Lobster rolls all over New England are delicious, but where better to have a Maine lobster than in Maine? They aren’t cheap, but this one from Perkins Cove was well worth the price and drive to get there.
We don’t travel with guide books. They add too much weight, take up precious space and buying a new one for each country we visit would cost too much. Sometimes we read the ones left behind in guesthouses, but mostly we look to the Internet for a few important answers. Before arriving in a new country, we always look up the following information:
1) the local currency and exchange rate 2) what the tipping etiquette is 3) any local customs or important cultural differences And, super important: 4) can you drink tap water without getting sick?
This last question has become very important to us. Being in constant travel mode between very foreign places has caused us to miss certain things, and ice on a very hot day is one of them. Sometimes, if you can’t drink the local water, you can’t have ice, a smoothie or diluted juice. But other times, like in Malaysia, ice is made in factories and purchased by local establishments. Thank you, Malaysia! But we wish you the best if you attempt to drink ice water in India.
Obviously this is very important information to be prepared with. Here’s a breakdown of countries we spent significant time in during our trip and whether you can drink from the tap.* Some of them may surprise you:
As the starting location for our round-the-world trip, we did a lot of research on Iceland, reading guidebooks, blog posts and Iceland’s tourism webpages. Many personal accounts told the same story: Iceland is beautiful, filled with natural wonders and untouched by the corporations that line American streets. An arctic paradise. But we read warnings too: it’s expensive and you might need to upgrade your rental to a 4×4 if you plan to drive around the island. Looking back, nothing we read told us the whole truth.
Iceland is a beautiful country — majestic, in fact — but our very first impression during our drive from Keflavík airport into Reykjavík was that it was cold (not just the outside temperature) and had a Soviet feel. Buildings are concrete slabs dotted with windows. Reykjavík felt claustrophobic, like all the buildings were placed tightly together. Where was the space? The parks? The beauty? And graffiti was everywhere. Sure, it spruced up the drab buildings, but it also made the city feel rundown. Continue reading →
Iceland is a majestic country with dramatically changing landscape. Even though the scenery varies, there are certain attributes that remain constant throughout: the purple (and controversial) Alaskan lupine; moss; lava rocks; yellow poppies; steam from the geothermal vents; water, water everywhere; glaciers and ice patches; amazing cloud formations; and fields of green. Here is an up-close glimpse … Continue reading →
I thought I would dread the drive to Keflavík airport. The familiar “it’s over” feeling would hit and I’d wistfully stare out the Nissan Qashqai window at the lava rocks lining the road. This was the typical end-of-vacation sadness I was accustomed to. But everything is different now. We have neither a job nor home to return to. And the United States isn’t even on our foreseeable itinerary. Onward we drift, with each subsequent destination full of mystery and adventure, not the usual necessity to refocus my energy on 9-to-5 work.
Only two weeks have passed, but Mike and I have already encountered both the immense benefits and back-home annoyances of international travel. Continue reading →