I was nominated not once but twice (lucky me! I guess I’d better do something about it!) to participate in Tripbase’s 3 Best Kept Travel Secrets blog tag collaboration; once by Katie @Tripbase and once by Dave & Deb @theplanetd.
Here’s the idea:
The aim of this game is to unite travel bloggers in a joint endeavor – to create an amazing list of top travel recommendations, to share with the online travel community.
And so with that, here are my own Travel Secrets scoured from around the world:
Travel Secret #1: The East Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii
Not only is the Big Island of Hawaii the least known and least visited Hawaiian island, but it is arguably the most diverse and spectacular. As a whole, the island is home to 11 of the 14 micro-climates that exist in the world, and both the world’s tallest and largest mountains (from ocean bases to summits) loom in the centre. All this and more is on a little piece of land that you could drive around in a (long) day.
But if the Big Island is rarely visited in comparison to its neighbours, the East Coast (the Puna region) sees even fewer people. About 30 miles from Hilo you’ll find yourself in Pahoa, an eccentric town that is your starting point. Head for the coast, and enjoy the lush jungle full of tropical fruits in stark contrast with endless fields of black lava; Papaya Farms Road with lots of WWOOF-ing opportunities; or further south towards the Kalani area where you can find yoga retreats, a circus school, Sunday morning ecstatic dances, and a clothing-optional black sand beach. No kidding! Dance like No One is Watching
Travel Secret #2: Taking the Train Across Canada
It’s not just for the elite any more, and it’s the greatest way to see Canada hands-down (in my view). Canada is so large that you’ll be hard pressed to drive across even a quarter of it. The bus will be only moderately comfortable, and air travel gives you little more than a metropolitan sense of a country that has so much more than metropolitan areas to offer.
But the train is both cheap and cheerful. You can book a 30 day pass with Via Rail that allows you to hop on and off the train (totaling 12-15 train travel days) as you wish. You’ll become a part of remote landscapes where the only sign of human presence is the train itself, you’ll tunnel through mountains, and scoot across lakes. If you book in the off-peak seasons (May and October would be my months of choice), you’ll still get a great ride…and for less than $600 it’s a steal. Our Train Trip to Alberta
Travel Secret #3: The Caretaker Gazette
Although not a place or mode of transportation, The Caretaker Gazette has been instrumental in helping us find places to stay around the world where we can work in trade for our accommodation. The tasks required could be anything from gardening to maintenance to cleaning to elder care to house/pet sitting, to even painting murals (as I did in Hawaii)! With hundreds of opportunities available in the quarterly issues and new ones hitting my in-box regularly, it serves as not only a portal for finding opportunity, but also inspiration and travel ideas. See also: How to Get Free Accommodation Around the World
Okay, now it’s time to pay it forward. I’m nominating the following bloggers to share their Top 3 Secrets on their travel blog:
Jeanne of Soultravelers3
Cherie & Chris of Technomadia
Lea of Location Independent
Corbett of Free Pursuits
Note: The final list of Top Bloggers’ Best Kept Travel Secrets will be published by Tripbase in a special blog post and shared across the Net.