Sunday, April 08, 2018

Predicting the Aurora for Photography

I am part of this awesome photography community, and the members constantly share great tips. Here's one I thought a lot would benefit from (Aurora Time-lapse by Jeff here):

By Jeff Wallace (Facebook Page) -  I remember the first time I saw the northern lights. It was sometime in the early 80s, a green glow on the horizon while traveling on a bus in northeast Minnesota. I think everyone was sleeping, but I couldn’t take my eyes away from the window.

Since moving to central Alberta in 2009, I’ve been a regular aurora photographer and happy to share my approach to predicting the aurora for photography.

From time to time, I’m asked if the auroras will be out, or when is the best season to see them. Outside the aurora chasing community, most are unaware that space weather is monitored continuously, and the auroras are more or less predictable now. Their appearance isn’t the random happenstance it once was. 

By Jeff Wallace

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Quick Guide to visiting Istanbul

I have been to Istanbul several times (around 10 times where 9 were for business)! Even though I never really got down to writing any travel tips, luckily, having the chance to go there time after time, I eventually got to see it from locals' perspective and accrued some cool tips specially when it comes to areas that aren't touristy, but still quite exquisite! Without further a due, here's your quick guide to visiting Istanbul!


Istanbul - Turkey

Friday, March 23, 2018

Quick Guide to visiting Madrid

When I visited Madrid back in 2011, I wasn't writing down any travel tips. Luckily though, I still remember enough to share with you a quick guide to visiting Madrid. Most of these tips were actually handed over to me by Samer, my awesome friend who was my guiding force when I first started traveling :)

Puerta del sol

Friday, February 16, 2018

Things to do in Luang Prabang - Laos

Destination: Luang Prabang
Travel Companion: Solo (but met awesome people like Kate, Ashley, Gayle...)
Duration: 5 days

If you came here from my Laos blog post, then you should already have a lot of info related to Laos in terms of transport, visa, budget, tips etc.. if not and this information is important for you, kindly jump on this link!

Luang Prabang is definitely one of my ultimate favorite cities. When I booked my trip to Laos, with my first stop being Luang Prabang, I didn't have much expectations. To my great surprise, it was one of the chillest, coolest, most awesome cities I have ever been too, and I knew that only 5 minutes after being out of the airport and on the way to my hotel.



Things to do in Vang Vieng and Vientiane - Laos

Destination: Vang Vieng and Vientiane
Travel Companion: Solo
Duration: 3 days

If you came here from my Laos blog post, then you should already have a lot of info related to Laos in terms of transport, visa, budget, tips etc.. if not and this information is important for you, kindly jump on this link!

Vang Vieng

  is one for the books, still a very unspoiled land, very different from Luang Prabang. It's still raw and natural. Small and modest houses, vast lands with only a population of 25,000, most people don't speak English (reminds me of a funny story with the tuktuk driver I picked to take me to my hotel who I had to use sign language with). Anyway, it's a beautiful town, a must visit. If you somehow are able to rent a car, you will find even more fascinating areas to stop at on the way to Vang Vieng, such as the town called "Pha Tang", a quiet area, might be suitable for a retreat and just be one with nature! You will see plenty of school boys and girls commuting on their own mopeds, students no older than 14-15. On the way to the Blue Lagoon, I saw plenty of cows just roaming around the roads that sometimes we'd have to wait for them to move away so we can be on our way.

Beautiful Vang Vieng

Laos, an unspoiled country with a lot to offer

Destination: Laos
Travel Companion: Solo
Duration: 8 days
Budget: 580$ pp (excl. flights)

Luang Prabang Blogpost "Top things to do in Luang Prabang"
Vang Vieng and Vientiane Blogpost " Top things to do in Vang Vieng and Vientiane"

South East Asia Trip: Least expectations were for Laos

I had to plan a month trip that included Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, and I was expecting the least from Laos. Plot twist (you saw that coming) I fell in love with Laos, 5 minutes after getting out of Luang Prabang's airport. It immediately reminded me of the friendliness I saw in Sri Lanka, the modesty, the marvelous nature (competes with Vietnam and Indonesia) and the food was quite delicious (Vietnam would still win on the food front though).




Saturday, September 09, 2017

Florentine Tips & Tricks for a Great Holiday

Destination: Florence and Cinque Terre
Travel Companion: Rawan (and Nagham)
Duration: 5 days
Budget: 1,800$ pp  
 
Florence is way more famous than for me to come and share a lengthy post full of tips for you. But here are 10 easy quick ones that I really recommend and / or think would be super helpful:

360 View of the Duomo & Florence - Photo by my friend R. Khairallah

Friday, August 18, 2017

Where would you live in these cities around the world?

If you had a choice to go live somewhere else for 6 months, where would you go?

1. Amsterdam - The Netherlands

A post shared by Liliane (@funkyozzi) on


Thursday, August 03, 2017

10 Things To Do in Cape Town

My cousin reached out to me today asking me to share some Cape Town tips. I've been to Cape Town 4 times for work where I used to extend my stays for the weekend. My one regret is not extending for longer because it's just a wonderful city and you can never get enough of it.

Camps Bay - Cape Town

Based on this, here are 10 tips / things to do that can fill around 4-5 days of your time in Cape Town.:

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Top 10 Hiking Trails in Lebanon

With more and more city and noise pollution, one must escape to nature specially during the summer heat. Even though some of my favorite activities in Lebanon are camping and hiking and even after 15 years of being a girl scout, I only discovered new spots through Nicolas' Instagram account. Luckily, Nicolas was kind enough to share this list of 10 his favorite hiking trails in Lebanon. Enjoy!




Wednesday, May 17, 2017

10 warm destinations to visit in 2017

Wondering where to explore next this year by traveling light and without carrying a jacket on you? 10 of my favorite places are on this list.

1) Porto - Portugal


Porto


When to go: June till October
What not to miss: Pastel de Nata, Fado Music and AlFama
Tips & Recos: blog post

Friday, May 12, 2017

Lago di Garda "a beautiful escape"

Destination: Lago di Garda
Travel Companion: Wife
Duration: 4 days
Budget: 850$ pp (excl. Airfare)

By Bechara Daccache (Instagram): When you think of Italy, Rome, Florence or Venice come to mind. Today, I want to take you instead on one beautiful relaxing escape, Lake Garda. Lago di Garda is the largest lake in Italy, and is about half-way between Milan and Venice.

Morning view for a quiet breakfast at Hotel Classique.

It is a popular holiday destination but not exactly from Lebanon, since it is not easy to reach. The lake is located at the bottom of the Dolomite mountains and is surrounded by small villages, natural parks, wineries and camping sites.

You can spend your day walking around towns like Garda, Sirmione, Lazise and Bardolino. Easier way to get there is by landing in Milano's airport. You can spend the night in Milan, and take the train to Garda. Oh and I don't recommend more than that in Milan. I didn't like it.

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Maldives for all

Destination: The Maldives
Travel Companion: Mom
Duration: 4 days
Budget: 2,500$ pp
 
I've been wanting to visit the Maldives for several years now, but because of the stigma around it, being a romantic destination, I kept postponing, even though there has been at least 3 times when I started the process of looking at airfare prices and even getting to the point of entering my credit card info. I've always stopped myself until recently. I decided, I want to see the Maldives because I've only heard and seen great things about it, and I want to take my mom. So I booked accordingly.

Best Hammock in the world

Sunday, April 09, 2017

How to make the best of Iceland in 7 days

Destination: Iceland
Travel Companion: Rita
Duration: 8 days
Budget: 3,200$ pp

Originally, Iceland was never top of list for me to visit, specially not in regards to seeing the Northern lights, I always felt that North of Norway and Sweden have higher chances. Still, I knew Iceland was something else and decided to just go for it. I wanted to see all of Iceland and knew it was exactly the kind of country where you can rent a car and go about all of it. Here's a video summary of my trip in 1 minute.

Many friends asked me for the itinerary and recommendations of what to do in Iceland. One week there taught me about the Do's and Don'ts, so I hope you find it useful. I will be covering the following sections:
  • Duration & Budget
  • Location & Itinerary
  • Accommodation
  • Transport (Rent a car or Tours)
  • Money (Cash or card)
  • Places to visit
  • Activities to do
  • What to wear
  • How to chase & shoot the Auroras 
  • Food & Drinks
A night I will never forget! Kirkjufellfoss - Iceland