There is nothing like exploring a new city, tasting new foods, and being an awe of nature. Seeing the beauty that other cultures have to offer makes us better people by shows us that there are different ways to enjoy life. When you are young taking trips allows you to get out of your comfort zone. It pushes you to take risks, be open, and potentially meet new people. I wish I could say I traveled more in my twenties, but unfortunately I got caught up with working 10 hour days than taking vacations. I was lucky that I traveled for work. But this is different then traveling on my own terms, since I spent most of the time in hotels, conference rooms, and nice restaurants. But it is never to late to explore the world. Here are six places to best travel during your twenties.
Get culture shock in India
Party like there’s no tomorrow in Miami…or Vegas.
Enjoy mother nature in Bali.
Get lost in Hong Kong massive skyscraper city.
Explore Europe like most twenty year olds do.
Take a road trip in New Zealand.
I am very proud that I live in the great state of California. This state has tons to offer, from a variety of national parks, iconic cities, small towns, and best of all vineyards along the coast. We have been fortune enough to visit many places, so here are our favorite places often underrated when talking about California.
Santa Ynez Valley / Los Olivos
This area is a hidden gem that I love to tell people about. This valley produces many of California great wines and had some amazing vineyards to visit. Los Olivos is a small town in the valley that has a street full of wine tasting stops and looks like Main Street in Disneyland.
When I think of authentic California beach coast I think of Santa Cruz. With the oldest surviving boardwalk it’s like going back in history. The boardwalk has old-fashion carnival games, snack booths, and wooden roller coaster. This is the perfect place for any family.
Joshua Tree National Park
Although I had been to Joshua Tree Park in the past is wasn’t until our last trip that I feel in love. This place looks like you’re in a different planet, with boulders as far as the eye can see. It is the perfect getaway since the only activities are hiking and relaxing in nature.
Julian Historical Town
Christmas in LA usually consist of warm weather, which lets be honest, doesn’t have the same Christmas feeling as as areas colder with weather. There are times I do wish we had snow to make it feel more like Christmas. If you live in LA or are just visiting this month and want the holiday spirit here are my top recommendations.
ONE: Go to the Chill Event at Queen Mary for ice skating, sledding, and holiday festivities. If you have never been to the Queen Mary ship this is a great excuse to go.
TWO: Pack the family or friends in a car and drive down Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena, CA. Watching all the Christmas lights as you listen to holiday music is the best way to spend a night.
THREE: Stroll down the Venice canals with hot coco to look at the beautiful homes all lit up. Or visit the less popular Nepal’s canals in Long Beach (which I personally prefer).
FOUR: Although Disneyland is of course is a must see, Knott’s Berry Farm is another great theme park. Majority of the park resembles an old mining town and during the holiday season there’s a Christmas market in the middle of the park.
FIVE: Go to the Walt Disney Concert Hall for the LA Philharmonic Holiday Sing-Along or to the several Nutcracker performances going on in LA (LINK).
SIX: Take a day trip to either Lake Arrowhead or Big Bear for a day in the mountains. If your lucky, the snow. Nothing says holiday season then drinking hot coco and feeling the cold mountain air.
EIGHT: Visit Solvang,CA for the weekend and enjoy the Dutch style city in its holiday glory.
Before going to Ireland my sister and I didn’t really know anything about this country. The trip was only planned a few months prior, so our expectation it would be a calm relaxing trip. Wrong! Once we landed we realized this country had so much to offer. By the end of this trip we needed a vacation from our vacation. Here are 10 things we loved about Ireland.
ONE: Malahide castle
This castle is only 20 minutes from Dublin city and was by far the highlight of the trip. The castle is well persevered and you get a glimpse into the lives of Talbot family, who owned it for 800 years. The town of Malahide is also a beautiful town to visit.
When we imagined an Ireland fishing village this is what we pictured. The village is not very big, but it is charming. Although the castle in the village is a private residence, it’s still worth the visit to see how grand it is.
THREE: Guinness Irish Stout
Irish people say the Guinness does not travel well and they aren’t lying. This famous Irish drink is perfect drink to order when listening to traditional folk music in a pub.
FOUR: Connemara landscape
On our second day in Galway Bay we took a tour of the Connemara region. We had a great tour guide who provided interesting facts of the landscape and history. This region is known for the traditional Irish culture and it’s amazing greenery.
This library looks unreal, as if you are walking onto a Harry Potter movie set. The tour of the university is also very interesting. Queen Elizabeth I founded the school back in the 1500’s, so you can imagine amount of history the university holds.
SIX: Farmleigh Estate
My sister and I love old homes, so we made a visit to the Farmleigh Estate. The grand home located in Phoenix Park, which is a wonder of it’s own, was once owned by the Guinness family. It is now where all foreign leaders stay when visiting Ireland.
SEVEN: Brazen Head Pub
This is the oldest pub in Dublin establish in 1198. Unlike the famous Temple Bar, this pub is outside of the main tourist streets and therefore less crowded.
EIGHT: Stroll down St Stephen’s Park in Dublin
We are so glad we came in the autumn time, since we got to see all the colored trees lining the pathways. I wish we had more time just to sit and relax at a park bench.
This is where we had our last night in Dublin and it was perfect end to an amazing trip. The gourmet tapas were unique and tasty. It was located in a trendier area in Dublin.
TEN: The Irish People
What made Ireland such a great place to visit is the people. They are so kind and chatty that makes you feel at ease. Made it so much easier to ask for help, if they hadn’t already offered it, and made the trip even better.
If you happen to follow popular bloggers on Instagram you could tell there is no a shortage of coffee shops in LA. There are so many unique ones that it can be overwhelming. As we have mentioned before my sister and I love going to coffee shops. We love the ambiance of a good coffee shop, but it’s also why we are particular about which ones we go to. Here is our list for our best coffee houses in LA.
Side note: some are near tourist spots and other that are probably better if you live in LA.
Although we loved their coffee before coming here, this place is a recent favorite. The rustic décor has that California beach feel that Venice Beach is known for.
We discovered this coffee shop when visiting our older sister in East Los Angeles and fell in love. This cafe feels like ones in Mexico and they even have Cafe de Olla and Mexican pastries. I prefer their South Pasadena location, since it’s situated in a new neighborhood.
This coffee shop is probably our most visited because of their location and they use coffee beans from Australia, which is our favorite. The ambiance is casual just like the South Bay area of LA is. Try not going during Saturday mornings tho because the line gets long.
This is by far our favorite. We have been going to this coffee shop since we were in high school. It’s the best place for studying, chit chatting, and just people watching. Although it’s changed in the recent years it still has everything you want in a coffee shop.
Unlike the other’s, this one is very trendy and can get crowded. The coffee is amazing which is why it is on list! They even serve you cheese and crackers if you sit at the bar. I know weird combo if your drinking coffee instead of the wine, but still cool.
As you can tell from our previous travel posts, we’ve enjoyed exploring places closer to home. Not only is this more cost efficient, but it also reminds us that we don’t need to go far to travel. We wanted to end summer on a good note, so we decided to visit Joshua Tree National Park.
We left LA in the morning and after a stop to pick up supplies, we made it to Joshua Tree before the afternoon. Since the campgrounds are first come first serve we were lucky enough to find a campsite at the Jumbo Rocks.
After we unpacked, we decided to hike to the Skull Rock. The Skull Rock hike is less than 2 miles and is mostly flat. The best part of Joshua Tree is climbing all the large boulders. It is like a jungle gym for adults, all the climbing makes you feel like a kid again!
Once we got back we chilled and barbecued dinner. As the sun went down we scaled some boulders to enjoy the sky turn into a beautiful pink color. It always amazes me how time stops when your in nature.
Any camping trip isn’t complete until you cap the night with campfire and s’mores.
Next morning, we woke up early to watch the sunrise. As the sun rose from the sky, we cozied up near the fire with come coffee in our hands. This is the way I wish I woke up every morning.
Once we packed up the car we headed to Cholla Gardens. These plants are beautiful, but dangerous. A small swipe along their thorns can cause clothing items, shoes, or worse skin to be pricked, and can be even more painful to remove.
The next stop was Barker Dam Trail. Since we woke up early, we were able to beat the crowd and enjoyed the scenery to ourselves. The hike was a 1.8 hike loops passing through large boulders and dams, and to what feels like the middle of the desert.
Being in the Joshua Tree feels like you’re in another planet since the plants are so unique and boulders as far as eye can see. I can see why Dr. Seuess was inspired by this place. Since this was a short trip, after the hike we headed back home.
Two weekends ago my boyfriend and I took a quick trip to Valle De Guadalupe, Mexico. This valley is gaining attention for its modern wineries and new foodie scene. It has been written about in many travel publication including New York Times and Conde Nast Traveler. And lucky for me, it’s only about 3 hours away. Since it is still building traction, there isn’t much information for first timers. Here are five tips I wish I would have known before going.
ONE: Make reservations to wineries
We have been to several wineries in California and have never made reservations for wine tasting, so this took us by surprise. Some of the wineries we were hoping to visit required reservations. A great winery that welcomes walk-ins is El Cielo Winery
TWO: Wake up early for breakfast
There aren’t many places to eat breakfast, so the few spots get crowded quickly. If you’re like us and wanted to sleep in expect an hour wait for breakfast. A place that was recommended to us was La Cocina De Dona Esthela.
THIRD: Make sure to visit Vena Cava Winery and Corazon De Tierra
Vena Cava Winery was voted the funkiest winery in the world, since it is built from old boats. If you are looking for a cool bar scene, make sure to carve out time to relax here. There’s a food truck, great DJ, and of course wine tasting. Also, make reservation for Corazon De Tierra. The food is served in 6 small meals, but every bit is amazing.
FOUR: Bring a four-wheeler if possible
Although the main road is paved most of the small streets are dirt roads, which is rough on cars. Since most of the places are located between the major roads it took us a while to drive.
FIVE: Leave early to beat the border traffic
This isn’t new for anyone who’s had to cross the boarder from Tijuana to San Diego before.
Since we didn’t have a chance to visit more than a few wineries here are the ones that our AirBNB host recommended.
– Chateau Camou Winery – he recommended the red wine Gran Vino Tinto 2007
– Vinos Emeve Winery – This place just opened.
– Altozano Restaurant – Make reservation
Final tip: wake up early to see the sunrise. This place is in the middle of nowhere so it’s amazing to see the sun come up from behind the mountains with no city around.
When we were in our early twenties we would go Las Vegas several times a year and would party all day, drink non-stop, and eat at fast food places. Now that we are older, we still do an annual trip to Vegas. The difference being we only party for a few hours, drink minimally, and go to healthier alternatives to eat. So if your planning a trip to Vegas and want to stay on track, here are 3 places we recommend. Unfortunately not all of these places are on the strip.
Protein House : This is our favorite place since it has so many options. They even have a protein acai bowl, which is surprisingly hard to find in LA.
The Protein Source : If you’re are in Vegas and trying hard to stick to a strict diet then this place for you. They have designed every meal to be healthy, with complex carbs, fresh veggies, and of course protein.
VegeNation : This place serves 100 percent plant-based foods that are sourced from local places. They have a varity of international cuisines and several salad options.
Veggie House : In Vegas, it’s hard to get your veggies, so this is a perfect option, especially if you’re vegetarian. They have options like seaweed salad and veggie lettuce wraps.
After our mini road trip last holiday season, my sister and I had so much fun that we wanted to do it again. Although we have traveled to northern California many times, there are still so many places we hadn’t seen. So once I got tickets to the Lantern Fest we decided it was time for another road trip.
Typically when we drive up north we drive along the coast of California, this time we drove up closer to the Nevada state line. I never knew that Death Valley, Red Rocks Canyon, and Mount Whitney were so close to LA. We wanted to share our northern California and Nevada roadtrip.
|Red Rocks Canyon|
|Bishop – Mt. Whitney backdrop|
Bodie Ghost Town
First stop was Bodie, the largest ghost town in California. My sister and I had heard of this place years ago and we have been dying to go since. Bodie has over 200 structures still standing since late 1800’s. Walking and peaking into these homes, you will still see personal belongs. It was somewhat creepy and it felt as if you were taking a look back in history.
That same day we drove straight to Reno. Although Reno is nothing like Vegas, it still had a nice charm to it. As soon we we settled in, we took a long walk to see the city and stop for coffee.
The second day we drove to the outskirts of Reno where the Lantern Fest was being held at. The event was a great place to drink, relax, and make s’mores on the bon fire pits. Once it turned dark, we let go our lanterns fly. It was a magical moment and we enjoyed every minute of it. The best part was Danni boyfriend proposed!!! So of course that made the evening even more romantic.
We decided to visit the South Rim of the lake, since there was more to do there. We had a nice lunch near the lake and rented out a speedboat for the afternoon. The boat ride was by far the funniest part of the trip, partially because we rode to Emerald Bay, but mostly because it was fun flying thru the lake.
Saying goodbye to a vacation is never easy. Road trips are even harder since you pass other places you wish you can stop and visit, like Bridgeport or Mammoth Lakes. We did make time to have some delicious BBQ in a town called Bishop.