travel diaries


Điều đáng tiếc nhất trong hành trình lần này là mình chả hôm nào được ngắm hoàng hôn với bình minh trọn vẹn cả. Quảng Bình những ngày ấy mát mẻ và thi thoảng còn mưa lất phất, thời tiết vô cùng thích hợp cho việc phơi mình cả ngày ngoài đường, nhưng cái khoảnh khắc chạng vạng khi mặt trời lấp ló sau đám mây và ánh sáng phản chiếu tạo nên sắc màu huyền ảo thì không thể thấy được 😕😕

AS THE SPIRITS MOVE YOU: One of Japan’s great secrets can be found south of Kyoto in Ise-Shima, a region of unspoiled beauty where the country’s Shinto religious traditions are strongest - photography: Erik Johnson - text: Pico Iyer - Travel + Leisure June 2017

  • “The Buddhist temple of Seiganto-ji overlooks Japan’s tallest waterfall, Nachi-no-Taki”

Andrew Kearns and myself hiked the infamous Siphon Draw trail amongst the Superstition Wilderness. He was in awe of how beautiful dry, desert land can be. “I’ve never seen so much cacti in my life”, he remarks.

We sat here in our rocky nooks for a solid 30 minutes gazing into the sun’s beauty. 

Solid afternoon.


Ballet dancers in the Kibera neighborhood of Nairobi, Kenya one of biggest slums in Africa. The ballerinas (ballerinos) are young students who study dance for fun, made possible through a program run by U.K.-based charity Anno’s Africa, which provides alternative arts education to over 800 children in Kenya. The classes are taught by Mike Wamaya previously worked as a dancer throughout Europe.  His classes focus on both the physical and mental well-being, that promotes confidence-building.  The children feel and see how much they can accomplish if someone gives them the chance, in turn improves their self-esteem and makes them stronger in their daily life.

Photo series by Fredrik Lerneryd h/t huffpost


FACADES, an exhibition of photographic works by German artist ©Markus Brunetti.

  • Orvieto, Duomo di Santa Maria Assunta
  • Dresden, Frauenkirche
  • Piazzola sul Brenta Cathedral
  • Angoulême, Cathédrale Saint-Pierre
  • Amiens, Cathédrale Notre-Dame
  • The Church of Santa Marinha
  • Jerez de la Frontera - Cartuja de Santa María de la Defensión
  • Valera Igreja Paroquial
  • Ottobeuren St. Alexander und Theodor
  • Leon Cathedral, in the Picardy region of France

Since I got this question in my ask box a few days ago, I decided to make a blog post about it.

As I have mentioned, one piece of advice I could give is to take risks. Be courageous enough to face your fears. One way of learning is through taking risks. It will make you a stronger person and wiser of the decisions you might be making in the future. Do not be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and try things you’ve never done before. Be spontaneous. Sometimes, things don’t go out the way they should be or how you had planned it. And so, you just gotta deal with it or do something and make the most out of it. Here are some tips and advice you might need.

DO RESEARCH. You’re biggest concern would probably be your safety. I suggest that you do a lot of research beforehand. Read travel blogs as it would be really helpful. Know the ways in getting from one place to another. Check how much the fares costs and how long the travel time would take. If you like to eat and try out new things like me, it would also be good to check out the rates and packages available so that you can also plan out your budget. I would also recommend for you to read reviews of the places you want to visit so that you can prepare yourself in case you encounter some unexpected situations.

PLAN YOUR TRIPS. I like planning my trips because it also saves time so I make it appoint to make an itinerary. I usually list down the attractions or activities that can be done and assign a specific date to visit and do them. It lessens the chance of unexpected expenses since you already know what you want to do and how much it would cost you.

TRAVEL LIGHT. Only bring the things that are necessary. Plan your outfits ahead to avoid bringing extra clothes that you won’t be wearing anyway. You’ll only need your toiletries and enough clothes to last you on your trip. Trust me. I actually know someone who just bring clothes good for a day or two and then just buy her clothes for the remaining days at local markets.

BRING EXTRA CASH. You’ll never know. You might need it in case of emergencies. So always bring an extra cash on hand. Don’t just put it in one place and make some sort of a hidden stash. So incase you lost your wallet you won’t be left empty handed.

BE VIGILANT. Don’t just accept drinks from random people. Also, if you’re going to the washroom don’t leave your drinks or ask for another one when you get back. Your safety is of utmost important. Trust your instincts. If you feel like something doesn’t feel right then don’t go for it. 

JUST ENJOY. And most of all don’t forget to enjoy and have fun. That’s the most important thing. It would also be fun to meet locals and interact with them. Don’t over think too much on your trip. Make it a fun and relaxing one.

Each and every trip, you get to have different kinds of experience. Although you have planned things out, something might still come along the way. You’ll never know. Learn to ride with the waves. Also, traveling doesn’t really have to be expensive. I suggest you go somewhere near first. Maybe a day trip or an overnight trip. Just for you to feel the surface and see how you like it because I believe that solo travel is not for everyone. Anyway, don’t wait any longer and start planning out your first solo trip. :-)

oh BOY

remember when i said i have troublesome travel experiences?

you’ll wanna hear this one.
I hit every bump on the road on my way to Thailand. I did make it here safely!! But oh man did i have problems.

It started at my home base airport, where the lady checking me in insisted i needed a visa to the point she called her supervisor over to convince me… yeah no i did not need a visa. Next, my flight was delayed by 2 hours. Made it to a connecting flight at LAX… where they kept switching the dingdong gate on me. Id find it, sit down to eat a sandwich because i was STARVING by that point and theyd make me move. Finally, the pick one and im told my boarding pass doesn’t work. Get a new boarding pass, board. Told repeatedly im in the wronnnggg seat… even though my boarding pass said so. Finally convince flight attendants who took my boarding pass because they jad to verify it. We get into the sky and im over here merrily enjoying my games and books on the phone for about an hour… when a flight attendant tells me i have to shut the phone off… “its on airplane mode!” says I. “turn it off!” says she. Okay. i oblige because there were these really cool touch screen things with movies and games and tv that i can use. BUT WAIT- mine is broken. The flight is full so they can’t switch my seat. Here I am on a 15 hour flight with nothing to do. Tried to sleep… was very unsuccessful.
Finally about 7 hours later i get the damn thing to work. PRAISE THE SNODS.
Alright, things are going. That 15 hiur flught was physically painful and mentally exhausting. Sitting aroune for 5 hours with severe ADHD SUCKED. i cried a lot. only slept 2 hours on that plane.
Finally get to China for my flight only… whats this? i have an hour layover… and… my 15 hour flight WAS 45 MINUTES LATE. “O shit” I say as the tram driver takes his dear sweet time getting us from the plane to the terminal. Finally, get there and they call last call for bangkok… im freaking out. i give them my passport and boarding pass and they let me through passed china’s additional security check point. 10 minutes. i RAN A MILE according to my fit bit. ive never ran a mile in 10. personal record. finally got to the gate… was the last to board. they close the door behind me, im on the verge of an asthma attack, but praising the gods that i made it.
sleep for 2 hours on the flight. land in bangkok. wait 45 minutes for my luggage that… oh… didnt make it onto my plane :’(
they tell me its coming in at 2 am and they will send it to my hotel. im hoping it made it here. idk its 6 am and i havent gone to check because i want to sleep more.

but i am here with my best friend in the entire world. i am safe. and ready for this grand adventure!!!
but man, has it been an adventure already.


Sam’s SXSW Diary  |  Day 2

Hey all!! Day two of SXSW was such a blast! I woke up this morning feeling like a million bucks, and it was probably because I slept in a bed and not on a plane… but I’m sure the excitement of being here added to it as well!

Keep reading

Florence, Italy - photography by: Michelle Heimerman - Saveur April/May 2017

  • Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower Il Duomo di Firenze: was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style with the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white and has an elaborate 19th-century Gothic Revial facade by Emilio De Fabric.
  • styles: Italian Gothic - Renaissance - Gothic Revival

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