December 29, 2013


I posted about this yesterday here, but there's more stuff I wanna share with you :)

 I'm a sucker for grannie glasses, this are in vintage perfection. The other item I'm still trying to figure out what is it? I thought was a bookmark and then Bruno said was for the hair to keep a bun or so... 

December 28, 2013


Off course I brought tons of experiences to share but I also have my materialistic side, I just try not to buy excess or stuff I don't need (what I do is: "Marta think, do you really really need this? For what?") and mostly of these stuff I'm gonna show you I bought as Second Hand in this fantastic Thrift Stores, Flea markets or Yard Sales for prices between $1 - $4.

It's a shame we don't have thrift stores or yard sales in Portugal but I attend flea markets every Sunday, we call them Feira das Velharias or Feira da Ladra in Lisbon every Saturday morning.
Long time ago, when the Flea Markets in my area (Algarve, Portugal) started sellers had antiques only but now a days the concept changed and you also can buy second hand clothes and actually anything, I'm always impressed with the weird items they sell, one day I will take pictures and post about it.

December 27, 2013


The last six months I was traveling: 3 first months I was hitch hiking and backpacking from Portugal to Istanbul and back to Madrid. We had very few money, challenged ourselves and tested our limits. (read more here) I will not lie: I cried many times, I felt a piece of sh*t, I missed so much my bed, the idea of opening a fridge full of food whenever I want, driving a car, any CONFORT... but I learned so much in the way! Learned how to survive and to appeal to the soliedarity of others. Right now I feel stronger to accept any challenge (I call problems - challenges) and to survive in any situation BUT I also know this is a process of evolution and during my life I will learn more and have many difficulties to deal with. But isn't this the meaning of life? Imagine your life perfect, no challenges, how boring!

December 24, 2013


First of all I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas, full of joy, health, happiness, smiles, love, harmony and peace. 

Last two years I was away, 2011 in Vietnam and 2012 in Mexico, Yes I'm chasing Winter for two years!! But this year I decided to celebrate with my dear family, I missed so much. I'm glad for this decision, it feel great to get the Xmas spirit, cook delicious food, wrap gifts, dress my dog and cat with silly xmas decorations :) I'm so so so happy that I'm going to share with you my 2010 Christmas pictures, but get ready my family is kinda crazy... and I love it! We have the tradition of singing Xmas songs and play instruments. In 2010 my aunt Ana came out with the idea of a play (theatre) of the day that Jesus born. My family is religious, I don't mind as long as they don't ask me to go to church and believe in God and such things. Well, guess who was the COW? haha

December 20, 2013


I left San Francisco with the feeling I could easily spend 2 more weeks there. I missed many places (Golden Gate Park, Museum of Modern Art, Asian Art Museum and on) I would love to visit but I rather choose quality time then quantity.

Jenn and Bruno wanted to go very hard to Alcatraz - served before the army as fortress and military prison; and later the Department of Justice as a maximum-security federal penitentiary - I had no idea what was that but in the end, it was one of the best touristic spots I ever been.

First we got a cable car (old school cars used hundred years ago in the city to go up the hills/$6) to the Fisherman's Wharp and find the Pier 33, where Alcatraz is situated. You pay $30 (first thought: WHAT???? Last thought: VERY WORTH IT!!!) ticket that includes: boat trip to Alcatraz (it's an island), admission to the island, remain buildings and visit to the cells (in good conditions), audio tour free very interesting with testimonials from inmates, correctional officers and residents as they reminisce about life on Alcatraz (available in the cellhouse).

December 16, 2013


Last time I had to wait for my flight hours and hours, I was in New Delhi Airoport, the best  airoport so far: Affordable Rooms inside, cheap food (Welcome to India!), long chairs to sleep and nice couches to relax. It was night so all I did was watching a movie and fall asleep, when woke up it was time to fly.

This time Iam in New York JFK Airoport and we arrived from San Francisco at 7am and will leave at 7pm! Geez what a human being can do for cheap flights.

We knew we needed stuff to entertain us for many hours so we bought: a bunch of National Geographic Magazines for 25 cents each in thrift stores, Sudoku and other mind exercising games. But guess what? We left all that stuff in the suitcase which we checked in. I know, I know, stupid right?

December 15, 2013


Seriously? This was the best way to say "See you California". One of the best trips ever. If you ever come to San Francisco, San Diego or Los Angeles make sure you allow yourself to go at least to Big Sur. Highway 1 is not just a highway, it's THE highway. From Cambria until Monterey you drive along the Pacific Coast with extraordinary landscape. You make a bunch of stops along the way: to take pictures, to watch the beauty, to close your eyes and listen the waves and smell the ocean, to visit elephant seals in wildlife, to explore National Parks and on and on and on. WARNING: GET READY FOR A BUNCH OF OCEAN PICS!!

December 5, 2013


OMG! OMG! OMG! 2 weeks and I'm in Portugal, after 6 months in Europe and California. And... my first Winter in 2 years... will I survive? I was doing good chasing the Winter but I felt like celebrating Christmas with my adorable family.

In the meanwhile I arrived San Francisco safe and happy! Since I'm a young girl, San Francisco is on my travel list, many songs from the 60's and 70's are about this place, also the hippie movement had big impact here and I'm sooooo into this time of History. I wasn't wrong: I can say San Francisco is one of my fave cities, I'm not a city person but common it's situated in a BAY, do I need to say anything else? We are sorounded by water, everybody smiles at you in the street, international food available in every corner.

December 2, 2013


My dear friend Marie is from California but our paths didn't cross this time. Her target is a bike tour from USA until Argentina, exploring the whole America. It's been 2 years... A tour with ups and downs, a rollercoaster of emotions.

I'm not even hiding that I'm her big fan (remember when I first blogged about Marie?) , I can barely cycle 20 km and I'm already done ahah But her stories and pics are so inspiring that now I'm even considering one day to get a bike and GO. 

Today she will share thoughts, points of views, feelings, advices, happiness and inspiration with all Shanti Free Bird readers. Marie also explains that not having money doesn't stop her to go on with her dream. There's always a way to get the money we need, believe it or not. 

Thanks for sharing your wisdom :) Keep rockin' grrrrl!!!

November 27, 2013


I wish it was Summer though :) Sunny days and damn cold nights around here. No, I'm not in the very South of California which is hot every single day in the year. And now that we are done with work we started planning our final trip before heading back to Portugal for Christmas and guess what? Seqoia and Yosimite National Parks are gonna be closed due to bad weather!! This means we gotta find a Plan B and perhaps Plan C and D. We thought about San Francisco, LA and San Diego, but cities only? Doesn't sound much fun. So we came out with the idea of renting a car and drive the highway 1 and stop in Santa Cruz, Monterey, Cambria, Santa Barbara and Venice Beach.

This is Highway 1 or Big Sur that I'm talking about. Please God of Weather, if I ever go to this place I'd love to have a sunny and warm day like this picture above. Thanks for that.

November 12, 2013


First time I heard about RedWoods was 3 months ago, when we got in California and literally everyone said "You have to go, the trees are giant and spectacular rain forest". Whenever we got free time from work we headed to the Avenue of Giants, where you see this dense forest full of redwoods (See the post here) It's kinda sad to think that many years ago, the Ranch I was working in, was surrounded by Redwoods, but now a days they were all killed.

While hiking this magical State Park I secretly picked up a good amount of seeds to plant in Portugal ^___^ It will take ages to grow as an adult redwood but I'm so into this trees that I want to spread them in the World. Planting trees is creating life.

November 3, 2013


Back in Portugal, I don't think I ever celebrated this day, it's not really an european holiday. We have Carnival which is similar in the costumes part, but lasts 3 days and it's all about brazilian music and having fun!
Being in California means you have to celebrate Halloween right?

October 29, 2013


Traveling and working at the same time is appreciated because you get to be involved with the locals in a deeper level, you get to live the real thing, you go to places that neither internet or travel guides can ever tell you about. But at the same time you don't have so much free time than when you are just traveling. That's the reason why I'm not posting often in the blog.

All my life I lived nearby the beach so I started being a bit homesick and think how amazing are the waves sound and the ocean breeze so we went to see the sunset in the beach!! Not those South California beaches we are used to see on TV but I had a great time. I'm so grateful K and S came across to my life, they been real brother and sister and we feel we were adopted by them and the other family members I will post about in the near future.

Cars are allowed inside the beach! 

October 17, 2013


I couldn't wait to post about yesterday and our adventorous Road Trip to the RedWoods.

RedWoods are basically one of the most amazing things I ever seen with my eyes. It's an area in North California where you find giant pine trees, but when I say giant I'm not even being fair! They can grow more then 360 feet tall (or about 110 metres) and have trunks up to 24 feet (7 metres) near the ground. Can live more then 2000 years and I believe there are many from the Dinosaurs Era!!! Can you imagine how ancient this special trees can be? I hugged around 100 of them, but probably you'll need around 15 people to hold the whole tree :)

October 9, 2013


This is a program I believe in and I'm happy that I was able to be part of it. Yes, I'm a sucker for Youth Programs, let's make it happen before we get too old!

"Youth in Action is the Programme the European Union has set up for young people. It aims to inspire a sense of active European citizenship, solidarity and tolerance among young Europeans and to involve them in shaping the Union's future." You can read more in Youth in Action Website or Facebook Group

October 7, 2013


It's early to think about Christmas but when we think about handmade projects we better start them as soon as possible, because they take time.
I thought about this post because many people are concerned what to buy for Christmas to family and friends and usually they just get in a shop and buy something they think the other person will like. Well, if you want to buy something, what about a Local Store? This way you are helping out locals, instead of giving more money to millionaire people... Shops like Zara, Springfield, Pull and Bear among others belong to rich owners that will spend their money in business to get more money. Not to mention that mostly of the clothing are made by 6 years old kids from Cambodia or China, but that's another story. When you are buying to a local shop, you are increasing the economy of that family. This is a micro thinking, but if a good percentage of people do this, we will make money circulate and more buying power.

October 4, 2013


Anyone out there still keep a Journal? This is something I keep since I learn how to write, I might have 5 or 6 journals. It's fun to read my stories when I was younger and find out how much I grew up inside.

Now a days I don't have the need of writing on a journal, but when I'm traveling I always have one. I try to keep it updated with all my feelings, descriptions (when possible to use words) of the views, of people, of cities, some paintings, pictures and stickers. I love a colorful journal!

October 2, 2013


Heya yooo my friends!
Did I tell you how much I'm enjoying to stay in North California? It's not that is this beautiful part of USA only, there's some magic in the air. The life style is so peaceful, no one complains about the system, the crisis, the government, everybody helps eachother either with material stuff or trading the veggies and fruits from their farm. The fauna is different, we had seen squirls and deers nearby the houses or just on the mountains when we go for a hike. Hopefully one day I can pet a deer, they like to run away from us.
I wish we had a car though, it would be so easier to move... To go a-n-y-w-h-e-r-e you need to drive, everything is far. 

Last week we have been in Mt Konocti, around 1300 metres altitude, it took us 4 hours to hike up and down. In the top of the mountain you can watch the whole lake that defines Lake County. The view is stunning. I'm gonna share some pictures of the day but I can say that alive is much much much breath taking. 

September 27, 2013


It took me a while to post these pictures but I was waiting for Viktor to send them to me. I know, shame on me, I haven't take any pic, not even one, but my brazilian friends had profissional cameras and were very happy taking pictures of everyone so I left this "job" for them (good excuse for my lazyness)

It was a pleasure to be part of the tribe of Transylvania Calling Festival 2013, August 19th - 26th, I've made such strong connections with such beautiful beings. It's the difference between twenty thousand people and two thousand in a festival, you get to see your friends more often and share more moments together. It was also great that I met up old friends from Portugal, these seconds you freeze and then make a huge smile and hug them. The Festival was free for portuguese so can you imagine how many portuguese in one spot?? I totally forgot we were in Romania, I could listen portuguese everywhere.

Our shanti shanti camping site covered with smiley and happy portugueses, brazilians and one german :D It was lots of fun!  

September 25, 2013


For a long time I wanted to get knowledge about gardening and animals. When Jess and Paul told us, one year ago back in Mexico, there was a lot of Farm Work in their area (North California) I didn't think twice, because this is the time that it becomes almost impossible to find a job in Portugal. Jess and Paul Wedding plus working in a farm plus visiting California equals YES PLEASE.

Currently I'm in Ancient Farm located in the Lake County of North California but soon I will move to another Farm where I will have more work to do. Right now we are feeding the chickens, check if there are any eggs, watering the garden and feed the momma cat (and cuddle with the 4 kittens). Since Matt is building a house we also helped and I'm very excited because we are learning how to build a house by ourselves. Geezzz is so difficult but at the same time so interesting, can you imagine you building your own house? All the effort and love given? I found a new passion, I want to build my own Eco House :)

This is the trailler where the chickens live. Lucky them!  


It was a lovely Sunday, blue sky, birds singing and everyone busy in the house getting ready for the big day! Such a pleasure to meet up a wonderful family of 4 sons (including Paul) and 1 daughter plus 2 daughters in law. The father Carlos is from El Salvador and the mother Wendy the most adorable lady. We were ready !

September 20, 2013


The cool part about traveling is the diversity, try to travel in different ways, using different transports with different people. I enjoy to travel in different ways: I traveled 21 days with 2 friends on a InterRail (by train), I backpacked alone 7 months in Asia and Australia (bus, train, planes), I traveled 3 weeks in North Portugal with my partner (by car) and I traveled in Europe almost 3 months with my partner (hitch hiking).

This last trip in Europe we spent around 900€ BOTH OF US. Something like 150€ per month each. With this budget of course you cannot do everything you feel like but the challenge starts here. You start living with few money and the less money you have, the more you reconize you don't need it. I'm not saying that you can live without money, I'm saying you don't need to spend so much money.

September 18, 2013


I can't believe this is actually our last day in the european continent. Almost 3 months flied away and if I look back I can say I had the time of my life. In this 3 months, 1 month was spent literally on the road with my thumb up, asking for a ride. Sometimes we were lucky enough to wait 10 minutes or we also spent 7 hours in Belgrad waiting for someone who could stop the car. I learned many things along the way, learned about myself and about others. I learned how to be patient and to be positive even many times I was down in the sun at 1pm or standing while it was raining. I meet up many many people from different countries with different ways of thinking, different costumes, different life style. The differences make us learn.

Bruno feeding the reindeer in Slovenia

September 10, 2013


Going to Marseille wasn't planned at all. We looked at the Europe Map and agreed we would stop between Slovenia and Spain for a good break and Marseille sounded... good!! 
All  I knew about this city is that a bunch of portuguese people come here for vacation and that probably had a beach. To be honest I'm very impressed by the beauty of South of France, the only part that sucks is that hitch hiking is not so easy... where you find fancy cars and rich people is always harder but not impossible :) We just caught the train without paying, prayed for Ganesh and no troubles! 

September 3, 2013


On January 2011 I met 3 adorable slovenian girls named Polonca, Nina and Irene in Vietnam but I couldn't guess 2 years later I'd see all of them again in Slovenia :) This considences in our life we are so grateful.

In our way hitch hiking France to Greece almost straight we passed thru Slovenia and promised ourselves in the way back to Portugal we would stop in Slovenia for few days and it's been one of the highlights of this trip. Slovenia is this magical country sourrounded by shining green montains, wild cows, sheeps, horses everywhere, lakes, rivers. Everytime we are driving somewhere I cannot close my mouth, it's incredible everywhere you look at.

August 11, 2013


This trip to Istanbul wasn't planned at all but we learned macrame, basically is the art of knots :) We found out the string to make macrame was quite cheap in Istanbul, we looked at the map and found out it was only 5 hours away!! I been in Istanbul for one day, but like the turkish people tell me: one day in Istanbul, you never been in Istanbul. True. There are almost 20 million inhabitants here so think of the giant size of this place...

August 9, 2013


New feature in the blog!! I hope I can do this every week. Photo an Hour means I will take a photo every hour in one day. I found it fun and awesome to look back to my day with photos. And oh well I guess this is a great start with a day in the Island Thassos, actually my last day out of 4 days in paradise. Check it out!!

10am || Breakfast time! We were camping in Golden's Beach. The camping site was right in front of the beach, such a hard life :) Of course the breakfast includes cheese: feta and danish blue.

August 7, 2013


So far this was one of my Life important missions and when I look at this map a bunch of memories pop up, all the people we met up in the way, all the frustration moments, the feel of adrenaline kicking in, the CHALLENGE.

As you may know I'm always up for a new challenging, especially challenging myself to the limit and the idea of going to Greece hitch hiking was just perfect for the Summer. But you need to be physically and mentally prepared. We were 4 days straight in the high way, eating bread with tuna, sleeping outside in the gas stations. This are not really good conditions of living you may asking yourself why I do this to myself and I answer: for the experience.
As a matter of fact I will hitch hike this Summer and then I don't know when I will do it again, if I will one day...

July 10, 2013


This is probably my favorite thing to to in Lyon, I enjoyed so much the time I spent in this Park that I come back the next day!! Surely because I love it but also because is too big to explore only one day.

To have an idea, the park looks like this with a huge lake where I spent all afternoon walking around, taking pictures of the ducks and baby duckies. Also there's Zoo area with wild animals like Bear, Giraffes, Zebras, Lyon and beautiful birds, my favorites were the flamingos and a Botanic Garden with trees, plants and flowers from all over the World. And the best? They are all free entrance :) Both Zoo and Botanic Garden close at 6Pm. Around this time you will see a bunch of people running in the park, it's a good spot for that, I'd say it's the heart of the city. More about the Park? Click here.

July 8, 2013


I'm glad to get back to Europe, last time I was around this beautiful continent was to visit my friend Claudia in Berlin. after 7 mounths backpacking alone in Asia and Australia. Yes, before get back to Portugal I always make a 2 weeks transition so the cultural shock isn't so intense.

I came to Europe for a Seasonal Work and since we have our friend Coline living in Lyon we decided to spend few days there. (See how can you save money in accommodation? You visit a friend and a city.) To be honest I didn't know anything about Lyon, not even it was one of the biggest cities in France, I thought was just a small town, that's fine the less expectations the better.

July 7, 2013


I've been silent these days because I was in a truck for 2 days!! Between many stops, It took 2 days from Torres Vedras to Paris by truck :)

First time we got a ride from a truck driver was on March, from Switzerland to Portugal. It was a loooong way but in the end I was very happy that we made it, I was pround of myself. But it wasn't easy. Bruno had the brilliant idea of asking directly portuguese truck drivers who were heading back to Portugal if they could give us a ride.

July 3, 2013


I was looking at the pictures I took when I spent 5 weeks in Melbourne, Australia and I found this beautiful vintage items. They belonged to ozzie families 50, 60 years ago and now are in this Museum.
Something I found out is that vintage is wayyyy more expansive in Australia then USA or Portugal, one item can cost 5 times more! I guess it's because they earn 5 times more? ; )  And there are no cents items... hmmm maybe I gotta find different stores next time. Hey Ozzie friends any cool vintage stores I should take a peek?


I'm not an expert but I will share my small skills on the art of hitch hike. Pretty please: If you got any more tips comment this post, so one day we will have a full list :) 

1) Before leaving do some "homework": ONE: check in google maps your route and write down a list of cities you will pass by, plus how long does it take from one city to the other and how many kilometres. TWO check out the suggestions in HitchWiki;

2) When you are hitch hiking be flexible and ask people (in gas station for eg.) about the list of your route: locals know better then us. (The faster doesn't mean the better);

3) Collect cartoon boxes from supermarkets or any shop and invest in a good quality market, I like either black or red colours, because they are catchy. Make written signs as neat as possible of the place you need to go;

July 1, 2013


Finally we arrived Geres, the only National (protected) Park of Portugal, and no words to describe what our eyes were seeing. The first second we enter this magical place I felt a powerful energy all around my body, the oxygen was pure, my heart was bitting so fast showing me that he was so happy :D

If you are looking for a beautiful, peaceful, nature place in Portugal, then travel the very North of Portugal and you will find this amazing spot called Geres. It's divided in 5 areas (1 in located in Spain) so you have a bunch to do here. We spent around a week and it wasn't time enough. Best thing is to bring an autocaravan to sleep and eat anywhere but if you don't have one at least bring a car, a tent and a pan to cook. Don't worry with water, there're fountains everywhere with springs water, so pure and cold. You'll find camping areas often but you have to pay for them (around 4-6€ per day, middle season, on July and August prices rise). We stayed in Vidoeiro Camping with a small waterfall so you listen the water all the time, even when you're sleeping, how relaxing! And the other was the Cerdeira Camping is the most popular one, bigger and with a bunch of conditions (pool, restaurant, supermarket, hi-fi, etc etc) but also a lot of people equals noise.

June 17, 2013


Silly Marta. I started recognizing how weird was to travel Asia, America and Oceanea when actually I don't even know my own country??!! Every time someone asks me about where to go in my country I always answered with South Portugal, but what about the North?

I was around 4, 5 years old when mom and dad used to make these weekend road trips to the North and obviously I don't remember anything. Every two years I go to Porto and that's it.
Last Summer, me and Bruno thought about going to Geres, an Amazing National Park in the very North of Portugal, border with Spain but didn't happen. This Summer we said to ourselves: We wanna move to another country so we better travel our country first and that's exactly we've been doing: Road Trip to the North.

Castle @ Serra da Lousã

June 1, 2013


I know, I know, Child's Day or Mother's Day or Valentine's Day is every single day, TRUE.
But today I decided to share few pictures of Children in Asia. It was so easy, I have zillions of them. These cute little fellows make my day <3

Children are the future, teach them well and love them as much as you can.

From Nepal with love

May 24, 2013


Some of you might be wondering where did you hear this name Antoine before from me. Yes, you are right, he's the french guy who travelled a bit with me in India. Antoine wanted to travel 2 years, from France to Antarctica hitch hiking WITH NO MONEY AT ALL. Believe me, it's possible!

Today he will tell us one of his thousand of interesting stories while travelling. In the future I hope he comes back to the blog to teach us  good tips on how to survive in this Planet without Money when travelling. We love you, Antoine!!

May 23, 2013


Every time I'm back on the road I usually make a list along the previous week because I know I'll only pack one hour before leaving. Yes, I only work on pressure, I enjoy feeling the adrenaline in the body and panic because I cannot find this or that. The fact is when I travelled to Asia, I couldn't believe in my eyes when I weight at home my backpack and it was only SEVEN KILOS !!!

I will post later about a Backpacker Full Items List. Also I wanna comment this post is general, your necessaties are based on the country (s) you will travel. Now it's time for the TOP FIVE:

* Source * A really warm and comfy jacket.
No matter how much it is, if you like it and it's durable, buy it!!

May 22, 2013


After a great time in Semuc Champey (Guatemala) we decided to head to Honduras instead of travelling to North Guatemala and visit Tikal. I know, I know Tikal is a MUST GO in Guatemala but we already been in 4 different Mayan Historic Ruins Parks and going to the North was out of route, so we tought "Spending more Money and time to see ruins again??!!" Let's go to Honduras!!

We only had 10€ and we made this crazy decision of not withdraw more money from the ATM, this means that we had to reach Honduras with 10€ both, we need to eat, we need to get there but how? Survival mode here we go!

May 21, 2013


Long time Thailand was on my Countries List, I was always so amased by the dreamy islands, the light blue sea, white sand, diving and watch the Aquatic World.
When my israeli friends told me about this Island as a Party place, cheap, beautiful I didn't think twice and flew from Kolkata (India) to Bangkok (Thailand), took a train directly to Koh Phangan Island and to be honest? It was one of the best decisions of my life!! Only when I arrived there I reconize how much I needed "civilization" again. I mean, India is a big part of my heart but is very poor, many places there're no conditions to even go to the bathroom, the constant rip offs from rikshow drivers, I definitly needed this break!

May 6, 2013


Although right now I'm living 5 minutes walking to the beach this was the first day on the beach... in Portugal! I was lucky enough to chase the winter this year and enjoyed the Caribean Sea and Pacific Ocean thru out Central America.

This Beach is in Quarteira, Algarve (South Portugal). During Summer this city is CHAOS. A bunch os tourists come to visit, enjoying the sun and the crazy night life in Vilamoura. It's great for the economy around here, but it's a mess all Summer long: traffic jams, lines and lines and lines, beaches packed with families...

But cannot complain, I born close to the ocean. I was 7 years old and I remember walking barefoot with my neighbours, cousins and friends to the beach every single day. By that time it was safe and we had way much freedom then the children now a days. I have a memory deep in my mind about ringing bells along the way to the beach and running away!! We had great laughs with this and off course a bunch of people yelling at us, nervous and pissed. Some kids used to do the same with me and yeah, it's not so cool waking up to open the door to "ghosts" haha

Here goes some pictures of the beach day today. I'm planning to take pictures of Loulé soon, so you can meet up my two hometowns, the places I don't think I belong but where I grow up and have special part in my heart 

April 23, 2013


Hello dear readers, some time ago I had this idea of contacting few friends I met along the way to write about their experiences to share in my personal blog. This are trully respectful and beautiful human beings who I shared happy few minutes, hours, days or even weeks.

I met Will Hatton via CouchSurfing, both of us were in North India at the same time so we decided to attend the Camel Fair in Pushkar together and afterwords we attended a indian wedding with 30 more couchsurfers. One day I will tell you about this interesting website ;) Now back to Will, the english cowboy :D

* * * * * * * * * * * 

The Jungles of Myanmar

With only a month to spend in Myanmar we quickly decide to leave the glitz of Yangon and head to the rural heart of the country. Kayin state is located in the south of Myanmar and is home to the Karen National Union (KNU) who has the dubious honour of forming the world’s longest running resistance. For many years the area was completely closed to foreigners and the few journalists who braved the war zone emerged with horror stories of massacres and mass rapes. Today parts of Kayin are finally beginning to open and although there is still a significant military presence the violence appears to have abated. With this in mind we pile into the back of a pick-up truck and leave the bright lights of Yangon behind us. Local men wearing checkered green lungis zip past us on battered motorbikes whilst their wives and children wave enthusiastically. All of the women and children have thanakha smeared across their faces; this milky green paste is produced by grinding sandalwood and is used as sun block and moisturiser seemingly non-stop by the Burmese people. Local villagers pause from chewing their beetle-nut to flash us horrific black and red toothed smiles as we bump along potholed roads and over dilapidated bridges. 

April 18, 2013


This is the main question: "Marta, where do you get the Money to travel so long?" I think I already answered this question thousands of times and I have all the pleasure to tell you my deep secrets ;)

In fact every human being has their way of travelling: some like to travel one week and stay in a resort all week drinking cocktails, enjoying the sun and the ocean; some travel 2 weeks in 1 country with a backpack and sleep in hostels; some prefer to visit tourist zones, others prefer to visit local places.

I prefer to travel a bunch of months with my backpack in a zone of the World, for eg: Central america, Southeast Asia... and yessss the main reasons for me to travel are: Culture, Nature, Freedom Feeling. Iam a pround backpacker, I learned to carry only necessary items in my backpack so doesn't get so heavy, I learned to respect others cultures, I met tons of locals who showed me the coolest places to eat or to visit, I like to sleep in hostels to meet other backpackers. So if I stay in hostels and eat in local spots, how much money do you think I spend?

April 12, 2013


Yes you read it right. There are people out there travelling with their bikes, cycling thousands and thousands miles! OH BOY! And we were lucky enough to meet up Marie Walker  a sweet 22 years old american girl who is on a bike tour from USA until Argentina. When we meet up we were couchsurfing in Panama City at Leslie's and Seth's on March and right now she's in Colombia and it's been a year since she left her country. How amazing is this? And yeah she has camping tent, sleeping back, oven!! Just don't have Money so if you feel like helping her out donating some of your funds just click here to check her blog and paypal account.

Today I was reading her blog when I came across with this post about me and Bruno and with pictures!! I was soooo excited!!! It's the first time someone wrote about me as travel mates. Well, Andres from Russia wrote as well but in russian and you know how bad Google translator can be. This post made my day, did I told you how much I love to travel? The chance to meet people all over the world who stays in my heart? I love you so much ♥

April 11, 2013


This was a phase in my life I decided to leave my well paid Social Worker job in Portugal to finally meet the incredible India. Of course everyone around me though I was crazy: a good job, a house, a car and I was just quiting. In fact, I was escaping from the old same routine.

Even thought some of you still think I'm crazy to travel by myself in Asia, I think that people who never experienced that before should do it, I had the time of my life!

First of all you are never alone. I guess people are more sensible when see people alone so they come to talk with you often and the same way around. I remember the first time I enter a indian kinda restaurant and sit down in the same table as an indian family. They talked with me very curious about my culture and gave me tons of food to try, all the different curries and how to eat rice with your hands (this was lot of fun, it's not so easy as it seems, you gotta make rice balls otherwise there will be rice all over you!!).

So you meet people in the bus, in the hostel, when you are eating, when you are in a line! Means, YOU ARE NEVER ALONE! All depends on you though, one time I was in North Vietnam and decided to be alone for few days so I was literally running away from people lol If you have a negative attitude toward others you will be alone but if you are smiling and interested believe me, you will make tons of friends :D

Indian Wedding in Jaipur

March 28, 2013


This is my last post about tips in Central America, if you wish to check all the countries I posted about, just click on the Label "Central america" on the right side of the blog page, you will find all information. Oh! And today, although the weather looks grey we will attend a Festival in South Spain called Transition... Coming back on Monday with pictures of the festival ;)

Now, about Panama. You have to be careful with the police here, we know few stories that kinda shocked me. A guy from Venezuela went to Panama one month to sell his beautiful macrame and lether art to save money for his family. One afternoon the police came and put all the 10 crafters, including him on jail, they had to pay a 1000 dolars fee and get out the country. But this is not it. The police took all the handmade products from them... I mean macrame, do you know how long does it take to finish one single necklace?? It can take days :( This is very sad.

But I think Panama is very beautiful and interesting, worth a visit, no doubts! To get in you pay $3 and make sure you have a flight somewhere else before entering the country, otherwise you can't enter the country! And print out the flight info to show in the border. To leave the country by plane you gotta pay $40 fee, sometimes is included, sometimes not (then you pay in the airport with visa or cash). Attention!! If your flight is from Panama City to Frankfurt with Condor you need a USA Transit Visa, since you will have a Scale in San Juan (you can do it in this website BEFORE your flight date) The currency is US dolar, you have some balboa coins (one balboa is one dolar).


I'm so sorry we had to rush in this amazing country, where you find untouchable Nature pretty much anywhere! In the other hand is so expensive, they say that Costa Rica is the Switzerland of America so you can imagine the prices over there. Plus, when you are backpacking for months and months in a tight budget you have to skip places like this... But, one day I will come back with 2000€ on me hehe

We only spent 5 days or so in this country so I cannot help too much. Basic Info: You don't pay anything to get in or get out the country. The currency is Colon but US dolars are very used as well.

We arrived in Liberia and we found really cool beaches around. Then we head to San Jose and felt that it's hard for a backpacker with low budget to survive in this capital: you pay around $US12 per dorm, it's forbidden to sleep in the street, the bus stations close at night, $3 for a burger and so on. San Jose is just a big city.

March 26, 2013


Uhhh so much to tell you about this country, there's a lot of diversity: Islands, Mountains, Ocean and Cities. The currency is Cordoba but US dolars are used a lot as well. We denied from the beggining using dolars in Central America because it wasn't USA so we didn't see any point. We like to use the currency of the country and collect the coins and bills :) To enter Nicaragua you pay $US12 and to leave $US2.

- Matagalpa: Mountain Area, very beautiful. We stayed in Hotelito El Economico C150 - Nice, clean, free wifi, TV in the living room and cool staff. Go to tourism Info Office situated in Museo del Cafe and ask what to do, you have so many options. On weekends everything is closed though. We been and enjoyed: Museo del Cafe (free), reserva natural cerro apante (C30), Hotel de Montañas e Cabañas Selva Negra (C50), Mirador Disparate de Potter; In the North of Matagalpa (we found it poorest) is located the Guanuca Cultural Center which is Movie Night on Fridays and Cultural Night on Saturdays (free entrance); You have this "Matagalpa Tours" store where you can find local crafts selling, spanish school, tours to the coffee plantation ($US15) where you know the producters culture, daily life and productive activities - pretty interesting! You also have the chance of homestays.

Selva Negra

March 22, 2013


Sadly we only spent 4 days in Honduras, due to the rain all the time. When you are travelling is fine 1 or 2 days of straight rain because you can take care of yourself: clip nails, read a book or just rest and do nothing. But when it extends for 3 days is another story. So after 4 days we decided to leave to Nicaragua and be happy again :)

But we had great moments in Honduras: a ride we got from the National Director of Pizza Hut and Staying 2 nights in the "guetto" haha these stories are for later, since this post is to give you some lights of what you can do in this country.

Honduras is not so touristic and I guess there are 2 main things to do there: Visit the Mayan ruins in Coban and Heading to Utila Island to dive (it's cheap and they make this 1 week course with accomodation included). But we only been in Tela and La Ceiba which have nothing really special... only the caribean sea (not really amazing) and exploring the Parques (hiking in the mountains)

The currency is Lempira and you pay $US3 to enter and to leave the country.

March 21, 2013


I feel so excited to tell you about this country. Everytime I go back to Portugal I think about my favourite country in the trip because I know that it's gonna be the main question. Not that I like it, all countries I've been are special, always stories to tell. This Central America journey I decided that Guatemala was my fave... 50% of the population is still maya, the landscape is magical and the smiles are constant!

To enter Guatemala you pay Q20 (Quetzal is the currency in this country; discover yourself what is a quetzal) and main language is spanish but watch out!! there're a lot of people (esp. in small villages) who speaks mayan. So if you ask something to someone who doesn't answer, maybe that person doesn't speak spanish.

- Xela or Quetzaltenango: Big city. We went to Zunil to visit the Aguas Amargas but sadly it was destroyed when we got there. Before, we been in the flowers, corn, onion, etc plantations, it's so pretty!  You can also go to the Hot Springs, it's not a big deal but walking around is nice. You can also climb the mountain close to the Hot Springs * We also been in Parque El Baul, it's a good place to have a view to the city from above * The center is nice during the night esp. and you can eat for cheap in one Comedor (small restaurant with local food) in the market. We stayed in tenejon hotel, far from the Center for Q80 a night/room.

(the famous "chicken bus" in Xela)

March 20, 2013


I have this weird taste when taking pictures sometimes. Car plates are so different from country to country or sometimes state from state (like USA) and the coolest thing is what it says or the image. European plates are very boring, only the numbers or/and letters and then the EU symbol with the first letter of the country.
I got caught several times and people make this face "Why is she doing this?".

March 19, 2013


It was 2007, me and my cousin Sam were graduating from Uni and wanted to celebrate this big step in our lives: Stop partying our ass off and start working for real (yeah right). In Portugal, there's this thing of travelling with your class mates to a different country when you graduate from High School or University but my Class was a big mess!! Can you imagine around 35 girls and 1 boy in one class room? Geez! But I wanted a special event, something I'd never forget.

InterRail was stucked in my mind (also in my best friend Ana as well) for a while but we needed a good excuse to our parents and we found the graduation thing a great one! Sam is always up for adventures so the 3 of us bought the InterRail ticket for 21 days. (You can check more interRail info here) I didn't know but this was the beggining of a new Cicle in my life: Discovering the FREEDOM and exploring different worlds.

When you start travelling it's nice to have some stuff well organized and the InterRail ticket was perfect. It's a train ticket that you can use in the whole Europe. In some places you can just jump to the train, but many times we made a reservation when arriving in a city. This time we did some planning of the cities we'd visit: Barcelona, Amsterdam, Vienna, Prague, Rome, Florence, Venice and Nice. We stayed, more or less, 3 days in each city and to save time and money we tried to travel by train at night (didn't pay for hostel).

(this is me in Amsterdam, Holland)

March 17, 2013


Today I will share the places I've been in Mexico. These tips are from a low budget backpacker who considers herself as a traveller, not a tourist (if you didn't notice Iam talking about myself lol). Also very important: don't follow only my advices, go with the flow!! The people we meet along the way can become friends for a life time and travelling is not about the miles you make...

Mexico currency is Peso ($) and helps a lot if you know basic spanish.

I guess you don't pay anything to get in the country but you need a 6 months valid passport to enter. They also ask for a return flight, we didn't have one and said we were backpacking in Central and don't know when going back to Portugal. They accepted the answer. You pay $295 to get out the country but many times is included in the flight ticket, check it out.

We arrived in Cancun airport and stayed there one day. To be honest, you can skip Cancun and Playa del Carmen, go directly from the airport to Tulum. I had a great time in Playa del Carmen because we were hanging around with awesome people but it's veryyyy touristy.

Mexico is HUGE! I'd say that you need at least one year to visit the whole country in a rush. So when planning your trip watch out the time you have. If you have a flight back soon you better stay in only one state, instead of going to North and South.

The food can be crazy spicy so you better ask with only a bit of spicy in the beggining so your stomach doesn't get upset. Get ready for the Tortillas Party and the Pollo (Chicken). Dear Vegetarians I guess you guys will cook a lot in Mexico since they eat meat even for breakfast ;)

* Tulum is more chilled. You can stay in a hostel in the Centre or in front of the beach. You can also camp in some places. You have the beach in one side and the cenotes in the other. If you ever decided to go cannoying in the cenote please be careful, we saw a crocodile there :D
It's very easy to hitch hike back and forward the centre and the beach but don't forget your belongs if you get a ride lol (check out the previous post to understand what I mean).
You can visit: the Ruins and Dos ojos cenotes. We rent a bike in "Iguana bikes" they also give you a snorkling mask which is super fun!
What I love about Tulum is chilling on the caribean sea in an hammock drinking a papaya fresh juice (or licuado in "mexican language)

Coba: Beautiful Lake - magical by the sunset; Ruins (entrance: $57); Cenotes (entrance for the 3: $100 but the last one, the far one is not so amazing in my opinion) A lot of people go to Coba for a daytrip.

Coba Maya Ruins

* Valladolid: You can stay here if you wanna go to Chichen Itza (very interesting ruins and one of the seven wonders of the World). Rent a bike and visit the cenotes around. Nothing really special about the town but the church at night is beautiful.

* Campeche: Beautiful City with History especially the pirates. You have pacific ocean but no beaches. We only stayed 2 days but there's a lot of sites to visit around town.

March 16, 2013


[La Esperanza Camping, Tulum, Mexico]

Me and Bruno were in Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico and damn happy because we were in a dream camping in the caribean sea with beautiful people all around, felt like family <3
Sadly it was time to leave so we decided to sleep on the beach last night. We organized all stuff and hitch hiked to the centre to go groceries shopping for the dinner. We were in heaven, I mean we got a ride from a pick up and we were outside looking at the blue sky, white clouds and the green trees surrounding us. It was those magical minutes I won't forget.

We "woke up" when the driver said that we arrived. So he pulled over, we jumped and said Gracias with an huge smile. It took 2 seconds until I look at Bruno and reconized that something was missing "Bruno where is your backpack???" Bruno looked at me, opened his eyes and started running after the car. Too late. "Crap! We are screwed!"

March 14, 2013


Gosh! If I ever in my life knew that hitch hiking (HH) is so much fun!!!

First time I tried this way of travelling was 2 years ago by accident when I was volunteering in Norway. We had this task: take a paper with a town written and then head to that place and stay overnight with only 10€. First thought was YYEEYYY!! I love challenges. I was so happy that my challenge mate was Ana, a portuguese volunteer and also my roomate, she was adventurous, open minded and spontaneous, "We will survive!" We were lucky enough to get a close town and our sweet driver called her friend so we could sleep over his place! BONUS! 3 days in Norway and we were already sleeping in a real norwegian family house. We chatted a lot, ate great norwegian goodies and slept in a princess bedroom.
Next day was quit fun to know the other volunteers stories, I felt bad for those guys who HH to Oslo (around 400km from where we were) and had to stay in the train station for the night. It was January, we were in Norway, can you imagine the cold??!! brrrr

March 13, 2013


Hello my dear readers!

I just got back from Central America and I have tons to tell you about that paradise. Along this week I will post about each country: Tips, where to go, where to stay, prices... 

First of all, I'm not sure if this "Central America" expression really exists, I believe is just a good way to organize the Americas, separating North, Central and South but especially the Central from the South. 

The countries that cover Central America are: Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. We travelled all the countries but Belize (reasons: too expensive and out of route) and El Salvador (reason: we had to decide between Honduras and El Salvador because one in up and the other down) and Mexico.