Archive for Reflections

Budget Travel: The Good, Bad, And The Ugly

| by Aracely | 43 Comments » | Reflections

Colombia Beach

Cocktails At Playa Blanca Colombia

It seems all of us in the travel blogging community agree that travel is good.  The majority of posts that are produced within the industry are intended to  either sell the reader on the idea that travel is one of the most amazing activities one can partake-in and that they too should travel, or momentarily take them into a world of travel fantasy (as Gary Arndt from likes to put it, travel porn.)  In both cases, the story of travel is almost always good.  However, there is indeed a bad and ugly side to travel, more specifically, to budget travel.

There are different styles of travel and each gives the traveler a completely different experience.  Usually, the type of style can be defined by how much money is being spent on that experience.  For example, a luxurious trip to a five star hotel in Rome will be completely different than backpacking through Southeast Asia.  That said, the following issues apply to a budget traveler and only to most places of the world, mainly to the less developed world. (more…)

F´d Up Economics of Tourism in Uyuni Bolivia

| by Aracely | 16 Comments » | Bolivia, Reflections, South America

Bolivia Sunrise

Uyuni Salt Flats Sunrise

I think it was during the first days of our trip.  We were in Guatemala having a conversation with Andy and Paulina, another traveling couple from England, when we first heard that the Uyuni Salt Flat Tour was amazing.  Bolivia was definitely in our plans but we try not to have an itinerary more than a few days ahead so at the time, there was no to-do list for our visit to Bolivia.

While traveling for a few months and meeting more travelers making their way up from the south of South America to the north, opposite of our route, we continued to hear great things about the Uyuni Salt Flats.  The destination quickly made its way up to my top three most anticipated events of this trip. Torres del Paine National Park in Chile and the famous archeological site of Machu Picchu were the others on that list.

I was not disappointed.  Everything we heard about the Salt Flats was true; it lived up to the expectation, which does not always happen with every place.  Not only was the experience one of a kind, but our guide was very informative, we met new friendly people, saw unique and unforgettable scenery and took over 750 pictures within a four days. (more…)

10 Lessons Learned While Traveling

| by Aracely | 54 Comments » | Reflections, Travel Tips

Travel Jumping at Uyuni Bolivia Salt Flats

Jason Jumping Over a Land Cruiser on the Uyuni, Bolivia Salt Flats

It is hard to believe it has been 270 days (9 whole months) that we have been on the road.  Nine months of moving around, nine months of living out of our backpacks, nine months of not seeing family and friends, of hostels, of street food, of meeting strangers, of making friends, nine whole months of travel.  The worst for me has been the nine months of worrying about where I last left my passport.

We have definitely traveled further, taken more pictures, and had many more adventures and mishaps since our 6 Month Summary.  This time around we would like to share a few pictures that you would normally not get to see, and with them some important lessons learned while on the road. (more…)

Ethics Of Tourism: Mines Of Potosi Bolivia

| by Aracely | 15 Comments » | Bolivia, Reflections, South America

Potosi Bolivia

Cerro Rico, Potosi, Bolivia

When I first heard that in Potosi there are organized tours allowing visitors to see how miners work, my first reaction was “Why?  What do tourists do there, take pictures?”

At first thought, to be very honest, I was sickened that people do this.  Imagine a group of gringos who are dressed in protective clothing, rubber boots, helmets and headlamps, which by the way are all likely better than the equipment the real miners are wearing, coming into the mines to take pictures and then getting back on the bus to continue their travels.  It sounds so wrong.  And then I heard that people bring gifts for the miners, such as dynamite, cigarettes, and coca leaves.  “Is this to make the tourist feel better?”  I wondered. (more…)

Is Guatemala Safe?

| by Jason | 21 Comments » | Central America, Guatemala, Reflections

Is Panajachel safe?

Walking the Streets of Panajachel, Guatemala

I was asked if Guatemala is safe by another traveler while hanging out in a hostel in Argentina.  And let’s be honest, Guatemala is much less developed than Argentina, so it’s a legitimate question.  It’s not the first time we have been asked about traveling in Guatemala, although the questions did usually come up when we were in South America.  You don’t get asked such a question in Central America, mostly because all those countries are relatively the same in terms of safety and infrastructure less Costa Rica. (more…)

All Mothers Are Not Created Equal

| by Aracely | 11 Comments » | Reflections

Indigenous families in Antigua Guatemala

Street Food Vendor And Child in Antigua Guatemala

This Mother’s Day is the first I’ve spent away from my mother during twenty-eight years my of life.  I miss her very much.  On a day like today, every mother should be praised for carrying a child in their womb, providing unrelenting nurturing and for the unconditional love most mothers provide.

During my travels I have seen many mothers struggling to feed and provide for their children.  However, one particular story, which I am about to share, reminded me that being a mother is so much more than giving birth to a life.

We were enjoying yet another delicious Argentinean steak and wine meal at an outside café in central Mendoza.  Suddenly, a young boy approached our table, whom I guessed to be 5 or 6 years old.  With a soft but confident voice he asked for some of my french fries.  I immediately handed him a handful of the fries from my plate.  He grabbed the fries, put them directly into his mouth and walked away. (more…)

The Impact Of Travel And Blogging

| by Aracely | 42 Comments » | Ecuador, Reflections, South America

Monuments in Paris

Arc de Triomphe (Arch of Triumph) in Paris, France

Ever since I can remember I have absolutely loved the idea of travel.  When I was in college I pursued a study abroad program in France and I was hooked on travel for life.  I knew then that I would do much more of it in the near future and beyond.  Nothing feels more rewarding and educational to me than experiencing a new place, language, people, food and everything that comes along with it.  My passion for travel made me want to evoke wanderlust onto others.

Travel Blogger Meet Up

The last few weeks we’ve been spending time with a few other traveler bloggers just like us.  These are people who are also traveling and sharing their experiences on-line for the world to see.  By writing, taking photos and sharing videos, we are all naturally encouraging others to travel to the places we have been or places they have always dreamed of.  The point is, the message we all have for others is to get out there and travel.

During our time together we’ve been sharing travel stories, favorite and worst places visited, itineraries and opinions.  After a few days full of conversation, I began to notice a few patterns surrounding what we were all discussing. (more…)