Doing a dive safari in the Red Sea has been on my radar for a few years. I couldn't imagine visiting this region without doing a specific diving trip, so I booked us 7 days on a live-aboard dive boat. The itinerary was to leave from Porto Ghalib and dive three main areas: Elphinstone reef, the Brothers Islands, and Daedalus.
Legend has it that Siquijor (pronounced See Key Whore) is full of mystics, shamans, voo doo, and healers. Superstition keeps many Filipinos from visiting the sleepy island. We spent 6 days there and had to experience some sort of healing treatment ourselves.
We did a three day and two night island expedition with Buhay Isla to travel between Coron and El Nido. What would normally take about six hours on a ferry, we stretched out over three sun drenched, unplugged, well-fed, adventurous days. What a beautiful way to travel from one place to another.
Our time in El Nido, Palawan, was a little different from what most visitors experience. El Nido is situated in northern Palawan, one of the most photographed regions of the Philippines. It’s the jumping off point to go island hopping out to breathtaking Bacuit Archipelago, a cluster about 50 protected islands with towering limestone cliffs, crystal blue water, pristine white sand beaches, and enchanting lagoons.
Despite being THE reason people go to El Nido, we didn’t do a single island hopping tour. We originally intended to do some island hopping, but when arrived to find too many boats full of too many people going to all the same iconic spots, we opted out.
For us, beautiful places lose their magic when experienced in large herds of people. We knew immediately that we wanted to stay away from the crowds of tourists and experience something a little different. So we did. We didn’t miss out on the beauty of El Nido. We missed out on the seas of bobbing orange life vests and screaming tourists.
For two days we went out into Bacuit Archipelago on a SCUBA boat. They took us to some beautiful remote bays and islands that had no other tourists. The most crowded it got for us was driving past the saturated tourist hot spots littered with dozens of boats on our way to a dive site, getting to our destination and seeing another dive boat pull away.
The diving itself didn’t “wow” us the way we hoped, but they were still really cool dives. We swam around and through towering rock formations, picked sea grass and hand-fed a turtle, lovingly chased an octopus as it camouflaged itself and swam from rock to rock, and saw vibrant, electric clams for the first time.
One of the SCUBA days I had sinus issues so I joined Nick on the boat but didn’t dive. I snorkeled at each increasingly more scenic spot and swam up to the uninhabited beaches to explore.
On one deserted island I searched around for the 4-foot long lizards that lived there. I found a series of large footprints originating from under a massive boulder and going down the beach to the water. Where the prints finally disappeared into the gently lapping water I came across dozens of baby lizards hopping around from rock to rock. They ranged in size from 1 to 3 inches long but wouldn’t stay still long enough for me to get a close look.
Another SCUBA stop with no other boats was at twin rocks, a place where two towering rock islands nearly touch. The swirling water between them attracts various shark species although I wasn’t lucky enough to spot any. I snorkeled my way to the white sand beach. It was completely empty and no bigger than 100 feet long. The rocks were perfect for me to scramble up and get a birds eye view of the clear blue water while Nick was diving below.
That day turned out to be an exclusive, private island hopping tour where I saw no other tourists and experienced some of the most beautiful beaches and snorkeling in the Philippines
The tall, dirty-blonde European guy with a tusk for a nose took his seat behind me. Within seconds I was gagging on his putrid foot odor.
On the way to Dahab, the 1-hour drive north out of Sharm el Sheik rewarded us with views of Sinai's rugged, mountainous, empty desert. Spotting the occasional Bedouin huts along the way I began to wonder what traversing this region must've been like thousands of years ago.
Inside the museum we were immediately overwhelmed. Over 100,000 objects in 60 or so rooms. There's no way we could see everything, nor would we want to.
We spent 5 hours at the pyramid complex officially checking off the number one item on my bucket list.
Exploring Utah's most beautiful National Parks was a non-negotiable part of our road trip from Southern California to Colorado. Only slightly out of the way off Interstate 70, we couldn't miss Zion, Arches, or Canyonlands National Parks.
While thousands of dive enthusiasts and novices flock to Thailand each year, not all SCUBA diving in this tropical paradise is created equal.
The Similan and Surin Islands is where all the SCUBA magic happens in Thailand. Let us tell you all about it.
Mammoth will write a song in your heart and fill you with peace if you let her. To prove it, we are sharing these ten photos that will inspire you to put Mammoth on your short list of travel destinations.
Before we made any plans, we asked ourselves this one simple question: do we want to spend our limited budget on one single wedding day, or spend it on many, many days of adventure and discovery? Duh! We chose the latter and couldn't be happier we did.
Here is the story of our inexpensive, 13-person wedding and we stretched our budget to include a 4-month honeymoon to India and Thailand.
One of the most frequent questions we get asked when people find out we are traveling full-time is, "How do you afford it?" To that I extend a sincere thank you for the inspiration to focus my writing on budget travel!
This post is going to list some of the practical things we do in our daily life to decrease unnecessary spending and allocate more money to our travels.
We never planned to spend three days in Albuquerque. In fact, we aimed for a single day of exploring Santa Fe as we were driving across the country. But anyone living the RV life knows, breakdowns happen and you have to be willing to go with the flow.
Thailand is such a popular backpacking destination that many of these stories might not make YOU go hmmmmmmm, but for many of my fellow Americans who have never been to Asia, it's a share-worthy list of weird things.
Travel blunders are bound to happen, especially when traveling to a new place that has a completely different culture than what you're used to. There's so much you can't possibly anticipate so you just wish for the best. But sh%t happens.
Through our travels in Asia, Central America, and the States, we have learned a ton of do's and don'ts and gathered a plethora of resources to help us plan our trips and stay within our budget. We hope you find some value in the information we've compiled for you.
Mammoth Mountain, located in the Eastern Sierra Mountains of central California, is considered one of the most premier ski resort towns in the US with over 3500 acres of skiable area, 28 lifts, and a top elevation of 11,053 feet. There are over 150 runs with the longest being somewhere around 3 miles.
Are you too old to learn how to ski? Probably not! I mean, hell no! Here are some of the reasons why, and how to maximize your learning experience.
Looking for reasons to book that dream trip over seas? Check out our 8 reasons to prioritize traveling abroad and get the inspiration you need to click "book flight."