Category Archives for "Adventures"

Top Two Extreme Camping Experiences

Douglas Fir backdrop camping

Have you ever dreamed of camping in the treetops or pitching your tent high on a mountain cliff? Those risk-takers, who like to flirt with danger, thrive on such experiences.

Extreme camping certainly isn’t for everyone, but this type of camping is becoming more common among those who love experiences that test their strength and endurance.

They thrive on that feeling of pure ecstasy. Imagine yourself spending the night in pitch black, sleeping in a hammock high in the treetops.

How about setting up camp on a sheer cliff far above the ground?

Tree Camping 200 Feet Up

Tree camping is gaining popularity in places around the world. Within the United States, one well-known spot is in The Willamette National Forest in Oregon near Blue River with the Pacific Tree Climbing Institute.

Get ready for the thrill of a life-time. The “campsites” are at least 200 feet up a 500 year- old Douglas Fir.

Guides will outfit you with all needed equipment. This extreme experience will cost you about $600 per person.

You will be issued harnesses and helmets.  Now the work begins. It’s time to pull yourself up with attached ropes and cables to your campsite. If you get queasy with heights, don’t look down!

When you reach your destination, you will no doubt be exhausted. Your ‘tree boat” should be ready for you to climb in. This device is a sturdy hammock attached between the tree trunk and a large branch. As you dangle high above the ground, enjoy the gorgeous view.

Soon daylight will be gone and it will be pitch black. Fatigue from the climb as well as the swaying of your hammock, should put you right to sleep.

Morning arrives and you are wondering what you’re doing up in a tree. Room service responds by bringing a cup of hot coffee and a warm face wash.

Your extreme tree camping is over and preparation for the descent is next. You may be contemplating whether this is a once in a lifetime event or an annual event.

Extreme Cliff Camping

If you get an adrenaline rush thinking about “hanging out” against a sheer cliff at a dizzying height, extreme cliff camping may be just what you’re looking for.

For a number of years, rock climbers have used ledges and hanging tents to sleep and eat on climbs of more than one day. Now it’s becoming a popular extreme experience to climb a sheer cliff and set up camp for the fabulous views and just for the thrill of it all.

For ordinary ground-level campers, it’s enough of a challenge to securely set up a tent on the ground, but imagine attaching a portaledge (tent structure) to a sheer cliff many feet up.

The portaledge tents of the 1950s were fairly rustic and not too comfortable. More modern styles today have a stable ground support with a metal frame attached to straps that hang from the campsite at one single place.

The campers have a feeling of security and can comfortably relax and sleep after their tiring climbs. You can use single or double tents. With these stable tents you can move around a bit – do some cooking, read, play games and enjoy other life pleasures.

What is the big draw of this kind of outdoor experience? Some extreme campers explain that cliff camping gets the adrenaline going so strong that you feel like you’re literally “on the edge” of living life to the utmost.

Where are the hot spots for this ultimate extreme activity?

  1. Yosemite National Park in California is one very popular location.
  2. A resort in German Bavaria, Waldseilgarten, offers some amazing sites 2000 meters straight up.
  3. Cliff camping in Pembrokeshire

More and more people, who have only dreamed of experiencing life on the edge and up high, are living out their dream as extreme camping is becoming more common in places around the world.

Equipment is becoming safer and more comfortable.

The adrenaline rush is on for the extreme risk-takers of the world.

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Top 5 Cities to Live as a Digital Nomad

Digital Nomad on beach working

As the internet has given people the ability to work remotely, some have abandoned the old lifestyle of being tied to a place and 9-to-5 job.

Digital nomads travel the world, working from places as diverse and bohemian as an internet cafe in Prague or a beach in Bali.

Their geographically independent lifestyle lets them choose the cities with the lowest living costs, best climate or best local food.

Whether you are a writer, teacher, web developer, engineer, programmer or designer, here are the best places in the world to live as a digital nomad:

1. Bali, Indonesia

Ubud Bali Rice Fields

Bali is an Indonesian island known for its beautiful beaches, breathtaking mountain views and diverse wildlife.

It’s hard to imagine a more exciting and exotic place to live. Whether you want to see a live volcano, go on a safari, explore a monkey forest or enjoy one of the most complex cuisines in the world, Bali has something to offer to everyone.

The affordable rent and great WiFi connection have made Bali an extremely popular place for digital nomads in the past years.

Cost

The cost of living in Bali is a mere $900 USD a month.

2. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Sunset Old Town

The capital of the Czech Republic, Prague is the fifth most visited city in Europe.

Prague is full of cultural attractions which survived the world wars, such as:

Not to mention many world-class museums, galleries and concert halls.

With good WiFi, a more than affordable cost of living, great public transportation, and an amazing nightlife, Prague is currently one of the upward trending destinations for digital nomads.

Costs

About $800 a month.

3. Phuket City, Thailand

Startup Style Soloprenuer in Phuket

Phuket, the largest island in Thailand, is a veritable paradise of turquoise waters and white beaches.

You can explore beaches and lagoons, practice water sports, enjoy the mix of Chinese and colonial architecture or visit the Buddhist temple of Wat Chalong, the spiritual center of Phuket.

Cost

The living expenses for a digital nomad in Phuket amount to a mere $800 a month, including housing and eating out three times a day, as well as fast WiFi connection.

4. Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi Boats on Water

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam and its second largest city, lies on the bank of the Red River.

With its busy streets, delicious street food, many bars and cafes and extremely low cost of living, Hanoi is attracting more digital nomads every year.

Cost

Hanoi also offers fast WiFi and several great coworking spaces, which are bustling with entrepreneurs and startups, making it easy to get inspired and start connections. The living expenses in Hanoi are around $700 a month.

5. San Jose, Costa Rica

San Jose Costa Rica National Theatre Statue

Costa Rica is one of the most popular places in Latin America for digital nomads, especially for those who enjoy nature.

With its great beaches, natural parks and a myriad of natural attractions, Costa Rica is the ideal place to work remotely.

San Jose, the capital, is renowned for its great food and nightlife.

For those who enjoy activities such as yoga and surfing, Santa Teresa offers a more relaxed lifestyle.

Cost

The cost of living in Costa Rica is about $1,500 a month.


The internet has revolutionized the way people live and work, bringing with it more flexibility and freedom.

Increasing numbers of people are abandoning crowded offices and polluted cities to work from idyllic places in the world, where the food and beaches are exceptional and the costs of living are much lower than in most Western cities.

Not only can such a nomadic lifestyle be cheaper than living in the same place all the time, but it gives you the opportunity to experience new places and cultures, which can be a boost to your creativity.

Quick Guide to Visiting Tokyo

Quick Guide to Visiting Tokyo

Visiting a foreign country alone can be challenging, especially if you don’t know the local language; however, you can easily access Tokyo by hiring a travel guide to help you.

Tokyo has so much to offer from the colorful and busy streets to the serene parks, beautiful landscape, and rich history and culture. There are many attractions in Tokyo, and you will never be bored during your visit.

Guide to Tokyo: What to do in Tokyo

Apart from delicious cuisines, Tokyo has many exciting activities for you, for instance, singing karaoke with the city’s residents or visiting the Imperial Palace. The city incorporates both modern and traditional elements.

The list below will guide you on places to visit and exciting activities to do:

At the Airport

There are 2 International airports in the city; Narita International Airport and Haneda Airport. Although the latter is closer to the city, few international flights use it compared to the former which has many connections.

Since you will most likely use Narita International Airport, you can use the Narita Express, Taxis, Tokyo Airport Bus, or the Keisei Skyliner. Choose the most suitable transportation, depending on your budget and where you will be staying.

Navigating the City using the Tokyo Map

Navigating Tokyo with Map

Although the population of Tokyo is over 30 million, their public transport is one of the best in the world. You can use the trains or the subways to get around town.

Your Tokyo guide can show you various sites during the multiple stops. Since you are only visiting and not going to work, avoid using the train or subway during the rush hour as the locals will be hurrying to work.

The taxis are also convenient to use, especially where the trains cannot access. You can also use the bus, and an excellent way to do this is to use a Pasmo card. You top up the card and use it for your travel experiences instead of carrying cash.

Accommodation

where to stay in Tokyo

The city has numerous hotels depending on how much you plan to spend on accommodation.

Your Tokyo map should guide you on the locations of different hotels depending on the district.

Remember that hotel rates change with seasons, for instance, the prices are slightly higher in spring. You can stay in hotels, traditional inns (Ryokan), capsule hotels, guesthouses or a local home using AirBnB.

Where to Eat

Eating in Tokyo

Some of the places to visit in Tokyo are their eateries. You cannot leave without trying various delicacies such as sushi, their unique noodles, and many more. There are affordable restaurants that serve traditional and vegan cuisines.

If you would like to taste many traditional delicacies you need to dine like a local.

Use a Tokyo map to navigate to places like Ueno where you can eat buckwheat noodles served with chicken and Japanese leeks. You don’t have to worry about prices because here you will find local joints with reasonable prices. You can also visit Shibuya for inexpensive, delicious sushi.

Places to Visit in Tokyo

What to see in Tokyo

There are so many places to visit in Tokyo, for instance, the Tokyo National Museum to view the largest collection of Japanese artifacts and art, which includes many national treasures.

The Meiji Shrine is among the most significant Tokyo attractions. It incorporates traditional designs with nature. This shrine provides a serene environment, and you might be lucky to experience a wedding taking place here.

Meiji Wedding Ceremonies

If you’re a history lover, visit the Senso-ji temple, which dates back before the Second World War. Although most of the parts were destroyed in the war, it was restored to its former glory.

This temple should be on your Tokyo sightseeings list because of its unique features. The entrance is fortified with a gigantic Thunder Gate and hanging lights.

Things to Do

Every city has unique activities to offer its visitors.

When you don’t know where to start, you can consult Tokyo travel guides who will assist you in planning your visit.

For instance, you can visit the Robot Restaurant. Located in Shinjuku district, this restaurant showcases Japan’s culture through dancing and songs. They use robots in the shows which run throughout the day till 10.00 PM. There are lots of flashy lights, colors, and interior décor is full of colorful decorations. If you arrive early, you can get the time to explore around and take a few selfies.

Robot Restaurant

The Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku is a must stop on your Tokyo journey.

Another unique thing about Tokyo is the presence of pet cafes. Although cat cafes are not new, the pet cafes here incorporate other animals such as rabbits, owls, hedgehogs and more.

The Tokyo guide can help you to locate several pet cafes, depending on your taste, we’ve linked to a few below.

Tokyo Shopping

The best thing about visiting a new place is shopping and taking back unique items. Tokyo shopping provides you with traditional designs, housewares, high-end fashion, vintage attire as well as souvenirs.

If you are a fashion enthusiast, you need to visit Ginza which has luxurious boutiques, department stores, and a fashion mall. If you love electronics, Akihabara is the place to be where you can watch avid video game players showcase their skills.

Conclusion

Tokyo is a great city to visit where you will have fun until the last day. You can consult a Tokyo guide to help with planning the trip. Apart from the beautiful sites, the locals are quite friendly, and you are bound to enjoy your experience.

Author Bio:

Catherine Wiley is a freelance writer who loves traveling around the world and documenting her experiences. She loves writing about traveling to places where the locals value their culture and where she can indulge in traditional delicacies. She researchers extensively to ensure that she provides useful information to her readers at gearexpertguides.com.

All About Sushi – Japanese Vinegared Rice

Sushi Set and Chopsticks

It’s a common misconception with Japanese cuisine that sushi means raw fish, and while the jokes about eating it for the first time can be funny, it’s also misleading.

Like this old chestnut: A couple walk into a Japanese restaurant and pause to admire a tank full of tropical fish. They ask the waiter what the fish are called. “Sushi,” the waiter replies. But as any good waiter would know, sushi actually refers to the vinegared rice, with which raw fish – called sashimi – is often served.

Sushi actually refers to the vinegared rice, with which raw fish – called sashimi – is often served.

Sushi is believed to have started 14 centuries ago, when a common method of pickling fish and rice gained popularity in Japan.

Bamboo Sushi Roller, two hands, rice

The fish was slit open and packed with rice, and as the whole thing fermented for anything up to two years it took on a tangy pickled flavor. Later this process was speeded up, and later still, 19th century food stall owner Hanaya Yohei started creating sushi dishes with vinegared rice and raw fish in Tokyo.

In the 1970s, sushi travelled to the US and other parts of the world, and became part of a new age food revolution. Out of the simple seaweed, rice and raw fish combinations came the California Roll, characteristically bigger than the Japanese delicacies and packed with fish, meat and vegetables and wrapped in a sheet of seaweed, or presented ‘inside out’ with the rice on the outside and the seaweed tucked away with the filling.

California Roll

But Japanese sushi chefs continued to evolve the delicacies known collectively as sushi into ever more graceful art forms.

There are several different forms of sushi, including:

  • maki-sushi, which is the ‘inside out’ sushi that evolved into the California Roll;
  • Nigiri Sushi, which is vinegared rice shaped by hand into a small bed for seafood;
  • oshi sushi, which is sushi rice shaped into squares or rectangles and covered with a variety of toppings;
  • chirashi sushi, which is vinegared rice scattered on a plate and served with toppings.

To make sushi at home you need to buy the right ingredients.

There are only two of them – Japanese short grain rice and sushi rice vinegar. You can get them both from an Asian grocery store.

  1. Rinse two cups of rice in a colander under a running tap to remove the starch and ensure the rice is sticky when cooked.
  2. Put the washed rice into a large pot, and add two cups of water, or into a rice cooker following the manufacturer’s instructions. If in a pot, bring it to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer until the rice has absorbed all the water.

Japanese Short Grain Rice

Your Asian grocery store may stock sushi rice vinegar, pre-mixed and ready to use.

If not, buy rice vinegar and mix half a cup of vinegar with three tablespoons of white sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt in a small pan.

Heat until sugar dissolves, and sprinkle over the rice in a non-metal bowl. Mix thoroughly with a spatula, and your sushi rice is ready to roll and shape, using a sushi fan as you work to cool the rice. Store any leftover sushi vinegar in the fridge.

Whether you choose to make maki, nigiri, oshi or chirashi sushi, it is important to have the freshest ingredients possible.

Raw fish, such as tuna and salmon, are among the most commonly used ingredients, but if you cannot obtain these really fresh from the ocean, you will be better off using canned, smoked or cooked fish.

Avocado is a popular ingredient in California Rolls and most sushi sold today, but you can also include carrot sticks, celery, prawns, crab, chicken, lettuce strips, tomato and cucumber.

cutting sashimi in kitchen

If you are rolling the sushi in seaweed sheets, a bamboo hand rolling mat (see photo above) will make the job easier.

This won’t stop people making jokes about raw fish, of course, but at least while you are laughing, you can gently correct them as you hand them your own delicious sushi creations.

Bonus: How to Make Sushi [Video]

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The Best Attractions in Lima’s Miraflores District [Peru]

Things to do in Miraflores District Lima Peru

Although many travelers visit Peru to explore its pre-Columbian heritage, most travelers passing through the nation’s capital, Lima, prefer to stay in the city’s most modern neighborhood: Miraflores.

Travelers choose Miraflores for its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, its vibrant arts and entertainment scene, and its wide range of attractions that appeal to every kind of traveler. 

When you visit Lima, make sure to check out some of the very best that Miraflores has to offer.

1. Casa Museo Ricardo Palma

Ricardo Palma was a Lima-born writer and thinker who oversaw the country’s National Library from 1883 to 1892.

Today, the government has preserved his long-time home as a museum where visitors can see the original furnishings, paintings, documents and art that he cherished during the last years of his life.

Currently, the museum is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 5:00, but is closed for a lengthy daily lunch from 12:45 until 2:30.  Entrance is six soles ($1.75 USD).

For updated information and opening hour, visit their website>>>

2. Huaca Pucllana

huaca pucllana Miraflores Peru

If your trip to Peru doesn’t include time in Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, you can visit this sacred historic site that has been preserved on its original location in the Miraflores neighborhood.

It features a typical pyramid crafted from adobe and clay, surrounded by a central square and walls.

At press time, Huaca Pucllana is open daily from Wednesday to Monday, and regular entrance fees are twelve soles ($3.50 USD).

For updated information and current opening hours, visit the Huac Pucllana official site here>>

3. Larcomar

Larcomar Upscale Mall Miraflores Peru

Larcomar is Miraflores’ most famous, and most architecturally interesting, shopping center.

It is carved into the seaside cliffs at the south end of Avenida Jose Larco and features several open-air and glass-walled viewing decks offering panoramic views of the sea. 

Larcomar is home to several upscale restaurants and coffee shops, as well as the best selection of international clothing shops in town.

There are eight shops where you can stock up on high-quality athletic and outdoors apparel and equipment before your Inca Trail trek.

For updated information and current opening hours, visit Larcomar’s official site here>>

4. Malécon

Area of Malecon near beach in Miraflores Peru

The malécon is a six-mile stretch of oceanfront parks, walking paths and cycling routes that runs along the Pacific Coast from the artsy Barranco neighborhood in the south all the way to the north end of Miraflores.

Active travelers will love going for a jog or bike ride beside the ocean, adventure travelers will want to try paragliding (buy your tickets from the booth at Block 2) and creative types will want to take in the many different sculptures erected along the walkways.

For updated information about the park (in Spanish only), visit Miraflores Parks page here>>

5. Parque del Amor (Lover’s Park)

El Beso (the Kiss) statue in Love Park Lima Peru

Also known as the “Park of Love”, Parque del Amor is Lima’s most romantic park.

At the center of the park is Victor Delfin’s gigantic red statue El Beso (The Kiss), shown above, that features two loves entangled, horizontally, in a kiss.

The park also has some of the best sunset views in the city, making it the perfect place to snuggle up with the person you love.

6. Parque Kennedy

Parque Kennedy

Situated in central Miraflores, away from the ocean, Parque Kennedy has become a controversial tourist attraction that often pits frustrated locals against wide-eyed tourists.

The park was named after John F. Kennedy and is frequented by buskers, shoe shiners and the elderly.

It is also frequented by the one hundred (or more) stray cats who call the park home.  There are cats on the grass, cats on the benches and even cats in the trees.

While some consider the cats to be a public health hazard, other consider them an adorable addition to the neighborhood.

You’ll have to visit and decide for yourself!


Whether you want to explore the history of Lima, have an active holiday or simply relax with a cup of hot chocolate while you pet a stray cat, Miraflores has something for you.

It is also well-connected by bus rapid transit (BRT) to the historic center of Lima, so you can see the very best of old and new Peru during your stay.

Bonus: The Best Sites in Lima Peru [Video]

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