Author Archives | Kyle Ellison

About Kyle Ellison

Kyle Ellison is an American who has worked and traveled in many places around the globe. His blog, Kyle the Vagabond, chronicles his life abroad and serves as a way for him to inspire others to see the world. Follow him on Twitter for more travel stories and updates.

Alpacas, Llamas & Goats at Apple Hill Farm in North Carolina

Get up-close with Alpacas on a farm in North Carolina.

Children shriek in giddy delight as alpacas nuzzle the fence—a strange feel of Andean charm in the middle of Appalachia. Alpacas are the main attraction here on Apple Hill Farm in North Carolina, about 25 minutes from Boone, but there are also goats, chickens, donkeys, and pigs that accompany them on this 42-acre property. As […]

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September 10, 2015 by | Comments Off

How To: Road Trip By Campervan

Road Trip By Campervan

Campervan road trips don’t run on gas—they run on unbridled freedom.

It’s heeding the call of the open road and its maze of possibility, where every junction, twist, and turn can lead to new adventures. It’s the feeling of being self-sufficient and gloriously untethered, where an itinerary, route, or destination can literally change on a whim. It’s spending time with your fellow passengers and bonding out on the road—incubating relationships that just need a little air to grow. It’s finding small towns and getting lost and impromptu roadside stops, and cultivating cross-country memories you can carry with you for life.

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September 3, 2015 by | Comments Off

Best Boone Activities for Families

Grandfather Mountain at sunset

At an elevation of exactly 3,333 feet, Boone is the highest city of its size found east of Colorado. It’s home to Appalachian State University and is the unofficial capital of the North Carolina High Country that spans the surrounding mountains. Thanks to the city’s lofty elevation, it’s a refreshing respite from the summer heat found down on coastal plains, and a white wonderland of fluffy deep snow when winter starts to set in. It’s an area full of outdoor adventure and historic country sights perfect if you’re planning on bringing kids to the mountains.

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August 17, 2015 by | Comments Off

Exploring Savannah on a Culinary and Cultural Walking Tour

Alligator slider

When the city of Savannah was first established in 1733, the entire area was free of lawyers, liquor, slaves and Catholics. I pondered this bit of historical trivia while strolling the cobbled streets, sipping on a Chatham Artillery Punch made with seven types of booze. Savannah’s original liquor law, it turns out, only lasted for nine short years. Today, the entire Savannah historical district is completely open-container — meaning anyone with a single, plastic cup can legally carry up to 16 ounces of liquor out on the street.

While the potent punch was originally poured in the confines of Tondee’s Tavern, I find myself swilling the drink en route to Scottish-themed Molly Macpherson’s. The pubs, respectively, are stops two and three on a culinary, cultural walking tour of Savannah’s historic district — which, aside from stopping at seven eateries from bakeries to beehives and bars, also offers tasty morsels of Savannah’s early history.

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June 19, 2015 by | Comments Off

The Hobbit’s Ultimate Guide to New Zealand

Matamata, the famous setting for Hobbiton

Luckily for travelers to New Zealand, this fantasy-world of rings and hobbits was shot in a very real place, and thanks to the convenience of movie-themed tours, it’s easy to visit the same outposts where dwarves and trolls once voyaged. To take a walk in the footsteps of The Hobbit, here is a guide to many of the locations where scenes from the movies were filmed.

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December 16, 2013 by | 2 Comments

Uruguay: One of South America’s Best Coastal Road Trips

Road trip Uruguay

With the exception of Motorcycles Diaries, most travelers don’t associate South America as a place you go on road trips. Uruguay is different, however, and there is a feeling of freedom that comes with cruising down the coast on entirely your own agenda. Add in the fact that that there aren’t any freeways and you can cross the country in six hours, and Uruguay sits high on the list of the continent’s best coastal road trips.

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August 19, 2013 by | 0 Comments

A Guide to Hawaii Island Hopping

Pu’ukohola Heiau

Of the eight major Hawaiian Islands, six are openly accessible to tourists. Only four, however, are regularly frequented by most Hawaii visitors. Whereas Maui, Kauai, Oahu, and Hawaii (commonly known as the “Big Island”) all see millions of visitors annually, the islands of Lanai and Molokai see only 50,000-75,000. Of the two inaccessible islands, Kaho’olawe—a former bombing range—is open only to volunteers, and Ni’ihau has been privately owned since 1864.

Although all the islands fall under the veil of “tropical paradise”, each island has its own unique set of quirks and qualities which makes it appealing to a certain type of visitor. If shopping is your priority, you’re better off heading to Oahu than Molokai. For empty beaches, reverse it.

Given the differences, the following is a rundown of which islands may be best for certain travelers, as well as the logistical info on how to plan the vacation.

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November 28, 2012 by | 2 Comments

Mexico’s Burgeoning Wine Country

Mexican wines are proving themselves to rival vintages found anywhere across the globe. In fact, the soil in Baja was historically so amenable to grape production that in 1699 Spain banned the production of Baja wine because of the dire effects it was having on wine exports to the New World.

In modern, independent Mexico, however, the production is growing, the grapes have returned, and two shifts are slowly beginning to take place: The secret is getting out, and the Mexican people are warming to the taste of wine.

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November 5, 2012 by | 0 Comments

Follow the Lord of the Rings in New Zealand

While Middle Earth may be a fictional combo of legend and lore, the actual setting for the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit movies couldn’t be more real. Shot on location in some of the most scenic corners of New Zealand, a series of Lord of the Rings tours and Hobbit tours now allow fans to stand in the same location as the characters who once roamed these mythical peaks and pastures.

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September 13, 2012 by | 2 Comments

11 Movies to Inspire Travel

There are few better sources of inspiration than movies. The dramatic scenery, the complex character development, the range of raw emotions—all are elements of films which successfully make the viewer feel as if we’re there. When it comes to travel, movies give us the ability to soar across the world and experience foreign cultures without ever having to leave the comfort of our couch.

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August 2, 2012 by | 2 Comments

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