How to Start a Roadtrip in Australia

Australia is one the biggest countries in the world with nearly 3 million square miles of landmass alone. This enormous country makes the improbable combination of tropical rainforests, grassland, and vast dry deserts on a single island a possibility.

Most Australian cities line areas near the stunning coastlines and may be linked by limited and expensive transportation (after all, the distances covered are vast.) While it’s possible to fly between Sydney and Perth, or Brisbane and Darwin, you would get only a brief hint of the truly diverse landscapes encompassing a coast to coast journey.

Milky Way Australia

For these reasons and more, the only way to truly experience Australia is via road trip, already one of my absolute favourite ways to explore the world (thanks to my first road trips driving across Canada and the USA). Road trips are the ultimate freedom in travel. Choose your own hours, stops, destinations and explore the hard to reach places, all on your own time.  Continue reading

Extraordinary Places to Visit and Things to do in Colorado

There is no shortage of places to visit and things to do in Colorado. Dramatic wilderness and diverse terrain backed by the iconic Rocky Mountains are a staple of the Colorado image. Colorado’s namesake continues its blazing display of color beyond the towering snow capped peaks and mirrored lakes to lesser known destinations. Whether it’s adrenaline packed adventure or relaxing picturesque retreats that tickles your fancy, a Southern Colorado vacation rental will reveal unexpected wonders.

Iconic Colorado - Extraordinary Places to Visit and Things to do in Colorado

Iconic Colorado – Extraordinary Places to Visit and Things to do in Colorado

A Trail of Highlights and Things to do in Southern Colorado

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Culture Shock And The Taiwanese Palate

Welcome to Culture Shock; The new series that named itself. Join us as we learn, grow and share all about new found social/cultural behaviours and expectations through our world exploration. These are our thoughts, observations and lessons on respecting and behaving in a foreign culture that may just leave you laughing and crying at the same time.


 

Foods Of The World

In preparation for my journey abroad Karina wowed me with tales of dining on barbeque cockroaches in Cambodia, snacking on grasshoppers in Indonesia (which she reports, are pretty tasty), and even drinking snake blood in Vietnam. The most exotic meat I had ever tried in Canada was a single experience I had eating caribou and I never really adjusted to the gamy taste. My first experience with Taiwanese food didn’t happen until I actually set foot in Taiwan and while I had intended to jump in head first and immediately push beyond my comfort zone, some of the foods created too much shock value for me to just dive right in. Continue reading

Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks; Backpacking Guatemala

The first and only time I went sky diving, my Dad was my partner in crime. He planted the seed of interest when I was a little girl telling me stories of how he had always wanted to try the sport. My imagination would whirl wondering how amazing it would be to tumble through the sky feeling completely weightless. I envisioned this type of adventure to be the perfect daddy-daughter activity, for a couple of dare-devils like us. Continue reading

Culture Shock! And The Sorry Complex – Hong Kong

Welcome to the new series that basically named itself! We’ve just landed in a new continent that is about to challenge us in completely new ways. Some will undoubtedly be intriguing and funny little things we’ll have to adjust to. Others will surely be frustrating or beyond comprehension. Finally, there will be cringe-worthy moments certain to have us questioning why we ever left the comforts of home in the first place.

Each article in the series is intended to be an opportunity to learn, grow and share. It is our collection of observations and information from the different cultures we visit from our subjective anthropological perspective. We never intend to shame or shed negativity on anyone else’s way of life. Wherever we can, we will do our best to understand and explain how to respect and behave in a given place. Though sometimes, we may only be able to share on what NOT to do, as we figure out life as a local through our embarrassing mistakes and faux paus moments.

Pandamonium! Arriving in Hong Kong -- Karina's Extraordinary Life

Pandamonium! Arriving in Hong Kong — Karina’s Extraordinary Life


Culture Shock! And The Sorry Complex

To kick off the series I definitely want to poke fun at one of the most famous stereotypes we deal with as Canadians. Most have heard the jokes, especially if you watch ‘How I Met Your Mother’, about how apologetic Canadian culture is. That’s saying it nicely I guess. Most jokes state that you could punch a Canadian in the face and spill their beer and said Canadian would apologize for running into your hand and offer to buy you a drink! I’d be willing to bet that has never happened, but to a certain degree, absolutely, we apologize for everything. It’s more of a reflex than a heartfelt “I’m sorry”, and most of us may not even think about it, but that absence of acknowledging that you may have possibly, in some minor way bothered, obstructed, touched or dismissed another person has become a very loud silence since we arrived in Hong Kong. Not once have I been apologized to for anything here! Not even when the airline lost my bags!

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Travel Rollercoaster – A Journey From Guatemala To Hong Kong

The good news is we made it to Hong Kong in one piece. It was not nearly a perfect journey and the effects of the 3 days of travel plus a 12 time zone difference are still weighing heavy.

#OneWayTicket Starting with #HongKong #Taiwan #Macau #China overland to #Mongolia and so many more. Have you been there? Live in any of these country? We'd love to hear your tips :) don't forget to follow along with our journey www.KarinasExtraordinaryLife.com. #Travel #Asia #GirlsvsGlobe #Wanderlust #Travelgram #traveltuesday

#OneWayTicket Starting with #HongKong #Taiwan #Macau #China overland to #Mongolia and so many more. Have you been there? Live in any of these countries? We’d love to hear your tips 🙂 don’t forget to follow along with our journey http://www.KarinasExtraordinaryLife.com. #Travel #Asia #GirlsvsGlobe #Wanderlust #Travelgram #traveltuesday

 Guatemala

We woke at 5am on the 26th after only 3 hours sleep. Continue reading

Adios Guatemala, Hello Asia

The magnificent Lago De Atitlan --Atitlan, Guatemala -- Karina Noriega

The magnificent Lago De Atitlan –Atitlan, Guatemala — Karina Noriega

Thanks Guatemala, We Will Miss You But It’s Time For Us To Move On!

The most difficult part about leaving this beautiful country behind is that we are knowingly walking away from so many other extraordinary places we still have yet to discover. Guatemala has been our home for the past 6 months and while we did explore magnificent locations like that of Lake Atitlan, Antigua, Semuc Champey, Livingston and Rio Dulce, there just never seems to be enough time to see everything. I wanted so much to learn more about Guatemalan culture and through our experiences during Semana Santa, I definitely feel a deeper connection to and a greater understanding of the Guatemalan people. I can say with pride that after attending language classes I was able to further develop my Spanish speaking skills. I know without a doubt that I will end up back in Guatemala once again so I can discover even more of the country’s attractions while continuing to practice effectively rolling my R’s. Plus, there are so many different types of Guatemalan street food I still have yet to try! Continue reading