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Have you noticed there’s no other place for teenagers to talk about travel?

Here you can read what other teenagers have to say about travel – from day trips to journeys abroad, shopping, eating, coasting, and other activities on vacation. Also, parents can read what teenagers like and dislike about family vacations and destinations so that they can plan a family trip that YOU will enjoy.

 

Teen Travel Talk is also interested in YOUR travel experiences. If you want to become a paid blogger and publish your travel stories on Teen Travel Talk, click “contact us” on the left hand side, fill out your contact information and tell us why you’d be a great teen travel blogger.

 



Shakespeare in the Park

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One reason I love Portland: Original Practice Shakespeare (OPS). A few weeks back I went to the top of Mt. Tabor, a dormant volcanic vent in my neighborhood, with snacks and a blanket on hand, and watched the OPS crew perform “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. It. Was. Hilarious. And I’m not even that into Shakespeare. In fact, I used to dread reading Shakespeare in high school. But seeing it performed is different than reading it in class, and OPS is veeeeeeery unique.

OPS faithfully walks in the tradition of Shakespeare. They use natural lighting (other than the special performance I saw, which was in the middle of the night) and there is not much of a set. The most unique aspect of OPS is that there is little rehearsal. The actors have a tiny scroll of their lines, and are often just as surprised as the audience to the movement of the plot. The acting moves fast and things can get a bit improvisational, and the audience is very much involved. In fact, booing and cheering are encouraged, just like in the days of Shakespeare. Also, the actors are not scared of getting involved with the audience, as they often make their way into the audience and even respond to their shouts. Just as outrageous as the acting are the outfits. The crew has a very eclectic and even eccentric taste. Overall, the OPS twist to Shakespeare is both modern and absurd. It’s a glorious mixture of things that makes for a great time for the whole family. And… it’s free!

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This summer, from July 23rd to August 2nd, there is the Fourth Annual Laurelhurst Festival. There will be 12 different performances of 11 different Shakespeare plays. To find out the days and times of the performances at the Festival and otherwise, check out their website here.

http://www.opsfest.org/

 

Summer At Gas Works Park in Seattle

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Last fall, I wrote about Gas Works Park, an innovative park that was brilliantly built out of the remnants of a gas plant. This park was deemed by the Seattle Times as ”easily the strangest park in Seattle, and may rank among the strangest in the world.” This space is not only beautiful (yes, in a strange way, nevertheless BEAUTIFUL) but also incredibly fun. Their events this summer prove the latter.

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Here is the next month of events at Gas Works Park!

HONK! Fest West in Seattle
June 18, 2015
HONK! Fest West is a three-day music festival that puts the spotlight on”marching bands, drum corps, samba lines, and anything acoustic and mobile that makes a ruckus.” This eccentric celebration of music, life, and joy itself is most definitely family-friendly and free!

Build Disaster Kits at the Fremont Fair in Seattle
June 20, 2015
As part of the Fremont Fair, this event will be all about supplying Seattle families with emergency kits in case of natural disaster or other emergencies. The Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club, Seattle Works, and the Allstate Foundation have come together to support and run this event.

See Jane Run Women’s Half Marathon, 5K & Kids Run Seattle WA 2015 in Seattle
July 12, 2015
Registration starts now for the Women’s Half Marathon, 5K and Kids Run at Gas Works Park. You like running? How about goodies? For those who register, there will be plenty of that at the See Jane Run half-marathon. The Runners Goodies include: Technical T, Finisher Medal, tote bags, goodie/virtual bag, chocolate, and beverages.

Doesn’t sound too bad, huh?

To stay updated with events at Gas Works Park, check their EventBrite!

How to Save Money for a Trip

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You want to go on a trip maybe to Hawaii, New York, Tokyo, or Paris. How are you going to get all of that money? Your family can’t really afford to go on a trip, what do you do? You find ways to save!

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Here are my top five tips on how to save:

1. Recycle cans and bottles. If you find water bottles, soda cans, or soda bottles going into the trash at your house, you are basically throwing away money. In each state, it is different as to how much a bottle can costs. But money is money. If you fill up 3 big garbage bags, you can make $30! Those $30 could go toward your trip.
2. Recycle change. You see a penny on the floor and you don’t pick it up. How many times have you seen a penny on the floor? In total, you could have had maybe 50 cents. But everything counts! If your parents come home everyday with change and you know they hate carrying it around, take it and store it in a piggy bank. By the end of a month those 75 cents everyday coming home will turn into close to $25!

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3. Get a job! If you are 16+, you can apply to get a job in most fast food places, stores at the mall, or almost anywhere. If you’re not or your parents won’t allow you to get a job, there are many more options. Mowing lawns for neighbors, babysitting, or cleaning family member’s houses. You can always make deals with your aunts and uncles like, “I will clean your backyard, mow the lawn, pull the weeds, cut the bushes, etc. if you give me x amount of money”. Most family members will be more than happy to help!
4. Swagbucks! What if you earned points for every search you made and those points added up to free gift cards? That would be amazing, right? Well, Swagbucks lets you get $10, $25, $50, $100 gift cards to places like Target (where we usually get because then we can get gift cards to many more places), eBay, Amazon, Starbucks, Burger King, Caribbean cruises, and Hotels. By using their search engine, answering surveys, watching videos, etc., you can easily earn points to get gift cards. Those gift cards can go to paying for Subway or Starbucks at the airport, or your dream cruise you’ve always wanted to take.  You might as well earn points for your searches that you normally do on Google.

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For instance, for our Disneyland trip, we earned $500 worth of Disney gift cards by redeeming our Swagbucks for Target and buying $50 gift cards for Disney. It took my family a year to get that much, but slowly we earned all of our money to buy our tickets and food.

5. GoFundMe. GoFundMe is a website that allows you to advertise your cause for which you want to save money for. Many are for Travel, some are for Medical reasons, or Family Emergencies. You raise money by writing a story about yourself and why you need the money. People then look at your page and decide if they would like to donate to your cause. The amount can be as little to $1 or as big as $1000 or even more. I currently created one for my trip I want to take to Costa Rica. You can read more about it and donate here. You have to advertise it by going to your local newspaper or radio station to see if they can give a shoutout about it. You could also share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to get the word out. Family members and friends are most likely to donate $5. Before you know it you have saved up at least half of your money. A close friend of mine raised $2000 for her trip to Europe by sharing on her mom’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and local radio station.

By doing all of these things, overtime, the money will add up! These are just a few ways to save money for your trips or dream vacations. Encourage your family to do these as well and then those dream vacations will come true!

Favorite Pins of the Month

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Pinterest is such a great option for those at home dreaming of far off places, planning trips, or even adding things to your bucket list. Make sure to follow us on Pinterest! These are my favorite pins of May:

This pin lead me to an amazing website called Roadtrippers.com, where you can find any attractions, restaurants, points of interest, camping sites, and hotels nearby. As summer draws nearer, the opportunity for traveling does as well. This website will help in finding local places to eat and top attractions nearby as you go along your destination. It’s a great planning tool!

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Next is something everyone must have on their bucket list. Probably the most breathtaking thing to see:

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A Lantern Festival in Thailand. Definitely worth seeing and being apart of.

When you’re in a foreign country and don’t speak the native language, it can be rather difficult to communicate with anyone. However, with the help of these apps, all of that awkward signing will be gone! Click here for the top 3 most recommended apps!

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This picture is so pleasing to look at… It might be the bright colors, the places, the rustic look. I just love it! It inspires me to visit all of those tropical places! The beaches, the sun, SUMMER isn’t coming SOON enough!!!

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Last but not least:

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Even if it takes a lifetime…

Forget Niagara, Visit Iguazu in South America!

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What’s Iguazu Falls?
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Iguazu Falls are the waterfalls on the Iguazu River. They are located on the border of the Argentinean province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná. Most of the falls are on the Argentina side of the Iguazu River. The name “Iguazu” comes from the native languages of Guarani and Tupi as a combination of the words “big” and “water”. There are a few hundred smaller waterfalls along these falls with a number that fluctuates from 150 to 300, depending on the rainfall.

The falls are a breathtaking experience that can be overwhelming in the sweetest of ways. They overlook vast jungles and all you hear are hundreds of falls beating into the river. Apparently when Eleanor Roosevelt visited Iguazu Falls, she exclaimed “Poor Niagara!” Iguazu Falls is wider than Victoria Falls, which segregates Zambia from Zimbabwe in southern Africa, and much larger than the Niagara, to say the least.
Star-Crossed Lovers
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The Guarani people have a myth regarding the falls that is a classic tale of star-crossed lovers. A man named Taruba and a woman named Naipi were engaged and preparing for their wedding when the Serpent God catches sight of the woman and demands her to be sacrificed by being thrown in the river so that she may join him. In an attempt to escape the Serpent God and live happily ever after, Taruba decided to canoe Naipi to a faraway land. This god, son of the supreme God, caught them and raced after them consumed with anger and grew to the size of the river. Unable to catch up to them, he forced the earth to split, and the lovers fell into the cracks. Taruba was unconscious and landed on the embankment and Naipi was turned into large rock. Taruba woke up to the sight of his beloved being transformed into a rock and went to rush down to her, but the Serpent God forced his fingers to be stretched into the embankment and turn into roots. Taruba was transformed into a tree. These lovers were eternally condemned to live in such a condition, always seeing each other but never able to touch. They are still able to show their love by forming a rainbow together which stretches from the Brazilian side of the falls to the “rock of Naipi” in Argentina.
Make a trip!
 
The falls are a perfect abroad trip for the family. The Argentinean side is where you can see most of the falls, but if you make a trip to the falls, you can make it a chance to visit both Argentina and Brazil. And if you hang out on the Brazil side, and if you’re meat-friendly, make sure to visit a churrascaria!
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