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2012? Chile!


Prompt #30: Where are you going in 2012? Why is that place great for indie travelers?

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” –Saint Augustine

I’ve become a little obsessed with Torres del Paine national park in Chile the last few years. It’s breathtakingly beautiful like New Zealand and I have yet to visit the South American continent, so South America is on my target list for the coming year.

2012: Chile & Torres del Paine National Park

Where are you going?

Today is the final day of the 30 Days of Indie Travel project. I had so much fun keeping up with the project (yes! I blogged every day in November!) and reading other bloggers awesome stories and experiences. Until next time…

Life is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing


Prompt #29: What does travel mean to you in one word?

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” –Helen Keller

adventure, freedom, learning, curiosity, fun, change, experience, happiness…

Adventure. The one word that best wraps up everything I love about travel is probably adventure… When you’re traveling everything is new… it’s an adventure. You have no idea what you might experience or discover in the next week, day, minute… it’s an adventure. Things are different and a change from regular routine… it’s an adventure. You have the freedom to do and be whatever you want… it’s an adventure. You learn new things rapidly and see that there are many different ways to do things and they’re not better/worse just different [squat toilets come to mind]… it’s an adventure. When you’re traveling you’re living in the moment, you feel super alive… it’s an adventure.

Life in general is an adventure.

What does travel mean to you?

Photo: super cute poster print by happydeliveries on Etsy.
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Flight 001 Go Clean Wet Suit Bag: Must-have Gear Item


Oh how I love packing, and packing lists, and clever gadgets.

Prompt #28: The right gear can make or break your trip. What is your favorite/must-have gear item?

“A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.” –Coco Chanel

wet suit bagI originally found this bag after returning from Panama with a bag even the customs agents didn’t want to open. Mildew happens.


I took a 35L backpack on my round the world trip. Occasionally I wished I had a bigger pack, but ultimately it was just the right size for me. While I’ve been told that I’m a pretty paired down traveler, (I try not to let this go to my head), I do pack a number of unnecessary awesome items… from perfume atomizers to stockpiles of Burt’s Bees chapstick. So I had a hard time narrowing down to just one ‘must-have gear favorite’ from my hypothetical list of “things you really don’t need to take traveling, but I like to bring anyway”. So I picked the most useful item, that is now a must-bring for me. Can I travel without it? Definitely, but life on the road is way easier with it.

Flight 001?s Wet Suit bag is on my must-pack list. After returning from Panama with a bag even the customs agents didn’t want to open, I decided I needed a strategy for my bag not mildewing on my upcoming RTW trip. I stumbled across Flight001?s wet suit bag, and 21 countries later, I don’t travel without it. It’s called ‘wet suit’, in that you can put a wet swimsuit in it and toss it in the top of your bag and arrive at your next destination with a dry swimsuit. Ha, that was a lie — that would be magic. The beauty of the bag is that you arrive at your next destination with a wet suit (in a bag) and dry everything else (in your pack). So whether you’re throwing your tiny travel towel in it before an early flight, or decided to go on an impromptu swimming adventure, it keeps your stuff from mildewing, saving on laundry money and time. Mildew happens.

Go Clean Wet Suit Bag, $18, Flight 001

What is your favorite gear item?

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8 Videos That Inspire My Wanderlust


Every few months I come across a video on Vimeo that definitely makes me want to pick up and leave, and then I find myself repeatedly searching for deals to Japan or Iceland or {Insert ANY country} deals. Here are a few that did that to me in the last year…

“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” –Seneca

Travel videos that give me wanderlust:

Inspired by Iceland

I’m sure you’ve seen this one by now. I was so excited to find this one last year, after I’d already purchased my ticket to Iceland.

Move. Eat. Learn.

This is by the same guys (Rick Mereki) who did the walking across America one last year (note: not the guy who actually did walk across America). I love to see all the different food and scenery and people.

Tokyo Slo-mode

Love seeing Tokyo this way. By Alex Lee

I Believe I can Fly

This ‘flight of the Frenchies’ trailer about highlining/slacklining absolutely fascinates me. I put it on tumblr a few weeks ago, and have watched a half dozen times. By Sebastien Montaz-Rosset

Iceland = Mad Wanderlust

The cool thing about finding one inspiring video, is that it leads you to more. (I found this one from the Flight of the Frenchies’ Sebastien Montaz-Rosset, a video by Austrian Klara Harden, who did a 25-day solo hike through Iceland this summer.

A Journey Through Vietnam

This video by Leon Visser reminded me of my time in Vietnam. If you’ve been to Vietnam, watch it! It’s like a trip down memory lane — the people, the traffic, Halong Bay, riding on the back of motorbikes… it’s beautiful.

Do you have a recent favorite?

Prompt #27: Share a photo or video that just makes you want to GO. RIGHT. NOW.

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A Rainy New Zealand Hike


Prompt #26: Post a photo of your favorite place and tell us what you love about it.

“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” –Miriam Beard

I don’t have ONE favorite place. I can tell you about one of my favorite places though: New Zealand. During my round the world trip, I ended up staying in New Zealand for a month. I couldn’t get enough of this country and I hope to get back to ‘the land of the long white cloud’ in the next year or two.

hiking in Taupo

I took this photo on a rainy April day in Taupo. I was in Taupo for a few days, hoping that the storms would pass and that the Tongariro Crossing would open back up. On this morning, I was disappointed to find out that the crossing was still closed, meaning that I probably wouldn’t be able to do this trek until a future trip to NZ, as I had to continue on from Taupo to Auckland to catch a flight to Bangkok. So we decided to make the most of the day we had left and headed out of town on foot along the Waikato River towards Huka Falls. We followed little trails all the way to Huka Falls, and scoped out the spa park area for the next day (where a warm, muddy creek flows into the river!) along the way. The trail was gorgeous and a few hours later we reached the falls. We had lunch at the heli-pad cafe north of Huka Falls and then walked all the way back to town. By the time we got home we were exhausted, but so happy that we’d braved the weather.

Have you been to New Zealand?

New Zealand, in general, is one of my favorite places in the world. I did a lot of hiking in New Zealand and can’t wait to go back and see more of the North Island.

Where is one of your favorite places?

Join the 30 Days of Indie Travel project and share your story.

Olivia Raymer
Things I ♥: travel, food (I'm a pescatarian), the Pacific Northwest, bikes (I ride an orange mixte), beer (IPAs), summer, coffee, lists, and kitties. Travel enthusiast, former product manager, dabbler, and currently helping small businesses with digital strategy at Early Bird Strategy.

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