Many of you reading this article are just like me: seasoned travellers with even years or even decades of experience going all around the globe. There are many ways to do this, some ways better than others. There are so many variations: what to do when, where to stay, how to travel, etc.
Over the years, the savvy traveller finds that his or her tastes start to change slowly, based on past experiences, and often based just as much on what you have not done as what you have done already.
Trekking or cycling vacations for example, would make for the perfect adventure holiday. While definitely gaining in popularity, they are in this author’s humble opinion a very underrated way of getting around and seeing the world. Let’s face it: seeing the world this way offers a lot of very very distinct advantages, especially when you compare it to some of the more traditional ways of seeing the planet.
Off The Beaten Path.
This is the end of the year 2018, as of the writing of this article. Things have changed in the past 20 years or so. In fact, in that time frame, in most of the world, things have changed a whole lot.
But one of the major trends worldwide over the past generation or so is that the world is rapidly shrinking. This has a lot of good sides to it, in fact, but as for someone who wants to travel the world, it means that the experience (while a lot easier) is a lot less rich than it was 20 or even 10 short years ago!
One can find oneself going from airport to airport, from city to city, and basically drinking the same drinks and eating the same food, even on some routes you will wind up speaking English almost the whole time! Once again, the convenience factor is great, especially for people who travel for business or other reasons, but for the intrepid, this means that foreign cities offer much less fun factor than they used to.
If you go on a trekking/cycling vacation, you are all but guaranteed to see the REAL country of your destination. However much of its traditions are still intact in any sense whatsoever, you are all but guaranteed to bump up against all of them. You will eat the different food, see the different sites, you will come in touch with things that will blow your mind. And you will meet much more interesting and friendly people who will have different mindsets, and you WILL come away enriched by the experience.
Healthy Is Happy
Of course, another excellent reason to trek or bike on your next vacation is the obvious one: it’s healthy!
Instead of being stuck in airports and traffic jams most of the time, you will be using your body in the way nature intended it. In fact, the first few days may even be very rough on you, depending on what kind of shape you are in to start, and, of course, your level of activity back home.
But even if there’s a tough initiation period to go through to get your body back into the rhythm of regular exercise again, it will be over fairly quickly with the constant stimulation you are giving it.
Of course, it is very important for you to remember the basics: give your body plenty of time to sleep and also plenty of non-sleep time to recover, pace yourself and don’t try to cover too much ground in too short of a time, and make sure you stay well fueled and well hydrated.Make sure your clothes suit the climate(s) you will be in, for the whole duration of your trip (pro tip: use layers against the cold).
Drop Out And Re-Connect
The third and final point I want to make here is I think in many ways the absolutely most important.
Trekking and cycling in a remote regions forces you off the grid! This may even sound horrible for more than a few of you, but trust me, it’s an incredible benefit.
Almost everybody HAS to stay connected in today’s world; many of us wouldn’t even be able to do our jobs otherwise! But this is also a huge double-edged sword. And just being able to get a reset for a week or two is incredibly good for you psychologically.
Almost like a parallel to what can happen to you physically as you get back into a healthy lifestyle, you may even feel withdrawal from the internet for the first little while. If this happens, just relax and ride it out. It will go away much sooner than you think, just like the physical aches and pains would. And you will be a lot better for it, and come out with a whole new perspective as to the universe and your own place in it. As a matter of fact, the harder it was on you, the more you actually needed it in the first place!
Don’t get me wrong; the world is a better place now than it was before, and it’s getting better and better all the time, but sometimes there are side effects to all this rapid advancement; we are in many ways losing out on having full and active social lives like we used to. Ultimately we are probably going to have to figure out how to obtain a proper balance between being connected with technology and connected with ourselves and with nature and the rest of our environment.
Hopefully this article has encouraged you to think twice about your next vacation, and, if you have never trekked or cycled on vacation before, to take the plunge and go for it. It is an experience almost nobody ever regrets, ever, and we’re sure it would almost certainly be a positive one for all concerned. Seriously, don’t think about it twice; just do it once 🙂
It is fast becoming the go-to vacation for this author and for many other people like him all around the world, and, if you’ve gotten this far in this article, you now have many reasons why.
We hope that you’d leave a comment to us in the comments section below if you also have any experience with this, or if you have any more questions regarding this very special type of vacation.
In closing, we would like to wish everybody reading this admittedly rather longish post the bes of good luck and a happy New Year to all, and hopefully we will see you somewhere on the trails.
Most Underrated Travel Destinations
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, 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 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 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.
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.
3 Tips For A Luxury Camping Experience
If you are used to travelling in style and staying in high end hotels, camping is probably your idea of hell. Why would you spend a week sitting in a freezing cold tent, hiding from the rain when you could be relaxing around the pool in a nice hotel? But camping gives you a completely different travel experience and if you do it right, it can be very rewarding. If you invest in the right equipment, you can enjoy all of the good things about camping without any of the downsides. If you follow these simple tips, you will have a comfortable experience and fall in love with camping.
The tent is the most important thing if you want a comfortable camping experience. All of those horror stories you hear about leaking tents only happen because people buy cheap tents. If you invest in a good quality tent, it should hold up to the weather and keep you dry and warm.
When you are buying a tent, you need to check the hydrostatic head rating. This gives you an indication of how much rain the tent can stand up to before leaking. The higher the rating, the less likely your tent is to leak. It is also important to consider the size of the tent and how easy it is to put up, especially if you are planning a road trip. You need to make sure that it fits into the car easily, and you also want to avoid anything that is too complicated to put up. However, be careful with pop-up tents because most of them will not stand up to the rain.
If you want the ultimate comfortable camping experience, you should consider a camper trailer instead. There are some great camper trailers that come with all of the same facilities that you would find in a basic hotel, so you can camp in comfort. If you really hate the idea of camping, this is the best option.
If you are worried about being freezing cold at night while you are camping, you need to get a good quality sleeping bag. A cheap one will not be comfortable and it won’t keep you warm, so you need to make sure that you buy a good thermal one. Sleeping directly on the floor will be uncomfortable as well, so you should invest in a sleeping mat as well. If you are willing to spend a little more on good sleeping equipment, you will be nice and comfortable while camping.
The food is another big issue for people when they go camping, but there is no need to live on beans all week. You can get some great dehydrated camping food packs so, as long as you take a small camping stove, you can still eat proper meals. If you pack a coolbox and freeze some food before you go, it should last a while so you can have barbecues as well. As long as you plan ahead, there’s no reason why you can’t eat well while you are camping.
Camping doesn’t have to be the nightmare experience that you think it does. If you follow these simple tips, you can have a luxury camping experience and enjoy all of the benefits of the great outdoors.
Tips for Planning Your Uluru Tour
Located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the magnificent sandstone of Ayers Rock or Uluru stands tall at 1,142 feet above ground. The natural formation is widely known for being one of the most sacred places to the indigineous peoples in Australia. At the same time, it is also popular for attracting tourists from all over the world to the land down under.
If you want to visit Uluru in order to pay tribute to this wonder of nature, then doing so through the right tour is in your best interest. It’s not only because Uluru is located at least a few hours from civilization, but it also because such a tour allows you to enjoy the picturesque sights that come along the way within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
So what sights are there to see along the way and what other general tours suggestions you should keep in mind while visiting Uluru? To help you answer these and some other important questions, here are 5 top tips to keep in mind while visiting Uluru.
First things first, while it is legal to climb atop Uluru, it is recommended that you do not attempt such an action in order to show your respect to the indigenous peoples.
It is a pretty easy rule to follow when you pay attention to the emotions of the indigenous tribes who have recommended time and again for people to not climb Uluru.
But that doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy the natural beauty that Uluru has to offer. In fact, you are encouraged to visit the sandstone and take in its natural glory by standing right beside the formation. That’s why 4WD tour is highly recommended. The tour guides would be able to tell you what you can and can not do.
Ask anyone who has visited Uluru about the best time to see the formation, and you will instantly get the answer as “sunset.”
It’s because Uluru is not an ordinary monolith, but one that is formed through arkosic sandstone. This allows the rock to actually change its color according to the position of the sun. As a result, you can expect the formation to sport a different color depending upon what time of day you reach it.
At sunset, Uluru projects an amber glow that is surreal to take in, especially when you are seeing the formation in person for the very first time. That’s why, it is recommended that you time your trip in a way that allows you to experience this magnificent sight.
Perhaps the best way to visit Uluru is through the nearby town of Alice Springs, which has various amenities and accommodation options for tourists who are making their way to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
The drive from Alice Springs to Uluru can take around 5 hours, which is why it is recommended that you arrive at least a day before you are planning to tour Uluru.
This way, you can reach the national park while feeling fresh and rested. This also gives you time to plan longer trips to the park in order to enjoy all that it has to offer.
Uluru is not just a wonder to look at by itself, but it also holds several little pieces of wonderful art within it.
The caves at the bottom of the formation hold several pieces of rock art that can only be found at Uluru. If you love learning about other cultures through their art, then this will be a must visit.
Just make sure that you take the time to learn about this art through a local tour guide or via the information provided within these exhibits. This ensures that you have an immersive and informative experience which you can remember for a long time.
Enjoying the breathtaking sight of Uluru sounds rewarding enough for a trip to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. But it’s not all that you can do during a tour of Uluru.
From seeing the red kangaroos and other marsupials to spending some time with the camels, and from seeing the one of a kind formations of Kata Tjuta to taking a walk by the Valley of the Winds, there’s so much to see and do around Uluru.
That is why, it is recommended that you take your time at the park and put aside at least two days to enjoy all of the unique activities that the area has to offer. It would give you a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of daily life while also allowing you to make the most out of your long journey to the sandstone.
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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