Bratislava; It Should Have Been Amazing…

Mark Stewart Travel Stories 12 Comments

The unfortunate fact about life is that sometimes it doesn’t play out the way you’d like. Even in the beautiful old city of Bratislava, one can have a less than pleasurable experience. This is especially true when it comes to long-term, budget travel. Sometimes these negative vibes come from the overcrowding of some once-idyllic beach. Perhaps it’s the tourist hordes at some beautiful monument you’ve been dying to photograph. Other times, however, it’s subtle things, many of which add up …

A Few Days in Warsaw, Poland

Mark Stewart Travel Stories 2 Comments

We found ourselves in Poland almost completely unplanned; our visit was completely due to costs. The reason we’d been in Europe in the first place was to attend a conference in Ostrava, in the eastern Czech Republic. The cheapest way for us to fly into this region was via Poland. So simply in a stroke of luck, we found ourselves in a fascinating new city we hadn’t even planned on visiting. And because we flew in early, we had a …

Traveller Interview: Dustin & Jessica

Mark Stewart Travel Stories 4 Comments

I’ve known Dustin for a very long time. We first met while working as line-cooks at a chain restaurant in Edmonton about 17 years ago! When Kylee and I first met, one of the first nights out we had, I dragged her along to a party at Dustin’s place, that was the first time she met my friends. We only met Jessica recently. Between our travels and their jobs, their travels and our jobs, it was surprisingly hard to find …

House Sitting in Epsom

Mark Stewart Travel Stories 2 Comments

Chances are you’ve never heard of magnesium sulphate. It’s much more likely you know it by its common name: Epsom salts. Now, other than one of the earliest discoveries of this compound being discovered in the town of Epsom, this is the last we’ll be talking about that. We rolled into Epsom on the Southwestern Rail train from Waterloo station just before noon. I think it was noon, our phone said so at least. For Kylee and I, it could …

Traveller Interview: Lydia

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We’ve actually known Lydia for quite some time, though we both met her in different circles. Kylee and her worked together for a couple of years as travel agents and bonded through mutual love of food. While I originally know her from over a decade earlier back when I was DJing and she fed my vinyl habit from the local record shop. A few years ago, she moved to Hong Kong, where she currently resides.   Name: Lydia Where do …

Visiting Guatape, Colombia

Mark Stewart Travel Stories, Travel Tips 2 Comments

My lungs burned and I was far too sweaty for this early in the morning. I should have eaten more than a bunuelo for breakfast. 475… Only 200 more steps to go. Aside from the realization that I’ve become incredibly out of shape over the passed two months, the view from up here is stunning. The colourful town of Guatape is a tiny scattering of buildings in the distance. 500… The Road to Guatape When one of our friends from …

Reflecting on Five Months Central America

Mark Stewart Travel Stories, Travel Tips 23 Comments

It’s such a tiny area. The entirety of Central America – including the regions of Mexico we visited – could fit within the country of France. Yet every country is different than the next, each one having its own distinct culture. In Guatemala for example, the Mayan roots are very obvious; from physical features to traditional clothing and general way of life. While right next door in El Salvador, due to several tragic moments in recent history, the Mayan culture …

Medellin Love

Mark Stewart Travel Stories 2 Comments

I’ve fallen in love with cities in the past, but never this quickly. Bangkok took a bit of time, upon our second visit we finally dove into what she had to offer. Montreal happened much faster. With Seoul, the depth of love wasn’t realized until we’d left. Edmonton of course, our hometown, goes without saying. However, within the first day of arriving in Medellin, with it’s cool air and laid-back vibe, It’s clear. I’m in love with this city. Following …

What to Do in Santa Marta Colombia

Caribbean Colombia – Santa Marta

Mark Stewart Travel Stories, Travel Tips 14 Comments

After just narrowly making our flight in San Jose, we found ourselves high above the Caribbean as we flew towards Colombia. The flight itself was quite a treat; not only was there a significant amount of leg room, but there was a meal – with wine – included! This might not seem like much but considering the flight was under two short hours, most airlines won’t even offer pretzels! After a brief stop in Bogota, where we sampled some deep-fried …

Spending A Few Days in San Jose, Costa Rica

Mark Stewart Travel Stories 18 Comments

An Easy Arrival Being budget travellers, our typical means of transportation is often questionable at best. And while we’ve definitely upped our standards over the years, we certainly don’t travel in luxury. The journey from Granada back in Nicaragua, to San Jose, Costa Rica is in the ballpark of 8-10 hours; and considering our last day of transit involving border crossings, we decided that this time we’d spoil ourselves. Already drenched with sweat following the half-hour walk under Granada’s hot …