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8 Inspiration Ideas That Will Have You Booking Your Solo Trip Today

8 Inspiration Ideas That Will Have You Booking Your Solo Trip Today

 

Exmouth Western Australia
Exmouth Western Australia

 

Solo travel may sound like a crazy concept to some people. They wrinkle up their noses as they spit out the words; a bitter taste in their mouth that they disagree with.

Just like your preferences in food, solo travel is not going to be to everyone’s taste.

Ask you father, your grandmother, your colleague or your best friend. I bet more than one of them has something negative to say about solo travel.

And that’s fine. I didn’t mean to start this article off in such a way as to completely put you off the idea. It was more to emphasise the point that your choice to travel solo may set you apart from the other’s in your life, because they do not share your vision.

Which, in case you are now panicking, let me reassure you is totally ok.

 

Where does travel inspiration come from?

What makes this process most difficult for you is knowing where to look for solo travel inspiration. Where will that spark of wanderlust come from that fuels you to organise and embark on your trip?

Luckily for you, solo travel inspiration is all around.

Even if you struggle to connect with likeminded people in your inner circle, there are swathes of bad-ass females out there all smashing their personal travel goals.

Travel research can sound incredibly unsexy and is something that I can be notoriously haphazard about. However, I can’t deny the power of research to motivate me into making a decision to travel. So, however I phrase it, it’s the research stage where you can gain the most inspiration and get you fired up to travel solo.

Ready to feel inspired? Here are my eight favourite ways to inspire solo travel.

Fiordland National Park New Zealand
Fiordland National Park New Zealand

 

Join female travel groups

The chances are high that you have access to some kind of social media. If so, it’s time to set your Facebook to work! Instead of aimlessly scrolling through pictures of other people’s kids and videos of cats falling off chairs, harness the power of what Facebook really is: a social network.

Jump into that search bar and start looking for female friendly groups that encourage travel. Join a few and you’ll realise you have just tapped into a network of likeminded women from all over the globe. See where they have been, engage on threads, share a little about yourself. Ask questions and give feedback in return.

You will be exposed to a whole host of travel information through these kinds of groups, but also think about liking pages for the countries you’d like to visit. Most countries have an official tourism page where they share great content about the destinations to visit within their country.

 

Read a tot of travel blogs

Build up a core of go-to travel bloggers to check out when you need inspiration.

Who are the women travelling in the countries you’d like to visit? What are they doing there, what experiences are they having?

Search for blogs about the specific areas you are interested in and you’ll find that there are sensational girls out there producing stellar content to inspire wanderlusters such as yourself.

If you’re struggling to find people to follow, turn to social media again. As much as we love to hate the ever-so-sneaky algorithms that power sites like Facebook and Instagram, their ‘recommended for you’ section isn’t always such a bad thing. Ever noticed that when you follow or like something another five pages or groups pop up? Inspirational gold can sometimes rise to the surface of the swirling social media soup.

 

Pinterest

I know I’ve been banging on about social media already, but I feel like Pinterest deserves a separate category. Pinterest isn’t actually a social media per se (more of a search engine), but it is the place to head for inspo on just about everything you can think of: from smoothie recipes to how to plan an epic road trip.

Plug in a few keywords into the search bar and you’ll be treated to a never ending stream of ideas. Build yourself an array of mood boards categorised around your travel dreams: safari in Africa? You’ve got it. Hiking in Patagonia? Yep, you can do it.

So, put Pinterest to work. Remember that it’s not just useful for getting novelty decoration ideas for your sister’s hen party.

Kalbarri Western Australia
Kalbarri Western Australia

 

Podcasts

I’m a huge podcast fan. I love to listen to them when I’m out walking. I’d never even touched the podcast app on my phone until recently. I had no idea that I was missing out on loads of free content that was jam-packed full of incredible travel stories.

Whether you use iOS or Android, you should be able to access thousands of podcasts on your device. Simply click onto the search bar and type in the topics you’d like to listen to. Alternatively, you can access a heap of podcasts through the Spotify app.

One of my favourites at the moment has to be Zero To Travel, a show about creating a life of travel on your terms. The host, Jason Moore, runs a website called Location Indie and it’s a great resource for anyone who needs a bit of encouragement to travel solo.

 

Read a lot of books

Let’s get away from the online space for the moment and rejoice in the ol’ fashioned book. I love to read and nothing makes me happier than a well-stocked book shelf. I usually have at least four books on my bedside table at any one time.

Reading books about other people’s solo travel, and their experiences of travelling in particular countries, is incredibly motivational. Especially when the authors of these books overcame personal challenges to carry out their journeys or even get started in the first place.

Whether you choose to peruse your local library or charity shop’s bookshelf, or scroll through websites to purchase a book online, there are literally thousands of titles to choose from.

Pick a destination that interests you, a period of history, autobiography or fiction: it doesn’t matter. What matters is that reading is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the language, culture and essence of a place without actually being there.

 

Watch documentaries or movies

Who has never watched a brilliant movie set in a particular place and not wanted to see it for yourself? Whether it is Ryan Gosling in La-La Land that gets you dreaming about Los Angeles, or the sun-drenched backdrop of Mama Mia that has you wishing you were sunbathing on a Greek island – movies have the power to transport us places.

It’s not just Hollywood that can get us fantasizing about foreign climes. Documentaries are an invaluable resource to teach us more about the world beyond our garden gate. There are hundreds of excellent travel documentaries aired each year on channels such as the BBC. Travel inspiration may strike as you listen to David Attenborough’s calming tones whilst watching a programme about capuchin monkeys.

Costa Rica, here we come!

 

Talk to other solo female travellers

I know I started off this article somewhat dismissively by suggesting that you may know no one who approves of your solo travel desires. I didn’t mean to sound so negative, because I’m sure you will know a good handful of people in your circle – or extended circle – who has travelled solo before.

I wanted to add in the bit about the extended circle, because you may be reading this and firmly shaking your head thinking, “No. I know no one who has travelled before”.

This could very well be true.

But your extended circle can cover colleagues, your non-immediate family, someone from your church or your sports club. You may be part of a pub quiz team with an ex-globetrotter. Or someone may bring their partner to some after work drinks who used to live abroad.

Hopefully, you see that there will be several solo female travellers out there with whom you can connect. Tell them you’d love to hear about their experiences. Swap email addresses or ask them to join you for a coffee. If you express an interest in someone else’s travels you will almost always be greeted by willingness to share.

Once a traveller, always a traveller. Even if these people are no longer frequently travelling, they will love to share their story and feel like they are an inspiration.

 

Have a mini-break as a practice run

I’m going to pop this one in last as a little bit of a wild card. But, as it’s tip number eight I feel like you’re ready to hear this, my friend.

Going on a mini break may sound like a nerve-wracking step to a wannabe solo wanderer. How do you know where to go? What on earth will you do there? What happens if you suck at this whole solo travel thing and hate it?

That’s exactly where I am going with this.

Hop on the train and go somewhere for the weekend by yourself. Be comforted that it’s in your own country: you can speak the language, you understand the currency, and you’re not too far away from home.

It’s not until you’re on your own, walking through the streets of somewhere (slightly) unfamiliar to you, that you’re going to truly feel the buzz of solo travel.

As you take in the sights and sounds of a local market, or feel the wind in your hair as you gaze upon lakes or mountains, you will suddenly feel the biggest rush of inspiration of all.

Where do you look for travel inspiration?

Meander With Meg Western Australia
Meander With Meg Western Australia

 

MeanderWithMeg

Having spent the last six years living out of a backpack in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia, Meg loves to champion solo travel. She blogs over at http://www.meanderwithmeg.com about fearless solo travel and when she is not travelling Meg can be found dreaming about her next road trip whilst enjoying a cup of rooibos tea.

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Tourlina – First travel app which is only for female travellers – find your female travel buddy

 

Sydney – 10 Reasons To Move To

Sydney – 10 Reasons To Move To

 

The most densely populated Australian city and the capital of New South Wales, Sydney is truly a sight to be seen. The high standard of living, iconic cityscapes, paradise-like beaches, diverse culture (more than 200 languages are spoken in Sydney), vibrant art scene, hip restaurants and sparkling nightlife attract thousands of new people each year. The fact that it is the home to the People magazine’s sexiest man alive in 2008 (and if you ask us, every following year as well), Hugh Jackman, does nothing but help our growing desire to spend the rest of our days in Sydney. Just in case you are still having your doubts about packing your bags, calling a moving truck and renting/buying a place in this fabulous city, here are 10 more reasons to do so.

10 Reasons To Move To Sydney
unsplash.com / @craighiron

 

 

1. Pleasant Weather in Sydney, Australia

Considering that Sydney has more than 2,500 hours of sunshine a year, you’ll quickly get accustomed to this pleasant climate. In summer, you will be able to enjoy a temperature of about 35 degrees and clear blue skies, which makes the weather perfect for tanning throughout the year without being too hot. Be careful of the Aussie sunshine though, as you will need sunblock due to the ozone hole that makes it kinda harsh on the skin.

Weather in Sydney
unsplash.com / @tidesinourveins

 

2. Awesome Beaches Around Sydney, Australia

Speaking of tan, the best place to get it is at one of Sydney’s many beaches. You can choose from the crowded ones like Bondi Beach, to secluded ones like Manly Dam. Wherever you choose to go, Sydney’s stretches of sand are all marvellous. The ones you have to check as well are Bilgola, Tamarama and Long Reef (perfect for weddings by the way). This is what Aussies are known for the most, and noone can resist the charm of Sydney beaches. You should definitely try out surfing if you haven’t yet, just make sure you are accompanied by a professional. There are many surfing schools in Sydney, so you won’t waste much time searching for a good one.

Beaches Around Sydney
unsplash.com / @tidesinourveins

 

3. Not a Single Boring Day in Sydney

The cultural calendar in Sydney is so packed with various exhibitions, concerts, festivals, gigs and performances that you couldn’t possibly be bored. And there is a little something for everyone: from Good Vibrations to Harvest Festival.

 

4. There Are Cities Within Cities

Sydney covers more than 12,000 square kilometres and has more than 500 completely different neighbourhoods. In some suburbs, such as Eastlakes and Centennial Park, it is possible to find apartment units for sale at more affordable prices, without renouncing the benefits of living in a metropolitan city. Plus, all of these neighbourhoods have their own unique charm. The ones you should check out are The Rocks, the hipster Surry Hills and of course the Harbour area.

Cities Within Cities
unsplash.com / @tidesinourveins

 

5. Sydney is a Foodie Heaven

Sydney is the ideal city for a person with intrepid taste buds. The multiculturalism of the city has contributed to a very diverse food scene, so it doesn’t matter if you are into Chinese food, Vietnamese specialties, freshly-cooked seafood or French delights – Sydney has got you covered. There is also a big Greek and Italian community, so you are bound to have a good time and some great coffee as well. In the past, people in Australia used to be the number one consumers of tea in the world, drinking an astonishing number of 15 cups per day in average. Today that has changed – coffee took center stage, and it’s yummy. While in Sydney try out the local special called the flat white. Sydney is said to be the up and coming food capital of the world and we couldn’t agree more.

Food in Sydney

 

6. You’re Never Far from Nature

Although Sydney is a huge crowded metropolis, mostly covered by concrete, there is always a possibility for a field trip or a weekend escape to Royal National Park, Wollongong, Hunter Valley, Byron Bay, and other natural beauties.

 

 

7. The Laid-Back Lifestyle

The lifestyle in Sydney is relaxed and casual; and although Sydneysiders are very hardworking people, they also know how to have fun. The nightlife is buzzing with fantastic rooftop bars and clubs, typical local pubs and underground bars, but a midday beer or ice-cold vodka are not rare things either.

 

 

8. Great People

Sydney is full of different cultures and languages from all around the world, as there are so many travellers and foreign students. Thanks to this diversity, people here show great respect and tolerance of other cultures. Besides, the people are very positive, outgoing and fun. And have we already mentioned that Hugh Jackman is from Sydney?

 

 

9. Economical Stability

All jokes aside, one of the main reasons why people decide to move to Sydney is the economical stability. Of course, the city’s high cost of living can discourage many budget travellers from visiting it, but paychecks that locals earn justify these sky-high prices. So if Sydney wins you over and you decide to stay, getting a job shouldn’t be a problem and a good paycheck is in order as well.

 

10. Sydeney – Perfect for Settling Down

Finally, Sydney is not just a casual stop on a long road. It is the perfect place to settle down, start a family and raise kids. The city is full of play parks, museums, historic sites, and peaceful neighbourhoods. Sydney’s small neighbourhoods with community centres give the families all the benefits of a small city (mom groups, oriented activities, making new friendships), while still being close to an urban lifestyle. Also, Sydney is known for a great public school system.

If it is true that home is where your heart is, Sydney will surely steal your heart. Once you’ve experienced everything it has to offer, you’ll never want to leave.

Settle Down in Sydney

 

 

About the Author:

Roxana Oliver

Roxana is a travel enthusiast and lifestyle consultant from Sydney and she loves to write about her adventures. She is all about the healthy lifestyle, loves to run with her husband and dogs and has fun cooking exotic meals for her family. Being a typical Aussie, she often hits the waves and loves beaches and sunshine! You can find out more about her writing following her on twitter and facebook. She is also one of the editors at Higstylife Magazine.

 

Read more from Roxana Oliver: highstylife.com
Roxana Oliver at   Facebook         Twitter

 

 

South Africa – 10 Best Things To Do

South Africa – 10 Best Things To Do

South Africa – Top 10 Things To Do

 

Zuid Afrika can offer you so much more than you can even imagine. If you’ve read countless travel magazines, articles, blogs and watched a million YouTube videos – trust me when I say, there is still so much more than that. Here are 10 things I would recommend adding to your South African trip. This is my personal feedback from seven trips to the beautiful continent, in no particular order.

 

1. Sun City, Northwest Province

Approximately 2 hours Northwest of Johannesburg Airport, you’ll stumble across one of the most luxurious spots in the country – Sun City. Famous for its casino, and boasting four incredible resorts, two golf courses and one large water park, Sun City is nothing short of extraordinary. You won’t find a shortage of activities whilst at the park either, as it accommodates adventurous solo travellers, romantic couples and family getaways.

When travelling with the kids – or even if you’re visiting to have a bit of fun in the sun with your friends – make sure you check out The Valley of the Waves, which connects nicely to accommodation at The Palace of the Lost City. Wave pools, giant slides and cocktails by the pool – this is the best place to be in the dry South African heat.

If you’re more on the adventurous side, check out the World’s Fastest Zipslide, which will put you at speeds of 120km/h straight off a 280m high mountain edge. Take one of your friends or your partner, as a tandem jump makes it a little more bearable!

The options are endless – you can grab yourself a Segway to zoom around in, join in on an incredible safari experience, lose yourself in the largest maze in the Southern Hemisphere, or indulge in a relaxing massage by the pool.

Sun City is a must-see in South Africa!

To book your accommodation, or to see what other exciting activities you can involve yourself in, visit https://www.suninternational.com/sun-city/

 

2. Pilanesberg National Park, Northwest Province

Next door to the famous Sun City, is the beautiful Pilanesberg National Park. This is one of the best places to go if you’d like the chance to see the Big 5 in their natural environment. The park is 572 km² full of stretched-out mountains and spectacular landscapes for you to feast your eyes on.

You can take your own vehicle, but if you’re choosing the self-guide, make sure you understand how to read a map! The park is big… and so are the animals, so you don’t want to be caught out lost after dark. Joining in with a tour is a smart option, if you are new to Africa and would like someone else to do the thinking.

Set yourself up for a long but exciting day when you go on safari. Take plenty of water, sunscreen, a charged battery on your camera/phone, and binoculars (to try and spot that sneaky leopard up on the rock edge). You may have hours of no serious animal sightings, and you may have five minutes of every animal under the sun, so make sure your eyes are peeled from start to finish! Do yourself a favour though, and try to spend a little time without looking through a camera – that way you can truly appreciate the beauty that these animals offer the world.

To book a safari tour, visit http://www.pilanesbergnationalpark.org/safaris/

 

3. Ukutula Lodge and Lion Centre, Northwest Province

Oh, where to start? The absolute best place on earth, without even an inch of competition. For those who loves animals, look no further than Ukutula. “The Place of Quiet” runs a volunteering program for anybody over the age of 18, in order to support their conservation and research plans.

As a typical day in the life of a volunteer, you could be helping to feed lion cubs, clean animal enclosures, working alongside researchers, assisting with guests and tours, or collecting feed for the various animals on the property. Most volunteers will stay for a minimum of two weeks and have the opportunity to receive life-changing education on South African wildlife.

If you don’t have two weeks to spare, you can also opt to stay overnight at the lodge, or even swing by for a half day visit and some lunch. There’s plenty to do and see, and you’ll feel right at home in an instant at Ukutula.

To read more about the lodge, the research and conservation programs or to book a spot on the next volunteer intake, go to http://lodge.ukutula.co.za/

 

4. Bigswing, Graskop

Oh, adventure-seekers, this one is for you! You want pulse-pounding, sweat-dripping, leg-shaking adrenaline? Then how about you go free-fall backwards off a 68 metre (18-storey high) cliff with nothing but a rope to catch you?! The views of a cascading waterfall once you are left swinging at the end is more than worth it though, and will make you grateful you decided to jump in the first place!

If you’re not up for a solo jump, you can drag a friend with you (literally) and make it a tandem adventure. This is a good option, so that you have some company walking up the thousands of rickety/broken/wet stairs afterwards. They don’t mention this at the beginning, and honestly, it is probably the more difficult part of your experience!

Not THAT much of an adrenaline junkie? Then get yourself onto the Zipline, which will carry you across the gorge a lot slower than the free-falling swing. This may be a more enjoyable experience for some.

Check out http://www.bigswing.co.za/ for videos, photos and more information.

 

5. Kruger National Park

The motherland of animals – do not miss Kruger. You could spend days here, and it still wouldn’t be enough for you to take in all that the beautiful wild African landscape can offer you. Just remember that Kruger Park is almost 2 million hectares of land, so what you see will be completely different to what someone else will experience on their tour.

The Big 5 will all make an appearance at some point, but for you to get the most out of your time there, you’d be best to stay for a couple of days. Be ready for temperature changes too, especially if you are on a safari through the day, and heading into the cooler night. You’d hate to get caught out off guard while in the middle of the bush-veld!

Head to https://www.krugerpark.com/?gclid=CL6n9sz0_NACFQgKKgodN0IL3Q to book a tour or sort out some accommodation for your stay.

 

6. Diving with Sharks, Cape Town

For an experience like NO other, get yourself down to the bottom of South Africa, and in a cage underwater. Gansbaai is a town roughly 2 hours from Cape Town, where you will find a bunch of Shark Diving companies, ready to take you into the deep blue sea. You will be equipped with a wet-suit and all the safety instructions you need, in order to hang out underwater with one of the most magnificent creatures on planet earth.

Keep in mind however, that the waters around South Africa can be quite chilly at the best of times, so avoid going through colder/Winter periods. Mother Nature is also unpredictable, so there is no guarantee that you will see any sharks during your day trip. Most companies are fairly understanding of this, and will allow you another visit within a 12 month period if that happens. Just do a little bit of research prior to your visit, to figure out which company offers what you are looking for mostly.

Try http://www.apexpredators.com/ for some further information and to make a booking you will never forget! They will even arrange transfers to and from your hotel in Cape Town.

 

7. Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga

If you like the colour green, if you like canyons, if you like never-ending epic views, and if you like heights, go spend some time visiting the Blyde River Canyon. It is the world’s third largest canyon, and without a doubt, one of the most incredible things you will ever see.

It’s a great place to do a self-drive to, if you’re visiting the Kruger Park area. There are some incredible spots along the top peak of the canyon where you can have all sorts of fun taking photos! This is the spot where you’ll be able to tell very quickly who is afraid of heights or not. Be sure to check out some of the market stalls closer to the main road before you drive off. There are some beautiful pieces and they’re not badly priced either.

For more information on the canyon, the best time to visit and the surrounding tourist drives, have a look at http://www.southafrica.net/za/en/articles/entry/article-southafrica.net-the-blyde-river-canyon-nature-reserve

 

8. Glen Afric Country Lodge, Magaliesberg

Elephants, lions, cheetahs, leopards, and hippopotamus are only a few of the incredible animals you can find at Glen Afric Country Lodge. One hour from Johannesburg, you will have the amazing opportunity to take part in elephant walks (not rides – you will instead, be able to walk alongside the elephants in their natural environment)! Not to mention that giraffe, zebra and antelope will surround you on your walk, giving you a real feel of Africa.

Glen Afric also offers game drives and overnight lodging, which are absolutely worth it, if you have a few days to spare in this area. Getting married? They’ll even organise a special wedding for you on the property, alongside the animals.

Visit http://www.glenafric.co.za/ for more information.

 

9. Ufudu Turtle Tours, Sodwana

Everybody loves turtles. Seriously, what can you possibly not love about turtles? Unfortunately, that being said, their numbers are decreasing at an extremely rapid rate. Ufudu exists to educate tourists on the importance of maintaining a clean and safe environment along the coastlines of Africa, to avoid these numbers dropping even further.

Sodwana is located approximately two hours from St. Lucia on the Kwa-Zulu Natal coast of South Africa. Join in on a beach drive tour with the staff, to learn valuable information regarding loggerheads and leatherbacks, and what you can do to help save these beautiful creatures.

Ufudu Turtle Tours can also offer you game drives and walking trails, as well as deep sea fishing adventures in surrounding areas. The turtle tour is worth the drive out, and unlike some companies around the world, you’ll end up with so much more than just some cool photos of turtles on your camera!

To book your tour with the best company in Sodwana, visit http://ufuduturtletours.co.za/

 

10. Sandton City & Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton

If you like to shop – this is the place to go. Take a quick snap outside the mall with the famous Nelson Mandela statue, grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants, then head inside for a big day of multi-level shopping!

With some big brands names like Cartier, Jimmy Choo and Topshop, you’ll be walking out of there dressed like royalty. If that’s not your style, you’ll find huge Cotton On stores to stock up in, Cinnabon for your afternoon snack, and The Gadget Shop for all your weird gifts to take home to the family.

Visit http://sandtoncity.com/ for all the information you need for what’s on when you’re there and new stores opening soon.

 

 

 

About the author:

Christine Wedberg

I was born and raised in sunny Queensland, Australia. I was lucky enough to go on my first overseas adventure when I was just 18, and this was where the bug got me. Over 20 countries later and I’m only just getting started!

I have spent time exploring parts of Europe and the UK, and have had many adventures through Hawaii, and the East and West Coasts of the United States. I have hit all but two states in Australia, I have ventured to Asia twice and I have visited Africa seven times, where I lived and worked amongst lions, tigers, cheetahs, and hyenas.

For most of 2017, I will be running tours to Uluru (think red dirt, outback Australia), all while running my own online lifestyle and wellness business. I can’t wait to share some insider tips on a huge number of incredible spots (both tourist attractions and off the beaten track adventures) that this beautiful world has to offer!

You can find out more about Danielle by reading her blog or following her on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram.

Read more from Danielle: aussiearoundtheworld.com

Danielle on: Facebook       Pinterest       Instagram

 

 

 

Boracay – 10 Best Things To Do

Boracy – 10 Best Things To Do

Boracay - Top 10 Things To Do
Boracay – Top 10 Things To Do

 

Boracay is known for its paradise beaches, lush nature, and incredible marine life. I must say, Boracay lives up to its reputation of being one of the world’s most beautiful islands. With fantastic white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and great snorkeling and diving spots – Boracay is the perfect island for adventurers and sun seekers. Whether you’re looking for adventures out on the sea, a great nightlife or relaxation on secluded beaches – Boracay offers all those things and everything in between! If you seek tips on what to do in Boracay, then this is the perfect list for you!

 

1. Watch The Sunset

One of the best free things to do in Boracay is to watch the sunset from one of the Boracay beaches. I highly recommend watching it from White Beach, where you can see the silhouette of the passing paraws (boats) sailing towards the horizon. And don’t forget to watch the sunrise, which is equally beautiful as the sunset. Watching the sunrise is a great way to start your day, and to enjoy a less crowded White Beach!

 

2. Puka Beach

If you’re looking for a beach with plenty of space where you can spread out, then head to Puka Beach! Puka Beach is named after the beautiful Puka shells that you’ll find in the sand. This is one of the most beautiful beaches on Boracay with its lush nature, crystal clear waters, beautiful shells and secluded paradise vibe.
Just catch a ride with one of the tricycles, and you’ll reach this place in about 15-20 minutes from Station 1. At the beach you will find a few bars selling cold drinks and snacks, and where the tricycle’s park you will also find several shops selling souvenirs, snacks, and coconut drinks!

Puka Beach
Puka Beach

 

3. Snorkeling And Diving

All around the island, you will find several places that offer different snorkeling and diving tours. Along the boardwalk of White Beach, you will find most of the operators offering trips where you can enjoy beautiful reefs with corals and colorful fishes, caves, shipwrecks, and even underwater tunnels!

 

4. White Beach

It’s thanks to White Beach that Boracay today is such a popular and famous tourist destination in the Philippines. Thanks to its white sand and crystal clear waters, White Beach is the most famous beach on the island. Nowadays, this is not the secluded paradise beach it once was – today it’s devoted to tourists. But, don’t let that stop you from coming here – the water, sand, and palm trees are still as beautiful as they’ve always been!

If you like the hustle and bustle, then this is one of the best places for you to hang out. Here are the boats lined up along the shore from station 1 to 3, offering both day trips and different water activities. At the famous White Beach Boardwalk, you will find plenty of restaurants, cool bars and shops selling clothes and souvenirs.

White Beach
White Beach

 

5. Diwini Beach

This is by far the coziest beach on Boracay. Diwini beach offers a beautiful environment and a nice spot to see the sunset. At Diwini Beach you can easily spend a whole day – relax and sip on refreshing drinks!
I recommend the lounge bar/restaurant called Spider House, which is a perfect place to hang out and enjoy the paradise vibe.

 

6. Go Paraw Sailing

A paraw is an outrigger boat with two sails, and these you’ll find all over the island. Beach hopping is best done by renting one of these boats, since it will take you to the best sites around the island. Just hop on the boat, take control over it and let the paraw sail you towards a day full of fun adventures!
A tip is to go paraw sailing during sunset, which is both romantic and magical!

Paraw Boat
Paraw Boat

 

7. Water Activities

Round the Island, you will find plenty of water activities that varies from windsurfing, fly fish, diving, parasailing and paddle boarding. Most of the activities you will find at White Beach, which is the best place if you’re looking for a day of endless fun! The price varies depending on the activity you choose; Parasailing cost from P750 – P2500, paddleboarding from P300 – P500 per hour and fly fish from P550 – P600 per person!

 

8. Visit Mount Luho

Mount Luho is the perfect spot for those who seek a breathtaking view of Boracay’s turquoise waters and lush nature. To get here, you can either rent a tricycle that cost around 100-200 PHP one way (depending on your bargain skills) or get some exercise and hike to the top. When you finally reach the top of Mount Luho (additional 120 PHP to enter the viewpoint) you can enjoy fantastic views of Boracay, including Bulabog Beach where the kite surfers like to hang out!

Mount Luho
Mount Luho

 

9. Join The Lively Nightlife

For all you party people out there, Boracay doesn’t disappoint when it comes to nightlife. When it gets dark, the island transforms into a great outdoor club with a fantastic party vibe. Watch the sunset, have a drink (or five), and dance the night away!

 

10. Feel The Tranquility Of Ilig-Iligan Beach

Ilig-Iligan Beach is truly a paradise beach that offers plenty of space for you and your friends and family. This beach isn’t that popular among tourists since it’s a bit off the tourist path. But, it’s definitely worth it as it’s one of the most secluded beaches on the island. Here you can snorkel, enjoy the tranquility and watch the nice view over the limestone islets that lies just outside the beach.

I would also raise a warning finger for persons that offer a boat ride to the famous Lapuz-Lapuz beach. It’s forbidden to visit unless you’re staying at their hotel. They try to convince you that it’s ok, but do not trust them – it’s a private beach, and if you go there, you will be thrown out.

Ilig Iligan Beach
Ilig Iligan Beach

 

 

 

About the author:

Christine Wedberg

Christine is a full-time traveler and digital nomad from Sweden who loves photography, exploring new countries, and sharing her passion for traveling the world. She loves spending time out in the wild, relax on tropical beaches and exploring new cultures.

You can find out more about Christine by reading her blog or following her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Read more from AlienChris: alienchris.com

Christine on: Facebook       Twitter       Instagram

 

 

 

Boracay - 10 Best Things To Do
Boracay – 10 Best Things To Do

10 Best Yoga Destinations

10 Best Yoga Destinations

10 Best Yoga Destinations

(Picture by Julia Caesar/ stocksnap.io)
 

If you practice yoga, you don’t need any research to tell you about its various benefits. Unlike most other the activities, yoga has a spiritual dimension to it and is deeply rooted in specific kind of communities. You can say it’s a way of life, certainly not just another fitness class you like to attend. Because of the constant growth of the yoga community, cities all around the globe recognized a touristic potential that lies in combining yoga and traveling. Roll up your mats and pack your bags for an adventure: here are the top ten destinations with amazing yoga retreats to give you a full zen experience.

 

1. Rishikesh, India

Some of the best yoga ashrams and resorts can be found in the city by the holy river Ganges. Known as the world capital of yoga, Rishikesh is a host of the International Yoga Festival. If you’re hoping for a deeply spiritual experience, definitely choose Rishikesh. As a home of the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, this city is famous for developing various transcendental meditation techniques. Enjoy some of the world’s best yoga centers in Rishikesh, such as Sadhana Mandir, Sivanada Ashram, Yoga Niketen, etc.

Rishikesh

 

2. Bali, Indonesia

Bali offers many different yoga classes (from Vinyasa and Hatha to Yin and others), combined with mindfulness and meditation activities. If you’re truly passionate about yoga, consider becoming a certified trainer with Bali yoga teacher training. Being in the global top when it comes to comprehensive teaching about what yoga truly is, Bali’s trainers will help you understand the philosophical and spiritual dimension of practicing yoga. There’s a wide range of yoga retreats you can choose from, depending on the experience you want (i.e. whether you prefer more urban-like setting or a simplified stay and in touch with nature). There are several locations in Bali you should take into consideration, and some of the best yoga retreats include Bali Floating Leaf, Five Elements and Bagus Yati.

Bali Yoga
Bali Yoga

 

3. New York, USA

The surroundings of New York hide amazing yoga centers tucked in the beautiful nature which isolates them from city noise. The tranquility and fresh air will help you fully enjoy many different yoga styles: from kripalu yoga and yoga nidra, to other types of restorative yoga and meditation. Check out the offer of Omega Institute in Rhinebeck or the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch located in the Catskill Mountains.

New York Yoga
New York Yoga

 

4. Nosara, Costa Rica

Perpetually ranked as the happiest country in the world, Costa Rica is one of the best places to go for the positive and relaxing experience of practicing yoga abroad. For a more urban experience, you can enjoy being pampered in spas and then take care of both your body and mind by participating in a yoga class, even if you’re a beginner. Costa Rica is smaller than lake Michigan, so think about extending your stay and exploring this country’s “pura vida“. Check out the offers of Yoga Spa, Blue Spirit and Harmony Hotel for your stay.

Nosara
Nosara

 

5. Alicante, Spain

Alicante is a charming town of Spain’s Costa Blanca, one of the healthiest places to be. Similar to Nosara, Alicante offers you an idyllic, hotel-like yoga experience: you can enjoy a comfortable schedule by practicing yoga twice a day, but also enjoy massages and spa treatments, and other activities such as cooking classes, biking or hiking. Most of the packages include healthy nutrition for full body and mind detox. Check out the offers from Yoga Breaks or Blissful Retreat for a holiday for the soul.

Alicante
Alicante

 

6. Koh Yao, Thailand

For reconnecting with nature and experiencing a truly unique yoga adventure, consider going to Koh Yao. White sandy beaches, turquoise water, bungalows, beautiful sunrises, and waterfalls create an ambient filled with serenity, which is perfect for your yoga trip! Thailand offers many different types of yoga (e.g. vinyasa or modern mixtures of existing types), along with additional activities such as kayaking or exploring lagoons and caves. Revitalize your spirit within reputable yoga retreats, such as Island Yoga or Paradise Koh Yao.

Koh Yao
Koh Yao

 

7. Juluchuca, Mexico

For a truly transformative trip, choose Juluchuca in Mexico. In Juluchuca yoga centers, you can practice many different yoga styles, including the modern ones (e.g. contact yoga). Hosts take a holistic approach during classes, which will leave you with a purifying zen feeling. In addition to your yoga classes, you can experience wildlife (e.g. marine turtles or bird watching) and mesmerizing nature and beaches. For your stay, check out offers of Playa Viva or Present Moment Retreat.

Juluchuca
Juluchuca

 

8. Maui, Hawaii

A true paradise on earth, Maui has a pleasant tropical climate which is the reason why most of the yoga centers love organizing classes outdoor. You can experience the mixture of healing yoga and ritual music, various yoga styles, deep breathing exercises, or specialized yoga classes (e.g. pre-natal yoga). Explore the offer of The Black Swan Temple, Bikram Retreat or Hana Maui Yoga Institute.

Maui
Maui

 

9. Swiss Alps, Switzerland

Healthy mountain air will certainly make your stay at one of the yoga resorts much more pleasant. In the Swiss Alps, you can try out relaxing and reflective yoga, meditation, Bhakti yoga, Hatha yoga and much more! Hiking through the mountains will complete your process of rejuvenation and ensure you have a good night sleep. Pick through some of the best retreats, based on your preferences. Hatha Yoga Retreat is one of the best out there.

Swiss Alps
Swiss Alps

 

10. Vis Island, Croatia

Located in the beautiful Adriatic sea, Vis island is truly a dreamy destination for your yogi-getaway. You can experience amazing seafood, beautiful beaches, and additional activities. You can practice different styles of yoga, with the focus on breathing exercises and anti-stress movements. Consider staying at the wellness sanctuary of Yoga Retreat Croatia or check out the offer from Summersalt Yoga Retreats.

Vis Island
Vis Island

 

Make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for when searching for your yoga destination: do you prefer luxurious yoga packages accompanied with spa treatments, or are you more of an adventurous type? Do you enjoy an urban setting or do you prefer wild nature you can experience by staying in bungalows? Do you value the possibilities of a personal spiritual quest through practicing yoga or do you use yoga just as a way to relax? Whatever your preferences may be, you can find a destination on this list that will suit your needs.

 

About the Author:

Roxana Oliver

Roxana is a travel enthusiast and lifestyle consultant from Sydney and she loves to write about her adventures. She is all about the healthy lifestyle, loves to run with her husband and dogs and has fun cooking exotic meals for her family. Being a typical Aussie, she often hits the waves and loves beaches and sunshine! You can find out more about her writing following her on twitter and facebook. She is also one of the editors at Higstylife Magazine.

 

Read more from Roxana Oliver: highstylife.com
Roxana Oliver at   Facebook         Twitter

 

 

10 Best Yoga Destinations
10 Best Yoga Destinations

Japan – 10 Best Things To Do

Japan – 10 Best Things To Do

Japan - 10 best things to do
Japan – 10 best things to do

As one of the most visited countries in the world, Japan is likely to be on your bucket list. When visiting, you may feel like you’re in a completely different world. From high tech toilets, to towering skyscrapers, to quirky anime characters, you’re sure to go through a life-changing experience. There are so many interesting places to visit in Japan; like the serene Mt. Fuji and Kyoto’s ancient temples and shrines, as well as bustling cities like Tokyo. Japan is a wonderful place full of history and culture. You will find yourself immersed in the culture while eating traditional cuisines and authentic sushi everywhere you go. Here is a list of the 10 best things to do in Japan.
 

1. Kinkaku-Ji Temple

Kinkaku-ji is a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto. Also known as the Golden Pavilion, it is one of the most popular buildings in Japan. Tourists admire the beauty of the temple and the surrounding lush green backdrop. The top two levels are covered in gold leaf, leaving a beautiful calming reflection against the Pond.

Kinkaku-Ji Temple
Kinkaku-Ji Temple

 

2. Hike in the Fushimi Inari Taisha

The red tori gates symbolize the entrance of the Fushimi Inari Shrine. This was one of my favorite sites to visit in Japan. The Inari Shrine sits on Mt. Inari and has thousands of tori gates leading to the hilltop, which takes up to 2 hours to walk, but is well worth the hike. From the top of Mt. Inari you are rewarded with breathtaking views of the city.

Red tori gates at Fushimni Inari Shrine
Red tori gates at Fushimni Inari Shrine

 

3. Tokyo Parks

Tokyo has the most attractive parks throughout Japan. A few of my favorites are: Shinjuku Gyoen, Meguro River, Yoyogi Park, Sankeien Garden and Chidorigafuchi Park. The best time to visit the parks is during Sakura season, where many cherry blossoms trees are planted throughout the grounds. Fall is also a great time to visit the parks to see the most beautiful foliage.

Tokyo Parks
Tokyo Parks

 

4. Stay in a Ryokan

Dressed in a kimono and walking around a relaxing ryokan was my favorite experience in Japan. I highly suggest others to experience the traditional lifestyle and hospitality, as there is no other experience like it. A ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn that is mostly located around hot springs. It incorporates elements of tatami floors, Japanese style baths and traditional cuisines.

Stay in a Ryokan
Stay in a Ryokan

 

5. Experience Hot Springs/Onsen

Looking to get away from the city and unwind? Visiting a hot spring or onsen is a relaxing and therapeutic way to spend a few hours or an entire day. There are many hot springs/onsens located throughout Japan. The best ones are the natural hot springs located near mountains like Mount Fuji. You can find public hot springs to use for a few hours or stay a night in a hot spring ryokan.

Experience Hot Springs / Onsen
Experience Hot Springs / Onsen

 

6. Day Trip to Hakone

A day trip to Hakone is an easy trip to do from Tokyo. It takes an hour and a half by train. Take a walk along Lake Ashi and see the Hakone Shrine. From the bottom of Lake Ashi you may even see Mount Fuji on a day with clear skies, or if you have time, go on a hike and find the best views of Mount Fuji from the top of the mountain. The Hakone ropeway is also another great way to see Mount Fuji.

Day Trip to Hakone
Day Trip to Hakone

 

7. Eat Street Food

The food in Japan is obviously amazing but the street food is one of the best! I found myself eating street food every single day. It’s surprisingly pretty clean too! How delicious does this Taiyaki look? Taiyaki is a Japanese fish shaped filled pancake. A few of my favorite street foods are Dango, Ichigo Daifuku, Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki and Crepes.

Streetfood in Japan
Streetfood in Japan

 

8. Visit Osaka

With many things to do, Osaka Castle is one of the most iconic monuments in the city. It is a late 16th century castle with a museum inside and provides panoramic views from the top of the castle. Osaka is Japan’s third largest city with great nightlife and amazing street food.

Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle

9. Bamboo Groves

The Bamboo Groves in Arashiyama is a must visit while in Japan. The thick green bamboos seem to grow endlessly into the sky. Take a few moments while walking through the forest to listen to the wind rustling through the bamboo leaves throughout this magical forest. This place gets fairly crowded with tourists, so a visit early in the morning is best.

Bamboo Groves in Arashiyama
Bamboo Groves in Arashiyama

 

10. Eat Sushi at Tsukiji Fish Market

No trip to Japan is complete without a visit to the Tsukiji Fish Market for their sushi breakfast! Tsukiji is the world’s largest and busiest fish market, with the best sushi in the world! I’ve heard that the live tuna auction is a must! It is on a first-come, first-serve basis and has limited tickets each day, but you must arrive by 4am to secure your spot.

Sushi at Tsukiji Fish Market
Sushi at Tsukiji Fish Market

 

About the Author:

Christine Tran grew up in sunny Los Angeles, spent three years in New York before moving to San Francisco. She is a part-time travel blogger who enjoys touring the world and has a case of wanderlust. She hopes to inspire others who work full time but make an effort to live a life of adventures. Her favorite things to do during her travels is finding beautiful sunsets, panoramic views and eating authentic cuisines.
 
 
 
 
 

See more of her travels at www.tourdelust.com and you can also find her on

Facebook     Instagram     Pinterest     Twitter

 
 

Japan - 10 best things to do
Japan – 10 best things to do

 

Japan - 10 best things to do
Japan – 10 best things to do

Dublin – 10 Best Things To Do

Dublin – 10 Best Things To Do

Dublin - 10 best things to do
Dublin – 10 best things to do

As is often the case with capital cities, Dublin has a certain reputation that has cemented over time. It’s one of friendly local pubs, lively Irish music and of course, Guinness Guinness Guinness. While this reputation is not unfounded – the locals are friendly, the music is lively, and the Guinness is delicious – it is by no means all Dublin has to offer. If you explore a little further in this city, you’ll find iconic modern architecture, hip and edgy districts, stylish cocktail dens, and beautiful wild countryside on the doorstep.
 

1. Creative Quarter

The block stretching from South William Street to George’s and from Lower Stephen’s to Exchequer Street is known as Dublin’s Creative Quarter. With a long-standing history of specialist design, the area is a hub of creativity, boasting artisan boutiques, design studios, cafes and unique arty shops. This is a more modern and edgy area of the city, where you will find hip coffee shops spilling out onto the pavements and street art adorning the walls. Be sure to poke your head into George’s Street Arcade – an ornate shopping plaza stuffed with indie clothing boutiques and vintage curios, where you’ll rub shoulders with Dublin’s coolest city-dwellers.

Creative Quarter
Creative Quarter

 

2. Guinness Storehouse

If you only do one museum in Dublin, it has to be this one. The Guinness Storehouse is more than a museum, it is an experience. Interactive, sensual and immersive, you’ll go on a journey through the history, brewing stages and modern day brand that built Ireland’s most famous drink. Have a lesson in Guinness tasting, try pouring your very own pint, watch some of the best TV adverts, and learn about every stage of the brewing process from harvesting the hops and grain to building the barrels to store the brew in. Once you’ve toured the museum, make your way up to the Gravity Bar to savour your complimentary pint, where you can admire panoramic views over Dublin.

Guinness Storehouse
Guinness Storehouse

 

3. Vintage Cocktail Club

If you’re on the hunt for a particularly special place to wet your whistle, see if you can find Vintage Cocktail Club – or VCC, Dublin’s best kept secret. A hidden bar reminiscent of the Prohibition era, it won’t be easy to find, but it’s well worth the hunt. Every cocktail is deliciously unique, artfully crafted by expert mixologists. The extensive menu takes you through every era in the history of cocktail making, from maritime to the prohibition to present day. The bar itself is lit only by candles and a few sparse lamps, with risqué photos adorning the walls and sumptuous vintage furnishings. You have to book a table in advance and the drinks don’t come cheap, but they’re well worth the extra euros.

Vintage Cocktail Club
Vintage Cocktail Club

 

4. Wicklow Mountains

Dublin sits in the shadow of the dramatic Wicklow Mountains – a must-visit for any outdoors or hiking enthusiast while holidaying in Dublin. Soaring mountains provide stunning panoramic views over tranquil lakes and beautiful wooded areas, and what’s more, this is where the water is sourced to make Guinness.
Coaches embark from Dublin every day to Glendalough – a small settlement in the mountainous area. Here you’ll find an ancient monastery and crumbling graveyard in the picturesque valley, and a range of walking routes to suit all abilities which meander through the hillside and loop around the two serene lakes.

Wicklow Mountains
Wicklow Mountains

 

5. Ely Bar and Brasserie

Located in Dublin’s stunning Docklands, Ely Bar and Brasserie is famed for its enviable wine selection. Thematically homed within the beautifully restored 1821 wine vaults, the bar and restaurant boasts over 500 wines by the bottle and 100 by the glass. The intimate, elegant setting is the perfect choice for a special occasion. Fresh and flavoursome Irish food is complemented with the perfect wine, which the friendly staff will be happy to recommend. Organic beef, pork and lamb is sourced locally, and their vegetables are planted seasonally and grown to order. To say Ely revolutionised the wine and wine bar scene in Dublin would be completely true.

Ely Bar and Brasserie
Ely Bar and Brasserie

6. Dublin Docklands

This newly regenerated post-industrial area is a marvel in landscaping and design. It spans both sides of the River Liffey and features innovative open spaces such as Grand Canal Square, the super-modern Grand Canal Square Theatre building, and the sublime and iconic Samuel Beckett Bridge, which is unmistakeably shaped to resemble a harp – the national symbol for Ireland. Take a walk around the square and admire the modern design of the buildings surrounding it. Attend a theatre show, dine in one of the many restaurants, and be sure to admire the view of the bridge at night, when it is softly illuminated to become a timeless piece of architecture.

Dublin Docklands, Samuel Beckett Bridge
Dublin Docklands, Samuel Beckett Bridge

 

7. The Woollen Mills

Housed in an historic and iconic building in Dublins history, this is an unpretentious yet incredibly cool eating house. James Joyce himself used to work in the building, so the restaurant has a lot to live up to in terms of Irish heritage, but you won’t be disappointed. Set back from the River Liffey and overlooking Ha’penny Bridge, The Woollen Mills spans four floors, with double aspect windows making the place incredibly light and airy. It’s the perfect spot for a hearty Irish Breakfast, a smooth, rich coffee, or a craft beer or two. If the sun is shining you could even sit outside on the roof terrace and watch the world go by.

The Woollen Mills
The Woollen Mills

 

8. Temple Bar

Dublin’s nightlife district is simply teeming with pubs, bars and taverns. No matter what time of the day or night you venture along the lanes, you’re sure to find live music, traditional and contemporary Irish cuisine, a raucous and inclusive atmosphere, and of course Guinness aplenty. Scope out a pub for an Irish breakfast, listen to a live band or dance the night away. Every Saturday Temple Bar Food Market winds through the streets, where you can sample the very best home-grown produce including cheeses, pies, meats, seasonal fruits and vegetables, jams, chutneys and preserves from local vendors.

Temple Bar
Temple Bar

 

9. Irish Music

If there’s one thing that can be said about the Irish it’s that they love to make music. Most pubs and bars in Dublin play host to live music in some form or another. Traditional Irish music is often accompanied by one or several Irish dancers, who are more than happy to encourage the audience to join in and learn a few steps. While Temple Bar is an obvious choice to scout for Irish music, the taverns off the beaten track are no less enjoyable. It’s here where you’re more likely to wander in to the middle of a “pub session” – a spontaneous and relaxed musical experience where anyone with an instrument is free to join in the fun.

Irish Music
Irish Music

 

10. The Brazen Head Inn

Dublin’s oldest pub is a ramshackle building with sloping floors, low ceiling and aged beams. A wild array of pictures, photographs and adornments cover the walls. It’s a tradition for American visitors to the pub to pin a dollar onto one of the walls with their name and the date they visited, which gives the impression that the whole façade could blow away at any moment. With a lively and welcoming atmosphere and hearty food served with a smile, the Brazen Head is the archetype of Irish pubs. You simply have to sit down and enjoy a freshly poured pint of Guinness. If the weather holds up, make the most of the cobbled courtyard.

The Brazen Head Inn
The Brazen Head Inn

 

About the Author:

 
Olivia Lazenby is a travel, sustainability and lifestyle blogger. A northerner from the fringes of Manchester, UK, she has lived in France and Australia as well as Liverpool and Leeds. She is currently planning her next adventure to South America. Her favourite things to do while travelling include discovering cocktail bars in new cities, rummaging in second hand shops and flea markets, and climbing to the highest point in the vicinity to admire the views.
 

Read more from Olivia: www.livlaz.co.uk     http://crownrules.uk

Olivia on Twitter

 

Dublin - 10 best things to do
Dublin – 10 best things to do

The Pros And Cons Of Solo Travel

The Pros And Cons Of Solo Travel

 

The Pros and Cons of Solo Travel
The Pros and Cons of Solo Travel

Solo travel: there are two words that seemed to breath fear into some while others grew exhilarated by it. Gaining popularity over the past few years, many people seemed to swear that solo travel is something everyone should do once in their life time, and that, in fact, should be the preferred way to travel. What makes the act of solo travel so alluring? And why, despite the fact that everyone seemed to be talking about it, are many so hesitant to do it?

Let’s break it down to the pros and cons!

 

Pros:

Flexibility
It’s a universal rule, the more people there are, the more argument there would be. If you are on your own, your schedule is completely up to you and only you. There’d be no one to argue with you about where to go or what to eat, and you don’t have to hang around waiting for the other person to get ready to go and wasting your time. There’s nothing like the freedom of doing whatever it is you want on a whim (or you can be as organized as you want – we won’t judge it either way). Which leads us to the next point:

 
Self-discovery
There’s nothing like pushing yourself out of the comfort zone to find out what you are made of, and unfamiliar situations and surroundings are one of those things that would do that to you. More often than not, how you would react to something in the spur of a moment might not be what you anticipated, and it’s when you react to those scenarios that tell you more about yourself than sitting at home and doing those Facebook quizzes ever could. While it might not be something huge and unsettling, like finding out you are a secret adrenaline drunkie who wants to sky dive day and night; realizing that you prefer to sit alone with your notebook and write down your thoughts and experience might just quench that notion of you thinking that you should be hitting the bars and clubs at night, because you know what you prefer.

 
Meeting like-minded People
There’s no place better to meet other people than when you are travelling. Most people meet new friends at a hostel, but you are as likely to run into your new bestie during a free walking tour or asking for directions to get on the right train. It’s funny how easy it can be to strike up a conversation with someone else when you are in a foreign place; in fact, I was surprised at how warmly people usually respond, whether they are a fellow traveller or local. You will meet people from all walks of life, from a variety of countries each with their story to tell. Because you all share something – the travel experience.
Now you might be meeting these people when you are travelling with others as well, but it’s never as easy to chat to new people if you are already hanging out with someone else. And you are less likely to be able to adapt your schedule to your new friends’ to hang out together.

Self timer photo by putting the camera on the fence at Milan Cathedral, Italy
Self timer photo by putting the camera on the fence at Milan Cathedral, Italy
Solo time with an ice cream strolling around Verona, Italy, Laugh Trave Eat
Solo time with an ice cream strolling around Verona, Italy

 

Cons:

Loneliness
While meeting new people might be easy, your schedule might not line up, or you might not have met someone who you really connect with. Some people enjoy the loneliness that is part of the journey, declaring that it had helped them figure out themselves more; that it was the best self-discovery process they had ever had. However, not everyone likes being lonely, and there are people who find joy in sharing experiences with others, and not alone.

 
Safety
Travelling solo has its risks, and safety is definitely the biggest point I want to bring light to. No matter how secure the location you are heading to is, or how many new friends you meet, it’s always safer if you have a travel companion that you know well. An extra pair of eyes can come a long way, especially when you are travelling long distance and struggling to stay awake and man your belongings.
 

Lack of a photo partner
Some might immediately jump into argumentative mode and say that it’s easy to take solo travel photos, but there really is no denying that having someone you know to help you take photos is a much better, and easier task than trusting your camera to a stranger or well, a selfie stick. I have lost count of how many bad photos people had taken of me, and that’s on top of the fact that I find it embarrassing and difficult to approach people to help me take a photo. Self-timer is a blessing, but it’s not a method that can be used every time.

shot by my sister at Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre
Shot by my sister at Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre

 

Verdict

Solo travelling, though a great form of self-discovery, are not for everyone. While I would encourage others to try, you should consider all kinds of factors before deciding whether you want to solo travel or group travel . If you are a keen solo traveller, but you aren’t great at meeting new people, then the
tourlina app is the thing to help you look for like-minded female travel companion!
 

About the Author:

Nam Cheah is a third culture millennial who spent half her life in Hong Kong and the other half in UK. Planning to make the most out of life, she documents her passion to laugh, travel and eat on her suitably named blog: Laugh, Travel, Eat. When she’s not doing any of that, she’s either catching up on TV while online shopping or writing her novels.

   
Read more from Laugh Travel Eat: laughtraveleat.com
 

Laugh Travel Eat at   Facebook     Instagram     Pinterest     Twitter

 

The Pros and Cons of Solo Travel
The Pros and Cons of Solo Travel

Lisbon – 10 best things to do

Lisbon – 10 best things to do

Lisbon - 10 best things to do
Lisbon – 10 best things to do    (Photo: S-F/Shutterstock)

 

The winding cobbled streets and sloping terracotta rooves that balance precariously on the steep hillsides of Lisbon give the impression that the 21st Century was turned away as it arrived at port. But as you wind through the streets and venture under the rooves, you will find a rich and diverse culture, a bohemian and effervescent nightlife scene, and eclectic and imaginative cuisines. Lisbon is a city that has refused to let modernisation compromise its identity. Rather, it has absorbed new styles and tastes into its roots and adapted them to fit into its unique landscape. Here are the top 10 things to do in Lisbon:
 

1. Pena Palace

The home of Portuguese royalty, this palace is stunningly unique. As brightly coloured as a fairytale gingerbread house and surrounded by extensive gardens, Palace de Pena will take your breath away. Marigold yellow, burnished terracotta and sky blue sections are topped by turrets, towers and archways and interspersed with impressive carvings and sculptures. Every turn provides a new perspective on the surrounding landscape, and the interior of the palace is just as impressive. While there are ongoing works to preserve and maintain the structure, this doesn’t distract from its beauty or authenticity.

Pena National Palace - INTERPIXELS/Shutterstock
Pena National Palace – INTERPIXELS/Shutterstock

 

2. Feirada da Ladra Market

Immerse yourself in a piece of Lisbon’s history and pick up a few bargains while you’re at it. This flea market dates back to the thirteenth century, taking place on Sundays and Tuesdays. The locals here trade in all manner of antiquities and eccentricities, from period collectibles to old clothes and broken electricals. It would seem anyone with a blanket and a few items to sell can set up shop on the square. Don’t be afraid to get stuck in and have a good rummage through the stalls, you never know what you might find!

Feirada da Ladra Market
Feirada da Ladra Market

 

3. Bairro Alto

Set, like much of Lisbon, on a steep hillside, Bairro Alto has gained a reputation as the city’s vibrant nightlife quarter. Unassuming and tranquil by day, the steep calcada paved streets come alive by night as the bars open. From live acoustic bands to niche genres of dance music, you can find a bar for any mood if you’re willing to explore. If you’re looking for a more sophisticated evening, try BA Wine Bar. This intimate venue specialises in Portugal’s finest wines. Sample vintages from any region by the glass, with your own attentive specialist to advise and guide you on your journey.

Barrio Alto
Barrio Alto

 

4. Tram ride

No trip to Lisbon would be complete without a ride on the tram. Trundling through back streets and racing up and down incredibly steep hills at break-neck speed, they offer a unique perspective of this chaotic city which walking or driving simply doesn’t provide. Whether you choose a longer route snaking across the city, or a short and sweet ride from the bottom of a hill to the top, you can’t fail to be enchanted by the vintage interiors of the carts, and the snapshot the ride offers into local Lisbon life. People watching has never been so much fun.

Vintage tram in Lisbon - S-F/Shutterstock
Vintage tram in Lisbon – S-F/Shutterstock

 

5. Sintra

A charming town in the Grande Lisboa region, Sintra village lives in the shadow of the Sintra Mountains, which are topped by the romantic and beautiful Palace de Pina, and the ancient and historical Castelo so Mouros. If you’re taking a trip to either of these sites a stop in Sintra is highly recommended. The charming and colourful architecture of the village is enchantingly stylised, with landscaped gardens and narrow winding streets cut into the hillside. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants serving local dishes, as well as a great array of shops to pick up souvenirs.

Arabs built the Castelo dos Mouros in the 8th century near Sintra - Emi Cristea/Shutterstock
Arabs built the Castelo dos Mouros in the 8th century near Sintra – Emi Cristea/Shutterstock

 

6. Rua Novado do Carvalho

Lisbon’s “Pink Street” is the go-to destination for a memorable night out. Set in what was historically the red light district of the city, Rua Novado do Carvalho is jam packed with chic bars and cool clubs that stay open until the early hours. The bars spill out into the brightly coloured street, where locals and holidaymakers alike mingle to party. Be sure to check out Pensao Amor, an upstairs bar which boasts an incredible cocktail selection, sumptuous and opulent décor reminiscent of the renaissance period, and a collection of X-rated memorabilia in the bathrooms – a nod to the building’s more sordid past.

Night life in Lisbon - OFFFSTOCK /Shutterstock
Night life in Lisbon – OFFFSTOCK /Shutterstock

 

7. Jose Saramago Museum

Saramago is undoubtedly one of Portugal’s best-known novelists. A Nobel Prize winning author with a unique writing style and politically loaded plotlines, the museum pays homage to his life and works. But even if you’re not familiar with his writing, the museum is worth a visit purely to admire t
he stunning architecture. The bold, linear design features criss-crossing staircases, curved archways, exposed stone and polished marble. The ground floor of the museum is dedicated to archaeological ruins dating back to the Roman times, which can be viewed from above and juxtapose marvellously with the ultra-modern interior of the museum.

Jose Saramago museum
Jose Saramago museum

 

8. Lisbon Aquarium

Oceanario de Lisboa features a colossal central tank as its main attraction, which is home to sharks, rays and fish of all shapes and sizes. This huge tank feeds into smaller, more specialised aquariums where you can admire anything from tropical fish to penguins. The range of marine life within the oceanarium is extensive, and there are plenty of unique temporary exhibitions to admire along the journey. On your way through the aquarium you will pass through every area, with plenty of time to learn about jellyfish, crustaceans, sea horses and more.

Lisbon oceanarium - Oleg Kozlov/Shutterstock
Lisbon oceanarium – Oleg Kozlov/Shutterstock

 

9. Belem

A picturesque district with a more amiable topography than the steep and winding central districts. Belem is home to some of the city’s most famous and historic landmarks, including Mosterio dos Jeronimos, Torre de Belem and Padrao dos Descobrimentos. Admire all of these iconic sights when you take a walk along the sweeping esplanade on the bank of the Tagus River. While you’re here sample the local delicacies at Pastis de Belem – Lisbon’s most famed custard tart café. The patisserie churns out thousands of the delicious and delicate pastries every day. Join the queue outside on the street and grab a few to go, or find a seat inside and enjoy yours with a coffee.

Pastis de Belem
Pastis de Belem

 

10. Sao Jorge Castle

The medieval castle is set high on the hillside overlooking Lisbon, and provides panoramic views over the old Alfama district. The maze of uncountable terracotta rooftops stretching as far as the eye can see makes it difficult to point out specific landmarks, but it is this aspect of Lisbon’s skyline that makes the city so enchanting – there isn’t a glass skyscraper or modern architectural eyesore in sight. Admire the imposing beauty of the castle structure, explore the different levels, turrets and interior gardens, and relax in the shade of the enormous mature trees.

Sao Jorge Castle in Lisbon, Portugal - e X p o s e/Shutterstock
Sao Jorge Castle in Lisbon, Portugal – e X p o s e/Shutterstock

 

About the Author:

 
Olivia Lazenby is a travel, sustainability and lifestyle blogger. A northerner from the fringes of Manchester, UK, she has lived in France and Australia as well as Liverpool and Leeds. She is currently planning her next adventure to South America. Her favourite things to do while travelling include discovering cocktail bars in new cities, rummaging in second hand shops and flea markets, and climbing to the highest point in the vicinity to admire the views.
 

www.livlaz.co.uk
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