Tag Archives: Costa Rica

Q&A with Gary Arndt from Everything Everywhere on Photography and Bus Travel

16 Feb
Gary Arndt from Everything Everywhere

Gary Arndt from Everything Everywhere

As part of our goal to make life easier for bus travelers, we keep in touch with travelers who’ve had firsthand experiences around the world. Last time, we featured Miro & Lainie from Raising Miro. Today, we’re happy to feature Gary Arndt from Everything Everywhere.

Gary Arndt sold his house in 2007 and have been traveling around the world ever since. He’s visited all 7 continents, over 116 countries and territories around the world, all 50 US states, 9/10 Canadian provinces, every Australian state and territory, over 125 US National Park Service sites and over 180 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In 2010, Time Magazine named Everything Everywhere one of the Top 25 Blogs in the World.

1. Where are you now, and what’s your next destination?

I am writing this in a bus station in Liberia, Costa Rica. I’ll be heading to San Jose in an hour and tomorrow I hope to visit my 192nd UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Talamanca mountain range.  Next week I’ll be heading to northern Canada to the Yukon.

2. You’ve traveled over 7 continents and visited over 116 countries. How do you keep travel interesting and exciting?

There is always something more to learn. You can spend your entire life traveling and never run out of new things to learn and experience. The Earth is much larger than any human lifetime.

3. You’ve got a great travel photography ebook that everyone should dowload. I was especially touched by the Red Shirt Protester in Bangkok, and the Kids in Canoe at Rennell Island. Can you share your photography process— do you set out to capture moments, or let them come to you spontaneously?

It all depends. Both of those images have interesting stories behind them.

Red Shirt protester in Bangkok

Red Shirt protester in Bangkok

The photo of the red shirt protester took place in Bangkok in 2010. There were huge political protests taking place in Bangkok while I was there. I went down to the main protest area several times to meet and photograph the protesters. One day they were going to hold a rally at the Prime Minister’s home which was only a block from where I was staying. I went down with my camera and was between about 10,000’s protesters and maybe 1,000 police in riot gear. It started to rain and all the other photographers took shelter. I had an umbrella with me, so I stood out in the middle of the street and took the photo of the single man standing in front of the police. It is one of my favorite images.

Kids in Canoe on Rennell Island

Kids in Canoe on Rennell Island

The photo I took on Rennell just happened. The Solomon Islands is a country which gets very few tourists. Rennell Island is off the main archipelago and gets maybe 100 tourists per year. East Rennell is a 20 mile drive from the airstrip (which is just grass) over coral. During that 20 mile trip we had 8 flat tires. At the end of the road is a large lake you then have to cross. I was told they get about 10 tourists a year in this part of the island. One day I visited one of the villages on the lake and the kids in the village had a blast following me around. When I left by boat, they hopped in a canoe to follow me, waving their arms the entire time. The photo I took was my parting shot of the kids as I left.

Great photos can happen at any time. Sometimes you can plan for it and sometimes they happen unexpectedly.

Underwater photography in the Great Barrier Reef

Underwater photography in the Great Barrier Reef

4. In yesterday’s blog post, you mentioned taking the bus in Costa Rica, and how confusing the bus system can be because there is no central bus depot. What do you think of Busbud’s mission, which is to gather the world’s bus travel information? Would this type of information help your readers in their travels?

Absolutely. In many countries such as Costa Rica and the Philippines, the bus system is very distributed. There are many different bus companies which run different routes from different places in each city. There isn’t necessarily a central bus station. There is also seldom any signage to tell you where to go.  The more information you have, the easier your life will be.

Bus in Queensland, Australia

Bus in Queensland, Australia

5. Can you share a memorable bus travel story with us?

I took a bus in Egypt from Luxor to Suez which went up along the Red Sea. The bus was so dilapidated that spent most of it sitting on a spare tire. I’ve never counted the number of countries I’ve traveled by bus in, but it is certainly a big number. Even in some countries with an extensive train system, I often end up taking a bus because it is cheaper and just as fast.

Hammock over water in Caye Caulker, Belize

Hammock over water in Caye Caulker, Belize

6. Finally, there are many random facts about you that people are surprised to discover, like the fact that you are a part owner of an NFL franchise, and you also have a huge collection of magazines and DVDS. For Busbud readers who hesitate to take on a long-term travel trip because they’d be leaving behind so much “stuff”, what advice would you give them?

Stuff can be replaced. The actual act of getting rid of much of your stuff is actually a rather therapeutic experience. Once you spend an extended amount of time living out of a bag, you realize just how little you need to actually get by. Most of what you need can be put into storage and it will be waiting for you when you get back.

Thanks Gary! You can get in touch with him on Twitter and Facebook.  Follow Gary Arndt’s adventures on Everything Everywhere.

Photos by Gary Arndt at Everything Everywhere

5 Romantic Getaways for Valentine’s Day

12 Feb

Ah, Valentine’s Day! Cupid throws his arrow and it hits you on the head. Year after year, it’s the same dilemma. What to do? Where to go? How to celebrate? In order to help you plan a spectacular Valentine’s Day, we have compiled a list of romantic travel destinations tried and tested by the Busbud team! Below are a few places that get our stamp of approval!

1) Girona, Spain
Even though the Spaniards celebrate their romantic holiday in April, here’s a city who has it all and is the ideal romantic destination. Nestled away between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea, Girona’s charm is almost indescribable. A walk along the historic city’s walls will allow you to glimpse into the city’s rich cultural baggage. Also known as one of the main sources of world gastronomical creation, Girona is home to the second best restaurant in the world: El Celler de Can Roca.  History, amazing food and Spanish warmth, what more could one ask for? Great music! So be sure to stop by Lola Café and let the sounds of flamenco invade you as they revive your romance and passion.

Girona, Spain

2) Manual Antonio, Costa Rica
If wild beaches, luscious vegetation and intimacy are on your list this Valentine’s Day, then Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica is definitely the place to go! Offering uniquely breathtaking views, the Manual Antonio National Park is one of the most bio-diverse areas in the world. Surrounded by rainforest, vast white sand beaches and coral reefs, there are plenty of places to be secluded with your Valentine, in total privacy (well, almost, you might find a few monkeys peeking)!

Beach view inside Manuel Antonio Park in Costa Rica

3) Paris, France
Ask any person what cities come to mind in terms of romantic destinations and you’re sure to end up with Paris on this list. And with reason ! No matter where you go in the city of love, you’re constantly reminded of its romance. Gothic architecture, love letters that have survived the ages, charming cafés, vast gardens, city lights and the iconic Eiffel Tower: what more could one ask for? Whether a promenade along the Seine or a walk through the Marais, St. Germain-des-Pres, and the Latin Quarter, you’re sure to succumb to Paris’ charm. After all, the French are masters in the art of seduction!  So this Valentine’s Day, get lost in your partner’s eyes at a quaint coffee shop, pick up a sweet surprise at La Durée, and indulge in some of the best cuisine worldwide! While you are at it, why not add a little spice with a later night cabaret show?

Notre-Dame-de-Paris by night. Photo credit: Kim Gradek

4) Quebec City, Canada
Longing for Paris but can’t cross the Atlantic?  No worries, Quebec City will take you back in time to the most romantic ages. Opt for a “caleche” (horse carriage) ride through Quebec’s Historic town that dates back to the 18th century.  Then leisurely stroll through the Quartier Petit Champlain, where boutiques, cafés, art galleries and adorable restaurants line the winding streets. If the frosty weather is getting to you, head up to the Dufferin Terrace boardwalk for a panoramic view of the St Lawrence river, before stepping into the city’s rococo landmark, the Fairmount Le Château Frontenac, to warm up by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate.

Quebec City streets at night, with the historic Chateau Frontenac on the hilltop

5) Napa Valley, California, USA
If the scenery alone isn’t enough to make you fall head over heels in love, the wine and food are sure to awaken your senses. California’s wine country is a treasure trove of romantic spots. And the Napa Valley has a few jewels that shine brighter than the rest. Be warned however, these jewels come don’t come cheap! Perched on Angwin Mountain, Cade winery‘s breathtaking view is second to none in the northern valley. Take advantage of it and sample delicious wines in an intimate interior decor or step outside to admire the splendors the terrace has to offer. Then, head over to Yountville for a visual feast and late afternoon tasting at the casually chic art gallery Ma(i)sonry. Finally, reserve a table at the Restaurant at Meadowood: you’re sure to be in for a treat! Chef Kostow and his brigade will leave your taste buds in awe.

Tasting Room at Cade winery – Angwin, Napa Valley, California. Photo Credit: Kim Gradek

Photos by: LWY (Quebec City) and MarimbaJLamesa (Girona)

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