Hiking to the Top of the Rock of Gibraltar… all the way from Spain

Hiking to the Top of the Rock of Gibraltar via the Mediterranean Steps

Walking across an airport runway, enjoying epic sea views all the way to Africa, conquering the Mediterranean Steps, and observing Gibraltar’s resident apes. It took us several hours, but we literally walked all the way from Spain to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar… and back… and saw loads of cool stuff along the way!

If you’re the active sort with a day to spend in Gibraltar, you’ve gotta try this.  Continue reading

Aspiring Light Packers, This Bag’s for You: Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack Review

Sea to Summit Ultrasil Packable Daypack Review

I’ve owned the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack for a year and a half, and it’s the one bag it took to convince me: Not all backpacks are created equal. Who knew it was possible to travel with two bags but only carry one? Perfect for urban exploring, day hikes, and even grocery shopping, aspiring light packers — this backpack’s for you.  Continue reading

Puffin Watching on Iceland’s South Coast (Dyrhólaey, Iceland)

Puffin Watching on Iceland's Southern Coast (Dyrhólaey, Iceland)

So you’re dying to see puffins on your trip to Iceland, eh? I’m no bird watcher, but that was me, on our inaugural trip to Reykjavik this summer. Unfortunately, we discovered, they’re not as common as horses and sheep, and we almost went our whole 6-day trip without finding them.

Once we did, however, it was magical! We saw upwards of 80 birds swimming, fishing, flying and waddling, and there were always around 10 of them a short 3-5 meter distance away. If you’re visiting Reykjavik during puffin season and don’t mind a 2+ hour drive, read on for our simple tips for locating these beautiful birds and the photos we captured once we (finally) found them.  Continue reading

A Day at Széchenyi Thermal Bath (Budapest, Hungary)

A Day at Széchenyi Thermal Bath, Budapest

Known for its large open air thermal pools and rowdy late night parties, Széchenyi Bath is one of the most popular thermal baths in Budapest. So even though we’re not “spa people,” visiting a bath was a must on our Budapest list, and this was our very first!

A bit nervous and with no clue what to expect, we dropped in for a day at Széchenyi. Here’s what happened next!  Continue reading

Our Hiking Gear

Our Hiking Gear (and why we love it) | North to South

Hiking is one of our favorite outdoor activities. It always offers up something amazing: spectacular views, wildlife encounters, a breath of fresh air… Plus it’s a hobby that requires little money — Yay! — after a small initial investment.

From basics like boots to specialty items like bear mace, if you want to know what gear we use (and recommend) for hiking, find out right here!  Continue reading

North to South’s Quick Guide to Niagara Falls (New York, USA)

A Quick Guide to Niagara Falls: things to do, when to go, where to park, and more!

Planning your first visit to Niagara Falls? You’re in for a treat! Niagara Falls is one of the most fun, unique places we’ve ever visited in the U.S.

Want to plan an amazing afternoon at Niagara Falls U.S.? Get our insider tips here!  Continue reading

Big Island Diving with Kona Diving Company (Kona, Hawaii, USA)

Diving on Hawaii's Big Island with Kona Diving Company

If you’re a diver or if you’ve ever looked into getting certified, then you’re well aware that diving is an expensive hobby.

And since we’d been on a strict budget for a year after quitting our jobs to travel, we hadn’t been diving in two whole years! This being my first visit to Hawaii’s Big Island, I was absolutely dying to do the manta ray night dive. But first, it was time for a refresher.  Continue reading

Snorkeling at “Two Steps” in Honaunau Bay (Big Island, Hawaii, USA)

Snorkeling at 'Two Steps' in Honaunau Bay, Hawaii's Big Island

Fancy a snorkel in one of the Hawaii’s best snorkeling locales? If you’re staying on the Big Island, you don’t want to miss “Two Steps.” It’s a laid-back beach snorkel destination with abundant sea life less than 40 minutes south of Kailua-Kona. And it’s free!

Continue reading for more info on snorkeling at Two Steps, plus a video from our visit.
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Shot of the Week: Nature’s Water Park (Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park, Missouri, USA)

North to South Shot of the Week: Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park

Johnson’s Shut-Ins is a magical place from my childhood…  A two-hour drive from home in St. Louis, we only visited a handful of times when I was young. But boy did I remember it. I’ve always loved outings that involved swimming, and of all the places I’ve swam in the world, Johnson’s Shut-Ins takes the cake.

Crystal-clear water flows through, around, and over the rocks at “Nature’s Water Park,” creating tiny pools where tadpoles grow up into frogs… And you can climb right in to experience it firsthand! It’s amazing. It’s also one of few places you can find where it’s fashionably acceptable to wear tennis shoes with a swimsuit. And you need them to climb around the slippery, rocky pools. The Shut-Ins aren’t particularly large, so it was always busy when we’d arrive early morning in my childhood. But mid-afternoon just after Memorial Day weekend, we were pleasantly surprised to have the place almost entirely to ourselves. If you’re looking for a summer day trip from St. Louis or Branson or the Ozarks, go here. You won’t want to miss it.

This photo was taken on May 26th with the Sony RX-100 III. Continue to view full photo and a video from this cool place!  Continue reading

U.S. Road Trip Re-Cap: Week Three (Louisiana to Missouri)

U.S. Road Trip Week Three

After crossing the big wide state of Texas in week two, this week started with an epic day of gluttony in the New Orleans French Quarter. We filled our bellies with pralines, boudin and beignets and then turned north so Ian could experience the best baseball in the country and what I think is one of the most unique state parks in the entire U.S.

For the third week in a row, here is a photographic recap of our spring and summer road trip across the U.S. This week we’ve got a balance of city and nature, with lots of delicious food and wonderfully varied weather in between.  Continue reading