Travel Stories Week 42
What's your favourite place you have visited?
This is really an impossible question to answer but Antarctica is probably the one that takes that prize. It is such an amazing place to visit and it’s like no other place on the planet. It has glaciers, mountains, penguins, whales, seals….I really can’t stress enough how much of a treat it was to visit the seventh continent. It’s also an insanely expensive place to visit, even if you manage to find a last minute cruise…(more on that later). On top of the price of the cruise we said “Shut up and take my money” to the opportunity to go Kayaking amongst glaciers which was just surreal as you get to float right on the water with the glaciers which gives you a totally different perspective than looking down on them from the cruise ship. Penguins are also just as cute as you would imagine. You can get quite close to them (the rule is that you can only go within 3m but if they choose to come closer that’s allowed) and they are not afraid of humans at all.
If you would like to read more about Zen Travellers Antarctica trip follow this link
What’s the best thing you have seen while travelling?
One of my favourite experiences was diving off the island of San Cristobal in the Galapagos. One one of our dives a playful Sea Lion followed us around for our whole dive, darting in and out, coming right up to us and looking us in the eye, it was hilarious and just so cute! Also off San Cristobal, we dove at Kicker Rock which is famous for its sightings of Hammerhead Sharks, which was just an incredible experience. I've never dove somewhere with the variety of marine species as Galapagos so it was such a treat to dive there. The water in Galapagos was COLD though, we needed 7mm wetsuits and were freezing every time we came out…..but it was so worth it!
What’s your best travel story?
Going back to Antarctica, we had heard that you could find last minute cruises at a somewhat affordable rate if you went to Ushuaia (the southern most tip of Argentina) during the beginning of cruise season and you were flexible. That’s exactly what we did after finished up hiking the “O Trek” in Chilean Patagonia, with no plan and our fingers crossed that we could make something work.
We walked around town talking to different agencies and found prices as high as $15,000USD but managed to snag a deal on a still painful, $5,000USD last minute cruise. That seems like an awful lot of money (actually, it IS an awful lot of money), but others on our cruise were paying around $10,000-$15,000USD for the same experience. The only challenge was that we had to figure out a way to pay the $10,000USD for the two of us to go on the cruise. They of course, didn’t take credit card, and Argentina’s ATMs are ridiculous as they only allow you to take out a couple hundred dollars at a time for a $10 fee. I had calculated it would take us 57 withdrawals if we had to go the ATM route, not great!
We called our bank on Skype and asked about a wire transfer but even after being escalated to managers they weren’t able to authorize a wire transfer unless I came into the branch itself. Not exactly possible when I’m in Ushuaia and my bank is in Canada. Yup, Canadian banks suck.
Our solution? I called my parents and said “I don’t suppose you have $10,000USD sitting around in your bank account and could wire it to a bank in Argentina…..I’ll pay you back, I swear.” They thankfully were able to do it (and I did pay them back, plus a little extra to go buy a bottle of Argentinian wine)….but that’s the story of how my parents paid for our Antarctic Cruise!
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We started our blog as a hobby to share some of our travel adventures and photographs. We really enjoy spending time in the outdoors whether that’s hiking, biking, cycling, scuba diving, etc, so a lot of our posts are about adventure travel. Now that we’re on a 14 month trip around the world we’ve been sharing our adventures as well as using it as a platform to encourage people to make small adjustments to travel responsibly and more sustainable.
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