Photos That Will Entice You To Pick Up And Go

Before I read the article, I looked at the photos first. Yes, they are really enticing. How I wish I could visit even just one of the amazing places in the list and take one amazing photo!

10 Stunning Travel Photos From a Former Bond Trader


Whenever we encounter an incredible place, who isn’t compelled to take a photo beside it, if only to prove to everyone (and occasionally ourselves) that we were actually there? I asked uber-traveler Rus Margolin of Travel2Unlimited, a former bond trader turned world traveler, to send me his most epic photo ops and be our stand-in at extraordinary places we might not ordinarily go.


Near the Arizona-Utah border is a remarkable sandstone formation known as the Wave. Located in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, access is extremely limited: you can win one of only 20 daily permits either through an online lottery or just showing up early in the morning. “Then it’s a 12 mile return hike without a trail or a map. 50% of those attempting usually get lost without getting to the Wave,” says Rus. Get your permit, find your way, and prepare for an Epic. Photo. Op.


Here’s an outdoor paradise located 8 time zones east of Moscow, with over 300 volcanoes, half of them active. “Climb Avachinsky volcano and peer in the active caldera, or walk into Mutnovsky caldera and see nature in action – steam, fumaroles, sulphur, gases and boiling mud,” says Rus. To get there you‘ll have to fly to Moscow and take a long flight to Petropavlovsk, but the photo ops are priceless.


Located in the Western Pacific, Palau offers some of the world’s best snorkeling, scuba diving, and underwater photo ops. Flying in from Tokyo or Guam, you can rent your own island for the day, hike in the tropical jungles, or float with millions of golden jellyfish in a bottomless lake. The jellies, rotating counter-clockwise as they float to the surface, are harmless. “You feel like you are on a different alien planet,” says Rus.


To get this photo among thousands of Emperor penguins, Rus spent several days camping on an ice shelf off the coast of Antarctica. “You can spend hours watching them feed their chicks.” Emperor penguins are the largest of the penguin species. For this photo op, you’ll need to get on a 5-hour charter flight from Chile, and hop on another 4-hour small prop plane to the penguin ground. “It’s a once in a lifetime,” adds Rus.


The world’s largest salt desert makes for epic photo ops, especially when you play around with perspective on the snow-white salt landscape. Create optical illusions (like Rus holding the 4×4 Land Rover), take huge jump photos, and snaps of you dipping in the bright red and green mineral lakes. “You may need to acclimate to the air at 15,000 feet before you go jumping ,” says Rus. To get to the Salar de Uyuni, either take the train from La Paz, or cross over the Atacama to Bolivia with a tour company from Chile’s San Pedro de Atacama.


A place name as epic as “The Door to Hell” demands an epic photo op. Located hundreds of miles from the nearest village in the middle of Turkmenistan’s Karakum Desert, the door is actually a large crater caused by an ill-fated drill for natural gas. When the drilling rig collapsed into an underground cavern, it sparked a huge fire fed by unlimited quantities of gas. “The crater has been burning since 1971, “ says Rus. “It wasn’t easy to get here, but it was worth seeing the night light up by the burning hot inferno.”


There are few cities as beautiful as Rio, and few experiences as epic as hang gliding. Hunky tandem instructors hang out at the beach in Sao Conrado, taking tourists up the mountain into Pedra Bonita national park for the flight of a lifetime. Launching off a wooden platform into thin air, you’ll be too busy gawking at the view below you to think about taking any photos. Fortunately, the instructors tape a remote-controlled camera to the wing for epic shots like these.


When the midnight sun burns during summer in the high Arctic, it’s nigh on impossible not to take epic photos. “This is unadulterated, pure raw nature and you are part of it,” says Rus. We met each other at Arctic Watch, the most northerly eco-lodge in the world, where we hiked the tundra with muskox, watched thousands of beluga whales, and swam in crystal waterfalls like this one. Epic all the way.


Sossusvlei sits inside Namib-Naukluft Desert National Park, an alien landscape of bright red and yellow dunes and semi-petrified trees. “Surreal would be a perfect word to describe it,” says Rus. Arriving late in the afternoon, watch the sun cast shadows on the dunes, some of which rise as high as 100 metres. “You can also hear the dunes moving if you stand still,” adds Rus. Another epic location, for an epic photo op.


Watching the sun rise or set over the mysterious moai statues in Easter Island has to belong on a list of epic photo ops. Most of the statues, located throughout the island, have fallen over, but some still stand upright. “Ahu Tongariki has the most moai for sunrise, and Ahu Hanga Roa is perfect for sunset,” says Rus. Nobody quite knows what prompted the islanders to erect the statues, and effectively wreck their civilization doing so. In the meantime, we’ll hop in the photo for another snap of a lifetime.

Follow Rus and his incredible journey around the world at Travel2Unlimited. 


My favorites from the featured places are The Wave, Jelly Fish Lake, Antarctica with the emperor penguins and The Door to Hell. I also found those pictures of Rus from those places the most epic. I agree this is a once in a lifetime experience. Who wouldn’t want to visit even just one of those?!

Travel Is a Great Teacher

I highly recommend this article to everyone since I love to travel. Traveling teaches you and gives you the experience of so many things in the world out there, and there are still many things we don’t know about yet. You will learn more about yourself during your travel, as well as the chance to get a better understanding about the world and all the different cultures.

The Most Important Thing Travel Will Teach You


Almost a month had passed in my Southeastern Asian sojourn before I finally reached the sun-glinted waters of the South China Sea. A month of rain, of loneliness, and of uncomfortable happenings with strange men. But when I finally saw those electric, unapologetic blues, everything else diminished to dust.  I had no plans but to relax and write on the beach for a few days before heading north towards Thailand. I watched with simple delight as the ferry approached the dark, verdant mountains of Tioman Island in Malaysia.  The sun was just beginning to set as I walked with a subdued exuberance. The sky lent itself to my mood in dusky blues and golds. I dropped my backpack in the first room I found and made my way to the bar.

Coming up to the aptly named Sunset Corner, I ordered the happy hour special of three beers for ten ringgit. I chugged the first beer near instantaneously, set free a massive belch, tore off my dress, and ran into the sea like a crazed religious nut into the Promised Land. I opened my eyes under the water, clear as glass, and let the salt soak into my skin with ineffable relief. Since I was too young to understand it, I have needed and adored the ocean in a way that is beyond words, even to a rambling writer like me. What I did not know was that this particular water on this particular beach was going to give me more than I bargained for.  

As I collapsed salty and reborn onto the pleasantly busy beach, I noticed a group of six or seven travelers from several different nations laughing over beers just a few feet away. I walked up with my second cold beer, the sea still pouring down my body from the long, wet mop on my head, and asked if I could join them. Immediately greeted by a young blond who looked more like a California surfer boy than a Scotsman; we sank easily into introductions and the questions you find yourself happily asking and answering in each new place you arrive. There was something about this group of scattered strangers that made me feel instantly at home.

After spending the evening learning pieces of each other’s histories over a few too many beers, I found myself once again being called back into the sea. But with the tide dangerously low and the moon barely visible in the sky, my plan was ill-fated. Unknowingly, I exited the water with six sea urchin spines arched along the ball of my right foot. The moment I touched dry land a nerve-shattering pain shot up my leg. There was no way I would be continuing on my travels in just a few days. I couldn’t have known it then, but that sea urchin was one of the best things that happened to me that year. It kept me on Tioman for almost a month, and allowed me to learn the lesson I want to share with you now.

I have labored through many drafts and variations in figuring how to relay this this intangible souvenir. Even the word souvenir seems to cheapen it, almost by definition a magnet or t-shirt or some other kitschy knick-knack to be forgotten as soon as it’s given. Except that the word comes from the French word for memory, and I will certainly never forget what I took from Tioman. So here is the best I can do. 

About ten days into my stay on the island my new-found friends and I spent a night with a boat load of rum watching a lightning storm crash its way in purple flashes across the expansive sea. In the dark hours of the morning, I hobbled my way back to my room and lay on the bed, unable to sleep with the storm still crashing outside. Letting pen float over paper, I was waiting for something to come to me. Instead of words, that thing was Veronica. A sunset-haired Norwegian, I don’t believe there is a person on this planet who could claim she had done them wrong. And if they did, I wouldn’t believe them. 

This sweet girl of a woman knocked on my door, and when I opened it, I saw the tears in her eyes. I had seen a glimpse of a drunken argument between her and her Malaysian boyfriend in between clashes of thunder. But as it is with those things you tend to turn away and mind your own. But as this somewhat stranger sat on my bed and choked words and tears from her throat as if there was no room for air, she stripped herself down to bone. Her boyfriend had struck her that night. Swung a drunken fist at her freckled porcelain face and threatened her with a knife. There was no use for a single word in English or in any other language. I held her tightly. As if I could squeeze the pain from her chest out to her arms and through her fingertips, I held her. 

For more than an hour she poured her story, their story, into me. We passed two hours and a dozen cigarettes. Though sometimes hard to understand through her accent and her tears, we occasionally enjoyed those priceless laughs that come through unstoppable tears and remind you it won’t always be that bad. And I thought. It had been fewer than two weeks since I had arrived on Tioman. In any other world, Veronica would be a perfect stranger. But here, on my bed, smoking cigarettes in our underwear, we had known each other for ages. And though there was a tragedy here that brought Veronica and I closer that night, I realized the more important piece: there are no real boundaries keeping any of us apart. 

The thing about traveling to remote places, far removed from the plethora of overwhelmingly unnecessary Western conveniences, is that instead of being busy driving places and calling people on your way to meeting other people, making plans for next week, next month, next year, all you do is talk to each other. So perhaps back in D.C. it takes months to know a person: to pull them out of the structured comfort of their familiar, to infiltrate a circle of friends that is longer and stronger than you, to learn those little details that matter more than the big ones. But when you are a traveler, and to be honest I’m not exactly sure when I became one, these connections are easy, and strong, and slowly transcend any other experiences as the ones that define you. 

We each come to these places indelibly tattooed with our families and educations, our loves, tragedies, and disappointments, which are simultaneously the chains that weighted us to the ground back home and the gusts that blew us away. We struggle to grow against it all, while knowing that without these things we couldn’t have become who we are. And so you learn these little caverns in those you meet. You try to navigate your way through their hearts, the same as your own, and in those explorations between open souls, as narrow and cobwebbed as they can be, is where we find love with another person. And when we let ourselves forget about all the other things in our life that seem so important, we can end up finding that love almost everywhere we look. 

I came to Tioman to relax on a beach. I left Tioman with a better understanding of why we are here on this earth. I left remembering that human connection is the only thing that really matters in the long run: the friends we make, the people we love, the strangers we help. So thank you, Tioman, terima kasih for reminding me what it, what everything, is all about: love.

Enjoy the article? Then get out your travel bag and get ready for the lessons that travel will teach you. 

What To See In Cambodia

Are you planning a cruise to Southeast Asia? I’ll bet that Cambodia will be one of the stops – and you won’t be sorry. Get to know this amazing country with the help of this article.

Top Five Sites To See In Cambodia On An Asian Cruise

If you’re looking to stray from the beaten path on an Asian cruise vacation, you might want to think about booking a trip that calls in beautiful and exciting Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Docking at the nation’s sole deepwater port at Sihanoukville, you’ll have access to many of Cambodia’s ancient temples, incredible jungles, pristine beaches and exciting excursions. Here are some of the must-see destinations to explore on your Cambodian vacation.

Angkor Wat Temple, Cambodia

Angkor Wat Temple, Cambodia

The Ruins of Angkor
Considered one of the most significant archeological sites in all of Asia, the ruins of Angkor date back to the reign of the Khmer Empire between the 9th and 15th centuries.

Angkor Archaeological Park is a protected UNESCO World Heritage location, which spans hundreds of square miles and includes a vast assortment of impressive monuments, temples and capital buildings. In particular, the famous Temple of Angkor Wat stands at the center of the park along with other architectural marvels like Bayon, Preah Khan and Ta Prohm. You can also interact with residents from the local villages that still call the ruins of Angkor home.

Psar Lu Market
If you’re interested in gaining an up close look at how contemporary and historic cultures merge in Cambodia, there’s no better place to do so than Psar Lu Market. Located outside the city of Siem Reap and considered the gateway to the Temple of Angkor Wat, this bustling marketplace is a local hub of culture and commerce. As you wander the streets of Psar Lu Market, you’ll see vendors selling all sorts of unique wares, ranging from handmade local crafts to tourist souvenirs perfect for remembering your Cambodian vacation.

Wat Krom and Wat Leu
Located just outside of Sihanoukville, the two well-preserved Buddhist temples Wat Krom and Wat Leu are among the most important religious structures in the area.

Wat Krom translates to “lower wat,” and is situated on a tiny hill on Santipheap Street overlooking the coastline. Alternately, Wat Leu – the “upper wat” – sits on a taller mountain nearby and offers picturesque views of the town below. Both of these incredible sites feature impressive stonework and are decorated with statues of elephants and the Buddha.

Phnom Penh
Located north of Sihanoukville, the nation’s capital and largest city of Phnom Penh provides vacationers with an array of cultural attractions, commercial centers, government complexes and beautiful parks.

The city features heavy influences leftover from French colonization during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and you can still hear French and Cambodian spoken side by side in Phnom Penh. That’s not to mention the delicious combination of Asian and French foods that comprises the local cuisine in restaurants and hotels throughout the city.

Travelers looking to explore a mysterious and beautiful land on an Asian cruise vacation should click here to start planning your trip to Cambodia for the trip of a lifetime.


Angkor Wat is reason enough to make sure that you visit Cambodia. The only thing to warn you about is the heat. Do some research to be sure to visit at the time of year when the heat is least oppressive. Go ahead and have fun.

The Co-operative Travel

Are you looking for an affordable Caribbean vacation? Traveling in the Caribbean does not need not be too expensive. With the beautiful water and gorgeous beaches, you’ll have a great time no matter where you go.

The Co-operative Travel: Top Affordable Caribbean Breaks

Indulge in tropical cocktails

Indulge in tropical cocktails

For most people, the very thought of a trip to the Caribbean tends to conjure up images of turquoise waters, powder white beaches, sizzling sunshine and lush foliage. Happily, this is all quite close to fact. Include a laid-back atmosphere, tropical breezes, sumptuous local cuisine, and a diverse culture, and you’re pretty much spot on.

No matter where you go in the Caribbean, you’ll find yourself having unforgettable experiences and a holiday that will leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and eager to come back and sample more of what the Caribbean has to offer. At The Co-operative Travel, you can choose from a great selection of fabulous Caribbean holidays, each of which has something unique and exciting to offer.

Three top affordable Caribbean holidays with The Co-operative Travel

Many people are keen to escape to a paradisiacal destination and get away from the stresses of daily life for a week or two. However, with the current financial climate the way it is, most people are having to be mindful about how much they spend on their annual holiday. At The Co-operative Travel you can choose from a great selection of affordable yet incredible Caribbean holiday experiences, so you get to enjoy the best of both worlds.

The following Caribbean holidays available from The Co-operative Travel are some of the most affordable getaways available.

Cuba Holidays

Independent since 1902, Cuba is a wonderful, fascinating and unique Caribbean destination, that’s home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. If you want to get up close and personal with paradise on earth, Cuba is the place for you. It’s not simply a destination for sun seekers, idyllic beaches and tropical heat, (though there are nearly 300 beaches on the island if that’s what you want) – it’s also an island steeped in a fascinating and sometimes disquieting history, where visitors can immerse themselves in the unique culture of the place.

When it comes to expense, this island is one of the most affordable in the Caribbean, which makes it a great choice for those looking to experience the region at a non-prohibitive price. There are many incredible places to stay, visit, and explore in Cuba, such as the historic capital city of Havana with its Cadillac-filled streets and candy-coloured buildings, its second city, Santiago de Cuba, or the stunning Cayos islands.

Dominican Republic Holidays

The Dominican Republic is one of the most popular Caribbean destinations among holidaymakers, and this is not surprising as it also tends to be the most affordable. This is a place where you will find stunning resorts alongside breath-taking natural beauty. There is a very diverse landscape to take in here, from its incredible coastline to lush rainforests and majestic mountains.

Unforgettable experiences await

Unforgettable experiences await

There is also plenty of history and culture to explore in the Dominican Republic, with a range of fascinating historical sites to explore. One of the most significant of these places is the first city in the New World, Santo Domingo, which was discovered in 1496 by Christopher Columbus’ brother, Bartolomeo. The city, one of the most heavily populated in the Caribbean, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a curious mix of medieval and the ultra-modern in terms of architecture.

Barbados Holidays

Barbados is a Caribbean destination that is enduringly popular with the British. While some of the architecture and even the recreational activities give off a very British feel, the gorgeous landscapes, beautiful beaches and sizzling sunshine will make you think of any place but home. Barbados combines a relaxed vibe and chilled out ambiance with vibrant nightlife, exciting festivities and fascinating culture.

You will be able to choose from a number of popular beach resorts when you visit Barbados, with stunning areas such as St James and Christ Church. Along the coast of St James, which is a favourite with the rich and famous, you will find Holetown, which was the first British settlement in Barbados. No matter which of these stunning destinations you choose for your holiday, you’re guaranteed to feel you’ve escaped to another world. Drink in those breath-taking surroundings and immerse yourself in the relaxing atmosphere of the Caribbean.


I bet this article helped you make, or at least start with, your plans. At the end of the day, it’s not how much money you have that is going to matter. It’s how you make the most of what you have and enjoy it.

Stuff To Ask For While On a Plane

Have you ever wondered if you should bother the flight attendant for a water refill? Perhaps you wanted to ask to ask for water or a pillow or whatever, but felt that you didn’t want to impose.

To put an end to all our what-ifs, read further and find out the 10 things we can  and should ask for while on the plane.

10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Ask for on a Plane

by Christine Sarkis

(Photo: Smiling Flight Attendants and Pilot via Shutterstock)

(Photo: Smiling Flight Attendants and Pilot via Shutterstock)

From shrinking seats to ever-dwindling in-flight amenities, the airline industry really earns its tightfisted reputation. But if you know what to ask for, you’ll find that in-flight offerings are not quite as stingy as they seem. We asked author and former flight attendant Beth Blair for her tips on the free extras and services only available to those who know to ask.

So next time you’re hit with a headache onboard or have a thirst that’s going to take more than a glorified Dixie cup of soda to quench, know you can ask for—and most likely receive—a little onboard assistance.

Wing Pins for Kids

(Photo: Pilot Wings via Shutterstock)

(Photo: Pilot Wings via Shutterstock)

Most airlines have cut free food and snacks for adults and kids, but many still offer little flyers wing pins to commemorate their flight. According to Blair, “The pilots usually don’t have them though; it’s the flight attendants who have them stashed somewhere in the cabin.” Can you ask for a pin even if you don’t have kids in tow? We don’t know, but if you’ve tried, leave a comment below letting us know how it went!

The Whole Can

(Photo: Aeroflot Flight Attendant via withGod/

(Photo: Aeroflot Flight Attendant via withGod/

When you factor in the pile of ice that flight attendants load into those little plastic airline cups, you’ll find you’re not getting much liquid on each pass of the beverage cart. If you’ve got a thirst that’s going to take more than a few tablespoons of soda to quench, consider politely asking your flight attendant for the whole can. Blair says that most of the time, they’re happy to oblige. And if they can’t—for instance, because the plane is low on cans or isn’t getting restocked in the next city—flight attendants will still usually offer to simply come by again to refill your cup.

Basic Medicines and Bandages

(Photo: Pills in Hand via Shutterstock)

(Photo: Pills in Hand via Shutterstock)

Whether it’s for a headache from takeoff or lingering airport heartburn, many flights are stocked with basic medications such as painkillers and antacids. Blair says that, most of the time, flight attendants also have bandages on hand for minor cuts and that “if you’re hurt, flight attendants are experts at making ice packs for injuries (either out of plastic bags or sick sacks).” Knowing this makes us wish flight attendants got merit badges.

Editor’s Note: Some airlines may not allow their flight attendants to dispense over-the-counter medications. But if you need one, it never hurts to ask.

Water-Bottle Refills

(Photo: Water Bottles via Shutterstock)

(Photo: Water Bottles via Shutterstock)

As long as onboard supplies allow it, flight attendants are usually willing to refill your empty bottle of water for you. Blair says, “Most flight attendants are very generous with beverages.” Since passengers who carry their own water bottles will have had to empty them before going through security at the airport, this added service can come in extra handy for the hydration-conscious.

Help Finding a Doctor

(Photo: Stethoscope via Shutterstock)

(Photo: Stethoscope via Shutterstock)

Almost all airlines train cabin crew to ask for medical assistance onboard, so if you’ve got a personal medical emergency, a flight attendant will be your best bet for quickly finding a doctor in-flight. On most airlines, that means the flight attendant will make an announcement over the loudspeaker, but Lufthansa has a program which gives doctors frequent-flyer miles for identifying themselves to the airline in advance.


(Photo: Pretzels via Shutterstock)

(Photo: Pretzels via Shutterstock)

Did the bag of tiny pretzels leave you peckish? If you’re flying an airline with free snacks or meals, you can ask for seconds. If, after all passengers are served, there’s extra, flight attendants are likely to grant your request. Blair says flight departure times can help you predict the likelihood of there being extra food: “On some flights it seems nearly all of the passengers pass on meals or snacks (such as late at night). Those flights are the best bet for getting seconds.”

Help Switching Seats

(Photo: Man Reading a Newspaper on Plane via Shutterstock)

(Photo: Man Reading a Newspaper on Plane via Shutterstock)

Have a seat assignment that’s got you sitting far from a travel companion? Flight attendants are often willing to help negotiate seat switches so you can sit together. They can help as long as there’s time, says Blair, so if you’re going to ask for help, do it soon after boarding. They may ask you to wait until everyone has taken their seats (or until you’re at cruising altitude), but it’s better to have your polite request on their radar for whenever they have a second.

Short-Term Babysitting

(Photo: Young Girl on Airplane via Shutterstock)

(Photo: Young Girl on Airplane via Shutterstock)

Parents flying alone with infants and small children have bladders too, and, happily, flight attendants are often more than willing to watch a baby or child for a few minutes while a parent runs to the bathroom or stretches his or her legs. “Watching babies was one of my favorite things to do in-flight,” says Blair. “For safety reasons, most airlines ask flight attendants to sit in the aisle passenger seat so they’re not standing and holding a baby.”

Cockpit Tours

(Photo: Pilot in Cockpit via Shutterstock)

(Photo: Pilot in Cockpit via Shutterstock)

It may seem incredible given the concern about cockpit security, but if you ask, many pilots are more than willing to give mini cockpit tours before or after the flight. The best time for a visit is usually after a flight has landed, since that’s when pilots tend not to be as rushed. Blair says, “Pilots love to get visitors, especially wide-eyed children. It makes their day to have the chance to show off their ‘office.'”

Sanitizing Wipes

(Photo: Sanitizing Wipes via Shutterstock)

(Photo: Sanitizing Wipes via Shutterstock)

The stream of passengers passing through planes each day turns tray tables, armrests, and entertainment-system buttons into germ factories. If you’d like to clean your area before settling in, ask a flight attendant for a few sanitizing wipes; they often have them on hand, though it’s not something most passengers know they can ask for.


If there is still something else you have in mind, feel free to ask the flight attendant. It’s part of their job to help the passenger and answer questions. Asking is smart too. How else would you know if you do not ask, right? Good luck!