A message at Happynest Hostel
Happynest Hostel Phaholyothin Road Chiang Rai Provincia de Chiang Rai Tailandia

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You’re Never Fully Alone When Traveling Solo (first-time solo-travel)

Prior to my stay at the Happynest Hostel in Chiang Rai, I had been traveling the islands and Chiang Mai (home of the 5 Star Hostel Oxotel) with my husband and 6 other friends. Needless to say, we were rolling deep, which is a rare concept considering we’re all American and it’s hard to get that many people together to head overseas, let alone a weekend in Vegas! So it came without saying, that when everyone headed home to LAX, and I stayed behind to trek Thailand solo for a week, I felt alone and depressed. Don’t get me wrong,

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Meeting the nicest person in Lithuania

Meeting the nicest person in Lithuania

I arrived at Siarliai, a small Lithuanian town by bus to look at the „hill of crosses“. I had just missed the connecting bus that was supposed to take me there, so took a taxi, spending much more than I had planned. We drove through the fields, far away from the city. When we reached the hill the driver looked at me: „Wait? The bus is far away“ – „No, thanks, I can walk“ – „no, I’ll wait, you can’t stay here.“ – „No, thanks.“ I got out of the car and walked towards the hill, hoping I would find

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Sharing a room with glass walls to the bathroom with strangers
Nanning, China

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Sharing a room with glass walls to the bathroom with strangers!

When I came for the first time to teach English in China, I crossed the border on a bus from Vietnam. My journey took around 8 hours and I met two people there, a French guy and a Chinese girl. Once we got of in Nanning, we realized that there were no tickets available for any trains that night, we had to wait till the morning to carry on to our destinations. We decided to share the cost of this night’s accommodation and reserved a hotel room with two beds. Nothing would have been strange about the experience if we

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Hitchhiking in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
Lajares, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

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Hitchhiking in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

No transport, no rush! Hitchhiking: the golden answer to budget travel! It doesn’t cost a dime plus you can meet interesting people, and get a sneak peak into their lives. In Fuerteventura we were hitchhiking from Lajares to the beach in El Cotillo. It’s only a 10 km ride, and hitchhiking is very common across Fuerteventura and the Canary Islands. However, it was our first time ever. The very first cars had big yellow and white corporate stickers on them. The tourists that were driving them looked at us with big scared eyes…”No, dear tourists, we are not planning to

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The Triangle of Life, my food in Japan
Tokyo, Japan

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The Triangle of Life, my food in Japan

Move over Elton John! Japan just proved that life is a triangle. Anyone who has been to Japan knows how good the food is. No matter where you go. Whether it’s a Michelin restaurant, a hole in the wall place, or a convenience store, you can never go wrong with food when in the land of the rising sun. My three weeks in Japan were packed with travelling from one city to another, which is why I was able to see 9 different places. You know those days when you just don’t have time to sit down and eat while

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Short Travel Stories from Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela

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Short Travel Stories from Santiago de Compostela

We, Anna&Matt from Hostelgeeks, went to Santiago de Compostela, and beforehand we were not really sure what to expect. But we knew many pilgrims will arrive at „kilometer zero“, the spot right in front of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. The place where people from around the world will come together, to celebrate their victory with the new friends they found along the trail. “Every time the path is the same, but the experience is different.” Alex from Montreal, Canada We talked to pilgrims in front of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. We are keen to share with

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3 Travel Stories from the famous Camino de Santiago

3 Travel Stories from the famous Camino de Santiago

What is the first thing that pops in to your mind when you hear „Santiago de Compostela“? This smallish city in the North-West of Spain, is the final destination of thousands of pilgrims every year. They walk the Camino de Santiago, the world’s most famous hike. We, Anna&Matt from Hostelgeeks, ... read more

Welcome to Remedios, Cuba - a small Concert at a tiny Square
Remedios, Cuba

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Welcome to Remedios, Cuba – a small Concert at a tiny Square

We trudged through the streets of sleepy Remedios*, Cuba, our rucksacks feeling heavier under the midday sun. In search of a Casa Particular*, we stumbled onto the main plaza, where the town’s band was playing a slow march under the dappled shade of the band stand. The loud brass felt like a regal welcome, as though we were being rewarded for making it to this tiny place that tourists don’t bother with. The music was wonderful and I smiled at the thought that some experiences cannot be planned. They just happen and you have to simply enjoy the moment.  

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Taxi driver need 3 things: good breaks, good horn, good luck!
New Delhi, India

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Taxi driver need 3 things: good breaks, good horn, good luck!

One of my all-time favorite countries to travel in is India. If you have ever been you know that this is one of the craziest countries in the world to drive in. The streets are crowded, the cars share the road with cows, camels, horses, dogs, bicycles, huge trailers, tuk-tuks, buses and pretty much everything that moves. The rules: there are no rules. They use their horn for pretty much everything and if you want to drive past someone you just honk your horn and drive around. When we took taxis in the northern parts of the country I saw

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The very last moment changed my Impression of Saigon
Saigon, Vietnam

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The very last moment changed my Impression of Saigon

The city of Saigon, Vietnam was tiring to all five senses and I was looking forward to an escape. With a few hours to kill before our overnight bus, I and my friend wandered the streets in search of food. It wasn’t long before we were approached by two young, fresh-faces students who wanted to practise their English. Suddenly enthusiastic Vietnamese surrounded us and the next two hours flew by so fast that we almost missed our bus. Our exchange may have been brief but I walked away with a brand new outlook on the city – I hope they

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Wellington, New Zealand

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Meeting a new friend while Hitchhiking in New Zealand

Our first attempt at hitch hiking was from the suburbs of Wellington, New Zealand, into the city. Almost immediately, a car pulled over to pick us up and as we climbed in, full of elation, we met our (Saint) Helen; who insisted on driving us ALL the way to our destination. We left the car, thinking our paths would never cross again. However, the very next day, on Christmas Eve, while enjoying our picnic of chips, guacamole and Pico de Gallo—along the Hutt River— when our Saint Helen strolled by! We eagerly invited her over join our picnic. While talking

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Chickens, Goats, and Abba - the bizarre bus through Ethiopia
Addis Abeba, Ethiopia

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Chickens, Goats, and Abba – the bizarre bus through Ethiopia

I always use public transport; I believe it is the best way of getting to know a country. On route from Lake Wenchi to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia I had not only the bumpiest journey of my life but also the most bizarre. Chickens casually strolling around nibbling on my toes, two goats strapped on the roof, people sitting on my lap meanwhile the driver also acted as a DJ playing only ABBA tunes for 3 hours. Loved it.

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Off the beaten path in Baños, Ecuador
Baños, Ecuador

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Off the beaten path in Baños – My Maybe Drug Experience in Ecuador

I woke at 5.30am to get to Baños and took a 10 hour bus on a bendy road through the Ecuadorian countryside. I was tired, hot, and uncomfortable. On the next bus I was nearly falling asleep as I bought a bag of chopped mango from a trader onboard before we set off. Only when she left the bus did I notice the little bag of fine white powder nestled amongst the mango slices. I’ll never know if it was cocaine or simply icing sugar but I’ve heard horror stories of tourists having drugs planted on them. Feeling exhausted, I

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Unexpected Kindness from a Stranger in Bruges

Unexpected Kindness from a Stranger in Bruges

I arrived in Bruges late at night and I could not understand my map. I therefore couldn’t find my way to my hostel, so asked a woman for directions. She said she was going that way so would point me in the right direction, and she ended up walking me to the door. She told me she worked at the belfry, a medieval bell tower. She told me to come the next morning and she would let me in to this prime tourist attraction for free. I went, she welcomed me and she handed me a free ticket! I am

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Chasing Koalas on the Great Ocean Road

Chasing Koalas on the Great Ocean Road

We were quietly eating breakfast in the morning sunshine at a picnic table at our Great Ocean Road campsite. We’d hired a campervan for a few days, and it had been our first night on the road. All of a sudden a fluffy ash-coloured koala walked across the grass in front of us without a care in the world. It was our first sighting of a wild koala, so we left our brekkie and followed the cute creature across the woods, where it decided on a new tree to climb. He loved the attention!

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In The Footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi and Napoleon

In The Footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi and Napoleon

They say that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. When you walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain, the journey begins with a day-long hike through the Pyrenees, starting in France, ending hours later in Spain. Most pilgrims continue to Santiago de Compostela, another 790km away. My son and I wanted to be like most pilgrims, even though our plan was just to walk for another two days, ending in Pamplona. We climbed high into the mountains and came down through a thick forest, arriving late afternoon. But my feet were covered in blisters and

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Sharing Rum with New Friends in Cuba

Sharing Rum with New Friends in Cuba

I tell time by looking at the sun’s position. Spanish, Italian, French, German are my mother tongues for a beautiful moment. An island of poetry in every wave that crashes on the Melecon. Humble and proud, humid and alive. Pilgrimage of Hemingway, home of heroes, this is Cuba. Don’t hesitate to share the shade of a palm, don’t hesitate to pass around the rum with strangers – now friends. Get on the bus heading anywhere and stop where it pleases you, you will be welcomed. I came filled with stories of precaution, and left, left my heart in Cuba.

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Stealing a Shower on The Roadtrip to San Francisco
san Francisco

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Stealing a Shower on The Roadtrip to San Francisco

It was four in the morning, my friend and I were driving through endless towns on our way to San Francisco. We had been crashing in my car the last 3 nights and at the start of our third day of driving I had only one condition. “Wherever we end up tonight, it has to have showers.” My friend had begun making phone calls that afternoon. But it was a home game in San Francisco and everything was booked solid. It looked like another night of restless sleep in the car, and even worse, no shower. Suddenly fate intervened. We

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Are there wolves in Umbria? Nicola did not reply

Are there wolves in Umbria? Nicola did not reply

“Are there wolves in Umbria?” Just silence from Nicola while the howling was still coming from the valley. We were alone, sleeping in a tiny tent in the wood along Spoleto – Norcia, Italy abandoned railway. We had been too adventurous cycling along the hills and camping in this isolated spot. Maybe we (and by we I mean Nicola) could have learned how to light a fire to protect from the animals; maybe we were going to be attacked by a pack of wolves. “Nicola?” He quietly answered “A few”. Wolves sounded far from us, but I felt frightened and

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Climbing 300 feet high in Bangladesh

Climbing 300 feet high in Bangladesh

Oh, what a wonderful experience it was! The first time I was able to climb about 300 feet high hill at Rijuk Waterfall, Ruma in the Bandarban district of Bangladesh. Yeah, last year during Rainy Season I got the chance to visit one of the most natural and beautiful Rijuk Waterfall. I got scared of heights, it was risky to climb because of rainfall, but I didn’t take a single moment to think when I got an offer to climb. And of course, I didn’t forget to manage a smiling snap while climbing that hill.

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This Self-Educated Highway Builder in China impressed me

This Self-Educated Highway Builder in China impressed me…

While taking a 20-hour train ride on the perimeter of the Taklimakan desert in northwestern China, I had the kind of humbling, education, and above all else, wonderful encounter with a local that all travelers crave. A young Han Chinese man approached me on the train. My new friend spoke virtually no English, so I gleefully relished this chance to practice my Chinese. Over several hours he would tell me about how he had attended a two-year professional school to quickly find a job building highways in order to help pay for his younger sister’s school fees. She was going

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Walking a Waterfall and Meeting Up with Local Students
Dehang, China

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Walking a Waterfall and Meeting Up with Local Students

One of the best moments of our trip to China was in Dehang, a traditional Miao Village in Hunan. There we met a Chinese couple who led us along a trail to the tallest waterfall of China and we walked behind it: so exciting! Back to the village, we were looking for something to eat but nobody could speak English. Seeing us in troubles a class of students dragged us in a traditional restaurant with them: they ordered tons of food we never could have been able to, they were so friendly and they offered us some local rice wine

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Blocked Road and The Tuk-Tuk Driver Saved Us
Luang Prabang, Laos

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Blocked Road and The Tuk-Tuk Driver Saved Us

On our bus-ride from Luang Prabang to Vientiane, Laos a truck blocked the entire road and no vehicles could go through. We were all stuck there in the highest mountaintop and the driver told all the passengers that we could be stranded there for days. People began to camp out, but we had a train to catch back to Thailand, so we walked down the mountain to the other side for hours until a kind tuk-tuk driver delivering groceries to small villages rescued us. Thanks to this experience we got to see the most majestic landscape of Laos!

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Traveling to Jamaica To Record our 1st Reggae Song

Traveling Jamaica to record our 1st Reggae Song – Travel Story

Our adventure in Jamaica started with a wonderful mistake. My boyfriend and I had booked a hotel two hours away. Instead of paying $50US to sit with tourists on a charter, we paid $2US and traveled with the locals. Four days later, we stood on the side of the road to catch another $2US public bus to Ocho Rios. Bumping into a local couple we befriended, they set us up with some of their friends that were going to pick us up and drive us around to find a new hotel.  Rule #1 Always trust your gut. Our new friends

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Drinking Shots with Vietnamese War Veterans
Hoian, Vietnam

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Drinking Shots with Vietnamese War Veterans

It’s true that it’s the people who make the difference! I’m lucky to be traveling with my best friend Hannah but don’t worry about doing it alone either because we have met the most incredible people…. Like stopping for a bike break in Hoian and ending up doing shots of rice wine at the insistence of Vietnamese War Veterans, some of which were missing limbs but still had the biggest smiles and funniest stories.

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Kuala Lumpur

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From Hell to Heli-pads

From monkeys climbing on my head to sleeping on train floors to cocktails on top of the world… Travelling gives you the greatest opportunities and the weirdest lessons, both teach you a lot about who you are (and what you can handle). One night it’s an overnight bus with jagged metal arm rests, A/C in your face and two Asians crammed on one seat watching you sleep and the next night you’re being taken for cocktails on a helicopter pad overlooking Kuala Lumpur. 12 hours can make a big difference. One night we were sleeping in a floating bamboo shack

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Moroccan Street seller in Granada
Granada, Spain

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Moroccan Street seller in Granada

“Which photo do you like? I have the most beautiful posters from all over Spain, at the very least!“ “I love this one with Felicidad (Happiness). How much is one photo though?“ “Sorry, here are the prices. The police just passed and I had to put everything away.“

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