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From Four Jandals to Two Jandals

It sucks to be breaking up while travelling, but sometimes it is a necessity. Find out why we are going from Four Jandals to Two Jandals.



Romance in San Sebastian Cole and Adela

Usually we don’t write too many personal posts as we know you like to to read about our adventure travels, rather than our lives. But we thought it only fair to give you a bit of an update on what is happening in the lives of Four Jandals. Because if you have been reading our adventure travel blog for the last 4 – 5 months, you have probably been very, very confused about what is going on.

Obviously things haven’t been smooth sailing for us.

In December, we were meant to head off to France together and work for the winter near La Rosiere ski resort. This idea fell apart when Adela realised she didn’t want to leave Edinburgh just yet. She was afraid to travel. I was left stranded in France so made the decision to return to Scotland as well in January.

Most romantic places in the world

This was where we were meant to spend the winter

In March, I made the decision to do a little soul searching by walking the Camino de Santiago. And while I injured myself prematurely and had to stop, it did help clear my mind and change my perspective on a few things.

I realised that I have been stuck in a rut.

I call myself a traveller and an adventurer, yet I was stuck in Edinburgh and not being able to pursue my passions. I love Edinburgh, but the Scottish weather and lifestyle go against the grain of how I like to live my life. I need to be near the sea with warm weather and adventures galore on my doorstep.

So I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life.

After 5 and a half years, Adela and I are going on a break. And at the moment we don’t know if it will become permanent or not. We will keep our international bank accounts, visas and various other bits and pieces that you acquire when travelling as a couple. But we just won’t be together for at least 3 months. We will also keep in touch and hope to rekindle something in the future.

This change was necessary for both of us.

Adventure Travel Blog, Cole and Adela Photos

Breaking up while travelling…

It is strange because only a few months ago I wrote our most popular post ever about “Why every couple should travel before marriage“. But as in all things travel related, changes are inevitable.

We have just spent a wonderful week together exploring Iceland and now we are parting ways. She is going back to Edinburgh and I am off to Africa. For 75 days I will join an overland tour from Nairobi to Cape Town with Oasis Overland.

I am in two minds at the moment. On one hand I am devastated that I have had to walk away from such an amazing girl. But I am also excited that I am heading off on a new adventure and that I have the chance to explore a completely new part of the world.

I will outline my full trip in an upcoming post, but it is fair to say that the next 2 months will be jam-packed full of adventures. Including, learning to kite-surf in Kenya, hiking to see Gorillas, safaris, camping, white water rafting, bungee jumping, shark cage diving and much, much more.

So what is next for Four Jandals?

Well, in regards to our blog and what you read on here, not a lot will change to be honest. For the last 6 months I have been doing 95% of the writing, social media updates and photography. So the content, adventures and stories won’t change.

But there is likely to be a small decline in talking about couples travel tips and other couples adventures until we figure out exactly what is happening.

So for now, thanks as always for reading our blog and all that I ask from you is that you wish us both good luck on our next personal travel adventures, and I hope you continue to read along with me as I explore Africa!

Reader Questions: Have you ever broken up while travelling? Or right before a travel adventure? How did you handle it?

Continue Reading


  1. Beverley | Pack Your Passport

    April 18, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    I know this won’t make what you’re going through any easier. No-one can know exactly what you’re going through. But I was in a similar situation last year and am still trying to move on. My person I was with for 6 years, with whom I lived with an home in England, who I travelled and lived in Australia with for 2 years, broke up with me 2 months after arriving in New Zealand. We’re both still in Auckland. I wrote a post about it ( and since then I’ve taken trips in New Zealand with my new friends which have gone some way to helping with healing myself but it is still hard. I’m so glad you’ve got some travel to look forward to, you’re heading in the right direction. I hope it all works out for you whatever happens in the future.


    • Cole Burmester

      April 20, 2013 at 1:06 AM

      That sucks to hear Beverley but at least you have found a fantastic support network of friends in Auckland! Good luck and thanks for sharing your story too 🙂

      Hopefully catch up when I return to NZ at the end of the year!

  2. Charli l Wanderlusters

    April 18, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    My heart reaches out to you both.

    Ben and I have been together for eight years, traveling for the last four and nomadic for the last two. While travel brings you closer to your travel buddy by allowing you to share in a wealth of ‘once in a lifetime’ experiences it can also put a strain on your relationship. It can provide a catalyst for change in one or both parties and while change can bring new life and new growth, it can also cause you to grow apart.

    I hope that whatever the outcome this is just another memory from a life filled with happiness and adventure for both you and Andrea.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 22, 2013 at 1:44 PM

      Thanks Charli 🙂 It was a shame that we had to make the decision but because my visa was up and Adela wasn’t quite ready to leave we had to do something.
      This seemed the best option and at least we are still talking!

  3. brandy bell

    April 18, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Aw, Cole – bummer to hear this- however thank you for knowing when to pump the brakes on secrecy and let the audience know what is up.

    The fact you guys were awesome enough to keep your mushy gushy lovey dovey mostly offsite means we probably won’t feel too much of a change.

    However, this post goes to doubly reinforce the “why every couple should travel before marriage”! How much more wonderful that you work out compatibility issues beforehand 🙂

    So incredibly jealous of your overland Africa — all eyes on you!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 22, 2013 at 1:45 PM

      Cheers Brandy 🙂 We were never big on the Blog-Displays of Affection but we also want to be as honest as we can.
      Figuring out what we both want by being apart may just help us out in the long run anyway.

  4. Sebastian @

    April 18, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    I’m so sorry to hear this… I hope you figure out what is best for each of you. Until then I wish you both all the best; for Adela in Scotland and for you on your adventures in Africa!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 22, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      Thanks Sebastian. I am sure we will figure something out but for now my time was up in the UK and Adela just wasn’t quite ready. Will see what the future brings but Africa is definitely a welcome distraction!

  5. Lyndsay

    April 18, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    I did. It ended so bad since he was my first bf at 26. Yes, I was too old when I had my first bf, but anyway… He was the brain behind backpacking and blogging. All these skills I learned from him, so it was really really bad for me. Yet, there was a time that I have to get out of my room and stop crying and for some reason I don’t know, I couldn’t stay put back at my mom’s house. In short, I became a solo traveler, it was fun and got me writing the post:

    more than 3 years later, i still travel alone even if i have a new bf… the road will help you both to feel better, always for a better reason too.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 22, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      It honestly terrified me about setting off along after travelling together for nearly 4 years! But solo travel is also great because it is pushing me out of my comfort zone and forcing me to make more of an effort. Still get lonely during downtime but I also embrace it now too 🙂
      Thanks for sharing Lyndsay!

      • Lyndsay

        February 27, 2015 at 9:17 PM

        You’ll enjoy it more than you think you will, no worries! What else would happen after it gets worse? It’s going to get better! 🙂

  6. Adam @ SitDownDisco

    April 18, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    It happens. Very similar sort of thing happened in a previous relationship of mine and at the time it’s hard. But in the fullness of time, things become good again – just in a different way.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 22, 2013 at 1:51 PM

      Thanks Adam. Being out and about while solo travelling is definitely helping me heal so will be great to see where it leads me.

  7. Bret@ Green Global Travel

    April 18, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Wow, Cole, so sad to read this. It’s very tough to travel as a couple when both people aren’t on the same page. Hoping the time apart will give you guys meaningful perspective on why you got together in the first place, and perhaps shine a light on ways to make things work going forward. You’ll be in our thoughts…

    • Cole Burmester

      April 22, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      A few different things just transpired against us and led to this but at least we are still talking to one another 🙂 Thanks for your kind words Bret!

  8. Steph

    April 18, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Wow that’s rough Cole! Sounds like you guys are being very mature about things at least though. I’ve never broken up WHILE traveling but I’ve broken up before travel, and I think that distance is a super handy helper in figuring out what you want, so I hope you get that experience in Africa. It sounds like you’ll be busy at least!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 22, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      The next 3 months are going to be pretty full on! So definitely a nice distraction 🙂 It is just a pity that my visa expired for the UK and Adela wasn’t quite ready to leave yet. But I am sure we will keep talking and who knows what will happen!

  9. InACents

    April 18, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    Sorry to hear about your change, and hopefully it brings you both happiness!

  10. Talon

    April 18, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    I’m sure that was a very touch decision to make and a tough post to write. Definitely wish you both the best in your individual endeavors and for the future.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 20, 2013 at 12:43 AM

      The post actually felt easy to write as I just let the words roll onto the screen. Tough reading it back though and even more so making the decision in the first place. Thanks for the support Talon.

  11. Nicole @ Suitcase Stories

    April 18, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    Im sorry to hear about all this Cole. Its tough to go through something like this, especially in the ‘public eye’. Ive always enjoyed your stories and no doubt will continue to do so! Im really looking forward to hearing about Africa because we are tossing up whether to schedule it in for next year!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 20, 2013 at 12:49 AM

      While I haven’t started my Africa tour, I did land today in Nairobi and I say BOOK IT! Can’t wait to explore the rest of this amazing region over the next 3 months 😀

      And thanks for your support and comment Nicole.

  12. Melody

    April 18, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    Ah man, we are going through this as well. We were supposed to head to Africa after Asia, and be on the road for at least a year. But after a month in Thailand, and having a pretty, well, not very fun time, decided that we either have to go on a break for who knows how long or somethings got to drastically change. It’s been insanely hard. I normally always travel alone and I LOVE it, and I think I started to resent him and the situation when our adventure was beginning to be compromised. Lesson learned!

    That’s awesome you’re doing the overland tour in Africa, I’m pretty envious! But my time will come soon … 🙂 Take care, and I look forward to reading about your African adventure!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 20, 2013 at 12:40 AM

      Sucks to hear that you are going through the same thing Melody! I hope you guys work it out, whether that is time apart or find a way to compromise how to travel together. It is a tough call to make and one that we left for a loooonnnggg time. Good luck and safe travels!

  13. Nellie

    April 18, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    Sorry to hear about it! You guys make such a cute couple. I wish you guys well and hope that the time apart will make you closer. Enjoy Africa – I absolutely love overlanding there!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 20, 2013 at 12:36 AM

      Thank you Nellie 🙂 And one of the reasons I chose Africa was because of your guys posts and photos!

  14. JR Riel

    April 18, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Heartrendingly honest. I can’t even imagine what it must have taken to write and publish that one. Good on you for having the strength to let us all know what has been really going, and I hope the best for both of you in the future. We’re all with you guys. 😉

    • Cole Burmester

      April 20, 2013 at 12:34 AM

      Was just one of those posts that just flowed out and then I decided not to even edit it. Thanks for your comment and kind words JR 🙂

  15. Laurence

    April 18, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    Sounds like you needed the break, permanent or not. And often these things can be the catalyst for great things 🙂 Africa is going to be incredible, keep rocking it!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 20, 2013 at 12:33 AM

      It was definitely make or break time but this space was needed for both of us. Can’t wait to get some photos up of Africa in the next week or so once I start exploring!

  16. Ash Clark

    April 18, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    Sorry to hear about this guys, but sounds like you guys are using your heads and following what really makes you happy.
    Thanks for sharing and cant wait to hear about the adventures in Africa!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 20, 2013 at 12:32 AM

      Can’t wait to share my African adventures here too. And thanks for your nice words Ash 🙂

  17. Peter Parkorr

    April 18, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Sorry to hear the news Cole (and Adela). As you ask, wish you both the best while things are still unsure, and hope to catch you somewhere soon mate. Will be reading about AFRICAAAA with interest! 🙂 PP

    • Cole Burmester

      April 20, 2013 at 12:31 AM

      Cheers mate. After Africa I will be headed to SE Asia and then back home to NZ for a bit so I am sure I will see you down-under when you make it there. Consider me a personal tour guide!

  18. Ali

    April 18, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    So sorry to hear about this Cole! It really sucks when you want different things in a relationship and things go different ways. I hope your time apart will give you both the distance you need to figure things out, no matter what the answer ends up being. Enjoy Africa, sounds like a great place to do some soul searching.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 20, 2013 at 12:30 AM

      Africa is definitely going to keep me occupied for the next 3 months! Not sure what will happen after that but at least I have time to figure it out 🙂

  19. Larissa

    April 18, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    It’s very difficult to go through something like this, especially when you’ve been in each other’s back pockets for so long. You’re both wise to acknowledge these feelings, however. If you are meant to be together long term it will happen. Regardless, I wish you the best in sorting things out. . . . and the beauty and wide open spaces of Africa will be a balm to your tortured soul.

    PS. Maybe you should find some Afghan biscuits to make you feel better 😉

    • Cole Burmester

      April 20, 2013 at 12:28 AM

      Would love some Kiwi home baking at the moment to cheer me up!

      I think we have finally been honest with each other after a couple of months of trying to hide what was going on. Feels like a lot of pressure has been eased. Thanks Larissa.

  20. bronwen

    April 18, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Love you both. x

  21. Jane

    April 18, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    Sorry to hear about this Cole. I hope that whatever happens in the long run that you both end up happy, whether that’s staying together or going in separate paths.

    This travel blog has always been a quality online publication and I have no doubt that this will continue whether or not you are writing about travel as a couple or writing about travelling solo, so please don’t worry too much about the slight change in content! Whatever angle you take with the content I know that this site will still offer useful and insightful content to other travellers. If anything breakups (be they temporary or permanent) are often part of travel as a couple so if anything the fact that you are being so honest about what you’re going through right now I’m sure will be helpful to other couples going through something similar. I look forward to hearing about your travels in Africa and hope that you get the time you need to make whatever the best decision is for you in the future.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 20, 2013 at 12:22 AM

      Thanks so much for your comment Jane! I am sure a lot of other couples will find a post like this useful but it is still hard to write and read. I am sure once we have both had some space then we will see what happens. There will be plenty of lessons learnt posts anyway!

  22. The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen)

    April 18, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    Sorry to hear this, for both of you. Sometimes breaks can be just what people need, so don’t lose hope! It’s hard to feel like you’re going in two different directions, one wanting to travel, the other wanting to be more settled. That must be rough. I do hope it works out for you guys, though, even if it means you have to give up (or scale back on) traveling.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 20, 2013 at 12:20 AM

      Much appreciated for your comment Ellen 🙂 I think this time apart will do us wonders, but if not then we will work out that too!

  23. Steve Keenan

    April 19, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    Hi Cole and Adela – very sorry to hear this. It is very tough to constantly travel in each other’s pocket, particularly when one wants to settle for a bit and the other wants to keep on. Hope the break is healing and that you both work it out when you’re ready. Best wishes

    • Cole Burmester

      April 20, 2013 at 12:19 AM

      Thank you Steve. Means a lot to hear from you and I am sure the time apart will do us both good.

  24. Jeannie

    April 19, 2013 at 12:59 AM

    Aw, I’m so sorry to hear this, but as others said, maybe the break will do you both good to get perspective. We never did meet in Pamplona last year, so hopefully we meet up somewhere.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 20, 2013 at 12:18 AM

      Will be travelling through SE Asia after Africa so hopefully catch up there. And thanks for the kind words 🙂

  25. Arti

    April 19, 2013 at 3:55 AM

    Aww… That must have been so difficult for you both. But I hope that you two meet again at the end of the forked road and travel again together. My best wishes with you both 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      April 20, 2013 at 12:17 AM

      Much appreciated Arti. It is tough being far away from our families for support but also good to have the time apart I think. Will see what the future brings!

  26. A Cook Not Mad (Nat)

    April 19, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Good luck to you and Adela, I hope you both find what you’re looking for.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 20, 2013 at 12:16 AM

      Cheers Nat. I am sure with a bit of space we will be able to sort something out.

  27. Helen

    April 19, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    This sounds really sad, I’m pretty gutted for you both and wish you both good luck in the future.

  28. flip

    April 19, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Hi Cole,

    Sorry to hear about this Cole. Hope it gets sorted out in the future. Goodluck and safe travels in Africa!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 20, 2013 at 12:14 AM

      Thanks Flip. Africa will be an amazing distraction!

  29. Lance

    April 20, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    So sorry to hear you are struggling. We’re pulling for you guys! We agree that its important to travel together before marriage. Good luck!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 21, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      Thank you Lance. Will see what the future brings 🙂

  30. Adventurous Kate

    April 20, 2013 at 4:03 AM

    Very sorry to hear this. No matter what happens, you’ve had a wonderful run and you’ve inspired lots of people to add more adventure to their lives in the process.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 21, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      Thanks Kate 🙂 One of the reasons I decided to write the post is because I have seen how open you are on your blog. Cheers.

  31. Matt

    April 20, 2013 at 4:25 AM

    Very sorry to hear about this…..hopefully all you guys need is a break and to follow your own paths for a bit. Have a blast in Africa though!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 21, 2013 at 10:48 AM

      Africa is already awesome and I have only been here 2 nights! Thanks for the kind words too Matt.

  32. Rachel

    April 20, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    I’m really sorry to hear about your break Cole. Travelling with your partner can lead each person in different directions. I wish you and Adela the best and hope your time in Africa is exactly what you need.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 21, 2013 at 10:48 AM

      At least we are still mutually talking and hope that this little time apart will lead to something bigger again. Thanks Rachel 🙂

  33. James

    April 21, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    Really sorry to hear this I have been following your blog for a while. A break is a good time to reassess what you want from life. My last girlfriend and I recently split for pretty much the same reason. She wanted to stay in Boston and I wasn’t ready to stay in one place.

    In the end though the split was the best decision for both of us. It allowed us to part as friends and leave the option of us being together in the future open.

    I also think it is a healthy mature way to move forward with your life. As if you change yourself too much for someone you stop being you. You lose that part of yourself that they were attracted to in the first place.

    Anyway sort of rambling now. I hope you are feeling ok about everything and handling it ok (it gets easier)I am looking forward to reading about Africa I have wanted to go back for a while now. Thinking about climbing Kilimanjaro.


    • Cole Burmester

      April 22, 2013 at 1:42 PM

      Thanks James for the comment. Nice to hear from others that we are making the right decision. I couldn’t stay any longer in the UK due to my visa expiring and she just wasn’t ready to leave so kind of had to happen. Will be for the better in the long run though I think!

  34. Jo

    April 22, 2013 at 6:58 AM

    Sorry to hear this Cole, sending some N Z love your way. And geez I really put my foot in it,on that FB comment about Camino which you may remember.

    I hope you both get what you desire in life.

    In the meantime – Go Africa! I’m jealous

    • Cole Burmester

      April 22, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      Thanks Jo it’s much appreciated 🙂 The time apart will help us both clear our heads so that we can hopefully rekindle something.

  35. Lucy

    April 23, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    So sorry to hear this and sending both you and Adela all my best wishes. Differing priorities can upset the strongest relationships and it sounds like you are doing just the right thing by focusing on yourselves for a while. Hope it all works out for you both in the end and looking forward to reading about your African travels.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 23, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      Thank you Lucy 🙂 We definitely agree that the time apart is a good thing, but damn it is hard after 5 years. Especially when travelling in remote places. But it is great to be put outside my comfort zones!

  36. Matthew Hirtes

    April 23, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Sorry to hear about four becoming two, Cole. Hoping it’s not a permanent break. And if it turns out to be, that’s it for the best.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 23, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      Thanks Matt. Hoping it won’t be permanent either but it is just something we will have to figure out over the next few months. Never know what can happen when travelling!

  37. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas

    April 23, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    I’m stuck in a similar situation as of last night, and it’s hard knowing that over five years for me, too, could be coming to an end. I wish the best for both of you and hope you find your way back to one another if it’s meant to be!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 23, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      That sucks to hear Cat and really hope you figure out what is best for you! Good luck and I hope it works out 🙂

  38. Dani Blanchette

    April 23, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Im sorry to hear this, and I totally understand where you are coming from. Im stuck in Medellin at the moment, and even though i was so excited to come back, now that i’m here I feel like i’m expected to just be content living here and not traveling around…and it’s driving me insane!

    Im actually extremely happy to be getting out of Colombia in June for TBEX, then I head back to Vegas for a bit, and decide what to do next. I love my boyfriend to death, but I feel if I stay here (and living with his grandparents) too much longer, we will break up because I will go postal.

    I totally understand the need to travel. I hope you two can work things out, but if not, it is better to find out and be amicable and remain friends.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 23, 2013 at 6:48 PM

      It was both a feeling that I needed to get out of Edinburgh as it was dragging me down, but also the fact that my visa was up and I had to leave anyway. It is just a shame that Adela wasn’t ready yet to leave and we have had to part ways.
      I hope you manage to sort out your issues Dani and find some middle ground! The best thing to do is be honest with yourself, then each other 🙂

  39. T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries

    April 23, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    I went through a similar situation, and I feel your pain. The person I moved to Bulgaria with was my companion for almost 9 years, and after more than two years of living there she ended up finding someone else and moving on, which put me into the solo traveler category.

    With that being said, the months afterwards were difficult, but I can also say that I eventually moved through it, made my way to Mexico, and have since met an amazing individual with whom I am now working with (Cris) and building my business with. We’ve been together for 2.5 years now, yet before I met her I swore I would never get over the “big love” of my 20s, the person I was with for almost 9 years.

    That being said…taking a break might be a good thing. Not all separations are permanent, and sometimes the two people just need a moment of self exploration. I am hoping all the best for the two of you, and I honesty hope that you end up back together and not apart, because traveling and exploring the world is much more enjoyable when you have someone to share it with, rather than alone.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 23, 2013 at 6:50 PM

      Thanks Tim so much for your support and comment. While it sucks that you went through a similar situation, it is nice hearing how you overcame that and have moved on to bigger and better things because of it!
      And definitely agree that all things are better when done together, just doesn’t always work out that way.

  40. Barbara

    April 24, 2013 at 4:21 AM

    You never know what will happen in the next three months. I know couples who are apart but still “together”. In November last year I met an Australian lady who lives in Siem Reap and is happily married, even though her husband lives in Melbourne. They see each other twice a year.

    Just as there are many ways to travel, there are many ways to be a couple. Don’t let geography tear you apart, if that’s the only problem.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 24, 2013 at 5:55 AM

      There were a couple of things that came to a head and meant we had to separate but we are still talking and hopefully will work things out 🙂 Thanks for your comment Barbara.

  41. Matthew Karsten

    April 25, 2013 at 3:23 AM

    Only two jandals!? Sorry to hear it buddy. I broke up with my girlfriend a few months after starting my trip, initially thinking that we could make a long-distance relationship work. It didn’t. While it was very difficult initially, overall it was for the best.

    Good luck in Africa! Can’t wait to read about those adventures.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 25, 2013 at 7:27 PM

      Cheers Matthew. It has been a shock to the system for sure, but I am actually relishing travelling solo. It is a completely new experience, although Africa has a lot to do with it I am sure! Such an amazing continent and I have only been in Kenya so far 😀

  42. Forest Parks

    April 25, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    Hey Cole, this must be tough but it sounds like you are making the right decision for you guys. Just don’t lose her from your life as a friend! I am sure it’ll all work out.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 25, 2013 at 7:31 PM

      Thank you so much Forest for your comment. Definitely don’t want to lose Adela as a friend and I do hope that one day we can reconcile because we have had some amazing times. Would be a shame to let it all go to waste!

      • Forest Parks

        April 25, 2013 at 7:58 PM

        Even if circumstances led you to never see each other again it certainly would not be a waste. We take a little part of everyone who affects our life forward with us.

  43. Jenna

    April 27, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Sorry to hear it, Cole. I’ve had both relationships that break up over travel and those that grew stronger, but either way you need to find out. I totally agree with your travelling before marriage advice. Kudos for following your inner voice.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 29, 2013 at 5:40 AM

      Thanks Jenna 🙂 The next couple of months will be the turning point for whatever comes next!

  44. Carri

    April 30, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    Thanks for your open, honest & raw post…those are the best & most interesting!
    Enjoy your upcoming adventures!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 3, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      Day 5 on the trip so far and it is exactly what I needed!

  45. Kristy of Family Visa

    May 2, 2013 at 3:52 AM

    I think what you have experience now as a couple is a part of making yourselves better from each other and this is not the end of the road for you guys.

  46. Laurel

    May 11, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    So sorry to hear this, but sounds like it’s the right thing for you guys to do at the moment. I just came back from trekking with gorillas a couple of days ago. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I’ve been to Africa 4 times and each time it leaves me wanting more. Enjoy!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 11, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      I just did the Gorilla trekking last week too Laurel but in Uganda 😉

      Thanks for your kind words too and will see what happens once I finish up here in July.

  47. Jon Stark

    July 25, 2013 at 4:26 AM

    Hi Cole,
    Good luck with your adventures.
    Jenny and I are Aussie travellers.
    We’ve been together for 40 years, travelled together for 6+ years and still love every minute of it.
    Currently doing the Americas after Asia, Middle East and Europe last year.
    Cheers, Jon

    • Cole Burmester

      July 31, 2013 at 9:07 AM

      Thanks Jon (and great name by the way).
      You guys will love your travels and good luck. Hopefully will see you somewhere along the way. I’m currently in SE Asia.

  48. Tom @ Waegook Tom

    October 10, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    How did I miss this post?! I did wonder what had happened and now this explains things. I hope whatever happens, both of you guys will end up happy and fulfilled, whether it be together or not.

    I’ve been in a similar boat to you too, Cole. One of my most popular posts ever, ‘Why I Won’t Dump My Boyfriend To Travel’, was written earlier this year, right before we went to the USA together, and then he went back to Korea and I carried on travelling for a few more months. We split up when I went back to Korea for a couple of weeks in July, and I felt like an idiot for posting about things being so solid with my partner etc. Everything happens for a reason though, and although things are still a bit odd (we broke up in early August, so a couple of months ago now) I think it was the right decision. Who knows, our paths may cross again and we may end up back together in the future, maybe the same for you and Adela.

  49. Melisa

    December 23, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Haha! I can really related to this. My husband and i been traveling since 2010 and I couldn’t count the argument, debate and cold war but it ended up to a deeper bond and love. Such a great site you have! Keep the love burning.

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Personal Musings

Think Locally, Date Globally: 6 Dating Customs Around the World



Strolling around with a camera in your hand. Walking down to the local watering hole. Immersing yourself in a language exchange. Heading to a “Meetup” activity.

These are just some of the ways you can plunge into the people, places and culture of a new destination. But these options engage the mind. They call on your sense of adventure and curiosity.

What about your hormones? Dating cross-culturally, in a new place, is its own adventure and experience that is completely unparalleled. Some are afraid of getting too emotionally involved while others worry about the reliability of a “stranger”.

Dating abroad is like having your senses dulled through inebriation before things actually go bad: You feel warm, cozy, cared for, your inhibitions are lowered because you’re in a different country and you think partying in the desert with your friends without a map and only one water bottle is a great idea.

Mark Manson, author of “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck”, lays the blame at the feet novelty and mystery of “foreign women”. And if you look at it on the surface, it makes sense: As a traveler, you crave the unknown and the new. And if it comes in the form of the opposite sex, how could you resist?

Dating cross-culturally, while traveling, is one of the best ways to get to know a country inside-out because, at the end of the day, it’s people who make a place and culture. And, with the explosion of online dating through apps or on sites like Badults, your chances of meeting someone in a new country just tripled, my friend.

But it’s a thin line. You don’t want to be a part of breaking the customs or cultural appropriation. Chances are, there are very specific dating customs for the country you’re headed to — and don’t make the mistake of thinking this is only true of Eastern nations. There are plenty of “traditions” and expectations while dating in Western countries as well.

1. In the Land of the Rising Sun

As you might expect, dating in Japan has one objective (officially) and one objective only: marriage. Casual dating is not really openly accepted and most individuals are a lot older.

However, there are several instances of “puppy love” and interracial and intercultural dating. It’s respectful to keep PDA to a minimum if you’re out and about. Japanese family members are not as involved with their kids’ love lives as, say, Chinese family members might be.

There is also a tradition where, on Valentine’s Day, women purchase chocolates for their lovers and, exactly one month later, they celebrate “White Day”, where men buy their women white chocolates to express the mutual attraction.

The only catch is that it doesn’t actually stop at chocolates. Your gifts must go above and beyond – both, in cost and creativity.

2. Bagging the Ladies

In many Balkan countries as well as in many Roman villages and communities, it’s common practice to snatch the “woman” or bride-to-be, put her in a sack and deliver her to the groom’s house.

This is usually done in jest, as a funny tradition, by the groom’s friends, who celebrate the custom as just one more during a wedding party.

3. The South Korean Way

There are two things at play in the dating lives of South Koreans: space and gender. On the one hand, it’s perfectly acceptable and actually preferred that men not only initiate the courtship but also pepper her with an endless number of texts, being as forward and explicit as necessary to get her to agree to a date.

On the other hand, the city is overcrowded and crammed by inhabitants. And openly dating without a commitment of marriage is still frowned upon. Several young men and women still live with their families so, in this case, there are plenty of “love motels” scattered around the city where lovebirds can (and do!) go to spend quality time together.

4. Do as the French Do

The French, like the Danes, do dating as a group activity. If you’re a North American, this might get you scratching your head — if the French are so sexually forward, why do they need their friends as chaperones?

It actually has nothing to do with prudishness and everything to do with the definition of a relationship in French culture.

Men and women (and same-sex couples) can date one-on-one, keeping their conversations and interactions directed toward one another the whole time they are with friends. But the idea is that they all stick together.

There is no such thing as “dating around” — rather, the French like to call a spade, a spade: you’re in a “relationship”, no matter what that actually means, looks like, or entails, if you date without a group. It’s assumed that you’ve met, like each other and now want to spend together alone.

So if you’re looking to test the waters for the first time, make sure to do it in a group setting, with friends.

5. Down Under Without Labels

The dating customs of Australians might be quite familiar to Britons and North Americans — the attitude is much more relaxed and Aussie’s not only date one-on-one, they can date several people in a week and keep things casual.

6. Bluetooth Tales

In Emirati countries like Dubai or Kuwait, customs are still strict around gender division. While things have become much more relaxed, openly approaching a beautiful woman and asking for a number is a good way to bring the wrath of her family on you.

Instead, creative young lovers have found a novel solution, a workaround that involves technology. They may have restrictive social customs but they also certainly all have smartphones.

Friends, lovers and potential dates communicate with one another through social media or by sending messages of interest via bluetooth devices. It’s not only how you court and communicate, it’s also how you plan a secret meeting at a secret venue after hours. These youth have mastered the art to low-key love.

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Personal Musings

Welcome to New Zealand – A Life Update

Where have I been? Well I have moved back to New Zealand and this is my little life update to let you know what is happening with the Four Jandals Blog.



Skydiving in Nairobi

I would love to blame my lack of updates on this blog on something awesome. Unfortunately I have just been really slack.

Well to give me some credit, I have just moved to New Zealand so it has been pretty hectic catching up with family and friends in the last three weeks! I have been travelling all over the North Island of New Zealand and have finally managed to settle in Wellington.

Thorndon to Tararuas HDR

So what I am doing back home in New Zealand?

Well, after 3 years, 10 months, 2 weeks and 1 day of travelling to 44 countries, I was exhausted.

2013 has been one of the toughest, but strangely exciting times of my life. When I started this blog I called it Four Jandals because at the time Adela and I were still together. Unfortunately, Four Jandals became Two Jandals in April and we broke up. Some readers don’t seem to notice even though it is one of my most popular posts. But it isn’t something I am too public about either.

Luckily we are still friends and talking to one another. I would have hated to throw away everything after nearly 5 years together.

Leopard in Tree Lake Nukuru Game Park Kenya

Since April I have travelled nearly the length of Africa from Nairobi to Cape Town overland. I also spent 6 weeks in Thailand frantically trying to catch up on all the work I had neglected over those three months in Africa.

Why have I returned home?

Everyone keeps asking me why I have returned and why would I want to? Quite simply the answer is because I wanted to. I was always going to return to New Zealand. It is my home and the one true place where I have always been 100% happy.

Plus I have missed so many important events over the last 4 years because of travelling. Family birthdays, friends weddings, births and deaths. All missed because I was selfishly travelling the world.

I don’t regret what I did for an instant. But I am so glad that I am finally home. It is time to make a fresh start. A time to laugh, love and live again.

So what am I doing?

Luckily I have picked up a job really quickly and I am working for a website in New Zealand as one of their content creators here in Wellington. Basically I get to help promote New Zealand brands and businesses online. Something that I am really passionate about because there is a lack of small local companies online in New Zealand.

Plus it allows me to write on a daily basis (probably one of the reasons I have been so slack here on the blog) and follow my dreams.

Skydiving in Nairobi

What about the blog?

Well this is far from being my last blog post.

I still have hundreds of stories to share with you. I have hardy scratched the surfaces of all my experiences, let alone edit my thousands of photos that I have accumulated over the past 4 years.

However, while I don’t expect to stop writing or blogging, you may see a shift in the sort of content that I do write. As well as a re-branding over the next couple of months. Obviously Four Jandals has been very successful, but it is a bit hard to call myself “Four” when I only have Two Jandals.

So for now nothing is changing. But I wanted to write this update as an apology to you because I have been so slack. As always I am extremely thankful for my followers on social media and my readers of this blog. I would not be where I am today without you. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

Safe Travels,


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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...