How I Only Spent $600 on The Galapagos Islands


One of the most asked questions after I came back from the Galapagos Islands was, “How much did it cost?”. As Galapagos is one of the top destinations in South America, I understand why people have the idea that the final price is more than what they are willing to pay; it’s basically the same idea for Machu Pichu and Patagonia. However, if you are willing to do a little more research and hard work, you will see that (just like any other place) there is a way to do the Galapagos Islands on a budget. I was there for 7 days and I managed to spend around 600 USD in total (including the 100 USD entry fee and 20 USD fee for the Transit Control Card). Curious on how I did it?

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The Only Guide You Need for Playa Los Frailes

During my travels along the coast of Ecuador, I came across the name of Los Frailes. Playa Los Frailes is basically a beach located in Machalilla National Park, and it is said to be one of the best beaches in Ecuador. This beach, however, seems to be very much underrated. So, I’m here to basically give you more information on Playa Los Frailes and how to get there.

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4 Things I’ve Learned from My Solo Travel So Far

Hi all! So, it has been more than a week since I arrived in Ecuador for my solo travel adventure. I did a lot of things after getting to this amazing country, including flying to the Galapagos Islands, spending the New Years with amazing individuals, eating my first lobster, and also taking my first ever surfing class, which I just did a few hours ago and now I’m actually ready for bed. However, before I tuck in and sleep at 7 PM, I thought I would share what I learned from my solo travel trip so far:

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Learning to Do Stuff the Italian Way by Amina Paracha

the italian way

“The Milanese people are similar to people living in Stockholm”. At least that’s what I’d heard before packing my whole wardrobe in a suitcase weighing exactly 23kg, stuffing the rest in to a carry-on luggage (probably over the limit of 8 kg) and lastly, cramming four bags in one as my handbag. Now, a couple of months later, I smile thinking of my first day in Milan. Little did I know that I would learn lots of things no one would ever dream of in Stockholm or Sweden in general. It turns out that the Italian way is an entirely different experience.

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Pilsen Murals, Chicago: Experience the Art of the People

Are you a fan of the arts? Are you a traveler on a budget? Furthermore, are you heading to Chicago? If you answered one of these questions with a “YES”, then I’ve got a destination for you! Have you ever heard of the Pilsen Murals in Chicago? Most of the people I asked said “no”. I don’t blame anyone really, because the Pilsen Murals haven’t been exposed too much at this very moment (maybe, that could be a good thing). But, after visiting and exploring the murals myself, I believe that they deserve more attention. So, ladies and gentleman, give it up for the murals in the Pilsen neighborhood, Chicago!

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Pela Case: The Eco-friendly & Stylish Case for Your iPhone

Pela Case

Phone cases! This is something that we think about when we walk out of the store with newly bought phones in our hands. Well, at least that was the first thing that I thought about when opening my iPhone 6, and yes, a phone case does matter a lot to me. I want my phone case to represent me while it protects my phone from my clumsy self that drops it every 5 minutes, and it had to be the perfect size because I still want to be able to put it in my pocket. So, finding the right case was tricky for me, but that was until I found Pela Case on Instagram.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I purchased the products mentioned and my opinions are my own.

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The U.S. Presidential Election Does Affect Me as an International Student

Disclaimer: I write this post because I want to share this experience and because I feel that people should realize just how big of a deal this election was. This post is not about any of the candidates or your political views; it’s about the election bringing negative impacts and what we can do to make things better. The U.S. presidential election is a sensitive subject and I do respect your political views and am not trying to make you change your mind. I only ask that you read this post with an open mind.

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Entering the Houses of Pablo Neruda in Chile


As a fan of literature, it was a pleasant journey for me to learn about the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda during my stay in the country. It all began when I was in the process of planning my travels to Valparaíso when a friend suggested I go to La Sebastiana, one of the houses of Pablo Neruda. At that time, I didn’t really know much about this poet and his work, so I decided to follow through. Later on in my small research, I found out that there are three houses of Pablo Neruda in Chile: La Chascona, La Sebastiana and Isla Negra. Unfortunately, I only had the chance of visiting two of them, but it was enough to make me want to share my experience with all of you. So, shall we?

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Hanging Out in the Colorful World of Rainbow Village, Taichung

Rainbow Village, Taichung, is a real colorful village located in Taiwan. Once upon a time, it used to be a small housing village for veterans, and now it is a favorite spot in Taichung City. Rainbow Village is definitely one of my favorite destinations in the country and I hope that it will be yours as well once you’ve read this blog post. But before getting in to it, you might be wondering: why should I go to Rainbow Village, Taichung? Here’s why:

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Struggles & Tips from a Female Traveler in a Long-Distance Relationship

long-distance relationships

(photo from Unsplash: Tim Stief)

Dear coffee,

long-distance relationships are hard. And I’m not saying that because people have been saying that to me, but because of first hand experience. It is also even harder because of my love for travel and his ambitions for his own plans. I’m not trying to put blame, but I’m merely stating that we are two people with different ambitions and different dreams. We struggle in many parts of our relationship, and things keep popping up:

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