The buses barreled past at an alarming rate, not giving me the usual berth I would find in North America. The smells that wafted up from the grates and alleyways made me equally intrigued and wary. The electricity that I felt every time I stepped out into the humid air was unforgettable. These were my first impressions of Hong Kong.
The smog made us both sick within a few days, we were unable to get out of bed with our pounding heads, coughs, and other ailments that crept up on us. We bounced back soon enough and Hong Kong grew on us in a way that makes you reminisce about a new travel friend who was exciting and a bit of a mystery.
South America is a region I’m looking forward to exploring in the not-so-distant future. The only time I’ve really experienced Latin America was with a quick 3 week trip to the green country of Costa Rica. It was my first trip abroad when I was 18. I never made it further south and Latin America as a whole is high on my list for a slow travel destination after Asia & Europe.
But even though I’m not going to South America anytime soon, it doesn’t mean that I can’t still daydream about the place. One location in particular that I’ve heard amazing things about is Colombia. What used to be seen as a dangerous and sketchy country in South America run by drug lords, now has a huge tourism draw, and is seen as an intriguing and attractive place to visit.
Estonia is still a destination that is often overlooked by travelers. It’s a place that conjures up images of castles, mythology, and the best parts of the Baltic states. What most people may not realize is the impressive balance between nature and technology when it comes to Estonian culture.
Estonians are very modern in the fact that their country is considered one of the most technologically connected nations in the world. Most everything in daily life can be done online, even when it comes to political elections and healthcare. Instead of technology making Estonia a vacant population that has all eyes glued to a screen, they have somehow managed to find a balance with nature as well.
One of my goals on The Atlas Heart is to break down travel misconceptions or judgments about places and ideas. Perhaps it could be that destination that everyone warns you not to visit because of how dangerous it is, or maybe you yourself had preconceived notions that were proven wrong once you arrived to where you were going.
My aim is to present a variety of different opinions and experiences through the eyes of other travelers. It’s important to hear travel stories from all different perspectives in life, I call it seeing the world through a kaleidoscope lens.
No matter which side of the American election you were on this November, you’ll have to agree that where America stands on the world stage is a bit uncertain right now. My country has decided to put someone in power who has no previous diplomatic or political experience. We have decided to choose a leader that wants to close America’s borders, and increase the ethnocentric mindset that already exists in this country.
This has caused alarm for a lot of American travelers and expats. I’m unsure if visa regulations will change for the worse in the next few years. I’m dreading how much anti-American sentiment I’ll get from other foreign travelers for simply being from a country who elected someone like Trump. I’ve already received backlash from other travelers in the last couple of weeks and I didn’t even vote for the guy.
When thinking about the Oregon coast, images of rugged cliffs, turquoise blue waters, and windswept forests come to mind. The untouched beauty of this stretch of the West Coast is appreciated by many, but it rarely feels overcrowded. The Oregon coast is the place to catch the best storms and listen to ghost stories. There’s an eeriness as well as a raw attractiveness that make people come back again.
I especially love the long stretches of the southern Oregon coast that are a lot less developed than the north. You feel disconnected from the rest of the country, winding through the curved roads that look out over breathtaking views.
There has been only one other time in my life that I’ve been on a jet boat, and that was on the famous Shotover Jet Boat Ride in Queenstown. Now it’s hard to beat that one. It’s a raucous 20 minute ride that is reminiscent of an amusement park ride where there are death-defying spins and close calls with cliff sides. In other words, it was an adrenaline rush in the best ways.
The recent jet boat ride I did with Jerry’s Rogue Jets in Gold Beach, Oregon was very different in a lot of ways. There were still spins here and there, but the main purpose of the tour wasn’t for the giddy-inducing stomach flips. It was for the scenery, and let me tell you, the Rogue River knows how to set a beautiful scene.
With the stress of the US election and its results still ringing in our ears, I think we could all use a post that reminds us of the beauty that still exists in America. Last month, I visited the southern parts of the Oregon coast for a short trip, only to find some of the most striking and ethereal spots in the state – and that’s saying something!
I started my journey in the small seaside town of Brookings and continued all the way up to Cape Blanco, before cutting back to the Eugene area after my trip. The drive took two days in total and there were a lot of gems along the way.
When you think of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, you may have flashbacks to your high school American history class. Gettysburg was an important location to the Civil War in early July of 1863. The Battle of Gettysburg had the largest amount of casualties than any other battle in the war, and it is thought of as the key turning point for the Union forces. In addition to the famous battle, it’s the city where President Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address.
The Gettysburg Address is arguably one of the most famous speeches in American history, and perhaps what makes it so great is that it’s still relevant to today’s world – promoting the idea of equality for all humans.
Even with its profound role in American history, Gettysburg is often an underrated and forgotten about city in Pennsylvania. What many don’t realize is the amount of activities there are for travelers who want to have a well-rounded all-American experience.
Ashland, Oregon is stunning at anytime of the year. I visited the city for the first time last summer when I went to my first Oregon Shakespeare Festival Production. This year, I had a chance to visit again in the early fall and I fell in love with this cultural capital again. One aspect that Oregon does well is fall foliage and although Ashland is almost to the California border, it still has beautiful mild seasons and colorful leaves in the fall.
This time I didn’t have full days of trying to fit in as much as possible like I did last summer, but a more relaxed and local experience that sat well with me. I still managed to get to another Oregon Shakespeare Festival play to my excitement and I squeezed in a pint at Caldera Brewing, but other than that, I had a lot of new experiences that further endeared me to the city.