Category Archives: Travel

São Paulo, Brazil Travel Guide

São Paulo is the Southern Hemisphere’s most populous city and one of the planet’s biggest. It was once a missionary outpost, but it is today the cultural and economic powerhouse of the country. The city is fondly called Sampa and the locals call themselves Paulistano. Carnival, soccer, and strong coffee name cafezinho bring out their passion.

Although São Paulo may not have the type of beaches, you will find in Rio, it compensates for it in culture. It is a creative and energetic city where you can taste the flavor from different parts of the world and enjoy the cool escape of the museums. Because of its incomprehensibly big size, it is great to start from the beginning of the city’s history.

The Parque do Estado botanical gardens preserve some of the Atlantic Rainforest that once covered Brazilian Coast. When the Portuguese arrived, they transformed the landscape. At the Pátio do Colégio, stand on the same spot where São Paulo was founded in 1554. Their main church is the Metropolitan Cathedral which features a Renaissance dome modeled after the Cathedral of Florence in Italy.

In the 17th century, this city grew exponentially thanks to the gold rush that attracted a lot of miners to the region. Then came African slaves who worked on the coffee and sugarcane plantations. More Europeans were attracted to the city in the 19th century while the 20th century saw many Japanese coming in. This made Brazil a melting point of cultures which is now the pulsing engine that drives the country’s economy.

Centro is the city’s oldest district and has been home to the largest Stock Exchange in Latin America since 1890. Avenida Paulista is three miles to the south of the city. It was built on the first coffee baron’s wealth. As one of the main thoroughfares of the city and the financial artery of the country, this boulevard pulses with the energy of about 1.5 million pedestrians every day.

Besides investing in the country’s financial economy, it also helps to boost its creative economy. This makes São Paulo one of the most exciting cultural hubs in Brazil. The Avenida Paulista is also home to the São Paulo Museum of Art. It has various collections of paintings by European masters including Picasso, Raphael, and Van Gogh as well as the country’s leading artists.

At the Banco do Brazil, creativity and finance go hand in hand. It is a historic financial institution that hosts one of the most prominent cultural centers in São Paulo. Mercado Municipal is a great place to experience some of the best Brazil culinary cultures. It features delicious displays of meats, cheeses, and home-grown fruits as well as other local specialties.

How to Pack Smart When Traveling

I traveled to 11 different places last year; I think it’s safe to say I have really learned how to pack smart and how to pack effectively when traveling to different places. Here are some tips and tricks for you to learn how to pack smart and effective.

Bag in a Bag
When I travel places, I am the type of person who likes to buy things and I want to buy the souvenirs and the chocolates like everybody else. But you definitely don’t want to just leave room in your suitcase for what you may or may not buy. So what I recommend is a bag packing a bag, this bag in the bag should be made of a thin material. So it’s easily collapsible and doesn’t take up much room. You can put it in the lining of your suitcase and zip it up and if you buy stuff you weren’t planning on or it’s bigger than you thought you have an extra bag you can use.

Packing Cubes
Packing cubes have been a game-changer for me. I’ve heard people talk about packing cubes for a long time but I felt it was unnecessary and I don’t need it. Last year when I traveled to Estonia and Sweden, I used some for the first time and I could pack two weeks’ worth of clothing in a carry-on sized suitcase and it’s because of the packing cubes.

Another classic mistake most travelers do is folding their clothes. Folding takes up so much room in your suitcase and increases all your clothes. The best thing you can do is roll your clothes and put them in the packing cubes.

Dirty Clothes Bag
In order to keep things organized, clean, and smelling nice I recommend a dirty clothes bag and this doesn’t have to be a huge bag. That way when you are at your destination you have a spot to put your dirty underwear, your dirty socks, your muddy shoes, or whatever it is that you use, and it got really dirty. You just take the dirty clothes and put it in the dirty clothes bag so that way everything separated.

Color Coordinating
Color coordinating is the key factor in packing light and this is most important with shoes and coats. If you are going somewhere and you don’t have a lot of room in your bag, then you need to prioritize by color coordinating your outfits together. I tend to stick around colors like brown, black, white, and gray – all four of those colors tend to go well together. Obviously, you create your own color scheme if you are not as boring as I am.

Stuff Shoes
If you are running out of room in your suitcase and you have these little things that are taking up room like socks, underwear, jewelry – you can put them in your shoes. There’s a bunch of room in each pair of shoes that is not being used. I recommend that you use it with anything you have lying around your suitcase.

5 Coolest Things to Do in Morocco

Morocco is one of the loveliest countries in the world and a mixing pot of African, Arabian and European culture. The influx of these influences is due to the convenient location of this North African country in the coasts of Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Friends of mine who own Zone Garage Calgary made a trip across the ocean recently and helped me put together these amazing sites to see. If you’re planning to visit Morocco, you’ll surely have the time of your life so go ahead and include this list to your itinerary.

Chefchaouen may be a little hard to pronounce but we’re pretty sure you have seen a photo or two of its famous blue streets. Its cobbled streets are lined with buildings of different shades of blue, and adding to this picturesque view is the blue outline of mountains peaking in between buildings. The blue color actually has a deeper spiritual meaning to it. The blue paint that is a mirror of the cloudless blue sky is a symbol of God’s sovereign power, and even if Muslim is predominant in the area, because of tradition, everyone is still painting fresh blue paint on their houses.

What better way to immerse yourself in Moroccan culture than immersing the steamy waters of a hammam. A traditional hammam is a social activity for Moroccans with a chance to bathe and gossip which was a favorite pastime of the locals before. If you’re not comfortable in sharing a public bath, head to one of the more luxurious hammams to pamper and soothe your soul.

The chaotic but colorful world of urban souks are the best place to see the arts and crafts of locals. The labyrinth of a bazaar is a fun place to hone your haggling skills to buy a hand woven fabric, colorful carpets, or trinkets for a loved one back home. Your ultimate endurance will be put to the test with ingenious sales tactics, it’s quite exhausting but rewarding if you finally get the best deals for your chosen souvenirs.


Erg Chubbi Dunes has got to be a world-famous one because it’s an actual site for Hollywood movies and is the best place to enjoy a 4×4 tour or a camel safari. In a sea of sand, you can enjoy the wonders of nature especially the rising and setting of the sun; it magnifies the ochre-ness of the desert into a surreal landscape. At night, the desert is the best place to just watch the sparkling diamonds in the sky because light pollution is less giving way to clearer and incessant glitter of constellations.

Legzira Beach is home to the infamous red stone arch and its gorgeous red cliffs. There used to be two but one of them collapsed to the sea. Chill for a day at the beach and wait until sunset where everything just looks like a part of a postcard and the rocky cliffs shines a blazing red. This lazy surf town is also charming with its hillside cafes and foody stops.

Top 10 Must See Attractions in Budapest City

There is a lot to say about this city so here are the top 10 things to do and see in Budapest.

Hero Square

For the 10th attraction scroll down under SE Avenue into hero square. Visit the old and new art museums which flank the sides of the square and see why Budapest is often referred to as the Paris of the east.

Vasta Street

Scroll down the street of Vatsa and enjoy the lovely architecture towering over you. This street used to be where the rich and famous of Hungary went shopping but recently has been flooded with tourists. Shop at designer boutiques or if you prefer to have an espresso at a cafe and just people watch.

Hungarian Parliament

This impressive building is resting along the Danube and is a worthy example of European neo-gothic architecture. Opened in 1896, this huge building has 691 rooms and 20 kilometers of stairs. Make sure to see the crown jewels before you move on to your next attraction.

The Chain Bridge

This is the first permanent bridge to connect Buda and Pest and at the time of its construction was considered one of the wonders of the world. The original bridge was destroyed by the retreating Germans in 1945 and was reconstructed in 1949. It is guarded on either side by lion statues. The bridge will lead you to the castle hill funicular or to Clark Adams square. My tip is to make sure you see the bridge at night as the illuminated bridge is even more beautiful after dark.

Budapest Opera House

You can visit one of the most famous music houses in Europe – Budapest Opera House. It is considered being the third best acoustic opera in Europe. Take one of the tours that’s offered every day at 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. in several languages.

Shop and Eat at the Central Market Hall

This is a massive indoor market in the city’s heart. This is a great place to find fresh ingredients and famous Hungarian products like paprika. Ready-to-eat food is located on the market 2nd floor among other stalls selling clothing handcrafted chess boards and other souvenirs. If you fancy yourself a sausage aficionado, visit the market on a Friday or Saturday where you’ll celebrate international gastro day.

Budapest City Park

This park is not only the largest in the city but it was the first public park in the world. Here you will find trees, green grass, a lake, and a Transylvanian like castle. If you are visiting in the winter, the castles artificial moat is converted into a skating rink.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

This is the largest Cathedral in Hungary and it is named after the first Hungarian King. You can still see his mummified hand next to the altar. The church is a nice example of neoclassical and Neill Renaissance architecture. Its 93 meters of height is the same as Parliament’s, representing the balance between church and state. You can pay the tiny fee to climb the tower and see a panoramic view of the city.

Turkish Baths

If you are feeling tired, then it’s time for the second attraction. Budapest is packed with classic Turkish baths that date back to the 16th century. These thermal baths are a great way to warm up and recharge your batteries. I recommend Gellert Baths and Art Nouveau style baths with both swimming pools spas and curly baths.