Monthly Archives: March 2016

Tips to Find Gorgeous Zoo in Nepal

Our guide’s safety briefing left me even more confused than if he hadn’t said anything at all regarding what to do if we see each of the deadly animals.

Climb a tree to get away from a tiger? Hug a bear? Stare down a rhino? I know my reaction to any of these animals is going to be instinctively screaming and running in the opposite direction, just like the time I encountered a rattle snake at Joshua Tree National Park. All the safety talks in the world can’t help me when I’m surprised by an animal that can potentially kill me.

The best part is when he told us to avoid blinking our eyes when staring down a tiger. Are you kidding me?

“The tiger will attack the second you blink your eyes.”

Awesome.

“Most likely you won’t spot a tiger before it attacks though. They usually stalk their prey from behind.”

Well, that makes me feel better. At least now I don’t need to worry about whether or not I’m going to blink.

“If we spot a rhino and it begins to charge at us, throw something to distract the animal and run as fast as you can to the nearest tree to climb.”

I began scanning the trees around me and imagined myself digging my nails into the trunk in order to climb up since I couldn’t find one that looked easy to climb.

“If we see a sloth bear, we must gather as a group and stand our ground. Don’t run and don’t climb a tree because the bears are fast and they can climb trees.”

Just to give you an idea of what a sloth bear can do to a human, I’ll quote Wikipedia on this one. “The sloth bear is also more inclined to attack man unprovoked than almost any other animal, and casualties inflicted by it are unfortunately very common, the victim being often terribly disfigured even if not killed, as the bear strikes at the head and face. Sloth bears rarely killed their human victims outright, but would suck and chew on their limbs till they were reduced to bloody pulps.”

Nice visual, right?

Luckily, I didn’t know this before my nature walk from hell, but regardless, it was another animal that I needed to remember how to protect myself from, if necessary.

As we set off on our walk, all I could think about was how much I hoped we didn’t see any animals. Most people hope to see something cool on a walk like this, but not me. Thanks to my guide, I preferred to have an extremely boring walk.

We stop before a large clearing in the park. Our guide lifts his binoculars to his eyes and silently scans the clearing while the rest of us wait patiently.

Did he see a rhino?

I look at another person in the group and we both give each other the “huh?” look at the same time and start cracking up. I’m sure we are thinking the same thing. That our guide is leading us into the rhino pit.

We continue following our guide, who speedily walks ahead of the rest of the group, along the edge of a large swamp. He is searching for birds or something in the trees. All I am searching for is the camouflaged crocodile that I fear may be lurking near us in the mud.

I find the courage to ask our guide, “Have you seen crocodiles here on your previous tours?”

“Oh yes, all the time.”

I try to laugh it off that this nature walk just keeps getting more and more frightening.

“How much longer on this wonderful nature walk?” I sarcastically ask our guide, hoping he will say we are almost there.

“We are about halfway now,” he says.

I cringe at the thought that we still have halfway to go.

All of a sudden, the girl walking behind me tells me to stop immediately. I instantly figure out why and I wait impatiently as she finds the courage to brush the very large insect off my back. My imagination gets carried away and I wonder if it’s a huge spider like the one I found in my hotel room the night before or the one we encountered earlier on the trail.

Nope. It turns out it’s just a big weird bug.

Our guide then stops along the trail and crouches down to his knees to get a closer look at the ground. He turns to us and says,

Destinations Tips For Female Travelers

The truth is, solo traveling to another country as a woman is actually not as threatening as it may seem. While there are some countries where a woman traveling alone will certainly draw more attention, in general a willingness to respect local customs and a cautious awareness of your surroundings will see you through.

Sometimes, though, it’s easier not to worry about extreme culture differences. Sometimes you just want to have fun. In these ten destinations, it’s not uncommon to see women traveling alone, so you can feel free to relax without standing out.

10 SAFE DESTINATIONS FOR SOLO FEMALE TRAVLERS

WALES

This country in the west of the United Kingdom has an amazing landscape and an even more amazing cultural history. If you’re interested in the King Arthur mythology, you’ll find a number of important sites from those texts. If you’re into outdoor sports, try a solo hike on the Pembrokeshire coast. Cardiff, the capitol, also offers a number of theaters (including the famous Millennium Center), museums, sports arenas, and shopping centers.

CANADA

Almost all of my trips to Canada have been solo journeys and I’ve always felt extremely safe. In Quebec, you’ll find a huge cinematic and television culture like the Festival of International Short Film, as well as the famous winter Carnavale in Quebec City. Ontario houses the country’s largest city, Toronto, whose theater, music, and comedy venues are comparable in both quality and number to those in New York City.

The number of national parks, from Niagara Falls to Mount Revelstoke’s 1,000-year old forest, will give you plenty opportunities to hike, camp, ski, surf, and star-gaze. Wildlife lovers, like myself, often find Canada to be one of the best places to head out into the wilderness.

From spending the day with wild grizzly bears and getting up-close and personal with puffins to kayaking and snorkeling with whales, I’ve had some of my most magical solo (and non-solo) wildlife experiences in Canada. There’s plenty of tour operators who provide amazing outdoor experiences in this country, so you don’t need to worry about being completely alone in the wild.

For more Canada travel tips (besides the above mentioned wildlife posts), visit:Essential Travel Tips for North Vancouver Island.

COSTA RICA

This country is excellent for ecotourists and those looking to learn more about sustainability — also, those looking to enjoy some aquatic fun! Watch and help sea turtles at their nesting grounds in Tortugero National Park or surf amazing waves at Playa Bonita. Costa Rica is also quickly becoming known for its large number of thermal spas, hot springs, and yoga retreats. What’s better than a solo yoga retreat?

For more ideas about what to do in Costa Rica, visit Pura Vida – Costa Rica.

BALI

Though some of the other Indonesian islands can be more conservative, intercultural Bali is a great and accepting place to travel on one’s own. With amazing beaches and underwater exploration sites like the USS Liberty shipwreck, it makes a perfect place for snorkel and scuba adventures. There are many carved temple sites to explore, including the famous Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary.

For more information about my travels in Bali, visit these posts: Eat, Pray, Love, and Surf in Bali & The Ultimate Bali Travel Guide.

NEPAL

For the intrepid female explorer, Nepal’s wide range of adventure tourism opportunities are perfect. Since adventure and ecotourism make up a large portion of Nepal’s economy, there are lots of opportunities to meet with an adventure tourism agency or hire a local Sherpa to bring you hiking up the Himalayans or exploring the wilderness.

I spent two weeks with a local guide, visiting tiny remote villages such as Dhading and Sankhu, meeting locals who made a bigger impact on me than any stunning vista ever could. I won’t lie, my visit to Nepal was trying at times, but the people were always warm and welcoming.

For more Nepal posts, visit these pages: I See the Light in You & First Impressions of Nepal.

AUSTRALIA

The large backpacking culture here means hostels, bars, and restaurants are familiar with solo travelers — but if you’re looking for the opportunity to make other traveling friends, this is one of the best places to do so! Surfers will love the continent, but foodies too, especially on the wine trails. There are already several popular backpacking and campervan routes established, so go where the wind takes you!

For more Australia travel tips and stories, visit these posts: How to Take a Road Trip in Australia & Chasing Waves in the Land of OZ.

BONAIRE

Fresh fruit, bright sun, soft sand, and 60 to 100 foot underwater visibility: Bonaire is an amazing Caribbean destination. Along with its incredible beaches and dive sites, Bonaire is also known for its Karnival in February, a colorful, island-wide party that lasts almost two weeks!

For more Bonaire travel stories, visit these posts: Learning to Dive in Bonaire & Unforgettable Bonaire.

SCANDINAVIA

Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Sweden have some of the most progressive gender-equality policies in the world, but they also happen to have incredibly low crime rates. Visit the Fjords in Norway, hike and camp without reproach thanks to Sweden’s Right to Public Access, and make sure to book a hotel with skylights while in Lapland so you can enjoy the Northern Lights and glowing midnight sun.

For Sweden travel tips, read 7 Things You Should Know Before You Visit Sweden and my Island Hopping Guide to West Sweden. I’m visiting Norway in less than two weeks, so stay tuned for plenty of posts on travel in Norway!

THAILAND

Not only does this country have some of the most flavorful food in the world, but you can also find Thai massages for cheap! Relaxing, right? Thailand is very used to tourists, especially in its main cities like Bangkok and Phuket. In the north you’ll be able to explore the mountains and Buddhist shrines, while the south offers excellent surfing, as well as some famous Full Moon Parties for the adventurous. Some of my favorite spots in Thailand include Koh Phangan and Kata Beach.

SCOTLAND

I explored the Inner and Outer Hebrides on a solo trip just a couple of years ago and loved every second of it. The locals are friendly and always up for a good time. I met so many people on this trip that I rarely ever felt alone.

Edinburg has a reputation for being a perfect place for sailing, surfing, and sea kayaking beginners to get their first taste of the water, thanks to its long-time history as a seaside destination in Great Britain. As Scotland’s capitol, it also hosts a number of cultural festivals like the Edinburgh International Performing Arts Festival.