This past late November/early December, I went on my first G Adventures tour to Costa Rica. It was also my first adventure type, nature-y focused trip I’ve been on. I did things that were totally outside of my comfort zone, things I would normally be afraid of and would hesitate to do. Like, for example, I went canyoneering [while it was pouring rain], ziplining “Superman” style high up above the canopy forest and did the Super Tarzan Swing (where you jump off from high up and free fall for almost 5 seconds before you swing back and forth), went on a night walk through a forest where there were creepy crawlies galore including snakes, tarantulas, and insects. And most significantly, I went on the Cerro Chato EXTREME hike, which really was extreme, up an inactive volcano beside Arenal Volcano.
And while these were activities that made me all nervous and scared to do at first, I have no regrets and I’d even say this was one of my best trips I’ve been on.
More pics, videos and review on the activities below.
Lastly, the Greek islands! I think this part of the trip would have been 100X better if I hadn’t done it via cruising. We only had three days to visit Mykonos, Kusadasi, Patmos and Santorini and in those three days, majority of it was traveling time. I would one day like to do a re-do of the Greek islands.
Overall, I would say Santorini was one of my favourite places I visited on this trip. I mean, I rode a donkey and drove an ATV (without killing or injuring anyone), that is pretty awesome.
Continuation from Part 1 – Italy, next up on the Mediterranean Trail is Greece, more specifically, Corfu and Athens (the Greek islands are in part 3).
While in Italy I learned some phrases (my favourite being ‘scusi’) that to this day, still remember. But the only Greek phrase I remember from this trip? Pretty much just OPA! And I intend to start using it more often in everyday conversation now that I am back home (similar to how I will throw in ‘scusi’ whenever it feels appropriate). So opa!! Let’s go!
After my trip to Thailand, I have been counting the days until the new vacation calendar at work kicks in so I can book another trip. You can say I’ve been bitten by the travel bug or, some might say, I’m just really on the verge of an Office Space moment and need to step away from everyday life. In any case, I ordered some Contiki and G Adventures brochures in late March/early April and once they arrived, I excitedly scoured through them and bookmarked the places that really appealed to me (so pretty much every page). On my bucket list, I wanted to hit every continent and I really wanted to visit Peru to see Machu Picchu. But when researching airfares, it seemed like it wasn’t really a good time so I decided on Europe because I shamefully have never been. And, this is going to sound really lame, but ever since I saw Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Eat Pray Love, I’ve always wanted to visit Greece and Italy (respectively). And so, I decided on the Mediterranean Trail plus 3 day cruise in the Greek islands with Contiki!
As you may have read in my previous posts, I travelled by myself for the first time to somewhere foreign. I’ve been to New York City solo before, once for a business trip and once to take advantage of a really great Expedia deal. But this was the first time I’ve gone an extended period of time and to somewhere far away, and quite different, from home. It was something I had my anxieties about but at the same time, knew it was something I wanted to try. Maybe blame it on Eat Pray Love.
Saying you’re going to travel by yourself, I find, carries a lot of stigmatism. The general reaction from people finding out you’re going somewhere by yourself is generally pity and some form of the following questions: good lord, do you not have any friends? Is there something socially wrong with you to not be able to find travel partners? Are you that pathetic of a person to not be able to find ANYONE to go with you? Aren’t you scared something is going to happen to you going by yourself? Etc. In fact, my own mother had this reaction.
And that’s kind of a shame because from meeting other solo travelers on the tour, this is hardly the case for why we choose to go on our own.
December 17th was our last day in Phuket. Last day of seeing ladyboys everywhere (though apparently I am oblivious to them and had to have them pointed out to me), seeing scantily-clad women dancing on poles outside, being bombarded by people trying to get me to a PING PONG SHOW or asking if I wanted a tuk tuk. We were going to a more low-key place, Koh Phi Phi island!
Day Four: Off to Koh Phi Phi Island!
We boarded a ferry to Koh Phi Phi island, an hour and half from Phuket. An hour and a half of sea sickness fun! By the time we got there, the sky was dark and cloudy and it looked like it was going to pour. And it did, as we were walking across the island to our hotel.
Wow, it sure has been a long time since I made a post in this blog! In 2012, I plan to (or hope to) be more diligent with posting in here. I’ve just been so accustomed to microblogging and tweeting and, well, lazy.
So I begin 2012 with a post about my trip to Thailand in December 2011 – Thailand mainly, but with a few days bookending the trip in Hong Kong (mainly to shop, hence the Eat Shop Tan). This trip would last almost a month, leaving December 8th and getting back the evening of December 26th. A whole month away from work, a much needed break!
To say this was a trip I had planned meticulously for and thought a lot about would be a lie. It kind of came as a surprise. I was just frustrated with things in my life and wanted a change.
A three part “photoblog” on my October 2006 visit to Tokyo. Continuation from Part II. More pictures ahead!