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The Traveling Thread


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Was browsing my travel pictures albums on Facebook and thought that sharing traveling experiences and "coups de coeurs" (favorites) would be great.

Places I've been to so far : California (when I was 15), more recently (25+) New-York City, Scotland, Costa Rica, Thaïland.

Places that I want to visit : Well, I already bought my flight ticket for Marseille/Paris coming up in June 2012. I definitely want to see Germany and go to Australia. Would like to visit Sweden-Croatia/Czech Republic-Spain-Argentina. Wouldn't mind going to Japan or Laos/Vietnam/Singapore/Bali as well.

Disclaimer : I don't have kids and I am more of a backpacker person than someone who want to stay in the fine hotels, eat in the most prestigious restaurants or go on "all included" trips. I tend to try to save money on hotel and food and go all in on every activity I can do, especially the ones that I could not do in Canada.

Coups de coeurs :

Scotland (September 2010), 13 days :

Went there all by myself, my first ever trip as a "grown man". I knew someone over there but not that much (former employee of mine... a Swedish girl... and no, we didn't...)

  • Edinburgh. The city is just freaking amazing. Beautiful architecture, old town/new town, pubs, partying, you got everything in the Burgh. I stayed at a real good and cheap youth hostel called Budget Backpackers, right in the hot spot of Edinburgh, right next to the Castle. I highly recommand it if you're into dorms and shared kitchen.
  • The Highlands. I booked a 5 days and 4 nights trip in the Highlands with a company called Haggis Adventures. Best part of my trip. Awesome itinarery, wonderful towns (Oban (wonderful city), Isle of Skye, Fort Augustus, Inverness).
  • For visiting. The Meadows, Edinburgh Castel, Arthur's Seat.
  • Pubs : Oz Bar, Opium Bar (mixed drinks for 1 pound, so damn cheap), Footlights Bar&Grill.
  • Food : booffff. Not a huge fan of the food we had there, but it wasn't bad at all. I even tried haggis (pudding containing sheep's "pluk" (heart, liver, lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices and salt, mixed with stock) and hated it so bad. BUT, cuz there is a huge but, Fish n' Chips in Oban were the best I've ever had.
  • Beers : Tennent's of course. MANY others. Many.

Costa Rica (Mai 2011), 11 days :

I went there with 3 friends (all girls) and we only went to the North and the East Coast (Caribbean coast). Would love to go again and visit the Pacific Coast.

  • First coup de coeur is the plane ticket price. 350$ from Plattsburgh to San Jose.
  • Monteverde. I did Zip Line Canopy tour there. Siiiiiiiick !!! Youtube that !
  • La Fortuna. Right next to Arenal volcano. Great city. More organised, more convenient. Went on an amazing class 4 rafting activity. Superb landscape.
  • Puerto Viejo. On the South East Coast. Amazing time down there. Lot of party, tons of fun. We stayed at a jungle cottage called Cashew Hill, run by Americans. Really great spot with individual "houses" that can fit 4 to 6 people with your own kitchen.
  • Cahuita. We went there for one reason. Smoke weed. :) Beaches were nice, but the town itself....isssh... would not hit this place again. Didn't really feel safe out there.
  • Food : If you like chicken and fish/seafood like me, you'll have a good time. Fresh fruits everywhere. I mean, extra fresh fruits.
  • Beers : Imperial of course. Pilsen.

Thaïland (September 2011), 15 days :

Went there with 2 friends (all girls again) and we spent most of our time in the North. Got South to the Islands at the end of my trip (my friends were spending two more weeks over there after I leave). They were into Thaï massages, I am not at all.

  • Bangkok. Wow ! When you're not used to see so many people in the streets. We saw the Zoo, China Town, Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Budha. Fish massage was a really weird. Lot of tourists. Lot.
  • Lop Buri : if you want to see a town/village that was invaded by monkeys. Not kidding, they're everywhere.
  • Chiang Mai. BOOOM !!! how nice can it gets ?! We stayed at Thaphae Garden Guesthouse, great place, nice staff. They offer tours and we took one that included trekking, elephant riding, rafting and spending a night with hill tribe people. Great shopping places in Chiang Mai and some good muay thai boxing galas.
  • Pai : coolest place ever. Time looks like it stopped while we were there. We even went fishing piranhas...
  • Koh Phangan : Google or Youtube Full Moon Pary and enjoy... The landscape is just simpl amazing. Think the movie The Beach and imagine yourself there...
  • The Food. Awesome. Pad Thaï of course, but anything coming from the "streets sellers" was interesting. I really enjoyed thaï food and, once back home, Thaï Express or any other thaï restaurant taste like crap. Lot of weird stuff sold at the markets too.
  • Beers : Singha, Chang, Leo Beer, and my fav : Beerlao, though not from Thailand...

As you can see, I've never travelled for more than 2 weeks, but it is something that I would love to do. I just can't really afford missing too much work, don't have the money...

What about you guys ? Where have you been ? What's cool on this Earth ?

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