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Travel

Insta-Worthy Roadtrips: Where to Go & What to Bring

March 4, 2015 — by Griffin Thall

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Pack a bag, grab your camera and just go! There’s nothing like driving on the open road, with the sun setting over the ocean, windows down and having your friends along for the ride. Whether you have a few days or a few months, take a road trip along one of these amazingly picturesque drives:

1) For the nature enthusiast: Banff & Jasper Park (Alberta, Canada)
During the summer or winter, wind along forest-lined roads, mountain cliffs and lakeside lanes with the Rockies never out of sight. Make sure to stop along one of the many panoramic look outs or take a relaxing dip in a natural hot spring.

2) For the adventurer: Sea to Sky Highway, (British Columbia, Canada)
Starting at sea level in Vancouver, you’ll drive along Highway 99 discovering scenic ocean vistas, dramatic waterfalls, pristine provincial parks, tons of wildlife and soaring mountains. A few hours later, you’ll be in Whistler, where you can spend the day doing some of the best hiking, biking and skiing the Canadian Rockies has to offer.

3) For the ocean lover: Pacific Coast Highway (California, U.S.A)
If time isn’t an issue, make your way down the Cali coast and let those laid-back beach vibes just sink in. With coastal cliffs, the sound of giant crashing waves and that unforgettable smell of salty, ocean air, make sure your windows stay down and your camera stays on.

4) For the fun seeker: Highway 1, Florida Keys (Florida, U.S.A)
This 113-mile drive takes you from the mainland of Florida to the beautiful teal waters of Key West. With funky hidden tiki bars, scuba diving in colorful coral reefs and roadside seafood shacks, there’s no shortage of exciting stops to make along this stretch of ocean road.

Don’t Forget to Bring:
1. Maps and/or GPS
2. A camera, charging cables and car adapters
3. Comfy clothes, a toothbrush and Pura Vida Bracelets!
4. Snacks and water
5. MUSIC
6. Good vibes

Share this post if you want to go on a road trip!

 

Inspiration

Gold Beaded Inspo

March 2, 2015 — by Griffin Thall

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This past summer, some of our staff traveled to Italy to visit the island of Capri. We were so inspired by the indigo waters, rustic textures, and lush landscape of this ancient city that we knew we wanted to bring the feeling of Capri back with us. This led us to the creation of our Gold Beaded Collection. 

We chose string that mimicked the color of the cobblestones winding up the market streets and the clear blue waters surrounding the island’s grottos. Then we added gold bead accents inspired by the gilded tiles laid throughout the ancient sanctuaries.
The Gold Beaded Collection is a little token to inspire you to buy the ticket, make the trip, and bring a little piece of wherever you go back with you. Shop the Gold Beaded and add to your Pura Vida collection!

Inspiration

Part One: Venice, Italy

January 12, 2015 — by Griffin Thall

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Hey PV fans! Fellow photographers Erin Krespan and Ray Duker are currently traveling through Venice, Italy and then embarking on a roadtrip across the United States so we asked them to bring us along on their adventure. Here is part one of what will definitely be more to come.

Inspiration

Travel Often, Travel Far

December 2, 2014 — by Griffin Thall

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Hey PV fans! Our girl, photographer Anna Lengstrand, recently drove her way through Oregon and Northern California on an amazing week-long road trip and we were stoked when she sent us some pictures from the road. Check them out below!

“The world’s big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”



Van life. Simple life. Just enough space for all our toys (paddle boards, mountain bikes, camera gear, etc) a bed, food, cooking equipment and us two. Pure happiness. We don’t need much more. The unknown in front of us. All the worries are left behind. What matters are the simple things in life. Like what to eat, where to park for the night, and what to explore. This is how we are meant to live.  Free. 

I don’t believe that humans are supposed to live in on place their whole lives. We are explorers. We are supposed to wander. I love to try new things, see new places, meet new people, and be fully present. Traveling makes me modest. Traveling makes me get to know myself, explore all the different sides of my being. Be more aware. It makes us appreciate the little things in life even more.

Travel. As often as you can. As far as you can. Put down the map and let yourself get lost.
Photographer and Model: Anna Lengstrand @annalengstrand

Inspiration

Paddling Out on Lillooet Lake

November 3, 2014 — by Griffin Thall

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“As you live you learn. I have learned to seize the day and take chances. To focus on what makes me truly happy. That the best things in life usually happens outside your comfort zone. It’s important to believe in yourself when other people don’t. It’s important to say yes when others might say no. I have learned that change is nothing to fear. Rather, it is something that we need, something that we can’t avoid.”

“I try to do things with my whole heart, listen to my inner voice, be present, live free, and live simple. I don’t need to be constantly surrounded by people, but I make sure that the people I have in my life are real and true friends and people who inspire and make me smile. I do things that makes me feel alive, and things that I have never done before. Every day is a gift and I’m not going to waste it.” – Anna Lengstrand
Photographer: Eric Beckstead (@ericbeckstead and ericbeckstead.com)
Model: 
Anna Lengstrand (@annalengstrand)
Location: Lillooet Lake, British Columbia, Canada

Inspiration

Into the Mountains with Anna Lengstrand

October 15, 2014 — by Griffin Thall

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Hey guys! Here is another amazing shoot from Anna Lengstrand.  She took these photos this past weekend on an overnight hike.  Here is what Anna had to say about her experience:

So this was my last overnight hike for this season. It’s getting cold out. We headed up to Semaphore Lakes in the coastal mountains outside Pemberton BC, set camp, and then went on to summit the Locomotive mountain. There was snow in the air and it was very cold, but it cleared up as we reached the top, even though the going was pretty tough and slippery.

I did it as a Thanksgiving hike – as a thanks to nature and to the Earth. I’m thankful to be alive and to be healthy. I’m thankful to live in the mountains and to be one with nature and to focus on a simple live style and to live free. I’m thankful to be able to explore our beautiful world everyday.

I’m thankful to live in the mountains and let them teach me about life. They put things in perspective.


Credit: Anna Lengstrand @annalengstrand

Travel

Travel Tuesday: Buenos Aires

October 14, 2014 — by Griffin Thall

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For this week’s Travel Tuesday, I wanted to take you guys south of the equator to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Nestled on the border between Argentina and Uruguay, Buenos Aires sports South American flair with European charm that can be seen in its winding streets, amazing architecture, and rich culture.  Here are some of the top places to sightsee!


1. La Boca 

La Boca’s rich culture is seen in not only its colorful houses, but also its famous soccer team that calls the neighborhood home as well as street vendors who peddle their wares and tango dancers who use the roads as their dancefloor. La Boca was known as a very popular immigrant destination in the late 1800s and local lore says that the immigrants painted their houses such bright colors from the leftover paints from ships at the nearby docks. One of the best ways to explore the barrio is via bicycle during the day.

2. La Recoleta Cemetery


Credit: Patrick Mreyen

Regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful cemeteries, La Recoleta is the resting place of Eva Peron, as well as other Argentinian presidents and notable figures. The last renovation on the cemetery was completed in 1881 and boasts roughly 5,000 vaults – all above ground – and many of the elaborate mausoleums are decorated with statues.  The cemetery itself is designed like many city blocks, with wide avenues and then smaller “streets” branching off. Free tours are available daily.

3. San Telmo


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Like many other barrios in Buenos Aires, San Telmo has cobblestone streets lined with street performers, artists, and dancers, but the energy of this neighborhood is unlike any other. It is the oldest neighborhood in the city and is the perfect mix of historic and contemporary, artsy and classy. Tourists can get lost on any of the streets, duck into a local cafe for amazing food, or be dazzled by live music and tango everywhere you look.

Inspiration

Joffre Lakes and Matier Glacier with Anna Lengstrand

October 13, 2014 — by Griffin Thall

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Hey PV fans! One of our favorite photographers, Anna Lengstrand, sent us these amazing shots from Joffre Lakes and Matier Glacier! Check out these gorgeous pictures and read what Anna has to say about letting go and getting lost in the wilderness.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.  Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.  The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” – John Muir

I’m the happiest in wilderness and mountains. In nature. That’s where I belong. Someone once told me that there is too much brain activity and thinking going on in crowds and cities, which disturbs your own energy field. I can see that. I think I’m quite sensitive to these energies. Before this particular hike I hadn’t been up in the alpine for couple of weeks, and I really felt under the weather. A fall cold had hit me, and work had been very stressful with a lot of pressure. I felt out of balance. But as soon I was surrounded by the large powerful coastal mountains, it feel like they absorbed all negative energy and replaced it with calm and peacefulness.

Nature always has this effect on me. And most people I believe. We need to get out there and explore, meditate, activate our bodies, shut off these over-thinking brain of ours, breathe, be present. I believe that living a life close with nature will make us all happier and more balanced.

Follow Anna on Instagram @annalengstrand for more amazing photos!
Location: Joffre Lakes & Matier Glacier; Pemberton, BC

Travel

Travel Tuesday: Prague, Czech Republic

September 30, 2014 — by Griffin Thall

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Credit: Scott Shephard

In honor of the fall equinox last week, we are totally dreaming about the best spots in the world to watch the leaves change and Prague is definitely one of those places! Here are some of the sights around this gorgeous city that boasts modern cafes and gothic cathedrals.

1. Charles Bridge

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Commissioned in 1357 by King Charles IV, the bridge is one of the most famous landmarks in the city and it is dotted along its path with many sculptures depicting saints and patron saints who were respected during the 17th and 18th centuries. Get to the bridge either before sunrise or after sunset to beat the massive crowds that walk the bridge each day.  If you do happen to cross the bridge during the peak hours, you may catch a glimpse of various street performers and artists who keep the visitors entertained.

2. Prague Castle

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Prague Castle is the biggest ancient castle in the world and casts an imposing shadow over the city. The castle complex is huge, including palaces, a church, a monastery, museums and art galleries, viewing towers and the supreme St. Vitus Cathedral. Get lost in the many buildings and learn about the history of the the castle and the kings who used to rule.

3. Dancing House

Credit: Pedro Szekely

In stark contrast to the classical architecture of the buildings surrounding it, the Dancing House incorporates “deconstructivist” architecture from architects Vlado Milunić and Frank Gehry, who wanted the building to represent both static and dynamic movement. The top floor of the building is the only part of it open to the public, but you can head up there to enjoy an amazing meal at the Fred & Ginger Restaurant and take in the fantastic views of the rest of the city.

Travel

Find Your Pura Vida: Costa Rica

August 6, 2014 — by Griffin Thall

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Expedia Viewfinder partnered with Pura Vida Bracelets to urge travelers to find their own versions of pure life in Costa Rica. 

Costa Rica epitomizes the pura vida spirit with an ever-present sense of living life to the fullest.  From the enchanting scenery to the endless opportunities for adventure, there’s a little reminder around every corner encouraging everyone to slow down and revel in the moment.

Expedia Viewfinder and Pura Vida Bracelets partnered to showcase opportunities for finding fulfillment and gratification in Costa Rica.  After all, it was in this laidback destination where Pura Vida Bracelets cofounders, Griffin Thall and Paul Goodman, traveled post-graduation and found inspiration from the lifestyle to build their business around.  For globetrotters exploring Central America, slow down, appreciate, and discover pura vida spirt in these Costa Rican hot spots.

Soda La Naranja
This coastal country has a diverse and cultured food scene serving up everything from Mexican to Thai.  For those in the mood for experiencing the local grub though, head to Soda La Naranja in Montezuma for some authentic Costa Rican fare.  Nosh on gallo pinto and casados, and don’t miss out on the fresh juice selection.

Witch’s Rock

IMAGE: Trevor Murphy

According to Thall, “Go out and surf,” is one of the best pieces of advice he ever received from a local.  Do as the locals do and shred the waves at Witch’s Rock in the Santa Rosa National Park.  Popularized in the cult classic, “Endless Summer II,” this favorite surf spot features a clean, sand- bottom beach break ideal for novices and experts alike. 

Manuel Antonio National Park

IMAGE: Flickr/Creative Commons/Sean Hobson/Via/https://flic.kr/p/93QWiy 

What Manuel Antonio National Park lacks in size, it more than makes up for in diverse flora and fauna.  This national park is one of the smallest in Costa Rica, but it is home to 109 species of mammals and 184 species of birds.  It also boasts beaches, forests, mangrove swamps, and even lagoons.  Hit the trails and look out for sloths and iguanas, or take flight through the rainforest on a canopy zip line.  To further experience this oasis up close and personal, check out the kayaking, horseback riding, four-wheel driving, and parasailing options. 

Catarata del Toro Waterfall

IMAGE: Flickr/Creative Commons/Steve Jurvetson/Via/https://flic.kr/p/b2WuTZ

Nothing says “pura vida” like marveling at the Catarata del Toro Waterfall.  In fact, Thall says venturing to a waterfall is a 100% must-do activity during Costa Rican travels.  The Catarata del Toro Waterfall is one of the country’s best- kept secrets as the ancient volcanic crater features cascading water, fluttering hummingbirds, and captivating views.  Though it’s a hike to climb down the steps to the falls, the unspoiled serenity is well worth the workout.

Graffiti Restro Café and Wine Bar

IMAGE: Mike James

It’s rare to find a restaurant both locals and tourists can agree on, but Graffiti just may be the exception.  Everyone seems to rave about the “ghetto gourmet” surf-and-turf cuisine at this boutique bistro in Jaco Beach, which is one of Thall’s favorite towns in Costa Rica.  Dedicated to the Slow Food Movement, the eclectic restro café takes an innovative approach to its one-of-a-kind gastronomy.  Kick back and toast travel adventures with a signature Graffiti aloe tini and a brag-worthy order of coffee-and-cacao- crusted beef tenderloin.

Chloe Mulliner
Staff writer for Expedia

Travel

Wanderlust Wednesday: Maldives

July 2, 2014 — by Griffin Thall

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Today we’re dreaming of white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, and a lot of Vitamin D. The Maldive islands are a series of hot spots that make up twenty-six atolls in the middle of the Indian ocean. There’s also an island with a beach that illuminates at night called Vaadhoo Island. A great little escape for friends to enjoy water sports and couples to enjoy their honeymoon.