travel

What Size Backpack for Europe? A Guide to Your Perfect Pack

So, you’ve got a trip to Europe on the horizon, eh? Wondering what size backpack for Europe is best?

I’ve been there. A week before my trip, three backpacks were laid before me. I’m sitting on a chair in front of them like it’s a group interview.

So, what are your qualifications? And why do you feel you’re a fit for my back on an eight-week European trip?

I’ve been in your shoes before.

Can You Bring Chargers on a Plane? How To Pass TSA Easily

Have you ever packed your bag, grabbed everything, stuffed it in, and realized you didn’t have much space left?

You pick up your portable charger and think, “Can I bring this on the plane?”

It’s a valid question.

After all, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) restricts more items from boarding than a pompous rollercoaster attendant.

So, I went to TSA themselves to find my answer.

Palcoyo Mountain

Palcoyo Mountain: A Hidden Gem Near Cusco to See Now

A man stood with a llama. Or maybe an alpaca. I’m still struggling to differentiate the two.

He wore a multicolored poncho. Rainbow-colored lines — likely made from llama fur — ran horizontally across his midsection and vertically across his arms.

A pink cap, also lined with various shapes and patterns, sat on his head.

He stood there, posing for pictures for the tourists that trickled by. He and his two llamas smiled graciously in each photo, proud to show off their heritage.

Arequipa in Peru: How to Travel in The White City

I stepped out of the airport after landing in Arequipa in Peru. I breathed in; the cool air filled my nostrils like standing in front of an air conditioner.

The air was thin and noticeably so. With each breath, my lungs only filled to about 80%. I gasped like Spongebob in Sandy’s Dome.

Laguna de Salinas: A Peru Salt Desert You Need to See Now

The van careened around the sharp turn on the bumpy dirt road, the wheels tracing the edge like a five-year-old trying to stay in the lines. I glanced out the window to my left and quickly looked forward again.

If you used this ride as the sole example, you’d have no idea that buses of people visit Laguna de Salinas every day. But, it’s what lies at the end of this terrifying ride that made the cleanup of my underpants well worth it.

A Weekend on Holbox

It was mid-afternoon (I think), and I was on Michelada number four (I think).

But, keeping track of those things isn’t essential on Holbox (hole-bosh).

No, on Holbox, the only things that matter are the ebb and flow of the tides and which spot you’ll vegetate in today. Oh, and when your next Michelada will be coming. That’s pretty significant, too.

Observations From a Train in Vietnam

Is that a foot? I think to myself.

I’m not a trained podiatrist or anything, but it did look like a foot.

It poked out from underneath the bench opposite me. Long toenails threatened to cut a nearby backpack open if they came in contact with it.

I nudged my girlfriend, Kaitlyn, and my friend Donovan and pointed to the floor at the rogue body part.

They both grimaced. The corners of their lips furled, their noses lifted, and their eyes squinted in disgust.

“Is that a f—ckin’ foot?” Donovan asked.

Dzibilchaltun: Famous Mayan Ruins You Should Visit Now

My girlfriend and I lived in Merida for about a month when a friend recommended visiting the Dzibilchaltún (zib-bee-chal-toon) ruins — the closest Mayan ruins to the city.

“It has a cenote you can swim in, so, even if you don’t like the ruins, that’s still fun,” he told us.

He was born and raised in Merida. So, I figured if anyone knew the hidden gems, it’d surely be him.

My Favorite Books from 2021

With COVID shutting down any hopes of travel in 2021, it was the perfect opportunity to get into a routine with my reading. So much so that I read more books in a single year than any other year in my life.

These books entertained, taught me soft skills, and filled me with loads of inspiration. This translated to every corner of my life, as I had one of my most productive years ever (I did start this blog, after all!).

So, as the weather gets so cold that your lips chap instantly upon leaving your house, there’s no better time to put on a hoodie (or three) and curl up to listen to or read a good book. So, here are my favorite books from 2021: