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Adventure Travel

How to Travel Overseas? Part 1

So you want to travel overseas but don’t know where to begin? Do you take a traditional holiday or work abroad? Check out our options here!

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Work sucks, your life feels like a merry-go-round and you see the same people every weekend. What to do? What to do? What to do?

TRAVEL OVERSEAS

Backpack and books

It’s been niggling away in the back of your mind for a while now and you finally want to start your first ever Overseas Experience (OE) but don’t quite know where to start or how to go about it.

Hopefully we can help by breaking down your options:

  • You can just sign out for a couple of months and head on a looooooong holiday.
  • Or you could try and pack your life in to the biggest suitcase airlines will accept and move overseas on a Working Holiday.

We will try to cover the main positives and drawbacks of both options and also give a few tips. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way of doing it. It’s travel so you are going to have a blast whatever you decide.

A Good Old Fashioned Holiday

What’s not to love about a holiday? All play and no work. Being able to do whatever the hell you want (within the confines of the law of course) and having an awesome time. The flip side is the limitations of time and money.

Time

Having limited time means less flexibility in your travel plans. This OE option usually requires a pre-planned route which sucks if you decide that you love a place and want to stay because it means you will get less time elsewhere.

Limiting yourself with a set length of time means you have no time to be spontaneous! Unfortunately there is not really much you can do about this other than leave a few spare days in your itinerary for last minute adventures.

Money roll

Budget

You will always be counting your pennies. Its truly depressing watching your bank account go down….and down…and down week after week with no income coming in. You want to make sure you have enough to ensure you can enjoy ALL your time away. The worst situation is missing out on places or activities due to a lack of funds.

The best thing to do is set a budget before you go and try your hardest to stick to it. You need a daily budget for each country as well. That way if you know you are away for six weeks you can easily calculate how much you need to sustain your travel needs for the period.

Word of warning, not everything is the same price in every place you visit. For example by spending $20 a day in Thailand you could live like a King (or Queen). Try that in London and you will barely make it from the airport to the city centre.

Pace Yourself

When you are on the move all the time you will get complacent about all the sights. Cities will merge into one and you will ask yourself “do we NEED to visit ANOTHER church?

You will be less excited about the prospect of a new destination that is similar to previous ones than you would be if it was the first time you had travelled in a while. The key is variety. When we spent 8 weeks driving around the USA we spent time in National Parks on our Mountain Bikes rather than just visiting cities.

Expat Explore Group in Egypt

After setting your budget and time frames you need figure out how to travel…

Solo vs. Group Travel

The great debate. Do it alone, take a loved one or join in on a wild bar-hopping tour around Europe?

Choose your travel buddies wisely because you will be inseparable (not in a loving way) at times regardless of your mood, space and energy. Its best to pick someone you know will give and take in regards to where you travel next or what activities to partake in. There is nothing worse than a person who can not compromise when you are travelling!

Most importantly you have to travel with someone you can be honest with and vice versa. If you are having a bad day its best to be able to tell them rather than bottling it up and taking it out on them when they forget to open the door for you. Travel will make or break a relationship!

It’s not all bad!

I may have successfully talked you out of this travel option so its time to talk you back in to it.

There is NOTHING better than walking out of the office at 5pm one day and smugly telling your workmates “adios” for a couple of months. It will keep you on a high for days.

Just one thing to remember. Travel is about having the time of YOUR life. Do it for yourself.

Lying on the beach thinking ‘I do not have to go to work for 2 months” is an incredible feeling. Being able to wake up when YOU want and party all night is a dream. Visiting the Wonders of World or experiencing a new culture will blow your mind. Best of all, you have NO COMMITMENTS.

And when your money runs out or your time is up then you can safely return home to that job with a spring in your step and a hug from your loved ones. No homesickness or job hunting in this travel option.

What are you waiting for? Book that flight and join us for a beer somewhere abroad. You know you want to!

Make sure you come back next week to get info on Working Abroad instead.

Adela is one half of the New Zealand Adventure Couple who have been travelling since 2009. She loves the outdoors and has a real passion for Snowboarding, Mountain Biking and Surfing (apart from being scared of sharks). She loves food and writes all our food posts. Consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Jessica May

    January 13, 2012 at 7:18 AM

    Good timing Cole!

    • Cole

      January 13, 2012 at 7:20 AM

      Haha well actually it was all written by your big Sis! See you in a week or so.

  2. Lamia

    February 21, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Ever considered writing (or even trying) housesitting as a way to make your travel budget go further..?

    • Cole Burmester

      February 22, 2013 at 8:01 AM

      We have actually tried housesitting but sometimes it is hard to find one where we want to go. If you can find one in SE Asia for us then we will definitely sign up 😉

  3. Lamia

    February 22, 2013 at 8:05 AM

    HI Thanks for your quick reply. We just launched out website so not yet ready to launch in South East Asia…UK and Australia only as yet.

    Many thanks and I look forward to reading more about your adventures!

    • Cole Burmester

      February 22, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      Awesome! We have liked your page and will sign up too 🙂 Let us know when you expand some more!

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Adventure Travel

Your Top Destinations For No-Contact Water Sports

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While it can be hard to stay cooped up inside throughout a beautiful summer, there are plenty of other places you head to for some fun in the sun before colder temperatures set in. The best news? If you’re an American, you don’t have to leave the continental US or mess with self-quarantining.

Lake Tahoe, California

A classic vacation spot, Lake Tahoe has it all for visitors. Great climate, little rain, a background of mountains, and one of the largest, most serene lakes in the US. This makes Tahoe not just a great place for spring break partying, but also for some amount of isolation, or at least a bit of peace and quiet. You can find yourself reflected on the water and reflect upon the world around you while out on the lake. Because of the still waters there, it is also a wonderful place for paddle boarding. In case you are looking for quality gear for water sports, you can look into Gili Sports.

Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

The Outer Banks of North Carolina are another classic vacation destination, especially for anyone who loves water sports. The weather remains mild in North Carolina all year round (with the notable exception of hurricane season), so it makes for an outstanding destination through any season. Kitty Hawk, famous for the Wright Brothers first flight, is an outstanding destination, as well as smaller towns like Currituck. You will find slightly rougher currents out in the Atlantic Ocean. However, paddle boarding is also popular here, as is windsurfing.

New Braunfels, Texas

The city of New Braunfels has a river entirely within its limits, the Comal River. This allows for many water sports activities, with tubing as one of the most popular choices. In these times, tubing is a popular choice, as it is a great activity for families that doesn’t involve a lot of contact with strangers. New Braunfels has a huge German influence, with its largest water park named the Schlitterbahn.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Although there is a city in Florida named Venice, the city of Fort Lauderdale is often referred to confusingly as the “Venice of Florida.” This nickname was won because Fort Lauderdale has nearly as many canals as its famous Italian counterpart. Fort Lauderdale boasts 23 miles of beach coastline, but if you add in all the city’s canals and lakes, that puts it at 300 miles of coastline. Fort Lauderdale is also a magnet for yachts, so you can paddle board or kayak past boats in the harbor you’ve only dreamed of. Summers in South Florida can swelter, but there’s also a reason that old folks go down in the winter.

Seattle, Washington

Although it is a huge metropolis, Seattle also offers some of the most pristine coastline in the country. Although it gets colder in the PNW than it might get anywhere in the southeast, the climate in Seattle stays relatively mild. One advantage of Seattle over more southern spots is its glacial lakes, which offer a beauty that few islands can replicate.

Even as the summer wanes, there are so many places in the continental US that you can get out and enjoy the water.

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Adventure Travel

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

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Trekking through the valleys of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys with Middle Earth Travel feels more like the set of a Star Wars movie than a historical region once carved out and lived in by humans. Churches, homes and pigeon houses are scattered throughout the valleys, all waiting to be explored. The best part is, Middle Earth Travel know all the hidden secrets.

Standing at the top of Cappadocia

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

On the 26th of July (which just so happens to be my birthday!) Middle Earth Travel took us on their private and guided Top of Cappadocia day trek. From Pasabag, along the top of Cappadocia and down through the Gulludere Rose Valley to Goreme, we trekked 15kms in one day! (We recommend getting your bearings with this map)

Upon arrival to the Middle Earth Offices, we were warmly greeted by our new friend Atil whom we had met a few days earlier while mountain biking through the Kizilcukur Red Valley. We were then introduced to our guide and given a briefing regarding the day. Normally, the Top of Cappadocia tour would start from Çavuşin, however, since we had already explored Çavuşin Castle, they adapted our tour to compensate ensuring we would explore new terrain!

With charged cameras, plenty of water and our running shoes on, we were driven to our starting point of Pasabag. We wandered through the fairy chimneys, coming across camels and markets – then the true hike began.

Pasabag in Cappadocia

The police station in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

It was a slow and gentle incline. With no trees to provide shade, I quickly realised why our tour guide had chosen to wear fully covered clothing! As the sweat quickly set in (a waterfall in Moss’s case) we snapped away with our cameras and enjoyed the entertaining shapes of Imagine Valley and the amazing view. We also passed a lot of rock piles, which according to our guide mean ‘father’ and are built to help lead the way.

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Middle Earth Travel, Cappadocia

Making our way to the top of Cappadocia

Father leading the way (rock pile)

Father leading the way (rock pile)

The higher we trekked, the more breath taking the views became! As we walked along the summit of Bozdag mountain (the Top of Cappadocia) we could see EVERTHING – Pasabag, Çavuşin Castle, Kizilcukur Red Valley, Gulludere Rose Valley and Goreme. We were on the Father of Valleys! After a quick nod of agreement to the guide, we pushed ourselves the extra distance and made our way to the flag, as this HAD to be the highest point and was definitely worth a photo and a selfie or two!

View from the top of Cappadocia

View from the top of Cappadocia

Flag at top of Cappadocia

From the flag we looked down upon Aktepe Hill which is known as a popular destination for watching the sun set and could spot Kizilvadi Restaurant, our destination for lunch! Kizilvadi Restaurant is an attraction of its own. With its own historic winery and Grape church, plus some Middle Earth Travel treks even stay there for the night! After having a massive feed of soup, salad and pasta plus a surprise birthday cake, we made our way down into Gulludere Rose Valley.

Kizilvadi Restaurant

Kizilvadi Restaurant

The scenery is amazing, with strong colours visible in perfect layers on the chimneys, you would wonder what an artist was thinking, had it been a painting. Also, hidden to the side of the track we walked across a little bridge and not expecting anything to be there we were wowed by the massive church carved. It was absolutely huge and hard to believe that its most recent use has been as a pigeon house!

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Church in Gulludere Rose Valley

Hard to believe this Church is carved inside a fairy chimney!

Middle Earth Travel Review

  • The team at Middle Earth Travel were extremely knowledgeable and certainly know Cappadocia’s hidden secrets. They have friendships with local tea garden owners which is also of benefit as it gained us entry to locked churches and hidden rooms that we would not have otherwise seen.
  • We covered a lot of ground, however we did not feel rushed. The whole day focused on showing us the region, therefore we had as much time as we needed to explore each church and to take ‘just one more photo’.
  • It wasn’t all about trekking. With a whole day and 15kms to cover, there were a few silly poses (especially in Imagine Valley), and we learnt a lot about the myths, legends and way of life in Cappadocia.
  • In conclusion I highly recommend Middle Earth Travel if you wish to go trekking or mountain biking in Cappadocia.
  • Cost: Day treks with Middle Earth Travel range from 50-90 euro, depending on the number of people taking part. This includes lunch, guide, vehicle transfers and entrance fees to historical sites, but excludes alcoholic and soft drinks.
  • Middle Earth Travel are outdoor enthusiasts and offer multi-day over night treks, mountain biking, abseiling, or custom made itineraries, in multiple regions throughout Turkey.
  • www.middleearthtravel.com

Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the trek with Middle Earth Travel, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.

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Adventure Travel

Most Underrated Travel Destinations

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Everyone knows about Paris and Rome and London but there are so many other beautiful travel destinations that are amazingly underrated and they are cities on our list to visit again once the Coronavirus allows. The fact that so many beautiful countries go unexplored by travelers is a tragedy and we want to change that after Coronavirus. Not only because so many people are missing out on rich cultures and picturesque views, but also because a lot of these destinations tend to be a lot cheaper to travel to than popular cities. 

But what a lot of people don’t know is that there are gorgeous, underrated foreign cities one can visit for a fraction of the price of touristy European cities. Forbes recently published a collection of the ten most underrated destinations you should consider visiting. 

Here are a few of them to learn about while stuck at home due to Coronavirus:

Yerevan, Armenia

Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is known for its magnificent sights of Mount Ararat, historical monasteries, and its many striking temple ruins. Armenian cuisine is other worldly with classic dishes like rabbit stew, sautéed eggplant rolls, and lamb tartare. 

Telč, Czechia

Telč is a colorful town with Italian influences in Czechia. It boasts of Baroque-Renaissance architecture and has a castle of its own with exciting tunnels and passageways that you can explore underneath the town.

Santiago, Chile

Santiago is the capital of Chile and features gorgeous architecture from the neoclassical era. There are towering cathedrals and, of course, plenty of quality Chilean wine. Plus, the city of Santiago is a great place to kick off your exploration of Chile’s wine country. 

Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Rotterdam is often ignored due to the popular neighboring city of Amsterdam, but it is a bastion of underground music and street art. The architecture is strikingly modern since the city was heavily bombed during World War II and thus had to be rebuilt from the ground up. The city is filled to the brim with amazing cuisine and museums.

Lagos, Nigeria

If you are looking for a big city destination, Lagos is a metropolis that has plenty to see and do so that you’ll never be bored. And whenever you need a break from the urban marketplaces, private beaches are just a short drive away.

Con Dao, Vietnam

Con Dao is a Southeast Asian island that makes an excellent beach destination with two resorts and tons of fascinating history. Once host to a brutal French prison, the island is also home to the tomb of the Vietnamese martyr Vo Thi Sau. 

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

This is one of the oldest cities in Uruguay dating back to the 17th century. The city has a vibrantly decorated historic quarter and a three-century-old convent. It’s also only a short trip away from the bigger city of Montevideo.

A majority of Americans, when asked about traveling abroad, will likely shake their head and say they can’t afford such trips. Many people deal with multiple monthly bills, such as mortgage or rent, student loans, and title loans, which are all stress inducing. 

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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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