How To Live A Month In Bali! (Part 2)

Central & Southern Bali

Mark and I ended up spending two weeks in this area of Bali. It is completely different from the rural Northern region, which doesn’t cater heavily to tourists. It will be a must to book scooters to travel around in each location, so ask your lodging agents if they can assist you with the rentals. Get ready for an amazing time!




 I’m sorry I can’t find the name of this wonderful villa we stayed at. I remember it was around $90 a night though, approximately 6 minutes drive to the downtown area. If you are looking for the quintessential Balinese experience, we suggest time in Ubud. We absolutely loved it there!

Sanur Beach


Sanur Seaview Hotel is a fantastic place to stay. $40 a night with a delicious free breakfast each morning. Close enough to see the water and only a 2 minute drive to Sanur beach. We had the sweetest front desk agents, fresh towels daily and consistent room cleanings. The beach is often packed with locals, young and old. There is a section of street food stands where you can find some yummy treats. As you travel farther along the coast you will find restaurants, shops and resorts.

At one point we came across Surya Padi Dive Center & Water Sports, which is where we tried out parasailing! It was $22 per person for a 15 minute flight over the ocean. One person at a time only.


Lembongan Island


Jungutbatu Beach


Dream Beach


Our favorite time in Bali was spent on the gorgeous island of Lembongan. We booked transport from our hotel in Sanur, a round trip cruise to the island, glass bottom boat snorkeling tour, banana boat ride and beach front lunch for $60 per person through Scoot Fast Cruises. We decided to rent scooters for a few hours while there so we could visit the surrounding beaches (Dream, Mushroom, Jungutbatu). It was a very hot day, so we enjoyed having some cold drinks at the bar overlooking Mushroom Beach. Along our drive we were advised to find the yellow bridge so we could travel from Lembongan to Nusa Ceningan island. I’ll never forget how narrow and rickety that old bridge was, especially since one week after we were there we heard news that the bridge had collapsed and killed 8 people (picture above). I’m not sure if they have repaired it by now or not, but if you cross please take it slow, wait your turn and proceed with caution!


The W Hotel14713536_10154902677323455_2991678615464942320_n




Potato Head Beach Club


Bossman Burgers


Seminyak is a busy/touristy area with plenty of fun to get into! We want to encourage you to visit the W Hotel for dinner, drinks and swimming. It’s such a beautiful property to watch the sunset from. Potato Head Beach Club is a great place to soak up some sun, sip a fruity cocktail at the swim up bar and make fast friends. If you are looking for the best burgers on the island, look no further than Bossman. It is $6.50 per burger. Our favorite is the Original Gangster with truffle parm fries. I can’t remember the name of where we stayed unfortunately!

Waterbom Waterpark, Kuta

DO NOT MISS A DAY AT WATERBOM! We still talk about our day there often. This water park is the coolest. We paid $23 per person for a day pass, then $7 for a locker.


As always, we love you (from across the globe)



How To Live A Month In Bali! (Part 1)

Northern Bali

After our time of fast paced travel, we decided to take a month in Bali to slow down. We stayed up North for two weeks before moving down South. Our time on this island was so packed with different, special experiences! It’s a chapter that we will never forget. I think we really learned an important lesson about savoring each moment. We are very grateful for it 🙂

Tejakula Bungalow





Found in the small fishing village of Les for only $20 a night, Mark and I thought this budget lodging was perfect for us to stay long term. The reality of this location is that it’s set amidst very loud farm life and burning trash rituals. The power went out daily, bugs were our roommates and our air conditioning usage was very limited. Please be aware of these things if you decided to stay there!

Our favorite place to eat was called Warung Nak Kampung, located right down the road. The woman who ran it was so wonderfully sweet and the food + drink was only $2-3 per person!

Bungalow link:


Les Waterfall Yeh Tempeh Hike





The day we embarked on this hike was one filled with surprises. We ended up meeting a local man named Gede, who took us on a guided tour up to the falls. As we climbed our way through the jungle, he pointed out different fruit and coffee trees, describing the harvesting process they go through. I couldn’t get over how incredible everything smelled!

The entrance is $3 per person, taking approximately 30 minutes one way. We stopped at a small shop on our way up, refreshing ourselves with fresh coconut water. Yum!


Gaia Oasis Pantai Beach Resort





We cannot say enough good things about this place. After choosing cheap lodging with no amenities, we often found refuge at this nearby resort. What kept drawing us back were the mind blowing massages, sweet chai tea and fresh squeezed juices. The Gaia Ocean Bliss Massage was 1.5 hours long and included an herbal body scrub, soothing foot bath, hot tea and all natural facial for only $25 per person! They put on traditional Balinese music, which mixes with the soothing sound of waves crashing nearby. WORTH EVERY PENNY. We also really enjoyed our 1 hour yoga class for $12 per person.

Another honorable mention is Teluk Karang Dive and Spa Resort. We went there multiple times a week, purely for the beautifully prepared fresh fish and private ocean view dining. The customer service was always outstanding. If you are feeling saucy, you can pre order a whole duck with them to have prepared either fried or roasted.


Ling Gwan Kiong Chinese Temple, Singaraja


Located in a 55 minute scooter ride from our bungalow, is the bustling town of Singaraja.  This town is where you will want to head for most anything extra you could want. Mark and I thought it would be cool to check out one of Bali’s oldest Chinese temples while in the area. It is FREE to enter, but donations are encouraged by the local guide inside. We learned about it’s ancient artifacts, hindu/buddhist culture and the importance of temple turtles (who bring good luck).


Sekumpul Waterfall Hike/The Scooter Accident









 Located an hour scooter ride into the mountains is the gorgeous site of Sekumpul Waterfall. Mark and I absolutely loved our adventure day there! There are a lot of stairs, a river to wade through and muddy paths to walk. Make sure to wear appropriate footwear. If you are somewhere close by, please don’t miss the chance to play in it’s cool, green pool. I promise it is worth it. After our time relaxing in it’s healing waters, we headed to a local cafe so I could try Kopi Luwac (aka cat poop coffee) for the first time. If you don’t know, that coffee is one of the most expensive/exclusive types in the world. As a former barista and coffee fanatic, I was extremely excited to taste it. You know what? It was a true let down. $7 for a mug of thick, bitter black muck that was 1/3 grounds.

Now, I have to warn you about the reality of what we went through on the way back down. There were 3 or 4 small villages we had to pass through. The road conditions in each one were very poor, specifically the deep potholes filled with loose gravel. I was so relaxed as I drove that I didn’t see one before it was too late. My scooter lost traction then  threw me onto the ground, where I slid several feet across the rocky surface. I was left with a very painful road rash along the whole right side of my body. As scary as it was to have that happen, I must say I am so thankful for the village residents who rushed to my aid. I was cleaned with iodine then taken to small local “hospital” to be bandaged up. One man even stored my scooter in his garage (since I was unable to drive) until we returned a week later. On top of that excitement, Mark’s scooter that we were sharing got a flat tire right around sunset. We had to drive 45 minutes home, in the dark! .

**Find Central & Southern Bali on our next post…**

As always, we love you (from across the globe)



Getaway To Greece

Santorini, Greece took us by surprise in the best of ways! You can drive across the whole island in less than an hour, from the rocky cliffs of Oia to the sandy beach in Perissa. There are few buildings (most of them churches), so you’ll find yourself having expansive views of the ocean almost everywhere. The food is fresh, local and flavorful. The people are relaxed, fun and very helpful! We loved our time in Greece so much and look forward to going back one day. 

Our Affordable Hotel With The Best Sunset View



Mark found Ether Studios online while searching for affordable lodging, turning out to be $300-600 cheaper than most of the rooms in the same area! At just $60-70 a night, you can save so much money you will definitely want to spend elsewhere. The luxury rooms located on rocky cliffs of the Caldera do have incredible views of the ocean, but Ether Studios has hands down the best sunset ocean view. The owners were so helpful during our entire stay, which made our experience that much better. They gave us rides in their car up to the downtown area before we rented an ATV, ordered food to be delivered when we wanted to stay in, let us borrow whatever we needed and gave us a free day in our room when our flight out left at 11pm. If you want to up your experience with a bit more luxury though, just walk up a few minutes to the hotel above Ether and spend your day drinking wine while lounging in the comfy beds near the pool. You get the amenities without the $500/night price tag!



Rent An ATV To Tour The Island



We absolutely 100% encourage you to rent an ATV for the duration of your stay. Our two passenger 600cc ride was $60 a day, rented from a shop in town through our hotel (Lignos). We took this puppy everywhere on the island! It’s very common to do so, and you will find many other people buzzing around where you venture. The roads can be very curvy in certain areas so please take it slow and be mindful of bigger vehicles.



Dining Destinations


KYPRIDA– A little bit hidden and definitely underrated, Kyprida is easily one of our favorite spots! The owner is a kind and passionate French man who took care of us like we were dear old friends. Their homemade moussaka, orange cake and red pepper feta dip are AMAZING!! The carafes of house wine are cheap and easy to drink. The atmosphere is romantic and sweet, with natural sunlight pouring in the many windows. Please make it a point to go whenever you find yourself hungry in Oia!


FLOGA RESTAURANT– Floga is located in downtown Oia, down a staircase on the Caldera. As a whole they are a more pricey option, but we found that the fresh baked breads and flavorful salads were decently priced. If you want to have a table against the wall with the best view, you’ll usually need to reserve it by calling ahead. Something I especially remember is one night while we were dining there, it became a bit chilly and windy, so some staff walked around handing out pretty shawls for the women to snuggle up in. It was so thoughtful and sweet! Really great service all around.


NIKOS PLACE GRIL HOUSE– This little local shop is in a great location while you find yourself exploring the streets of Oia. We ate here at least once a day because their prices are so cheap! They have lamb, chicken and pork gyros along with kabobs and massive meat plates. All the portions are big! They also delivered to our hotel, which was so nice after a long day of running around.


GOD’S GARDEN– God’s Garden is a quick ride or about 15 minute walk from the beach in Perissa. It has breezy outdoor seating with simple tables/decorations. They have all the traditional Grecian foods made from scratch for a good price! Their Naan bread is seriously good (we had like 3 orders) and their cocktails are strong. You’ll pretty easily notice fresh squeezed orange juice is big in Greece, and this spot has a really good one.


SANTO WINERY– The panoramic island views here are out of this world! It’s sort of in the middle of nowhere, but not hard to find. Located in Thira, this classy spot allows it’s customers to enjoy delicious local wines while soaking in gorgeous sights.

Take A Romantic Horseback Ride On The Beach



We found this option at a booth in the airport right outside of baggage claim through the Choose Yafy agency. I began emailing them about the different ride options/pricing and was always responded back to very quickly. We chose the 2 hour ride to Eros Beach starting from the village of Megalochori, which came to 100 euros per person. We traveled through little vineyards until we made it to black sand beaches and dunes of Eros. It was just as cheesy and romantic as you would imagine it to be 🙂 Something I really loved about this was the fact that one of the staff members came to meet us at three different locations (with my camera) to take photos of us. All around it was a wonderful experience that we will remember forever!



Explore The Caldera







Downtown Oia is so wonderfully charming. Every day we would wander through it’s streets, finding something unique and fun. There is something for everyone in the bakeries, souvenir shops, spas and restaurants. If you hang out long enough you will see teams of donkeys strolling up and down the white stairs. It’s iconically Greece, and we still think about it all the time.

As always, we love you (from across the globe)


How Italy Effortlessly Stole Our Hearts!

For Mark and I, the first moments of watching the sun rise over Tuscan countryside from our little train car were unlike anything else we’ve ever experienced. All my Italian dreams were finally unfolding before me, and I have to tell you… it was all better than I imagined. This enchanting country was pretty easily our favorite destination for many reasons. Follow along as we share experiences that will surely give you wanderlust!

Our Airbnb Tuscan Villas 





If you really want to embrace the Tuscan countryside you need to do two things. First, rent a car and a gps so you can make day trips to all the little towns nearby. Second, rent out a villa set among picturesque rolling hills. Mark and I were OVER THE MOON about our two Airbnb villas because of both price (80 euros or less) and location. The properties are both in Siena area and owned by the same precious family, who took great care of us! Here is the link to the second villa so you can check it out for yourself (and hopefully book it).

                    ** **

Day Trip to San Gimignano





San Gimignano is undoubtably pretty to look at, but I found it to be one of the most disappointing places we went in Italy. As you enter into this medieval town, you are greeted by dozens and dozens of the same tourist shops to the left and right. Once you wind your way the crowded alley, you arrive at the world famous award winning Gelateria Dondoli. Mark and I LOVE gelato of course, so we were very excited to stuff our bellies full of the cold treat. I found the experience to be another let down though since we waited in a very long line just to get in, then found ourselves being shoved around and cut more than once as other anxious patrons tried to get their fix. The gelato is good stuff, but to us just not worth the claustrophobia! Also, parking was a nightmare to find. All in all it made for a nice day, but I wouldn’t ever return or recommend it to others.

Our Adventure to Pienza 

Oh, Pienza. Now here is a charming tuscan town in the countryside where we could lose ourselves. The streets are almost totally free of tourists, making this a wonderful place to get some leisurely exploring in. Our day consisted of long slow drives to surrounding vineyards, eating way too much and drinking bottles of cheap but amazing wine. There was a lovely little cheese shop on a street corner where we stocked up on truffle gouda, shaved ham, jam jar souvenirs and $9 bottles of Chianti. We highly recommend adding this sweet spot to your trip!

Authentic Italian Cooking Class with Nonna in Siena



Fresh homemade pasta, endless wine, organic saffron honey and the cutest fiery Italian grandmother… what’s not to love?! Hosted in the homey space above her restaurant Le Pietre Vive, Nonna Ciana hosts nightly cooking classes. We ended up paying 85 euros per person and were joined by one other young couple. I think is one of the best investments we made along our journey, and would it again in a heart beat. Nonna only speaks Italian so her translator took time explaining each process as we learned the basics of creating a tagliatelle pasta with zucchini and saffron sauce. Also on the menu were three types of bruschetta (fresh cheese with saffron honey, local olive oil with fresh rosemary and traditional tomato with basil), melt in your mouth chicken Vin Santo and almond biscotti dipped in sweet wine for dessertWe ended up coming back almost every single night to eat at her restaurant!

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Naples14344217_10154805018168455_259099843882543337_n


Made globally famous by Julia Robert’s film, “Eat, Pray, Love“, this super cozy pizzeria is said to have the most delicious pizza on the planet. An average wait to dine-in lasts anywhere from 1-2 1/2 hours on any given day. Family owned and operated since 1870, the Condurro generations have been perfecting the art of pizza using simple but fresh ingredients. Mark and I took train rides from Siena to Naples to Rome, filling our entire day with exhausting travel. You know what though? IT WAS ALL WORTH IT. Their pizza is without a doubt the most gloriously delicious pizza we have ever had, and agree will ever have for the rest of our lives. The way they combine perfectly charred crust, sweet and acidic tomato sauce, creamy cheese and a smidge of vibrant basil… it all gives pizza a whole new meaning. The price comes out to just 5 euros per person, which is a killer deal! Naples itself is a pretty dirty, chaotic city so we wouldn’t go there for any other reason. We still talk about this dish on a weekly basis!

Trevi Fountain in Rome 


Our last stop in Italy was to Rome, for 3 days. We found an amazing Airbnb listing for an apartment right smack next to the Trevi Fountain, for 80 euros a night. This area is filled with restaurants, local food shops and gelato galore. There is a sort of calm silence that hovers around the fountain all the time, even though it can be stuffed with tourists. We threw our coins into it’s clear waters, hoping our wish to return one day would indeed come true. It’s free to visit, so please don’t miss it!

** Airbnb listing here: **

The Sistine Chapel in Vatican City



To keep this part short and sweet, the crowds are insane and the artwork did not blow us away as we had expected. Though pictures and video are prohibited, we did manage to grab a few of both to show you all, before we got yelled at 😉 I’ve made the colors here much more vibrant in these than what was shown in real life. I’m really glad we did see the Sistine Chapel, but we both agree we saw more pieces we loved in The Louvre. The tickets were 40 euros per person online, self guided. Absolutely pre-purchase your tickets online!! If you don’t you will wait for hours in line.

As always, we love you (from across the globe)


What We Love About Paris!

Paris, France is one of the most iconic cities in the world. Nicknamed the “City of Love“, this bustling metropolis offers up some very special attractions. Mark and I only had two days here this time around but I believe we made the most of it! Having previously been on a school trip when I was 15, I pretty much knew what to expect. We can’t say it’s one of our favorite places in the world, however, I think it is a must to visit at least once! Don’t miss out on these fun activities when you go:
















(My GoPro died right after I took videos from out front, so I’m sorry there isn’t more footage from the inside)

The Louvre is open everyday except Tuesday, from 9AM to 6PM. Tickets online can be bought for 15 euros a piece and beats standing in line of course! First off, this museum is really and truly a special collection of work. With that said, it is always packed with people and not easy to navigate. You can spend an entire day wandering through the mazes of art and probably still have more to see. The Mona Lisa is unsurprisingly the most crowded piece, making the experience of taking time to soak in her mysterious smile/eyes difficult. There really is so much to see, so take your time and enjoy it. Pictured above are some our favorites 🙂

Underground Jazz Clubs



After befriending a sweet couple during dinner, we were taken to a little underground jazz club “cave”. There are a few of these around town and we would highly recommend checking one out for a late night drink. We noticed people from all age groups showing up to swing dance along with the live music. Le Caveau des Oubliettes and Caveau de la Huchette are two top rated options. The admission fee was 14 euros a person and drinks were around 7 euros. Our bartender was an absolute hoot!

Notre Dame Cathedral 

Notre Dame is a medieval Catholic cathedral open every day from 8AM t0 6:45PM. This building is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, and is among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world. Admission is FREE, so good news for all you budget travelers! Mark considers it his favorite church and really enjoyed the unique architecture. They were holding mass while we toured so we enjoyed some beautiful choir music. The outside carvings are my favorite part, along with the charming grounds surrounding the property.

Paris Padlock Bridge


I realize for some of you this idea may seem so cheesy and unnecessary. I totally get it! Mark and I are total romantics who do cheesy stuff all the time though, so this symbol of love was right up our alley. We get such a kick out of knowing that a bridge in Paris will forever have a simple declaration of our commitment on it. If you love the idea too, just show up at the bridge and find one of the men selling locks for around 5 euros. They should have markers to write on them as well, making the whole process so easy.

Riverboat Cruise/Eiffel Tower

We chose Bateaux Parisiens for our cruise company as this one begins at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. You can book a lunch or dinner cruise as well as one with commentary if you prefer. Mark and I kept it simple though and chose the 15 euro per person tickets that gave basic rooftop viewing for an hour. After the craziness of traveling from Spain, this was a perfect start to get acquainted with Paris. It was very relaxing. My favorite part would have to be seeing the “smallest house in Paris“, which looked similar to 12 Grimmauld Place from Harry Potter!

As always, we love you (from across the globe)


How to eat well in Lyon, France on any budget!

This charming city amidst the French countryside is a real gem. Not only are the surroundings and people beautiful, but the food is absolutely spectacular. Known globally as the “foodie capital of the world“, Lyon has more Michelin starred restaurants than anywhere else. Here are some of our suggestions and delicious experiences!

La mere Brazier 



Veal Tartar and Shaved Veal Tenderloin


Lamb Chop and tenderloin with a quinoa stuffed zucchini flower


Cucumber and dill grilled Octopus 


Mint cream bites and Espresso truffles


Famous Grand Marnier Souffle

Undoubtably one of our favorite spots in Lyon. From the incredible selection of breads to the generous entree portions and finally the sweet dessert treats, this is a top notch dining experience. On top of that, Mark and I became lost trying to find our hostel, stumbled into this place and had the staff go out of their way to help us find it! We will always suggest you go for lunch time if possible at these more expensive restaurants so you can eat just as well but for much less. We got our four course lunches here for 67 euros each. So worth it!!

Takao Takano 


Red Snapper with roasted potatoes and herb sauce


Veal steak with shaved black truffles


Monk fish with local white beans


Mackerel “jelly soup”


Roasted Pigeon in a demi sauce with charred green onion 


This one Michelin star spot feels intimate to the diner in a special way. With seating for just 25 people, the chef’s mission was to make sure each customer felt they were invited to dine at his house like a friend would. We really enjoyed the bright, fresh flavors served to us. The service was truly lovely, as two servers attend your every need with focused joy. Lunch again was our choice to save money, bringing the bill to 76 euros per person (not including the delightful champagne).

Gourmix Sandwich Shop



Mark and I were so happy to find this quaint local sandwich shop not far from our hostel. For budget travelers, these fresh bites come to just 2-3 euros a piece! You can make it a combo meal with three sandwiches, a salad and a drink for 10 euros. We tried the smoked salmon with herb cream cheese, foie gras with date compote, chicken with pesto and iberico ham with fig. YUM! Once again, we received such wonderful service by the young man helping us out.

Terre Adelice Ice Cream Shop



Sweet, dear friends… if there is one place you MUST visit in Lyon, this ice cream shop is it. When we arrived after dinner around 9pm, there was a line out the door. We saw this as a good sign but had no idea just how scrumptious it would be! I chose a combo of Nougat and Cherry which not only tasted like fresh baked cherry pie, but the best cherry pie I have ever had in my life (and I love me some cherry pie). Mark chose orange flower, hazelnut and vanilla/lemon biscuit (pictured above). We did not realize you could by Heaven in two cones for 10 euros!! Absolutely worth it.

Paul Bucose, Auberge du Pont de Collonges



Foie Gras


Fillet of Sole with pasta and white brûlée sauce 


Mark with the famous traditional Truffle Soup


Burgundy Sorbet


Bresse Chicken and mushrooms cooked in a bladder


Since 1965, this prestigious beacon of French cuisine has kept their third Michelin star. This is a record in the gastronomic scene, and everyone who is anyone in France knows it is a bucket list experience. This is absolutely not a spot for everyone though, as the price for their menus average to 260 euros per person. With Mark being a professional chef and me a complete foodie, we decided to splurge and test out this fancy shmancy location! Yall, it is RIDICULOUS. You are greeted at the door by a decked out door man who leads you into the main entrance where a team of men wait to escort you to your table. The decorations inside range from chandeliers, ornately carved china cabinets and solid silver everything (literally). It’s like Marie Antoinette’s mansion. My personal favorites were the melt in your mouth foie gras with warm fruit sauce and the crazy looking but intensely moist chicken cooked in a bladder. These two dishes changed my life guys. After eating course after course we found ourselves choosing every dessert from their massive array of silver trays. I mean, why not?! It’s an experience I am so glad we chose, but it’ll be a once in a lifetime thing for sure.

Les Halles de Lyon Indoor Market


Cured Meats


Endless Pastries of all shapes and sizes


Candied Fruits


Fresh Macaroons in every flavor (even Iberico ham!)


Warm Praline Brioches 


Escargot (Snails)

This famous indoor market is simply a food lover’s play land! Anything you could want, or things you’d never ever want, will be found in the numerous stalls here. The shop owners were all so helpful and kind, offering us samples of different traditional treats. I found out I absolutely love their Rum Baba cakes which are topped with dried fruit and soaked in rum! Mark was adventurous and tried some of the jellied pate things very traditional to the french palate… but was not a fan, haha. The prices range depending on what you get of course, but anyone from budget travelers to those with deep pockets will find options to deeply enjoy. Do yourself a favor by checking it out!

We hope you are dreaming of all your future travel adventures with excitement. Never give up on your passions, even if it’s the easier route. We want to hear about your plans and what you would like to see more of from our travels. Please comment so we can get to know you better!

As always, we love you (from across the globe)



What to Experience in Spain!

Magic Fountain (Font Magica)


This iconic 1920’s Spanish fountain is a hotspot from 9-11:30pm, Thursday-Sunday when the music and light show begins. Families, couples, tourists and locals gather around to be dazzled by the truly magical experience. If you make your way up the stairs you will find a beautiful Art Museum overlooking the city and fountain below. It’s completely FREE, so don’t miss out!

La Sagrada Familia 


If there was only one thing you could see while in Barcelona, we would absolutely encourage you to see the Sagrada Familia! We have seen many churches and cathedrals, but this one takes the cake. Stained glass windows for days, intricately crafted works of art around every corner and a feeling of sweet peace as you walk throughout. If you want to learn more about how it was built, check out the free museum underground as you exit. To save time/money waiting in lines, buy your tickets online for 15 euros at the SF website.

Park Guell 


Park Guell was not one of our favorite places to visit, in all honesty. We had high expectations (love Gaudi) of beautiful mosaics, plant life and architecture but did not find that to be the case. Though the park itself is free, everything worth seeing costs money to enter and tons of people are selling cheap tourist souvenirs along every single pathway. You can take the metro for around 6 euros per person round trip, then walk about 10 minutes to the entrance. I personally say save the money you would spend there and do something more worthwhile!

La Tomatina Festival 

Mark and I had the time of our lives fulfilling this lifelong dream. Thousands of people come from all over the world to the tiny little town of Bunol simply to throw truck loads of tomatoes at each other. IT IS SO MUCH FUN!! The tickets we booked with Spaintastic included bus travel to and from the festival and came to 35 euros each. You can choose either a 6am or an 8am departure, with the journey taking around 30 minutes. We chose to leave at 6am as we heard the street fills up very quickly and of course you want a spot close to the action! In all reality you can get there by 9:30am and be totally fine to get a great spot. There are stores all around that will let you keep your belongings there while you are inside, for around 3 euros. The festival starts at 11am and lasts for an hour, which is plenty of time to get ridiculously covered with tomato juice. Before it starts, you can watch people try to climb up a tall pole covered in grease to “capture the ham”. It is hilarious and entertaining! Invest in some goggles, bring a change of clothes and get ready to make friends 🙂

Barceloneta Beach 


Though we can’t say it is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, it is still one to check out while you are in the area. The water is chilly but refreshing and the waves are calm. It’s around 10 euros each to rent chairs and another 10 for an umbrella but you can always sunbathe on your own towel. There are beach bars all along the strip so if you are craving a Pina Colada, there will be plenty nearby. Our favorite part was renting motorized scooters for 15 euros each (1st hour, 5 euros/hr after) and exploring the surrounding area.

La Rambla Street


For those looking for paella galore, markets and endless shopping definitely check out La Rambla. There are what feels like hundreds of restaurants that serve paella along the way, some offering a tapas buffet for a good price. Everywhere will serve sangria in giant goblets, so go thirsty! My favorite women’s clothing store is Zara, located towards the end of the street towards the metro entrance. Our favorite sandwich shop to get Iberico ham with manchego cheese (YUM) is Cafe Viena. It’s THE best. Don’t believe us? Check out this link from The New York Times…

**Look out for a Spain food blog coming soon where we share what to eat, where to eat it and what to avoid! For more photos check out the gallery icon to the right.**

As always, we love you (from across the globe)


How to make the most of a week in Bogota!

I can tell you that this country undoubtably has beauty and good to offer. I personally would not recommend it to a friend, unless that friend was looking for a certain kind of experience. The food unfortunately has made us both sick during our stay and wasn’t our taste, so we will skip the critiques on that this time. I am very thankful for our time here, but we are leaving Latin America early tomorrow to head to Barcelona, Spain!

If you do visit, here are some of our favorite things to do:

Monserrate Mountain



Monserrate is a mountain that dominates the city center of Bogotá. It rises to 10,341 feet above the sea level, where there is a sweet little 17th century church. To us, this is the perfect getaway spot from the chaos of the city. It costs around $6 for the round trip cable car, so for those on a budget this is a great option! Bring your camera, GoPro, a good book, your journal and money for a refreshing drink. You can spend as much time as you please, getting in touch with God at the church, soaking in the beautiful view down below or just lounging on the steps sipping Colombian coffee as you people watch.


Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira



A creepy series of tunnels lead you to go deep into Colombia’s Zipaquirá Mountain to find a Catholic cathedral carved out of the salt deposits occupying an abandoned mine. To get to Zipaquira from Bogota you can either take a local bus for $2, or use a taxi for $30 per person roundtrip. This journey will take anywhere from 1 1/2-2 hours, a total of 4 hours average roundtrip. Entrance fees are more pricey totaling 50,000 pesos per person. While you are in the area, make the trip even more worthwhile by spending time in the town below. We happened to be there during some sort of festival so it was a blast trying the food stands, listening to live bands and watching little ones on carnival rides!


Graffiti Street Tour 




This would have to go down as Mark and I’s favorite activity while in Bogota. Our hostel was in the Candelaria neighborhood (not the nicest or safest), which is the oldest area of Bogota, covered in professional graffiti art. This is a free activity if you join through your hostel with Bogota Graffiti Tour, so budget travelers definitely invest a few hours on this! BRING YOUR CAMERA! You meet in the morning at a local park and proceed down narrow cobble stone streets to learn about the local artists’ masterpieces. Some just stick to spray paint, while others incorporate masks, statues, wheat paste posters and stencils. Due to multiple deaths by police of young graffiti artists causing community outcry, local government officials are allowing the town to be a canvas of sorts.

Lotus Thai Spa Boutique


After hours of traveling with a heavy backpack weighing on your shoulders, most of us need a nice little massage to relax again. For just $40 per person you can get an hour long authentic thai deep tissue massage at this #1 rated TripAdvisor spot. The decorations are beautifully on point and the customer service is top notch! Afterwards, enjoy a hot cup of green tea and fresh fruit on the house. We would recommend this little gem to anyone.


To see more pictures check out the Gallery link on the right hand side, and of course sign up for email alerts so you can easily follow along with our journey 🙂 Please share your experiences or ask questions in the comment section below!

As always, we love you (from across the globe)…



Five Keys to Packing Right

1. Do your research.

As Mark and I began the process of looking for our travel backpacks, we first got online to see what others were recommending. Once we had an idea of what good options would be, we set out to chat with an expert. For women’s top picks I really liked the guide in

 2. Go to your nearest REI store. 

Find someone who works in the backpacking department, and tell them about your upcoming trip. They will narrow down some great packs, fit you/size you, and fill the pack with weighted bags so you know what it will feel like in reality. I fell in love right away with the Gregory Deva 60L (small) for it’s level of comfort. Mark found his match in an Osprey Aether 65L (large) Something important we want to stress is once you find that perfect pack, buy it online. We can almost guarantee you will find the same pack for up to $100 less! We found our packs for $200 each.

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3. Roll instead of fold your clothes.

For years now we have been using the roll technic for packing, surprising ourselves and others at how much can fit into our luggage. It’s the only way to go! For an example, check out this short video tutorial:


  • With this technique I am able to fit all of this into my 60L pack. Contents include 4 dresses, 2 rompers, 7 shirts, 6 bottoms, 1 jacket, 3 swimsuits, 4 pairs of shoes, one small CamelBak, a fold out toiletry bag and medicine Ziplocs.


4. Buy a 25L Venturesafe Pacsafe bag for everyday use. 

These packs are sick! I don’t think you could find something with more anti-theft safety features. Some of those include slashguard steel straps, eXomesh fabric and scan proof pockets. For fellow photographers out there this will perfectly fit a ProTec camera insert bag for all your travel equipment.

  • Contents include a 13″ Macbook Air laptop w/ case, a Canon Rebel T6s body, 18-200mm lens, tulip hood, backup drive, adjustable tripod, batteries w/ chargers, travel adapter, GoPro Hero 3+ Silver, GoPro accessories, 2 water bottles and 2 neck straps.


5. Pat yourself on the back and grab a beer. 

You are on you way to becoming a world traveler, so celebrate! You can do a victory dance too if that’s more your style.