Tag: music


Twipper of the Week: Sharon Mendelaoui from Dream Travel Magazine


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: Rob and Nat from Love & Road.

Rob and Nat

Current city: Bangkok, Thailand.

Age: Rob is 35 and Nat is 32.

What makes you interesting: The fact that we are in our 30’s, (Rob in his mid 30’s) and we still party a lot. To have an idea, our honeymoon was a 14-day electronic music festival in Ukraine.  We are a nomad couple that traded babies and a mortgage for exploring the world and having fun.

What is the best part about having a travel partner?: To have someone to blame when you take the wrong way. LOL! No, I’m joking, the best part about a travel partner is the opportunity to share unique moments in beautiful corners around the world. It also makes it easy to tackle planning and decide where we should head next

What do you put in your carry-on baggage: Some toiletries, books, a set of clothes in case our checked luggage is delayed or disappears, and the most important item: our computers! If we have any spare time we work on articles or researching the next travel destination.

Where and when were you the most culture shocked: Our first morning in Marrakesh was quite a challenge. On the way to find our hostel we passed some alleys where elderly people were sleeping on the dirty floor and mums putting their babies in the middle of the street to beg.  We are from Brazil and are used to dealing with poverty but the images of babies lying in the middle of the street were too strong. It took us a few days to get used with this kind of begging in Morocco.

If you were given a free trip tomorrow, where would you go: Ibiza!!! We are party animals and between September and October the closing parties in Ibiza are epic. We visited the party island twice and Ibiza is included in our travel plans for 2016 next summer. Hope to see you there!

What motivates you to travel: The new. This is related to people, places, culture, food; We love to meet new people, learn about new cultures, discover new places and try new foods. The world is too wonderful to stay in only one place. We feel an urge to go and explore it!

What was your best and worst travel experience: Our best moment was when we started our travels. The feeling of following our dream was amazing. We discovered that when you do something with all your heart the universe conspires in your favor. The worst moment happened when we were in Milan on August 2014. Back home in Brazil our cat passed away. Some people might find it silly, but we loved our cat so much! Also this made us realize that we were far from home and our grandpa, grandma and parents are growing old.

Next travel destination: Langkawi, Malaysia.



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


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.

Bewitching October: How You Should Experience Autumn Around The World

By: Jennifer K. Velez, TWIP

There’s no greater place for a traveller to gain a better understanding of a culture then to experience a festival where people come together to celebrate and appreciate food, listen and dance to live music, and much more. The changing colors and cooler days in October draws out locals and travelers to some of the world’s most famous events.

Oktoberfest, September 19-October 4


Photo courtesy of worldfestivaldirectory.com

Autumn in Germany symbolizes the beginning of a 16-day folk festival where six million people from around the world gather together in Munich to celebrate Bavarian culture and the start of fall. The original Oktoberfest was created to celebrate the royal wedding of King Ludwig I and Princess Therese where guests indulged in food, drinks and horse races. Due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback, Oktoberfest has become one of the most popular yearly festivals celebrated worldwide. Today, festival goers can enjoy a variety of traditional beers ranging from pale gold to deep amber lagers and meats such as Scheinsbraten and Würstel. If these traditional German flavors don’t suit your taste, you can indulge in more malty flavored German and American influenced beers. If you cannot make it to Munich, fortunately there are smaller Oktoberfests held all over the world where one can enjoy the delectable delicacies of Germany.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 3-11

If you find yourself in Albuquerque around the start of fall, you may catch the annual ascension of hot air balloons. The fiesta is enchanting to new Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta visitors, as over 500 balloons take to the sky. You can see hundreds of colorful balloons floating up and over the city. For nine days a variety of events are held. In the evening, Balloon Glow allows enthusiasts to enjoy the sight of these magnificently lit balloons. Special Shape Rodeo allows for non-traditional balloons, such as animals, covered wagons, and everything else in between, to launch at the same time. Many have said that the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival is the most photographed event in the world. You don’t need to fly in a balloon to enjoy the fiesta. You can simply walk around, eat delicious food, and watch in awe as the sun sets over the Sandia Mountains.

Masskara, October 16-18

bacolod inns masskara images

Photo courtesy of citigrandinn.com

Every year 450,000 residents join together in the street exhibiting a multitude of vibrant masks in Bacolod, Philippines, “city of smiles.” Due to the depressed sugar cane prices in Negros Occidental, the government and local artists collaborated to lift the city’s spirits and created the Masskara Festival. Locals get together to exhibit gorgeous masks with plumes of feathers, exotic flowers, glitter, beads, sequins, and more. This is a sensory experience, with its bold colors, joyous music, and vibrancy. The festival is a reminder to the people of Bacolod to remain optimistic through times of misfortune and to always remember to smile. Don’t have a mask? No problem. Just put a smile on your face and you will fit right in.

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