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Usa Travel Tips

USA Travel Tips: Maximising Your Short Vacation

Looking to maximise your short vacation? Busy Americans need to make the most of every second of their vacation time – which is already much less time than the rest of the world. On average, Americans only have two weeks of holiday time, and let’s face it; most of us spend that amount of time just on Christmas. This means we are forced to have shorter vacations than we would like. However, in a few short days, you can still have an incredible vacation.

Here are our top USA travel tips for making the absolute most of a short trip away!

Don’t Go Too Far!

Of course, traveling to far off places is fantastic, and experiencing different cultures and places is recommended. However, for a long weekend away, you don’t want to spend more time on a plane than off it, plus jet-lag can take a day or so to shake and if you spend your weekend in a sleep deprived daze you are unlikely to have the time of your life.

Don't Go Too Far - USA Travel Tips

Don’t Go Too Far

Plan in Advance!

Scientific studies have actually found that holidaymakers are the happiest when planning and anticipating their upcoming holiday! Take pleasure in planning your trip in advance and take advantage of companies such as Musement, which allows you to find every type of activity you can imagine in the area you are visiting, even if you are after something off the beaten track! It is also helpful to get tickets in advance!

Take it Easy!

It is very easy to overbook your trip with loads of fun activities. However, if you want to make the most of your time, you don’t want to be burnt out from going from one exhausting event to another. Make sure to schedule time to relax and enjoy your vacation, and don’t sweat too much if you don’t see every minuscule detail of your destination.

Take it easy - USA Travel Tips

Take it easy

Get a Tour Guide!

If you want to see the most in the short amount of time that you have on your trip, it can be wise to hire a tour guide. That way, you will have expert wisdom at the palm of your hands, and won’t have to waste any time on insignificant details. That is their job.

Take the Road Less Traveled

People often struggle to get the most from their holidays simply because there are just too many people who’ve had the same idea. This is why it is advised to try and plan your vacation around low seasons or even going to less well known destinations less well-known destinations. This way you won’t be miserable in lines around the block.

Take the road less traveled - USA Travel Tips

Take the road less traveled

Don’t Bring Home With You!

The most common way to make sure that your vacation isn’t all that it should be is if you are constantly working or worrying about things at home that you can’t control. Make sure you know when to turn your phone off and let someone in charge on the other end deal with that stuff.

End Big!

Make sure you save the best for last. Plan the best food, the most exciting excursions, and the most entertaining shows on your last day. This way you have something to look forward to for the end of the trip, and the last memory of your trip is the best and the strongest.

It is a good idea to factor in a relaxing evening or two after long days exploring where you can enjoy a dinner and relax a little. That way you can get the absolute most from your vacation, and enjoy a wide range of different activities.

What are your favorite USA Travel Tips? Share them in the comments below.

 

Emily Jones is a creative writing graduate originally from the North of England but now living and working as a freelance writer in Rome. She is passionate about traveling and sharing her experiences through her writing.

Spring has sprung

Spring has Sprung a Free Giveaway!

As Spring gains momentum, we know everyone’s starting to plan their holidays in advance of the long-awaited warm season. Woo hoo! In light of this, we would  like to offer our readers a couple of complimentary gifts.

 

Hello Spring!

Hello Spring!

I SEE MY PATH, BUT I DON’T KNOW WHERE IT LEADS. NOT KNOWING WHERE I’M GOING IS WHAT INSPIRES ME TO TRAVEL IT. — ROSALIA DE CASTRO

We’ve teamed up with GPSmyCity to bring you a couple free city guides for iOS devices. You can downloaded the articles and read them offline, or use them while you’re online to obtain GPS navigation to the sights described in the article. Super simple! Get them FREE today through 12 Apr!

To view the articles in the app, please follow the below links on your iPhone or iPad:

 

Udaipur, you had me at hello!

Udaipur, you had me at hello!

Android user? It’s actively being developed and is due to be released this May.

Now, you may be wondering, what the heck is a travel article app?

Well, let me tell you! By downloading one of these bad boys you can:

  • Have instant offline access. Check out over 1,000+ cities
  • Get directions. When you’re online, have GPS directions to those same attractions at your fingertips
  • Give your eyes a rest. You can have the article content read out loud to you using the newly-added audio function
  • Create a custom tour. You can select some or all the sights featured in the article and create your own self-guided walking tour
Search. Access. Discover. At your fingertips.

Search. Access. Discover. At your fingertips.

PS. We’ve also got the following apps available for once you fall in love with MyGPS’s free articles we’re offering. You can download any of these travel articles from GPSmyCity free of charge. And if you decide you want it to be a GPS-guided tour, just upgrade the article for a mere $1.99.

That’s it! That’s all! How super simple is that & what a bargain!

Check it out!

Check it out!

 

Malaysian Dishes

Visiting Malaysia? Make Sure You Try These Must Eat Malaysian Dishes!

Malaysia has a wide variety of foods on offer. With strong Malay, Chinese & Indian roots, you’re sure to find something to suit everyone. Each state has its own specialities.

IF YOU COME TO A FORK IN THE ROAD, TAKE IT. – YOGI BERRA

Here’s a taste of some of our favorite Malaysian dishes we’ve tried over the years to put on your list for your upcoming journey. If you prefer a vegetarian lifestyle be sure to check out our article here.

MEAT DISHES

Beef Rendang Or chicken or lamb. Similar to a curry, we fell in love with this dish on our first trip to Malaysia 7 years ago. The meat simmers with the spices & coconut milk to take on an incredible, juicy flavor
Laksa Sweet & spicy soup combined with fish or prawns
Chicken Rice Balls Rice is cooked with chicken fat and then rolled into golfball sized balls – delicious with a spicy dipping sauce
Delicious Laksa! - Malaysian Dishes

Delicious Laksa!

NOODLE & RICE DISHES

Mee Goreng Noodles tossed in soy sauce, chili, veggies & eggs with your selection of beef, chicken or shrimp
Nasi Lemak Malaysia’s unofficial national dish, simple yet delicious, rice cooked in coconut milk
Nasi Kandar Nasi, meaning rice, combined with your selection of toppings typically chosen from a buffet
 Yummy Nasi Lemak! - Malaysian Dishes

Yummy Nasi Lemak!

VEGGIE DELIGHTS

Roti Canai Indian-inspired flatbread made of flour, butter & water eaten as a side or to accompany any number of local dishes
 *Let’s face it – vegetarian dishes are far & few in between in Malaysia, though you can of course order any of the dishes without meat & still enjoy the flavors
Mmmm…more Roti please! - Malaysian Dishes

Mmmm…more Roti please!

SWEET TREATS

Apam Balik Pancake style omelet filled with a combo of sugar, peanuts & corn
Goreng Pisang Caramelised deep-fried banana fritters
Air Tebu Sugarcane juice collected from pushing sugarcane stalks through industrial sized grinders
Durian OK, we’re not really a fan, but if you’ve never tried it, you must give it a go
Durian if you dare! - Malaysian Dishes

Durian if you dare!

Have you been to Malaysia yet? What are your favorite Malaysian dishes?

Solo Travel

Traveling as a Couple? How to Prepare Yourself For Solo Travel

After 8-months of traveling together 24/7, it was finally time to go our separate ways for some solo travel. No, not forever, but for what would seem like an eternity – 17 days! Rob headed off to Nepal to tackle the Annapurna Circuit and I set myself up in Rishikesh, India, the home of yoga, for a few weeks.

DON’T BE AFRAID OF YOUR FEARS. THEY’RE NOT THERE TO SCARE YOU. THEY’RE THERE TO LET YOU KNOW THAT SOMETHING IS WORTH IT. – C. JOYBELL C.

Even though we’d been married for 7-years when we started this adventure, it was nothing compared to what it would be like travelling together 24/7. Admittedly, it took us some time to adjust, but once we found our groove, we really enjoyed it (errr, most of the time, haha). So, to go own our ways was a bit daunting at first. But, we survived, both gained a lot from it, and we’re even doing it again…

Learning to travel together is important - solo travel

Learning to travel together is important

It’s like most things, the more you plan, the easier it is, so here’s some tips on how to make the most of your solo travel time!

Use this checklist to make sure you have everything in order BEFORE going your separate ways.

  • MoneyDo you both have access to the account? This is especially important if you use a joint account. Do you both have cards? Do they both work? Be sure to check both your credit and ATM cards. Have you advised your bank the period and destinations you will be separate? Do you have enough cash on hand to get you started? How will you manage your expenses? Do you account for them on a spreadsheet? Or maybe you use an app like TrailWallet?
  • PasswordsAre you both across key PINS and passwords to access email, banking, etc details? Rather than writing them down somewhere, it may be worthwhile to invest in 1Password to securely store all your passwords in a vault with a single master password.
  • Technology/Gear – How will you split the phone and laptop? Do you both have the necessary cords and chargers? What about other gear you share or you carry in the other persons bag? Rob always carried my towel and sleep sack, so I had to make sure I grabbed them off him before we went on our individual journeys.
  • Essentials – Decide to divvy things you may normally share. Nail-clippers, toothpaste, and shampoo for example. Will you buy more before you go, get travel sized bottles to split the liquids or just sort it out once your on your own? Not dire straight sorts of things, though it does help to avoid any surprises or unexpected costs along the way.
  • CommunicationWhat’s your plan to keep in touch while you are apart? Will you be relying on WIFI or will you have SIM cards? Is there a certain time or window that works best for the time zones you’ll be in and the schedules you’ll be on? Or will email suffice? In case you lose touch, what’s your plan for reconnecting at the end?
  • Business – If you have business activities to manage while you are apart, delegate who will handle what responsibilities. If you run a blog (like we do), determine who will look after social networks. Who will reply to incoming mail? Do you have blog posts in place to cover this period, will you skip them, or will someone continue to work on them throughout?
Sharing information make travel easier - solo travel

Sharing information makes travel easier

While you are on your own, expect that everything may not go exactly to plan. Have patience with yourself and your partner DURING this time and try to make the best of the situation.

Here are a few mishaps we had, to give you an idea of what you may experience.

  • Money – You know that tip I gave you about checking whether or not both ATM cards work ahead of time? Well, we didn’t do that, and lo-and-behold my card didn’t work. Luckily I had enough physical USD and AUD cash on me to use at the money exchanger. But outside of that, I had to look for places that would accept credit card as I had to tightly manage my cash flow. Luckily, I met a lot of friendly people. The yoga studio advised I could pay in a week when my husband got back from his trek. A lady I just met offered to loan me some cash. And the hotel started a tab for me. Whew, this took a lot of stress out of the situation.
  • Essentials – We were pretty organized in this department, but it was the actual execution that threw me for a bit of a loop. Since I deemed my handbag useless and gave it away, I was used to relying on Rob to carry everything. His pockets were constantly loaded down with the phone, money, sunscreen, tissues, chapstick, etc. And now, this responsibility had shifted to me. And while it wasn’t a big drama, it was definitely an adjustment. I had invested in some 5-pocket pants in Hampi, but the more I loaded them up, the more my pants began to fall off my waist. So, was I missing Rob? Yes! And was I missing Rob carrying everything? Absolutely!
  • Communication – We planned to talk every day, however with a heavy reliance on WIFI, we quickly realized that there was little to no reception whilst trekking in the Annapurna Mountains. When Rob did manage to get a signal, I was normally out and about, so our schedules didn’t connect. So, in the end, email was our only form of communication.
  • Business – With Rob off the grid, I was happy to take on the ongoing blog responsibilities. I used my time on train trips wisely, selecting and editing photos for social uploads. I stayed in an ashram for 7-days where connectivity was limited, so it was a challenge to manage our manual Instagram posts. But we made it work. I tried to stay on top of everything and create a backlog of work for Rob, which sometimes proved to be challenging.
  • Personal Challenges – I know when I told my parents I was staying in India while Rob went to Nepal, they initially panicked. There’s a certain sense of security in traveling with someone. And I had to make a conscious effort to be aware of this when I was on my own. Even learning the art of negotiation again was a challenge for me! Rob and I both had to get outside of our comfort zones. And we both had to learn how to meet new people by ourselves and tell our own stories.
Rob achieving his goal at Annapurna Circuit - solo travel

Rob achieving his goal on the Traveling as a Couple? How to Prepare Yourself For Solo TravelAnnapurna Circuit

Ahhh, the day we’ve been waiting for – time to REUNITE!

As fantastic as seeing each other again is, it also comes with its own challenges. Here’s a list of a few things to be aware of, to make the transition as smooth as possible.

  • Debrief – Make time to really listen to each other’s adventures. What went well? What was hard? Etc. Take time to look through each other’s photos and ask questions about the journey. This is super important and will really let your partner know you care.
  • Personal Growth – It’s important to be aware that you and your partner probably grew in your own ways during your time apart. Acknowledge it and be mindful of it. For example, I experienced a new world through practicing meditation. But, it would have been unfair of me to come at Rob like a bullet out of a gun, expecting him to meditate in the same manner I was. At the same time, if we were planning to visit the neighboring town, 30 miles away, and Rob said, “OK Kim, let’s walk it,” I would have completely laughed at his suggestion.
  • Space – Of course you missed each other, and it’s definitely exciting to see each other again! But no matter how long you spent apart, remember it’s still important to give each other some space when you get back together. Going from not seeing each other at all, to being together 24/7 again, can require a bit of readjusting, so ensure you allow each other ample time for that.
  • Date Night – After you’ve reunited, debriefed and gotten your heads around each other’s experience, make sure to take a time out. Arrange a date night for yourselves! Make an effort to get dressed up and treat yourself to dinner somewhere a bit fancier than you would normally go. This is an important step in celebrating both your independence and your strengthened togetherness!
Reunited at last! - solo travel

Reunited at last!

Have you done some solo travel or a side-trip during extended travel with your partner? What tips do you have?

South Africa

The Offbeat Places to Travel in South Africa for City Dwellers

Travelling to different places is one of the most – if not the most – fulfilling experience you’ll have in life. Add that to the fact that you’re taking this journey with people you love, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for living every moment, based on Simply Travelled’s philosophy. On paper, it seems like everything, from pre-boarding and airport parking requirements to accommodation and sightseeing tours, falls into place. All you have to do is take the proverbial leap.

Couples in love

Couples in love

Yes, this world offers tons of spectacular places to visit, events to attend to, and people to meet. In a way, we all have that need to travel in the hope of seeing a distinct side of life – whether for business or pleasure. Some people from pastoral areas dream of the big city, where they can either work their way up the corporate ladder or just plainly experience the so-called concrete jungle. On the flipside, most of us, who live in urban areas, constantly crave for a life away from the hustle and bustle. So if you’re coming from a busy metropolitan such as London, wouldn’t it be nice to travel to a country that presents an unusual yet clear-cut vibe?

The beautiful ocean

The powerful ocean

Nestled on the southern tip of the African continent, South Africa is a land brimming with enthusiasm and adventure. In addition, not only is it a country where the Indian and the Atlantic Ocean meet, it’s also where you and your loved ones can experience wonderful, out of the ordinary tourist spots. We’re talking about genuine, offbeat South African attractions like the Old Mac Daddy and/or the Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve.

According to Happy Zebra, the 5,571-mile trip from the United Kingdom to South Africa takes more than 11 hours of flight time. Covering the long, arduous journey normally takes weeks, even months, to plan from top to bottom. However, at the end of it all, everything will absolutely be worth it. Say you’ve already booked your flight and packed your bags; you’ve even acquired a great deal from your trusted travel provider. The primary concern now before leaving is taking care of an often-overlooked aspect of travelling.

Seeing London

Seeing London

Since London has some of the world’s busiest aviation hubs, airports such as Heathrow make it a point to accommodate the constant influx of passengers. Whether you’re driving or commuting, Heathrow offers services unlike any other. As a matter of fact, it now has more airport car bays and facilities than any other European landing field. On the other hand, if you’d rather take advantage of the city’s excellent public transportation network, the industry experts at Parking4Less suggest either the Heathrow Express (fastest) or the Tube (cheapest).

Photo credit: Rooms for Africa

Photo credit: Rooms for Africa

The real adventure happens once you’ve landed in South Africa. Similar to London Heathrow, Tambo International Airport, for one, is the biggest, most active landing field in the continent. It welcomes approximately 19 million passengers every year, which is why airport authorities have also put a premium on its outdoor facilities, specifically its parking spaces and public transportation networks. For tourists, however, SouthAfrica.info suggests a handful of transportation options to get you to your temporary quarters in the city.

Speaking of accommodation, if you’re so used to staying in fancy hotels or some of the most gorgeous Airbnb rentals during your travels, then, on the surface, the Old Mac Daddy might not be for you. However, once you see this luxury trailer park firsthand, you’ll instantly notice a plethora of thematic homes, accommodation centered on the Mills and Bloom and the Yellow Submarine. Every Airstream, or those aluminum travel trailers, are imported from the United States and refurbished by award-winning local designers. All in all, the Old Mac Daddy highlights a real African safari-slash-camping experience.

Photo credit: kaggakamma

Photo credit: kagga kamma

In terms of the actual outdoor South African adventure, you have to head on over north to Cederberg Mountains, where the Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve looms. Here, you’ll discover a range of plant and animal specifies out in the wild, as well as being able to revel in the raw night skies of Africa through a telescope. You can even go on a hiking trip on one of its picturesque trails or take in some sun by the swimming pool. Furthermore, one of the most interesting facts about the Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve is that it was once home to Bushmen, whose ancient paintings are still visible on the lands even up to this day.

Whether or not you love the outdoors, you’ll be sure to make the most of your travel in South Africa. Though it’s away from the usual posh hotels and adventure safaris, staying at the Old Mac Daddy and trekking the Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve represents a general idea of what this lovely country is all about.

 

Author bio

Meet Raquel Tate

Meet Raquel Tate

Bright and adorable, those are just two words that describe Raquel Tate’s two-year-old corgi, Miesha. In addition to being a dedicated pet parent, she frequently goes on outdoor adventures in Asia and Africa, and is an avid mountaineer. One day, Raquel hopes to climb Mt. Everest, if not, she’s cool with Fitz Roy or Denali.

a healthy vegetarian diet

Why are we shifting to a healthy vegetarian diet?

Yep, you may have heard the rumors and they’re true. We are jumping off the meat wagon and shifting to a healthy vegetarian diet. It won’t happen overnight but the change starts now.

TO YOU IT’S JUST A MEAL, BUT TO ME, IT’S A LIFE. – CARLOS THE COW

a healthy vegetarian diet - Meet Carlos

Meet Carlos

And I know what some of you might be thinking…but you guys have been meat eaters for over 30-years of your lives, why the change to a healthy vegetarian diet? And what does it mean?

Here’re 5-reasons we’re making the shift and answers to some of the questions you may have.

  1. We’re animal lovers. We’ve often struggled with eating a piece of meat after watching a documentary on the industry. The reality of it all is sometimes too much to handle. But at the same time, we can’t continue turning a blind eye to it all. And, we really want to be the people we know we are. So, it’s really a small sacrifice in the end.
  1. Climate change is real. We strongly disagree with our newly elected President on the issue of climate change. And we want to do something to have a positive impact on this issue but realistically, we’re not ready to give up our cars. We feel that by making this change, we can reduce our carbon footprint in a significant way. Recent studies put the total impact of animal agriculture at the same level as global transport emissions.
  1. We want to be the change we wish to see in the world. No more judging. No more talking about it. No more being hypocritical. Just plain and simple action. Sure, we may not make a huge difference but some impact is better than none at all. We may not have children of our own, but we have many friends and family with children and we want the best possible future for them.
  1. It’s more sustainable. Losing so many of our rainforests in order to have more space for farming is counterproductive. Yes, we understand that farming is a complex issue which impacts many segments of the community. Though, with so many substitutes these days, it’s a relatively easy switch.
  1. It’s a healthy alternative. We’re not doing it to lose weight or as some kind of fad. We are making a conscious decision to change our lifestyle. Plant-based diets consistently prove to have a number of health benefits. From reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease, we can definitely stand to make a few more health conscious decisions.
A healthy vegetarian diet

A healthy salad

FAQ’s

  • So, what exactly are you giving up? We’re starting this journey with the commitment to give up meat in favor of a healthy vegetarian diet. Initially, our focus is on red meat, though Rob has already taken the plunge to eliminate chicken from his diet as well. I still plan on consuming some chicken, so technically, I’ll be considered a pollo-vegetarian.
  • What about fish? Luckily for us, we were never big fish eaters, but yes, we’re giving up seafood as part of this lifestyle change too.
  • And dairy? We’re taking baby steps. We’re not going vegan, so at this point in time, we will still consume milk, cheese, and eggs. Where possible, we’ll use alternatives, but this one will most likely develop over time.
  • Will you eat meat on special occasions? We’re making it up as we go along. We don’t have any hard & fast rules. If the time comes and we want to have some meat, so be it. Whether it be Christmas dinner or a hangover fix. We’re not doing this to be perfect or to prove anything to anyone else. We’re doing this for ourselves, so if we have a lapse in judgment along the way, we’ll let it be.
  • Interesting. Where can I learn more? Here are a couple video resources that impacted us:
    • Cowspiracy – While we question some of the figures, we believe the main premises are spot on. 
    • Before the Flood – Watch Leonardo DiCaprio as he embarks on a journey to learn more about the impact of climate change as part of his new role of being appointed as the Messenger of Peace for the United Nations. 
A healthy vegetarian diet - Animal agriculture is a major cause of deforestation

Animal agriculture is a major cause of deforestation

Couples from the road

Meet our favourite couples from our time on the road!

When traveling, you meet so many great people. People so different from you and those that seem oddly familiar. People from your country and those from countries you’ve never even heard of. People traveling solo and those in a large group.

I DON’T WANT TO BE TIED DOWN TO SOMEONE; I WANT TO BE SET FREE WITH THEM. – UNKNOWN

Today we wanted to take a minute to call out some of our favorite couples we’ve met whilst on the road! Note, they are listed in the order we met them, so not playing any favourites here…we love them all!

Martine & Cisco.

  • Where we met: Kauai, Hawaii
  • Where they’re from: She’s originally from North Carolina; He’s from Colombia
  • Why we love them: Technically Martine’s been one of my best friends for years. Though single a lot of the time, we were glad to watch her & Cisco’s newfound romance blossom. Fitness fanatics alike, these two are some of the most spontaneous, adventurous people we know. Much love to you guys always and can’t wait to come back and visit again! Find out more about how much fun we had in Kauai.
Every day's a good day with these two!

Every day’s a good day with these two!

 

Anita & Christian.

  • Where we met: Malapascua Island, Philippines
  • Where they’re from: Why, Austria of course!
  • Why we love them: We saw their friendly faces at the Thresher Cove dive shop adjacent to where we were staying. We joined them for a dive as we decided to commence our Open Water Course. After Anita decided to give it miss, and I got lost underwater, we all joined together for lunch and a drink to celebrate our survival. Cheers to you guys!
The lovely couple!

The lovely couple!

 

Jhoana & Scott.

  • Where we met: Singapore
  • Where they’re from: Philippines & North Carolina, USA respectively
  • Why we love them: I went to undergraduate school with Scott at Appalachian State University. Not seeing each other for over 10-years, it was great to catch-up again halfway across the world. It was also lovely to meet each other’s better halves! An awesome time was had indeed! Find out how you can make the most of your time in Singapore too.
Loved the chili crab & love these guys!

Loved the chili crab & love these guys!

 

Britta & Simon.

  • Where we met: Kao San Road, Bangkok
  • Where they’re from: Netherlands
  • Why we love them: “Just a quiet drink,” we said. Two days later and we were still recovering from our hangover… But, we wouldn’t have had it any other way. We bar hopped with our new found friends, including takeaways from the local 7/11. We tried on cool hats, took pics with local kids, and danced in the street. It is definitely a night we will never forget! Check out more things to do in Bangkok.
There's no such thing as "too much fun"

There’s no such thing as “too much fun”

 

Amphai & Tui.

  • Where we met: On the train in Thailand
  • Where they’re from: Khon Kaen, Thailand
  • Why we love them: If you haven’t read our post “Khon Kaen with friends” on this beautiful family, take a minute to do so. They are a brilliant couple, twice our age, that really enhanced our lives. One of the things we love about travel is how it knows no barriers. Amphai and Tui will always hold a special place in our hearts!
Miss you guys!

Miss you guys!

 

Alex & Nathan.

  • Where we met: Dalat, Vietnam
  • Where they’re from: All over the USA & on the move again…
  • Why we love them: What’s not to love? They’re funny, smart, stunning and loads of fun! They don’t take themselves too seriously, and their positive energy is definitely contagious. Thanks for the fun adventures guys! And don’t visit Dalat without trying this…
Our new found friends

Our new found friends

 

Gypsie & Kev.

  • Where we met: Dalat, Vietnam
  • Where they’re from: West Coast of Australia
  • Why we love them: After a day of adventure, nothing was about to slow these guys down. Straight to dinner, followed by drinks at 100 Roofs Bar, we had the best time with these fellow Aussies! We love Kev & Gypsy’s enthusiasm for life!
Always the life of the party

Always the life of the party!

 

Nic & Richard.

  • Where we met: Hanoi, Vietnam as we prepared for a 2-night cruise in Bai Tu Long Bay
  • Where they’re from: New Zealand & England originally, though now they live in Melbourne, Australia
  • Why we love them: As Tina Turner would say, “they are simply the best!” We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know this beautiful couple. They are such warm-hearted, genuine people who know how to make the most of any situation! Upon meeting them, we instantly “clicked” and we still enjoying following their antics online.
Love the hats guys!

Love the hats guys!

 

Bolor & Barkhaus.

  • Where we met: Mongolia
  • Where they’re from: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia though they’ve spent a lot of time in Ukraine and South Korea respectively
  • Why we love them: They started out as our Airbnb hosts. Soon, they became our tour guides around southern Mongolia. Most importantly, they became our mates. From introducing us to the local food, to the nomadic way of life, we shared so many wonderful times with these guys. Nothing slowed Bolor down on our trip, even though she was 6-months pregnant. Thanks for EVERYTHING guys! Come visit us so we can repay the favor.
Thanks for the memories!

Thanks for the memories!

 

Sandra & Martin.

  • Where we met: Beijing, China
  • Where they’re from: Switzerland, though they currently live in Singapore
  • Why we love them: We love meeting and interacting with couples older than us (note, that doesn’t mean old) as there’s always so much to learn! Rob learned he should always carry all the bags, thanks to Sherpa Martin. And we also got to hang out with their children for the day, which was great fun. We’re heeding their advice on our upcoming trip to Borneo and cannot wait. So great to meet you guys!
What a couple of legends!

What a couple of legends!

 

Mikael & Niclas.

  • Where we met: On The Great Wall of China
  • Where they’re from: Sweden
  • Why we love them: These guys were more than just our “token gay friends.” We absolutely loved them! It was good to have another drama queen on the trip (yes, of course, we mean you, Mikael). Niclas & Mikael were incredible amounts of fun and kept us laughing the whole time. Thanks for being you! Check out more cool things to do in China.
Exploring the Great Wall of China

Exploring the Great Wall of China

 

Rhiannon & Sam.

  • Where we met: On the bus in Sri Lanka
  • Where they’re from: England
  • Why we love them: After a brief meeting on the bus to Unawatuna Beach, we exchanged details and decided to meet up that night for dinner. A few drinks later, we were thoroughly entertained learning more about Rhiannon & Sam and listening to their great stories. Cheers guys!
M'wah!

M’wah!

 

Inge & Twan.

  • Where we met: Goa, India
  • Where they’re from: Netherlands (yes, we’ve met a lot of Dutch people on our travels)
  • Why we love them: They started off as our roomies #dormlife. Quickly, they became our friends. Whether having a quiet drink, playing Skipbo, or eating a tasty meal, we enjoyed every minute we spent with Inge & Twan. A week after we last saw them in Goa, we randomly ran into them in Jaipur, and what a sweet reunion it was, however brief. They also inspired us to buy a new camera (thanks heaps!)
The happy couple at the top of their game!

The happy couple at the top of their game!

 

contact donald trump

Contact Donald Trump…We’re Still Coming Home!

How do we contact Donald Trump? Is the world mad or what? Honestly, have we all gone crazy or are we just living like we are? Seriously? We’ll keep this short and sweet, but with the results of today’s election, we felt compelled to comment on the subject.

A wise man once told me if Hillary Clinton was ever elected as President, he was moving to New Zealand. As we are transitioning from Australia to the USA, I thought we might actually cross paths.

We realistically never thought it would happen. But today, we were proved wrong. Donald Trump will be the President of the United States!

We didn’t cast a vote, as we weren’t across the issues. And, we  didn’t want to make an ignorant decision. Actually when I say “we,” I only mean me, as Rob actually couldn’t cast a vote if he wanted to, as he’s not an American. But from what we could tell from afar, both candidates were unfit to be our next Commander in Chief.

Contact Donald Trump - The many faces of Donald Trump!

The many faces of Donald Trump! *

And without getting too caught up in the diabolical political antics of it all, we want to share with you the top 5 reasons why we’re STILL moving to the US, despite the outcome of the recent presidential election.

  1. Half our family is there. I have been away from the US for 9-years now. Since then, I’ve gotten married, adopted two dogs, climbed the corporate ladder and travelled the world. But as they say, “there’s no place like home.” So, while we’re sad to leave our family in Oz, it’s time for us to spend some time with our family in the States. Rob has only been able to spend a limited amount of time with this half of the family, so time for him to get his fair dose.
  2. Rob got his Green Card. So, before Trump changes the rules on immigration, we might as well take advantage of it. Haha, in all seriousness, we invested a lot of time and money to make this happen, as it was important to us. So, no way are we going to let this or anything else stop us.
  3. We are not stuck. We are both Australian citizens and can go back “Down Under” anytime we want. Ultimately our long-term goal is to set ourselves up so we can spend 6-months at a time on either side of the world. But whatever happens, we know we’re not trees, and can leave anytime we want (bad dad joke, I know).
  4. Things are going to be shaken up. Good or bad. Right or wrong. Things will not remain the same with Trump behind the wheel. The status quo will be challenged, and from our understanding, it needs to be. All we can do now is hold on and enjoy the ride…
  5. The grass is not always greener on the other side. Nearly everywhere we’ve visited recently has been in the midst of an election. And no one seems to be excited about it. Except for the politicians themselves, of course. It seems to be the same story wherever you go in the world, so it’s unrealistic to think it’s better anywhere else. Our perception is our reality so we choose to make the most of this.
Contact Donald Trump - It's still America the Great!

It’s still America the Great!

In writing this, we wanted to include some of the policy issues we were excited about. Unfortunately, our research left us high and dry. We are Pro-Choice, believe in the impacts of Global Warming are real and feel the Gun Laws should be reviewed.

But, regardless of our opinion (or anyone else’s for that matter), it is what it is. So, let’s just stick together and make the most of the situation! Cheers to one of the Greatest Countries on Earth!

Contact Donald Trump - Well said, Mr. Ford!

Well said, Mr. Ford!

Oh, and if you actually want to contact Donald Trump you can reach him here.

From Sunrise to Sunset

Check out these top shots from Sunrise to Sunset

On our recent trip on 2-wheels through Vietnam, there were some days where we were literally on our motorbike from sunrise to sunset.

So, we were inspired to reach out to some other travel bloggers to showcase the best from sunrise to sunset pictures around the world!

Check out these beautiful shots from Angkor Wat to the shores of Hawaii. From South Africa to the mountains of Sri Lanka. Which one is your favourite?

 

EVERY THING STARTS WITH A SUNRISE , BUT ITS’ WHAT WE DO BEFORE IT SETS THAT MATTERS. -K. MCGRAW

 

ADORATION 4 ADVENTURE

Chantell & Darrell met in Siem Reap back in January 2015. So, it comes as no surprise that Cambodia will always hold a special place in their hearts. They even had their first date at Angkor Wat while witnessing this sunrise – a truly magical experience. Get lost in their Pinterest account too at ador4adventure.

From Sunrise to Sunset - Ahhh, Angkor Wat

Ahhh, Angkor Wat

 

BACKPACKER BANTER

Chris inspires us with this shot taken in Byron Bay, Australia as he was walking back along the beach after an awesome sunset surf session. Great job mate! Be sure to check out Chris doing his thing on YouTube at Backpacker Banter Blog.

From Sunrise to Sunset - Sun, surf & fun in Byron Bay, Australia

Sun, surf & fun in Byron Bay, Australia

 

BORDER FREE TRAVELS 

This image was taken at Ani Villas on Koh Yao Noi, Thailand. Kristen was in her room, head buried in her computer editing some of the images she’d shot earlier that morning when she noticed the pink sky out of her front porch. This is still one of the most vivid skies with the most calm water she’s experienced on an adventure to date. Always a good image to reflect back on. You can find Kristen’s daily Border Free Travels on Instagram.

From Sunrise to Sunset - Well Thailand, you've done it again

Well Thailand, you’ve done it again

 

EXPAT AND THE CITY

This sunset photo was taken in Boracay – a tiny touristy island in the Philippines. Samantha was at Spider House Resort and had probably what were the best seats in the house. Her and her friend were able to snag a wooden plank turned into a lounger where you can see the ocean below. They watched the sunset whilst eating dinner and drinking some beers. It’s been highly recommended to watch the sunset at Spider House, and it’s easy to see why! The views are absolutely stunning! Stephanie just remembers wondering how many others were seeing the exact same sunset at the exact same time as her. And then she thought how blessed she is to have the ability to travel around Asia as she lives and works in South Korea. Watching the sun set is such a good moment to reflect and to escape from the chaos and distractions of life! Samantha Be sure to follow her on Pinterest at expatandthecity too.

From Sunrise to Sunset - Sunset from Spider House Resort in Boracay

Sunset from Spider House Resort in Boracay

FOLLOWING OUR FEET 

Astra & Laura were traveling around Sri Lanka for 2 weeks. Their last stop was Bentota and all the locals were out just relaxing with their families. They said it was so quiet and peaceful just sitting on the beach watching the sun go down and I can see why. Be sure to check out their YouTube channel too at Following our Feet.

From Sunrise to Sunset - Stunning Bentota, Sri Lanka

Stunning Bentota, Sri Lanka

 

GOOD MORNING WORLD

Melanie took this picture while she was attending a retreat in a wonderful hotel directly at the amazing beaches of Tulum, Mexico. Together with a shaman healer they watched every single morning the sunrise to collect the strong energy of the rising sun and to start their days full of positive thoughts and gratefulness… For more inspiring pictures, tune into Melanie’s Pinterest account at Mela Schillinger.

From Sunrise to Sunset - Feel the sun's energy in Tulum, Mexico

Feel the sun’s energy in Tulum, Mexico


LAURA MAX EXPLORERS

Laura & Max are constantly exploring! After a day on the bike, they were relaxing in the beautiful El Nido, Philippines. What an incredible shot guys! They are just getting started on their website so be sure to check in and say hello!

From Sunrise to Sunset - Love, love, love the Philippines!

Love, love, love the Philippines!

 

LOVE C & D

Claire & Dave took this shot along the shore of Lake Titicaca in Copacabana, Bolivia.  They had just gone for a walk along the shore and were lucky enough to catch the sunset whilst they were coming back.  As you can see, it was a great backdrop for the two giant Inca statues so they snapped away. Be sure to link up with them on Pinterest at lovecandd.

From Sunrise to Sunset - Bolivia at its best

Bolivia at its best


PEANUTS OR PRETZELS

Josh & Liz were generous enough to share one of their most favourite sunsets they have encountered while on the road. This sunset shot is unique because it is one that not a lot of people get to see.  It was taken from the porch of one of their friend’s dad’s house on the island of Maui in Hawaii.  It was the view they got to experience on their first night, as they sat outside eating a home cooked meal while enjoying this beautiful sunset.

From Sunrise to Sunset - Hard to beat Maui, Hawaii

Hard to beat Maui, Hawaii

 

SEE HER TRAVEL

Emily took this sunrise photo in Bagan, Myanmar, one of the most beautiful places in the world in February 2015.  Her and her great friend, Lizzie, were backpacking Myanmar at the time and loved bombing around Bagan on their rickety rental bikes! Be sure to find Emily on Pinterest at seehertravel to for more great photos!

From Sunrise to Sunset - Bagan - one of the most beautiful places in the world

Bagan – one of the most beautiful places in the world


SIMPLY TRAVELLED

Kim & Rob were on their 8-year delayed honeymoon when they witnessed this breathtaking sunset in Maldives. The sky lit up for them, turning from scarlet red to deep purple. The sun seemed hesitant to set that evening, so they were lucky enough to linger in its beauty for what seemed like hours!

From Sunrise to Sunset - An incredible Maldives sunset

An incredible Maldives sunset

 

THE CONFUSED MILLENNIAL

Rachel took this photo at Delray Beach, Florida during a morning walk before work. She was really struggling at the time about whether or not to start her own business and the beauty and peacefulness from this sunrise left her feeling so excited to have flexibility and freedom in her work. Rachel is now a career and business coach, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need some direction yourself!

From Sunrise to Sunset - Delray Beach, Florida knows how to turn it on

Delray Beach, Florida knows how to turn it on

 

THE GLOBAL COUPLE

Shaun & Petra were also inspired by Vietnam! They wanted to share this amazing sunset they saw while cruising in Bai Tu Long Bay. They were drinking mojitos and enjoying the warm evening air while watching this incredible sunset, and marvelling at the fact that they had hardly seen another tourist boat all day – lucky them! For more sunset pics from their trip, be sure to check out their post about Bai Tu Long Bay.

From Sunrise to Sunset - Bai Tu Long Bay had us at hello

Bai Tu Long Bay had us at hello

 

THE STRANGE AND NEW

How’s this for a sunset! Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park. Jacqueline and Shannon were on the first day of their National Parks road trip, ending in Glacier, celebrating the US National Park Service’s Centennial, 100th anniversary. Simply amazing!

From Sunrise to Sunset - Wow! Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park

Wow! Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park


THE TRAVELLING CHILLI

One of Sabine & Sean’s favourite sunset pictures was taken in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. Before continuing their night safari, they stopped in the middle of the bush for some sundowners with wine and snacks. While enjoying the wonderful beauty of the park they were treated with a gorgeous African sunset, with its typical orange glow and camelthorn trees in the background. Be sure to check out Sabine & Sean on Pinterest at thetravellingch too!

From Sunrise to Sunset - Beautiful South Africa

Beautiful South Africa

 

THE WHOLE WORLD OR NOTHING

James and Sarah were enjoying a stunning sunset over the Mekong River in Luang Prabang, Laos. They just sat on a wall, relaxing, and enjoying a couple of Beer Laos after a day exploring and discussing how much they loved Laos. And it’s easy to see why. Follow their journey on Pinterest too at thewholewor0548

From Sunrise to Sunset - Laos - it doesn't get much better than this!

Laos – it doesn’t get much better than this!

 

TOURIST EXCLUSIVE

Stephanie was on a road trip through the north of Italy and stopped in Venice for the night. It is such a magical and romantic city. While having an evening walk they had the most amazing sunset they have ever seen! Beautiful doesn’t even begin to describe it!

From Sunrise to Sunset - Magical Italy

Magical Italy

 

TRAVELLING WEASELS

Tanbay & Laura shared this beauty that was taken at sunrise at Angkor Wat earlier this year. Perfection!  Be sure to check these vlogger celebrities out on their YouTube channel at Travelling Weasels.

From Sunrise to Sunset - Love is in the air at Angkor Wat

Love is in the air at Angkor Wat

 

TWO HEARTS IN A SUITCASE

Two Hearts took this shot on their Sony a6000 at Mushroom Bay, Nusa Lembongan Island in Lombok Indonesia. They had just spent a long day snorkelling and were relaxing the rest for the night on the beach eating good food! Love it!

From Sunrise to Sunset - The beautiful Mushroom Bay in Indonesia

The beautiful Mushroom Bay in Indonesia

 

UNTOLD MORSELS

The unmistakeable icons of the London skyline were the perfect foil for pinks and purples of dusk on a summer’s day. They were celebrating living a year in London by having dinner at the National Portrait Gallery restaurant. The setting could not have been more perfect. How many famous landmarks can you spot? Katy’s favourite is Lord Nelson looking down from his column onto Trafalgar Square. Be sure to find Katy on Pinterest at untoldmorsels!

From Sunrise to Sunset - Oh London! <3

Oh London! <3

 

YOGA WINE TRAVEL

Flo loves Sri Lankan sunrises and sunsets. In her words, they are “otherworldly.”  She has only really managed to catch sunsets during her time there (seriously not a morning person). But being high up in the hills in tea country in Kandy, watching the sunrise over the Knuckles Mountain Range was unmissable. So there she sat at 5am with a cup of hot tea in hand, waiting for the sun to rise over the cascading layers of misty mountaintops. And so it did and, transforming the sky from a dark navy to flurries of pink and blue, it finally cast a warm yellow glow over the sky: seriously spectacular!

From Sunrise to Sunset - Sri Lanka, you were worth the 5am start!

Sri Lanka, you were worth the 5am start!

 

Not so easy to pick a favourite right? Well, we’re curious, what were some of the standouts for you? Put them in the comments below.

Meet YaYa - Tuk Tuk Driver Extraordinaire

People of the world: YaYa Tuk Tuk Driver Extraordinaire

This week we’re bringing you something a bit different. Inspired by “Humans of New York,” we present a series called “PEOPLE OF THE WORLD.”

Our belief that people are more similar than we think has constantly been reiterated throughout our travels. Of course, we may look different and speak differently, but we all love the same and hurt the same. And these are the things that make us PEOPLE!

Not what we drive, where we work or what we wear. So, this week, we’re taking the opportunity to introduce you to a couple of special people that have truly inspired us along the way. We hope you enjoy their stories. And now story 3 of 3…

Meet YaYa – Tuk Tuk Driver Extraordinaire

As we reached Battambang, Cambodia and exited the bus, we were instantly surrounded by multiple tuk tuk drivers. They were all holding signs, touting $0.50 rides. We locked eyes with a friendly man and walked aside to sort out the details. Rich was well-spoken with a sincere personality. We discussed tour options for the next day and agreed to meet him in the lobby at 9am the following morning.

PERHAPS TRAVEL CANNOT PREVENT BIGOTRY, BUT BY DEMONSTRATING THAT ALL PEOPLES CRY, LAUGH, EAT, WORRY, AND DIE, IT CAN INTRODUCE THAT IF WE TRY AND UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER, WE MAY EVEN BECOME FRIENDS. –MAYA ANGELOU

When we reached the lobby at 8:45am the following day, Rich was nowhere to be found. We waited, and were soon approached by a man asking if we were from Australia. Having not heard us speak, we were surprised how he guessed. Then he said, “I’m Poor.” Thinking he was after money we politely said, “No thank you,” and turned the other way. He laughed and said, “No, no, I’m Rich’s brother – get it – Poor, haha.” And that was the start of our day with Yaya and his bad dad jokes 🙂

Oh, Yaya! Meet YaYa - Tuk Tuk Driver Extraordinaire

Oh, Yaya!

How old are you?

“33.” Same as me.

Do you have any children?

“I have one daughter, who’s almost 2.”

Are you married?

“Yes.” We were actually lucky enough to meet his beautiful wife and daughter later in the day. They were very sweet.

So, you and Rich are both tuk tuk drivers?

“And my dad. And my other two brothers too. All the men in my family drive for a living.” Whatever money is earned, a portion is always given to their mother. In their culture, they all support their parents (don’t get any ideas mom and dad, haha).

Wow, so do you have any sisters?

“Yes, three of them.”

Yaya, is that your dad?

“That’s him. We saw him at the Bamboo Train, playing cards and having a drink with his friends. Interesting enough, Yaya is not able to have a drink with his dad. When you drink with someone and cheers them, you have to look them in the eye, but his culture does not allow men to look their fathers in the eye. Though make no mistake, having a drink with his brothers or friends is completely fine.”

Have you ever been on the Bamboo Train?

“No, I would never dream of it. I’d rather have that money to feed my family.” It was apparent that times were tough, with Yaya even collecting empty bottles for spare change.

As we thanked Yaya for the brilliant day he told us about a weird dream he had last night. Yaya said,”I had a dream that I was a muffler and I woke up exhausted.”

Haha, should have known he had one more dad joke for us.

Tuk Tuk Driver - Yaya's wife & toddler

Yaya’s wife & toddler

We had an excellent day with Yaya and his family! We gave him a sizeable tip at the end of the tour, and he was so appreciative, he nearly cried. He explained to us that this would allow his family to go to his wife’s sisters wedding, which previously they were not able to afford. Good day, great people!
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