Exploring Ithaca

Another extraordinary film by April Beresford for http://www.karinasextraordinarylife.com
Now 50 days on the road, couchsurfing throughout our entire journey, here is a short video about our very first adventure in the United States. The footage begins with an account of our initial brush with US customs officer at the Canada-US border, followed by shots of us exploring an abandoned home on our way to Ithaca, New York. After being welcomed by our hosts in Ithaca we are shown around the local community. Relaxing beneath a waterfall we learn of an amazing opportunity our host has arranged; we are invited to observe a local artist in his glassblowing studio. Check out this video to see molten glass form into beautiful artwork!

Music by: Wheatus

~ An Extraordinary Story by April Beresford ~

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Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is the “largest, intact, un-fragmented, freshwater and black water wilderness swamp in North America.”1

Native Americans refer to this place as the “The Land of the Trembling Earth”.

Once scheduled to be drained and exploited, the land is now protected to impressive sum of 402,000 acres (that’s nearly 700 square miles!) Within the refuge more than 400 different species reside, including the star attraction of the swamp – the American alligator. Continue reading

Rockin Philly- Keeping Fit On A Road Trip

Another extraordinary film by April Beresford created for http://www.karinasextraordinarylife.com

Throughout our journey we have come across several fellow travelers who have reported that they often gain weight while on road trip. Their report:
“I am sitting in the same position for hours on end.”
“Often I end up snacking on convenience store food all day.”
“I end up being ‘too tired to move’ once I finally reach my destination, so all I want to do is relax.”

News Flash! Stopping to stretch your legs while gassing up the car just isn’t enough to keep you healthy and lean! The best way to stay fit is to work-out WHILE sight-seeing! In this video, Karina and I show you how to do this through our experience ‘being ridiculous and somewhat immature’ in downtown Philadelphia. There is a good chance we COULD HAVE BEEN ARRESTED while making this video, we both STILL feel that the overall message is sound. =)

Watch as Karina and I conquer the iconic Rocky Steps outside the Philadelphia Museum Art. These 72 stone steps were made famous for their appearance in the triple-Oscar-winning film Rocky.
Remember, exercise CAN and SHOULD be fun! You just need to have a creative imagination.

~ April Beresford ~

For more information, check out “Rockin Philly.”

Music by: Jessie J

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The Blue Ridge Parkway – America’s Favourite Drive

Blue Ridge Parkway Overlook, Virginia, USA - Karina Noriega
Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia, USA - Karina Noriega

Entering the Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia, USA – Karina Noriega

The Blue Ridge Parkway, voted ‘America’s Favourite Drive’, is a 469 mile track through the Appalachian Highlands connecting Shenandoah National Park (also known as the Skyline Drive) in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia, USA - Karina Noriega

At my absolute favourite outlook point, somewhere on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia, USA – Karina Noriega

Continue reading

New York City for Free – Weekends and Anytime Edition

Part II of New York City for Free – The Weekend and Anytime Edition

Before I delve into more free things to see and do, let us take a moment to acknowledge that not everything in New York can be free. That being said, if you are looking for a good place to spend your hard earned dollars, the list is endless so choose wisely.

My suggestions:

Continue reading

New York City SightSeeing – A Film

Hands down, brand-new favourite film by April! Longer than previous videos but absolutely packed with high energy clips from our 2 weeks of adventuring and trouble-making (all for only dollars a day of course) throughout the boroughs of New York City. So many good moments: Top of the Rock, the NY Subway, Times Square, eating cheap Chinatown pork buns at Tiffany’s 😛 and so much more.

~ An Extraordinary Story by Karina Noriega ~

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Read my guide to seeing it all for next-to-nothing at

Weekdays:

https://karinasextraordinarylife.com/2014/05/24/free-new-york-city-weekdays/

Weekends and Anytime: 

https://karinasextraordinarylife.com/2014/06/09/free-new-york-city-weekends-anytime/

 

New York City for Free – The Weekday Edition

The extravaganza and glamour of New York City for free? They said it couldn’t be done, but we showed them! This handy guide is my gift to you to experience a full week (or more) of completely free tours, landmarks and attractions in New York City, USA.

FYI: Nearly every activity (but not 100%) on this list has been truthfully tested and joyously experienced by myself and April. We receive no rewards or special treatment for advertising any of these as they are already being given away, literally. It is simply my goal to share and inspire you to do and see more without financial limitations.

Part I of New York City for Free The Weekday Edition

Monday

Start your New York journey at the same place where this great city was born, now known as Lower Manhattan.

Take the free ferry to Staten Island and back for free! Breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline, the Brooklyn bridge, the Hudson and East Rivers, Staten Island, New Jersey and of course, the closest you can get to Lady Liberty without shelling out a pretty penny. (http://www.siferry.com)

Continue reading

Gotham City Takes A Lifetime

Times Square in the Rain - NYC, USA - Karina Noriega

To tell a tale that hasn’t been told is one of the most challenging aspects of this newcomer travel blog. Token magazines (with their extensive resources & connections) keep finding unexplored, unknown and often more dangerous places to send their brave young journalists. Perhaps (enthusiastically hopeful) that will be me someday, but for now I will happily struggle to interest you with a new version of one of the most written about cities on earth:

New York City!

Continue reading

WELCOME

Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah, USA - Karina Noriega

Welcome to Karina’s Extraordinary Life

I’m so, so, so excited to launch this blog in conjunction with my latest global adventure. It has been an unbelievable learning curve for me as I slowly developed the skills necessary to create what you see here on your screen. Don’t be surprised if you continue to see changes and improvements as I introduce myself into the travel blogging community as well as becoming a social media buff 🙂 (Please share with me if you have suggestion or have noticed anything within the site that is not working.)

So the long and short of it all starts today. I traded my job, home and a possibly successful career as a neuroscientist for the unknown, unstable, unexplored, unsung, uncertain and unpredictable. The last few months have complete evaporated. I swear I just made the decision to spend the first stage of this voyage living out of my truck while traveling across North America. Now the blast off date has come and gone.

Tank- Karina Noriega

My home for the next 4 months, the unstoppable Tank- Karina Noriega

Continue reading

Rice Terrace Wanderings

Rice Terrace, Northern Vietnam -- Karina Noriega

As if being set in a terrace laced village high in the mountains of Northern Vietnam wasn’t far removed enough already, I venture farther. Beyond the tracks of any road. Beyond the comfortable reach for many of the other daring travellers with whom I made the overnight train trip to the city of Sapa, followed by a long hike into the countryside to find our tribal homestay.

When all paths disappear, I tread carefully between the steep rice paddy staircases. Pigs lay in the mud taking in the warmth of the sun. Water buffalos trim leaves from the tall, thick bamboo brush. Ducklings waggle along afraid to jump in the murky waters that hold rice when the season is in bloom. Villagers pass by me in their traditional H’mong dress and rubber boots. They smile widely, multicoloured teeth gapped here and there. They all say “Hello, where are you from? How old are you?” It doesn’t matter that our communication may be limited. They are warm, friendly and obviously hard working. I am on their lands now.

Continue reading

Fireworks

AN EXPLOSIVE GUATEMALAN TRADITION

I challenge you to find a more beautiful and exciting Christmas tradition anywhere.

What I just observed is unrivalled by any city in any country in the world! Perched up high above the city lights I witnessed the heavens come to life. When 4 million people simultaneously set off firebombs across the night sky it is a delight for all your senses. The smoky sulfur fills you with joy. The streams of whistles, bangs and every decibel explosions from far and wide rattle you deep in your core. The colours and sparkles spread across the atmosphere eventually mingling with the bright lights from a valley of homes and streets. You feel the tingle of amazement and wonder too know that all the souls in this place are sharing this special moment. From every single level of society, the mansions high above to the slums deep below, everyone; man, woman and child is experiencing this spectacular display just the same. Continue reading