A Party to Remember

Party #17: India’s Holi Festival with Chris

by Drew on May 9, 2016 No comments

Welcome to the 17th edition of my series “A Party to Remember!”

In this interview-based web series, you’ll learn about the best parties and nightlife all over the world from other travelers and travel bloggers.

In this week’s episode, I am happy to host Chris, who is going to share about a crazy annual festival in India (which I attended as well in 2015!)

If you want to be the next person featured in this series, then please contact me with your party idea and I will send you the guidelines.  My aim is to cover nightlife all over the globe, so please try to contribute a party that hasn’t already been covered.

Alright, now I’ll let Chris take over!

Meet Chris

Chris originally hails from the United States of America, specifically Michigan. He first discovered his love of travel when he spent a summer in Guatemala doing service while attending University. After studying for a semester in London, and post-grad trips to South Africa and Brazil, while juggling a job as an accountant, Chris determined that the 9-5 cubicle lifestyle was not for him. He resigned from his job in September 2015, and has travelled since then through Africa, Thailand, and India, with many more destinations planned!

To see more of his adventures experiences, check out his blog- “To India and Beyond”, photos on Instagram, or pins on Pinterest.

Question 1: What was the party/event and where was it?

Holi, or “The Festival of Colors” is a Hindu Spring Festival in India that has since spawned smaller versions of the event in other countries. It is a party to celebrate the coming of Spring, but many people know it for the vibrant color war that occurs during the festivities! Whether it be powdered color, colored water in water guns or buckets, or foamed color from aerosol cans, anything goes during Holi. While celebrations occur all over in India, the largest of them all occurs in the two (normally tame) towns of Vrindavan and Mathura, India.

Question 2: How did you hear about this party/event?  Did you randomly stumble upon it, or did you plan to go?

Holi is celebrated all over India, and I had planned to spend the day having fun throwing colors in whichever city I found myself in on March 24th. However, when I was hanging out at my hostel in Agra a few days before the scheduled event, I learned of the special significance of the celebrations in these two joint cities (the birthplace of Lord Krishna), and the many unique events that occur throughout the weeklong festivities, whereas most cities only celebrate on one day. We were able to get a group together for the pinnacle of the celebrations on March 23-24 and made the short journey over to Mathura where it turned out to be an unforgettable time.

Question 3: Did anything funny or ‘out of the ordinary’ happen that night?  Please share the story!

Please see the next question, where I get into some specific anecdotes, but showering after the end of each day was especially entertaining. Our guesthouse did not have a mirror and every one of us underestimated the amount of color on our faces as we scrubbed our bodies clean. Emerging from the bathroom, “clean”, one would be met to a chorus of uproars from the others, at the amount of color and grime still caked on our faces! It took about a week before I was finally “color free”! As for my clothes, I found that they belonged best in the rubbish bin.

Question 4: What were the top 3 highlights from that night?

So many crazy and chaotic things happened over the course of the two days that we were there but a few moments stick out in my mind.

  1. Joining in the dance party with some of the Indian teenagers during the parade in Mathura on the afternoon of the 23rd. Some of the floats had speakers attached to them, and spectators (myself included), joined in the streets for a wild dance party!
  2. Some of the Indian kids were very aggressive. One particular kid tried to wrestle my can of silly foam right out of my hand. I held on tight and tried to spray him as payback, but he darted around a corner and out of sight. I turned to walk away and a few seconds later heard some shouting. I turned around and saw that some of his friends had caught him and held him down to give him a good spraying to teach him a lesson!
  3. Making our way to the epicenter of the celebration in Vrindavan on the morning of the 23rd. Set in the courtyard of the Banke Bihari temple, the crowd gathered there formed a mosh pit, as the priest stood above tossing color into the air. I couldn’t handle being there for more than a few minutes before needing to go somewhere less crowded.

Question 5: What advice can you give for anyone else that wants to attend this event and party like you did?

I have a few tips for anybody interested in attending the Holi Festival in Vrindavan and Mathura. First, be sure to wear clothes that you don’t plan to wear ever again, as they will get destroyed during the festival. I recommend buying cheap clothes once here in India-preferably white, as it will show the colors the best! Also be sure to bring (or buy) a pair of inexpensive sunglasses to protect your eyes, as one shouldn’t expect mercy and cheap shots have been known to happen. Bring a go pro or wrap your camera in plastic to be able to capture the memories. Lastly, prepare to have a blast and to be given a lot of special attention for being a foreigner!

Question 6: I claim Seoul to have the best nightlife in the world, as I have been living here for the last 1.5 years… Which city do you think has the best nightlife?

That’s a tough one. I’m going to have to go with Barcelona. I was able to visit there for a few days when I studied for a semester in London a few years back. The memories (or lack thereof), are a blur of dancing and bright lights in the many discotheques! Spaniards prefer to begin their night out around 1 or 2 am, and often go until the sun comes up the following morning!

Thank you Chris for sharing about Holi! Have you ever been to Holi? Please share your comments below!

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DrewParty #17: India’s Holi Festival with Chris

Party #16: A Night in Florence with Kaitlin

by Drew on May 9, 2016 No comments

Welcome to the 16th edition of my series “A Party to Remember!”

In this interview-based web series, you’ll learn about the best parties and nightlife all over the world from other travelers and travel bloggers.

In this week’s episode, I am thrilled to have fellow travel blogger Kaitlin talk about her favorite Italian fiesta!

If you want to be the next person featured in this series, then please contact me with your party idea and I will send you the guidelines.  My aim is to cover nightlife all over the globe, so please try to contribute a party that hasn’t already been covered.

Alright, now I’ll let Kaitlin take over!

Meet Kaitlin

As a recent college graduate, Kait is a newcomer to the travel blogging scene.

When Kait is not dancing, she is researching as much as she can on youth and backpacking travel.

She writes about her experience as a millennial obsessed with travel on her blog Because Life is for Living.

 

Question 1: What was the party/event and where was it?

Partying in Italy is always a blast, but during my semester abroad in Florence, my friends and I were so excited to hear of a night called “La Notte Bianca” that would happen towards the end of the semester. It is a night where all the shops and restaurants, gelaterie and piazzas, stay open all night. They close in the evening and re-open around 10pm and stay open until the morning.

Question 2: How did you hear about this party/event?

There were flyers posted all over the city. It would be kind of easy to miss if you A) didn’t know Italian or B) weren’t an international student to have your professors tell you all about it. But regardless everyone found out somehow since there was so much talk about it the day of!

Question 3: Did anything funny or ‘out of the ordinary’ happen that night? Please share the story!

So much happened that night! I met so many new people, even though that was during my last two weeks in Florence! The craziest thing looking back on the night was the fact that we didnt even get to the clubs for their discounts and specials until after 3:30 in the morning! We spent the whole night and early hours of the morning jumping from piazza to piazza, buying drinks off people with coolers walking down the street, which in retrospect probably wasn’t the best idea…

Question 4: What were the top 3 highlights from that night?

  1. There are so many piazzas in Florence, and that night each and every one had something going on. In one of the lesser known piazzas there were Cirque performers doing silk and trapeze shows and other amazing acts! In Piazza della Signoria, one of the biggest piazzas in Florence, there was a stage with amazing lights and great music going all night into the wee hours of the morning.
  2. It wasn’t just the piazzas that were rocking til the sun came up, even the stores were open very late too! The closed after dinner that evening to prepare and re-open before the festivities that night. The stores had some discounts and even some shop owners would have special music or lights or things going on in their stores.
  3. Not only was this a great excuse to get dressed up and go out that night, it was a great way to remind myself to take in every moment and appreciate what it means to travel and be filled with wanderlust. Who know that in 2014 I would be partying all night long in the beautiful city of Florence, listening to great music with some great people. La Notte Bianca was and always will be one of the greatest highlights of study abroad. And ending the night watching the sun come up on Piazzale Michelangelo was definitely one of THE BEST experiences of my life so far.

Question 5: What advice can you give to anyone who wants to attend this event and party like you did?

Without a doubt I would recommend eating a late lunch and taking a nap through dinner. Since I got back to my apartment after 7am, I definitely wished I had caught a few more Z’s that afternoon. Otherwise, just be prepared for a wild night out in the city.

Question 6: I claim Seoul to have the best nightlife in the world, after living there for a year and a half…which city do you think has the best nightlife?

I definitely am a fan of Chicago’s nightlife since I prefer the casual scene, however the city can get kind of pricey. I definitely love Florence, even though I am a little biased, because there is something for everyone. If you love the raging club vibes you should totally go to Space. But if you want just a few beers with some friends, there is always Kikuya or Red Garter, and of course all the others in between. To me that is what really makes a city shine with nightlife, when there is something for everyone, and you can see the city still bustling into the early (or sometimes late!) hours of the morning.

Thanks for sharing your story, Kait! Have you ever partied in Italy? Comment below!

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DrewParty #16: A Night in Florence with Kaitlin

Party #15: Carnival in Brazil with Jennifer

by Drew on May 9, 2016 No comments

Welcome to the 15th edition of my series “A Party to Remember!”

In this interview-based web series, you’ll learn about the best parties and nightlife all over the world from other travelers and travel bloggers.

In this week’s episode, I am excited to have Jennifer share her experience at one of Brazil’s wildest festivals!

If you want to be the next person featured in this series, then please contact me with your party idea and I will send you the guidelines.  My aim is to cover nightlife all over the globe, so please try to contribute a party that hasn’t already been covered.

Ok, now I’ll let Jennifer take over!

Meet Jennifer

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Jennifer Schlueter quit her job in April to travel the world full-time. Her journey, tips, food, and stories about expats and inspirational people are shared on her blog Discovering LegaciesInstagramFacebook, and Snapchat (@discoveringleg).

She lives and breathes her motto “Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity.” Her goal is to create a better mutual understanding among cultures and inspire others to travel and live the life of their dreams.

 

Question 1: What was the party/event and where was it?

Last year, I attended Carnival in the Afro-Brazilian capital of Salvador de Bahia in Brazil. It’s five days long and attracts millions of people.

Question 2: How did you hear about this party/event? Did you stumble upon it, or plan to go?

I’ve always wanted to go to carnival in Rio de Janeiro because I had seen it on TV. I was fascinated by Samba, the music, crazy costumes, and beautiful people. Then, my friend, who had been to Salvador as an exchange student, recommended to go there. According to her, it was better than Rio; thus, we booked two days of carnival in Rio and the other three in Salvador.

Question 3: Did anything funny or ‘out of the ordinary’ happen that night? Please share the story. 

Everything during carnival is out of the ordinary. The parties are not only at night, but last all day from about 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Random guys try to make out with you literally without even saying hello. Due to our obvious European looks, my friend and I often stuck out in the crowd and got smacked, sprayed on with “holy water” and otherwise “harassed.” If you join a bloco with an abada (a T-Shirt you buy with which you are allowed to walk inside ropes next to a music truck), you will find that they have guys carrying a porter potty during the whole parade. If you want to, you can pee while people are carrying you and others are knocking on the walls.

Question 4: What were the top 3 highlights from that night?

  1. As soon as the music on a truck starts, people fall into a trance and EVERYONE is super happy, dancing, and smiling, and you just can’t help it to be in the same state of mind as well.
  2. Seeing all the costumes and learning their meaning.
  3. Spending the money on an abada to experience what it’s like to walk inside the parade rather than just watching from the sidewalk.

Question 5: What advice can you give for  anyone else that wants to attend this event and party like you did?

  • Book in advance. By that I mean at least 6 months in advance because accommodations and flights fill up super quickly.
  • Research bands and their music and THEN buy an abada. Buy it from a hotel employee you can trust – there are too many scammers out there unfortunately.
  • Experience both carnival in Rio and Salvador.

Question 6: Which city do you think has the best nightlife?

For me, it’d be Atlanta because the dancefloors pack super early and people actually dance until they get kicked out. After that, it’s Lapa in Rio de Janeiro – the whole area parties inside and outside of establishments – it’s hot & humid, guys walk around topless, the music just makes you want to dance, and all kinds of cultures come together.

Thanks for sharing, Jennifer! Have YOU ever been to Carnival?

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DrewParty #15: Carnival in Brazil with Jennifer

Party #14: Coachella with Mimi

by Drew on February 18, 2016 No comments

Welcome to the 14th edition of my series “A Party to Remember!”

I apologize for the long delay from the last episode… I’ve been quite busy working on my travel series in LA!

In this interview-based web series, you’ll learn about the best parties and nightlife all over the world from other travelers and travel bloggers.

Today, I am thrilled to feature an awesome travel blogger named Mimi, who is going to share her experience at Coachella Music Festival in California.   This fest is HIGH on my list to attend, and after hearing what she had to say, I am fully convinced to go next year!

If you want to be the next person featured in this series, then please contact me with your party idea and I will send you the guidelines.  My aim is to cover nightlife all over the globe, so please try to contribute a party that hasn’t already been covered.

Ok, now I’ll let Mimi take over!

Meet Mimi

Mimi is a California girl who recently spent the last two years living abroad in Oceania. She’s done everything from jumping out of a plane in New Zealand, to eating snakes in Vietnam, learning how to cook in Italy, and even scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

She’s currently based in the Pacific Northwest for the next year, and blogs about slow travel, craft beer escapades, festivals, and outdoor adventures on her blog, The Atlas Heart.

You can join Mimi’s travels on Facebook and Instagram.

Question 1: What What was the party/event and where was it?

Coachella Music Festival 2012! Every year around April, a mass of music lovers come together In the inhospitable California desert to dance and enjoy live music from the top and/or up and coming artists of the year. Coachella was one of the original California music festivals, starting in 1999, and arguably still one of the most popular festivals in the country, and even the world. There are a ton of international party-goers that come to California each year for the sole purpose of attending this festival.

Coachella 1

The Coachella stages have hosted some of the greatest musicians throughout the years and 2012 was no  exception.

The week that I went was unbearably hot at over 100 degrees for 3 days straight. Even with the heat, we managed to have a ridiculously good time. At the time, I had never been to a music festival that was as large as Coachella, and I was blown away by the perfect acoustics and variety of acts. I rocked out to The Arctic Monkeys, swayed to the feels of Bon Iver, and danced all night long for the likes of Calvin Harris, Martin Solveig, Dada Life, and Swedish House Mafia. Oh, and I saw Tupac’s hologram rapping up a  storm.

It was, without a doubt, a weekend to remember.

Question 2: How did you hear about this party/event? Did you stumble upon it, or plan to go?

I had been wanting to go to Coachella since I started college in Southern California and heard about it constantly. It sounded exactly like the type of atmosphere I would love, and three days of straight music was a dream come true for me. Also, I had just turned 21 so I thought it was finally the perfect time to experience the famous festival.

As I mentioned before, Coachella was the first large festival I went to so I wanted to do it right the first time around. Once I got a group together with a few of my sorority sisters and bought my ticket, I was excited to hit the road en route to the dusty hot desert.

Coachella

Question 3: Did anything funny or ‘out of the ordinary happen that night? Please share the story. 

Let’s see, where do I even begin? Coachella is another animal all together, you never know what will come next or what crazy thing someone is going to do. However, we did have a pretty funny story in our own camp.

When we were packing for the festival, we snuck in a handle of silver tequila mixed in with our 24-pack of water, we just filled a few water bottles with tequila and put them in the middle of the case so no one could tell the difference.

Well, we were camping and the line for the shower was over two hours long with no shade. One of my campmates was over feeling sticky and gross from the heat and just wanted to dunk her head with water, so she quickly grabbed a water bottle, forgetting some of them still had tequila in them. You can guess which type of “water” she picked, and she poured the whole bottle on her head. Needless to say, she waited in the hot sun for a shower after that.

In terms of the actual festival – the last act of the festival with Snoop Dogg was hilarious. He not only left the stage for a few minutes to smoke a joint with his buddies, but introduced the epic Tupac hologram that people would be talking about for weeks after the festival.

Coachella 2012

Question 4: What were the top 3 highlights from that night?

  1. The Do-Lab – The Do-Lab was this genius part of the festival, located in between all the stages. The area had music to dance to, water misters in a circle cooling people off, and best of all, a stage of people using machine water guns to get us soaked. It was the best highlight of our days to head to the Do-Lab between sets to cool off and wash off the  heat.
  2. Calvin Harris Set – I didn’t realize how much I love live electronic music until I went to Coachella. Calvin Harris put on a phenomenal set and everything worked so well in terms of the people, the atmosphere, and his trippy lights. When “Feel So Close’ came on, the whole crowd was on their feet dancing and singing their lungs out in unison, linking arms and spreading the love around – it was perfect.
  3. Seeing Radiohead & Bon Iver for the first time – My two favorite artists of ALL time, Radiohead and Bon Iver, not only both played at the 2012 Coachella, but played back-to-back on the same night. I was in heaven listening to both of their sets live for the first time, I still can’t think of a better concert moment to this day. Honestly, if I had just seen them at Coachella, my experience would’ve still been  complete.

Calvin Harris

Question 5: What advice can you give for anyone else that wants to attend this event and party like you did?

  • Go Camping! Even if you’re not a camping type of person, it’s a completely different experience when you’re in the action and the midst of it all. I’ve tried both camping and off site accommodation for the festival, and nothing beats sharing a beer with your tent neighbor or walking around the campground after a night of music, meeting the mot random and friendly people.
  • If you’re camping, bring baby wipes and a canopy. We forgot the canopy and we had to either find another friend at the festival, or find little pockets of shade around our car, the heat was that unbearable. Rookie mistake! Baby wipes are just a necessary means to an end when the shower line can be up to 3 hours wait time. No one wants to wait in that unless you can’t stand the thought of not taking a shower for 3 days.
  • Bring in alcohol and whatever else you need but be smart about it. You are allowed to bring in a “reasonable” amount if you’re over 21, which is equivalent to 1 case of beer per person, but whatever you do don’t bring glass! If you want to bring more than that or other substances, just don’t be obvious! The people checking cars don’t really care, they’re just volunteers, but don’t make their job awkward by being that clueless guy in line.
  • Enjoy it and actually listen to the music. Coachella has changed a lot in the last few years, and I’m sure even before that. It has become less about the music and more about the fashion and “being seen”, but don’t forget to enjoy why it’s there in the first place: to bring together a love of music. There’s seriously nothing better if you enjoy it for what it is.

Question 6: Which city do you think has the best nightlife?

That’s a hard one! I’d have to say that Melbourne, Australia has a unique nightlife that I really grew to love while I was living there. I especially like how much it’s centered around live music and eccentric bar concepts. They have everything from upscale clubs, craft beer pubs, to bars that serve cocktails in teacups and have waiters walking around in tennis getups. Also, rooftop bars – it’s hard to beat rooftop bars in Melbourne and a late night dumpling run after the night is done.

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences, Mimi! Have YOU ever been to Coachella?

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DrewParty #14: Coachella with Mimi

Party #14: Shambhala with Danie

by Drew on November 4, 2015 2 comments

Welcome to the 14th edition of my series “A Party to Remember!”

In this interview-based web series, you’ll learn about the best parties and nightlife all over the world from other travelers and travel bloggers.

It’s been a few months since I featured someone this series, but I’m thrilled to pick up with a great story!

Today, I am excited to feature a really fun and cool girl named Danie, who is going to share her favorite festival from her native land of Canada.

If you want to be the next person featured in this series, then please contact me with your party idea and I will send you the guidelines.  My aim is to cover nightlife all over the globe, so please try to contribute a party that hasn’t already been covered.

Ok, now I’ll let Danie take over!

Meet Danie

Danie is a crazy nomad from Canada, wandering through life in a seemingly confident way, while usually totally unsure of her next step. She’s been on the road for three years straight, finding new homes as she hitchhikes along. She once hitched 6,000 kilometres in six days, and is currently exploring South East Asia. Her biggest dream is to one day cuddle a platypus.

You can check out her blog (where she delights in oversharing) at Like Riding a Bicycle, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Question 1: What was the party/event and where was it?

Shambhala Music Festival is a gloriously crazy festival that happens once a year in British Columbia, Canada. There are six stages, all with their own themes, people in every costume you can possibly imagine, and no one will ever refuse a hug from a stranger. The artwork around the festival is absolutely incredible, my favourite being the glow in the dark art that pops up in the forest. It was always fun to just go get lost in that forest.

Question 2: How did you hear about this party/event? Did you stumble upon it, or plan to go?

The first year I went, literally all of my friends were going, so despite having to put myself in debt to go, I bought myself a last minute ticket. It was the best decision of my life – some of the people I met there remain my best friends to this day.

Question 3: Did anything funny or ‘out of the ordinary’ happen that night? Please share the story.

One day my friend and I were wandering through the forest in search of the mythical secret bathroom we had heard rumours about. We searched and searched in our attempt to avoid the half hour wait to pee, though our search took longer than the wait would have. Finally, we found a girl frolicking through the woods, who decided to join us. When we told her what we were in search of, she said she volunteered at the fest, and knew where this magical bathroom was, hidden beneath fake leaves, with no line up. Then she invited us back to hang out with her inside a tree. Sure enough, we fit four people inside the trunk of a tree. It was amazing.

Question 4: What were the top 3 highlights from that night?

Do you have any idea how crazy a festival – complete with lasers and lights and glow in the dark thingamabobs, along with 10,000 people (mostly in costumes) – looks like from a Ferris wheel? I had the fortune of being there the one and only year there was a Ferris wheel because, you know, a Ferris wheel combined with 10,000 people on assorted drugs probably isn’t the safest idea. Still, it was awesome.

One night of the festival a bunch of us hung out in a giant eyeball, chatting the night away while everyone else was off dancing. We were perfectly happy in the eyeball, having a slightly more mellow night than the rest of the crazies, though there may have been more than a few drugs circulating around our eyeball nest.

On the morning that the festival ended, I was absolutely dying. I mean, I felt so sick I actually couldn’t stand. My friend and I were supposed to catch a bus back home from town the next morning, and camp out in the woods that evening. A friend we made at the festival brought us into town, and as we were about to say goodbye, he looked at me. “How badly do you want to sleep in a bed tonight?” I was so haggard. “Oh god, I want it so bad.” He then shocked the hell out of us, took us to a hotel, and paid $100 so that we could have a hotel room for the night. That man is my angel.

Question 5: What advice can you give for anyone else that wants to attend this event and party like you did?

Oh my god, bring like ten water bottles. When you are dehydrated from partying, and the line to get water is a billion people long, life is not fun. And bring more money than you think you need, because damn, the vendors there have the coolest things I have ever seen, and it is torture to not be able to shop.

Question 6: Which city do you think has the best nightlife?

I absolutely detest the city I come from in Canada – Edmonton. But damn it, our main bar street, Whyte Ave, has something for EVERYONE. I must admit, it’s always been my favourite place for bar hopping, despite the awfulness of everything else about the city.

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DrewParty #14: Shambhala with Danie

Party #13: Summer Festival in Spain with Karli

by Drew on June 19, 2015 No comments

Welcome to the 13th edition of my series “A Party to Remember!”

I apologize for the long delay from the last episode… I’ve been quite busy traveling India!

Anyways, in this interview-based web series, you’ll learn about the best parties and nightlife all over the world from other travelers and travel bloggers.

Today, I am excited to feature my good childhood friend Karli, who is going to share her favorite festival that she attended in Spain.  I need to go back to Spain and do what she did!

If you want to be the next person featured in this series, then please contact me with your party idea and I will send you the guidelines.  My aim is to cover nightlife all over the globe, so please try to contribute a party that hasn’t already been covered.

Ok, now I’ll let Karli take over!

Meet Karli

karliKarli Folio is from Scottsdale, Arizona, and she’s always looking for adventure.  She caught the travel bug when she studied abroad in Spain, and since then, she’s been to 15 U.S. states, 6 countries and now she’s living and teaching English in Korea.

Karli has a dream of becoming a travel photographer, so she has started her own photography blog called Foliography where she posts all of her favorite photos.

Follow Karli on Instagam for epic travel photos (@kfolio)!

Question 1: What was the party/event and where was it?

The best party I went to was the Festival De San Juan in Allicante, Spain. It was at the end of June in cities all over Spain and it is a large festival to welcome the summer solstice. The Spainards built 42 paper mache statues and put them all over the beach city of Allicante. Some were built so big that they were as high as a 10- story building! The streets were all blocked off with several open areas for drinking and partying. When the clock hit midnight, there were many fireworks and then they began to burn all the paper statues to the ground. I remember it was so hot facing the large flame; a flame the size of an intersection. It was incredible!

Question 2: How did you hear about this party/event? Did you stumble upon it, or plan to go?

Our study abroad coordinator told us about the event when we arrived in Allicante and we also saw the Spainards setting up for it all week. Although every night in Spain is a party, this festival is particularly amazing.

Question 3: Did anything funny or ‘out of the ordinary’ happen that night? Please share the story.

Well, when they burned the 10-story paper mache statue down, a building near-by caught on fire! The statues were so close to the buildings that it had to be against fire safety regulations. It was crazy but the Spainards didn’t seem to care much. They had fireman at each statue to make sure they put the flames out on the buildings.

Question 4: What were the top 3 highlights from that night?

The top 3 highlights from that night were:

The building that caught on fire- Honestly, how often do you get to witness a building catching on fire?! And instead of freaking out, they just cheer and drink to that.

The random foam party we walked in to on the beach- As I said before, there were many open areas to drink and party. We stumbled upon a concert that was set up right next to the beach. We all paid 3 Euros to get in and then we watched some random girls dance on stage. It wasn’t for about an hour into it that foam started pouring into the dance floor. It didn’t stop there, there was so much foam by the end of the night that some people ruined their phones and cameras. It was epic!

Skinny dipping in the Mediterranean Sea- Eventually, my friend got kicked out for being too drunk (honestly, I don’t know how that is even possible) but we took our party to the beach. The beach was packed with people drinking in groups and dressed in costumes. My friends and I decided it was time to strip naked and run into the Mediteranean Sea. I remember being so happy looking at the coastline and floating in the warm sea water. It was a memory I will never forget.

Question 5: What advice can you give for  anyone else that wants to attend this event and party like you did?

Do some research online when the festival will be. I believe it’s all over Spain but I really enjoyed it in Allicante. The beach is beautiful and it is less populated than Barcelona.

Question 6: Which city do you think has the best nightlife?

That’s a hard decision but I would have to say Madrid and Barcelona in Spain. It could be because I just turned 21 and was in non-stop party mode but they go all night long! On the streets, in the bars, in the clubs, on the beach; literally everywhere. Even in the mornings it’s not uncommon to order sangria or cafe con baileys (Coffee and Baileys.) It’s no wonder why they take siestas in the middle of the afternoon, you really need it when you are partying in Spain.

Thank you Karli! Have YOU ever partied in Spain?

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DrewParty #13: Summer Festival in Spain with Karli

Party #12: Carnival in Colombia

by Drew on April 1, 2015 4 comments

Welcome to the 12th edition of my series “A Party to Remember!”

In this interview-based web series, you’ll learn about the best parties and nightlife all over the world from other travelers and travel bloggers.

Today, I am excited to have my friend Jeremy talk about his most recent festival/party that he attended in Colombia.  I am dying to visit South America, and after reading Jeremy’s story, I think I might book a ticket really soon!

If you want to be the next person featured in this series, then please contact me with your party idea and I will send you the guidelines.  My aim is to cover nightlife all over the globe, so please try to contribute a party that hasn’t already been covered.

Ok, now I’ll let Jeremy take over!

Meet Jeremy

rsz_screen_shot_2015-02-27_at_80717_pmJeremy left home in 2010 to embark on a journey to the other side of the world. Years later, he’s still on the move and exploring other countries. He is now a traveling cocktail bartender and the head writer for travelFREAK! You can usually find him on either side of the bar, acting wanky and pretentious about booze.

You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.

Question 1: What was the party/event and where was it?

I only just attended this party last week-it was Carnival, and it took place in Barranquilla, Colombia! Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has the largest Carnival celebration in the world, but Barranquilla comes in second. It’s a four day party full of parades, foam fights, local beer (and Aguardiente, the local rice wine!), colorful shirts, and crazy, bizarre costumes. Also, feathers. Lots and lots of feathers.

Question 2: How did you hear about this party/event?  Did you randomly stumble upon it, or did you plan to go?

I was already planning a trip to Colombia in the month of February and, upon doing further research, I discovered that Carnival was happening while I would be there. I rearranged my schedule and made concrete plans (which I never do!) to be there.

Question 3: Did anything funny or ‘out of the ordinary’ happen that night?  Please share the story!

So many funny things happened that night. We had put together a group of about eight of us, and after a long day of beer, aguardiente, and foam fights with small children, we sought shelter at a local pool hall. We joined a couple of locals on the balcony outside who kept the beers coming, and our bottle of aguardiente made its rounds more than a few times.

One Colombian fellow of about 35, dressed in military attire, stood up and asked Leah, of The Mochilera Diaries, to dance. Now Leah, who has been in Colombia for a few months now, actually knows how to dance salsa. So when she took his hand, and accepted his invitation to dance, she threw down the dance moves like nobody was expecting! White girl can dance! After impressing the entire crowd, the next hour turned into a giant dance party. The girls took turns dancing with the locals, and us boys took turns dancing with the waitresses. One even gave me her number, but alas, I was gone the next day.

Question 4: What were the top 3 highlights from that night (if you can remember)?

Well, the party lasted four days, but we only stayed for two. By the end, we were totally Carnival-ed out. The first highlight is the insane, never-ending foam fight. We were a group of foreigners amongst a crowd of Colombians so, standing out like we did, all the children decided to engage us in a war! For about 20 minutes, we were like a team of special forces, hiding behind chairs (and each other), sacrificing our bodies for the good of the team. I’m not going to lie, though–I think we lost.

The second highlight was the dance party at the billiard hall, which took place later in the evening, after the foam fight. It was just one of those epic moments that nobody was expecting!

The third highlight wasn’t so much of a particular event as it was the experience. The people that we came across during our whole time in Barranquilla were incredibly friendly and helpful. Nothing like all the stories about Colombia will have you believe. So many of the locals are working to reverse the bad reputation that their country tends to carry, and I felt like the people here welcomed us with open arms and with immense hospitality.

Question 5: What advice can you give for anyone else that wants to attend this event and party like you did?

Make reservations, and make them far in advance! We started looking at accommodation options about two or three weeks beforehand, and were very lucky to find a hotel room for $50/pp. I know other people who paid up to $80 per night for a hostel dorm bed. It’s expensive, so bring cash, and be prepared to spend it. That being said, a full day of fun, with tons of food and booze, probably cost me $40-$50, which isn’t that much, in the grand scheme of things.

The main Carnival celebration takes place on Via 40, but there is another, locals celebration which happens on Carrera 44. That’s where we went the first day and our experience there was far better than our time at the mainstream parade the following day. And, at the main celebration, don’t buy tickets ahead of time. You can haggle with ticket vendors when you arrive to the stadium.

Question 6: I claim Seoul to have the best nightlife in the world, as I have been living here for the last 1.5 years… Which city do you think has the best nightlife? 

To be honest, Wellington, NZ holds a very special place in my heart. I also work in cocktail bars and, surprisingly, New Zealand has a KILLER drinks scene. The cocktails are inventive and the bars and clubs are a whole lot of fun. I spent eight months living in Wellington and never once did I get sick of going out! The people are so warm and friendly and, because it’s such a small town, you always run into your friends! I love it there, and can’t wait to go back.

Thanks for sharing, Jeremy! Have you ever been to Carnival? 

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DrewParty #12: Carnival in Colombia

Party #11: Insanity in Buenos Aires with Danny

by Drew on December 3, 2014 2 comments

Welcome to the 11th edition of my series “A Party to Remember!”

In this interview-based web series, you’ll learn about the best parties and nightlife all over the world from other travel bloggers.

Today, I am thrilled to have Danny share about his favorite party scene in Buenos Aires.   I have yet to travel to South America, so reading Danny’s story made me even more excited to take a trip in the near future.  

In this series, I normally have people answer questions in an interview-format, but Danny preferred to share a continuous story.  His experiences that you are about to read are nothing short of insane.  

If you want to be the next person featured in this series, then please contact me with your party idea and I will send you the guidelines.  My aim is to cover nightlife all over the globe, so please try to contribute a party that hasn’t already been covered.

Ok, now I’ll let Danny take over! 

Meet Dannydan-mag-pic

I blog about cool shit like travel and living life to the fullest. Am I some type of computer geek with two heads and bad breath? No, I am not. I’m a reasonably attractive (perhaps even semi-handsome?) young male in his mid-twenties with a sparkling personality, a sharp wit. I’m a reasonably normal male in excellent health, and I’m not hurting for money. I’ve been living out of a backpack for the last 4 years, moving to a different country every month or two. I manage my own online business, which means I have a lot of freedom to go off adventuring, traveling, and doing a bunch of awesome things. 

You can follow Danny on his website, Open World Mag, or on  Facebook and Twitter.

His Story

I’ve been to parties all over the world.

Of all the places I’ve been, nowhere brings fond party memories to my mind more than Latin America. From Mexico to Colombia to Brazil, young Latin Americans live and love with passion. I’ve had fond experiences attempting drunken break dancing in Mexico and samba dancing on the beaches of Florianopolis, Brazil’s party haven. But in my mind no where do they know how to party like in Argentina.

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To make up an Argentinian, take a European from Spain or Italy and give them 5 espressos. Argentinians are a hot-blooded, fiery people. They’ll kiss you one second and yell at you the next. The population is young and among the most attractive any where in the world. Some of my best friends are Argentinians.

Buenos Aires is Latin America’s capitol city of partygoers.

Argentinians finish work, take a short siesta (nap) and an espresso, and hit the streets. Once they start going, they don’t stop. In Argentina, partying is not a pasttime so much as it is a part of the culture. Buenos Aires is the birthplace of tango. Anywhere in Buenos Aires you can find “Portenos” – as they’re called in BsAs, dancing in step to this fiery dance. They dance in the day and they dance all night. They dance because they can’t stop.

Of all the nights I’ve been out while living in Buenos Aires, the one I remember most vividly was New Year’s Eve. Buenos Aires is not famous for NYE – and for good reason. I met up with my American friend John, and together we hit the streets hard around 11pm. We were determined to get to some place that was poppin’ before the ball dropped at midnight. The only problem was, the entire city was dead – almost lifeless. We couldn’t even manage to get a taxi to take us to the club we wanted to go.

Would our party hopes be dashed?

Discouraged, but not willing to give up, we decided to retreat and regroup for a while. We shot over to Kentucky, a national pizza chain in Argentina, where slices can be found for just $1. It’s the cheapest way to eat in Argentina – and a darn tasty way too, as long as you don’t mind the greasy cheese and saturated fat lining your gut. We found a pair of girls with mardi gras masks, but besides them and a handful of other random people, there wasn’t much of a party to be had at the pizza place.

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We decided to pass the time and wait – Argentinians are notorious for showing up late. We bided our time until a little after 1, and then headed to the “superclub” where we sure there HAD to be some action going on. In fact, the party was just STARTING by the time we arrived, which was around 1:30. Things starting getting quite busy after 2 and was full on raging by 3. The club, located on the banks of the Rio de la Plata, was HUGE, with several dance areas, a large outdoor lounge area, and it was starting to get PACKED. 

Finally having found a decent party, we wasted no time. We hit the bar, got a little tipsy, and spent the rest of the night dancing and drinking like there was no tomorrow. It wasn’t long till a circle was made around us with everyone cheering us on. Several girls joined us and before long there was at least a dozen of us prancing and frolicking about. Girls came up to me asking to take their picture with me. At some point, I was dancing with two beautiful women and had to choose. Both were competing for attention and equally hot. One Argentinian, the other Colombian.

In the end, though the smaller Argentinian was cute, I decided I wanted to spend more time with the sexier Colombian girl. While her friend was buying a drink at the bar, I pulled her away to our corner of the dance floor. Things got steamy and sweaty quickly. She put my hand on her waist where I could feel the contour of her thong through the dress. We kissed for about 10 minutes, and danced the night away for another hour or so.

Afterwards, she left to find her friends – feeling a bit guilty. We said our goodbyes but parted without even an exchange of contact information or any indications to meet again. That’s the way it usually is in the Latin world – a passionate place where only the present moment matters. No expectations.

John and I took a taxi back to our neighborhood and as we looked out the window the sun was just starting to climb in the sky. We were sobering up a bit and wore big grins as we recalled the craziness. It was really just another typical night in magical Buenos Aires – a city where you really MUST party all night to truly experience.

WOW- thanks for sharing this epic story, Danny! I need to get my ass to Buenos Aires ASAP! 

What’s your favorite party experience in Latin America? 

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DrewParty #11: Insanity in Buenos Aires with Danny