Feat Posts

5 Reasons to Visit Indonesia

by Drew on April 26, 2016 No comments

I’ve taken two separate trips to Indonesia and spent a total of 4 weeks in the country. I’ve spent most of my time in Bali, but I’ve also ventured out to other islands such as Sumba, Lombok and Gili.   Indonesia is such an amazing county and you have to visit!

From the local food, to the culture and the natural beauty – Indonesia is one of my favorite countries on earth. I might be a little biased, because I’ve spent a lot of time in Southeast Asia and it’s my favorite region on earth – but honestly, you must take a trip to Indonesia to see what it’s like.

With more than 25,000 islands (no joke!) – there are literally unlimited beaches and places to explore.  In addition to the beautiful beaches, there are a variety of nice resorts around Bali. A good option is Conrad Bali (click here to book), or you can check out The Santai or The Four Seasons!

Still not convinced?

Here are 5 more reasons to visit Indonesia.

1. Eat Mie Goreng

Mie Goreng is the national dish of Indonesia, and it’s a staple food that you’ll find on any menu! Translated literally as “fried noodles,” Mie Goreng is a spicy and flavorful fried noodle dish, made with yellow noodles, oil, garlic, onions, chili, cabbage, tomatoes, egg, and your choice of meat (chicken, prawn, pork or beef).   The best part? It’s only about $2USD for a big plate!

2. Explore Untouched Beaches

With more than 25,000 islands, you can only imagine how many picture perfect beaches that Indonesia has. Hot sunshine, coconut trees, clear ocean water, fresh fruits, white sanded beaches and plenty more. You can find beaches everywhere, and almost all of them won’t be saturated with tourists (unless you’re in Bali).

3. Affordability

Along with the Philippines and Vietnam, I find Indonesia to be the cheapest country in Asia. Their currency (called the Rupiah) is super inflated, so $1USD = 15,000 Rupiah, but don’t let that distract you! Any local meal will cost you less than $3USD, and a 20 minute taxi ride will cost about $5USD. Most guesthouses, activities and groceries are cheap as well, so you are able to have fun exploring without burning a hole in your wallet.

4. Rent a Motorbike

Every time I visit Indonesia, I rent a motorbike so I have the freedom to explore around as I wish! The price is usually $5USD per day, but you can negotiate if you rent for a longer period of time.  Be careful though if you’re from the USA or any country that drives on the right side of the road, because they drive on the left side in Indonesia. And don’t forget to always wear a helmet!

5. Visit Temples

Last but not least, Indonesia has an abundance of temples that you are able to visit and learn about the culture. Especially in Bali, most of the temples are of Hindu beliefs, and they are beautiful to visit! If you are visiting any other island, then the temples will mostly be Muslim (mosques). Get your daily dose of Indonesia culture by visiting a temple!

Thanks for reading my blog post about Indonesia, and I hope you have the chance to visit! Feel free to comment below with any questions you may have.

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Drew5 Reasons to Visit Indonesia

5 Unique Bars Around the World

by Drew on February 16, 2016 No comments

What’s better than finding awesome and unique bars around the world?

After a long and hard day of sightseeing and walking around the city, sometimes all you need is a glass of cold beer or a nice glass of wine. Of course, there are tons of places where tourists love to hang out after all-day long tours, but yet, some bars are so exceptional that deserve a separate story!

Before you head out on your trip, be sure to check out Travel Ticker to find the best hotel deals! I will now present you with five of the most amazing bars all around the globe 🙂

Underwater Bar – Israel

Red Sea Stars Bar is considered one of the most original bars in Israel because of its location – it is located in about 5 meters under water. While you are sipping your cocktail, you can watch the colorful fish and plants in the depths through bar’s small windows, so it is truly an experience to have a drink here.

Moreover, Marine theme is embraced in the interior as well. You can literally sit on chairs that look like jellyfishes while one room’s floor in this bar is entirely covered with sand. If you are afraid of dark waters – not a problem. The bar has a venue over water you can also enjoy your drink at.

Trippy Ruin Bar – Budapest

Photo by Emma D on Flickr

The Famous Ruin Bars of Budapest were built 50 years ago in the old district VII (the old Jewish quarter) in the ruins of abandoned buildings or lots. Every ruin bar is different- they look like normal bars from the outside and the inside is hip, lively, artsy, and funky with loud music, lots of bars, crazy cool decorations and loud music.

Szimpla is the most famous ruin bar in Budapest, and it’w awesome! It is very artsy and hipster with so many interesting decorations all over the walls.  The crowd is a great mix of locals and foreigners, mostly young and outgoing.

During the day, this place is a farmer’s market, and by night, it turns into an insane bar!

The rooms are so random, like one room has a chill atmosphere with people hanging out, smoking hookah, and listening to Bob Marley — whereas the next room will be raging to techno music with blacklights on the walls and people are ripping shots.

Underground Cave Bar – Prague

Photo by Brandon B on Flickr

I spent a LOT of time in this bar when I was studying abroad in Prague in 2012.

When you walk in the door, your first impression ofU Sudu is no more than an ordinary bar…  But as you keep walking and turning corners, you will keep discovering new rooms underground, in a cave-like set up.  There are about 6 different rooms all spread out from each other, and several bars to get your favorite drinks.  You literally feel like you are inside a cave when wandering around this bar- that is why it is so unique.

There are always people there everyday of the week- mostly locals but also some foreigners who have heard about this secret bar.  U Sudu is the best place to meet with a group of friends before going out to a club or wherever the night takes you.  In each dim-lit room, there is always different music, bringing on different vibes constantly.  Don’t miss out on the fun at U Sudu!

Winter Wonderland – Canada

Photo by Paul F. on Flickr

Canada’s Quebec City-based Ice Bar (Inside the Hotel de Glace) can be visited only from January to March because then it dissolves – there is not even a ground there you can have your drink at.

Yes! This bar is literally made from ice, so dress code in here is all-you-can-wear to keep you warm! And do take this advice seriously – everything from walls to tables and chairs are made of ice, so you don’t want to get your bottoms frozen in here.

A 5 Star Oasis – UAE

Photo by Kelley Anne on Flickr

The last bar I would love to visit one day is literally located in a middle of the desert – Bab Al Shams bar is in the United Arab Emirates and the middle of the wasteland.

Although the view in this bar is not much more than the high dunes and starry sky, there is no shortage of people here. It takes only 40 minutes by car to drive here from Dubai, so people are often coming here to spend a romantic evening and enjoy exquisite drinks.

It is also worth mentioning that here you can also book a stay at a hotel. So if you want to spend your holidays in the desert, you can do it a five-star way.

What are your favorite bars around the world? 

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Drew5 Unique Bars Around the World

Top Party Citites in the UK

by Drew on January 16, 2016 No comments

There’s no question that the United Kingdom is an excellent place for all of you crazy nightlife seekers out there.  On my blog, I write a lot about nightlife — so why not talk about the scene of the most visited countries on earth? During my time spent in London last summer, I had a great time bar hopping around Soho, Shoreditch and other lively areas of the city.

If you’re heading to the UK and want to know where to party, or have a stag party, then choosing a destination can be a little tricky. There are loads of great cities in the UK that offer fun nights, but it all comes down to what you’re planning to do on the weekend. To help you choose, I’ve put together some of the best destinations (along with the help from some of my British friends).

Here are the top picks:

Birmingham

A metropolitan borough at the heart of the west midlands, Birmingham is a buzzing city with great atmosphere that’s renowned for being student-friendly and having plenty of opportunities to party. There are an abundance of sights and things to do to make sure that you stay entertained, and you can even try things like WA Rebel kart racing, zombie action or stock car racing. If you’re looking for a place to stay, there are many affordable hotels in the area as well.

Brighton

This lively seaside resort has always been a hugely popular and fashionable city, and with so much to see and do it’s the ideal party destination. Renowned for the famous Victorian pier, a stroll down the promenade will give you a cosmopolitan vibe and there are various attractions such as the arcade, fairground rides and a number of traditional fish and chip shops. If you’re looking for activities, Brighton has plenty to offer including sailing, Zapcat racing and even sea fishing.

Leeds

Located in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, Leeds is a compact city that offers some excellent views and beer consuming nights. Over the past few years there has been some serious money spent on growing the city, and it’s definitely one to keep your eye on as one of the UK’s most up and coming cities. Big on live music, if you’re considering going to a gig as part of your adventure, this city definitely makes an excellent choice.

Manchester

Known as the capital of the north of England, Manchester is a welcoming city which is fierce with pride when it comes to culture and heritage. Over the last decade, Manchester has expanded significantly, with over five hundred bars, traditional pubs and a range of clubs across the city. There is no shortage of things to do, with a three level indoor karting circuit, urban paintballing, and attractions such as indoor skiing, snowboarding and skydiving.

London

Last but not least, the capital city of the UK is undoubtedly the best place to party in the UK. London is full of pretty much everything that you need for an awesome weekend, and is has something for people of all ages. The nightlife in the capital offers a great variety of choice, and if you’re looking for activities there is plenty to choose from, including sightseeing or the regular stag do activities such as karting, quad biking and urban paintballing.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a fun time partying in the UK!

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DrewTop Party Citites in the UK

14 Signs You’ve Been Overseas Too Long

by Drew on November 5, 2015 2 comments

This is a guest post by my good friend Laura Bronner.  She came to me with this fun idea for a post, and it’s just too accurate and hilarious not to share!

I can relate to everything she says in this post, especially because I’ve been traveling nonstop since January.

You can visit Laura’s Blog (Collecting Labels) to read more about her lifestyle and travels, and join her on Twitter and Instagram 🙂

So, here is the list of 14 Signs You’ve Been Traveling Overseas Too Long:

  1. You and your travel companion talk about the state of your bowel movements on an almost daily basis.
  1. You have learned the joys of condensed milk. Fruit shakes, coffees, teas, the possibilities are endless.
  1. You’re entire wardrobe consists solely of beer t-shirts and same same but different tank tops.
  1. Putting ice in your beer seems totally normal.
  1. A 12 hour bus journey seems perfectly reasonable. Especially if it’s a sleeper.

  1. You go into random shops and pretend to browse around simply to be in the air conditioning.
  1. You talk about the price of everything in US dollars even though you’re not American.
  1. You never miss an opportunity to grab more toilet paper. A few napkins from that restaurant, the rest of that roll from the guesthouse you just checked out of, it’s all fair game.
  1. Breakfast without a baguette? Blasphemy.
  1. You say things like “I’m templed out”
  1. You know “the bus leaves at 10” actually means try to arrive around 10 and the bus will leave once its full (about an hour and a half later).
  1. You bought those awful travelers pants. You swore to yourself you wouldn’t do it, that they’re unshapely, unflattering and the patterns are stupid. But they’re just so damn comfortable.
  1. You’ve contemplated learning German so that you can finally read a book in one of those hostel book exchanges.
  2. Not only do you use the bidet hose, you actually prefer

Can you relate to this? I know I can!

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Drew14 Signs You’ve Been Overseas Too Long

8 Awesome Things to do in Denver

by Drew on October 25, 2015 No comments

Denver is, without question, one of my favorite cities in America.  I would probably rank it in my Top 5 U.S. cities along with Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas and Phoenix!

Located at the edge of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is a vibrant city that both clean and safe.  I’ve been to the mile-high city a few times, and each time, I fell more in love with the culture and all-around happiness that Denver has to offer.   The fresh vibes and positive atmosphere in this city can’t be found anywhere else.

The last time I was in Denver, I rented a car and drove around to explore the city on my own.  This was the best way to have a complete experience of the city!

And with the recent open marijuana laws, you are now free to walk inside a shop and legally buy and smoke weed, just like Amsterdam!  Maybe another reason to visit Denver, eh?

Here are 8 things to do in the amazing city of Denver, Colorado.

1. Go on a Brewery tour

Seriously if there’s one thing to do in Denver, is would be to try the famous craft beer!  It’s a huge thing in Denver, and many of the breweries offer free tours (Great Divide, Wynkoop and Breckenridge).  Of course, Coors Beer is the most national recognized brew out of Denver, but if you like those tasty craft ones, then you ought to check out the tours. Did I mention free samples?

2. Visit the Denver Zoo

While not the most recognized zoo in America, the Denver zoo is nothing short of amazing.  There are over 2,000 animals such as tigers, kangaroos hyenas, lions, pythons and rhinos, giraffes and more.  This zoo is much cheaper than the San Diego Zoo, and you can spend an entire day here observing these awesome animals.

3. Check out the Smoking Cafes

As I mentioned before, Colorado is one of the only states in America where it’s totally legal to buy and consume marijuana if you’re over 18.  Of course, there is a limit that you can have, but there are so many places around town that you are free to walk in and get stoned.  You have to experience this when in Denver!

4. Experience the Rocky Mountain National Park

As you probably already know, the Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the best nature reserves on the planet.  There are some 400 miles of unspoiled scenery including lakes, water falls, and a wide-variety of wildlife.  It’s no surprise that National Geographic named it as one of their Best Trips of 2014 and it’s easy to see why. You’ll see lakes, water falls and wildlife, as well as the Trail Ridge Road.

5. Join the Mile High Club

This isn’t what you think…! The 13th step on the Colorado State Capitol building staircase is the exact marker of 5280ft — exactly one mile above sea level.  You don’t want to miss out on this Corinthian-style, gold-domed building which also offering tours and excursions.

6. See a Show at Red Rocks

Red Rocks in an outstanding music venue amphitheater that should be at the top of your bucket list!  This geographically-shaped venue is large, tilted, and made form huge vertical rocks angled to make the stage.  It’s located some 10 miles from Denver and can hold up to 10,000 people.  Hopefully you’re lucky enough to be in Denver during a show, but if not, you are still free to look around the place.  Rolling Stone Magazine called it the “Best Outdoor Amphitheater in the U.S..”

7. Go to an Outdoor Movie

Free movies play throughout the summer at Skyline Park, Infinity Park and Civic Centre. Grab your lover, take some food, beer and settle down to watch a movie outside!

8. Take in Some Art

Culture vultures won’t be disappointed with Denver’s arty offerings. Denver Art Museum is free on the first Saturday of every month. The museum has regular big name exhibitions so be sure to check what’s on when you visit.

Final Notes

Denver offers great outdoors, sports, culture, art and a welcoming atmosphere. When it comes to booking accommodations, there are many hotels in Denver to suit most budgets and requirements. You can find anything you’re looking for to suit your needs.

Hope you have a fun and safe trip to Denver!

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Drew8 Awesome Things to do in Denver

Introducing Hello Talk – An Innovative Way to Learn Languages

by Drew on October 13, 2015 No comments

Those of you who know me well, will understand that I love learning new languages.   At almost every point of my life over the last 3 years, I’ve been in the process of studying a new language.

I don’t understand travelers who wouldn’t you want to learn a new language! After all, it’s good for your brain and it’s very useful when you are traveling in foreign countries. It makes your life easier.

I studied Spanish in school for 10 years, and I am still conversational to this day. When I studied abroad in Prague, I studied Czech for more than 6 months and was at an intermediate level. When I lived in Korea to teach English, I nearly became fluent at speaking Korean.   And over the last 2 months, as I’ve been traveling around Eastern Europe, I’ve been learning Russian and I am at a basic level!

Here are 2 videos of me speaking Czech and Korean, so you can see my passion for yourself!

As I’ve studied languages, I’ve noticed a common theme — you NEED to have a native speaker to correct your mistake. Of course, it’s also important to watch videos, read books, study grammar, etc. But no matter how long you stick your nose in a book on your own, you’re never going to progress as fast as having a native speaker correct your mistakes.   They are native, which means that they know their language better than anyone else!

So when HelloTalk first contacted me about their product, I was honestly hesitant to use it, because I thought it was the same as any other language learning app that I’ve tried before.   Memorizing flashcards, doing exercises, watching videos, etc.

But Hello Talk is different because it’s the only app that connects you with an actual native speaker, so you can practice together!

Getting Started

Go to the App Store or Google Play store to download it for free.

After you download the app, set up your profile by filling out the basic information.  Then you simply choose the language you want to learn (over 100 to select from). It’s especially good for Italian and Portuguese learners! After you select the language, you can search for native speakers from that language and begin practicing instantly.

Features

  • Voice to text

You can send voice-to-text and text-to-voice messages, so you can hear the language being spoken! And don’t worry if you’re trying to learn Korean, Chinese or Japanese, because the characters will show up in Roman letters.

  • Grammar Correction

If you make a grammar mistake when you’re talking to the native speaker, they can quickly and easily correct it and send it back to you. Even beyond grammar — they can correct the syntax and pronunciation as well.

  • Free Calls

Just like Skype, Hello Talk has a VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocal) function, so you can have a live meeting face to face with your new friend! It’s like having them in your back pocket at all times.

  • Big Database

On your profile, you can create your own database to store words, sentences, photos, audio files and much more. This is a great for staying organized!

To get a better understanding of the features of Hello talk, check out this practicial video:

Final Words

I have been using HelloTalk for a week now, to brush up on my Korean before heading back to Seoul, and I find it really useful! It’s cool to be connected with Koreans who are willing to help me practice in such a fun way.

I absolutely recommend giving it a try, as it will change your language learning experience forever.

So what are you waiting for? Get started with HelloTalk today by downloading the app on the App Store & Google Play for free!

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DrewIntroducing Hello Talk – An Innovative Way to Learn Languages