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Adventure Travel

Around the World Travel (2 Years and counting)

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Eiffel Tower at Night, Paris

Two years ago we hugged and kissed our families goodbye at Auckland Airport and boarded the plane to Canada. This would be our first step on our journey Around the World in Four Jandals. Right from the beginning we had it in the back of our minds that we wanted to be away for a minimum of 3 years.

We had a rough idea that we would spend 6 months in Jasper high in the Rocky Mountains of Canada working at the local Ski Resort before making our way across to the United Kingdom for a 2 year working holiday stint before heading over to Asia for a year to teach English.

White Water Rafting Guide - Jasper, Canada

However, the greatest thing I love about travel is that plans constantly evolve. We immediately fell in love with Jasper and stuck around for the summertime as well. I secured a job as a White Water Rafting Guide while Adela worked in the hospitality industry. This allowed us to explore our favourite adventure activities including Hiking, Mountain Biking, Fishing and Camping in one of the most stunning areas in the world.

Ready to Road Trip

Sadly our year quickly came to an end so we embarked on an 18,000 km road trip from Jasper across the width of Canada before driving back through America. What a fantastic way to see both countries and we only wish that we had more time to spend on that once in a lifetime journey. I say it was a once in a lifetime journey but it is fair to say we plan to come back to North America and spend some quality time driving through all 50 States of America and to explore more of Canada’s wonderland.

Edinburgh Castle

With one year down and Adela’s British Passport it was a no-brainer to follow the Kiwi tradition to work abroad in the UK and securing the working visa for myself was relatively easy. Fortunately, we made the decision to move to Scotland and settle in Edinburgh rather than London. We love the fact that we can walk everywhere and just 20 minutes drive from our house we can be Mountain Biking on some world class single tracks. And they have a freaking Castle in the middle of the City!

Marrakech Markets

Oktoberfest Celebrations

The major reason we chose to move to the UK was that the benefits are that we can travel throughout Europe very easily. So far we have knocked off ParisMarrakesh, Ireland and Munich for Oktoberfest. We also have a number of trips planned to Brussels, Bruge, Egypt and Amsterdam as well as a future Cycle Tour along the River Danube and the Euro Velo 6 route.

One of the important things to note is that there is no way we would have been able to enjoy the amount of travel, or the length of travel we have so far if we were not working in some form or another. We plan to break down all our jobs, savings, travel tips and experiences in posts to come so keep an eye out for those shortly. Although the best way for you to be kept up to date is to subscribe to our email list and to follow us on twitter and facebook.

So to wrap up, we are only two years in and with only a few items on our Bucket List ticked off we are already predicting we won’t be back to New Zealand for at least another two to three years (sorry Mum and Dad) but we can’t wait to see what is next!

Let us know below in the comments if you have travel plans, are already travelling (and for how long) or have just finished up that trip of a lifetime. We want to hear from YOU!

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. LAbackpackerChick

    October 25, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    Nice summary! I love that you guys have been working while traveling. Such a good plan and a great way to keep going.

    I think we’re doing the opposite. We’re traveling Latin America first and when our money runs low, then we’re going to try to find a place to work.

    A US passport is the worst thing to have when seeking work abroad, though

    How did you two secure work in Canada?

    🙂

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      October 25, 2011 at 6:40 PM

      Thanks. The working and travelling is the only way we can manage to see so much I think. We save then travel then save and repeat haha. Not sure which is the best method as we generally then only get to do short trips rather than an extended one.
      We got work in Canada through a company in NZ that hooked us up with interviews with a number of different ski fields. Allowed us to pick which role and ski field we wanted to work on. Was awesome.
      Good luck with your travels!

  2. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    October 25, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    Congratulations! I’m hitting my one-year anniversary in a few days. Enjoying South America and hoping to make it last another 6 months… or more 🙂

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      October 25, 2011 at 6:37 PM

      Thanks Stephanie – congrats on reaching your one year anniversary! We have not done South America yet but would love to spend some time there. Just have to figure out when haha.

  3. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler

    October 25, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    Wow. That’s a long time on the road! Good for you guys. I’m not sure if that is the life for me, but it looks like you guys are having a blast.

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      October 25, 2011 at 8:52 PM

      Thanks Christy. I sometimes wonder whether it is the best technique or not. It works both ways as working while travelling allows you to travel for longer but you just don’t get the opportunity to slow down and really take in each place which is a shame.

  4. Kieu ~ GQ trippin

    October 28, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    Love that you guys are living abroad and do not know when you’ll return home. Edinburgh is high on my list of must visits. I’m jealous you get to call it home. 🙂 G and I are about to embark on our first RTW late December and we’re heading to YOUR backyard – New Zealand. Super excited! We have one month to make it from North to South so any advice/ tips and more importantly, where to eat, we’d love to hear it. Any recommendations for NYE in Auckland? Look forward to following your journey.

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      October 28, 2011 at 9:59 PM

      Hey Kieu nice to meet you! We love it hear in Edinburgh, although the weather can be the pits sometimes when we are wanting to get out and do some proper outdoor things. Lucky you are headed into some of the nicest weather back home in NZ as well. How long are you in NZ for in total? Would be best to email me with a bit of a rough plan. Are you headed to the Bay of Plenty, more importantly Mount Maunganui / Tauranga? Its my home town. Also recommend going along the Coromandel Peninsula. My parents live in Whangamata and they would cook you up a good feed as well if you want to head there haha. NYE just head down to the waterfront, will be awesome fireworks and big crowds. Keep in touch and let us know how you get on!

  5. jade

    November 2, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    Our longest long term travel was for 6.5 weeks- so jealous of your two years! We can’t wait to get out there for longer, hopefully soon!

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 3, 2011 at 9:12 AM

      Thanks Jade. The only way we can make it possible is by working everywhere we go with lots of little side trips. We are debating at the moment whether we should continue working in Edinburgh for another 6 months then backpack for a few months or just keep doing small weekends away to lots of places. So hard to decide because we do want to do a bigger trip!

  6. Nomadic Samuel

    November 5, 2011 at 7:41 AM

    Happy anniversary!

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 5, 2011 at 9:40 PM

      Thanks Samuel. Wish we had started this blog when we started travelling but now we have loads of stories to share. If only I had the time to write them all.

  7. ayngelina

    November 13, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    I didn’t realize you started in Canada, when you say you crossed the width, did you make it to my home province of Nova Scotia?

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 14, 2011 at 9:34 AM

      Hey Ayngelina,
      Yea we started in Jasper for 10 months working and then drove across Canada AND the States. It was 18,000 km over 8 weeks. We absolutely LOVED Nova Scotia. Went right up to the tip of Cape Breton. Saw our first ever Moose up there! Would love to head back to that area as we only had about 5 days there which definitely was not enough. Where are you from?

  8. saurabh

    January 26, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    lot know about traveling world

  9. Barbara Thomas

    February 20, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    I like your blogs Cole – I don't think you should go back to NZ as you will be bored – Shhhh don't tell Stef that!

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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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