18 things I learned on my first trip to Costa Rica

Costa Rica. After years of wanting to travel to this beautiful country, I finally made it. Before my trip, I read many online articles, reviews, tips, and complaints from past travelers to Costa Rica. From tipping, to car rentals, to driving, I read it all. Some good and some bad. I wasn’t sure exactly what to believe. Now that I have experienced a trip for myself, here are some things you should know if you plan to visit Cosa Rica. …

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Ocean views at Cafe Agua Azul in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Tuna tostadas piled high with ahi tuna, avocado, and cream sauce

After a long day of hiking at Manuel Antonio National Park, I stopped by Cafe Agua Azul for drinks and food without knowing anything about the place. From the road, the building looked like it hung off a cliff with just air, jungle, and ocean below. After I parked out front, I walked up the set of stairs into a wonderful open air dining room. I was right, the views were amazing. This is why I decided to stop here …

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Sights you should not miss at night in Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward

When you dream of Tokyo and Japan, you dream of Shinjuku and its neon lights, department stores, bars, love hotels, shrines, and futuristic skyscrapers. During the day, Shinjuku is a great place to visit for its Shinto shrines, endless shopping, and art galleries. As the sun goes down, Shinjuku comes alive. The neon lights, the crowds, and the energy make Shinjuku one of the most fascinating and bustling places in Tokyo. It’s everything you think Tokyo should be. A quick …

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10 things I learned on my first trip to Istanbul

Istanbul has always been on my list of destinations to visit. Everything from the people, to the sights, to the food just seemed so interesting and mesmerizing to me. In February, 2015, I finally made my first trip to Turkey. I was a little bit nervous, a little bit excited, but most of all was not exactly sure what to expect. Here are a few things I learned from my first trip to Istanbul, Turkey. Visiting a mosque was a …

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9 things I learned on my first trip to Seoul, South Korea

Seoul is an amazing city of contrasts. Old Buddhists temples and 500 year old palaces next to modern skyscrapers and mega malls. Here are a few things I learned on my first trip to Seoul. There is more to Korean food than just BBQ When I first visited Seoul, I had this idea that Koreans mostly ate BBQ and that there would be a BBQ restaurant on every corner. While there were tons of tasty BBQ restaurants in Seoul, I …

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Historic core of Istanbul walking tour inspired by Rick Steves

If you only have a few days in Istanbul, or even one, and wondering what to do, then the historic core walk is your best bet. Sultanahmet, the center of old Istanbul, is home to many of Istanbul’s must see sites including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, and the Hippodrome. The walk begins at the park between the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia not far from the Sultanahmet tram stop. You are now standing in the heart of …

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Scallops and shredded duck confit at Twisted Fork, Vancouver

This beautiful creation is made up of marinated scallops and bacon, Twisted Fork, Vancouver

Vancouver. Day one. Hungry after a long day of traveling and willing to eat anything that is within walking distance. Next to my hotel was Twisted Fork. The restaurant, which features a fusion of French and Candian dishes, opened in 2008 in the touristy and always interesting Granville Entertainment District of downtown Vancouver. Twisted Fork is a no fuss, non pretentious bistro that prides themselves on making everything in-house from scratch which ensures quality food. As you will notice in …

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How to get from Nagano to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park

One of the main reasons you should visit Nagano is for the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, a unique onsen, or hot spring, filled with wild Japanese Macaques. Yes, you read that correctly. There is a hot spring with wild monkeys that you can visit in Japan. The park, located northeast of Nagano, requires a little work to reach, including a 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) trek on a narrow pathway through a beautiful snow-covered (in the winter) forest. If you are …

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6 Things I Learned On My Rainbow Falls Hike

I’ll start my story out with letting you know that I am a novice hiker. I hike a few times every year and luckily I have never had any issues or gotten lost, until somewhat today. Today, I decided to hike a quick 3 mile round trip trail to Rainbow Falls in the town of Mammoth Lakes, California. The hike out to the waterfall was easy, but on the way back I got lazy, made a few mistakes, and got …

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My 4 must eat places at Seattle’s Pike Place Market

When you travel to a new city and want to find some great local food, usually you know to skip the tourist trap spots that love to jack up prices for mediocre food. This is mostly true except for the case of Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington. Yes it is touristy, and you should avoid a few shops, but you can still find great food at decent prices if you know where to look. You can find it all …

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