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Do You Need a Break?

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We all need a break at some point or another, as much as some of us don’t want to admit it we simply aren’t robots. So why do so many of us simply not recognise the fact that we are close to burn-out? (and yes burn-out is a very real thing). In fact, one third of people in the UK don’t take their fully entitled annual leave every year. You could take a few guesses as to why this is; perhaps money is tight, perhaps work is incredibly busy or perhaps people feel like they’re just not entitled to take time for themselves… Whatever the reason going for extended periods of time without a break can be extremely detrimental to ones mental and physical health, so what are the key warning signs that show you it may be time to get away for a bit?

  • You’re eating more than normal. This goes past eating for boredom, if you find yourself reaching for more than just a few snacks at work, perhaps you’re finding that your lunch just isn’t giving you the energy you need to get through the afternoon or maybe the prospect of any kind of food other than a takeaway pizza and a chocolate cookie is unappealing. Your body is telling you it needs energy that it can’t get from food alone.
  • Your social life is kind of non-existent. We don’t mean to be rude but when was the last time you met up with your mates? Or even your family? It has been said that not spending enough time with friends and family is one of the top regrets of people on their deathbeds, so do you want that to be you?
  • You have caffeine running in your blood stream. That morning latte has become a triple shot espresso and a post-five pm coffee hit has become a necessity, let’s face it you’re not just drinking all the coffee because you like the taste.
  • You oversleep pretty darn frequently, in fact your morning alarm has started to feel like a bit of background noise rather than the call for you to wake up and start your day.
  • You haven’t posted anything to your social media accounts because you feel like nothing exciting has happened. Oh, and whenever anybody else posts an image of them on holiday, out for dinner or doing something vaguely interesting you get annoyed (it’s not because you’re a bad person, we promise!).
  • You are never home, in fact it could be questionable whether your roommates even know you exist anymore. The only sign of you being at home is a bottle of ketchup and some leftover takeaway containers in the fridge, yeah, not a good thing…
  • You live for Friday. Although when it finally arrives you end up doing the same thing you do every evening. Work, work and perhaps a bit more work accompanied with that takeaway pizza we were talking about earlier. (oh and don’t forget the triple espresso!)
  • Your gym card is collecting dust. Nope you don’t have an injury (even if you try to convince yourself or others that you do) nor do you go out running but instead you’re working from dusk til dawn barely giving yourself time to catch some fresh air and take a brisk walk. Yeah that’s not any good for your physical or mental health.
  • Phone calls become the bane of your life. Not only do you absolutely detest your ring tone but with every call you receive comes an instant assumption that it’s work related and even if it is your friend you ignore it because work is just ‘so busy…’.
  • And last but not least what used to bring you joy now irrationally annoys you. Whether it’s a hobby you used to frequently partake in or the job that you used to enjoy whenever you think about it you just sigh.

So, did you answer yes to one or more of the ten points outlined above? If you did it really is time to think about booking a bit of a break. Whether that’s a weekend getaway or a week-long adventure it’s important for you take some time for yourself, relax, unwind and decompress. In fact, you’ll almost definitely feel better upon your return, after all the effects of a good holiday are almost immediate with research showing that even after only a day or two, 89% of people experience significant drops in stress. What are you waiting for? Take a break, you deserve it.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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Adventure Travel

Where To Travel To On Your First Surf Holiday

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Since news broke that surfing would make its debut at the 2020 Olympics there has been a lot of interest in this surface water sport. Gone are the days when it was a sport reserved only for the weed smoking beach bums in their floral inspired board shorts. So, if you are feeling extra adventurous and would like to try surfing on your next vacation, we have rounded up the best destinations where you can ride your first wave.

Costa Rica

This populous Central American country is a surfers dream. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a beginner you are bound to catch some neat waves that reach up to 12 feet in height. If you want to take a surfing holiday, Playa Tamarindo is one of the most popular beaches to surf in Costa Rica. Be careful though, as this beach can experience strong rip currents at low tide.

Tamarindo has two main breaks for advanced surfers: Pico Pequeño a rocky point to the right of the Hotel Tamarindo Diriá and the excellent river mouth break across from Cabinas Tsunami called El Estero. The rest of the beach breaks are perfect for beginners.

Nicaragua

South Western Nicaragua receives 300+ days offshore wind and constant southern swells which means that this country is a surfer’s dream. The entire pacific coastline in Nicaragua is peppered with amazing surf spots. From the The Boom in Northern Nicaragua to Popoyo in central Nicaragua and then all the way down to Playa Maderas in San Juan Del Sur.

Nicaragua has a wave for every level of surfer and with water temperatures averaging 27 degrees celsius, long surf sessions are always in order. There are plenty of surf camps dotted all over the country and because Nicaragua is still less developed than Costa Rica, prices are a lot lower than it’s southern neighbour. Don’t forget your surf equipment because you are bound to have a blast.

Portugal

Portugal isn’t just famous for it’s pastèis de natas, this European country also has some of the best surfing spots in the world. Super Tubos situated in Peniche, has been a favourite with locals and tourists alike. The break offers world-class surfing conditions with its hollow powerful waves, and is the site of the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal the World Surf League Men’s Championship Tour event.

The Algarve on Portugal’s southern coastline is famed for white sandy beaches and beach breaks. There are a number of great surf spots in the Alrgarve with Sagres being the epicentre of surfing in this region.

Morocco

Deep in the heart of North Africa there is a fishing vilage called Taghazout. Just north of Agadir. Which comes alive each winter with the sound of pounding pointbreaks and surf banter. It’s a beautiful place with a rich Arabic culture to add  to the magic.

Taghazout is surf, surf and surf.  Taghazout is the premium surfing destination of Morocco with some iconic surf spots, like Anchor Point. Since Anchor point was first put on the surf mpa in the 1970’s, Taghazout has steadily grown to become Morocco’s preeminent surfing destination.

Taghazout now has a plethora of great surf camps to choose from, and all of them mainly cater to beginner and intermediate surfers.

Bali

We had to keep the best for last, Bali has been on the top of travellers favourite destinations for a long time which doesn’t come as surprise. Bali has everything from sun, sea and surfing spots aplenty. Our top pick Kuta is if you are looking for a beach and resort area in the south of the island of Bali.

One of Bali’s first tourist developments, it’s best known for its party-centric atmosphere and surfing in the Indian Ocean. Kuta’s long, consistent waves make it a popular surf spot, particularly for beginners, with plenty of outfitters offering board rentals and surf lessons.

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Adventure Travel

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

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Trekking through the valleys of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys with Middle Earth Travel feels more like the set of a Star Wars movie than a historical region once carved out and lived in by humans. Churches, homes and pigeon houses are scattered throughout the valleys, all waiting to be explored. The best part is, Middle Earth Travel know all the hidden secrets.

Standing at the top of Cappadocia

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

On the 26th of July (which just so happens to be my birthday!) Middle Earth Travel took us on their private and guided Top of Cappadocia day trek. From Pasabag, along the top of Cappadocia and down through the Gulludere Rose Valley to Goreme, we trekked 15kms in one day! (We recommend getting your bearings with this map)

Upon arrival to the Middle Earth Offices, we were warmly greeted by our new friend Atil whom we had met a few days earlier while mountain biking through the Kizilcukur Red Valley. We were then introduced to our guide and given a briefing regarding the day. Normally, the Top of Cappadocia tour would start from Çavuşin, however, since we had already explored Çavuşin Castle, they adapted our tour to compensate ensuring we would explore new terrain!

With charged cameras, plenty of water and our running shoes on, we were driven to our starting point of Pasabag. We wandered through the fairy chimneys, coming across camels and markets – then the true hike began.

Pasabag in Cappadocia

The police station in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

It was a slow and gentle incline. With no trees to provide shade, I quickly realised why our tour guide had chosen to wear fully covered clothing! As the sweat quickly set in (a waterfall in Moss’s case) we snapped away with our cameras and enjoyed the entertaining shapes of Imagine Valley and the amazing view. We also passed a lot of rock piles, which according to our guide mean ‘father’ and are built to help lead the way.

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Middle Earth Travel, Cappadocia

Making our way to the top of Cappadocia

Father leading the way (rock pile)

Father leading the way (rock pile)

The higher we trekked, the more breath taking the views became! As we walked along the summit of Bozdag mountain (the Top of Cappadocia) we could see EVERTHING – Pasabag, Çavuşin Castle, Kizilcukur Red Valley, Gulludere Rose Valley and Goreme. We were on the Father of Valleys! After a quick nod of agreement to the guide, we pushed ourselves the extra distance and made our way to the flag, as this HAD to be the highest point and was definitely worth a photo and a selfie or two!

View from the top of Cappadocia

View from the top of Cappadocia

Flag at top of Cappadocia

From the flag we looked down upon Aktepe Hill which is known as a popular destination for watching the sun set and could spot Kizilvadi Restaurant, our destination for lunch! Kizilvadi Restaurant is an attraction of its own. With its own historic winery and Grape church, plus some Middle Earth Travel treks even stay there for the night! After having a massive feed of soup, salad and pasta plus a surprise birthday cake, we made our way down into Gulludere Rose Valley.

Kizilvadi Restaurant

Kizilvadi Restaurant

The scenery is amazing, with strong colours visible in perfect layers on the chimneys, you would wonder what an artist was thinking, had it been a painting. Also, hidden to the side of the track we walked across a little bridge and not expecting anything to be there we were wowed by the massive church carved. It was absolutely huge and hard to believe that its most recent use has been as a pigeon house!

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Church in Gulludere Rose Valley

Hard to believe this Church is carved inside a fairy chimney!

Middle Earth Travel Review

  • The team at Middle Earth Travel were extremely knowledgeable and certainly know Cappadocia’s hidden secrets. They have friendships with local tea garden owners which is also of benefit as it gained us entry to locked churches and hidden rooms that we would not have otherwise seen.
  • We covered a lot of ground, however we did not feel rushed. The whole day focused on showing us the region, therefore we had as much time as we needed to explore each church and to take ‘just one more photo’.
  • It wasn’t all about trekking. With a whole day and 15kms to cover, there were a few silly poses (especially in Imagine Valley), and we learnt a lot about the myths, legends and way of life in Cappadocia.
  • In conclusion I highly recommend Middle Earth Travel if you wish to go trekking or mountain biking in Cappadocia.
  • Cost: Day treks with Middle Earth Travel range from 50-90 euro, depending on the number of people taking part. This includes lunch, guide, vehicle transfers and entrance fees to historical sites, but excludes alcoholic and soft drinks.
  • Middle Earth Travel are outdoor enthusiasts and offer multi-day over night treks, mountain biking, abseiling, or custom made itineraries, in multiple regions throughout Turkey.
  • www.middleearthtravel.com

Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the trek with Middle Earth Travel, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.

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Adventure Travel

Here’s How To Make It In Morocco As A Tourist

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Morocco can be a wonderful place to visit and many of us might recall adventurers such as T.E Lawrence who contributed to the region in more ways than one. We may also remember classic movies such as Casablanca which was supposed to be set in the land of Morocco. Lines such as “here’s looking at you kid” and “ What in heaven’s name brought you to Casablanca?” “…My health, I came to Casablanca for the waters.” “The waters? What waters? We’re in the desert.” “…I was misinformed” certainly ring in our minds.

Who could forget the other classic lines from Casablanca that will go down for the ages? “You know how you sound…? Like a man who’s trying to convince himself of something he doesn’t believe in his heart” and “Where I’m going, you can’t follow. What I’ve got to do, you can’t be any part of. Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that.”

Lines such as those and more certainly will make individuals want to at least go and check the great land of Morocco out, to at least be in the space and discover the country for themselves.

If you are planning on taking a visit to this North African nation and might find yourself taking multiple trips in Morocco do yourself a favor and follow these few tips to have a great experience.

Dress Well

It is important that you pay close attention to the attire and the customs of the region that you go and visit. Women should note to dress modestly, while men can wear regular attire that they might in their home countries. It is best not to dress provocatively as they may attract unwanted attention.

Money

You’ll want to make sure that you have enough Dirhams on hand to be able to move around in a pleasant manner, make sure to have the right amounts of this currency while booking cabs and for conducting other affairs in the region. Do not rely on automated teller machines to spit out the right currencies as they may be out or might not be reliable.

Put on your Negotiating Cap

Morocco is a place where you will want to make sure to get the right substance in exchange for your money. This is not to say that merchants will rip you off, no, it is more to say that you can negotiate as that is part of the culture and prices are not rigid they are flexible. Don’t’ hesitate, learn how to negotiate! You will just have to invest the time into the deal and be rewarded with good prices for quality items.

Tourists are a form of income for many shop owners and people in the region

Make sure to have a good time but stay guarded. Random people may offer to be your guide to the region but they might not be trustworthy. This means that individuals might try to take advantage of your lack of knowledge and urge you to spend more money at shops that they take you to, spend more money on the tour itself, etc. It is wise to look at different options for tours earlier on and go with trustworthy people. 

Watch out

Watch out for a variety of things, pickpockets, the food and the types of water. The food might be prepared differently and not similar to how it is in your home region. Thus is it is necessary to note that for the first few days while in the land, there is a chance that your stomach might feel queasy.

Make sure to follow precautions with important items, from your passport to your money as pickpockets may lurk.

Also, make sure to source water bottles if possible so you can stay refreshed and won’t have any issues from a health standpoint.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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