

Perhaps, we are more like a couple of big kids who have a lot of fun together! We are also geocachers, which is basically a scavenger-hunting game all around the world. We haven’t met many other geocaching travelers and we find that people seem to really be interested in learning more about this game. We enjoy geocaching while we travel because it opens up a whole new world of adventure and fun. It fits perfectly with our curious personalities and it allows us to experience destinations in a different way than most other travelers. So that’s really what sets us apart from other couples travel bloggers out there.

What is the best part about having a travel partner: While there is a lot to be said for traveling solo (and we have both traveled solo before), we do enjoy the company of a travel partner. Not only is it nice to have another person to share meals with and help navigate, but in difficult places, two heads can be better than one. We also feel like traveling with someone else gives you memories together, especially as a couple. Long after a trip, it’s difficult to reminisce with your friends & family who weren’t there. The two of us can laugh and talk about the good times we had during our travels when we are old. It’s nice to share the story with another person – they will get it. Plus when you are traveling long-term like we are, it is nice to have a support system — especially when things don’t go your way. For example, when Liz broke her foot here in China a couple months ago. It was nice to have someone there to help, especially during the recovery when she couldn’t leave the apartment easily.

What do you put in your carry-on baggage: Well, we typically carry-on all of our items rather than checking our main luggage. Occasionally we will check our backpacks. Beyond carrying on our valuable equipment such as cameras and computers (and accompanying cords), we always have our entertainment mobile devices – including the iPhones, iPad, and iPods. Sometimes we bring books, but rarely because they are heavy and we usually read on the tablet. Honestly, we prefer to travel light. For longer flights, we are both always sure to bring snacks and water, but Liz takes it further with the comfort items. She usually has hand wipes, ibuprofen, tissues, socks, an eye mask, neck pillow, and thick / fuzzy socks for long flights! These small comforts can really help to make the flight more enjoyable.

Where and when were you the most culture shocked: Definitely when we moved to China. Even though we had traveled many places before, and even lived in Southeast Asia for 4 months, nothing quite prepared us to what we found here in China. It’s just a shock. Some things we have gotten used to over time, while other things we will never understand…or get used to. We’ve been living and working here for 8 months now and plan to stay for another 8 – 10 months. It’s been a great experience overall!

If you were given a free trip tomorrow, where would you go: For a free trip, we’d want to maximize the savings by going to one of the most expensive places on our travel bucket list — and I think that might have to be Antarctica. Not a cheap place to get to but we have a dream to step foot on all 7 continents. So, a free trip to Antarctica would definitely save us some cash & provide quite the adventure!

Next travel destination: Things change for us, but it looks like Taiwan in a few weeks.

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Travel Photographer Altug Galip.

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Current city: Kyrenia, North Cyprus

Age: 39

What makes you interesting: I love colors and I think that it reflects happiness to people

Total countries visited: 18

Most magical place on Earth: I want to capture northern lights, North Pole… Bora Bora and Bahamas are also charming places for me.

What does “travel” mean to you: Happiness, excitement, and new adventures.

What people say when they travel with you: They say that I’m easy-going and punctual.

Best travel advice: Everyone should visit Paris and London.

What is your most favorite travel memory: When I was in Venice, by chance I took some photos of George Clooney after his wedding.

Next travel destination: Vienna, Hallstat and Bled(Slovenia).

The Secrets of Amsterdam

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In the travel industry, or The Biz as we call it, attention usually goes to the most popular sites and sounds in town. Tourism, for all intents and purposes, has the unseemly power to make a place lose its touch, its charm, its identity.  You know how it goes: the top of the Empire State Building, Ice Skating at 30 Rock, Times Square with the naked cowboy guy, and a slice of Ray’s pizza…We know what you’re thinking, “I shoulda gone to Chicago.”  Well, not really, but it’s still a nice sentiment.  TWIP is trying to break that norm a little.

TWIP has planned a “Tulips and Tricycles” experience to Amsterdam.  Come and ride through the stunning flowering fields!

Biking in Amsterdam during the springtime amid the blooming Tulips is as symbolic of The Netherlands as Bill Murray is to Ghostbusters. Smooth streams of asphalt specific for bikes are always being laid and their use is encouraged. This isn’t the biking you see your local hipsters or neon spandex gang doing.  No.  Biking in Amsterdam is a way of life, a life of simple pleasure.

Tulips are significant in Dutch culture because they were cultivated in Turkey, back when Turkey was once the Ottoman Empire and imported to Holland during the sixteenth century. The famous Dutch botanist Carolus Clusius introduced tulips by sprouting them in his garden (probably for the many beautiful wooden-shoed ladies he was persuading).  People passing by had never seen this type of flora before, so they would steal them from his garden and plant them in their own yards.  Yada-yada-yada…now there are crazy awesome fields of tulips everywhere.

While most trips to Amsterdam and its neighbor cities are sought after for their leniency with the law on certain, cough-cough, issues, this is about more.

TWIP will provide transportation for you from your hotel room to begin a 4-day biking tour through Haarlem, Holland’s countryside situated about 12 miles outside of Amsterdam. You will drive through copious amounts of cobblestone streets lined with the Dutch’s boutiques, restaurants, art galleries and most importantly, tulips!

We’re inviting you to come get a taste of this place.  You should get to Amsterdam, if not with this trip then some other way.  But remember, maybe drop the guidebook bonanza and try to feel it for yourself.  Tulip fields or not, remember why you travel, why you’ll continue to travel and search for something more.  That’s what we’re here for.  Promise.  But for real you should totally ride a bike through tulip fields, just sayin’.

Bali: Is It Really Worth Visiting?

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Imagine looking at a globe and spinning it a few times. You close your eyes and point to the first spot your finger touches, Bali. The first thought that comes to mind is, “Is this place really worth visiting?” TWIP’s “Escape to Breathtaking Bali” trip will make your time in Bali worth your while.

TWIP will book you a room in the Anantara Simenyak Resort and Spa, one of the most elegant retreats in Bali, located on prime beachfront with views of the sunset from your balcony. Seminyak is known for its classy restaurants, high-end shopping, luxury villas and is one of the largest beach towns in Bali. TWIP only books the best for our travelers as Seminyak is where the most sophisticated travelers stay to forget about life’s obstacles. Services are provided in the Balinese “way of life” approach where it is believed that people should live a life of luxury and relaxation.

Activities planned by us, during your stay, involve an elephant safari ride through the Taro Forest, along with a talent show performed by the elephants that are showing you the glamour of Bali’s nature. If you would like to see and understand Balinese art, check out Ubud, the heart of Bali where the artistic culture is most prominent. Then, take a glass bottom boat to Turtle Island, snorkel in the clear blue water with sea animals, then dry off to interact with the primates of Monkey Forest. If you are really feeling up to it, you can watch the Kecak Fire Dance while having a group dinner. At the end of an eventful day, make time to meditate or take advantage of the variety of spa treatments the resort has to offer.

After coming home from TWIPPIN’ in Bali, you are guaranteed to miss the picturesque beachfront views, the massage treatments and the excursions. Trips are planned by our experts here to help make your experience in an exotic country an unforgettable and tranquil one. When you get the chance to spin the globe again, let TWIP pick where your next life changing adventure will be!

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