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Four Jandals ABC’s of Travel

A journey to the past to look back on our travels from our brief time on this beautiful planet we all call home.

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Toronto Skyline Four Jandals

We were recently tagged by the hilarious Lucy from On the Luce and D.J. from the World of Deej in the Travel Blogger’s “A to Z of Travel” meme that has been doing the rounds on the interweb for the last few months. We thought it would be a great chance to look back at not only our last 2 and a half years of travel as a couple but also our travels individually.

All of the questions were pre-picked so grab a cup of coffee / tea / juice sipper and sit back and join us on our journey into the past…

A: Age you went on your first international trip:

Cole – Does it count if I was in my Mum’s tummy when she travelled to Canada? If not then probably when I was a few years old to hop across the ditch to Surfer’s Paradise with the family. Went back several times and always loved the beach, weather and theme parks.

Adela – Not sure if this is the first trip but it is certainly the first one I remember. We went on a family trip to Noumea and I think I was about Seven. Having the luck that my family does it rained every day! And me being the bossy/naughty kid I was, I ran off from Mum and Dad when we were in town. Needless to say I was on a very short leash for the rest of the trip!

Toronto Skyline Four Jandals

Travelling as a couple on our extended Round The World trip

B: Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where:

Cole – Tough call but having a cold Bintang in Jimbaran Bay, Bali, always springs to mind when thinking about tasty beers. I think it’s more about the setting rather than the beer!

Adela – Singa beer in Thailand. I agree with Cole its all about the setting. Drinking in an outdoor bar right on the beach is pretty damn good!

C: Cuisine (favorite):

Cole – Since it’s about travel it has to be France apart from when I ordered just a plate full of beans for Adela with my hopeless grasp of the French language. Otherwise BBQ’s in New Zealand win hands down.

Adela – Italian! I could eat pasta every day!

D: Destinations, favorite, least favorite and why:

Cole – Favourite to date would be Jasper National Park because of it’s beauty. Least favourite would be Marrakech after kissing a snake and getting the runs for 2 weeks.

Adela – Favourite; Munich is an awesome city. The buildings are beautiful, especially the glockenspiel. The feel of the place is awesome with beer gardens and awesome food markets. Least favourite; London is just too big for me!

E: Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow”:

Cole – Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt.

Pyramids of Giza in Cairo Egypt

Adela – Going to the “Edge of the World” in Jasper National Park.

F: Favorite mode of transportation:

Cole – Bicycling anywhere whether it is Mountain Biking in Scotland or cruising in Paris.

Adela – I definitely agree with Cole unless snowboarding counts?

G: Greatest feeling while traveling:

Cole – The freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want.

Adela – Seeing places that you have dreamed of and saved for months then turning those into memories that you will treasure forever.

Lake Annette Jasper National Park

Living the Dream

H: Hottest place you’ve traveled to:

Cole – Definitely not Scotland! But I would say Marrakech was fairly hot and we were only there in the off-peak season.

Adela – Probably Thailand. Lots of afternoon naps required.

I: Incredible service you’ve experienced and where:

Cole – Always staying with friends and family when we travel. It is so nice to have a “local” show you around an area and cook a nice home cooked meal when you are on the road. Beats 5 stars every time (but that’s because we never stay in 5 star places haha).

Adela – I am goingto be cheesy and say we had some damn good service in Canada but then their motive is getting a tip. So its not really genuine good service haha.

J: Journey that took the longest:

Cole – We had to rush back home to New Zealand from Scotland when a loved one was sick. Not only was it the longest trip in terms of time, 37 hours, but it was also hard not knowing if we would make it in time.

Adela – Journeys that feel the longest are the ones where you get delayed. If you do get delayed use a company like Flight Delay Claims 4 U as you will not be ready for the time you have to spend in the airport otherwise! On the way back from Egypt we sat on the runway in Amsterdam for an hour and didn’t take off before spending a further few hours in the airport. Not fun.

K: Keepsake from your travels:

Cole – Photographs and this travel blog are our only ones at the moment. I did use to collect nail clippers until they started restricting them on flights!

Adela – Badges that I sew on my backpack. Except my backpack broke so now I am just adding to the pile of badges under my bed.

L: Let-down sight, why and where:

Cole and Adela – The Mona Lisa. Its smaller than we pictured it and you have to fight your way to get a spot to actually see it. In fact the whole of the Louvre was pretty boring. Have been to wayyy better museums elsewhere.

The Louvre

The Louvre – Big time boring

M: Moment where you fell in love with travel:

Cole – I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love travel. It was always just one giant adventure as a kid and when solo travelling and now with a partner it is completely different again.

Adela – I used to browse through travel brochures as a kid. Probably a sign I was always addicted to travel.

N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in:

Cole – No places immediately jump out at me. I guess I am too much of a cheap-ass to afford a nice place.

Adela – Kata Beach Hotel in Thailand. Right on the beach, amazing pool and great value for money.

O: Obsession—what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?:

Cole – Landscapes. Nothing beats Mother Nature. I just hate that my pictures never look as good as the human eye but I am getting better.

Adela – Capturing the locals in their daily lives.

P: Passport stamps, how many and from where?:

Cole – Wow I had no idea how many Countries I have been to (with an overnight stay) until now! So make that 18 countries with at least another 2 to be added over the next couple of months.

Adela – No one will stamp my British passport as I am part of the EU which sucks!

Q: Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where:

Cole – Drumheller in Canada where they have the world’s largest T-Rex statue.

Adela – There is a bridge in Paris where people stick locks on to show there love for their partner. There are so many on there its crazy!

Drumheller Dinosaur Park T Rex

Drumheller Dinosaur Park in Alberta, Canada

R: Recommended sight, event or experience:

Cole – Oktoberfest was a highlight from last year although I cannot remember a fair chunk of it…

Adela – Snowboarding in the Canadian Rockies.

S: Splurge; something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling:

Cole – We are stingy when we travel and hate forking out for a cup of coffee to warm our freezing hands. But for the sake of a good night sleep we usually stay away from hostel dorms unless sharing with friends.

Adela – Fruit. Its really lame but I have to eat healthy even when I am away. Gotta keep up the 5 plus a day.

T: Touristy thing you’ve done:

Cole – Funny and stupid touristy photos wins whether it is in front of the Eiffel Tower or the Pyramids. We nearly even won free travel trip through our stupid photos!

Adela – I felt the most touristy on the tour in Egypt. On the bus, off the bus, on the bus, off the bus. But a tour is the best way to go as its safer and you know you are not getting scammed for your money as you have a local guide.

U: Unforgettable travel memory:

Cole – Every time we travel it is unforgettable. I love waking up in different countries.

Adela – Sailing around New York Harbour watching the sunset over an incredible skyline.

New York Harbour Sunset Statue of Liberty Cruise

V: Visas, how many and for where?:

Cole – My first visa was for 5 months to work at Mammoth Mountain, California for a winter in 2006. Then Jasper to work at Marmot Basin Ski Area and as a White Water Rafting Guide in Canada for a year in 2009/2010. Now we are living it up in Scotland and have been here for just over a year now. Looking to extend that before heading to Asia to teach English in the not to distant future.

Adela – Canada for a year but it was not long enough! Plus I am one of the lucky ones who has a british passport 🙂

W: Wine, best glass of wine while traveling and where?:

Cole and Adela – We are not really wino’s unless it is at a BYO somewhere and then it is always the cheapest from the local supermarket.

X: eXcellent view and from where?:

Cole and Adela – Sshhhh, it’s a secret spot in Jasper called “Edge of the World”.

Edge of the World in Jasper

Y: Years spent traveling?:

Cole – If we just take our current trip in to consideration then 2 and a half years so far. I would say we are about halfway at the moment!

Adela – 26? travel with mum and dad, with sport, with friends and now with Cole. Enjoyed every bit of it.

Z: Zealous sports fans and where?:

Cole – Kiwi’s are proud supporters anywhere the All Blacks play even though we act all staunch but we have nothing on Europeans and their fanatical watching of football.

Adela – I  realy like the tennis especially Nadal 🙂 Sorry Cole hahaha.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Neil

    March 1, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Love the T-Rex pic, but that last one of your secret spot in Jasper is unreal.

    Fun read guys, thanks.

    • Cole

      March 1, 2012 at 12:10 PM

      Cheers Neil! We love taking stupid photos haha

  2. Jessica

    January 28, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Love this, will have to do a post like this one day! ( If thats ok!)

    I just started a travel blog, and am very new to this all. Feel free to take a look at my blog- any feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!

    passionfortravels.blogspot.com

    • Cole Burmester

      January 29, 2013 at 8:31 AM

      Would love it if you did a post like this! This one was a series of posts that went around to lots of bloggers at the time so feel free to link to any posts 😀

      I love the simpleness of your blog! Would just recommend buying the full domain so you don’t have to use the blogspot one 🙂 Also check out the Facebook groups (if you haven’t already) called “Global Bloggers Network” and “The Business of Blogging”. Just request to join!

  3. Hannah @ Getting Stamped

    February 23, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    I love this! Super fun idea! We hope to make it to Octoberfest on our upcoming RTW trip! Also would love it if you could check out our blog and give us any suggestions for changes, how to get more followers, etc.

    Thanks again!

    • Cole Burmester

      February 23, 2013 at 9:11 AM

      Thanks for dropping by the blog! The key is to just keep writing for yourselves Hannah 🙂 The followers and everything else unfortunately just takes time to grow. There is definitely no set way to make it happen immediately!

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Adventure Travel

Five Steps for Stress-Free Travel

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Many people travel to get away from the stresses of daily life. Vacation is often associated with relaxation and a lack of worries. However, many travelers still find themselves stressing over little things while on the road. Fortunately, some efforts can be taken before a vacation to help reduce these worries. Here are five steps to take before traveling to help reduce stress while abroad.

Research Your Destination

Traveling to a foreign country can be a daunting experience. Foreign languages and other cultural barriers can make it difficult to function during the trip. Even though smartphones make it possible to overcome many of these obstacles within a few minutes, it is still critical to research destinations before visiting. Even the smallest bit of research can help to make the trip much smoother and stress-free. While there are endless topics that can be learned before traveling abroad, there are a few key pieces to keep in mind. All travelers should have a general idea about local transportation, cultural customs, and language before visiting a new location. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to have a sense of the general state of cybersecurity in that part of the world, in order to reduce the chances of a security breach of your laptop, smartphone, or tablet.

Purchase Renters Insurance

When traveling abroad for a trip, there is already enough to worry about on the road. In order to have a stress-free vacation, travelers need to take care of any potential problems at home. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by protecting a house or apartment with insurance. Although a robbery or natural disaster may occur during vacation, travelers can rest assured that insurance will cover the losses. Travelers can research renters insurance online to see what kind of options are available.

Organizing Travel Documents

Seeing vacation pictures on Instagram and watching the Travel Channel can lead many people with an idealistic picture of traveling. While travel is still an amazing experience, it requires a lot more red-tape and formalities than most people think. Many countries require foreign visitors to have visas before visiting. These visas can only be obtained upon request and after showing the appropriate documentation. Even when traveling in countries without visa requirements, it is important to carry some important documents. Some of these include a passport copy, flight details, hotel reservations and more.

Budget Beforehand

There is nothing worse than returning home after a vacation with less money than you had expected. This is often a result of poor, or a complete lack of, budgeting. Some travelers make the mistake of assuming that budgeting can take place on a daily basis. In reality, it is much more effective to budget before traveling to a destination. Tourists should calculate the total cost of a trip by adding up transportation, accommodation, food and activity expenses. This budgeting will help travelers save money in the long-run and can help remove any stress associated with potentially over-spending.

Buy a Local SIM Card

People rely heavily on their smartphones to get through daily life. With accurate information just a few taps away, there is no wonder that these devices have become some of the most popular gadgets in the 21st century. People run into a problem when traveling abroad as their phones don’t have data abroad. Ironically, traveling to a foreign country is one of the most crucial times to have a smartphone for maps and other helpful information. Instead of searching desperately for wifi, tourists should buy local SIM cards to activate their phones. This will make it much easier to find directions, translate foreign languages and calculate conversion rates.

Stress-free travel is something that needs to be prepared beforehand. These five steps can help to ensure that your next vacation is as worry-free and relaxing as can be.

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Adventure Travel

Seven Destinations You Should Visit With Your Spouse

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When you’re traveling as a couple, finding the perfect romantic destination is essential. What could be better than spending quality time together, just the two of you, in one of the most beautiful places in the world?

Here, we bring you 7 destinations that you absolutely must visit with your significant other. Whether you love relaxing on golden sand beaches, enjoy exploring amazing sights or discovering culture and heritage, there’s sure to be a destination here that appeals to you and your spouse.

1.New York City, USA

So good they named it twice, New York New York is one of the ultimate destinations for lovers. What could be more special than standing at the top of the Empire State Building together, admiring the panoramic views? Whether you’re fans of history, culture or theater, you’ll find something in the Big Apple for you. Take in  Broadway show, discover world-class museums and then take a romantic carriage ride around Central Park. If you’ve got time, there’s always the famous Katz Deli where you can recreate the iconic “I’ll Have What She’s Having” scene from When Harry Met Sally!

2.Paris, France

One of the most romantic cities in the entire world, Paris is an absolute must for lovers everywhere. Strolling hand in hand in Montmartre, kissing on top of the Eiffel Tower and looking into each other’s eyes over a meal in an intimate pavement café, what could be better than that? A dinner cruise on the Seine, watching the lights of the city twinkling on the water is the perfect way to end a perfect day in the City of Love.

3.Honolulu, Hawaii

If your idea of indulgent pleasure is lying on an endless golden sand beach and listening to the sound of the waves lapping on the shore, Honolulu is the place to go. Luxurious hotels and outstanding service paired with gorgeous surroundings and amazing weather – it all adds up to a fantastic couples’ break.

4.The Maldives

If you dream of having endless time with your loved one in an exotic destination unlike any other, The Maldives is the ideal vacation spot for you. Gorgeous beaches and clear water make for a wonderful spot, whether you love relaxation or water activities. If you and your spouse are keen divers, this is a destination beyond compare. There are many wonderful dive sites here where you can get up close to colorful marine life and explore the world under the sea. You can even make planning for your trip a romantic couples’ activity! Spend time together browsing online and get details from Scubalist.Pro of all the best diving items on the market.

5.Venice, Italy

After Paris, Venice must be one of the most romantic spots on the planet. With its unique canals and gorgeous buildings, Italy’s city of love presents a world of opportunities to spend quality time with your spouse. Ride in a gondola together as the sun sets, enjoy a romantic meal by the canal side, or explore stunning ancient buildings in an amazing setting. It’s a vacation you’ll never forget.

6.Santorini, Greece

Greece has it all – a wonderful climate, welcoming people, amazing food and gorgeous surroundings. Santorini is one of the most beautiful and unique Greek islands. With its iconic white and blue buildings and black volcanic sand, it is a truly stunning place to explore with your other half. You can dine on traditional cuisine at an authentic taverna, stroll through rustic villages and simply soak in the sunshine together.

7.Blue Lagoon, Iceland

A surprisingly popular destination with couples, Iceland offers something truly unique to partners who prefer to stay out of the sun. With its spectacular landscapes, beautiful natural attractions and welcoming locals, Iceland is a destination for lovers. Also, what could be more romantic than snuggling up together on a cold winter’s night? The Blue Lagoon’s stunning blue geothermal spa waters are the ideal way to spend time together in this one-of-a-kind destination.

These are just seven of the best destinations in the world for lovers to get closer together and enjoy themselves in their own special way. Whether you love sun, relaxation or activity, one of these seven spots is sure to give you the romance you’ve been searching for.

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Adventure Travel

5 Tips to Avoid Conflicts During a Big Vacation

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No matter, if you are with family or friends, traveling with a big vacation party almost always, seems to be nothing short of a grueling experience.

Whether you are going through some well-planned and scenic Uganda tours or a culturally rich expedition through Europe, if there are more than 4 people in your traveling party, then the possibility of arising conflicts would certainly be be present.

Most people, when assembled to spend extensive periods of time together, seem to run on high emotions. While that phenomenon is most apparent in reality TV shows, a vacation is not immune to its effects either.

That is why, whenever you plan a big vacation, keep the following tips in mind in order to get the most of your traveling experience while also making sure that your traveling party is not getting at each other’s nerves.

Discuss Itineraries Before Finalizing Them

Itineraries are a touchy subject. While traveling in groups, one of the biggest pet peeves often noticed by people is how a single person hijacks their whole vacation by presenting their own itineraries. On the other hand, if no one discusses itineraries, then it leaves room for all kinds of scheduling disasters to take place.

Therefore, the best approach here is to not just let a single person print out a set of schedule for everyone, but rather to discuss the itinerary with the whole group. Take suggestions and incorporate them wherever you could, and ensure that everyone is agreed on the final itinerary.

Leave Room for Disaster Management

While fixing those itineraries, you will also need to make sure that while your schedule makes the most out of your vacation, it does have wiggle room for times when your car breaks down or when one of your travel companions has a wardrobe emergency.

By ensuring that you have a great schedule as a guideline but which has flexibility for disaster management, you can make sure to maintain the stress levels of your travel party accordingly.

Ensure That You Have Activities Planned for Downtime

Even during great vacations, there may come a time when you would find yourself stuck in your hotel room due to a last minute cancellation of your plans for any unforeseen reason.

For those times of collective confinement, ensure that you have a few indoor activities planned with your travel party. If possible, pack a deck of cards to play some poker or ensure that you have electronic group entertainment with you.

By making sure that you keep your travel group busy even during times when you are not out exploring, you can keep emotions from running high by someone delving into overthinking someone else’s behavior on the trip, which could lead to some interesting but quite unfortunate arguments.

Make Sure That You Have Some Gastronomic Pleasures Planned

During travels, one of the things that could irk people the most is them missing wholesome meals back home. This is a major stress factor that many travelers often ignore until it affects their mood to the level where it leads to testy behavior for no apparent reason.

Thus, ensure that wherever you are traveling, you are aware of the food customs of your destination. You may ask locals about where you could get a good bite to eat, while also packing some healthy travel snacks so that no one in your party goes hungry.

Ensure to At Least Listen to Other’s Suggestions, No Matter If They Are Last Minute

One of the best things that you could do while traveling in a group is to make sure that everyone feels included. Instead of pushing opinions down other’s throats, ensure that everyone in the group is open for discussion and last minute ideas from everyone else.

While not all ideas are great and some may need to be turned down, this will make sure that none of your group members feel like they are on someone else’s vacation. You can also introduce a casual voting system of your own where all of you could vote on certain suggestions so that the majority wins on a travel option fair and square.

Ensure to Stick Together In Order to Avoid Disasters

Vacation disasters are quite common. While they make for interesting stories a few years after, going through those experiences could be quite daunting.

Remember, looking out for each other goes a long way especially when you are traveling. Keep that in mind the next time you are about to snap at your travel companion (and tell your companions the same thing, but in a nice tone, you know, to avoid conflict).

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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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