20 Travel Quotes You’ve Never Heard

I know what you’re thinking, not another list of travel quotes. I get it, not all who wander are lost, already. Yeesh!


But hang on to your hats, kids. This isn’t your typical list of travel quotes. I’ve seen the same list of travel inspired quotes over and over again and that’s why I’ve compiled this unique list that you’ve probably never seen before. So without further ado:


20 Little Known Travel Quotes



“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert


20 Travel quotes you've never heard before.


“To awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” – Freya Stark


20 Travel quotes you've never heard before.


“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” – James Michener


20 Travel quotes you've never heard before.


“When overseas you learn more about your own country, than you do the place you’re visiting.” – Clint Borgen


20 Travel quotes you've never heard before.


 “The more I traveled the more I realized that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends.” – Shirley MacLaine


20 Travel quotes you've never heard before.


“Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


20 Travel quotes you've never heard before.


“I have wandered all my life, and I have also traveled; the difference between the two being this, that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.” Hilaire Belloc


20 Travel quotes you've never heard before.


“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” Maya Angelou


20 Travel quotes you've never heard before.


“One travels to run away from routine, that dreadful routine that kills all imagination and all our capacity for enthusiasm.” Ella Maillart


20 Travel quotes you've never heard before.


“A wise traveler never despises his own country.” William Hazlitt


20 Travel quotes you've never heard before.


“Travel is the frivolous part of serious lives, and the serious part of frivolous ones.” Sophie Swetchine


20 Travel quotes you've never heard before.


“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain


20 Travel quotes you've never heard before.


“…there ain’t no journey what don’t change you some.” ― David Mitchell,


20 Travel quotes you've never heard before.


“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.” ― Michael Palin


20 Travel quotes you've never heard before.


“You can handle just about anything that comes at you out on the road with a believable grin, common sense and whiskey.” ― Bill Murray


20 Travel quotes you've never heard before.


“Never hesitate to go far away, beyond all seas, all frontiers, all countries, all beliefs.” ― Amin Maalouf


20 Travel quotes you've never heard before.


“The road embraced me, let me breathe, and more importantly, did not judge me.” ― M.B. Dallocchio


20 Travel quotes you've never heard before.


“A man who leaves home to mend himself and others is a philosopher; but he who goes from country to country, guided by the blind impulse of curiosity, is a vagabond.” Oliver Goldsmith


20 Travel quotes you've never heard before.


“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” Ralph Waldo Emerson


20 Travel quotes you've never heard before.


“It is not fit that every man should travel; it makes a wise man better, and a fool worse.”  William Hazlitt


20 Travel quotes you've never heard before.




Best St Augustine Bed and Breakfast – 44 Spanish St

Bed and Breakfasts in St. Augustine are a dime or dozen but, after much research, trial and error, I have found the the best St Augustine Bed and Breakfast.


I love St. Augustine. St. Augustine and Savannah are my two favorite cities in the South, maybe in America. Beaches, southern hospitality, and history are a trifecta of awesome that make these places worth the visit.


Best St Augustine Bed and Breakfast  - 44 Spanish St


I have, literally, spent hours of my life searching for places to stay in St. Augustine. We’ve spent Spring Break there with the fam, hopped down for a quick weekend with the kiddos, and spent our 10 and 15 year anniversaries in the nation’s oldest city. So, I know a thing or two about accommodations in the St. Augustine.


Two things are important to me when I choose a place to stay in St. Augustine :


  • Price (obviously)

  • Location


Sure, you can find a much cheaper place the further you wander away from the downtown area but I’m not about that game. If I go to St. Augustine, I want to be conveniently embedded in the historic district so that I can spend my holiday on foot or on trolley. And on that note, my new favorite B & B.


Best St Augustine Bed and Breakfast – 44 Spanish St Inn


Best St Augustine Bed and Breakfast - 44 Spanish St


We visited 44 Spanish St Inn for our 15th wedding anniversary and I will never visit another B&B in St. Augustine. It put the one we stayed in for our 10th anniversary to shame. And it could NOT be more conveniently located.


There are two things I look for in a Bed and Breakfast:


  • Private Entry

  • Jacuzzi (cough cough)


We chose the Rose Room because it had a private entry.


Best St Augustine Bed and Breakfast - 44 Spanish St


Frankly, if I’m going to dole out the bucks for a B & B I don’t want to feel like I’m in a hotel or a hostel. I prefer the relative freedom and privacy that a ground floor, private entrance provides.


Did I mention that the Rose Room also has a very spacious and lovely bathroom? MOVING ON.


Best St Augustine Bed and Breakfast - 44 Spanish St



The decor at 44 Spanish St is delightfully modern and not kitschy at all – which is another thing you’ll find loads of when you’re scouring the internet for B&Bs in St Augustine. No flowery wall paper here, people.


There’s a lovely side patio where you can lounge during the day or dine during breakfast, as well as a separate dining building in the rear. It has all that old world, Florida charm that you hope for when visiting St. Augustine.


Best St Augustine Bed and Breakfast - 44 Spanish St

source: https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/05/19/04/5d/44-spanish-street.jpg


There’s also front porch sitting and a second story balcony, which we took advantage of in the evenings.


Best St Augustine Bed and Breakfast - 44 Spanish St

Listening to the music from downtown while enjoying a glass of wine on the second floor balcony.


The breakfasts were fantastic, though I didn’t take any pictures. Sorry!


And the owners were so friendly and down to earth. One evening we both came out to enjoy our respective sides of the porch at the same time and they were very open and fun to chat with. They really seem to love and enjoy the hospitality industry.  They didn’t pay me to say any of this, btw! I’m just a happy customer.


Check out 44 Spanish St Inn online for availability and rates.


When to go


Weekends and holidays are substantially more expensive so consider booking a room during the week. The Rose Room where we stayed is $165 a night Monday – Thursday and $259 Friday – Sunday and holidays. So it makes a big difference!


If you’re looking for a romantic get away in St. Augustine this summer, I highly recommend 44 Spanish St Inn.


TIP: Always check Groupon deals in St. Augustine before heading to the Old City. You never know what you’ll find!




Best St Augustine Bed and Breakfast - 44 Spanish St Inn  Best St Augustine Bed and Breakfast - 44 Spanish St Inn

What to REALLY Pack for a Road Trip with Kids

We’ve done three long road trips with young kids so I’m here to tell you what road trip accessories you REALLY need. When planning a road trip with kids you need to focus on two major areas:


  • Entertainment

  • Organization


Packing for a Road Trip with Kids


You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make the whole road trip go more smoothly, but if you cut corners in these areas the whole trip will be a lot less enjoyable. (Ask me how I know).




You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to keep your kids entertained on a road trip. You also don’t have to spend hours on Pinterest curating the perfect road trip car games board. We don’t have iPads or iPods are portable DVD players. Nope, our four kids get by with . . .




Remember when we were kids and we spent hours playing Tetris on our gameboys in the back of the minivan? Well, if it was good enough for us …

Gameboy Advance SP and Gameboy DS Lite

You can buy both of these old game consoles online and they are JUST as entertaining, if not more, than their fancier, newer counterparts.


And you can find hundreds of used gameboy games on Amazon or at your local game or thrift store. Or better yet, ask your friends and family. ds


We own three Gameboy advances and 2 DS consoles, not to mention countless games, and we didn’t pay for any of them. I’m a big believer in “it never hurts to ask”.


Hop on Facebook and ask “Hey, anyone have any old Gameboys they don’t use anymore?”. I promise you, they do. But their kids are too busy playing on their iPods to care about them. I have found that people are more than willing to part with these relics that are taking up space in the back of a closet.




There are a billion tablets out there these days but we are loyal kindle owners. Why take out a loan for an iPad when you can snag a kindle for only 50 bucks?


There’s even such a thing as a kids edition of Kindle and I have serious regrets for not purchasing one. It comes with a 2-year worry-free guarantee. Our last kindle, which I loved dearly, did not survive 2 years. Sigh.


It also includes one year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited which gives you free access to 10,000 kid-friendly books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games.


And it’s still a fully functional Kindle tablet. The next Kindle I purchase is definitely going to be the kid’s edition. To find current prices on all kindles visit Amazon.


Multiple USB Car Chargers



I’m sure you’d be hard pressed to find a vehicle in America these days without a phone charger, but do you have a multiple USB charger?


Trust me folks, you’re going to want to keep your phones and kindles charged. I can tell you from personal experience that just charging one thing at a time isn’t going to cut it.


There are tons of them on Amazon. Your future road trip self will thank you.





In my humble opinion, the more car organizers the better. During a road trip with kids the inside of your car quickly dissolves into total chaos.


91th+7E9dOL._SL1500_Car Organizers


Books, crayons, sippy cups – without some real organization everything ends up lost and/or in the floorboards with little people stomping all over them at the next rest stop.


There are heaps of car organizers to choose from on Amazon. I recommend getting more than one. As many as your car can hold! I repeat, do NOT skimp on the road trip car accessories.



Have one for toys, one for snacks, another one for misc cleaning supplies (because surely you’re going to pack baby wipes, right?) and medicines.


They even make ones that you can slip an iPad into, if you’re into that sort of thing. Go wild.



And while you’re at it, get a real travel garbage can for the car. I know it seems like an old Walmart bag will be good enough, but trust me, it won’t.


This one pops up but can be zipped flat for storage. Plus, it’s waterproof. You’re supposed to be able to pour a drink in the thing and not have it leak.


Find more car trash cans on Amazon.





61jsKJDUBmL._SY679_Sick bags


Have a kid who gets car sick? You might want to consider investing in some honest to goodness barf bags. It’s totally a thing.


You can find them reasonably priced on Amazon and they can be a real life saver in an emergency. And let’s face it, a kid getting carsick is always an emergency.


Two of my kids are prone to motion sickness so we used to travel with a beach bucket that we had affectionately named the Barf Bucket. It was easy to pull over to the side of the road or stop at a gas station and rinse it out and keep going.


Clearly, that’s not ideal.


What to Pack for a Road Trip With Kids


That’s it. Keep em’ entertained, organized, and unlikely to barf on themselves and you’ve got a good road trip on your hands. We’ve driven from California to Maryland, Georgia to British Columbia, and back from British Columbia to Georgia with a detour down the west coast and I’m telling you, this is the ideal road trip with kids packing list .



What to REALLY pack on a road trip with kids to stay sane.   What to REALLY pack on a road trip with kids to stay sane.


*post contains affiliate links

New Place to Eat in Mussoorie – Cafe Ivy at Char Dukan!

There’s a new place to eat at Char Dukan! Cafe Ivy is big news for the famous snack stands in Landour. It’s quickly become one of the best places to eat in Mussoorie.


Cafe Ivy - A new place to eat in Mussoorie at Char Dukan.


Our favorite place to eat in Char Dukan proper is Tip Top Tea Shop. But Cafe Ivy is something different entirely. While the regular Char Dukan eateries offer classic Indian snacks in a humble outdoor setting, Cafe Ivy is a real, indoor, sit down, full menu restaurant.


Cafe Ivy - A new place to eatin Mussoorie at Char Dukan.


If you’ve been in India long you know it’s easy to get tired of street food. You can only eat so many noodles, pakoras, and paranthas. And while there are a lot of good places to eat in Mussoorie, they’re mostly located on Mall Road, far from Landour Cantonment. This makes Cafe Ivy an unprecedented edition to Char Dukan.


Oh, and did I mention the view?


Cafe Ivy - A new place to eatin Mussoorie at Char Dukan.


There is a gorgeous outdoor sitting area with a view of the Himalayan foothills that you can’t beat. It’s really beautiful.


Cafe Ivy - A new place to eatin Mussoorie at Char Dukan.


TIP: Do NOT eat outside. While the view is gorgeous, it’s not a safe place to dine because of the local monkeys.


We went straight to the balcony because who wouldn’t? We started with lattes and sat relaxing and drinking in the scenery.


Cafe Ivy - A new place to eatin Mussoorie at Char Dukan.


Unfortunately, not long after our food arrived, so did an aggressive monkey. I literally ended up holding my plate in one hand while kicking at the monkey with another, while my daughter stood by and did the classic fake-out throw to scare it off. A staff member came out pretty quickly to help us but it was clear that our outdoor dining experience was over and we finished our meal inside.


Cafe Ivy - A new place to eatin Mussoorie at Char Dukan.

Mischievous Monkeys at Char Dukan


Monkeys are a particular nuisance at Char Dukan because it’s such a hot tourist spot and there’s always food lying around. But at Char Dukan proper there are also crowds, dogs, and enough activity to keep them relatively at bay. Not the case on this isolated balcony. Be warned. Take a coffee outside, but not a burger.


Thankfully, the ambiance inside is nearly as good as the one outside, maybe better actually. The decor is really fantastic, straight from someone’s unattainable Pinterest board.


Cafe Ivy - A new place to eatin Mussoorie at Char Dukan.


Cafe Ivy - A new place to eatin Mussoorie at Char Dukan.

Truly the loveliest restaurant I’ve visited in all of India.


Just look at those floors! It makes you want to come in and never leave. There are all manners of places to sit. Couches, long tables with benches, arm chairs, high stools; something for everyone.


There’s also a bookshelf with a random collection of books to curl up with. And they were playing classic rock the whole time we were there. This American was quite comfortable and happy. :)


The food was good, nothing too fancy but excellent quality. My daughter went straight for the nachos because that’s something she misses dearly from the states. They weren’t a bad representation, for India. A bed of Cornitos (Indian Doritos) topped with grilled chicken, baked beans, and cheese.


Cafe Ivy - A new place to eatin Mussoorie at Char Dukan.


I went for the chicken burger because, as stereotypical as it sounds, hamburgers are one of the things I miss most from America. The chicken burger had a good flavor but the patty was a bit small and didn’t appear to be hand made, but possibly frozen. Also, there was way too much mayonnaise for my taste. But again, it had a good flavor, the bun was nice, and it was an overall enjoyable meal.


Cafe Ivy - A new place to eatin Mussoorie at Char Dukan.


We topped our experience off with a little dessert, because why not. There were both ice cream, and brownies on the menu so I asked if they could be combined. The message didn’t get conveyed clearly so they were brought separately but I used my American wiles to concoct the dish I wanted. Voila!


Cafe Ivy - A new place to eat in Mussoorie at Char Dukan.


Good Service, Good Prices at Cafe Ivy in Mussoorie


I was surprised to find the menu very reasonably priced. With the quality of the food and restaurant I expected it to be more expensive. For only 725 rupees (approximately 11 US dollars) we enjoyed:


  • 1 nacho appetizer
  • 1 latte
  • 1 cappuccino
  • 2 sodas
  • 1 burger entree with fries
  • 1 brownie
  • and 1 scoop of ice cream

Cafe Ivy - A new place to eat in Mussoorie at Char Dukan.

Best Place to Eat in Landour


I highly recommend visiting Cafe Ivy at Char Dukan. It has proven itself as one of the best places to eat in Mussoorie. I was sad that they were opening their doors just as we were leaving town. I would have visited over and over!


Heading to the hills soon and looking for cheap hotels in Mussoorie? Click here to find the latest prices for places to stay in Mussoorie.


Have you ever visited Mussoorie or one of India’s other hill stations?




Cafe Ivy - A new place to eat in Mussoorie at Char Dukan.  Cafe Ivy - A new place to eat in Mussoorie at Char Dukan.

The Best Family Games to Play on Vacation

We’ve recently discovered the best travel games. Well, they’re more like pocket size family games to play on vacation, not games to break out in the car. You know, for when you want fun family vacation games but you don’t want to waste packing space on huge boxes of Scrabble, Monopoly, Life, etc.


Card based versions of classic board games


We found them in India, of all places but they’re available on Amazon, too. Basically some brilliant soul at Hasbro came up with the idea to take classic board games and tweak them into travel card games. Essentially creating travel board games. Genius, I tell you.


Great family vacation travel games.

Board Games for Travel


One of the things that make these Grab and Go card versions great travel games is that while the spirit of the original classic is preserved, actual game play has been altered.

I mean, everyone loves or hates or loves to hate a good family monopoly game, right? There are usually an equal amount of groans and excitement whenever a rousing game of real estate is suggested, amirite?


source: http://www.relatably.com/q/monopoly-quotes

source: http://www.relatably.com/q/monopoly-quotes


Well, drama no more. The Monopoly Deal Card Game can be played in as little as 15 minutes. The reasons you love the game are still there, but without the loss of friendships or sleep. And it’s less than five bucks!



best family vacation games

Cheap Travel Games


The regular versions of these games can set you back at least 20 bucks but these fun travel games are easy on the wallet. All of them are less than $10 and some are even less than $5. You, literally, can’t beat that.


Best family vacation travel games.

Best family vacation travel games.Best family vacation travel games.

Life Adventures has a fun storytelling element that kids love. The Scrabble Card Game is actually easier to play than the original version. I couldn’t find the edition we have on Amazon but there is one called Scrabble Slam which I’m sure is also fun.


Best family vacation games.Best family vacation games.Best family vacation games.


Basically these are just plain fun games to play on vacation or any other time. They’re small and easy to slip into a backpack. They don’t take nearly as long as the regular versions so they’re perfect when there are only 15 minutes before bedtime and little Susie insists on playing a game.


Best family vacation games.Best family vacation games.Best family vacation games.

Not Just For Kids


But they’re not just for kids, grown ups like them, too. We took our games to a conference once and the parents played them after-hours once the kiddos were tucked into bed. Because we know how to party. Or something.


You can click any image in this post to go to a specific product or you can click here to browse the best travel card games on Amazon.


Have you ever played these versions of these games? What’s your favorite game to play on vacation?




The classic board games that you love have been redesigned into fantastic family vacation travel games.      The classic board games that you love have been redesigned into fantastic family vacation travel games.



*this post contains affiliate links

7 Canadian Slang Words That Aren’t “Eh?”

Canadian slang is not something I expected to pick up when I moved to BC. But more than once the Canadian slang terms I ran into completely threw me for a loop. And often as not, my southern slang confused my Canadian friends, as well. Here’s a list of Canadian slang words and phrases that I learned while in British Columbia.


A list of Canadian slang words and their meanings.


Canadian Slang Words That Confused Me


1. Appy


“Hey, we should grab some drinks and appys sometime.”


The first time someone mentioned going out for drinks and appys I had no idea what they meant. My deep Grey’s Anatomy knowledge stepped in but it seemed unlikely that Canadians routinely go out for a drinks and appendectomies. I even googled it and came up short.


Appy means appetizer. Ahhhhhh. It makes so much sense now but none when I first heard it.


2. Gong Show


“Oh man, went to the game last night and it was a total Gong Show.”


Thankfully, my old friend context clues helped me figure out the meaning of this Canadian slang phrase pretty quickly. Basically, it means that something was a disaster.


3. Homo Milk


“Hey hon, can you pick up some homo milk on the way home?”


I am being dead serious right now, homo milk is real-life Canadian slang. It’s short for “homogenized milk” but it actually means what we in the states call whole milk. In other words, full fat milk.


4. Toque

Pronouned “tuke”.


“It’s getting cold out there, don’t forget your toque.”


My what now? Oh, my hat. Okay. Toques are knit caps, the kind that you wear in the winter. Where I’m from we just call them hats or sometimes beanies. Toque was news to me.


5. Rubbers


“Mom, have you seen my rubber?”


Your who do what?! Oh, your ponytail holders. Okay. This is acceptable. Rubber means something different in my neck of the woods…


6. Runners


“Grab your runners, we’re heading to the park.”


Again, this one made sense after the fact but it was foreign to my ears in the beginning. We say tennis shoes where I’m from. Which is probably weirder because no one’s playing tennis. But still. It’s my normal.


7. Zed


I still hold that this one is strange. Zed is the name of the letter “z”. Letters shouldn’t have two constant sounds. Can I get an amen? They just shouldn’t. You can’t call a “b” a “bed”. It’s weird. Double U is the exception.


Would you have gotten any of those right if you were guessing? I’m not the first person to be amused by Canadian slang. You kind find several books on Amazon devoted to the subject. And check out this Buzzfeed video below where Americans try to guess Canadian slang.




Southern Slang that Confused my Canadian Friends


Once in awhile I made my Canadian friends furrow their brow when I spoke southern. Here are a couple of southern slang instances that I remember.




“Holy crap, there were bookoodles of homeschoolers in there.”


I had no idea that this slang had southern origins until my Canadian friends looked at me like I was crazy. It means “a lot of something” and apparently is derived from the French “beaucoup”.


Snaggle Tooth


“Susie lost another tooth last night and now she has the most adorable snaggle tooth.”


I was shocked – SHOCKED – that my Canadian friend didn’t know the phrase “snaggle tooth”. It’s that adorable smile that little kids have when their teeth start falling out.


Test your southern slang knowledge with this hilarious Buzzfeed video where yankees try to guess southern slang.




And the list of Canadian slang words and their meanings could go on and on, I’m sure. What would you add?


Any other slang that you’ve run into around the country (or world) that confused you?



A funny list of Canadian slang words and their meanings.




My Favorite Indian Soda

I’m no junk food connoisseur. But I feel like I need to tell you about two things today. My favorite Indian soda and the magic that is fresh lime soda.


Junk food around the world


Whenever you travel to another part of the world you’re always in store for some huge cultural differences. But sometimes it’s the little things that are the most fun. Namely – different varieties of snacks and junk food.


For example, in America we have Doritos and in India they have Cornitos.




Many people travel all over the globe for new food experiences. From the disgusting to the divine, people seek out foreign food encounters. Well, I’m here to say – don’t skip the snack aisle! A country’s snacks are a part of its culture, make sure you experience it. :)


TIP: pretty much all Indian snack foods are veg. Which is the hip Asian way of saying vegetarian.


You can find many Indian snack foods online. If you’re not heading abroad soon but are curious, check out Indian veg snacks on Amazon.


Indian Soda


Now, there are several kinds of soda in India that you won’t find on the aisles of an American grocery store. But my favorite is …NIMBOOZ!



Nimbooz - My favorite Indian Soda


Now, I know what you’re thinking – Oh … another lemon soda. I get it. Most lemon-lime sodas are pretty interchangeable. But not this one.


What makes Nimbooz different is, in addition to fresh lemon juice, it has just the tiniest tang of salt.


Sounds, weird, I know. But salt is a flavor enhancer and there’s something magical about the balance of salty and sweet. Trust me.


TIP: There are actually two varieties of Nimbooz. 7Up Nimbooz and 7Up Nimbooz Masala Soda.


The masala soda is carbonated and the regular Nimbooz is not. Believe me, it’s an important distinction. The first time I tried Nimbooz I bought the carbonated one and I fell in love with it. The next several times I purchased regular Nimbooz and I kept thinking they had gone flat. There’s not a great difference between the packaging so make sure it says “masala soda” on the bottle.


And if you’re in a restaurant, scan the menu for Nimboozes fancier cousin, the delight that is fresh lime soda.


Fresh Lime Soda in India


Fresh lime soda - a popular Indian drink.


We have found fresh lime soda available all over India and we pretty much always order it if we get the chance. It’s a combination of fresh lime juice and carbonated water. It comes in three varieties – sweet, salty, and mixed. Get it mixed!


The first time my husband ordered a salty and sweet mixed lime soda I had very big doubts. I really thought it would be gross. But after sampling his, that’s how I’ve ordered mine ever since.


Have you ever had Nimbooz or fresh lime soda? What’s your favorite foreign junk food?


Pin it!

Fresh lime soda - a treat not to miss while in India. My favorite Indian soda - and why you should try junkfood from around the world.


Planning a trip to India soon? Check out booking.com for affordable places to stay.




An Agoda Review – A Booking Debacle Redeemed

An Agoda review – My experience booking with Agoda for the first time.


Agoda is a hotel booking website that you may not have heard of. It is a part of the Priceline Group that includes other reputable sites like booking.com and priceline.com.


I wasn’t sure what to expect when using Agoda for the first time. I had a lot of questions. Is Agoda safe? Is it legit? After doing some research I found it recommended as the best place to book Asian destinations. So for our trip to Sri Lanka I gave it a try.


Why you should book your Asian stay with Agoda.



I booked two locations in Sri Lanka. We were flying into Colombo airport late so for our first night in country I booked a stay in Colombo.


There are many kinds of accommodations available.


Hotels, guest houses, and everything in between. We stayed in a lovely apartment for our first night. It was in a secure apartment complex and was really outstanding. Three bedrooms and fully furnished, we wanted to move in and stay!


Booking with Agoda

Our very large apartment in Colombo.


Honestly, I was so relieved. It’s so hard to book online for a location you’re not familiar with. Am I booking in a good neighborhood? Will this place actually be big enough? Clean enough? Etc.


So the next day, satisfied and well-rested, we headed off to our final destination.


Then The Unthinkable Happened


How Agoda handled out booking debacle and why I'd use them again.


We’re sitting in a taxi after a scenic two hour trip further south into the country. We pull over to the side of the road and call the place where we’re booked to stay for the next three nights, hoping they can give our driver more detailed directions.


And to our shock, we’re told that the lovely little villa we booked and paid for two months in advance is closed for renovations.


To say we were stunned is an understatement. I spent about 30 minutes with my heart in my stomach. Thankfully our taxi driver came to our rescue. He took us to his friend’s brand new guesthouse on the beach where we ended up staying for a surprisingly reasonable cost.


TIP: Always call to confirm reservations!


Now, I don’t blame Agoda for this at all. If anything, I blame myself. I did not call and confirm our reservations closer to our arrival time. I’ve definitely learned my lesson!


Agoda’s Customer Service


Here’s where Agoda jumped in and really impressed me. I contacted them as soon as we were settled and explained what had happened. They responded very quickly and were extremely apologetic.


Within a few days we had received a reimbursement for the original three night stay we had booked PLUS an extra night’s stay just for our trouble.


I was so pleased by how fast and attentive they were with addressing the whole debacle.


Would I book with Agoda again? Absolutely. Despite what could have been a disastrous situation, they made me feel respected and taken care of. I’ll definitely be using them again in the future.



Have you ever booked a stay with Agoda?


Have you ever had your travel plans turned upside down?


*post contains affiliate links

Visiting India as told by Friends

If you’re an expat who has spent some time in India, you should be able to relate to at least a few of these.


Hilarious Friends gifs about what it's like to visit India.



1. When you try to learn Hindi .




2. When you don’t like the food but you don’t want to offend your Indian host.




3. The first time you see a squatty potty.




4. When someone has sprayed the entire toilet and floor with water.




5. When the power keeps going out.





6. When Indians meet your children.




7. When men urinate in public.




8. When you try to hang at a Hindu wedding.




9. When you ride an overnight train for the first time.




10. When you don’t understand Indian sense of humor.




11. When you catch a whiff of someone standing next to you on the bus.




12. When you sit down to any Indian meal ever.




13. When you find real cheese.




14. When you don’t understand local idioms.




15. When you see an empty seat on the bus.




16. When you actually understand what someone says in Hindi.




17. When you take a taxi.




18. When the food was a little spicier than anticipated.




19. When someone visits from home with goodies.




20. When you master the squatty potty.




21. When you’re in a crowded bazaar.




22. When you buy a pound of jalebi and it’s gone in 24 hours.




23. Whenever there’s a Hindu holiday or festival.




24. When you surprise yourself by really liking a dish.




25. When you return home after your time abroad.




I love India and all of her enchanting, controlled chaos. But it’s a lot to process the first time you visit!


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Cultural Differences between the US and India

There are many cultural differences between the US and India. Countless, really. And let me tell you, culture clash is a very real thing.


And usually I like to think I’m pretty level headed about cultural differences. Normally I arrive pretty quickly at “this isn’t wrong, it’s just different”.


Culture clash - An example from India.

For example, in East Indian Culture


  • -They use sprayers instead of toilet paper.
  • -Often times toilets are the “squat” variety.
  • -They eat with their hands.
  • -There are cows in the street.
  • -Men often pee in public (though turned away from the crowd).
  • -Married women wear gold jewelry.
  • -Shoes are taken off when entering a home.
  • -Driving is on the left side of the road and done aggressively.
  • -Tea time is strictly followed.
  • -Most food is veg.


And the list could go on and on. I’m totally okay with all of the above. I like to think I’m an adaptable person.


And of course, there is a lot of diversity in India and I’m painting with some broad strokes. You would have to write and read many books to cover all the many customs in India. In fact, if you’re heading to India I highly recommend buying the book Culture Shock! India. It’s available in paperback and kindle versions.



Gift Giving Etiquette


Only one thing has bothered me about Indian culture so far. This past Christmas I realized how much I prize my American customs involving gifts.


We had stayed in one place for several months and had a house helper and a watchman. I love to crochet, btw. In particular, I love to crochet beautiful, colorful, intricate doilies (because I’m an old lady at heart).




So for Christmas I put a lot of time and effort to make a doily for my house helper and our watchman’s wife.


Culture Clash 1:

Indians do not open gifts in front of you. If you present them with a wrapped gift, they will say thank you and put it away for later. This squashes the American love of watching someone open a gift and see their reaction to it.
I truly expected them to open the gift when I gave it to them!


Culture Clash 2:

Not only will they not open a gift in front of you, they will not mention it later. In America, if the gift-giver was not present for the gift-opening the giftee will make a big deal out of it the next time they see the gifter.


Thank you so much! It was beautiful! I love it!


So when they didn’t open the gift I assumed they’d bring it up later. I was wrong.


I don’t pretend to understand the reasons for this in Indian culture and I tried very hard to be rational about it but at the end of the day my American heart took over and I was confused and disappointed.


It’s just one of those culture clashes. I’ll never know if they loved the thing that I put so much work into. I can assume they did. I asked an Indian friend about it later and she laughed and said yes, they would never mention it but they would cherish it in their hearts. I hope so!


Have you ever run into a cultural difference that you had a hard time with?


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