Where to Next – Sing it, Madonna!

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 | Posted under Argentina, Music, Where to Next?

I was going to do a nice, splashy pic filled post about where I’ll be off to next, but then I thought I’d just let Madonna tell you. She’s a little more eloquent than me and perhaps has a better voice. Perhaps…. (although I thought she did a great job at the Super Bowl. She’s having a concert at Yankee Stadium on my birthday. Should I go?)

That’s right..I’m headed to Argentina!
I’ll be learning a lot about Eva Peron in Buenos Aires. She was a performer, First Lady of Argentina, a suffragist, and a politician popular with the working class Argentines. I’m looking forward to learning more about her in Buenos Aires at the museum dedicated to her.
So, Husband J and I will be off to Argentina in a few weeks. We’ll be spending most of our time in Buenos Aires. We’ll also be heading down to Patagonia to see some big chunks of ice. 🙂
Buenos Aires – It’s often called the Paris of South America

Perito Moreno Glacier

I had really wanted to head over to Mendoza, which is Argentina’s wine country, but it just wasn’t going to work. Internal flights in Argentina are not cheap. 🙁 With Argentina being the 8th largest country in the world in terms of area (it’s BIG), I figured that we needed to defray costs by only going to one other part of Argentina. Perhaps Mendoza and Iguazu Falls next time?

Has anyone been to Argentina, specifically Buenos Aires and Patagonia (We’ll only be in El Calafate)? If so, I’d love it if you gave me some of your recommendations of places that you liked during your visit, especially food related ones. I’m making my own list, but I love hearing others’ suggestions. Also anyone have a favorite Argentinian Malbec?
Is there any aspect of Argentine culture that interests you? Gauchos? Tango? Good steak? Soccer/Football? Let me know in the comments section, and I’ll be sure to take pics or write about it in future posts.


Where to Next? – Return to Wadadli!/Beach Snobbery

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011 | Posted under Antigua, Personal, Video, Vlogging, Where to Next?

Hellloooo!!! Remember me?!!

I’ve had a fairly unintended whirlwind couple of weeks, but that just means a whole lot more to share with you all. I ended up being away for a little longer than I would have liked, but it allowed me to have some quality time with some great people. Anyway, enough of me being coy. I’ll let you know where I went in the video.
(By the way, I totally didn’t mean for that to be a gratuitous bikini shot. I was supposed to be a bit more covered. 🙁 Also I know the waves make it hard to understand me at parts, but that’s what happens when you’ve only got a Flip video camera and still learning video editing.)
By the way, Wadadli is the name given to Antigua by its native peoples, the Arawaks and later the Carib Indian tribes.
So, yes, I visited one of my favorite places in the entire world, Antigua. I got to see my family, which made me very happy. I was sad to leave this time. I miss them. I need to make sure that I return more often. The last visit was three years ago. I must do better. I’ll be sharing the trip in the next couple of weeks. Be prepared for some beautiful beach shots and down home local Caribbean food.
Part of Ffryes Beach & Cocobay Resort (we almost stayed here)

Points to whoever guesses what tropical fruit this is!

At Betty’s Hope

Ducuna & Ling Fish with veggies

The view from Shirley Heights

More to come! Happy Tuesday!


Travel Challenge, Day 2 – Where I’d Like to Go Next

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 | Posted under India, Personal, Travel Challenge, Travel General, Where to Next?

Where I’d like to go next?

That’s super hard because I have a list..no really, I have a list I keep on my cell phone. I have one just for places I’d like to travel to at some point and one for a possible girl trip with my BFF, which we’re still trying to figure out.
For me, I’d say it’s still India. It was a year ago and still is on the top of my list now.

I’ve had a wonderful time reading about the adventures of some of my favorite travel bloggers’ time in India, like Ekua from Girl, Unstoppable (Ekua’s travel writing is phenomenal, and I wish this blog featured some great writing like hers more often). BFF has already been to India, and she’s written about it here on the blog. One of my current favorite blogs is From India –With Love by K. She’s currently volunteering in India for a year, and I am fascinated by her accounts of daily life in Delhi. Also her photography is pretty awesome. She makes me think I need to up my game and get a DSLR.
If I don’t get to go to India, then eating my way through somewhere in South East Asia will suffice. 🙂
Of course Husband J and I have not really talked about where we’d like to go next. I think someone asked him where we’d make our next trip together, and he mumbled to someone about us heading to South America. I wonder where he has in mind?
Patagonia, Argentina?
Sipping wine in Atacama, one of Chile’s major wine regions?
Who knows? I may not ever go to any of these places, but I admit that half of the fun is just dreaming about them.
Where would you like to go next?


Where to Next? – Turkey

Monday, March 14th, 2011 | Posted under Turkey, Where to Next?

Every time I think about the fact that I am going to Turkey, I think of two things:

1) An actual turkey
2) This classic song, “Istanbul” by The Four Lads. It’s been in my head on and off for the past month. “Even old New York was once New Amsterdam…”
By the way, if you’ve never heard the song I’m referring to, click below. There are nice pics of many of Istanbul’s famous sights, so listen and enjoy the views.
Husband J and I leave from Turkey later this week, and I’m really looking forward to it. At the same time, I’m a little nervous. Even with all of my meticulous planning (hopefully it was meticulous), for some reason I am worried about possibly screwing something up. Did I plan the flights for the right days? Will we get to the airport shuttle okay? Don’t ask me where this is coming from ’cause I’m usually not like this. Maybe this is because this trip is one of the most logistically challenging trips I’ve planned all by myself? It wasn’t too hard to do. It just took a lot of note taking and brain power (which may be why I’m freaked. Ha!)
Just based on what I’ve read in our guidebook so far, Turkey’s historical significance is much more than I realized and its cuisine so extensive that it apparently ranks up there with Chinese cuisine in terms of breadth and variety. There will be lots to learn and most importantly lots to EAT!
I think I’m most looking forward to Cappadocia.
If the Cappadocian countryside looks like this in pictures, I can only imagine what it looks like in person. Hot air ballooning is a pretty popular activity there.

We’ll also be making a short stop in Ephesus. Paul (He wrote a good chunk of the Bible’s New Testament) wrote to one of the early Christian churches here. Ephesus is the site of one of the best preserved Roman cities next to Pompeii in Italy (at least that’s what I’ve read).

Celsus Library, Ephesus

I’ll be around this week, but posting will be light next week. I may have a few surprises for you while I’m gone. 🙂
Does anyone have any recommendations, suggestions or travel stories about Turkey? I’d love to hear about them in the comments section.


So What Happens When There’s a Revolution In Your Next Travel Destination?

Monday, February 7th, 2011 | Posted under Egypt, Travel General, Where to Next?

I’m sure you remember that I’ve said it before, but I am a pretty private person for a blogger and that includes revealing trips I’m planning for the future. I was going to wait until March, but since things are slowly changing day-to-day (and it might be something we can all learn from), I’m letting you know that Husband J and I are currently scheduled to travel to Egypt in mid-March. I emphasize the word currently right now.
I was hoping to see this:
and instead there have been protests and violence in Tahrir Square. The protests are a little less tense at the time of this writing, but there is still quite a bit going on.
Our Cairo hotel is located in downtown Cairo less than a mile from Tahrir Square.
If you haven’t heard, there is major political upheaval in Egypt that became violent in the past week. I’m pretty laid-back when it comes to what’s considered “dangerous” by some (perhaps I have lived in New York City too long). When things started on January 25, I was hoping that things in Egypt would proceed as they had in Tunisia. Again, this is not to say that I just wanted Egypt’s citizens “to get everything over with so that I could see their country;” but rather I was hoping for a peaceful transition of power. Husband J and I were sending e-mails and text messages and keeping a general eye on what was going on while I was away in L.A.

As someone who has often written about and studied social movements, I commend the people of Egypt for demanding more from their government. I am worried about the safety of the country’s citizens and visitors. I hope this political situation can be resolved and a new, stronger, more vibrant Egypt will emerge.

When I arrived back to New York, I set out to figure out what our options were as it relates to our travel insurance, our airline, and the travel company that has been helping us organize our trip. This is what I found out:
1. Travel Insurance – We have travel insurance through Travel Guard. When I first made the call to speak to a customer service rep on the phone, they beat me to the punch with a recording. It stated that there was an exclusion in the coverage of ALL of their policies in connection with trip cancellation and civil unrest. In other words, we would not get any reimbursement from the travel insurance for fees incurred by canceling our trip due to the political upheaval in Egypt. Also if we went anyway, defying any government travel warning, we would receive no reimbursement either. Yikes! No help there.
If anything, I would think this situation would be one of the reasons covered by travel insurance but apparently not. After talking to a customer service rep, this is actually an industry-wide provision in most travel insurance. If you want to avoid my situation, get a (pricey) upgrade to a “Cancel for Any Reason” additional coverage that will trump any exclusion in the travel insurance and allow any sort of cancelation. I wish I had known that beforehand. Since insurance law differs by state, this might not even be applicable in New York state, this apparently does not apply to us. Double check me on this though.
2. Airline – We are flying Turkish Airlines, and they have just started to offer refunds or free itinerary changes to customers traveling to Egypt, BUT as of the writing of this post, only for those passengers traveling to Egypt from the end of last week until February 15, 2011. Airlines loathe canceling flights, especially weeks in advance. I’ve been told that we would have to pay 200 Euro (NOT DOLLARS!) to change our flight. Did I mention that these tickets are non-refundable? That, too. One thing that is helping us is that we are flying through Istanbul, Turkey. More on that below…
3. Travel Company – Sometimes I use travel companies to help plan trips and other times I plan the trip solely by myself. Bali was an example of a trip that I planned alone. I ended up deciding to use our travel company, Backpacker Concierge, because a former work colleague had worked with them and enjoyed their trip, and I really liked their community-based travel philosophy. Given the circumstances, Backpacker Concierge, has actually been quite responsive. Eric, our contact who spends considerable amount of time in Egypt and is currently there, was able to find internet access when most of the country did not have it.
We are still trying to figure out our plans. Husband J wants our money back in the event we don’t go. Based on my review of our booking conditions with them, its provisions are silent regarding civil unrest, etc. PRIOR to our departure (it does address changes in itinerary if things were to go awry while we’re actually there). Timing is funny too because we had sent in our final payment a day BEFORE the protests started.
So what are options? Well, right now it’s looking like the following:
1. Cancel our trip altogether/Postpone our trip – Husband J has been dragging lately and I think he really needs to get a break from work. It would be a shame to essentially lose a ton of money on plane tickets even if we get our money back from Backpacker Concierge.
2. Go to Turkey instead – This seems like the best option right now. We already have plane tickets to Turkey, since our tickets on Turkish Airlines have us flying through Istanbul enroute to Cairo. It may take a little extra outlay of money, and this will also have to be examined in light of what could happen with Backpacker Concierge. I’ve been fascinated with Turkey since watching a travel show on our way to Ireland. It won’t be warm there though (although after multiple snowstorms, I guess low 50’s Fahrenheit ain’t all that bad).
I’ll let you know what we end up doing soon.


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