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Taking A Chalkboard Around The World
Taking A Chalkboard Around The World
A trip around the world has always been on my bucket list. I still can’t believe that Jeff and I finally did it. We’ve just returned home to our sunny island home of Phuket, Thailand and finally have a moment to look back on our amazing journey around the world.
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Before we started this trip, I knew that we wouldn’t have the space in our luggage for souvenirs as we were going to nearly 30 different countries. Even though we have been told we packed light, I can assure you that our bags were anything but light. This inspired me to think a little outside the box for souvenir ideas.
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My favorite part about traveling is looking back on my photos long after the trip. It is a great way to put you right back to where you were and bring back memories you had long forgotten about. I wanted to do something fun and different with my photos. So I thought, “Why not bring a chalkboard?” I decided to have a photo taken of myself  holding a chalkboard with the name of the country I was in. I wanted a way to visually see each country while having a reminder of myself in that place during that time. Even if I may have been up all night, had not showered in days or was only in a country for a few hours, I wanted to remember all of it.
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Now, 28 images later, I have a fun collection of pictures that for me, sums up our 159 day, 32,281 mile trip around the world!
Taking A Chalkboard Around The World
CANADA:
Even though Canada isn’t too far from my home county, it was still really exciting to go visit! Two days in Vancouver and I was in love! Canada is a great country and Vancouver is a beautiful city!
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Chalkboard around the world
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ENGLAND:
Since we only had two rainy days in London, and as it was my first time to England I knew I wanted the cliché photo with a red phone booth!

 

Chalkboard around the world

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BELGIUM:
Brussels was a beautiful city and I was surprised at how modern of a city it was. We had one of our favorite meals of the entire trip in Brussels, an absolutely amazing beef stew. This photo was taken at the bus station before we boarded to Amsterdam.
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Chalkboard around the world
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ISRAEL:
With so much history in Israel, I had a hard time deciding where would be best to take a photo here. While we were driving with a guide through the desert we went to this cliff where you could see a beautiful monastery in the hillside. I thought that this would be a great reflection of this historical importance of Israel.

 

Chalkboard around the world
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IRELAND:
Green! I knew I wanted this photo to be green, but I struck it rich when we just happened to get some sunshine since it was gloomy and raining during most of our stay. Ireland may have been our first stop, but it was also one of our favorites. Read our “Complete Guide to Ireland” for our best recommendations!
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Chalkboard around the world

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MOROCCO:
Oh Morocco! We were here for just a few hours while stopping during a cruise we took early in the year. I had always imaged Morocco as a colorful place, however Casablanca was not what I imaged. This is at the Hassan II Mosque which is the 7th largest mosque in the world.

 

Chalkboard around the world

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AUSTRIA:
Innsbruck, Austria is a beautiful little ski town nestled in the mountains. We were lucky enough to stay with some wonderful friends here for 2 weeks!
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Chalkboard around the world

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SPAIN:
We were lucky enough to be in Barcelona on my birthday in January! Once again, this was a quick stop during our cruise so I can’t wait to get back to explore more!
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Chalkboard around the world

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CZECH REPUBLIC:
We met some great friends in Prague and had an amazing time exploring this beautiful old city. While Europe has some of the best beer in the world, I’d bet most of it can be found in Prague, and at a cheap price too!
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Chalkboard around the world

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EGYPT:
Egypt just may have been my favorite place on this trip! Not only did I fulfill a childhood dream of visiting the pyramids, but we also got to spend great time with some new friends!
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Chalkboard around the world

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HUNGARY:
Budapest is one of the most enchanting cities in Europe. It is a great city where history meets a modern twist. I would live here in a heartbeat! This was the first time we have used AirBNB and found ourselves in this old apartment complex trying to find which apartment was ours!

 

Chalkboard around the world

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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES:
Even though we spent most of our time in Dubai, we were still able to get out and see the beautiful desert! Jeff and I were both really impressed with Dubai and can’t wait to get back to explore more.

 

Chalkboard around the world

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ESTONIA:
Tallinn, Estonia is a quant little old city and has so much culture and lots to see. We were only here for one night but enjoyed walking around the old town watching the snow fall.
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Chalkboard around the world

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FINLAND:
Finland is also on the top of my favorite places we’ve been to this year! Helsinki is a great design oriented town that is hip and embraces its rich history, although I had to take this photo while up in Lapland exploring the arctic circle and seeing snow fall for the first time in my life!
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Chalkboard around the world
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ITALY:
We went to many places in Italy, but it was in Venice during Carnival that I wanted to take this photo. Carnival was such a unique and beautiful way to explore all that Venice has to offer.
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Chalkboard around the world
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NORTHERN IRELAND:
While in Dublin, we decided why not take the 3 hour drive with some friends up to Northern Ireland to see the Giant’s Causeway and while we got there right after sunset we were able to catch some light for this photo!
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Chalkboard around the world
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GERMANY:
Germany has always been on the top of my list of places to visit in Europe and this year it finally happened! Although we only had 2 days in Berlin, it was great to learn more about Germany’s vast history and how the city has transformed to a modern city with tons of artistic expression.
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Chalkboard around the world
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HOLLAND:
I didn’t know if I should write Holland or The Netherlands but in the end it didn’t matter since we had such a great time in Amsterdam exploring the canals!

 

Chalkboard around the world

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PORTUGAL:
This photo is in Lisbon near the port while it was pouring rain. We had to be quick since the rain just kept washing the chalk off the board, but it made for a fun experience!
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Chalkboard around the world

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TURKEY:
Although Istanbul has so much history and culture, it was this pop of color while walking around that caught my eye. I wanted to show a different side to such an old city.
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Chalkboard around the world

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SWEDEN:
Since we spent an entire night at the airport in Stockholm we though it would be fun to take photos in the nearly abandoned airport at 2 in the morning.

 

Chalkboard around the world

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VATICAN:
The Vatican is such a beautiful place and it was very surreal to see all the paintings and murals in the museum, but it was here that meant the most to me. It really is amazing to stand here and thing about all the people that come here to see the pope.
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Chalkboard around the world

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MALDIVES:
Holy blue ocean! The Maldives are such a beautiful place. There are 1,190 different islands so it is hard to pick just one. We stayed in Maafushi which is a local island, but as you can see we still had a resort like beach to spend our time.
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Chalkboard around the world
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FRANCE:
Paris is a place that every girl longs to go to at least once in her life and I was no exception, I absolutely fell in love with Paris. We had an amazing 5 days here with a good friend who was kind enough to show us around this memorizing city. I can’t wait to get back and eat some more macaroons!

Chalkboard around the world

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SINGAPORE:
While it was not my first time in Singapore, it was great to be back and see how much this city has grown. Singapore is a beautiful city which great people and beautiful architecture.
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Thailand
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THAILAND:
Phuket will always be a second home to me and it is where we began and ended our around the world trip. Living here has really opened my eyes and taking this photo was really important. This photo was taken in a little lagoon in Koh Phi Phi Ley near where the majestic beach from the movie The Beach was filmed. You can see another hidden beach in the background that we could swim to. Taking a long tail boat out to this preserved island and spending the day snorkeling and soaking up the sun is my favorite thing to do in Thailand.
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MEXICO:
Growing up, my family always spent at least once if not twice a year in Mexico. This year I was fortunate enough to get the change to travel to a new place in Baja called Loreto. It is a great little fishing town located right on the Sea of Cortez.
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SRI LANKA:
Sri Lanka is a beautiful island nation located just southeast of India and visiting was a great treat for me. There are many elephants, beautiful landscapes and beaches. If you ever get the chance to visit this beautiful country, take it!
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Bio Photo Marina 150x150 My First Time: Taking a Cruise Marina Dominguez is the co-founder of Latitude 34 Travel Blog as well as a photographer and documentary film maker.

As a maturing women, Marina has dedicated her life to travel and new experiences. After working a 9-5 cubical lifestyle, Marina sold everything she owned, left her job and begun a new life with her boyfriend and travel companion, Jeff Johns. Together they relocated to Phuket, Thailand and founded Latitude 34 in which they seek to share their alternative lifestyle with the world. 

Marina is a Visual Journalism graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography where she studied photography, videography and ultimately caught the travel bug. Through creating several international documentaries, Marina realized there was more to the world than work and wanted something more. 

32,281 Miles, Zero Regrets

32,281 Miles, Zero Regrets

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Going on a trip around the world has always been a fantasy for me, and while I have been lucky enough to see much of the world through my travels, Marina and I were thrilled to finally plan an entire trip around the world, starting and ending in Phuket, Thailand, our adopted home. We would start by heading back to the states via South Korea and then, over the course of five months, make our way across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and into Asia before returning to Thailand, a complete trip around the world.

We packed up our two little carry on suitcases, filled to the brim, and jetted off for the the most intense, longest and adventurous plan yet. Five months later we are hours away from our return to Thailand and looking back over an amazing five months on the road. While we have months of writing ahead of us and are beyond excited to share all of our experiences with you, good and bad, here is a look at some of the numbers from our trip, the statistics behind a trip around the world, from the grandiose to the minute.

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32,281 Miles, Zero Regrets

32, 281 Miles

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Since leaving Phuket on December 4, we have traveled a shocking 32,281 miles (51,951 km). The circumference of the world around the equator is just 25,000 miles which means we meandered a bit during our travels. Starting from Washington, DC in January, we jumped to Ireland and then spent the next two months circling Europe in no sensical way whatsoever. But what can we say, there is so much of Europe to see that we couldn’t help but head in every direction possible! From the southern point of Spain in the Mediterranean to the Arctic Circle in Northern Finland, we experienced all extremes and everything in between. The distance we’ve traveled would have been enough to walk the entire Great Wall of China over four times, or to drive from New York to Los Angeles over eleven times.

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32,281 Miles, Zero Regrets

159 Days

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A lot can happen in 159 days, and boy has it flown by. While we started our journey in Phuket, we were quickly hit with the fact that it was the middle of winter most other places in the world. We were first hit with the cold in Ireland, where the damp and gloomy climate chilled us to the bones, thank goodness for friends with warm fireplaces and electric blankets! Marina saw snow fall for the first time in her entire life in the north of Finland, and we even camped in the middle of the Lappish wilderness after ice swimming and fishing. During the last 159 days we have traveled by plane, car, boat, bicycle, ferry, bus and by foot over bridges, through tunnels, fields, cities, deserts and deep, dark woods. A lot can happen in 159 days, and it will take us months to process all we have been through.

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32,281 Miles, Zero Regrets

27 Countries

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Since we departed on our adventure we have stepped foot in 27 countries all over the world and when we arrived in Singapore, our last stop, Marina stepped on her 34th country, ironically enough. Through the rainy days we spent in London to the delicious food of Rome, magic in Venice, falling in love with Paris, wilderness in Finland, mysteries in Cairo and decadence in Dubai, we have tried to take in as much as we can and take pictures of everything else along the way. It was amazing to experience countries like Finland and enchanting cities like Budapest, which we had never dreamed of visiting and ended up falling in love with as well as fulfilling life long dreams of visiting the Great Pyramids in Egypt and experiencing Carnivale in Venice, Italy. While 27 countries is quite a lot, it is shockingly only just above 12% of the countries on Earth, so we’ve got our work cut out for us going forward!

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32,281 Miles, Zero Regrets

18 Airlines

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While we’ve heard of people making it around the world without the use of a single airplane, we didn’t have years to spend and while we took ferries, busses and trains to many locations, we turned to flight to take us most of the way. It is hard to travel the world without hearing horror stories of low cost budget airlines creating nightmare travel situations for many travelers, so we were prepped for the worst. We’ve always loved Asian airlines, and started off the trip aboard Asiana, a Korean airline which has never disappointed us. Through the US, we traveled on the American staples of American Airlines, United and Continental and through Europe we held our breath and tried out budget airlines Ryan Air, Easy Jet and Wizz Air, none of which proved as awful as we planned (although I did show up to the Dublin airport wearing four pairs of pants before boarding a Ryan Air flight). 18 airlines means 18 different baggage policies, 18 different weight restrictions and 18 different in flight meals (if you can call them that). Off the top of our heads our favorite was definitely Finnair, which provided us with a first class experience in economy, as they do every traveler, a welcome relief in the ever dwindling world of in-flight comforts.

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32,281 Miles, Zero Regrets

12 Friends

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One of the greatest gifts that travel has given us are friendships all over the world and while it is hard to be away from good friends at home, there is nothing better than seeing a familiar smiling face in an unknown city. To put it simply, we never would have been able to accomplish a trip of this magnitude without the unending kindness and support of our friends and family living all over the globe from Ireland to Israel. We’ve had friends give us their own beds, plan entire walking tours, lend us everything they had, cook meals and open up their homes and hearts to us, something we can only ever try to repay as long as we live. The wonderful thing about traveling friends is that many have been shown the same kindness while on the road and know how much it means to find a comfortable couch to sleep on or to have the use of free wifi or a washing machine after long weeks on the road. We could never have done this trip without our friends and will be eternally grateful.

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32,281 Miles, Zero Regrets

4 Continents

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The world is a big place, a giant place, filled with the vast deserts of Africa, the bustling cities of Europe, the history of Asia and the excitement of the Americas. Through Asia, North America, Europe and Africa we were lucky enough to witness humanity on the grandest of scales, from the small street side cafe’s in Paris to the kindness of the locals in Estonia to the strangers we met in Egypt and the amazing family we got to spend Passover with in Israel, one of the highlights of our journey. Through four continents we were able to see life lived endless ways, life from many angles, life from many directions, life from many perspectives. Being able to be in someone’s shoes and see the world as they do is a blessing in itself, but to be able and experience this in vastly different parts of the world was truly amazing.

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32,281 Miles, Zero Regrets

0 Regrets

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Through it all we have remained strong and took on each new day with the best of our abilities. We have laughed, cried, bled and changed through it all. Exhausted as we may be, we take none of it for granted and tried to dive as deep as we could into each culture. Connecting the dots of the humanity around us is one of the greatest blessings we could have ever been given and the more we travel the more the dots of the world around us are connected. Meeting strangers who become best friends, tasting a bizarre food for the first time and falling in love with it and proving our pre conceived notions of an entire people or culture wrong is what makes travel worth it and more addictive than any drug imaginable.

And so thus concludes our journey around the world, which will surely be one of the most memorable experiences of our entire lives. An adventure which has taught us endless life lessons we are excited to pass down to those who come after us, to learn from the mistakes we have made the the triumphs we have experienced. We haven’t experienced it all, but we have experienced a lot. We haven’t seen it all, but we have seen enough to know there is a whole lot more life to be lived and a whole lot of mistakes left to make, which we are only looking forward to learning from.

So head out there, get lost, meet strangers, try everything, say yes, smile, and travel like you mean it – the world will take care of you.

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.H . jeffjohnsheadshotJeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to remember them all. A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh. Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast!

Latitude 34 Guide To Ireland

Visiting Ireland has always been pretty high up there on my bucket list. Coming from Los Angeles, I was always drawn to the history and the lush green countryside that contrast the concrete city I am from. While in Thailand, Jeff and I became good friends with an Irish couple that is our same age. When they invited us to come visit them in Ireland we jumped at the opportunity.

 

Marina drinks her first Guinness!
Marina drinks her first Guinness!

 

Ireland is such a beautiful country and we learned so much about Irish history during our 8 days there. If you haven’t seen the movie “Michael Collins”, we highly recommend you do before your trip to Ireland. It helps explain a lot about the vast history and importance behind Irish pride.

 

Irish History-

In summery, Ireland was controlled by the British from 1800-1912 until they fought for their freedom in xxxx. Many Irish fought and died for the idea of the Republic of Ireland and eventually that may or may not have become a reality depending on who you ask. The British agreed to end the war as long as they kept control over what is now Northern Ireland, which today remains loyal to The Queen and British controlled while Ireland is their own republic. Many Irish didn’t like this arrangement while others just wanted the war to be over and saw this treaty as a stepping stone to their independence. Due to this disagreement, a Civil War ensued splitting the two countries even further. There still remains some hostility in Northern Ireland by the NRA who are always fighting and trying to complete the ideal of a true Irish Republic.

 

Things To Do-

With so much history in Ireland there are so many things to do and experience. Although we didn’t get to do everything we wanted to here are some of the things we did that we really enjoyed!

 

The Guinness Storehouse

A must take photo at the Guinness Storehouse.
A must take photo at the Guinness Storehouse.

Cheers! Loving our free Guinness in the Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse!

 

Visiting the Guinness brewery, which is called The Guinness Storehouse, is a must even if you don’t drink. The Guinness Storehouse is set up almost like an amusement park and has a lot of information about how the famous dark stout is made and about how Arthur Guinness invented the popular Irish beer. The inside of the building is the world’s largest pint glass which consumes all of the seven story building.  If this glass was to actually be filled with Guinness it would take 14.3 million pints to do so. At the top of the Storehouse there is a gravity bar where you can enjoy a free Guinness and overlook the city of Dublin. In order to enter the Guinness Storehouse and see everything it has to offer, it cost €16.50 ($22.49 USD) however if you purchase your tickets online it only costs €14.85 ($20.24).

 

The Tasting Experience
The Tasting Experience

 

If you end up going be sure to check out the Tasting Experience. Not only do you get a small glass of Guinness, but you are lead into a room that resembles something inside of Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. The room is all white with 4 smoky towers and a bar with, of course, Guinness on tap. There they will explain the 4 main ingredients which are the 4 towers of vapor, each giving off the sent of the ingredient. Then you will be lead into a darker room where they explain the correct way to drink a Guinness and experience the full flavor of the beer.

 

 

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Marina Dominguez Latitude 34

Marina Dominguez is the co-founder of Latitude 34 Travel Blog as well as a photographer and documentary film maker.

As a maturing women, Marina has dedicated her life to travel and new experiences. After working a 9-5 cubical lifestyle, Marina sold everything she owned, left her job and begun a new life with her boyfriend and travel companion, Jeff Johns. Together they relocated to Phuket, Thailand and founded Latitude 34 in which they seek to share their alternative lifestyle with the world. 

Marina is a Visual Journalism graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography where she studied photography, videography and ultimately caught the travel bug. Through creating several international documentaries, Marina realized there was more to the world than work and wanted something more. 

Where Will You Be In 2014?

Where Will You Be In 2014?

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With 2014 shaping up to be our most adventurous year to date, we hope to make the year all the more memorable by connecting and meeting up with new friends, bloggers, photographers and strangers all over the globe. As many of you know, for most of 2013 we lived in Phuket, Thailand which we absolutely loved. While we will be returning to Thailand in 2014, we will be taking a very backwards and exciting route. We realized that we will be working through most of Europe, the Middle East, and India before finding ourselves back in South East Asia and want to meet up with and cross paths with as many of our friends and fellow travel loving bloggers as we can while we are on the road.

Where Will You Be In 2014?Let us all use this space as a place to loosely lay out our 2014 travel plans and see where we all might cross paths and plan a couple travel blogger meet ups. Now, if there is one thing we have learned during our life on the road, it is that plans change, and we all end up in far flung corners of the Earth without really planning it, but, let’s just pretend some things might end up going according to plan and we find ourselves in the same cities at the same time.

We will use this place to update our 2014 travel plans, post about possibly meet ups in different cities and see who is going to be around. If you have travel plans for the year ahead, simply post them below in a comment and look at the other comments for people you might be crossing paths with. We will post ideas and possible locations for meet ups for drinks, photo walks and sheer exploring of new locations.

So, where will you be in 2014? Let’s all have a fantastic year, see the world around us and inspire those around us to get up off the couch and travel like they mean it!

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Our 2014 Travel Plans (subject to massive and unpredictable last minute changes)

January – Ireland

February – England, Wales, Scotland, France

March – Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Sweden, Romania

April – Turkey, Dubai, Iran, India

May – Thailand, Vietnam

June – Thailand

July – Thailand, Japan

August – October – Thailand, Cambodia, Laos

November – Thailand

December – Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

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So there you have it, our extremely adventurous, tedious, robust and improbable 2014 travel plans. Our first few months in Europe will be mad, and we really hope to get to Iran and India before heading back to SE Asia. We know plans will change and who knows but we hope this can be a thread for us all to comment and hopefully share info, tips, contacts and travel plans.

Cheers and we hope to see you along the road in 2014!

– Jeff & Marina

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jeffjohnsheadshotJeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to remember them all.

A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh.

Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast!


bluffer's guide to beer review

Bluffer’s Guide to Beer, Why Can’t You Know it All?

With the fall weather well on it’s way, many around the world are welcoming in all the fall beers, delicious seasonal micro brews and in Germany, the world’s oldest and largest beer festival, Oktoberfest, is in full swing. Whether you are considering grabbing a pint to drink with your buddies, or out on the road traveling around the world, a solid knowledge of beer is almost a must. Beer brings us all together, it ignites friendships, starts conversations and makes memories.

After traveling through 65 countries on six continents, few things remain the same from place to place. People change from city to city, the cuisine, culture, language and overall approach to life morph from one destination to the next. India is easily the most foreign feeling place I have ever stepped foot in, with barely anything “normal” to cling on to. However, one thing still remains the same, India has a national beer, and so does almost every other country on the planet. Sure smiles, body language and good intentions help you relate to a new country, but most would be lying if they said one of the first things on their mind after arriving in a new country wasn’t looking for a refreshing glass of the national beer. Who doesn’t want to try a pint of Singha in Thailand, Guinness in Ireland or Brahma in Brazil?

And yet after all the travel, all the pints drank and all the memories made across the globe, I still know shockingly little about the world’s most popular beverage. As we are in the final planning stages of our upcoming months long journey across Europe, I thought it was high time to change that. I have a hard enough time blending in as an energetic and talkative American as it is, no need to add “uninformed Bud light drinking snob” to that list as well.

In the Bluffer’s Guide to Beer, author Jonathan Goodall takes you to the University of Beer and spits you out the other side with a masters in malt, an honors in hops, a Bachelors in beer. School is in session.

The year is 9000 BC, and somewhere in the Middle East, people are starting to brew beer, almost as soon as the human race is even able to comprehend the world around them. By 740 AD, the Germans have caught on and started their near world dominance in the production of beer. And then, in 1759 Arthur Guinness buys a rundown brewery in Dublin, and the rest if history. The history of beer is fascinating, and laid out in easily digestible bullet points as you go. Ever the nostalgic, I can often be found recalling the days before the internet, cell phones and Coke Zero, but thank God no man has ever had to think back to a time without beer. Ever.

To the layman, beer is just another drink that has always been around. And to that unfortunate soul, the conversation stops there. I’ll admit, I’ve been that guy before. America drinks Budweiser and Bud Light, which is the second most consumed beer on the planet, until recently leaving little room for anything  else. It wasn’t until I was in college that I was even made aware there wasn’t a rule commanding all beer be a nearly tasteless, watered down mixture of disappointment and regret.

‘You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.’ Frank Zappa

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The Bluffer’s Guide to Beer does a great job of educating you on the methods of making beer but where it really shines is in its vast and in depth dissection of each kind of beer, be it pale ale, lager, porter, etc. From Fosters in Australia (which was started by Americans, who knew?) to the Trapest Monks in Europe brewing one hell of a strong beer, to the sweeter beers of Asia, the Bluffer’s Guide to Beer takes you around the globe and back again, examining each variant of the world’s favorite drink, nearly insuring you will never find yourself the most clueless on the subject again, even around a group of beer snobs with their big words like “brettanomyces” and “zymurgy“. Relax, there is an in depth glossary at the end of the book you can keep in your back pocket and reference in a real panic if need be.

Have you always hated IPA’s, never shy from proclaiming so in social settings but secretly have no ideas what an IPA is or what it even stands for? Do you love a good porter as much as a good stout, but don’t know the first thing about either? And how about all those times you go to your fancy neighborhood liquor store and, after 20 minutes staring at the endless 6 packs of microbrews, wind up buying one just because you like the colorful label or clever name? Well, here’s your chance change all of that. 

Interested in Thai beers? Click to read Thai beer, what you need to know.

I may still not understand how cell phones work (seriously though, I can call the other side of the world and there are NO wires?!), not totally understand how the stock market operates, or what the lights on my dashboard really mean, but at least I can walk into a pub in Europe this winter and proudly order a beer, feeling confident to answer any follow up question the bartender might throw my direction. Unless its about wine, then I’m screwed.

The Bluffer’s Guide to Beer is available from www.bluffers.com 

latitude 34 beer in singapore
Marina and I enjoying a pint of Rouge’s Hazelnut Brown Ale in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – What a find!

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jeffjohnsheadshotJeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to forget them all.

A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh.

Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast!
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The Most Beautiful Travel Journal You’ve Ever Seen

Sometimes you come across something on the internet that truly blows you away. Sometimes it happens to be on Facebook, and sometimes, if you are lucky, you even know the person in real life. I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse at a post of a good family friend, Sheila Harrington, she had just uploaded containing a few of her travel journal sketches from a recent family trip to Paris, France. I was absolutely blown away by the artistic style, creative beauty and overall unique nature of the drawings.

As a documentary photographer, she had captured in her drawings the very emotions, feelings and moods that I strive to capture in my photographs, but she had amazingly captured and translated them to paper with pen, ink and watercolor. Something about the drawings continued to grab my attention, detail by detail they told a story, something more than can be found in a photograph sometimes. It was as if I was reading a real life comic book, packed full of the little moments, instants that make travel what it is and set it apart from the rest of our daily lives.

“I’ve been keeping sketchbook journals for years.” Harrington says, “They are full of notes and drawings of family, friends, daily life, work, travel. My children enjoy looking back at drawings of themselves and their activities when they were tiny. When I take a photograph, it happens quickly, and I don’t need to take in the image inwardly, but I have the pleasure of reviewing it over and over afterward. With a sketchbook journal it’s not the same; there is something about drawing and writing that obliges me to look more closely and reflect, so I take in and recall the subject differently.”

I have so much enjoyed pouring over Harrington’s sketches on her website from her family trip to Ireland as well as the few pages she has uploaded from her recent trip to Paris. She will be adding much more to her website in the near future and I would strongly encourage everyone to check it out at http://sheilaharrington.org/sketchbooks/ireland/

So the next time you go on a trip, be it near or far, think about throwing in a pencil and notepad to help you remember it all, I know I will.

Sheila Harrington Sketch Book

Sheila Harrington Sketch Book Sheila Harrington Sketch Book Sheila Harrington Sketch Book Sheila Harrington Sketch Book Sheila Harrington Sketch Book

 

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