Returning for the Food

Have you ever returned somewhere for the food? When I travel, having the food at the location is a big highlight of the trip. There are some places where I have not had the food again, but I am still talking about a decade later. Like the Austrian dessert, Germknodel. I must have been sixteen when I had it last and I’m still dreaming of it and the sweet memories tied to it in the Austrian Alps. So we do the next best thing and go to Austrian establishments and return after having a great time. One such place, for this example, is the Tiroler Hut in London.

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We went this weekend and you can read and see the photos from our first time there by clicking the photo above.

Share your food and travel experiences with us here!

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Around the World Travel

Welcome to another Travel Tuesday as we announce our first travel Tuesday prompt this year 2016.

Anna from Slightly Astray blog will have the prompt on her blog today. Head over to check it out after linking up below.

My mum is currently on her trip around the world. She left her home in Tucson, Arizona (with a stop off in DC to drop her dog off with my sister) to begin her trip with us here in Bath England. She is currently in Ireland before taking us to London next weekend. I cannot wait to share with you what we will be doing in London on our weekend getaway.

To document her travels my mum is keeping a blog about her trip. She has several posts already and included one recently from when she joined me at work. Here is sample post from her blog with the link if you would like to follow her along her journey. She will be going to some exciting new places that travellers, not tourists, hope to one day see.

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“My daughter Bonnie was born in the UK and has dual citizenship. She and her husband decided to leave the US to live here in Bath. Bonnie manages a coffee shop at Union and Burton streets above a clothing shop called Rupert and Buckley. It’s a great place watch the people coming and going in the shopping precinct. This is the older part of Bath that might be familiar to Jane Austen. The Luftwaffe bombed the lower part during the War so it is more modern. Yesterday was Bonnie’s day off so we watched all of the BBC series, Emma. Back in the day the streets would have been full of carriages and horses. Today you can find a lot of buskers.”

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“Where ever you are today, I hope you are having a good one.”

Teresa’s Big Trip/

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Meet Your New Travel Tuesday Co-host!

Hello everyone! It is with great pleasure I introduce you t our new travel tuesday co host, Anna. Meet here here and check out her blog and how you can follow her over the next two months across various social media platforms. In a month’s time she will nominate one of you who will join us. In a month’s time after that it will be Anna’s turn to nominate a replacement to join the third cohost and I in the month to follow. I think cycling through co-hosts will be a fun way to get us to know each other. So remember share your links and visit the other blogs to comment. Have a great Tuesday!

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Hi! I’m Anna from Slightly Astray. About two years ago, I quit my job as a civil engineer to travel the world with my boyfriend (D on the blog). I never imagined that this is where life would take me, but despite some doubts in the beginning, it’s safe to say that I have not looked back since! On my blog, I talk about my travels, food (my favorite topic!), love, and navigating life as a full time traveler.

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blog: www.slightlyastray.com
facebook: www.facebook.com/slightlyastray
instagram: www.instagram.com/slightlyastray
twitter: www.twitter.com/slightlyastray
bloglovin: www.bloglovin.com/blogs/slightly-astray-12332667

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New Travel Tuesday 2016

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This is has been a busy past couple of months at my house and it has all been directed toward this week. Tomorrow the play I adapted and directed is on at the Rondo Theatre in Bath, England for six performances. I am beyond excited about tonight’s dress rehearsal and so proud of my cast and crew. I look forward to sharing the photos with you all next week. I will be able to focus more time on the blog and share with you what we have in store for 2016.

One thing we have for the new year is a new set of cohosts. Courtney and Lauren have nominated:

Estrella of Estrella Explores http://wwww.estrellaexplores.com

Anna of Slightly Astray http://wwww.slightlyastray.cm

Estrella and Anna if you could email me this week if you accept the nomination.



Favourite 2015 Travel Memories

2015

Hi everyone and happy 2016!!! It’s a new year and Travel Tuesday is back in full swing!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season, wherever in the world you celebrated!

For those of you that I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet, I’m Lauren and I blog over at Lauren on Location. I’ve been co-hosting the Travel Tuesday linkup for a few months now and will be guest posting this month here at A Compass Rose before passing the baton on to some other lovely hosts!

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During my holiday vacation this past week, I’ve had a lot of time to think about how unbelievably amazing of a year 2015 was for me. It was a year full of learning, traveling, friends, family, love, fun, hard work and so much more! It’s hard for me to even process everything that has happened in the past 12 months!

So, before ringing in this new wonderful year and focusing on my upcoming travel plans, I thought I’d share and reflect on some of my favorite travel memories from 2015.

 

Skydiving in the Swiss Alps

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Skydiving in Interlaken was a HUGE experience for me. I had wanted to conquer my fear of heights via skydiving for a long time, but could never get myself to commit. When my boyfriend Kevin decided to visit me in Europe, round two, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to give skydiving a try. He had also wanted to try skydiving for a while, so I hoped to use his positive, eager energy to counter my completely anxious, nervous energy. All I can say is IT. WAS. AMAZING. The rush was incredible and the view of the Alps from above, indescribable. I think I’d even do it again… well, maybe…

You can read more about my experience skydiving in Interlaken here.

 

Spring break in the Sahara Desert

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In the summer of 2014, on my return flight to Spain from Marrakech, I met a retired traveling couple from South Africa. They had just spent a week in the Sahara desert and couldn’t stop raving about their experience, insisting it was their favorite trip of the year. I was instantly hooked on the idea. My weekend in Marrakech was simply an introduction to the wonderful world of Morocco and I knew this had to be next.

My friend Mandy and I decided to spend our 2015 spring break a little differently than our usual “crazy party-like” trips and take a guided tour of the Sahara. Well, the South African couple was right and the Sahara desert easily pushed its way to the top of my travel experiences for 2015. It was actually one of the most amazing experiences of my life and so different than anything I had done before. I’m sure the memory of laying under a clear blanket of sparkling stars while digging my toes into cool velvety sand will stay clear in my mind for the rest of my life.

Check out more of my Sahara Snapshots here.

Kayaking in Mykonos, Greece

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This past summer I took a Mediterranean cruise with my family which started in Istanbul, made several stops in Greece and ended in Italy. I have so many great memories from these action-packed 9-days, but one that really sticks out in my mind was our kayaking excursion in Mykonos.

The water was extremely rough, the wind was fierce and my kayak even flipped over! Still, the family who ran the tours made each and every second enjoyable, safe and fun! They were so sweet and really treated us like a part of their family. It also didn’t hurt that the entire island was absolutely breathtaking.

 

Watching the sunrise [and set] at Horseshoe Bend

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After my return home to the States from Spain this past fall, I luckily had some time to travel in my own enormous country. My parents recently retired, bought an RV and adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle driving all over the US, which I was pretty eager to get in on.

Well, my parents happily let me crash their party and even let me plan out my own itinerary. While we were staying for a quick stint in Arizona, I somehow even convinced them to wake up before the crack of dawn and hike up to Horseshoe Bend with me to watch the sunrise. It was chilly, windy, and we got there even a bit too early, but watching the sun slowly creep up over the canyon was more than worth the slightly uncomfortable wait. We all enjoyed it so much that we went back to watch the sunset!

 

Hiking into Bryce Canyon

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Another stop on my cross-country road trip with my parents, and one my favorites of the trip, was Bryce Canyon. Bryce Canyon is located in Southern Utah and is famous for its unique geological structures, called hoodoos. We camped a few days in the remote park and I just couldn’t get over the extraordinary views. The red, orange and white colors of the bizarre rock formations were magnificent. One early morning, I hiked down into the canyon with my father and fell so in love that I went back later that day and did the very same trail with my mom. It’s far too easy to lose yourself in the stunning vistas of the hoodoos!

 

I’m so lucky to have so many amazing memories from this past year! Above are only a handful of the memorable moments that have made 2015 one for the books. Even though I already have a lot of exciting trips in the works for 2016, the coming year sure has got a lot to live up to!

For more of my favorite travel experiences of 2015- hop on over to Lauren on Location today. I’m sharing my 15 favorite travel photos of 2015! Also, look out this month for my 2015 video compilation- Lauren on Location, a year through video.

What are some of your favorite memories from 2015? What are you looking forward to this year?



Vietnam with Courtney

Hi friends! Courtney here from over at Alkeks Abroad. Today I am going to talk about one my favorite countries- Vietnam.

We spent nine days making our way from north to south of the country last month and absolutely fell in love. So I am here to tell you why you should add Vietnam to your bucket list.

The People: We had to opportunity to meet various Vietnamese people throughout our travels, and we fell in love with each and every one of them. They were kind, generous and genuinely interested in talking and sharing their lives with us.

Diversity: Whether you are looking for beautiful beaches, bustling cities or tiny villages- you can find it in Vietnam. We braved the crazy streets of Saigon and Hanoi, scuba dived and snorkled off Cham Island by Hoi An, cruised through Halong Bay and rowed down the Mekong Delta with a local villager and yet we barely scratched the surface. Our plans for our next trip? Check out the rice terraces in Sapa and the highlands and lakes of Da Lat.

The Food: That’s probably self explanatory but seriously the food in Vietnam is delicious. With street vendors on every corner offering everything from Pho to Banh Mis, you can’t go wrong. Each region has their own specialities that you must try out.
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The Coffee: Tied with food is the coffee. Vietnam is the second largest exporter of coffee and they know what they are doing. Coffee comes with a silver strainer contraption on top and condensed milk at the bottom. Let it drip, mix it up and drink it over ice. It’s perfection. Sipping on a glass while perched on a tiny stool people watching is the perfect way to start the day.

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Authenticity: Vietnam has only become a large tourist destination is the past decade or so. Compared to other places we have visited (ahem Thailand) it did not feel overly touristy at all. Walking around busy Hanoi, we could go for a while before spotting one or maybe two fellow tourists. Locals still stared at us and even took secret pictures. We felt like we were still seeing their authentic culture instead of what they were selling or putting on a show just for the tourists.

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The Culture and History: Vietnam has a unique and beautiful culture that is inspired architecturally by the former French rule and religiously by the Chinese. Whether you are visiting pagodas during prayers or browsing at the many outdoor markets, you will get to experience it for yourself.

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Even with its tumultuous history the people of the country are smiling and friendly. I feel like Americans often shy away from visiting Vietnam because of a war that happened forty years ago. I hope that it does not deter anyone from seeing this wonderful country. Even visiting the somewhat confronting (and anti-American) War Remnants museum we never felt any hostility towards us from the locals.

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Hopefully if you hadn’t considered visiting Vietnam I have changed your mind today. If you have been, what was your favorite part of the country?

Keep up with our journey through Vietnam right here– I have only just began to recap our perfect week and a half. Happy Travel Tuesday!



Thanks 😀

Travel and Packing

www.laurenonlocation.com

www.laurenonlocation.com

We are back! Took a little unexpected hiatus on the blog and Travel Tuesday is back to running as normal. Big thanks to my co-hosts Courtney and Lauren for keeping the link up running on their blogs while my computer was out of commission. Today we are talking all about Travel and Packing. We have tips, tricks, guidelines, and lists of things you cannot leave home without. So without any more from me let me give Courtney the post to talk about Travel and Packing:

Courtney was just packing her bags to head off on a trip this week. I asked her what packing tricks she uses and she was happy to share with all of you how she gets ready for the road.

Courtney’s Packing Tips:

-Pack by outfit. I used to just throw in x amount of shirts, x amount of bottoms and call it a day. Then when I got to my destination I couldn’t put together a cute outfit for the life of me. Now I take picking out outfits for each day/occasion, looking to pinterest for inspiration, trying them all on and then packing everything I need for that outfit together including accessories. For longer trips I do the same only I make sure to use neutral pieces that can be worn lots of different ways. This has been my go to method for the most efficient packing.

-Subscription boxes are your friend. My mom gave me a birch box subscription for Christmas a couple years ago. I am not a big product person so I wasn’t really sure if I was going to enjoy the gift. Since we do quite a bit of traveling around Australia with carry ons only, these samples have become my best friends. I love having small, quality products to use when I am traveling instead of trying to pour my big bottles into travel containers the night before. Plus I have found some of my new favorite products from using the samples on vacation whereas before they would go sitting on a shelf unused for months.

-Keep a travel toiletry kit ready to go. One way to save time and headaches is having a separate travel toiletry kit ready to go. This includes all my previously mentioned travel sized products, plus a spare toothbrush and toothpaste, hair ties, bobby pins etc. Make sure it stays well stocked and then you don’t have to worry about running around gathering everything before a last minute trip (or just a last minute packing job).

-If you are traveling out of the country, bring an unlocked phone. If you are out of a contract the provider has to unlock it for free, if not then try and find one online or get yours unlocked under the table (but don’t tell anyone I told you that). Sim cards are typically super cheap and it makes getting around (hello google maps) and calling hotels or tour companies so much easier.

www.alkeksabroad.com/

www.alkeksabroad.com/

Thank you so much Courtney for your packing tricks. Even as experienced at travelling that I am and having moved so many times with my nomadic upbringing, I am always eager to hear new and other ways to help me pack. I am still the person who will wait till the night before to do the majority of my packing and go to bed pretty late to make sure that everything is perfect. Not always the most enjoyable way to go about it if you have an early morning flight. Especially if you are not certain on what to pack when looking at locations, weather, and your activity itinerary. Luckily Lauren from Lauren on Location has shared guidelines she uses for when she is prepping for her travels.

Hi guys! I’m Lauren! Even though I have a lot of experience traveling, I still consider myself a notorious “over packer.’

For me, packing is one of the most annoying and difficult parts of planning a trip. I constantly find myself playing the “what if” game, imagining every possible hypothetical situation I could be in for. Throughout my travels I’ve learned [the hard way] that you can’t plan for everything.

So now when packing, I try to follow guidelines such as these:

1. Plan your outfits ahead
a. Planning your outfits ahead of time may seem time-consuming, but I find this really is the best way to minimize your load. Taking a few extra minutes to plan out your outfits eliminates bringing things you won’t wear and will even save you time putting things together during your trip.

2. Pick a color scheme
a. I usually go with a basic brown or black theme and take it from there. If I really want to pack my brown boots, I make sure all of the outfits I’m bringing work with them.

3. Roll your clothing
a. I’ve tried many, many techniques to fitting the most clothing in my bag and rolling my clothes takes the cake every time! I don’t know what it is, but rolling up your clothes just seems to shrink them right before your eyes.

For more tips like these check out one of my past posts: Practical Packing for a Weekend

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(http://laurenonlocation.com/practical-packing-for-a-weekend-away/)

Keep a look out for my “Over Packers packing guide” coming soon!

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Thank you Lauren! With all these great tips and guides on how to pack for your next trip I think we are all on the road, no pun intended, to pack just what we need and leave home with just the essentials. However what your favourite must have items in your travel bag? Lauren gave me her list. Think of what your top five items that are always in your bag and see how it compares.

The things Lauren can never travel without:

1. iPhone 6
a. Isn’t that an obvious though?
2. Hand sanitizer
3. Pack of Tissues
a. You never know when you’re going to need a tissue, napkin or even toilet paper!
4. Scarf
a. Even in the summer I like to bring a scarf along on my travels. You could find yourself on an ice-cold plane, want something to learn your head against, or even need to cover your shoulders in the sun.
5. Ear Plugs & Ear Buds
a. Unfortunately, I am an extremely sound sensitive person. Babies crying on the plane. The guy in the hostel bunk next you snoring his head off. I just can’t deal.

Close enough to your list? Let me share the five items I most always have in my travel bag:

1. Camera. Sometimes its my Nikon DSLR which means it has at least one lens with it and possibly my travel friendly LED light for dark lit situations and a mono pod. Sometimes I just go with my phone depending on the trip. Photos are one of my top priorities when it comes to traveling and so my packing always reflects and leaves room for that.
2. Spare bags. Some are plastic shopping bags from the stores and then a reusable linen bag. These are perfect when you either need to store dirty clothes, bag certain items, or need something smaller and quick to transport your items in. Sometimes you just need a rubbish bag to clear out the receipts and junk you start accumulating and – your travel bags.
3. Ziplock Bags. Resealable bags are a must. Why? I pack with them for one thing. Not only will I roll up items like underwear and socks, but I will put them in a ziplock bag and press out all the air. They act like mini spacebags, are affordable, reusable, and make organization a cinch! Not only can you organize your suitcase by items of clothing you could use larger ones to put in a whole outfit and label it so that you are not rummaging through your whole suitcase just to find something. Alternatively you can use them to get from place A to place B, unpack everything and then just pack up like it again using the ziplock bags again before you travel home. Extra bags are great for toting your toiletries, housing items that could leak or cause spillage, and even for misc. items you may be saving for your scrapbook on your return home.
4. Journal. Something I can write, draw, or even paint in when I travel. Being able to just be creative in another part of the world is inspirational and being able to document your travels seals the deal of making this item a necessity for the travel bag.
5. Baby Wipes. To be fair I have these in my normal bag even now that my kids are primary school age. However they are great, travel well, and have multiple uses.

Comment below with your favourite things to pack with or travel tricks. As always remember to link up!

Cheers!