Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

Monkey Madness in Bali, Indonesia

I hate monkeys.

They are cheeky, unpredictable criminals, who are too fast for you to catch when they steal your camera or purse. I would have never visited the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Bali, if it wasn’t for my mother visiting. But, I must admit, I was surprised by how much I loved this place.

As you walk through the sanctuary, you will see monkeys — lots of monkeys. The monkeys that cover every square inch of this forest are called long-tailed macaques. These monkeys are more docile (when compared to other types of monkeys) because they are used to the mass amounts of tourists visiting them on a daily basis. Continue Reading →

Lanterns in the Grand Bazaar Istanbul

Beyond the Beach in Istanbul: A Photo Essay

Welcome to part two of our Istanbul series. This time we explore the sights, sounds and tastes of this historic destination.

Of course, the main reason most visitors head to Istanbul is to take in the city’s incredible history and culture. Sites like the Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar are iconic landmarks, as recognizable around the globe as the Eiffel Tower, but with centuries more of history behind them. After all, from Constantinople to Istanbul, this is a city that has witnessed the rise and fall of multiple empires, that has been both Christian and Muslim, Ottomon and Byzantine. Continue Reading →

Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Downtown and Island Bound in Istanbul

It’s just after 6pm on a Tuesday in Istanbul. The line of traffic snakes down Kemeralti Caddesi, workers all heading toward the Bosphorus Bridge to take them out of the city’s downtown European core and home to the primarily residential Asian side. It’s rush hour, but it could really be any time of day—such is the downfall of being Europe’s most populated city (15 million as of 2013), along the banks of one of the city’s iconic slivers of water. Istanbul is, after all, the only city in the world to balance on the edge of two continents. The beautiful Bosphorus Strait divides the city in half, meaning it’s literally possible to stand in Europe and gaze at Asia or, like many of Istanbul’s residents, make the daily commute between continents. Continue Reading →

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Are the Gili Islands the new Bali?

Don’t get me wrong, I love Bali, it’s beautiful.  But after visiting Gili Trawangan, one of the three Gili islands, I felt as though I was being unfaithful to Bali. Why? Because I enjoyed the Gili Islands so much that a part of me wished I booked more of my holiday there. The three Gili … Continue Reading →

Scuba diving Bali

My First Scuba Diving Experience…in Bali!

Imagine this: you’re 15 meters below the ocean’s surface, silently gliding through the water. The only sound is you slowly breathing in and out. Suddenly, you’re face to face with a group of Bumphead Parrotfish….and then a bright orange Clownfish peering from a swaying anemone. You even spot a turtle drifting through the ocean.

Sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? It’s even more remarkable to experience scuba diving first hand in the deep blue sea. Continue Reading →