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.
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.
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?
How To Travel Solo
As regular readers know, we are a couple who loves to travel together. But we wanted to do this article to reach out a little bit and include people among our readership who have been asking about an article on travelling alone.
Some people may feel some trepidation about the whole thing, and be reluctant to go abroad as a single traveller, but really it’s a very viable option. Let’s analyze this a bit more deeply.
Types of Solo Travelling:
The Solo Tourist- You just bounce around the planet at will taking it all in, perhaps without even an itinerary. This experience can vary greatly depending on your budget levels.
The Working Traveller- This is when you are obliged to go somewhere for work-related reasons, but you take advantage of such and take in as much as you can of the local culture, flora and fauna.
The Visitor- The solo traveller who hangs out with friends wherever he or she goes, visiting them in series. This is a great way to connect with people who otherwise would just stay at the margins of your existence. Of course, it’s not as flexible as the first option, so there’s your tradeoff.
The Singles Event Traveller- This person travels to singles’ events abroad, whether it be quick getaways, extended cruises or stays at resorts, etc. This traveller is usually hoping to meet a potential SO on these voyages.
Pros And Cons of Travelling Solo:
-You get to keep your own schedule, or even avoid having one entirely. This is ideal for people who are either very early risers or very late risers.
-You don’t have to take into account anybody else’s tastes or prefereneces but your own.
-You get a mental reset by being away from everybody with whom you normally interact.
-You are much more likely to make friends abroad when travelling alone.
–The loneliness can set in, and it is very real. Try to limit the length of your solo trips, or go for options like singles’ events or visiting friends to mitigate this. Be realistic; you may be surprised how much greater your need for company and non-superficial relationships is than you may have previously thought.
-Sometimes your fellow travellers will have the best ideas that you may never would have thought of by yourself.
-Some things, let’s face it, are best done in good company. For example, a great meal at an amazing restaurant is just that much better when shared with one or more people whom you esteem greatly.
Why Reward Points are Important For Frequent Travellers
There’s no question about it, you can save a bundle of money if you manage your reward points for travelling in the right way. But many people just go on living their lives without really taking full advantage of this.
But without a doubt, reward programs are worth it for anybody who flies with even any little semblance of frequency and regularity. As a matter of fact, you may be thinking that you don’t really fly enough to take advantage of these programs, and the fact of the matter is that you could be missing out.
Get The Right Credit Card:
The best way to rack up those points quickly (before you even realize how far you’ve gotten) is to get a card with a great rewards program. For example, here are some options for people in Canada to get on the reward points quickly. Your mileage may vary (sic!) from country to country, but in any case it’s a good idea to read up on your best options and select one that works for you.
From that point onward, it’s important to be disciplined in using that card every time you can in order to rack up those points. Read the terms and conditions carefully and use them to your advantage, instead of having them surprise you!
Stick To The Right Airline:
This one is very hard for many people, because it requires discipline and that famous and all-important delayed gratification.
The first step involved analyzing the airlines that go to your needed destinations and making sure you are selecting the best one. Obviously, the points that you get with your card need to be good for travel on that airline.
Then, you need to ALWAYS take that airline, even in cases when fares rise, knowing that in the long run, you will still save money. The more you pay, the more miles you are getting anyway. It’s easy to get seduced by a seat sale on some other airline, but if you wind up with unused points expiring because of it, it’s not such a good deal in the long term.
Make Sure You Get The Miles:
Try to make it so that when you travel for business, you buy your own fares (even if you later get reimbursed for them, that way the travel points will all be in your own name. This may take some back and forth, but it’s usually doable, and also can make a big difference in your pocketbook down the road.
Also, sometimes it may actually be worth it to save your miles and buy upfront, making them even more effective in the long run. All in all, it takes discipline and strategy to get the best deals.
Crypto-Currencies: The Future In A Nutshell
Bitcoin was considered to be a mere flash in the pan by many when it came out. Boy, looking back even just a few years, how completely wrong they were!
More and more, it is becoming an institution, and it seems to be a bastion of not only holding its value, but adding value, and this in a world full of inflation and economic deterioration wherever we turn!
Crypto-currencies are becoming more and more useful, not just as an investment, but as an instrument for daily life. Here are some situations where Bitcoin and its brothers and sisters come in very handy:
The fact is: if you hold Bitcoin and are a even a little bit savvy about your destination, you no longer have to pay tribute, er…. commission, to the money exchange places anymore. As of this writing at the end of the year 2017, most world destinations have people more than willing to trade BTC for the local currency. Even in surprisingly remote areas, you will generally be able to pull this off for the going rate, with no “spread” necessary.
Believe it or not, the age of the crypto-casino has arrived! And it’s not just Bitcoin that is in use these days, you can take out your Ethereum, Monero, Dash or Litecoin and party on with that too. Winnings can be deposited back in any of the above currencies, or converted to “hard (whatever that’s supposed to mean anymore) currencies if you so desire.
The online casino industry has always been at the cutting edge of implementing new tech, and they are certainly not going to be left behind as far as digital and/or blockchain currencies are concerned.
Paying for Goods and Services:
More and more merchants are starting to accept BTC and other cryptocurrencies these days. And it’s only going to get more and more common. In addition, you can get debit cards that withdraw from your BTC accounts, although there is sometimes a service charge for this feature.
B2B transactions are also more and more being conducted using this medium, both for reasons of convenience and security.
We predict that in the future, it may well be possible that BTC and/or other crypto-currencies will be more common than government-issued currencies in much of the planet. Frankly, they are a superior instrument in so many ways, their rapid and explosive growth is hardly even surprising anymore.
Meet Cole and Adela
We 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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