Best of Travel Tuesday

As Travel Tuesday comes to an end, Diana from Diana Elle Blog has gathered up the Past Prompts + Co-Hosts from over the years, creating a shortcut for anybody looking for blogging inspiration.



Co-Host: Belinda

October 2013: Favorite Travel Photo Travel Partner/Favorite Photograph from a recent trip

November 2013: Relationships.

December 2013: Destinations during the holidays.

January 2014: A random one?

Co-Hosts: Melanie & Tina

February 2014: Share your Travel Tips.

March 2014: best, worst, and/or strangest food you’ve encountered while traveling

April 2014: Three Places 1)Loved the most 2)Want to visit 3)Current City

Co-Host: Kaelene, Sammy, & Van

May 2014: All about languages

June 2014: What’s your travel style?

July 2014: Travel Bucket List

In August 2014 we got three new co-hosts: Amy, Jessi, and Camila

Sept 2nd, 2014: Unexpected Destination

September 2014: Interesting or weird layover experiences

October 2014: City or country?

Co-Hosts: Courtney, Cynthia, and Yalanda

November 2014: Best and Worst Cuisines

December 2014: Favorite travel memories of the year

January 2015: Travel Misadventures

In February we got three new co-hosts: Amanda, Caity, Marcella, and Michelle.

March 2015: Local legends | The urban myths and stories you have come upon while traveling, in your expat, life, or ones from your hometown.

April 2015: Where I come from and why I left

May 2015: Festivals and celebrations while traveling

June 2015, two new co-hosts: Christine and Sara

July 2015: Favorite travel partner and trip

August 2015: What is your worst / most embarrassing / biggest travel fail / travel experience?

Co-Hosts: Courtney & Lauren

September 2015: Where will you go?

October 2015: What’s a hidden gem that you have stumbled upon while exploring a new place?

November 2015: Travel and Packing

Co-host: Anna

January 2016:Most Memorable food experience

Co-Hosts: Anna, Christy

February 2016: A Sporty Adventure

Co-Hosts: Anna, Christy, Diana

March 2016: Movies and Travel

Co-Hosts: Christy, Diana, Rachel

April 2016: Hidden Treasures

Co-Hosts: Diana, Rachel, Katrina

May 2016, That’s this week! Share your favorite Travel Tuesday memories for the #BestOfTravelTuesday. We are hoping this link up is also a “greatest hits” collection, so we’re giving you the option to include additional favorite Travel Tuesday related posts.


A Compass Rose and a New Course


A couple of years ago I took my blog with a new name and set sail for a year of blogging every day while I was able to work from home and take care of my family after moving to the city of Bath, England. It was an amazing time to make use of my corner of the internet while exploring our new place that we would soon call home. Since then it has seen its peaks and valleys of activity through our day to day in my so-called expat life. I have had my blog since right before my eldest son was born and I have enjoyed being able to share our life with those of you whom, by whatever means, stumble upon this page. A Compass Rose blog is now eleven years old and I am ready to take it on a new course yet again.


A Compass Rose and a New Course
I recently share a blog post that I had written back in 2013 when taking part in #Blogtember with a group of other travel, expat, and lifestyle bloggers. It was about mental health week and my own experiences with Overcoming Klonopin. I was really intrigued by the selection and number of people from my facebook friends who not only took time to click through and read the post, but comment on the thread. It has made me think about where I would like to direct my focus in this new passage. I want to share more with the intent to help, to inspire, and to make people smile. I believe in the past my blog has tried to find its way, strugggling to fit into the blogosphere, while remaining relevent to my current interests.


I have started brain storming ideas and focus points for this new chapter and I am hoping within the next week to be able to fully push through with this new chapter. It is looking to focus on both my current professional life, my creative side outside of work, and sharing to help others. I know for me the worst part of life is when you are in the depths of a moment and feel that despite the number of online friends available, the the ones you know in real life, you have no one to talk too. I will be here. I can always listen, if you need someone. I am here.

Comins Tea in Bath

I manage and work as a barista in a speciality coffee shop, Picnic Coffee, in the heart of Bath, England. I joke with my customers, whom ask about my American accent, that I moved back to England for a proper cup of tea. There is much truth to that statement as well as the whole tea culture that you will find when traveling to the UK or with travelling Brits on vacation. Likewise tea (and coffee…remembering my loyalties) is a huge part of life all around the world.  I love to experience this part of culture as a Third Culture Kid whether on my travels or in my so-called expat life.


I recently had the opportunity to visit Comins Tea in my current city of Bath after hearing many great things about it from my tea enthusiast co-worker.  It is located not far from my work near the Royal Theatre and Egg Theatre. As I had gone alone, I chose a table near the back with a good view of the entire room. While minimalistic in style there were some beautiful posters on the wall that kept pulling my attention.


I got to meet one of the owners of Comins, Rob, who was able to go over their extensive tea menu.  If you are hesitant on which tea to order, the staff are very friendly and helpful with informative knowledge of the different teas.




I went with the Genmaicha Uji, a smooth and flavourful green tea, to compliment the japanese dumplings I ordered for lunch.


I was able to brew my tea to the perfect amount with the timer and then just enjoy the moment of not having a care in the world. The environment is very laidback, chill, and reminded me of being home in China town on Hawaii.






Thank you to the staff at Comins Tea for being so welcoming. I look forward to visiting again on my next day off. I highly recommend experiencing tea here on your next trip to Bath. Check out their website and facebook page for upcoming events as well. Definitely a tea-rrific time!

My Mum is a Travel Blogger


Sharing a photo of my mum who had been traveling around the world on a solo trip to places many people never see.  Will be getting her to do a guest post soon so she can share the highlights of her trip.


With that said we have a new nomination from Anna who is finished with her rotation as cohost and she nominates:


Rachel from A Nesting Nomad!


Congrats Rachel, send me an email and lets get in touch this week.



Slightly Astray’s Top Ten Travel Destinations

Welcome t another Travel Tuesday. Remember when you hop around today people’s posts might be themed, so have a fun time seeing what everyone came up with this week.  I decided to not write to the theme this week but let Anna from Slightly Astray blog have a space here.  This is her last week with us and she is going to be sharing her Top Ten Travel Destinations.


Hello A Compass Rose readers! I’m Anna from Slightly Astray and I will be taking over Bonnie’s blog today before passing my Travel Tuesday co-host spot unto someone else!

For those who may not know me, a quick little introduction: I quit my job as an engineer/project manager to live a life of full-time travel with my boyfriend. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that this is where life would take me, and contrary to the glamorous image of full time travelers, this kind of life is not always easy, but I have absolutely no regrets!

I cannot believe that it is coming up on a full two years (on April 1st!) since we packed a luggage each and boarded a one way flight! So for today’s guest post, I thought I would share 10 of my favorite destinations visited (in random order!) in our two years of travel. I loved all of these places for different reasons, but no matter the reason, they have all claimed a piece of my heart.

1. Santiago, Chile

bellavista streetart 1

Santiago will forever have a special place in my heart as the very first city we headed to when we started our new nomadic lives. It may not the the prettiest city or have the best food (in fact, some of the food is downright disgusting!), but it is special to me for the fact that this is where I learned to function as a traveler and fell in love with the lifestyle. I think back on my time in Santiago with such fondness for this kind of “first” is truly a feeling that can never be replicated.

Read: The City That Stole My Heart

2. London


Anna tower bridge

English breakfast

Who doesn’t love London?! I was only here for a quick 3 days (because yeah… I’m poor and London is expensive) but I was completely enamored with it! London was the first European city I have ever set foot in and oh what a beautiful first impression it made! I barely even covered a fraction of the city and I’m constantly dreaming of when I can return to walk its streets again.

3. Wroclaw, Poland

Wroclaw Market Square 4

pierogarnia feature pic

Wroclaw is one of my favorite cities in Europe due to the fact that it’s such a perfect little fairytale town. And if I’m being honest, also due to the fact that I fell in love with the restaurant Pierogarnia and still insist that it serves the best pierogies I’ve ever had.

Read: Pierogarnia: A Love Story

4. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest view2

szechenyi bath 1

beef stew2

Budapest is just plain fun! There’s nothing I can say to pinpoint exactly why I loved it so much, so really it’s just a little bit of everything: the food, the architecture, the cafes, the river, the ruin pubs, the baths… I can go on and on. It’s also an extremely budget friendly destination, making it one of my top places I recommend in Europe.

5. Istanbul, Turkey

Hagia Sophia 8

The perfect city of east-meets-west! Is there another city as colorful, crazy, and exciting as Istanbul?! I loved hearing the calls to prayer multiple times a day, sitting down in an alleyway to smoke shisha + play backgammon, and seeing all the explosions of colors and textures in the markets. There’s just not quiet another place like Istanbul. And quiet literally… what other city in the world is divided by the ocean to sit on both European and Asian soils?!

Read: Istanbul: An Assault on the Senses

6. Koh Chang, Thailand

While this was certainly not the only tropical paradise I’ve been to, it’s the one that made the most impression on me. We stayed on the quiet, untouristed side of this little island for 2 weeks. For a large portion of that time, we didn’t get internet and I took the time to completely unplug and reconnect with my myself. I read a ton, scooted all over the island, swam in the warm waters, and spent hours in the kitchen creating Thai dishes. I felt completely at peace, like I was the best version of myself there.

Read: Unplugged

7. Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi veggies bike

Oh. My. Goodness. THE FOOD! The food in Hanoi is just INCREDIBLE! The entire Old Quarter is packed full with street vendors and eateries, and every single one is delicious… a true foodie heaven! I already liked pho before coming, but this is where I fell completely in love with Vietnamese cuisine (and Vietnamese coffee… and I’m not even a coffee drinker!). A perfect day in Hanoi is just walking around and randomly sitting down at whatever sidewalk eatery that looks crowded or smells good.

Read: 10 Dishes to Try in Hanoi (this is my top viewed post of all time)

8. Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei view of 101 Taipei ootd 6

Tonghua night market

This was the first city that felt truly like home. Again, another city that doesn’t sound too exciting and is not even on most people’s travel itineraries, but it is an extremely fun and livable place. There’s so much to discover about Taipei, from the night market culture to the cafes to day trips. We initially visited for 2 weeks, and loved it enough that we went back and settled there for a whole 3 months, making Taipei the first place we called home for a temporary while.

Read: 17 Reasons Why Taipei is the Coolest (In Photos)

9. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur Petronas Towers Kuala Lumpur Jalan Alor curry laksa

So I think I found a new city as exciting as, if not more than, Istanbul! Malaysia is a wonderful mix of cultures and ethnicities, which results in a very diverse place with some of the most exciting food I’ve ever had on my travels. Kuala Lumpur is a true city of contrasts: insanely modern yet still distinctively Southeast Asian. There’s just an neverending list of things to discover to excite me.

10. Beijing, China

simatai great wall 17me and mom Beijing 4 Beijing tulip fields 14

And last but not least, there will always be a piece of my heart reserved for my birth city, Beijing. In the past year, I was lucky enough to be able to spend a significant chunk of time there, both as a tourist and as a Beijinger returning to my childhood home. I was really able to gain a deeper understand for my culture and this country as a whole. China may seem intimidating to visit but once you look under the surface, it is a beautiful country with a rich history and of course, delicious food.

Read: Lessons from Time Spent in China

So that’s it! My top 10 favorite places in two years of travel! What were some of your favorite destinations?

Travel Tuesday Theme


England has been warming up quite a bit this past week and it has been glorious. Even though I work inside, the cafe has many windows which let the warmth inside. It is almost like being on vacation as the lack of sun can play up with my mood.  I swear when its bright and sunny, regardless of the temp, I am instantly the chipperest bird in Bath. Perhaps a bad pun, so lets move back on to Travel.

Travel Tuesday and my three lovely cohosts have a theme for next week:  Movies & Travel

Is there a movie that made you want to visit a certain place or do you have favorite travel films?

I cannot wait to see what everyone comes up with for next week. Until then lets hop around!

Continue reading

#SwagsJumps and So Can You

Happy Travel Tuesday with a guest post from Swags:

Anyone can make great jumping photos. I’ve always been more of an action/candid photo fan, and finding the perfect jump photo has become a favorite hobby of mine. I may be an athlete, but the last time I was considered a decent jumper, I was seventeen and pre-knee-surgery. That was nearly half a lifetime ago, and I’m not getting any younger!

The two key components of your jumping photo are the background and the camera angle. You’ll see in the following photos that jumping in front of sky always works, but a super cool attraction can be worth it, as well. Put your camera – or your cameraman – on the ground and press record. Yes, you’re taking a video, and it’s going to transform you into a jumping hero.

All that’s left is to pick your signature jump!

(Listed from easiest to most difficult. When you attempt, I’d love for you to hashtag either #SwagsJumps or #whatupswags to show your progress!)

The Assisted Fly

Find something to create the appearance of a higher jump. Swings, fences, and statues are very helpful.


The Happy Star

Jump and explode your limbs in every direction. Also, try the imaginary skateboard grab.


The Butt Kick

This is the best ratio of easy jump with high payout. Just make sure you kick slightly to the side, or you’ll look like your legs end at the knees. You can even do this jump in a skirt.



The Jump Squat

Try to bring your knees to your shoulders. Might want to stretch or warm-up for this one.



The Heel Click

Anytime you bring your feet closer to your body, your jump looks so much higher.


The Rock Star

You’ve got your air guitar, so kick one foot back and one foot forward, and rock this jump.

Here we’ve got a Happy Star, Jump Squat, Rock Star combo – and this one was miraculously taken with a regular camera on a timer.


The Ninja

Put on your game face and channel your inner ninja. My best ninja jump is in the title picture, but these ones are alright, too. Also, note how cool a silhouette jump can be against a bright background.



The Mary Poppins

This one is very difficult for me. It’s the feet position, arm extension, umbrella lift, and truly believing that you are going to fly up, up, and away in the moment. I have to find a better background for this jump style next time.

Hit record and start jumping! Don’t forget to tag me @whatupswags or hashtag #SwagsJumps and #whatupswags when you get your jumping photo album going!