Bangkok is Cheap!

Bangkok has been a learning experience. This is our first city in SE Asia and is a spectacular one at that. We left our first guest house (Wendy House) to try staying in another part of the city.

Coolest place we have stayed so far!
Coolest place we have stayed so far!

We enjoyed our accommodations, but after being sick for several days, it just felt like time for a change of scenery. Our next place sounded pretty cool, plus I got the recommendation from Nomadic Matt. We stayed at a little place called Suk 11. It is a hostel built of Teak and surrounded by a ton of greenery and plant life along a back street that is closed off to cars at night. The inside ambience of the hostel was pretty awesome and looked like it took many years to get that way. If it was in the US, the owners would have spent a ton of money to try and get it to look like this.  Continue reading Bangkok is Cheap!

Getting Sick While Traveling – “What Time… No, What Day Is It?”

Sorry for the radio silence recently, Angela and I have both been sick with traveler’s diarrhea issues for the last several days. Just for kicks, Angela picked up a sinus bug that I had a week or so ago that hit her harder than it hit me. Actually, both illnesses have hit her harder than me, and judging by how I felt, I am sure she feels like dirt.

Being sick while on vacation is bad no matter how you look at it. You are wasting a day or days that you worked hard to save and plan for, you are in a hostel/hotel/guest house, you don’t have any friends around to cheer you up, and you have nothing to do but sit and wait. It’s not fun. I do not recommend it.

Continue reading Getting Sick While Traveling – “What Time… No, What Day Is It?”

Stop Waiting for a “Good Time” to Take Vacation and Just Go

100% true.

The nature of many jobs is that there will never be an easy time to take time off, no matter how well you plan for it in advance. But that’s no reason to not go at all. It’s in your employer’s best interests to have well-rested and recharged employees, and vacation time is a benefit that you’ve earned, just like salary, so you should use it. So instead of waiting for the perfect time – which may never come along – decide that you will use your vacation time this year, and make the question one of what accommodations should be made, rather than whether accommodations can be made.

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Rome is Love (Literally)

In Italian, Rome is “Roma”. Reversed, “amor” is Latin for love. Rome is love, and we loved Rome. One of the world’s greatest and oldest cities, Rome is at once immense and intimate. The week we spent there flew by and we want to go back again on future trips – in fact, we made sure of it.

A traditional legend holds that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to Rome. We are going back!
A traditional legend holds that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to Rome. We are going back!

Continue reading Rome is Love (Literally)

Pisa – You Only Need A Piece Of It

We are in love with the rail system in Italy. You can, without planning ahead and without spending much money, arrive at a train station, buy tickets from a machine using a touchscreen, and board a train headed to your next destination. Traveling like this allows you to roll into a place like Pisa, take the requisite photo of you and your mates propping up the tower, and roll out in around an hour. Like Venice, Pisa is a place that you want to “check off” and move on.  Continue reading Pisa – You Only Need A Piece Of It

Drinking in the Sights on the Italian Riviera

We left Florence almost on a whim on Wednesday the 12th after recalling the pictures and descriptions of a small section of the Italian coastline called Cinque Terre (CHING-kwah TEHR-ah). We booked a place to stay only the morning we left Florence, just before heading to the train station towards the coast. We headed west through Italy, landing in Monterosso al Mare (the northernmost of the five towns in Cinque Terre). After that, we caught a train two towns north of that and landed in Bonassola, where we are staying.
Continue reading Drinking in the Sights on the Italian Riviera

Florence, Italy (not South Carolina)

Something I’ve noticed is that many of the names of places and streets in Europe are replicated in the US. This is not at all surprising as the US is a baby (in age) compared to pretty much any other country, but especially Europe. Florence seems to be an especially popular city name though. We have a Florence in South Carolina, Alabama, Oregon, Arizona, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Mississippi, and probably many others. Do other countries have this problem or is it unique to the US (and we are just a bunch of lazy buggers with no creativity)? Continue reading Florence, Italy (not South Carolina)

From “Venice!” to “Venice?” to “Meh, Venice.”

Yes, I am a tourist, but I don't want to see cruise ships full of tourists... anywhere.
Yes, I am a tourist, but I don’t want to see cruise ships full of tourists… anywhere.

When traveling, it’s a good idea to try not to visit a place just to “tick it off the list” of places you wish to see. Instead, you should learn a little about the place you are visiting, check out its local food and drink, meet its people, see what it looks like under a setting sun, that sort of thing. Venice… Venice is a little different. A sure sign of troubling things to come: when you can see not one but three cruise ships docked next to the city you are in route to. Continue reading From “Venice!” to “Venice?” to “Meh, Venice.”