Tag: Costa Rica (page 1 of 2)

TWIPPERS OF THE WEEK

Twippers of the Week: Josh and Krissy from Wanderlust Duo!

Current City: We are currently at home in St. Louis and gearing up for an adventure to Central America for the very first time.

Age: Josh is 38 and Krissy is 36.

Total countries visited: So far we’ve explored the cities and regions of 35 countries, 33 of which we’ve visited in the last three years.

What makes you interesting: Next month we’ll be celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary… It’s amazing how time flies!!  We have spent nearly half of our lives together and have only traveled abroad together.

What brand do you love: We love brands that help us travel more efficiently. For example, when we touch down in a new country, T-Mobile automatically connects to the local mobile provider, giving us data for no extra charge.  Another great one is Charles Schwab’s ATM card, which refunds fees from any ATM in the world.  We also love Airbnb, which allows us to travel slower, live in real neighborhoods, and cook whatever strange things we find in the local markets.

What does “Travel” mean to you: For us, travel is a way to truly expand horizons.  There is no way to better learn more about yourself than to be confronted with unimaginable scenarios in strange surroundings, and overcome new obstacles.  It’s also amazing to find that most people are friendly and willing to help when someone is in need. International travel also makes the world a much smaller and more relatable place!

What has been the most useful thing you have brought on a trip: We purchased a RAVPower 26800 mAh portable charger that has been priceless.  It has three outputs and can charge an iPhone 7 nine time between recharges.  Also, it may seem simple, but when living out of a backpack, packing cubes are a great way to fight wrinkles and keep things somewhat organized.

Describe the last time you tried something new: We are always on the hunt to try new things, and are cautiously up for anything.  It’s definitely not our most exciting “new thing”, but we recently tried our first all-vegan restaurant and were very impressed!

Do you have any recommendations to help battle jet lag: In order to battle jet lag, we try sleep on the plane based on the local sleeping times of the places we visit.  Also, we find that bringing extra drinking water onboard the flight and avoiding caffeine and alcohol seems to help.

What is the best part about having a travel partner: Traveling with a partner is the only way to go!  Most importantly, you’ll form a special “co-pilot” bond and can revisit shared memories for life.

What is your most favorite travel memory:The first travel memory that comes to mind was from our first European trip.  We were traveling from Barcelona to Nice and made every mistake possible.  We went to the wrong train station, got on the wrong train, and when we finally figured things out and made it to France, we were so sick of trains we hopped off and rented a highly over-priced car.  It was getting late as we neared Nice, and when finally we pulled off the highway for gas, all the stations were closed.  When we finally found an open station and rolled in on fumes, our credit cards weren’t working and our phones were dead.  We ended up getting just enough gas with the coins we had for tolls, and made it!  It’s funny how such a stressful day can turn into such a funny memory.  As they say, “It’s the journey, not the destination.”

Next travel destination: We are currently fanning the flames on our new St. Louis-based business, but we are planning to spend some time in Central America once the temperatures drop a bit.  Everything’s up in the air as of yet, but Costa Rica, Guadalupe, and Panama rank high on the list!

 

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Matthew Kepnes from Nomadic Matt

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Current city: I’m writing this in Washington DC, but I’ll be moving to Austin.

Age: 35

Total countries visited: Travel is not about quantity, it’s about quality. In my 10 years backpacking the world, I’ve only been to about 80 or so countries. There are many people who have been to a lot more in a shorter amount of a time. Traveling slowly is a much better way to learn about the places you visit. I’ve lived in a few countries since I have been gone. I’ve spent extended time in different regions of the world. Anyone can visit a lot of countries but not everyone can actually see and learn about a lot of countries.

What makes you interesting: I think being a nomad is pretty cool. I have created a life that is location-independent and inspires, and teaches, others to achieve their travel dreams!

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to travel cheaper, turn your dream trip into a reality, save money or travel the world, that’s what my site does! Every month, over 1 million people visit this website to get inspiration and advice on planning their trip. Nomadic Matt will give you tested tips, advice, and suggestions so you can see more for less and make your dream trip a reality. It’s time to stop dreaming of travel, take that once in a lifetime trip, and start traveling cheaper, better and smarter.

What brands do you love:

  • Travel insurance – I still am a loyal user of World Nomads. I’ve been using them since I started traveling in 2006, and I’ll continue to use them until I stop traveling.
  • Tour company – My favorite company is Intrepid Travel. They offer good small group tours that use expert guides and leave a small environmental footprint. If you go on a tour with anyone, go with Interpid Travel. They are my favorite multiday tour operator.
  • Backpacks – When I went to Africa, South African Airlines lost my REI Mars backpack. It was my baby. After six years on the road with me, it functioned as good as the day I took it home from the store. I still miss that bag.
  • Guidebooks — Everyone has their own guidebook preference; Lonely Planet is mine.
  • Computer — I use a Macbook Pro. I find it easy to use, and it never breaks down. I love my Mac. Once you go Mac, you never go back.
  • Travel apps — I don’t use many travel apps. I’ve never been a huge fan of them. Why would you be checking apps while on the road? But a few do come in handy: Google Maps (the handiest app of all), Skype and Currency cover my basic needs.
  • Hotel booking sites — I like to use HotwireHotels.comExpedia, and Booking.com.
  • Hostel booking sites — The best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface and availability is Hostelworld. I use them for all of my bookings!
  • Airline booking sites — But when I am looking beyond AAI use the following sitesMomondoSkyscannerVayama, and ITA Matrix.
  • Airline alliance – While I travel hack the world and use points to fly just about anywhere I can, when I am paying for my flights or have the miles, I am a Oneworld loyalist. While the Star Alliance has more airlines to choose from, American Airlines (the U.S. partner) is far better than United. I’m also a huge fan of Cathay Pacific and British Airways.

Where did you go for your first travel experience and at what age: Growing up in Boston, I was never a big traveler. I didn’t take my first trip overseas until I was 23. Outside a cruise and college trip to Montreal, I had no travel experience. After college, I got a job and the standard American two weeks a year vacation. I wanted to use that time to travel. After all, it was vacation time, right?

So for my first trip overseas, I went on a tour to Costa Rica. That trip changed my life. Costa Rica opened me up to the possibilities of the world. I was just a sheltered middle-class suburban kid before that trip. In Costa Rica, I experienced other cultures, got lost in a jungle, saw real poverty, conservation projects in action, and met people from around the world. From that moment on, I was hooked on travel.

What’s your favorite passport stamp: I don’t have just one. I love them all!  I have filled up 2 passports fully since I started traveling!

What has been the most useful thing you have brought on a trip: Hand sanitizer. I hate germs!

Where and when were you the most culture shocked: Wandering around the Fez medina, I could feel the stares. “Where are you going? Want to go to the tanneries? I’ll take you. No money. Don’t worry!” the medina’s faux guides said as they chased me down the street.

“No, I’m fine,” I’d reply, trying to dodge them at every turn. Turning down side streets, stopping to look at a map, or admiring a view caused them and any nearby vendor to pounce and badger me, inviting me into stores, restaurants and attractions.

There were moments when I would turn down streets only to have my spidey sense tell me to turn back. A few guys tried to corner me before I managed to slip into a store. Heck, even a little kid tried to pick my pocket. While other cities were not as intense as Fez, my visit to Morocco required a thick skin and a watchful eye.

After two weeks traversing the country, which is amazing (see this post, where I fawn all over it!), I could see why people say Morocco demands extra diligence. Touts, scammers and harassers abound and, while it wasn’t bad when I was with my group, it was intense when I was alone.

What does “Travel” mean to you: That’s easy: it means freedom! I remember growing up and always desiring to be “the captain of my ship.” You know, working because you like what you do, not because you need a paycheck, being able to jet off to some place you want when you want, having ultimate flexibility, time and freedom for anything. But then you graduate college with debt, you start working, the responsibilities pile on, you start planning out life, there are societal expectations put on you, and before you know it, you’re stuck. You’re part of that vicious rat race, and it seems like time is never your own.

Then one day you just think to yourself, “How did things get this way? I want out of this box.”

 So I quit my job and went traveling. Though the leap was the hardest part, you realize everything else is easy, and it’s not traveling that draws you in, it’s the freedom and flexibility. It’s about waking up today and saying, “I’m going to Ukraine tomorrow.” Or you’re going to play golf. Or maybe take guitar lessons. Or start that bakery you always wanted to. Or move to Thailand to teach yoga.

I think that feeling is what causes so many people to turn to travel. Yes, it’s great to see the world, but most travelers I talk to are really drawn to the sense of freedom and adventure, and the endless possibility. While you’re traveling, the days seem to hold endless potential and opportunity. It’s also why I think long term travelers have a hard time adjusting back into “the real world.” After you’ve been out of the box, it’s hard to go back in.

As much as I travel to explore new places and learn about people, I live my life because when I wake up every day I know I can open the door to do anything I want. For now, that’s travel. Exploring my world. Maybe a few years from now it’ll be different.

If you were given a free trip tomorrow, where would you go: Antarctica in a heartbeat!

Next travel destination: I’ll be settling into Austin for the time being.  This summer I’ll spend a while in Europe (I can’t wait to get back to Sweden!) and I don’t plan far enough in advance to think past that.  But then again, who knows!  I may just hop on a flight to Argentina next week.

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Lala Rebelo from Lala Rebelo Travel Blog.

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Current city: Panama City

Age: 27

Total countries visited: 50

What makes you interesting: My capacity to bring to my readers only the positive side of the trips.  I am usually told that my happiness and optimism are contagious to other people, and they feel the energy I put into every post and picture.

What brands do you love: Benefit cosmetics, Farm Brazilian clothes, Triangl bikinis, Kartell, Apple, Kate Spade, and W Hotels.

Describe the last time you tried something new: The last one I most remember is the Cambodian BBQ.  I ate a dish that included more than ten kinds of meat, soup with noodles, and all of this was cooked on the same grill.

How has travel changed you or how do you hope it will change you: I believe that a world with more travelers would be better.  The phrase may seem cliché but makes complete sense. Travelling amplifies the soul by making us see our surroundings with different eyes.  Even a luxury trip always brings me out of our comfort zone and makes me more flexible and adaptable.  The best part, travel leaves me with no opinion about everything.  In the end, we figure out we are all the same.

It’s your first day arriving in a country with a language so foreign it might as well be gibberish, how do you plan to get by: I learned from my father, who has travelled the world speaking only Portuguese, the “FD Tactic”: Finger and Dollar!  You try to communicate, but in the case it’s impossible, just point and pay!

What are the top reasons should someone travel with you: The main reason is because I don’t like to be put in a “category” of traveler.  I go on trips where I stay in luxury hotels, but I will also stay in a wooden hut on a deserted island.  I go to obvious places, but also, take exotic trips such as my honeymoon in India or vacations in Cambodia or Egypt.  I had dinner in a 3 Star Michelin restaurant in Paris but had an amazing experience by having a free lunch sitting on the street consisting of rice from monks in a Bangkok temple.  For me, what’s most important is to live unique moments, enjoy a destination to the maximum and learn a lot from the experience.

What has been the most useful thing you have brought on a trip: Our tripod!  It’s perfect for a romantic trip so we can take pictures for both of us, without bothering our dinners.

What do you enjoy doing the most during your travels: First is to learn from what is different.  New cultures, history, people, food, places and everything that is not part of my knowledge attracts me more.  Second is to take as many beautiful pictures as possible, so I can always travel back when I am at home.

Next travel destination: Costa Rica

TWIPPERS OF THE WEEK

Twippers of the Week: Oksana and Max from Drink Tea & Travel.

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Current city: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Age: Oksana is 30 and Max is 29.

Total countries visited: Between the two of us we’ve stepped foot on all continents except Antarctica, visited 48 countries and have lived in 7 of them!

What makes you interesting: We come from very unique backgrounds and seem to be unable to sit still. Our passports say we are Canadian, but the truth is our upbringing was anything but typical. Max grew up in Costa Rica and Oksana in Ukraine. We have lived in many countries around the world, (Max in 4 and Oksana in 5) and we truly feel like world citizens. After leaving our last home base in Australia four months ago, we are now full time travelers and nomads, happy to call the globe our playground for the foreseeable future.

Who is the most interesting person you have met while traveling: While visiting Bucharest, Romania, we caught an Uber into town and discovered that our Uber driver, who was likely in his early 50’s, was a first-hand witness of the events of the Romanian Revolution in 1989.

Over the course of a 15-minute Uber ride to Old Town, he shared a play by play of the events that unfolded on that historic December evening, his personal involvement in the revolution and the ousting of Romania’s Communist President Nicolae Ceausescu. This was a surreal story you would expect from a historian and we were absolutely enthralled hearing it first-hand from our driver, Adrian. We actually took the long way into Old Town just to hear more of his stories. Fascinating individual!

What is the best part about having a travel partner: We love the fact when we travel as a couple. We’re always sharing our experiences with each other – good, bad or ugly. We think it’s always better to have someone to rely on in tough times and share the joys in those amazing, breathtaking moments.

What brands do you love: We can’t live without our Apple electronics, Sony cameras and Lipton tea!

What is the most impractical item you have ever packed: Nothing! Honestly, after many years of traveling around the world we have a very tight packing list that contains nothing but essential items. We travel with only 10-12kgs each. There simply is no room for impractical items in our bags.

What is your favorite mode of transportation when you travel: We love getting around on a scooter. It gives us the flexibility to see off the beaten path sights and attractions and is often one of the cheapest ways to get around.

Best thing you have bought during your travels: We love shopping abroad. A few years ago, Max bought a pair of fake Nike Free running shoes that have lasted him for more than three years. Oksana just can’t get enough of those super comfy Aladdin pants.

What does “Travel” mean to you: Travel means immersion. For us, it’s all about being able to immerse ourselves into a new culture and learn about the customs and traditions. Travel is about learning and constant personal growth. This is why we love to travel.

Next travel destination: In the last three months we’ve taken the long way to get from Australia to North America, stopping in a few countries in S.E.A, a couple in Eastern and Western Europe, and Northern Africa. Next on our itinerary is Costa Rica where we will be spending the rest of this year!

TWIPPERS OF THE WEEK

Twippers of the Week: Charli and Ben from Wanderlusters.

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Current city: Charlestown, Nevis, West Indies.

Age: 28 and 34.

Total countries visited: 18

What makes you interesting: We have been travelling the world and house sitting for the last four and a half years. During this time, we have lived rent-free in 10 different countries.

What is the best part about having a travel partner: Having your best friend along for the ride means there’s always someone by your side with whom to enjoy the journey.

What is your favorite travel memory: Learning to scuba dive in Costa Rica. We spent three months in training and have enabled us to dive in locations all over the world.

Where and when were you the most travel shocked: When we checked in for our flight to Australia and were told that we needed a visa. New regulations had just been put in place and we looked like travel newbies because we had just assumed we didn’t need a visa and would be welcomed with open arms.

What do you put in your carry-on baggage: Headphones, laptops, camera, scuba regulators, diving watches, sleep mask, toothbrush, and lots of snacks.

Where did you go for your first travel experience: We rented an SUV in Las Vegas and spent three months road tripping across the west coast of the USA.

Next travel destination: For the first time in our lives we actually haven’t decided yet! Normally we plan three or four months in advance but at the moment we are just flying by the seat of our pants.

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