Blogging From Paradise: 21 of My Favorite Places Around the World
Why are you blogging?
Sure you want more traffic. You’d dig more readers, and more blogging sales, and clients, and all that good stuff….but behind all the things, you just want to be free.
Freedom is the goal, whether it’s being liberated from financial constraints, or mental hang-ups about yourself, or whether you want to inspire others to be free.
For me, being able to live in paradise has been a big “why” as far as my blogging motivators.
Blogging Tips and Acting on Them
I can share blogging tips with you until I’m blue in the face but unless you’re inspired to act on them, my tips will fall on deaf ears.
I am blogging in paradise. Right now. At 10:03 PM in Savusavu, Fiji, I hear 2 things now: crickets chirping and the Pacific Ocean lapping at the shores not 50 meters away.
I have retired to a life of island hopping through smart blogging because I blogged intelligently…..because I knew WHY I wanted to blog intelligently…..because I was motivated to follow smart blogging tips I picked up from successful people.
Being free motivated me but behind this freedom was a love of travel. The dream images I saw on other successful online entrepreneur’s blogs, from them living in Tahiti, to Bali, to Fiji, to Phuket, to all over the world, inspired me to do the same.
Guys, you need to dream dreams that make you feel alive. My advice will make little sense to someone with no dreams. My advice might make a little sense to someone who dreams sporadically.
My advice may make a mild impact on someone who dreams a few times each day. My advice will make a ton of sense to people who dream during the evening for a bit, and here and there during the day.
People who dream day and night, people whose dreams dominate their circumstances, will act on my advice day after day, until their dreams become a reality.
The blogging experts know (read Adam Connell’s powerful roundup from the best bloggers on the web); finding your motivator and acting on it separates blogging successes from blogging failures.
If you want to become a professional blogger who retires, because your blog funds your travels, pays your bills and helps you pad your savings, you need to buy in.
People who buy in do not let circumstances dominate their dreams. People who buy in would never make excuses like:
- I have no time to blog
- I can’t follow your advice because I have no connections, or because I’m not smart enough, or because I’m too lazy
- I have no money for: hosting, advertising, etc, etc, etc
- I can’t think of any blog posts ideas
- Nobody is listening anyway, so it’s not even worth it to blog
How in the heck can your dream ever grow if you cut it out at the knees each time you make an excuse?
Dream big dreams. My blogging tips, although important, and quite critical to your success, mean little unless you visit your dreams again and again, and unless you obsess over your dreams, and unless I inspire you with travel stories, and images of my hopping all over the globe, day after day after day.
That’s why I’ll be publishing posts like this from time to time. Pure inspiration. Pure dream selling. Pure motivation for you, through me sharing my travel experiences with you, so maybe you too can buy into living the dream, and maybe you too can be blogging from paradise like me, when you decide to be all in, all of the time.
Let’s get on with the list, shall we?
These are my 21 favorite places in the world.
1: Savusavu, Fiji
Wow. Fiji. What else can you say? Our current location is actually on the 2nd biggest island in Fiji, Vanua Letu. Savusavu is peaceful, quiet, serene, pristine and the cleanest, most unspoiled area where I’ve ever lived.
The people are genuinely friendly, the weather amazing – think Fall-like in the Northeast, during high season here now – and the sunsets are breath-taking.
Savusavu sits atop the list of my favorite places in the world.
Favorite things: stunning, unspoiled beauty of nature, friendly people, dramatic scenery at sunset, slow pace of living, absolutely crystal clear waters.
Here’s a video from our deck. I shot it this afternoon. Enjoy!
2: Ubud, Bali
Ubud, Bali is a beautiful little town in the center of the island. Kelli and I love hitting up the myriad number of vegetarian haunts as well as getting our Bali Bure spa treatment spot down the road from Monkey Forrest.
We’ve lived in both Lodtunduh and Kerouatan, small villages in or by the rice fields outside of Ubud. You can have peaceful, tranquil settings rich with wildlife and with no human life, just 15 minutes outside of a hip and happening town center.
Favorite things: Breathtaking beauty combined with convenience, rice fields, friendly, generous locals.
3: Phuket, Thailand
Phuket always brings fun images to mind. Whether we’re soaking up the rays on Nai Harn Beach or visiting Jungceylon in Patong to catch the latest movies Kelli and I always get excited about a trip to Thailand’s most popular beach destination.
We stay in Rawai Beach, at the southern tip of the island and away from the hustle and bustle of Patong, as well as the heavily touristy spots like Kata and Karon. We are in love with the vegetarian restaurants here.
Favorite things: Beaches, vegetarian food, convenience, smiling locals, fun, high energy vibe, natural beauty
4: Quepos, Costa Rica
Quepos is a tropical paradise situated to the north of world renowned Manual Antonio National Park. Look to your right – scroll up or down – to see Kelli and me feeding squirrel monkeys on our porch in Quepos.
We also saw – and more often, heard – massive Howler monkeys hooting in the canopy, soaked up Jesus Christ lizards walking on water, and took in some amazing views of iguanas, sloths, lizards, spiders and scorpions in the sleepy little town on the edge of the jungle.
Sunday is the Lord’s Day in Quepos. Everything closes, just like here in Savusavu, Fiji.
Favorite things: Unparalled wildlife everywhere, green, lush jungle, speaking the native tongue to chat with locals, great food, interesting ex-pats
5: Koh Lanta, Thailand
Koh Lanta is one of the more beautiful places we stayed. We rented a home on stilts, situated on the bay. We were gifted with stunning sunrises, a plethora of wildlife including 5 foot long monitor lizards and 7 inch long elephant scorpions, and we befriended our beloved soi dog Biscuit along the way.
We also made friends with some of the locals in town who whipped up a mean tofu with mixed vegetable curry.
Favorite things: Stunning beauty, lush jungles, crystal clear waters, plentiful wildlife
6: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is the hub of the North in Thailand. Most travelers make their way through Chiang Mai before heading south to Bangkok, north to Laos or west to Myanmar.
The cost of living is ridiculously low for the quality of life you’re afforded with in the modern, hip and happening city. We love the countless vegetarian restaurants, delish banana shakes and proximity to the old city, where there’s so much to do, including partaking in 3 USD all you can eat vegetarian buffets, as well as soaking up the night market.
Favorite things: Uber convenience, vegetarian food, low cost of living, local culture, wats
7: Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An, Vietnam is a UNESCO World Heritage town located in the center of the country. We loved the beach and scores of quality restaurants in Hoi An, particularly the Dingo Deli, and Cargo, which served up a mean breakfast.
You get around by bicycle in Hoi An if you want to do it right. Kelli and I would ride through the rice fields on sweltering afternoons.
Heat freaks, head to this small, quaint town if you want to sweat. The heat index often reaches 120 F or higher during some peak days in high season. I often drank 1 or more gallons of water a day in this sauna of an environment.
Favorite things: restaurants galore, beautiful beaches, kind people, low cost of living, fun to bike around town
8: Jimbaran, Bali
Jimabaran is a fishing village in south Bali renowned for its restaurants, calm beach and laid back pace of living. Unlike tourist traps like Kuta, Jimbaran is dominated by local folks, a few upscale hotels, and expats as well as the wandering tourist.
The restaurant scene is excellent and Nimala’s is a wonderful supermarket for picking up our beloved tempeh and vegetables.
Just keep an eye out for cobra and some hefty monitor lizards in this part of the island.
Favorite things: Beautiful beaches, stunning natural beauty, friendly locals, great restaurants, quiet town
9: Playa Potrero, Costa Rica
Playa Potrero is a sleepy beach community on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. Not a ton to do here; we usually lazed on the beach and prepared an early evening dinner each night, listening to the waves crash on the beach 2 blocks away from our home.
We only had a 5 minute walk to the beach so you can imagine we were there each day.
Getting to Playa Potrero is a chore, but as you’d imagine, that’s why it’s such a sleepy little, best kept secret.
Favorite things: Peaceful beaches, lazy, laid-back setting, awesome sunsets
10: Sanur, Bali
Sanur marked the first stop of our current 39 month world tour. It’s more of a sleepy little tourist area – dubbed Snore, by locals – which attracts an older, more relaxed crowd of tourists and expats.
We loved lazing on the beach by the bay and watching wind surfers pull off some crazy stunts.
Sanur is right next door to Denpesar if you want to head into town and chow down on a confectionary delight at the Bali Bakery.
Favorite things: Relaxing bay and beach, beautiful spot, solid restaurant scene, great weather, quiet town
11: Kovalam Beach, India
Kovalam Beach was my favorite spot in India. Kelli and I felt KB was similar to Bali, as was much of Kerala. The coconut trees were plentiful, beach, clean and pristine and the people oh so friendly. If you felt like stopping to chat with a local you’d have more than a few opportunities to do so
We enjoyed visiting the Swiss Café each day for lunch and Kelli had a month’s worth of ayurvedic treatments at a local clinic in Kovalam.
Favorite things: Great restaurants, beautiful jungle scenery, calm beach, friendly people
12: Pak Nam Pran, Thailand
Pak Nam Pran was a slow-moving town full of local folks – with the odd tourist and ex-pat – located about 3 hours south of Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand. Kelli and I met our beloved friends Bebe, Penny and Noisy Norman, the soi dogs and soi cats, during our stay in PNP.
The water was serene during low season, food good and we were close to hip and happening Hua Hin. PNP is the playground for the wealthy Thai of Bangkok, and wouldn’t you know I saw 4 Lamborghini Murcielagos the first day we visited Pak Nam Pran.
Favorite things: Chill environment, abundant bird life (many tropical birds living by our home), calm beach, our soi dog and cat friends
13: Kathmandu, Nepal
Kathmandu was a mystical, enchanting city similar to Bali in the regard of being a spiritual center. The people were low key, friendly and inviting. We enjoyed taking in the local scene with temples, holy men and more than a few picture perfect snapshots of narrow streets packed with tourists and locals alike.
Kathmandu was cool, dry and although a bit dusty at times, the weather was excellent.
Favorite thing: Kind people, great food, culture and spirituality, cool weather
14: Penang, Malaysia
Penang, Malaysia is a tropical island famous for historical Georgetown. We stayed in the center of the island, by Queens Bay Mall. We enjoyed walking around town as well as visiting the mall for some great eats. Kelli and I headed into Georgetown a few times each week to soak up the sights and sounds of a pretty interesting town.
Favorite things: Rocking mall, beautiful view from our apartment, Georgetown
15: Cusco, Peru
Cusco was a breathtaking, stunning town nestled among the towering Andes in Peru. I felt the 2 mile high altitude quite quickly, as I was out of breath after walking 4 stories up to my apartment.
I enjoyed cruising up and down the main boulevard, taking in the many chicken restaurants – and equally entertaining signs – which dot the city.
I also visited the Plaza de Armas for a bite to eat and to look around for a bit.
Cusco is the jump off point for visiting Machu Piccu.
Favorite things: Stunning views of the Andes, clean, crisp air, walks throughout town, Plaza de Armas
16: Monteverde, Costa Rica
Monteverde is an amazingly beautiful town a mile high located in the highlands of Costa Rica. The world famous cloud forests in Monteverde offer you a chance to actually be above the cloud ceiling.
Kelli and I saw Toucans as well as some pretty interesting-looking cockroaches in Monteverde. We also enjoyed our trips into town to pick up dinner.
Favorite things: Jaw dropping views of the cloud forest, quaint, secluded nature of the town center, seeing toucans, plentiful wildlife
17: Atenas, Costa Rica
Atenas, Costa Rica is a small, suburban town situated about 40 minutes outside of the capital San Jose. We enjoyed the beautiful views of the valley, the quiet local community where we lived and the amazing Costa Rican fare served up in local restaurants.
This is a major league ex-pat haunt, frequented heavily by Americans. With that in mind, Atenas keeps its local flavor and Central American charms.
Favorite things: Great transportation into San Jose, good restaurants, quiet neighborhood, beautiful views of surrounding mountains
18: Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok. What else can you say? From the hectic scene by the bus station, to the monstrous airport, to the backpacker haunts on Khao San Road, BKK is a mix of anything you could ever want, as long as it’s not peace and quiet.
In the name of good taste, I’m not going to bother to repeat the phrases on the bracelets we’ve seen being sold by vendors on Khao San Road.
BKK is also infamous for the famed ping pong shows that are pushed on tourists all over town. Google it. I’m not going to discuss it here.
Favorite things: Whatever you need, Bangkok has it, colorful characters, awesome food, funny street touts
19: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Phnom Penh, Cambodia is the capital of the Kingdom. We enjoyed the friendly people and gritty but inviting nature of the city. Kelli and I lived by the Central Market, so we saw amazing sights, like pickup trucks stacked 25 feet high with bicycles, or boxes, or anything for that matter.
Yes, I really do mean, 25 feet high.
We also loved getting some serious vegetarian food, amazing French baked goods and spending relaxing evenings on the river front.
Favorite things: Riverfront activity, watching large groups of people work out in unison on waterfront (dancing, etc), awesome vegetarian food, kind people, culture, Central Market sights and sounds
20: Vang Vieng, Laos
Vang Vieng is a party town located in Laos. We dug the town for its beauty, not the famous TV bars that sold drugs, and drug-laced food. I believe, after the death of way too many kids, that VV has effectively shut down the illegal operation to placate foreign governments, and likely, locals who were sick and tired of seeing the Walking Dead (as locals called them) stumbling drunkenly down the streets.
Vang Vieng is hands down one of the more beautiful places we’ve visited. The bus ride from Vientienne was a nightmare but well worth the stay in a unique town.
Favorite things: Stunning views of karsts, peace and quiet (at least on our end of town), nice people, interesting characters at our hotel
21: Plainfield, New Jersey
Hey, I had to mention home, right? Plainfield is not commonly confused with any tropical paradise but it’s where I was born and raised. P’funk helped mold me, and since my family still lives there it’s one of my favorite places on earth.
Favorite things: Family, it’s home
Where are your favorite places in the world?
What’s your dream vacay spot?
What stops have you added to your bucket list?