Gotta Catch that Sunrise (Hiking in Bali)

Is it still considered morning if it’s 2 AM? Either way, we were up and ready to go bright and early in the morning when the van arrived at our home stay in Ubud to take us to Mount Batur for a sunrise breakfast on top of the volcano.  The last to be picked up, we climbed into the packed vehicle and drove off into the night through the empty streets of Bali, seeing the occasional local working on his store, preparing to open. There was an obvious peace created by the lack of tourists in the city which made Explore More …

Abel Tasman National Park

There’s not much to say about Abel Tasman National Park aside from the fact that it’s absolutely stunning. That’s it, no need to read further.    But if you are interested to know more I guess I can expand.  The park is comprised of 22,530 hectares (approximately 55,675 acres) on the Northwest corner of New Zealand’s South Island.  Although it is the country’s smallest national park, it remains quite impressive as an undeveloped area used for camping, hiking, a seal sanctuary and more, including multiple islands that help make up the park. Despite being the smallest park, it would still Explore More …

Konichiwa, Domo Arigato and other words you don’t expect to hear from your NZ rental car

“Keep Left or Die” read the signs we passed after picking up our “backwards” super economy car in Christchurch, New Zealand. From the vehicle’s interior signage to friendly verbal reminders to full fledged road sign death threats, there were ample reminders that we weren’t in America anymore – where driving it literally done on the RIGHT side of the road.   A New Zealand road trip throughout the South Island is, in my opinion, the most epic road trip option out there. Yes, the landscapes were beautiful, majestic mountains, sheep galore and plenty of wacky road signs to keep us laughing Explore More …

Getting from Paradise to Wellington

After resting up in Fiji, it was time to pack in some action. Travel buddy Valerie and I were ready to hit the open roads of New Zealand after spending a week doing absolutely nothing on the island of Viti Levu in Fiji. A girl can only read in a hammock on the beach for so long, am I right?     Fully rested and ready to explore, we set out mid-morning for our long trip to Wellington where we would get our Kiwi legs before the big road trip.   We hailed a taxi from the hostel to the airport, Explore More …

Bula Fiji: Not a Backpacker’s Paradise

Picture yourself on an island in the South Pacific where everyday is a beautiful summer’s day. You wake up in the morning to a breathtaking sunrise to find your morning breakfast prepared for you which will fuel a day of luxury. Laying under the palm trees with Fiji Water, book in hand and snorkel gear nearby while your worries are far far behind. Pretty great marketing huh? Yeah, whoever came up with that is a genius.  This perfect imagery may be obtainable for some, but not for us backpackers. As the first stop on my four month backpacking trip, my Explore More …

My Top 5 Favorite Things in Portland

You may be familiar with the city’s beloved “Keep Portland Weird” sign, and let me tell you, they are doing an excellent job at maintaining that image. Portland is definitely weird, feeling on par with a night in Amsterdam (Portland is even known for having the highest number of strip clubs per capita). But there are plenty of reasons why many people love this city oh so much. A photo posted by ⋯《《 S T E P H A N I E 》》⋯ (@breakingbounds_) on Jun 18, 2015 at 8:48am PDT #5: The adorable neighborhoods I love walking through the neighborhoods Explore More …

Zorbing Through New Zealand

My first job was as a nanny for a well off family where I cared for two preteen girls and performed normal day to day household chores. Sometimes it was necessary for me to do a little laundry, a task to which I embarrasingly looked forward to.  You see, they had the FUNNEST washing machine. They made clothes look like they were at a water park, enjoying the rides without me while I was stuck working to make money for school. I would jealously watch the clothes tumbling round and round through the front facing glass door while bubbles would Explore More …

The Capilano Suspension Bridge: Clinging for Dear Life

My biggest fear is falling. Falling off a cliff (i.e. Bungy Jumping), falling out of a plane (i.e. Sky Diving), roller coasters or anything of the sort. It makes me queazy and sweaty just thinking about it! *Wipes palms while attempting to continue typing*   My sister, on the other hand, is completely different. She is the adventurous one and I just try to keep up! So when she wanted to go see Vancouver’s Capilano Suspension Bridge OF COURSE I had to oblige.         The Capilano Suspension Bridge, originally built in 1889, is one of Vancouver’s most iconic Explore More …

A Very Seabrook Weekend

Seabrook: A Seattle yuppy’s escape from city life, complete with idyllic streets, vacations home and one restaurant in the entire town labeled “Pub”. For years I listened to my friend talk about visiting Seabrook with her family, where her Aunt owns a vacation home. I knew the town was on the beach but outside of that was about it. Last weekend she coordinated a reunion weekend for us and a couple other girls from high school. This was our first rendezvous where all four of us could get together since Las Vegas in 2011. We were pumped! I arrived in Seabrook around 10 PM after Explore More …

My Top 5 Favorite Things in Auckland

I think Auckland is wildly underrated. Understandably so, New Zealand is an amazing country in general, I can see why travelers would prefer to spend their time elsewhere. Even so, whenever I would ask people for recommendations on what to do during my time in Auckland, usually the answer I got was crickets. Once I arrived in Auckland, I found it difficult to see what the distain was about. Auckland is lively, cultural and amazing. If anyone tells you not to waste your time there, they are very, very wrong. Top 5 Things to do in Auckland:   Take a ferry Explore More …