Travel Tips from True Colours

Hi “A Compass Rose” readers!  I’m so excited to be here guest posting today!  I’m Casey from True Colours, a travel blog that encompasses my passion for traveling, my background as an expat and third culture kid (which I have in common with Bonnie) and my advice and tips for everyone out there looking to add a little more travel to their lives.

For many people looking to make that leap to do more international travel, it can seem daunting and many times it’s hard to explain in a conversation all the things that are helpful to know before you travel abroad.  However, it’s important to make a mental checklist for yourself to check off a few things before you head off to another country, wherever that might be.  So in no particular order, here are some travel tips for first time travelers outside of your native country or before you take that amazing trip you’ve always wanted to.

1.  Make sure your passports and travel documents are updated and current.

Many countries require your passport be valid for 6 months before the expiration date to enter the country, so confirm the dates before you leave and make sure your passport is current and valid. Also, confirm that the country you’re visiting doesn’t require a separate visa as that can take longer to acquire and requires extra work.

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2.  Be aware and respectful of the foreign culture you’re traveling to.

There are many places in the world that have very distinct customs or beliefs that you should be at least aware of when traveling internationally.  For example, if you’re traveling to the Middle East, be aware of their religious traditions and be respectful with how you dress and act.  Each country will have its own customs and cultural differences, so be aware of those from researching them before you go.

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3.  Learn a few key words and phrases of the local language.

Nothing puts a smile on a local’s face like someone trying to speak, at least a few words, in the local language.  Know that when traveling outside of your home country and your home language, the rest of the world is living in their own language, so be mindful of that.  Nobody hates it as much as when the foreigners show up in their country and expect everyone to speak their language. Show some respect for the local language and it will work wonders.

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4.  Arrange activities and other specialty items through your hotel or in advance.

 

Though unfortunate, in many countries, locals will take advantage of the fact that you are a tourist and they will charge you much more for experiences than if you book through your hotel or in advance. Sometimes it can also be safer arranging certain activities through your hotel as they will know the reputable people to go through to make sure you have a memorable experience as well as a safe one.

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5.  Travel with photocopies of important documents.

This isn’t an absolute necessary step and while I still always do this, I’ve never had to actually use them while traveling but better safe than sorry. I always travel with a photocopy of our passports, my marriage license and any other documents needed for specific trips.  I carry copies of our passports in case our passports were to get lost or stolen and our marriage license mostly because we have different last names and if anything were to happen, we’d have proof that my husband and I are married.  I carry both hard copies in my bag which I lock in the safe in our hotel room at the destination and upload digital copies to my email account in case I’d need to access them while on the go.

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Traveling internationally doesn’t have to be a big hurdle and once you do it, it becomes easier and easier.  But it’s also about learning from each culture and not expecting that culture to be exactly like your own.  You’ll get more out of your travels if you take in all that the culture has to offer and cherish how unique it is.  Another important thing to remember when preparing for your trip abroad is that wherever you are going, there are people just like us, living their lives and in the end, we’re all just the same.

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This was a guest post by my sponsor and lovely blogger friend Casey from True Colours blog. Make sure to check out her travel blog which is rich full of amazing travel photography and more tips for your future trips! Thank you Casey!

 



Favourite Travel Film

lost-in-translation-arthouse-drama-rare-original-movie-posterI love being inspired about travel, culture, and places around the world while at home.  Watching films is a great way to fuel that wanderlust.  One of my most favourite films of this genre is Lost in Translation by Sofia Coppola.  It has two actors I really enjoy seeing on screen, highlights a country I’ve not been able to see from outside the Tokyo airport, and an engaging story with characters that make you want to rewatch the film over and over again.

Bob: Can you keep a secret? I’m trying to organize a prison break. I’m looking for, like, an accomplice. We have to first get out of this bar, then the hotel, then the city, and then the country. Are you in or you out?

Charlotte: I’m in. I’ll go pack my stuff.

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Q: What are your favourite Travel films? I would love to make a good list! 
Let me know which one/s and why you love them!
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Ready to link up?  Check out my Travel Tuesday Co-hosts and see who they have highlighted this week! Camila, Jessi, and Amy.

1. SHARE a post about travel! From road trips to trips abroad and from past travels to dream vacations. You can write about travel tips and tricks, favorite places to stay, or anything in between! Just make it about traveling somewhere!

2. GRAB the lovely button above. If you run into trouble, just make sure to mention Bonnie, Van, Sammy, and Kaelene in a link! 3. LINKUP goes live every Tuesday at 0800 GMT. Make sure to comment here, on the cohosts blogs, and visit around!

TIPS:

1. Please only one linked up post per blogger. Save other posts for future linkups!

2. The last Tuesday of every month will be a themed prompt if you want to join in!

3. HOP around and meet new travel loving bloggers! Check back to visit some of the newer travel posts!



Travel Throwback #10: Grand Canyon

This week is a somber week for my family and so my Travel Tuesday post will be to share some more photographs of my father. A man who since the age of seventeen lived a life of travel and adventure.  He loved being in the outdoors and exploring his world.  Here are some photographs of him at the Grand Canyon.  My family had taken us there years before this when my sister and I were primary school aged.  I remember how amazing the location was to see in person.  Love seeing my dad getting to enjoy its beautiful trails one more time before he died. 
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Q: Have you been inspired to travel from someone in your family or life?
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Ready to link up? 

1. SHARE a post about travel! From road trips to trips abroad and from past travels to dream vacations. You can write about travel tips and tricks, favorite places to stay, or anything in between! Just make it about traveling somewhere!

2. GRAB the lovely button above. If you run into trouble, just make sure to mention Bonnie, Van, Sammy, and Kaelene in a link! 3. LINKUP goes live every Tuesday at 0800 GMT. Make sure to comment here, on the cohosts blogs, and visit around!

TIPS:

1. Please only one linked up post per blogger. Save other posts for future linkups!

2. The last Tuesday of every month will be a themed prompt if you want to join in!

3. HOP around and meet new travel loving bloggers! Check back to visit some of the newer travel posts!

 



11th Wedding Anniverary 02.08

This past Saturday was my husband and I’s eleventh wedding anniversary.  This was our fourth to celebrate here in England in our expat adventure.  With our busy work schedules this year and having family visiting from across the pond it was a much more sebdued affair from last year’s Vow Renewal.   For the Travel Tuesday post today I thought I would share the places we have celebrated since moving abroad.  I did want to mention that our first wedding anniversary was spent in Thailand while we were working in Bangkok for the summer.  It was really awesome that our first year of marriage could be marked by spending it over in South East Asia…also I was a few months pregnant with our first son.  The years since then and before we moved to England had been a little chaotic with military life and a few anniversaries were spent apart.  Even more so important now why we cherish every single one.  Looking forward to see where we will be next year for the 12th anniversary! Until then let us take a look back at the years past. 
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Our first year in England we had only been in the country a few months and I surprised Ryan by taking in him somewhere as a suprise.  Living then in Brighton we traveled close by to the historic town of Lewes.  Ryan got to go to his very first castle, I got to dress up in Anne of Cleves house, and we stayed at a lush bed and breakfast called the Pelham Arms.9thAnniversary
For our 9th Wedding Anniversary we had just traveled to my ‘home’ of Naples, Italy where I had spent 6 years (in two 3 year segments in my childhood) growing up. It had been my first time to take Ryan to a place that still owns my heart.  We decided to finish up our trip with a romantic stop in Paris, France on our Anniversary.  We stayed at an apt we found on AirB&B and lived like the locals while strolling around the streets of Paris eating baguettes, cheese, and drinking wine.  It was everything we could have wanted that year. 10thanniversary
Last year for our 10th Anniversary we invited friends and family to renew our vows in Snowdonia, Wales.   We rented two floors of a bed and breakfast and had a whole week of activities planned.  It was an amazing time and a great way to mark such a milestone in our marriage and life together. Even better was having our boys participate in the vow renewal ceremony and being able to wear my wedding gown once more.  
Unfortuantely I do not have an photos from our Anniversary slash date night out from Saturday.  We took a stroll around Bath after Ryan picked me up after work.  We had reservations at the Circus cafe near the Royal Cresent in Bath.  The food was amazing, the portions were huge, and the desserts were so lush.  We had planned to just have a small starter and mainly eat out on the ‘pud’ and wine.  It was someting I have always wanted to do…pretend to be six again and go straight for the desserts. However having ordered their starters and seeing their portions I definitely reccommend ordering a little more than just your sweet ending to the night.  Their starter and salads were just excellent as well as their service. 
Afterwards we met up with co-workers of Ryans at the Garricks  Head pub, known to be haunted, near the theatre and had a few drinks.  It was a nice night out.  To be honest it has been a few years since Ryan and I have had a full night out alone and hoping to maybe get one more date night out at least this summer.  
***Thanks to Miriam Pinkston for the last image.
Q: Where would you love to go for your special moments in life?
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Today I am announcing the new co-hosts!  If you see your name mentioned drop me a line and let me know if you would like to accept. Big congratulations to:

Amy from Amy and the Great Big World

Jessi from Two Feet, One World.

Camila of The Things I Am Crazy For

Ready to link up? 

1. SHARE a post about travel! From road trips to trips abroad and from past travels to dream vacations. You can write about travel tips and tricks, favorite places to stay, or anything in between! Just make it about traveling somewhere!

2. GRAB the lovely button above. If you run into trouble, just make sure to mention Bonnie, Van, Sammy, and Kaelene in a link! 3. LINKUP goes live every Tuesday at 0800 GMT. Make sure to comment here, on the cohosts blogs, and visit around!

TIPS:

1. Please only one linked up post per blogger. Save other posts for future linkups!

2. The last Tuesday of every month will be a themed prompt if you want to join in!

3. HOP around and meet new travel loving bloggers! Check back to visit some of the newer travel posts!

 



Thank you Travel Tuesday Sponsors

Time really flies by too fast and I am already having to say farewell to my current three co-hosts for Travel Tuesday here at A Compass Rose.  They will be nominating the next Travel Tuesday co-hosts, to be announced next week.  Until then take a look at my girls’ favourite travel related quotes and their Travel Tuesday blog posts this week! Plus let them know what you liked most about their three months with us!
sammy To the Days like This with Sammy

van Snow in Tromso with Van

kaelene Unlocking Kiki with Kaelene
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Ready to link up? As always my co-hosts KaeleneSammy, and Van are along in this travel Tuesday adventure and this link up shows up on their blog today too! Show them so love and check out what travel posts they have on store today! 

1. SHARE a post about travel! From road trips to trips abroad and from past travels to dream vacations. You can write about travel tips and tricks, favorite places to stay, or anything in between! Just make it about traveling somewhere!

2. GRAB the lovely button above. If you run into trouble, just make sure to mention Bonnie, Van, Sammy, and Kaelene in a link! 3. LINKUP goes live every Tuesday at 0800 GMT. Make sure to comment here, on the cohosts blogs, and visit around!

TIPS:

1. Please only one linked up post per blogger. Save other posts for future linkups!

2. The last Tuesday of every month will be a themed prompt if you want to join in!

3. HOP around and meet new travel loving bloggers! Check back to visit some of the newer travel posts!

 

 

 


Travel Throwback: Germany

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This is a travel throwback photo of myself from when I was on a family vacation from Italy to Germany for a skiing holiday in Germany.  I had been allowed to bring one of my school friends for me and we were both excited to get on the slopes.  My favourite part about going was the journey.  The drive up through Northern Italia is beautiful and once you get to where the snow covers everything it becomes just magical.  I loved keeping a journal and writing about our day.  It is one reason that places like Germany, Austria, and Switzerland still hold a place in my heart.  All those wonderful travel memories through out the seasons through out the years growing up.  What I wonder what my younger self would think if I were to tell her I continued to travel and become an expat.

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and my pick for Travel Tuesday from last week! Check it out!

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Ready to link up? As always my co-hosts KaeleneSammy, and Van are along in this travel Tuesday adventure and this link up shows up on their blog today too! Show them so love and check out what travel posts they have on store today! 

1. SHARE a post about travel! From road trips to trips abroad and from past travels to dream vacations. You can write about travel tips and tricks, favorite places to stay, or anything in between! Just make it about traveling somewhere!

2. GRAB the lovely button above. If you run into trouble, just make sure to mention Bonnie, Van, Sammy, and Kaelene in a link! 3. LINKUP goes live every Tuesday at 0800 GMT. Make sure to comment here, on the cohosts blogs, and visit around!

TIPS:

1. Please only one linked up post per blogger. Save other posts for future linkups!

2. The last Tuesday of every month will be a themed prompt if you want to join in!

3. HOP around and meet new travel loving bloggers! Check back to visit some of the newer travel posts!

 



Travel Style from my Dad

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Today is Travel Tuesday and one of our Themed Travel Prompts! For Travel Style I have to say the whole reason I travel at all is because of my dad.  He is the man behind why I was born overseas, how I got ot grow up bouncing around military bases in Europe, and why I wanted to continue living abroad.  He spent his childhood growing up in New Jersey but left at seventeen to become an officer in the USAF. He started journey of moving and traveling abroad with the military that expanded over his 30 plus years in service and in the years that followed after his retirement before his death in 2008. I would have loved to continue traveling with him now as an adult and it is my one regret from life being cut too short.

malibuTravel Style from my Dad

While I did meet up with my dad in Disneyland and saw him briefly at the airport in Cambodia, my very last trip with my dad while he was alive was in Malibu, California.  A pretty stunning and posh place to go see. My sister had the opportunity to live there while she studied at Pepperdine University which holds annual lectures on campus. My dad took myself and my son there one year while we were living in Monterey, California.  We decided to go camping in Malibu and forgo staying at a hotel.  Having fond memories of camping in Germany with my dad I was really excited to give Ronan his first camping adventure.  He was around a year old at the time and we had a blast. Which became my proven point that you can never be too young to go camping. We just stuck his pack and play inside the tent and made sure to get his bottles prepared before we tucked in for the evening.  We also got to spend time at Newport beach and let Ronan experience the sand between his toes.

While I’ve been to many countries with my dad and roughed it a bit more than Malibu, California (where we did run into hollywood stars), it was just fun to travel in the style of my dad and just take every opportunity to enjoy and experience life.


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Do you love Turkey and food? I do and this is a must read post!


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Ready to link up? As always my co-hosts KaeleneSammy, and Van are along in this travel Tuesday adventure and this link up shows up on their blog today too! Show them so love and check out what travel posts they have on store today! 

1. SHARE a post about travel! From road trips to trips abroad and from past travels to dream vacations. You can write about travel tips and tricks, favorite places to stay, or anything in between! Just make it about traveling somewhere!

2. GRAB the lovely button above. If you run into trouble, just make sure to mention Bonnie, Van, Sammy, and Kaelene in a link! 3. LINKUP goes live every Tuesday at 0800 GMT. Make sure to comment here, on the cohosts blogs, and visit around!

TIPS:

1. Please only one linked up post per blogger. Save other posts for future linkups!

2. The last Tuesday of every month will be a themed prompt if you want to join in!

3. HOP around and meet new travel loving bloggers! Check back to visit some of the newer travel posts!