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50 lessons learnt from travelling the world

Check out all our 50 lessons learnt from travelling after more than 3 years of adventures around the world.

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Colisseum Pictures, Rome Pictures, Colosseum Panorama, Colosseum Pictures

After more than 3 years on the road we have had more “that was the best day of my life” days than we can count. And more “I am NEVER going to do that ever again” days than we care to remember.

Over 30 countries through more than 5 continents has tested us to our absolute limits. Physically and emotionally. Individually and as a travelling couple.

Four Jandals Egypt Pyramids

After so long on the road, we have learnt a thing or two about travelling and about ourselves. These are our 50 lessons learnt from travelling the world. And while they may not relate to everyone, you may just learn something to help you on your next adventure.

50 lessons learnt from travelling the world

  1. Jandals are the only travel necessity you need.
  2. Lack of food while travelling makes for a very angry Cole.
  3. Lack of sleep while travelling make for a very angry Adela.
  4. War and politics may divide countries and people. Yet somehow travelling makes these problems disappear.
  5. Travelling as a couple has made our relationship stronger.
  6. It is okay to say no to things that you don’t want to do.
  7. Jasper National Park is nearly more beautiful than New Zealand.

    A Guide to Visiting Jasper National Park

  8. Anyone can do adventurous travel activities. You just need the willpower.
  9. Travel should be done as slowly as possible. Where feasible.
  10. As we get older, we appreciate a little more luxury.
  11. Adela definitely doesn’t like caving.

    Four Jandals Caving in Budapest

  12. Flights at the crack of dawn are always the cheapest. Because they suck.
  13. Overland travel is so much easier than flying.
  14. You should NEVER kiss a snake in Marrakech.
    Wash your hands after handling snakes in Marrakech
  15. And travelling sick sucks. You need to stay healthy at all costs.
  16. Airport currency exchange counters give you terrible rates.
  17. Australians are everywhere. And contrary to popular belief, New Zealand is NOT a part of Australia.
  18. Hindsight when travelling is a wonderful idea.
  19. Sunrises are worth waking up early for. Always.
    La Notte Rosa sunrise in Rimini
  20. You should travel for a reason. Not just so say that you can say that you have travelled to the next “popular” destination.
  21. You should change your plans just so you can eat a local food delicacy.
  22. Working overseas while you are travelling allows you to travel longer.
  23. It is okay to request timeouts while travelling as a couple. Timeouts even work when stuck beside each other in a car driving across Canada and USA.
  24. Las Vegas really is an adults version of Disneyland.
  25. Get naked if the locals are naked so that you fit in with them.
  26. Skype is the worlds best invention for keeping in touch with family and friends.
  27. McDonald’s are everywhere. But we will only enter one to use their bathroom.
  28. Peeing in squat toilets is really hard. Prepare to get your feet wet the first few times.
  29. Street food is tastier and so much cheaper compared to touristy restaurants.
    Street food in Egypt Falafel
  30. Learning a tiny bit of the local language can get you so much respect in a new culture.
  31. It is not okay to stereotype people based on their race, religion, accent or the way they dress, before you get to know them. No matter how many times the stereotype turns out to be right.
  32. Cute Highland Cows will make the toughest or grumpiest person in the world smile.
    Cute Highland Cow pictures
  33. International media are often wrong. Most places they deem “unsafe” are, in fact, very safe.
  34. Amsterdam is a crazy place. But there is more to it than smoking weed and visiting peep shows.
  35. If travelling as a couple, make time for “date nights”.
  36. You need to have travel insurance. Especially if you are Adela.
    Snowboarding Broken Collarbone
  37. Exercise and routine can be important while travelling.
  38. So is sitting back on a beach and relaxing for the day.
  39. Travelling should make you open your eyes to change.
  40. When you are not looking for a toilet, they are everywhere. When you are busting, you will never find one.
  41. And paying for toilets will never become less annoying.
  42. No matter how much you have learnt about the Pyramids in Egypt, they will blow your mind in person.
  43. The more you travel, the more places and adventures we continue to add to our dream list.
  44. You should tear up your bucket list. Instead, live in the here and now.
  45. The Roman Colosseum is probably the coolest structure in the world.
    Colisseum Pictures, Rome Pictures
  46. Couples should have to travel together before they get married.
  47.  We prefer exploring adventures by ourselves, rather than on group tours.
  48. Jumping photos make pictures so much cooler.
    Cole jumping photo Eiffel Tower
  49. Nowhere is quite like home. But that is why you should travel the world.
  50. If something is holding you back from seeing the world. Quit doing that thing. Nothing should stop you from travelling.

Check out all these other awesome travel tips from us.

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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102 Comments

102 Comments

  1. Memographer

    September 19, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Nice list! A pic of a cute highland cow made my day. And, YES, Australians are everywhere! 🙂

  2. Andrew

    September 20, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Great post! I can definitely relate to most of those points (and if Jasper Park really is *nearly* more beautiful than NZ, I’ll definitely have to put it on my list!)

    • Cole Burmester

      September 28, 2012 at 6:19 PM

      Jasper is really that beautiful Andrew! Put it up on your list 🙂

  3. Jeremy Branham

    September 20, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    Good lessons. Agree with #4 completely. Disagree with #1 completely (I rarely wear them and hate feet)! 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      September 28, 2012 at 6:19 PM

      Not sure that we can be friends if you dislike jandals 😉

  4. Ashley

    September 20, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    This is so true and made me laugh- Flights at the crack of dawn are always the cheapest. Because they suck.

    Also I loved the picture of the highland calf. So adorable.

    • Cole Burmester

      September 28, 2012 at 6:20 PM

      I just had to catch another dawn flight this week. Ewwww such a nightmare. Even slept at the airport for it!

  5. Jess | GlobetrotterGirls

    September 20, 2012 at 11:03 PM

    Number 12 really hits home! Cheap flights save you so much money, but the ungodly hour makes you lose your sanity, sometimes. And, they just suck! 🙂

  6. Pretraveller

    September 21, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    Thanks for the tips. I am hoping to make the comparison between New Zealand and Jasper myself before too much longer!!

    While I have not taken the long term trip like you have I have tried to have a ‘travelling spirit’ as we go through life. This means that where possible we try to get out of the house and explore our local area. And we have hopefully set up a child free date night in the next week where we intend to go and explore our hometown of Brisbane!

  7. Amanda

    September 22, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    Great lessons! Totally agree with almost all of them – especially #46!

  8. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    September 22, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Great life lessons. I definitely agree that every couple should travel together before they get married. You’ll learn all you need to know in a very short period of time. Recently, we found ourselves getting up way before dawn because of a time change. Each time we saw the sunrise I was reminded why it’s worth waking up for. Beautiful photos!

  9. D.J. - The World of Deej

    September 24, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Awesome stuff…so many of these made me chuckle either from experience, or from reading the story behind the lesson here:)

  10. Lee Carter @ Global Goose

    September 24, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Very good tips, I can defiantly relate to most of them, apart from the jandals of course as I don’t lift my feet.

  11. Callie

    September 24, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Good list (especially the part about the cow. Freaking adorable.)! Also, good meeting you at TBEX!

  12. Angie Away

    September 24, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    That cow is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! And your list is great – No. 50 sums it up nicely!

  13. Angela

    September 25, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    I totally relate with #9 and 32! I travel slowly and those cutest things ever do make smile (and I’m also grumpy sometimes :P)

    • Cole Burmester

      September 30, 2012 at 5:18 PM

      Haha we are all grumpy from time to time. At least you know where to come if you need cheering up 😉

  14. EurotripTips

    September 26, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    Very true about toilets. And very true about street food.

    And even truer about traveling as a couple. So many people underestimate how hard it is to travel as a couple, sometimes – and I mean travel, not a week vacation to an all-inclusive resort. Long term travel with a significant other can be both wonderful and exhausting, romantic and aggravating. It really is a good test before marriage. And it worked wonderfully in my case, going on 6 years now 🙂

    Our first test? Living together abroad for one year, in a 18m2 apartment in Camden. When we were done, I said that if we had gotten through this, we could get through anything!

    • Cole Burmester

      September 30, 2012 at 5:20 PM

      Totally agree with you. Living together and travelling together are totally different things. Living together in a foreign country, just as tough 🙂

  15. Andrea

    September 26, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    So true! The best lessons are learned when you step out of your comfort zone and go explore the world! Some of the lessons I have learned have proven to be invaluable in my daily life and I am more adaptable to difficult situations now.

    • Cole Burmester

      September 30, 2012 at 5:29 PM

      Travelling totally changes your perceptions on life (in a good way). I wish everyone had the means and desire to want to travel. I think we would all be better off.

  16. Caroline @ Traveling 9 to 5

    September 26, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    I agree sunrises are worth it and early morning flights truly are the worst!

    Great list!

    • Cole Burmester

      September 30, 2012 at 5:32 PM

      We have caught too many cheap flights at ridiculous hours of the morning. Wish we were not cheap asses haha.

  17. karin@personaltravel

    September 26, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Great list!! Keep safe while traveling and enjoy your adventures!

    • Cole Burmester

      September 30, 2012 at 5:34 PM

      Cheers Karin! Hope you have safe travels too 🙂

  18. ANGLO/Dale

    September 26, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Too many points to comment on, but the one that I can’t ‘completely’ agree with is number 42 ‘The Roman Colosseum is probably the coolest structure in the world’.

    Personally, I don’t even think it’s the best building in Rome.
    For me it’s got to be the ‘Square’ Colosseum : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palazzo_della_Civilt%C3%A0_Italiana

    Check it out 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      September 30, 2012 at 5:35 PM

      Everyone has personal opinions Dale 😉 I just like the way the sunlight reflected off the Colosseum in the mornings and evenings.

      • ANGLO/Dale

        October 1, 2012 at 7:34 AM

        Completely agree. Personal opinions make me me & you you.

        Sounds like a comedy double act: ‘MeMe & YouYou’.

        We need a theme tune…

        • Cole Burmester

          October 1, 2012 at 2:37 PM

          Hahaha brilliant. Is it weird that the Sound of Music popped into my head straight away?

          • ANGLO/Dale

            October 1, 2012 at 6:59 PM

            You too?

            Spooky!

  19. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    September 26, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Fun list–here, here for # 19, 21 and 33!

  20. Laurence

    September 27, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    Wait a second – I spent a year in NZ under the impression it was just another Ozzie state!

    Seriously though, have to agree on the travelling as a couple. I reckon if you can survive long term 24/7 living, you can do anything!

  21. Meeah

    September 28, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    Love the post!!! The cow is so adorable!!! 🙂 and yes, jandals rock 😉
    I could relate with many points – keep safe while traveling and especially snowboarding!!

    • Cole Burmester

      September 30, 2012 at 5:42 PM

      So glad you call them jandals too! Maybe see you on the ski slopes sometime soon 🙂

  22. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    September 29, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Yes! to number 9.

  23. Ava Apollo

    September 30, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Noted, I won’t kiss any snakes. Agree, sun rises are always worth waking up for. Great post 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      September 30, 2012 at 5:52 PM

      Just make sure they have a clean bill of health if you want to kiss any snakes 😉

  24. Just One Boomer (Suzanne)

    October 1, 2012 at 7:20 AM

    I’m probably a tad older than most of your followers, but most of your assertions resonated for me, but I’ll comment on just a few
    #17: I’ve known for a long time that New Zealand is not part of Australia, but I am embarrassingly bad at differentiating the accents of NZ, Oz, Britain, Ireland, and South Africa. Before I assume an English speaker who sounds American is from the US, I trick them into saying the words “out” or “about”, so I won’t tick off any Canadians.
    #10: we do prefer “a little more luxury” as we age–like only sharing a room (and preferably a bathroom) with people we love–or at least are fond of
    #13: can’t say I agree that overland travel is always easier than flying—the Andes in Peru come immediately to mind
    #19: I wouldn’t get doctrinaire about ALWAYS waking up for sunrises. Sunsets are very nice too and are so much more conveniently timed.
    #28: squat toilets–something you can figure out how to use eventually (even ladies), but they are also something you are happy to avoid when possible. Travelers spend more time on average thinking about toilets than the general population. I was moved (pun intended) to write a blog post about the toilets in Japan.
    #32: Please tell me they don’t eat those incredibly cute highland cows.
    #45: I’m with Anglo Dale on this one. The Colosseum is kind of amazing in historical context and certainly a must see, but I’d have to think about this for awhile before anointing it the “coolest structure” in the world.
    #46: If you like to travel, you should definitely take your beloved out for a test trip before saying “I do”. My man passed with flying colors 31 years ago.
    #51: Q.: What’s the 8th wonder of the world? A. A Kiwi with a return ticket. (Told to us by a Kiwi theology student who gave us a tour of the Vatican.)

    • Cole Burmester

      October 1, 2012 at 2:35 PM

      Thanks for stopping by Suzanne 🙂 Always love having new commenters!

      Agree with lots of your points there. I do love the Colosseum (just not the crowds). And love your #51. Definitely using that at a later date 🙂

  25. Alana - Gen Y Wanderer

    October 1, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    Totally agree with #43…my list is never-ending and ever-growing…

    • Cole Burmester

      October 1, 2012 at 2:37 PM

      Damn the world being such an exciting place to explore aye Alana!

  26. Audrey | That Backpacker

    October 3, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    I too get cranky if I don’t eat, hehe. I’ve learned to either carry food with me, or take lots of cafe breaks. p.s. Those highland cows are pretty cute!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 4, 2012 at 5:04 PM

      We have slowly figured it out too. Lack of sleep and lack of food = not a good relationship hahaha. Simple things to keep us happy 🙂

  27. Addison S. @ Visa Hunter

    October 3, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    You’ve hit the nail on the head here. Numbers 2 and 3 particularly bring back traveling memories of my own: the man must eat and the women must sleep. Whereas nowhere is quite like home, I am of the belief that it is definitely possible to find somewhere that matches up and I have fortunately found this place more than once.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 4, 2012 at 5:05 PM

      Haha love that you agree with our eating and sleeping rules 😉

      Glad you have found a few places that match home. It is always just nice to return to that special place, and NZ is quite hard to beat really 😉

  28. Agness (@Agnesstramp)

    October 7, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    You are right saying Australian people are everywhere. What I pitty I don’t see any Polish backpackers. Great tips. Travelling is a life lesson 😉 and I have learnt that Karma always gets back around 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 7, 2012 at 2:45 PM

      Thanks for stopping by Agness! Adela is actually part Polish as her Grandma moved to New Zealand as a child. Would be great to meet some more Polish backpackers 🙂

  29. Turtle

    October 9, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Great lessons – love ’em. Although I don’t know why you bothered going past number 1 🙂
    Oh yeah, because you wanted to have a dig at the Aussies. Fair ‘nuf.

  30. Agness (@Agnesstramp)

    October 10, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    Yeah, that’s cool. I am hoping to meet you guys on our travels in the future 🙂 Happy travels!

  31. Raymond @ Man On The Lam

    October 13, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    I’m having a hard time with #37 — I need more exercise! Great list!!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 14, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      I struggle with it when I am not travelling! Luckily we spend most of our time wandering cities or on crazy adventures. So it definitely helps.

  32. Laurie

    October 14, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Great post The Roman Colosseum is probably the most amazing structure you could see. Love the history

  33. Jeremy (TheTravelApprentice)

    October 15, 2012 at 4:23 AM

    Awesome list you two, I feel like I could have written in myself… 🙂 I especially like the one about Egypt, I’ve never been, I know tons about it and actually wondered the other day if Egypt would live up to my extremely high expectations of it… I want to believe it’ll blow me away when I finally get there.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 15, 2012 at 8:51 AM

      It blew us away (Egypt). Definitely try and get there sometime soon. Such an amazing and diverse country!

  34. Shamis @ Gawaya Travel Blog

    October 17, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Nice (and some funny) tips 🙂 Especially the cute cow and street food. I totally agree with the #49 and #50.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 17, 2012 at 7:19 PM

      He is really cute! Thanks for dropping by Shamis 🙂

  35. Matt Gomio

    October 17, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    I love those pictures, especially the one jumping “against” the Eifel Tower – that’s more creative than just “picking it up”!

    Let’s stay connected and check out our Blog as well.
    I bookmarked this one 🙂

    Take care you both,
    Matt

    • Cole Burmester

      October 17, 2012 at 7:20 PM

      It was a shame the picture was a bit blurry but oh well! Thanks for dropping by Matt, will definitely check out Gomio!

  36. Tom

    October 30, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Awesome list, Cole!

    I loved number 46 and wow, that highland cow was REALLY cute 😀

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 10:45 AM

      46 should be made into some law that everyone signs when they get into a relationship haha.

  37. Trudy Florence

    October 30, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    Agree with so many of these! Particularly 46 haha. Love all your travel lessons, we have learnt so much in the past year and a bit. I think the big one is that our relationship is the best tool we have when travelling the world. Travelling together long term is such an amazing experience that we will remember forever.

  38. Laurie

    November 2, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    Your are right on the mark. Love 49

    • Cole Burmester

      November 2, 2012 at 8:48 AM

      Thanks Laurie! Hopefully everyone can agree on at least one point 😉

  39. Cho

    November 19, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Love the little moo in the middle of the post!! I would definitely travel!!

  40. Alexandra

    December 6, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    I have to revist Amsterdam as apparently I didn’t see everything the city had to offer 🙂

    Seriously though, great list! I’m in the process of booking my second RTW flight in less than two years. I can’t even begin to fathom the lessons I will learn traveling overland through Africa and India

    BTW: We Hawaiian call them Slippahs and I really don’t understand why I ever bring any other type of footwear with me

    • Cole Burmester

      December 11, 2012 at 11:31 AM

      Totally agree with you about not needing any other footwear! Our jandals (slippahs) are the best travel accessories 🙂 You will love Africa and India I am sure.

  41. Ian [EagerExistence]

    December 11, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Australians are everywhere! …and YOU love it

    • Cole Burmester

      December 12, 2012 at 1:04 AM

      Hahaha they are good value… most of the time.

  42. Pingback: 25 Lessons I Thankfully learned travelling and living abroad

  43. Kay Rodriguez

    December 26, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Cute and entertaining list! 🙂 I love travel because it teaches me things I would have never learned reading a book or sitting in a classroom. And the best lesson from traveling is that there’s always more to learn!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 10:12 AM

      Whole heartedly agree 100% Kay! Those 50 lessons are only the tip of the iceberg of what we have learnt. More importantly we have discovered food, cultures and friendships that will remain with us forever.

  44. Eartha

    February 1, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    I LOVE… absolutely LOVE this list!!! (And yes I did smile at that highland cow photo!) I’m about to do an RTW that starts in a couple months, and I will live and breathe this list.
    You guys are awesome! Keep traveling!

    Xo

    • Cole Burmester

      February 2, 2013 at 3:08 PM

      Thanks Xo! Hope you enjoy your RTW trip and we might see you somewhere along the way 😀

  45. Anita

    February 2, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Some great advice, Jandals! I especially like #44. Living in the here and now is not easy to do…but it’s so satisfying!

    • Cole Burmester

      February 2, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      Definitely Anita! So easy to get caught up in other things and problems that can pull you out of the here and now.

  46. Wally

    April 6, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    I thought only Canadians had to blog about simple travel experiences.

  47. Wally

    April 6, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Although I do agree with #9

  48. david fountain

    April 9, 2013 at 3:57 AM

    Great info…also…wear sunscreen!

  49. Matt

    April 20, 2013 at 4:13 AM

    As someone who is about to embark on a 6 month+ round the world journey with his wife and two best friends, its posts like this that make me smile (75% because of that ADORABLE cow). You have reminded me that I have no reason to be scared, I can’t WAIT to see all the sights, the pyramids, the food….the list is endless. I agree that if anything is holding you back just do it! I’m scared, excited, nervous, happy and sad that I’m leaving everything behind all at once…and I wouldn’t change a thing! Thank for for the inspiration!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 21, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      Good luck on your trip Matt and I hope you find a way to keep travelling after the 6 months is up 😉 All I can say is to enjoy every moment and take each day as it comes.

  50. Dream Holidays Guide

    April 23, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    I agree with the lessons you wrote here,i kept smiling while reading each lines. When I was just starting out traveling overseas, I always get ripped off by airport money changers, now I learned it’s cheaper to take money out from the ATM when abroad.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 23, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      Either from the ATM or at least find a really good rate online before the airport. So many places allow you to buy currency online and delivered to you as well.

  51. cathie

    June 23, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    No. 47. Enter Micky d’s for one other reason…ice!

  52. Mj

    July 3, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    Hmm I definitely agree ! I am Asian and first time to travel out of my country. When you start to travel and get out from your comfort zone you will realize that there is much more fun in the neighborhood 🙂 travelling tells you a lot , learned a lot of things and the questions you have in mind were answered by your foot steps :). Thanks a lot for Sharing your travel tips and learnings 🙂

  53. rrenny

    July 19, 2013 at 6:11 AM

    Jumping does make pictures look so much better.. Especially at parks, lakes and on hills. It kind of emits the joy and exuberance.

    • Cole Burmester

      July 31, 2013 at 9:31 AM

      You look ridiculous doing it but when you see the pictures you are always stoked!

  54. cham (volunteertravel)

    September 16, 2013 at 4:26 AM

    Great list and so true! I think routine and doing something you feel is beneficial are some of the most important things while traveling.

    • Cole Burmester

      September 17, 2013 at 7:18 AM

      Totally agree with you Cham 🙂 Especially for long term travel!

  55. Charles Rahm (@DWJustTravel)

    October 15, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    Great post. I agree that adventurous activities certainly take a certain amount of willpower which I am sadly lacking in! Well done to have gone caving- Must have been an unforgettable experience. Definitely paying to use the toilet is still one of my greatest peeves.

  56. Jaryd

    February 1, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    Awesome list number 8 sums it all up – Anyone can do adventurous travel activities, you just need the willpower. Love it! The greatest thing I have learned whilst traveling over 6 continents is that endorsing yourself in the culture of each country truly helps you to understand their way of life.

  57. Pingback: Travel Memories from Cole [Four Jandals]

  58. Eric

    September 24, 2014 at 2:01 AM

    You did not need to tell you that ” travelling sick sucks” after number 14 which is you should not kiss a snake in Marrakech.Made me smile.
    Healthy travelling.
    Cheers

  59. Zulian

    April 16, 2015 at 1:42 AM

    You are really full of Experience, All about travelling have you felt. Now you have the way to avoid a saturation Buddy

  60. hanoi food tour

    June 14, 2015 at 4:21 PM

    I am going to Thailand next week and this is the first time i travel to oversea. Useful information. Thanks

  61. Susan

    October 31, 2016 at 4:02 PM

    Couldn’t more agree on point 46 and 49 haha! I’ve been learning a lot from your blog and the more i read it, the more i want to explore more, you are my inspiration. Keep up writing and share for people 🙂

  62. Shane Dayton

    January 7, 2017 at 7:49 AM

    Great advice all the way through, though maybe none so good as “Tear up the bucket list and live in the hear and now.” Granted, I have the long bucket list of places I want to see and experiences I intend to have, but those are guide posts to get started and motivation when life forces me down for a while. Being able to embrace the moment, where you are, what possibilities open up – that really is the essence of travel, IMO.

  63. Alex S

    March 7, 2017 at 1:11 PM

    Awesome list… I agree those cute Highland Cows are soooo cute!

    I would just add one more on the list. 51. Always wake up early on a powder day & get 1st chair… ALWAYS. 🙂

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Travel Tips

How To Assess Which Saigon Guided Tours Are Worth Taking

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Knowing where to begin when you arrive in a foreign city or country is the biggest challenge facing those on a travelling or backpacking experience especially if you only have a limited amount of time in which to enjoy it. So this is why a good guided tour can be invaluable as it cuts down wasted time and energy seeing parts that are not quite what you wanted.

Look At The Routes Offered

You might think all tours are essentially the same but this is absolutely not the case. What you will find is that many of the tours are geared more for one demographic than another and this can affect the routes and sites they take in. For example, if you choose a tour geared more towards older people and you are looking for something a bit physically active including, hiking or climbing, for example, you are sure to be disappointed this way. So be sure to check where they go and choose appropriately

Read The Descriptions On Their Website

This seems obvious but rad the description carefully as this will let you know exactly what you are going to get and what not to expect. Often the company can be a bit vague or offer a certain price on an advert that turns out to be the most limited version of what they offer. Also be sure they offer a tour in a language you can comfortably understand, there’s no help in having the most top-notch tour guide if you don’t understand them.

Check Out The Reviews

You’ll have no greater idea of whether or not a tour operator is better than reading what others have said about the experience. You will want to get one of the most reputable tour operators in Ho Chi Minh City and this made the time spent so much more enjoyable. The best tour guides will know where the top ho chi minh photography spots are. I even found that you can get a photography class in Saigon as part of some of these packages.

Get In Touch & Ask Questions

If you are unsure of something or have any specific requirements a good tour operator will be happy to answer these before you book. There are so many things you may not have even considered to ask, here is an excellent list of things to consider such as is food included and what provisions there are for poor weather etc.

Try Something A Bit Different Where Offered

If you ask around and are lucky you might find some more alternative types of tour that offer a real insight into the local culture and way of life. As the main tourist spots are easily known these days with resources such as TripAdvisor etc. Something like this Slum Tour may sound weird but can be a real eye opener and give you a real feel for the city rather than just the history. So look around and find the tour that’s right for you.

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Travel Tips

8 Best Road Trips in Australia

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Welcome to the Land Down Under, where gorgeous cityscapes meld with the rough outback and sunburns are indicative of a day well spent. This continent/country is tailor-made for the wide-eyed adventurers. Expansive rainforests, canyons, mountains, and world-famous beaches beckon thousands of visitors every year, but what exactly is the best way to get the most out of a tour in Australia? Eschew the plane in favor of a 4WD! Cruising the open road guarantees the best sights and experiences, so here are 8 of the best road trips in Australia.

  • The Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road leads you along some of Austalia’s most stunning coastlines. Gawk at cliffs, rainforests, and shipwrecks and don’t forget to spend a moment taking in the beauty of the Twelve Apostles – a collection of limestone structures just off the shore of Port Campbell National Park.

Recommendation: Twelve Apostles is Port Campbell National Park’s most iconic spot, but don’t forget to wander further. Check out Lock Ard Gorge for the stunning 19th century shipwreck, the Island Archway, and snap a few photos of the Gibson Steps rock formation.

Distance: 243 kilometers

Starting and ending point: Torquay to Allansford, South Australia

Duration: 2-3 days.

Best time to go: February-March or October-November for warmer weather and off-peak prices away from the crowds.

  • Gibb River Road

A road trip through the Gibb River Road is definitely one for the books, what with its magnificent displays of wildlife and wilderness. Touted as one of Australia’s greatest 4WD adventures, this road trip takes you through Kimberley where you can explore gorges, waterfalls, outback cattle stations, rock art, and Aboriginal sites.

Recommendation: The Bell Gorge can be a challenge to reach, but the sight itself is worth all the effort. Marvel at cascading waterfalls while swimming in its natural pools!

Distance: 660 kilometers

Starting and ending point: Derby to Wyndham, Western Australia

Duration: One to two weeks.

Best time to go: Catch the dry season from April to September when waterfalls are fully fed by the previous rainy season. The road is closed December to March due to heavy rains and flooding.

  • The Great Eastern Drive

For adventurers seeking a little solace, the Great Eastern Drive offers the peace and quiet of Tasmania with the hustle and bustle of only its wildlife. From Orford to St. Helens, this reflective journey takes you through the east coast wine country, forests, beach towns, and stunning farmlands. The region’s bountiful produce and seafood guarantee you’ll be munching something along the way.

Recommendation: The Freycinet National Park is a worthy detour with its crystal-clear bays, waters and rich birdlife.

Distance: 176 kilometers

Starting and ending point: Orford to St. Helens, Tasmania

Duration: 2-5 days.

Best time to go: The autumn months of March-May for crowd-free travel.

  • Roadtrip to The Tip

Looking to get lost in the wilderness? A trip to Cape York, one of Australia’s most remote landscapes, offers more than a thousand kilometers of untamed and rugged rainforest beauty. This picturesque route features river crossings infested with crocs, ancient rock art, and two World Heritage sites in the Wet Tropics. Beautiful as it may be, here’s some bad news for your social media followers: Cape York has very limited phone reception, so bye-bye Instagram (that’s right, take this time to reconnect with Mother Nature!)

Recommendation: Take a guided tour through the Quinkan Galleries at Laura to gawk over 30,000-year-old rock art.

Distance: 1000 kilometers

Starting and ending point: Cairns to Cape York, Queensland

Duration: One to two weeks

Best time to go: During the cooler months of June to October. Other times of the year might be met with road closures and floods.

  • Australia’s Coral Coast

Nature lovers, buckle up your seatbelts. This trip from Perth to Ningaloo promises to offer you the best that Mother Nature has to offer. Here, the sprawling Indian Ocean converges with the rugged outback, offering countless adventures on both land and water. Explore the Pinnacles Desert and the Kalbarri National Park for land-dwelling creatures and the World Heritage Shark Bay to spy on manta rays, dolphins, and whale sharks.

Recommendation: Dedicated divers must check out the Navy Pier – one of the world’s top 10 on-shore dive sites.

Distance: 1200 kilometers

Starting and ending point: Perth to Ningaloo, Western Australia

Duration: 1 week

Best time to go: Come between June to September for a stunning display of vibrant wildflowers.

  • Great Alpine Road

Cruise along the continent’s highest accessible sealed road to marvel at scenic mountain ranges, deep valleys, and spectacular wine regions. The waterways of the Gippsland Lakes region are a must visit. Looking to reflect? The journey is studded with charming historic towns, such as Omeo, Beechworth, and Bright.

Recommendation: Visit Mt. Hotham, Victoria’s highest alpine village, for rejuvenating mountain air and absolutely breath-taking alpine views. Lots of action here for snowboarders, skiers, and sledders!

Distance: 500 kilometers

Starting and ending point: Wangaratta to Metung, Victoria

Duration: 3 days

Best time to go: Any time of the year, but some roads may be closed during winter (June to August)

  • The Savannah Way

Our penultimate road trip will have you traveling 3,700 kilometers across five World Heritage sites and 15 national parks, all without ending up in another country or kissing the ocean. This epic road trip may be grueling, but this is one journey that truly offers the Australian outback experience. Expect lots of time spent in nature from grassy plains to lush rainforests, waterfalls, ancient rock art, remote cattle stations, and turquoise waters.

Recommendation: The Boodjamulla National Park is a must-visit. Gawk at magnificent gorges, 25-million-year-old fossils, emerald waters, and orange sandstone cliffs.

Distance: 3700 kilometers

Starting and ending point: Cairns, Queensland to Broome, Western Australia

Duration: 10 days to 3 weeks.

Best time to go: Come during the dry season between May to September.

  • The Big Lap

Ready for an adventure of a lifetime? The Big Lap is for die-hard road-trippers – an epic road trip that encompasses the entirety of Australia. If you have 6 months or more to spare, this road trip promises more than just spectacular sights and the full Australian experience, you’ll also get lifelong bragging rights.  Highway 1 links Australia’s seven capital cities and skirts around Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns, Broome, Esperance, Hobart, and Adelaide. The Big Lap offers everything Aussie: verdant rainforests, bustling cities, coastal towns, the rough outback, and crystal beaches. This is one road trip unlike any other.

Recommendation: Add more to the experience by including Alice Springs, Kakadu, and Uluru, all accessible via the Stuart Highway in NT.

Distance: 15,000 kilometers

Starting and ending point: This is an epic road trip around Australia with no definite start or end points. You will be cruising along Highway 1 which skirts around the entire continent, with some divergences if you want to explore key cities

Duration: Six months to a year

Best time to go: If it’s summer, December to Australia head south. During winter, June to August, head north or explore the red center. Wet seasons from November to May may close roads and national parks.

If you want an amped up travel experience, explore Australia on four wheels. The greatest part of a road trip isn’t about arriving at your destination and this rings true in the Land Down Under. This continent offers a myriad of sights and adventures you just might miss when traveling on air!

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7 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Kerala

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Kerala, God’s own country is one of the most famous tourist places in India. For explorers from across the world, it is a promising coastal state that  lies between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, offering diverse and dynamic experiences. The land is capable of pleasing tourists throughout the seasons. Golden beaches, unique emerald backwaters, high mountain ranges, beautiful hill stations, culturally rich art forms, delightful cuisines; the options are many to relish at Kerala. There are many tourist destinations in the state that are equally ideal for families, honeymoon couples, adventurists, and solo backpackers. Listed below are the some of the best tourist spots in Kerala which makes the place a must-to-visit destination.

  1.  Alleppey, The Venice of east welcomes you!

Alleppey (Alappuzha) is an inevitable choice to be included in your bucket list if you visit Kerala. Known by the title, The Venice of East, Alleppey is a perfect destination of backwaters and beaches which is an ideal place to spend your houseboat vacation. The exploring of watery routes in the age-old transportation facility houseboat can even provide you luxuries equivalent to a 5-star hotel.

The sight of scenic landscape and backwatering through coconut groves, paddy fields, villages, water lilies, and ducks will give you a soothing effect. The excited cuisines offered there is the fresh produce from the water into your plate. The bliss you earn from there will be remembered all the time.

The main attractions of Alleppey are the Alleppey beach, Marari Baech, Punnamadas lake, Krishnapuram Palace, Ravi Karunakaran Museum, Pathirmanal island, and Sri Krishna temple Ambalappuzha. The snake boat race held at Alleppey during August o September is another attraction.

The best time to visit Alleppey: September to May

Nearest airport: Kochi International Airport is 53 km away from the place

Nearest railway station: Alleppey Railway Station.

  1.  Munnar, The Kashmir of Kerala

Munnar is one of the widely attracted tourist places in Kerala for its natural beauty. Located at an altitude of 6000 ft. above the sea level, Munnar is a town of excess charm. The mind soothing climate of the hills and mountains covered with tea plantations. About 80,000 miles of hills are covered with tea plantations. The cold climate and the mind-blowing sights make Munnar undoubtedly a place for Honeymoon. The ancient colonial ambiance of Munnar is evident through the TATA tea Museum. The comfortable stays, trekkings, camps make your days in Munnar the most memorable in your life.

The major attractions of Munnar include Anamudi, Top station, Eravikulam national park, Attukal waterfalls, TATA tea museum, Meesapulimala, Marayoor Dolmens, Mattupetty dam, Kundala lake, Blossom Park, Pothenmedu vide point, Indo-Swiss dairy farm, Life of Pi Church and Lockhart Gap.

The best time to visit Munnar: October to March

Nearest airport: Kochi International Airport which is located 143 km away

Nearest railway station: Aluva Railway Station which is located 110 km away.

  1.  Kovalam, Experience the beauty of Beach

Kovalam is one of the must-visit tourist places in Kerala for its beach beauty. Kovalam offers cherished experiences for lots of tourists. The pleasant weather, soft sand, eye catchy blue sea, a soothing sea breeze, and the tall coconut trees aside the beach makes the place a miniature of paradise.

The tourists there are allowed to involve in swimming, surfing, bask under the sun, and enjoy the lip-smacking seafood. The mind soothing body massage is another attraction where both the mind and body are nurtured. There are various accommodation facilities for every kind of visitors ranging from the cheapest to most luxurious ones. You can relax in the sunbathing and get engaged snorkeling, parasailing etc.

The main attractions of Kovalam include Hawah beach, Samudra beach, Vizhinjam marine aquarium, Fishing harbor, Akkulam Lake, Aruvikkara, Rock cut cave, Karamana River, Thiruvallam parasurama temple, Kovalam Juma masjid and Valiathura Pier.

The best time to visit: September to May

Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport which is 15km away.

Nearest Railway Station: Trivandrum Railway Station is 14 km away.

  1.  Fort Kochi, ¬¬¬¬The gateway of Kerala

Fort Kochi, considered as the gateway of Kerala is one of the most attractive tourist spots in Kerala. Fort Kochi is the main attraction of the Queen of the Arabian Sea with a multitude of personalities. The ancient city possesses a wide heritage and multi-ethnic culture. Being a most visited place in Kerala, Fort Kochi is an ideal destination for nature lovers, tourists and history buffs.  The mind-blowing sights, delicious seafood, museums, palaces, synagogues, heritage buildings, beaches, art galleries, churches, Hindu temples etc makes Fort Kochi a promising land for exploring. People will not leave Fort Kochi without savoring the multi cuisines and grab some reminiscence to home.

The major attractions of Fort Kochi are the Bolgatty Palace, Mattancherry Palace, Paradesi Synagogue, Santa Cruz Basilica, Hill palace, Willingdon Island, Museum of Kerala history, St. Francis Church, Marine Drive, Ernakulam Shiva temple, the sunsets and sunrise near the Chinese fishing net and Kodanad Elephant training center etc.

The best time to visit Fort Kochi: September to March

Nearest Airport: Kochi International Airport

Nearest Railway Station: Ernakulam Junction which is located 13 km away

  1.  Thekkady, Experience the wilderness

Thekkady is one of the top-ranked tourist destinations in Kerala. It is blessed with the wild beauty cuddled with the lush greenery of the Western Ghats and the dense forest. The Periyar wildlife sanctuary nearby the Periyar Lake is known for the tourist delight. It is one of the 27 Tiger reserves in India which is a home for 35 diverse species of fauna such as Tigers, wild Elephants, Sambars, and Gaurs etc. other than this, there are coffee and many spices plantations in Thekkady which is another attraction of the place. There are around 265 species of birds. You can enjoy the wild beauty of Thekkady through adventurous jungle safaris, patrols, bamboo rafting, border hiking, and camps.

The main attractions of Thekkady include Rmakkalmedu, Kumily, Elephant Junction, Periyar wildlife sanctuary, Periyar Lake, Deepa world spice and Ayurvedic Garden, Mudra cultural center, Mullaperiyar Dam, Chellarkovil, Vandanmedu, Murikkady, Periyar Tiger Trail and Kadathanadan Kalari Center.

The best time to visit Thekkady: November to May

Nearest Airport: Karipur International Airport which is situated 95 km away

Nearest Railway Station: Kottayam Railway Station which is situated 114 km away.

  1.  Wayanad, The symbol of scenic beauty

Wayanad is the proof of why Kerala is called God’s own country. It is the greenest place to visit in Kerala. The ravishing wild beauty with the adventurous trekking experiences makes the place a must-to-visit spot in Kerala. The comfortable stays in the soothing climate and wild ambiance of Wayanad are promising.

Real-time experience of the tribal heritages from more than 50 tribe dwellings in Wayanad is uniqueness about Wayanad expedition. Trekking and camping is another factor which attracts tourists from various parts of the worlds. You can even try your fortune if you spot the Neelakurinji flower which blooms once in 12 years.

Major attractions of Wayanad are Banasura Sagar Dam, Edakkal caves, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Papanashini river, Kuruva dweep, Thusharagiri waterfalls, Thirunelli temple, Lakkidi viewpoint, Puliyarmala Jian, and Padinjarathara Dam.

Best time to visit Wayanad: October to May. Also, you can enjoy the trip to Wayanad during Monsoon seasons.

Nearest Airport: Karipur International Airport which is located 95 km away

Nearest Railway Station: Kozhikode Railway Station which is located 72 km away.

  1.  Kumarakom, Enjoy the contours of Vembanad Lake

Kumarakom is a famous tourist destination in Kerala known for backwatering and bird sanctuary. The peaceful hamlet possesses enthralling sceneries, exotic environment, and cool weather. Being one of the best places to visit in Kerala, Kumarakom gives you a mind-blowing experience in backwatering through the fresh paddy fields, coconut groves, and villages. The relaxing houseboat rides are available for all type of tourists at cheap rates too expensive ones. The delightful cuisines of Kumarakom should be tried at least once.

The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a must-to-go place in Kerala which homes to a wide variety of bird species that mainly includes migratory birds and Siberian storks.

The major attractions of Kumarakom are The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kumarakom Backwaters, Aruvikkuzhi waterfalls, Vembanad Lake, Pathiramanal Island, Kumarakom beach, Bay Island Driftwood Museum, Thriunakkara Mahadeva temple, Cheiryapally, Valiyapally etc.

The ideal time to visit Kumarakom: September to May

Nearest Airport: Kochi International Airport which is located 85 km away.

Nearest Railway station: Kottayam Railway station which is situated 16 km away.

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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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