Browsing Category: Travel

Phu Quoc Island: A Different Side to Vietnam

Snorkeling in the Phu Quoc archipelago

When you think of Vietnam, you probably think of moody landscapes, thick jungles, and the hectic nature of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Very rarely do people think of tropical islands when considering a trip to Vietnam.

There are actually quite a few islands that tend to be less touristy than the mainland, because, well, not that many people know about them. I finally had my own tropical Vietnamese island experience this year on Phú Quốc.

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Wrap Up: May 2017

May Wrap-Up - The Atlas Heart | Kuang Si Falls, Luang Prabang, Laos

May was the month I turned 27! I started the month in Thailand and ended it in Laos, my 28th country. And let me just say, I’m glad my country count is keeping ahead of my age, I think that’s a good sign.

This month included meeting up with one of my close friends, Pascale, who I met in Thailand a couple of months ago. May was also a month of readjusting to another new Asian culture, and finally discovering Laos for the first time, a country I’ve been wanting to see for years.

This is where I went and what I got up to in May.

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11 Photos to Inspire a Trip to the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon in Arizona - USA Travel

The Grand Canyon was always one of those spots that I wanted to see in the US. I mean, it’s huge. It takes multiple hours to drive from one side of the Canyon to the other. Your brain can’t register the size of it because it seems to go on forever.

Jaw-dropping is one way to describe it. I was mesmerized as soon as I went to the first lookout. I stood there for ages, trying to take it all in, noticing the heavy fog that would roll in within a few minutes and dissipate just as quickly.

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27 Things I’ve Learned About Life & Travel

Bagan, Myanmar - Southeast Asia Travel

It’s my 27th birthday in two days!

To celebrate I’m heading down to Si Phan Don in Laos, also known as the 4,000 Islands. As many of you know, I spend every birthday of my 20s in a different city. My 21st was in San Diego, my 22nd in Las Vegas, my 23rd in Melbourne, my 24th in Wellington, my 25th in Veneta, my 26th in Chicago, and now my 27th will be in Si Phan Don!

I also wanted to celebrate by sharing 27 things I’ve learned from almost three decades on this planet. I mean, you get wiser with age, right? Well, let’s hope so!

My 20s thus far have been all about that learning curve of life. When I look back on who I was in my early 20s, circa 2011, it almost feels like another person. Then again, to my core, I’m still me.

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My First Impressions of Laos

First Impressions of Laos - Luang Prabang - Asia Travel

Pink and purple.

If I could describe Laos in colors, it would be pink and purple. There’s this soft haze of pastels that often falls over the country, and it’s easy to see why they call this the romantic traveler’s paradise.

The outline of the distant mountains, the soothing flow of the river, the soft swaying jungle always close by as you walk home from another night of paper lanterns, solo street guitar players, and red brick sidewalks.

This is Laos, a country I’ve been wanting to visit since I first came to Southeast Asia in 2013. I missed out on seeing the country back then, but I knew I didn’t want that to be the case this time I was in Asia.

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An Ode to the Asian Night Bus

An Ode to the Asian Night Bus

There’s nothing like an Asian night bus to make you think of your own mortality,

The stained curtains swing side to side in tune to the curves as we go around again.

I have The xx on repeat, thinking about all of life’s little defeats and how I got here.

The driver is going 80 on a hairpin turn, the wheels hugging the road just slightly so,

Will this be the last thing I see before I go?

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Wrap-Up: April 2017

Railay Beach, Thailand - Asia Travel

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.

We’re already eight days into May, clearly I’m falling behind on keeping you guys up to date on my month-to-month travels. So, let’s dive right in!

After a difficult March, April was everything that I needed to feel rejuvenated and grounded again. There was a lot of social fun involved, but also plenty of relaxation that I enjoyed in Koh Lanta, working on music and freelance work. I also added a couple of new Thai destinations to my travels, and started planning out the rest of my year.

So, without further ado, let’s review what I got up to in April!

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My Travel Plans for the Rest of 2017

My Travel Plans for the Rest of 2017 - The Atlas Heart

I don’t know where this year has gone already, but I am left gaping every time I look at a calendar and realize it’s already May. May, people! That’s the fifth month (my birthday month, woot woot!), as in, 2017 is already almost half over.

In other words, I need to get my bum into gear. I had so many plans for this blog in 2017 and I’ve only incorporated a few of them so far. I’m ready to throw myself completely into my passions and not look back.

As I mentioned recently on here, I want the rest of this year to be a year to myself. And no, I’m not meaning I want to go be an anti-social hermit and have no friends. I mean I want to focus more on what I want this year, and not make compromises in my life to make someone else happy.

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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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