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Latin America, We Meet Again

2014 February 6
Roatan, Honduras

Sunset in Roatan, Honduras.

I toiled through four years of high school Spanish and never did I think that it would be useful someday. At the time, it was just another class that I needed to graduate. I was really never great at it, let alone good. I failed pretty much every telenovela quiz, didn’t (and still don’t) understand the subjunctive phrase, and could barely roll my R’s. Growing up in California, you meet your fair share of Hispanic people but I didn’t ever think I would actually have to be proficient Spanish.

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I Don’t Always Travel, But When I Do, I Stay in Hostels

2013 August 3
Jungle Party hostel. Antigua, Guatemala

Jungle Party hostel. Antigua, Guatemala.

Backpacking to me is not only about the places you go and the things you do. A huge part of it are all the amazing people you meet along the way. It’s not often that you get to meet people from all over the world, who are seeing the same new things as you, and who are in the same mindset of having fun.

But where exactly does one go to meet these other backpackers? Luckily, most major tourist places have figured this out long ago: hostels. Nothing like the horror scenes depicted in the movie “Hostel”, hostels are actually one of my favorite parts about traveling.

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Hydro Flask – The Most Amazing Bottle Ever!

2013 July 25
by Paul
Hydro Flask bottles

These bottles are the bomb.

Often times we hear something that sounds too good to be true. Maybe it’s some guy selling a new iPhone on Craigslist for $50, or perhaps a very generous Nigerian prince, or one of those “as seen on TV” products that seems to be God’s gift to earth.

Unfortunately, the majority of these stories end up being a scam or a massive disappointment. But sometimes, just sometimes, you find the unicorn product that actually lives up to it’s calling. A product that claims to do the extraordinary and when used, actually performs as promised.

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What NOT to Pack for Your Backpacking Trip

2013 May 22

Courtesy of ratestogo.com

You’ve saved up for your ticket, got your passport and are ready to go. But then you realize you have absolutely NO idea what to pack. What you can live with and what you can do without? You stare at your pack and wonder how you are going to fit everything you need inside.

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My 15 Best Photos of Japan

2013 May 7
Nara, Japan

A park in Nara.

As a follow up to my recent post about Japan, here’s a collection of some of the best photos I took on the trip.

Locations include Hiroshima, Kyoto, Nara, and Tokyo. Camera used was a Nikon D40 paired with a Nikon 35m f/1.8G.

If you like these, you’ll probably like my pictures of San Francisco as well.

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Japan: Not Just Sushi and Anime

2013 April 29
Mt. Fuji

Mt. Fuji from a Kyoto to Tokyo bullet train.

To be perfectly honest, Japan has never been on top of my list of places to visit.

A big reason is that it’s a developed country. These countries are expensive and they’ll be more or less the same whether I go now or when I’m older. I want to visit the third-world countries first because they’ll undoubtedly change and their creature comforts are more inclined towards those in who are young and in shape.

Japan has also failed to pique my interest because I’ve always thought of it as somewhat bland: it doesn’t have any spectacular beaches, there are no swathes of  jungles, no amazing dive sites, and other than Tokyo, it lacks a big, globally known city. I have heard it does have amazing skiing but flying trans-pacific seems excessive for that alone, especially since I’m so close to Tahoe.

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Thailand, Four Years Later

2013 March 15
Grand Palace, Bangkok

Third time’s the charm with the Grand Palace, Bangkok.

It’s been over two months (yes, I am finally out of my post-vacation funk) since I returned from my latest trip to Thailand so I’ve had some time to reflect and think about the trip. Even though it was not the longest (around 2.5 weeks), we managed to see a good number of places: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Koh Tao, Koh Phangan, and Koh Samui.

Chiang Mai and Koh Samui were both new to me. Nestled up against the northern mountains, Chiang Mai provided some much needed reprieve from the oppressing heat in Bangkok. The city is much smaller and although I wouldn’t necessarily go as far as saying it’s quaint, it does have a certain charm about it.

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