Justin

JJfromNJ

Justin

I'm a 20 something trying to eke by in this life only traveling a month per year. Except 2008, which was amazing.




Europe » Belgium » Brussels-Capital Region » Brussels November 29th 2011

We took the train from Berlin to Prague, a known scenic route winding along the Vltava River. I recognized it from my 2006 trip and once again, I wished the train would stop for some photo op’s. We Couchsurfed in Prague with Jason, a hyper med student from California. He was very generous, offering us beer and food the whole time we were there. Within about an hour of arriving, we had our own key and he was on his way back to the university to study. After getting settled, we set off into the city for some wandering. The famed Prague Castle was close enough to Jason’s place for us to walk to. It was dark and foggy, a pity because we couldn’t see the amazing views of Prague from the castle walls, but the ... read more
Prague
Prague Castle
Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin November 13th 2011

It’s been much too long since the last update, and thus much too long since the last trip. Although we did sneak out to the Pacific Northwest in May and climbed Mt. Rainier, I never got around to travel blogging. Maybe I need some international flavor to motivate me to write. Anyway… My girlfriend Kristen and I left lovely Newark and flew to Brussels. This was my second time flying this route with Continental (now it’s United, but it seems both are used interchangeably). Unfortunately though, I didn’t have a full row of three seats to myself like I did last time. Furthermore, two rows ahead of us, some French people sitting in an exit row couldn’t understand English, and the flight attendants were saying that they must move to a new seat to comply with ... read more
Nyhavn
Photo 24
Frederiksborg

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Pretoria July 12th 2010

I flew back to Cape Town, my favorite city in the country (despite it being completely un-South African and even moreso un-African). I booked into another hostel on Long Street and met back up with Sonny and Odei. Sonny is a steak connoisseur and researched the best steak houses in every place we showed up in. So steak was in the plans for most nights traveling with them. We went to a place called Nelson's Eye and it was great. They had detailed descriptions of the aging process of the steak and even invited guests to see behind the scenes. It was great but both of us agreed Havanas in Durban was a little better. We later went to a shisha lounge and met an Iraqi named Ahmad. I realize it sounds dubious hanging out with ... read more
Cape Town CBD Sunset
Fan Walk
Semi-Final

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg June 29th 2010

Whew, it's been a little while since the last update. Sorry for the delay, but I'm not wasting much time out here. So we left off when I arrived in Pretoria. The place seemingly looked safe due to the cleanliness and lack of graffiti, but the electric fences outside literally every building was a strong reminder of the realities of South Africa. On top of that, my South African friend Idali -- who was kind enough to pick me up at the airport and drive me into Pretoria -- said that she would never buy a house on the street and would rather live in a complex with a security gate. She also told me a smash-and-grab story when she was driving in Johannesburg once. Hearing things like this makes you keep your guard up more ... read more
Sani Pass
Lesotho
Sani Pass

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Pretoria June 16th 2010

So within two days of being in Cape Town, I had stomach problems. My die hard Travel Blog fans will remember I got a terrible case of the flu last time I was in South Africa. Admittedly, this time wasn't nearly as bad as last time, but it still kept me from eating for a couple days. Almost immediately after getting over it, I picked up the cold which I still have right now. I don't know what it is with this country, but I'm anxiously awaiting the day where I am 100% healthy. I booked into a hostel on Long Street, which is party central in Cape Town, and is sometimes compared to New Orleans' Bourbon Street both for its atmosphere and its appearance. I chatted with the hostel owner for a couple hours. He ... read more
Table Mountain
Long Street
View from Lion's Head

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo June 8th 2010

My flight to South Africa gave me a layover in Cairo, so I figured I might as well stay a few days to break up my two red eye flights. Because I am so very punctual (sarcasm), I booked an airport pickup the night before I left and never got a confirmation email. And getting from Cairo's airport to the city isn't exactly hassle free, so when I arrived I didn't really know what to expect. But luck had it that the driver was waiting with my misspelled name on a sign. We made the 45 minute trip to my hostel in about 20 seat-gripping minutes. I was immediately reminded of how chaotic Cairo is. I've never seen any place in the world with so much garbage all over the place. I seriously don't think there ... read more


I was itching to go abroad again and realized there was no way I could wait until June for my upcoming epic trip to South Africa. I found some cheap airfare to Guatemala, started reading about it, and was sold. Then I paid a little extra to fly into Belize first for some diving, which kind of countered the cheap airfare that caught my attention in the first place. But whatever, I was psyched once I booked the flights. I left bitterly cold New Jersey, landed in a timely fashion in Belize City and got a taxi to the water terminal. Belize City is a violent place so not many people really stop there. I immediately hopped on a water taxi destined for Caye Caulker, one of the many coral islands off the coast. I arrived ... read more
Nurse sharks
Caye Caulker
Chicken Bus in Belize City

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík June 28th 2009

At $7 per hour, Iceland definitely has the most expensive internet I´ve seen anywhere in the world. For that matter, pretty much everything else is most expensive here too, except for heat, which is free. So we landed on time at 6:00 am and immediately met Bryce and Diu, two Canadians. The Blue Lagoon is right near the airport, so the four of us went there just after landing. It was awesome! And furthermore, I kept thinking that everyone at home who thinks it´s odd why anyone would want to travel to Iceland would LOVE it! It´s a huge naturally heated lake (like 90 degrees year round) with therapeutic minerals in it. They also have steam rooms and stuff like that. The only bad thing is the sulfur smell. We spent the whole day there because ... read more
Blue Lagoon
With our Canadian Friends
Reykjavik

North America » United States » New Jersey » Princeton January 21st 2009

Sorry for the delay. I've been busy hitchhiking across the country and sleeping in unlocked cars. Actually, I've been busy catching up with the peeps in Jersey, and... gasp... settling back into the office. But for now, where we left off: Nicole, Roxy, and I checked out the Coit Tower on our way out of San Fran. It's nothing more than a round, dull looking scenic tower on top of a hill just north of downtown. The old elevator was slightly cool, but the rest was a letdown, although I think the girls disagreed with me. They had windows up at the top so you couldn't even get good pictures of the skyline or the bay. But it was only $5. We got back on the PCH and headed back south. This time it was early ... read more

North America » United States » California » San Francisco December 16th 2008

I finished off New Zealand -- and all international travel -- in Auckland. Around New Zealand, it has a bad reputation and it gets unanimous negative reviews. But I didn't mind it at all. It had a lot more to do than Christchurch and the weather was a lot better. I hung out with Kirsten, a Dutch girl from one of my Stray buses. Then I took a free city tour, run by Stray. We stopped at the sky tower, the tallest structure in the southern hemisphere. We also checked out some volcanoes and scenic outlooks. All in all, Auckland was a surprisingly good place to finish off NZ in my opinion. My Air Pacific flight was the most eventful flight of my life. Halfway to Fiji, a warning light came on, so we had to ... read more




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