3 Cities To Explore For The Adventurous Traveller

It is that time of the year again, when everyone is looking for  a December getaway. I am one of them and i know that i should have not left it for the last minute. While looking for info on my next trip, I found out that at Club Med you can maximise your holiday experience by choosing 2 different, but incredible destinations all in one trip. Score!! It is called the city stop – a stopover en-route to returning from your Club Med resort. The city stop promises the best both worlds in one holiday: the relaxed, laid back ambience of a resort and the thrilling, high energy buzz of a global metropolis.

When opting for a city stop using Club Med, you get a total access package that covers your airport transfers, premium accommodation from only 4 and 5 star hotels with breakfast included. What’s great is that you can choose how long you want to stay at the city stop, you can do what you want, when you want and all at your own pace.

So all this got me thinking. Which two cities can i visit with Club Med?

Here is where i would like to go:

Istanbul

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Turkey’s capital, Istanbul boasts age old architecture and a rich culture. Discover places like Topkapi Palace which was the residence of the Ottoman dominator from the 15th to the 19th century and take in the grandeur of the most beautiful mosque in Istanbul, the Blue Mosque. The labyrinthine and chaotic Grand Bazaar with its 4 000 shops is the heart of the Old City and has been for centuries. After a shopping spree, one can get refreshed at Lokum in Kurucesme, and experience the delights, flavours & beauty of true Turkish delight.

The Istanbul city stop is available for travel to resorts in Turkey, that is, Club Med Palmiye in Antalya and Club Med Bodrum in Bodrum.

Dubai

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A modern day oasis with amazing energy and a penchant for luxury that equals only to a few destinations. Experience this Emirate’s futuristic architecture and extravagant shopping complexes all combined with a rich Middle Eastern heritage. For any city stop, you get to choose between three hotels and the following are available for Dubai:

  • The Armani Hotel designed by Giorgio Armani and aptly located on the iconic Burj Khalifa tower
  • Sofitel Hotel, a luxury beachfront hotel with panoramic views of the Persian Gulf
  • The Majestic Tower Hotel, boasting 7 restaurants and bars is located in the Bur Dubai district within close proximity to the international airport and world class shopping centres

Dubai is available as a city stop for travellers heading to Club Med Kani in The Maldives

Singapore

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This city state boasts a wide range of fine culture excursions from galleries with a range of art forms to museums with prestigious works. History buffs can explore the well preserved relics in the heritage centres while party animals can revel in a colourful nightlife scene. Lovers of nature can immerse in the many rainforests and botanical paradises available while foodies can revel in Singapore’s renowned street food. Design enthusiasts can take in the incredible architecture in Singapore’s impressive skylines while retail therapy opportunities are plenty in this shopper’s paradise.

Singapore is available as a city stop for travellers heading to Club Med Bali in Indonesia.

I am getting so excited about these amazing destinations. Check out Club Med on wwww.clubmed.co.za and keep up with them on Twitter here: @Club_Med_SA

Luanda, Angola. The Most Expensive City In The World

I have mentioned numerous times about my desire to visit more African countries this year as part of my #AdventuresOfTheLoneBoyTraveller expeditions. I have been reading about countries such as Angola  and the news was both good and bad. I was interested in knowing why Angola’s capital city, Luanda is the most expensive city in the world and how people manage to survive if the expense of living is that mind blowing.

I booked my flight and arrived on the 2 June. Upon arrival, officials demanded that i show my Yellow Fever certificate in order to gain entry into the country. I showed them my card and passport and i was allowed to go through customs. I traveled with a small carry on bag. No extra luggage as you all know what happened to me when i visited Mozambique some time back. As soon as i stepped out of the airport and into my taxi, i was immediately stuck in traffic. The traffic was horrible, far worse than Johannesburg could ever be. I looked out of the car window and i could see that Luanda is still a developing country. Buildings needed serious TLC. Roads need to be built.

It took me 2 hours to get to the hotel. I stayed in Luanda soul, the nice part of town in Talatona. There is an evident difference between poor and wealthy in this country.

I spent my days exploring and nearly dying of shock every time i saw how much things cost. $7 for a damn Coca-cola! $32 for a prego roll and R3600 for dinner i had one night.

It was also blistering hot despite it being winter. So hot that i even got sick the one day with the most excruciating migraine. I think it was that bad because i forgot to pack my deodorant, so i had to borrow cologne from a guy who is on hotel staff. Bad decision that was, as his cologne was so strong that my underarms were literally burning.  Man, i tell you i was near death that day. The strong smell coming from me backed up by the heat, gave me a headache i will never forget. Luckily i dragged myself to the mall to get migraine tablets which helped. Lesson learned- make sure you pack everything!

The rest of my trip was great. I bom dia’d left and right, the whole time. I obrigado’d for everything. It was amazing!

Anyway, it was great to visit Angola. It was a great introduction to Africa.

Here are some pics i took:

 

 

 

The USA – where a picture while travelling is worth A 1000 words

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I have recently been featured in a STA Travel release about USA travel. I shared some handy Social Media travel tips. Take a look below:

The United States of America is a country filled with history and adventure, and travelling to the USA will expose you to new experiences, different cultures and fascinating people wherever you go. No two days travelling through the USA will be the same, which is why it’s always a good idea to keep a camera on standby for when beauty strikes in a moment that you may want to capture and look back on when your trip is over.

A popular trend with travelers of all ages is documenting travels through photos and sharing them online, allowing people to follow their journey through pictures. It includes their family, friends and followers on their adventure, no matter where they are in the world. Photographs, whether taken with a camera or smart phone, during travels, also provides an opportunity for the memories to live on in a tarveller’s mind long after they’ve touched down back at home and laid their head on their familiar pillow. And with America being as massive in size as it is, there are guaranteed to be breathtaking photo opportunities for all tastes, wherever in the USA a person travels to.

 For people who enjoy capturing the hustle and bustle of a city and its people on the move, in a photo, New York City is the obvious choice. NYC has served as a muse for people from all walks of life and career for decades, which is what adds to the beauty of photos captured in the city that never sleeps. Exploring the Big Apple with smart phone or camera in-hand, you’ll be exposed to NYC’s inhabitants in the unique, breathtaking, and vibey form that NYC encapsulates.

If sun, surf and smiles are your thing, California is where you need to be. This city has everything from palm trees to the ocean breeze, which can be magnificently captured in photos. California is also home to one of the world’s most infamous music festivals: Coachella. Besides capturing the energy and beauty of music goers at the festival, you might be lucky to snap up a photo of a celeb or two around the festival grounds.

Another “must” for the music festival photo junkie, is Lollapalooza. This festival is guaranteed to provide you with some of the most vibrant and festive photos you are likely to snap up on your travels.

“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” – or so it was before the introduction of smart phones with 12 mega pixel cameras. The fact that most mobile devices come equipped with a great quality camera or photo app, means that gone are the days of waking up the next morning with no recollection of the night before – especially when it comes to a trip to Las Vegas. The city really comes alive at night, which is an opportune time to capture incredible shots of the nightlife on the Vegas Strip.

If you’re someone who can’t get enough of the outdoors and capturing the breathtaking scenery of nature in photographs, these should be at the top of your list: a coastal drive between LA and San Francisco; heading out to Cherry Blossoms, DC; Kayaking in the Florida Keyes; checking out Cedar Breaks, Utah; taking in the view of South Lake Tahoe, Cali; Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia; and spending a day in Redwood Forest.

South African lifestyle and travel blogger, Ensly Dooms, makes use of photo sharing apps whenever he travels, which is frequently, and he is a big advocate for documenting and sharing your journey through photos. “I am a big fan of social media and its power to give us more ways to connect. With the appeal of visual imagery, Instagram and other photo apps are a perfect platform for me to share my life in pictures. As they say, a picture is worth a 1000 words. By sharing my adventures, through photos, on social media as I travel, it allows my followers the opportunity to share in the adventure and explore the world with me, especially when it comes to a country as vast and breathtaking as the USA – where a photo, and the memories of the trip, will make for amazing conversation around the water cooler when I get back home.”

Dooms offers some handy tips on how to optimally document and share your next adventure to the USA

  • Get a data sim card.
  • Be on high alert for Wi-Fi.
  • Get a mobile charger.
  • Do not over filter. Over filtering ruins the beauty of striking scenery.
  • Besides a beautiful view or attraction, ask yourself what else your followers can take from seeing the image on social media. Find the story or give them more detail via a description.
  • The USA is filled with hidden beauty at every turn. Open your mind to seeing the simple things in photos as you travel the States.
  • If descriptions aren’t your thing, use hashtags. Hashtags are a must.
  • Tag the location. “We need to know if it’s legit and if you are really there” Dooms adds.
  • Do not spam. Choose a good shot and move onto the next.
  • Post your photos during your local timezone. This will maximise engagement with people in your home country.
  • Share your photos across multiple platforms.

And finally, “an airport shot or plane shot is obligatory!” Dooms emphasises.

Breathtaking landscapes and a rich history have created one of the most spectacular places on earth, and visiting the USA is bound to leave you in awe and filled with memories to last a lifetime. These memories will live on even longer in the form of photographs taken during your travels. STA Travel can advise you on some of the best destinations in the USA which are bound to provide the backdrop to amazing photos. STA Travel also offer great deals on flights, accommodation, tours and travel packages to take the hassle out of planning your memorable adventure.

For the best deals to the USA visitwww.statravel.co.za

#AdventuresOfTheLoneBoyTraveller in Thailand

I really liked Duke Dumont’s new single called “I Got You” featuring Jax Jones and when i saw the video i was mesmerized by the location and its adventures. The music video was shot in Phuket, Thailand and was shot in first person perspective, so you’ll feel like you are right there in the video experiencing it all. I enjoyed this video so much that i really wanted to experience this whirlwind of an adventure for myself.

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I really needed a break after the month i had and seeing that my birthday was coming up, it was the perfect opportunity to go wild and to get away.

I did everything in the video except the bungee jumping and volley ball.

Here’s what i liked and didn’t like.

What i liked:

  1. The beaches and islands. My favourite was Maya Bay and Bamboo island.
  2. The parties (clubs and bars). As soon as it hits 7pm the vibe is insane. 7 days a week.
  3. The attractions- Tiger Kingdom
  4. The friendly nature of Thai people
  5. The close proximity of everything

What i didn’t like:

  1. Massage ladies always asking you to come for a massage if they see you walking by
  2. More tourists than locals

I had an amazing time in Thailand and my birthday was one that i will never forget. I have seen and done so many crazy stuff- some of it will stay in Thailand. This was honestly one of the best holidays ever, so i will definitely come back. Next time i am coming with friends.

#AdventuresOfTheLoneBoyTraveller

khI Got U

#AdventuresOfTheLoneBoyTraveller in Mozambique, Africa

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Day 2 and 3 of 7: The night spent at Barra was something different. A rustic chalet called a Casita is what i stayed in. The thatch roof had a cool breeze blowing through. Luckily it was not cold out. The white mosquito net covering the surrounding of my bed sent triggers of paranoia as my mind filled with thoughts of malaria infected mosquitos that would invade my space. Next day: I woke up alive! And survived my first night roughing it out in Mozambique- Africa. I spent my morning soaking up the sun on the beach then i remembered that i still dont have one of my bags. Its still in South Africa on a plane or at the airport. I got dressed and took a bus to the airport. I arrived back at Inhambane airport and my bag has still not arrived. With the realisation sinking in that i may never get my bag back again i then set off to my next stop- PainDane Lodge. “Another rustic place” was my first thought as i arrived. This place is right on the hilly beach where the sea is populated by Whales as they showoff by jumping and making splashes with the sea water. The view was absolutely breathtaking. Majestic was an understatement for the beauty of this coastline and sea dwellers. The next few days i headed down south. I travelled to another province called Xai-Xai and stayed at a beach lodge that was insanely cool. I spent most of my time on the beach, swimming and drinking a local Rum mixture that consisted of local rum and Sparletta. After spending two days in Xai-Xai i then travelled down to Maputo- the capital city of Mozambique. A city with a nice vibe and beautiful people. As with every city i visit, i make sure that i walk the city streets and explore. As brave as i am with no worry on my mind, i did just that. I can now say that i officially explored Mozambique and loved it! By Adventures Of The Lone Boy Traveller