All posts by Mimi McFadden

Mimi founded The Atlas Heart to create a community of travelers inspired to see the world. The Atlas Heart is a space where you'll find anecdotes on slow travel, craft beer, outdoor adventures, and all the eccentric bits in between that this world has to offer.

If You Were Here (Part I)

Tropical Sunset

It started raining at sunset tonight.

I looked up at the sky and it brought me back to that night. There were crashing waves and mojitos. The rain was coming down in buckets, we had to shout to hear each other over the noise.

If you were here, we would look up at the rain falling down on our faces and laugh at the perfect way in which it paralleled a 90s romantic comedy.

We would pause as we took our eyes away from the oncoming storm to notice the graceful way the falling sun framed our faces, our glances lingering a second too long.

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How to Spend a Week in Koh Chang, Thailand

Koh Chang, Thailand - Asia Travel

I visited Koh Chang twice over the course of a couple of months and I easily found the draw of this “elephant island”. With its hilly jungles, uncrowded beaches, and the feeling that you’ve reached one of the less touristy spots in Thailand, there is a lot to love about Koh Chang.

I never thought I’d be a long-term island girl, where I’d actually enjoy living on islands for more than a month or two. I love being busy, living in vibrant cities, going to live gigs, finding new architecture, cafes, and street art down alleyways.

But guys, I have to admit, I’m kind of addicted to island life now. And I would say that Koh Chang was the island that started that addiction.

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Wrap-Up: March 2017

March Wrap-Up 2017 - The Atlas Heart

Hello friends and welcome to my new monthly wrap-up series! In an effort to stay relevant and keep you informed on my current travels (since this blog is usually a month or two behind on where I actually am), I’ve decided to start writing personal wrap-up posts.

Where oh where do I even begin with wrapping up March?

As per usual, this last month flew by mainly because of the amount of curveballs life threw my way. Maybe I was trying to get through it all as soon as possible.

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A Day of Agritourism in the Mekong Delta

Mekong Delta tour with Intrepid Urban Adventures - Vietnam Travel

Kelsey and I quickly made our way to the Saigon Opera House, a short walk from where we were staying, and where we would be meeting our tour group for the day. We had signed up for a Mekong Discovery tour with Intrepid Urban Adventures, and we had a full day ahead of us of agricultural wonders and good food.

This was my first tour with Intrepid, but I had heard great things about them from other travelers and bloggers alike, which made me seek them out. They have tours all over the world, and their Urban Adventure tours specifically are meant to be more focused on the local side of a destination.

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On Getting Dumped in Thailand

Getting Dumped in Southeast Asia -

And you learn
To build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is
Too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way
Of falling down in mid flight

After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden
And decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers

And you learn
That you really can endure
That you are really strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn
With every goodbye you learn.

-Veronica A. Shoffstall

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Peace, Clarity & Rooftop Pools: Liberty Central Saigon Citypoint

Liberty Central Saigon Citypoint Hotel - Vietnam Travel

From the moment my friend Kelsey and I stepped into the Liberty Central Saigon Citypoint Hotel, we were welcomed as valued guests. After check-in, we grabbed fresh guava juice from the downstairs bar and sighed into our cushy chairs, taking in the expansive and open lobby with neutral tones and a clean design.

Yes, we could definitely stay here for awhile.

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Experiencing Saigon by Motorbike with XO Tours

The Foodie by XO Tours - Vietnam - Asia Travel

You can feel the vibrancy as soon as you touch down in Saigon – the motorbikes whizzing by, the smells, the sizzling heat.

Last time I was in the city, I was overwhelmed. It was one of the first cities I visited in Asia and my senses were doing overtime. I didn’t know how to cross the street without having a heart-racing adrenaline kick each time, and I soon found out that the motorbike thieves are a real thing when one tried to grab my friend’s bag from behind.

It was too much and I wrote off Saigon as a big city that I would never enjoy visiting. But as I sometimes find when I travel more, I couldn’t have been more wrong with my initial prejudice against the city.

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Travel Budgeting for Hong Kong

Travel Budgeting for Hong Kong

To continue my travel budgeting series around Asia, next up is Hong Kong!

Hong Kong was actually my first Asian destination for this trip, but I somehow didn’t get to this budgeting post until now. I think it’s because I’ve spent the least amount of time in Hong Kong so far, so it wasn’t as much of a priority.

But, the time has come to talk about travel budgeting for this metropolitan city. Hong Kong is one of the most expensive places in Asia, so it’s good to know what you should budget before you arrive.

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Wrap Up: February 2017

Koh Mak, Thailand at Sunset - Asia Travel

Hello friends and welcome to my brand new monthly wrap-up series! In an effort to stay relevant and keep you informed on my current travels (since this blog is usually a month or two behind on where I actually am), I’ve decided to start writing personal wrap-up posts.

So, without further delay, this is what I got up to in February!

Can I just start by saying how fast 2017 is going already. Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten more into a routine where I’m based on this little Thai island, but the weeks have been flying by.

It doesn’t help that February is such a short month, but boy, it has made me realize how much I want to get done this year and that I need to re-focus.

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The 25 Books I Read in 2016

Reading in Koh Chang, Thailand | Asia Travel

2016 was a lot of things. I became serious about my business and brand partnerships, and it was the year that I got back into reading.

Okay, to be fair, I’ve never not been into reading since I first learned how to read. As you may have noticed by the amount of 2000+ word posts on this blog (this one included, eek!), I love words.

English was always my favorite class growing up, because you got to read books for homework and you were able to discuss it with the class, even by the chapter sometimes.

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