As a traveller, I have always loved to travel around with a backpack. Nothing makes you feel more free and alive than the lifestyle of a backpacker. But, lately I have started to go for a suitcase instead of a backpack (shame on me – someone got lazy!). That works perfectly fine, until you hit a dirt road or a cobblestone road, and your wheels get broken… So why not just have it both in one piece of luggage?
After backpacking through Central America this summer, I fell totally in love with the region. The culture, the beaches and the food – I simply had to go back. So when I got a couple of weeks of work for Christmas, the choice was easy; I had to go back to Mexico! As I did last time, I visited the Yucatan Peninsula, only this time I chose different places in the area.
Have you ever been standing on the top of a volcano, looking into the crater of glowing lava? No, I guess – most people haven’t. Granada, Nicaragua, is one of the few places where this is possible. Just the feeling of watching the lava with the sunset in the background was amazing!
Roatan is a Caribbean island in Honduras. As most other Caribbean island, Roatan is a paradise for snorkeling, scuba diving and other beach related activities. I spent a few days here when I was backpacking through Central America, and despite being a huge tourist destination, I enjoyed the island’s relaxing atmosphere.
Isla de Ometepe is a small island located in Lake Nicaragua. The island is famous for its two volcanoes and the stunning nature. For visitors, there are loads of activities to do and things to see. Either you want to hike a volcano, swim in an idyllic lagoon or drive around the island and watch the rural life of the island, Isla de Ometepe is a great place to spend a couple of days when visiting Nicaragua.
Caye Caulker is a paradise island in the Caribbean Sea, just outside Belize City. The tiny island has an extremely relaxed atmosphere as everything is totally laid back and the island is car free. Caye Caulker is known to be quite expensive, but compared to other “paradise islands” in Central America (like Isla Mujeres and Roatan), I did not find this island particularly expensive – as long as you keep your budget in mind. Here are my recommendations on how to explore Caye Caulker on a budget!
One of the highlights in Guatemala is the Mayan ruins of Tikal. The ruins are surrounded by a mysterious jungle, where you can run into monkeys, reptiles, jaguars and coatis. Tikal was declared a national park in 1955 and is today an UNESCO World Heritage Site. When visiting Tikal, most travellers also stop by the tiny island Flores as most accommodations in the area can be found here. But is Flores more than just a place to stay? I found the little island very charming, and it is worth spending a few hours checking it out.
Located only one hour from Guatemala City, the colonial town Antigua is a popular destination for travellers in the region. Either you come for a volcano trip or to relax in the quiet city, here are some of mine recommendations for Antigua.
The archeological site Chichen Itza is one of the new seven wonders of the world and is maybe the biggest tourist attraction in Mexico, with an average of 1,4 million visitors a year. Located in the Yucatan region, the site is easily reached from popular beach destinations like Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum. We went on a day trip to Chichen Itza from Tulum, and the tour also included a visit to the cenote Ik Kil. The cenotes are also connected to the Maya culture, as the cenotes were the entrance to the “under world”.
Isla Mujeres is a tiny island located just outside Cancun in Mexico. The island is idyllic with its white beaches and clear water. Many people go here on day trips from Cancun and the surroundings, but it is also the perfect destination for a relaxing holiday. It is quiet and peaceful, and we chose to start our two-month-long backpacking trip here to get a relaxing start.
Considering a trip to Skopje in Macedonia? If you do, you should go. And if you have not considered it yet, it is time to start thinking about it! I did not have the highest expectations when we went to Skopje, but I have to admit that I fell in love with the city and the Macedonian culture. Skopje is a weird and different city with huge contrasts, but it is also full of life, welcoming people and great food.
A few of weeks ago my study partner Vilde and I realized that we had some extra time before we had to hand in our Master’s Thesis. We therefore decided to book a spontaneous trip to somewhere in Europe. We started looking for relaxing beach holidays, but suddenly we were planning an adventurous backpacking trip in The Balkans! As usual, I like to travel around and not spend a lot of time each place – so this time I managed to visit Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia and Kosovo.
I often get emails from people asking me about my time as an exchange student. For those of you who do not know, I was an exchange student in Hong Kong in 2013 and in Sydney, Australia, in 2014. I did the exchange as a part of my bachelor’s degree in business administration. In this post I will answer some frequently asked questions and tell you some of my thoughts about life as an exchange student.