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Posted on Jun 17, 2013 in Guest Posts, Migration News, Travel Stories |

Who Wants to Eat Shrimp In Hawaii?

It has always been a dream of my families to go on a vacation to Hawaii. Last November we were fortunate enough to go to the Hawaiian island of Oahu. We spent most of our time on the north shore where we enjoyed the laid back and relaxed portion of the island. After relaxing in the morning we would go find a place to eat lunch. On the north shore of Oahu there are many small, family owned restaurants that have great food! One of the places that we went multiple times was Giovanni’s shrimp truck. We had heard about this Giovanni’s prior to us arriving in Hawaii, so we were excited to try their famous shrimp. The second day of our vacation our family of five climbed into our rented jeep and headed off to find a place to eat lunch. After a little debate we decided to go to Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. When we got to Giovanni’s I wondered if we were in the right place. I had heard about their famous shrimp and here we were parked in front of what looked like a beat up ice cream truck with writing all over it. When we got up to the window to order they had four choices of food: the shrimp scampi (world famous dish), the “no refunds” hot & spicy shrimp, lemon butter shrimp, and a jumbo garlic hot dog. I got their supposedly “world famous” Shrimp Scampi because from what I heard it was really good and it was world famous! It was my first time eating shrimp that wasn’t either deep fried or from Wal-Mart so I was excited. The shrimp looked really good and I was hungry so I picked up a shrimp and took a bite. When I took that first bite I was extremely disappointed. As I chewed the shrimp it was crunchy, so crunchy that it was extremely uncomfortable in my mouth. I tried to keep chewing but there was hardly any taste and it was really hard to chew. At first I figured that this was just how...

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Posted on Apr 10, 2012 in Living Abroad, Travel, Travel Stories |

Why Do You Need a Visa for Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand is considered one of the top hubs for backpackers for the Southeast Asian region. Getting there, however, usually requires a special type of visa which depends on your nationality, the amount of time you’d like to stay and the activities you’d like to partake in. Some countries are exempted from visa requirements if visitors from these countries will not stay in Thailand longer than 30 days and their purpose for visit is just tourism. Here’s a list with countries that do not need a visa when entering Thailand for tourism purposes for less than 30 days, according to Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil*, Bahrain, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea*, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Peru*, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vietnam. *Thailand holds bilateral agreements on visa exemption for holders of diplomatic, official and ordinary passports for a visit of not exceeding 90 days with Brazil, the Republic of Korea and Peru. Therefore, nationals of these 3 countries are exempted from visa requirements and are permitted to enter and stay in Thailand for a period of not exceeding 90 days. Thailand being among the top destinations for backpackers, however, is not accidental. Visiting that country for just a month is simply deficient. One needs longer time to be able to really sink in the atmosphere and experience the lifestyle of the locals. What is awaiting visitors in that country requires a little bit of free spirit in order to fully understand the surroundings as it may come a bit shocking to the ones used to an orderly everyday routine. Here’s what the solo backpacker Chris, who is based in Bangkok, Thailand, had to say about his first visit in Bangkok’s most famous street among travelers – Khao San Road: “I still remember the sense of almost complete terror that I felt when I first arrived, on my own, at Bangkok’s Khao San Road. It sounds...

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Posted on Apr 2, 2012 in Living Abroad, Travel, Travel Stories |

Traveling Is Part of My DNA, I Guess

Izabel Garabedyan is a lady whose Holy Bible is the ‘Lonely Planet’ guide, and who is dreaming to visit all countries in the world. She is the kind of person who always sees the positive side in things especially when it’s about traveling. Izabel is probably one of the very few persons I know who is pursuing the “living now” concept. And she is one of the few who succeed in distancing herself from the material world, and appreciating the Earth as a gift to us from Nature. She just returned from a five week journey to South America where she visited four countries in a raw… The love for traveling can really be contagious as long as you are open to it and seemingly Izabel has it. In her case, traveling exists in her life from the moment she was born as her parents were traveling whenever they could. They taught her that “traveling and getting acquainted with new cultures, people and ideas was much more valuable and important for [her] personal growth than buying shiny stuff.” She embraced this philosophy and started applying it in any possible way. While in South America, for example, she said she “didn’t put any make up on and totally forgot about straightening [her] hair!” And although she forgot about vanity, people were calling her “Shakira” and were happy to get acquainted with her. When asked, “How many countries have you visited in your lifetime,” she couldn’t recall because the number does not matter. The places, the people, the cultures, the experiences are all in her head and heart, and this is what life is about – really. I love to travel however I am not even close to Izabel’s soaring heart which is why I asked her the trivial question about her worst and best experiences in South America…She replied that even crossing a flood at 6 a.m., bare feet in Bolivia, at 4C degrees, was a positive experience. “[…] Especially when somebody (indigenous Bolivian woman) you do not know and whose face you cannot recall now gives you socks found...

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