One cool aspect of traveling that I've always enjoyed is learning more about the animals that are found in the countries I visit. Several months ago I wrote a post about exotic pets from South America. In it, I talked about the captivating capybara, the ornate horned Pac-Man frog and the creepy looking nightwalker-kinkajou. All three of these animals I had come across before during my travels, and I was surprised to find out that people also kept them as pets.
Well, I recently shared the link to that post on my Facebook page, and this led to an interesting discussion on some of the other unique and or bizarre animals many of you have come across during your own travels. (As it turns out, a lot of you found Hawaii animals to be rather bizarre, which is quite the opposite for me, but no worries, I'll still be including them in the following discussion.)
Here are just some of the most bizarre creatures you've seen in your travels, and my personal commentary on each of them...
Have You Ever Made Any Travel Mistakes? My Story of (Almost) Getting Robbed (Willingly) in the Bahamas
We've all made our fair share of stupid travel mistakes that perhaps could have easily been avoided. You know, the ones you look back on and do either one of two things: Laugh at them in embarrassment OR pretend like they never happened at all.
During a recent travel blogger interview with Nicole and Michael from Suitcase Stories, the question was raised: Did you ever make any rookie mistakes when you first started traveling? I love questions that make me pause, and this was one of them.
One of the best ways to tour a city is by foot. Taking in the sites slowly, watching people as they go through their daily rituals and getting a real feel for the vibe of a city or town is what makes strolling through historical districts a rewarding way to visit. Regular contributing blogger and drifter legend, Estefania Garcia Mendoza, takes us on a walking tour of the charming historical city of Guanajuato, Mexico.
For many, the thought of a trip to Mexico conjures up images of crashing surf, giant sombreros and cold margaritas. But on the East Coast, in the cities along the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico, there is another side to America's southern neighbor. Altamira, Mexico native and drifter legend, Estefania Garcia Mendoza, takes us on a tour there, and introduces us to a part of real, every day Tampico life that only a few travelers have explored.
Growing up in a place surrounded by water has been an incredible blessing. When coming back home from an adventure abroad, as my plane lands in beautiful Tampico, I absolutely love to see from the air the rivers, lagoons and ocean that surround our city.
Although I live in a small town called “Altamira”, I am pretty close to other towns, such as Madero and Tampico, and the history behind the name of this last city has a lot to do with the fact that we are surrounded by water.
On the Edge of Reality
Here is the fifth chapter of a 5-part series chronicling our "Trek Through the Wilderness." This story is about three friends, all globe drifters with a love for life, who stepped out of their comfort zones and into the wilderness for a three and a half day hike through the rainforest of Corcovado, Costa Rica. It turned out to be a trek that took them from the edge of civilization and back.
Of Peanuts & Goblins
Here is the fourth chapter of a 5-part series chronicling our "Trek Through the Wilderness." This story is about three of us, average friends, all globe drifters with a love for life. We stepped out of our comfort zones and into the wilderness for a three and a half day hike through the rainforest of Corcovado, Costa Rica. It turned out to be a trek that took us from the edge of civilization and back.
If Peanuts Were Monkeys, They'd Be Squirrels
Huh? I mean squirrel-monkeys. These little guys seem to be extremely social. They're no bigger than a cat, and their round heads are perfectly proportioned to their bodies.
BY ESTEFANÍA GARCÍA MENDOZA
I met this week's Guest Blogger, Estefanía García, while I was living in Altamira, Mexico a few years ago. Although she is a small town girl, Estefanía has traveled to several countries in Central America. Throughout her journeys she has compiled a diary of notes and pictures documenting her experiences. This week she takes some time out of her busy schedule to share with us an excerpt from her travel journal: A Personal "Survival Guide" to Riding a Bus in Nicaragua.
Visiting a third world country is always an experience. There is something about crowded places and cheap shopping in markets that appeal to us all. Interestingly, people always visit the most touristy and “pretty” places, which in most cases won’t allow them to REALLY know the culture and lifestyle of that country. For those of you who aren’t like that, but who enjoy getting into the heart of a place and its culture instead, here’s a little story about my visit to Nicaragua this past May and June.
The Jungle Book
Here is the third chapter of a 5-part series chronicling our "Trek Through the Wilderness." This is a story about 3 average friends, all globe drifters with a love for life, who stepped out of their comfort zones and into the wilderness for a 3 and a half day hike through the rainforest of Corcovado, Costa Rica, a trek that took them from the edge of civilization and back.
For an hour we sloshed along through the gummy mud and pouring rain, leaving the capuchin monkeys behind us.
The shower continued unabated, and along the pathway pools of brown water filled up and gradually trickled over into one another,forming muddy streams that rushed down the jungle trails.
We covered our packs with rain guards, sealed tightly and protected, and we moved along with our backs bowed and our heads up, tasting the freshness of the raindrops on our lips. When we got to the first river crossing, the morning rains passed over us and moved on, leaving us soggy and satisfied.
The rivers were always a welcome stop. Emerging from the thickness of the rainforest out into a clearing and being greeted by the familiar sound of flowing freshwater gave us a reason to stop and gain our bearings.
At the first river, as the rainstorm sauntered off, I stepped out onto the bank and quickly plopped down, un-strapping my pack. Yanking my shoes off, I stuck my crinkled toes into the crisp water and pulled out a granola bar to munch on.
Beware of the Peccaries!
There once was a man backpacking his way through the wilds of Corcovado. Along the way, he came across a clan of crazy white lipped peccaries. They snorted their snouts in his general direction, and caught wind of the sweet sugary snacks stuffed at the bottom of his pack. They made an advance. He turned and ran.
The Rainforest? That Sounds Wet!"
This is NOT a story about three hardcore adventurers. We aren't exactly at the top of our game physically, and none of us has ever climbed Mt. Everest. I'm sorry to tell you that this isn't about some great feat accomplished. Rather,"Trek Through the Wilderness" is just a story about 3 average friends, all globe drifters with a love for life, who stepped out of their comfort zones and into the wilderness for a 3 and a half day hike through the rainforest of Corcovado, Costa Rica, a trek that took them from the edge of civilization and back. This is the first post of a 5-part series chronicling our adventures.
I once heard a man say: ¨The rainforest? That sounds wet!¨ And yes... it was. Well, at least such is the case with Nacional Parque de Corcovado, Costa Rica´s grandmama of all rainforests. We spent 3 days hiking through its vast wilderness, chasing monkeys and running from mother chonchos.
Costa Rica is well known for its diverse systems of National Parks, the biggest of which is Corcovado. For our love of getting lost in the wilderness, we spent three and a half days sloshing through the mud and the pouring rain there, being chased by spider monkeys and assaulted by coatis. Okay, so it wasn't that crazy, but it was still a pretty wild trek. Here's how it all began...
I have always been fascinated by the wilderness. While road tripping through the U.S.A., I wanted to explore the remote Boundry Waters to the north. When RV'ing from North to South Island in New Zealand, Marlborough Sounds was a highlight of the trip. And on my first backpacking trip through Southeast Asia, the isolated mountains of Northern Laos caught my attention. So when the idea to go to Panama to visit Ashley, a friend who moved down there, popped into my head, I pulled out a map to search for the nearest wilderness.
I'm JR. I come from a long line of adventurers, some were nomadic explorers of the sea and others wandering cultivators of the earth. Ultimately, this legacy of drifters has deeply affected my view of travel. Read more...