Josi is wearing the Spring 13 Evoke Top in Ocean Stripe (OSP13-551A-2) and the Gypsy Rose Tank in Heather Cherry Bomb (OSP13-1068-1)
Photo Credit : www.noelfox.com
From Bocas Del Toro To Mal Pais, Costa Rica
Needless to say that the bus ride from Panama city to Bocas Del Toro was long and exhausting. It was all fun and games at the beginning and after a few checkpoints in the middle of the night and the AC cranked, I started to feel a little bit under the weather. I gathered all my energy and dragged my suitcase to the water taxi that brings you from the mainland to the islands of Bocas Del Toro. First stop Isla Colon. I have to say that it was a bit underwhelming at first, mostly because of the colder weather and grey skies. Once we arrived at our bed and breakfast, we started to experience the relaxed vibe of the island and got to enjoy the amazing view from the patio of the hotel. Most hotels and guest houses are built on stilts and sit right on top of the ocean, which makes for amazing scenery and a calming sound at night.
The Bocas del Toro Archipelago is a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea and the beauty is that you can go from one island to the next by water taxi for only a few dollars.
The highlight of Bocas Del Toro for me was Playa Estrellitas, which is famous for the numbers of starfish you can see while swimming. A 45 minute bus ride through some remote villages brings you close by. You then have the choice to walk along the ocean for 15 minutes or to catch a water taxi to get to the best spot. We opted for the boat for a few more dollars. They also bring you to Bird Island, which is gorgeous. Playa Estrellitas offers beautiful turquoise water to swim in amongst the starfish, great tropical drinks and delicious seafood. I had the most delicious dinner at a little white shack on the beach. I ordered the prawns which were served with a tasty tomato, garlic and pepper salsa, a side of coconut rice, a fresh salad and patacones (Green plantain chips). The whole meal cost only $10 and was tastier than some of the meals I have had at fancier restaurants back home.
Our main goal of going to Bocas was to surf and after a few days of island hopping and sunbathing with no waves in sight, we decided to depart early for our next destination: Mal Pais, Costa Rica. This is not a new destination for us, in fact it feels like home. I believe that the best thing about Mal Pais is the fact that it is quite, remote and still feels unspoiled. You can fly for a reasonable price from San Jose to Tambor which is quite close to Mal Pais. The 30-minute plane ride allows you to see all the greenery of the landscape and you get to enjoy an unconventional landing. The airstrip was carved out of the jungle right next to the ocean. When you feel the plane land on the gravel road, you automatically know that you are away from the beaten path.
As I jumped off the plane, I knew that the cold I started to feel a few days before was coming back in full force and that I would be out of commission for a while. Still, I was able to go for a few surfs and learn how to duck dive my brand new shortboard. Stocked! Other than that, my daily activities consist of a swimming in the ocean, laying in a hammock, consuming as much tropical fruits and spicy food as I can and drinking water...lots and lots of water. I am determined to shake this virus off and I will.
Not sure what to have for dinner?
Think home made pizza! Pizza is the perfect food to make you feel like you’ve transported into another culture. With its rich sauce and gooey cheese, the perfect pizza is warm, comforting and best of all – it can be shared with people you love. Making pizza is not only a great family activity but it can be the perfect date night in.
When in Rouen, France a must-see is the “Le Gros Horloge” or The Big Clock. It is a beautifully ornate astronomical clock from the early 16th century that should not be missed!
(Image from http://allthingseurope.tumblr.com)
Josi is wearing the Spring 13 Etched Waterproof Zip Jacket in Grape Soda (OSP13-102C-1)
Photo Credit : www.noelfox.com
Our world adventure has begun!
This trip has been in the works for more than a year now. At the time, Noel and I were dating when we came across this opportunity of bidding on a pair of business class around the world tickets from a charity auction. It was for a good cause, they were raising money for a woman who had been hit by a drunk driver. We couldn't attend the event, but our friend was bidding for us over the phone. The whole thing went so quickly. A few minutes later, our friend was informing us that we had won the bid. Noel looked at me and said: "this will be our honeymoon". I looked at him, smiled and thought to myself, Yeah Right!
Not long after, Noel proposed to me and we tied the knot this past summer in Whistler. For a while, we weren't sure of the exact date of our honeymoon and since the summer is so nice in beautiful British Columbia, we decided to stick around and enjoy the sunshine. It was perfect really since it gave us time to go to Mexico for two weeks for a swimwear photo shoot/ surf trip, and prepare for this trip. It took a lot more preparation that I had envisioned, so we both ended up working a lot more than expected and the trip, even though it was coming quickly, seemed like it was never going to happen.
Noel's mom drove us to the airport and it is only when we sat down on the plane that it felt real!
We have been gone for 4 days now and it seems like it's already been forever. We briefly stopped in Vegas for a 12h layover and we had a blast! We landed at 4:45pm and left at 4:45am the next morning. Staying awake all night was definitely the call and it made for a sleepy plane ride on our way to Panama. I am always freezing on planes, so my new trick to get comfy is to bring a pair of Merino wool socks and a super cozy Orb hoodie.
It is the first time for both of us here in Panama and we didn't know what to expect at all. I was surprised to see how many high rises there are in the city and how tall they are. My guess is that the tallest is around 80 floors and the crazy thing is that it is right next to the ocean. The architecture of some of these new buildings is impressive.
The old part of the city: Casco Antiguo is beautiful and great fun to walk through. The old buildings now house government offices, churches, restaurants, stores and hotels. It definitely has a tourist vibe and at the same time it is vibrant with the locals presence. Casco Antiguo is on the other side of the bay from the downtown area and it makes for a bit of clashing scenery. While most of the government buildings are revamped and quite charming, the rest of the area is surrounded by dilapidated buildings and rough neighbourhoods.
What is kind of funny about Panama city is that whoever you ask about cool stuff to see or great places to eat, the answer is always the same: "The mall" They sure love their malls and as I love shopping, I was more than happy to go have a look. The fashion in Panama is very Caribbean oriented. You see a lot of flashy colours and short dresses. I have to say that Panamanian women in general put a lot of effort in their looks. While this is not necessary the fashion that we are used to in North America, I appreciated the importance they put on it. What I loved the most was the beautiful shades of lipstick. I found myself going back to my room a few times to put lipstick on. I was felt inspired and wanted to fit in!
Unfortunately, there is no real surfing right in the city, so after two days, we decided that it is time for us to move to our next destination: Bocas del Toro.
We could have flown there easily within 45 minutes but we decided that saving a few bucks by taking the bus was a great idea. It is an 11h bus ride! Ouch! In fact this is where I am writing this post at this very moment. I love going on bus rides in tropical places because it gives you time to reflect on what you've seen so far and plan your next adventure. That being said, the real reason why I like bus rides is that you get to bring snacks! And shopping for snacks in tropical places is the best!
First you get as much local food as you can: empenadas and locally made ham and cheese croissants are the best! Second you get to choose between all the sugary snacks from your youth and some that you never even heard of before! The labels are usually pretty awesome too, in a non American kind of way. Third is the drinking yogurt! I don't know why we don't carry more in our grocery stores back home in Canada, because they are purely delicious and they have all the fruit flavours that you can imagine. I have to say that the mango and passion fruit mix is my favourite so far.
My sugar rush is finally coming to an end so I will put my headphones on, listen to a audio book and pray for the bus driver's assistant to find the key for the bathroom which has been locked since we left the bus terminal a couple of hours ago:)
Meet Josi, one of our journey seekers. We will be following her exciting adventures during her 6 month trip around the world. Stay tuned for her weekly blog posts, beautiful photos, and exciting stories to come on our website. In the meantime, check out where she is travelling and get to know her through her insider interview! Josi is wearing the Spring 13 Gypsy Rose Tank in Heather Cherry Bomb (OSP13-1068-1) Photo Credit : www.noelfox.com
Who is Josi?: Snowboarder, surfer, yogi, adventurer and life lover.
Where are you from? I am originally from Montreal. I lived between Whistler, BC and Puerto Rico for a few years. When I am not travelling, I now call Vancouver home.
What is your favorite food? Sushi, fresh fruits, veggies and coconuts.
What do you love about traveling? Discovering new place and meeting new people.
What’s your most epic travel story? Traveling to the Canary Islands for a surf camp. That was my first experience ever surfing. I didn’t know anyone when I got there and didn’t bother doing research before going, so I was surprised to hear that everyone spoke Spanish and I didn’t speak any Spanish at the time :) It sure is the best way to learn another language when you are immersed in it. I met amazing people from all over the world and had a great time learning how to surf in the bright turquoise water. Most of the beaches were black from volcanic sand and the landscape was breathtaking and completely different from anything I had ever seen.
Which place has completely surprised you and why? Bali. First of all the people are so beautiful and friendly and also because there is so much to see. Between the beaches, surfing, temples, rice fields, monkeys, local art, etc. you are sure to come back rejuvenated.There is a special energy in Bali that I have never experienced anywhere else and I can’t wait to return.
What’s your favorite phrase in a foreign language? Ich liebe dich in German, which means I love you :)
What’s next on your bucket list? This journey around the world will bring me to places that I have always dreamt about going. New places for me are Panama, Argentina, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand and at the top of my list Tahiti.
What are you most excited to experience on your trip around the world? I am the most excited about going on a safari in South Africa. Seeing all of the wildlife from so close will be an experience of a lifetime.
How do you like to stay current in fashion and travel? I am lucky enough to work closely with a few Canadian based fashion clothing lines including Orb, so I always know what’s trending. For traveling, I usually find my inspiration through friends and people I meet along the way. A lot of my friends are great adventurers and I like to surround myself with people who like exploring and talking about their journeys. When it comes to traveling, I follow my heart.
What advice would you give to a new traveller? Pack all your favorite clothes and personal items and keep 1/3 of your suitcase for souvenirs. While traveling, you will come across super cool items that you will want to bring home. Many countries offer amazing local art that you might want to display in your home for memories of a life-time.
Spring 2013 will be available for everyone very soon! We are counting down the days...
Travel Contest Winner: Congratulations to Sarah Gillis! Sarah wins a $100 online shopping spree for orbclothing.ca to put towards an exciting travel outfit!
Thank-you to everyone who submitted entries!
Travel Contest Alert: Win a $100 online shopping spree! Just send us pictures, videos, or descriptions of your favorite garment pieces you take traveling to firstname.lastname@example.org or post on our wall.
Would it be a maxi dress, 2-in-1 tank, cotton T-shirt, quick dry shorts, worlds best cargos? Please tell us by Jan. 31st to enter to win!
New Pinterest Board! Check out New Year Style - Styling tips, fashion must-haves, and inspiration for 2013 :)
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Trend Alert: Winter Graphics
Think white and cream with bold and subtle tonal graphics. This fresh and clean combination will brighten up your day and help you stand out during the dreary winter weather.