India is commonly described as a whole different experience, even for seasoned travelers. That’s no lie, and there is a lot of stuff I wish I’d taken!
Happy Valentine’s Day! Whether you have a Valentine this year or not, the world is full of romantic spots. Some areas are just incredible to appreciate the history of romance, and some are great with your Valentine in tow. If you’re looking for a romantic vacation beyond the beach and Venice, read on!
The Taj Mahal, India
This is a monument built to love. Thus, it’s the perfect place to reflect upon love! Not to mention, it’s an incredible testament to human accomplishment. The level of detail in the marble inlays is stunning! Read more
India is an incredible, awesome country – but it’s also incredibly different from any other. I love immersing myself in books to have a way to connect with and learn more about the countries I’m visiting or want to visit.
India has some of the best books!
My recommendations for books to read when visiting India:
Fiction Books About India
This book is set in Kerala, so I highly recommend it if you’re headed to southern India. Even if you’re not, it’s still a book that deeply examines family life in India. I liked the interplay between the brothers, and the overall family dynamics. It’s also got great scenes to visualize Kerala!
Egypt. The word alone conjures up so many thoughts and ideas. From the Pyramids to Cleopatra, everyone knows some stories about ancient Egypt. The mythology of Pharaohs, the annual flood of the Nile, and so much more leave ancient Egypt as somewhat mysterious.
If you’re going to Egypt, or just interested in learning more about the country, these books will let you imagine life as a Pharaoh – or a commoner!
Egypt is an incredible country to visit, but a somewhat difficult one – especially if you’re from Europe or North America. When I went, I learned a lot! But here are the things I wish I knew ahead of time – and things you should know before you go to Egypt.
1. Just because English numbers are called “Arabic Numerals” does not mean modern-day Arabic uses them.
This is one of those moments where you realize exactly how lost you can get, and easily! The Arabic number set does not use the numbers that you and I are familiar with. Crazy, right? I’m so used to being in other countries with foreign languages, but I’m not as used to foreign number sets. You’d do well to study the numbers ahead of time just a bit – I got lost with which platform to go to for a train, and sometimes vendors put different prices on things for people who can read numbers in Arabic and those who can’t.
Jordan is an open country, but it’s still a conservative one. Women should plan to cover up just a bit, especially outside key tourist attractions.
At tourist-heavy places like Petra, it’s normal to see women in shorts and t-shirts, or even tops that have bare shoulders. In the cities, plan to wear sleeves and cover your legs (at least to the knees).
At the resorts, resort-wear is expected and normal. A good pool coverup is essential, and don’t hesitate to wear a bikini. (Do NOT, however, wear a bikini at a public beach.)
This is a post that’s focused on roughly April – October, when the weather is mostly warm. You’ll want a whole different set of things if you’re visiting in the winter!
When you’re in Jordan, you could be hiking, at a spa, floating in the Dead Sea or riding a camel. You need a wardrobe that’s flexible (and breathable!).
So what should you wear in Jordan in the summer? Read more
Jordan Photos to Inspire You to Go
When you’ve seen the gorgeousness that is Jordan and are ready to go, check out these tips for where to go, what to see, and where to stay!
Italy. It’s the place of pasta and Puccini, and hundreds of stories. If you’re visiting Italy, you should be reading books about Italy and books set in Italy! Here are a few to consider:
Non-Fiction Books About Italy
If you want to understand modern Italy, start understanding the Medici family. The great patrons of many of the arts, this book brings much of Tuscany to life. You’ll look at Florence with new eyes, and see Siena anew, not to mention Milan! If you’re headed to Rome, you’re also going to be surrounded by the papacy – and understanding the Medicis is great for seeing the art in Rome too!
A new biography by Walter Isaacson, he looks at the life of Leonardo da Vinci. If you want to understand Italy, look at one of its most favorite sons. This is also a great book to read alongside the Medicis – da Vinci was able to share his genius with the world because of the support of the Medicis.
2018 is almost here, and here are the top places I see up and coming for the next year. Some of these have been up and coming for a while, and some of these are yet to hit the mainstream – but all are worth a visit!
This one is tops on my list of places to go – every picture I see of it is amazing, and the varied activities make it so alluring! There’s surfing, beaches, animal reserves, and so much more. Sri Lanka is becoming more and more of a hotspot (I keep seeing it on lists!) but it’s still largely undiscovered. Go now, because I don’t think it’ll stay that way!
I’ve made no secret of falling in love with Jordan – it’s one of those countries everyone sort of knows about but no one feels they “HAVE TO” go to. Except you do. It’s got something for everyone – spas, hiking, history, amazing SCUBA diving, the Dead Sea, and so much more. It’s safe, and worth a trip in 2018.
Everyone wants to be an “ultralight” backpacker these days – but what are the things worth the weight they add to your bag?
These are the 20 things I was happy to carry, even when it was 100F in Greece and I walked two miles with my bag! Read more