3 Perfect Countries For The True Wanderer

If you are someone who likes to just get away and see the world on foot, then there are so many places around the world for you to discover. The true wanderer will find a huge number of potential locations and countries which are well suited to this kind of adventure, and it is a good idea to have a mental list of the ones you would most like to visit. Some are more exotic than others, but they are all worthwhile for the scene of really getting lost that they can provide. If you are keen to add to your bucket list, then take a look at the following. Here are some of the top countries to go if you are keen to just get a little lost.

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Spain

You might be a little surprised to see Spain here as a first choice. However, for anyone who wants to experience a little of everything that holidays can offer, this country offers some of the best travelling opportunities of anywhere in the world. This is certainly helped along too by the fact that it happens to be one of the cheapest destinations for anyone to visit, and you can easily spend a long time here without going bankrupt. During that time, you can also see and do some truly incredible things, and you will find that it is a land which owes itself particularly well to walking and wandering around.

If you do decide to stop off anywhere, then you will be glad to know that there are always beautiful Spanish apartments up for rent, and these can be some of the most glorious places in the world to just sit and watch the world go by. In the cities as equally as on the beaches, you can expect to see some beautiful scenery, meet friendly locals and just generally get by with a profound sense of ease and calm. Spain is an absolute must for anyone who considers themselves a truly laid-back traveller.

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Italy

There are so many things that you might want to get from your trip. One possibility is to take an oral tour of a country, and if that is up your alley then you might find Italy is a top destination to choose. It is easily one of the very top locations in the world for eating, and that alone is enough to entice many lone travellers from around the world. If you want to get a little lost while trying out much of the world’s best food, then you could do much worse than a trip round Italy.

Some of Italy’s top destinations are likely to be ones that you will want to tick off your bucket list anyway. Of course you have the glorious historic city of Rome, one of the world’s true havens for tourism. Then you have the beautiful floating city of Venice, the cathedrals of Milan, and many others. Going further South, you can expect a more rough and no less fun time with cities like Verona, Florence and Naples. You can even visit the ancient ruins of Pompeii for a real history lesson in action. Wherever you go, Italy is sure to delight you, so don’t miss out on this amazing country destination. It is one of the very best for those who like a dash of culture in their globetrotting.

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Nepal

If you are looking for something a little more exciting and challenging, however, then a fantastic option is always going to be Nepal. This is an amazing, hilly and venerable country nestled next to India, and much of the Himalayas belong to this ancient spiritual land. It is the official birthplace of the Buddha, and walking around the country you get a real sense of peace and calm unlike anywhere else in the world.

For those who genuinely like to wander, there are few locations better anywhere. With the Himalayas on your doorstep, this is the ultimate in walking trips, and hundreds of thousands of people every year go to do just that. You don’t need to be an incredibly strong climber either – there are countless paths which are relatively flat, and there is always a little something for everyone as long as you have strong legs.

Nepal is also home to some of the kindest people in the world, and any visit there is always going to leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated about the nature of humanity. You can’t really say fairer than that.

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Opportunities to Travel the World

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There are many kind of programs and schemes these days that can enable you to travel the world, and do something positive and helpful while doing so. Whether you want to meet new people, gain some skills and experience to put on your CV or just really have the hunger to explore, here are some ideas for you. Included in the list are many opportunities that are volunteer or work based and are not purely for pleasure. This is just because this is an affordable way to travel, and a great way to meet people and get integrated into the places that you visit.

TEFL

This stands for “teaching English as a foreign Language”. With this you can go practically any where, Asia is a popular destination, and even South America too. Through this program you can gain a teaching qualification, and get taught some basic teaching and learning skills, then you find somewhere that will host you. This is probably the most popular programme of this kind, and as a result, is often requested specifically by host countries.

 

Camp America

If you don’t mind children, or working extremely hard for your summer, this might be great for you. You pay an initial fee, get interviewed and can choose the kind of summer camp you want at in the USA. Many people choose this because you make the money back that you initially pay, and have time to travel America after you finish a the summer camp. You have 30 days left of your visa after you finish camp, so you can travel about and do an you please. For countries that require visas, this can be a great way to travel, and a very rewarding experience too. Not to mention a great way to meet travel buddies as well.

 

WWOOF

This is a much shorter experience than the previous two, and allows you some more flexibility with travel. The company name stands for “world wide organisation of organic farming” and does what it says on the tin. With this program you work on farms all over the world, in exchange for somewhere to stay. This is great for travelers, but also one of the motivations of the company is to promote way of farming organically, and pass on this information to others. If you want to get outdoors, and don’t want to commit to these linger programs, this would be great for you. As many volunteer travel opportunities can be difficult, it’s worth keeping in mind travel costs and funding before you make your decision. It’s worth saving, working lots, or considering options like debt consolidation secured loans. This can ease your mind when travelling, as you won’t be worrying about ramping up costs.

 

Travelling is an amazing opportunity, and is well worth it, so it should be savoured.

Experiences like these can shape us as people, and it is great to get out there and see the world. Programs like these make this experience very accessible and give your travelling some structure, so you can get the most from your experience.    

 

*This is a collaborative post.

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Disneyland California Resort – Honeymoon Travels

So I think it’s quite fitting that the last edition of our honeymoon travel diary was our visit to Disneyland California.

I have only been to Disneyland California once when I was about 9 I think and so had only been to the main park. California Adventure was a new one for both of us. Being a massive Disney (and Walt Disney of course) fan, I was so excited to see where it all began – at least when it comes to the theme parks.

Once again, #sorrynotsorry for the vast amount of photos!

Our Disney trip actually began the night before when we finished at Universal and drove over to Anaheim (do NOT do that during rush hour). As soon as we checked into our hotel which was just off property, we walked to Downtown Disney to get our personalised Mickey ears.

We ordered them there and then at the counter and they only took about 20 minutes despite the World of Disney shop being a mad house. It turns out that the minute we arrived, California Adventure had closed for the night so the whole park emptied and a few thousand people came straight to Downtown Disney. Anyway, lesson learned we headed back to the hotel with our ears to get some sleep. We got our initials and our wedding date embroidered on them btw!

Day 1

Hello dodgy mirror shot!
disneyland californai - outfits

And of course a Mickey ear shadow shot!

disneyland californai - shadows

We started off with California Adventure as it turned out that a few rides in the Disneyland Park were closed that day because they were having their halloween overlays added. Luckily they would be opening the next day so I’m glad I did my research! California Adventure was actually closing at 5pm that day because of a staff party but we decided we’d rather do that then miss out on the Halloween rides at Disneyland park. That make sense? Ok, let’s dive in!

disneyland californai - california adventure

Knowing that the Radiator Springs Cars ride was the most popular, we decided to grab some fast passes for that. Then we headed over to the boardwalk area below and pretty much walked onto California Screamin’ – a rollercoaster. It was awesome!

Next, I was really surprised to find a super short wait for Toy Story Midway Mania. Apparently even though it’s exactly the same ride as the one in Florida, it just isn’t that big a deal here. For those who don’t know, in Hollywood Studios in Florida, TSM is the ride you definitely need to grab a fast pass for as soon as you arrive in the morning.

disneyland californai - california screaming

We decided to get in line for the Cove Bar as we really wanted to eat here and I read that the wait times can get really long. It was like 11ish at this point but with the park closing early and us wanting to also have our dinner inside, it worked out pretty well.

disneyland californai - cove bar

It’s more like a bar than a restaurant but their food is really good too. We got two starters to share between us which may not sound like much but look at these photos! They were the perfect lunch. First was the lobster nachos which were the best. I loved these things so much and they definitely lived up to the hype.

disneyland californai - lobster nachos

Then we also had some chicken enchiladas which were pretty damn tasty!

disneyland californai - chicken enchiladas

The best part of the meal (just by a smidgen) had to be the lemonades we got each. As you can see, they are blue and then garnished with cotton candy.

disneyland californai - cotton candy lemonade

After that we used our Radiator Springs fast passes and then tried to figure out what to do next. I can see what people mean about this being a half day park but the rides that are here are very high standard. Note to people who are planning on visiting, the app is good for wait times but isn’t always accurate. After leaving Cars Land, we headed over to the Guardian’s of the Galaxy ride (formerly Tower of Terror) with the app saying that there were fast pass tickets left. Unfortunately they were long gone.

Not the end of the world, we just stood in the hour queue which isn’t bad going considering we’d practically walked on everything else all day.

disneyland californai - walt and mickey statue

Instead we grabbed a Soarin’ fast pass which was due to come into play around 4pm. So to kill time, we went to the Animation Academy and drew Jack Skeleton as well as grabbing a Starbucks and wandering around Downtown Disney for a bit.

4pm came and we went to Soarin’. I was really looking forward to this as they have the new Soarin’ round the world version (the previous was just over California). Unfortunately as we got into the line, the ride broke down and they literally sent everyone out of the building. Gutted.

We decided to go get dinner and try Soarin’ again just before closing. We got Cozy Cones from Cars Land and they were really good. They’re basically a bread cone filled with tasty stuff like mac and cheese or chilli. With cheese on top of course. Plus, while we were eating, we ended up on a table with an older couple and the lady not only had visited Disneyland in it’s opening week but she also met Walt Disney. How awesome is that? I’ll never be able to meet him myself but it’s so cool to have actually met someone who has. Disney nerd alert.

So we went back to Soarin’ to try our luck just before closing and by some miracle it had just started working again. I was so happy as that was our only chance to ride it. And it was awesome.

disneyland californai - mickey street show

On the way out of the park, we stopped at Downtown Disney again and picked up a churro ice cream sandwich. Nom is all I can say. But how awesome is this? Look at all the different flavours they have! Next time I’ll be trying those!

disneyland californai - flavoured churros

Day 2

Second day and last day. This was Disneyland Park day. I can’t do as in depth as I did for Day 1 as this park has so many damn rides that I can barely remember so I’ll just have to talk you through my photos!

disneyland californai - disneyland castle

The castle is super pretty though yes it is a great deal smaller. Not surprising really as this was the first park.

All the halloween decorations were up too which I loved.

disneyland californai - halloween decorations

I do remember that we started the day by getting a fast pass for Space Mountain. Damn that was a long line. I say line, it was more like a hoard. It was crazy but I’m so glad we got them because the queue was super long all day. This was one of the rides that had opened back up with a halloween overlay.

Then we headed to the Matterhorn which I have to say was rather disappointing. It was really rickety and jerky. Luckily this was the only bad ride we had all day!

disneyland californai - matterhorn

The It’s A Small World ride is so pretty from the outside and they even have disney characters inside which they don’t at the Florida counterpart. I also liked that this one starts outside as the other you practically have to go underground to get to it.

disneyland californai - small world

disneyland californai - train

As one of his souvenirs, Topher bought a Yoda backpack that makes it look like you’re Luke when he’s carrying him around. I’m not sure if I would have encouraged him to get it if I knew he’d be treating it like his child for the rest of the day.

disneyland californai - yoda bag

disneyland californai - new orleans square

Lunch was at Cafe Orleans and yes Topher did this and left me with him to go to the bathroom. It’s safe to say I looked pretty special dining with a bag!

disneyland californai - yoda

We had monte cristo sandwiches (classic ham for him and just cheese for me). It was really nice though the portion was a bit too large – I felt a bit ill from all the fried stuff and couldn’t finish it. Topher couldn’t even finish his.

disneyland californai - monte cristo

Jumping photos of course!

disneyland california - topher jump

disneyland californai - diane jump

And one to show off our ears!

disneyland california - looking at castle

We rode Splash Mountain and got soaked to our skin from head to toe. Brrr. You do NOT get that wet at the Florida one.

disneyland californai - splash mountain

We went to Mint Julep Bar for Mickey beignets and a Mint Julep which were both super tasty though very messy! Powdered sugar everywhere.

disneyland californai - mickey beignets

We made what turned out to be an excellent decision on getting fast passes for Haunted Mansion earlier on as the line when we got there around 4pm was insane. We even waited about 30 mins at least in the fast pass line. It was totally worth it though – the house had been given a Nightmare Before Christmas overlay which was so cool!

disneyland californai - haunted mansion

Dinner was at a Mexican place that I can’t remember the name of but it was near Frontierland. Right next to Thunder Mountain. Nom – burritos.

disneyland californai - day of the dead

Then it was time to get ready for the fireworks. I hear there is usually a parade but there wasn’t one this night. We usually go near the castle but even getting there an hour early it was all full up – at least the good spots. As it turns out, having a small castle is nice but then when you have massive trees in front of it, your options get limited fast.

We decided to head to Main Street and we sat on the side of the road where we were lucky to find a space. There was a cast member right next to us the whole time and he didn’t think to tell us what happened next. About 10 minutes I think before the fireworks started we were told to move by another cast member as they were going to fill the street up with people. I really wish we knew that as us and the rest of the people who had gotten there early thought we were sorted. I think you’re usually fine if there’s a parade but as I said there wasn’t one that night. If someone could confirm that for me? So confused.

It wasn’t the end of the world as we were lucky to end up near the front of a section that was cut off so people could cross over but it was annoying due to the many people putting their (massive) children up on their shoulders in the section in front. It wouldn’t be so much of a problem in Florida as the castle is huge but this one is tiny and easily blocked. I did manage to get a few photos of the castle though. I’m just glad we weren’t further to the left as the kid in neon yellow/green was especially big! Lesson learned, next time get there even earlier to get a better space in front of the trees.

disneyland californai - cheshire cat projection

Anyway, grumbling aside, the fireworks were awesome – I wouldn’t expect any less from Disney!

disneyland californai - lots of fireworks

On the way out, we managed to find the real bench that Walt sat on in Griffith Park so yay! Goal met.

disneyland californai - walt's bench

I really enjoyed our trip to Disneyland California overall and I just want to visit them all now! One day 🙂

So that was the last of our honeymoon – we headed back to New York the next day which is included in my New York post – see below for the other instalments if you missed them.

Part 1: New York

What we ate in New York

Part 2: San Francisco

What we ate in San Francisco

Color Factory

Madonna Inn & A Californian Roadtrip

Part 3: Los Angeles 

What we ate in Los Angeles

Universal Studios Hollywood

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Universal Studios Hollywood

As far as I remember, I haven’t ever been to Universal Studios Hollywood before. 

So both Topher and I were excited to compare it to it’s counterpart in Orlando. First off, it is so weird knowing a theme park like the back of your hand then visiting another version of it. Lots of similarities but you can’t seem to find anything. Thank god for the map!

Universal Studios Hollywood - spinning sign

Universal Studios Hollywood - Popcorn

We arrived at opening and started the morning by jumping onto the Studio tour. My initial plan was to go to the lower lot where the most popular rides were but as we arrived we found out that it doesn’t open for the first hour of park opening. I hate when places do this but it worked out ok in the end as the studio tour lasted about 40 minutes so by the time we were done, the lot opened.

Universal Studios Hollywood -studio tour

As it had just opened, the rides were pretty much a walk on down there (so many escalators!) which was a bonus. Transformers is exactly the same as Orlando and Jurassic Park is almost the same with a couple of differences. The Mummy on the other hand was completely different. Still a rollercoaster but a different track. I really enjoyed it – not sure which one I prefer.

Universal Studios Hollywood - lower lot

Universal Studios Hollywood - jurassic park

Then we moved onto Krustyland. The Simpsons ride is the same as Orlando one – don’t have lunch before this ride!

Universal Studios Hollywood - krustyland

Universal Studios Hollywood - side show bob

We had lunch at Luigis Pizza in Springfield/Krustyland which did the job. Universal food is never much to write home about but the theming of their restaurants is always on point!

Universal Studios Hollywood - duff beer

Of course we couldn’t visit Universal without a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It is an exact copy of the Orlando Hogsmeade right down to the rides. It was nice to be “back” as the last one we visited was in 2015 when Topher proposed!

Universal Studios Hollywood - hogsmeade

Universal Studios Hollywood - hogwarts

After riding both rides we headed to the Hogs Head for a butterbeer to cool down. Now in Orlando it’s usually much quicker going in there to get your butterbeer as most people queue up at the carts outside. That was not the case in Hollywood. We were so confused at the large line coming out of the Hogs Head and couldn’t figure out why until we eavesdropped on some other people in the queue.

It turns out that everyone likes to get a shot of whiskey in their butterbeer here. It was never a thing when we went in Orlando so it was a bit surprising (is it a thing now?). Considering how hot it is, we like to avoid alcohol because of dehydration. But then maybe we’re weird – I know plenty of people who like to drink around the world in epcot but I’ll stick to my single margarita thanks.

When we did eventually get our frozen butterbeers we were disappointed to find them really watery in taste. Maybe we got a bad batch? Or maybe that’s why people add whiskey to them? Oh well. It wasn’t the end of the world – I’ll just look forward to the next time we go back to Orlando in a few years.

Universal Studios Hollywood - butterbeer

Pygmy puff slippers!

Universal Studios Hollywood - pygmy puff slippers

Universal Studios Hollywood - hogwarts express

One thing Orlando doesn’t have is Super Silly Fun Land from Despicable Me. The rides were more for kids so we just walked around and enjoyed the theming. I guess Orlando don’t have it as it would be in direct competition for Seuss Landing. Both have that same colourful, childlike vibe.

Universal Studios Hollywood - super silly fun land

We met Gru!

Universal Studios Hollywood - gru

And King Julien

Universal Studios Hollywood - king lou

Another thing Orlando doesn’t have – The Walking Dead attraction. It’s a walk through where zombies jump out at you. It’s just like Halloween Horror Nights but with more space. Claire would definitely enjoy this more as she found the HHN houses way too claustrophobic. So if you’re claustrophobic but want to see some zombies – this is a way better option!

Also super random but well done for the employee for stopping a women taking in her scared five year old. This is definitely not an attraction for small kids! Not judging the woman but I definitely advise reading the attraction descriptions carefully before going on.

Universal Studios Hollywood - walking dead

Universal Studios Hollywood - sign

Overall, we had a great day but the Orlando Universal Studios is definitely superior in our eyes!

Here’s where we’ve been so far on our honeymoon:

Part 1: New York

What we ate in New York

Part 2: San Francisco

What we ate in San Francisco

Color Factory

Madonna Inn & A Californian Roadtrip

Part 3: Los Angeles 

What we ate in Los Angeles

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Taking a Look at the Past for Future Travel Inspiration

travel inspiration

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When it comes to world travel, you’ve probably noticed that your friends and other acquaintances tend to be frequenting the same places, taking part in the same activities and taking the same stock-style photos at each spot they visit. Now, this isn’t all too surprising. We see something on social media and decide to go there. We use the same travel companies who prefer the same routes. But don’t you want your experience of the wider world to be unique? To stand out from the stereotypical gap-year rigmarole? Well, perhaps it’s time to start getting inspiration from the past rather than our everyday social media newsfeed.

Sourcing Inspiration

The first step towards deciding on where you want to go is to learn about the world’s greatest explorers. Back in the day, the world was full of uncharted territories. Nowadays, we have a pretty good idea of where every continent and country lies. So you may not be able to “discover” a new land. However, you can “rediscover” places that may have fallen out of fashion in the travel industry. How to find accounts of these places? Recounting the tales and travel diaries of the greats.

USA

So, we’re all well acquainted with the explorer Christopher Columbus. While his “discovery” of America can be debated (there were already native people inhabiting the lands), there’s no denying that the USA is a whole new world for any explorer who wants to get their teeth into urban travel. Think about it: the United States is home to some of the world’s largest and most renowned cities. New York is a brilliant place to start, with the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, The Empire State Building and endless art museums and cultural days out. If you fancy something a little more rural, then you can visit one of North America’s national parks. Yellowstone Park, located in Wyoming, Montana, spans almost 9000 square kilometres of land where you can hike to your heart’s content.

Australia

British explorer Captain Cook was the first European to set foot on the East Coast of Australia. So why not follow his footsteps and take a trip to the land down under. If you’re fond of exploration a little further from the shore, take a dive in azure waters. The Great Barrier Reef is, of course, top of the list. It’s not surprising: it is home to the world’s largest living coral reef and hosts all sorts of underwater wildlife. However, there are plenty of alternative and quieter dive spots, such as the Yongala wreck, Whitsunday Islands, and Ningaloo Reef. If you prefer to stay on dry land, but still want a taste of the wild, why not try an outback tour. You can go by jeep, or even helicopter to see stunning canyons, astounding mountains and dusty desert-like expanses.

These are just a couple of places that may take your fancy.

At the end of the day, the world is your oyster. So seize whatever opportunities pose themselves to you.

 

*This is a collaborative post

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