World Highlights: Our Favorite Hike in Norway

Norway is a stunning country to visit; the landscapes are national-park-quality no matter where you go.  And there are many ways to take it all in.  We picked up a rental car and drove throughout most of our trip, but we also stopped a few times to hit the trails.  Some of these were planned, but most were merely a case of “oh look, a trail!  I wonder where that goes!”

So of all the areas we visited, which topped our list?  Read on to find out!

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Essential Travel Gear for a Year Abroad

Aaron and I love to travel (clearly).  With so many trips to places near and far, we’re no strangers to packing bags.  However, packing for a one- or two-week vacation is vastly different than preparing for a year or more overseas.  We can no longer think in terms of packing enough to get us through every day of the trip; we have to focus instead on what we really need and what we’re willing to carry on our backs for fourteen months.

We’re three months from departure, and we’ve finally gotten these details mostly figured out.  Read on to see what you should include for a long-term trip.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

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Countdown to Takeoff: 3 Months Out

We’re now only three months away from our big departure – eek!  Things are truly starting to get real around here, though it hasn’t entirely sunk in.  Here are the latest developments, where we’re at, and what we still have left to do.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

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Hidden Gems of Central Oregon: 3-Day Itinerary

Oregon is a beautiful place, especially if you know where to go!  Everyone typically thinks of Multnomah Falls or Timberline Lodge or Cannon Beach or Crater Lake…  While those are undeniably stunning, and everyone should see them at least once, there are some hidden gems far less frequented.  If you have a few days to spare, check out these unique sites in Central Oregon.

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Truly Unique Dining in Vancouver B.C.

This was the most unique dining experience I’ve ever had. I highly recommend this restaurant if you’re willing to try something new; it will change your outlook… pun intended!

LotsaSmiles Photography

This experience warranted its own post, as I have never before had a dinner quite like our last in Vancouver.

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World Highlights: Our Favorite Costa Rican Animal Encounter

Costa Rica is known for their wide array of fauna.  From crocodiles to sloths, birds of every color, bugs, frogs, etc., there’s so much to look at and appreciate.  While we were there, we went on numerous canopy tours and boat rides, all to catch a glimpse at the elusive wildlife.  And Costa Rica delivered.

But which was our favorite animal encounter?

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

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Grouse Mountain

After a trip to Capilano, we had to make our way to the nearby Grouse Mountain. There was so much to discover and more hiking than we had time for. We’ll have to go back sometime!

LotsaSmiles Photography

While somewhat a tourist attraction, if you find yourself in Vancouver, you’ll want to check out the views from atop Grouse Mountain.

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Top 6 Worldwide Photo Ops to Anticipate

As most of you know by now, I am a photographer.  (If you want to see more of my travel landscape photography, feel free to check it out over at www.lotsasmilesphoto.com.)  I love nothing more than a breathtaking scene and I get giddy immortalizing it and its associated memories in pixels.  In fact, while I can’t wait to experience some worldwide history and culture, while I long to stand atop some world-renowned trails, and while I’m an incurable foodie, I am most looking forward to the photography opportunities.  There’s so much to see; how could I not?

Here are the top items on my photo op bucket list.
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Capilano Suspension Bridges

Bridges and boardwalks and trees, oh my!
While I would have preferred to get in earlier, it was still a fun experience!

LotsaSmiles Photography

If you find yourself in Vancouver B.C., chances are, you’ll wind up checking out the famous Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.  To be frank, this is a tourist attraction (which I tend to shun).  However, this was interesting enough to draw us in, and the resulting verdict was that it was worth the visit.

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Steam Clock – Vancouver B.C.

I love the tiny discoveries in a new city. This filled me with a fascination so simple and true… reminding me it’s the little things in life that are worth living for!

LotsaSmiles Photography

If you’re anything like me, a little child still resides in your heart, excited to pop out when the world manages to amaze an experienced and jaded mind.  This child oohs and aahs at simple mechanics and perfect patterns, tiny memories of less complicated times.

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