Category: Blog (Page 1 of 8)

5 ways to make travel transformational

It’s a truism that travelling broadens the horizons — but nevertheless, expanding your mind and altering your perceptions remain some of the most powerful motivations for taking off on a trip that’s out of the ordinary.

And if you’re not satisfied absorbing new experiences as they arise and hoping that they become catalysts for changing your outlook in life, thankfully there are more instructive ways of ensuring that your next adventure is as inspirational as you hope.

With that in mind, here are five ways to make travel transformational.

  1. Languages

If you’re a bit of a linguist, living in another nation for a year will endow you with near-native fluency.

But you can polish your skills before you leave by downloading language apps like Duolingo to listen to on your phone before testing yourself in your favourite overseas spot.

And with many months of communicating exclusively in a foreign tongue under your belt, your new capability might even lead to a job as an interpreter or translator when you return home.

2. Diet

Switching to a new diet and having the discipline to treat it as a permanent lifestyle change can be extremely cathartic.

It might help you lose weight, combat a medical condition or simply exist in a way which chimes more easily with your conscience.

A specialist holiday is one of the best ways to start a new diet away from everyday distractions — the vegan retreats available at responsibletravel.com are an excellent example.

3. Yoga and meditation

Jetting off into the sunset might clear your mind for a couple of weeks but making time daily for yoga and meditation can ensure that you’re calm and collected for life.

If achieving a Zen-like state is one of your lifetime aims, attending a yoga retreat run by Shamballah in stunning Sintra, Portugal sounds about perfect.

Whether you can spare three days or a full week, it’s a wonderfully fulfilling holiday.

4. Keeping fit

If your preferred fitness regime is a little more energetic than pulling the cow/cat pose, there are ways to go for the burn on holiday even if you’re miles from a gym or sports facilities.

Bodyweight exercises like push-ups and sit-ups can be completed even in cramped accommodation, so there’s no excuse not to bash out a few after waking in the morning.

Plus, drinking plenty of water, taking stairs rather than elevators and exploring on foot rather than by public transport all contribute to staying lean and mean on your adventure.

5. Studying

Unless you spend your sabbatical stuffed under a blanket, your vacation is bound to be a learning experience in one form or another.

But you can also use a long-term break to earn a formal qualification which helps you switch careers when you return.

For example, studying for an MBA with a provider like Anglia Ruskin Distance Learning might help you set up your own business based on travel or any other industry.

That’s our list! Share your own transformational travel tips in the comments section.

5 reasons Melbourne’s great for gap year travellers

With its sunshine, beaches, mountains, diverse culture and dynamic wildlife, Australia’s a honeytrap millions of travellers make a bee-line for.

And it’s a popular base for adventurers on an extended sabbatical break, but those who overlook Melbourne for better-known Sydney might be missing a trick.

Melburnians will tell you that their city is Down Under’s cultural capital and an all-round brilliant place to live — decide for yourself with these five reasons Melbourne’s great for gap year travellers.

  1. Sports

Melbourne’s a mecca for sports fans — attending the Melbourne Cup Carnival is a must for horse racing fans, but this year, the city and its state Victoria are also hosting the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, Australian Open tennis, The Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club and Australian Boomers V USA basketball.

  1. Beaches

Melbourne’s a paradise for beach bums of all varieties, so you’re sure to find a sweet spot to chill out, surf and people watch while you’re in residence. For starters, Brighton beach has beautiful Victorian-era bathing boxes and genteel swimming, Mentone has a brilliant boardwalk and laid-back vibe, while Blairgowrie Back Beach boasts delicious fish and chips.

  1. Restaurants

Foodies spending an extended break in Melbourne can feat their eyes and fill their bellies with a huge variety of culinary treats in the city’s world-class restaurants. There are many mouth-watering eateries to engage with, but with dishes like sea corn tacos filled with crab custard, and signature sumptuous scampi, eating at South Melbourne’s Lume might be the most inspirational introduction.

  1. Accommodation

If money’s no object, Melbourne hosts some of Australia’s finest hotels. You can lounge at high-end apartment hotels like United Places, live in the lap of old school luxury at The Hotel Windsor or mix with the beautiful people at trendy QT Melbourne. Alternatively, find a clean and central backpacker’s hostel at urbancentral.com.au — the cash you save on more spartan lodgings can be spent on socialising.

  1. Transportation

Getting around Melbourne is easy thanks to its reasonably modern and punctual public transport system, which features buses, trains and trams. Whatever your preference, buying a myki card lets you hop between different modes to maximise efficiency and savings. And if you’re catching a domestic or international flight, the city’s air hub has awesome facilities and amenities — for instance, finding Melbourne airport parking with Looking4.com is easy and, once you’re inside, eateries like Baxa and Billie Chu will make your taste buds tingle with Asian treats.

These five reasons Melbourne’s great for gap year adventurers are only the tip of a terrific travel iceberg but they should whet your appetite enough to ensure it claims a space on your next global trip.

Australia’s blessed with a clutch of cool cities, but for our money, Melbourne might be the pick of the bunch.

Do you have any Melbourne travel tips? Share them in the comments section.

South America Trip Day 8: Nasca lines and tasting wine

Started the day with a small hike up the sand dune to get a morning view over Huacachina and strolling around the morning glow around the oasis. The reflection of the sand dunes in the water is amazing! After that we had a breakfast infront of the oasis to enjoy the view.


Around 12:45 we had to take the bus again. First stop is at a wineyard called el Catado, here we could taste the local Pisco’s and learn about them. The tour was about 45 minutes and included in the Peru hop ticket. We got a tour through the entire winery, and because of the weather and preference of the people of Peru all the wines are sweet. 


After a short tour we tried 4 types of wines and two Pisco types, even bought some souvenirs from there for home!


Back on the bus we passed through the Andes mountains, pretty impressive!


After that we arrived around 17:30 to Nasca to view three of the Nasca lines.
The Nasca lines can be divided in three groups, simple ones with similar lines, geometric figures and the drawings which are the most famous ones. Crossing hands, tree and lizard we could see from the viewing tower. Nice to see it once, but expected it to be bigger.


After that we had lunch in Nasca for 20 soles per person arranged by Peru hop at la Encantana, was not the best but it was okay. We headed to our destination which we are going to reach at 5 am in the next morning: Arequipa.

South America Trip Day 7: Paracas National Park, Ballestas Islands and Huacachina

After waking up, we had to meet at 7:45 am for our first trip: the Ballestas Islands! This place is nicknamed the Poor man’s Galapagos, simply because it is a lot cheaper to see the abundant of wildlife. The islands are a group of rocks located off the Pacific coast near Paracas, housing thousands of birfs and animals like penguins, sea lions, pelicans and other birds.


Oh man, it did not disappoint! We got onto a speedboat with approx 40 other people to head towards the Islands. First we stopped after 10 minutes of boat ride to witness Candelabro, a 2000 year old sand sculpture that is engraved into the Paracas Peninsula. After a few pictures we continued for another 15 minutes to Islas Ballestas.


Man, it was amazing! We saw so many birds on spectacular cliffs made by erosion over the centuries, all of a sudden rocks turn pitch black because of the amount of birds. Penguins roaming around and also hundreds of sea lions (plus babies!) everywhere! Their roars very loud and gives you the chills. Such an amazing spot!


After that we headed back for 30 minutes, at the port some pelicans fishing gave us a show.


After that we ate empanadas from a local vedor for 3 soles a piece and took the Peru hop bus again for the Paracas city tour, also heading to the national reserve.


The reserve is quite impressive, transforming in millions of years from jungle to ocean to desert, giving it a lot of different colors of sand, yellow, black to white.


First stop la Cathedral, a big rock formation in the form of an arch, but this got lost in a earthquake. Two platforms to look from, amazing view!


Second stop is Istmo de la Pennisula, looks like a nice beach side. There are a lot of colors everywhere, thanks to the volcanic activity in the past.


Last stop is the red beach. With a beautiful view on a big red cliff, and a pebble beach it is a great place to catch some wind and relax.


After that we drove one and a half hour to Huacachina, a oasis city just consisting of 8 blocks and 100 inhabitants. Here, sandboarding and dunebuggies are a thing! Through Peru hop we booked for 50 soles each.


Around 16:00 pm we gathered to get the buggy tour started. Man, it was awesome! Our driver, Chino, was driving like crazy. Felt like a rollercoaster the entire trip!
After that we did sandboarding off 6 hills in the dessert. Laying flat on our body and going down with speed, very sweet!
We ended with enjoying the sunset from a desert view and a fast ride back to Huacachina for an astonishing view from the top over the oasis.


We closed the night with a dinner on the roof top of our hostel Desert Nights.

South America Trip Day 5: Lima, Peru

After waking up around 5:30, Oscar, our guide from the Amazon, has arranged taxis for us. First 25 soles to get to the airport of iquitos with our cab driver Fredy. After a breakfast at the airport we had a two hour flight back to Lima. Here, cab driver Walter, also arranged by Oscar, was waiting for us to take us to our first hostel to collect our luggage and drop us to our hostel in Miraflores, the beautiful neighborhood of Lima. After 45 minutes drive we arrived.


After a quick check in to our hostel condors house, we decided to walk around. We first went to the large shopping mall of Miraflores, Larcomar. Here there are a lot of options for food.


After that we continued to walk to Barranco, the artist district of Lima. Here you can find a lot of typical balconies but also street art everywhere.

From here we walked to the beach for a drink, then got an uber back to Miraflores to huaca pucllana, the inca fortress remains in the city. Unfortunately we came on a Tuesday, only day it is closed for public. But there is a restaurant with a view you can enter for free. Entrance fee normally is 15 soles per adult from 9/17 amd 17 soles from 19/22.


We walked towards the inca market, the big street shopping area of lima, where you can buy all kinds of souvenirs.


we ended the day to enjoy the sunset in the love park. Be sure to walk over the small walls to enjoy the best view ever!


Quick local junk food and back to the hostel for our 6.50 pick up next morning by Peru hop. Next destination: Paracas!

Half day trip to Rhine Falls (Rheinfall), the largest waterfalls of Europe

The Rhine Falls (or in German, Rheinfall) is located on the north of Switzerland, just across the boarder of Germany. The waterfalls are not so high (just 23 meters) but their width (150 meters) makes up for it! If you are on a trip through Switzerland, Rhine Falls is definitely worth a stop!

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Travel the World by RV: Trips for Every Continent 

When most people think of RVing, they think about taking a trip around the US. Maybe seeing a couple of national parks or just going up to a lake for the weekend. But there are destinations all over the world that make for an incredible RV trip that we often don’t think about. Whether it’s Europe, Africa, or Australia, every continent has a route that is sure to change your life. Dreaming of seeing the world? Today we have some incredible trips for you and your RV regardless of the continent you choose.

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First time travelling? Avoid making these 5 common mistakes

Travelling is almost always guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience. With so much of the world to see and so many things to discover, it’s crucial to ensure you avoid any potential mishaps or unfortunate occurrences while you’re abroad.

With travellers often making the same mistakes, here’s five of them to avoid during your travels.

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Collab post: unmissable experiences in Central America

Another day, another collaboration! This time I shared some of my experiences in Boquete, Panama for Unlatinoverde’s blog post – 16 Unmissable Experiences in Mexico and Central America

Read about it now!

Want to know more about Boquete? Read it here!

Boquete – a piece of Heaven on Earth

Boquete is one of my favorite spots to ever visit! This small town in the west of Panama only has 20,000 inhabitants of whom a lot are retired Americans and/or Europeans who saw this piece of heaven as the perfect spot to spent their old days. That must already mean something, right? Boquete has a lot to offer, and is a must visit if you are travelling through Central America!

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