TRAVELING THE NATURAL AND EXOTIC WORLD WITH A PURPOSE
I dislike to be a tourist but I love to travel. Is challenging at times, you need to know where to go, and more importantly when to go so you do not run into thousands of tourists. To do that, you need to take risks; you need to take chances and plenty of travel time, otherwise you will be just another tourist escaping from the rest. I normally like travel to where I have local connections or friends (this is the easy way), but sometimes I risk it and just go an explore and I have had plenty of wonderful adventures. One of my favorite places to do that, and probably the easiest that I found so far is South East Asia. Which includes Bali, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia as my favorites.
Especially Thailand and it’s islands, are my heart. These days the island of Bali is getting super developed and attracting more high end tourism, while Cambodia and Vietnam are still under developed and considerably cheaper, fitted to more adventurous travel. Thailand and its amazing islands are just in the middle-range.
Thailand is simply ripe, vibrating with the best energy of peace, safety and a great number of options. These range from the inexpensive youth party hostels to the high-end five star Island resort or top city hotel in Bangkok.
Bali has amazing places that are not so developed, specially its norther coast near Amed, Pemuteran, Gilimanuk and Menjangan Island. A cruise to the island of Flores, near Java, has been highly recommended by many firends of mine but I haven’t hade the chance to go there yet.
South America and its the natural attractions are another huge destination now. There are also plenty of options for everyone, Jungles, Archaeological sites, rivers, lake, volcanoes, mountain hiking, indigenous colorful cultures and Spanish colonial cities.
Ecuador, its mountains, amazonian jungles and the Galapagos Islands, is probably number one. I am not saying this because I was raised in the mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos, but because Ecuador is a small, friendly and easy to travel country.
Ecuador’s Spanish-Indigineous Andean culture, is a pretty big attraction over there.
The Galapagos are expensive to travel but magical. The towns are over populated now but the energy of that place has remained unique. The quality of life and magical experiences that I encouanter while working and living there for ten years were certainly unique, and were a rather large contributor for the spiritual awakening and the inner peace I experience now.
Other interesting places to travel in South & Central America are Brazil (north & south coast) , Colombia (northern coast, and its magical Tayrona National Park), Panama (Caribbean coast and San Blas Islands), and Costa Rica (both Caribbean & Pacific coasts).
Peru has many interesting sites. The northern beach of Mancora is cool, the city of Lima has great food, the Nazca Archaeological site is impressive when you fly above it. But I would say Cuzco & Macchu Picchu are the highlights.
Central America is stunningly beautiful and most places are easy to travel as well. I travel extensively within Cost Rica, but it was years ago (Circa 1999). I enjoy places like Manuel Antonio National Park and Tamarindo Beach. Other town that caught my attention was Montezuma, Guiones and Puerto Viejo.
In Central America, I particularly enjoyed Guatemala’s old colonial town of Antigua. Is picturesque and the incredible Tikal Mayan ruins.
On of my favorite places in the world is the peninsula of Yucatan, Mexico. Particularly a little beach town called Tulum, the Mayan Ruins located next to the town and the Sian Ka’an Biophere Reserve, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sadly the town of Tulum, is also getting developed quickly (as of 2014) but still its energy remains intact.
(Pictures that I appear were taking by Andrea Hull from Bali Wellness Retreats. The rest of the pictures were taken by me with a small Cannon S95 or an iPhone 5)