Browsing Tag

female travel

Asia Insider Tips Travel Planning

The Top 5 Places to Visit in Kolkata, India

If you’re planning a trip to India, make sure to schedule at least two days for a visit to Kolkata. It is one of the absolute best destinations for 2020, especially for the female traveler. This city is ancient and stocked with heritage values and world famous sights, festivals and foods — including the city’s Durga puja celebration and delicious ‘Rasgulla’. 

1. Victoria Memorial

Everybody knows where Taj Mahal is, but do you know where the same replica belongs? Victoria memorial has the same architectural design as Taj Mahal.

The Victoria Memorial was built between 1906 to 1921. It is a museum and holds some of Kolkata’s oldest photos. Inside the museum, you will see artillery that once belong to the British period. Outside the memorial, be sure to take a “Tanga” (horse cart) ride to get a full experience.

2. Howrah Bridge

The landmark of Kolkata joins Kolkata city and Howrah, and dates all the way back to British imperialism period. The world’s busiest cantilever bridge is Howrah bridge, and it stands without nut and bolts. Pretty impressive.

3. Marble Palace

The Kolkata Marble Palace was built in 1835 by Raja Rajendra Mullick with a heavy influence by Greek architecture. It is now a wonderful museum. If you want to see antique relics in bulk, then you have to visit this palace!

4. Jorasanko Thakur Bari

The famous poet/novelist Rabindranath Tagore’s house is just beside the Marble Palace. It’s a 5 minute walking distance between the two, making it a breeze to add to your itinerary. The house is a museum now and the Rabindra Bharati Museum is situated on one side of the building. 

5. St Paul’s Cathedral

Lastly, St Paul’s Cathedral welcomes you. It was built in 1839 with Gothic architecture and is the first Episcopal Church in East Asia.


There are many more places in beautiful Kolkata, India that you’re sure to discover! Happy exploring this hidden gem of a city.

Advice Journal

How To Be A Millennial But NOT Travel Like One

Wanderlust is more than a trend. We are a rising generation of young globe trotters who are growing up with a greater global perspective than most of our predecessors. We’ve seen more places than most people get to see in their whole life time, and for some of us (myself included) the number of countries we’ve traveled to exceeds our age.

But let’s not let that get to our heads. Let’s be mindful of the extravagant privilege we have, let’s not take for granted how easily accessible the world is today, and less steward this opportunity well.

Here’s how to be a millennial, but not travel like one!

Be Present, Don’t Post

For real, put the phone down. Your followers don’t need to follow you here. Let your trips and travels be for you, not for likes and comments and attention. This doesn’t mean don’t take photos, you definitely should take pictures and videos so to commemorate the trip and remember it for years, but I challenge you to not post until you’re home.

If you can’t manage that, or your mom demanded that you post at least once every few days to let her know you’re alive, don’t you DARE scroll through the feed of other people’s posts!

I guarantee you, there is nothing happening back at home that is more exciting than where you are right now. It took a lot to get where you are, you invested time and money into this trip, don’t dismiss this opportunity to truly leave home behind and embrace this new part of the world, this new reality.

Everything happening to everyone back at home will still be there when you return. Be where your feet are. Don’t let social media rob you from fully experiencing a place or enjoying a trip. Choose to be present over posting.

Ask Locals, Not Google

If you ask Google or Siri where you should get dinner in Rome, you’re not going to be directed to the best food.

We all know about the power of digital marketing nowadays, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that SEO (search-engine optimization) and paid ads are causing the money-making businesses to come up first in our online searches. I hate to say it, but these places are not the ones with the best food. You’re far better off asking a local.

Ask your Uber driver where to drop you off at their favorite restaurant. Find someone on the street and ask them to point you towards the best street food. Go into a local business and ask the worker where all the locals hang out.

You’re guaranteed the most ethnic food and exciting experience, plus it will most likely be less busy than the ‘tourist trap’ restaurants that show up online.

Take Advantage Of Your Youth

Do it all. Even if (especially if!) it scares you. From experiences to food to adventures to cultural traditions, just do it all.

Try the paragliding in the Swiss alps, sleep in a hostel and meet other travelers from countries far and wide, do the advanced hike for the best view, taste the street foods that you see all the locals eating, and most importantly: walk! Avoid Uber and taxi as much as you can. The best way to explore a new place and feel like a local, is to travel by foot. There will come a day when you aren’t as mobile, aren’t as daring, and aren’t capable to do all the things you can do right now while you’re young. So just. do. it.

Be Considerate

It’s up to us to preserve places for generations to come. By being a considerate traveler,  keeping the natural wonders natural and free from litter, respecting the reverent sites that hold ancient history, and contributing to the efforts that are in place to conserve them, we can give generations beneath us the chance to enjoy them as much as we have.

Take Home More Than You Left With- And I’m Not Talking Souvenirs

Go out into the world on all your endeavors with an open mind and receptive spirit. Go with the intentions of learning, growing, abolishing stereotypes, and overcoming bias. Press into the things that are different from what you know, lean into things that are outside your comfort zone, and really foster the chance to come home with a broadened perspective.

Take this mindfulness with you back to your home town, back to your university, back to your office, back to your family and friends. Let’s be the generation that makes empathy and inclusivity the norm.

Featured

12 Films That Will Inspire Any Woman To Travel

Sometimes, travel inspiration comes in unexpectedly. It can happen through the pages of books, conversations, photos and life changing meals. But we’d be lying if we didn’t tell you that some of our biggest travel inspo comes directly from films. Yep, some of our biggest wanderlust strikes in the midst of compelling movies set in far off places. Today, we wanted to share twelve of our favorite films that will inspire any woman to travel this world!

Wild

1,100 miles of extreme solitude and wrestling the natural elements of the Pacific Crest Trail. Cheryl Strayed’s journey from the Mojave Desert to Washington State isn’t just her ticket to recovery, but also to fulfillment and courage. “Wild” had our hearts pounding, and we’re sure it will inspire you to reconnect with nature and push your boundaries externally and internally.

Roman Holiday

Is there a more classic travel film? We think not! Audrey Hepburn stole our hearts in her iconic role as rule-breaking Princess Ann, who gleefully whisks herself free from her royal schedule for a night in Rome. If there’s a more charming travel movie, call us liars!

Lost In Translation

After feeling trapped in the confines of their hotel, a neglected woman and a has-been actor form an unlikely friendship… and their boredom is dashed aside after they take on the bright lights of Tokyo awaiting them. This film’s cinematography brings the intense beauty of Japan to life. It’ll be hard not to book a one-way flight to the eclectic, ancient island nation.

Eat, Pray, Love

The journey to self discovery comes in many forms… and Eat, Pray, Love proves it. Told from the perspective of a woman who sets her sights on a new life’s direction, this movie is jam packed with all the good stuff women travelers hope for. Discovery, enlightenment, deliciousness, romance – it’s all there. We love how Eat, Pray, Love illustrates how travel brings more than beautiful destinations, but lots of self reflection and awareness.

P.S. we’re big fans of the book too! Check out some of our other fave female-focused travel books.

Thelma & Louise

The ultimate road trip movie! The dynamic duo take a trip of a lifetime, while escaping the law and finding love and discovery along the way. “Thelma & Louise” is a story of friendship formed over intense experiences together – quite like those we experience when traveling. Wouldn’t you agree?

Away We Go

The travel movie we’d recommend to any young couple. While awaiting the birth of their first baby, Burt and Verona travel across America searching for the perfect “home” for their new family. Their misadventures across the country bring them closer to old friends, and ultimately each other and themselves. We love the message of this movie – home isn’t always a place. It can be so much more than that.

Under The Tuscan Sun

A writer impulsively buys a villa in Tuscany – and the plot ensues! (Don’t we all wish this was our own reality?) After a heartbreaking divorce, Frances Mayes finds herself in Italy surrounded by new faces and unknown territory. “Under The Tuscan Sun” is the perfect movie for any female traveler making a big change in her life. Tuscany is truly the star of this film!

Out Of Africa

Africa’s stunning natural beauty will leave you breathless while watching. It’s no wonder that Meryl Streep’s character is swept away by more than the big game hunter she’s destined to fall for. “Out Of Africa” is shot with such detail and illustrative imagination, you’re bound to find yourself longing to experience the heart of Africa yourself.

Whale Rider

If you’re looking for an excuse to visit New Zealand – look no further. This relatively unknown film is incredibly moving. Set in the quiet and fascinating Maori village on the island, “Whale Rider” tells the story of a girl of the tribe struggle to find her grandfather’s acceptance while highlighting the struggles of the indigenous people. It’s truly one of our favorites.

Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants

Four best high school friends living in Maryland set off on their summers separately – on to Mexico, another to Greece, and others right at home. The storyline weaves their collective experiences beautifully, while also featuring the beauty and contrasts of experiences had solo. This movie may be an unexpected choice – but we promise you’ll be reinvigorated to connect with your besties while also craving your next adventure.

Tracks

When craving a trip of solitude and reflection, lead character Robyn embarks on a solo trip from Alice Springs, Australia to the Indian Ocean. With her faithful dog and four camels in tow, this story illustrates an impossible journey completed by an unexpected hero. Truly a remarkable film that will illuminates how travel allows us to face our fears, and find our way.

Before Sunrise

This series is perfect for the romantic traveler. On his way to Vienna, Jesse meets Celine, a student on her way back to Paris. After a conversation of a lifetime, the two get off the train and explore Vienna. The rest? We’ll let you watch and see. This film is truly a glimpse at the romance of discovering a new place with and new person.


Did we miss your one of your favorite films that inspired you to travel? Let us know your favorites in a comment below!

Advice

5 Tips To Traveling Unspotted, Period.

Girls just wanna have fun, period. So why do we find ourselves limiting our activity to laying in bed with heat pads or curling up in the fetal position wishing we could just get this over with? Ladies, life is for living! Yes, even when you’re on your period. Life is too short to dedicate a whole week to doing stop doing what you find fulfilling. So don’t postpone that trip and stop typing “how to stop your period” into Google. Here’s a list of things I never leave home without when I’m going on trip while on my period.

Pads, Tampons & Liners

I once took 2 boxes of tampons on a 2 day trip, I’d rather be over prepared than staining a pair of sheets that aren’t mine. Be sure to travel with more than enough pads and tampons, as you never know what can happen along the way.

This applies to one day trips as well, so if you usually use three a day, I advise you pack at least five. You’ll thank me later!

If you plan to go swimming, you might want to use tampons or a menstrual cup. Pads and water don’t mix. After a swim I’m always sure to change my tampon immediately, however this a personal preference.

Wipes

Yes, some days we’ll be vacation is super luxurious hotels with great bathroom facilities, but .. what about other days when we are at our favorite local beach where the bathroom isn’t the best?

Wipes will definitely come in hand when you need to change your pad or tampon and there’s no water readily available. Staying clean, fresh and comfortable is the aim here!

Plastic Bags

Plastic bags come in handy on almost any trip you’ll take in this lifetime. Be sure to stash a few small ones for your journey’s with Mother Nature just in case the bathroom facilities you come across don’t have a proper receptacle for your pads and tampons.

Pain Medication

Unfortunately, our menstrual cycle usually comes with a bit of pain, whether abdominal cramps or backaches.

Be sure to travel with a few pain medication of your choice that normal gets the job done, and get it done fast for you. So, stock up on what works best just in case a little pain steps into the picture.

Extra Undies

Your period kit is nothing without a few fresh pairs of undies. Even when I’m doing a day trip I ensure I have extra pairs in the off chance I have an accident and need to freshen up.

Comfort is king when traveling and no one wants to feel bound to soiled underwear all day. Freshen up real quick after an accident will turn your whole mood around.

Advice Asia Insider Tips Journal

Pink Stones at The Taj Mahal

I went to India with zero expectations. Some of you more experienced travelers are probably looking at this post wide-eyed wondering how I managed to not know India is one of the greatest travel destinations out there. I know about the Taj Mahal but not much more. I fully admit to being a fool. Try not to judge me too hard.

Of course, so many travelers will tell you that India is so much more than the Taj Mahal. And it is! Lodhi Garden in New Delhi. The Red Fort in Jaipur. Dinner in real palaces. There were so many times in India that I had a “pinch me I can’t believe this is real” moment. But the Taj Mahal was the crown jewel of my visit.

We arrived in Agra around noon and met up with our Taj Mahal guide at the steps of the East Gate. The huge complex was packed. So many people everywhere. I have seen my fair share of tourist destinations but this one was the most crowded I had ever been to. By far.

Our guide walked us around the complex, telling us fascinating stories about the construction of the Taj. He explained why it is a symbol of love and gave us fun facts like the 53 water fountains symbolize the year it was completed, 1653. He helped us understand the optical trick the builders used, as you move closer to the gate, the Taj Mahal keeps getting smaller. And of course, he took many pictures of us around the amazing complex.

Instead of watching the sunset in the complex (along with a million other tourists) our guide took us to the moon garden, which is directly behind the Taj across the river. We watched the sun go down while standing on the foundation of the mythical black Taj Mahal that was never built. That in itself was magical and would have been worth the trip to Agra.

standing behind the Taj Mahal in the moon garden. The best place to watch the sunset in peace away from the crowds. http://travelwheretonext.com

But we had one more goal for the Taj Mahal. I had read online that in the morning the sun rises and turns the stones of the Taj Mahal pink. I had to see it for myself.

We woke up at 5 am the next morning and I dressed in a saree I had bought earlier in the trip. We headed to the East Gate and joined the small line that had already formed before the first rays of sunlight had even made an appearance over the horizon. The line was tiny, especially compared to the massive crowds the day before, but still bigger than I had assumed. Everyone in line chatted sleepily to their neighbors. You could immediately tell how excited we all were for this experience.

All of us bonded quickly over waking up so early. I met a group of 50-something Australians who had just spent 10 days hiking a remote mountain in India. I met an American who had been traveling for 5 months social media free. We all met a cow. He joined the line for a good 5 minutes and thoroughly enjoyed us all scratching his ears and back.

Finally right before sunrise started the doors opened and we all quietly filed inside. We collectively gasped as we rounded the corner. The Taj was awe-inspiring. The light was still low but you could see the tiles turning slightly pink as the sun finally showed its beautiful face.

The mood in the air was so serene. There is something surreal about immediately bonding with so many different travelers. We all came from around the world with one common goal: See the Taj at Sunrise. After we all took turns happily taking pictures of one another in the empty garden the small group that woke up ungodly early dispersed among the huge complex. A sad strange feeling settled in my stomach knowing I would probably never see those strangers again.

Sunrise at the Taj Mahal is an amazing experience. Do not miss waking up early to see the Taj as the sun turns the stones pink. http://travelwheretonext.com

Matt and I found a bench and watched the sun rise slowly over the Taj. I don’t know if it was my imagination or if time was just being kind but it was the longest sunrise I have ever witnessed. We mostly sat in silence both completely lost in thought, both of us not truly believing the perfect travel experience we were witnessing.

Our silence was broken when a group of 5 or so Indian women with literally 20 small children approached me to ask for a picture. I happily smiled for a photo with them and they asked me in thick accents where I was from and complimented me on my saree. One of the women, the oldest in the group, explained to me the joy she feels when she sees foreigners traveling and embracing her culture to the fullest. She told me she hoped I wore the saree once I returned home. I promised her I would.

Head here to read more about my tips for planning a trip to India.

Top