My 5 Favorite Places I Had Never Heard Of Before My Trip

When you start planning, or even thinking about, a long-term trip like the one I set out on last July, there are usually a long list of places that you want to visit: new countries, big cities, national parks, historical sites. The list goes on.

We all have this list whether its on paper or in our heads. I may not have known my exact itinerary before I departed but generally I have gone to places I was aware of before leaving the US.

However, despite my pre-trip research, some of my best experiences have come in places I never heard of before arriving in a particular country. And that is the great thing about traveling, discovering something you never knew existed.

So after much thought and deliberation (ok not that much) here are my 5 favorite places (in chronological order) that I had never even heard about before hitting the road. The one constant here is that I discovered all of these places because I was with a local or based on a local’s recommendation.

1. Zingaro Reserve, Sicily Read more of this post


3 Things I Have Learned About On the Road

After six months on the road, there are a few big things that I have realized about myself. There is nothing too profound here but these were the ones that quickly jumped to mind.

1. I’m still intense – I always chalked up my intensity to living in New York or working in high pressure jobs. But really its just a part of who I am. And that’s not necessarily such a bad thing. Read more of this post

Five+ Months of Fantastic Food Highlights

The idea of chronicling my favorite foods on the road has been germinating for awhile. I have referenced food at various points in the blog but I figured why not dedicate an entire post to it?

So here goes. My five favorites so far (listed chronologically, not in order of my favorite, which is too tough to decide) plus some highlights from all the countries I have visited in the trip.

1. Busiata with seafood and tomatoes capped off with espresso and gelato in San Vito Lo Capo, Italy – what’s not to like about local Sicilian pasta cooked al dente with fresh tomatoes and tasty seafood? My first meal in Sicily, courtesy of my Couchsurfing host Peppe, was also my best. It was simple yet delicious and cooked to perfection. Followed by a strong cup of espresso and a gigantic gelato cone in the beach town of San Vito Lo Capo, this meal was an excellent introduction to Sicilian cuisine. Deliciousness in moderation.

who can argue with fresh pasta in Italy?

3 Months on the Road

Its hard to believe that my foreign adventure is soon coming up on three months. Such a milestone has given me the chance to reflect on my trip from a holistic perspective.

5 Most Memorable Experiences

  • Hiking in Mindanao with BMG – climbing the Philippines’ second and fourth highest mountains with a group of experienced (and fun loving) mountaineers. What really made this stand out was that I couldn’t have done or planned this on my own. It felt incredible to become part of the team for this climb, especially given the challenges that we faced along the way in hiking two of the Philippines’ highest mountains (namely the weather). While the hike tested my spirit and endurance, having a great group to travel with for my five days in Mindanao made this experience unlike any other I have had so far.

feeling glorious as we finished our hike

  • Bedouin tour in Wadi Rum – a jeep tour through the vast and breathtaking Jordanian desert. Climbing up rocks and running up sand dunes. A camel ride. Sunset and a filling buffet dinner in a Bedouin camp. Great conversation over tea while sitting under the stars. What’s not too like. This was a great day and a perfect way to recharge my batteries after a harrowing boat ride from Egypt to Jordan.

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