Travel Destinations

Reykjavik on a Budget

Reykjavik on a Budget: How to Visit Without Breaking the Bank

There are a lot of words you could use to describe Iceland but "cheap" certainly isn't one of them. That's not to say that you shouldn't visit though because it's an awesome country and there's a lot to see and do. During my recent visit, I was trying not to jump on the spendings treadmill too much so I decided to compile this list of tips and cheap things to do to help you prepare for your own visit. If you use a few of these tips then you should be able to enjoy a great visit to Reykjavik on a budget without having to sell one of your kidneys to pay back your credit card!

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Living in Italy

Living in Italy: Expat Reflections of The Good, The Bad & The Great

Wow, I can't believe that it was one year ago I boarded a plane at the Honolulu Airport and moved across the pond to start a new chapter of life here in Italy. My husband left soon after we got here and I remember the isolating feeling of sitting in my empty apartment with no money, no car, no job, no friends and now no-one to talk to and wondering what the hell I had gotten myself into like it was yesterday. Where did that time go? Though I spent most of my time here alone, a lot has happened in my first year. I survived my first winter, I stumbled through communicating with a language barrier, I visited too many lakes and cities to count, I went on 9 international trips and I ate some a lot of the most delicious pasta on the planet (most of which I am now trying to get rid of from my hips before summer comes)! It certainly doesn't feel like a whole year has gone by and I still feel like the new kid in many ways but since the calendar is telling me that I've been living in Italy for a year I figured it was a good time to reflect and write a little anniversary post to my adopted home.

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Favorite travel things

Travel Inspiration: A Few Of My Favorite Travel Things

This week on the blog, I have a few things to share with you and, particularly, a few of my favorite travel things. I like these posts because I get to share some things that I love and enjoy plus I also get to share a little about me so we can get to know each other better. I'd love to hear yours so if you have any other favorite travel things, on this list or not, just share away in the comments below. 

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Swimming in Iceland

Swimming in Iceland: Mandatory Group Showers & Everything Else You Need to Know

Swimming in Iceland is a big part of the culture and the residents definitely don't let the cold stop them. You've probably already heard of the Blue Lagoon and Secret Lagoon but luckily, these crowded and expensive tourist attractions are not the only places to take a dip. There are many local geothermal pools all around Iceland and whether you are interested in doing laps for exercise or soaking in hot tubs, there's a little something for everyone. The catch - there is a strict process around getting ready for the swim including mandatory naked group showers! During my first trip to one of the pools I was overwhelmed with all the rules. I was literally walking around completely naked and stopping by every sign to read them because I didn't want to accidentally do something that I wasn't meant to! I wanted to write this post because it's something I would've loved to have read before my visit and I hope it can be useful to you if you are planning to go swimming in Iceland (you definitely should by the way, it's amazing!) Of course you won't remember everything I've written but I think that if you've read this and have an idea of the flow of the process then it will come back to you when you are in the change room - so hopefully you won't be the awkward sign reading naked chick like me! At the end of the post I've also added a list of pools, a few of which are walking distance from downtown Reykjavik. 

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Iceland as a solo female traveler

How to Explore Iceland as a Solo Female Traveler

Exploring Iceland as a solo female traveler can sound overwhelming! There's the intense weather fluctuations, the rugged climate and the isolation, but don't let that stop you from booking a trip because Iceland is a very solo female traveler friendly destination. I wanted to see as much of the beautiful nature there as possible but there was the one catch - the transportation. When I'm traveling solo I just can't drive around all day. I don't know about you but there's something about driving that makes me so tired and if I don't have someone to talk to or play car Karaoke with (for the record, I do a pretty great Beyonce performance) then I would get so tired and bored and probably just fall asleep at the wheel. So when I was planning my trip I had to figure out how to see it all without having to drive all day and I'm happy to say that I found a way - by jumping on a couple of Bustravel Iceland tours.

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Where To Stay In Bath

Where to Stay in Bath: It's all in the Details at Halcyon Apartments

Good morning beautiful blog readers! Last week we toured Bath with a post on things to do there (you can read that here if you are interested) so today I want to answer the all important question of where to stay in Bath. Picking accommodation can be hard right? It's a tough decision to make when you're trying to decide where to spend your precious, tourist dollars because making the wrong choice can really tarnish a holiday (I know this from experience)! This is exactly why I feel grateful to be able to share places that I love with you and I always hope they can help you in your own trip planning. The Halcyon Apartments in Bath is somewhere that I visited recently and is without a doubt a great example of a place that I fell in love. These apartments are as charming and elegant as the city in which they are located, so lets jump in and take a closer look.

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Things to do in Bath

Things to do in Bath: Don't Miss These Highlights of England's Georgian Gem

If you are looking for things to do in Bath, then look no further because today I'm sharing 10 of the best things to do in the beautiful, Georgian city. Everything on the list is foot friendly, so if you're not renting a car (which I don't recommend because there's really no need to in Bath and the parking situation isn't good either), then rest easy because you can walk to all of these. Side note, Stonehenge is 2 hours away but you can walk to the train station from the center of town. I visited Bath by myself and stayed at the Halcyon Apartments which was a perfect location because it was only a 10 minute walk from the center of town and all the main sights so it was perfect for me as a solo female traveler. It also helped me to save money by not needing taxis to get around. I hope you enjoy this list and find it useful for your trip planning and if you enjoy the post please remember to support my work by offering a like, share or simply leaving me a comment to let me know. 

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Where to stay in Sri Lanka

Where to Stay in Sri Lanka: Unplug at Talalla Retreat

When your appliances don't work, what do you do? You unplug them, give them a break and plug them back in right? Granted, most of the time we do that because we don't actually know enough to be able to troubleshoot the problem but the simple unplug seems to work like a treat and you get a new spark of life out of whatever you were trying to use. With our fast paced lives I think it's only fair that we give ourselves the same treatment and I'm here to share with you a perfect place to do just that. I recently visited Talalla Retreat in southern Sri Lanka and experienced a week of total relaxation. I don't know if it was the dreamy, tropical rooms, the beach, the buffet meals, the coconuts by the pool, the morning yoga  classes or the massage at the spa but there was a lot of relaxation to be had. If you are looking for an unplug and reset or even just wondering where to stay in Sri Lanka, then read on and travel with me to Talalla Retreat.

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Yoga Retreat

I Can't Touch My Toes & I Did a Yoga Retreat - Here's How it Went

I'm about as flexible as a frozen corpse. The title of this blog isn't just a catchy phrase by any stretch - as embarrassing as it is, I actually couldn't touch my toes and I still decided to got on a yoga retreat. I was even so eager to go that I booked the early bird deal to secure my spot. At the same time I was eager, I was a little scared. I don't do classes, I don't wear Lululemon & I certainly didn't know my happy baby from a half lotus, what the hell was I doing? Is that a bit crazy? Maybe. But it turned out to be a great idea and also one of those times where I end up really grateful that I have these crazy ideas which is why I want to share my experience with you guys today. I also want to share with you the talented and inspiring woman who created the retreat because she deserves a little shout out. Come on, she created a yoga retreat that even this non-yogi could love so that is pretty incredible if you ask me. As always, I hope to inspire you in some way through sharing my little travel stories and I also hope to see you on the next Yoga, Wine & Travel retreat!

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10 Differences that make Eating in Australia Confusing AF for Americans

G’day! There’s a lot of great reasons to visit Australia isn’t there? The wildlife, the people, the beaches, the laid back vibes and of course the fine chunk of Australian beef, Hugh Jackman (you’re welcome). But, when it comes to eating in Australia, there are a lot of things that will simply be confusing for our American neighbors, like the portion sizes for starters, which is why I made this list to help you avoid disappointment and confusion on your holiday down under. Some of these things I can relate to (but in reverse) when I think about the first time I visited America - wha

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The Castle of William The Conqueror

Journey Back in Time by Visiting the Castle of William the Conqueror in Normandy, France

Have you heard of William the Conqueror? To be honest, I hadn't. That was until the night before I took a drive out to visit the city of Falaise in France. In all honesty, though the castle of William the Conqueror is one of the big name attractions of Falaise, I was actually going there to see the statue of the Viking leader who became a Duke of Normandy, Rollo. I'm a big fan of the History Channel show called Vikings and it seemed like a really cool idea to go see Rollo's statue while I was in the area. I never would've guessed that while visiting his statue, I would also end up taking a journey back in time to walk through a magnificent castle, complete with interactive exhibits and learn about such an interesting historical figure. (If you haven't heard of him, look him up. Spoiler alert: his story is quite interesting)! It was probably one of my favorite activities in France so today, come with me to the Castle of William the Conqueror as I share it with you guys.

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D-Day Landing Beaches

How to Plan a Visit to the D-Day Landing Beaches (You Don't Need to be a History Buff)

France is drenched in rich history and the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy are no exception to this. Many years have passed since the historic D-Day landings but, fortunately for us, the area is now full of memorials, museums and cemeteries so that the stories do not have to be lost in the sand. Instead, they are brought to life in a respectful and touching way through these fitting tributes. There's so much to see there that you would need a lot of time to get through it all, this guide is a compilation of the top spots I saw that you could add to your trip if you only have a weekend or so in this once brutal, now beautiful area of France.

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Where to stay in Normandy

Where To Stay In Normandy - Don't Miss This AirBnb Treasure

Confession: I was a bit skeptical of using AirBnb at first. As a classic late bloomer, I'm a bit late to the AirBnb game - it's only recently that I jumped in to become a member and began using the service but I have to say I've had great experiences so far. First there was the cozy cabin in the woods of Norway which I shared here on the blog and I just got back from a trip to France where I had another great experience. Between the style, value, location, hosts and cute animals, I loved it so much that I wanted to share it here with you guys. If you are planning a visit and wondering about where to stay in Normandy, I've got you covered!

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How to travel more

How to Travel More Throughout the Year by Exploring Your Own Backyard

Many travel blogs will have you believe that to have amazing travel experiences, you need to travel to glamorous or far off destinations in the world. I am here today to call bullshit on that. Sure, by traveling far you can have an awe-inspiring travel experience and I am a big supporter of global travel, but, it's not the only way you can have a memorable travel experience. I remember when I started my travel blog, I wanted to inspire people to see the beauty of the world, even in their own backyard. It's been a guiding thought in my head for the last couple of years and yet, I haven't actually stopped to write a post on how to travel more by exploring your own backyard. I just delved straight into adventures to be had and shared the adventures I have found, but never actually offered tips on how you can find adventures in your own area. So if you want to travel more but don't have the cash or annual leave to travel to far off places then you're in luck! Today I'm sharing some tips on how to travel more in your local area and still have memorable travel experiences.

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How to stay safe as a solo female traveler

A Seriously Awesome Guide on How To Stay Safe as a Solo Female Traveler

If you have been on a solo trip, or even brought up the idea of going on one, then I am sure you are familiar with the ‘world is a scary place’ comments that come with the idea of solo travel. They’re not wrong either. The world can be a scary place and unfortunately bad people do exist. That shouldn’t stop you from living a full life and exploring the world around you though, and while you can’t stop bad things from happening, you can reduce their likelihood with this seriously awesome guide full of tips on how to stay safe as a solo female traveler.

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24 Hours in Oslo

Norway's Booming Capital - How to Spend 24 Hours in Oslo

The vibrant city of Oslo is somewhat of a surprising European treasure. Its kaleidoscopic make up appeals to many which is perhaps why interest in this hidden gem is growing. For the thinkers, there is a wide array of museums to spend time in. For the outdoor lovers, there are many hiking and cycling trails to offer as well as parks and other outdoor activities. For the city slickers, the busy center of town has many unique stores as well as trendy bars, restaurants and cafes. There is a lot to see. My biggest suggestion would be to allow more than 24 hours to get through it all, I'd say at least 3 days, but if you only have 24 hours in Oslo then check out these suggestions to help you plan your trip.

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Cooking Class in Italy

Don't Miss This Unbelievably Amazing Cooking Class in Italy

Ever since I moved to Italy, I have received many questions and comments about food. It makes sense since Italians are known for their amazing food! If in America, people fight with each other over the color of their football jersey, in Italy they would fight over the ingredients in the perfect ragu. Cooking skills are certainly alive and well here and cooking isn't just a chore where you whip together something edible to get through to the next meal. There is a passion which is evident in each step of the cooking experience - from picking the ingredients, to the cooking processes, to stopping to sit and enjoy the meal. Today I am excited to share this post with you because I get to showcase a wonderful local business where you can experience an authentic cooking class in Italy, learn new skills, cook a meal and even enjoy farmstay accommodation in the most picturesque area.

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alternative facts

10 Alternative Facts That Every Traveler Can Relate To

We are probably all guilty of saying a little white alternative fact every now and then. ‘Thanks for the gift, I really love homemade incense’, ‘that’s the cutest baby I’ve ever seen’ or ‘sorry I didn’t reply earlier. I’ve been swamped’.  Here’s 10 alternative facts every traveler can relate to.

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photographing the northern lights

A Beginners Guide to Photographing the Northern Lights

I consider myself pretty good at night photos but photographing the Northern Lights was a little a lot harder than I anticipated. Being out in the woods meant that the scene was a lot darker than anything I had tried to photograph before and the dancing lights added a new dynamic to the whole process. It was a new challenge and one I appreciated because without challenges how are we meant to get to that next level right? Now, I will be the first to admit that I am not a photographer by any means, and these aren't the best photos of the Northern Lights that you will see, but I wanted to share a few of the most important tips I could think of to help other beginners out there get even better pics of the glorious light shows.

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What to pack for a week in Norway 1

What to Pack for a Week in Northern Norway - Winter Getaway Guide

I always thought I hated the cold. I was one of those people that could never understand why anyone would want to go on a winter holiday. It seemed like such horrible punishment. I had also always lived in tropical locations so the idea of cold was very foreign to me, which I think added to my dislike. This year I have been pushing myself outside of my toasty warm comfort zone to experience actual cold winters with trips to Switzerland and even a week in northern Norway.  I have to say that once I learned what I needed to keep warm in the cold weather and invested in some the right gear, I actually had a great time! Now I am already looking forward to my next winter trip! I'm sharing these recommendations on the blog to help you get ready for your next winter trip.

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Northern Lights Norway

Sleep Under the Northern Lights in Norway Without Breaking the Bank

Imagine this. You rug yourself up in a warm jacket and step outside into a dark, winter night. The air is cold and still. You break the peaceful silence with a light, crunching sound that marks each step you take through the fresh powdery snow. As you stop to gaze up into space, you can see stars twinkle across the endless dark sky and then, magic happens. The bright and colorful lights of the Auroras dance across the darkness, moving and swaying as if having a life of their own. Does this sound like a dream experience to add to your bucket list? If so, read on. Today I am sharing all the details on how you can experience this very dream of seeing the Northern Lights in Norway without breaking the budget.

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What Travel Taught Me

What Travel Taught Me in 2016 - Lessons From Bad-Ass Female Travelers

Can we all just agree that 2016 was horseshit. Sure there was the odd life changing occasion here and there but for the most part it seems that 2016 was not quite the best, and many people I talk to just had a rough year. The good news is that if what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, then I imagine 2017 to be like walking around surrounded by superheroes in disguise because there's going to be a lot of powerful people! Before we jump into this superhero world, I wanted to close out the year with a post on some real life superheroes. I follow these bad-ass travel women on social media, (I've included their links so you can too), and asked them to share their stories about what travel taught them in 2016. Let's all get inspired by these stories and excited for another year of life full of new opportunities and new adventures!

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Day Trips From Lucerne

Day Trips From Lucerne - Mount Titlis and Mount Pilatus

I'm really excited for this post on day trips from Lucerne because it allowed me to go through photos of two of the best adventures I have ever been on! Recently I went on a solo trip to Lucerne and feel incredibly lucky to have been able to visit the summits of both Mount Titlis and Mount Pilatus. At the end of both of these days I was filled with so much happiness, a type of happiness where I was beaming with a huge, dorky smile that I couldn't seem to wipe off my face. If you are planning a trip to Lucerne, I hope this post helps you in your planning and if you are wondering where to go on your next trip, I hope this post inspires you to consider this incredible part of the world.

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Things to do in Lucerne

Where to Stay in Lucerne - Experience Luxury at The Grand Hotel National

If you are planning your trip but wondering where to stay in Lucerne, I have a post for you! During my recent visit to the charming town of Lucerne I was a guest of the The Grand Hotel National and, though I have shared a few pictures on Instagram, I loved it so very much that I also wanted to share more details of my experience with you today because let's face it, you work hard and deserve a little luxury. 

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Day Trips From Lucerne

Things To Do in Lucerne for the Solo Female Traveler

I was recently fortunate enough to explore the charming town of Lucerne in Switzerland as a solo female traveler. It was a smooth 6 hour train ride from where I live in Italy and felt like I had taken a magic carpet into a whole new world! If you have seen my Instagram then I'm sure you already have an understanding of how much I thoroughly enjoyed my stay and I am here today to offer more details on my favorite things to do in Lucerne, using the highlights of my trip as examples so that you too can plan a trip to this lovely town.

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save money for travel

How to Save Money For Travel - The Tricks Nobody Will Tell You

Well, what an intense week that was! The good news is that the election campaigning is officially over. That's certainly one aspect we can all be relieved about. Don't worry this isn't a political post. This is simply some lighthearted relief for all of us, no matter who you voted for, because we do have some things in common. Like, no matter where you stand or who you voted for, I think we can all agree that the true winner was the Obama/Biden, the Joebama, memes. They really were the memes that united America, weren't they? Another thing we all have in common is that most of us probably need a laugh and a holiday! A long one. With at least a few mojitos, or as I'd prefer, an IV mojito drip. So in that light, and since I believe laughter is the best medicine, today I am sharing my money saving tips to show you how to save money for travel so you can enjoy your next holiday sooner rather than later.

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Things to do in Tallinn

10 Things to do in Tallinn, Estonia - A Complete Travel Guide

Have you ever thought about visiting the town of Tallinn, Estonia? To be quite honest, I hadn't thought of it at all. It was a place that I knew existed, but that's as far as my thought process on Estonia had gone. Then the opportunity for a weekend away came knocking at my door and I thought 'well, why not?' If you saw my pictures on Instagram you probably already know that I had a great time and truly fell in love with this Baltic treasure. Of course I had to share it with you guys so I put together a little list of things to do in Tallinn that should keep you busy for a weekend. If you were like me and had never really thought of visiting, I hope this inspires you to add this jewel of Estonia to your bucket list! 

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Torrente Canali

Torrente Canali - A Hidden Turquoise Pond in the Mountains

The beautiful region of Trento has a little hidden secret. A secret which comes in the form of an exquisite turquoise pond hidden away in the mountains. Hypnotizing in a way, the pond is such an intense shade of blue that you can't help but look at it. I took a trip out to find it recently and wanted to share it with you here on the blog today. If you have the time to visit, then I highly recommend this wonderful piece of paradise. 

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How to Take Better Travel Photos

How to Take Better Travel Photos in 5 Easy Steps

One thing I get asked about a lot is my photos. I also get a lot of compliments about them too, which means the world to me because I'm not an expert or professional by any stretch. Taking photos is simply something I have always enjoyed doing. That's why I do it and I have found that the more I did it, the more passionate I became. Everything I do is trial and error. I have just taken a lot of photos and some look good and many more look not so good which is why your comments mean so much to me! Since I have received so many questions and compliments on my little photos, today I wanted to give back to try and offer some tips for taking better travel photos that anyone could use when going on holidays. 

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Lago Di Carezza

Lago Di Carezza - The Must See Rainbow Lake of the Dolomites

It should come as no shock to you guys that I'm a water baby. Perhaps a fish is a more accurate description, but either way, it is safe to say that I love being around the water. Here in Italy, I have been very lucky to find some magnificent bodies of water in the form of lakes in the mountains and they have quickly became some of my favorite places. In today's post I am sharing one of these grand lakes with you and everything you need to know to enjoy a trip to visit the awe inspiring Lago di Carezza. 

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public transport friendly day trips from vicenza

5 Public Transport Friendly Day Trips From Vicenza

So you have just arrived in Vicenza, don't have your car yet but want to get started exploring your surroundings. Where do you start? It's easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things to do here in Italy but rest easy because I have prepared a guide of 5 public transport friendly day trips from Vicenza to get your adventures started ASAP!

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Glamping in slovenia

7 Undeniable Reasons to go Glamping in Slovenia

I was very lucky this past weekend to have had the opportunity to go glamping in Slovenia at a wonderful local campground called Adrenaline Check. After only a three hour drive, I walked up a small path between the trees, excited to see what the weekend would have in store for me.

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The Hidden Hiking Treasure of Lago Di Senaiga

Happy September everyone! Can you believe how fast the year has flown by? I'm still in shock that we are in September to be honest and it feels like just yesterday we were welcoming in 2016! A lot has happened this year which is perhaps why it flew by so quickly, and I just hope that all of our coming months end 2016 with fun adventures and memorable moments.

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travel fears

5 Crippling Travel Fears & How to Overcome Them

Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned traveller, one thing we all have in common is that we all have travel fears. And rightfully so. Day in and day out we are bombarded with news and images about just how scary the world can be.

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Lago Di Corlo

Unexpected Adventures at Lago Di Corlo

The grandeur setting of Lago Di Corlo will leave you inspired and feeling very small. Nestled between lush mountains, the large lake oozes serenity making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy a picnic with friends. There is free parking, grassed areas, water activities with equipment to rent and even campgrounds nearby that have a private beach entrance for campground users. The day we visited was on a weekend and looking around us we saw plenty of groups of people and their pets scattered on the grass enjoying picnics together under the sun. Our day turned out to be much different from the relaxation others were experiencing - much, much, different... 

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Traveling with pets

My Top 7 Tips for Traveling with Pets

When we found out we were moving to Italy my first priority was getting my two furry princesses, Bella and Coco Chanel, ready to move. We had 30+ hours of travel ahead of us with the dogs at our feet, followed by a transition phase of living in a hotel so it definitely got a little tricky and stressful for our babies (and us!) But with a little patience and perseverance we got through it and now they are very happy in their new Italian life. As a matter a fact, they are both snuggled right next to me as I am typing this, fast asleep without a care in the world which makes me happy. I wanted to share a few of the tips we picked up along the way about traveling with pets and hope they can help you if you have any upcoming travel plans with your cute fur babies. (Plus I'm secretly enjoying this post because I get to share pictures of my little cuties).

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Tuscan Getaway

A Dream Tuscan Getaway with Agriturismo La Fontaccia

When I say 'Tuscany' what comes to your mind? For me, it was all about the rolling hills with vineyards for days, sweeping countryside landscapes, good food, better wine and sunflower fields. I had never been to Tuscany before so this imagery that had made its way into my mind through movies and travel pictures had become my dream vision for the perfect Tuscan getaway. The crazy thing is, after staying at Agriturismo La Fontaccia for the weekend recently, my dream vision came true. Let me tell you all about it. 

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long haul travel

My Top Long Haul Travel Tips

Traveling is such a fun, life changing experience, but the part when you are cramped up in the plane for long periods of time is not really the best part is it? For those short trips that are only a few hours long it’s pretty easy to get through but what about the long haul trips where every minute feels like an hour? Those ones can be harsh! Trust me, with about 20 long haul flights under my belt, I know your pain! Luckily, I kind of developed my own little routine to prepare myself for these long periods of travel and I wanted to share them on the blog today.

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Gnome Village

Touring a Magical Gnome Village in Asiago, Italy

I'm so excited to share my first official blog post showcasing a local experience here in Italy! To be honest, I had a few adventures to choose from since moving here and I chose this one because, quite simply, it was just a unique and fun experience. I shared a picture on Instagram recently from my tour but now let's take a journey deep in the woods of Asiago, to find the magical Gnome Village. 

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Life in Italy First Impressions

Life in Italy - My First Impressions

Ciao from Italy!

Before I get started, I want to say a HUGE thank you for baring with my while the blog has been slow due to my current Internet drought. Seriously, the Internet desert is no bueno when you're trying to create posts! I am hoping that we can get that situation fixed soon so that I can get back to regular posts, hopefully it's just a little longer.

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Living in Hawaii

100 Wonderful Things That Happened to Me While Living in Hawaii

So by now you guys know my story of how I came to live in Hawai'i and that my time in that beautiful paradise has come to an end. When I think about it, I can't believe I lived there for just over two and a half years - where did the time go? What a big adventure it was though. I was reflecting on my time while I was journaling and I made this list of 100 wonderful things that have happened to me since living in Hawai'i. At first I thought, 'Don't post that Katie, it just sounds like you're bragging' but the idea nagged at me a little and I usually post the ideas that linger in my little brain. 

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How to travel more

The Katie Show Blog Has Moved! Our Overseas PCS From Hawai'i to Italy

Good morning friends! You may have seen on Instagram this week that The Katie Show Blog has now moved. Whaatt? Moved? Yes, that's right, moved from the little slice of paradise to a new home in Europe. 

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venture hawai'i

How to Immortalize Your Time in Hawai'i - A Photoshoot with Venture Hawai'i

Last week I was lucky enough to go on an underwater photoshoot with Tony from Venture Hawai'i. You guys have probably heard me mention them in other posts like 10 Must Follow Instagram Accounts or How Living in Hawai'i Changed my Life but I am very glad to say that today I have a whole post dedicated to this inspirational local business.

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Dive for Tako in Hawaii

My Experience Diving With Tako in Hawaii

Tako is the Japanese word for octopus and is commonly used here in Hawaii when referring to these eight legged creatures of the sea. You may also hear the Hawaiian term He'e used but no matter what you call them, these creatures are simply fascinating. 

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Oahu Best Beaches

A Guide to Oahu's Best Beaches

Of course I need to write a post on the best beaches on Oahu right? I mean, I've done the best waterfalls, the best places to swim with turtles and the best free activities so it just seems only fitting for a blog based in Hawaii to have a post on the best beaches. Let me tell you that trying to narrow this one down was rough because the list of potentials is so long! There is definitely no shortage of blog material that's for sure, which isn't really a bad thing to be honest. I'm sure that once you get out and about you will be able to add to this list as you find others that you fall in love with, but here are my top picks for Oahu's best beaches. 

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Hawaii Travel Mistakes

Hawaii Travel Mistakes: Things to Avoid When Visiting O'ahu

Congratulations! You have decided to visit Hawaii, or paradise as I like to call it. Everything is booked, you've packed everything you need and have some adventures planned so you're almost ready. All you need to know now is what not to do to ensure your time here is the best it can be. This is exactly why I have compiled this list of the top Hawaii travel mistakes to help you on your way. 

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Snorkeling Tips for Beginners

Snorkeling Tips and Tricks for Beginners

You guys know by now that I love the ocean and am out snorkeling as much as I can - it really is my happy place and I feel so comfortable and peaceful in the water. I'm always left wondering why Ariel would want to trade her mermaid life for a life on land but I suppose the grass is always greener on the other side right? Anywho, I digress. I love sharing things that I am passionate about so I figured that it was time for a beginners snorkeling tips post to help you get started on your own underwater adventures!

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Must do in Darwin

Australia Bucket List - The 10 Adventures You Must Do in Darwin

I decided to do a little throwback today and post about a place I used to live in back in my home country of Australia. It's a little place called Darwin. Now when you think of visiting the land down under most people think of seeing the Sydney Harbour Bridge or holding a Koala or cruising through Surfers Paradise. Not many people mention a visit to Darwin in their plans, but I am here to show you why you need to, with this guide of the top 10 things you must do in Darwin. 

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Kalihi Ice Ponds

The Kalihi Ice Ponds - A Hidden Treasure of Oahu

Hawaii is a land of natural wonder and seems to have it all. There are the crystal clear waters, the sweeping views of ridge hikes, the golden sandy beaches and of course the waterfalls nestled away against the lushest of green scenery. I have never been left speechless so many times in my life but the beauty of these islands always amazes me! Unfortunately, some of the most beautiful places are a little less than legal to visit and today I am sharing one of those adventures. 

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How Living In Hawaii Changed My Life

Expat Thoughts - How Living in Hawaii Changed my Life

Lately, I have been feeling very reflective. I think it is because I have been organizing my green card renewal documents so I have had to document the last 2 and a half years of living in Hawaii. Looking back over all the photos I printed to submit to the immigration department had me thinking about my time here in Hawaii and brought back a whole lot of good memories. I kept thinking about how much my life has changed since moving here and how much I have grown as a person. Naturally, there are some obvious changes like the fact that I got a tan and use the shaka symbol a whole lot more but I wanted to share some of the other ways in which living in Hawaii changed my life. 

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Deadmans Catwalk

The Deadmans Catwalk in Pictures

A different post to usual tonight. Due to the controversial nature of The Deadmans Catwalk, I'm not offering tips or directions to this iconic place. I'm not suggesting whether you need to or even should do this one. Instead, I am simply sharing pictures I took on this iconic hike.

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Kaena Point Trail from the North Shore

Hiking the Kaena Point Trail from the North Shore

Remember the post I did about Kaena Point? I mentioned in it that you could get to the point from the west side or the north, but that post was focused on the west side trail. Well, as Adele would say (or belt out) hello from the otherrrrrrrsiiiiiiiideee because last week I took myself out on a solo adventure to explore the trail from the north side. It was so beautiful that today I wanted to share it with you as well as some tips to get you there. 

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Zipline Tour Oahu

The Must Do Zipline Tour on Oahu - A Tour with Keana Farms

'What on Earth did I get myself into...'

This is what I thought when I arrived at Climb Works Keana Farms for a zipline tour on the North Shore of Oahu bright and early on Wednesday morning.

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10 Things you must do in Kauai

10 Things You Must Do in Kauai - The Essential Guide

Kauai is the perfect island if you are a fan of all things nature and outdoors. It definitely ranks as one of the most beautiful places I have ever travelled to and is my favorite Hawaiian island that I have visited so far. The mind blowing beauty of the landscapes left me speechless on many occasions, the food on the island has a theme of fresh, real ingredients and the overall vibe is one of relaxation. 

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Caring For Your GoPro

A Practical Guide to Caring for your GoPro

I remember the days of old when I first visited Hawaii and was really proud to have bought a disposable underwater camera for the trip. There I was, snorkeling around underwater when all of a sudden I would see something cool. I proudly went through the *wind, wind, wind, click* process to snap photos of the fish that swam by until my 24 photo limit ran out. When I got back into Australia and the first thing I did was take my $12 camera to the store to be developed and an hour later I had a bunch of photos in my hands. Could there be anything cooler right? 

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Kauai Backcountry Tubing Adventure

Must do in Kauai: The Kauai Backcountry Tubing Adventure

If you follow my Instagram you probably saw that I visited Kauai last month and it was an absolute blast. I think Kauai might just be my favorite island! Most of the time was spent exploring and enjoying the feel of the island, which is so different to Oahu by the way, but we did jump on a tour with Kauai Backcountry Adventures and I wanted to share a review of it with you today.

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Kauai Backcountry Tubing Adventure

A Guide to the Best Waterfall Hikes on Oahu

When you think of Hawaii you think of palm trees and golden sandy beaches right? That's what you see on the postcards but it's certainly not all that Hawaii has to showcase. Not even close! Within those mountainous valleys and off the beaten path there are plenty of waterfall hikes on Oahu to get your adventurous spirit pumping and I am sharing a few on the blog today.

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free dive with sharks

Why You Need to Free Dive with Sharks

Do you guys remember that time I had the crazy idea to free dive with sharks? Well, as you may already know from my Instagram feed, last week I went back for more! After my first dive I said that it was an incredible experience and that is a statement I still stand by because this was just as incredible as the first time (and it was my third dive with the company!) Maybe I'm crazy or maybe I'm onto something great, who knows, but either way I firmly believe that Hawaii Adventure Diving is the gold standard when it comes to diving tours and that it's something everyone has to try while in Hawaii. It is an adventure that will challenge your perceptions of sharks, leaving you with memories to last a lifetime and trust me when I say that it is not as scary as you might think.

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The Kealia Trail

Solo Adventure Approved - The Kealia Trail

A couple of weeks ago I had a day off and no plans, so I did what anyone else would do and took myself on a solo hike and beach day. Thats what anyone else would do right? Ok, so maybe I am the weird one but nevertheless I am sharing the adventure on the blog here today because it is a really fun little hike with some breathtaking views of this island paradise. 

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Free things to do on O'ahu

12 Fun and Free Things to do on O'ahu

Whether you are on holidays and looking to save money on activities while you are here, or whether you live here and just need some cheap adventures for the off-pay week, check out this guide to 12 free things to do on O'ahu. There is plenty to keep you busy and no reason to be sitting at home bored! 

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Manoa Falls

Hiking to Manoa Falls, O'ahu, Hawai'i

Happy thanksgiving to all of the American readers! I'm sure by now you guys are already busy with prepping, cooking and hosting duties for the special day and I do hope you are enjoying time with your loved ones. Back here in Hawaii, I spent thanksgiving morning on a  hike to Manoa Falls with a fellow blogger who I met through an Instagram meet-up and I wanted to share it with you on the blog today. 

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The Getaway Girls

Flower Crown Making with The Getaway Girls

Let me just say that the blog world is pretty amazing! I am lucky to be able to say that I have connected with so many cool people who have reached out either through the website or on social media, I have been able to work with a lot of very talented entrepreneurs and now I can say that I got to meet my blog idols - The Getaway Girls!

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upper makua cave

A Guide to The Secret Upper Makua Cave, O'ahu, Hawai'i

Aloooooooha! So tonight I wanted to share a sweet westside hike with you, the Upper Makua Cave. 

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mother daughter adventures

10 Mother Daughter Adventures in Hawaii

Chances are that when your mum comes to visit, she doesn't want to do 2 hour ocean swims or full day in the sun adventures, but that doesn't mean that you guys can't have a great time together right? Here is a guide of 10 mother daughter adventures for when your mum comes to visit you in Hawaii, which was inspired by my own mothers recent visit to Oahu and the time we spent together cruising around the island.

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Pearl Harbor Memorial

Visiting the Pearl Harbor Memorial: The Do's and Don'ts

When you think of Hawaii it's hard to imagine that anything bad could ever happen in such a perfect island paradise, though it certainly did on the ever so infamous day of December 7, 1941. It was during the morning hours of this day that the tropical daydream was covered in a dark cloud as a devastating ambush attack swept over Oahu, with the largest impact occurring at Pearl Harbor. The calculated and successful attack took the lives of many in a short period of time and triggered a new level of intensity in the second world war. With the significance of this event, paying your respects at Pearl Harbor is surely a must while visiting Oahu. 

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Things to do on the Big Island

10 Things to do on The Big Island - A Complete Travel Guide

Last week I enjoyed my third trip to the Big Island and while sitting at the Kona airport, gazing at the statue of the graceful hula dancers, I thought to myself that it was time to prepare a post dedicated to the largest of the Hawaiian islands. Here are 10 things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii to help get you started on your own holiday there. 

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whats in my beach bag

What's in my Beach Bag - The Beach Bag Essentials

Today was such a beautiful Aloha Friday. Traveling down the highway to one of my favorite beaches, I looked out the window to see the sun was shining down, creating an Edward Cullen like sparkle on the surface of the ocean as the rays met the water. It was the perfect day to be outdoors and the perfect day to take some pictures of the waves and document my beach bag essentials. Some of these items are things I have found through trial and error so hopefully they can help you to (without having to go through the trial and error phase!)

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Best Luau on Oahu

The Best Luau on Oahu - A Day at the Polynesian Cultural Center

Experiencing a luau is one of the highlights of a visit to Hawaii but with many to choose from it is hard to know which one is worthy of your time and money. Today on the blog I am sharing a guide to the best luau on Oahu, a place which takes you far beyond just a touristy gimmick and instead immerses you in Polynesian culture offering a complete sensory experience that will not leave you disappointed.

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oahu must do tourist

Oahu Must Do: The Tourist Edition

Let's face it, playing tourist can be a lot of fun! If you are visiting Oahu, don't miss out on any of these touristy adventures for your holiday bucket list. These 'Oahu must do' items are almost obligatory!

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Maunawili Falls

6 Tips for Hiking the Maunawili Falls Trail

Maunawili Falls is one of the most popular waterfall trails on Oahu and it is one of my personal favorite waterfall trails for a few reasons:

1) jungle hikes are my fav

2) the waterfall pond is big enough to swim around in

3) my guy took me here on one of my first visits to Hawaii so there's a bit of sentimental value for me.

It really is a beautiful hike that is suitable for all levels which makes it one that everyone can enjoy! As with any hiking, you always need to remember to bring enough water, snacks and hike to your limits, but here are some of the other tips you will find useful to prepare you for the Maunawili Falls Trail.

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Best Oahu Hikes for Beginners

A Guide to the Best Oahu Hikes for Beginners

Are you ready to awaken your adventurous side and begin getting outdoors to explore Hawaii but don't really know where to start? I feel you because I was there once too. This is why I have prepared a shortlist of the best Oahu hikes for beginners to get you started on your own adventures! Once you get through these there will be no stopping you! These hikes are all a good workout and good chance to get outdoors without the sheer drops of some of the scarier hikes or the skillful footing required of some of the more technical hikes. This is why they are great for beginners!

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Swim with Turtles on Oahu

The Best Places to Swim with Turtles on Oahu

Where are the best places to swim with turtles? This is something I get asked about all the time. Actually, it's probably the most common question I get asked. To be honest, the simple answer is everywhere! I have seen or swam with turtles almost everywhere I have been on the island, it has just been a matter of whether they were cruising around at the same time that I was swimming. I know that's not really helpful, so I prepared a guide of a few spots that I have been where I have seen them more often than not. 

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Koko Head Stairs of Doom

Conquering the Koko Head Stairs of Doom

It's simple - a visit to Hawaii is not complete without a venture to the top of the Koko Head Stairs of Doom. When you are imagining your visit to paradise I am sure that you get palm trees in your eyes as you envision white sandy beaches, cocktails served in pineapples and turquoise waters. It's a little different to the vision of climbing 1048 steps of an old railway track as you feel your legs burning away like a thousand suns, but I promise you that burn is worth it!

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Tips For Solo Adventure

Tips for Solo Adventure (and Why You Need to Try It)

I can hear you already.

*Celine Dion's 'All by Myself' begins playing in your head*

Solo adventure? You mean alone? As in, without an adventure buddy? What are you thinking Katie?!  Now, now, breathe in, breathe out and read on. It's not as scary as you think (and not as dramatic as Celine makes it seem!)

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Makapuu Tide Pools

The Makapu'u Tide Pools - A Tide Pool Treasure

Makapu'u Tide Pools are truly something out of a 'world's most beautiful places' magazine! It's such a dreamy spot to spend time in nature and you also get the added benefit of the lighthouse trail to do before or after so you can enjoy the spectacular views. With hiking, swimming, exploring and beautiful views, it's the perfect combination for an adventure! 

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working with passion

The 10 Best Hawai'i Instagram Accounts for Adventure Inspiration

Whether you are living in Hawai'i and looking for some adventure inspiration or live elsewhere and looking for Hawaii wanderlust, here are my pics for the 10 best Hawai'i Instagram accounts that will serve both purposes. 

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Best Oahu Tour

The Best O'ahu Tour Company - Circle Island Tour In 24

If you are looking for the best Oahu tour company, then look no further because I found it. Yesterday I spent the day touring with Circle Island Tour In 24 and after the solid 8 hours of exploring this beautiful island I now call home, I can safely say that this is THE tour to do in Hawaii.  

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Lanikai Beach

The Unmissable Lanikai Beach, O'ahu, Hawai'i

Lanikai (pronounced lah-nee-kye) means heavenly sea and it certainly lives up to the name. 

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Forgetting Sarah Marshall Jump

Laie Point - The Forgetting Sarah Marshall Jump

Who can forget the scene in Forgetting Sarah Marshall where Jason Segel is hanging from the side of the cliff trying to look cool after Mila Kunis had so effortlessly leaped into the ocean? Well, that spot certainly exists and is right here on Oahu's North Shore. You can even jump from the same spot, emulating Mila of course with graceful ease. 

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Green Sand Beach

Papakolea - The Magical Green Sand Beach on the Big Island of Hawai'i

Today we have another addition to the Big Island bucket list with the Papakolea green sand beach. Not only is the Big Island special in the sense that you can see gold, black and green sand beaches in one visit, but it is an extra special treat because this green sand beach is one of only four in the world. 

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Black Sand Beach

Punalu'u - The Black Sand Beach on the Big Island of Hawai'i

Last week on the blog, we took a look at the Pololu Valley which has a short hike that leads to a picturesque black sand beach. In this post, I did mention that it was black sand beach as opposed to the black sand beach, so I thought I'd take a moment to share the black sand beach with you today.

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Mikes Huli Huli Chicken Hawaii

The Must Eat: Mikes Huli Huli Chicken, O'ahu, Hawai'i

I had driven past Mikes Huli Huli Chicken food truck a million times on my way to the North Shore and it was one of those places that I always thought would be cool to try but never actually made it in there. On this beach hopping day, a friend and I were driving back from the North Shore to Lanikai and I was super hungry so it was the perfect time to try it out. 

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Pololu Valley Big Island Hawaii

A Guide to Pololu Valley, Big Island, Hawai'i

Pololu Valley is a gorgeous spot on the Big Island of Hawaii that is another perfect addition to the Hawaii bucket list. I have been lucky enough to visit this spot twice and it is just gorgeous. Boasting a lookout, hike and black sand beach, it is truly one of natures wonder-spots.

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Oahu Best shave ice

A Guide to Oahu's Best Shave Ice

There is nothing quite like a shave ice after a long day of fun in the sun. They just go together. Luckily for us, Hawaii has no shortage of wonderful shave ice stores for us to enjoy and lucky for you, I have created a shortlist of the best shave ice on the island to get you started.  

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How to Swim With Dolphins in Hawaii

How to Swim with Dolphins in Hawaii

Dolphins are intelligent, social and playfully curious creatures that capture our attention in a big way, reminding us that there is magic in this world. We watch in awe as they glide through the water with elegance and grace whether they are whizzing by at incredible speeds or casually cruising by at rest. We marvel as they fly through the air, jumping and spinning with ease before splashing back down into the water displaying their athleticism and strength and our hearts just melt as we see them interact with each other talking and playing within the pod. They are simply incredible. We are so lucky that Hawaii is home to these awe-inspiring creatures which means swimming with them is a dream that can become a reality. 

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Waimea Bay

The Famous Waimea Bay, O'ahu, Hawai'i

I had been to Waimea Bay a few times before during winter when the water was insanely rough. It was roped off to show that swimmers were not allowed in the water and the lifeguards were constantly patrolling to keep everyone safe from the large shore break. It was fun to sit on the sand and watch the powerful ocean but I would never have thought I would be swimming in that same bay! 

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Secret Mermaid Cave Hawaii

The Secret Mermaid Cave

I often see people, quite often those who are sent to live here for a few years, frustrated that others won't share the location of some of the hidden treasures of the island with them. These people are typically the ones who don't like Hawaii and I have seen it over and over again since moving here. It led me to this post where I wanted to share some notes on the culture of this island paradise which most of us are a guest of. I certainly did not know until someone taught me, so now this is my chance to pass it on to others who may be new to the island. 

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Snorkeling at Kapoho Tide Pools, Big Island

Snorkeling at the Kapoho Tide Pools, Big Island, Hawai'i

Have you ever thought of snorkeling through a volcanically heated ocean jacuzzi? Well, you have now and I am happy to say that you can do just that on the Big Island of Hawaii! 

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Snorkeling at Three Tables

Snorkeling at Three Tables, O'ahu, Hawai'i

Once upon a time, in days of brightly shaded eyelids and big hair, a wise Cindy Lauper said "Girls just wanna have fun" and how right she was! Last week I made the journey up to the North Shore with one of my gal pals for a fun adventure and we had a absolute blast. One of the stops during the 'Monday Funday' was at Three Tables for a snorkeling session and it is yet another Hawaiian treasure that did not disappoint! 

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Volcanoes National Park

Exploring The Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawai'i

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The best way to start this post is by saying that this is a must see while you are on the Big Island of Hawaii. 

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Kamiloiki Ridge Trail

Thoughts on Happiness I Had While Hiking The Kamiloiki Ridge Trail

Hiking is usually a good time to stop and think about things. All sorts of different thoughts come and go during my time on each trail. Sometimes the thoughts turn out wise and insightful, and other times the thoughts are more along the lines of 'am I there yet....and why did I do this again?!' If you have done the Koko Head Trail a.k.a The Stairs of Doom then you know what I mean! 

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Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. Oahu, Hawaii

Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, O'ahu, Hawai'i

It is another Touristy Tuesday on the blog today as we take a look into snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. As I drove there yesterday, I remembered a time when I was living in Australia and about to come to Hawaii to visit my honey. I remember sitting at my work desk on my lunch break googling ‘best snorkeling in Hawaii’ in an attempt to find some great adventures for us to cram into our ten days together. An article on Hanauma Bay loaded onto the screen and quickly grabbed my phone.

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Diamond Head. Must see and do in Hawaii

Hiking the Popular Diamond Head Trail

Simply put, there is so much to do in Hawaii. When I think about what adventures I have here on the blog, it is not even a quarter of the things I have actually done, and then what I have actually done is not even a quarter of the adventures here on the island. It is almost like the never-ending adventure island and I constantly feel like I tick one thing off the bucket list then find three more things! Being spoilt for choice is certainly not a bad thing and is another reason that I love it here so much.

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Diamond Head. Must see and do in Hawaii

Friendship Lessons and the Ka'ena Point Trail

Today I am thankful for friends who reach out. I am very guilty of being a bad friend when it comes to staying in touch with people. Maybe even the worst! I get so caught up in my own world and whatever I am doing day to day that I tend to forget to reach out to people even if it is just to say 'hey'. I guess you could say I don't make the effort. Now, don't get me wrong, I love my friends and when they reach out to me or invite me somewhere I love it, I am just usually not the one to initiate it.

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ehukai pillbox hike. Must see and do in Hawaii.

The Iconic Ehukai Pillbox Hike, Oahu, Hawaii

This 4th of July, I sat on the stool of my outdoor setting on my balcony with a (not so) wholesome dinner of Brie cheese and Trisket crackers and watched the Waikiki fireworks light up the city. With each burst of bright color that filled the sky, my heart sank and I missed my husband a little more. Turns out that Americas birthday is not quite the same without the American of the house. The skyline turned dark once the fireworks ended and a quiet came over the city again as I retired back inside the apartment.

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berry springs nature reserve northern territory australia

Cool Off at the Berry Springs Nature Reserve, Darwin, Australia

It's the end of Australia week on the blog and I am finishing it off by showcasing a few gorgeous photos of the Berry Springs Nature Reserve. If you remember back to the blog about the Territory Wildlife Park, you will remember that I mentioned that it is a great idea to pack your swimwear and take a dip in Berry Springs after your day at the park. This is said Berry Springs. It is only a 5 minute drive from the Wildlife Park making it the perfect way to end your day of animal watching. The park is only open in the dry season due to the crocodile threat in the wet season, so remember to check that it is open and safe before swimming.

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jumping crocodile cruise northern territory australia

The Must See Jumping Crocodile Cruise in Darwin, Australia

The Australian Saltwater Crocodile is the largest reptile in the world. The ultimate apex predator who has remained virtually unchanged for millions of years. If you are in the Northern Territory and want to see them up close and in the wild, then look no further. The jumping crocodile cruise is a tour that you need to do.

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Mataranka Thermal Pool. Must see and do Darwin.

A Road Trip to the Mataranka Thermal Pool from Darwin, Australia

Tonight on the blog, we are venturing about 100km south of the small town of Katherine in the Northern Territory to a hidden gem called Mataranka. I had never been to Mataranka and felt like this trip was as good a time as any to head down there and see what all the fuss was about. So my husband and I packed some water bottles with our swim gear and off we went down the highway. The drive was less than exciting - termite mounds to the left, termite mounds to the right and bitumen highway in front. Although, lucky for us, we were able to spot a wild Jabiru feeding in a wetland, lots of kangaroos and we even drove through a bushfire, all of which made the drive more entertaining.

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Territory Wildlife Park

A Day at The Territory Wildlife Park, Darwin, Australia

The Territory Wildlife Park is nestled 45 minutes away from Darwin and is a wildlife park that needs to be on your 'must see' list while visiting the Top End. The park boasts enclosures that allow you to see the array of animals in their natural environments as well as keeper demonstrations and interactive encounters, so there really is something for everyone.

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Litchfield National Park

A Day at Litchfield National Park. Darwin, Australia

It's Australia week on the blog, and I am kicking it off with a look at Litchfield National Park which is located in the Northern Territory of Australia. Litchfield, or Litchy as it is affectionately known, is a gorgeous natural wonderland set in the outback, about 130kms away from Darwin.

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