5 Places I've Never Been (And Why I Want to Go)

What's on your travel wish list?

The View from the Window Seat

And why I prefer the window than the aisle seat any day

12 Travel Apps You Need to Download Right Now

With apps for just about anything these days, it's smart to have them downloaded before you go.

10 Things in do in Thailand

They call it the land of smiles for a reason.

23 April 2014

Part-Time Traveler Talk with Aaron Cruz

It's been a little slow on the blog front (have some exciting news that I'll be sharing a bit later), but first I would like to introduce you to Aaron Cruz, yet another part-time traveler making the most of his vacation time!

Aaron and I often muse over caffeine, something that every traveler turned blogger needs a lot of!  You can find Aaron over at his blog, on twitterfacebookgoogle +, and instagram, as well as drinking coffee day in and day out.  


1) Tell us a little about your non-traveling/non-blogging self. What are you up to when you aren't jetting around the world? 

When not roaming the earth, I’m a web developer doing both a full-time gig and freelance around Ann Arbor and Detroit, Michigan. You’ll find me hanging out at random coffee shops around the homestead. At home I like to cook and watch college sports. In the coming months I will be marrying the love of my life whose name is also Erin.

2) Is long-term travel something you've ever dreamed of? Would you give up your current life to travel the world indefinitely?

Sure I think about it from time-to-time, but a lot less than when I was younger. I’m down with going on longer multi-week adventures near and far but at the same time like having that home base, being around friends and family, building websites and soon to be starting a life with my love.



3) Approximately how many days out of the year are you on the road? Is this enough running around for you? 

I’m on the road approximately six weeks a year including work trips. There can never be enough travel. I try to squeeze travel in every minute I can >> sometimes taking quick drives in the early morning and evenings. When on a work trip, I’ll get up early and/or stay up late to explore whatever city or place I’m at.

4) Where was your last trip? When and where is your next trip? For how long?

I took a day trip to Cleveland, Ohio a couple of weeks ago working remotely. I bounced from coffee shop to coffee shop and neighborhood to neighborhood taking pictures along the way. Will be taking another day trip to Grand Rapids and Lake Michigan in the weeks ahead, Erin and I will be going on a short trip following the wedding, with a longer honeymoon planned for the summer. Right now we are thinking Niagara Falls, then island hopping in the Caribbean.



5) Have you changed your life to travel more? If so, then how?

I’m spending less on day-to-day things, limiting my eating out and not buying anything that isn’t necessary so there will be more money available to spend on travel and the other things I care about.

6) What is one tip you can give others with a full-time life/job hoping to travel more?

Use a good portion of your vacation days one or two at a time alongside a weekend so you can have lots of multi-day adventures each year. You’ll keep feeding that travel bug. Taking one long vacation and then going months or a year without travel will kill the true wanderer inside.

7) Tell us about your current vacation time from work and how you make the most of it to travel. 

I get 3-4 weeks off a year, using it to go to Atlanta and other places where family resides. Will also take a day off here-and-there to take longer day road trips. Longer and random trips with the other Erin also have there place. 

I also have a job where I don’t really need to be physically in the office, so I’ll take random day trips for work like the aforementioned one to Cleveland. Working and traveling at the same time --> score!

8) Describe your perfect work-life-travel balance.

It’s a delicate but even balance, making sure I’m getting my work done, feeding my travel thirst, being there and spending time with those whom I care about and taking care of the day-to-day. In the end it leads to a very busy but fulfilling life. Being realistic about how much travel I can do helps as well. 


9) Are there any destinations you've been longing to go to? Why?

I have two schools of thought on this. One: anywhere that has a thriving coffee scene. New York City, New Orleans and Portland are at the top of the list. Also hopping around the green Ireland countryside experiencing one Irish coffee after another is always on my mind. Secondly, any place tropical I heard about I want to get to. Outside of Mexico I haven’t been to the Caribbean, but it looks like I’ll be crossing off a lot of tropical spots during the upcoming honeymoon.

10) What is the best advice you've ever received regarding your dreams and traveling?

Go with your heart and do what makes you happy. Also don’t say you’ll travel or do something and keep putting it off for one reason or another. You’ll get into a never ending cycle and might be thinking "what if" later on in life.


Are you a part-time traveler?  
How do you make the most of your vacation days?!


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12 April 2014

KENYA: Best Things To See and Do

The 11th destination featured on the #wanderlustseries is:
KENYA!

I have to admit, choosing a "K" destination was somewhat difficult for me.  On one hand you have Kentucky and Kansas, and the other you have Kauai and Korea.  Since I have previously been to Kauai (and it was absolutely a dream come true, but therefore not wanderlusting about it), and have no real desire to travel to either of the Koreas, Kenya it is!

Turkana women in traditional dress - Kenya

After some research, I've learned that, along with the Galapagos, Kenya is also a nature lover's dream.  From nature reserves to safaris to marine national parks, there is so much wildlife to be discovered.  Plus, the beaches are kinda nice too... think I know where I'm headed next ;)

So where is Kenya located anyways?

  

Kenya is located in the African Great Lakes region of East Africa, lying on the equator.  It borders are Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia.  The Indian Ocean is located to the south-east of the country.

Top Things to See and Do:


Maasai Mara


Giraffe in Maasai Mara

Nairobi National Park


lion

Lake Nakuru


Flamingos - Lake Nakuru


Tsavo East National Park


Kenya, Tsavo East National Park   216


Giraffe Center


Giraffe center, Nairobi

Diani Beach


Diani Beach Kenya


Watamu Marine National Park


Malindi, Watamu & the Coast

Great Rift Valley


Great Rift Valley

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11 April 2014

JAMAICA: Best Things to See and Do

The 10th destination (wow 10 already!?) on the #wanderlustseries is:
JAMAICA!

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So where is Jamaica located anyways?



Jamaica is located in the Caribbean Sea, closest to Cuba and Haiti.

Best Things to See and Do:

Swim with Dolphins


Dolphins!


Montego Bay


Montego Bay

Rum Tour


Appleton Rum Tour

Hang out and cliff jump at Ricks Cafe


ricks cafe negril jamaica cliff diving dinning restaurant bar club

Relax on the beach


On the beach_5763

Explore Kingston


Kingston

Snorkel


Snorkeling Excursion

More resources:


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10 April 2014

INDONESIA: Best Things to See and Do

The 9th destination on the #wanderlustseries is:
INDONESIA!


Kuta Beach - Kuta (Bali - Indonesia)

Indonesia is one of those SE Asian counties I could see myself spending a lot of time in. With so many things to do in Indonesia, I'd have to pull myself off my beach chair and start moving!  The country does in fact consist of over 18,000 islands >> pretty crazy if you ask me!  It's the largest and most varied archipelago on Earth, spanning almost 2 million square kilometers!  The larger islands include Java, Borneo, Papua, Sumatra, and Sulawesi, although most of islands are still uninhabited.  And with 90 active volcanoes within it's borders, there's always something going on!


So where exactly is Indonesia?

  

Indonesia is situated between mainland Asia and Australia, spreading out across the equator.


Top Things to See and Do:

Take a trek through the rainforest in Borneo


Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii)

Relax and rejuvenate on Bali


Meditation


Hike up an active or dormant volcano


Arriving at the Rinjani crater rim


Learn how to free dive in Amed


free dive


Visit Komodo National Park


Komodo National Park


Go surfing -- or learn how to!


Surf - Seminyak Beach - Bali island - Indonesia - July 2008


Party at a bar in Kuta


Bintang Beer



Additional Resources:



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09 April 2014

HONDURAS: Best Things to See and Do

The 7th destination on the #wanderlustseries is:
HONDURAS!


Ever since I first stepped foot onto Central America in Belize, I just knew I would be back soon. Having already discussed Costa Rica (as my "C" destination for the challenge), it was appropriate that I follow through with my new love for Central America and choose Honduras for "H"! Honduras boasts clear turquoise waters, lush jungles, fascinating ancient ruins, and pristine beaches, making it a very vibrant country! And the people are said to be extra friendly as well >> The warmth of Honduran hospitality is something you'll never forget once you visit!

So where is Honduras located?!

  

Honduras is located in Central America, nestled between Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Honduras has an area of 43,278 sq miles - 112,492 km2, making it a bit larger than the state of Virginia.


Roatan Butterfly Garden


Roatan Butterfly Garden, Honduras

Go Diving


Diving in Roatan, Honduras

Cayos Cochinos


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Tegucigalpa (capital)


Blue Skies over Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Pico Bonito National Park


Pico-Bonito


Utila



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Guamilito


Gallitos de Casa del Sol

Copan Ruins


copan-ruins-


Some additional resources: 


Did you enjoy this post? If so, please consider sharing on Facebook, Twitter, or via Email. Also, I’d love to keep sending you updates about my adventures around the world, so please subscribe to A Passion and A Passport via RSS or by email!

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