Wednesday, May 7, 2014

14 Reasons Why New York City (NYC) is the Greatest City in the World

New York City Dusk

1. 24 hour subway system. Be jealous.

2. You can have mexican food for breakfast, indian food for lunch, and chinese food for dinner. ALL. IN. YOUR. NEIGHBORHOOD. God bless your bathroom though.

3. You like sports? We have about 4,894 professional sports teams. Our underwater chess team kills it every year.

4. The chances of you meeting that special someone increase when you are in NYC. There is like 15 million people here! If you don't find anybody that understands you then yes—it is all your fault.

5. Seamless. All those food place in your hood deliver. Fat people unite. And once again, God bless your toilet.

6. Get a plunger.

7. Starbucks on every corner.

8. No other city has Central Park. And Central Park is by far the best 1.317 sq miles of land on earth.

9. Justin Bieber doesn't live here.

10. Smart people are the norm, not the exception

11. Two-dollar, eight to ten piece dumplings in Chinatown. Warning: might contain gluten and subway rat meat

12. Museums are pay as you wish

13. You can still watch Netflix even though you live in NYC. It's not like we outlaw it or anything. 'Merica.

14. Anything you want, you can get it. 24/7. 7 days a week. 365 days a year. You just gotta know the right guy.

If you'd like to add anything else, feel free to comment and share below!

What Cities to Visit in Poland

Before I start, Poland is my home country so yes, I am biased. With that being said, Poland still amazes me. It's beautiful, it has history, and it's more developed than you think. Here is a list of must visit cities in Poland.

First Light on the Kraków Main Square | Poland

Krakow - This city captures you. It survived war after war ever since it was built, yet it is still beautiful. The Old Town Square in the center of the city is known to be one of the prettiest town squares in Europe. Plenty of restaurants and coffee shops are scattered around the city, waiting for you to indulge in. And better yet, this city comes alive at night. Basement bars are full of vodka and friendly locals who might even invite you for dinner at their mom's house the next day

gdansk water reflections

Gdansk - A city located on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Imagine the chilly wind blowing your hair out while you are out of breath, having just climbed a 14th century tower. You look down, and you see the prettiest Old Town you have ever seen. It's as if you can finally picture what living during the Middle Ages was like. You walk back down 400 steps—apparently elevators didn't exist in the 14th century—and you turn left. You enter a restaurant on a whim and asked to see the menu. On the menu are pierogis and polish sausage. You die from excitement as this couldn't get any better. Hey, at least you spent your last day on earth in Gdansk

Dusk in the center of Warsaw

Warsaw - This is the capital of Poland and you would know it just from setting your foot in this place. It's bustling capitalistic spirit, combined with all that is good about old Poland and its culture, make you never want to leave. Hostels are cheap, and even though it's the capital, you can get a great meal for $7 or less at any point in the day. If you want to experience the city lifestyle for cheap, I can't think of any better places in Europe than Warsaw.

As always, share your thoughts in the comments section below. And also, get weird.

Why I Chose to Travel Europe by Car


As some of you may know, this summer, I will again backpack Europe. Nothing beats a good old road trip. Just you, Penelope (your car), and a couple of good friends driving through miles and miles of road, rugged terrains, and stunning views. The freedom that comes with driving is unmatched by any other mode of transportation. Now I don't understand why whenever people decide to travel in Europe they completely abandon that option and decide to use crammed buses and airplanes.

That bus of yours in uncomfortable, you most likely try to fall asleep the whole way there, and the bus driver sure as hell won't stop until he reaches the destination or a pitstop. Now let's bash on the cheap airlines. Sure you can find a deal sometimes, but not always. Plus, make sure you add on the baggage fees, carry on fees, high prices of airport food, and the price you pay for a taxi to and from the airport. Not so cheap anymore, is it? Moreover, even if you book a one hour flight, the time you wasted in airports waiting for the plane, checking your baggages, and taking a taxi back to the city, you can never regain. That's why the best way to travel Europe is by car.

Train are also a good, comfortable option, but they are just a tad more expensive than driving a car. And you lose the freedom of being able to stop wherever and whenever you want. That train won't go off the unbeaten path, it won't give you the chance to drive up a mountain in Switzerland that really caught your eye. If you are truly planning on backpacking Europe, and not just going to two or three countries, investing $400 in a cheap car that will get you from Point A to Point B is the way to go. You will have a better time, save money, and create more memories that will last a lifetime. And isn't that the reason you are backpacking Europe anyway?

Tell me what you think about the best way to travel Europe in the comment section below!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Top Cheap Countries to Visit in 2014

Cerca del Palacio Real · Phnom Phen · Cambodia 

Since travelers have been raving about how great and cheap South East Asia is, prices in countries like Thailand and Indonesia have gone up for tourists. Yet, Cambodia is still a relatively unknown country to most. A dollar will get you really far in here ($7 hostels) and the mix of Buddhist culture within bustling cities like Phnom Phen is an adventure for any traveler.

La Paz, Bolivia 

Bolivia is still a very poor country (even for South American standards). It is, nonetheless, a very beautiful country. Outdoor adventure seekers will have a blast in these mountainous terrains. The combination of natural beauty and the fact that it is one of the cheapest countries to travel to in South America makes this a must see destination for budget travelers.


Budapest is by far my favorite city in the world. The architecture is beautiful, the food is great, and the nightlife is amazing. But the best thing about Budapest is, that compared to other cities cities, it's dirt cheap. You can easily find hostels for under $20 a night, and $15 will buy you three delicious meals throughout the day. And did I mention that Budapest still has aristocratic public bath houses that are actually clean and located in gorgeous buildings?  

Because Greece suffered a devastating recession, it's now a great destination for budget travelers. You can easily find hostels for $10 to $20 a night and food is not that expensive either. Plus, since tourism has plummeted in the last few years, you going to Greece and spending a few dollars will help revitalize Greece's economy. You will not only enjoy some of the most breathtaking views and water on this planet, but feel good knowing that your hard earned money is helping the people of Greece get back on track.

These are just 4 options. If you know any more great cheap countries to visit in 2014 please share them with me and all of our readers in the comment section below. Much love.

Best Travel Backpacks

Big Bag

When planning a trip, one of the big decision is: what backpack will I use? A lot of travelers swear by larger 60 or even 80 liter backpacks. As a minimalist, I tend to disagree with them. I recommend getting a smaller pack (35-50 L) for various reasons. First of all, you will have to carry the thing on your back for a whole year! Once you go over the 50 L mark, you will not be able to carry your bag for long distances as it will simply be too heavy. By getting a smaller bag, you will also avoid baggage fees at airports. When flying shorter distances, a lot of airlines will charge you fees for checking in a bag. You can avoid this by getting a smaller bag and taking it on as a carry on. This will save you money that you can spend on all the amazing experiences and activities you are traveling for anyways! Please, for the love of God, buy a smaller backpack.

With backpacks, there are hundreds of choice. Well what an awesome thing that you read this blog because here, I will narrow those down for you. Make sure your backpack opens up like a suitcase. Since you whole life is packed in the thing, you don't want to have to get through everything in order to get to the bottom. Makes sure the zippers are sturdy as this is the part of bags that tends to break the most and can cause you pains in the future. Make sure the dimensions of the backpack don't go over the carry-on maximums for major airlines—you will thank me later. Make sure the bag is made out of some kind of water resistant material as you will likely be caught in the rain as some point of your trip.

Here are a few great options that I HIGHLY recommend:

Osprey Porter 46 - $99
Tortuga Travel Backpack - $199
EagleCreek Digi Hauler Backpack - $120
Minaal Carry-On Backpack - $299

Either one of these options will work great as they all fulfill the requirements I talked about earlier in the post. I personally carry around the Osprey Porter 46 and am very satisfied with it. Which backpack do you swear by? Let's further discuss in the comments section!

What to Bring for a Trip Around the World

Guess I've Got That Old Traveling Bone

When backpacking around the world, I recommend packing light. You will have to carry everything you bring on your back and if you bring too much, you won't be able to walk long distances with it on. Here are a few items that are absolutely essential to bring on a year long trip around the world:
  • Kitchen utensils (small pot, one plastic bowl and cup, and a spork) - you will need these if trying to prepare meals by yourself in order to save money
  • Long underwear pants and shirt - since you are packing light, you can't bring a huge jacket and these long underpants and shirt are the best alternatives
  • Rain jacket - make sure it is light and waterproof. You never know what weather you might hit so invest in a decent one
  • Quick-dry travel towel - these are magical. They dry in about an hour, are thin, and absorb a lot of water. Get a larger one so that you can take it to the beach or on a picnic and lay on it
  • Warm hat and gloves - keeping your head warm will keep your body warm in lower temperatures. Buy a wool hat and a durable pair of gloves to keep you comfortable
  • 3 shirts, 3 pants/shorts, 3 pairs of socks and underwear - pack light. 3 of each will be plenty enough. You can always hand-wash your stuff in the sink or tub
  • Fleece - bring one fleece or hoodie to wear around the city, on airplanes, and at night. I always feel more comfortable with a fuzzy extra layer on, and a nice lightweight fleece does wonders
  • Medical kit - bandages, malaria pills, stomach flu pills, and some ibuprofen are ALL essential. They will keep you feeling better and help you continue your trip
  • Miscellaneous - (lighter, duck tape, handkerchief, headlight, whistle, nail clipper) these items are mostly needed when things don't go according to plan. That is why it is important that you have them with you at all times
Packing your life into a backpack can sometimes be overwhelming. I hope that this list gives new travelers some helpful tips on what to pack for a year round trip. Please comment with items that you find useful, as everyone is different, and I'm always open to new suggestions :D

Sunday, May 4, 2014

How to Crowd Fund Your Trip Abroad

Couple weeks ago I wrote a piece on some easy ways to live abroad for a year. One of those options was crowd funding. With a bunch of crowd funding websites on the internet, having others help you out is definitely the easiest way to fund your trip. But you can't just post your trip up on GoFundMe and expect great results right away. You need to optimize your content and make people fall in love with you in order for the campaign to be successful. But don't worry I'm here to help you.

First, you will need to choose a crowd funding website and create your profile. If you are not planning on starting a business while traveling, I wouldn't use Kickstarter. Kickstarter is more focused on products and services, and is your best bet if you want to create a new travel magazine or a new backpack while traveling. Otherwise, there are better options. Indiegogo for example, let's anybody start a crowd funding campaign and allows users to crowd fund for whatever they wish. GoFundMe is another option but your campaign will not be easily found so this option if better if you just want your family members and friends to support you. If I were you, I'd use Indiegogo.

Now that you chose a website, you need to focus on the content of your campaign in order to get people to donate. You need to make people fall in love with you. Talk about all the hardships and work you put into making this trip happen; how bad you want it to happen. Think about the amount of choices people have to donate money to—make yourself stand out from the crowd. Give the donors something tangible to donate too. Write thank you notes for $15, and if you have a particular skill, use that skill to make something for them if they donate a big enough amount. Be creative and be concrete. There need to be lots of details about the trip, and yourself. People do not give money to vague ideas. If you are able to hone in with concreteness and stand out from the crowd, your crowd funding campaign will be a success.

If you have any specific questions please let me know by commenting below. Good luck!