Paradise Island: Mauritius

     Are you growing tired of the hustle and bustle of daily life? Do your bones ache? Are your mind, body and soul screaming for a paradisiacal place of white sand, fresh Read More »

List Of DoFollow Travel Blogs (commentLuv)

For those of you who are like me and are looking to increase your blog traffic, Comment posting is a key ingredient. But sometimes it can be quite disheartening spending hours searching Read More »

Songkran Water Festival Chiang Mai 2014

           This is an article written by my friend and fellow Water Warrior Andy Bouchier , about our group of friends and our awesome time at songkran chiang mai 2014, I hope Read More »

Interview With Dawn Kealing Of “Life, Love & Adventure”

      Let’s start off by telling a bit about yourself, where did you grow up; do you remember your main life Goals when you were young and has that changed? Hello! Read More »

Take The Train to Chiang Mai

I just returned to Chiang Mai from a short tour of Cambodia. I had spent 2 weeks in Cambodia with my friends from Latvia, then had the good fortune to meet up Read More »

Jamaica: The Beating Heart of the Caribbean

DoctorsCaveBeach

Negril coastline, with its famous beach in the...     Jamaica truly is the beating heart of the Caribbean: the country bursts with vivid colors, enticing, spicy spells and pulsing reggae music. Whether you’re after a totally tranquil beach holiday in Jamaica, soaking up the sun on one the many paradise beaches, or adventure filled cultural immersion, Jamaica has it all and will guarantee an unforgettable and inspiring holiday in Jamaica.

The secluded Secrets St James resort offers prime views of the stunning Montego Bay, with luxurious rooms and panoramic views of the glittering blue water. For those indulging in a romantic getaway, the adults only resort Couples Swept Away boasts a wonderfully dreamy setting, situated right on the Negril beach, a perfect place to watch the sunset while sipping on a classic Old Jamaican cocktail, made with spicy dark rum and tangy limes.

Once you’ve torn your eyes away from the paradisiacal beach view before you and muster the energy to leave that lounger, here are a few Jamaican attractions you simply can’t miss:

Realize your dream of swimming with dolphins by visiting Jamaica’s number one tourist attraction, Dolphin Cove. Surrounded by acres of lush tropical rainforest, Dolphin Cove offers you the life changing opportunity to snorkel with sting rays, swim with sharks and frolic with dolphins in the crystal clear waters of this natural bay.

For fans of the reggae legend Bob Marley, a visit to the eponymous museum is a must. Situated on the site of the musician’s childhood home,

 

the museum offers insight into every aspect into Marley’s life, set to a soundtrack of the singers best loved songs. Top Bob Marley & The Wailersoff your afternoon with some sumptuous Caribbean cuisine served in the museum’s Legend Café.

With its violent and intriguing history of slavery and black magic, Jamaica’s Rose Hall is the perfect place to satisfy your curiosity in the supernatural. Tours run daily around the legendary Rose Hall, explaining the story behind its infamous and sadistic owner notorious for witchcraft and torturous deeds. You’ll be glad to return to the calming white sands of the beach after this spine chilling tour!

No trip to Jamaica is complete without a visit to the mesmerizing Dunn’s River Falls, regarded as one of Jamaica’s national treasures. The land of River and Springs offers tourists the chance to swim in glistening pools, dive from rocks into roaring waterfalls or just recline on one of the many pristine bays that are scattered throughout the area.

After working up an appetite with all of these adventurous activities, indulge in some of Jamaica’s famed Caribbean cuisine. Bursting with spice, warmth and passion, Jamaican food is like a hug on a plate and you’ll find many authentic, family run restaurants serving fiery and flavorsome dishes. Treat your taste buds to some slow cooked jerk chicken and rice, leafy callaloo and explosive Jamaican patties for a true taste of this remarkable island.

Interview With The Team Of LucidPractice

Paz Romano Brian Levine Langkawi Malyasia Positive Energy

   Danielle with her Cambodia student Siem Reap Cambodia Lucid PracticeLet’s start off by telling a bit about yourself, where did you grow up, do you remember your main life Goals when you were young and has that changed?

Paz and I both grew up in Westport, CT. It is a beautiful New York City suburb located on the Long Island Sound. Interestingly enough my life goals revolved around sports, work, and “making it.” I was one of those people that thought “hopefully I grow up, play in the NFL, and go on to be successful in the business world that is ever so popular in and around NYC. It is safe to say that my life goals have changed significantly. The combination of one of my best friends dying and going on a backpacking trip through Asia changed my perspective dramatically. I went from a person who always strived to be “more” to a person who is simply trying to accept the present moment and become alive. I think I can speak for Paz when I say our goals is to love, to inspire, and be inspired. When we say “become alive” we mean constantly engage in lucid activities – whether that be meditation and yoga and listening to our breath or traveling the world and saying “WOW, how blessed are we to be here.” The goal now is to realize not that we are trying to make it in this world, but rather “man, I am here, living, loving, and suffering. This is what life is. We have made it.”

What were the key factors that persuaded you to leave the comfort of your home?

We feel that life is a book and those who don’t travel only read a single page. One of the greatest aspects of life is the opportunity to connect and live in unique cultures — that’s how we grow as individuals and become more compassionate and empathetic. There are 7 billion people in the world — each one of them unique in their own way. Coming from the American suburbs, a key factor in leaving the comfort of home was the opportunity to meet these people and seeing the distinctively different ways in which they live. We are blessed with travel we have begun to see oneness and how really interconnected this world really is.

How long have you been traveling? What were your biggest fears before you left home? , and how do you feel about them now?

On our current trip, three months. We have successfully navigated our way through Costa paz danielle smaller photo lucid practiceRica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and now we are in Chile. The biggest fear was that of the unknown. In general, Americans are ever so conscious of the “safety issues” throughout South America. I can honestly say that my girlfriend Kate and I have not felt unsafe during one minute of this trip. Instead I have looked at this as a pilgrimage of sorts to spread love and positive energy, meet people from this part of the world and accept that this is where we are meant to be.

Where are you now?

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. We just got off a three day “Salt Flat Tour” that took us through Southern Bolivia and into Northern Chile. We’re writing this while in the middle of the spacious Atacama Desert!

What are your plans for the upcoming year?

Well we plan to travel for a few more months and visit Argentina and Brazil. After that we will spend some time at home with our families. In the back of our heads we are planning an extended trip to Europe. Even though I made short stops in Paris, London, and Spain growing up, it is the last continent outside of Africa I have yet to really explore extensively. I am inspired to visit and explore France, Italy, and Greece.

What countries do you consider you felt the safest? And did you feel safer than in your home country?

Ecuador or Bolivia. We have yet to really feel in danger here, just the fear of the unknown is sometimes in the back of our minds. The natives we’ve met from these countries have made us feel so comfortable and welcomed. It has been an absolute blessing. We’ve had home cooked meals, meaningful conversations, and just an overall great experience.

We feel equally safe in America.

What countries do you feel the most on edge (in Danger) ?

Paz Romano Brian Levine Langkawi Malyasia Positive EnergyPaz and I never once felt in danger while in Asia. Granted, we were not likely candidates for physical abuse (two large American males) but still, everywhere we went, we were greeted with warmth, love, and positive energy. The only time we were in danger was while riding a Thai lawnmower boat to a remote island. All of the sudden, the skies opened up, there was thunder, lightning, and massive waves. We considered ditching our backpacks and jumping in the water to make an attempt at swimming to the shore. Fortunately, our driver (err, lawnmower engine positioner guy) was able to right the ship and get us to land safely. (picture of land mower boats)

Any major life targets, that you are working on?

Most of my life goals revolve around faith, love, and health. Although I strive to live in the present moment, I do have goals written down on paper. In no specific order:

+Acknowledge God and be the best, most compassionate person I can be.
+Grow a platform (Lucid Practice) that impacts as many people as it possibly can.
+Love my family and friends unconditionally.
+Remain a healthy male – this is usually determined by how I feel physically and mentally.

Lastly (and travel related), my goal is to visit fifty countries. So far, I’ve visited 30 countries. Touching fifty different countries educates a person to understand worldly culture and “oneness.”

Do you do any work while you travel, such as digital nomad, consulting, or odd jobs?

Yes. We work on Lucid Practice every day. We don’t look at it as work because we enjoy (and live for) spreading positive energy across the world. It is a joy, a privilege and an honor to build the Lucid Practice Community.

Our work at this stage mainly consists of writing for and designing Lucid Practice. We also spend time connecting with other writers/bloggers in regards to opportunities. We recently opened up Lucid Practice to guest writers. We decided to do this because we’d like to provide as much inspiring, quality content as possible for our readers. It’s been a fun process and we’ve met some amazing bloggers and writers along the way.

Any memorable dealings with government officials, Police or Border Guards?

On this trip crossing into Panama was a bit of a pain! The border guards madeKate Lucid Practice us purchase airplane tickets back to our home country. It turned into a bit of a funny story as it was really hot out, my patience had run thin carrying my two backpacks, and we had just come off a boat, and two local buses in Costa Rica. I’m working at improving on simply accepting walking for an hour or two with the large backpack!!

Tell us some of the experiences that made your jaw drop, left you in Awe, or were incredibly touching?

A yoga retreat in Koh Phangan, Thailand was the most transformative, eye opening travel experience we’ve had. The one week retreat taught us to look internally, taught us to meditate, to find connection with ourselves and the universe. We had an amazing teacher who taught us invaluable life lessons, drastically changing out life paths.

How has your traveling affected your relationships with your friends and family?

Yes. Its such a hard balance because truthfully my favorite place to be in the world is at my house with my parents, sister, family, and friends. Travel is beautiful, but I really do miss not having the daily face to face relationships with my family and friends.

Any Regrets?, Anything you would like a shot at a do-over?

Nope, not one. My parents firmly grounded me in “everything happens for a reason.” At this point in my life I have never “trusted” more.

Do you see an end to this journey, or do you expect to continue to be on the move, exploring most of your life?

I hope we can explore as much as possible for the rest of our lives. I envision myself going backpacking with Kate when we are grandparents and old. My thought process in terms of travel and Lucid Practice is “Why not see the world? Why not impact millions of people?

Any words of encouragement for our readers to get them to leave the couch and hit the road?

Yes. Anyone can travel the world. It’s not as expensive as one might think either. If you’re an American, try to look outside of the typical American train of thought of going to the “best” possible college and then accepting the “best” possible job and then taking out a mortgage to purchase the “best” possible home. Be contrarian and open minded — realize that there are other ways to live life. You don’t have to wait until age 65 in retirement to start living. Live now!

We met an interesting couple in Ecuador recently. The boyfriend and girlfriend we met were doing a “Work Away” job at a hostel there. Well, they told us they had left their house in Bogotoa, Colombia with $11 in their pocket combined. They had their backpacks and their laptops. They couchsurf, workaway, juggle in the streets for money, and hitchhike. They have traveled the world – working and hitchhiking their way down all of South America, working a cruise ship over to Africa, backpacking, hitchhiking and working their way through the continent of Africa, and than doing the same in Europe.

These are the types of people who inspire me. They realize that people in this world are good, and that somewhere, sometime they will get a ride, a roof over their head to sleep in, and cash to let them see and experience more of the world. I was in awe of their journey and story.

Have you written any books or have a blog, that you would like to plug?

We are the authors of a blog that delivers inspiring daily content on travel, wellness, art, and yoga. Most of our contributors are traveling right now (in South America and Cambodia) and as a result, our content has been “travel heavy.” But big picture, we’re becoming a hub where people can find travel stories, hidden gem travel destinations, great music, discussion on yogic philosophy, and even spiritual and religious discussion. We created Lucid Practice to share inspiring, positive content with readers around the world.

Bio:

Brian Levine, along with Paz Romano, Kate Reder and Danielle Lussier, are authors of the travel, wellness and yoga blog, Lucidpractice.com. Lucid Practice’s goal is to inspire people to feel happy and more alive through lucid engagement in enriching activities such as international travel, yoga, helping others, and eating enlivening foods. Check them out on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

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Paradise Island: Mauritius

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Mauritius     Are you growing tired of the hustle and bustle of daily life? Do your bones ache? Are your mind, body and soul screaming for a paradisiacal place of white sand, fresh fruits and pure tranquility? Well look no further, whisk yourself away to the Paradise Island, where an affordable, luxury holiday to Mauritius awaits you. Hailed as having some of the best beaches in the world, honeymooners flock to Mauritius in the thousands, so it’s the perfect place for a romantic getaway or just to reenergize after countless rainy commutes to work.

So sit back, start practicing relaxing and have look at the most fabulous things this delightful island has to offer:

Kick off your holiday itinerary by spending at least a couple of days on Mauritius’s stunning beaches. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped onto the set of a desert island film when you visit the sublime Belle Mare Beach; authentic bamboo huts line the blindingly white sand upon which turquoise waves lap. Recharge your batteries with a deliciously sweet Mauritian cocktail sipped from a coconut shell while reading the latest thriller – heavenly! If you’re feeling brave after your beach recharge, Mauritius is the perfect place to learn to kite surf, a thrilling water sport in which you soar above the ocean like an eagle. You’ll gasp in amazement as you stare down through the clear waters into expansive coral reefs, at tranquil lagoons and rugged countryside.

While in Mauritius, ditch the silver service and indulge in the world renowned street food, which is influenced by a scrumptious combination of cultures. Immerse yourself in Mauritian culture while treating your senses to a banquet as you wander down streets full of vendors offering mouthwatering culinary creations like chili pineapples, spicy samosas and seafood curries. Neither you nor your taste buds will regret this wonderful cultural and culinary experience.

Mauritius

For those who love a good cup of tea, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the verdant Bois Cheri tea plantation for an educational, and thirst quenching, day out. After a guided tour of the factory, plantation and museum, you’ll be treated to a taste bud tantalizing tea tasting session where you can purchase a range of delicious teas to dunk your digestives in after you return.

Come face to face with fearsome reptiles and amphibians in a glorious rainforest setting at The Crocodile and Giant Tortoise Park. Stroll through luxurious, tropical greenery, pet a giant tortoise and stare into the yellow and unblinking eye of a ferocious crocodile at the exciting and entertaining nature park.

Now, can you almost feel the soft breeze of a gently flapping palm leaf? Can you feel that warm, soft sand between your toes? Can you hear the roar of the turquoise ocean? Make these fantasies a reality and book your dream holiday to Mauritius now!

List Of DoFollow Travel Blogs (commentLuv)

Travel Blogs List

For those of you who are like me and are looking to increase your blog traffic, Comment posting is a key ingredient. But sometimes it can be quite disheartening spending hours searching through blogs in your niche to comment on, in order to get you a bit of that coveted “Link Juice” . Whell for those of you that ar travel bloggers you are in luck,, I have put together this list for my own use to build up traffic, rankings, alexa etc. and have decided to make this list a post so that you all could benefit as well. Here is a list of highly ranked travel blogs that allow dofollow comments or have CommentLuv on their pages.  For those of you that do not know, CommentLuv is a free wordpress plugin that not only leaves a link back to your site but also shows a link back to your latest post, which is very helpful in generating more traffic as well as leaving some deeper links into your site. So here is the list , enjoy..

The Planet D
Nomadic Samuel
Traveling The Balkans
Adventurous Kate
Bacon is Magic
My Itchy Feet
Eternal Quest
Smiling Faces Travel Photos
Camels ans Chocolate
Dangerous Business
Go See Write
Hecktic Travels
Oxygen.im
Thrill Me
That Backpacker
Traveling Canucks
Migrationology
Brendans Adventures
Green Global Travels
Over Yonder Lust
2 Wings
Man on the Lam
The Aussie Nomad
Monkeys and Mountains
Budget Travel Adventures
My Spanish Adventure
Tourist 2 Townie
Expert Vagabond
Nomadick Chick
Globe Trotter Girls
Four Jandals
Our Oyster
Mallory on Travel
The Travel Chica
Ikuze (let’s Go)
Roamin Around
Turkish Travel Blog
Wae Gook Tom
Sophies World
Breathe Dream Go
9 Reasons to Go
Changes in Longitude
Trans America
Bohemian Trails
Man Vs Clock
Wild About Travel
Globo Treks
I am Riveted
Spunky Girl Monologues
Don’t Ever Look Back
Never Ending Footsteps
Travelated
Traveling Ted
Love Exotic Foods
Positive World Travel
Katie Aune
MS Listologist
Captain and Clark
This Way To Paradise
Eating The Globe
Travel Scamming
Journey Jottings

Hey, You may also think about adding the commentluv plugin to your own site, if you would like to be featured here, just drop me a note..

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Island Adventures on Luscious St Lucia

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Languidly floating in the warm Caribbean Sea, the mountainous and magnificent island of St. Lucia is a perfect holiday destination for those seeking a mix of tranquility and adventure. On this richly diverse island, momentous volcanoes tower over glittering turquoise water and unspoiled beaches are bordered by dense and tropical rainforest. This incredible island offers a fabulous range of accommodation, whether you want to recline in a luxurious resort or sleep beneath the blazing stars in a traditional beach hut. For affordable luxury and stunning mountain and ocean views, we recommend the charming resort of Anse Chastanet, which boasts a poolside bar, a relaxing spa and even its own art gallery!

Babonneau, St Lucia, RainforestRamble through the Rainforest

A visit to St. Lucia’s sprawling mass of lush rainforest should be at the top of your travel itinerary. Many tour companies offer a variety of ways to explore the stunning flora and fauna of the jungle, so take your pick from one of the following exhilarating activities; defy gravity by soaring above the canopy on an adrenaline fueled zip line ride; enjoy panoramic views of the rainforest from the dizzying heights of a peaceful aerial tram; or lace up your hiking boots and trek through the rich greenery, scaling ravines and crossing creeks while keeping your eyes out for a scaly boa constrictor or brightly colored parrot.

Conquer the Volcano

Discover volcanic landscapes in St Lucia’s top tourist attraction, the Sulphur Springs Park. Explore the volcanoes crater, feasting your eyes up steaming hot springs and bubbling pools of mud – you’ll feel like you’re exploring the surface of planet Mars after walking through the intriguing park. Soak your bones in one of the numerous warm and soothing sulfur pools, reputed to have natural healing properties.

Recline on a Paradise Beach

St Lucia boasts a vast array of blissful beaches tucked away in secluded coves, flanked by lush greenery and crystal clear water. Anse Cochon is the perfect secluded spot to recharge during your tranquil St Lucia Holiday – rest your head on the silky, soft sand while flicking through the pages of a gripping novel, stopping to dine on fresh fish prepared at one of the traditional beach restaurants – it’s an utterly blissful retreat! For those with a passion for marine life, this is a splendid spot to snorkel amidst the vast coral reefs that lie beneath the glittering surface of the ocean.

Party Caribbean Style

Although totally tranquil during the day, at night St Lucia’s strong, Caribbean heart begins to beat. Every Friday night, the streets of the tiny fishing village of Gros Islet burst into life, offering spicy and sumptuous Caribbean street food and entertaining roadside acts to a soundtrack of pulsing Caribbean songs. Hurricane Hole Bar offers delicious Caribbean cocktails from a cozy hurricane shelter and bursts with a vibrant and lively atmosphere.

Don’t wait a second longer, swap your dull and dismal office for an idyllic beach and the infectious and joyful Caribbean vibe of luscious St Lucia. You’re certain not to regret it!

Songkran Water Festival Chiang Mai 2014

the crew of songkran 2014
           This is an article written by my friend and fellow Water Warrior Andy Bouchier , about our group of friends and our awesome time at songkran chiang mai 2014, I hope to see Andy’s own travel blog soon as he is an awesome writer.
Songkran Water Festival (Chiang Mai, Thailand) my favourite party I have been to

The Battalion Songkran 2014Anyone who knows me knows I like a good party. I can say I have been to my fair share of great parties in the world… foam parties, (you are covered in foam and it is all you can drink, this is a huge thing in resort Mexico), stage 13 (was a giant rock concert where you could go camping with roughly 30000 people, multiple bands over the course of 4 days), frat parties, party on Halong Bay in Vietnam, full moon party, every party on Koh Phangan, Holi Day in India, various university parties, pubcrawls, ski trips etc… All of those parties were memorable, unique and adult orientated. Many of the parties you need to be drunk to have a good time and I think the mark of an excellent party is if the majority of the people can have a great time without drinking. What Ready for a waterfight SongkranI love about Songkran is it is an all ages party. Thai people are very friendly and not creepy like many people in India can be for a party like Holi Day. So what is Songkran?

What is Songkran?

It is the new year for Thailand. A huge water fight that can take place for several days. People of all ages use anything and everything for the festival. The best place to experience Songkran is in Chiang Mai Thailand. So many people I have met last year said Chiang Mai is the place to go for Songkran. It is an absolutely insane and wild time. Last year I was in Thailand for Songkran but I was in an isolated area of the island of Koh Phangan doing my yoga Songkran waterfightinstructor course. There was a water fight at a small club called Guy’s Bar (not a gay bar, it is a place that plays trance/techno type music for roughly 16 hours straight one day a week every Friday in Haad Tien). It was a fun time but a very small crowd. Celebrating Songkran in Chiang Mai exceeded every expectation I had for the festival.

My reflection of Songkran in Chiang Mai

I thought it would be amusing to write my experience of Songkran similar to a fantasy role playing game. The characters were people I met via couchsurfing and my friend DIno. The weapons, ammo and vehicles were things I observed throughout the four days. Enjoy!

List of weaponsThe weopons Songkran Chiang Mai 2014

bucket- A cheap, entry level weapon extremely effective at close range. Quick reload time and poor long range

magic stick/one shot wonder/pimp stick/magic wand/sir Arthur’s sword/sword of a thousand truths- a powerful and accurate one shot wonder gun/magic stick (this grey stick can reload in a couple of seconds and can hit it’s mark 20 feet away
ice cream cone water gun- this silly looking gun is used to make people laugh and lower their guard. A low pressure water pistol with poor range, low storage capacity and general suck ability. Some say it can bring plus 10 luck with a plus 2 aura silly group boost

rubber duckie pump action gun- this ridiculous looking gun is extremely accurate and has decent range. Often the water backpack is in the shape of an elephant or an angry bird.

Ultimate watergun Chiang Mai Songkranlazer cannon water gun- extremely accurate and has excellent long range. Low pressure and has ample storage capacity. Most effective for long range head shots/ear shots

angry bird guns- come in all shapes and sizes. Thai people love angry bird guns

small water pistol/say hello to my little friend- accurate and short range weapon most effective for sending a message. Poor reload time and poor storage capacity

The garden gun/exterminator- high accuracy with a bonus arc shot. Perfect for shooting people over obstacles. Pros: insane storage capacity of 20 litres. Cons: yet to be determined

List of CharactersDino Songkran 2014

Dino (The Ringmaster/mystro/bucket assassin) assassin/ranger class. This guy adds an aura boost of everyone around him often encouraging people around him to do stupid shit. Dino’s name became a verb. You almost Dino’d that guy (almost killed that guy with a bucket to the face)

Austin (sleeping beauty/Austin Powers/Austin Texas/young Fabio) druid/scavenger class. Sleeps like a greek god. Starts out with no sandals or gun. A scavenger/hunter gatherer type character who takes whatever weapon he can get.

Loretta songkranJub (Jubbs/vegan alcoholic) Jester class. Adds plus 100 luck to the group. Occasional boughts of Chiangnesia and Chiangovers (Chiang is a beer in Thailand that is super powerful unregulated and grossish). Jub came home once with one sandal, no phone and no scooter. His name is now a verb. “Go Jub yourself”, “let’s get jubbed up”. This friendly character prefers watching rugby in his room and pretending to make apps

Loretta (crouching tiger hidden bucket) assassin/thief class. a chinese woman who wanted her home town to be the capital of China (only because it is in the centre of China). Doesn’t hesitate to slap people with buckets of water

Delphine (the French connection) elf class. a high energy French woman who seems to know everyone. Introduced people to a game of inappropriate touching that is apparently popular in France.

Karine- (The water fairy) scout class. Insane Delphine songkranamounts of high energy. Karine floats around Songkran often engaging in battle and losing the group. This one woman show often gets ganged up on by stray Thai people getting assaulted with bucket after bucket. She can get you excited about dirt.

Phil (Smiley) warrior class. Only person equipped to use the garden gun. A one man mortar unit. An exterminator who can outlast everyone with his amazing weaponry. Always spotted pumping with his left hand and spraying everyone with a big grin. Works out once a week and never eats rice or drinks beer.

Karine songkran 2014Frantz- (Christoph Jackman.. cross between Christoph Waltz and Hugh Jackman) ranger class. Weapon of choice is cynical French humor and the one shot wonder

Etsoku- (Japanese Badonkadonk) monk class.  Likes every picture on Facebook and often communicates in several languages

Michelle- (stock queen) elf/paladin class. will come out to Songkran maybe or may stay back to check Chinese stocks maybe. She heals people with buying spring rolls.

Anka- (mother Russia) assassin class. Who’s Anka? good question many of us didn’t know and were confused but we figured it out. Potentially ex KGB/double agent squirt gun assassin

Neil (Gabe/Bob) in his own class.  Likes to get in Andy Songkrandrunken kick fights with Jub… that should say enough

Stefan (James) ranger class. Rarely spotted, low profile Swedish guy too cool for most of Songkran but boss enough to threaten to unfriend everyone. Prefers socks with sandals

Andy (big man, big big) Orge/Druid hybrid. Prefers head shots and ear shots from a distance

Vehicles

Getting Dinoed Songkran Chiang Mai 2014Scooter- People crazy enough to drive one of these can expect to get buckets of water dumped on them regardless of speed. Young Fabio was doing a border visa run (crossing the border to get a new 30 day visa for Thailand) and got hit with buckets of water while he was going 90 km on the highway. On a scooter you can fit several people often small children with a water gun. Perfect vehicles for drive bys

Pick up trucks- often so many people on the back of a truck there is standing room only. This vehicle is perfect for having a drum barrel of ice water with buckets and magic sticks for maximum damage. This is the perfect mobile mortar unit. Walking by one of these you will almost always get hit with a pimp wand of cold water or a whole bucket of ice water

tuk-tuks- this seems to be the busiest day for tuk tuks as people rarely take tuk tuks but on Songkran people rent tuk tuks and use it as an extremely quick and nimble mobile mortar unit

Songtow- a much bigger tuk tuk but with more protection. You need to attack from the back as the only weak point is in the back of the songtow

AmmoSongkran 2014

street water barrels- These barrels often had water supplied from tap water

ice water- giant block of ice with water

moat water/gutter water- gross reused water, brownish in colour

moat ice water- gross reused water with ice

Communication device-Facebook messenger. I was hoping for something cool like a military sat phone. Almost everyone leaves their phones at home and we kick it old school before cell phones were around with blind communication in stone age times.

Day One

The first day it started the day before it actually started. Doesn’t make sense? No problem. Same same but different. I heard Chiang Mai is the place to be for Songkran and I didn’t know what to expect. Four brave expats/farangs (this is the name given to foreigners) decided to meet up and walk to the old city.

Resting up at the Busbar Chiang mai We parked our scooters at Bus Bar in the early afternoon (it’s a bar made out of buses, overlooks the river and has reasonably priced drinks). Slowly we started to walk to the old city to meet up with a group of couch surfing mercenaries. Several blocks of walking we are assaulted on all fronts. Giant empty garbage bins are used for fuel supply. Some people throw buckets of water on us. Some shoot us with a powerful and accurate one shot wonder gun/magic stick Some kids shoot with little guns. Buckets are being dunked on everyone and no one is off limits. On a scooter? Doesn’t matter you are fair game. Good thing I made the decision to leave my camera and cell phone at home and only bring some money and my GoPro camera. Cute little old people dump buckets of cold water on me…. assassins are everywhere.

The day ends with a giant party at Tapae Gate. Loud music and a very large crowd and lots of dancing. This is the day before Songkran and it is still much better than Holi Day or most of the parties I have been to in my life. Afterwards we decided to meet up at Bus Bar.

Day 2- 4 Highlights

We meet up at roughly 2pm for the next few daysThe After Party Chiang Mai songkran and stay out until roughly 6pm. There is a fairly large group of roughly 13 people. There is so many people at Songkran people get lost really easily. Trying to navigate through stopped vehicles you breathe in vehicle exhaust with walking through gross gutter water (that people probably peed in). A few times I take the one shot and suck up gutter water and shoot people in vehicles. Towards the end of days I would check my pockets for fucks to give and it turns out I had none left to give. Before the start of each day we could communicate on a time to meet via facebook messenger and usually you would have to sort through all the trash being talked on the messages to get through a meeting point and destination. Eventually we became more effective and efficient and would name the group name the meeting point for that day (it took us 4 days to figure this out though)

-Dino was overly enthusiastic and almost causes a scooter to crash as he whips buckets of water at people often in the face. One Thai girl stopped and swore at Dino and he toned it down after that

- Phil needed to fill up his insane gun maybe 3 times total.

-old people were so funny and cute during Songkran. One old guy in a pick up truck would let out this big hearty laugh while he would squirt tourists. I’m convinced old people are just much older kids as they don’t seem to care about things like little kids do.

-the children were so cute during Songkran. Often 2-3 year olds would be in a kiddie pool and would miss trying to hit anyone with their lack of coordination.

-very festive environment everywhere. Everyone was all smiles and having a great time

-I enjoyed shooting many a people in the ear/face with low pressure burst fire. Karma bit me hard and it really hurt (my ear had water in it for a couple days after)

-it was extremely tiring walking around for 5 hours a day getting buckets of cold water dunked on you on hot weather

-moat ice water is really gross but fun.

(also look for Spiderman at the end of this video)

-at one point we found a bridge and sniped people in various vehicles from above

-had a ladyboy shoot my groin area and had a gay guy pinch my arm (losing 50 pounds upped my stock even if it is members of a team I don’t pitch for… I still got it… sorta)

-concentrating full fire power on a single songtow was pretty awesome.

(also look out for the Spiderman in the dune buggy at the end of this video)

-riding a scooter in the heat of the battle was really fun and slightly scary

-Dino shot a cop… Dino don’t give a shit, Dino don’t care

-Jub tried to play the dunk tank game.

-Dino lost his bucket and got it back again.

-bumped into a guy that had the sillest glasses that squirted water from them. Very ineffective but halarious.

-I forgot how fun and cool using my waterproof GoPro camera can be.

Everyday was filled with over-stimulation. It was fun but also a very exhausting experience. It could be very loud, hot and cold, people everywhere, vehicle exhaust, gutter water. People over all ages acted like kids in a crazy water fight lasting 4 solid days. Back to back national festivals in different countries was an incredible experience. Other major parties/festivals I want to see is Carnival in Rio and that big tomato fight. Songkran in Chiang Mai is definitely an experience I would like to do again and would feel comfortable bringing kids to.

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Interview With Manfred of Renegade Travels

petronas-towers-manfredLet’s start off by telling a bit about yourself, where did you grow up, do you remember your main life Goals when you were young and has that changed?

I grew up in the UK and Miu grew up in Thailand. We met a few years ago after I had moved to Thailand. I don’t think either of us had any real life goals when we were younger, apart from the usual of going to university, getting a good job and that kind of stuff. It was only later in life that I started setting goals for myself. We run a travel blog called www.renegadetravels.com.

 

What were the key factors that persuaded you to leave the comfort of your home?

I’d been living in London for around 20 years, had just sold my business and was at a loose end. I decided that I needed a change and so decided to move to Thailand. I aimed to work out what to do with the rest of my life after taking some time off. Once I got here I decided to stay. It’s a great place to live.

 

What were your biggest fears before you left home? , and how do you feel about them now?

I didn’t have any fears about leaving home. I thought ubud-miuthere was a possibility I might not like Thailand, but I could easily have gone home if that was the case. I’m quite adaptable, so moving to another country seems fairly straightforward for me. Things always seem to work out if you just go with the flow and don’t try to control things too much. So there’s no real need to worry about moving to another country. What’s the worst that can happen?

 

How long have you been traveling?

I left the UK almost four years ago and have spent most of that time in Bangkok, which I love. About a year ago we set off around Southeast Asia, visiting the north of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. We then came back to Bangkok for a little rest.

 

Where are you now?

We’re currently in Bangkok, although we’ll be leaving this weekend.

 

What are your plans for the upcoming year?

For the rest of this year we plan to travel around Thailand. We’ll start off in the northeast and then work our way south, visiting Cha Am, Hua Hin, Krabi, Phuket, Koh Samui and a few of the other islands. We’ll stay in each place anything from a few days to a few months, depending on how we like them. After that we plan to spend 5-6 months traveling around Europe. We’d also like to fit in a month or two in New York sometime soon.

 

What countries do you consider you felt the safest? And did you feel safer than in your home country?

I would say that we felt pretty safe wherever we went in Southeast Asia, but the UK feels safer to me, maybe because I grew up there.

 

What countries do you feel the most on edge (in Danger) ?

While we felt safe in Vietnam, it did have a slightly bad vibe about it. There were far too many scams and other annoyances going on there, and for that reason we probably won’t be going back any time soon.

 

Any memorable dealings with government officials, Police or Border Guards?

Our dealings with government officials, police and border guards have been pretty pleasant. I’ve been stopped by police twice in Bangkok, both times were to warn me to keep my backpack safe because motorcycle snatch thieves were operating in the area.

 

Do you do any work while you travel, such as digital nomad, consulting, or odd jobs?

I update my blog while traveling, but apart from that neither of us work while traveling.

 

Tell us some of the experiences that made your jaw drop, left you in Awe, or were incredibly touching?

One of the high points for us was walking down into the crater of an active volcano in Indonesia. And what impressed us the most was watching the workers that carried sulfur from the bottom of the crater all the way to the base of the volcano. These men carry 50-70 kg of sulfur twice a day over a distance of around 12 kg. Their strength is truly amazing.

 

How has your traveling affected your relationships with your friends and family?

I still keep in touch regularly with family and my closest friends. But after being away for almost four years, some have fallen by the wayside. But we’ve both made more friends along the way.

 

Any Regrets?, Anything you would like a shot at a do-over?

There I certainly things I wouldn’t do if I had my time over again, but I don’t really have any regrets. Often, life’s most valuable lessons come from the mistakes you made. If you never made any mistakes, you’d never learn those lessons. That’s life. So no regrets.

 

Do you see an end to this journey, or do you expect to continue to be on the move, exploring most of your life?

I don’t see us traveling constantly at any time. Our travel style is to travel slowly and head back to base for at least six months a year. That suits us perfectly, as it means keeping in touch with friends and family and also seeing the world. It can get tiring staying in hotels for months on end, so it’s nice to be more settled some of the time.

 

Any words of encouragement for our readers to get them to leave the couch and hit the road?

The only advice I have is that if you really want to travel, then make it a priority. If you don’t have enough money at the moment, then set yourself a time frame in which to work hard and save as much as possible. Too many people claim that they want to travel but have a whole list of excuses of why they can’t at the moment.

 

Do you have any tips for others who are trying to get a successful blog up and going?

Our blog now gets around 25,000 page views per month, with over 14,000 unique visitors. All we did to get to that point was to keep posting regularly. I’d also suggest sticking to what you have experienced personally instead of writing generic blog posts. Also it’s good to use you own photos, as this shows that your blog is authentic. I wouldn’t think about it too much, but just set it up and start writing.

 

Have you written any books or have a blog, that you would like to plug, write out a brief description here?

I have a book called Travel Southeast Asia For Under $30 A Day. You can get a free copy at free book. Our blog is www.renegadetravels.com.

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A Thai Treat: Experience the Golden Land

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With its picture perfect landscapes, magnificent temples, hospitable locals and a cuisine that will blow you away, Thailand is a wondrous and ethereal holiday destination. In this golden land, where sunsets look like an explosion of a painter’s palette and a night in a luxury beach hotel can be purchased for just a few dollars, you’ll never be at a loss for incredible activities. Put a holiday in Thailand at the very top of your travel priority list and start planning your adventure in one of the world’s most diverse and delightful countries.

ThailandBuzzing Bangkok

Consider starting your trip in the frenetic capital of Bangkok where traffic screams and skyscrapers loom over gleaming temples, floating markets and authentic street food stalls. Bangkok boasts some seriously impressive architecture so ensure you visit the mesmerizing Wat Arun, where intricate floral designs cover towering spires, heading onto the majestic Grand Palace where you wander throughout elaborate royal chambers. Meander down the floating markets past boats bursting with succulent fresh fruit, aromatic fresh food and refreshing coconut juice, drinking in the glorious array of smells, sights and sounds on one of the many guided tours offered to Taling Chang and Bang Ku Wiang markets.

Beach Lovers Paradise

If the energizing chaos of Bangkok leaves you feeling slightly overwhelmed, take to the glittering ocean for a tranquil tour of Thailand’s glorious islands.If deserted paradise islands are what you’re looking for, then you’re in luck as Thailand offers a bounteous array of staggeringly beautiful pockets of absolute bliss. The Phi Phi Paradise beaches were made famous by the film The Beach, which depicted travelers searching for the ultimate secluded paradise. Avoid hoards of other travelers by spending a night in Maya Bay, sleeping in a hammock and staring up above into the blazing stars of the inky black night sky. For those wanting the glittering glamor of nightclubs after sunset, and soft silky sand at sunrise, Patong is your dream destination. Sample delicious Thai treats and fresh fruit juices from the vendors while staring into the bright blue sea – a perfect cure for a sore head!

Electric Chiang Mai

Few things exceed the electric atmosphere of Chiang Mai’s exhilarating night bazaar. The streets are awash with bright lights, colorful clothes and gorgeously authentic goods in this wonderful market. Bag yourself a bargain on hand crafted jewelry and local Thai goods by haggling with locals for the best deal. After the bustling excitement of the night bazaar, regain tranquility by visiting the stunning Botanical Garden which bursts with beautifully delicate Thai orchids and impressive topiary. Don’t leave without visiting The White Temple, one of the most incredible sights Thailand has to offer! It’s only a quick day trip away from the big city. The delicate beauty of the temple is staggering and the atmosphere that surrounds it is one of total serenity.

Inevitably, this brief insight into the wonderful things this diverse country offers has whipped you into a frenzy of wanderlust: embrace it! Make this dream a reality and visit Thailand as soon as you possibly can – we guarantee you won’t regret it!

Interview With Dawn Kealing Of “Life, Love & Adventure”

saqqara dawn kealing

   pyramids dawn kealing   Let’s start off by telling a bit about yourself, where did you grow up; do you remember your main life Goals when you were young and has that changed?

Hello! :) I grew up in a small town near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. When I was younger my main focus was to be positive, happy and healthy. I always had dreams of doing things that seemed pretty impossible to me at the time, aka. Traveling the world. In the past couple years everything has changed yet stayed the same, I am still that positive and healthy person yet I have been able to travel the world!

What were the key factors that persuaded you to leave the comfort of your home?punta cana dawn kealing

There was no persuasion needed to get me out traveling the world! The key factor that made it happen though would be my amazing husband. I started working with him at his business and together after some time we financially made traveling possible!

What were your biggest fears before you left home?, and how do you feel about them now?

I can’t recall any specific fears; there definitely was a lot of excitement coursing through my veins as we were driving to the airport! There was also the, as I know now, the normal stresses of making sure to remember all the documents and the stress of my first long flight but everything went smoothly!

How long have you been traveling?

I have been traveling off and on for the past 2 years; we did 2 trips the first year and 4 trips last year.

Where are you now?

I am currently at home in Northern British Columbia trying to bear through another one of our freezing winters!

What are your plans for the upcoming year?

dawn kealing petraMy plans for this upcoming year are to work on my blog, A LOT! There are a few goals I have set up for myself to do throughout the year to improve my blog and hopefully get more out of it!

Another plan I have put together for myself is to travel more of BC this summer. I have lived here all my life and am starting to feel like I have traveled more of the world than I have my own beautiful province!

What countries do you consider you felt the safest? And did you feel safer than in your home country?

Most of my travels have been all through Central America, the country that I felt the safest in would be Costa Rica! Everywhere we went through Central America everyone was always so friendly though! :) I honestly think I felt safer in Costa Rica than I do in the town I live in in Canada. We’re the crime capital of Canada says MacLean’s magazine. :/

What countries do you feel the most on edge (in Danger)?

The country that I felt the most on edge in would have to by Egypt. No matter where you are the spotlight is always on you. People trying to bring you into their stores or sell you stuff on the streets, people pulling at your clothes and snickering at you but you have no idea what they are saying.

Any memorable dealings with government officials, Police or Border Guards?

Oh dear, my most dreaded question haha. I always seem to have issues with jordan dawn kealingborder guards, I don’t know why! When I was leaving Egypt to go to Jordan the border guard started speaking really loudly (yelling) at me and pointing to my lip, which is pierced. I had no idea what he was saying and he just kept getting more and more upset, eventually he let me through but only once I was bawling my eyes out. :/ All the other times have been coming back into Canada, as funny as that seems. I always feel like I am being interrogated for doing some horrible crime yet I have done nothing!

Do you do any work while you travel, such as digital nomad, consulting, or odd jobs?

Other than blogging while I am traveling I don’t do any other types of work. We work a lot a home, taking 2 weeks to a month away at a time is a great break from work for us!

Chichen itza dawnTell us some of the experiences that made your jaw drop, left you in Awe, or were incredibly touching?

I think my most jaw dropping experience would be going on my first Hot Air Balloon ride in Luxor, Egypt over the Valley of the Kings and Queens. It was absolutely breathtaking!!

My most memorable experience that left me in awe would be seeing fireflies in Palenque, Mexico. We were sitting on a chair on the porch of our little bungalow and they started flying all around us and through the jungle. I couldn’t help but shed some tears, it was amazing!

An incredibly touching experience was when I organized a trip in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic to a local school to donate school supplies.

Last but not least, my most terrifying experience so far in my travels would be doing to Mega Tarzan Swing in Costa Rica. After ziplining for a couple hours and my adrenaline was already up I thought, why not?! Once I got to the end of a super long suspension bridge that was hanging over a valley I tried to run back but the guys pushed me out! It was one of the most terrifying things I have done in my life!!

How has your traveling affected your relationships with your friends and family?

Not really, my family has always been super supportive of my decisions. dawn kealing colorfull frogSometimes my mother gets a little worried depending on the places I am traveling to but she is always supportive regardless! The best thing is my little nephew (3), before leaving for my last trip I was at my sisters and he asked if he could come with me. Maybe one day little buddy! <3 I travel with my best friend so there’s no issue there! I have close friends at home and I always meet new friends while traveling but traveling as never affected any of my relationships negatively.

Any Regrets?, Anything you would like a shot at a do-over?

No regrets is the best way to live! The only thing I keep kicking myself in the butt for is not learning Spanish yet!

Do you see an end to this journey, or do you expect to continue to be on the move, exploring most of your life?

If I could travel for the rest of my life I would be the happiest person in the world! As of right now I have no reason or want to stop exploring the world so I will continue traveling for as long as I can! :)

Any words of encouragement for our readers to get them to leave the couch and hit the road?

saqqara dawn kealingMy biggest encouragement is to JUST DO IT!! Don’t look back, just go and explore this beautiful planet. It will be one of the best things you ever do! There is so much knowledge to learn out there that you cannot learn in a classroom, traveling is priceless!

Do you have any tips for others who are trying to get a successful blog up and going?

It takes a LOT of work, don’t give up, it’s so worth it!! Do what makes you happy, if you get to the point when you’re feeling super burnt out then take a small break to refresh your thoughts and begin writing again! Don’t expect everything to come really easily because it takes a lot of work, join into blogging communities on social media sites or around you if it’s offered. One of my most favorite things about blogging is the love and support from my fellow bloggers in the communities I am in!

Do you write for a blog that you would like to plug?

I have a blog that I strive to update daily; it is called Life, Love and Adventure! It’s a travel blog where I write about all the places I have been so far, where I want to go next and all kinds of travel tips I have learned in my years of traveling! :)

A BIG thank you to Roamin Around for featuring me on their page!!

 

 

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Take The Train to Chiang Mai

Train to Chiang Mai

Switching Trains

I just returned to Chiang Mai from a short tour of Cambodia. I had spent 2 weeks in Cambodia with my friends from Latvia, then had the good fortune to meet up with a friend for 3 days in Bangkok. Although I travel a lot, I must say it is quite draining on your system. Don’t get me wrong I love to travel and see new things, experience new cultures, meet new people, eat interesting foods, and creatures. ;) . But what I have realized the most stressful part of the whole journey seems to be the transport.

Riding in Turbo buses (Silver high top Vans) in Thailand for instance willThai Turbo Bus leave you with very little sleep, your hair standing on end, and as you will see when you get the opportunity, these drivers are all in training for some sort of international Grand Prix. Driving on the opposite side of the road, forcing on coming traffic onto the shoulder. Avoiding all stoplights by turning onto the intersecting road making a u-turn at full speed, then turning back onto the main thoroughfare. (actually a neat idea,,, stoplights can last in excess of 200 seconds in Thailand). That being said they in fact do an amazing job at drifting through heavy traffic.There are handles bolted on to the back of the seats, many of which have been ripped off, either by the sheer terror of the passenger or just simple laws of physics and the steel/plastic handles are unable to cope with the stress.

Siem Reap Tuktuk    Then there are the Tuk Tuk drivers, who refuse to charge anything less the double that of a taxi ride. why…??? maybe it’s just the joy of being able to ride on a smoky, loud, slow, rickety piece of hand made ingenuity..  Then the biggest problem of course with the tuk tuk drivers is that they refuse to take you to your requested destination. You ask them to take you to the train station, they take you to a tour agency trying to sell you a tour package. You ask to go to your $10 per night hotel, they take you to a $200 per night hotel, and go into great detail explaining that it is high season and everything else is booked up. Yes, for those of you who have not been in Asia this is exactly how it works and unfortunately it is not the exception it is the rule.

Ok, now onto public buses, yea you know the ones , they come with great names like “V.I.P. Bus” , “The Hotel Bus”. these tend to drive at about 40kmph. There is a thing here in Asia that it does not matter how unsafe you drive provided you drive slowly. In the dusty roads of Cambodia, 40kmph is quite fast considering you can not see further then a few meters. The toilets do not work, so they will either randomly stop at the side of the road in a field for all the ladies and gents to use the public facilities. “The Hotel Bus” which is a sleeper bus. 2 layers of beds, 1 set of beds on the floor and one at about 150cm off of the floor. 2 beds on each side narrower then shoulder width, and about 4 1/2 foot long. generallyTrain to Chiang Mai managed by some local organized crime syndicate. and all of your valuables remaining with you for the extent of the voyage is also a risk and needs to calculated into the cost of the journey. This trip I had my Iphone stolen by the Bus driver assistant while I was sleeping, less then a meter from him, In less then 5 minutes after using my phone, after getting myself folded into an endurable position, I tried to get a short nap, and could not sleep so I decided to plug my headset into my Iphone that was no longer in my pocket.  Grrr.

old train carriage So after all of these stressful travels, I decided to take the train from Bangkok to Chiang mai. I actually did hesitate before making the decision, because from my experience the train has always been a minimum of 2 hours late. And this time was no exception. This time I had the joy of stopping about 2 hours outside of Chiang mai and wait a couple of hours for another train to come pick us up, as there were some sort of engine problems. So this time we all arrived only 5 1/2 hours late. Although I would still recommend it, It really is not much like traveling at all . there is a dining car ( actually more of a party car) the beds are quite comfortable, and I have always had the joy of meeting interesting fellow travelers to share stories with on the journey. The ticket price was around Train in Lampang area850 baht (approx $26). I showed up at the train station with only about 15 minutes to spare to catch the 19:35 train, and there were plenty of tickets available on a Thursday evening. The evening went fast, met some awesome people, hung out in the party car for a bit, not that I was into the party, but the ambiance was quite interesting. I was able to get a fairly good rest, ( first time in a while) . And I got to enjoy the views of the beautiful country side of northern Thailand.

Next time I take a trip, It will either be by plane, train or the best will be on my motorbike. See a country by motorbike is a whole other story. All The Best on your next journey.. And by the Way….. Take The Train…Finally Home in Chiang mai

 

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