Go visit Lake Martin in Alabama
I've got to be honest, I always thought Alabama was flat and full of farmland. Boy was I wrong.
Peaceful, serene and ultimately relaxing. Alabama totally blew my mind with views like this over Lake Martin. By far the best way to unplug, unwind and take in some much needed time to recharge. Over a three day period hikes, smores by the fire and watching the sunset were the main activities taking place.
A little over an 8 hour drive from Central Florida, we arrived at the Airbnb around 3 pm. The boathouse was down 150 steps, the perfect little getaway for two of us. Dog friendly, and with plenty of space to stretch our legs on the large deck. We took to opening a bottle of wine and listening to music while enjoy the peace and calm that surrounded us.
That's the thing with Alabama. You can take it as fast or as slow as you want. Spend your days hiking in the mountains, enjoying the terrain and scenery, or have a lazy morning with pancakes for breakfast and hot coffee. Whatever your pace is, this is the perfect three day getaway.
3 Days in dreamy Ottawa, Canada!
Ottawa. Peaceful, cyclist friendly city with eccentric bars and restaurants to suit all tastes. This was a trip I would love to do again! Are you planning your trip to Ottawa Canada? Did you know that Ottawa is Canada's capital? It's near the city of Montreal and the U.S border. It's a dreamy destination for those who love cities and the outdoors.
From Hikes, to rental bikes and everything in between. Prepare for a lot of walking and sightseeing in this unique and beautiful Capitol. Rent a car and go beyond the city limits. You'd be surprised at the number of large lakes and unbelievable terrain there is for those nature addicts.
We stayed at an AirBnb in Little Italy. Close to all things tasty, this was an excellent way to start our adventures. From there, we decided to go on a bit of a journey up to visit a hiking trail in Quebec called 'Luskville Falls'.
This city is truly gorgeous in the summertime, everyone is active, walking outdoors and generally basking in the wonderful sunshine. Check out Ottawa for some unique history and learn more about this wonderful country that is- CANADA!
10 nights in Italy - A millennial's guide to planning your international honeymoon.
When I first started planning my honeymoon, I thought to myself "You know what Amber? You deserve to look into a travel agent and see if they can help create a special honeymoon package for you and your future wife" . You know what happened? The travel agent told me it would cost $600 (each) a day for the two of us to honeymoon in Italy, not including flights! I was livid, have travel agents always been trying to suck people bone try with overly priced hotels and B.S 'holiday packages' ? The agency told me it would cost around $8000 for a 2 week honeymoon in Italy and that there was 'no-way' we could do anything for under $6K.
I'm here to put an end to the misconception that international travel is hard.
I'm here to tell you that you can plan a honeymoon, birthday trip, anniversary vacation and not pay a ludicrous amount to a travel agent,
I'm here to tell you to tell travel agencies 'That their pricing is ridiculously crazy' and that you can plan something totally custom to your taste and interests without breaking the bank.
So let me share with you my honeymoon adventures, and how I did it.
This is for a Summer trip (July - August in 2019)
Total cost for the two of us: 11 days, 10 nights in Italy.
Total Cost: $5441 or $2720pp and that includes flights!
So for those interested in what 10 nights in Italy looks like, here's a write-up below!
3 Nights in Rome, 2 nights in Venice, 2 nights in Lake Garda, 2 nights in Lake Como , 1 night in Milan.
The most epic Switzerland trip with flights, Airbnb private homes, beautiful lakes and snow capped mountains. This trip was so worth it, and affordable!
So what's the secret ? I was super fortunate to find round-trip flights from Orlando, FL to Zurich for a mere $400 on Iceland Air. If you weren't aware, the food in Switzerland is crazy expensive. This post is going to share some travel tips to save money, along with the entire trip itinerary. So you can recreate the magic!
February 2013. This gallery highlights my favorite images from my trip to Japan to visit Shizuoka and Toyama. I recently entered a photo contest, and these photos (along with the captions) were my entry.
Tourists gather on a clear day to see Mt Fuji without cloud cover. Roughly 70 days out of the year is the mountain visible with no cloud.
Two Japanese people share lunch on a park bench overlooking Mt Fuji. Captured February 2013 from Shizuoka.
Plum blossoms captured at the Kunozan Toshogu Shrine in Shizuoka, Japan. This shrine is dedicated to the famous leader Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616) who brought a long period of civil wars to an end and united all of Japan. Taken Feb 2013 at the very end of the winter.
Fresh crabs line the floor at the Toyama fish market. This market is held every Tuesday and is only open to local residents and not the general public.
Snow heavily pelts the wooden thatched roofs in Shirakawago. The roofs are made without glue or nails. Shirakawa-go is a village located in Ōno District, Gifu Prefecture, Japan. A small, traditional village showcasing a style of buildings called gasshō-zukuri.
“Michigan is beautiful, but summers in Michigan are like no other”. This is probably one of the most accurate statements told to me by oodles of various people I have met on my adventures. I spent 6 days and 5 nights in this wicked state. Each in a different bed.
If you are one for wanting to see and do everything in as short spurt then BOY! Have you come to the right place. Take a seat and have a good read on how to make the most of 5 nights in this absolutely epic state.
Firstly, I flew from Orlando to Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids tends to be the easiest airport to access to get you right in the middle of the action. Alternatively you can fly into Detroit, which has got to be one of the most streamlined airports I have ever been in. I spent the first night staying in a small town called Portland. That afternoon was spent frolicking around the large section of the house and relaxing with new friends.
Staying In Grand Rapids?
If you spend the night in Grand Rapids, I highly suggest checking out Founders Brewing Co. Established in 1997, Founders is clearly the cream of the crop when it comes to beer. Head over to HopCat for some addictive Crack Fries (No drugs kids) and some great bites to eat.
Summer. Sunshine. Water sports .
Visiting Arizona or Utah in the Summer? Lake Powell should be a stop on your list.
If you enjoy hiking, boats and all things nature, then look no further. Lake Powell has some of the most unique scenery I have ever seen.
Let me give you a few activities I enjoy doing when I come visit the lake.
Firstly, Houseboats. You don't need to own a houseboat to enjoy one. Gather some friends and rent one for a couple of days. You'll never have so much fun. Although it can be a pricy summer activity, the memories you make will last a lifetime.
I was fortunate enough to visit Lake Powell twice on a houseboat. Being able to stay out on the lake for multiple nights, gives you a great opportunity to adventure out and explore canyons, shoreline and find great secluded areas where it feels like you have the lake all to yourself.
However, if you can't rent a Houseboat, then I suggest a day tour. These day tours can take you out to places such as Rainbow Bridge.
Rainbow Bridge is a US National Monument and is maintained by the National Parks Service. It attracts around 85,000 visitors a year, and for good reason. This standing monument is definitely a marvel.
Trips - Santa Barbara
So you want to explore the sunny beaches of California? That is exactly what I did. Although I was there for a job interview, I stayed for a night and managed to squeeze in quite a few activities while I was there. Here are some of the things I did during my two day trip to Santa Barbara. The airport itself is nice and quaint, it’s almost impossible to get lost.
Once you manage to navigate yourself to your accommodations you’ll feel quite relaxed. I stayed two streets back from the main beach. Everything was within walking distance. Which is perfect when it is 70 degrees outside. The first thing I did was drop my bags at the hotel, and run to the white sandy beach. If you’re into watersports, they have kayak, SUP and boat rentals out in the harbor. I just walked up to the beach tent and rented myself a stand up paddle board for the hour. Worth every penny. I paddled my way out into the middle of the calm harbor, there I turned around to look at the view.
From NZ - AZ (Month 1)
Arriving in Arizona in the middle of summer is no easy feat. Especially when you fly from the Southern Hemisphere where it’s the middle of winter in August. It is nice to have the sun rising around 5am though. I am a huge early bird. So being able to get up and start my day was the perfect way to get rid of the jetlag.
Upon arrival into Phoenix, I picked up a rental car for a week and drove to my new house. I was renting a room off a girl I had met online through a renters / roommate website. Before I even left the airport, the friendly guys at Enterprise had upgraded me from a compact car, to a large SUV. I didn’t have to choose the Suburban, but I wanted to feel like a bit of a badass driving around AZ. It was my birthday the day I arrived, so as a treat the staff let me choose any vehicle I wanted in the garage.
Once I met my new roommate. We headed out for pizza as a “welcome to your new home” gift. That was so nice. After that, I spent the week waking up early. Turns out if you want to go outside in the summer in Phoenix, you better do it before 9am. Otherwise it gets too hot and you risk getting overheated. So in the mornings I would go hike some local peaks.
I tried my best to explore my new city. Once I finished my early morning hikes, I headed to the mall, nearby airports and handed out my resume and started applying for jobs.
Fellow Kiwi girl looking to brighten your day. Lived in Daytona Beach and Phoenix on a J1 visa for 2 years. Recently moved to Florida. Aviation is my passion.