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European Travel Blog
When you are planning your European holiday, there’s much to consider and to plan for.
One of your deciding factors, and there are several, is how long will you be traveling throughout Europe?
Others include, What is your budget?
Another, What month or season are you going to Europe?
It’s important to consider if you want to visit many different places or spend longer amounts of time in a few areas.
Once you can answer these questions, you can begin planning what is sure to be a memorable European holiday.
Dangerous Swimming Spots From Around The World – I absolutely love the water and swimming, but there have been a few times where I was so grossed out or scared that I simply wouldn’t go close to the water – however, the places I’ve been to are nothing compared to the places below.
Today I will share with you some of the most dangerous swimming spots and locations from around the world – so watch out:
Dangerous Swimming Spots From Around The World
Shired Island, Florida, USA
Shired Island in Florida has been on the list of Americas most polluted beaches for several years, and last year ‘won’ the price for “Americas most polluted beach”, failing 90% of the water tests.
If you want to avoid respiratory infections, rashes, meningitis, pinkeye, stomach problems or hepatitis on your summer vacation, make sure you go somewhere else!
The Beach Of The Dead, Oxaca, Mexico
So tempting, but also SO lethal!
This beach, more commonly known as Playa Zipolite (which in the Zapotec language means “beach of the dead”), has crazy strong rips and undertow currents that change all the time.
During the “rebalses” (rebel) period it’s pretty much impossible to swim here, but the beautiful beach continues to lure in travelers.
Thankfully there has been a lot less accidents since they started hiring lifeguards to work there.
The Red Triangle, California
Check this – 11% of all shark attacks on humans worldwide have occurred within the red triangle (Bodega Bay, north of San Francisco), a popular place for divers and a surfer’s paradise.
The reason is because the area is full of seals, sea lions, elephant seals – i.e the favorite meal for great white sharks – so maybe don’t go surfing there :p
Jelly Fishes In The North East Coast Of Australia
Australia can be one dangerous country – before going there it seemed to me as there wasn’t one place in the whole country you could feel safe.
Although once I was there, I realized you can’t go around worrying about what might happen, and I took on the Aussie mind set – either it happens, or it doesn’t.
Despite the 3 recent shark attacks in the area I still went surfing.
But sharks aren’t the most dangerous creatures in the Aussie waters – the Box Jellyfish is.
These almost invisible jellyfish are among the most venomous creatures in the world (over 5 and a half thousand deaths since the 50’s)!
They’re found in the waters from Darwin down the eastern coast to Queensland during October – April.
The Devil’s Pool, Victoria Falls – Zambia/Zimbabwe
How would you like to be carried toward the edge of a 100 meter drop of the world’s largest waterfall?
The Devil’s Pool is an infinity pool created every year at the edge of the Victoria Falls, when the water levels reduce (if you try to go swimming there at any other time of the year you can count yourself dead).
If you’re brave enough, you can let the stream take you in high speed towards the edge, where the rocks stop you ONLY inches away from the 100 meter waterfall.
This airport, 500 meters from the city center (!) has a landing stripe which begins already out in the ocean with water on both sides.
But what’s really crazy about this airport is that the landing and departure runway intersects with the city’s MAIN road where people and cars constantly use.
Whenever a plane lands or departs, the street has to be closed off.
Lukla Airport, Nepal
How about a mountain on one side of the runway and a thousand meter drop on the other?
Lukla is the place where most people start their trek to climb Mt Everest, so I guess the guys who land here aren’t exactly afraid of heights or mountains…
Wellington, New Zealand
How about landing in “Windy Wellington”?
The airport is called “wild at heart” for a reason, which can be a little scary when landing on such a short landing runway and such strong winds..!
Barra Airport, Scotland
Not so much crazy, as cool – this is one of the only airports in the world where planes actually land on a beach.
As the airport must be among the most “natural” in the world, it’s “naturally” lit (by the sun) during the day and a few cars are parked on the parking lot with their lights on during night time to add some “extra” visibility, and the airport is literally washed away by the tide once a day.
Princess Juliana International Airport, Saint Martin
Like to sniff some jet exhaust and relax in your sunbed to the soothing sounds of airplanes landing and departing?
Here you will find people swimming, sunbathing and hanging out on the beach, watching airplanes land just a few meters over their heads – this one tops it as crazy for me!
Airports have played a key part in people’s travel plans for over 100 years – whether it’s taking a last-minute package break to somewhere in Europe or jetting off on a multi-stop backpacking voyage – travelers around the world fly more than ever before, and while most of the time airports are places that don’t leave any impression whatsoever, maybe these would…
Top Airports – Hartsfield-Jackson Airport – The World’s Busiest Airport
Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, situated in the US city of Atlanta, is known for being the world’s busiest airport, not just in terms of arriving and departing flights but also in passenger numbers.
On average, more than 240,000 people pass through its gates every day (the equivalent of around 90 million every year), while its five runways handle approximately 2,700 flights each day!
The airport operates to 151 domestic cities and with 80 per cent of the country’s population within a two-hour flight, and flights to more than 80 international airports in 52 countries.
Top Airports King Fahd Airport – The World’s Largest Airport
The passenger terminal has six stories of which three are allocated for passenger processing.
The third level is for arrivals, the sixth level is for departures, and the fourth level is for boarding.
Juancho E Yrausquin – The World’s Smallest Airport
On the opposite end of the scale, the Juancho E Yrausquin Airport on the Caribbean island of Saba is commonly regarded as the world’s smallest airfield.
With the runway just 400 meters in length, aircraft are only permitted to use the airport upon obtaining a waiver from the Netherlands Antilles’ Civil Aviation Authority.
College Park Airport – The World’s Oldest Airport
For a truly historic airport, there is perhaps nowhere better than College Park Airport in Maryland.
Established in 1909, this facility is recognized as the world’s oldest continually operated airport and saw Wilbur Wright (who along with his brother Orville invented and built the world’s first working airplane) train two military officers to fly the US government’s first aircraft.
Known as the ‘Cradle of Aviation’, the airport is the location for a number of historic flying achievements, including the spot where the first military mile-high flight by a powered aircraft took place in 1912, while the first controlled helicopter flight took place in 1924.
Yakutsk Airport – The World’s Coldest Airport
Visiting Yakutsk Airport in Russia will allow you to experience what could be one of the chilliest travel hubs on the planet as the city is regarded as the coldest in the world.
With the average temperature in January standing at around -39C, upon making your way through the departure lounge after arriving from the likes of Moscow and St Petersburg you will soon start to experience the extremely cold conditions.
Kuwait Airport – The World’s Hottest Airport
Kuwait International Airport is largely considered to be the world’s hottest airport, and with average July temperatures reaching a high of 45.6C – it is not hard to see why..!
Visiting any of the above airports, whether you’re arriving, departing or just on a connecting flight is sure to be a memorable part of your travel experience.
Have you ever watched those TV shows like “Customs” or “Border Security: Australia’s Front Line”?
If so, you know that they make some pretty odd discoveries on people going through customs…
Animals and drugs remain two of the biggest threats to borderline security, and smugglers are constantly coming up with new ways to try and get through undetected.
Here are a few very creative smugglers who got caught, and who I know I wouldn’t want to sit next to on a plane..!
Pythons In Your Socks Taped Onto Your Body?
A man was caught in Norway customs with 14 royal pythons and 10 albino leopard geckos hidden in old socks under his clothes.
The custom officers noticed that there were constantly wriggling movements under the man’s shirt, so they searched him and found that he had put the geckos in boxes tied around his feet, and rolled up the pythons in socks taped to his chest.
Birds In Your Pants?
There have been quite a few discoveries in customs where people hide birds in their pants.
An Australian was busted bringing two Pigeons tied to his calves wrapped in news paper, and another guy from L.A brought 14 live song birds wrapped around his legs in cloths.
The officers noticed birds feathers on his clothes and saw birds’ tails sticking out under his pants, and since he had left a suitcase with 18 birds at the airport a while earlier they decided to search him.
Hiding Fish Under Your Skirt?
During a routine search they heard flipping noises coming out of the woman’s waist area, and discovered 51 live tropical endangered fishes, hidden under a purpose built apron under her skirt.
Reptiles In Your Underwear?
It seems like most people stick to smuggling their animals in their bags or around their legs, but some do take it one step further…
One example is a German man who was caught trying to leave New Zealand with 20 skinks and 23 geckos – hidden in his underwear.
Or to take it even further, there was a Swedish woman who was caught carrying 75 live snakes – in her bra!
The custom officials became suspicious when they noticed that the woman was constantly scratching and correcting her bra…
Strap 3 Crocodiles To Your Stomach?
Perhaps the craziest story of them all is the Palestinian woman who tried to get into Gaza city with three 20 inch long crocodiles strapped to her stomach.
The border guards became suspicious because she looked “strangely fat”.
Can you blame that the border guard searching her screamed and ran away when he discovered what was underneath her robe?
Monkeys In Your Pants?
On several occasions women and men all over the world have been caught smuggling monkeys under their clothes; in their pants and under their shirts.
A man was caught in Mexico smuggling 18 little Titi monkeys in a belt under his shirt (2 of the endangered monkeys died during the trip).
Another woman tried to smuggle a monkey from Thailand into the US under her blouse, pretending she was pregnant.
Have you heard of any more strange discoveries in customs?
Or have you ever accidentally forgotten to declare something when flying?
Most Dangerous & Crazy Roads Around The World
Traveling equals a lot of time spent using different kinds of transport.
In New Zealand we spent 60 hours traveling around on buses.
The roads were pretty winding, but they were nothing compared to these ones – and I must admit that it’s a mixture of horror and enthusiasm as I share these places with you – enjoy! :S
Checkout our Crazy Airports
The Death Road – Bolivia
Only the nickname of this draws in your attention, and the road surely lives up to its name.
North Yungas road in Bolivia is officially the world’s most dangerous road.
A fatal accident happens here every week, and it’s estimated that between 200-300 people die here every year..!
The road runs between La Paz and Coroico in the Boliovian Andes, and the 70 km long narrow road plunges at a 3 600 meters down.
Luckily there is now (since 2006) a newer and much safer road, between these cities, so a lot fewer people driver here – it’s mostly used by adventure bikers these days – with such an amazing view I can see why.
Lena Highway – Russia
Believe it or not, but this muddy off-road looking path is actually a highway between Moscow and Yakutsk.
So why isn’t it paved?
The reason is simply because it’s so darn cold!
They can’t put asphalt because of the permafrost (Yakutsk is one of the coldest cities on earth).
But it’s not actually the ice, snow and reduced visibility that is a problem, but when the summer comes and it rains…
This makes the road so muddy that they’re completely impassable.
Lysebotn Road – Norway
There are many crazy and amazing roads in Norway, but this must be the one that tops them all.
It’s more a roller coaster than an actual road, with 27 switchbacks, amazing views and a long tunnel with three turns inside.
This road is said to be one of the most beautiful areas in Europe, and the most fun to drive for skilled drivers.
Hiking Trail, Mt Huashan – China
This hike simply isn’t for everyone.
The views are stunning, but I’m not sure if anyone really dares to lift their head up and look.
The trail leads to sacred shrines and you pass several temples along the way.
Pilgrims and monks still walk the path, as well as many travelers these days.
To reach some of the places you have to climb cliffs where the only thing keeping you from falling down thousands of meters is a chain link hammered into the stone.
But I must admit that it looks a little tempting…
Have you been to any of these places, or have you been to another crazy road you would like to share with us?
5 Amazing Streets Around The World
Walking the streets of a new city is one of my favorite things to do, and they have a lot of influence on the way I experience each place.
The narrow, steep streets of Lisbon and Porto with its tiled buildings made me fall in love with both cities, and the streets of Tallinn made me feel like I had taken a step back in time.
So I thought I’d put together a list of some amazing streets around the world that stand out from the rest. By visiting these streets you have experienced something special…
The Most Romantic Street – Lower Slaughter, England
Lower Slaughter, a picturesque village famous for its beautiful Cotswolds cottages, now have something else to be equally proud of:
Last year a street in the city called Copse Hill Road, was voted the most romantic street in Britain by voters on the Google Street View award.
Perhaps the perfect street for a romantic stroll on the upcoming Valentine’s day?
The Steepest Street – Dunedin, New Zealand
Many of the cities in New Zealand were designed by British town planners who had never even been to the country, let alone knew what the areas really looked like.
They simply overlaid a grid pattern on the map, having no idea how ridiculous and impossible the designs would turn out.
In some places, like in Christchurch, this worked – in others, like Wellington and Dunedin – it didn’t…
This resulted in streets like Baldwin street, which at 35% grade is one of the steepest streets in the world.
The Narrowest Street – Exeter, England
Parliament Street in Exeter is a 50 meter long street dating back to 1300’s, known as the narrowest street in the world.
If you’re wider than 0,64 m (25”) you would probably get stuck at its narrowest point, that’s how narrow it is..!
The Crookedest Street – San Francisco, United States
With eight bizarre hair-pin turns, also called switchbacks, Lombard street in San Francisco is known as the crookedest street in the world.
Unlike Dunedin, they realized that without the turns the street would be too steep for most vehicles, and today it is a one way street to make it safer.
There are a number of luxury villas and five star hotels jotted along this famous street if you want to stay close.
The Shortest Street – Wick, Scotland
This is my favorite, and how they can call this a street I don’t know – but in 1887, the Ebenezer Place was officially declared a street.
Measuring at 2.06 meters (6.9 ft), Ebenezer Place in Wick is the shortest street in the world.
There is just one house on the street, which today serves as a hotel, and the owner was instructed to paint a street name on the house.
Have you visited a crazy, beautiful or amazing street you would like to share?
(photo credit: 1 – 2 – 1)
Weird And Interesting Body Art From Around The World – For as long as history dates back, people from around the world have put a lot of pride and effort into body modifications – everything from piercings and tattoos to scarification and deformations.
The reasons are all different; some do this for religious reasons, others for self expression, aesthetic reasons, shock value and for some it’s a cultural ritual.
What ever the reason for people to do this, I believe they all have one thing in common – to tell, and share something about themselves.
Telling people who they are, what they believe in, or maybe where they come from.
Weird And Interesting Body Art From Around The World
I think it’s fascinating when you travel to see all these different styles of body art around the world, and I’ve also noticed that more and more seem to start blending together.
Many of the body art you can find around the world is still too much (over the top) for many people in the West to handle, so today I am going to share the 5 I personally am most fascinated by:
Scarification is present in many cultures, especially in Africa, and also in Papua New Guinea.
In the Sepik tribe in New Guinea scarification is an initiation rite for young men.
They slice the mens’ chest, back, and buttocks with a bamboo edge to test their strength and self-discipline.
The Sepik tribe believe that crocodiles created the humans, and the scars in their scarification represent teeth marks of the crocodile that “swallowed” the young man during the ceremony.
Scarification in the West is growing in popularity, as a way for young people to stand out and be ‘different’.
In some African and Asian cultures a long neck is seen as the ideal of beauty, and to achieve this ideal they use neck rings to stretch their necks.
Neck rings are a number of spiral coils that are added on gradualy to stretch the neck, and put weight on the shoulder blades to make them deform causing the illusion of a longer neck.
Japanese Body Tattoos
Tattooing has a 2000 year old history.
Originally it was used as a punishment for criminals, to brand them so that they could be identified as criminals and outcast of the society.
In Japan they would covered these marks up by making full body tattoos to hide them.
This style of tattooing became really popular when it reached the bigger cities, and was also used as a revolution towards the strict laws.
Here are the five most beautiful areas (like Egypt) to find these treasures in Morocco.
5 Beautiful Areas To Visit In Morocco
Home of the Musée Marocain, an ethnographic museum containing an exquisite collection of clothing, jewelry and housewares, the artistic soul will revel in the serenity of the terrace overlooking the Rif Mountains.
Admire the intermingling colours of the orange, almond and pomegranate orchards as you meander through the city.
Take a tour of the World Heritage Listed medina (old town) and meet the weavers, jewelers and leather workers dotted through the city.
Remember your sketchpad and charcoal when you visit Meknès – you won’t be able to resist sketching the tomb hall in in the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail or the luxuriously decorated salon in the Dar Jamaï Museum.
If photography is your art of choice, be sure to visit Café Opera, where you can capture the local men sipping mint tea in this grand old venue.
But don’t put your camera away until you’ve visited the Central Market: It’s a bustling hive of colour and personalities.
An oasis in the mountains, Tafraoute provides the perfect locale for you to unwind and let your mind wander.
This area is known for its low set pink houses and wind-sculpted mountains.
Take a stroll through the shops and stalls and marvel at the artistic ingenuity of the craftsmen making lanterns, shopping baskets and other goods from found objects.
See out the day painting the arid landscape at sunset.
Essaouira is known for being an artist’s paradise and it’s easy to see why.
Who wouldn’t be inspired by the Spice Souq, a flurry of traders selling everything from spices to cosmetics?
Or the Skala de la Ville, the ramparts offering 180 degree views of the city and its maze of winding streets?
What about the Skala du Port, where you can observe the fishermen bringing in the day’s catch while the canons stand guard on the ramparts?
With all of these experiences at your fingertips, you’ll be sure to leave your accommodation every day with a backpack full of your artist’s tools.
Slow down and take it easy in Taroudant, a truly beautiful market town known for its town walls that are more complete than any others in Morrocco, offering shimmering canvasses of gold, orange and pink.
Awaken your inner artist with a horseback ride around the valleys and mountains or walk down an orange tree lined path to observe Bab el-Kasbah, an incredible defensive tower built in the 17th century.
Capture it all in your media of choice – you wouldn’t want to forget these amazing sights.
Touring Morocco is really the easiest way to make sure you get to see as many of these beautiful areas as possible.
Morocco tours have become more and more popular as travelers realize how previous the country is and what it has to offer.
Inspire your inner artist and head to Morocco today.
Exploring The Best Of Marrakech, Morocco
In the middle of Morocco, nestling at the feet of the Atlas Mountains, you will find the charming bustling city of Marrakech.
Divided in two parts, the Medina (the old city) and Gueliz (the modern city), Marrakech is a city of culture, history and intriguing architecture alongside a bustling shopping center and a vibrant night life.
Djemaa el Fna
Two of its claims to fame include the largest souk, or traditional market, in Morocco and one of the liveliest squares in Africa and possibly the world, known as Djemaa el Fna.
Although hotel accommodation isn’t too expensive in Marrakech, staying around Djemaa el Fna is more expensive than other parts of the city, so if you want to stay in that area try searching for a Low Cost Holidays discount code to get a deal on accommodation.
Don’t rush the souks but spend time wandering the stalls and alleyways and get a feel for the items on offer, before plunging into bargaining.
Even if you don’t want to buy anything, just watching the whirl of people and flashes of color and listening to the bustle and noise is an experience in itself.
Next to the Souk is Djemaa el Fna, the main square of the old city that never sleeps.
The Berber people come down from the Atlas mountains to Djemaa el Fna square in Marrakech to entertain with their story-telling to the locals.
Berber from Atlas mountains Djemaa el Fna square Marrakech
In the day it is buzzing with entertainers, from musicians and acrobats, to snake charmers and sooth sayers, story tellers and dancers who continue into the night, becoming more exotic as the night falls – casting a romantic glow over the square.
The drums beat, the crowd claps, the wistful sound of a song rises above the excited chatter – traditional costumes vie with the modern dressed tourists and different cooking smells tantalise and taunt the crowds, inviting them to try the many wares on offer.
For many visitors this is the height of night life and they return here each evening, forsaking the bars and clubs of the modern Gueliz.
Rue Bab Agnaou
For a more peaceful area, head up the Rue Bab Agnaou through the impressive ramparts to the Kasbah area – the streets here are clean and safe, as it is home to the Royal Palace and the Saadian Tombs, as well as the ruins of the El Badi Palace.
You will find small bazaars, not on the scale of the main Souk, but a lot less frenzied and various food stalls and restaurants.
Look for Riads to stay in – although these look drab from the outside, once inside you feel like you have been transported to a different world.
With windows facing the central courts, you get the feel of being taken from the city to an inner sanctum – for extra relaxation and serenity book a massage in a Hammam.
Take time to enjoy the many other varied sites in Marrakech; the Koutobia Mosque besides the Djemaa El Fna proudly displaying its minaret as Paris does the Eiffel Tower and at night it comes alive with illumination.
Also take time out to visit the beautiful Majorelle Gardens, a small oasis in the hustle and bustle of city life.
The early morning is one of the best times to visit; not only are there less crowds but the morning light creates some stunning visions.
For those into museums the Museum of Islamic Art can be found here and not far from here is the Dar Is Said Museum.
This city is a mix of old and new, custom and modern and caters for all budgets.
It is possible to book a cheap holiday in Marrakech, just as it is easy to experience a luxury retreat.
Whatever your price range, remember to check for any discount codes for cheap flights.
From backpacking to five-star hotels: there really is something for everyone.
Colorful dyed yarn hanging to dry in the sun in Marrakech
Marrakesh is a city that stands out from many other places around the world.
You can be sure to leave this place with a complete brain-overload full of strange, new impressions.
Exploring Marrakesh Pharmacy
A great experience I had there once was when I stumbled upon a tiny pharmacy hiding around a small narrow street corner…
As always in Marrakesh no matter where you go, you are welcomed with tea (it was the best mint tea I’ve ever tasted).
You will find them bringing it out so quickly that you find yourself with a hot glass even before you know whether you want to even stay or leave.
So I took the mint tea, sat down and looked around.
Every area of this small pharmacy was covered from top to bottom with shelves full of delicate glass bottles – each one looking stranger than the next.
The bottles were filled with liquids in strong vibrant colors and came across looking rather poisonous.
Some had strange plants and branches inside, others had things my imagination couldn’t even describe.
I wouldn’t have been surprised if I suddenly saw a head in one of the bottles..!
Everything inside these bottles was meant to be medicine, which would curand diminish things I didn’t even know you could… like stretch marks :S
The pharmacist asked us what we’re looking for, and we became a little hesitant.
We weren’t really looking for anything, we just wanted to browse, but we didn’t really feel like that was a good enough answer, so we made up a few things like coughing medicine etc.
An hour later we stumbled out of the pharmacy with two big bags full of herbs, oils and liquids, confused but happy.
And to be honest, I’ve been using the herbs I bought there a long time after.
Since then I’ve become much more interested in medicines from other cultures and what they use to cure every day illness.
I would love to visit more of these street corner pharmacies, in fact I think I might make it my thing.
Visit pharmacies in every country I visit, just to see what they look like (many interesting photos coming soon as well I’m sure!)
Mad About Morocco
The British are mad about Morocco – and it has nothing to do with international disputes!
The African country is one of the most popular sites for luxury holiday destinations among the British because of its fantastic weather, fascinating places, and friendly people.
Let’s just admit it – Morocco can be your home away from home during your luxurious vacation no matter how short it may be.
But before undertaking your luxury holiday in Morocco, you must first educate yourself about the place and its people.
Yes, it is an exotic gateway to the spectacular Black Continent but there is more to it than meets the eye.
Laid-back to Adventure in Morocco
Who says that luxury weekend breaks in Morocco have to be so laid-back as to be almost sedentary?
The most westerly of African countries has everything that week-enders will want, from the peaks of the High Atlas to the dunes of the Sahara, from the glorious beaches fronting the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, and from bustling Casablanca to the hidden jewels of its resorts.
This is a place where the term luxury holiday takes on another meaning, one where you can choose to be laid-back on your hammock or to be adventurous on the dunes.
Regardless of your preference for tailor-made holidays in Morocco, you can look forward to luxurious accommodations, sumptuous food and beverages, and outstanding service.
This is luxury at one of its best and it can be found in the exotic land known for its colorful patterned rugs.
How can you not fall madly in love with such a place?
Ancient to Modern Morocco
The Moroccan people are rightfully proud of their culture including their traditions.
Berbers, Arabs and Saharawis, among other ethnic groups, largely live with each other in peace although it must be said that said peace was not without its price.
Today, the country is an intriguing mix of the ancient and the modern – a cliche mainly because it is true.
While the features of encroaching modernity like skyscrapers and motorways are present, the traditional features of mosques and Kasbah still dominate the landscape.
The best thing about such a mix of the ancient and the modern:
You can enjoy the best of both worlds in a single luxurious weekend!
But why spend just one weekend in the fascinating country when you can come back again and again and again?
Hand felted hats on a side street in Marrakech. I love the contrast between the colorful hats and the worn down street.
Be prepared for pleasant surprises regarding the ingenious ways that the Moroccan people have combined their ancient traditions with modern lifestyles.
Nomadic southern ‘blue men’ in their flowing robes and tight turbans brave the Sahara but with a twist – their hands clutch the latest in mobile phone technology, for example.
And let’s not forget the people, the heart of the place itself.
Sit in an al fresco café, watch the world go by, and Moroccans will come by your table to talk sooner or later.
Now that’s the best way to enjoy a luxurious weekend while making new friends.
How To Indulge In The Cape Verde Islands
After watching countless Island-related movies, my housemate and I decided we must star in one, and hastily booked a holiday to Boa Vista to play the part of beach bums.
The second we arrived we were completely blown away by the beautiful landscape that greeted us.
The untouched beaches and luscious valleys were almost too much for our eyes to take, and as the smell of tropical food hit our nostrils we realised Boa Vista was not just a heavenly sight.
Cape Verde Islands food
One of our favourite restaurants was ‘Sodade di Nha Terra’ in Sal Rei.
The homemade Goat’s cheese was what first attracted us (both being big cheese fans) but once we had dinner there we became completely smitten with the place.
I gorged myself on a grilled Grouper fish with chips and rice, while my housemate sampled a platter of local meats, our stomachs were truly satisfied!
It was also very cheap and the owners were really friendly, although I would recommend booking on weekends, as it can get very busy.
If you start to hunger for a more International flavor I would recommend the Portuguese restaurant Riba d’Olte.
Also located in Sal Rei, just 500 meters from the beach, it is in the most idyllic setting.
At night the tables are adorned with candles and once a week live Cabo Verde music is performed (a form of folk music, which is sung in Creole).
Not only was the atmosphere beautiful, the food was also absolutely delicious!
I had the sweat lobster, which is the restaurant’s specialty, accompanied by a lovely wine from the Island of Fago.
This is one of the first nice wines I’ve had on the island.
Depending on the season, the vino can be rather hit and miss.
My housemate had the grilled Serra fish with banana.
While this may sound different (at least for our uncultured palettes), it tastes divine!
Traveling to Sal
In our second week, we decided to book a flight to Sal.
We were eager to explore another island.
Our diets the first week mainly consisted of fish.
So for this week, we decided to opt for some more international food.
This time we choose an Italian restaurant called Kusa Di Kasa (Cose di Casa).
The cheese is homemade. There is a wide range of toppings to suit all tastes.
If you fancy a pudding, I recommend the homemade ice cream.
This was my favorite desert of the whole trip!
The flavors were incredible.
And on a boiling hot day, there is nothing more satisfying.
After sampling a vast number of culinary delights in the Cape Verde Islands, my expanding stomach feels a slight remorse.
But the food was so incredible it felt too cruel to deny my taste buds of such heavenly flavors.
If taste buds could speak, they’d recommend these Islands highly Or Cape Town South Africa.
Things To Do In Sharm El Sheikh:
There are a lot of things to do in Sharm el Sheikh, but before we get into it – let me introduce you to the place.
Sharm el Sheikh is a city situated on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, in South Sinai Governorate, Egypt.
It is located on the coastal strip along the beautiful shores of the Red Sea, approximately a one hour flight from Cairo.
There are plenty of things to do in Sharm el Sheikh, which explains why it attracts international travelers from around the world with a warm and inviting climate 12 months of the year.
Below I have listed my top favorite things to do in Sharm El Sheikh – enjoy!
Quad Bikes and Dune Buggies
Quad biking and dune buggy rentals are the number one activity for action and adventure in the desert.
The off-road vehicle tours meet up daily in the heart of Naama Bay for 2 to 11 hour excursions across the rugged terrain.
Guests are taken on the fast track through scenic desert beauty and a thrill ride away from civilization on open-air dune buggies.
Ras Mohammed National Park.
The perfect escape from the desert is to visit Ras Mohammed National Park.
These tranquil waters and unspoiled protected wildlife is only a quick journey southward.
Ras Mohammed National Park is a picture perfect setting for rest and relaxation, scuba diving, snorkeling or hiking for visitors of all ages and fitness levels.
Ras Mohamed National Park in Sharm El Sheikh sits on the tip of the Sinai Peninsula.
It’s a marine reserve that has been protected since 1983.
This national park is renowned worldwide for its amazing diving opportunities.
The dive from Shark Reef to Yolanda Reef is highly recommended.
You will see all, if not most of the different varieties of fish that Sharm El Sheikh has to offer – a definite visit while on a Sharm el Sheikh holiday.
Tip: This place is great for sunset photos.
Sinai Mountain Sharm El Shiekh
Sinai Mountain is amazing by day and just as good by night.
You can travel up the mountain by either quad bike, camel or on foot.
There are plenty of companies that give guided tours, which will include the Bedouin experience.
You can go for a few hours, or camp out Bedouin style for the night.
There is a Muslim mosque at the top of the mountain that is still used today.
Tip: Sinai is perfect for stargazing because it’s free from light pollution.
Glass Bottom Boat
Sharm el Sheikh is known for it’s friendly and colorful sea creatures, and there’s no better way to meet them up-close and personal than an excursion in a glass bottom boat.
Tours generally last about two hours and offer vessel seating with indoor or shaded areas.
Take in magnificent coral reefs, exotic fish and perhaps a glimpse of a dolphin or two.
St. Catherine’s Monastery
One of the many things to do in Sharm el Sheikh is to visit St. Catherine’s Monastery.
The best way to visit is to book a motor coach tour from the hotels or tour operators in Sharm el-Sheikh.
Additional sightseeing may be had with an overnight reservation in one of the hotels central to this attraction, however, the St. Catherine’s Monastery tour may be completed in less than two hours.
Visit the dwellings of the monks who keep the monastery working and meet and greet your local hosts.
The St. Catherine’s Monastery is regarded as the most famous of it’s kind in the world and should be visited with modest attire and a respectful attitude.
Climbing Mount Moses
For the fit and feisty, a midnight climb up the steep slopes of Mount Moses is the ultimate adventure, and one of the most popular things to do in Sharm el Sheikh.
The upward trek contains over three-thousand steps leading to the summit at dawn for a breathtaking bird’s eye view over the jagged Sinai canyons.
Jebel Mousa, as it is known in Egypt, takes at least three hours of exhausting climbing with intermittent rest periods along the way.
Make sure you bring warm clothing in the winter months as Mount Moses can reach freezing temperatures at night.
In addition, nothing but the best walking shoes will do and don’t forget to pack your flashlight and some extra batteries.
There you go, these things to do in Sharm El Sheikh will definitely keep you occupied for at least a week, but remember to relax and enjoy the moment as well!
Most popular attractions to visit in Egypt
With pale desert colored buildings, the smell of apple smoke from the shisha pipes and toothy grins, the red sea coastline that runs for 500 miles and one of the world’s most talked about diving areas – Egypt is a place those who visit will never forget.
The Mummification Museum
Located in the city centre of Luxor, there is a small but unique collection of antiquities here – the museum explores the unusual art of mummification, which was carried out thousands of years ago.
The Egyptians believed that by utilising these methods, it would give sanctuary to the afterlife. The techniques used incorporate both animals and humans.
Artefacts include the mummy of Masaharta, which dates back to the 21st Dynasty and was recovered from a hiding place that contained the mummies of over forty royal figures.
Tip: Take a look at the instruments they used to remove the brain, it’s positively chilling!
Temple of Karnak
Situated in Luxor, the sheer magnitude of this area will be the first thing that strikes you – it covers 200 acres of an ancient city that was formed in temples, created more than 2000 years ago.
It’s the largest temple in Egypt and its majestic pillars remain very well preserved.
Tip: It’s cooler here in that afternoon and taking photos at that time will give the best light.
Souk Exploring in Hurghada
Narrow alleyways and the smell of spices will enchant you as you weave your way through the souk.
Leather, jewelry, rugs and slippers are some traditional goods to look out for.
Most of them are handmade, and make sure you barter your way to a good price.
This is the place to experience the real Egypt, by meeting the people and observing their foods and spices.
Tip: Sip some local mint tea, while you are measured up for a traditional Egyptian garment, the jellabiya.
Diving in Hurghada
A ship wreck and great under water photos are what the diving sites here have to offer.
There are over a dozen sites, including the remains of an Egyptian minesweeper.
The reefs offer an array of tropical fish like snappers, butterfly fish, goat fish and banner fish.
Tip: First time divers can learn and take their diving licence here.
Sharm el Sheikh – Diver’s Paradise
Egypt is becoming an increasingly popular destination for tourists, especially Sharm el Sheikh, which is very popular among divers.
Another reason for its popularity is that there are more and more cheap holidays to Sharm el Sheikh, making it a destination that more people can afford to explore and enjoy.
It is one of the finest diving locations in the world, so although the beaches are beautiful and tempting, there is even more beauty awaiting underneath the surface of that blue, crystal clear water.
The contrast of the blue water and the rocky mountains is an otherworldly experience that you won’t forget.
Sharm el Sheik has grown from being a small fishing village with 100 citizens to a big tourist destination in just about 40 years, but with 10,000 inhabitants it’s still considered pretty small.
Aside from diving, snorkeling, climbing and laying on the beach, you should check out the old town and do some shopping.
The old market is lovely, but remember to haggle!
A trip to the desert is also a cool activity.
You can go wither with a private guide for several days through the desert on a camel, or just go for a day.
For those who go to Sharm el Sheikh for the diving, some of the best places to dive are Tiran and Rad Mohammed, which can be reached by boat.
At Ras Mohammed there is a lot of plankton, which attracts huge schools of fish.
You will see sharks, murrays, an barracudas, among many others.
The only negative thing is that you will share this reef with another 50 or more divers, which certainly makes the experience less authentic and unique.
If you want to avoid the crowds at these two reefs and at the SS Thistlegorm wreck, take a diving safari.
Then you will be gone for a few days and will be able to dive in places further away, way beyond the day-tripping boats.
If you have planned to take a couple of dive trips anyway, you might as well do them all in one bunch – it will not necessarily be more expensive at all, and you will have a much better experience.
Things to Do in Sharm el Sheikh
Renowned for its coastal setting, which naturally attracts flocks of tourists every year, Sharm el Sheikh is located at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.
It’s generally considered as a paradise for those who seek crystal-clear waters and perfect diving conditions due to its proximity to some magnificent reefs and tropical waters.
A holiday in Sharm el Sheikh can be a truly magnificent experience.
The resort is very accessible with a large port and airport for those arriving by sea and air respectively.
Due to the inflated number of tourists arriving each year, Sharm el Sheikh is constantly developing, giving the airport an unfinished appearance.
Yet, once you’ve stepped through the gates, the resort is incredibly beautiful and features a wealth of things to do and see.
One stop that tourists will always get a kick out of is Sharm Old Town and in particular, the Old Market.
A very traditional and Arabic layout, the Old Market is an attractive series of neat stalls selling rich varieties of items and exotic foods.
Beyond the town’s limits lies a vast Desert; many are advised to take guided trips down to the Bedouins and Mount Sinai due to its worldly beauty and extravagant culture.
Guides can be done on camel-back or through independent travels and even though there are many cafes and hotels within the area, it’s a far cry from the hustle and bustle of Western culture.
Outside of its bustling tourist industry, Sharm is well known for being one of the best diving locations on Earth.
Diving into the warm waters of the Red Sea is said to be quite the majestic experience and the two reefs of Tiran and Ras Mohammed are the best places to start with many opting to book a diving safari.
The food is wonderfully eclectic; for those feeling home-sick, there are familiar fast-food joints such as McDonald’s and KFC, but for those wishing to branch out to something alluringly different, Sharm features plenty of traditional restaurants serving the best food in all of Egypt.
El Masrien, found in the Old Town, features grilled Egyptian meat accompanied by rice, pasta and vegetables and elsewhere, many markets and restaurants serve fresh catch-of-the-day.
Cultural diversity is also on full display with a chain of sumptuous and popular Indian restaurants open in the area.
Na’ama Bay, the central hub of tourism in Sharm, was where it all began.
The focal point for one of the greatest resorts in the World, Na’ama is a stunning array of colors, smells and sights.
During the day, many choose to relax down at the beach but when the sun goes down, the lights come on and Sharm dazzles with its intense beauty and vibrant atmosphere.
There are many hotels in the area as one might expect and every way of life is catered for in this holiday haven.
Whether you’re there to relax on the sandy beaches or roam the vast Sinai deserts, Sharm el Sheikh will provide you with an experience of a lifetime.
Holidaymakers Guide to Egypt
Ever since commercial travel became a viable possibility after the Second World War, Egypt has been one of the major destinations for travelers from across the globe.
The sheer grandness of the country’s ancient history can still be seen at sites across Egypt, and it would be fair to say that no other place in the world can boast of such important and ancient landmarks as Egypt.
Modern name of the ancient city of Thebes, which was the seat of power in Egypt for thousands of years.
Its importance is marked by the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens, home to the tombs of former kings, queens, and nobility of Egypt.
These major historic sites attract millions of tourists every year, lying just west of Luxor, and can be reached by the many tourist buses that operate daily from the city.
Valley of the Kings
While the Valley of the Kings holds 63 tombs, only 18 can be opened, and at any one time there will only be a handful open for visitors.
This restricted access is to help preserve the tombs and their contents.
Further north lies the modern capital, Cairo.
As well as being the center of contemporary Egyptian life, Cairo is also the place from which to visit Egypt’s other great treasure, the historic site home to The Great Pyramid of Giza.
The pyramids, as well as other structures like the famous Sphinx, are a thousand years older still than the structures in the Valley of the Kings.
Also in Cairo, is The Egyptian Museum, home to the greatest pieces of art and history from ancient Egypt, including the most famous collection in the world, the contents of the tomb of Tutankhamun.
Sharm-el-Sheikh is the other major destination for UK travelers, located across the Nile on the Sinai Peninsula in Eastern Egypt.
It offers a different experience to the history-based holidays around Cairo and Luxor.
On the northern shores of the Red Sea, Sharm-el-Sheikh can offer a beach holiday extraordinaire for those who prefer to spend their time lying on the sand as opposed to learning about those who have lain under it for thousands of years.
Unfortunately, Egypt has had problems with terrorism in recent years, particularly those targeting foreign travelers.
The Foreign Office has regular updates on the situation and gives travel advice.
That said, the authorities in Egypt have worked hard to protect visitors and has largely succeeded in doing so.
Millions of foreigners travel there each year without experiencing any trouble whatsoever.
What are your thoughts about Egypt? Is it a place you would like to visit?
Popular Places To Visit In Egypt
Everyone knows about the pyramids in Egypt – you’d be hard pressed to find Egypt tours that don’t include a visit to Giza.
While Giza heads up our list for the five must see places for historical travelers to visit, there are four other places that also fit the bill.
Pyramids of Giza, Cairo
It would be impossible to travel to Egypt and not stop by Cairo to visit the pyramids serving as tombs to the pharaohs Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure.
These three pyramids are accompanied by the Sphinx and Temple of the Sphinx, in addition to a variety of Queens’ Pyramids and Nobles’ Tombs.
Built by a peak workforce of 40,000 people some 4,500 years ago, the pyramids are the first stop on an historical tour of Egypt.
St Anthony’s Monastery, Red Sea Mountains
Take a trip to the heart of the Red Sea mountains and discover St Antony’s Monastery in a desert oasis.
Found in 356 AD, St Antony’s Monastery was used as a monastic community by St Antony the Great and Julian the Apostate in the 4th century.
As the oldest active monastery in the world, it is beautifully preserved, looking like a small scale Egyptian village.
Tour the four churches onsite and marvel at the intricate frescos before retiring to the library to examine the largest collection of Coptic manuscripts in Egypt.
Perfect for a day trip if you’re staying in Cairo, Tell Basta is only 80 kilometers away in the Eastern Nile Delta.
This ancient city is a current excavation site where archaeologists are still discovering ceramics and other assorted wares.
Built during the 4th dynasty, Tell Basta was religious center for the cult of Bastet and you can still see monuments there depicting the lion goddess.
The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, Cairo
Opened in 1902, The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities is home to the most astonishing ancient treasures discovered in Egypt.
From Tutankhamen’s death mask to the Royal Mummies room, there is something to interest every historical traveller.
There are over 100,000 pieces on display at the museum so be sure to plan your visit in advance to make sure you don’t miss out on anything.
There is so much to see and do for history-focused travelers in Egypt.
Hire a car or make use of Egypt’s extensive public transport system and take in every historical site this country has to offer.
Built in the 2nd century AD, the Catacombs are not for the faint of heart, as they house some 300 bodies distributed across three levels.
Allocate a couple of hours to explore the maze of passageways linking rooms, a banqueting hall and the main tomb.
The ornate decorations will catch your eye as you move through the site, showcasing a harmonious blend of Egyptian, Greek and Roman art.
Cruising the Nile
You are a homebody, so travelling has never really been your cup of tea.
In fact, you are like one of those hobbits from the Lord of the Rings who does not like going on adventures.
Sure, you might get over to Liverpool once in a while to catch a football game, or take a weekend jaunt in the country for some hiking.
However, when it comes to big, elaborate and extravagant trips, you are not a fan.
They say that opposites attract, and this certainly seems to be the case when it comes to you and your wife.
As luck would have it, she has a vagabond spirit.
Her favorite phrase is “wanderlust keeps you young.”
She lives, breathes and marks her time by holidays.
Every year, she has to slowly and carefully coax you to take a trip with her.
When she mentioned taking a tour of Egypt this summer, you cringed.
However, what choice did you have?
Cruising the Nile
When your wife first mentioned Egypt, you thought of sand, wind and blinding dust storms.
You imagined yourself on a camel in an arid desert.
Dehydration was imminent.
The one thing you did not imagine was first-class luxury.
You could not have been more misguided.
Cruising the Nile Day One
You are standing on the top deck of the Royal Lily, a modern cruise ship with 56 luxurious cabins.
You should be tired – the itinerary throughout the day was jam-packed, but there is something about the boat and the Nile that gives you an idyllic feeling.
From the Tombs of the Pharaohs and the Valley of the Kings to the Colossi of Memnon, you have seen more historical sights today than in your forty years on the planet.
Cruising the Nile Day Two
You decide to buy postcards. In fact, you buy a monstrous stack of postcards and begin writing to everyone you know. In twenty years of marriage, your wife has never seen you behave like this.
You write long, flowing description of the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx of Giza.
There are not enough words to describe the Amon-Ra at Karnak.
Egypt is agreeing with you.
Wanderlust has taken over.
Cruising the Nile Day Three
It is no longer your wife who is telling you about the daily itinerary and excursions, but you who is explaining it to you.
Over breakfast, you give her a detailed lecture about the Temple of Edfu.
You mention Sobek, the Egyptian crocodile god, as if he was one of your favorite footballers.
Your wife has a theory.
She says that it was not travel you disliked so much over the years, but the endless hassles and complicated logistics – the Royal Lily made Egypt easy.
How To Explore Egypt
How To Explore Egypt: Egypt is one of those destinations which will always surprise you.
Many visitors come here simply looking for sun, sea and sand, and hole up for a week or two in a lush all inclusive resort with five-star service and everything they could ever need available on tap.
While this perfectly suits those who are looking for nothing more than to chill out and top up their tan, the danger is that you can miss out on an incredible world of mystery and intrigue.
To really get the most out of your Egypt holiday, don’t get too settled.
Either book onto some excursions and enjoy the chance to get out and about, or check out the public transport system and find your own way around.
The range of excursions on offer are hugely varied – they can be fun-filled adventures such as jeep safaris or camel treks, short trips to a local landmark or beauty spot, or perhaps a full day excursion to see some of the most important historical sites of Egypt.
Whatever you fancy, there are trips aplenty to help you make the most of your visit.
After all, no trip to Egypt would be complete without seeing some of its incredible ancient monuments.
From the Pyramids of Giza and the towering Great Sphinx, to wandering around the magnificent temples and soaring pillars, these awe-inspiring relics of ancient civilizations have to be seen to be believed.
If you’re worried about your holiday budget, fear not.
Travelling to Egypt is now as easy as ever before thanks to the myriad of low-cost holidays available, which range from picking your own low-cost scheduled flights to booking package breaks with the likes of Thomas Cook holiday deals.
However you get here, be sure to plan your trip carefully to make sure you get out and about and make the most out of your experience.
Best Destinations on a Red Sea Cruise North Africa
In Awe of North Africa
A trip to North Africa will promise to give you a fascinating experience full of history, culture and great beaches.
Whether you decide upon holidays in Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco or the Gambia you will be certain to receive a cheerful and memorable welcome and enjoy an unforgettable stay in one of the world’s most fascinating countries.
Trips with tour operators, can bring this world to your doorstep, offering you a ready made deal including flights and accommodation, leaving you free to plan the excursions for your stay.
The fantastic climate is perfect for those who wish to sun bathe on the glorious beaches or relax under the shade of the palm trees surrounding the luxurious resorts.
But the real draw of Africa lies in its colorful past.
The Gambia has a turbulent and overwhelming history with its roots set at the heart of the slave trade, and many mementos of this terrible experience exist today.
It is a cultural mine of information; but the Gambia doesn’t spend all of its time looking back.
Tourism has developed at pace here, and visitors delight in its sub-tropical climate, endless sandy beaches and contemporary hotels.
Tunisia is one of Africa’s most popular holiday destinations, thanks to its endless golden sands and beautiful green landscapes giving way to mountains, rivers and lakes.
The scenery is picturesque and the wildlife is abundant.
Egypt of course is well known for its vast historical wealth of pyramids, Egyptian pharaohs and breathtaking monuments but it has also become a diving mecca and a holiday hot spot with excellent resorts throughout the region.
Then there’s Morocco with its multitude of cultural influences – from bustling market towns to idyllic beaches – which will delight and charm you during your stay.
The North of Africa is home to so much and to book your next vacation in any one of these regions will be the start of a lifelong fascination.
One of the hottest new cruise destinations is the Red Sea – this destination is incredible historic, boasts some breathtaking scenery and is home to countless attractions and monuments in both Egypt and Jordan.
Many people are also surprised to find out that the Red Sea is home to several beautiful beaches, as well as recreation opportunities like scuba diving and swimming.
Keep reading to learn more about the top five destinations on a Red Sea Cruise.
Why not check out Thomson Cruises for great deals around the Red Sea.
Sharm el Sheikh
This is easily one of the most popular destinations for a cruise in the Red Sea.
Although there is no main tourism attraction per se, the beach itself is what draws in millions of visitors each year.
While swimming, tanning, relaxing or exploring the beach are all great ways to pass the time, it is the snorkeling and scuba diving that makes Sharm el Sheikh the most popular and impressive beach resort in all of Egypt.
Few people have heard of Port Sokhna, but it is where most cruise passengers disembark to explore Cairo, which is just a few miles from the port itself.
In the city of Cairo there are countless attractions to explore, including the Museum of Cairo and the Coptic Museum, but it is the nearby Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza that people are typically the most excited to see.
Located on the banks of the Nile River, Luxor was once the capital of the Egyptian civilization.
Today, it is a top destination for travelers who want to get an insight into the deep history of this place.
Passengers will typically disembark at Port Safaga and travel the 45 minutes to nearby Luxor in order to explore the Valley of the Kings.
It is here that visitors will be able to see the Tomb of Tutankhamun, the Tomb of Ramesses VI and countless other ancient historic landmarks.
Parts of the Red Sea border the beautiful country of Jordan, and there is no destination more remarkable to visit than Petra.
Petra is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and boasts several different structures carved from the almost pink rocks.
Although Hurghada may not be quite as big or as popular as Sharm el Sheikh, it is certainly every bit as beautiful.
This coastal destination in Egypt is a common location for the cheapest cruises in the Red Sea, and the area offers great opportunities for scuba diving, swimming, snorkeling or even horseback riding on the beach.
It is clear to see that cruises along the Red Sea offer everything from historical landmarks to relaxing beaches for passengers to enjoy whilst on their holidays.
Egypt in the Winter Sun
With one of the longest histories of the modern world, Egypt is much more than a sun-soaked paradise
Such sights as the temples of ancient pharaohs, its famous pyramids and archaeological significance will open your eyes and gauge your senses.
With temperatures of around 20oC, you can relax and explore at your leisure.
Having the ability to travel around the world is one of the most amazing things in the world, there are so many awesome things to learn, and help us grow.
I could probably name 100’s of reasons why I love traveling but for today here are my top 5 reasons for why I continue to be motivated to travel on a budget
Things I Love About Traveling
Meeting New Cultures
I’m almost obsessed with meeting and learning about new cultures, I absolutely love it.
They’re interesting, often (to me) strange, provoking and always have something to teach.
I learn so much by visiting places with a different culture than my own, I also find that by understanding the culture you can understand why the people are the way they are – on such a deep level.
Things I Love About Traveling History
I’m not usually a big history fan, but when it comes to traveling I really love to know the history about every place I visit, Reasons to Travel More.
By learning the history of a place I get a better appreciation and understanding of why things are the way they are there.
Things I Love About Traveling Food
Food (not just eating it) is a big part of travel for me.
I love going to supermarkets, little boutiques and markets, and can literally spend hours just looking at strange new and interesting food items which I’ve never seen before.
Things I Love About Traveling The People
Often I meet travelers bragging about how many countries they’ve been to and all the ‘fun’ things they’ve done.
To me, that doesn’t really matter that much, what matters to me is not the places you go to but more importantly the people you meet while you are there.
Things I Love About Traveling Using The Five Senses
Another thing I like to remember from my travels are the different smells, sounds, food flavors and visual colors you get to experience.
My brain finds itself working on overdrive trying to take it all in, and long afterward I can think back to a place and still remember what kind of vibe I felt.
I’ll always remember the feeling a place gives me, whether it’s good or bad.
Travel Realization – The Luxury Of Having An Escape
Spending a hot summer in the city for me isn’t always ideal, often I start feeling really uninspired and restless.
I feel like I need to get away from the concrete, the roads, the shops and crowds of tourists, so I pack my backpack once in a while and escape to the most idyllic place in Sweden – my grandma’s house in the forest, by the lake.
My grandma lives in the middle of nowhere, a gem almost completely unknown, and even though I have traveled the world and seen so many amazing places, for the mind there really is no place like this.
I didn’t realize until now how I have taken this place so much for granted, how spoiled I’ve been to have a place like this to escape to.
For me this used to be something I assumed everyone had, but after having traveled I realize that the simple pleasures of life outside of the city is something only a few can really enjoy.
Being able to walk barefoot wherever I like in the forest on anybody’s land, swimming in a lake with nobody around, and being able to breathe fresh air is something so simple and natural but unfortunately so hard to find these days.
I remember reading an interview with the two children who played the main characters in Slumdog Millionaire.
They were so thrilled about being in Hollywood, but what they were most amazed by in all this glitter and glamour was the amazing fresh air.
They wanted to live in Hollywood forever just so they could breathe the air… :S
What I’m trying to get to is that in the end, it’s the small things that matters the most, and it’s easy to forget what they are when you always have access to them yourself.
The things we may see as normal can blows another other persons mind, and it’s sad that such a simple thing as nature and freedom is a rarity in many parts of the world.
This was something I knew and was always told, but didn’t realize until I actually saw it with my own eyes.
Traveling makes you REALLY understand what you’ve already learned but never really experienced, and I think everyone can benefit with a good dose of travel.
How about you? What is something you realized you had been taking for granted once you started traveling?
Reasons Why I Hate Traveling
I love traveling, I really do.
But there are parts of it that I can’t stand.
I have to be honest and say that me and travel have a typical love-hate relationship.
As well as bringing out the ‘best me’, traveling also has a habit of bringing out the ‘worst me’, but no matter how frustrated I get with traveling I need it – it’s like a drug.
Once you’ve traveled for more than a few months, you’ll never want to stop (just occasionally get so frustrated you think you want to, but deep inside you know that you don’t).
I Hate Waiting
I reckon that you spend at least 25% of your time on the road waiting for something; waiting for the flight to leave, the bus to come or the half an hour delayed train.
And if you’re not waiting for the plane, your waiting IN the plane.
I know it’s not the destination but the journey that matters, but that can be hard to grasp when sitting in a plane for 16 hours straight.
I Hate Stressing
Traveling is rarely a balanced and healthy lifestyle, you either sit and wait until you’re so bored you start solving Sudoku, or you find yourself rushing from one place to another just making the bus, just getting through customs, just getting on the plane, just – just – JUST! …
Life on the road is life on the edge and while it creates such amazing excitement, an overload of stress can really affect your state of mind.
I Hate Uncertainty – Lack of routines
I’m a girl who loves changes, action and adventure, and that is exactly why I need the opposite.
I need some routines in my life to be able to keep my feet on the ground.
Having routines is hard when traveling, although I have now managed to achieve this more or less – it comes with practice.
I Hate having to watch what you eat and drink
When being in hot countries, nothing makes my mouth drool as much as ice cream and cool fresh juices and drinks, and they’re available around every corner.
But if I get any closer than just looking at this dripping banana-split, I’ll end up spending the next three days with my head in a bad-smelling bucket – think Bali Belly :s
How Hard keeping in touch with friends
It’s do-able, but it really wears down on the relationship.
The first two months are alright, but after that there is just too many things going on and you have no time, and at the same time so many things have happened back home with your friends’ lives that you have totally missed out on.
So when finally seeing them again, you’re no longer the same person you were when you left, and often neither are they.
Hard to stay in shape
All the late nights, good food and drinks put their share of kilos on your belly, and at the same time there is no time or place to really get rid of them.
Unless you think you own your hostel dorm, you probably won’t use it as your personal gym, and even if you do happen to find a place to work out you won’t find time to do it.
I Hate Coming back
Coming back home or to your ‘base’ is always tough.
It’s hard to adapt to the certainty and every-day life.
No more new sights and foreign cultures.
The days are similar to each other and nothing really seems to have changed.
It’s difficult to share all your experiences, and even if you could nobody really wants to hear it.
They’re either not interested or get jealous.
Best Places To Visit In September
One of the most crucial things that come into play when planning a holiday, is the weather.
Sometimes we get so caught up in where we want to go that we forget to find out what the climate is like there at that time, and when we finally arrive we get a full week of rain.
September is one of those months when the weather starts to change in many parts over the world – in some parts of Europe, it’s already autumn, while in others you can still swim in the ocean and lie on the beach.
In South Pacific, spring is on its way, and the weather is very moody – and it isn’t the ideal time to go on a Mexico holiday, since it’s hurricane season – so where is the right place to go?
Here are a few places that are absolutely perfect for this otherwise dodgy-weather-month…
Out of all months of the year, September is probably the very best month to visit Italy.
The peak months are over, the days are still hot but the evenings are nice and cool, the tourist crowds are getting smaller, Italians have gone back to work and back to school, and left the beaches empty for you to enjoy in peace and quiet.
Rome is a strange city in peak summer (the residents escape if they can), and the Italian cities are much nicer when things are “back to normal” with opening hours and not just tourists on the streets.
Tuscany is especially beautiful, September also marks the beginning of the food festival season in Italy, and while it’s not the best month for bargain Italy holidays, prices do start to go down during the month.
Peru – Time to Explore
September is one of the best months to visit Peru, and since the weather is drier, this also means that there are less mosquitoes, which makes it a good time to explore the Amazon basin.
It’s also a perfect month for the Inca Trail, but prepare for cold nights!
Portugal – Best of Both
We’re in Portugal at the moment, and the weather is perfect – cool mornings, warm days, and cool nights.
This type of weather is typical for September in Portugal, and aside from weather, there is one very good reason to visit northern Portugal this month.
In the north, they are getting ready for harvesting the grapes, and the vineyards are at their most beautiful right now.
It’s also time for the Grape Harvest Festival, where the entire Douro valley celebrates the harvesting season.
Scotland – Beautiful Colors
You can never be guaranteed good weather in Scotland, but at least the odds are better in September.
We went to Scotland last year in September, and it only rained three times in 10 days, and when it did rain it didn’t last very long.
The colors in September are stunning in the Highlands, with red, golden and rusty shades in patches over the flowing hills.
South Africa – Adventure Awaits
September brings spring to South Africa, and is one of the most beautiful months to visit, especially for adventurers and sporty people.
Not only is it a good time to climb Kilimanjaro, but it’s also the best month for “game viewing”, a good time to go diving, hiking and surfing.
But for me the main reason I would visit South Africa at this time is the whale watching.
September is the peak season for whale watching, and daily sightings are practically guaranteed.
Sydney Australia City Guide – Sydney, Australia is an amazing place, and I really recommend you try and spend longer than just one day there, to really see everything – but this guide gives you a quick idea about what you can see in 24hrs and can help you get started – hope you have a wonderful stay in Sydney!
Sydney Australia City Guide
Sydney Opera House (The Best Angle)
There are so many different angles to view the Sydney Opera House, I am not sure which is the best angle, but for me it was while taking a ferry over to Manly Beach.
You get to see the arches which have come to best symbolize the Sydney Opera House – if you have visited Sydney, which is your best angle?
Sydney Opera House
Find Nemo and his friends
Start the day discovering the incredible Australian underwater life at the Sydney Aquarium right in the center of town (Darling Harbour) and get an insight in what’s under that nice warm water you might be swimming in later that day (although be prepared to change your mind about that swim – when you see the sharks…!)
Get there first thing in the morning when they have just opened up, at that time you can basically get the whole place to yourself.
Without all the crowds you can really soak up the experience, and walking through a quiet practically empty aquarium you really get to feel the closeness to the animals and be able to walk in your own pace.
In some aquariums the glass actually makes the fishes look smaller than they really are, with that in mind seeing the white sharks makes your legs weaken a bit!
Idyllic Icons and Quaint Quay
Next stop is Circular Quay, where you get a nice view of the two most famous icons of Sydney – The Sydney Opera House and The Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Make sure to check out The Rocks, which is the oldest part of Sydney.
This is the place the British convicts claimed and built their camp in 1788.
Walk along the street in and out of boutiques in buildings dating back to when the European settlement began.
Many of the boutiques have really restored that old feeling, and entering a “Puppet Boutique” in some sort of back yard it feels like you’ve just stepped back a century in time.
After a stroll around the area, check out the famous market in The Rocks, where the farmers market and designer market blend in with each other.
All from farmers to young new designers come here to sell their stuff, and whatever you’re into, I guarantee you’ll find something you like here.
Tea Time At Tara’s
After a bit of shopping, sit down for a tea break on the outside seating at Tara Tearoom right next to the market.
It’s a very charming Irish café with tasty freshly warm scones in all kinds of flavors mixed with fairy/Irish music and pretty knitted tea pot warmers.
Sydney Opera House
Green Garden and Vivacious Views
Check out Sydney Opera House up close, and after trying to get a good picture (which is almost impossible – with so many tourist around – the best pictures are taken from a ferry going across the harbor towards Manly Beach), continue to the Royal Botanic Gardens.
This park is very beautiful and full of surprises and little stories.
Australia’s wild life and nature is quite special, and you can notice this even in this park in the middle of the city, where the huge trees are crowded with bats and the fish crawls up from the ocean making their way to a pond once every year.
If you want a good view over Sydney, go to Lady Macquaries Chair, where you find an amazing view over the city and the harbor.
The chair was once carved out of a rock ledge for Elizabeth Macguires, as she was known to visit the area and sit enjoying the panoramic views of the harbor – something you can understand.
Shopping In a 19th Century Building
Go shopping in the impressive Queen Victoria Building, a beautiful old shopping mall from the late 19th century.
The mixture of these new modern shops in an old building blend in well, and the details inside are really one of a kind.
This is a place to go even for the one who aren’t interested in shopping, you can find many memorials and historic spectacles.
The building is awesome and reminds you of the first class rooms in the scenes of “Titanic” movie.
After this, walk down the street and grab an ice tea drink with jelly pearls from EasyWay, a weird but tasty drink.
Bondi, Beer and Fish ‘n Chips
Take the bus down to Bondi beach and soak up the afternoon sun, check out the surfers, sunbathe or take a swim.
After a sunny salty hour go and get some typical Aussie food; Fish ‘n chips and beer at a bar/restaurant with a view over the beach.
Beer is more than just a beverage in Australia, it has become part of their culture.
There are so many different types of Australian beers, ‘Tooheys New’ is one of the typical NSW beers.
Max Out At IMAX
Get back to the city. Go to the IMAX theatre cinema and get blown away by the 3D on this HUGE screen (the largest film format in the world!). You really get sucked into the film and it feels as if you can touch it.
Party Hard In The Harbor
If you feel for some partying, there are quite a few clubs spread along the Darling Harbour, which must be the most beautiful place to spend the evening.
Sharks In Australia
Sharks are such eery and mysterious creatures, that is why I love the light which captured this shark and I think added to the drama and beauty while we were in Sydney, Australia.
Sharks In Australia
Sydney Australia City Guide IF YOU HAVE A SPARE DAY
If you have a spare day I really recommend you to check out Manly Beach for a day.
It’s the little brother to Bondi beach, with more of the local feel, more beautiful, less crowded and less touristy.
You can easily spend a day surfing or swimming, and there is a nice little shopping street along the way from where the ferry lands down to the beach.
Plus, like I said before you get the absolute best view of the Opera House from the ferry running between Manly and Darling Harbour.
It’s a beautiful scene in the afternoon with the golden sun shining on the building.
5 Money Saving Activities to Enjoy Sydney Australia
Sydney is well known for being a city of excitement, culture and adventure.
As a popular destination for gap year students, there is a lot to discover upon arrival but as we know flights to the other side of the road in Australia aren’t exactly cheap.
However, that should not stop anyone from pursuing an Australian adventure holiday and having the experience of a lifetime.
So here are some activities that won’t break your bank balance but will ensure that you have an incredible time.
Photograph the Sydney Harbor Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Home to one of the most astonishing views in Sydney, the Harbor Bridge is loved by all.
Just as you can see everything from it, you can also catch sight of the bridge from all over the city.
The best way to experience the views is by foot.
A footpath runs right across the eastern side and will provide you with a totally free and true Sydney experience, as well as a lovely stroll.
If you are not quite fulfilled by this view then you can climb the bridge itself for a few hundred dollars!
Free admission at the Art Gallery of New South Wales
Fancy some culture?
The Art Gallery of NSW has free entry, which considering its fantastic reputation in Sydney society is definitely something to take advantage of.
There are three permanent collections: Australian, post sixteenth-century European, and Asian.
They offer free guided tours on the hour from 11am-2pm on Tuesday-Sunday.
Along with the art collections there are also concerts, screenings and celebrity talks – not one to be missed!
Walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the Rock is Luna Park.
This 1935 amusement park is well-known for providing a fun-filled day out, and you could take some other travelers with you to enjoy the fun!
Known for the staple Ferris Wheel, Big Dipper and Flying Saucer, as well as many others, it can provide a good combination of nausea and excitement.
The park is free to enter, and you can either pay as you go on the rides or buy an unlimited height restriction pass.
Visit the second oldest National Park in the world
The Royal National Park is a breathtaking coastal park. It’s the second oldest National Park in the world, including dramatic cliffs, golden beaches and amazing rain forests.
Aspects such as the coastal walk from Bundeena or the opportunity to go surfing at Gari or Burning Palms are all very popular attractions.
Walking around the different areas of the park is free, but to make the trip that little bit more special you can also hire rowboats, canoes and kayaks from Audley Boat Shed for about AUD$45 a day in order to paddle up Kangaroo creek or the Hacking River.
Peruse the stalls of Paddington markets
Paddington markets provide the perfect Saturday afternoon experience in Sydney.
They are long established markets and turn Paddington upside down with their quirkiness.
They started back in the 1970s and used to be where the more alternative crowd of punks, skinheads and hippies used to hang out together.
Now it is a little more mainstream but more than worth a visit for its variety of stalls.
How To Enjoy The Good Life Down Under
How To Enjoy The Good Life Down Under
Sydney, Australia was the last stop for my friend and I after 5 months of traveling around South East Asia.
Although it was strange to be in a more Westernised environment again, we soon found our feet sampling all the restaurants and bars that our purse strings could possibly handle.
If you enjoy live music I would highly recommend the Lansdowne Hotel – this is an iconic venue, which is very much part of the underground scene and hosts an eclectic range of different bands each night.
Not only is the music great but the drinks are also relatively cheap and they have a 2 4 1 cocktail hour every night from 10pm-11pm, which we took full advantage of!
Tank nightclub in Bridge Lane
However for a real clubbing experience that truly demonstrates the essence of Sydney’s nightlife I would suggest the Tank nightclub in Bridge Lane.
Many DJs come from around the world just to play here and you can understand why the second you enter the underground clubber’s paradise.
Everything has been taken into consideration: a stunning sound system, mesmerizing lighting and even interactive live-mixed video projections, which are always entertaining after a few drinks!
The music is usually funky house, and the drinks are not too pricey and well worth the visual audio experience.
For the morning after the night before, there are hundreds of great restaurants to nurse the hangover – for an experience to remember, Universal Restaurant is definitely worth a try, with its unique and beautifully presented food.
I chose the seared sea scallop with lotus root samphire and wasabi avocado, which is every bit as delicious as it sounds!
The great thing about this restaurant is that you’re never completely sure what you’re ordering, but once you’ve eaten it you’re glad you didn’t go with the usual.
However, though this is a wonderful place with amazing food, it is quite expensive for people on a budget.
Jasmin’s in Haldon Street.
For a delicious place to eat in Sydney that won’t burn holes in your pockets I would recommend Jasmin’s in Haldon Street.
This is one of the best Lebanese restaurants I have been too! The falafel was to die for and the bread and humus was not far behind.
My traveling buddy loved the meat too, particularly the lamb kebab, which came with some yummy salad and vegetables.
I would really advise giving this place a visit if you enjoy Lebanese cuisine, but be warned it can get very busy – eating in Sydney is a wonderful experience that definitely hits the stop when your tummy grumbles, and the nightlife is just as wonderful!
It’s a very good life down under, one I would truly recommend to anyone considering such an adventure!
There is so much wisdom shared within them, so many quotes that I can relate to.
I have picked a few of my favorite movies below, added a few quotes and I also share why I love them and what I have learnt from each – read on below:
My Favorite Travel Movie Quotes and Why I Love Them
Forrest has just graduated from college
Recruit Officer: Have you given any thought to your future, son?
Forrest Gump: “Thought”?
Forrest never thought about his future, he just let it happen and let life do what it was meant to do.
In the end, he experienced and traveled more than most people ever do in their life time.
Don’t think too much about the future, what’s the excitement of living a life when you already know what to expect?
Up In The Air
Ryan Bingham: You know how much time you lose by checking in?
Natalie Keener: I don’t know. Five, ten minutes?
Ryan Bingham: 35 minutes a flight. I travel 270 days a year. That’s 157 hours. That makes seven days. You’re willing to throw away an entire week on that?
I’m all for enjoying enjoying the trip and not only the destination, but nothing is more boring than standing in 20 different lines on airports.
Those 35 minutes sure seem like an hour, so that makes these 7 days feel more like 14….
Ryan Bingham: How much does your life weigh?
Imagine for a second that you’re carrying a backpack.
I want you to pack it with all the stuff that you have in your life… you start with the little things.
The shelves, the drawers, the knickknacks, then you start adding larger stuff.
Clothes, tabletop appliances, lamps, your TV… the backpack should be getting pretty heavy now.
You go bigger.
Your couch, your car, your home… I want you to stuff it all into that backpack.
Now I want you to fill it with people.
Start with casual acquaintances, friends of friends, folks around the office… and then you move into the people you trust with your most intimate secrets.
Your brothers, your sisters, your children, your parents and finally your husband, your wife, your boyfriend, your girlfriend.
You get them into that backpack, feel the weight of that bag.
Make no mistake your relationships are the heaviest components in your life.
All those negotiations and arguments and secrets, the compromises.
The slower we move the faster we die.
That’s what I love about traveling.
Your life is never heavier than you can carry on your back.
Looking at life as a backpack and reading this comment, it feels way to heavy to carry.
When you travel, you don’t have much of that, and life is easy.
You realize how you really don’t need all that to be happy.
The Darjeeling Limited
Peter: He said the train is lost.
Jack: How can a train be lost? It’s on rails.
In India, anything can happen – as a matter of fact, anything DOES happen.
And nobody questions it or even raise an eyebrow.
Things that wouldn’t happen anywhere else in the world would be a common scene in India.
‘I told myself spreading news was part of a traveler’s nature, but if I was being completely honest, I was just like everybody else: shit-scared of the great unknown. Desperate to take a little piece of home with me.’ – Richard
I realized how different I felt when seeing some Swedish crisp-bread when I was traveling.
Being in a different environment, far away from home, I felt all warm inside when looking at this crisp-bread in the supermarket.
The unknown is something so fearful yet so tempting.
I want the uncertainty but I’m still afraid of it.
It’s like wanting to know what happens when you die but being afraid to hear the answer.
‘Wandering around our America has changed me more than I thought.
I am not me any more.
At least I’m not the same me I was.’ – Ernesto Guevara de la Serna
This is what traveling does to you.
It changes you.
That’s probably the strangest feeling and confusion you get when coming home again.
You are not the same person coming back as you were when you left.
At least that is what it did to me, massively.
Miner’s Wife: Are you two looking for work?
Ernesto Guevara de la Serna: No, we aren’t looking for work.
Miner’s Wife: No?… Then why are you traveling?
Ernesto Guevara de la Serna: We travel just to travel.
Some people seem to find it hard that you’re not always looking for a job or thinking of starting an education.
Why work at a job you don’t like?
Why study to become something you don’t want?
Why not listen to your heart and do what you really want to be doing?
Don’t fall for the pressure, don’t try to find an excuse when being questioned.
I deal with this all the time, and it’s hard, but I try my best to stay focused on my goal than to give way and do what every one else think I should be doing.
New experiences is what makes me change, makes me question my believes.
It makes me open my heart and mind to something new.
It’s the most effective way to change my spirit.
Christopher McCandless: No, man. Alaska, Alaska. I’m gonna be all the way out there, all the way fucking out there. Just on my own. You know, no fucking watch, no map, no axe, no nothing. No nothing. Just be out there. Just be out there in it. You know, big mountains, rivers, sky, game. Just be out there in it, you know? In the wild.
Wayne Westerberg: In the wild.
Christopher McCandless: Just wild!
Wayne Westerberg: Yeah. What are you doing when we’re there? Now you’re in the wild, what are we doing?
Christopher McCandless: You’re just living, man. You’re just there, in that moment, in that special place and time – the freedom and simple beauty is too good to pass up…
There is something special about a quiet untouched forest that just pulls you into the moment.
Something that no parks will ever be able to achieve.
“I want adventure in the great, wide somewhere.”
Beauty and the Beast nailed it with this quote from Belle, who was lamenting how basic her life back home was.
When we hear this song we can’t help but get misty-eyed dreaming about all of the tremendously beautiful places that we can visit in the world.
“Carpe diem. Seize the day boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”
This quote from Dead Poets Society is one of the best ones in the world because it reminds us that we all have one life to live.
It is up to us to make it extraordinary.
For many of us, that means hopping on that airplane to travel off to some amazing faraway land.
“The world is not in your books and maps. It’s out there.”
This quote from The Hobbit really reminds us that we need to get off our couches and pull ourselves away from our computer screens from time to time.
Interacting with the real world is one of the best ways that we can enhance our lives in amazing and new ways.
“Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it.”
This quote from Braveheart reminds us that we are all in control of our own stories.
If you have the courage to follow your heart, you will live a far better existence than if you doubt yourself.
These quotes should motivate you to be able to live your best life and travel the world.
Tap into your true sense of adventure!
Isn’t that what we’re all searching for in life?
To just be happy and content in the moment, to just be there in the “now”?
What are your BEST movie quotes, I would love if you shared them below!
Mugged While Backpacking – The world is a beautiful place, but if you don’t know what you’re doing you could find yourself in some serious trouble.
One of the worst things that can happen to you is getting robbed while you’re traveling the globe.
A good traveler is one that informed and prepared to avert any incidents of theft that they may encounter while on the road.
Get Yourself Mugged While Backpacking ~ 10 Backpacking Safety Hacks
Or if you prefer – here is a nice list of 10 things to avoid doing – do the opposite and keep yourself safer while out on the road visiting all those fun new places around the world.
Always carry too much stuff (bags etc.) for too long even when it isn’t necessary.
If you have a big, wide, heavy backpack on your back and both hands busy holding some other bags, you’re a piece of cake for muggers.
Wander aimlessly around town and look like you’re lost – add a big city map for extra attention.
Act and dress like a tourist to make yourself an easy target
Carry and always be seen reading your Lonely Planet guide in public.
Walk alone at night in dark, empty streets – one person is much easier to mug than two, especially on empty dark streets where there is nobody to witness it.
Get drunk, and walk around alone preferably lost – when drunk you’re weaker, have slower reactions, and have no control over your body – You’re a mugger’s dream!
Wear expensive or expensive-looking clothes with big known label flashing – that’s a perfect way of expressing ”I like to spend triple the amount of money on the same t-shirt only to get that crocodile (Lacoste) figure on my chest!
I’m a walking juicy fat two-legged wallet”
Avoid groups of two or more people and walk in dark alleys and side street at night.
Carry a Fanny Pack around your waist or neck on top of all clothes – that’s like yelling out loud ”I have gathered all my most precious belongings; pass, money, credit cards and camera in one and the same place right on top of everything.
Just come and get it!”
And lastly… please see the humor (and warnings) in this post – learn from mine and others mistakes and make sure you take care of yourself while out traveling in the ‘big bad world’ – common sense REALLY is king! 🙂
Hopefully these tips will help you avoid getting mugged while backpacking.
However, if you do feel threatened and your suspicion is aroused, look for any police around the vicinity, or duck inside a store for safety and seek for help.
Getting mugged while backpacking is sadly a common tale from one unprepared backpacker to the next.
The fear of getting mugged shouldn’t hinder you from traveling to the places you want to go, because crime is inevitable, anywhere.
The best you can do for yourself is to be informed on how to prevent being a target of such crimes.
We also got mugged once in Malaysia…Fortunately, you can avoid getting mugged while backpacking if you follow these simple steps.
How to Avoid Getting Mugged While Backpacking
Here are a few tips that can help you stay safe on your next trip.
Always be aware of your surroundings.
Remember that crime can happen anywhere, so when you’re out and about exploring a new city, your senses should always be heightened.
If you’re walking, always check if there are any people in your vicinity who look suspicious, or if you are being followed.
It can be quite difficult to peel your eyes away from the beautiful scenery, but don’t put your guard down while doing so.
If you’re in a crowded area or an area that’s known for being unsafe, keep your phone away.
Being fully present while exploring will not only make you appreciate the place you are in more, but will also prevent you from attracting any thieves.
Don’t look like you have money
That doesn’t mean you have to dress poorly, but this just means to dress in such a way that doesn’t make you look like a walking target for theft.
Keep jewelry to a minimum (or none at all), dress appropriately, and don’t flaunt gadgets and valuables.
It’s best if you dress like a local, not like a tourist.
Do Not Flash All Of Your Valuables
Flashing valuables is one very common way backpackers get robbed.
You might as well be walking around with a big sign that says “Mug Me”.
Valuable rings, necklaces, or bracelets are attractive to thieves.
Avoid walking down the street with your cell phone in your hand, and always pay attention to your surroundings.
Be diligent always!
Keep Valuables In A Small Bag
It is better to keep your valuables in a small bag as opposed to letting them kick around in a much larger bag.
You will be able to keep an eye on them and they will be harder for thieves to get.
It’s easy for a mugger to unzip the large component at the top of your backpack, but it’s much harder for them to fish around in a small pouch to get at your passport or rings.
Don’t put your credit cards and all your cash all in one wallet
Separate your credit cards away from your cash.
It’s wise to keep them in separate places in case you lose your wallet, or if you do end up getting pick-pocketed or mugged.
This way, at least you aren’t totally left with nothing, and you have a backup card and emergency cash stashed in a safer location with you still.
Some backpackers even carry around a fake wallet with a few bills and old expired credit cards, along with a fake phone just in case they run into some trouble.
Most thieves will just want your wallet and phone, so this is a good way to protect you and your valuables.
Have a companion, or stay in groups
Muggers will mostly target travelers that are alone.
If you’re a solo traveler, this might be a challenge.
But if you do plan to explore an area that’s notorious for crime, it’s best to find a companion to go with.
You can make some friends in the hotel/hostel you’re staying in, and propose to go as a group.
When walking in an unsafe area, it’s best you walk against traffic.
This way, you can see if any potential danger might be coming your way (like, if someone pulls up and abducts you), and you’ll feel much safer seeing what’s coming towards your way.
Keep your bag in front of you, and away from the curb
Motorbike thefts are common especially in developing countries.
They target people whose bags are located on the side where they can grab it easily as they speed off.
Keep your bag tucked away from the side of the road, and it’s best if you can place it in front of you.
This tip is applicable for those who use shoulder bags and sling bags.
A safer option for travel bags you can use while sightseeing are crossover body bags which you can sling over to the front side of your body, and money belts where you can store your credit cards and cash in on the front of your waist.
Do your research and know which places to avoid
This can be as easy as doing a quick Google search before heading out for sightseeing, or ask advice from your hotel or hostel’s staff for safety tips and places that must be avoided.
More often than not, they will be happy to help you and will give you valuable advice.
Also, it goes without saying that you should avoid going to alleys and streets that are poorly lit, look suspicious, and have little to no people as these areas are usually the perfect setting for muggings to take place.
Look like you know where you are going
Always walk with confidence, even if you don’t know exactly where you are.
Muggers like to target people who look unsure and lost.
If you openly show this vulnerability, the more these criminals will see as an easy target.
It’s good practice to research the place you are going before heading out, so you have a general idea of how to get there.
If you need to check your map or directions on your phone’s map, choose a safe location to do so.
Worst Hotel Experience
Safe Trip: Staying Safe While on Vacation
A major cultural shift is going on all over the world. People are focusing more on experiences than things in today’s society.
The trend is growing too.
The younger generation now makes up 20% of all international tourists.
Not only are more people traveling more often. More and more are expected to do so in the near future.
If you count yourself among the ranks you know it’s as important to plan for fun and adventure and relaxation as it is to prepare for a safe trip.
Travel Secrets young Asian backpacker happiness traveling destination in Bangkok China town
Follow these guidelines and your travel will go off without a hitch:
Who Has Your Itinerary?
Who knows where you are headed on your trip?
If you have a whirlwind multi-destination tour in mind, make sure a loved one knows where to find you.
We love packing in as much fun as possible while away from home.
But if you only leave vague descriptions of where you might be it will be difficult for loved ones to help if you need them.
Part of a safe trip is preparing your destinations ahead of time.
Once you know where you will be, make sure you leave a full itinerary with a friend or family member back home.
This way they will be able to find you if they need to.
Protect Your Health
Many travelers think that if they receive their vaccinations before going abroad they are all set.
Unfortunately, a safe trip requires a bit more planning before you leave.
You will want to research the destination and the medical support where you are headed.
Create a safe trip health plan before you leave.
This might include investing in travel insurance.
Make sure you account for travel to hospitals or medical facilities if you need care.
Your Phone Is a Magnet for Thieves
Few things can be as frustrating on your vacation as having your phone stolen.
And in terms of checking in with loved ones and having access to your information, a stolen phone can hurt your chances of a safe trip.
Many travelers aren’t aware of the huge market for stolen smart phones in foreign countries.
This isn’t just in 3rd world or exotic destinations either.