I can still remember the most afraid I’ve ever felt when traveling alone. I was waiting in a stopped subway car at the end of the line at night on my way home from drinks with friends. You know when the train sits for a few minutes before it departs again in the other direction? I was the only person in the car when three guys sauntered in, looked straight at me and started with the whole “oh hey baby…” Before I knew it, they came right up to me and blocked me in my seat and tried to put their hands on me.
However, I’ve learned how to read situations, and my only response was a very loud “oh HELL no,” pushing and shoving, and I was out of my seat and running out of the car faster than you could blink, sprinting down the platform until I found another car filled with people. Squeezing myself in the middle of a group, I sat shaking for the ride out of the city, watching at every stop for those guys to get off before I felt any sense of relief.
This wasn’t in Egypt or Bangkok or Peru or Paris or anywhere else that people might tell you it’s dangerous to travel alone as a women. This was literally in my backyard in Washington D.C. where I grew up. I know all too well of the gun violence and gang related crime there, and my instincts told me to run like hell.
It’s been a long time since that moment on the subway – in fact, in some ways it feels like another life. I can’t remember if I have ever shared that on here, but I decided it was time. It’s been way way waaaay too long since I’ve delved into the topic of solo female travel tips on the blog. In fact, I just realized that I am coming up on a decade of solo travel, whaaaat?
I feel like once you start thinking back in decades, you’re old. Does this mean I am getting old? Fuck.
Tangent. Anyways, I have lived and breathed solo female travel so much and for so long it’s second nature to me to the point where it hadn’t even occurred to me to write about it recently. Oops. Sorry about that!
This is a post I’ve been meaning to put together for a long time. I’ve been traveling alone (as a woman HA!) for years and years. I think you could count my very first solo female travel trip way back when in 2007 when I got on a plane alone to Spain to study abroad for a year in Salamanca.
A few months later I booked my first trip alone, a weekend in Paris. Our study abroad group had talked about going and no one wanted to commit, so I just went ahead and booked a flight on my own. I screwed up spectacularly on so many levels on that trip but it didn’t even faze me. I got my first proper taste for travel independence and not having to compromise and I was hooked! In retrospect, Paris probably wasn’t the easiest place to venture on my own but I learned, nothing seriously bad happened and I grew up.
So after thinking long and hard about it, I’ve put together my best tips from almost a decade of traveling alone for you in the hopes that it’ll inspire you (man or woman) to travel solo! Enjoy my solo female travel tips!
1. Trust your instincts
I think the absolute best tip I could give regarding solo female travel is the most vague – trust your instincts. A phrase so common and casually tossed around, it seems almost meaningless, but for me, it has been a lifesaver. Basically I have an unwritten rule that if I feel uncomfortable in any way, shape or form, I’m gone faster than a Twinkie at a weight watchers meeting.
I’m sure it’s different for different people, but I truly like to believe the best in everyone and I’m really open and trust worthy, or gullible as hell as my friends would say. But I’ve learned to listen to the voice in the back of my head if something just doesn’t feel right, and I think that came from years of experience. My advice is always play it safe. And don’t be a dumbass.
2. But take everyone’s advice with a grain of salt
When I decided to go to Turkey on my very first blog trip solo, everyone told me I was crazy and to cancel the trip. I know how sensationalist people can get, especially in the US, about places like Turkey and I took it all with a grain of salt. I checked facts; I did my research, and it seemed perfectly safe to me, especially after all the years of solo travel I had under my belt in Europe and northern Africa. I was ready.
I found Turkey to be one of the friendliest places I’ve ever visited. In fact, it was one of those countries where people went out of their way to help me, even when I didn’t ask. I explored on my own and I never felt threatened, not once. I made plenty of friends while I was there and even now when people ask me where my favorite country is, I often reply that Turkey is at the top of the list.
3. Take baby steps
Thinking about traveling alone but not sure where to start? In my opinion, it’s a good idea to build up your experience levels because your instincts and good decision making skills will come from experience. I’d start by not jumping off the deep end with a month long solo trip in Iran and potentially going away for a weekend on your own somewhere close by. Or head to a place with an established tourism industry that can support you or choosing a destination where you can speak the language. I definitely recommend building up to bigger trips and working on gaining experience first.
Where you go is entirely up to you. You should pick a place that calls to you, where you can experience the kinds of things you’ve dreamed about. It’s your trip after all. But if you want my advice for safe first-time solo spots for women, I would add places like Iceland, New Zealand, Finland- these are all countries with great safety records.
4. Bring a doorstop
I’ve carried a doorstop in my pack since 2011. Why? While not an obvious safety tool, it keeps hotel room doors from being opened (if someone has a key) or ninja kicked in. Also it goes without saying, don’t tell strangers where you are staying. Doop.
5. Also carry a rape whistle
This one is more obvious. Thanks Legal Nomads!
6. Always tell people your travel plans
Even now my mom has all of my flight plans and itineraries. If I don’t post on Instagram for more than a day, I get an “are you alright email.” This doesn’t keep me from going off the grid, but it’s nice to know that someone always knows where I am. Generally.
My dad has also gotten me a personal locator beacon for my birthday, mostly for my missions into the wilderness in New Zealand, a place I like to visit alone. Now I know that if something bad were to happen, I can always call for help and hopefully get my ass rescued off a mountain. If you’re like me and enjoy going off the grid anywhere in the world, PBL’s are lifesavers. Literally.
7. Respect the local culture and law – even if you don’t agree with it
This lesson took a while for me to learn – and only after I was basically accosted in Egypt 5 years ago for wearing a dress that showed my lower legs. Whether or not I agree with covering up or being modest, ultimately I enjoying visiting places around the world that sometimes have a stricter dress code for women. Hell yes it’s unfair, I was raised in a liberal place and I feel like I should have the right to walk around in my underwear if I wished to. But that’s a conversation for a different day. When I am in a conservative place, I dress the part. Long loose pants, long sleeves, no boobs, and scarves even when it’s boiling outside. After numerous trips to the Middle East, I find long loose clothing more comfortable in the heat anyways.
There is safety in blending in.
In some places it’s ok to dress more western unless you are visiting a temple or a church. Familiarize yourself with traditions like this before you leave and if you aren’t sure, check with a local or someone who has more experience with the place. And don’t forget to behave in a way that won’t get you in trouble with the law. No sexy times on the beach in Dubai or criticizing the government of Indonesia on social media.
8. Be careful about how open you are
I’m also careful to tame down my chatty side with men. This is just a fact, but in some countries speaking with men openly as you would do back home is considered an invitation. While it absolutely shits me to say it, it’s true. The same with eye contact. I’ve become accustomed to making eye contact with people to show that I am engaged and focused, or when I walk down the street I am used to smiling at people and making eye contact sometimes. But I found that in some countries, like Egypt, doing that was basically a “come at me boys” call. No idea why, but it was for me. Took a couple of days for me to stop it, and things eased up.
This also means keep your mouth shut about things that could lead to trouble. Like I never tell people, especially men, where I am staying and I certainly never let anyone come back with me or follow me. When I post about hotels on social media it’s always after I have left. Be smart.
9. But don’t be afraid to meet the locals
Again, this is a lesson that just comes with experience and learning to read situations and being able to trust your gut. One of the absolute best parts of travel are those moments and conversations you have with locals that you meet, and if you are scared of everyone or don’t want to open up, you’ll miss out on them. What a shame.
Be openminded. Be cautious but open to meeting new people. I’ve had many a great dinner with someone’s family because of that and taking a chance and I’ve made lifelong friends from backpacking around the world. I know I am contradicting myself here, but ultimately it all relays back to my main message of just trust your gut.
10. Don’t let people tell you that you’re selfish for wanting to travel alone
My final tip for solo travelers is one that I haven’t heard very often. I have no idea why, but somehow we have come to live in a culture that often tries to bring people down when they want to venture off the more established life path. And for some reason, most of the criticism I personally get from it comes from other women. I don’t understand it, why can’t we be more supportive of each other?
The most frequent thing I am told is that I am selfish. Selfish to leave my family and to follow my dreams. Crazy to want to see the world alone. When am I going to get a real job? I’m sorry but I am sick of it. Encourage me, don’t bring me down.
Traveling the world solo is one of the best things you can ever do. It opens doors and empowers at the same time. You meet people in ways you never would have otherwise. It’s very rewarding, trust me.
Have you ever traveled solo? Do you have any tips of your own to share? Spill!
The post 10 solo female travel tips from almost a decade of travel appeared first on Young Adventuress.
In March I spent a week staying in an apartment in Helsinki in my best attempts to experience it like a local.
If you travel as much as I do and you are giant homebody on the inside like me, you really value unpacking your suitcase for a week and tossing your crap absolutely everywhere. I like to think of myself as almost a turtle traveler – I like to take it as slow and mellow as possible. What’s the rush? You’ll miss the best bits.
After I spent a week exploring Lapland in the Arctic Circle, I was beyond stoked to put my feet up and kick back and relax in Helsinki. And while you can’t really ignore the more well-known tourist attractions in Finland, I did my best to see what else this metropolis had to offer beyond saunas and reindeer soup – because trust me, there is SO much more to Helsinki that what you might imagine. I spent my days wandering around the different neighborhoods, following my nose wherever it led me (thank you stretch leggings!) and peeping inside every cute cafe and colorful shop I could find (thank you FinnAir extra baggage allowance).
I was curious to see what I could find out on my own about Helsinki and see what made the capital of Finland tick. Spoiler alert, Helsinki is full of surprises. Here are my best Helsinki travel tips.
Check out 10 things that surprised me about Helsinki. Enjoy!
1. Helsinki is a city of design
Helsinki was named the world design capital a few years ago and also awarded the City of Design by UNESCO. I nodded and smiled the first time I heard that, and thought to myself “what the hell does that even mean?” Luckily, it took less than an hour of wandering around downtown to start to get it.
It’s trendy. It’s creative. It’s beautiful. There are so many designers and shops around with the most exquisite pieces and it seems that all of the food spots and bars are designed as perfect as possible. Thank you credit cards!
From canvas printed bags to Finnish style homewares to furniture to ALL the clothes, like the famous brand Marimekko, everyone here as an eye for design. I really loved Makia a local brand that makes great winter gear, especially beanies and I totally splurged on amazing stationary and notebooks at Papershop. I love buying a few local things when I travel, and in Helsinki I had to ship a box home with goodies like hand printed pillowcase covers and even a reindeer pelt. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been feeling very domestic lately. Help.
2. The amazing cafes I never wanted to leave
Helsinki has no shortage of really quirky and hip cafes. Whether you are grabbing cake and a coffee at a bakery cafe that seems to not have changed in 100 years to a place so minimalist and trendy you could probably be in Brooklyn, you won’t be bored. So many of them have wifi and are cozy places you don’t mind spending hours tucked away reading or working on your laptop hiding from the frosty winter air.
When I travel now I always work so I really love good cafe spaces with free fast internet to hide away in. Not to mention they are inspiring spaces to work in. One afternoon I spent tucked up in the window of a cafe called Andante after getting lost in the Design District for hours. It’s a flowershop slash cafe so you can sit back and literally smell the roses while you relax.
Nearby you can find Plootu a furniture shop and cafe. Seriously.
Johan & Nyström is another cafe that I spent a lot of time in. Right on the water, its location is fab and the space will blow you away. There are so many cozy corners to hide away in and write for hours. Plus they do a perfect flat white which makes me love them even more.
Another spot I just have to mention is a juice and smoothie bar called Why Join The Navy When You Can Be A Pirate. Best. Name. Ever.
3. Introverted and quiet
This is probably my favorite thing I loved about Finland – if I had to describe the main personality trait there, it would probably be introverted and fairly quiet. People talk here when they have something to say. There is not stupid chit chat, no pointless banter, no personal space issues. Just glorious silence and mild awkwardness. End of story.
Hell yes, I’ve finally found my people!
While you might not believe I’m naturally introverted, let me assure you, I am. I don’t like people and I love to be alone and quiet. I’d be a hermit if I could. I hate when someone sits next to me on a bus and I avoid eye contact when I can. Though I do like hugs. If you’re like that then start packing you bags and move to Finland.
Check out Finnish Nightmares on Facebook to see what I mean.
4. Kickass foodie scene
Again, I feel really embarrassed to admit that I wasn’t expecting Helsinki to have a great food scene. It wasn’t that I wasn’t expecting it to be bad, I just didn’t really think about it at all. But let me tell you, not only is it great, it’s pretty damn amazing! Like I would go back to Helsinki just to eat. If that doesn’t tell you something, I don’t know what will.
I was lucky enough to be in town during their annual Streat Helsinki street food festival too and boy oh boy was I in for a treat. While I managed to keep my diet more or less under control in the weeks leading up to in in Europe, it was out the window at the first Mexican food truck burger I got my hands on. From a day of street food trucks lined up downtown to different grills style outdoor sessions on some of the islands to evening master chef meals, to say I ate well in Helsinki was an understatement.
I was also lucky that I had local blogger Kathrin from Luminoucity to show me the best spots to chow down!
5. So many islands
There’s something like over 300 islands around the Helsinki area which is pretty amazing. It means you are never far from the sea and nature is just a stone’s throw away, so I count that as pretty unique and amazing for a big European capital.
While everyone usually heads over to Suomenlinna, a fortress island in Helsinki, I decided to go to the lesser-known Seurasaari, a small island connected by a bridge filled with historical Finnish houses. It’s an open air museum in summer, but in winter it’s closed so you can just explore on your own.
Staying warm in my Parajumpers winter jacket
6. East meets west
Another reason I really liked Helsinki was because to me it felt like a place that straddles both East and West. You can see all kinds of Russian and European influence in the architecture there.
7. Great coffee culture
Finland is one of the biggest coffee consumers in the world. Speaking as one who has a serious-borderline-obsessive addiction to the bean, I felt right at home. If I’m completely honest here, I found the coffee in Lapland left a lot to be desired, but Helsinki more than made up for it. You actually have to TRY to find bad coffee.
Pretty much no matter where I walked around Helsinki, I was in sure of finding not only good, but exceptional coffee in a cute and cozy cafe. If that doesn’t bump a city up to my favorites list, I don’t know what will!
8. All of the colorful buildings
I don’t think I am alone when I admit that when I pictured Helsinki before, it was grey. I think there is a misconception because of the long winters, northern climate combined with its relative closeness to the former Soviet Union that people expect Finland to not be bright and colorful, but trust me, they’re wrong.
While I was in Helsinki I spent some time hanging out with local bloggers and photographers, like Omar El Mrabt. We spent an afternoon exploring some of the secret suburbs and wandering around his favorite spots as he showed me the colorful side to Helsinki that he loves. Follow his Instagram here.
However, don’t expect the locals to be dolled up in all colors. At least the winter fashion consists of a rainbow of navy, black and gray with the chance of seeing a blond American girl in a bright red Parajumpers parka.
9. Awesome museums
Helsinki has some pretty cool museums. Being a total nerd at heart, I really value my museum time, so I was stoked to spent my winter days getting lost among the exhibits. My favorite museum was the Sinebrychoff, a historic house museum downtown filled with old European master paintings, my favorite. Epic landscapes in an epic setting, I was in heaven!
I spent another afternoon learning about the history of Finland at the National Museum.
10. Helsinki is one big secret – shhhh!
I feel like Helsinki is one of Europe’s best-kept secrets. It’s not overrun yet with tourists and still has a great local and creative vibe to it. If you love that in a destination, head to Finland. Enjoy!
Have you ever been to Finland or Helsinki? Does a design focused city appeal to you?
Many thanks to Visit Helsinki for hosting me at the #HelsinkiSecret apartment in Finland. Like always, I’m keeping it real, all opinions are my own, like you could expect less from me.
The post 10 things that surprised me in Helsinki appeared first on Young Adventuress.
Exciting news guys!
I’ve decided that 2016 will be the year of branching out and trying new things. With 6 years of travel blogging under my belt, the only way I’ve managed to last this long is by constantly trying new ideas and challenging myself. I want to take big risks. I want to diversify. Travel blogging has opened so many incredible doors for me over the years, and I want to keep running with it for as long as I can.
On that note, I’m super excited to announce a new conference I’ve been helping put together for the past 6 months – The Travel Bootcamp.
Lauren Bath, a good friend of mine, and Australia’s first professional Instagrammer approached me about creating our own travel conference months ago, and I was immediately on board. All hands on deck. Ahoy. Over a few conference calls with Georgia Rickard, one of the best travel editors and travel writers in Australia (plus yours truly), and idea was born:
All experts in our own travel fields – blogging, writing and Instagramming – we wanted to combine our knowledge and experience of not only getting those dream trips around the world, but also specifically how to make money from your travels.
When I quit my job to travel 3 years ago, I fought tooth and nail for freelance travel pieces that paid $100 a story, made about $10 a month in Amazon affiliates on my blog, and slept in my car for days at a time in New Zealand trying to make ends meet. This week I just signed a lucrative $25,000 contract and I fly to the Maldives in three weeks. What is my life?
If I can get here (me of all people!), you can get here. Trust me.
There is so much information out there about how to travel, but not that much on how to actually make a career from it. In 2012 I attended my first travel blogging conference in Spain. And while I’ve been to and spoken at a dozen shows and conferences over the years, I haven’t learned anything new at them since 2012.
Same with everything I read online. It’s the same vague wishy-washy “follow your dreams and then the money will come” bullshit. Let’s be honest here. We all have big dreams inside of us deep down, but seriously? Following them doesn’t lead to a pot of gold. In fact, following your dreams doesn’t entitle you to anything. You have to work for it. You have to earn it. And we’re here to help you get there.
It’s the same content over and over again, regurgitated and repackaged using the same buzzy keywords that everyone wants to hear. But no more.
Lauren, Georgia and I were tired of this unrealistic way of portraying this decadent travel lifestyle, so we decided we wanted to change that and take a no-bullshit approach of learning how to get paid to travel the world and how to make travel part of your career if you want. Plain and simple.
We will teach you things that took us years to learn by trial and error. We will share all the things we wished we had learned when we were starting out.
The Travel Bootcamp is a one day intensive workshop where we will teach you how exactly how to develop your travel interest, whatever that may be, and go pro. If you’re serious about having a career exploring the world, look no further. More faqs here.
Want to know what to charge for a sponsored Instagram post? We’ll tell you. Need an introduction to an important PR in Sydney? We’ll try and make you look cool. Want to learn how to craft the perfect pitch? We’ll give you samples. Want to learn how to create your dream press trip? We’ll show you. And so much more.
Easy. Simple. No bullshit. Ask us anything and we’ll be honest with you. I think by now you can trust me to always say what I think haha.
Our first Travel Bootcamp is Saturday June 18th in Sydney. After that? World domination obviously. Right now we have early bird tickets on sale until Friday May 20th so be sure to grab yours now. Contact us if you have any questions or leave a comment below!
The post Introducing The Travel Bootcamp! appeared first on Young Adventuress.
Oh man, has it been a while since I’ve written about what has become my favorite little corner of Spain: Asturias. Seriously guys, Asturias is Spain’s best-kept secret.
Honestly, I am kicking myself for only visiting last year for the first time, and not during all the years when I actually lived in Spain and it was right there!
Anyways, thinking back, if I had to hanker a guess as to why this little region in northern Spain tugged at my heartstrings so much, it might be because it ticks so many boxes of my favorite things. Cute villages, historic houses, delicious food, friendly people, big mountains, rolling green hills, and a wild coastline.
Seriously, Asturias packs a punch. What more could you want?
But what I might have loved the most was the amazing coastline along Asturias. The whole region stretches along the sea, so you are never too far from a beach or two.
I was also amazed at the diversity of beaches. There are sweeping sea cliffs that tower over wild waves that remind me of New Zealand as well as white sandy beaches with tropical blue water begging you for a swim.
And don’t even get me started on the quaint and colorful villages and towns that dot the coastline. I think I could pick up my life and move to any one of them and find myself content. That’s pretty much my standard measurement for how much I like a place.
It’s too good not to share, so sit back and enjoy my little impromptu guide to the amazing coast and beaches of Asturias, Spain!
Asturias wins at beach names!
Honest to god, I can’t pick a favorite place in Asturias, but for some reason I really really loved Lastres. I loved the look of the town, the amazing cider there and have great memories of how lovely everyone I met there was.
The burnt red roofs of the white hillside stood out to me wherever I walked and the cobbled streets made me feel like I stepped back in time.
This was a place I really want to get to know better.
2. Playa del Silencio
What a spot, what a spot!
I remember the road to the Playa del Silencio (Silent Beach) was rather tricky, and parking even trickier, but man oh man was it worth it! It’s like as if Asturias dreamed up the perfect beach, and poof, it appeared here.
15km from Cudillero, It’s a perfect rocky cove with a sandy beach and crystal clear water. It’s a bit of a walk to it, but it’s worth it.
I’ve already dished about this amazing little fishing village, but it MUST be included. Cudillero is probably the most picturesque place in Asturias, and it’s fairly well-known and considered “touristy.” That being said, I think you have to take that with a grain of salt because tourist in Asturias is not very touristy at all.
Colorful shutters, whitewashed houses, a bright blue harbor and amazing terraces where you could sit for hours in the sunshine sipping cider and thinking about nothing. Heaven.
Take me back, Cudillero, por favor!
4. Playa de Gulpiyuri
How many places in the world can boast of a landlocked beach? A beach without a view of the sea? And did I mention it’s in the middle of a meadow?
Well guys, it exists, and it’s Asturias, at a magical place called Playa de Gulpiyuri. A flooded sinkhole near Llanes, it’s 100 meters from the sea, but thanks to a series of tunnels and caves, it’s connected to the sea so there are tidal flows and even waves.
Though you can’t see it in my photo, imagine that you can hear the sounds of the sea as the tide ebbs and flows.
Another beautiful fishing port, Llanes is tucked away almost on the border of Cantabria with great views to the foothills of the Picos de Europa mountains. It’s the gateway to many of the wild beaches that make Asturias so freaking special.
6. Playa de Torimbia
Playa de Torimbia is one of the most epic places I’ve ever watched the sunset. Endless rocky outcrops and beachy coves and little islands dot the coastline as far as you can see from the lookout above.
The waves roll in the most perfect sets and make me want to try my hand at surfing again here.
I had really moody weather for my time in Ribadesella, but it was ok. This colorful town was beautiful and full of old casas indianas, mansions styled after colonial houses in the Americas jutting against the dense greenery.
Niembru was one of those places we just were passing through but I had to yell “stop stop”and get out and explore a little bit. The sun was setting and the sky turned bright orange over the still waters of the estuary as the tide began to move and the little white church perched on it’s edge felt like something out of a fairytale.
It couldn’t have been more otherworldly.
Luarca is another one of those beautiful white seaside towns in Asturias with dots of color everywhere. Seriously, Asturias?! I can’t keep all these amazing places straight! There are too many!
Luarca definitely had the most picturesque harbor filled with old wooden boats of different colors dotting along the bright blue water.
We grabbed a massive seafood lunch outside in the sun here and just enjoyed Luarca for what it was.
I fell head over heels in love with Asturias when I was there, and so many of these seaside beaches and towns had a big impact on me. As much as I love living in the mountains, there is something just so natural about being by the ocean. Combined with everything else Asturias had to offer, it’s no surprise really that I want to live here one day.
Sigh, I better start saving.
Have you heard of Asturias before? Are you a seaside person too? Do any of these spots sound appealing? Share!
Many thanks to Tourism Asturias for hosting me in Spain, like always I’m keeping it real – all opinions are my own, like you could expect less from me!
The post An impromptu guide to coastal Asturias in Spain appeared first on Young Adventuress.
I think Milford Sound is a must-do for anyone coming to New Zealand. For me, it’s one of the most epic and beautiful locations in the world, and that’s saying something.
I’ve been to Milford Sound many times, but I always return given half a chance. Or even less. And again that’s saying something because it is a grueling 5 hour plus mountainous winding commute from Wanaka where I live.
Last summer I hiked the Milford Track over 4 days. I have bused there, and cruised around it countless times and even flew to Milford once in a little fixed wing plane. I’m a bit obsessed really.
People always ask me what are the must-do things to see and experience in New Zealand, and my answer generally doesn’t vary. If you only pay for one New Zealand activity, it should involve a helicopter. For most of us, it’s a splurge, but its worth it.
You know all those amazing wide sweeping aerial shots from the Lord of the Rings that made you want to come to New Zealand? Yup, they were shot from the skies.
New Zealand is a vast wilderness with few people and even fewer roads. If you want to truly appreciate the scale of it, you need to take to the skies. Trust me on this – flying over the epic landscape here will blow your mind in a way that a road trip never can. And in a helicopter which can land almost anywhere from a wild lake to a remote mountain glacier not to mention can hover and zoom so close to anything is the best way to take it all in.
Plus helicopters are pretty badass, am I right?
Come on, don’t I look way cooler next to a helicopter? be honest.
While in the rest of the world helicopters are more reserved for emergency teams and the rich and famous, in New Zealand, it’s almost tradition. So much is done here with helicopters, especially farming.
I don’t want to digress too much, but I do want to share a little story involving helicopters and deer farming – one of the most epic stories I’ve ever heard!
So back in the 19th century deer were introduced to New Zealand (remember there were only birds here, no mammals) and of course spread like wildfire because there were no predators. Now wild deer are considered pests, destroying natural habitats and native plants, so back in the 70’s, people started to hunt and capture them by helicopter. This actually started around Wanaka; people would net deer or tranquilize them, and then literally jump out of a low flying helicopter and tackle them, and then bring them out alive to farm.
I honestly couldn’t even believe this story until I met a pilot down south who learned to fly doing this. Hardcore or what!
And now deer farming is a massive industry in New Zealand. In fact, deer is actually farmed on Aspiring Station in Wanaka, owned and run by the same family Wanaka where Aspiring Helicopters is located. You’ll see them as you drive out there.
So if you haven’t tied two and two together yet and you are wondering where to splurge on your trip around New Zealand, let me help you decide. Book a helicopter flight to Milford Sound. And if you can, fly from Wanaka.
If you fly from Wanaka, it’s like you get two trips in one because with Aspiring Helicopter you get to fly over Mt. Aspiring National Park on your way to Fiordland. There are 100 glaciers in the region, and the views are just beyond epic. Plus you get to fly by my favorite New Zealand mountain – Tititea/Mt. Aspiring. She’s a beaut!
You can’t miss her as she juts out and above the surrounding peaks.
This spring I flew with Aspiring Heli to Milford one morning from Wanaka, and it was a million times better than I imagined.
You leave from the Matukituki Valley in Wanaka, rising above the station before heading out towards Mt. Aspiring above the Shotover Saddle. You soar over glaciers and along braided rivers before stopping at one of the most picturesque lakes I’ve seen – Lochnagar.
Yes, this place actually exists, and no, you won’t see another person there.
You’ll then make your way across what’s known as the Main Divide, which refers to the division across the Southern Alps towards the coast. Once you’ve flown across you’ll notice the mountains look greener and more wild, more rugged as you are now in Fiordland.
Eventually you’ll make your way into Milford Sound where you can stop and explore or go on a cruise before heading back to Wanaka with a potential glacier landing on the way.
This is one of the most epic things I’ve ever done, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Check out some of my favorite shots from the day below. Enjoy!
Have you ever flown in a helicopter? Would you? Are you a keen to see New Zealand from above? Share!
Many thanks to Aspiring Heli for taking me to Milford Sound – like always, I’m keeping it real – all opinions are my own, like you could expect less from me!
The post Milford Sound by helicopter – an epic adventure in New Zealand appeared first on Young Adventuress.
G Adventures asked me what it means to make your next step count. Well, little did they know HOW much that has been on my mind lately. Are you ready?
Sometimes I feel like I am leading two lives. I have my “real” life and my “social media” life.
On one hand I have gotten to know so many people through my work on this blog. Most of these guys I would recognize from their Instagram page or Twitter profile picture before recognizing them at a bar. Most of them are expats or digital nomads, people working remotely and traveling the world at the same time. Nonetheless, they are still friends and I feel like they can understand me in a way that others don’t.
Then on the other hand I have what people like to call my “real life,” my non-internet friends and family; the ones I see day to day in Wanaka or even back home. Most of my close friends my age are working their way up the career ladder, are getting married and having kids (OMG I’m getting old) and have settled into a comfortable routine where I don’t seem to quite fit in.
I am not going to lie, for the past 6 months or even a year, I have been really struggling with straddling both of these worlds. Where do I belong?
To avoid thinking about this, I’ve kept busy with travel and work. We are told being busy is a good thing, right? Well, I have no shortage of being busy in 2015, that’s for sure.
I love travel so much but I am getting burnt out. I’ve discovered I can’t be on the road for extended periods when I am working at the same time. I start to lose my mind and I find that I become completely unproductive and uninspired. Hotels start to blur together and I forget what month it is and I can’t remember where I am when I wake up. Too much travel is definitely possible, and I find, at least for me, that TOO MUCH time on the road can devalue some of my experiences.
Remember that when you think about making travel your job, guys.
Is it worth it?
Gone are the vacation days, and trips without laptops or iPhones. Man, I just want to travel for myself again, with no obligations to anyone but me.
Sometimes I feel like I’m living two different lives.
Generally, my happiest is when I am home in Wanaka when my time is my own again and I can truly enjoy just being in the most beautiful place in the world. Having a home makes me feel balanced – it’s like an investment in my sanity.
While my other happiest is when I am on the road with no obligations whatsoever. I think the last time that happened was when I was in Mongolia and I had no internet for weeks and nothing looming over my head except to have a good time. It was on of those life-changing trips that people like me are always talk about.
We need more of those right?
I just realized in just 1 week I am headed back home for the holidays for the first time in years. That means 2015 is basically over, and OMG where did the time go? Like seriously, WHERE DID IT GO? Last time I checked, it was April.
2015 passed by in the blink of eye – it was a year of being busy – have you ever had that happen to you? I can barely remember this year and I have to look at my journals and calendars remember everything. WTF.
Ever since I quit my job to travel a few years ago, I promised myself that I would make every day count and that I would live a life where every moment mattered and everything I did was unforgettable.
A month ago when I was in between jobs, where I literally walked off a 30 hour flight after 10 days of 4 hours of sleep per night, only to drive home, wash my clothes, sleep then get back on another plane the next morning. My poor brain and body couldn’t cope. Cue meltdown.
How was I ever going to catch up on all my work I owed everyone? How would I ever reply to all those emails? How would I ever dig myself out of this hole? When would I have time to do the things I wanted to do? The pressure is too much, and as you can probably imagine, things go downhill rather fast once you slip into that mindset – my photos are shit, my work is shit, I’m shit.
On top of that I felt the pressure of the millions of you guys who tell me how lucky I am, making me feel guilty for not being more grateful.
What more can I do?
And then fate intervened and I got a comment on my blog basically saying the same things swirling around that dark place in my mind. Something along the lines of “dear Liz, you suck. Your blog sucks. You’re a terrible human and the work you do sucks. We all hope you fail. Regards, Troll. P.S. did I mention you suck?”
I lost it. I was sitting on my bed with my suitcase open, and I couldn’t see my floor because of all my stuff thrown everywhere when I had my first ever asthma attack quickly followed by a full fledged panic attack. It was ugly, guys. No one will ever accuse me of being a pretty crier.
I don’t think I had been that stressed or physically exhausted since college, and I certainly didn’t quit my job to “follow my dreams” only to be sleepless, anxious and kinda unhappy.
I needed a break from the stress of work, the pressure to always be busy, and the anxiety of success. How terrible is it to work harder than you ever have in your whole life and still feel like you aren’t doing enough? Have you ever hit a low point like this?
I don’t think I am alone in this. I believe we live in a world that glorifies being busy instead of prioritizing the important things. And you know what? That freaking sucks.
“How are you doing Liz?” “Oh, I’m great thanks! I’ve been super busy doing this and that and this and that because I’m superwoman and I’m AWESOME! Sleep is for losers and if I stop what I am doing I might actually have time to think and I might see that life is really fucking hard and if I step away from this comfortable path I’m on, well things will get real scary real fast, and I don’t know if I can deal with that, OK?”
Being busy does not equate to being happy. I really believe we need to stop being busy and start living again. Then happiness will come.
We live in an age where we are too busy, especially women, and we are always on the go.
Even me, a girl who said goodbye to a great job, a lovely family, and even to a boyfriend in the hopes of having a richer (metaphorically speaking obviously) and more fulfilling life in New Zealand, can get caught up in the hustle of the game sometimes.
Um, I am pretty sure that’s what I was trying to avoid. Ugh.
That being said (and I want you guys to be totally honest here), I don’t think I am alone in feeling this way. Hands up if you have experienced a quarter life crisis; or maybe you feel like you’re too busy to actually stop what you’re doing and evaluate where you are and where you want to be.
So similar to my argument about why experience still matters, I want to take the time to remind myself and to remind you guys about how important it is to make things count.
Make every day count, make every day memorable. Now please excuse me as I start to get inspirational and run away with myself. Deep breath.
At some point in our lives we are all faced with a choice – to continue down that comfortable road we’ve always known (a very busy road for most of us, I’m sure) OR to stop and really think about what we want out of life and what we can do to get us there AND here’s the tricky part, committing to make it happen.
And I think for most of us the answer can be found in travel.
How many people talk about trips that have changed their lives versus how many people actually booked it and made it happen?
A year ago Mongolia changed my life, and I have yet to really put any of those goals I talked about into action yet. It’s time to change it and focus on what I really want.
My point is this month I stopped everything that was causing me stress and anxiety, put myself first and really evaluated where I wanted to be, and where I wanted to go. I even learned to say no (I even turned down a trip to Kenya, one of the hardest things I’ve done) in the hopes of prioritizing future travel by taking less smaller trips and only go on the big life-changing ones I’m dreaming of.
Right now I want nothing more than to go back to a place like Mongolia or somewhere where I can travel slowly and have no internet connection. I’d love to do a physically challenging trip like hiking across Greenland or go somewhere I can learn a new skill like mountaineering in Switzerland or becoming a rescue diver in Thailand. I’d love to even go volunteer abroad again and feel like I am actually doing some good in this world.
So where am I going with all this rambling?
I just wanted to share with you guys my own experiences lately with getting caught up in the hustle of life and why I decided to slow down and reevaluate what exactly I want. We are a generation of women who are too busy for travel or to follow our dreams; we are always on the go because that’s what we are told is successful. But is that a good thing?
It’s important to stop and evaluate where you are, and even if you are holding yourself back from following your travel dreams.
Simply put, we are all faced with a clear choice that’s one of the most difficult to make – to continue living an ordinary life, one of following others footsteps and taking the easy path, or take the next step, and even possibly follow your travel dreams come true like on a trip with G Adventures, and maybe have an extraordinary life. It’s up to us. Make your next step count!
Have you ever suffered from a burnout or quarter-life crisis? Do you feel like you are just so busy and not even really experiencing things anymore? Where’s your dream trip? Spill and share in the comments below!
G Adventures is giving away the trip of a lifetime on one of their tours to three lucky winners who want to make their next steps count. Contest details here. Good luck!
**PS I have had a lot of people asking, this contest is only open to Australian and New Zealand residents.
7/12/2015 – UPDATE – The G Adventures ‘Make Your #NextStep Count’ competition has now closed but you still have a chance to take the next step and choose to travel with a purpose. For more information visit here. Thanks!
Many thanks to G Adventures for sponsoring this post – like always I’m keeping it real. All opinions are my own, like you could expect less from me.
The post Make your next step count appeared first on Young Adventuress.
If I am going to fly halfway around the world from New Zealand to Europe, I am always going to want to make the most of it. So on my way over to Finland in the beginning of March, I used the trip as an excuse to stop in beautiful Switzerland for a week to visit my oldest friend. And also to see Switzerland again obviously, one of my favorite countries in the world. Two birds, one stone.
And as I stepped out into the familiar Zurich airport, I place I had been many times over the years, I was more fresh faced than usual. Not only did I stop for 24 hours in Dubai to sleep on my way over to Switzerland, I also finally started collecting my miles this year (omg what took me so long?) and cashed in on a business class upgrade with Emirates to Zurich.
Wow, how do the other half live?
But before I run away with myself and write a 2000 word essay on how sexy the upstairs is on an Emirates Airbus (the sexiest in case you’re wondering), I’ll return to the topic at hand and finally share some of my favorite spots from around Zurich.
Switzerland was one of the first places I ever wrote about as a blogger 6 years ago. Whenever I visited my friend in the past, she’d always pick me up from the airport and whisk me away back to Neuchâtel where she lives. This meant that by 2016 I had been inside the Zurich airport and motorway many times, but hadn’t actually seen the city. I wanted to change that.
And after being away from my beloved Europe for almost a year, I was ready for some beautiful old quarters with cobbled streets, terrible customer service and a general quaintness that eludes the rest of the world. Bring it, Switzerland.
Here are my favorite moments from 24 hours exploring Zurich. Enjoy!
Looking for colorful Zurich
Before spending any time in Zurich, I had the impression that it would feel sterile and boring, which was my main impression from visiting Geneva back when I was 19. And while on the surface, Zurich seems to be a place that’s hard to read, the more hours I spent just wandering around and getting lost, the more I realized that wasn’t the case, and Zurich was much more vibrant than I expected.
Like all great cities, Zurich has layers.
And my favorite layer was the colors. I’m always drawn to colorful places, and amongst the dreary skies, Zurich popped with color everywhere. You just had to look.
Waking up at the boutique Marktgasse Hotel
It was late by the time I rocked up to the Marktgasse Hotel, a beautiful boutique hotel right in the old quarter of Zurich and I was wiped. And thanks to my jetlag and raging caffeine addiction (thank you 4am migraine), I was awake bright and early at an ungodly hour. Fabulous.
Lucky for me they have a delicious cafe downstairs called Delish that opens early so I could get my coffee fix a few hours later and begin my day exploring Zurich.
Tucked away in a 15th century building, the hotel was the perfect base to explore around. And man, have I missed medieval buildings. And radiators.
Climbing the Grossmünster tower
Now that I am seriously into photography which I definitely wasn’t as much when I used to live in Europe, I was stoked to take some great photos of Zurich. Lucky for me the weather cooperated with solid white gray clouds and downpours mixed with snow all day.
But I decided to make the most of it and climb up to the top of the Grossmünster (Zurich’s cathedral) to take in the views. It’s only a few euros and it’s totally worth it.
A cozy lunch in the old town
Zurich has no shortage of delicious spots to dine, and I really struggled to try and pick the best one for my only lunch in town. After scouring Tripadvisor and even asking for tips, I settled on Mère Catherine.
Tucked away down a little street near the cathedral, I headed over for a late lunch and had the place to myself. Listening to the rain outside, I spent a lovely time reading and tucking in to a great meal.
Cute on the outside, cute on the inside, tasty food and friendly staff, it ticked all my boxes.
There is one thing I love about Swiss villages and towns, and that is the colorful shutters. Everywhere. I froth on them, and one day I want to make sure whatever house I own has colorful shutters too that I can fling open in the morning a la Beauty and the Beast.
Falling in love with the most beautiful street in Zurich
Go on, I dare you to tell me that isn’t one of the cutest Euro streets you’ve ever laid eyes on?
Don’t miss a walk around Augustinergasse street when you’re in Zurich.
Water water everywhere
Zurich has over 1200 public fountains where you can fill up your water bottle. Random but awesome.
As someone who drinks a ton of water throughout the day but hates paying for it, especially at Swiss prices, I was in heaven!
Just wandering and getting lost
Holy crap is Zurich a cute city, especially around the old quarter and downtown. And as always my best tip for exploring a city is to just wander and get lost amongst it all.
That means having a bit of time and not being in a rush, but luckily Zurich is a good sized decent with exceptional Swiss public transport so you’ll always have the time.
Have you been to Zurich or Switzerland? What’s your favorite place there? Have you ever finally stopped to see a place you’ve only passed through before? Spill!
Many thanks to My Switzerland for hosting me in Zurich, like always I’m keeping it real, all opinions are my own, like you could expect less from me.
The post 24 hours in Zurich, Switzerland appeared first on Young Adventuress.
I have actually been aiming to complete this blog post for a month. I don’t assume I’ve ever before struggled a lot attempting to put in my words just how I feel regarding concern. But I’m going to try, let’s do this…
… Does anyone else have an aggravating voice in the rear of their head that only appears when it desires to create you doubt, discomfort, or most significantly, fear?
Nope, simply me then? Fabulous. Hearing voices (just one voice guys, I’ve not totally shed my marbles) at the ripe seniority of 27 and confessing publicly? Also much better.
You wish to climb up that mountain? Voice in my head – – you absolutely can not. You’re not strong sufficient and also you’ll probably diminish it. Intend to visit Iran? Voice in my head – – w ho do you assume you are? You’re not a brave journalist. Imagine publishing a book? Voice in my head – – you know that no one is going to review it, right? You’re a horrible writer. Why trouble attempting? GAH.
Thanks so a lot, I really value the assistance. Not.
I don’t truly understand just how this took place, however somehow over the past few years, fear as well as question have slipped right into my life in a method that I have never ever experienced before. And also you know what? It fucking draws.
I utilized to delve into everything life provided me with total abandon. Now? not so much.
I have actually embarked on huge links, skydived, climbed really questionable tracks as well as consumed anything any individual placed in front of me. And also it wasn’t simply physical things too; it really did not even happen to me not to attempt and make it with my blog site or transfer to Spain after college graduation or quit my job to take a trip. I still took a trip also when I had essentially no money to my name, knowing deep down that points always arranged themselves out in the long run. Generally. Ah to be young and also careless once more.
And while I had a lot of dreadful travel fuck ups over the years, things always exercised. I have constantly strongly believed that fate smiles on those who take chances.
But what happens when you start to worry more as well as take less opportunities? Oh crap.
Please tell me I am not the just one who is going via this. I require neighborhood.
Yet somewhere down the line, I began to become more worried of things that never frightened me prior to. Whether it was something physical that I now taken into consideration dangerous or going after a dream that seemed as well impossible, worry has actually sculpted itself its very own little goddamn workshop home in the rear of my head as well as made itself in your home.
While I can not identify precisely when this improvement occurred, I believe was around when I transformed 25 and quit my work. Additionally, for those of you who have placed up with me on this blog for several years, you might additionally bear in mind that was the moment I fell off a camel in Jordan and almost damaged my back.
I’m going to go out on an arm or leg below as well as state I * think * that might have something to do with it. A minimum of with being afraid of physical journeys. I am absolutely now horrified of camels as well as diminishing things, that’s for certain. However additionally I am coming to be more cautious with trying new things (specifically physical things) and pursuing my desires.
As an example I have been come close to regarding creating a book a few times, and also what have I done? ZIP. I’m terrified. TERRIFIED.
Age, I picture, is also an essential player. Isn’t really that just what some people are constantly saying? You grow more mindful as you age? Well, I believe the journey to ending up being scared does not matter as long as exactly what the fuck am I meant to do now?
Seriously men, WHAT CURRENTLY? Do I simply warmly welcome my newly found caution and concern, or attempt as well as overcome it? Or attempt to strike a healthy and balanced balance in between both.
Tangent: Now, I have actually just finished one of the most fantastic publication that speaks about living with fear as well as the best ways to still live an imaginative life– it’s called Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (that composed Eat, Pray, Love)– and also oh my woozy god is it amazing.
Actually, it’s so great it’s the initial publication I have actually checked out since Harry Potter that I’ve deliberately checked out slowly merely to savor its outstanding message. I bought it on my Kindle, started it on a flight, then acquired a paper copy at the airport after I landed because it was so excellent I needed to hold it and also scent the paper. Then I read it once more. It offered me shivers.
I don’t typically read nonfiction, however seriously men, if you consider on your own to be an imaginative (or you desire to be), placed it on your reading checklist CURRENTLY. You can thank me later on.
Anyway, in the publication my fellow Liz speak about ways to deal with anxiety. Perfect timing or exactly what guys?
In the starting she speaks about how it’s important to live a life based upon curiosity compared to on fear. Makes feeling, right? I want to think I have actually constantly been a curious individual. I always intend to see exactly what’s around the bend, would like to know why things are the way they are, as well as am anxious to try new things. Essentially.
However, anxiety has made a decision to sign up with the event and also often currently obstructs of my larger inquisitiveness. I intend to see just what goes to the top of that hill however I hesitate I can’t obtain there so I don’t attempt. Or in some cases I’ll compromise and also climb a smaller hill.
Admission – – I have actually become a little bit of a crybaby. I’m worried each time I place on my snowboard. I’m scared every single time I try something new. I discover that I truly need to force myself currently to attempt new things.
I actually observed when I was in Canada in January. I might have had the possibility to go ice climbing and I didn’t because I was worried– I really did not believe I can do it, and also I believed I was also weak. Upper body strength HA.
What have I end up being? I would have hopped all over that ice waterfall 3 years ago.
Well, anxiety is difficulted. Clearly.
These physical anxieties of points I do not believe I could do however are completely within the realm of factor are driving me nuts and also holding me back. I’m determined to conquer it this year if I can, and also I think Liz Gilbert has the right idea.
Fear will constantly exist. It’s not an inquiry of ending up being fearless however finding out to accept that fear exists, it becomes part of your life as well as it’s not going anywhere, however it ought to NEVER be in charge or have a say in making innovative choices.
It’s time to be endure, men.
At the very same, merely to make things also more complex, I want to believe that travel has helped me handle fears over the years. As an example, there are some things that never ever strike me could possibly be terrifying that I do at all times since I’ve obtained so utilized to them traveling.
The evident instance to this is that I take a trip the world alone. As a woman.
As a matter of fact, I believe that’s something that truly surprises individuals when I discuss that little bit to individuals I satisfy when driving, I am usually consulted with hesitation as well as the common “wow typically aren’t you afraid?”
Whenever I browse through to my computer system I am reminded constantly that we reside in a screwed up globe. Every little thing is damaging, and travel is often dissuaded. And also don’t also get me began concerning females taking a trip alone. I promise I’ll never ever hear completion of it (MOTHER).
I have not been worried to take a trip alone for as lengthy as I can bear in mind. I have no idea if I ever was worried in fact. The first journey I took was by myself to Paris in 2007 for a weekend. And I only did it since no one else in my research abroad program would have me. Well screw that, I intended to go to Paris so I was visiting take myself to Paris!
Now that I think back, I was only a bit worried when I finished up missing out on the last evening bus to the flight terminal where I was intending on resting, as well as I wound up walking the roads all evening around the bus terminal due to the fact that I had no where to go and also could not afford a resort. Or even then, believing back, I reckon I was simply tired.
However I digress.
Every journey I took taught me something. Every fuck up I carried the road showed me a lesson. I expect in an odd way it educated me confidence, not something I have in wealth, that’s for certain. However I am confident with my ability to travel.
I learnt how to getting rid of traveling fears early, and also now I need to learn how to handle my various other anxieties, primarily the concern that I am not physically capable of doing something I desire, like a hard trek or boosting at snowboarding. But likewise the best ways to combat my worry that I will not have the ability to pursue my huge imaginative desires.
I think individuals who travel are naturally endure in mind. You basically need to be to march right into the unknown, right?
Like Liz Gilbert claims so eloquently, you should be brave to live an imaginative life, fear is the fatality of creativity.
Well I don’t recognize about you guys, yet I wish to live one of the most creative, innovative possible so I have to discover how to manage all this concern and negativeness as well as to discover how to count on myself once more as well as count on my dreams. One action each time.
So when that ice wall surface turned up once more on my travel to Finland in March, I recognized I had not been allowed to wuss out twice, so I went all out.
Ever since, I’m working with obtaining fitter by joining a fitness center in Wanaka (and also doing team health and fitness, something I’ve never ever done ever) to make sure that I’ll feel more powerful and also more comfy doing much more literally demanding tasks when I’m traveling and being adventurous around New Zealand. I think if I really feel more potent I’ll really feel much more confident experimenting with these things.
As well as now I’m functioning on going after several of my biggest desires and also passions with my blog site, composing and also photography. If I don’t do it now, when will I?
2016 will be my year, just what regarding you guys?
Can you connect to getting riding of fear as well as negativeness? How do you deal? Any sort of ideas for me? Please share here in the comments!
The post My big issue with fear and traveling appeared initially on Youthful Adventuress.
I’m warm off the watercraft from frosty Finland. As sad as I was to leave an ideal winter months heaven, I am very stired to be back on New Zealand dirt saturating up minority continuing to be days of summertime while I can. The evenings are already smelling crisp like autumn, I am so thrilled.
That being claimed, it doesn’t take much for me to miss Finland, particularly the wild north of Lapland and also my initial visit inside the Polar circle. Just what a magical area, I have actually never seen a lot snow! Alberta, Canada offered me a taste but it was nothing like this.
Hint giddy schoolgirl minutes every hour. I simply can not help myself guys. This was a fairy tale revived. Merely consider those snow beasts, I mean snow trees. Begin!
Thanks Hecktic Trips for motivating me to check out!
Using my strong Parajumpers parka
To be sincere, I am still reeling a bit from the trip – – it was that remarkable and memorable. For me it was a journey of firsts as well as challenges, trying new things and immersing myself in a place I’ve been longing for visiting for a long period of time. And also do not estimate me on this however I assume it might be my remain large solo trip for a while. But more on that particular soon.
For somebody with a brain that never ever quits and is constantly bewildered by nearly anything, it’s a whole lot to process.
So I assumed I would certainly begin to arrange my sensations below by sharing a few of my preferred breaks from the travel with you. You may have seen some on my Instagram or Snapchat however here’s a handful much more with a tale or 2 together with.
So get hold of a cuppa, rest back, imagine some reindeer bells and also enjoy as I try to share my journey around Finnish Lapland with my lens.
* Throwing snow with your coat unzipped is not suggested
It was late in the evening by the time my plane landed in Rovaniemi, the gateway to Lapland. I got my rental automobile, goinged down the snow covered roads into town checked out the resort and immediately hit the sauna. All my hotel rooms in Finland had their very own private sauna. What heaven!
Not that I well known ways to sauna like Finnish individuals. I believe I lasted around 20 mins that first night til my face melted before I was out. Still have a lot of time to find out, appropriate guys?
The next day I invested the morning snowboarding at a neighborhood skifield in Rovaniemi prior to exploring the town and obtained prepared before visiting Luosto, where I would certainly be based for a few days. That wasn’t before I devoured on an incredible lunch at Roka, a road food style restaurant in downtown Rovaniemi.
Arctic Light Resort in Rovaniemi
I explored a glass igloo for the evening which is probably among the coolest places I’ve ever stayed and also I don’t state that gently. The snow was piled so high it showed up to the windows as well as remained on the roofing system like icing, sparkling under the lights.
I had never ever seen snow like that before. I also want to take a second to state that March in Finland is the most effective cold weather to see, the days are long and it’s not that cold, it hovered merely listed below cold during I existed, I was expecting it to be much cooler. Yet I rattle on.
I dropped off to sleep huddled in my preferred winter season onesie wishing the clouds would certainly lift and I would certainly see the Northern Lights. The resort even gives you a cell phone that will text if the aurora is on, but alas, Santa really did not hear my petitions, which excelled due to the fact that I slept like a log.
My very first genuine venture into Finnish Lapland was directing to the Lampivaara Purple Mine near Luosto. Finland doesn’t truly have big hills instead hillsides and fells, and also the mine is on top of one.
Man does the landscapes modification when you going up. The trees quickly come to be so caked in snow they look like people or statuaries til no eco-friendly is left. It was my very first time seeing trees like that I primarily went nuts.
We knowned tales concerning the lasting mine while sipping hot berry juice before taking a crack at ourselves as well as digging around for our own item of purple.
While in Luosto I got to attempt snowmobiling for the very first time ever, so scary therefore much fun! There is a lot snow in Lapland that there are their very own snowmobiling roadways throughout the region. Can you envision maturing with that?
My moms and dads would certainly have killed me. Zoom zoom!
Luckily I had Heli, a regional with me to take turns driving as we signed up with on a trip with Lapland Safaris bent on a frozen lake where we would certainly go ice fishing. And for the document, I captured 4 fish. All by myself. Heli is a neighborhood and certainly blew me out of the icy water, yet exactly what can you do? So happy I had her with me for part of this trip to remaining me business!
Though if I needed to pick, one of my absolute favorite experiences I did on my entire journey to Finland was checking out the Jaakkola Reindeer Ranch near Luosto and lastly discovering the traditional Saami society.
We opted for a reindeer sled trip (yes that is an experience) via the woodland while among the puppies rested in my lap and large fat snowflakes fell throughout me. I remained in heaven! I really felt like I had actually stepped out in among those Jan Brett publications my mom read to me as a youngster.
I want there was more opportunities to learn more about Saami culture in Finland, but I swerve. Don’t miss this ranch as well as fulfilling the fantastic household whose enthusiasm runs it in the meanwhile.
Luosto is so comfy as well as so much to do I practically want I had actually spent all my time in Lapland there. I might definitely see myself squirreled away in a cabin someplace working on a publication.
I attempted brand-new things like ice climbing for the very first time. I in all honesty didn’t assume I would have the toughness to do it, and also I was so worried I was drinking however it wasn’t any harder than I envisioned as well as I had the ability to get myself near the leading!
My last evening in Luosto I signed up with a snowshoeing trip with Lapland Safaris, reaching the top of a fell on the hunt for the North Lights. As good luck would have it, they were radiant strong (which frequents Lapland, about every various other evening) yet a solid gray cloud covered the whole sky with just the horizon radiant environment-friendly. Why me, WHY?
Sigh, I’m done whining currently. As you can see, Finland was still rather awesome.
I was quite gutted to leave Luosto as I had such a remarkable number of days concealed away there yet I was thrilled to go to the shore and also Kemi and also see something new.
As well as kid did I get exactly what I requested for! I joined an afternoon trip on the old Sampo Icebreaker ship, and it was the coolest ever before! I’ve never seen icy seas previously, have you men?
I’ll never neglect the sound of the ice cracking or seeing it damage up around us as we reduced with the icy high seas. It was also one of those strange days with haze so thick the ice as well as the sky combined together. It was strangely gorgeous.
And also reaching abandon the ice as well as leap in for a swim solidified this as one of the coolest days ever before.
As well as to top it off, I reached rest in a snow castle that night in Kemi. Genuine.
That’s right, a hotel castle made entirely of snow, not ice, snow. Simply call me Elsa.
Do you wish to build a snowman?
And also ultimately my remain day went out with a bang dogsledding in Rovaniemi. I reached play with the husky puppy dogs in Luosto however in fact go on safari near Rovaniemi. So much fun!
It was all I could do not so sneak among those frisky pups away in my gigantic bag. I suggest, take a look at that face??
Are you a winter season traveler? Does Lapland look interesting you? Have you ticked any of these items off your pail list yet?
Shaking my Juliet Parajumpers jacket when it had not been chilly
Several many thanks to Check out Finland for hosting me in Lapland – – like always I am remaining it actual – – all point of views are my own, like you could expect much less from me!
The post Postcards from the Arctic Circle appeared initially on Young Adventuress.
I have actually never ever been a lot of a city lady, always choosing the quiet vast open spaces of the countryside and eco-friendly areas of the world. Yet that being claimed, there are a few cities occasionally populating the globe that I not just like, I enjoy.
Surprise, shock, Oviedo is just one of them.
Tucked away in north Spain in my preferred little region that packs a huge strike – – Asturias – Oviedo is an area that nearly doesn’t seem genuine.
It’s ideal. Here are my reasons for caring this random city in the north of Spain – – Enjoy!
1. Thank you Woody Allen!
Woody Allen when defined Oviedo as “…… a tasty, unique, lovely, clean, lovely, relaxing and pedestrianized city…… It’s like it doesn’t belong to this globe…… as if it did not exist…… Oviedo is like a fairy tale.”
Too lots of adjectives, Woody, however I cannot help but concur!
While I had found out about Oviedo given that I initially relocated to Spain in 2007 (guy exactly how time flies!) it never attracted attention to me until I saw Woody Allen’s timeless –– Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Bear in mind when Javier Bardem welcomes the girls to visit Oviedo for a weekend ride from Barcelona? Exactly how can you not drop in passion with it? Woody Allen has actually called Oviedo his
preferred city in Spain as well as there are tips as well as traces of him all over. His love for this part of Asturias is dated long before the film – back in 2002 he won Spain’s many prestigious art prize, the Prince of Asturias give. It’s a lot fun walking around town and also attempting to select places from the movie, like the Hotel de la Reconquista where they remained in Oviedo.
Oh and remember to go position beside the Woody Allen statue which you could locate below , on Calle de las Milicias Nacionales (road)throughout
from the city’s primary park. Depending on when you check out, he might have glasses or otherwise, as they are typically thieved. 2. The unbelievably outstanding food It’s notrick, among my favorite things to do while traveling is to eat. I assume the among the most effective means to experience and start to an understand a society is through it’s food
, as well as in Asturias, the food is awesome.
After living in La Rioja for a year, another terrific area in northern Spain, I completely fell in passion with the food which is sovarious from the typical pork as well as potatoes that
you think about when Spanish food come to mind. The food in north Spain is intricate as well as phenomenal, as well as Oviedo is no exemption. Considering a lot of Asturias is along the coast, there is no lack of
remarkable fresh fish and also fish and shellfish. FAVE! One of my preferred dishes in Oviedo was in a really good restaurant with a kickass menu called Restaurante Gloria. I allow their team choice for me so I might get the very best of everything, numerous items being cutting-edge conventional local cuisine. I left feeling fat and happy. 3. Gorgeous and also squeaky tidy Let’s be honest here guys, there are attractive cities as well as there are awful cities, while many autumn someplace in the middle. Oviedo is truly
gorgeous in its very own way, as well as I suggest that in the best means feasible. It’s not over the top. It does not howl”take a look at me check out me”like other locations I can call. Oviedo has an old, refined typical appeal that if you listen and listen closely, you will certainly find it. However the point that stuck out for me one of the most about Oviedo? It is well taken care of. It is clean as well as green well enjoyed as well as well dealt with. As a matter of fact it has actually been named the cleanest city in Spain and also among the cleanest in Europe
, which is rather outstanding thinking about exactly how dirty the rest of Spain could be. Rarelyany kind of canine shit, ciggys or event vomit
anywhere! I was amazed! 4. So fresh therefore environment-friendly Another point I just enjoyed about Oviedo was how eco-friendly it was. There are attractive trees and also parks and plazas galore, and merely outside the city is among my favored areas – Monte Naranco. Besides cider, this is one more Oviedo must-see, as well as the perspectives are just outstanding. A mountain/hill outside the town hall, Monte Naranco is a simple increase or a long walk which I do not recommend. Along the way to the top you’ll pass a few of one of the most important historical websites in Asturias – Santa María del Naranco, a church that was originally a royal residence constructed around 848, in addition to San Miguel de
Lillo, a church likewise developed around 848. Certainly these were showcased in
Vicky Cristina Barcelona in instance you were asking yourself.
5. The deep record While Spain has no lack
of historic areas to see, Oviedo has them in wealth. The only area of Spain not overcome by the Moors in the Middle Ages, it was the heart of the Reconquista as well as – has the churches
as well as royal residences to back it up. I do not desire to birthed you with the details as I can not
imagine a lot of you are as large of medieval record nerds as I am, so I will merely inform you, that Oviedo has some of the oldest Christian structures in Spain owing to its importance in the famous Reconquest. And if you look closely you will certainly see the influence of a lot more recent historic occasions around the city, like marks from the Spanish Civil Battle. An unexploded shell hidden in this church
6. The fantastic Resort Barceló Oviedo
Hidden in a restored 20th century
manor, Hotel Barceló Oviedo Cervantes was a fantastic intro to the city. Super central as well as having everything you could possibly desire plus a remarkable jacuzzi tub( always a win for me haha ), I was rather delighted to obtain to rest my head below for a few days while I got to know Oviedo. I actually enjoyed the mix of a historic exterior with the shiny glass windows of the buildings around it. Though, I assume the cushion menu sealed the offer, can you blame me? 7. All the cider! Asturias is understood for its difficult cider, or sidra in
Spanish, and if you do only one thing when you are in Oviedo, see to it it’s to check out a sidrería (a Cider Home). I believe I had actually been Oviedo for approximately 2 hrs prior to the cider started moving after I satisfied up with some citizens that took
me out. I can not pressure this sufficient, it
‘s the PERFECT intro to Asturias! SHOW ME THE CIDER! I’ll be writing a whole lot more concerning this soon, however in the meantime
I simply had to discuss my dinner at Tierra Astur Sidrería on the borders of the city. Walking inside this storehouse sized building, I was
promptly met with encountering exactly what was clearly a massive residents event evening. See your toes when I am putting the cider haha While there is a dining establishment in the front with normal tables, in the bank there were long tables without chairs piled high with local food buffet style free for all close to huge casks of cider bordered by loads of residents having a blast. Divine crap. Overwhelming as well as awesome. Being an autist at
heart, strolling into those kinds of scenarios, PARTICULARLY in a foreign country, constantly make me nervous, but the
best aspect of Asturias is exactly how pleasant everybody is. And also excellent food and great cheer is an universal language, am I right? * I’ll include
that that sort of solution isn’t really every night
. I am double checking yet I’m quite sure it
‘s called an espicha, which is
an unique meal with light tapas as well as cider provided good friends. Any type of asturianos out there that can verify? Yet anyways, I digress. An espicha is something every regular in Asturias as well as if you desire
a really regional encounter, find out how to reach one when you’re there. Thank me later. 8. Shutters and also terraces oh my! I have a secret to confess. So … I …
…. have a very solid fascination with attractive wooden historic shutters as well as vintage style terraces. Oviedo has these in wealth which indicates I was absolutely fizzing walking the community. Those windows! Those shutters! Those verandas! Those potted plants! Somebody stop me please! Currently aim to visualize me clarifying this to my quick guide in Spanish. Trust me, it was amusing. Yet seriously, how rather are these??? 9. Obtaining fat eating carbayones
Oviedo is among the most generally Spanish cities I’ve ever before been to, if that is also possible. I’m sure the citizens will certainly
despise me for stating so, yet it holds true. A conservative place where memories compete a long ass time and also individuals do not forget, it makes sense that one of the most famous bread in Oviedo has a story to choose it. A carbayón is sickeningly sweet bread made from egg, almonds, sugar, and cognac, with a tough icing of lemon and cinnamon. It’s delicious as heck and also if you aren’t mindful, you can easily consume a handful as well as really feel very ill. Not that I have any sort of individual encounter with that … Back in 1879 there was a humungous oak tree in the center of the city nicknamed El
Carbayón which was controversially torn down making area for among the major boardwalks. A neighborhood baker at Camilo de Blas Pastelería created this bread in honor of the tree that people still speak concerning over 130 years later on. Memories are lengthy in Spain, that’s for certain. At the very least this resulted in something delicious. 10. Random Statues Besides old Woody midtown, Oviedo appears to be a city of sculptures. Seriously, they are anywhere. It’s as if Oviedo is one titan outdoors museum. I don’t actually know why there are a lot of sculptures around Oviedo. It adds to the mystery as well as my internal competitive kid that just NEEDS TO find them all.
Have you ever loved a city
live Oviedo? Have you been? Recognize Mafalda? Several thanks to Tourism Asturias for hosting me while I was there– like constantly, I’m maintaining it
actual, all opinions are my own, like you could expect less from me. The post From Oviedo with Passion appeared first
on Young Adventuress.