Top 10 Incredible Things To Do in Cairns

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Cairns, which is typically referred to as the “Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef” is an absolute must-see destination in Australia.  I spent five full days exploring Cairns, and could have easily stayed another week or two.  When you walk along the city streets, you’ll see countless travel agents selling a variety of different trips and activities, but these are the top 10 things to do in Cairns.

1 ) Helicopter Ride over the Great Barrier Reef

When I was planning my trip to Cairns, a friend of mine told me that I had to do a helicopter ride over the Great Barrier Reef.  Well, I took his advice and I had the most incredible experience.  You simply can’t appreciate the beauty and magnitude of this place until you’ve seen it from above.  I took a 30-minute scenic flight with Nautilis Aviation, and would highly recommend them.  If you can, try to snag the seat in the front!

2 )  Full-Day Scuba-Diving / Snorkeling Trips to the Great Barrier Reef

This is probably the single-most important thing to do while visiting Cairns.  You need to get out to one of the reefs and experience the beautiful coral, fish, and scenery.  You can read all about my experience snorkeling the Great-Barrier Reef, and go from there.  The main three reefs are Moore, Green Island, and Fitzroy Island.  I did the full-day trip to the outer reef of Moore Island with Sunlover Cruises and had an awesome day.  Great ship, friendly staff, and beautiful scenery!

3 )  Explore The Esplanade & City By Night

Cairns is not a very big city, but walking around at night is so much fun!  You can head down to the lagoon for a night swim, or just stroll past the massive trees that are lit up so perfect.  I personally think the lagoon is one of the most interesting parts about Cairns.  It almost looks like it’s a 5* Resort with a massive infinity pool, but it’s just the public pool for locals and tourists to enjoy.

4 )  Kuranda Scenic Railway & Skyrail

A visit to the old town of Kuranda is a must while visiting Cairns.  You can either rent a car and drive up there yourself (which is a pretty great drive), or you can opt-in for the full-day trip with the scenic railway and round-trip skyrail pass.  These prices can add up to around $150, but the views really are amazing.  If you book it with a package, you could probably score a discount.  Make sure you also check out the little market in Kuranda, and take some photos of Barron Falls!

5 )  Captain Cook Highway to Port Douglas

When it comes to scenic drives in Australia, I feel like the list would be never-ending.  With that being said, the drive from Cairns – Port Douglas is simply stunning, and it should not be missed!  The coastline is just so massive, and it reminded me of Hawaii.  You will truly understand the meaning behind the slogan, “Where The Rainforest Meets the Ocean”.

6 )  Mossman Grove

This rainforest is just a short 20-3o minute drive further north from Port Douglas, and it really is stunning!  While during my visit there it started raining within 5 minutes and forced us to leave a bit early, I really enjoyed the visit.  You have to park your car down in the lot, and then take a $10 shuttle bus up to the rainforest, but it’s definitely worth it!

7 )  The Cairns Botanical Gardens

This is free to enter, and absolutely awesome.  Beautiful trees, forest walks, and vibrant butterflies are a few things to expect during your visit.  You could easily spend a few hours here just getting lost in the nearby rainforests.

8 )  Fitzroy Island Relaxation

If you’ve got some spare time, then take the ferry over to Fitzroy Island for the day.  The beach is the perfect place to relax all day, watch the sunset (if you stay overnight), and so some snorkeling!

9 )  Barron Falls 

Located in Kuranda, this beautiful waterfall is massive and breathtaking.  It’s just a brief 10-minute walk from the carpark, and is a perfect photo opportunity that only takes about 30 minutes or less to experience.  When I visited the waterfall wasn’t flowing that heavt, but it was still worth the visit.

10 )  Daintree Rainforest & Cape Tribulation

While it may be a bit further away from Cairns, a trip up to Cape Tribulation definitely needs to be discussed when it comes to top things to do in Cairns.  It’s one of the highlights of visiting the east coast of Australia, and you can’t miss out.

Dreaming of my next beach getaway. ? #beachvibes #beachlover #capetribulation

A photo posted by Kansas Girl Travels World (@kansasgirltravelsworld) on


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Top 5 Tips To Suceed During Studying Abroad in Europe

Studying abroad was hands down the best decision of my entire life.  Why?  Well, because it changed my entire future of course!  I never really had a strong passion for international travel or seeing the world, but after spending 4 months in Rome, Italy — I knew that my life would never be the same.  I was able to travel to some of the most beautiful places in Europe, and meet some incredible people from different parts of the world.

My experiences during my semester abroad changed my life, and I want to inspire people to do the same!

 1)  Take an easy-work load

One of my biggest mistakes when I studied abroad was taking a very heavy class load during the semester.  I was taking 16 units, and it was so hard to keep up with all the homework.  The program I went there actually required everyone to take that many units, so I guess I didn’t really have a choice.  So if you have the option, try to take electives / easier classes, and don’t overdo it.  Studying abroad is more about your TIME abroad, and less about the studying aspect, haha.  If things ever get bad though, you can always pay for an academic writing service, which isn’t too bad of an idea.

2)  Maximize Absences

In each study abroad program, the classes will most likely only give you a certain amount allowed days to miss class.  At my school, you could ONLY miss three, and then you would drop a letter grade / immediate fail for anything more than that.  Take advantage of those, because you’ll need those Mondays & Thursday off to possibly book cheaper flights on RyanAir & EasyJet.

I would also strongly suggest not taking any classes on Fridays!  That is very important.

3)  Travel As Much as Possible

Europe is one of the easiest and best continents to travel through, and I think traveling while your young is one of the most important things in the world.  Studying abroad is all about the places you go, the people you meet, and all the new experiences you have.  Trust me — take this advice, and travel as many weekends as you possibly can.  When it comes to your spring / fall break, don’t just go to one country and lay on a beach.  Try to explore a few different countries, stay in hostels, and go party it up with some locals!  Which perfectly brings me to my next point…

4)  Make Local Friends

I can’t stress this enough — you’re living abroad, and you absolutely must make some local friends!  I’ve worked in the study abroad industry for a couple years now, and it always makes me sad when I see groups of American students only spend time and travel with fellow Americans.  While you can make some amazing friendships with your study abroad crew, don’t miss the opportunity to forge some international friendships as well.

5 )  Take Pictures

This one is probably obvious, but I honestly wish I had taken more pictures during my study abroad semester.  I do have quite a bit, but they are all terrible quality and I’m left with very few souvenirs from my semester abroad.  Bring a decent camera or even a high-quality smart phone, and document your travels.  Maybe even start a blog (something I wish I had done during my semester in Rome).  So travel, take pictures, and explore the world!


There you have it!  While this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to studying abroad, these are my top 5 tips for making the most of your semester in Europe.

Heading on a study abroad soon?  Feel free to comment below or shoot me an email with any questions!!

The Highlights of 26 Months Traveling & Living Around The World

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I’m currently 40,000 feet above earth flying from Brussels to Philadelphia.

I’m about three glasses of red wine deep, and it’s bringing out some serious emotions.

HOLY SHIT…I’M GOING HOME…

For those who haven’t been following along for that long, I haven’t been in America since June 2014.  That’s right — it’s been over 26 months since I’ve been stateside.  While that may not be too long for some travel blogging nomads I know – it’s a very long time for this guy.   

It’s pretty crazy for me to think about everything that has happened in the past couple years, and all the fantastic people I’ve had the pleasure to spend time with.  

Not to be too cliche — but the past two years of travel and living abroad have shaped me into the man I am today.  I’ve learned so much about the world, and what I want for my future.  

I’ve established goals, discovered new passions, and have realized that ambition is key to a successful life.  

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While my future plans are still somewhat up in the air –  I have a much more clear idea about the type of life I want to live.

As one of my favorite travel quote says:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.   – Mark Twain


I’ve pursed my dreams of traveling the world while I’m young….

I may not have a fancy car, a wardrobe full of designer clothes, or own any property…

But I’m filthy rich in life experience.


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So I’m going to utilize this flight to write down some of my most memorable travel highlights and achievements from the past 26 months of traveling, studying, working, and living abroad. 

I’m writing this post not only as a fun recap, but as a personal memoir to to reflect on these life-changing experiences.


To give you a general idea of where I’ve been, here’s the basic timeline:

June – August 2014 – Summer in Barcelona/ European Travels

September 2014-2015 – Full year backpacking around Asia

September 2015 – May 2016 – Life in Sydney

June 2016 – Singapore & Sri Lanka

July + August 2016 – Back to Europe / Balkans / Flight Home


So without further ado…let’s take a quick look and reminisce at the past couple years of my life…

#JONESAROUNDTHEWORLD


 Summertime in Barcelona

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Since I decided to complete my Master’s Degree online, it meant that I could choose to study anywhere in the world.  Well, when my backpacking trip to South America got cancelled, I immediately knew where I wanted to go.

On June 5th, 2014 — I flew on a one-way ticket to my favorite city in the world: Barcelona, Spain. 

This was the beginning of this epic 26 month adventure.  I spent 2.5 months in Barcelona, and had some of the craziest and most unforgettable moments of my life.  

Barcelona is known for it’s exceptional nightlife, so I was a tad bit worried about balancing my studies and my love for quality techno — but I managed to get straight A’s in my classes, and had the time of my life with some really awesome people. 

I’ve lived in Barcelona for two different summer seasons now (2012 & 2014), and I can confidently say it is the one of the best places in the world during this time of the year.  The amazing food, vibrant culture, and insane nightlife will always keep me coming back for more.

NOS VEMOS, BARCA


Sonus Music Festival

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After a very hectic “goodbye week” in Spain, I made my way over to Croatia to hit up one of the better music festivals I’ve ever attended.

SONUS exceeded all of my expectations.  The music was simply incomparable to any other festival I had experienced, the location on Pag island was stunning, and I spent the week with two of my best Dutch friends from Eindhoven (De Gekste!).    

Dank u wel Joost & Stijn.  Looking forward to our next reunion!    

Besides a lost iPhone and damaged liver – it was the perfect ending to my summer in Europe.


Launching This Website in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

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First off — I actually didn’t even really care to visit Sri Lanka.

The only reason I flew there was because I was maximizing my United Airlines miles I obtained through savvy “travel-hacking”.  But I’m so glad I did, because Sri Lanka has now become one of my favorite countries to travel through.

During this first trip to Sri Lanka, I spent about 10 full days in Arugam Bay, and it was the first time I truly felt like a long-term solo traveler.  I stayed at this place called The Beach Hut (an absolute must for anyone traveling to A-Bay), and this is where I launched Jones Around The World

I had been preparing to do so for awhile, and finally got around to it.  This was almost two years ago now, and I can’t believe how far this blog has come. 

I had no idea what I was doing when I started blogging, but starting this website marked the beginning of a completely separate journey. 


One Month Exploring Bali & The Gili Islands

Bali life is the good life. #potatohead #beachclub #seminyak #Indonesia

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

I made it back to South-East Asia — and the first stop was Bali, Indonesia. 

This month was seriously awesome.  Not only did I get the chance to meet-up with some family, but I had such a blast exploring new parts of Bali and Gili Trawangan.  

It was also great that one of my friends that I met in Vietnam decided to fly all the way out from Hawaii to travel with me for a few weeks!  Shoutout to Elaine!   

From the moto explorations of Bali, the booze cruises and sunsets on Gili Trawangan, and the awesome fellow backpackers I had the pleasure of meeting — this month in Indonesia definitely had to be included in my travel highlights. 

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Becoming an Honorary Kuala Lumpur Expat

During my first trip to South-East Asia, I had the pleasure of meeting an extremely friendly Kiwi girl named Danielle, and older Aussie bloke named Hutchy.  I met them while backpacking in Langkawi, and I had no idea that meeting them would have such a drastic impact on my future. 

Because of these random travel friendships — I was able to see a completely different side of Kuala Lumpur, and I got the opportunity to become friends with a solid group of expats from all over the world. 

In the past two years, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Kuala Lumpur, and while I may have never had a full-time job there, I do feel like I became an honorary expat. 

To my KL / Regalia crew — thanks for all the good times, the poker games, and the mojito nights.

Water & Lights show at KLCC

Water & Lights show at KLCC


Wonderfruit Music Festival

Yoga Bass during the sunset during Wonderfruit day 2. What an awesome experience. Namaste.

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

I haven’t attended many music festivals in Asia, but I would defintely say that Wonderfruit is hands down one of the best parties you can find in the region. 

The vibe, the venue, the food, the people — everything was just perfect. 

Shoutout to Jesse & Scott for being absolute legends.  I’ll be seeing you lads out in Bangkok soon enough I’m sure!  

You can read my full Wonderfruit Review to get a better idea of what I experienced.


Christmas on Koh Tao

The idea of spending Christmas on a tropical island may sound a bit strange, but it was such an incredible experience.

The backpacking culture is very alive and vibrant on Koh Tao, and it was awesome to meet and party with some awesome people from all over the world, as well as be with one of my best friends Cathy on Christmas day!  If you ever get the chance to spend the holidays in Thailand, I would highly recommend it!

If I close my eyes, I can picture myself back there watching the sunset, with a beer in my hand and a santa hat on. 


NYE Full Moon Party & Jungle Rave Shenanigans on Koh Phangan

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Ohh, Koh Phangan – where do I even begin…?

I actually attended two different Full Moon Parties during my first trip to South-East Asia, so I definitely knew what I was getting myself into this time around. 

New Years Eve on Koh Phangan was absolutely mental, and while I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing the NYE Full Moon Party – I am glad I experienced it for myself. 

This was one week full of neon colors, buckets of Thai whiskey, and dancing until the sun comes up with a global mix of friendly strangers.

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Purchasing My First DSLR 

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If you ask me now…when I really started being a travel blogger — I would tell you it was when I bought my first DSLR camera. 

niI spent a couple days researching the “best DSLR for beginners”, and the top result always seemed to come back to the Nikon D3300 

So I treated myself to an early birthday present — and shelled out close to $500 to purchase this bad boy.

I’ll be honest — I had no idea how to use this camera at first, but I knew that photography was something I wanted to get into, and did my best to learn how to use my new camera.

Looking back on my photos from my first few months of having it, I’m horrified about how truly awful I was.

Travel photography has become a passion of mine, and I’m looking forward to purchasing some advanced camera gear and improving my skills.  

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Chinese New Year in Hong Kong

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I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again — Hong Kong is one of the most vibrant cities in the entire world.

I found a $42 flight from KL – HK, and couldn’t wait to visit a new city during their biggest holiday of the year.  

It might have been ridiculously expensive week, but I think it was worth every penny.  The firework show was quite impressive, the Hong Kong Pub Crawl was a blast, and crossing off Hong Kong Disneyland (being from Anaheim) needed to be done.

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Backpacking The Philippines.  The best month of my life…? 

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I spent one month in the Philippines, and I have nothing but the fondest memories of those 30 days.  I really do think it’s the most beautiful country in South-East Asia, and the entire trip just went so perfectly. 

My Philippines Itinerary article is one of my most read blog posts, and it’s been amazing to help people plan their travels throughout the country.  I regularly receive comments, emails, and messages from people who are about to embark on a trip there, and I’m so glad that information that I have written has made a difference in their travels.

From the amazing island hopping experiences in Palawan, swimming with whale sharks in Cebu, and partying it up in Boracay – this was a month that I will never forget.

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Master’s Degree = Completed

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Most people thought I was crazy to travel the world while simultaneously studying for my Master’s Degree — but I realized is that all you need is a little bit of time management and responsibility, and handling the workload was completely possible.

After about 1.5 years — I finally finished my Master’s Degree in Business Management & Leadership.

I can’t even begin to explain how good of a feeling that was.  I submitted my final assignment in El Nido, Palawan — and celebrated by partying on a private island in the middle of this gorgeous archipelago. 

Don’t know how many other people can say they’ve experienced something like that before…


Loving Life in L-A-O-S

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When I think back on all of my travels through South-East Asia — Laos was easily the most surprising country of them all.

I have no idea why it took me so long to travel through Laos, but the experiences I had in this country were some of the most memorable.  

From relaxing on the 4000 Islands, waterfall explorations through the Bolaven Plateau, and the tubing madness in Vang Vieng — backpacking Laos was almost too much fun.

I also had the pleasure of traveling the country with two really amazing English girls!  Shoutout to Meg & Eliza for an incredible time!  Can’t wait to see you guys again sometime…


One Month in Chiang Mai & Songkran Water Festival

In the travel-blogging / digital nomad community, renting an apartment in Chiang Mai is extremely popular — and I wanted to experience what everyone else was talking about. 

So I found myself a nice studio apartment on AirBNB for $280 U.S.D for the month, and decided to slow down my travels a bit.  I had been on-the-go for quite awhile at this point, and was in desperate need of some rest & relaxation.

It started off with one of my all-time favorite travel experiences: SONGKRAN water festival.  This was just 3-days of epic madness running through the streets of Chiang Mai armed with a water gun.  Check out my Songkran Video below, to get a better understanding. 


Moto Ride from Chiang Mai – Pai

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While most people opt to take the $5 bus through the winding mountains of Northern Thailand, I knew renting a moto was going to be the best way to get to Pai.

Thanks to the power of Facebook, I met an awesome Aussie bloke to make this journey with, and even picked up a fellow backpacker on the road.  Shoutout to Damo & Ilona!  🙂

Everyone loves to talk about how amazing Pai is, and I finally understood what all the hype was about.  There’s tons of incredible things to do in Pai, the food is delicious (and cheap), and the nightlife is surprisingly hectic! 

It’s one of those destinations where you plan on staying two days, and end up staying two months.  I could easily see myself moving to Pai sometime in the future. 


The Paradise Lifestyle on Gili Trawangan

My favorite island in the world…

After a quick return visit to Bali with a friend from California, I decided that living on Gili Trawangan was something I desperately wanted to experience.

So I managed to land a job at the main party hostel on the island called Gili Backpackers.  This place is actually now called Gili Castle, as the island government made the decision to ban all hostels.  

I fell in love with the paradise lifestyle on Gili T.  I was constantly surrounded by wonderful people from around the world, going on epic booze cruises, and showing people around the nightlife hotspots. 

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My days were filled with swimming alongside turtles in perfectly blue waters, and my nights were filled with pub crawls and Joss shots. 

I even got a job offer to stay and work as a bar promoter as well as sell tickets for the booze cruise, but the time had come for me to leave.  I definitely wasn’t ready to go, but my time living on Gili Trawangan was absolutely perfect.  

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Sailing Through Komodo National Park

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This four day trip sailing from Lombok to Flores was easily one of my favorite things I’ve done in South-East Asia. 

The trip was jam-packed with idyllic islands, unbelievable snorkeling, and gorgeous sunsets.  I was also very lucky to share this experience with a stellar group of people from a dozen different countries.

If you ever get a chance to visit Indonesia — exploring Komodo National Park should be a top priority!

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Malaysian Island Adventures

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After returning back to Kuala Lumpur from an epic 2 months in Indonesia — it was time for me to actually explore more of Malaysia.

I spent almost two full months exploring the Perhentian Islands, Pulau Kapas, Tioman Island, and Langkawi.

This was when I truly fell in love with Malaysia.  I was constantly left stunned by it’s natural beauty, the delicious food, friendly culture, and budget travel options.  

I really do think Malaysia is the most underrated country in the South-East Asia.  

During this time was also when I decided to buy my Working Holiday Visa for Australia – probably the most influential decision of my life…

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Paradise…


California Visits

When two of my friends from high-school messaged me on Facebook asking to join me out in South-East Asia, I was so stoked to travel with them for a bit.

I spent two weeks with Rashad in Bali and the Gili Islands, and spent about one week with Gina in Kuala Lumpur & Langkawi.  It had been a long time since I had seen both of these awesome individuals, and we have some pretty epic travel stories together now.

Thanks for the visit guys.  We’ll definitely have to make traveling together a bigger priority!  I know that neither of you guys like long-haul flights, but I promise i’ll make it worth it.

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Moving to Australia & Getting Settled in Sydney

Cheers!

Cheers mate!

To be honest — my life was kind of a mess when I initially moved to Sydney.

I had been traveling for so long at this point, finances were running extremely low, and I was just a bit of a wreck.  I didn’t have any decent clothes, was nervous about finding work, and made this huge life decision to move to another country.

I tried not to let it show, but I was dealing with quite a bit of stress.  It really took me awhile to get settled in Sydney, but I think that’s normal for anyone who just spent over a  year backpacking around Asia.

If it weren’t for the generosity of my mate Ed, and the Ferguson family, who let me stay at their house for the first 5 weeks I was in Sydney — I honestly don’t know what I would have done.

I started making decent money, found an affordable house to live in, and finally felt settled in Sydney.  I paid off my debt, was able to save money by utilizing websites like OZCodes, and started to feel like I was getting my life together…

I was no longer a backpacking nomad.  I found a home.  While my plans to move back to Sydney have been unexpectedly postponed, I know I’ll find myself living there again in the near future.

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There’s no place like home…


Halloween Forest Raving

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Being American — Halloween is a pretty big deal to me.  

Fortunately, the Sydney squad all rallied together, and we made the journey to a secret location for one epic party called The Afterlife.  

It was the first music event I attended in Australia, and was also the start of a beautiful festival squad.  We were missing a few key members, but we definitely made up for it at future events.  

Read my full Afterlife Event Review for a better idea of what this experience was like.    

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My First Press Trip as a Travel Blogger — INDONESIA

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I had been blogging for a little bit over a year and hadn’t really made too much money or gotten anything in return for all my hard work…

This website was started purely for hobby purposes, but it’s been really cool to see Jones Around The World grow into something much bigger. 

This was an all-expenses paid trip to Bali, Lombok, and Komodo National Park.  The trip was hectic to say the least, but it was such a solid experience with a wonderful group of fellow travel bloggers.  

If you guys are reading this — thanks for an epic trip everyone!  Was a pleasure traveling with you, and looking forward to our next press trip together! 

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New Years Eve Celebrations in Sydney

Since it was my first New Years Eve in Sydney, I knew that I had to check out the legendary firework display over Sydney Harbour.

So I joined my friends Ellie & Kenny (who were visiting from KL), and cruised out to the park at Mrs. Macquaries Chair.  It was a long day of eating, drinking, and taking photos.

We were all a bit surprised they packed in so many people into this small area to watch the fireworks, and didn’t really provide any entertainment.  But I will say that the firework display was the best I have ever seen.

Field Day

There’s no better way to start the year off right then to hit up an outdoor music festival in downtown Sydney.

We got the whole squad, looking good in our tye dye, and had one epic day dancing to Golden Features, Boys Noize, and Disclosure.

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The House of Shifting Sands

Rent prices in Sydney can get pretty ridiculous at times, so when I was offered a room in a house in Randwick for only 180 per week — I quickly accepted.  When I initially moved in, I was actually only supposed to stay for 3-4 weeks, but the tenant who was supposed to take the room no longer could.

Living in this house was one of the best aspects of my life in Sydney.  It was affordable, it was comfortable, and the house had such an amazing vibe.

But the only way to describe this house is — Organized Chaos

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Why?  Well, because we had a total of 9 people living in that one house.  We had 7 people sleeping in rooms, and 2 extras who used the house but slept in a tent outside, and a car in the driveway.  While it may have been slightly inconvenient, messy, and chaotic at times — it worked for us.

Everyone in the house got along really well, and had a few really epic family parties.  🙂

It was called the “House of Shifting Sands”, because there are always people coming and going, and moving out / moving in.  I’m sad to share that this house is no longer being leased by old my roommates, but I was so glad I got to share that house with them all.

Special shoutout to Tim, Kylie, Niels, Aidan, Rene, Daphne, Jarrod, Giorgia, Ben, Alistair, and Dennis!


The Yacht Social Club

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“Sydney Harbour Is Our Playground”

When it comes to last-minute decisions I made while in Sydney, this might have been the absolute best one.  The location, the music, and the atmosphere is unlike any other party in city.

But that should be expected, right?

Yacht Party in Sydney Harbour?  Yeah…count me in.

Read my full review of The Yacht Social Club, and I guarantee you’ll be adding it to your bucket list.


Buy Tickets for the 2016 / 2017 Season


Joining the GoPro Family

When you grab the attention of a company as big as GoPro, you know you’re doing something right.  I was so stoked to receive the invitation to join the GoPro family.  Having just recently attended their Launch event for the Hero5 and GoPro Karma, I’m excited to continue to use their amazing products are produce some stellar content.  #BeAHero

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Return to Rio

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Looking back on my time living in Sydney, I would have to say that my weekend of camping and dancing at Return to Rio was hands down my favorite weekend in Australia.

Not only did I hear some of the best music I’ve ever heard (DIXON crushed it), but I met some of the coolest people there.  The atmosphere at Return to Rio is hard to explain…I guess you just have to experience it for yourself.

The next Return to Rio is happening in November 11-13, and I’m seriously contemplating flying all the way back to Sydney just so I don’t miss it.  It was THAT much fun.  I’ll be rocking my Zebra Onesie when I get back…

Read my full Return to Rio review to get a better understanding.


#TuneSquad at Groovin The Moo

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This was the last music festival I attended while living in Sydney, and it was definitely good fun.

While there were a lot of aspects of Groovin The Moo I didn’t really enjoy – our squad totally crushed it with our festival gear.

Amazing day of dancing with good friends to quality tunes.  Safia, Golden Features, and Alison Wonderland played incredible sets.

TUNESQUAD–ASSMEBLE


Love & Loss in Sydney

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When it comes to dating – traveling had always kind of inhibited any type of long-term relationship.  But since I was living and working full-time in Sydney, I was able to start seeing someone.  While this relationship had turned into something quite serious, it has recently ended in a rather unexpected, immature, and shocking fashion.  These things happen though, and I’ve learned the hard way that people aren’t always what they seem to be.

As the saying goes…

“Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

But sometimes I’m not too sure about that…


Sydney Going Away Party

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Was a bloody ripper mate…

I’ve always enjoyed throwing house parties, and my going away function in Sydney was one hell of a party.  It was great to get all my Sydney mates together in one place, and spend one final evening of debauchery with some of my favorite people in the world.

I hate goodbyes…but I’m already looking forward to my “welcome back” party.  🙂


Singapore in Style

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The first stop on my summer travels was the beautiful city / country of Singapore.

I had visited a couple times before, but this was the first Singapore visit with my DSLR — so I spent 3 whole days running around the city taking pictures of absolutely everything.

I gotta say– I think I got some pretty epic shots.

I was also hosted by the amazing Westin Singapore hotel during my stay, and lived it up in pure luxury.

Was the perfect beginning to my summer travels…

I also bought a new MacBook Pro at the Singapore Airport – which was desperately needed.

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June in Sri Lanka + #TBCAsia

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Sri Lanka was the first country I ever felt like a true “solo traveler”, and as previously mentioned, was where I launched Jones Around The World.

So when I got invited to be a hosted blogger for TBC Asia, I could not have been more stoked to return to where it all began.

I spent the entire month of June traveling around this stunning country, and I feel like I could have easily stayed another month or two.

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Read all about my Sri Lanka adventures:

Attending my first Travel Blogging Conference was definitely the highlight of this month though.  It was incredible to meet and travel with some awesome fellow bloggers!  I learned quite a bit, and left the country feeling inspired to achieve much more when it comes to this site.

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Photographing Paris

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Paris is a city I have visited on numerous occasions during my time working as a European travel guide, but I was excited to get back for a repeat visit to take photos of absolutely everything.

Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world, and there’s a reason for that.  It really is a gorgeous place, and I had a solid 3-day stay running around the city.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have the best weather when I was there, but I still managed to get some cool shots.

I stayed at an amazing hostel called Les Piaules, and enjoyed a nightly glass of wine on the rooftop terrace overlooking the city.

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Balaton Sound

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If you haven’t already, make sure you check out my article on why I think Balaton Sound is the best music festival I’ve ever attended.

I only went because I knew I needed to get out to Eastern Europe, and found a flight to Budapest for 40 euro the day the festival began.  So I applied for the press accreditation (after the deadline has passed), and received the amazing news that my application had been approved.  This last-minute trip was slowly coming together.

The issue then was that I had no friends to go party with, and no where to stay – but thanks to the power of Facebook, I got lucky and found an open spot with some truly incredible people.  They welcomed me into their little rave family with open arms, and we had such a solid time partying it up at the beautiful Lake Balaton.

Shoutout to Baywatch Crew!

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Exploring Budapest + Belgrade

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After an intense week of partying at Balaton Sound, I was looking forward to a bit of relaxation — but there is little down-time in the life of a travel blogger.  I spent the week re-discovering my love for Budapest, and then taking a night-bus down to Serbia.

Budapest – It definitely is one of my favorite cities in the world.  There’s so much to explore, delicious food (and beer), and it’s very cheap.

Belgrade

 I wasn’t too happy about my time spent in Belgrade.  I had awful weather the entire time I was there (mid-July), and the city just felt a little bleehhhh.  I did find some delicious food, and learned a bit about the city – but I do think I need to head back to the city again.  I had heard so many great things about this city, and I’m not quite sure what I missed.

Apparently Belgrade has some of the best nightlife in the Balkans, but I was still detoxing from the epic bender that was Balaton Sound.

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Three Week Balkan Road Trip

I honestly don’t even know where to begin…

The Balkans has been a region I’ve been dying to travel through for years now, and this road trip completely exceeded all my expectations.

I joined forces with two other travel bloggers, the devilishly handsome Dan Flying Solo and the ridiciously fun Lili’s Travel Plans, and we hit the road traveling through Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, and Greece.

Randomly enough, I had actually never even met them before this trip.  I think we all took a gamble to embark on this three-week road trip with strangers met through the internet, but it ended up working out perfectly, and I couldn’t have asked for better company.

The entire trip was jam-packed with beautiful sights, friendly people, and scenic drives.  I fell in love with the Balkans, and can’t wait to explore more of the area in the future.  🙂


BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA

Beautiful bridges, winding roads, and stunning landscape were three of the highlights of this amazing country.  Road tripping through Sarajevo, Konjic, various lakes and viewpoints, and Mostar.  This country was constantly surprising me.

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MONTENEGRO

This was definitely the country I was looking forward to the most.

Before visiting Montenegro, I had only really heard about the Bay of Kotor though, so everything else we saw was an added bonus.

Durmitor National Park was hands down my favorite aspect of traveling through Montenegro.

We got our car sorted all thanks to AutoEurope  and was left speechless while we drove through and marveled at the natural mountainous beauty.

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ALBANIA

I’ll be honest – the main reason I was looking forward to traveling through Albania was because I had heard it is one of the cheapest countries in Europe.

Albania completely blew me away.

We spent around 9-10 days going through Albania.  The highlights were Lake Komani, Berat, and driving along the entire coast of the Albanian Riviera.

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CORFU, GREECE

We all made our way down to Corfu because the flights were so much cheaper leaving from Greece.  I wasn’t even planning on exploring the island, because I had been to Corfu a couple times before…but WOW.

Corfu is absolutely gorgeous.  It’s a pretty massive island, and me and Lili spent two full days driving around the island checking out the best beaches and view points.

Oh…and the food.  I could easily live off of Greek food for the rest of my life.

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Flying Back Home

Over 2 Years and 2 Months.

Total:  805 Days…

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That’s me overlooking my hometown of Yorba Linda

The time had finally come to make my way back to Southern-California (where I’m currently writing the end of this blog post).  I’ll admit that it felt a bit strange at first, but now I’m thoroughly enjoying my time catching up with friends and family, eating In-N-Out, and saving up money for whatever adventures come next.

I’ve got some really exciting options for the next year or two, so I guess I’m just currently waiting to see how a few opportunities work out.


So to wrap up this massive 5000+ word blog post, I just want to give a massive shoutout to everyone I had the pleasure of spending time with these past couple years abroad.  You’ve all had an impact on my life in one way or another, and I’ll never forget all the incredible adventures we’ve shared.

Traveling is truly about the people you meet while on the road, and I’ve been fortunate to forge friendships with some fantastic people from all over the world.

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Love you guys!


THANKS FOR READING!


Follow my adventures Around The World on FacebookInstagram, Twitter 

& Add Me On Snapchat: — JonesATW

Top 10 Amazing Things To Do in Arugam Bay

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Arugam Bay is hands down my favorite place in all of Sri Lanka.  

During my first visit to the country, I ended up staying here for 10 days, and fell in love with the laid-back atmosphere.  It’s a small town with just one main street of shops, restaurants, and surfboard rentals, but that is what makes it so charming.  People come for the surfing and the legendary beach parties, but they stay for the amazing A-Bay vibe.

I just finished my second visit there, and had an amazing time — and these are my top 10 amazing things to do in Arugam Bay.

 Just be careful, if you’re heading that way, you might find yourself staying there much longer than expected.

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1 )Surfing

Alright, let’s start with the really obvious one.  Arugam Bay is one of the world’s top surfing destinations, so if you go all the way out there and don’t at least try to go surfing — then you’ve made a huge mistake.

There are three main surfing spots to choose from:

Main Point:  this is the surf spot actually located in Arugam Bay.  Every morning you’ll see dozens of surfers out there catching some quality waves.  This is recommended more for intermediate to advanced surfers.

Whiskey Point:  About a 15 minute drive from Arugam Bay is this famous surf spot.  It’s a really beautiful beach as well, and can provide some excellent waves for beginner surfers.  You’ll also notice heaps of people on surfing lessons.

Peanut Farm:  About 25 minutes from Arugam Bay is this awesome tucked away beach / surf spot.  Very popular, and highly recommend.

Tuk-Tuk rides are around 500 rupees one-way to Whiskey Point & Peanut Farm.  I’d look into renting your own tuk-tuk, and splittng the cost with people.  It’ll be cheaper and more fun.

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2 ) Yoga

I feel like surfing destinations always seem to be yoga destinations as well, and Arugam Bay is no exception.  When you’re walking up and down the main street, you’ll see that there are tons of yoga places.  It’s a great way to start the day, get some exercise, and relax a bit.

I joined a couple classes at the Stardust Beach Hotel my first visit, and had a great session.  Definitely worth checking out, and it’s also a nice place to stay if you’re looking for accommodation.

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3 ) Rent a Moto

This is one of my favorite things to do while traveling around Asia.  I love the feeling you get when you’re exploring on a scooter.  The roads around Arugam Bay are excellent, and there’s some really beautiful stuff to see.  My advice would just be to drive down Panama & Kumana National Park.

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4 ) Beach Days

Arugam Bay is a beautiful and long beach that is perfect just to chill at all day.  Grab a book, a fresh coconut, and a towel — you’re not going to want to move.  Take a dip in the ocean, play some beach volleyball, or just work on your tan.

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5 ) Panama Tank

Driving through the Panama Tank on a moto is an absolute must.  It’s a short 15-20 minute ride from Arugam Bay, and there’s basically just one path to drive along and explore.  The landscape is stunning and perfect for taking photos, and you’ll probably see a few crocodiles.

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6 ) Kumana National Park

You’ll see signs all over Arugam Bay for booking a Kumana safari.  This is in Yala East, so it’s definitely recommended if you haven’t done any safaris in Sri Lanka.  You’ll see heaps of elephants, and if you’re lucky can spot a leopard.  Sri Lankan is known for having beautiful and great safari experiences, so definitely look into it.  Should cost around $30-$35 U.S.D

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7 ) Whiskey Point Friday Nights

Arugam Bay is also the main party destination in Sri Lanka, and Friday nights at Whiskey Point should not be missed.  Beautiful people at a beautiful location, great music, and lots of dancing.  Once the arrack starts pouring, you’ll be glad you went.

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8 ) Mambo’s Saturday Nights

The legendary weekly beach party at Mambos’ is an absolute must for anyone visiting Arugam Bay.  It’s honestly so much fun, and was one of the highlight’s of my time in the country.  I’ve been three different times now, and each time was a solid night.

The music basically doesn’t stop until everyone leaves, and the hard-core party people always make it to the sunrise!  The music is really groovy deep / tech-house, and the party is always bumping.

Mambo's Beach Party Crew

Mambo’s Beach Party Crew

9 ) Dinners at Beach Hut

The Beach Hut is hands down my favorite place to stay in Arugam Bay, but if you’re not sleeping there — at least pop on over for the daily dinner specials.  They are delicious and extremely cheap.  I’m talking around $3-4 for a decent sized meal.  If you’re there for a fish-BBQ night, then definitely do it.

It’s also a great place to meet people, as everyone who is staying there pretty much has dinner together.

Cheaper option available for vegetarians.

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10 )  Nothing

Alright, so I probably shouldn’t list this a thing to do, because it’s exact opposite.

But Arugam Bay is the perfect destination to lose track of time, and fall into the traveling mentality.  Lie in a hammock, read, take naps on the beach, and enjoy the simplicity of A-Bay.

Days turn into weeks in Arugam Bay.  Seriously.  It can be really hard to leave.

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Well there you have it.  Those are my top things to do in Arugam Bay.  It’s an amazing and beautiful destination in Sri Lanka, and definitely should not be missed!

Have any questions?  Feel free to shoot me an email, or drop a comment down below and I’d be happy to answer them for you.  Safe travels!

Thanks for reading!

Follow my adventures Around The World on FacebookInstagram, Twitter 

& Add Me On Snapchat: — JonesATW

10 Amazing & Free Things To Do in Singapore

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It took me three separate visits to Singapore to really fall in love with the city.  It’s one of the places I could actually see myself live in for a couple years as an expat.  It’s extremely clean, excellent public transportation, and there are tons of amazing and free things to do in Singapore. 

Whether you’re there for just a short stopover, a weekend trip, or a bit longer of a visit, this will be a great list to start your trip planning.


1 )  Gardens By The Bay

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This is absolutely the most important thing to do when you’re in Singapore.  The Gardens By the Bay is a massive and beautiful area located behind Marina Bay Sands which is completely free to explore.  If you choose to enter the Flower Dome or Cloud Forest, it’s gonna cost you a decent amount of money however.

Make sure you check out the Gardens By The Bay Light Show every night at 7:45 P.M & 8:30 P.M.  It’s really cool, and it’s amazing to see the trees light up in all the different colors.

2 )   Sentosa Island Beaches

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No trip to Singapore would be complete without exploring Sentosa Island for a day.  It’s honestly entertainment central, and there’s so many different things to do.  If you’ve got the money to spend you can check out Universal Studios, ride the cable cars for aerial views, or hit up Maddam Tousse’s museum.

If you’re like me, and wanted to explore Singapore on a budget — then just head down to the beaches on the southern coast of the island.  From the main entrance area, all you need to do is get to Siloso Point.  There are free busses and shuttle services.

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From starting at this point, you can choose to walk all the way to the end beach which is Tanjong beach.  That’s what I did, and really enjoyed it.

My main recommendation would be checking out Palawan Beach.  It’s beautiful, and has a really cool bridge / lookout area on this little island which is the furtherest south point of continental asia.  Pretty cool, eh?

3 )  Chinatown

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At some points along my travels, I started getting tired of people telling me to visit the “Chinatown” in different cities.  Everywhere you go, there will be a Chinatown.  Well, in Singapore it’s definitely worth a quick visit to Chinatown!  The food street is really cool, and has some amazing food stalls to get your grub on.  It’s also one of the cheapest places to eat in Singapore.

4 )  Botanical Gardens

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If you’ve got an afternoon free, than take the MRT over to the Botanical Gardens stop and spend an hour two exploring these large green gardens.  They’re nothing like Gardens By The Bay, but they are definitely worth the visit.  It’s free, so why not?  Take a stroll along the nice paths, take some nice pictures, and enjoy the fresh air.

5 )  Clarke Quay

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During the day this place isn’t all the exciting, but as the night falls and lights turn on, Clarke Quay turns into this cute little escape from the city. It’s got a riverside restaurants, happy-hour specials, and colorful decorations.  Why not grab a beer at 7-11 and enjoy it on the bridge to start the night?  This place can be really pricey (it is in Singapore), but it’s obviously free just to check out.

6 ) Little India

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The food here at the Tekka Market is absolutely delicious.  I’m a big fan of Indian food, and if you’re looking some cheap and great curry — then you gotta come here.  There’s some shopping stalls around the market, as well as upstairs.  Really easy to get to, and you’ll leave very satisfied.

7 )  Arab Quarter

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This small area of Singapore has tons of life and personality.  From it’s cute little restaurants, live music venues,  and graffiti — this is a place you should definitely wonder through at night.  Grab some friends and get a hookah and some hummus.

8 ) Walk Across the Helix Bridge

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I don’t know what it is about this bridge, but I find it truly fascinating.  It provides some amazing views of Marina Bay Sands as well as the city skyline.  If you’re a photographer, you can definitely go here for some stellar sunset shots.


9 ) Har Paw Kaw Villa

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This Chinese temple is free to enter to explore, and has some really cool stuff to look at and read up on.  All of the the different and colorful statues that portray stories are worth the visit.  It doesn’t take too much time, and is located just 1 minute away from the MRT station.


10 ) Mariamman Temple

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Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple is located in the heart of Chinatown, and is definitely worth a quick visit.  The statues are super detailed, colorful, and can be fun to photograph.


Have you ever visited Singapore?  What did you think?  Am I missing on this list?

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& Add Me On Snapchat: — JonesATW

Making the Most of a Long Weekend in the Eternal City- Rome

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Rome, the eternal city, is also known as the city of love, meaning that it is not only the perfect place to visit with friends, but also with your loved ones. From its (world famous) gastronomic delights and ancient wonders of art and architecture, to romantic strolls along the Ponte Sisto and the many other bridges of the Tiber, Rome is a cosmopolitan centre yet still infused with the magic ancient civilizations. The only problem once you’re there is figuring out what to see in the short time you’re there. As the city is so full of treasures is absolutely impossible to visit (or even discover) everything, the numerous churches hidden in every alley, the designer shops in Via Veneto or Via del Corso, the restaurants, or the myriad of historic piazzas with their monuments, museums, art exhibits, and cultural events… and the list goes on. Here are my tips on how to make the most out of your short holiday in Rome.


1 )  Book tickets in Advance!- This way you can avoid waiting in long queues as Rome is always bustling with crowds of tourists daily. Buy your flight tickets early and possibly even weeks prior because prices tend to shoot up approaching the holiday seasons. This includes not only hotels or B&Bs but also entry tickets for museums, shows at cultural events, and of course for kids’ activities! Visiting the Colosseum will be a lot of fun for both couples and families, kids can take pictures with Roman Gladiators and even dress up like one (make sure you visit the local shops for toy swords and helmets!). The Vatican is another must, and you can snap up your Vatican Museum tickets long before your holiday to avoid wasting precious time and energy at the back of a long queue under the hot Italian sun! My advice to avoid crowds is to visit the Vatican in the afternoon, particularly on a Thursday or Friday if possible.


2 )Getting around in Rome can be a hassle for locals but if you’re a visitor then you may well enjoy the characteristic and authentic view of Roman life with a nice bus ride or on the metro. The metro is always your best option to get from A to B quickly and easily, but once you are in the historic center (like Trastevere) it is easy to walk to all the major sights; Campo de Fiori, the Pantheon, the Vatican, the Colosseum and the Roman Forum are all within easy reach.


3 )  If you like to relax and submerge yourself in local city life you might want to visit a piazza, like Piazza Navona with the fantastic mythological statues and fountains of Bernini and the Monuments of Borromini, Piazza Barberini, or the Pantheon Piazza. You can marvel at these ancient wonders while sitting at a cafè and sipping a glass of wine or enjoying an appetizer or an amazing gelato (for kids and adults alike!)


4 )  For the best panoramic experience, climb the Spanish Steps, or even better, the marble staircase of  the Vittorio Emanuele Monument to get the best view of the historical sights. At the top terrace bar you can take in the whole view stretching over the ancient Forum filled with arches and columns from the 6th Century B.C.


5 )  If you are not a first-time visitor and you’d like to see and experience something different, then check out hidden spots like the Romeow Cafe, a Vegan Cat Cafè where you can hang out with all your feline friends that roam around the area while you enjoy a healthy vegan cake! There are also the more mystical elements to Rome and one includes the Egyptian motifs that appear throughout the city (including the Vatican); the Egyptian influence on Roman culture dates to the time of Julius Caesar and a visit to the 2000 year old Pyramid of Cestius will be an unforgettable experience (and you don’t have to go to Egypt to see it!)


Ultimately, you may not get to see everything you had planned for so meticulously, but the important thing is that you have the opportunity to relax. Don’t spend your tome in Rome hurrying from monument to monument forgetting to take a second and just marvel in your surroundings, remember- you can always come back another time to see the things you missed!      

THANKS FOR READING!!    

Exploring the Coastlines & Beaches of Corfu, Greece

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My first trip to Corfu, Greece was back in 2011 when I was working as a guide for a small travel agency based in Italy.  It was our responsibility to take students to this hedonistic party hostel called The Pink Palace.  Each day was filled with Ouzo shots, booze cruises, and toga parties.  It was a wild time, but I never really cared for the chaotic madness of it all, and I never really had the urge to make a return visit to Corfu.

Well, when I was in the Albanian riviera and couldn’t find a cheap flight out, I realized I could just hop on the ferry down to Corfu, and get a budget RyanAir flight back to Belgium.  I knew this was the perfect time to actually explore the island, and discover the REAL corfu.  Besides, I’m obsessed with Greek food, and this was the perfect opportunity to check out the best things to do in Corfu.  So my friend and I rented a car, and spent two full days exploring the island by car.


Kavos

At the south tip of the island you’ll find this charming beach town with beautiful blue water, and a long stretch of beach.  I could tell from walking around that it was definitely geared to a younger age group, as their were ads for weekly party events and bar crawls.


Gardenos

We continued the journey along the western coast of the island and made our first major stop at Gardenos.  This beach was simple but stunning.  The cliffside coastline that runs along it in the distance were breathtaking as well.  Family vibes, and ideal for swimming.


Agios Giorgos

Even though I had visited here once before, it was on our route to the North side of the island, so we decided to make a quick stop.  The dinner and sunset we had on the beach was one of the best meals I’ve ever had, and the views of the beach from up the road really are spectacular.  I can see why this is one of the most popular places to visit in Corfu.  Maybe I never should have quite my job as a travel guide.


Sidari / Canal de Amour

The highlight of my mini-road trip exploring Corfu was definitely visiting the northern beaches and coves of Sidari.  There’s so much to explore, places to swim, and things to do.  The water is blue, beautiful, and so very inviting.  I’d love to get a luxury yacht charter and explore the entire coast!


Cape Drastis

This is probably the most photogenic viewpoint in all of Corfu, and your Instagram feed will be thanking you for making the quick stop!  There’s a small hike you can do down to this secluded beach, but my friend and I unfortunately didn’t have the time to do so.


Logas / The Sunset Beach

Finally, our last stop on this Corfu road-trip was to the cliffside beaches of Logas on the west coast of the island.  The day we visited was unforatunely awful weather, but still managed to get some decent photos.  There were tons of people swimming and frolicking in the ocean, and you could tell this place was filled with good vibes.


It really was an amazing day, and showed me a completely different side of Corfu.  I was traveling during high season (which was a pain) and the weather wasn’t ideal, but I think that Greece is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

THANKS FOR READING!

20 Instagrams That Will Inspire You to Visit LAOS

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During my extended travels in South-East Asia, I absolutely fell in love with Laos.

It took me a really long time to get there, and I’m actually really upset with myself that I hadn’t visited earlier.

I honestly have no idea why I waited for so long, but now that I now — I’m always telling people about how amazing Laos is.

If you’re backpacking through South-East Asia, definitely check out my Laos Backpacking guide.  This is a great resource for your future travels.

I’m almost obsessed with Instagram — so check out these 20 posts that will definitely inspire you to visit Laos!


1 )  Kuang Si Waterfalls

Definitely one of the most instagrammed places in the country.  I’m sure you can understand why.


2 )  Sunsets in Don Det

Hakuna Matata.  It means no worries.

It's official. I'm in love with Don Det, Laos

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on


3 )  Swimming in The Blue Lagoon

You’ll want to spend all day here…

The Blue Lagoon. A great place to spend an afternoon in Vang Vieng…

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on


4 ) Exploring Vang Vieng

Vang vieng, Vientiane Province. By Aaron Geddes #vientiane #vangvieng #namsong #laos #love #Like #facebook #pages #laospictures #laopdr

A photo posted by Laos Pictures ຮູບພາບປະເທດລາວ (@laospictures) on


5 ) The Gibbon Experience

2 or 3 day zipling adventure through the Laos Jungle?  Sounds like a damn good time.


6 )  Monks on Monks on Monks

The Alms Giving Ceremony is a must when visiting Luang Prabang.

Wat sensoukharam, Luang prabang Photo: Massimo De Nino #LaosPictures #Laos #LuangPrabang #Asia #ASEAN

A photo posted by Laos Pictures ຮູບພາບປະເທດລາວ (@laospictures) on


7   Tad Yuang Falls

While exploring the Bolaven Plateau, you’ll see tons of amazing waterfalls!


8 )  Forever Chasing Waterfalls

Khone Phapheng Waterfall.  What a beaut.

Anyone up for white water rafting…?

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on


9 )  Motorcycle Adventures

Easily one of the best countries in the world for some two-wheeling fun.

N13 Road Northern #Laos #Asia #ASEAN #LaosPictures

A photo posted by Laos Pictures ຮູບພາບປະເທດລາວ (@laospictures) on


10 ) Hammock Life

I’ll be here all day…

Enjoying the sunset view over Mekong river from my bungalow terrace in Don Det, Laos.

A photo posted by Sasu Loimulahti (@loimuphoto) on

 


11 ) 4000 Islands Bliss

Tranquility.


12 ) Hot Air Balloons in Vang Vieng

Not a bad view, eh?


13 ) Kuang Si Falls

So damn breathtaking


14 ) Just R-E-L-A-X

Don Det is easily the one of the chillest places in South-East Asia.


15 ) Luang Prabang View Point

So charming.

Experience the charm of peaceful life in Luang Prabang. #ThaiAirways #LuangPrabang #Laos #FlyTHAItoLuangPrabang

A photo posted by Thai Airways (@thaiairways) on


16 )  Out for a Stroll

Discovered this gem while randomly exploring Vang Vieng.

I don't ever wanna feel…like I did that day. Take me to the place I love…take me all the way

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

17 )  Patuxai Monument

Not much to see in the capital city of Vientiane, but it definitely has it’s charm !

Patuxai, Vientiane Laos By Yul Kwan #patuxai #vientiane #laos #thailand #asian #asean #asia #love #like #facebook #pages #laospictures #lao

A photo posted by Laos Pictures ຮູບພາບປະເທດລາວ (@laospictures) on


18 )  Seven Waterfalls in One Day

While exploring the Bolaven Plateau, you can see 7 different waterfalls in one day!


19 ) Laos Landscape

It really is incredible!


20 ) Oh, and Beer Laos is AMAZING

No shirt. No shoes. No problem.

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on


LAOS IS AMAZING


 

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The Top 3 Must Places To Visit in Israel

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When it comes to planning a trip to Israel, you will soon discover that there really is no shortage of things to do in this beautiful country.  Whether you’re coming for its biblical history, delicious food, or diverse landscapes — I bet you’ll be wishing you had more time to explore Israel.  Travel planning can be a difficult task, so I’m here to share with you what I believe to be are the absolute three must visits for those of making your way to Israel!


1 )  Markets, Beaches, Sunsets, and Hummus in Tel Aviv

No trip to Israel would be complete without visiting the Mediterranean gem of Tel Aviv.  I’ve never met a single person who has visited this city and not fallen completely in love with it’s various markets, gorgeous beaches, and unbeatable Israeli cuisine.

Your first stop has to be Carmel Market, which is Tel Aviv’s largest fruit and vegetable market.  Don’t think that this is just a stop for groceries though, because it’s vibrant atmosphere and wide range of restaurants can keep you there for hours!   Then make your way over to Tel Aviv Port Market, which has recently become one of the best spots for trying and learning all about the country’s cuisine.  It’s in a beautiful setting, and it’s impossible to leave without a full stomach!

Recordando este increíble mercado en el medio de Tel Aviv

A photo posted by Juan (@juankmagician) on

If you’ve read about me page, you’ll know that I have a strange obsession with hummus!  It’s my go to snack, and Israel is the perfect place for chick-pea indulgence!

The real draw of visiting Tel Aviv though is checking out some of it’s magnificent beaches!  With over 16 different to choose from, you better have plenty of sunblock to prepare for those long days of beach fun.  Tel Aviv is actually known for having some jaw-dropping sunsets, so make sure you stick around and witness the magic!

Tel Aviv has some fantastic nightlife as well, and if you’re lucky you might just discover some pretty epic beach parties!


2 ) Dead Sea Floating

While some people may say it’s “just a lake”, the Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth! 

You don’t just come here for a quick swim though, because the Dead Sea is one of the most cool, relaxing and healthy places to visit while in Israel.  The water and mud found in the Dead Sea is rich in minerals that have fantastic healing properties, and will leave your body and skin feeling nice and refreshed!  There are a few different public beaches to choose from, but the most popular that you have to visit is Ein Gedi Beach!  Get your bathing suit on, lather up your body and face with mud, and float away in the Dead Sea!

3  )  Eilat Red Sea Explorations

Eilat is simply the perfect holiday getaway for your trip to Israel!  It’s not only one of the most beautiful destinations in the country, but also has some of the best marine biodiversity in this region of world!  Going snorkeling / scuba diving is an absolute must, parasailing / skydiving for views above the land, and check out getting a Eilat Car Rental to do some fun day-trips to nearby attractions!  It’s also a great idea to get a car rental, because then you can make the 4 hour drive from Eilat back to Tel Aviv, and get a much better understanding for the country!

THANKS FOR READING!!


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& Add Me On Snapchat: — JonesATW

Top 50 Instagram Posts of 2015.

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A total of 270 posts, and received over 166,489 Likes on those photos! 

This was truly an amazing year of Instagram for me.  When I started out the year, I barely had over 1,000K followers, and now I have over 21K followers.  It’s been incredible to see people from all around the world follow my travels, comment on my photos, give me recommendations, and build an Instagram community.

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I get emails from people who follow me on Instagram pretty regularly asking me for travel advice, blogging tips, and ask many other questions.  It’s been really cool to truly inspire people through my photos, and I’m hoping that I will have continued success in 2016.

THANKS FOR FOLLOWING EVERYONE!!!

These are my favorite 50 Instagram posts of 2015 !


1 ) EUPHORIA

Gili Trawangan sunsets.  You can’t get much better.

I think I've died and gone to heaven…

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

2 ) PARADISE

Bring a book and some beers.

3 )  COLORFUL

Watching the sunset at La Plancha in Seminyak.

4 )  BRIDGES

Follow me.  Let’s go an adventure.

I don't ever wanna feel…like I did that day. Take me to the place I love…take me all the way

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

5 )  BORACAY

Boats & Sunsets

Beautiful Boracay…

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

6 )  FIREWORKS

Happy Chinese New Year from Hong Kong!

GONG XI FA CAI !!

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

7 )  VANG VIENG

Sunset Laser Pointer…

First sunset in Vang Vieng. Laos just keeps getting better and better.

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

8 )  SUNSET RESORT SWIM

…Yes, I’m obviously staying here.

"Pool area is reserved for registered resort guests only…" Well, rules like this one are meant to be broken…

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

9 )  I’m On A Boat

Indonesia Booze Cruising

Yachts and hoes…

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

10 )  SAILING VIEWS

That color though…

11 )  ISLAND HOPPING

 

12 )  LOOK UP

Expecto…PATRONUS.

13 )  COTTON CANDY

Sugar clouds…

Who wants cotton candy?

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

14 )  GREEN

I like that bridge…that is a nice bridge.

15 )  SYDNEY

My first sunset in the city was a good omen…

16 )  LOST IN TRANSLATION

I’m just looking for dumplings…

17 )  PERFECTION

You’ll never want to leave Pulau Kapas, Malaysia.

18 )  LAS CABANAS

Deep-house tunes, beer, and good company.

19 )  LANGKAWI

“Alright we’re here for one hour for snorkeling and swimming”…

Island hopping tour in Langkawi for $8 is worth every penny.

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

20 )  INFINITY

Always up for a swim in my favorite pool!

Back at my favorite place in Kuala Lumpur.

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

21 )  REFLECTION

Who am I….?

22 )  ULUWATU LUXURY 

Drinking beers in an infinity pool while watching Bali sunsets.

If you need me, this is where Ill be…Mu Resort Infinity Pool in Uluwatu

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

23 ) WATERFALL

I went chasing waterfalls in Laos…

I've never found time spent amongst nature to be a waste of time.

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

24 )  PALAWAN

Island hopping in paradise…

Just another day exploring paradise.

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

25 )  COCONUT

The best way to beat that humidity while exploring temples.

Nothing hits the spot more than a fresh coconut on a humid day in Thailand.

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

26 )  BALI BEACH CLUBS

Bintang all day…

Viewpoint from the entrance to Finn's Beach Club in Uluwatu. A tad bit expensive for Indonesia, but worth every penny.

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

27 )  RIPPLES

In time…

If i ever start a rap career, this is gonna be the cover of my first album titled "Ripples and Reflections"

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

28 )  HEAVENS

Zeus…?  Is that you…?

Pulau Kapas wasn't only beautiful during the day. Every afternoon and around the sunset time the clouds and sky put on a little show.

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

29 )  RELAXATION   

I didn’t move from this spot all day…

30 )  MESMERIZED

That Hong Kong Skyline will leave you speechless…

I had been walking around Hong Kong all day and needed to rest my legs. Luckily I found this spot to take a few minutes, and enjoy the view.

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

31 )  CLOWNING

I couldn’t find Dory though…

Look who I found…

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

32 )  HAKUNA MATATA 

I don’t know why.  But this reminds me of Lion King somehow…

33 )  IDYLLIC

I swam to that island…true story.

34 )  FERRY LIFE

Anyone down to head to the Opera…?

35 )  RESORT CRASHING

Happy Hour at the Pool Bar.  Yuppp….

Cocktails in paradise…

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

36 )  GILI LIFE

My daily view walking along the beaches of Gili Trawangan.

To stay here for another month or not…? Tough decision…

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

37 )  O-M-F-G

What a view…

38 )  BLUE LAGOON

Tree jumping, rope swinging and swimming all day.

The Blue Lagoon. A great place to spend an afternoon in Vang Vieng…

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

39 )  JUNGLE FALLS

So damn cold.  So damn refreshing…

40 )  DON DET

One of the most relaxing places in the world…

41 )  CHEERS MATE

First beer in Sydney with a view…

42 )  SYDNEY SNORKELING

G’day fishies.

43 )  SERENITY

So damn pretty…

44 )  JEEP

Always keen for a little exploration…

45 )  COASTAL WALKS

Bondi – Coogee Coastal Walk FTW…

46 )  KOMODO NATIONAL PARK

Who is down to live aboard…?

47 )  HAMMOCK LIFE

Help me.  I’m stuck….Actually, just bring me that book.

I'm all about the hammock and beach volleyball lifestyle…

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

48 )  GETTING HIGH

…on life obviously.  I was in Indonesia.  Not trying to get executed…

49 )  GETTING WET

It really was pouring rain…

50 )  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

2016 started off in a great way…

 

Which one is your favorite…?

 

2015:  The Best Year Of My Life

Shoutout to all my Instagram followers out there!  I love reading all your comments, and glad you all enjoy my photos!  If you like following my travels on Instagram, please help a blogger out and spread the word!  Jones is traveling around the world.

 Are you on Instagram?

Who are your other favorite people to follow on Instagram?

Let me know in the comments sections!

SHARE THE INSTAGRAM LOVE

10 Fun & Awesome Things To Do In Malaysia

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A visit to Malaysia is bound to be nothing less than a trip you’ll never forget! There are so many things to see and do in Malaysia, that wherever you go, you’ll surely run into something unique and surprising! Whether it is food, adventure, shopping, or entertainment, Malaysia never ceases to surprise its visitors. The country is blessed with astounding natural beauty too, including pristine beaches, the world’s oldest tropical rainfrest and the oldest national park, ideal for hiking enthusiasts.  Check out this list of 10 fun & awesome things to do during your next trip to Malaysia!

1) Snorkeling / Diving around The Perhentian Islands

Easily one of the most beautiful parts of the country, spending a day on a boat exploring the underwater life around the Perhentian Islands will be a highlight of your vacation.  You’ll be left speechless at the underwater life, beautiful corla, and you’re also pretty much guaranteed to see a couple turtles!

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2)  Genting Highlands, Kuala Lumpur

Welcome to the ‘City of Entertainment’ – Genting highlands – a magnificent resort perched on a hilltop, about 50km from the city of Kuala Lumpur, offering the coolest getaway to re-charge yourself! Home to the only casino in Malaysia, Genting Highlands also offers indoor and outdoor theme parks, over 50 fun rides and about 150 outlets comprising numerous restaurants and shopping centres.

3)  Exploring the Cameron Highlands

Just a bit further north from the Genting Highlands, you’ll find yourself mesmerized incredible green and luscious rolling landscapes.  Choose between jungle trekking, exploring tea plantations, or stunning view points.  The Cameron Highlands is a visit to

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4)  Butterfly Park Tour, Kuala Lumpur

Who wouldn’t want to recall childhood day trying to catch colourful butterflies, or trying to fly like one?! Serenity of nature, a beautifully manicured garden with lush greenery and colourful flowers, and a haven where one can relax on the benches or soak in the sweet incense of exotic flowers, the Butterfly Park in Kuala Lumpur is a must-visit! An ideal destination for photography enthusiasts and nature lovers, this is the largest butterfly park in Southeast Asia, where you can admire up to 6000 butterflies from over 120 species!

5) Pulau Payar Marine Park, Langkawi

Time to bid goodbye to all your worries and gear up for some excitement! Go snorkelling or swim with the colourful fishes at the Pulau Payar Marine Park. This uninhabited, well-preserved marine park, surrounded by coral reefs and ideal for an extensive array of water-sport activities, is one of the most exciting places to visit in Malaysia. If you are not a fan of water-sports, go and check out the surrounding hiking trails or simply sit back and admire the endless ocean – a diverse mix of shades of blue!

6)  Try Malaysia’s delicious Cuisine!

Do we even need to mention the food trails of Malaysia? Malaysian cuisine is not about a few particular foods, rather, it’s all about the country’s culinary diversity and dynamic mixture stemming from its multi-ethnic population of Indians, Malay, Chinese, Eurasians, and the indigenous people of Borneo. Malaysian food is all about letting your senses tantalise your taste buds by sampling the best dishes of Malaysia. Truly, feasting on the heavenly Malaysian cuisine on your holiday is a one-of-its-kind experience which shouldn’t be missed!

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7)  Experience Paradise on Pulau Kapas

While not one of the most well-known islands in Malaysia, Pulau Kapas might just be the most stunning islands I’ve ever visited.  This idyllic island is just a short 20 minute boat ride from the mainland, and will keep you there much longer than expected.  With no roads on this island, you’ll truly experience the laidback island lifestyle.  There’s amazing snorkeling just a short swim off the beach, crystal clear water, and a few amazing spots to eat!

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8)  Khoo Kongsi, Penang

One of the best things to do in Malaysia is visiting the famous Khoo Kongsi clan house. Hidden in a maze of alleys, this clan house was built more than 100 years ago. One of the country’s hidden gems, the grandest clan temple is surrounded by tall buildings, and inside clan temple, you will witness elaborate murals and carvings that reek of a rich history. Believers come here for religious reasons, while non-believers come to feast on its ornamental architecture. Whether it is a New Year’s celebration or a cultural show, the grandeur of this place has to be seen, in order to be believed.

 

9)  Cable-car ride and oriental village tour, Langkawi

Not a hiking enthusiast? Not a problem! Hop onto a cable-car that will take you to the peak of Mount Mat Chinchang, from where you can soak in legendary views of the fascinating island of Langkawi. The breath-taking scenery, the rustic ambience enhanced by rich flora and fauna, and the spectacular limestone formations – Langkawi is an idyllic retreat. Experience the thrill of speed while riding the longest free-span single-rope cable car ride of the Oriental Village through the virgin forest of Langkawi, and immerse yourself into in the serenity of the environment.

10) Rooftop Views in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur has made this list a few times already ,but for good reason.  Whether you’re enjoying a drink on a helipad, or swimming in one of the most amazing infinity pools, you definitely can’t miss the opportunity to get an amazing view of the city from up above.

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I collaborated on this post with the awesome people over at HolidayMe to promote some of their amazing tour packages in Malaysia!  As always, all opinions are my own, and think Malaysia is an incredible country that I strongly encourage people to visit!  

Like this post?  Follow me on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for more adventures Around The World…

My Top 5 Caribbean Bucket List

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“Aruba.  Jamaica.  Ohh I wanna take you to Bermuda, Bahama…come on pretty mama”

The Caribbean Sea is one of those areas in the world that keeps its visitors coming back for more and more.  When you look at the map of all the amazing countries and islands in this beautiful area of water, you can completely understand why.  I myself have only visited this area once, but am always looking for my next big trips, and this is why I decided to write this post about my top 5 caribbean bucket list!


1 )  Jamaica

“Don’t Worry.  About a Thing.  Because Every Little Thing.  Is Gonna be Alright”

Maybe it’s my love for Jerk Chicken and the sweet sounds of Bob Marley’s music, but Jamaica definitely is the top of the list.  No Jamaican holiday would be complete without exploring it’s beautiful beaches, rich landscape, and vibrant culture.  I’ve had so many friends visit in the past few years, and everyone has said it’s completely amazing.

One of the best times to visit this island is during carnival time as you can get the whole taste of Jamaica.


2 ) Aruba

Alright, so I have to be honest — I’ve actually been here once before with my family when I was a young kid.  So I technically have “crossed this off the bucket list” already, but that’s also the main reason I want to go back.  When you travel as a kid on a family vacation, I feel like you miss out on the culture of destinations.  I was really young, and I remember the beautiful blue water and beaches, but I want to go back and actually experience what Aruba is all about now.  I’d like to try new foods, meet some locals, and maybe even practice my Dutch.  Did you know they speak Dutch in Aruba!?

Not bad for Wednesday in December. Pic by @foodandtravelmx #aruba #discoveraruba #onehappyisland

A photo posted by Aruba (@arubatourism) on


3 ) Cuba

Growing up in America, it always seemed like it would be impossible to visit Cuba.  I remember hearing little things like how Cuban cigars were illegal, and just assumed that it wasn’t a feasible travel destination.  

Fortunately, this is no longer an issue, and Americans have been granted travel access to Cuba. From what I’ve heard, it’s an absolutely beautiful country, and Cubans are some of the nicest people in the world.


4 ) Grand Cayman Islands

Fun fact: my sister lived in the Grand Cayman Islands for three years after she finished university, and I still never made it out there to visit her!  Can you believe that…?  Her pictures and stories of living in paradise are truly inspiring, and she still says it is one of the most gorgeous destinations she has ever been.  My sister is a very well-traveled individual, so I’m very much looking forward to taking her advice and visiting these beautiful islands for myself someday.


5 ) Puerto Rico

My urge to visit Puerto Rico all stems from my obsession with Instagram.  In the past year or so, I’ve been seeing a ton of fellow travel bloggers and photographers visit this beautiful island, and have heard it’s absolutely mind-changing.  It will become one of those places that you will find yourself coming back to again and again.  Crystal clear water, blue skies, delicious food, and friendly people.  Sounds pretty good, yeah?