Climb & Unwind with WildChina

WildChina Lets You Adventure, But Not Stress About It (score).

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What is your #1 hangup about going oversees to China? Is it the language? The culture? Or is it the feeling that no matter how much research you do, you’ll end up feeling like a tourist?

Well, our new partner, WildChina, makes China feel less overwhelming: almost all of their tours include an English-speaking guide (so you feel like you’ll fit in) and they go out of their way to make their clients feel at home, and not like they’re in such a foreign place.

To give you an idea of the next-level service that Wild China offers, we picked the brain of Jenny, a fellow wanderer (and our Co-Founder!) who recently toured the country with them (and especially, her tour guide, Jerry):

“Jerry was one of the best tour guides that I’ve ever worked with!  He quickly noticed how Andrew (my boyfriend) is really interested in history and adjusted the daylong tour to dive deeper into various attractions and stories that he knew would be more fun for us. Jerry took us around Beijing for the day – we got to see the Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City, and even do a taichi workshop. Wild China made the entire planning and trip experience really simple.”

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Take a look at these three itineraries, and tell us with a straight face that you don’t want to hop on a plane tomorrow.

WILD CHINA: ADVENTURE

Discover China’s unbeaten paths. Enjoy a day trip to the Great Wall, take a 3-day excursion into the heart of Shangri-La, and commemorate your love with a private blessing ceremony by a Tibetan Lama. Do it all with boldness in your step and calmness in your mind, knowing that WildChina has thought of everything.

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WILD CHINA: REST & RELAXATION

Wild China has curated all the details of this itinerary to provide more than a little R & R for well-worn travelers with dalliances like a private blessing ceremony in the picturesque Yi Village, a guided hike through Lijiang Old Town, and a tour of a tea plantation. With such a prestigious itinerary, you will find the experiences you’ve always been dreaming of to rejuvenate your ability to be in the present.

WILD CHINA: CLASSIC CHINA

Zip through the sky on a helicopter tour from Beijing to to the Great Wall, tour through Beijing’s 798 contemporary art district, and learn how to cook some seriously famous dumplings. Moment to moment, this trip will redefine all of your understanding of China’s strange and beautiful juxtapositions.

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Hmmm…we’re not sure our wanderlust has ever been more piqued. Have fun at your own party, while WildChina demystifies the mythical intricacies of Chinese culture and makes sure you catch the highlights of every neighborhood. Actually enjoy your honeymoon.

#WanderOn

Navigate New Zealand with Time 2 Go!

Wanderable has teamed up with uber-cool tour guide, Time 2 Go, to bring you curated New Zealand itineraries for your honeymoon. It’s time to navigate New Zealand!

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We’re writing today to illuminate you on one of our (new) absolute favorite places ever. New Zealand can be something of an enigma to Americans– even to us.  We mostly knew of it through its unbelievably prolific music scene – evidenced by our recent travel playlist – and our affliction for the Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit films.

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Full disclosure: before we met the Time 2 Go team, we basically only thought of Gandolf when we thought of New Zealand.  But there is SO MUCH more to this place than just Middle Earth. (Don’t believe us? Check out this BuzzFeed post) We’ve worked with this incredible travel specialists to create three customized itineraries for our Wanderable couples that totally capture the heart and soul of New Zealand.  To get you just as excited as we are, there is even a special giveaway for the first couple that starts their NZ registry! So, read on, Wanderers… #itsTime2Go!

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The first NZ itinerary stops in some of New Zealand’s most lively cities and beautiful towns. In In Queenstown (otherwise known as heaven on earth), you’ll wake up and tour the lakes and mountains in the sun, get photos with your loved one that look like they’re photoshopped, and then cool down just in time for the sunset, where you can soak in the famous Onsen Hot Pools and let your muscles melt!

For the first Wanderable couple that books with Time 2 Go, a dip into these magical hot pools is free! New Zealanders are generous folks.

But whether you crave the adrenaline from the world’s highest cliff jump, the magic of touching an ancient glacier in Glacier Country, or simply the relaxing travel through Marlborough on a coastal pacific train, you will find this itinerary bursting with unforgettable activities throughout New Zealand.

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The next itinerary by Time 2 Go features a roster of cities from Waikato to Wellington City to the Bay of Plenty and everywhere in between. What you’ll find at each stop is varied (like the level of cuteness of the Hobbits) with activities ranging from a peaceful tour through ethereal and world-famous glowworm caves to a wine and food tour fit for foodies.

On our third itineraryyou’ll find relaxing thermal pools in Hanmer Springs, cage diving with great white sharks off of Stewart Island, or touching thousand-year-old glaciers in South Canterbury. I mean, seriously– there is something for everyone. Feel free to mix and match; the world, well at least New Zealand, is your oyster!

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Allow us to conclude our brief gushing with some other lesser-known facts about our new favorite place. The longest place name in the world is Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu, a hill in Hawkes Bay. Pretty cool, right?

So bring it on, winter months. We’ll just be over here, day dreaming about New Zealand, where it’s summertime. Guys…#ItsTime2Go.

#WanderOn

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Wanderable On The Road: Bike Adventures in Rouen & Les Andelys

Wanderable enjoys bike adventures in the the small towns of Rouen and Les Andelys.

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Fall colors of Rouen offset the gothic spectacle that is the city’s main Cathedral

Ah, Normandy. We’re completely obsessed with your whimsical small towns, cobblestone streets, and strong apple liquor.  And there is no better way to see these towns than by bike. We traveled to Rouen and Les Andelys, and we were able to see more of each town than we would have by foot. We’ve decided there might not be anything more luxurious than Europe in the Fall: the colors, the crisp air…getting lost down side streets…and hidden-treasure alleyways with the one you love.

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On Monday we were in Rouen: a lovely town that has the second largest population in France, next to Paris.  Even though there are tons of people, be warned: most of the town is closed on Monday until the afternoon (after 3pm).  This was both a good and bad thing. The Good: we got the town to ourselves, so we didn’t have to watch out for pedestrians as we cruised down cobblestone streets and took literally 1,000 photos. The Bad: we were hard-pressed to find an open fromagerie (we were successful, however, in finding a patisserie, so at least we were set with many croissants). There is a ton of history in this town (like the Cathedral and a memorial to Joan of Arc) so we did do our fair share of Instagram- worthy sight-seeing.

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But our favorite part of the day in Rouen? Sitting at a little cafe, playing cards and drinking cappuccinos. We watched as the towns people went to work as this sleepy little town started to wake up.

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The view from our seats at the cafe      

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 …and our seats at the cafe

Les Andelys was our next stop. This town was adorable (straight out of Beauty & The Beast). This town also houses a huge Cathedral Notre-Dame, the focal point of this city.

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As we rode around this tiny town, we stopped at intricate little shops selling art and came across a Salon de Thé (tea house). Along with their homemade, organic teas made from real leaves (we’re talking real mint leaves infused for hours) they had some amazing food. We ordered two different kinds of goat-cheese stuffed peppers in local olive oil, as well as octopus and baby squid. It. was. Incredible. #TravelTip: Always try the food. We came across this place by accident, and it was the highlight of our day!

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                                                                    Spicy peppers                                                     Octopus and baby squid

And even though it’s late November– this town was ALL ABOUT the Christmas decorations.

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Unfortunately, we ran into the same issue we had when we were in Rouen; a lot of this town was closed in the morning.  But that was fine– enough of the shops were open and the scenery was beautiful (can’t you tell?)

LesAndelys

Moral of the story? When you have the option, always go by bike. ALWAYS. You’ll see more of the town, and when its cold (like November), you’ll warm up quickly. And always try to be adventurous with the local cuisine– especially in smaller, quaint villages. They’re not touristy like some places in Paris can be, so you know you’re getting authentic food that the locals eat.  There also isn’t a lot (or any) of mark up at these places, so the food you’re getting is worth the price.

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#WanderOn

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Wanderable On The Road: Vernon, Honfleur, Caudebeuc & Pays D’Auge

Perhaps More Romantic Than Paris…Wanderable Explores Tiny Towns in France.

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Bonjour, Wanderers.

So, if you follow us on Twitter and Instagram (and you better!), you know we’ve been in France for the last few days (and we’re thanking our lucky stars).

Travelers link France subconsciously with Paris, but we’re here to report that there is so, so, so much more to this marvelous country than one iconic metropolis, and we’ve wandered through quaint towns in Normandy that could make you rethink your French itinerary. From fragrant farmers’ markets to mouth-watering homemade apple cider, these honeymoon oases are sites for sore eyes.  So far we’ve visited Vernon, Honfleur, Caudebec and Pays D’Auge, and we’re all about the quiet, sultry energy of these small towns. Tomorrow’s itinerary includes riding bikes and visiting a local brewery in Reuon. Sorry we’re not sorry!

Keep reading below to tag along as we #WanderOn.

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Our first stop was Vernon, home of awe- inspiring church L’Eglise Catholique. It’s huge, and its size warrants its status as the focal point of the city. Trip down a few side streets, and lunch is covered: grab a baguette by the local baker, some cheese from the Fromagerie and some smoked ham from the Charcuterie next door and you’ll be one happy camper (we didn’t leave that bench for hours).

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The next day, we visited the tiny fishing town Honfleur, where the salt air woke us up and the cuteness of the town kept us up. It started raining, which only made the day feel cozier. We meandered down cobblestone streets to local shops that offered hot cider, caramel candies, artisan jams with toast, and foie gras. As the sun set, we grabbed some warm drinks and crepes with butter, sucre et fleur de del (sugar and salt). Since Honfleur is known for its seafood, we tasted a few local faves (mmmm…oysters,) and that was a truly surreal experience.

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Honfleur is a hidden jewel, totally off-the-beaten-path. Apparently, the super-chic, in-the-know Parasians come here (its only a 2 hour drive from Paris) for the weekend, to shop, eat and drink Calvados (liquor made from apples). The Fire Island of France, if you will.

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Moving on…let’s talk about the Farmer’s Market in Caudebeuc: Jean, pictured above, is THE MAN when it comes to fresh seafood. We wanted to eat a raw scallop– and he obliged: he cleaned it and prepared it for us to eat. It was the sweetest scallop we’ve ever tasted. There was also fresh salmon lox, oysters, mackerel, tuna and crayfish– all caught by Jean and his partners earlier that day.  There were also live chickens, home-made paella, sausages with fresh sauerkraut and an epic cheese selection. This market is the social event of the week in Caudebeuc…the locals all gather here, buy their food for the week, and then meet their friends for coffee and drinks. We tried to fit right in.
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Sunday rolled around and we visited  Pays D’Auge. Because it was Sunday, we were basically the only people in town (if you can’t tell from the photo). It was so quiet we just perused the local shops, and finally stopped for lunch where we shared escargots, duck confit and a salad avec chèvre chaud (salad with hot goat cheese). The owners brought out fresh bread and two beers for us, on the house. It was the freshest end to the freshest weekend.

The fabulous news is that we’re here till Thursday…so stay tuned, Wanderers. There are more delicious meals to be consumed and more cobblestone streets to be strolled.

#WanderOn

California Dreamin’: Enter to Win Wanderable Credit!

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Good morning, dreamers & adventure seekers! Today we woke up and realized something: there is always an excuse NOT to do something, right? Well, now there’s NOT, because we’re giving away $100 Wanderable Credit for you to use on one of our California Partners.  We know you’ve been eyeing all those amazing experiences on our homepage, so now it’s time to take the plunge and actually go experience life. Don’t have time to make it to Cali? Don’t worry: you can use the Wanderable Credit on any Wanderable experience of your choice. Pretty sweet, huh?

Some of these California experiences include:

  • Hot-air balloon rides
  • Custom perfume-making classes
  • Tequila & tacos tasting
  • Wine tasting and food paring
  • Much, MUCH more!

All you have to do is enter now (details are also on our Facebook). Come on, it’s Monday. Go big or go home.

 

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#WanderOn

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