The Bua Thong Sticky Waterfalls – Motorbikes in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Bua Thong Sticky Waterfalls

The Bua Thong Sticky Waterfalls rest in the hills a little over an hour’s drive outside of Chiang Mai.  This was our first motorbike adventure, and we were a little nervous about it.  There were three of us so Carrie rode with our friend Julie (who is experienced), and I drove myself.  I rented the motorbike for 180 baht from a place called Bamboo Rentals.  The gas was empty when I picked it up so they directed me towards a gas station down the road.  Luckily I had driven Julie’s bike around the lake the day before, so I survived my first leg on a read road without incident. Read more

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Why Your Hostel Needs A Marketing Consultant

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We are hostel marketing consultants and in our years of traveling we have stayed at a LOT of hostels.  The difference between a good hostel and a GREAT hostel is often so small that it’s hard to notice from an inside perspective.  We have worked with almost 50 different hostels and hotels on five different continents.  Our hostel marketing, consulting, writing, photos, and videos have helped many places jump the gap from failure to success.

Here are the 5 biggest reasons why you should hire a hostel marketing consultant:

1) A Different Perspective:  

When you are at your hostel day after day, you become blind to the real problems.  You also get attached to things that are maybe not the best ideas.  A hostel consultant can help you fix problems and think outside the box.

2) Knowing What Foreigners Want:

You know what the locals want; we know what the tourists want.  Travelers want clean, easy, safe, and fun!  Places and activities that might seem unexciting to locals might be exactly what travelers want!

3) English Promotions On Different Media Types:

Eye-catching social media posts are crucial to your success.  Nowadays, many travelers only use Instagram and Facebook to plan their trips.  Having a follower base and daily exciting posts are crucial to building your business.

Here are some examples of Instagram accounts from hostels we have worked with:

4) Keeping Up With The Times:

The hostel world is always changing.  When you are managing a hostel there is little time for exploring other countries, scoping out your competition, or keeping up with events and attractions around your area.  We love travel and the first thing we do when consulting with hostels is to get to know their area like a local, but seeing it though the eyes of a tourist.

5) Professional Photos, Highlights Videos, and Blogging

We specialize in making your hostel shine!  iPhones can take pictures, but having professionally edited photos from real cameras sets you above the competition.   Highlight videos let people feel like they are actually there from the comfort of their own home.  They show how fun, clean, and comfortable your hostel really is.  We want your hostel to be a tourist attraction in itself.  A website blog highlights attractions in your area which increases the traffic to your website and your hostel!

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The website blog for Yim Yam Hostel & Garden in Bangkok

How we can help:

Contact us at globaltravelernetworks@gmail.com to discuss hostel marketing and consulting help for your business!

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Click HERE for more ways to work with us!

We end where we began?

The beginning

Summing up La Aventura Project in one post has left us here staring at a blank page for weeks now.  The same questions run through our heads: “What did we do?” and, “What did we accomplish?”  The jump back into life in the USA was quick, and we were immediately left with little time outside of work, back to normal US life.  The world we came from was stuck in the backs of our minds, left to dwell in occasional yearnings and stories misunderstood by their listeners.  When I have a street food craving at 11pm there is no friendly woman selling tortillas across the street.  Saddening, but it’s also nice to have a kitchen.

Here is a quick list of answers to some of the more popular questions we have been getting from friends and family:
Yes, they did in fact have electricity in Latin America.
Yes, we got sick a few times from the food.  But it was all delicious and we don’t regret trying everything!
No, we did not notice any drug cartel activity.
No, we don’t plan on settling down now or buying a house or anything like that.

Trying to make a list of our accomplishments sounded corny but I did it anyways to brag a little bit:
Learned Spanish to an intermediate level in which we could have decent conversations.
Traveled to 10 countries without flying.
Got engaged!
Learned much more about Latin American history than we did at school, more than most North Americans know.
Hiked the Inca Trail.
Built our blog into a resource for other travelers.

Regrets:  I wish we could have done more volunteering, but maybe you could say that we were more like scouts, examining the playing field.  We did have two stays at WWOOF farms, one in Colombia and another in Ecuador.  It would be fun to check out some more WWOOF farms in Central America someday.

The travel at first was much easier than I expected.  The roads were paved and the buses as nice as the Megabus that we took in the United States.  But as we entered Bolivia our luck was about the change.  It was there that we experienced transportation strikes and washed out highways.  Bolivia was by far the most “out there” country we visited.

La Aventura Project started as a film project and a longing to escape from it all.  Along the way we wrote more and more and eventually were able to use the website to make the adventure last longer.  We passed through phases of preferring writing over filming and vis-a-versa.  Near the end we really dreaded the thought of returning to the grind of working class society.  Here everyone makes little problems seem like the end of the world.  There there were real problems.

The future: We will continue adding to the website and will be posting hostel reviews by guest writes.  (More info if you are interested.)  Our goal is for the website to grow and continue as we start posting our travel tales from the States.  We’ll be beginning the US section of the website in September when we take a road trip across the northwest in the process of moving to California!  We’re also working hard to edit the documentary and we’ll post updates on that front as it gets done.

Ending where we began: So now we find ourselves in much the same place we were in when the seed of the idea for La Aventura Project began.  Making the most of the US and working hard to save money for future adventures.  Dreaming and trying to decide which continent to conquer next.  Asia?  Africa?  Europe?  South again to finally make it all the way to Patagonia?  We have no idea where we should go, but luckily we have awhile to decide as we work to replenish our bank accounts.  The only sure thing is that we can’t stay here for too long, so una nueva aventura is unquestionably on the horizon.

“There is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” -Christopher McCandless

Chau chicos.

Where There Was War

Downtown Perquín, El Salvador

Our first stop in El Salvador was the small town of Perquín, in the northeastern corner of the country.  Famous as the stronghold of the rebel FMLN army during the 12-year civil war, it is now a very relaxed and beautiful mountain village with friendly people and fresh, cool air.  The main reason that we went to Perquín was to check out one of the areas most devastated by war and to talk to some of the people involved.  There is a pretty stunning museum in town, Museo de la Revolución Salvadoreña, where there is a nice collection of historical weapons, propaganda, and photographs, as well as preserved bomb craters, and tunnels where the rebels hid out.

Homage to the Heroes and Martyrs

The museum was $1.20 to enter and it took about an hour to see everything. 

The civil war in El Salvador, which lasted from 1980 to around 1992 and took the lives of about 75,000 people, was caused primarily by extreme poverty, uneven distribution of wealth (2% of the population controlled 98% of the wealth), and a repressive, dictatorial government.  It is something we learn very little about in the United States, probably because of the fact that we supported the bad guys.  Our government tends to go against any faction labeling itself “socialist” even if the capitalist side which we are arming is committing genocides.  This is what happened in El Salvador.  When the FMLN rose up against the government, the government responded by creating “death squads” which killed thousands of innocent civilians.  The Reagan administration supported the government and the death squads by providing millions of dollars, helicopters, weapons, and bombs.

Even though a lot of Salvadorans still resent the U.S government for its involvement in the conflict, most have traveled or have had family members travel to the United States to work and they understand that U.S. citizens aren’t to blame.

Radio “We Will Win”

There were TONS of weapons in the museum.  They ranged from Soviet-designed firearms to those made by the U.S.A and Germany.

One of my favorite parts of the museum was their recreation of Radio Venceremos, a secret radio station that blasted FMLN propaganda across the nation.

That’s me pretending to be talking revolution over a secret radio station

Out behind the museum, visitors are invited to walk through a preserved rebel encampment where there are tunnels and other fortifications along with a bomb crater.

Where the rebels hid out during the bombing

A large crater from a 500-pound bomb dropped by the U.S.

In short, after 12 years of brutal fighting, a peace agreement was signed and the FMLN is now the ruling party in El Salvador.  There are still a lot of problems in the country, many lasting affects of the war, but the economy and standard of living are improving.  It was interesting and sobering to learn about a war we knew very little of.  Sure, the whole museum is from the FMLN’s point of view and I’m sure their side of the story is a bit tilted as well, but it really makes you think.  A link to the Wikipedia article about the war is HERE, if you want a little more information.