10 Travel Essentials For Island Adventures

There’s something about the island life that makes us want to escape to one every now and then. Blue waters, clear skies, palm trees and beauty surrounding all around you. Tropical islands usually give us a sense of escaping reality and entering a dream land. While it’s important to disconnect from the real world, here are some essentials for your island adventures that I highly recommend you to take with.

Travel Essentials
1. Adult Inflatable Snorkel Vest Life Jacket
If you’re like me, afraid of drowning, or not a great swimmer, you can always count on this vest life jacket to float on to. It’s easy to use and only takes up a little bit of space in your suitcase.

2. Snorkeling Mask
Where there is blue water, there’s always a snorkeling spot somewhere around. Indulge yourself in the beauty of the underwater world. Snorkeling is a beautiful experience. In the past I’ve rented snorkeling gear but with time I’ve appreciated having my own snorkel mask. You get to maintain hygiene, which should really be enough reason to own your own mask. Additionally, some places don’t rent out masks and if you’re up for an adventure you can take it along with you anywhere.
Speedo Adult Adventure Mask/Snorkel Set – Blue

3. Waterproof case
This case has helped me carry quite a few things while swimming through the ocean. Island hopping can be an adventure, especially when the shore has shallow waters and the boat has to dock far from it. The only way to get to the shore is to swim through the waves. Who would want to leave behind their precious cell phone/camera or even a lipgloss, if you may? I’ve carried quite a few things in this case and the locks are so solid that there was no leak. This is a legit investment.
Mpow Floatable Waterproof Cell Phone Bag, iPhone 8/iPhone X Waterproof Case for Swimming, Snowshoeing,Skiing,Skating,Sledding,Ice Fishing,Kayaking Universal Waterproof Cell Phone Pouch for iPhone 7/ 7 Plus/6/6 Plus, Google Pixel, LG G6, Huawei P9/ P9 Plus, Galaxy S8 and More

4. Go PRO Mounts
For those of you who use Go PRO or anything similar, this set of mounts can really help capture your adventures. You can use them on a surfing board, as a head mount or on your chest while you’re snorkeling or even mount it on a selfie stick. These mounts can not only be used for your island adventures but all sorts of adventures!
Zookki 39-in-1 Accessories Kit for GoPro Hero 5 4 3+ 3 2 1 Black Silver, SJ4000 SJ5000 SJ6000, Camera Accessory Kit for Xiaomi Yi/DBPOWER/WiMiUS/SJCAM

5. Travel Blow Dryer
I love this dryer because at one point I felt like it was much better than my regular dryer, which actually costs way more than this. Its durable, easy to use and compact to carry. You can use it anywhere in the world (dual voltage). Comes in handy when you’d want to wash the salt off your hair and style it for a nice summer night by the beach bar.
Berta 1875W Negative Ionic Folding Hair Dryer Dual Voltage Travel Blow Dryer US Plug 100-240V, Silver with Red

6. Microfiber Swim/Sport Towel
I love this because it also feels very nice on your skin. It can be used as a beach towel – the sand slips off without sticking to the towel and you can also wipe yourself dry with it. Easy to carry and dries super fast. You don’t have to wait for this to dry before you can put it back in your bag.
Sunland Ultra Absorbent Thirsty Travel Sports Microfiber Towels Swimming Towels Bath Towel w/ Carry Bag(Slate Grey 24″x48″)

7. Water sports shoes/slippers
Personally, I love the feel of sand underneath my feet but sometimes when it’s unbearably hot you’d want to wear your slippers. This product is quite useful for that purpose but also because they feel like you’re wearing nothing while working as a pair of shoes and also protecting you from the shells and other things under water. You can definitely use this for water sports such as snorkeling, paddle boarding or even kayaking. They come in sizes for men, women and children.
OOLIVUPF Water Sports Shoes Barefoot Beach Pool Shoes Quick Dry Aqua Yoga Socks for Men Women Love 40/41

8. Sunscreen Lotion
What an obvious essential! I personally like this brand the most because it makes me feel like it’s actually working! Don’t forget your sunscreen when you’re under the sun. It’s important to protect your beautiful skin.
Banana Boat Sport Performance Ultra-Lightweight Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30, Value Size (315mL)

9. Aloe Vera Gel
Sometimes skin can burn even though you’re wearing sunscreen. Aloe vera gel comes in handy for times like those. When you have a burning sensation or skin peeling, this helps soothe your skin. I recommend carrying it because it can really help you recover from an awful pain without having to leave your hotel room.
Aloe Vera Gel Pure Juice – For Face & Dry Skin Psoriasis Eczema Treatment Cold Sore Scar After Bug Bite Redness Relief Rash Razor Bump Sunburn DIY Body Lotion Skincare Moisturizer Women 100 Percent Pure Premium Nature


10. Swimwear and sunglasses
Everyone has their favorite brands for swimwear and accessories. Personally I really love Aerie for their swim collection. As for sunglasses, the world is your oyster!

5 Reasons To Visit the Phi Phi Islands

For those of you who don’t know this place – let me introduce you!
The Phi Phi Islands is a tiny island located in the KRABI district of Thailand. This island has beautiful turquoise waters and is completely secluded from the modern world. The streets are so narrow that there are no vehicles there.

 

5 Reasons why you must go there –

1. If you want to disconnect from technology and the urban life – welcome to Phi Phi Islands! Internet is not the greatest here. You will find wifi in some areas but the connection is not the best. Just relax and enjoy the beach vibes.

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2. The viewpoint is absolutely stunning! It’s a 40 min hike and really worth the view!

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3. Explore Maya Bay and the bioluminescent (glow in the dark) planktons! Maya Bay is an island close to Phi Phi. You can take a island hopping trip that takes you there. I have been to Maya Bay, however, only during the day. Definitely want to check out the planktons while camping in Maya Bay at night.

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4. Nightlife is great! If you like music, people and entertainment then I recommend checking out the main beach at night. There are many bars lined up along the beach and each have their own entertainment. It gets pretty lively there!

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5. It is close to many other islands, including Langkawi in Malaysia! You can easily take the ferry and hop on to the next island, making overnight stops and finally arriving in Langkawi (click here for blog on Langkawi).

Below is a short clip of the viewpoint –

https://youtu.be/nIuxyZRTxF4

Top Things To Do In Langkawi, Malaysia

My first time in Langkawi was in 2011, when I first stepped into Malaysia. I instantly fell in LOVE. I think Langkawi is what made me fall hard for Malaysia. I can’t really describe the feeling but it felt something like magic.
I have been here twice and both the times I have done different things and these are memories that will truly be cherished forever. I will share some of them with you.
I stayed at this hotel by the beach and both the times I stayed at the same place as it was super convenient; near shops and restaurants and right by the Pantai Cenang beach!

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Shop Duty Free
Langkawi is the only place in Malaysia where you can shop duty free. Everything is unbelievably cheap, including alcohol and cigarettes. Given that Malaysia is an Islamic country, it is the only place in Malaysia where you can drink alcohol freely. It is indeed their domestic holiday destination.
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Langkawi Eagle Square

Island Hopping

My first activity in Langkawi was the island hopping tour. This is something I did on my own and it was so refreshing. This is why I encourage everyone to explore at least one place on their own.
Learn to love your own company and you will need nothing more in life. You will never feel lonely.
This island hopping tour holds a significant amount of value to my life as it gave me the chance to really focus on an unknown place without knowing anyone or having any technology (for the first time – I’ve done it tons since!). It made me appreciate nature, Langkawi and just the Earth overall.
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Sunset by the beach
This tour takes you to a lake where they throw fish as eagles come and pick em from water within a split of a second. It’s pretty amazing. Langkawi is known to have many eagles.
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Eagles!
Then we went to the “pregnant” lake. Yes, that’s exactly what they call it! Apparently this is a myth, that if a woman is infertile or having difficulty being pregnant then swimming in this lake will make them fertile. Not sure if this actually works. Let me know if it did for you!
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Pregnant Lake
Next stop is this beaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaautiful island where you will see nothing but blue water. You can also see fish from the bridge, without even having to snorkel.

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Sight seeing

If you rent a car for the day, the driver will actually take you on a tour around the big island. There are some secluded beaches which are very gorgeous. They will also take you to this park and from there you can go to the skybridge.
Skybridge
The cable car will take you 702 m above sea level. When you get to the top, you won’t believe your eyes. It feels like a painting when you look around. It’s indescribable.
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View from the cable car
The Seven Falls
The driver will also take you to the “seven falls” where you can go walk on a trail that leads to the waterfalls. Along the way you will see many monkeys. Those monkeys are everywhere in Asia, really. Very cheeky but very cute.

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Cute lil cheeky monkeys

Activities

The last time I visited Langkawi, I went paragliding and this was the highlight of my trip. I must admit, I was so scared that I prayed the entire time I was up in the sky. BUT, it was THE most amazing and exhilarating feeling EVER. The boat was pulling me and the parachute kept going higher and higher. I was above the sun, looking over the sunset. It was beautiful. Feeling the breeze, flying above the sea, looking over the seashore and the sun on the other side. It was breathtaking. I would do it over and over again.
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Having the time of my life, paragliding over the sunset.

At night though, I loved being at the beach. Since there isn’t much traffic there at this time, you can hear the silence, the winds and the waves of the sea. To top it off, you can feel the lukewarm water touching your skin while you sit on the soft sand.
And there you have it!
Tip
Ohhh and a little tip if you are ever in Asia! There are ways of getting to Langkawi from the Thai islands. Koh Phi Phi is an amazing island and you can certainly take the ferry from there. I prefer getting to Langkawi from Thailand and then making your way to Kuala Lumpur, if you are planning on traveling that part of the world. It is much more preferable than going to Langkawi from KL and then back. Trust me, you will save yourself a journey and a half!
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View from the skybridge

A beautiful sunset in Langkawi can be viewed here:

The Bahamas Islands

It’s almost been a month since I have been to the beautiful Bahamas islands. I arrived in Nassau, which is the capital. Nassau is quite established and tourism is the most popular in this city. The water is so blue it’s absolutely stunning! This was the first thing I noticed there. Thanks to my Bahamian friend who gave me an awesome tour of the entire island on the first day. She drove me around the whole island which was very nice of her!

 

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Nassau
 
The island life is obviously quite laid back. Although I had imagined for people to be relaxing on the beaches and drinking their coconut water, it didn’t really turn out to be so. People are on the grind there. They work hard to make a living. The beaches are almost empty, compared to the beaches I have seen around the world. I think they are so accustomed to it that they don’t get fascinated by it. I would love to live by a beach. I’d be super tanned but still!

 

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Having coconut water by the beach in Eleuthera

 

Eleuthera

 

Second day in the Bahamas I flew to Governor’s harbor in Eleuthera. It is a beautiful island which is quite long and narrow – surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Caribbean sea on the other. This was THE most gorgeous place in the Bahamas. There’s a bridge, called the Glass Window Bridge. It gives you the best view of the two water bodies which eventually meet. The difference is incredible; the deep blue ocean with it’s rough waves on one side and the calm light blue sea with barely any waves on the other side. It’s amazing and indescribable.

 

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Caribbean Sea
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Atlantic Ocean

 

Accommodation in Eleuthera

 

My friends and I rented a villa, which was a 2 bedroom with 2 washrooms, laundry, kitchen and living room. The balcony was quite nice, where we sat and star gazed at night. The stars seem magical there. Sky full of stars, so clear to see. No street lights. Sound of the ocean and wind. Extremely windy.

 

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View from our villa, Eleuthera
 
During the day there are some nice seaside restaurants that you can go to – they are mainly local and it’s nice to just sit there, relax and enjoy the view. Especially by the seaside. I like it better than the ocean side. Something about that calmness that I’m drawn to. Also the colour of the sea – so beautifully blue. We went around most of Eleuthera and explored. Preacher’s Cave is a huge cave where the English settlers first arrived when they came to the Bahamas. It is an interesting spot to check out – there’s a path that leads to the ocean on the other side, which is very much abandoned. I think this entire island is very abandoned. There is a church every 300 m. That is A LOT of church!

 

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Preacher’s Cave, Eleuthera
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Cute lil restaurant by the sea in Eleuthera
 
They refer to their little suburbs as settlements. There are many of them. Below is a picture for you to check out. I think we explored most of these settlements, besides the ones up North. We did go to the pineapple farm where the farmer was nice enough to show us her farm. She was happy to explain to us how the pineapples grow. We also checked out her other plants and frankly, it was nice being on a farm again!

 

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We went to most of these places, Eleuthera
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Pineapple farm, Eleuthera
 
Eleuthera is very close to the Harbor Island. It is only a $5 ferry ride to there. We had a day trip there to visit Harbor Island and especially visit the Pink Sands beach. This beach is gorgeous as it is actually pink! The day we went there was very sunny so the pinkness wasn’t as bright. I wish we experienced the sunset there, it surely would have been a brighter pink close to sunset time. In any case, I had an amazing time there. One of my highlights.

 

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Pink sands beach, Harbor Island

 

Transportation; how to get around in the Bahamas

 

Nassau has public transportation as it obviously is a city and very established. However, I think driving would be your best bet. Harbor Island on the other hand – you have to rent a golf car. It’s a very small island. Driving a golf car, even for a little while, was fun. In Eleuthera, you have to absolutely rent a car. There’s no way you can go without a car. There’s too much to see and no public transportation. This island is not travel friendly like Harbor Island or Nassau.
I didn’t know that conch shells were a thing, especially in the Bahamas. They look so beautiful and I kept seeing them everywhere. Then I finally saw some under the blue water. I learnt that they were all tied to one another through strings, as the restaurant probably kept them for cooking. These conch shells are quite large and look super pretty.I was asking questions about conch shells to the man at the restaurant. He offered me one to take home. At first I thought it’d be too heavy but later I had to go back and tell him that I changed my mind. I am so glad that I did. I carried an entire conch shell home, all the way from the Bahamas to Canada. While in the Bahamas I also learnt that you can eat conch shells. The local restaurants sure have a lot of traffic for this. It was interesting to say the least.

 

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Conch shells, Eleuthera
 
We then headed back to Nassau from Governor’s Harbor. This was a 30 min flight. Super scary flight as it’s a 20 seater plane and might I add – a very old one! Alas, we made it alive! I finally tried that conch salad in Nassau – it was interesting, tasted a bit like squid. They put so many things in that salad though – I got the one with fruits. It was a lot but it was something new and I liked it.
On my last night, my friend took me to Atlantis and gave me a tour. We went to the aquarium and the casino. We had dinner at the restaurant in the casino. That area is definitely filled with tourists. It kind of reminded me of Niagara, but even busier.
I would say that the highlight of my trip was definitely Eleuthera. It is a breath taking beauty. I would love to go back and do snorkeling and kayaking and maybe spend a bit more time on the beach!

 

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Tarpum Bay, Eleuthera

 

 

Surfer’s Paradise in Gold Coast, Queensland

A Short Drive from Byron Bay!

The drive is only about 2 hours away from Byron Bay. Gold Coast is a complete contrast to Byron. It has huge corporations, big buildings and is an actual city. Of course there are many beaches but the feeling is quite different. Instead of mountains by the coast, you’ll see very tall buildings.

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Surfer’s Paradise

Surfer’s Paradise

Surfer’s Paradise is quite a busy place with lots of backpackers, restaurants, bars, clubs, casinos, and they have entertainment like Ripley’s Believe it or not. This place sort of reminded me of Niagara Falls Canadian side, except that it’s way smaller than that. There’s the main street which consists of all your shopping, restaurants, bars and then you have the main beach for relaxation.

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Broadbeach

The atmosphere of Gold Coast is pretty lively. I have been to Broadbeach which is about an hour of bus ride from Surfer’s. This beach I found was nicer. It’s quite long and away from the party scene. I think I enjoyed Surfer’s beach more on my second day. It was nice to just sit under the sun. The water was not so cold yet just enough to cool me off.

It’s a nice place for a weekend getaway!

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