Category Archives: Uncategorized

Pssst…. Come Hang Out at My New Place!

Hey ya’ll! I see some of you are still subscribed here at the Traveling Turtle and haven’t yet made the big leap over to Alex in Wanderland.

Alex In Wanderland

If you’re one of the guilty ones, you’re missing out! So far you’re behind on a Scottish wedding, the start of my photo of the week project, and a heartfelt goodbye to my New York City home. But fear not! You can catch up entirely at AlexinWanderland.com

Come by and introduce yourself, I can’t wait to see you there!

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I’ve Moved!

Big news today on The Traveling Turtle… this turtle is no longer! I have officially moved to my new blog, Alex in Wanderland.

Alex In WanderlandHonestly, I outgrew this blog a long time ago but between school and work and preparing for my trip I moved at a snail’s pace deciding a domain name, finding a hosting service, and putting together a whole new site!

New features include refreshed About Me and The Plan pages, search bar, a contact form, new menus, links to my social media accounts, and a whole fresh new look.

I couldn’t be more thrilled, and my only fear is losing any of my much loved readers in the move. So I beg of you, re-subscribe, refresh your bookmarks, update your Google Reader, and get thee over to AlexinWanderland.com! I’m so excited to start this journey in my new blog home.

When The Traveler Goes To Art School: La Red

Welcome back to my series sharing a little bit of what I’ve been up to for the past four years, other than globe-trotting. Big surprise! It’s dreaming about travel. Well, and getting my degree in graphic design. Combine the two and you get a portfolio full of wanderlust driven assignments.

When we were asked to create a Senior Project (kind of like a mini thesis for art school kids) around the word “migration” I thought of course of recreational migration, or travel. I was inspired by my recent trip to Honduras and also companies like Baz Bus in South Africa and Kiwi Experience in New Zealand which are hop on hop off bus services for backpackers stretching across an entire country.

I wanted to create one with a twist: La Red (the network in Spanish) is a social business, a company designed to address a social objective, where profits are reintegrated within the country’s borders, promoting and sustaining the tourism industry and the natural resources that comprise it. The root of La Red is a network of pre-existing locally owned and operated transit, accommodation, and sight/activities. The funny thing is at this point in my travels I feel quite comfortable doing things on my own and wouldn’t really utilize a service like this, but if I were a first time traveler I would enthusiastically sign up! And that’s who I designed it for: first time travelers, young travelers, those who are enjoying their first trip outside first world countries.

What follows is an excerpt from the six page website I designed. I apologize for the blurriness of the images. If you click to enlarge, they are clear. My internet naiveté strikes again!

Honduras Tourism Website


Honduras Tourism Website


Honduras Tourism Website

Then, my favorite part, I created a series of ads for the service. These are postcard size inserts intended for travel and adventure magazines. After a summer in heavily developed Grand Cayman, I was struck by the raw beauty of traveling through Honduras and wanted to highlight the authenticity. The best part? They all feature my own photos from my time in Honduras.

Honduras Tourism Ads


Honduras Tourism Ads


Honduras Tourism Ads


Honduras Tourism Ads


Honduras Tourism Ads

You can see more of my design work on my portfolio website, or you can stay tuned for the next week as I share a few more of my favorite creations!

Previously in this series:
Sea Snaps
ID Magazine

When The Traveler Goes To Art School: ID Magazine

Welcome back to my series sharing a little bit of what I’ve been up to for the past four years, other than globe trotting. Big surprise! It’s dreaming about travel. Well, and getting my degree in graphic design. Combine the two and you get a portfolio full of wanderlust driven assignments.

I am an avid magazine reader across all genres and for a time fancied going after a job in the industry post graduation. This was one of many  layout assignments I undertook at Pratt, and they are as challenging as they are fun. Specifically, we were to design a special issue of our choosing of the International Magazine of Design. Can you guess what I chose? My favorite detail here are my magazine logo with the globe in it and the back page featuring different world currencies.

Feel free to click to enlarge!

Travel Magazine Design
Travel Magazine Design
Travel Magazine Design
Travel Magazine Design
Travel Magazine Design

You can see more of my design work on my portfolio website, or you can stay tuned for the next week as I share a few more of my favorite creations!

Previously in this series:
Sea Snaps

Malaysia Round Up

What I Did: 3 nights in Kuala Lumpur, 2 nights in the Cameron Highlands, 5 nights on Perhentian Kecil, 1 night in Penang

Malaysia

Overall: Malaysia was one of the best trips of my life. It was part of a larger, two month trip through Southeast Asia, but taken on its own we found was a fantastic mix of urban excitement, jungle adventure, and beach bliss. I was charmed by each and every stop on our itinerary and think we got a great sampler of peninsular Malaysia.

Kuala Lumpur is a must for the majority of those traveling in and out of the country. We came here for a visa and while it wasn’t my favorite city of all time, we had fun times at the Menara Tower, the aquarium, and braving public transit and dodgy accommodation.

Kuala Lumpur

The Cameron Highlands were a breath of clean, cool air. We only stayed one full day but it was jam packed with waterfall swimming, tea plantation crashing and finding the largest flower on earth.

Cameron Highlands

The Perhentians were a dream. Fantastic diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and all the other oddities and surprises of a set of small islands in the gulf of Thailand.

Perhentians

Getting around: Malaysia gave me more transportation terror than any country I have ever visited, yet somehow we arrived everywhere we were meant to, more or less on time. I recommend checking and rechecking whatever ticket you have, as many cities have many bus stations and the buses make multiple stops that are not always clearly announced. In Kuala Lumpur public transportation is a challenge but a welcome one to the alternative to expensive cab rides.

Food and Drink: Western and European cuisine is much harder to come by in Malaysia than in neighboring Thailand, with the exception of the ubiquitous Mcdonalds in major cities. So spicy Malaysian food it was, with the exception of the ubiquitous beach barbecue in the Perhentians. At one roadside restaurant we were surprised to see that we were not offered utensils until we looked around and saw everyone was eating with their hands! Alcohol is available but a bit harder to come by, considering this is a Muslim country.

Malaysia Food and Drink


People: I had less encounters with locals in Malaysia that in any other country on my trip. I’m not sure why, though I would guess that the language and religion barrier had a hand in it. One exception was our amazing tour guide in the Cameron Highlands who filled us in on the history of the country, and clued us in to the fact that the numerous burka wearing women in Kuala Lumpur were likely not Malaysian but tourists from the Middle East who prefer to vacation in other Muslim countries.

Money: Travelers coming from other Southeast Asian countries will be surprised at the expense of Malaysia. In my opinion most things were worth the extra ringitts- the attractions were spectacular and the activities, like hiking and diving, were also fantastic. However in terms of food, drink, and accommodation you will be surprised how little you get for your money. The conditions we stayed in were pretty laughable at times. Just pad the budget a bit!

Malaysia Hotel Room

Safety: We had one incident on Palau Perhentian where someone tried to open our door at night while we were sleeping. Luckily, I travel with an ex marine bodyguard at all times. Unluckily, the room were staying in had a bent rusty nail as a locking device. I didn’t think much of it at the time but upon arriving home read some disturbing tales of break ins from single female travelers. I honestly felt safe my entire trip through Malaysia but I wonder if I would have felt differently traveling along.

Good to know: As I’ve mentioned a few times, Malaysia is officially a Muslim country. I knew this before arrival and moved my short shorts to the back of the backpack but I did not realize that bare shoulders were a no-no as well. Saying that now I feel a bit silly, but I plead ignorance and I smartened up quickly, finding myself much more comfortable dressed as modestly as possible. Obviously the islands are an exception, but if you are heading to Kuala Lumpur or the deeply religious East Coast I would pack accordingly. I think its always better to air on the side of caution when it comes to being respectful to local culture.

Oopsies!

For any future readers or travelers who stumble upon this, I want to make a note, and a confession. All entries from this point forward will be post-dated. See that date when this was supposedly posted? Its now many months later. I regret that while in Southeast Asia, backpacking and traveling on my own for the first time, I got swept up in the excitement of it all and let my writing slip to the wayside. Luckily I continued to document diligently with photographs, which will help me now as I try to go back and finish what I started. Why now? I’ve started to feel some of the memories slipping away. Not the big things, but the day to day stuff, and those are the bits I hold most dear. Also, I am beginning to see that travel is going to pay a bigger part in my life than I ever could have hoped, and I would like a complete record of the trip that more or less inspired it all. Next time I travel I will certainly take this as a lesson and be more diligent.

Anyway, I feel that postdating will be the best way to make this record accurate. Hopefully what is lost in blogging all these months later will be made up for by the time I’ve now had to reflect and see how deeply those days abroad have changed me.

So stay tuned!

Fears.

My mom is afraid I will be kidnapped and never heard from again. I’m afraid I will have to eat dinner in a restaurant by myself. You know that scene in Forgetting Sarah Marshall where the main character asks for a table for one and the horrified host asks if he wants a magazine? Because he’s worried that the guy will be bored? Thats my biggest fear. On planet earth. Well, after sharks.

 

My dad is afraid I’ll lose my camera. I’m afraid I won’t be able to upload pictures once I’m away and this entire blog will be a fail.

 

My sister is afraid  Thailand is a third world country where electricity is scarce and machetes are required to cut through the rainforest. I’m afraid of never making it off the tourist trail and experiencing the real Thailand and Cambodia.

 

Tucker is afraid without me there to nag everyone about his weight he will become even more obese and unhealthy.

 

Oh wait. Thats me.