Behind the Blog – Meet Trisa from The Free Passport

Hi! I’m Trisa – 28 year old serial wanderluster, self-taught photographer and creator of the travel blog, The Free Passport. I’m a global health advocate by training, currently working for a global HIV/AIDS organisation – but my true calling lies in visual storytelling. I launched my blog in 2014, originally as a personal place to showcase my pictures. I had hundreds of photos just sitting on my hard drive doing nothing, and the world is too beautiful of a place for pictures of it to be sitting and doing nothing! Two years later, it has since evolved into so much more than I had originally thought was possible. I love the space for exactly what it is – the intersection between my passion for photography, travel and global consciousness. I also love it for what it represents. It is the result of the current chapter of my life. The chapter where I had to rediscover myself in the absence of the things that once defined me. And I couldn’t be more proud of it.

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Where are you based/located?

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii and raised in Los Angeles, California, I now live and work in New York City.

What first sparked your love for travel?

I actually didn’t really enjoy traveling when I was younger – I’m not really sure why. But as I started to branch into the field of global health and international development, I began to really appreciate how truly amazing the world is and how you can’t take for granted opportunities you have to see it.

What are some of your favourite countries to visit?

There so many it’s hard to choose! Italy and Greece are two of my all-time favourites but I’m constantly updating my bucket list with new places so I’m sure I have dozen of ‘favourites’ yet to be discovered!

 

Are there any places you’d tell people to avoid?

My work takes me to some interesting places – places that I wouldn’t necessary recommend, as they aren’t your typical ‘tourist’ destinations. But every place has something special to share and I think each traveller has to make their own decisions!

What destinations are on your bucket list?

Peru! Sri Lanka! Maldives! The list goes on and on..

Do you have any upcoming travel plans for 2017?

Yes! Actually a few days ago my partner-in-crime and I booked our flights for a five-week adventure in Southeast Asia – Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. If anyone as any tips, please share! It’ll be my first time in the region and I’m so excited!

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Do you do any research for your upcoming trips before visiting them?

Absolutely. I admit I’m a type-A planner, though I’m working on being more flexible and go-with-the-flow – because if you’ve ever travelled, you know that things don’t always go as planned! Google Flights, Kayak, and TripAdvisor are my go-to’s for travel planning. I also always buy a travel guide to have with me throughout. I enjoy reading the different recommendations and it comes in handy when you don’t have access to internet or for reading during long flights/bus rides.

What is your favourite memory that comes to mind when you think about your travels? / What is your most favourite photograph that you have taken during your travels?

 There are so many! But some of my favourites would have to be from the Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, and this one taken at the top of Trolltunga in Norway.

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I did the hike to Trolltunga with my parents – who weren’t in the best shape (haha). It took us nearly 11 hours to do the 22km roundtrip but it was worth every minute of the view from the top. I was so proud of them!!

Which airline do you prefer to fly with?

No one airline company is perfect but I try to build loyalty those that prioritise their corporate social responsibility.

Tell me your top travel quotes to inspire yourself or other travellers / Any advice for new and aspiring travellers?

Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. That’s my favourite quote and the mantra I live by. Never be afraid to see more of the world. That may seem easier said than done, given that are very real logistical and financial implications to traveling, right? But in the end, making your dreams a reality will always be worth the investment.

Social Media:

Behind the Blog – Meet Louise from Captured to Share

My name is Louise Brady, a 25 year old Travel Blogger from Sydney. In 2014, I quit my job and moved over to London on a one-way ticket. After a year abroad, travelling Europe and working for a high profile family in London, I wanted to create a creative space to share my stories, photography and life updates with family and friends. Thus, Captured to Share was born.

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Where are you based/located?

From Sydney to London and now the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. We are currently running the blog part time from our new home on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

What first sparked your love for travel?

I have definitely always been an admirer of natural beauty. I can almost pin point the very moment my love for travel was awoken. It came with the purchase of an Italy photography book. I am sure I wore the pages thin, flicking through them several times a day and daydreaming about the many places I wanted to visit. At 16, I travelled to Italy with my grandmother, which confirmed my love for the beautiful country. At 22 I embarked on a four-month trip around Europe, which I suppose is the moment, I fully understood the impact of travel and silently vowed to peruse a life of it.

What are some of your favourite countries to visit? 

Barcelona in Spain is somewhere I find myself returning to with each European adventure. I love the culture, architecture and summer vibes. I am a HUGE fan of Italy, as you may have read above. Croatia was another place that stole my heart in Europe Bali is my go-to mini getaway.

Are there any places you’d tell people to avoid?

This is hard because I found every place I visited to be meaningful. I suppose my least favourite city would have to be Darwin in Australia. There are amazing National Parks in the NT itself but I didn’t enjoy Darwin as much as I have other locations.

What is your favourite memory that comes to mind when you think about your travels?

The past three years have been a whirl wind of adventures, new experiences and new cities but every time I think back on the journey, I think of the tour around Europe in which I met my now boyfriend. Yes, I actually fell in love on TopDeck. 40 strangers boarded the bus in London and made our way around 6 different European countries over 17 days. I spent the 12-hour buses rides seated next to an Australian guy from Adelaide. We spoke the entire 12 hours every time we moved between countries. Our last stop was in Paris. We caught the Eiffel tower light up at midnight and as I turned around wondering where he had disappeared too, I found him standing with a rose. Nawwwwww. Three years later and we are still exploring the world together, and on occasion, he still buys me flowers.

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Any advice for new and aspiring travellers?

Be present. It is so easy to miss the moment by being caught up with people, technology and thinking about tomorrow. My favourite travel memories have been experienced alone, in silence, consumed by nature. Travel has a way of demanding your full attention, especially when visiting a place for the first time. Don’t miss those magical moments.

What destinations are on your bucket list?

I think it is a shorter list to highlight where I do not want to go. Basically everywhere. To name a few – Sahara Desert – India (I really want to see the Taj Mahal) – All of South America – Alaska

Do you have any upcoming travel plans for 2017?

We have just returned from a trip to Bali, Indonesia and I am leaving for London in a weeks time (feb 5). From London I am flying to Switzerland and may make a pit stop in Paris for a day or two. Other than that, we are really focusing on exploring more of Australia. I still haven’t been to the Great Barrier Reef. Hamilton Island and Fraser Island. Those locations are top of my list for 2017.

Do you do research for your upcoming trips before visiting them?

Yes. I like to check out local tourism websites and see what they recommend doing. I also read a few articles from fellow bloggers experiences. I think its important to have a balance of planning and spontaneity. You want to make sure you research the important things like countries religion and laws, as well as a few things of interest. I always research national parks and breakfast spots.

What is your most favourite photograph that you have taken during your travels?

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Posintano by Jay Foy (aka boyfriend)

Which airline do you prefer to fly with?

When we lived in London we would fly with the cheapest possible option- this was mostly Ryan Air. In Australia, we opt for Jet Star or Tiger Air (again, because they’re cheap). These days, I generally fly with Emirates for long haul flights but if we are on a budget, we will fly with anyone. Seriously… one time there was ash trays on board and no in flight entertainment

Tell me your top travel quotes to inspire yourself or other travellers

I am a big Eckhart Tolle fan. Any quote about living in the moment is right up my alley. I’ll go with this one “Realise deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”

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Social Media:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/louise__brady/

Twitter: @capturedtoshare

Behind the Blog – Meet Irone from IroneXplores

I am Irone Kim Tolibao, a Filipino, who loves traveling and writing. I have been to many places in the Philippines and I’d love to share my adventures and experiences with other people. I established my travel blog to encourage and help people travel and guide them on how to reach the places I’ve been to. My blog is all about giving directions and information about different places. Blogging for me is like hitting two birds in one stone, my love for travel and writing.

Where are you based/located?

My travels are solely focused in the Philippines for now. Got to love my own country.

What first sparked your love for travel?

My first travel was when me and my girlfriend went to Baguio City. One of the most visited places in Philippines due to several tourist spost. I was still courting her during that time. Witnessing these marvellous man-made or natural wonders inspired me to visit more beautiful places.

What are some of your favorite countries to visit?

So long I’ve only been here to the Philippines. So I must say Philippines is my favorite country. It is also my birth place.

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Are there any places you’d tell people to avoid?

There would be none. Telling people to avoid places is like telling them to miss an opportunity. Traveling is an adventure. The only thing I can do is warn them of my negative experiences in that place, but I will not stop them. I will let them know and avoid the mistakes I’ve made during my trip, but I will not hinder them to visit it.

What is your favourite memory that comes to mind when you think about your travels?

My favorite memory in all my travels is when I had a trip to Masbate Island. I encountered several misfortunes along the way like cancelled flight, cancelled island hopping, a storm, giant waves and so forth. Those unfortunate events happened in a single trip.

I was forced to change my itinerary and rerouted to Caramoan Island instead, which was totally out of plan. I have no contacts on that place, or any guide on what to do. I just held on to fate. Fortunately, everything went well. I found a decent guide, who I just met on a Church. He pretty much took care of everything. At the end of the trip, I discovered Caramoan Group of Islands was several times better than Masbate, and fate lead me there.

Any advice for new and aspiring travellers?

My best advice for new travellers is just to take the first big step. Most people don’t start traveling just because fear already takes them before they even started. People fear of getting lost, a cancelled trip, or a lack of money. This is part of the challenged. Once you experienced these challenges, you’ll know how to overcome them. Nothing can stop you now from traveling.

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What destinations are on your bucket list?

I don’t have a bucket list. I just wander wherever my feet would take me. Every place is unique and special. Everywhere should be a bucket list.

Do you have any upcoming travel plans for 2017?

I do have several plans this 2017. It’s already scheduled since last year.

New Year I went to Sagada. I went trekking, spelunking and waterfall hopping.
February is island hopping to Palawan.
March is climb a mountain somewhere in the northern Philippines.
April is spelunking and waterfall hopping in Samar.
May is the festival month of the Philippines. I just haven’t decided which festival to visit yet.
June is to visit Leyte, my home province, to visit lakes and islands.
July is probably another mountain climbing.
August is tour around the province of Batanes.
September to December is yet to be finalized. I already have several places in mind.

Do you reasearch for your upcoming trips before visiting them?

Yes. I do research every time I want to visit somewhere. I good information and directions about the place is the first thing I take care of before heading out. Just to avoid getting lost, or spending too much.

What is your most favourite photograph that you have taken during your travels?

This has always been my favorite photograph. Me and my girl was in an Island Hopping in Guimaras, and a perfect rainbow appeared to us. Such an amazing sight to behold.

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Which airline do you prefer to fly with?

I prefer AirAsia and Cebu Pacific. The services for both airlines are the same.

Tell me your top travel quotes to inspire yourself or other travellers

“Travel with someone important to you. The stronger the connection, the greater the fun.”

“If you wish to travel far with a lesser cost of leaving home, then let your home travel with you.”

“You only have one life. Travel lets you live it a hundred times.”

“Every journey starts with a single step.”

“There are always good things at the end of every struggle. The higher the mountain, the better.”

“There is light at the end of the darkest cave.”

Social Media:

My Website URL:
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If you’d like the opportunity to be featured like Irone, please contact Kate at wherekateresides@outlook.com

Exploring the ancient town of Thera on Santorini Island

On the Island of Santorini, The ancient town of Thera (otherwise known as Thira) is located 360m high on Messavouno Mountain, between Kamari and Perissa Beach. You can either drive from Kamari – I recommend taking an ATV instead of a car, as the road is VERY narrow – or walk up the mountain from Perissa Beach.
Thera is only accessible by foot from a certain point, but the stunning view makes the hike worth it!

Ancient Thera consists of Roman, Hellenistic and Byzantine ruins. You can wander around these cobblestoned pathways, following footsteps from settlements as early as the 9th century BC!

For only €2 entry – I highly suggest adding Ancient Thera to your Santorini Itinerary!

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10 Instagram Accounts to fulfil your case of wanderlust

Rainy days have me pondering through Instagram dreaming of future travel adventures. Instagram is never short of spectacular photography to fuel your passion to travel. I always find myself discovering new destinations to add to my travel bucket whilst flicking through different accounts.

Here are 10 of my most favourite Instagram accounts to follow:

1.Polkadot Passport

2. Farfelue Travel

3. World of Wanderlust

4. The Free Passport

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5. Tara Milk Tea

6. Alexandra Carson

7. Matthew Hahnel

8. Young Adventuress

9. Heart My Backpack

10. Girl vs Globe

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Hobbiton Movie Set

In 1999, Peter Jackson knocked on the door of the Alexander’s home, proposed an idea, and decided that this was where the Hobbiton Movie Set would be created. Now, many years later, it is a phenomenon where hundreds of thousands of tourists and LOTR/The Hobbit fans come visit each year. The set is located near the town of Matamata in the Waikato region of the North Island.

The tour starts as you board a bus, then taken through the farm, heading out to the set. Walking into the Hobbiton Movie Set is like stepping into another world. The Hobbit houses are so life-like you feel like they might open their door and greet you as you walk by. There is so much detail put into each house – some even had washing hanging on the line!

The tour lasts about 2 hours long and as part of it you make a stop at The Green Dragon Inn, which is featured in the LOTR trilogy’s and you receive a complimentary drink exclusively made for Hobbiton.

I recommend either going early morning or late afternoon as it gets very crowed over lunch time. You can book your tickets online through their website here.

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Hamilton Gardens, New Zealand

Lately I have been trying to get out and about and see more of what my hometown has to offer. Hamilton is home to a spectacular garden whom won an award for International Garden of the year in 2014.

The Hamilton Gardens were built upon an old city rubbish dump, and who knew how wonderful the gardens would become. There are now more than 15 remarkable themed gardens inside, my favourites being the Indian Char Bagh Garden and the Italian Renaissance Garden.

While I wander around the different gardens, I feel as though I am being transported from one country to another. The Hamilton Gardens have done an absolutely wonderful job and I highly recommend making a visit here if you are ever passing through Hamilton.

You can find more info about the Gardens on their website here

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Cathedral Cove, Coromandel, New Zealand

After living overseas for a few years, I have come to appreciate my home country so much more. Don’t get me wrong – I have visited some beautiful places, but I think when you grow up somewhere you don’t really see it as a paradise but more an every day thing.

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to get a few days off work, so I headed to the Coromandel with some good friends of mine. While we were there, we decided to walk the track to Cathedral Cove – a marvellous beach. It is a major tourist attraction and the beginning scene of Narnia was even filmed there!

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10 Travel Quotes Inspiring you to Travel

In your 20’s and 30’s, life can become challenging. At the age of 20, I still haven’t decided what to do with my life – whether it’s to study or work, I really don’t know. But something I do know, is that having the chance to travel and live in Paris solo has made me open my mind to so much more. I am finding myself interested in things I wouldn’t have even considered a few years ago. So to any of you who are like me, I encourage you to jump out of your comfort zone, pack a bag, move to a foreign country, and eat delicious food (you can thank me later on). You wont regret it.

Here are 10 of my favourite travel quotes to help inspire your travels:

“I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the World” – Mary Anne Radmacher

“As you move through this life..You leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you” – Anthony Bourdain 

“Not all who wander are lost” – Tolkien

“Live with no excuses, and travel with no regrets” – unknown

“Be a traveller, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in” – Andrew Zimmern

“There are two worlds: the world of the tourist and the world of everyone else. Often they’re side by side. But the tourist doesn’t actually see how people live” – Paul Theroux

“As you travel solo, being totally responsible for yourself, its inevitable that you will discover just how capable you are” – unknown

“Travel not to find yourself but to remember who you’ve been all along” – unknown

“The travel impulse is mental and physical curiosity. It’s a passion. And I can’t understand people who don’t want to travel.” – Paul Theroux

“Travel does the heart good” – unknown

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