If you had asked me a couple years ago if I wanted to visit India, my response would have likely been “Sure, maybe one day, but its...
My November trip to South America was one of the best yet and Patagonia was by far the most beautiful place I have ever seen! There are so many...
I am back from my most recent trip to Turkey, Italy and Switzerland and it certainly turned out to be one of the most memorable and exciting trips...
Let’s say you get a bonus at work, or you have a great savings built up for a rainy day. Where do you spend it? Updating to...
Every traveler has those experiences when their eyes are opened to something new, something that will remain with them forever, and something that changes the way they look...
Here is a selection of some of my favorite photos, with my favorite travel quotes! They always inspire me to want to pack a bag and go...
Welcome Travelers! My name is Tamara and my passion is travel and everything that comes along with it. I have traveled to 40 countries and like any good traveler, I have an extensive bucket list of places and experiences. You can read about my journey towards checking off experiences, as well as some of the best travel tips I have picked up along the way! Happy Traveling!
It’s been too long since my last post, but I am happy to be back, with some great trips, trends and updates. As we close out 2015, I am reflecting back on the amazing adventures from this previous year. While I had some great trips, the best adventure is getting engaged to the man of my dreams, and by doing that I have acquired a lifetime travel companion! Fortunately, he is just as passionate about exploring our globe as I am. Since we have been together, I have sprung 2 big trip ideas on him last minute, and it didn’t take much convincing to get him on board!
With work, wedding planning and buying a new home, we were in desperate need for a getaway. I recently heard a bit about Guatemala that really intrigued me. Coffee plantations, nature, adventurous adrenaline rushes – sign me up! In addition to that, it’s a 2 hour flight from Miami. We left Charlotte that morning, and arrived in Guatemala City by noon!
Here are 6 reasons to book your next vacation to Guatemala!
If all of that doesn’t convince you, check out this video of some of the trip highlights. Ready for your next adventure!?
Happy New Year to all of you and cheers to a fantastic 2016 and lots of great travel adventures ahead!
If you had asked me a couple years ago if I wanted to visit India, my response would have likely been “Sure, maybe one day, but its not super high on my list.” Then everything changed when I started working for Cox & Kings, The Americas a couple of years ago. The heritage of the company is India, so I needed to learn more about the country. The more I learned, the more interested I became. I started to think back on why it wasn’t a priority to visit this fascinating country. The food is too risky? There is so much traffic? It’s a very poor country? Whatever your reason is, I am here to tell you that you should think again. I was so wrong about India, and after visiting it quickly skyrocketed to the top of my favorites list. Here is why you should make India a priority and visit as soon as possible!
1. The FOOD!
How could I have ever feared the food in India? It is incredible. I need a new word for incredible. Mind blowing perhaps? There are a lot of vegetarians in India, and I was completely shocked at what they can do with veggies over there! I didn’t even miss meat! I came home with a new obsession for lentils, cauliflower, paneer (yummy cheese!) and India spices. Everything from a local casual restaurant, to a fancy 10 course tasting menu really blew my mind. Don’t miss Shree Thaker Bhojanalay and Masala Library.
I never had an upset tummy (they even have a name for it – Delhi Belly!) the entire time because I followed a few simple rules, which I pretty much apply to all countries I travel to. Don’t drink tap water, only eat raw veggies in reputable establishments (washed in filtered water), make sure everything is cooked through, watch out for street food, go easy on the spices, and don’t overeat. That last one is the hardest because the food is so darn good!
2. The PEOPLE
The people were encountered were so gracious, and so proud of their country. They love to show it off, and feel so honored to have you a part of it. A traditional welcome includes a beautiful fresh flower necklace, and a bindi places on your head. We even walked into some hotels and restaurants where they tossed rose petals from above we arrived. Every guide we met couldn’t wait to tell us their story! It’s hard not to be enchanted by them.
3. The HISTORY
There is something completely magical about the history of this country. Per a recommendation, I read a fabulous book call “The Twentieth Wife” in order to prepare for this trip. I am so glad I did, because it really made the Palaces and Forts come alive for me! Sultans, Empresses, Concubines – the whole thing is fascinating! Not only are the stories incredible, but the architecture of these buildings is beautiful. High archways, gardens, marble, and gold – you can imagine the intricate carpets and tapestries blowing in the wind with the scent of spices and opium in the air!
4. The SHOPPING
Shopping is always my favorite thing on a trip, but India took that to an entirely new level. There was one point where I was literally knee deep in textiles, with hand stitched fabrics all around me, just simply in awe of the colors and patterns! I came home with pillow cases, cashmere blankets and scarves, place mats, a wall hanging, and even a new comforter! On top of it all being so beautiful, the prices were incredible! It’s a good thing I always pack an extra duffel in my suitcase for big purchases!
5. The DIVERSITY
India has a little bit of everything and definitely something for everyone! You can experience the craziness of the cities and markets, relax on a beach, look at wildlife, sleep in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains and experience some of the best hotels on the planet. Its also pretty amazing to see so many different religions and traditions everywhere you look!
6. The TIGERS
India is one of the only places in the world that you can still see Tigers in their natural habitat. While elusive and often hard to spot, if you get lucky enough to see one, its life changing! Enough said!
7. CULTURE SHOCK
I actually consider myself to be a “Culture Vulture,” meaning I absolutely love really immersing myself in other cultures. To me, culture shock is a great thing! Imagine walking down the street with a cow walking next to you, or riding in a rickshaw and being pretty confident that you would lose an arm if you stuck it the slightest bit outside of the vehicle. The markets are so hectic and crazy, but its so much fun to watch and photograph! You will be fascinated by the stories and traditions you hear about that make up everyday life for the people of India.
8. The TAJ MAHAL
It’s more amazing than you could even imagine. You walk through the gates and catch a glimpse of it for the first time, and you may even find yourself with tears in your eyes. Its absolutely magical and made the long trip over completely worth it! The stories of how and why it was built are lovely. The love that Shah Jahan had for his wife was inspiring. It’s so wonderful how it changes color as the sun moves through the sky.
9. A SENSORY ADVENTURE
The smells of the spices, the sounds of the music, the taste of the food, the sights of the colors, the touch of the textiles!
10. The BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
India is a place you can easily travel on a dime. The food and shopping were so affordable, and there are plenty of options for accommodations. You can easily get around this country if your on a budget, but you may not want to! The Luxury hotels in India are the best I have ever seen in the world and definitely worth the splurge! I actually traveled through India on a Deluxe Train called The Deccan Odyssey. This was one of the coolest ways I have ever traveled. I had a wonderful cabin all to myself, and got to experience 8 different incredible cities in 8 days. Every day we got off to tour and experience each city, and every night we slept while the train made its way to the next stop. It was such a great way to see the country and made me want to look into train journeys for all my future India trips!
So what are you waiting for? Let me know if I can help you plan your trip to India! I know you will love it too!
For more on my fabulous journey to India, check out the video I put together!
My November trip to South America was one of the best yet and Patagonia was by far the most beautiful place I have ever seen! There are so many incredible things to do and see in the area, not to mention some incredible hotels! Check out the highlights of my trip, and stay with me until the end where I have finally posted the video!
We arrived in Santiago, Chile where we checked into the beautiful Singular Hotel, located right in the Lastarria neighborhood. Art, film, design, dining and music encompass this area of Santiago. The location is great for walking around and exploring the city. The highlight of our city tour was the incredible restaurant we discovered. DO NOT miss going to Bocanariz – its not often that I repeat restaurants when I travel, but this place was so good that we went twice during our 2 nights in the city!
Another highlight was our day trip out to the wine region. We spent the morning touring and drinking at Matetic Winery and had lunch at their restaurant. This area is so incredible beautiful and we could have (and wished we had) spent a couple of days out here!
Per the recommendation of my colleagues, we decided to spent a few days on the Chile and Argentina side of Patagonia and I would highly recommend doing both, as they are actually quite different!
Now I am going to make a bold statement here and say that our hotel here in Puerto Natalas was the most incredible hotel I have ever experienced. Do whatever it takes to stay at the Singular Patagonia – it will change your life! The hotel was built from an old meat packing factory, and so much of the original charm still exists. Its a wild mix of old and modern, with every room overlooking the incredible lake and mountains. We got to stay here for 3 nights while we explored Torres Del Paine National Park. In an ideal world, I would recommend a couple nights here, and then a couple nights in the Park, as it is a long drive to get to the park, and then more driving once you are inside.
We were unlucky with the weather during our time here, so we ended up hiking in the rain one day, but our private guide made the experience SO incredible! He took us all over the park and showed us so many highlights and amazing lookout points, with surprises along the way – soup when we got back in the van, hot chocolate, and even a picnic with wine and cheese once the rain stopped.
Its a long drive (6 hours) from the Chile side to the Argentina side, but its completely worth it! The drive itself is incredibly scenic and it flies by! While the Chile side is known for Torres Del Paine, Argentina is known for the glaciers!
Our hotel was very quant, on a big piece of land close to the heart of the city. Each room at Los Sauces is located within its own small house on the property, with 2 restaurants and lots of land to walk around. What I loved most about this hotel was its proximity to the town. When in Chile, there wasnt much to do outside of the hotel, but El Calafate is a bustling tourist town. We enjoyed walking from our hotel and exploring the town. Dont miss Pura Vida restaurant right in the heart of town. We also ate twice at our hotel, where they have a traditional Argentine BBQ and the chef will recommend and prepare whatever kind of meat you could ever want!
We spent the first day checking out the Perito Moreno glacier. A short boat ride brings you in front of the glacier, and then you disembark, put spikes on your shoes and them walk on top of it! It was incredible to see all the nooks and water on the ice. We ended the walk with a shot of whisky served over glacier ice, and a nice cold glass of glacier water! YUM!!
On our second day, we were picked up and taken to local farm, where we got to ride horses, view the glacier, and have a traditional BBQ on the trail. It was definitely a highlight of the trip, and a great way to end our time in Patagonia. With our trip winding down, we had a few days to look forward to in Buenos Aires!
Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Park Hyatt was the perfect hotel and location to stay in the city. We spent the afternoon walking around the city, and then prepared for a Tango Show later that night. We were seated right by the stage! Gala Tango was amazing – we loved the show and the food was incredible! We even got to learn how to do the tango steps. It was a small venue and we felt like VIPs!
Then next day we went on a tour of the city with the most incredible guide! We had a GREAT time on this city tour. Our guide was exactly what we would hope for in a tour guide. She was knowledgeable, engaging, had a ton of interesting facts and stories and made the afternoon so much fun for us. She took us to places she knew we would enjoy and even helped us with a photography project we were working on. She took us to some great local places and had a wonderful lunch with us. She was personal and funny and passionate about her city. We learned a lot about the interesting history and politics of Argentina. She even stayed overtime with us to ensure we got to see the Cemetery, which is definitely a must see!
It was a great trip from start to finish! Check out the video to see some of the amazing experiences we had in South America! I cant wait to go back again one day!