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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.

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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,

Cole

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Alex | Partial Parallax

    October 4, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Sounds like it has been a rather busy and life changing year so far but glad you are enjoying life back home! It will be interesting to read up on how you settle back into life in your home country again after such a long time on the road. Best of luck entering a new and exciting part of your life!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 4, 2013 at 10:10 AM

      Thank you Alex. Going to be a big transition for sure, but it’s not like I am giving up travelling. There is so much more of my own country I still need to explore!

  2. Rose Davidson Leech

    October 4, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Oh wow, Sounds like a busy old time for you! bet its lovely to be home and to see all your family.
    I am actually moving to New Zealand myself too, In 7 weeks time! I’m from England so its a big step but I can’t WAIT
    I’ve never been to New Zealand but I met my boyfriend on his 2 year visa in England and, obviously he had to move home so I’m following.
    Good luck with everything xo

    • Cole Burmester

      October 5, 2013 at 2:57 AM

      Thanks 🙂
      Awesome that you are moving over here Rose. I am sure you will love it! Good luck and maybe I will see you around.

  3. bronwen burmester

    October 5, 2013 at 4:39 AM

    Its awesome to have you back home in NZ. One comment is that you were not selfish for travelling the world Cole! Definitely not. Travelling and experiencing the people and cultures in our world is one of the best ways to grow as a person and appreciate others. And we knew you were thinking of us. THANK GOODNESS FOR SKYPE! You are the lovely person that you are today with all those experiences.

  4. Beth

    October 6, 2013 at 8:22 AM

    No need to apologize for being slack! It seems you’ve had a lot going on and I’m sure all your readers understand.

    Glad to see you’ve been able to land a job you’re passionate about. Can’t wait to read about this new chapter of your life!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 7, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      Cheers Beth! Can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings.

  5. Kristy of Family Visa

    October 7, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    I am glad that you landed a job that you really, really like Cole. I will be still your avid reader no matter what happen even if there’s re-branding of the website or not.

  6. Eitan Herman | Places to visit

    October 7, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    It would be interesting to read how well you settle back to life in the home country again after a long time you like on the road. Best of luck to enter the part new and exciting in Thank you for sharing and a great article although I’m new in your famous blog.I won a lot of knowledge here, I hope you will make in the future.Happy life!Places to go,

  7. Wade

    October 8, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    Seriously cannot wait to visit NZ during the year long RTW adventure with my lady! Glad I stumbled upon your website. We our focusing the majority of our adventure travel events in NZ…which clearly lines up with what you’re doing on your blog. Keep up the great work!

  8. Abby Ang

    October 9, 2013 at 7:08 AM

    Hello there!

    Thank you very much for sharing this post. New Zealand is such a nice place. I would love to visit that place together with my family someday.

    -Abby

  9. Jeff

    October 9, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    East or West, home is the best. Its interesting to start a new life and am glad you have landed a new job. You got support from your mum and us your fan. I can’t wait to learn more about New Zealand.

  10. Megan

    October 9, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    Home is home and I’m glad you’re there. I’m sorry that things didn’t work out exactly how you planned. I scrolled back through your earlier posts…looked at all the incredible things you saw, did and learned along the way, personally and professionally…certainly things to treasure for a lifetime. I’m excited about your new ventures and look forward to seeing what comes next. Best, Megan

  11. Chris & Angela Tieland to Thailand

    October 17, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Good luck in New Zealand. It was great meeting you in Chiang Mai. Maybe we’ll catch up the next time you’re in town. Take care!

  12. Rory

    October 22, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Good luck Cole with your move- was great to see you again and have you around in Edinburgh over the last few years. Looking forward to your banter in January.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 23, 2013 at 2:52 PM

      Thanks so much bro means a lot! Definitely miss you guys and looking forward to January. Just wish it wasn’t only for a couple of weeks!

  13. Meghan

    April 6, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Recently got back to Canada, and feeling much the same way!

  14. Bess

    June 26, 2017 at 8:19 AM

    If you would like to increase your experience only keep visiting this website and be updated with the most up-to-date gossip posted here.

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Personal Musings

Why Reward Points are Important For Frequent Travellers

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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.

 

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Crypto-Currencies: The Future In A Nutshell

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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:

 

Travelling:

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.

 

Gambling:

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.

 

 

 

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Personal Musings

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

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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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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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