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We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

Author Archive

Walking Cities Part 3: New York City

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If you’ve missed the introduction to this series, click here. For part 2, click here.

Times Square - kennymatic

Times Square - kennymatic

Being the most densely populated city in the United States may make the Big Apple a little crowded, but it also makes it easy to get around. No sprawling suburban landscapes here, folks, there isn’t space! Home to many a famous landmark, everything from Wall Street to the Broadway stage, you’ll run out of tread on your sneakers before you run out of things to see and do in this city!

Making it even easier, New York is famous for its fantastic walking tours. Though the city may be small, it’s much easier to navigate your way through the skyscrapers with a little help from a trained tour guide. Luckily for you, no matter what your passion, there’s a tour to suit every taste! continue reading

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Walking Cities Part 2: Barcelona

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If you’ve missed the introduction to this series, click here.

Sagrada Familia, Gaudi - jurvetson

Sagrada Familia, Gaudi - jurvetson

There is plenty to explore in Barcelona, a city notorious for its relaxed pace of life. Things work on a slower timetable here, great for a walk about! Take your time, you have all day! (Literally, dinner often doesn’t start here until 10 or 11pm, and nightclubs usually don’t begin filling up until around 2am). There’s plenty to do and see, and in recent years, Barcelona has become quite the multicultural hotbed. The area is home to a high population of immigrants, which means not only interesting people, but amazing international food, and a rich collection of books, art, and shopping. Cafés (yum, churros and chocolate!), galleries and parks (with lots of famous street art) galore!

As the home of nine UNESCO World Heritage sites (seven of which were designed by the famous Antoni Gaudí) there are plenty destinations for you to check out on that slow ramble around the city. continue reading

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Yes, I Know How to Walk.

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned in London (well, hopefully there’s been more than one) it’s how to walk…Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “she seriously doesn’t know how to walk?!”

Stop worrying.

I’m not talking about one foot in front of the other, step by step, here to there walking. No, I’m talking about some serious perambulation (aka touristy walking around as much of a city as you can get your hands on). Hey, we’re tourists, and we don’t want to sit in the back of a taxicab, we want to explore!

Ready to take a ramble? - borkur.net

Ready to take a ramble? - borkur.net

In Davis we bike or bus, and usually it’s just to get from destination to destination. If we really want to walk, we take a hike, and if we really need to get somewhere, we take a car. But here in London, we literally walk everywhere. We walk to the store, we walk to class, we walk to work, we walk to think, we walk to explore, and we get lost and we walk. The first few weeks we here, most of our conversations ended with, “ugh, my feet are tiiiiiiired”, (and this was especially true when we couldn’t seem to figure out the night bus schedule). continue reading

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Marrakech, Morocco: (Hi)stories and Adventure!

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Known as the “Red City”, Marrakech, Morocco is often known simply for its expansive open-air markets, snake-charmers, and tiny, winding streets. But, situated at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, this French and Arabic speaking city also holds a rich cultural history, plenty of outdoor adventures, and gorgeous architecture and “red” desert scenery.

Marrakech Medina - Joao Maximo

Marrakech Medina - Joao Maximo

Marrakech is a wonderful example of unspoiled, untainted culture. A combination of traditional Arabic, Berber, and French has been woven together into the city’s distinctive dialogue. And though Islam is still quite strong, Marrakech is a less conservative city than many other Moroccan cities. Hazy, pink buildings are a dime a dozen. Shops are mostly tiny, locally-run operations. Coffee is thick and delicious (no instant stuff there!). And the sun, I hear, is always shining (see! It’s not just Californians who say this). continue reading

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New Adventures: Time to Get Travelling!

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Ready for your next adventure? - David Paul Ohmer

Ready for your next adventure? - David Paul Ohmer

According to Cheapflights.co.uk, vacation air fares are down by up to 75% this year. While this may mean bad news for your local airline, it also means that now is the perfect time to book that summer holiday for cheaper than ever! (Take my word on this one, I just booked a return flight from London to Glasgow for £26 including taxes!)

And so, in honor of my own ridiculously cheap airline plans, I present: “Exciting new isango! adventures to plan now that you can afford the air fare there”! With the launch of tons of new experiences everywhere from Marrakech to Bratislava, why not take this opportunity to get out there and do more with your trip? (And if you want to take me along, I certainly won’t complain.) continue reading

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Weird Foods: More Than Just A Photo Op.

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I can’t say it enough, (and I do, often) food is one of the best and most informative ways to experience a new culture. However, after hearing about a friend’s recent (strange/gross/wild) cultural eating experience in Peru (exactly what that was, we’ll come back to in a moment) I’m starting to think that it’s not just the variety of authentic cuisines that helps to define a new place, but often the experience of stepping completely outside of your (culinary and otherwise) comfort-zone in the process.

Deep, I know. But think about it for a minute, if someone offered you fish eyeballs, pig hoofs or alligator at your local diner, would you even think twice about saying no? Probably not.

So what is it that gets us crazy travellers to embark on weird and wild culinary adventures? Perhaps it’s the desire to become a part of a new place, a new culture, a new experience. Because, as any traveller knows, food isn’t just about filling your belly with calories it’s about embarking on a cultural experience.

Here comes dinner? - Shazari

Here comes dinner? - Shazari

Take my friend’s trip to Peru for example. She’s southern California born and bred, vegetarian, and an organic food junkie. What could have possibly made a girl who diligently washes each grape before digging into the bunch try (gulp) guinea pig at the local Peruvian market? continue reading

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Swine Flu: Not you (Hopefully)!

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you’ve heard the swine flu alerts. Every day there’s been a new article, a new email (usually from my concerned mother) , a new tweet about the swine flu. I’m starting to think that maybe missing that spring break trip to Cancun wasn’t so disastrous after all. With 159 reported deaths so far, what’s most important is that the outbreak is receiving the serious attention it deserves. This doesn’t mean that everyone needs to avoid Mexican food and run to their nearest GP, however, as cases have begun cropping up everywhere from California to Spain, it does mean that it’s important to be aware and informed about current travel precautions. Though it seems like something new crops up every year, a mad-cow epidemic here, a tomato or peanut butter recall there, avian flu, and now swine flu, even the most adventurous traveller should exercise caution. (And, hey, if excitement is what you’re looking for, why not try something like river rafting instead?) continue reading

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Going to San Francisco: Flowers in Your Hair Not Necessary!

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“So, do you…see celebrities everywhere then?” It’s the first question anyone thinks to ask when I tell them I’m from, gasp, California. Along with, “So it’s sunny all of the time then?” and, I kid you not, “Do you surf to class?” …Well, er, no, actually, I don’t. In fact, I’m from Northern California, more famous for its Golden Gate Bridge and the Napa Valley wine region than it is for glamorous and paparazzi-filled nights on the town. The only stars I see out at night are the ones in the sky, and, frankly, I’d like to keep it that way.

Golden Gate Bridge - Dan Cuellar

Golden Gate Bridge - Dan Cuellar

So, in honor of that Northern-Californian (or Nor-Cal, as we say) pride, I’d like to present a series of “amazing, beautiful, and entirely devoid of any surfboards or celebrity sightings” things to do in California. continue reading

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There Might Even Be Funnel Cakes: Checking Out the UK’s Seaside Scene

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It’s raining outside, and we’re missing the California beaches! Spurred by a long discussion about deep-fried snickers and hot dogs at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, I’ve decided to investigate the UK’s beach scene (hey, we’re surrounded by miles and miles of coastline here too!). And, luckily, the UK turns out to have quite the selection of coastal spots for us sun-hungry Californians to choose from as the weather heats up this summer.

Blackpool's Pleasure Beach - Jon's Pics

Blackpool's Pleasure Beach - Jon's Pics

It may not be Coney Island or the Boardwalk, but it looks pretty close! The Pleasure Beach Amusement Park in Blackpool, England features over 125 rides and attractions with some beautiful coastline views. And for you thrill seekers, twelve roller coasters, (woohoo!) including the one of the last “Wild Mouse” rides in operation, a neck-bending series of bunny hops and flat turns. Accessible via the Blackpool Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour, I can’t wait for an afternoon of sun and fun here (I just hope they have funnel cakes!) continue reading

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Camden Town: Food, Friends, and (Great!) Finds

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Well, I may not have been able to check out all of the cuisines I listed in my last article about food (yet!), but I did make it to the cobblestone streets of Camden Market’s food vendor area yesterday…close enough, right? Davis, California might have the most adorable Saturday morning farmer’s market, but I’m starting to see why shopping in London is so famous, it’s pretty impossible to compete with the size and variety of London’s famous sites.

Food in Camden Market - Yandle

Food in Camden Market - Yandle

The Camden Market’s stalls were tiny, the streets were narrow, and the food was AMAZING! (Suck on that, American food courts). I swear this tiny corner of Camden houses any and everything you could possibly want to eat. Cuban? Check. Spanish? Italian? Thai? Moroccan? Chinese? Indian? Mexican? Check, check, check, check, check, check, check! Everything looked and smelled so delicious that I worked up an appetite just trying to decide which one to choose. And, one of the best things about strolling around Camden is the mix of locals and tourists, sure, there are a ton of souvenirs and knick-knacks lining the streets, but do and a little digging and the market is actually packed with great (and often cheap!) clothing, crafts, and music as well. From CDs to corsets, there’s something for everyone in Camden, just make sure you’ve got plenty of time to spend exploring!

I can’t wait to check out some of the city’s other famous markets and foods soon…Maybe all of this exploring will help burn off the huge helping of paella I wolfed down last night! continue reading

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