Wanderlust Wendy

Travelogue

Road Trip from Montréal to the Maine Coast

On the Road Again After a week of city wandering and filling our stomachs with delightful treats in Montreal, we picked up our rental car and head to Maine. From Skyscanner, I was able to find a reasonably priced car rental (National) that allows for cross-border drop-off. The border control officers in Maine requested to see paperwork from the rental car company, and our passports, of course. But otherwise, the … Read more

Workaway Success Tips for Hosts & Volunteers

workaway tips for hosts and volunteers

After our successful first Workaway experience in Uruguay, we had two less stellar encounters in Chile. We left both of them early. The first experience, at a homa-culture farm near Curacavi, Chile, I came down with a cold on the first night, and needed to sleep through the first morning to recover. I was then asked to leave to recover elsewhere, to contain my germs. The second experience, at a … Read more

Farmhouse Experience in Uruguay with Workaway

2019 is the year that we would put ourselves completely out of our comfort zone. This journey began in January with a 3-week stay at a permaculture farm with an American family in rural Minas, Uruguay. We found this family on Workaway, and this was our first experience with an Workaway host. Bonnie, the matriarch of the family, had provided detailed information on the living situation (a tent), that the … Read more

Getting Russian & Mongolia Visa in China

Preface  Xavier (French) and I (Taiwanese-American) were living in Shanghai at the time of this trip prep. I was staying in China on my Taiwanese ID, but will be traveling on my US Passport, so I needed to obtain Russian visa in Hong Kong. US citizens do not need a Mongolia visa at this time. French needs both a Russian and a Mongolia visa, but the Mongolian Consulate in Shanghai … Read more

Trans-Siberian Journey: The Finale

The last part of Trans-Siberian journey through Europe was fairly rushed since we needed to be back in France by mid-July. After two days in Warsaw, we took a 6-hour train to Berlin, stayed overnight to celebrate France’s win in the World Cup, then headed for Strasbourg, our final destination. I’d almost say the end was somewhat anti-climatic, but we were also happy to slow down the travel pace, and … Read more

Trans-Siberian Journey Part 12 – 2 Days in Warsaw

Journey to Warsaw We boarded our final sleeper train of this journey in Moscow, heading to Warsaw, Poland. This train was one of the most Soviet-era-esque trains we’ve taken, likely because most people in their right mind would take a low-cost airline flight, and not a 16-hour slow train.  Yet, given that this is our final overnight ride, I felt rather nostalgic. The cabin was the smallest we’ve had, but … Read more

Trans-Siberian Journey Part 11 – 24 Hours in Kyiv

Hello Europe  After bidding farewell to Russia, we began the journey towards Europe. The overnight train went by quickly. A nice middle-aged lady communicated with us through body language, and shared her snacks. We followed French’s advance to the World Cup final via Google updates on 3G, and drifted to sleep with the gentle rocking motion. The train pulled into Kyiv station at 7:30am. The station was chaotic, likely due … Read more

Trans-Siberian Journey Part 10 – 3 Days in Moscow

Journey to Moscow After hours upon hours of long-distance train travel, we hopped on a high-speed rail to reach Moscow. The train was impeccably new yet comfortable. Somehow, having been used to the luxury of spreading out on our beds during train journeys, the 4-hour ride on a seat felt long and rigid. We could have taken the slow train down, but the time didn’t seem worthwhile. There are also … Read more

Trans-Siberian Journey Part 9 – 3 Days in St. Petersburg

Journey to St. Petersburg After 3 wonderful days in Kazan, we headed back on the train for St. Petersburg. For this 22-hour journey, we shared our cabin with a young man who looks like he was in the military. His parents sent him off at the platform. I snapped a photo of the emotional moment between mother and son. The similarities of humanity continue to humble me. All cultures across … Read more

Trans-Siberian Journey Part 8 – 3 Days in Kazan

Journey to Kazan Our train left for Kazan from Yekaterinburg early in the morning. The 13-hour journey was our first non-overnight train; the perfect time to do some good old-fashioned reading without the distraction of Internet. I read Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and completed Hillbilly Elegy in one sitting. I cannot remember the last time I read a book cover-to-cover in one sitting!  We shared our second-class cabin … Read more