Hello, I’m Julio! While it may surprise you, I never even left North America until I was 23 and out of college. It is not that I didn’t like the idea of going abroad, it simply never crossed my mind that a person like me could plan and afford international travel by myself. In 2009, as a recent grad, I decided to do something bold that changed my life forever: I moved to South Korea to teach English.
The people I met in Korea had a mentality completely different from what I was used to. Some people loved teaching, others hated it, but one thing was common across the board: everyone loved to travel. When the first vacation rolled around, I was thinking of staying put, but my buddy Vicente convinced me with his words of wisdom that I remember till this day. “You will always have tons of time to make money. Vacation time is precious, so go visit China as you always wanted and you won’t regret it.” Okay, I am paraphrasing, but that was 6 years ago, what do you expect?
China had its ups and downs. While I did see the terracotta army and it was even more amazing than I expected, I also got stuck in Beijing in a snow storm for three days! It was not an ideal trip at all, but the people I met, the things I saw, the stuff I ate… oh yeah, I was definitely hooked on this whole travel thing.
That trip started a trend I have followed ever since. Whenever I have time off, be it a three day weekend or a seven month gap between jobs, I look to see where I can go and what I can experience, either domestically or abroad. I am curious to explore new places as often as possible and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
About Travel World Heritage
This blog has three main parts: UNESCO Site reviews, travel lists, and travel economics
Why UNESCO World Heritage Sites?
During my first few trips, I kept hearing the term “UNESCO World Heritage Site.” I decided to do a little research, and realized that some of the coolest places I had ever been to (like Angkor and Yellowstone) and those on my bucket list (like Machu Picchu and Rome) were all on this list! From then, I decided that planning a trip without considering the UNESCO sites in the region would be foolish and I’ve rarely been disappointed. If you look at the current 1000+ site list, you might be surprised as to how many you have already visited without knowing. When I started tracking in 2010, I had been to 10. At time of writing, I have been to 69 across 5 continents.
I noticed something rather peculiar though. Every country wants to promote themselves, and UNESCO itself takes a very neutral standing on recommendations. The main reason I launched this site was to give you the real scoop as to which sites are truly worth your time and money, and which ones are more hype than substance. I consider my UNESCO site evaluation posts to be the bread and butter of this website and hope my two cents along with a plethora of pictures, thorough research, and first hand experience can aid you in your own travel plans.
Example – My favorite UNESCO World Heritage Site so far is Te Wahipounamu in New Zealand.
Before starting this blog, I was hooked on a website called “Listverse.” This site has an amazing set of lists every day like “10 Mysteries Behind Inexplicable Photos” and “10 Solar System Mysteries that Baffle our Best Scientists.” I tried to submit travel lists from time to time only to get rejected. I didn’t (and still don’t) consider myself a good writer, but I thought I had a shot at least some of the times. The creator reached out to me and assured me that they weren’t rejected for my writing style (phew), they simply did not really care for travel lists all that much. I was frustrated at first, but my philosophy has always been to look for solutions instead of dwelling on problems, so I decided to incorporate the idea of Travel themed “top 10 lists” into this blog. The list approach also gives my brain a structure that is easy to follow, and thankfully, I haven’t run out of ideas yet!
Example – This list of Ten Places that Should be UNESCO World Heritage Sites combines the first two parts of the blog!
While I don’t live in my home country, I am still just like you. I work full time (and love teaching by the way), get a few weeks off a year, and am not exactly making six figures. What I’ve learned over the years is that being rich, or having some other advantage out of our control isn’t necessary to visit the places we want IF we make it a priority.
Instead of giving you reviews on hotels neither of us could afford or activities neither of us would actually pay full price for, I give you travel economics tips I have used myself and have proven to work. From sharing my own path to paying off $42,000 of debt in three years to the ins and outs of how to get thousands of Travel Credit Card Points, I hope my experience can help you reach your travel goals too.
More than anything else, it is my wish to inspire and help you in your travels. If someone out there stumbles upon this blog, sees a picture, reads a story, or follows a guide and it pushes or aids them in some way, this blog would be all worth it.
31 thoughts on “About Me”
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hi lla estar de vuelta mi casa! mi isla tiene 22 grado! como primavera. gracias por abral de concierto. voy a ver tu blog alguna vez un abrazo mizuno
Wow, excellente ambiente. Muchisimo gusto en conoserte y ojala algun dia nos conosamos de nuevo!
Ojala lo disfrutes!
It was so nice to meet you and your girlfriend yesterday in the rice fields of Ubud! 🙂
I love the concept of your blog. I look forward to returning again and again to figure out which UNESCO sites are worth visiting!
Hey Maddy, it was great meeting you too! I’ll take a good look at your blog when I get home :). Keep in touch. It was great meeting you and Chloe.
Hope you’re well! I am so happy to have stumbled upon you’re travelworldheritage.com and I would love to discuss the possibility of collaborating with you.
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Definitely doesn’t sound mutually beneficial. If you are looking for advertisement we can talk about that.
hi, just enquiring if you are thinking of traveling to the south pacific sometime, I am from East Rennell (Lake Tegano)World Heritage Site in Renbel Province, Solomon Islands. Please let me know if you are looking at that.
I wanted to visit the Solomon Islands last year when I lived in New Zealand but it proved to be a bit difficult. That sounds like a great place. Do you have pictures?
yes, I can send you one.
Hi, I am a Korean and preparing to become a tour guide. I found this site searching about some heritage towns in Korea, and leave this message.
Thank you for visiting my country and it’s very amazed that you’ve visited small towns, not only major cities in Korea.
I’ve lived in Korea for almost 7 years now, so yeah…I’ve been pretty much everywhere! Good luck with your new career. I hope to work for the Korean Tourism department one day, but I need to study more Korean.
Hello, what is your email? I have an offer to you
Azedo recently posted…Comparing The Most Popular Cheap Hotel Booking Sites: My Review (July, 2017)
This website of yours contains loads of info which I find really helpful, as I was browsing the net for preparation for my upcoming trip to Seoul in Dec this year.
I have a draft itinerary for the 6 days of my trip and would like to ask for your opinion on this, as I’m not sure if that is practical for those sight seeing places in winter season.
Looking forward to hear from you and continue doing what you love, traveling and writing!
Sure, fire away! Have you looked at my lists of things to do already?
Thank you for your reply.
Yes! I’ve read and reread your list of things to do in Korea and outside of Korea! You are a genius!
I have worked out the itinerary as such..
21/12 Fly into Seoul ETA 10.30pm. – I’m contemplating either staying nearby the airport for the night and go to Seoul the next day or, finding the way to Seoul and get settled down probably over midnight. Any thoughts?
22/12 Seoul – Gyeongbok Palace (Gyeongbokgung), Hongik University Area (Hongdae), Myeongdong Shopping District, Bukhansan national park, Gapyeong (best BBQ chicken) – Maybe not all in 1 day, I have another half day left at the end for these to go places…
23/12 – Taebaeksan National park
24/12 – Samcheok caves, hahoe traditional folk village (Andong)
25/12 – Flying to Jeju ETA 07:40 – Black sand beach, cheongjeyeong waterfalls, sunrise peak, maze park, hallasan national park (until 26/12 whole day)
27/12 – Fly back to Seoul – return flight to homeland at midnight so probably leave the luggage somewhere at the Incheon airport, go to Seoul till about 7pm and back to Incheon airport to freshen up and get ready for home!
Is this list doable? These places good to go during this timing?
Thank you in advance for your opinion! Deeply appreciate it as this is the first time going to Seoul.
I mean, list of things to do in Seoul and outside of Seoul. Silly me, only realized what I’ve just typed.
1 – Go into Seoul. There should be buses or even night buses. Incheon Airport is on an Island and there is almost nothing there. Kind of a waste. Book a place and inquire on how to get there past 1130 (it will take a while to exit the airport)
2 – I think those things for 2.5 days is good, but you’ll be slower in the winter. Korea gets really cold in Dec. Cross your fingers for snow because the palace is beautiful in the winter. Bukhansan, imho is a waste i the winter, given youre already going to visit the much better Taebaek, why bother.
3 – Your Jeju portion is super rushed. the beach and the waterfalls are on opposite ends of the north south parts of the island. The sunrise peak is on the far east. You’ll be driving for like 4 hours. I’d cut the sunrise peak and the waterfall. I’d also switch black sand for Hamdeok, a nicer beach.
Best of luck!
Thank you! I’ll rewrite my itinerary. Almost finalizing the plan now. Can’t wait!
Best of luck. Hope you like it despite the snow.
I really enjoyed your article “Korea Itinerary for 1, 3, 7 and 14 day trips” and also love to travel!
Over the past 6 years I have been traveling full time and have visited over 65+ countries.
I am trying to connect with other like minded travel bloggers to work on content collaborations, would you be interested in a guest post?
Looking forward to hear from you!
Thanks for the interest. I wrote this post with my terms and conditions:
There is a lot of information on the UNESCO heritage sites, but I am stranded on how to come from A to B for visiting the various heritage sites in South Korea.
Would you like to see all of them? I have a post on all 12 (before the 13th was added earlier this year) but don’t have a A to B to C guide. Here is a very rough one, but it should get you started:
1) Seoul: Changdeok and Jongmyo are next to each other. The palace is less impressive than gyeongbokgung (imho) and jongmyo is probably the least impressive of all 13, so its good to start light. Then, Seolleung is a subway stop by gangnam. You can do all 3 of these in a single day. Be warned that jongmyo is by guide only and they have English tours every 2 hrs.
2) Kongju needs to be an overnight trip to properly see it, and Buyeo. Take a bus from the southern bus depo (express bus terminal, orange line). From the depo at buyeo, you can actually bus over to Magoksa, one of the mountain temples which is part of that 13th site. I have never written about it, but Im sure you can find something online. That would take out 5 sites so far.
3) You probably have to double back to seoul. Theres no non-car easy way to get to Andong from Kongju. When you are back in seoul, take a day to rest and hit up Namhansanseong, the 6th site.
4) Take a bus or train to andong, and then take a bus to Hahoe village. Technically, this is skippable because yangdong village (near gyeongju, your next stop) would qualify. However, as my favorite place in all of Korea, I would advice against skipping. Hahoe is best as an overnight in a hanok, but up to you. (thats 7)
5) You need to bus to daegu and then bus to haeinsa. This is not that easy as the buses to haeinsa will probably depart from daegu depot, but I am not sure where the bus from andong leaves you. I did it before but it was ages ago. YOU CAN stay the night in the temple, but you should reserve on templestay.org AND it needs to be a weekend. Totally worth it. There is no more important unesco site (historically) than haeinsas tripitaka koreana. (that is 8)
6) Next, take a bus to gyeongju. Probably no direct route, so you may need to double back to daegu, which is fine, just more time. Gyeongju will have the ancient sites and bulguksa which are 2 separate sites. (thats 10).
7) From here you probably head to gimhae airport, and fly to jeju which is #11. The entire island pretty much is the site, but the lava tubes are the main site.
8) Youre missing 2. One is the dolmen sites. You can add this to the longer kongju end of the trip and visit the sites in gochang, which are by far the coolest. The ones in incheon suck and the ones in hwasun are more out of the way and not really better. You can also see hwasun on a day trip from Seoul. Take the subway to suwon station and many buses go there from here OR take a red bus from gangnam (its pretty easy, just download kakao map and put “hwaseong”
Sorry that was rushed…too busy these days but I love meeting other unesco fans.
Hi Julio! Thank you for that super helpful itinerary overview, it’s so so cool that you took the time to type all this out 😀 I was just starting to make a realistic itinerary for the 9 sites I’m most interested in and this will be so helpful as I am already in Seoul and looking to start asap.
Thank you again! Sending you best wishes!!
I hope you had fun!
Julio, thanks for celebrating some of the world’s most interesting places. Would you be willing to help us spread the word about the world’s national parks?
oury travels and photos are great, indeed!
TKS for postingn them.
I discovered a picture form Korea : an old Baekje stupa I would like to use it for my publication on a Buddha script.
Buyeo: Baekje Pagoda of ancient Jeongnim temple at ancient Sabi
found at: wikicommons travelworldheritage.com, 20140129
Kindly ask you hereby for your permission.
Permission granted, I am honored. Just give me credit, cheers.