Getting Fit for your Trip with Fitness Apps

Reading Time: 6 minutes

My Top 16 Fitness Apps for your Travel Training:


MyFitnessPal
This has always been my ‘go to’ app when I realize that my eating habits are getting out of control. You can track water, food, calories, workouts, steps and Macro percentages. This gives you a well rounded view of what you are actually putting into your amazing machine we call the human body. Take care of it now so you don’t lose your entire life savings trying to maintain it later (or at least that is what I keep telling myself and my patients).
HealthyWage:
  • Make bets against yourself! This was one of the more intriguing Fitness Apps I found. You make a wager against yourself of what you would like to achieve with your weight loss goal. Then you get started with weight, time constraint, and make your bet. If you meet your goal, you get your money back AND THEY MATCH YOU & pay you via PayPal! If you lose, well….. then say bye bye to that money.
  • Money is always a great motivator for me — get paid to lose weight right?! Sounds almost too good to be true.

DietBet:
  • Just like HealthyWage, but the stakes are even higher, some payouts going as high as $1000 — so if you have that lofty goal that you know you can reach, well then…. this one could be a huge moneymaker for you

Charity Miles
I always like to join the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot for the Food Bank here for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Its a way to remember what the holiday is really for to me at least. This app lets you do the same thing! The app will pay you 10 cents for every mile you walk and all the proceeds will go to the charity of your choice! Charities that are the most popular seem to be The Wounded Warrior Project and Habitat for Humanity.
Zombies, RUN!
So this one sounds super interesting to me! I’m a total Zombie fan (think World War Z not Walking Dead). This app simulates a real zombie attack and gives you tasks and things you have to do that are active to protect your campout and your life. Such a fun little game, especially for those of us who love Halloween time 🙂
MotionTrax
When my workout mix starts to get boring, my workouts start dragging as well. So this little gem provides beats to sync with your workout that you can plan beforehand, then it will match a song and beat per minute (bpm) to the intensity of the workout that you are doing. So many fun apps to try!
Under Armor Map My Ride/Walk/Hike/Run
  •  If you are planning to hike up Kilimanjaro, Walk the streets of Scotland, or Trek across the Sahara desert — you may want to gauge how far you are going before you leave to help prepare you physically for your trip.
  • These Fitness Apps allow you to track in real time… how far you ride, bike, hike, or walk. You can save your walks, follow others paths of where they walked/hiked. I use this App all the time to help plan my biking route to make sure I get enough time, elevation, and distance in.

Yoga Wake up:
I have it on my vision board that I want to get better at doing Yoga, so this one is on my list as well. You set you alarm on this one to the time you typically get up in the morning. It provides you with a 10 minute yoga flow to get that blood flowing and start the day off with an excellent sun salutation. I mean 10 minutes guys, that’s how much time you spend Facebook or Instagram stalking before you finally peel yourself out of bed right?
Life sum: I’m a people pleaser, but this one would be nice to have the reminders of what my goals are for my health. This will send you daily reminders and motivational clips to keep your fitness goals for your upcoming vacation body going.
Thrive Market:
This is the Amazon store for those who like clean eating and organic eating. It does have a yearly fee though of $59.95 (BUMMER)– but you simply add each item to your cart, it finds the best deals around you and has it shipped to your door, ultimately saving you quite a bit of money (and your gut from all those GMO products).
Rise:
Want to have a personal nutritionist at your fingertips? Try this one (yes there is a fee darn it) but for $14.95 per month to have someone analyze my meals for me and help me make those changes I need to make to get rid of this belly of mine, well, it seems worth it to try it out right?
mySugr:
As a Health Care Professional, I would highly recommend this to all those of you who may suffer from Diabetes. Your doctor asks you for a log of your blood sugars anyway, so why not just pop this handy app into your mobile device. You input your food, and it tells you how it will effect your blood sugar levels. You can also keep track of your blood sugar levels as well and it will help you construct a definitive plan to help you remain feeling at your best.
All Trails – Hiking and Running:
  •  This is a wonderful App that I use all the time here in Utah. It has the best recommendations on Hiking length, difficulty, trail conditions, and so much more. If you are preparing for a hike while on your trip, or are going to a mountainous area but live in a town that is flat. I definitely recommend this app to prepare you for your unique circumstances while traveling.

If you aren’t the technically savvy kind, then I would suggest Tosca Reno’s “Eat Clean Diet Cookbook” — I recommend this to all my Diabetic patients because it is from a Nutritionist that thoroughly explains what bad carbs vs good carbs are, clean meat vs meat that can literally clog the arteries over time. I like it because it provided me with a base of which I can make better food choices in the recipes that I choose; a ‘this instead of that’ approach instead of a ‘just don’t eat that or this, and this has too much of that in it – so don’t eat that either’ approach. Now that you have the tools, let’s get out there and start getting healthy for our next trip. One of these days I actually will take that dream trip and climb to the Everest Base Camp or hike up Mount Kilimanjaro; and when I do, I hope that my only physical limitation is that I don’t have wings 😉 Happy Travels, Happy Tales, and see you on the flip side.

Comment below with some of your lifestyle diet hacks?

What are some of your favorite YouTube Channel workouts?

Would you add any other Fitness Apps to this list?


For more articles like this, read:
Mastering Motivation with the Masters

Love the Journey

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Berlin History at a Glance

Reading Time: 9 minutes

What I knew of Berlin’s History:

I grew up with a Grandmother who does not want anything to do with Germany. This was mostly due to the fact that she was raised in the time of World War II and was taught to loathe all things, German. I dated a guy once with the last name of Jorgens, and she asked how he spelled it, he told her, ‘J-O-R-G-E-N-S’. She asked if it was German origination, and he responded smiling with a yes, and she unsubtly responded with, “I hate Germans”, after which she walked off. I laughed it off because the spiciness and frank Dutch personality of my Grandmother is something that is very endearing to me. Her German aversion was a drawback to my perception of the German people, despite my efforts to not let it affect me, it did. I was slightly nervous to go to Germany, as I thought it would be full of people with suppressed military regime like attitudes. After visiting, I feel I can say, the German people are definitely not who I had imagined them to be. It gave me a greater understanding to learn their history, how the circumstances of World War II came about & things they were literally bribed with to go along with the mastermind that created one of the darkest moments in World History. So let us explore a little bit of its tumultuous past so we can better connect as a Culture Trekking Community. For my German friends, please feel free to comment/add your thoughts as well. Berlin History - Berlin Scene 2-1

Berlin History at a Glance:

Berlin has West Slavic roots with the meaning related to the Polabian stem Berl, meaning swamp. Since Ber at the beginning of Berlin sounds like the German word Bar – for Bear, a bear actually appears in the coat of arms.

The earliest evidence of settlements dated is from 1192 from wooden house parts. Berlin came into being in the 13th century with it being the major stopping point for two important trade routes.

Berlin became the capital of Margraviate (1417-1701) with Frederick I became the elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg which ruled until 1440. The 15th Century saw those of the Hohenzollern family rule Berlin until 1918. First, they operated as electors, then crowned themselves Kings of Prussia, and if that wasn’t enough – why not just call them German emperors. In 1529 the electors of the city actually converted to Lutheranism. Berlin History - Berlin Church with statue and lightpole 1-1
Berlin History – The Thirty Years War:
The Thirty Years War between 1618 and 1648 devastated all of Berlin, 1/3rd of its houses were utterly destroyed & HALF of the city population was killed. What was it all about you ask? Religion actually. When Holy Emperor, Ferdinand II tried to force his people into Roman Catholicism in order to create a unified country. It seems the Protestant Unions that formed did not like this, they did not want him as their ruler. The Protestant League actually chose the Calvinist Frederick V as the Kingdom of Bohemia. Those of the Catholic faith favored the Emperor and were severely angered, Frederick V was expelled. Multiple Countries became involved because of atrocities viewed from all sides, these were some of the countries involved: Sweden, Spain, Netherlands, France, Italy, and Austria. This war devastated entire regions with famine and disease that resulted in HIGH morbidity and mortality and devastated the populations of both Germany and Italy. Finally, the Thirty years war ended with the Osnabruck and Munster treaty, part of the larger Peace treaty of Westphalia. Berlin History at a Glance Pinterest.jpg
Check out the 10 day itinerary in Berlin to do what the locals do
Berlin History – The Kingdom of Prussia:
The Kingdom of Prussia (1701-1918) came about when the Margraviate of Brandenburg had been in personal union with the Duchy of Prussia. In 1701 the Elector of Brandenburg crowned himself King Frederick I in Prussia after a Dual state was formed with the Kingdom of Prussia. This was the first time that Berlin actually started to grow after merging with 4 other sister cities surrounding it.
Frederick the Great:
1740 saw the coming of Frederick the Great, or Frederick the II; this is the time Berlin saw the first whispers of The Enlightenment, although a 7-year war with Russia was a problem. Then followed the conquest of Napoleon Bonaparte who granted Berlin self-governance in 1806.
Brandenburg and the First World War
1815 Berlin became known as the Province of Brandenburg spurring the Industrial Revolution that transformed Berlin all the way into the 19th century. During this time, more cities merged with Berlin and was then known as The German Empire (1871-1918) War was inevitable, the First World War struck in 1918 and Berlin’s name changed yet again to The Weimar Republic (1919-1933) – civil unrest plagued the city & the roaring 1920’s influenced the city greatly. Despite this Berlin became a central hub for leadership, science, arts, humanities, and film. This was also the time that Albert Einstein was rising from the poverty he was born to and quickly won his Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. Berlin History - Berlin Building 2-1
Berlin History – The Third Reich:
Yet with every success, Berlin has seen since its inception, war always seemed to follow. In 1933 the infamous Third Reich (1933-1945) was established, with Adolf Hitler as its leader. People in Berlin were trying to recover from the years of war and rebuilding cycle. Quality jobs at the time were very low, and it was often hard to find work. If you did find work, you typically worked overtime without getting paid to do so. Berlin History - Berlin Synagogue-1 The story of World War II began in these conditions when Hitler came into power and offered the people a ‘better Germany’. One where all of the sudden you were able to find a job, get healthcare, have paid time off – the cities were being rebuilt, quality homes were being vacated. On the whole, most locals were in the dark about the atrocities that happened. What was happening in Germany at that time is similar (but not equal) to what nationalist governments do today with their people, they praise all the good things politicians or governments are doing & twist the truth into seeming not so horrible as the rest of the world may see it as. It wasn’t until later that the people started to gain a better understanding of what was happening to the Jewish people. Berlin History Building 2-1 Under the Reichstag Fire Decree gained power and was established as a party leader under emergency conditions after the Reichstag caught on fire. He ruled for the next 12 years under this decree, and when elections came up half of the opposition was already put into concentration camps. His approval rating at the time was around 80%. At the time there were Jewish people in the government, they had money. The population of Jewish people in the city was 160,000 in 1933. Thousands were imprisoned after Kristallnacht in 1938 and put in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Berlin History - Berlin on Fire-1 Overcrowding caused shipment of these poor souls to Auschwitz during World War II, with Auschwitz now being known as a major death camp. In the Battle of Berlin air raids destroyed much of the city with 125,000 civilians being killed.  After 1945 defeat of the Third Reich Berlin received many of the refugees from Eastern Europe. The Western Allies occupied the West side of Berlin, and those from the Soviet Sector occupied East Berlin. All 4 great powers (America, France, United Kingdom and the Soviet Union) shared governing responsibilities which led to increased tensions in the Cold War era with people being sectioned off into different areas based on nationality and political affiliations. After World War II Berlin was divided into East and West with a wall surrounding West Berlin from 1961-1989. In 1990 Germany became reunified and again Berlin became the capital.
Berlin History – The Cold War:
At the end of World War II, Germany was divided amongst the Allied forces under the Postdam Conference. Those four powers included the United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union. Peace was short lived as the splitting of Berlin into Russian control on the East side, and the other 3 countries on the West side, became ever more competitive and aggressive towards one another. Tensions continued until there was a Blockade by the Soviet Union in June of 1948 where all supplies were stopped from reaching West Berlin. After a distinction of ‘East’ and ‘West’ Germany was established….conditions on either side became increasingly different. Berlin History -Abstract Art Memorial -1 Under the rule of the 3 other allied forces, the economy flourished in West Berlin. As the Soviet Union ransacked and pilfered all valuables from the East side….conditions deteriorated significantly. When East Germany finally became its own country in 1949 privileges of its citizens were severely restricted. By the 1950’s most of the citizens had had enough. Hundreds of thousands East German citizens were crossing the border into West Berlin. Most of those who were able to escape were young professionals that were flown into West Germany for work. By 1961 nearly 2.7 million people escaped East German. The Soviet Union tried to circumvent this mass exodus by attempting to take over West Berlin, even threatening Nuclear Warfare. In the middle of the night August 12th, 1961 the Berlin wall was completed. Holes were dug for concrete posts, stringing barbed wire, telephone wires were cut and railroads were blocked for all 91 miles of it. Whatever side you decided to be on the night of August 12th was the side you were doomed to stay for the next 28 years. Berlin History Building 3-1 Three days after its initial construction it was replaced by concrete blocks and topped with barbed wire again. In 1965 it was replaced again by a concrete wall with steel. The most ominous version was the one finished in 1980…a 12 foot high, 4 feet wide concrete cage. Later additions included an inner wall that created a ‘no man’s land’, 300 feet of the deadly ground. Boarding up windows and guarding stairways thwarted the escape attempts. Sewer lines connecting East and West Berlin were shut off and re-routed. The ‘Death Strip’, created in 1960 with a standard order to ‘shoot on site’. Extra security was taken with guarding the wall. No one could work on the same shift or station twice. Escape and coercion between guards was thwarted by frequent rotation. The guards were also instructed to shoot without warning, 69 people died that first night. The fall of the wall happened rather quickly, on November 9, 1989. An East German official, Gunter Schabowski, was questioned by a reported on when restrictions on travel visas to West Berlin would be lifted. He responded without hesitating to think of his response as, “Immediately, without delay”. The East Germans were supposed to be required to go through a lengthy Visa process to get into West Berlin. A hoard of East Germans approached the wall telling Harald Jager, the chief officer on duty, the news. With limited communication, confusion, and increasing nervousness on the part of this officer who was expecting his cancer results the next day…opened the gates to West Berlin. The excitement ballooned from there and soon hundreds were arriving at the wall. Armed with chisels, hammers they chipped away at it until the Berlin Wall finally fell. A portion of the Berlin Wall still remains and is memorialized on Bernauer Strasse street. It is surreal to think that such oppression happened, literally, within my lifetime. (For my fellow Americans, if you are male and want to see a piece of the wall, a portion of it is housed in the Venetian Men’s restroom behind a protective glass covering).
How is Berlin Now?
After the fall of the Berlin wall, Germany was reunified in October 1990. Since 2000 it has been the center of a cosmopolitan entrepreneurial scene. There are many Germans that want to make amends for the past. Remarkably there is a lot of construction and rebuilding still happening in Berlin. The city is clean and modern, yet still faces it’s past with an open mind, heart & courage to do so. Berlin Building 1-1 I told my guide, Sean Stewart of Berlin Historical Walks, that his job was to change my mind about Berlin & make me love Germany because I had been taught the opposite. I left Berlin that evening, heart aching for that which the people had both witnessed. Where there is heartache there is also hope, this country is stunningly beautiful, the people are ever so kind (at least of what I observed), they care about their city and have the courage to face their past & celebrate the future. Berlin humbled me in ways I did not anticipate nor expect. I cannot wait to return to explore more of not only this city but the country. Happy Travels, Happy Tales, and see you on the flip side 😉

What is your favorite part of Berlin’s History?

Would you add anything to this brief summary on Berlin’s History?


For more articles like this one, read: Top 5 Hidden Gems of Wales Outlander Self Guided Tour The Hidden history of Kerak Castle in Jordan Irish Workhouses Suffering and Survival
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Top 5 Hidden Gems of Wales

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Top 5 Hidden Gems of Wales by Guest Author Sarah from WildDunk Camping Wales is a top tourist destination. It has some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world and is swimming in myth, legend, and history. What can I write about Wales that hasn’t yet been discovered? If there are a few hidden gems left, do I want to advertise them to the world? During a Facebook discussion, a US traveler queried, “Is it possible to do an American style road trip in the UK?” [caption id="attachment_10531" align="alignright" width="219"] PIN IT[/caption] In the States, the US Forest Service allows dispersed camping on the majority of its lands and parks, which makes travel reasonably inexpensive. Well, this got my mind working overtime as this is something I wish the UK was more open to….. freedom to roam. Scotland already has this policy and wild camping is popular. England and Wales, unfortunately, lack ‘the right to roam’ countryside code. Although wild camping is still popular it is more challenging to achieve. We created WildDunk Camping to help you find your love for the great outdoors and reconnect with nature. We provide advice, accessories, training workshops, and overnight camp experiences in Carmarthenshire Wales. We will give you everything you need to start your own wild camping adventure. Our home county of Carmarthenshire is the largest in South Wales and spans well into the Brecon Beacons National Park. This gives us a vast playground of mountains, lakes, rivers and hiking trails on our back doorstep. There are so many possible places we could have picked for this post but here are our best top 5 hidden gems in Wales:

Top 5 Hidden Gems of Wales

1.Four waterfalls hiking trails: Ystradfellte, Wales. These Idyllic walks take you through stunning scenery in the lush wooded valleys of the Brecon Beacons, and features the classic Welsh limestone landscape.Waterfalls2. Aircraft Crash Sites. For any budding historian, these are a must visit. You can make singular visits to each, and tick them off as you find them, or spend a holiday trekking them all. Either way you choose to explore them it makes for an outstanding adventure. 
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3. Llyn y Fan: This is my favorite place on this list the Top 5 Hidden Gems of Wales. The most touristy mountains in Wales are Snowdon, Cadair Idris and Pen y Fan. These are the 4 tallest mountains in Wales. Picws Du, the peak at Llyn y Fan is small in comparison (at 749m) compared to Pen y Fan (at 886m) which makes it a less popular climb. For me, it is a nicer one, both physical requirements and the route itself. The path up Pen y Fan is called The Motorway it is a very busy and well-worn path. Llyn y Fan is a true gem. Llyn y Fan
4. Llansteffan Beach is thankfully not a top tourist destination. This spot tends to be shared between Tenby and Cefn Sidan at Pembrey. Llansteffan is hidden away between the two locations. There is also a fabulous castle to explore nearby, so you get two hidden gems for the price of one. Llansteffan
5. Lliw Reservoir. I wanted to add a reservoir to the list as Wales has many and they are generally top tourist places to visit. Usk is probably the most well known, and I came very close to choosing Swiss Valley. Lliw made the top reservoir spot because of the lovely cafe, making a great day out. Lliw Reservoir
We hope to have inspired you to come visit more of our beautiful countryside. If you decide to visit Carmarthenshire Wales be sure to look us up and we can help guide you in your quest. You can find us on social media by using #wilddunk. Enjoy your adventures.
Author Bio: WD Logo with website.jpegHi, my name is Sarah. I took voluntary redundancy earlier this year after taking a year off work to continue to care for my seriously ill teenage son. We live in South Wales, UK. I am and always have been a keen outdoors enthusiast. I have been camping since I was 2 years old, along with brownies, guides, DofE and as a parent myself. Hiking has been a lifesaver for my mental health. In June I decided to use my 40+ years of experience to set up a small business, WildDunk Camping, aimed at helping others to reconnect with nature and discover their love for the great outdoors.

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Connecting with Trinidad and Tobago

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Connecting with Trinidad & Tobago – Meet Suzanne Bhagan a fellow travel blogger extraordinaire from Hot Foot Trini. Read her amazing story and about her life in Trinidad and Tobago.  [caption id="attachment_8672" align="alignnone" width="2048"]Connecting with Trinidad and Tobago Meet Suzanne[/caption] Hi Suzanne, I’m so glad you decided to be featured on Culture Trekking! I’m really excited to be able to connect with Trinidad and Tobago through you, its always such a pleasure for me to meet locals and get the inside scoop & learn about the culture and people.  So let’s start by just asking some questions about you if that’s ok, and then we will move onto your country and what it has to offer visitors. Me: What are some of your hobbies? Suzanne: I like traveling (of course), reading, and hiking. When it comes to reading, I enjoy reading fiction or nonfiction set in different countries, particularly if written by authors that call those countries home. Regarding hiking, I like climbing hills and mountains. Nothing like Mount Everest though! Me: What do you do for work? Suzanne: I’m a freelance writer and editor. I’m also a Meaningful Travel Insider (MTI) for GoAbroad. As an MTI, I research and write blog posts on meaningful travel, work, and study abroad. [caption id="attachment_8673" align="alignnone" width="2048"]Connecting with Trinidad and Tobago Suzanne and her Husband[/caption] Me: Who are you closest to in your family and why? Suzanne: I’m closest to my husband, Jesse. He’s my favorite travel buddy. He’s great because he’s very resourceful and solutions-oriented when we’re on the road. Me: What is your biggest aspiration or dream right now? Suzanne: My biggest aspiration (of all time) is to write a travel book. I don’t have a theme yet but I’m working on it! Me: What is it that drives you to get up every morning and be disciplined to see that dream fulfilled? Suzanne: I continue to write and blog as much as I can about traveling, studying, living, and working abroad. I also devour lots of travel fiction, nonfiction, blogs, and articles. I’m generally very self-motivated and deadline-oriented so getting the work done is not a problem. Plus, I love doing what I do and that’s enough motivation in itself! Me: What is your most embarrassing moment? Suzanne: Too many to mention. I tend to block out embarrassing moments.  Me: That’s ok, I do too unless something reminds me of what I did that was embarrassing and then I end up laughing at myself at random which just adds to the embarrassment. Alright, next question: What is something you have personally done that you are really proud of? Suzanne: I’m really proud of the fact that I was able to live in a country (Japan) where I didn’t even speak the language.


So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of Trinidad and Tobago. I first learned about you when you posted something on She’s Wanderful about how immigration officers didn’t believe your passport was real because they didn’t realize it was an actual country. How frustrating and anxiety-driven that situation must have been! Me: What is it like for you to have people not realize it is an actual country? Suzanne: It’s pretty annoying. Sometimes, I get tired of the blank faces and wish I had a map to show them that it actually exists. Without a map, it’s hard to explain where my country is because many people out there aren’t too clued up on world geography. For example, many people I’ve met thought Trinidad and Tobago was in Africa or the US! Go figure! Connecting with Trinidad and Tobago Me: Why do you think it is not well known to the world yet? Suzanne: It’s not very famous because it’s not well-marketed in the global tourism industry. For example, it’s not the typical Caribbean country most people think of, like Jamaica or Barbados. However, travelers can learn more about my country because there are a lot of novels based in Trinidad and Tobago. I highly recommend A House for Mr. Biswas and Miguel Street by VS Naipaul and A Brighter Sun by Sam Selvon. These novels capture Trini culture very well.   Me: Do you think that driving tourists there would be beneficial for the country/people? Suzanne: Tourism is well established in Tobago, the smaller island. A lot of tourists also come to Trinidad, the bigger island, for Carnival (a huge festival similar to the one in Rio but with its unique flavor). However, tourism isn’t a big money spinner in my country because the economy is more energy-driven (oil and gas etc.). Me: So tell me about the people there. How would you describe the people of the country compared to the rest of the world? Suzanne: Trinidad and Tobago is very diverse. The population is made up of people who came from all corners of the world: Europe, Africa, India, China, and the Middle East. The native population, the First Peoples of Trinidad and Tobago, has also remained but is quite small. Me: What is something you are proud of that your countrymen do that you find yourself often bragging to your friends about? Suzanne: I’m pretty proud that the people of Trinidad and Tobago created the steelpan, the only acoustic musical instrument to be invented in the 20th century. Every Carnival, there’s a massive steel orchestra competition called Panorama. It’s a must-see for visitors. I’m also proud that Trinidadian-born fiction and travel writer, VS Naipaul, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001. We also have a fantastic literary festival for Caribbean literature, the Bocas Lit Fest. Me: What types of religions are in Trinidad and Tobago? Suzanne: There are so many religions in my country: Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Spiritual Shouter Baptist, Orisha, Rastafarianism, even Baha’i. Me: Honestly, I haven’t even heard of some of those so I may have to go do some personal research before I can even think about asking more questions on that one. I really like the fact that there are in fact so many different religions in your country. I’m a big believer in that. Ok, so next question:  Me: What is a spot you would frequent as a child? Suzanne: As a child, I loved to go to the beach. In Trinidad, I loved Maracas, Las Cuevas, Mayaro, and Manzanilla beaches. Me: What are 3 hidden gems of Trinidad and Tobago that you wish people knew more about? Suzanne: I wish more people knew that Trinidad and Tobago is a birder’s paradise. One of the best places to see them is Asa Wright Nature Center. I would also like tourists to visit the Temple in the Sea at Waterloo. This temple has a great story behind it. Trinidad and Tobago is also a chocolate powerhouse so visitors should check out the cocoa estates on both islands. Chocolate in Trinidad and Tobago is made from trinitario cocoa beans grown there, the highest grade of cocoa beans in the world. It’s the real stuff! Connecting with Trinidad and Tobago Me: What is your favorite food there that you can’t seem to get anywhere else? Suzanne: Bake and shark, hands down! Me: Food is always a great way to connect with people, I’m definitely going to look those up for sure. Do you have a favorite recipe that you would like to share with the Culture Trekking community to try? Suzanne: One of the easiest things to make is Trinidadian corn soup Me: Is it safe to travel in your country as a single female or with a family? Suzanne: That’s a tough one. I would suggest that single females and other travelers be cautious when traveling alone in Trinidad and Tobago because there is a crime problem. Find a reputable tour operator or local guide to show you around.   Me: What about racism? I know racism is a hot topic right now in the United States. How do those in Trinidad and Tobago handle that, or is it something not frequently thought of? Suzanne: Although many locals claim “all ah we is one,” racism still affects everyday living in the country. It’s something that subtly permeates every level of society. Many people ignore it or pretend it doesn’t exist. Me: Would those in the LGBTQ be welcome and safe there? If not what would be some suggestions you have for them when traveling? Suzanne: Trinidad and Tobago, like many other Caribbean islands, still has a very conservative attitude when it comes to gender and sexuality. LGBTQ travelers are welcome but may get unwanted attention from some locals. Me: Are there areas you would suggest avoiding while there? Suzanne: Avoid crime hot spots like Laventille, Enterprise, and Beetham. Me: What are the major tourist traps? Suzanne: I don’t think we have any tourist traps in Trinidad and Tobago! Me: Do you have any favorite camping spots or hiking trails you would suggest? Suzanne: Hiking is very popular on both islands. I would suggest going with a local guide or tour group because the trails are not signposted and you could get lost in some areas. I highly recommend hiking to Paria beach and Rio Seco waterfall. Me: What about your favorite hidden beaches? Suzanne: You can access hidden beaches by boat on both Trinidad and Tobago. You need to hire a local guide to get all the deets. [caption id="attachment_10446" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Connecting with Trinidad and Tobago Suzanne and family[/caption] Me: When I say home, what does that picture look like in your mind? Suzanne: In my mind, home is not a place. It’s the people who matter most to me. Me: That is such a beautiful thought, I’m definitely going to remember that one. How do families there spend time together? Suzanne: Different families do different things but in general, families spend time eating out, going to the cinema and malls, visiting relatives, going to the beach or river, and vacationing at beach houses across the two islands. Me: What are marriages like there? Does the woman or the man propose? I need to find a country where the woman can propose myself, lol. Suzanne: Marriages are generally love matches but there are a few arranged unions. Man or woman may propose although traditionally, men propose. Me: Do you have any closing thoughts for my readers you would like them to know or take away from this? Suzanne: I would love for your readers to learn more about Trinidad and Tobago and the rest of the Caribbean. We are so much more than beaches! Me: Well Suzanne, it really has been a pleasure speaking with you and I hope one day to be able to meet you in person. You sound like a fascinating person, with loads of adventures awaiting you around the corner. I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my questions and help my readers learn about your fascinating culture and connect with Trinidad and Tobago. I hope that they have been as enthralled as I have been in reading your answers. Thank you so much for your time and if my readers wanted to get in touch with you, how would they do that? Suzanne: They can check out my blog: Hot Foot Trini or connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
Alright folks, that is it for today. I hope that you enjoyed this featured follower post. I want to sincerely thank Suzanne Bhagan for participating and being willing to answer all these questions. I love being able to connect with different cultures and communities throughout the world. 

For more posts like this, check out: 

7 Safety Tips When Hiking the Jungles of Jamaica

12 Things to Know Before Visiting the Island of Delos


If you are interested in being a featured follower, make sure to subscribe to my email list below and enter your message ‘feature me!’ be sure to include your country of origin and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Happy Travels, Happy Tales & see you on the flip side. 
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