trip report: French Polynesia – decision, planning, & getting in, March 2019

In the travel enthusiast game, change happens quickly. The best deals out there tends to go away or change quickly once more and more people learn of it. With the growing popularity of the game itself, the increase number of travel websites, and how technology information today can spread, it has lead to more people able to take advantage of great deals to travel the world but also subsequently lead to the death of many of these deals as well. This evolution of the game has caused many heated arguments on travel forums and comment sections. The future direction of the travel enthusiast game isn’t the purpose of this post, but rather how we put together a trip based on several expiring deals to visit a few islands in the middle of the Pacific. Specifically to experience an over the water bungalow and to swim with the sharks.


This is the first entry of the French Polynesia trip series covering our pre-trip planning (1) and our travel into our first destination in French Polynesia (2). You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted. Read More

trip report: Costa Rica, December 2017

For the last 3 years, we’ve enjoyed the southwest companion pass. On multiple occasions on this blog, I’ve mentioned that it is currently the best travel hack. The companion pass has provided us the means for direct trips to fly out to Colorado for our road trip, visiting Arcadia National Park for July 4th, visiting family for the holidays, attend the many weddings, and helping us reposition for our international trips. Recently Southwest has also announced that they will be flying to Hawaii as well. One destination I’ve had my eye on when I went for it initially 3 years ago was Southwest’s international destination of Costa Rica.


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trip report: Maui, January 2017

This is part 5 of our holiday break trip around the Pacific from December 2016 to January 2017 where we traveled to New Zealand and Maui. You can also to other parts below in the index.

I’ve personally been on Maui on three different trips. Obviously, it is a place I enjoy. This part of the trip report will be based on experiences from my parents and myself on this current trip, but will also feature information from my previous visits and other research I’ve done about Maui over the years. As such, the flow will be a little bit different.

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trip report: Brazil, March 2016 – Chapada Diamantina, Rio, Ilha Grande, and São Paulo

There are places you go to because it’s a place you’ve always dreamed of going. There are places you go because your friend told you about their great experience. There are places you go for the pure aesthetic. There are places you go because buzzfeed made a list. But another major reason for traveling is certainly for travel’s sake. In this case, Brazil was the place we went to because we’ve never been and I wanted to get in on a mistake business class fare. The end result of that business class saga turned out to be a lot of headache and it lead to a lot of planning by the seat of our pants.


This style of traveling is much different that our typical planned out trips. Research helps to save money and time, but it also helps me to get a sense of what I need to prepare for. This is especially true when it comes to backcountry trekking where you are balancing, literally, what you need and what you don’t. During my attempt to research about trekking in brazil proved very difficult, including trying to find any trail maps online. So it was clear this trip would be without a direct plan, however this style of travel has many  of its own benefits. There is much more freedom to just go and immerse into the local culture. From that perspective, you see new things, try new things, meet new friends, and drinking a lot of caipirinhas.


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trip report: Florida Keys with Tech Dive Center, January 2016

As I look outside my window to 10 inches of snow, I can’t help but think back to the 70 degree Fahrenheit weather last weekend in the Florida Keys. It was our first trip of 2016 and it was a different kind of trip as I had no part in planning it. It was a scuba diving trip organized by Tech Dive Center here in Blacksburg.


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trip report: Yogyakarta, Lombok, and Phuket, November 2015

Computers and internet are a big part of today’s travel community. A clear example is this blog where I try to provide tips and experiences to help the next person plan their trip. Planning from communication and the information out there is probably the single most useful role that technology is able to provide. Ok, it’s arguable that looking at pictures while procrastinating can be the inspiration of it all, but that’s still information in some regards. Anyways, the lack of connection to technology is really what made this trip so different and it is really the first time since my backpacking Europe summer trip where it wasn’t so planned out. That wasn’t my intent for this trip but volcanoes have their own will sometimes.


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