Category: Recreation

24 Hours in Mandalay: The Best Things to Do in 2020

If you’ve been dreaming of white temples and friendly locals, a bustling city, that for most, is a portal to Bagan, then you must be envisioning Mandalay.

I liked Mandalay. My expectations were low after reading online reviews where people called the city chaotic and busy, but I came out loving it. And while I can see where they’re coming from, there’s something about that chaos that reminds me of adventures in my 20s and ignites my soul.

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With a short 24 hours in the city, this is how I made the most of it and did the best there is to do in and around Mandalay:

U Bein Bridge for Sunrise

I learned about this famous bridge after seeing its photo on momondo while looking up flights. Hey, a girl’s got to get her inspiration wherever she can. It was a sight to behold.

The bridge is

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What to Pack for Backpacking in Southeast Asia

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2020 Update: After a combined 2.5 years in Southeast Asia spread out over multiple visits and every time of year, this is my revisited, more fashionable, new and improved Southeast Asia packing list. 

I’ve read about packing lists ad nauseam on the interwebs. They usually consist of various clothing options and toiletries, but lack the hindsight of someone who has been traveling around with her turtle shell — that would be, my 35L backpack — for the long haul.

After over two years of traveling in Southeast Asia, in all times of year, in various climates, and doing activities from diving to hiking, you might appreciate knowing what has turned out to be completely essential, and what I ended up ditching.

This is the essential Southeast Asia packing list:

1. Gear

The right gear will make your journey 100 times easier. For your main backpack, I highly recommend

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The Perfect Guide to Myanmar’s Dreamy Coastal Town

As the sun takes a dip into the ocean to finish the day, our shadows long behind us and the light beams turning gold through the coconut trees, I thank Myanmar for another peaceful day spent alternating between the ocean and the umbrella. It’s perfectly lazy. It’s everything I want.

I have a thing for coastal towns like this in Southeast Asia. It reminds me in some ways of Otres Beach in Cambodia years ago, but perhaps with fewer joints being passed around.

Or maybe it’s more like Tonsai in Thailand used to be, or a bit like Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi. I’m always on the hunt for the beautiful places in Southeast Asia that aren’t overrun yet, and this crescent-shaped beach above Ngapali is straddling the line, at least for now.

The water is perfectly clear, straight down to the white sand. Unlike much of

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32 Perfect Solo Travel Quotes

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It’s no surprise that I’m a believer in the power of solo travel.  Over seven years of exploring the world has made me appreciate the freedom of my own company, even in a place that is new to me.

Yet solo travel can be intimidating – especially at first. When I traveled to Bangkok by myself for the first time, I was nervous until the plane took off. But my other life-changing trips would not have happened if I never took that initial leap of faith.

The confidence to travel by yourself is more about your mind than it is about your abilities. Solo travel forces you to believe in your strength, and soon enough you’ll realize you can accomplish more than what you thought possible.

But if you still need that extra push to commit to your next adventure, take it from these 32 quotes that

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