My time spent in Tulum was perfect. A Small place to have a relaxing getaway mixed with beach naps under palm trees, exploring ruins, and eating tacos from street vendors. If you're looking for adventure, kiteboarding lessons can certainly satisfy that!
Diving, snorkelling, and spearfishing kept me occupied. I'm terrible at spearfishing.
The Split has some of the most beautiful views of the 50 shades of green the ocean offers
Did a flyover of the Blue Hole which was one of the best ways to see this natural wonder
Spent some time in Placencia, which is a cute town and great beach spot
Went swimming with Whale Sharks - an experience I will never forget!
spearfishing off Caye Caulker
the great blue hole
Chartering a plane makes a selfie ok :p
Whale shark off the coast of Placencia
Being a short trip, I spent my time between Flores and Tikal. The Island of Flores is only about 2 square Kilometers in size and cute as a button, right in the middle of the lake. Lush green jungles and narrow cobble stone streets are what color this place. Best part, I made some friends from the UK and we went on a few adventures together! One of which included a night without any power on the island due to a storm. We sat in a hostel bar, our feet 2 inches under water, and only a candle for light. I did trip down a small step - luckily it was dark enough and no one saw!
Staying on Flores was perfect, small enough to explore but plenty of nightlife
Ixpanupajul was a nice littel day trip with a great 2-3 hour hike in the forest and over hanging bridges
Tikal was awe inspiring although I wish I had done it without the guided tour
Crossing the border with new friends
water break and hammock naps at the top of our hike
those views at Tikal
Some of the best times to be had are those you don't plan. So what happens when you end up solo on Roatan, Honduras for a week on a complete whim? It turns out to be one of the most inspirational weeks! It was my very first solo trip and I admit, I was nervous at the start. But once I realized I could do any and everything I wanted to, the sense of adventure kicked in. I spontaneously got dive certified in one of the most beautiful places and met fantastic people!
Got dive certified in Roatan, some of the best clarity and wildlife I've seen
Stayed in West End
Was so busy diving and singing karaoke with the dive shop crew, I took almost no pictures
Utila is also a popular destination and still on my list
One of the places I always recommend in Central America, Nica offers a great variety of adventure sports and the best ceviche I've ever had. I travelled from Leon down to San Juan del Sur, in a country not yet completely westernised and full of friendly locals.
Ate all the seafood and fish tacos! These were some of the best I've had!
Definitely felt like a more cost effective destination than its southern neighbor
San Juan del Sur
volcano boarding in Leon
right before my sister broke her clavicle - obviously already not impressed with what I dragged her to
Most will tell you to visit Costa Rica, and they are not wrong. However, I do feel it is quite westernised and rather expensive. Regardless, as with anywhere, you should visit! The rainforest mountains are fantastic and between wild life preserves, volcanoes, and surf, you will find something exciting to do.
Went zip-lining in Monte Verde - if you're going to do something, do it right
Did some surfing along the coast
Rented a car which was a fun adventure and provided freedom to explore. Note: it's easy to get lost on foggy mountains.
After several days in Panama, you begin to understand why they require proof of planned exit at the border. While prices are very similar to the States, the wealth of activities and rain forest covered hills leave little to be desired. And while there are plenty of party hostels, you also have the option to be as remote as possible. The best of both worlds.
Stayed at Bambuda Lodge on Isla Solarte, a hostel off the grid with its own solar energy supply and rain water system.
Took some surf lessons at Black Rock which was unique since it is not a beach but rather accessible only by boat and quite perfect for learning
Don't miss a night swim to enjoy the bioluminescence!
Spent a week in Panama city, which was longer than needed since it is generally expensive
Casco Viejo and views of the incredible skyline are great
Bambuda Lodge on Isla Solarte
Diving off Bocas del Toro
Panama City from Panaviera Bar
San Blas Islands & Sailing Adventure
I honestly can't summarise this journey, so will be a separate blog entry for this. If I had to keep it short, I would say this is an experience everyone should go for. It is unlike anything you will ever do and I can only imagine each crossing is as unique as the grains of sand on the islands.
Colombia's spirit captured my attention within the first 10 minutes of walking down the streets of Cartagena. There is a buzz in the air that is hard to put into words. I don't think I've seen enough of this beautiful country yet. From the ocean side and rooftop dancing in Cartagena to the relaxing horseback rides and hikes in the Cocora Valley, this country has so much to offer. And if that's not enough, the hospitality and friendliness of the locals will definitely strike a light in your soul.
Spent most of my time just wandering the streets and trying all the incredible food on offer here
Danced in the rain on a rooftop - one of the most fantastic nights out
Retreated into the small mountain town of Salento
Wandered the streets and enjoyed the crisp air
Rode and hiked the Cocora Valley for some amazing views of the famous wax palms (also realised how out of shape I am)
the beautiful streets of Cartagena
on horseback through the Cocora Valley
the wax palms near Salento
One of the fondest memories I will always have, is getting to take my sister to India. It was always a dream of hers to go, and when a work opportunity allowed me to travel there, I obviously took her with me. These are just a handful of her beautiful images from this trip. She's a fantastic photographer and I am so glad I got to ride an elephant with her, order and eat food without having any clue what it was, and explore a country both of us fell in love with within a few days.
Spent only a week between Delhi, Jaipur, Jodphur, and Agra
Fell in love with the humble, kind, generous, and respectful locals
Admired the temples and spirituality present everywhere
Rode and hug elephants
Visited the Taj Mahal
my sister's work (...shhh, don't tell her I stole it)
my lovely sister doing her photography thang
our favourite local guide we got to work with during the trip
Jodphur, also know as the blue city
tuk tuk rides!
What can't you do in Canada should be the only real question. I have been several times and it's a new experience each time. Canada truly is the great outdoors - from snowboarding, to hiking, to dogsledding - it's all here.
I visited Niagra of course to take in the wonder that is the falls. I can still hear that intense rush of water
Standing on the glass floor at the CN tower in Toronto is a must
Snowboarding in Whistler has been on my bucket list for ages and it was worth the wait (although to be honest I should have waited longer since I fractured my leg just 3 weeks before the trip - no pain no gain!)
Endured -32 Degrees Celsius in Montreal and while dog sledding (absolutely worth it!...in retrospect)
on the drive between Vancouver and Whistler
Niagara Falls - Canadian side
Whitler's peak to peak gondola
dog sledding in Saint Sauveur
CN tower in Toronto
This is and will always be my home. I was born in Stuttgart and lived in Germany until I was 12. I fall in love every time I come back. I love the hearty food and the quaintness of the old parts of town. Plus, you can't really beat driving on an interstate system without a speed limit. Just make sure your rental car can handle it!
Oktoberfest is a must. It is one of the most unique parties. Just be sure to book well in advance as tables get sold very quickly. Munich is very expensive, but nearby cities also host similar fests (such as the Wasen in Stuttgart) which are a bit easier for reservations and a little cheaper.
Went to one of the many festivals in Germany, such as the wine festival, the lights festival, the spring festival, the fish festival...the list goes on and on. Germans enjoy any reason to sit, eat, and drink.
Bought a bottle of wine and wandered through Heidelberg's old town
Did some express tourism in Munich including a drive by the unique BMW headquarters and a visit to the Allianz Arena (home to one of my favorite teams, Bayern-Munich)
Visited Neuschwanstein, the iconic castle
Spent a few days in nature in Friedrichshafen, enjoying views of the lake and the Alps
the new castle in downtown Stuttgart (my hometown)
the old castle in Stuttgart
home to my favourite footy club
TV tower in Stuttgart
While Germany is my home, I have never been happier than the years I spent living in England. Something about the dry humor, happy hour routines, and the cultural melting pot that is London speaks to my soul. There is definitely more to England than just London. But even then, I am convinced that one has to live in London to fully appreciate it and everything it has to offer.
Restaurants in Amsterdam are fantastic, but I always get a Wok-to-walk meal and sit by one of the canals
Visited the Anne Frank house, but be sure to arrive early!
Stopping at a Yotella is a must for all Nutella lovers like myself
When in Rome..err Amsterdam - A live sex show should obviously be on the agenda. I'll leave it up to you to decide wether I went or not :P
the infamous red light district
People often have mixed feedback about France, especially Paris. I have never encountered the rudeness many travellers mention. This city is the city of love and I believe that. From the beautiful architecture to the cheese culture to the wine picnics in front of the Eiffel tower, love is a relative term and all of these make this the city of love to me.
Montmartre is my favourite part of town and not just because Amelie was filmed here - a stroll through and view from the top are always on my agenda here
Instead of waiting in line at the Louvre during the day, waited until nightfall, got a bottle of wine, and wandered along the Seine ending at the beautiful Museum
Always on the agenda is a picnic of wine in front of the Eiffel Tower at dusk to watch the lights turn on
my old roommate and friend whom I am always happy to see here
There are still several places I want to explore in Italy, but the general impression of the country's love for food, sitting in plazas, and admiring the remnants of history make this a great destination.
Walked up the leaning tower of Pisa and enjoyed seeing the worn steps circling to the top, remnants of all the people that have undertaken the same path
Ate more pizza than any person every should in Rome (followed by Kinder Bueno Gelato...yes, it's a thing!)
Had even more gelato in San Gimignano in Tuscany, between admiring the beautiful landscape and drinking wine of course
Wished I had a special someone to share a Gondola ride with in Venice. Just kidding, solo travel rules!
view from the leaning tower
San Gimignano - home of the best gelato I was told
This is one of those underrated countries most won't visit. Sure, the interstate system goes from a brand new paved highway to a dirt road in an instant, but the ocean side rivals its more popular neighbor Greece. My personal favorite was the food though. Any country that fries the most deliciously salty goats cheese is a winner in my book.
Ate more goats cheese than advisable by any doctor
Visited Tirana and hiked the surrounding hills for an incredible view (and ate more goats cheese at a quaint restaurant at the top)
Drove along the coast for crystal clear and freezing! ocean side
The most common holiday in Jamaica is probably the resort, but this island has so much more to it outside of those walled hotels. I spent my time driving between Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, and Negril where all sorts of activites and natural wonders can be found. Beautiful jungle to wander, Lagoons filled with some of the brightest bioluminescence I've seen, as well as cliff diving. Just be sure to listen to the instructions with the latter - I did not and closed my eyes when jumping. The result? I ended up in the hospital with a bruised rib cage, missed about 2 days while sleeping it off, and a butt that was bruised 7 shades of purple for about a month! ....still, totally worth it.
Stayed in a small B'nB and rented a car to fully explore
Fell in love with their ackee & saltfish breakfast
Swam in the bio luminescent bay in Falmouth
Jumped off the cliffs in Negril
Visited a hospital in Montego Bay (directly related to the above)
Explored Ocho Rios and found deserted beach spots along the coast
empty beaches away from the resorts
I have been to the Bahamas several times, by plane and by cruise. Cruises are honestly not my favorite way to holiday. In fact, I think it might be one of my least favourite because you don't get to explore and immerse yourself. But when your cousin visits from Germany and you only have a weekend, it was a fantastically spontaneous trip, booked two days before departure. And yeah, I may have gotten 3rd place in salsa dance competition. No big Deal.
Took a small Cessna to Bimini and rode around the island on a golf cart
Sunbathing is a must here
Explored Freeport and wandered through the small neighborhoods away from most of the tourists
Got 3rd place in a salsa dancing competition. Yup, mentioning it again :)
my cousin, me, and my medal :p
Countries not Featured
I used to be quite awful at taking pictures (not just composition wise, but ACTUALLY taking them) so there are quite a few places I have very little evidence of. Probably better though, because the quality of cameras back then was quite terrible (again, not my composition...obviously!)
Philippines (not to worry, heading back there soon!)
Consolation: a pic of me in my natural habitat...eating, as always.