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Stories of Travel

STORIES OF TRAVEL

Hey!  I’m Carlos!  Five years ago I left on a round the world backpacking trip that was supposed last 9 months, and never turned back.  Along the way I made it my aim to experience as much of the world as possible, solo (at the start) and adventurously.  In this corner of my site, you will discover stories from my favorite, most enriching, and most emotional experiences from around the world..


Part 3 [Vietnam Motorcycle Diaries]: Layla Takes a Dive…or Three

I have a coin I carry with me around the world.  It’s a souvenir from a past job and it’s called “the coin of destiny.”  On occasion I’ll flip this coin (and only this coin) to make major decisions.  It hasn’t failed me yet…but more on that later.  On the…

Everest Base Camp Trek Cost Guide

The Everest Base Camp Trek cost will vary by trekker, depending on how luxuriously you do they hike and how independently you do the hike.  The major factors affecting price are use of porters and guides, how much you eat and how “local” you eat, and whether you join a…

Pt 1: Into Kathmandu and EBC Prep: The Calm Before the Storm

Kathmandu to Everest Base Camp: Step 1 – Arrive at Kathmandu Airport As the light peered through my airplane window, I awoke to a Nepali voice announcing that in minutes we would be landing at Kathmandu Airport.  Years in the making, I knew the second I stepped off this plane…

Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary: Lukla, Namche, Gorak Shep, and EBC

Here you will find an Everest Base Camp trek itinerary with all of the information which, lucky for us, a handful of intrepid travelers learned the hard way, leaving us a plan to safely enjoy our adventure through the Himalayas…to the tallest mountain on earth. Mount Everest. This overview will…

Why is the Lukla airport considered the most dangerous airport in the world?

Tenzing-Hilary Airport, commonly referred to as Lukla Airport, is considered one of the most dangerous airports in the world for two primary reasons: The overall design of the Lukla Airport runway including surrounding terrain features limits emergency options for pilots The history of accidents at Lukla Airport and surrounding publicity…

The Dangers of the Everest Base Camp Trek

The trail from Kathmandu to Everest Base Camp is an indescribably beautiful path, but it is also a path paved with risks and dangers.  From flying into the “Most Dangerous Airport in the World” (Lukla Airport), to altitude sickness, to stomach bugs and infections, the trek is littered with just…

The Dove and the Raven – A Story of Travel

So tell me, traveler…are you a dove, or a raven? Once upon a time, there was a man named Noah and one day Noah received are warning, scary enough to heed.  In a short time, a great storm would come and a flood would follow so great that anything that…

Remembering Anthony Bourdain with 6 Lessons from Parts Unknown

Right now, I’m in Greece during the trip of a lifetime because of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown….   At the moment, I’m sitting in Naan, one of my favorite restaurants in Mytilene, Greece, on the island of Lesbos, just off the coast of Turkey. The walls of the building are…

(Pt 4) A Crash Course as a Volunteer Teacher and a Worthwhile Venture

A Note from Carlos: Teachers and Educators – Thank you. What you do is invaluable. I want to open this with a thank you. Thank you to educators of all kinds, teachers, administrators, and facilitiators. Official and unofficial. Thank you for dedicating your life to the pursuit of building minds…

10 Day Turkey Itinerary: How to Visit Turkey on a Short Vacation

A country sitting between two worlds, the Middle East and Europe, with its capital bridging the two perfectly.  Once home to empires (the Romans as well as the Ottomans), Turkey has fallen from power but still boasts plenty to lure in every kind of traveler.  Rich, hearty, and unique cuisine…

Learn to Surf for $100: A Guide to Teaching Yourself to Surf

If you want to learn to surf, there’s no better way than flying to Bali, renting a board, and hitting the waves.  With less than $100, the help of this guide and the linked resources, and a bit of motivation, you can trade the surf camp for teaching yourself how…

GORUCK GR2 Review : An Adventure-Ready Travel Pack

The GORUCK GR2: A durably built carryon sized backpack offers a great organization scheme and the perfect amount of storage for travels of one month or less through a single climate.  For hard use travelers and “onebaggers” the GORUCK GR2 is one of the best travel backpacks available. (A GORUCK…

GORUCK Alternative Backpacks: Great Tactical Packs that Won’t Break the Bank

The GORUCK line of packs are a group of tough as nails, ready for anything backpacks…but they come at a sky high price.  This hefty investment has many potential GORUCKers, travelers, and general users looking for a reasonably priced GORUCK alternative.  A durable, well-tested backpack that performs, and stays comfortable. …

Lowa Renegade GTX Review: An understated hiking shoe that overperforms

The Lowa Renegade GTX – A straight forward hiking shoe with an understated look and high performance right out of the box.  From Laos to Everest, over months of travel through a variety of activities, terrains, and climates, the Lowa Renegade GTX kept my feet comfortable and feeling great, letting…

15 Best Men’s Travel Pants for Every Style, Budget, or Adventure

Men’s Travel Pants: The unicorn of the travel wardrobe | What to take and how to avoid overpacking are some of the most vexing problems in travel prep.  Having durable clothing that looks good, doesn’t get dirty, and performs well from the city to the trail definitely makes packing and…

SEO Keyword Research in 6 Steps: How to find “easy” SEO Keywords

If you have 5 minutes to cut down a tree, spend the first 3 minutes sharpening your ax…. Good SEO keyword research helps sharpen what we’re writing about, to ensure we are writing about exactly what readers are looking for and what Google wants to show them.  By giving Google…

14 SEO Reminders for Bloggers and Content Writers

Whether you’re a brand new blogger trying to figure out which way is up, a small business trying to connect with customers online, or a seasoned blogger set in their ways, these 14 SEO habits and reminders will keep Google sending readers to your site for years to come Contents: 14 SEO…

The Canggu Restaurants List: A Guide to the Best Restaurants in Canggu

Canggu is arguably Bali’s most popular new area, and the Canggu restaurants validate the hype.  The eclectic vibe that extends from the young Balinese crowd all of the way to the runaway expats and sunbathing (mildly) hipster vacationers mixes to create a diverse set of eateries all serving up their…

The Best Gyms of Canggu: An Ultimate Guide

Whether you’re passing through over a weekend or stranded on the island paradise of Bali for months, the eclectic options of Bali’s coolest neighborhood make it easy to hit the gym Canggu style, get the workout you want, and fill the rest of your day with lounging, coconuts, and beach…

Canggu Bars – A Guide to Sipping and Chilling in Bali’s Coolest Area

Whether you’re arriving in Canggu after a 40 hour flight or after a whirlwind 10 day Bali itinerary experiencing the “Island of the Gods”, you’ll definitely need to chill and recover – and the Canggu bars are the perfect setting for the flava of relaxation you need. Bali’s coolest new…

A Guide to Swimming with Whale Sharks in Oslob, Cebu

Swimming with whale sharks in Oslob is one of the most sought after experiences in Cebu.  For adventurous travelers and backpackers, the former fishing village of Oslob makes it possible to swim with these giants in their natural habitat for less than $25 USD.  In this guide, you’ll learn how…

Why I DID Choose to Swim with Whale Sharks in Oslob

For years I’ve had an item on my bucket list: to swim with giants.  Whale sharks. The largest living fish in the sea.  Docile enough to swim with in safety yet gigantic enough to make you feel your true place in the animal kingdom.   As I finished up my trip…

Manila to Coron Ferry & Other Options by Air, Land, and Sea

Coron Island was the highlight of the Philippines for my trip. Shipwrecks at snorkeling depth, dense coral gardens, white sands, and pristine turquoise waters make this locale hard to beat… but you have to work for the beauty and adventure by finding your way to this paradise. There are plenty…

A Guide to the Coron Tours and Coron Diving Options

Coron Island. The northernmost island in the Palawan islands. Unheard of until recently and surrounded by crystal clear waters, secret lagoons, countless shipwrecks for snorkeling and diving, and white sand beaches. If you enjoy the sun and the sea while getting off the beaten track, Coron should be on your…

Backpacking Turkey (Part 1): The Decision to Go from Greece to Turkey

As my time on the Greek island of Lesvos neared a close, I was contemplating where to go next.  For nearly two months, I volunteered with refugees by teaching English and translating in the refugee camps of Lesvos, but it was finally time to move on and backpacking Turkey emerged…

From Greece to Turkey | Backpacking Turkey (Part 2)

The sun was shining bright, reflecting off the concrete ground and walls of the port as I walked through the port city of Mythilini for the last time.  One more stroll through its tiny streets.  One more overpriced espresso at the corner coffee shop I had become familiar with. As…

The Beauty of Izmir…felt, not seen | Backpacking Turkey (Part 4)

The relaxed port city of Izmir was a wonderful respite after the past two months of being busy and proactive nonstop.  Despite the long list of sites to see in the city, I intentionally took it slow and saved the fomo for another city. My days were spent leisurely wandering the…

The Adventure of Learning to Surf in Bali

As I cruised up to Batu Bolong Beach I could feel the butterflies fluttering in my stomach.  It had been about 7 years since I’d even tried to step on a surfboard. Even then, that board was a gigantic foam thing that did whatever it wanted.  Calling it a “surfboard”…

Freediving in Bali: The Beginning of a New Adventure

Aaron: Hey man, I heard you’re going to Bali.  That true? Me: I was thinking about it.  What ya got? Aaron: So I was thinking about Canggu, next to a great surf beach, and then find a freediving and spearfishing course. You in?  Me: **consults bucket list, flips coin** Yup. …

Always Swim with Bull Sharks

This story isn’t mine, but I love it.  Whenever I hit that feeling that we’re all familiar with, that feeling on the edge of my comfort zone, I remember… …always swim with bull sharks. A friend of a friend from a long time ago took a healthy living kick seriously…

Diving Apo Island without tanks & Freediving the Philippines

Diving Apo Island next to SCUBA divers along the ocean floor, 30 feet down, on a single breath of air, with no tanks, just a mask, fins, and a feeling of pure peace.  If you’d told me 6 months ago that I would be finning around dive sites that require…

7 Reasons Outlier Slim Dungarees Are Your Perfect Travel Pants

Finding those perfect travel pants – those pants that look good, stay clean, stay comfortable, and are durable enough to last your travels – is like chasing a unicorn and the ongoing quest of frequent travelers.  In some part of our minds, we think they exist…but those mythical “perfect travel…

The 3 Best Coron to Manila Ferry Options

The Philippines and Palawan are possibly the most beautiful aquatic paradises on the planet.  Unfortunately, traveling around the 7,000 islands and finding out your options for the Coron to Manila ferry after your amazing time on Coron can be difficult at best. Additionally, all international flights pass through Manila, making…

Koh Phangan, Thailand Full Moon Party Dates (2020, 2021)

The Koh Phangan Full Moon Party is a legendary rite of passage for young travelers adventuring through Southeast Asia. Despite the fact that it is increasingly becoming over commercialized like most popular parties and festivals (we’re looking at you Burning Man and Coachella!!), the escapade is still a fun filled…

The Ultimate Guide to Backpacking Sri Lanka: 3 Weeks of Adventure

With this Sri Lanka Itinerary, 3 weeks is enough to experience the best that the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean” has to offer. From surfing & chilling on at the beach, to elephant and leopard filled Sri Lanka safaris, to scenic tuk tuk and train rides through the cool highlands…

The Perfect Tuk Tuk Rental | Sri Lanka| Price, Itinerary, & More

If you’re interested in a Tuk-Tuk rental, Sri Lanka is the best place for your three-wheeled adventure. For travelers that have visited Asia and been taxi’ed around by the little three-wheeled go-carts called “Tuk-Tuks”, there is a feeling of adventure attached to the sight of them.  When you see a…

Three Wheels & Three weeks in Sri Lanka [Stories of Travel]

Great content coming soon about wandering Sri Lanka by Tuk Tuk!  Experiencing the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean” by three wheels in three weeks was an amazing experience – surfing, trekking, exploring, hanging with elephants, and so much more! three weeks was an amazing experience – surfing, trekking, exploring, hanging…

Getting Around Sri Lanka by Train, Bus, and On Your Own

Sri Lanka, the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean” is an island paradise ripe with adventure and is at the top of many travelers’ bucket lists.  Unfortunately getting around Sri Lanka and understanding how to travel quickly and easily by train, bus, and car has most people worried about creating their…


Welcome to “Stories of Travel”, where you’ll discover and read about the firsthand experience of adventurously traveling the world.