Travel „Mistakes“ And Things I Will Avoid Next Time

There are certain „mistakes“ we made during our travels and things I will avoid next time I will be travelling. This is post is not supposed to be a guide or something, it is rather me reflecting and sharing my thoughts.

Too much planning

Looking back, I realised we did TOO MUCH planning. I planned almost everything.
Just because I am usually an extremely organised person and I really enjoy it.
However, I noticed that I have not actually followed my plan and I missed most of the things I wanted to do. But this was totally fine. If you give yourself the choice of deciding spontaneously what you want to do every day, you will experience this special being-an-independent-traveler-feeling which is really thrilling.
If we had obsessively followed all of our plans, we would have missed so many great adventures, for example spending two days in Byron Bay with three cool Australian guys or we would not have quitted our job in Darwin and travelled the East Coast instead.
The best adventures we had where the spontaneous ones.

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Booking all flights in advance

We booked all our flights in advance. Frankfurt-London-Kuala Lumpur-Bali-Bangkok-Darwin and from Sydney back to Germany. I also booked a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi and back and I did not even attend the flight back to KL because I took a ferry to Penang and a bus back to Malaysia’s capital.
We realised that you do not even have to book international flights in advance when you are travelling South East Asia, since the tickets are very cheap.
I wish we’d had the time to visit another country in South East Asia, it would have been affordable and probably cheaper than booking six months in advance.
I also regretted booking a return flight from Australia since we had to pay a lot of money to change flights. Next time I go to South East Asia, I will resist the urge to book all of the flights in advance and maybe even choose the overland route.

Don’t be a lone wolf

This one is not really a mistake we made, but especially when you are travelling with another person, it is likely that it will always be only the two of you and the so-called bonding with other travellers does not happen as easily as when you are travelling solo.
This is not particularly bad but if you ARE travelling on your own, you might want to change this „habit“.
I met so many people when I travelled in Malaysia, because I had to. I did not want to spend the evening alone, so I just talked to other people and we spent the evening or even the following days together. Some people might not be very interested in meeting other travellers but I definitely am, so I always told myself „Don’t be a lone wolf and start bonding!“
Even though those bonds do not last very long, it is still an extremely cool experience because it only takes a day and you and your new travel buddy will behave like best friends.

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Don’t book too many nights in your accommodation

When we arrived in Darwin, Northern Territory Australia, we booked a private room in an AirBnB for four (!!!) weeks, since we planned to work for at least six weeks in Darwin. Well, the job search turned out to be more difficult than expected and we had to stay in Darwin without a job and in the end, tried to reverse the booking.
Fortunately, we got some of the money back but in the end we were not able to go to Cairns as early as we would have liked to.

Traveling is no competition

Something that really annoyed me was that some travellers, especially Germans, tend to make a competition out of travelling. To my mind it is not about how many countries you visited or how many things you did, it is about you.
How you feel whilst travelling, your personal development and also if you are satisfied with what you are doing, is what really matters.
It is your time and nobody makes the same experiences you make.
We talked to two German girls in Sydney and our conversation ended with them criticising us, telling us that we have not tried hard enough to find a job and of course their experience was soo much cooler than ours.
This. Is. Not. The. Idea. Of. Travelling.

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Don’t travel on a „too-tight“ budget

During our time in Australia, both of our credit cards got hacked. We had no access to my friend’s money and they drawed out over 300€ from my account.
What I want to say is that you should make sure that you have enough money for any unpredictable cases.
Additionally, as naive as I am, I expected travelling in South East Asia and especially Australia to be a bit cheaper- so be prepared 😀

I hope you found some of these tips helpful, please let me know if you have any other ideas on how to be well-prepared for travelling :)!

xx, Sophie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

San Francisco 1995

If you’re going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you’re going to San Francisco
You’re gonna meet some gentle people there

San Francisco, Scott McKenzie

I am not very good with words and writing at the moment, so I am sharing my Mum’s old San Francisco photographs with you today. I would love to go to San Francisco, wearing some flowers in my hair…

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Sendepause, Jubiläum und fünf Tage in Sydney

Guten Morgen Ihr Lieben,

ich bin heute Morgen um fünf Uhr aufgestanden, einfach so weil Morgenstund‘ hat ja Gold im Mund. Oder auch „Der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurm“… meine ich mal gehört zu haben. Das Projekt, um fünf Uhr morgens aufzustehen, gehört zu meinem „Changing my Life“ Projekt, welches ich gerade gestern gestartet habe.
Etwas ironisch oder? Ich glaube sein Leben verändern ist heutzutage ein Trend, genau so wie jeden Tag grüne Smoothies zu trinken, Instagram zu seinem Tagebuch zu machen und Reisen zum Inhalt seines Lebens.
No offense, ich finde mich ja selbst darin wieder. Wie auch immer, ich werde in Zukunft sicherlich über diese -um fünf Uhr morgens aufstehen- Tortur schreiben und darüber, wie sich jetzt alles in meinem Leben zum positiven wendet (okay das hört sich gerade sehr sehr deprimierend an, vielleicht eher „noch mehr zum positiven“…).

Spaß bei Seite. Ich bin nun seit fast zehn Wochen wieder Zuhause, das ist fast schon die Hälfte der Zeit die ich weg war – schon ziemlich traurig.
Seitdem habe ich mir einen Job gesucht, wieder angefangen zu Tanzen, meine Ballett Stange repariert und mir 120cm breite Spiegel ins Zimmer gehängt, acht Bücher gelesen und das Reisen sehr vermisst. Auf der anderen Seite habe ich bemerkt, wie sehr ich mein „Zuhause“ zu schätzen gelernt habe und wie wichtig es für mich geworden ist, einen place to be zu haben.

Arbeiten ist anstrengender Reisen und meiner Meinung nach auch anstrengender als Schule, was vielleicht auch einfach daran liegt, dass ich nicht für die Gastronomie gemacht bin. Sophie arbeitet jetzt nämlich im Bio Gewerbe und das nicht wenige Stunden die Woche.
Daher fehlte es mir die letzten Tage, oder auch Wochen, oft an Kraft und Motivation mich hinzusetzen und etwas zu schreiben.
Die Motivation und die Ideen kommen zwar wieder, aber wie einige vielleicht beim Lesen bemerkt haben, schreibe ich gerade auf Deutsch und nicht wie sonst, auf Englisch.
Immerhin möchte ich auch nicht meinen Blog gerade nachdem er ein Jahr alt geworden ist (jaa, am 28. März hatte Aperture & Wanderlust Geburtstag) schon wieder hängen lassen.
Außerdem erstaunt es mich immer wieder, dass es tatsächlich so viele liebe Menschen im Internet gibt, die mein Gedanken- und Reisewirrwarr doch tatsächlich lesen mögen. Für manche mag es natürlich nicht viel sein, aber ich bin sehr glücklich und dankbar für die positive Resonanz die mich im letzten Jahr erreicht hat.

Passend zum Thema beendete Reise, hier ein paar Fotos aus Sydney, unsem letzter Stopp in Australien. Sydney hat mir wirklich sehr gut gefallen, unser Hostel war super schön, günstig- und es gab sogar Frühstück.
Zwar gab es verschiedene Zimmer Kategorien und nachdem wir in zwei schönen Zimmern geschlafen haben, landeten wir in einem acht-Bett Zimmer.
In jenem wachte ich eines Morgens auf und musste eine platt gelegene Kakerlake auf meiner Matratze finden. Doch Gott sei Dank war ich nach fast fünf Monaten relativ abgehärtet was sowas angeht und bekam keinen Schreianfall oder ähnliches.
Außerdem war es ja nicht ich, die von einem Riesen im Schlaf zerquetscht wurde…trotzdem nicht sehr appetitlich.

Sydney an sich ist eine sehr schöne und aktive Stadt, wir konnten viele Ziele zu Fuß erreichen, oder auch mit Bus und Bahn. Infrastrukturell ist Sydney meiner Meinung nach auch sehr gut ausgerüstet und man kommt schnell von A nach B.
An sich reichen auch drei Tage in der Hafenstadt, denke ich, durchaus aus.
Immerhin gibt es auch nicht unendlich viel zu sehen.
Ein Muss für mich als Ballettliebhaberin war natürlich das Amateur Tanz Foto vor dem Opera House!

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Danke fürs Lesen und HAVE A GOOD WEEK ♥️!

Sophie

Exploring Doi Suthep, the golden Temple

Hello everybody and welcome back on my blog!

Today I will be sharing with you pictures I took during our afternoon trip to the famous Doi Suthep Temple near Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Those of you who read my Elephant Sanctuary post and my article about Pai, know that I really like the north of Thailand and Chiang Mai is really beautiful and it has so many great things to offer.

In the city you usually take the red caps, small busses that serve as taxis for up to ten people. It is very likely that you will share your red cap with other people. Just ask a driver and tell him where you want to go and do not forget to negotiate the price!

We met an American guy and a guy from the UK in our hostel and decided to go to Doi Suthep together. We asked for a ride and the driver offered us to drive us to the temple, wait there and take us back to the city which was really nice. It is a thirty minute drive to the temple and you also have to pay an entrance fee. There are many small markets around the temple complex, where you can buy little souvenirs and sarongs. I bought myself a buddha statue and different things for my family.

The temple itself is golden and really beautiful. You are not allowed to enter the temple wearing shorts and tops, so make sure to bring a sarong. Additionally you have to take off your shoes.
There are so many buddha statues and small temples in the complex and even though it was quite crowded, it was still stunningly beautiful!

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It was a great afternoon trip and I can really recommend visiting Doi Suthep if you do not have the time to visit the other temple, Doi Inthanon, which is an additional two hour ride from Chiang Mai.

I hope you enjoyed the photographs!
Have a good week,

Sophie

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Planning my next trip to Southeast Asia

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The past five months I realised that even though I am obsessed with travelling, I rather enjoy spending less time abroad and also having a plan. Well, this is quite the opposite than what I have told you before but I think this is the kind of travelling I like. I guess I am not the kind of person that could get lost on their journey. I always plan ahead and I tried not to do it but I guess it is just how I am.
However, I am planning to visit eight countries in two and a half and three months.
Oh and my journey does neither start in Iran, nor does it end in Ukraine but I would plan a three-day-stop-over in Abu Dhabi and then fly to Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo.

Sri Lanka

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Picture by ohh-couture.com

I met some people who went to Sri Lanka and simply loved it. Additionally, my father went there on a business trip years ago and I remember being so jealous.
I would love to go surfing there, since people told me that the waves are good to surf and beaches are not as crowded as they are in Bali sometimes.

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Rope swing at Dream Cabana

India

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My mother went to India when she was in her twenties and she told me she was so impressed that she dreamed of India every night for a year after she had returned from her trip. She said it was an amazing but also shocking experience. It is likely that you will see dead people lying on the streets, and the poverty in most of the slums near the big cities is above imagination. Nevertheless, I feel like India is also a wonderful country to visit and definitely worth the culture shock. I already loved Little India in Singapore, even though you probably cannot compare it to the „real“ India. However it really motivated me to go there one day.

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I would love to explore the south and take part in a famous holi colour festival. Although people say the north has a lot more culture shock potential and might be more difficult to travel, I will definitely give it a try and experience it myself. What I am also very excited about is the food. I love Indian Curry, Naan Bread and Mango Lassi!

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Nepal

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A year ago, my mother’s best friend travelled with her husband and her daughter to Nepal in order to enable her daughter to meet her Nepalese family and they totally fell in love with the country. They told us that the Nepalese are really friendly and hospitable.
They were really impressed when they were sitting in a cafe and a guy shouted „Rhino coming“ and all the little shops closed their doors and a bid Rhino calmly walked down the street.

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Nepal is also home to world’s highest mountain, but since I have watched a documentary about how the Sherpa (used to) die during the Mount Everest climbs because oxygen is only provided for the western tourists, I would rather do the Annapurna circuit someday and skip the climb that is paved with dead bodies. For my next trip, I will rather focus on the cities and the countryside but not the Himalaya, since I will need special clothing and trekking stuff. Maybe when I have finished uni.

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Myanmar

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I only met one girl who went to Myanmar and she fell in love with it. I really want to go to Myanmar because I feel it is not that hyped and crowded with tourists yet like Thailand for example. It is one of those countries that will become very popular in a couple of years and when it does, it will change a lot. I would love to experience Myanmar like it originally was/is.

Laos

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The reason why I would also love to go to Laos, is actually the same why I want to visit Myanmar. Additionally, I would like to enter the country overland, since I do not want to take 12 flights in order to explore these parts of Southeast Asia. I mean, flying a lot is not environmentally sustainable at all.

Vietnam

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This picture is stunning isn’t it? I just found it on Pinterest but was originally published on 500px.com. My friend and I always talk about visiting Vietnam. We met so many people who were so amazed by the beauty of this country. On girl I met in Malaysia, even taught english in Hanoi for over six month. As in many cities in Southeast Asia, the contrast between the big cities and the beautiful countryside is huge and I cannot wait to see it myself!

Cambodia

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Oh Cambodia! The Temple of Angkor, beautiful beaches and the gorgeous island Koh Rong. I actually met a dutch guy in Kuala Lumpur who worked in Koh Rong for nine months and slightly got stuck there. He told me all about the beauty of the island, the beaches, the parties, the people. I could literally cry thinking about what I could have seen during my travels….But it is never too late to explore the world right?!

Final destination: The Philippines

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Travelling is also about meeting people. All these destinations I shared with you today were recommended by people I met during my travels. It is amazing how travellers inspire and motivate each other to visit other countries.
However, the last country I want to visit is the Philippines. People told me that you can go surfing there as well as enjoy beautiful, lonely beaches.
After having explored as many islands as possible hopefully, I will take my flight home with a stop-over in Dubai maybe. I cannot wait, I am already so excited, even though I probably still have to wait until I have my bachelor’s degree.

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What I really like about Southeast Asia is that you can travel on a tight budget. I plan to spend a maximum of 1.000€ on my flights and 3.000€ on everything else like food, accommodation, transport etc. everything I need to live during these three months.
And additional 500-700€ for medical care, infusions, medical aid kit and a hand luggage backpack. Yes, on my next trip I do not want to carry around a 70l backpack, I want to bring as little as possible and I will not bring my laptop and my reflex camera. Only my GoPro and a small but good camera. I am already so excited and I cannot wait to explore again!

Would you ever been to India and Nepal? Have you ever thought about travelling with a small backpack? Let me know!

xx, Sophie

 

ALL PICTURES ARE FROM PINTEREST. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THE SOURCES AND THE BLOGS WHERE I GOT THESE PICTURES FROM, PLEASE VISIT MY PINTEREST AND HAVE A LOOK AT THOSE BLOGS AND THE GREAT PEOPLE WHO TOOK THESE SHOTS.
IF YOU ARE THE OWNER OF ONE OF THESE PRETTY PHOTOGRAPHS, PLEASE SEND ME AN E-MAIL AND I WILL DELETE THE PICTURE IF YOU WANT ME TO.

Cairns, Home of two World Heritages

I suppose everyone who has ever considered visiting Australia, knows this small city in the very north of the country. What makes Cairns very special is that you have access to two World Heritages. First, the Great Barrier Reef and second, Daintree rainforest, which is probably one of the oldest rainforests in the world.
Additionally, Cairns has cool restaurants, a stunning harbour where all the huge and luxurious vessels begin their diving tours and entertaining tourist attractions.

Of course we did a Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling tour with an eco-friendly company, called Passions Of Paradise. We decided to go with this company, since they care for the reef, use a catamaran in order to be able to sail back instead of using the engine and they teach you about marine biology, sustainability and the reef itself.

Another highly recommended spot in Cairns is the salt water lagoon, a big ocean water swimming pool (with reduced salt percentage). There are many cities on the east coast of Australia who offer their tourists a salt water lagoon experience, but the one in Cairns is my personal favourite.

We also went to the Cairns botanical gardens and really enjoyed the walk through a small rainforest ca. eight kilometers from the city. You can take a bus but we took an Uber and paid 10$ each in total. Definitely give it a try, but please do not forget to put on mosquito repellent!

Everyone who visited Cairns highly recommended the „Cape Tribulation“ Tour, a rainforest/village/beach tour. You can either do a day trip, or even go for a camping experience. Well, unfortunately we missed that and I regret it almost every day. 😄
Cape Tribulation is the name of a village in the Daintree Rainforest and people told me that you explore the forest and also go to the beach the same day. Isn’t that amazing?
Cape Tribulation is definitely on my bucket list for my next trip!!

However, we had a great time in Cairns and I loved the city and especially the Great Barrier Reef! I still have a lot of GoPro footage to edit, but I promise I will share my Reef videos with you sometime this year.

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Palm trees everywhere!

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The salt water lagoon

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Thanks for reading, I hope you have a great week!

xx, Sophie

 

PS: We really enjoyed our stay in the Njoy! Hostel, they even have a free airport pick up, the bathrooms are clean, they have a swimming pool, a very good kitchen and the people are really friendly and will love to help you chose the right tours!

 

I love (Banana-)Pai, Thailand

*Bad Joke Alert*

One of our favourite places in Thailand was definitely Pai. We only spent two nights in this wonderful small city but going there was definitely worth it! You can easily book a small bus to Pai, it takes approximately 4 hours to get there and you will experience the beauty of northern Thailand.

There is a big sign on the road that says „Welcome to Strawberry Pai!“, but since we had the best bananas in our lives in Pai, I named this post I love (Banana-)Pai 😄.
Every time we are now having a banana we are always like „Oh this one is not as good as the one we had in Pai!“

However, we spent a wonderful day in Pai, rented scooters and explored the area.
Some things you must not miss out are the Bamboo Bridges through the rice fields, the Pai Canyon and the Land Split. I cannot really say why I enjoyed my time in Pai that much, but I guess it was the atmosphere, the fresh air, the landscape and of course, our hostel. We stayed in the Suandoi Hostel and it was one of our favourite hostels we had during our travels. The people were so nice and they had beautiful bungalows and a restaurant with affordable Thai meals.
Additionally, it was the first time that we were actually freezing, since we only had 15 degrees at night.

You should not miss out the Land Split, in 2008 due to an earthquake and flooding, the land of a farmer cracked. He now serves tourists with his rosella juice, fruits and especially bananas, all grown on his own land and he consequently created a tourist attraction. Everything is for free, you just donate some money and that is how he finances his land and life.

Pai was simply a magical experience and I am quite sad that we only spent two nights there, I think I could live there for month and would still love it!

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The Rice Fields and the Bamboo Bridges

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The Land Split

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The City

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Thanks for reading, have a wonderful week!

xx, Sophie

 

Pin it and don’t forget it!Pai,Pinterest