Archive for Reflections

Where to Travel Before the World Ends?

| by Jason | 49 Comments » | Reflections

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Apocalypse

All signs are pointing to the world ending on December 21, 2012, or at least according to the Mayan Calendar, I Ching, and Nostradamus.  Birds and fish dying in mass and flash floods in Australia aren’t helping subdue our fears either.  So what better way to react than go travel to some place unique, exciting and on the brink of extinction via an apocalypse.  This scenario poses two exciting questions for Aracely and I. (more…)

Miami the Big Havanna

| by Jason | 32 Comments » | North America, Reflections, United States

After 11 of months of traveling in Latin America, I felt a considerable amount of stress relief coming back to the United States, my home.  I always seek my comfort zone for relaxation, peace and ease of life.  That’s absolutely a contradiction to the fact that I do seek out travel, adventure and off the beaten path places.  The truth is, I will only seek them out with Aracely leading the way.   She is the outgoing, social, friendly, non fearing leader when it comes to exploring new cultural environments.  After having been through the experience of visiting a new place, I am always grateful for it, but it’s not something I would have done on my own.

Pictures of Convenience Stores

Jason Ordering His Favorite Coffee and Hoagie at Wawa

(more…)

Returning Home Culture Shock?

| by Jason | 29 Comments » | Reflections

Current Events in America

Getting Up To Speed On Current Events in the US

Since we have returned home the question most often asked of us is, “Do you have culture shock?”  In a close second place is, “What are you going to do now?”  I will address the first one in this article.

“Shock” is an extreme word and feels like an exaggeration to me.  The phrase “Shock and Awe” comes to mind, and since 2003, I have just felt guilty using the term to describe something I have gone through.  Honestly, I am not in anyway shocked since I have returned home, I would just say I am more aware, much more aware. (more…)

Preparing to Travel To-Do List

| by Jason | 25 Comments » | Reflections, Travel Tips, Trip Planning

Packing and selling our stuff

Packing And Selling Stuff

Preparing to travel, regardless of travel style, can be a stressful task.  We weren’t able to sleep; awake until 3:00am thinking about all that remained to be done for our backpacking trip.

When you live in the United States, traveling to another country typically means you have a long trip overseas.  It means you have to research passport and visa requirements, book flights, and ensure things at home are taken care of.

Don’t expect your planning to be perfect, it’s impossible for long term travel.  This is a journey that will be filled with the unknown; new cultures, language barriers and obscure villages.  For me, it is was about letting go of control.  “I am unable to prevent the inevitable stress we will experience.”  Being able to control yourself when in a situation that is out of your control is a skill you will attempt develop. (more…)

10 Weird Things From Latin America

| by Jason | 66 Comments » | Central America, Photo Essays, Reflections, South America

One of my favorite things about traveling is being humored by things that seem strange or awkward to me.  We’ve traveled extensively through Central and South America and noticed many different customs, products and behaviors that don’t exist in the United States.  Each individual country does have distinct cultural norms when compared to their neighbors, however, we were still able to observe some common weird things across them all.

Throw Toilet Paper in Waste Bin

No Toilet Paper in the Toilet (more…)

What’s Next For Two Backpackers

| by Jason | 13 Comments » | Reflections

Hikers Leaving Hoboken NJ

Our Last Day in Hoboken, NJ

It all began as a casual conversation during lunch in a restaurant in NYC in March of 2009.   Five months later we set off on a year long round the world travel backpacking journey.  Now, we are back home in New Jersey trying to figure out what’s next for Two Backpackers.

Flexibility

What we learned most from our trip was to be flexible.  Flexibility turned our around the world trip into a Latin America backpacking trip.  It turned 1 year into 11 months so we could surprise family.  We discovered Colombia is awesome, El Salvador has some hidden gems such as Alegria and traveling with strangers such as Andy and Paulina from London is lots of fun. (more…)

Budget Travel: The Good, Bad, And The Ugly

| by Aracely | 41 Comments » | Reflections

Colombia Beach

Cocktails At Playa Blanca Colombia

It seems all of us in the travel blogging community agree that travel is good.  The majority of posts that are produced within the industry are intended to  either sell the reader on the idea that travel is one of the most amazing activities one can partake-in and that they too should travel, or momentarily take them into a world of travel fantasy (as Gary Arndt from Everything-Everywhere.com likes to put it, travel porn.)  In both cases, the story of travel is almost always good.  However, there is indeed a bad and ugly side to travel, more specifically, to budget travel.

There are different styles of travel and each gives the traveler a completely different experience.  Usually, the type of style can be defined by how much money is being spent on that experience.  For example, a luxurious trip to a five star hotel in Rome will be completely different than backpacking through Southeast Asia.  That said, the following issues apply to a budget traveler and only to most places of the world, mainly to the less developed world. (more…)