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A thread for Travel Junkies...

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Re: A thread for Travel Junkies...

Postby joejlitz » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:16 pm

bungle613 wrote:ok travellers... who can fill me in on Belize, Panama and Costa Rica. These are the 3 locations on top of our list to move to in the next year or two. Neither of us have been to any of them so anything at all in the way of info is appreciated. I know a couple of you military type guys have done some time down there so start talking. We are looking at several possibilites on how we are moving but the leading contenders are to move and my wife will work in management at a hotel and I will stay with our 4 y/o son and the other is to buy a business, a b&b, bar etc...

:-L
Color me jealous. I lived in Panama for 3 years (96-99) and that's where I first fell in love with the Latin culture and people. I lived in the Canal Zone, which no longer exists and my experiences were as a single 23 year old, so take that for what it is worth. But I can tell you that the people are friendly for the most part. There are two classes of people (as in most LATAM countries) - rich and poor. The poverty is mostly on the outskirts of Panama City but nothing like what you would find in Nicaragua, Guatemala, or Haiti. Panama City is nice and like any other major city - bigger than Pittsburgh, smaller than New York. Maybe about the size of Philly. Tons of restaurants, bars, clubs, movie theaters (where popcorn was still only 50 cents but the theaters were first class - this was before stadium seating was invented so who knows what it is like now). Services are super cheap; electronics and technology are super expensive (thank God for the internet and a credit card). Food - superb. Lifestyle - take it as it comes. Black sand beaches and white sand beaches in different areas. There are a few island resorts for quick getaways. SCUBA diving is very good and super cheap in Portobello where they also have "El Cristo Negro" or the black Christ. Great Story Here. Buy your gear and get certified before you go. We also spent some time in the country where they had some beautiful waterfalls, coffee plantations, and white water rafting. And then there is Carnival every February where the whole country celebrates for a week.

Where would you live? I might be able to tell you more.

Costa Rica. I spent four days there. Briefly - English is spoken much more, especially in the capital; country is richer; health care is more easily accessible and free for locals (which I think a Canuck like yourself would appreciate); tourist stuff is more predominant and there are more options, but also more catered to every tourist (in Panama things still have a homey feel); people are less friendly and look like a bunch of ugly Americans for the most part (also something a Canadian should be used to ;-) ) - the native Indian look has been bred out from what I could tell; coffee is incredible; food is delicious; beaches, islands, etc. Probably more safe in the rural areas of Costa Rica than in the rural areas of Panama, but that is just a guess. Romancing the Stone was shot there, but I think Kathleen Turner has moved on :-t That's about all I know. I went as a tourist, so I've got a tourist's view point.

Belize. Best SCUBA diving in the Caribbean by reputation. Former British colony so they all speak English. That's all I know.
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Re: A thread for Travel Junkies...

Postby The Artful Dodger » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:48 pm

biju wrote:The official list of places we went: Munich, Rome, Naples, Capri, Sorrento, Amalfi, Salerno, and then back to Rome. We had some of the best food of our lives and for anyone who loves quick pasta dishes I implore you to seek out a good recipe for Cacio e Pepe which is something that hasn't made its way to the US and is a "grown up" take on Mac and Cheese, although better.


The Amalfi Coast is brilliant. Didn't peruse through all your pics, but did you have a chance to visit Ischia? Excellent place and worth at least a day and night's stay from Napoli.
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Re: A thread for Travel Junkies...

Postby bungle613 » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:58 pm

Sorry for the delay Joe. Crazy busy these days. I can say the same about jealousy as you ahve already doen 3 years there.

I can't really tell you much. We are not much int he way of planning things out. We usually just get sick of things and make an impromptu plan and see what happens. Kind of different now with out 4 y/o but we will see.

It depends on what we do. If my wife works in a hotel it will be either city dwelling or resort area. If we buy, we will probably go off the beaten track a bit. Ideally we buy but it is also idyllic that we win a lottery. Would love to find something close to an upcoming and coming smaller city with beachfront and a bar/restaurant to go along with some cottages. That is my dream.

The issues at hand are that Belize and Costa Rica are much more developed than Panama or Honduras etc.. Cost of living is higher but that comes with its benefits as well. English is first language in Belize and incredibly common in Costa Rica. Panama is handing alot of perks out for investors as well. I can write all day on pros and cons and things we are thinking about doing but I won't.

Really appreciate the general impression on Panama. That is what i am looking to get.
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Re: A thread for Travel Junkies...

Postby joejlitz » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:35 pm

bungle613 wrote: Would love to find something close to an upcoming and coming smaller ctty with beachfront and a bar/restaurant to go along with some cottages. That is my dream.

That...is a great dream. Make it a reality, bro. Life is too short.
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Re: A thread for Travel Junkies...

Postby biju » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:30 pm

Resurrecting an old thread in hopes of a little information about...Australia!

My wife and I are heading down in a week and are extremely excited. We're doing this trip just a little differently than we normally do because Australia is so big we are going to need to fly around to see the cities we want to see. Here is the itinerary:

1. Fly into Cairns and stay for the next 4 days, diving and snorkeling as much as possible.
2. Get a car and drive the surrounding area and start making our way down to Brisbane. We have the car for the next 10 days and although we have a lot of ground to cover we are both super early risers and can power through a long drive if needed.
3. We fly out from Brisbane to Ayers Rock where we'll stay only one night and get a peek at the biggest rock in the world.
4. Fly to Melbourne and stay the next 3 days; we'll probably rent a car there to drive the Great Ocean Road and tour the surrounding areas.
5. Fly to Sydney and spend the rest of the trip there, again renting a car to tour the Blue Mountains and the surrounding area.

Has anyone else been to any of these cities and have any suggestions on what to see, what to eat, or what to do?

;-D
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Re: A thread for Travel Junkies...

Postby Dan Lambskin » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:59 pm

PM AussieDodger on the baseball side...i think he actually lives in New Zealand but is pretty familair with Australia as well
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Re: A thread for Travel Junkies...

Postby bungle613 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:00 am

biju wrote:Resurrecting an old thread in hopes of a little information about...Australia!

My wife and I are heading down in a week and are extremely excited. We're doing this trip just a little differently than we normally do because Australia is so big we are going to need to fly around to see the cities we want to see. Here is the itinerary:

1. Fly into Cairns and stay for the next 4 days, diving and snorkeling as much as possible.
2. Get a car and drive the surrounding area and start making our way down to Brisbane. We have the car for the next 10 days and although we have a lot of ground to cover we are both super early risers and can power through a long drive if needed.
3. We fly out from Brisbane to Ayers Rock where we'll stay only one night and get a peek at the biggest rock in the world.
4. Fly to Melbourne and stay the next 3 days; we'll probably rent a car there to drive the Great Ocean Road and tour the surrounding areas.
5. Fly to Sydney and spend the rest of the trip there, again renting a car to tour the Blue Mountains and the surrounding area.

Has anyone else been to any of these cities and have any suggestions on what to see, what to eat, or what to do?

;-D



Give me a bit. I have a couple of friends that just did 2 months there. I will probably see them shortly so will ask for some info. They did say several times it was shockingly expensive. They had no idea Australia had become so expensive.
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Re: A thread for Travel Junkies...

Postby Nfl Fan » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:32 pm

biju... dude... you always go to cool places! ;-D
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Re: A thread for Travel Junkies...

Postby biju » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:55 am

Got back last week and while we're still re-adjusting to the time difference I was able to put up a few pictures on flickr if anyone is interested in taking a peek:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mharjo/sets/72157628261673979/

Side note: I learned a hell of a lot on this trip about how Australia "works", what to see and what not to, as well as some other small things. A quick list of our favorites: sailing around the Whitsunday Islands, Uluru (Ayers Rock), wine tasting in Hunter Valley, and, of course, diving the Great Barrier Reef.

;-D
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Re: A thread for Travel Junkies...

Postby SJNez46 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:14 pm

Still pretty young, 19 so I haven't done too much traveling yet, but I just got back from my first backpacking trip. I spent a month working my way through Scotland and then Ireland, and I plan to backpack through much of mainland Europe as soon as I have the money again. Besides there I have also been to 8 states, Canada, and Jamaica :-D
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