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Guest Post: Photo Essay from Chris at the Grim Lab

Chris from Grim Lab Photography is a great photographer who captures stunning action, landscapes and portraits shots.



Thailand Grim Lab

I first met Chris Moran from the Grim Lab when I did a ski season at  Mammoth Mountain in California a few years ago. His photographs have always inspired me and when he took off on a round the world adventure travel trip I knew he would take some amazing photos.

Below are just a handful of those photos from that trip. Enjoy!

Mammoth Snowboarding Grim Lab

Chris started his adventure travels from his base in Mammoth by finishing up the spring snowboarding season in style.

New Zealand Snowboarding Grim Lab

And landed in our home country of New Zealand just in time for the start of our winter ski season.

New Zealand Grim Lab

The South Island of New Zealand is home to some of the best scenery in the world. Mountains plummet from the sky to the lakes in the valleys below.

Tahiti Jandals Grim Lab

Jandals (flip flops) on the beach in Tahiti.

Tahiti Grim Lab

Sunset from the dock in Tahiti.

Thailand Grim Lab

Traditional boats, beaches and backdrops in Ko Phi Phi in stunning Thailand.

Indonesia Sunset Grim Lab

The sunsets on another day in paradise as surfers catch the last rays of sunshine in Indonesia.

India The Grim Lab

From the peaceful beaches of Southeast Asia to the madness that is India.

India The Grim Lab

India gives photographers so many opportunities to catch people in their day to day lives.

New York City Grim Lab

After a whirlwind trip around some of the most diverse and beautiful places in the world there is sometimes nothing better than seeing your home city (New York) skyline lit up.

Chris is still living the dream photographing various pro snowboarders, skaters and fashion models around California. Make sure you go check out his photography site The Grim Lab. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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  1. The Travel Fool

    March 19, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Those are great photos I like the one in New Zealand the best.

  2. Andrea

    March 19, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Wow – these are awesome shots! You went to some amazing destinations.

  3. Ali

    March 19, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    Those are amazing photos! I especially like the sunsets, but I’m a sucker for sunset 🙂

  4. Jarmo @ Arctic Nomad

    March 19, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    Stunning photos. I especially enjoy the snowboard ones as I am in the alps right now in Val Thorens, unfortunately doing just skiing as the snow hasn’t been quite right for boarding.

  5. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    March 20, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    That second photo of the snowboarder catching air (is that the phrase all the cool kids are using?) is really awesome. I tried snowboarding once and almost died (on the bunny hill, no less), but Kali’s younger brother is really into it.

  6. Laura

    March 20, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Wow! Another collection of breathtaking shots.

  7. Francy R

    March 21, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Really stunning pictures!! In particular I love that of the sunset in Indonesia! So cute!

  8. Laurence

    March 21, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    I think I like the Jandals on the beach shot the best 😀

  9. Wanderplex

    March 21, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    Incredible shots 🙂 I actually really like the photo of the barber shop – love seeing “insights” into regular daily life in other places.

  10. dtravelsround

    March 23, 2012 at 3:43 AM


  11. Andrew

    March 28, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    I love pictures that play with perspective, especially really low angle stuff like the flip flops. Added bonus the depth of field effects. Love it.

  12. Turtle

    April 11, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    Awesome shots. My fave is the flip flops/jandals/thongs/things for your feet.

  13. cheryl

    April 20, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    Beautiful collection of photos! Best way to remember your past travels. Quite like the sunset photo.

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Take a Luxury Trip to the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds are absolutely breathtaking at any time of year, and are a cornerstone of English culture – have you booked your trip yet?



Go on a relaxing holiday in the English countryside with a luxury trip to the Cotswolds. Staying in one of the luxury cottages Cotswolds-side will make for the perfect escape from the day to day routine. You can enjoy first class accommodation while touring the historical honey stone villages and breathtaking countryside of the Cotswolds.

The Orchard, Upper Oddington

The Orchard is located down the street from the Horse and Groom in Upper Oddington, a charming village with classic Cotswold honey stone homes. This large cottage has plenty of space for a group and boasts six bedrooms, a living room, and a patio in the outside, private garden. The newly refurbished property still manages to provide a welcoming space for children. The kitchen has an area where kids can play while preparing. Local restaurants like The Porch House and The Old Butcher’s in Stow or the gastropubs in Kingham make great options for eating out.

Bruern Holiday Cottages

The Bruern Cottages offer the comfort of a hotel mixed with the privacy of home. These luxury cottages Cotswolds houses make for charming holiday homes create the perfect country lifestyle with surrounding gardens and the finest facilities. The Bruern has 12 luxury cottages Cotswolds welcoming guests for a single night up to eight weeks. Guests enjoy self-catering service meaning they do not need to provide for themselves when they first arrive. The cottages stock the kitchen with food like milk, butter, eggs, and sausages plus a luxury welcome basket with champagne, artisan cheeses, and homemade cakes. Guests have full access to first-class amenities like a pool, spa, and gym as well as activities for children.

Notgrove Holiday Cottages

Stay in a home surrounded by rolling fields at the Notgrove Holiday cottages. These luxury cottages Cotswolds have expansive views of the countryside that you can enjoy while staying in one of four chic rental properties. Groups can rent all four, which sleeps a maximum of 32 people making it great choice for large families vacationing together. The stylish cottages have been converted into homes from former barns giving it a modern, rustic feel. The adjacent field has animals like goats, donkeys, and alpacas grazing adding to the appeal of the area.

Bridge House, Lower Mill Estate

Sitting in a 450-acre nature reserve about six miles south of Cirencester, the Bridge House has a great location for activities. Guests can enjoy the nature reserve by going on walks or participating in watersports. The grounds themselves have tennis courts and a heated swimming pool. You can take in the scenic atmosphere sitting outside on the wrap-around deck or warm yourself by the woodburner in the large sitting area. The house also comes with board games, a barbeque, and a kayak.

Cleevely Cottages

Looking out over farmland, the Cleevely Cottages are 16th century stone properties in the hamlet of Holwell. The three-storey luxury cottages Cotswolds have two bedrooms and sleep four along with an extra sofa bed. The kitchen comes with cooking equipment, and the sitting room has a wood-burner. Nearby, guests can visit the Cotswold Wildlife Park, Cotswold Water Park, and the inns and cafes of Burford.

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Top Outdoor Survival Skills you need to stay Safe when Traveling



Traveling is great, but you need to stay safe while doing it. Make sure you have what it takes for that by learning some top survival skills.

What to pack for the Camino de Santiago?

Organize your backpack

This doesn’t seem like much but it’s vital for preventing accidents. Place the bigger, heavier items at the bottom of the backpack, so they don’t destabilize you when you’re walking. Otherwise, you can end up with various pains and strains, or even fall down.

The things you need fast, like a pepper spray, water or a multi-tool should be kept handy.

Improvise a shelter

Find a bigger log and support it on a rock or on a bigger tree, then cover it with a tarp/ rain jacket. Make sure there’s plenty of room underneath for you.

Use a knife to cut some branches and brush for covering your improvised tent. You’ll probably need a pocket knife sharpener too, considering how many branches you need cut.

Improvise a sleeping bag with some branches and dried leaves, over which you can throw a blanket. Make sure your shelter isn’t in a valley or downhill, in case it rains. Instead, look for natural protection from a cliff wall that would guard you against the elements.

Don’t take cover in caves, there might be wild animals inside. Also, get rid of all the insects hiding under your shelter. Packing a tent and sleeping bag would be the ideal choice, though.

Stay hydrated

Bring a water purifier wherever you go. There are different kinds, some that use tablets and some that look like straws. Either way, these are great if you don’t have a potable water source nearby.

You can also collect rain water or heavy morning dew. Plants can provide a good source of water too. Tie a bag around a bigger bush or around a bigger branch filled with green leaves. The leaves will “sweat” right inside your bag.

Find food

It’s better to have some power bars or cans wherever you go. But if you don’t, you can always improvise a fishing pole out of a long, flexible stick and some rope. Or you can set another trap for critters, but that would take some time if you don’t have hunting skills.

It’s better to eat bugs and insects, like termites or larvae. These are rich in calories in protein. Just stay away from flying insects, colorful ones or obviously poisonous ones. Don’t try to eat spiders, bees or mosquitoes.

Avoid eating plants and mushrooms, if you don’t know exactly which one is good. But if you see an animal gnawing a certain plant, it could be comestible.

Make a fire

If you don’t have waterproof matches, you need to use friction, with a couple of dry sticks or by rubbing some batteries on a piece of steel wool. You can also use your eyeglasses above your kindling if the sun is shining bright.

After you’ve produced the spark, transfer it on your tinder nest and keep adding branches, from small to big.

Other things you need

With that said, you should always take a few survival tools with you, like the ones we mentioned here. A satellite phone, a map, and a compass would also help you, even if you have a GPS. And never forget your First Aid Kit at home.

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The Beauty of the North: What to do and See in Northern European Countries



Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, but the beauty of the North is plain for everyone to see. If you’re planning a cruise in the Northern European Countries, we’ll tell you all about activities you can enjoy and things you can’t miss.

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland


If you want to enjoy a nice sauna in the great outdoors, there are countless resorts here that offer tourists the possibility of relaxing in a hot sauna in the middle of a snowy setting.

Visit the coastal city of Helsinki, renowned for its night clubs and architecturally-rich buildings. It’s also a cultural paradise, so you can go sightseeing. If you’re more adventurous, Lapland offers you dog-sledding, visits to Santa Claus Village or the Aurora Borealis.

Scotland and Northern England

These countries have a fairy tale charm and a spiritual background. The different civilizations that populated these territories left their mark, with prehistoric sites, museums, and castles.

Stonehenge is one monument you can’t miss, but there are other museums and archaeological sites. You can hike in a mountain landscape, walk the endless green forests, or photograph the wildlife. Bird watching is another popular activity here, so browse Optic Gear Lab for the best equipment.


An interesting country from a geological standpoint, Iceland is a country of extremes. Its ancient volcanoes, lava landscape, and hot springs stand beside a glacial landscape, with glaciers and snowy peaks. The villages on the seashore are picturesque, and their inhabitants friendly.

Nature photography, hiking and walking on the seaside are the main activities here. There are also plenty of bars, pubs, and clubs to enjoy a bubbling nightlife, particularly in Reykjavik. And if you want to know more about the Viking history, the Viking museums will satisfy your curiosity.


Norway offers a varied landscape too. Take the Geirangerfjord region as an example of outstanding scenery. But there are plenty of mountains to hike here with breathtaking vistas.

Hiking in the National Parks of Norway will take you through an impressive range of glacial landscape, including lakes, rapid flowing rivers with waterfalls and stupendous glaciers. You can even see Santa’s raindeers rummaging through these forests.

And since a big part of Norway lies in the Arctic Circle, you can watch the Midnight Sun or the Northern Lights that fill the sky with spectacular colors. Or if kayaking and whale-watching are on your bucket list, you can do that in the Lofoten Islands.


A rich culture obvious with every one of its museums, Sweden is also a modern country. It’s rich in architecture, and the Stockholm City Hall can prove that. You can also walk the gardens of its palaces and royal castles, or its middle-age old cathedrals.

Its Arctic Circle National Park is another must-see. You can admire the Aurora Borealis here too, or go hiking.

Where will you go?

Regardless of your chosen destinations, the Northern European Countries have it all: rich history, awe-inspiring vistas, and great nightlife. So where will you go? Leave us a comment below.


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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...