Best Wanderlust Inducing Movies

  • Wild Wild (2014) Poster

Academy Award Winner Reese Witherspoon stars in this extraordinary true story chronicling one woman’s solo thousand mile hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. Wild is a story of self discovery, adventure and atonement.

  • a map for saturdayA Map for Saturday Movie

This travel documentary follows a man as he quits his job and travels around the world for a year. This film shows the ups and down of one man’s real travel adventure.

  • The Motorcycle DiariesThe Motorcycle Diaries (2004) Poster

This road movie follows Che Guevara and his friend’s 8000 mile road trip from Buenos Aires to Venezuela. Their quest is to see things they’ve only read about in books.  The journey tests their friendship, bodies, minds and reroutes their futures.

  • The Darjeeling Limited (2007) PosterThe darjeeling limited

A year after their father’s funeral, three brothers travel across India by train in an attempt to bond with each other.

  • EurotripEuroTrip (2004) Poster

Dumped by his girlfriend, a high school grad decides to embark on an overseas adventure in Europe with his friends.

  • The secret life of walter MittySecret Life of Walter Mitty Movie

Walter has a boring real life but an exciting and active imagination. A struggle at work send him on the adventure of a lifetime around the world.

  • the wayThe Way Movie

The way is a touching and inspiring film about a father who treks through Spain in honor of his recently deceased son.

  • Land ho!Land Ho! (2014) Poster

Two old friends road trip through Iceland during the prime of their lives.

  • under the tuscan sunUnder the Tuscan Sun (2003) Poster

A writer impulsively buys a villa in Tuscany in order to change her life.

  • My Life in RuinsMy Life in Ruins (2009) Poster

A travel guide rediscovers her romantic side on a trip around Greece.

  • Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) Postervicky christan barcelona

Two girlfriends on a summer holiday in Spain become enamored with the same painter, unaware that his ex-wife, with whom he has a tempestuous relationship, is about to re-enter the picture.

  • the beach

The Beach (2000) PosterTwenty-something Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss – excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.

  • up!Up (2009) Poster

To avoid being taken away to a nursing home, an old widower tries to fly his home to Paradise Falls, South America, along with a boy scout who accidentally lifted off with him

  • The Art of TravelThe Art of Travel (2008) Poster

When wedding plans fail Conner goes solo on his honeymoon to Central America.

  • Craigslist JoeCraigslist Joe (2012) Poster

In a time when America’s economy was crumbling and sense of community was in question, one guy left everything behind to see if he could survive solely on the support and goodwill of the 21st century’s new town square: Craigslist.

  • MonstersMonsters (2010) Poster

Six years after Earth has suffered an alien invasion a cynical journalist agrees to escort a shaken American tourist through an infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border.

  • The Best Exotic MarigoldThe Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) Poster Hotel

British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than advertised, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.

  • The Ramen GirlThe Ramen Girl (2008) Poster

An American woman is stranded in Tokyo after breaking up with her boyfriend. Searching for direction in life, she trains to be a râmen chef under a tyrannical Japanese master.

  • Catch me if you canCatch Me If You Can (2002) Poster

A true story about Frank Abagnale Jr., who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars’ worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor.

  • Away We GoAway We Go (2009) Poster

A few months before their baby is due, Verona (Maya Rudolph) and Burt (John Krasinski) decide to take a road trip to find the perfect location to raise their family.

  • Out of AfricaOut of Africa (1985) Poster

In 20th-century colonial Kenya, a Danish baroness/plantation owner has a passionate love affair with a free-spirited big-game hunter.

  • Midnight In ParisMidnight in Paris (2011) Poster

While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée’s family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s every day at midnight.

  • Paris, je t’aimeParis, je t'aime (2006) Poster

Through the neighborhoods of Paris, love is veiled, revealed, imitated, sucked dry, reinvented and awakened.

  • Image of OutsourcedOutsourced

    After his entire department is outsourced, an American novelty products salesman heads to India to train his replacement.

  • Into the wildImage of Into the Wild

After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.

How to spend a week in Paris for less then $1200

This season we have a 12 day shooting hiatus during production this summer and I am ecstatic! I have extreme waunderlust and 7 months of straight work doesn’t allow for travel. But this season we have a break for Fourth of July! If you’re like me and have an incessant need to travel but are on a budget then here’s the “How To” for you!

How to spend a week in paris for less than a $1200

A Godsend in the world of Airlines: Nowegian air 

Norwegian Air is an affordable airline with the some of cheapest flights from the US to Europe.

The MEca of search engines: skyscanner.com

Sky Scanner compares millions of flights to find you the cheapest deal, fast. This is absolute best flight search engine I have found. However, if you’re a student I recommend you try Studentuniverse.com. You have to have a student ID and email address. I used Student Universe to plan my whole European backpacking trip when I was in college.

HOw to search for flights:
  • When searching search one-way. It’s usually cheaper then booking a round trip. You don’t have to stay within one airline so you have more options.
  • Leave from a major hub. I live in Norfolk, VA. It’s always cheaper for me to fly out of Richmond. Which is only an hour and half away from me. Another option I have is to leave out of New York. I can easily get to JFK (NYC) for around $150 from RIC. Or I take the 6 hour Mega Bus for just $25!
  • Search on a week day around 2pm.
  • Book flights about 6 weeks in advance if possible!
OUTBOUND FLIGHT

Leaving June 1st 2015Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 6.32.57 PM

Return FLIGHT

Leaving June 8th 2015Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 7.14.02 PM

TOTAL: $616

Hostel

If you really want to travel on a budget then staying at a hostel is the best solution. Hostels in Europe can be top-notch. If you do your research you can find excellent places that are cheap, modern, clean and friendly.

I suggest St. Christopher’s Inn. They have hostels all over Europe. Staying with a hostel chain means more accountability, better communication and higher standards. I’ve stayed our St. Christopher’s in London and at Gare Du Nord in Paris.

When searching for the right hotel I look for:
  • Breakfast
  • Bed sheets provided
  • WIFI
  • In room lockers
  • Organized Social events

Seven days and six nights at St. Christopher’s Canal, Paris: 33.62 per night

TOTAL: $238.35

FOOD Budget
  • Breakfast – Free
  • Lunch – $12 a day ($85)
  • Dinner- $15 a night ($100)
  • 25% off food and drink specials downstairs in Belushi’s bar and restaurant

TOTAL: $185

FUN

TOTAL: $115

TRIP TOTAL: $1155


Check out what I did on my last trip to Paris: CLICK HERE 

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Where do I want to go in 2015?

1. Peru

Peru is number one on my list of places to visit in 2015 because it features diverse landscapes, friendly people, colorful food and tons of adventure. I want to hike to Machu Pichu, white water raft on the Urubamba River and meet some Alpacas! I’m also going to try to convince a couple of friends to go. I want to share my adventure with others!

Hassle free trips I could take:

– Contiki’s Peru Uncovered

2. Eastern Europe for Christmas

I imagine visiting Eastern Europe’s capital cities of Budapest, Prague and Krakow in the winter will be like visiting the kingdom from Frozen or any other winter fairy tale. I want to visit Christmas markets, snow covered castles and ice skate on real ice! I might even like to do a week of skiing in Austria.

Hassle free trips I could take:

– Top Deck’s Spires in the Snow

– Contiki’s Berlin to Budapest

– Contiki’s Austria Ski

3. Camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains

I want to go camping with my family in the Virginia Blue Ridge mountains or the Harper’s Ferry region. We can take out my brother’s new Sylvan Sport Go Camper, go tubing or kayaking, hike and roast marshmallows.

4. Los Angeles

Since I work in Film and TV I think it’s about time to make the pilgrimage to Hollywood. I want to crash some celebrity parties, shop on Rodeo drive, take pictures with the crazy costume people at the Chinese Theater and hike past the Hollywood sign. Plus I’d love to catch up with my many friends who’ve made the move to the sunshine state!

5. Hampshire, Southern England

I want to dedicate a week or two of my year discovering Jane Austen’s England. But most specifically visiting my friend Becky in Petersfield! I want to rent a car and try driving on the wrong side of the road. I want to drink a pint of beer in a proper pub. I want visit the Downton Abbey castle, take in the English countryside and just relax with a proper holiday.

Caio, Florence

Our group decided to start late because of the New Years Eve celebrations so we set out at 11AM today.

I found out that some people did stay out and party last night. So I am kind of bummed that I didn’t find them. It would have been fun to party with other people.

After a long coach ride we arrived in Florence. Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 12.59.27 PM

Where did I stay? Hotel Raffaello Florence 

We went to dinner and then to a karaoke bar where I sang Grease with this guy named Russel. Everyone said we did really good! DSC00833

The next day we started bright and early.

Our first stop was Leonardo’s Leather for a leather demonstration. Honestly there wasn’t much demonstrating. It wasn’t very informative. I think it was a waste of time. A lot of people spent a ton of money there and I don’t really see the appeal. I found things there to be over priced. But what ever floats your boat…DSC00837

Afterwards we met by the David replica and began a walking tour of Florence. We saw Ponte Vecchio, the Medici Palace and more. It was more talking then walking and I couldn’t really hear our guide. Some how I ended up loosing everyone. Then as I was standing on a bridge trying to figure out what to do I spotted Mollie!

The rest of the day Mollie and I wandered aimlessly around Florence. We had a great time laughing, chatting, gossiping and making fun of ourselves and everyone around us. We had lunch right outside of the Duomo. We hung out, I sipped wine and we devoured our amazing lunches.

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 12.59.37 PMI think that Mollie and I walked around the whole city. We saw tons of beautiful buildings, fascinating people, and lovely churches.

We even had delicious Gelato in a piazza where a lady was singing opera. It was very cinematic. 10915323_10152891603040813_6201928678578607055_n

Afterwards we went back to the hotel for naps before our big night out. I no longer have a roommate. Alex has decided to move in with a guy from our tour. So now I’ve been upgraded from a triple share to a single room. It’s nice to have more space and not worry about other people’s needs, but it is also kind of lonely.

Tonight we went to Space Electronic Disco. I had a great time dancing and had a few to many drinks. All was going well until I somehow wound up in charge of a very drunk guy on our tour. I had to wrestle him into a cab and get him back to the hotel. Before that I ended up having to pay for his lost drink and coat check cards and then apologize to everyone at the club on his behalf. Once in the cab he began acting strange and then he vomited everywhere! Our taxi driver was furious! He didn’t speak english but he just started reaming me in Italian. He was very intimidating. I finally convinced us to take us all the way to the hotel. Once there he continued to yell at me while my new friend was drunkenly slumped over in the hotel lobby. I ended up having to pay 200 Euro for trip and vomit. He yelled at me so much I started crying. The situation was awful but also kind of hilarious. I went to bed in tears but giggling. What a weird night.

Review of the Big IndoChina Adventure with Contiki

I initially chose to go to South East Asia because I wanted to travel to a tropical location for my winter holiday. Other then wanting to catch some rays, I had no other aspirations. But I now have a new love and appreciation for asian culture and solo travel.

This trip introduced me to a completely foreign culture, new (amazing) foods, friendly people, peaceful cultures, exotic adventures and stunning landscapes. This trip put me out of my comfort zone and completely emerged me in different ways of life. I can honestly say I have returned as a stronger, braver and more confident person. I recommend going on this adventure alone. You will meet many like-minded travelers and you will discover so much about yourself.

When I booked this trip I expected to stay in mostly hostels and cheap hotels…expectations were blown out the water. We stayed in mostly 4 and 5 star hotels. Every place was nicer then the last. But my favorite places we stayed we not the 5 star hotels. We stayed at two charming guest houses and on a beautiful junk boat in Ha Long Bay. Every place we stayed had free wifi, water bottles, safes and hot water!

I couldn’t have asked for a better group of fellow travelers. I will forever be friends with many of the people I met. Especially my tour manger Lee (Hailey). I can safely say she made my trip. Lee is super cool, chill and fun. She showed us the best bars, hangouts and foodies in town. She was familiar with the locals and even spoke most of languages. I told her initially I planned on turning my brain off for most of my trip. So it was awesome having her plan most excursions and helping me have the time of my life.

The coolest thing about this trip is you’re not stuck on a bus all day long like many other contiki trips. Don’t get me wrong there are bus trips. The longest was 6 hours. To get through the different countries you will take an overnight train, boats, tuk tuks, buses, vans and jets. I loved our overnight train ride. It really gave everyone a chance to bond.

My favorite things I did on the trip were the Wat Phrathat in Chiang Mai, Thai cooking class in Chiang Rai, Elephant riding, “Kangaroo Sunset” bar and kayaking in Luang Prabang, causing a street dance party in Siem Reap, jumping off our boat in Nha Trang and sailing in Ha Long Bay.

I would recommend this trip to everyone. I always felt safe, culturally submerged and had a blast.

Tips I wish I had been given:
-Bring temple wear (Long pants, t-shirts)
-Pack your bag and then take out half. It’s super easy to do laundry.
-Bring only one swim suit. There are water activities, but not consecutive ones. You only need one suit.
– You should not need more then $25 a day if you don’t plan on doing much shopping.
– Invest good pair of flip flops. You have to remove your shoes a lot and they’re easier to get on and off then sandals.
-Don’t bring a huge suitcase. A back pack is better.
-You don’t need to bring makeup. Most of the girls on the trip won’t wear it. It will just sweat off.
-Bring your own bug spray.
-Bring or be prepared to pull out american dollars. You will need to pay for most excursions with USD. Also Cambodia widely prefers USD over Riel.
-If you’re coming from the states you don’t need an adaptor. All outlets take the US plug!
-Wifi is everywhere. Turn your phone on airplane mode and don’t bother getting a plan. Just Skype and iMessage people using wifi.
-Pack playing cards!
-Pack your own portable charger!

My Son Sanctuary

Today we explored a series of Hindu Temples called My Son. My Son is a UNESCO world Heritage-listed site that was built between the 4th and 14th century. It was like being in Indiana Jones! The temples still see so wild and undiscovered. They’re tucked deep into the jungle and surrounded by vast mountain ranges and overgrowth of trees and vines.

On the ride back our local guide told us his fascinating life story. He was a intel solider and translator for the American Army during the Vietnam war. His story should be made into a movie!

What happens in Bangkok…goes on your blog

First official day of the Contiki Big Indochina Adventure tour kicks off in Bangkok Thailand.

Where did I stay?

Viengtai Hotel

Accommodations: Better than expected. Great sized rooms, clean pool and friendly staff.

Location: We were in a very tourist oriented area. All the restaurants and bars had english menus. So it wasn’t to authentic. But it was a good place to learn the ropes of Asia. Lots of shopping and bars in walking distance.

Day 0:

The night before I met up with some other early birds from the tour and we went out to a bar down the road. Got to know some of the people and I can tell it’s going to be a good group.

Day 1:

My Australian roommate Laura and I woke up and headed to an open air cafe for an amazing breakfast. I had banana french toast and watermelon juice. We didn’t know our hotel provided free breakfast. Whoops. Afterwards we met with the early birds and we decided to venture into the old town and go to the Bangkok zoo. Since it wasn’t to hot and we were all very eager we decided to walk. It was a very long walk. We probably should have hired a tuk tuk. But eventually we made it. By the time we got to the zoo we were all exhausted. The humidity and heat quickly took its toll on all of us. We explored the extremely crowded zoo for a bit and I saw many animals I’d never seen before. Some of us even got to feed giraffes. The zoo was crowded and a bit unnerving because on top of crowds mopeds and cars could drive through the zoo.

After the zoo Laura, my new friend Sam and I decided to head back to the hotel for some R&R. I wanted to catch some rays and chill poolside. I ordered a Singapore Sling and Pad Thai and had a great minuet long dip in the pool until it started down pouring.

Laura, Sam and I then decided to hit up the shops and bars. So we went exploring in the pouring rain. We found this awesome little place called Hippie Bar. Cocktails were buy one, get one free. So I had two very strong drinks. We hung out, listened to vinyl and played with the bar cat. Then we realized we should head back to the hotel so we’d have time to shower before our mandatory Contiki meeting.

While walking bar to our hotel we stumbled (litteraly…we were drunk) upon the street bar in front of Burger King. They had loud music and cheap drinks and it was only 5PM. So we stopped and took part in their buy two get one free deal. Sam had a fish bowl, Laura and I had one and a half drinks each. We promised to come back later that night.

Then we hurried back to the hotel (dirty and wet) for the meeting. We made it just in time and pretty toasted.

During the meeting it was pretty hard to concentrated because I was inebriated, but we learned the Contiki ropes, rules and regulations.

Afterwards we cleaned up and then met the our group of 30 fellow travelers for a family dinner. I ordered something very gross and left pretty hungry. What ever I got had squid in it and I was not a fan. We went back to the Burger King bar and brought some of our new friends.

We managed to get back home somehow.