Monthly Archive: November 2015

Capital One Venture – A Response to Nomadic Matt

We both read a lot of Nomadic Matt. As a well-respected travel blogger, both his trips abroad and success  are inspiring to us. That said, when he wrote this post on the Capital One Venture card, we both had a few issues. Grace has the fee version of this card which gives 2% cash back, and Laine has the free version which gives 1.25%. We both chose this card primarily because of the 0% on foreign transaction fees, a benefit which Matt dismisses in his post, as he claims it’s common. While there are many cards without foreign transaction fees, the…
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Album Review : One Direction Made in the A.M.

Made in the AM

The anticipation of a new album has been at a critical high. There’s so much riding on this release with the obvious and conspicuous absence of the traitor Zayn (hence forth known as He Who Must Not Be Named). We’re SO ready for the boys to step out as the new One Direction, and also to pulverize the sniveling child bot Justin Bieber in sales. Our majestic guys have changed so much over this past year, and our curiosity wants to know where these changes have taken them. Here we go… Track 1 – Hey Angel G: When I hear…
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New Book Obsession – The Kingkiller Chronicle

As previously documented on the blog, I love to read. I will happily devour any book put in front of me, but am much pickier about those I choose to recommend. The Kingkiller Chronicle series by Patrick Rothfuss was so exceptional, I’ve wasted no time in buying it, lending it out, and recommending it to anyone who will listen. This is noteworthy because I only buy books once I know they’re worth owning. The first two books of the trilogy, The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear, in addition to three novellas have currently been released, with…
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Best Day Trips from Madrid

El Escorial, Madrid

I love Madrid. Visiting Spain is something I always recommend, and I think nowhere in Spain is a more perfect introduction than Madrid.  Without question it trumps Barcelona, and the city itself hosts endless possibilities. But, this post isn’t about Madrid. Well, not exactly. I’ve rounded up my top 3 day trips from the city. I think these 3 trips also complement each other,  as they all offer something completely different. You can’t go wrong spending your entire time in Madrid city, but if you’ve got time and the itch to step out a bit, these are your best options:…
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Relaxing in Puerto Rico

I’ve just returned from Puerto Rico, where I spent five glorious days doing absolutely nothing. Once we arrived at the hotel, we only left the property three times – once to pick up rations and twice to eat at an Italian restaurant. We toyed with the idea of a day trip to snorkel or see Puerto Rico’s famed luminescent water, but both would have required long taxi rides and planning, towards which neither of us were particularly inclined. In my defense, would you want to leave this place?Our room had one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen. It seemed…
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Pura Vida, but just for a little while

hammock

In Costa Rica they have a saying for their laid back lifestyle: Pura Vida. Though it translates to “Pure Life”, this phrase can mean everything from ‘hello’ to ‘awesome’ and a million other things. I take it to encapsulate the personality, and slow moving culture.  My recent trip to Peru took me back to this slower pace, and reminded me of the vast differences in cultural expectations and interactions within the country. This constant state of mellow is what draws so many people to these regions, but it’s exactly what pushes me away. To be honest I’m not that stressed…
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Should you buy a Selfie Stick?

Selfie

In the past year the selfie stick has gone from a funny novelty to a global infestation. People all over the world have paid actual real money for this picture taking contraption, and after seeing it so many places you may be starting to wonder if you should jump on the band wagon. If you’re asking yourself if you should buy a Selfie Stick there are a few questions you should be asking yourself before moving forward. Are you a huge wanker? If so, you actually probably already have one. Are you a narcissistic tool? You may not have one…
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Machu Picchu Day Trip

Machu Picchu

When I told people I was going to Machu Picchu most of them asked if I was trekking there. When I said “no” I got a lot of scoffs – mind you they weren’t trekking. There are 2 ways to get to Machu Picchu. You can take a four day trek, or a 2 hour train. I did look into trekking there, but the more I read about it the less I felt like it was the right choice for this trip. With only a week to spend on holiday, I wasn’t planning on spending the entire trip focused on…
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Packing List: 5 days in Puerto Rico

I should preface this by saying that this list is going to be very, very different from the ones Grace has done so far for two main reasons. One, I’m traveling with my mom, who firmly believes that carrying on is pointless and everything should be checked. Given that I’m bringing my snorkel gear, I’m inclined to agree with her. Two, this trip I have absolutely nothing planned. No excursions into the city. No encounters with nature. I intend to spend all five days at beach or pool with no company save for my mother, books, and the bar tender. Given…
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Dodging Protesters in Cusco

Cusco Protests

Laine has written previously about trips of hers that have fallen through, and I’ve changed my plans while traveling, but my trip to Peru was the first time I’d had my plans completely shut down by protesters. When living in Madrid during an election, protesters filled the city, but they didn’t actually effect me. Protesters in Cusco threw a big gigantic wrench on two of our days in the city. The protests revolved around a law that would allow private companies to provide tourism services to several of Peru’s archaeological sites. A lot of the protesters had signs with Machu Picchu…
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