Archive for the ‘girls getaways’ Category

Bicycling Through Bhutan

 

 

bhutan temple

Lungchutse Monastery, Bhutan

 

 

We’re anxious to get ourselves to Bhutan as this country is one of the most majestic in the world. With intelligently controlled tourism, peaceful landscapes of rice fields and prayer flags, and ecologically minded communities, it’s very likely one of the most treasured places on earth. And, for those with a love of nature and outdoor adventure, Bhutan Bike & Hike Adventure from Grasshopper Adventures explores the Kingdom of Bhutan, perched on the southern Himalayas between Tibet and North India. A 10-day cycling and trekking itinerary showcases Bhutan’s unique culture, history and natural beauty while offering fun and rewarding challenges through a variety of active adventures. Accommodations are 3-star hotels/resorts, all meals are included, and there is no surcharge for single travelers.

 

bhutan trips

Bhutan’s Longest and Highest Suspension Bridge above the Pho River

 

Highlights of the Bhutan Bike & Hike Adventure include crossing the country’s longest and highest suspension footbridge stretching over 200 meters above the Pho River, trekking to the Lungchutse Monastery, meeting locals in the valley of Gangtey, exploring a number of ancient dzongs (including Punakha Dzong), touring a recently-opened craft brewery, and trekking to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery.

“Parts of the biking, which range from 15 km to 63 km rides, will be a challenging with mountain climbs and thrilling descents at altitude,” said Grasshopper Adventures President Adam Platt-Hepworth.  “But the effort is immensely rewarding with beautiful views and an adrenaline-fueled sense of personal achievement.”

 

bhutan outdoor adventures biking hiking

Bicycling in Bhutan

 

Aside from the absolute stunning natural scenery, the enduring image of Bhutan for most visitors is the strong sense of culture and tradition that binds the kingdom and clearly distinguishes it from its larger neighbors.  In South Asia, Bhutan ranks 1st in economic freedom, ease of doing business, and peace; 2nd in per capita income; and is the least corrupt country as of 2016.

Group sizes are limited to 14, Trek 4300 disc brake mountain bikes are provided, and

Prices start at a very reasonable $3,500/pp.

I’m in!

For more information:

https://www.grasshopperadventures.com 

 

Volunteers Rebuild Nepal, Brick by Brick

nepal travel

One year has passed since the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal in April last year. While Nepal is doing everything it can to recover and rebuild, the country is still in need of significant aid and resources.

In the aftermath of the earthquake, Projects Abroad initiated a Disaster Relief Project to assist with the recovery process. Since the project began in June 2015, hundreds of Projects Abroad volunteers have made incredible progress in helping with the organization’s goal of restoring a safe learning environment for children in the Kathmandu Valley. Currently volunteers’ efforts are focused on reconstructing Yashaswi Gurukul English Secondary School, the sixth Disaster Relief site to date. Their help has been invaluable.

volunteer nepal

When the work at Yashaswi Gurukul is completed, the new building will also serve another purpose. As aftershocks continue even nine months later, and the fear of another large-scale quake remains, the school building will be able to serve as a safe gathering space for the local community, in case of further disaster. Projects Abroad staff estimate that work at this site will conclude in the next month or so, and then volunteers will move on to the next site where they are desperately needed.

Projects Abroad has made a commitment, not only through Disaster Relief but also through Teaching and Care Projects, to restore stability to the education of young students. In working with dedicated local experts and volunteers, the organization is striving to get Nepalese communities back on their feet, brick by brick!

For more information on how to get involved yourself with Disaster Relief work in Nepal, have a look here:

www.projects-abroad.org/volunteer-projects/building/disaster-relief/volunteer-nepal

 

Experience Queensland at Its Best

Brisbane

Brisbane

The Land Down Under certainly offers countless explorations and possibilities, and Queensland is becoming particularly interesting to numerous globetrotters. Some of them are eager to see a whole different culture from the most distant part of the world whereas some others are searching for the adrenaline rush and different adventures related to the ocean. No matter what, Queensland is definitely a very desirable destination for anyone who cherishes exciting vacations and natural wonders. Here are some top destinations everyone should visit. Enjoy!

Brisbane

Being the third largest city in Australia, Brisbane indeed has very much to offer. Some of the top places are City Botanic Gardens and Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, which is one of the top ten zoos in the world. As its name says, it features the largest number of koalas in the world. This zoo also offers tourists the option to be a “keeper for a day” – to take care of all the animals and interact with them. On the other hand, the City Botanic Gardens is the most amazing place to relax. Take a long walk and learn about its history, or just sit and relax in one of the garden’s shaded areas. For the best view of the city, visit Mount Coot-tha Lookout. It offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the whole city as far as Moreton Bay.

Gold Coast

Gold Coast

Gold Coast

Gold Coast and Surfers’ Paradise are known as true havens for surfers all over the globe. 70 magnificent kilometres of fabulous beaches, together with four point breaks, are the main reasons for that claim. These are appropriate for both beginners and professional surfers – there are limitless possibilities for everyone! If surfing is too extreme – try Zorbing! This activity consists of basically riding down a massive hill in a huge transparent ball, which is appropriate for kids as well.

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

Being the largest living structure on Earth, the Great Barrier Reef can even be seen from outer space! It is composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands, which make this structure very impressive. Its crystal clear waters and incredible diversity of sea life are the main reasons for numerous people from all over the globe to explore it. Scuba diving is definitely a must, simply because it allows visitors to see interesting underwater creatures and the rich sea life first-hand.

Noosa Biosphere

Noosa Biosphere

Noosa Biosphere

The hills and valleys that surround Noosa are just perfect place for a spiritual retreat in the Land Down Under. It offers unforgettable sunrises and sunsets, which contribute to the overall feeling of blessedness. Its diverse wildlife makes it perfect for a getaway from the everyday life, which largely contributes to mind, body, and spirit rejuvenation. Numerous spa treatments here are very refreshing and relaxing, and they will definitely pay off.

Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island

This fantastic island is best known for its exquisite beaches, and the best way to explore it is to go sailing and snorkelling on a catamaran. The gem of this island is certainly Whitehaven Beach, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It is secluded and everyone will be stunned with the peaceful simplicity of this gorgeous place. White sand and a turquoise sea will make everyone feel at peace.

Harvey Bay

Harvey Bay

Harvey Bay

This place is certainly unique for one good reason – humpback whales come to it regularly to play and enjoy themselves! This is exactly why tourists love visiting it – such a fabulous experience should not be missed. Experience the marine life at its finest by booking a tour that seems the most interesting to you. Experienced guides will provide a breathtaking adventure by getting as close as possible to these marvelous creatures. Of course, what is very important, neither the whales nor the tourists will be in danger.

A trip to Queensland definitely means making memories that lasts a lifetime, everyone should know that. It is up to you to choose what type of destination you would like to explore. Queensland indeed has it all, and you will certainly not regret if you decide on visiting it.

By: Nicole Noel

Nicole Noel is an avid traveller. She enjoys discovering different cultures, exploring new things, and sharing her ideas with others. You can find her on twitter and FB.

In Need of a Zen Retreat? Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, the Oldest Zen Monastery in the US, is Your Spot

A Yurt on the Tassajara Grounds

A Yurt on the Tassajara Grounds (c) David Silva

We have a thing for yurts. And, when you take a yurt and throw in some yoga, tasty vegetarian cuisine, and coursework with spiritual leaders helping you on the pathway to mindful living, what’s not to dig? To that end, every year, most people don’t know that the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center opens its doors to the general public for an annual guest season from May 1 – September 14, 2014. Zen and meditation seekers, yoga lovers, artisan foodies, and everyday people looking to unplug and rejuvenate are invited to experience a truly serene environment at Tassajara, the most remote and oldest Zen monastery in the United States, located 25 miles southeast of Big Sur, CA.
The Stone Room

The Stone Room (c) Ben Guevara

For the 2014 guest season, the Tassajara Program Schedule 2014 will offer up retreats in six specialty areas, all led by some of today’s leading teachers: Body and Mind, Mindful Living, Creative Expression, Engaging Earth, Spiritual Practice, and Zen Study & Practice.
Fine vegetarian cuisine

Fine vegetarian cuisine (c) Margo Moritz

This includes sessions/retreats that focus on all or some of the following: yoga, healing, culinary arts, and reawakening your wellspring of creative action by letting gifted artists help you become more open, confident, daring through words, movement, sounds, images, or the surprisingly powerful traditional ink brush.
Calligraphy (c) Mitsue Nagase

Calligraphy  retreat (c) Mitsue Nagase

Standout retreat leaders for the 2014 guest season include Zoketsu Norman Fischer (Poet, Author, Zen Buddhist Priest), Jane Hirshfield (Internationally Renowned Poet), Dale Kent (Author, Tassajara: Dinner and Desserts), Andrew Mellen (Author, More Love, Less Stuff), Marc Lesser (Google Meditation Workshops, CEO of Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute), Sessei Meg Levie (Google Meditation Workshops, Zen Buddhist Priest and Life Coach), Janet Stone (Celebrity Vinyasa Yoga Instructor), Donald Moyer (Founding Director, The Yoga Room, Berkeley, CA), and many others.
So go zen, mini-gurus.
 
Weekend rates for shared dorms start at $121 and private cabins and yurts from $267.

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