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5 Thoughts, Blog

Guest Post: 5 Thoughts – Florence

Hi Travel Junkies,

Today I want to introduce you to Preedee Chenhansa, an avid traveler and longtime reader of 10xT. Preedee sent me a wonderful “5 Thoughts” piece after a recent trip to Italy that was too good not to share with the rest of the 10xT community.

So I asked him to share it with all of you here on the blog, complete with a few amazing photos.

Take it away, Preedee.

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Florence is my favorite city in Italy and I don’t mind going back there year after year, even if I haven’t explored other cities in the country. Florence is one of those charming cities that simply puts a smile on my face, similar to Portland, Oregon. I have nothing but good memories from there. Here are my 5 thoughts of Florence:

 

FlorenceItaly6

1. Florence is underrated when compared to Rome and Venice – Florence doesn’t have the same name recognition as Rome, Venice, and Milan. Rome has The Colosseum, Venice has the famous canals, and Milan is known as one of the fashion capitals of the world. But what comes to mind when you think Florence? Before I visited Florence, I had no idea what to expect. Now, I think of a big town (not to be mistaken with being a small city) with lots of culture, great food, beautiful sites, and deep Italian history. I’ve spent time in Florence both by myself in hostels and with friends, both of which were very positive experiences, so it’s great for solo travelers, as a couple, or in a group. Continue Reading

5 Thoughts, Blog

5 Thoughts: Vienna

I had the pleasure of visiting Vienna for a couple days in February of 2016 on a trip to Central Europe.

(Here’s how I was able to do it for next to nothing using points/miles)

Here are 5 thoughts I had after my trip.

Vienna1

1) Compared to other major European cities, Vienna is just “Ok”

Vienna checks all the boxes that make for a fantastic place to visit. History, culture, food (more on this later), museums, activities, etc.

The problem is that Vienna is not particularly notable for any of these things. It’s just “ok” at all of them. Which makes for an experience that is best described as “just ok”.

Sure, there are a ton of museums in Vienna. But none of them contain any can’t-miss works of art or historical artifacts. Continue Reading

5 Thoughts, Blog

5 Thoughts: Barcelona

I had the pleasure of visiting Barcelona for a few days on a trip to the Iberian Peninsula in January 2016.

(Here’s how I was able to do it for next to nothing using points/miles)

BarcelonaIG

Here are 5 thoughts I had after my trip:

 

1) Barcelona is Not the “Spain” That You Pictured

Yes, Barcelona is a City within the Kingdom of Spain.

But spend more than 10 minutes there and you’ll realize that Barcelona is far different from the rest of the country, and from what most people imagine “Spain” to look and feel like.

Barcelona2

Barcelona isn’t the flamenco dancing, bull fighting, colorful/vibrant culture that you’ll find in other parts of the country (although you can find touristy versions of these everywhere). Continue Reading

5 Thoughts, Blog

5 Thoughts: Amsterdam

My wife and I had the pleasure of visiting Amsterdam for a quick weekend trip this past February.

Here are 5 thoughts I had after my trip.

Bryce in Amsterdam1) Amsterdam is pretty small

Amsterdam feels more like a town than a city, and can easily be done in a weekend or as a stopover between two other major destinations if needed. I spent only a 2 days in the city and easily was able to see everything that I cared to see.

Amsterdam city is incredibly easy to navigate, very walkable (if you’re paying attention to the bicycle traffic), and quite compact.

Which means that unlike the New Yorks and Londons of the world, you don’t have to worry about paying top dollar to stay in the more trendy neighborhoods of the city. Anywhere should do just fine. Continue Reading

5 Thoughts, Blog

5 Thoughts – Cancun

Cancun View

Have you ever asked someone a simple question, only to receive a response with WAY too much information?

I used to live with someone who did this. Here’s how one of our conversations went a couple years ago.

Me: “So what is this Game of Thrones show about?”

Him: “Ok, so there are these families, right? And they all have kingdoms. The Lannisters, who are the ones with a golden lion on their flag, are enemies with the Stark family, who lives in the north and have a direwolf on their flag. Oh and the Lannisters control Kings Landing, which is pretty crucial. Oh and Jamie Lannister is called “The King Slayer” because he killed one of the kings he was supposed to protect, oh and they’re friends with House Tyrell, who…….. (10 minutes later)…..and that’s the basic overview”

Me: (pretending to have actually understood any of that) “…..cool. Thanks”

I was looking for a twitter-length synopsis of the show, and instead got a 10-minute overview of every character and plot twist.

Searching for travel advice is no different.

Google “Things to do in X city” and you’ll find dozens of complex travel guides, trip reports, and poorly written advice from people who have never even been to the city they are writing about.

(My favorite are the TripAdvisor reviews that go something like “My husband and I visited this place. It was nice”.)

The process is incredibly frustrating, and often creates more confusion than clarity.

I’m a big fan of keeping things simple. Which is why I am happy to introduce a new type of post on GFF called “5 Thoughts”.

5 Thoughts is exactly what the title indicates, 5 simple thoughts about a specific travel destination that I have visited.

No lists of “100 things to do in X city”, no attempts to sell you expensive travel packages, and no long-winded overviews of how you should spend every minute of your precious travel time.

Just 5 thoughts that went through my head while visiting a new place that might help you plan your own trip.

Let’s get to it.

Here are 5 thoughts I had after visiting Cancun, Mexico:

1. You don’t have to stay at an all-inclusive resort

When researching where to stay in Cancun the general consensus seemed to be that an all-inclusive resort was the way to go. Continue Reading