Category Archives: My trips

A Few Traveling Tips from a Seasoned Traveler

I like traveling a lot, going to foreign places and discovering all that these places have to offer. However, I know that for many people traveling can be quite a hassle, even if they do love seeing new places, just like me. In order to make your trips more comfortable, I thought about a few things that I have learned along the way, from experience. I hope they will come in handy next time you plan a trip overseas or anywhere you have never been before.

 

Packing your clothes

wild10Here is a tip on packing clothes that I learned it works each and every time. Get a cylinder bag and roll your clothes in a tight cylinder like shape. I assure you that there will be no creases to worry about when you unpack and there is another great thing of having this type of luggage with you. Because it takes up less room than a full fledge type of luggage, it will be easier for you to get around planes and other means of transportation. Especially if you are like me and you prefer to take only the necessities along, so you can spend your trip enjoying it, instead of worrying about luggage all the time, you will find this way of packing much more convenient.

 

Save your miles for international flights

If you have already saved quite a bit of miles towards free or fee reduced flights, do not spend these on domestic flights. Since many people prefer to get out of the country for a real adventure, it would be much more useful to use your miles for international flights. This was how I managed to fly cheaply to really exotic destinations. Some of my friends really wonder how I manage to spend so little when I practically travel all over the world. This is one of the aces I keep up my sleeve.

 

Make sure you have medicine handy

wild11Whether you worry about developing a stomach ache or a headache when you are traveling to a different country, you should have some medicine close by. Do not count on finding a drug store anywhere you go, or for them to hold the same brands as the ones at home. I, for instance, like traveling to poorer areas on the globe, because there are plenty of interesting things to see and do there. However, their supplies of medicine are often erratic, so I prefer to take some Tylenol and other common medicine along with me, to avoid any unpleasant problems.

 

Go for bottled water

Many health problems are usually derived from the food and water that you consume locally. Water is especially a problem, in my experience, since not everywhere I go, the conditions are as sanitary as I would like them to be. I prefer buying bottled water, since this has much fewer chances to be contaminated. Thanks to globalization, I even have the chance to find my favorite brands in faraway places, which is a real plus.

Visiting the Brazilian rainforest

Visiting the Amazon was a trip I planned in my head for years on a row. I was mostly fascinated with visiting the Brazilian rainforest. For those of you who don’t know it, the South American rainforest is the largest in the world and it stretches on 8 South American countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname. Just to imagine how immense the space it occupies is, the rainforest covers approximately 40% of South America. Unfortunately, the extreme deforestation put this miracle of nature in danger. Brazil, to give you the most extreme example, has one of the largest rates of deforestation in the world. Hopefully, solutions will be found to slow down this dreadful destruction and, finally, eliminate this problem altogether.

wild 4Right now, it is (still) one of the most amazing places you can visit. I won’t give you details on what you can see there, as it is something you can truly understand only when you witness it, but I can tell you a couple of things you can do and how you get there. There are a few companies that provide lodging and organized tours both on land and water. If you go there for hiking, climbing or fishing, you can easily find professionals that offer trip packages at affordable prices (if you save money for a while). I wanted a simple, sightseeing trip, with some taste of how life on the Amazon feels, so I reached out to a company offering tourist tours on boats with mini-trips in key points of the Brazilian rainforest. You can opt for a 5 or 10 day trip. I would strongly advise you to choose the latter, as 5 days will seem like nothing for the things you should visit. For those who have in mind going on their own, you either plan your trip several months, maybe even a year before the departure or better stay at home and wait, until you gather the necessary amount of money so that you can pay a professional to take you where you want.

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You may believe that a guided tour will only show you the tourist intended destinations, but, the Brazilian rainforest isn’t your typical journey, you can’t go exploring through the jungle on your own. In addition, it is more likely that you miss beautiful landscapes and exquisite species of animals because you don’t know how to find them, even if you have documented the trip and the area thoroughly.

For example, you won’t recognize the various species of fish living in the waters of the immense river, or take trips to see the giant water lilies. Even more, if you are lucky enough, you can take a night trip through the forest and observe nocturnal species with a good guide. By yourself: not much of a chance.

wild 3Let’s not forget the little joys in life, like traditional dishes you would never have the courage to try on your own if you didn’t have an expert sitting beside you and advising on the most exquisite culinary surprises you must taste. One of the dishes you should try while in Manaus are traditional soups, I was quite impressed with the Tacacá, a dish made with a regional plant called jambú, shrimps and a couple of other local ingredients. Another dish that I was absolutely amazed by was something that people in this region call the Caldeirada de Tambaqui, in which the main ingredient is the fish with the same name, accompanied by boiled eggs and spices.

Don’t grow over enthusiastic yet, it will not always be nice, the mosquitos will make you want to never have been born and the heat will be excruciating (especially if you go in September), but it will be the experience of a lifetime and you won’t regret it.

My recent trip to Australia

My passion for traveling and seeing animals in their natural environment and my constant desire to discover and taste all the amazing food different countries and cultures have to offer have both been satisfied with my recent journey to the Australian land. I went there to explore some of the many National Parks and to catch a glimpse of the wonderful and various fauna.

 

wild1Of course, because I chose not to plan my trip to the minute, I started with the Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, which is the largest of them all and is listed as a World Heritage site. This extensive, preserved area is one full load of archaeological treasures, rich in landscape varieties and, most importantly for me, has one of the greatest preservation indexes for a considerable number of habitats and species. From Leichardt’s colorful grasshopper to the delicate quoll, I’ve had the honor to witness a lot of animals in their natural surroundings. It also gave me the chance to eat a perfectly cooked Barramundi, and that was one of the best fish dishes I’ve ever had.

 

wild2After Kakadu, I went south to Brisbane and took a Bushwalking tour in Springbrook National Park, where I saw the glow-worms of Natural Bridge, a beauty of rock and water itself. I also scouted for rosellas and bowerbirds, but out of the rare bird category, I only saw Albert’s Lyrebird, which is very cool, since you can’t see it anywhere else in the world. I returned to Brisbane in a couple of days and I had to meet some old colleagues, who insisted on going to this Italian restaurant called Bella Tiarnie. I was frankly irritated by their choice, since I wanted to eat as many local dishes as I could in my short trip and I kind of pouted until the lame pizza that I had ordered out of spite was placed in front of me, and this is the story of how I met the best pizza in the world.

 

Next, I traveled to the Simpson Desert and then to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a place where the aboriginal keep their culture alive and where the desert still dictates the laws of living. I went there with a tour guide that I knew, who was very helpful and introduced me to the people. I had the chance to look for Mai and Tjuratja food together with the women and participate in this old, fascinating way of living.

 

Unfortunately, I had to come back home after the Uluru exploration, so I had to take the first flight to Sydney from the Ayers Airport. I had to move fast, but I still managed to try the blue swimmer crab in a nice carrot and tarragon yummy assembly.

 

I warmly recommend you to visit Australia too, and maybe you even get to take a boat to Tasmania, which I couldn’t see this time. And while you’re in the city, make sure you try the meat pie and the sausage sizzle, which I grabbed every time I walked the streets and had to eat while walking.