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

Displaying Istanbul.jpg

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

Displaying Dubai.jpg

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

Displaying Singapore.jpg

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

#Pray4Africa

Most of you have heard about the deadly Ebola Outbreak that has hit West Africa, right? The outbreak hit countries such as Liberia and Guinea and has now entered Nigeria. Really bad timing as i was planning a trip to Nigeria in September. My flights and hotel were all booked and i was ready to explore. This all had to be  cancelled when news broke that a Liberian man infected with the Ebola virus made his way into Lagos, Nigeria and collapsed at the Airport.

Ebola is so deadly and highly contagious that one can die within 48 hours of contracting the disease. Reports say that there are now,  1,779 cases and 961 deaths that have been counted. The outbreak is out of control and is getting worse.

Here are 10 basic tips to help educate you on how to protect yourself from the deadly virus.

1. Wash your hands regularly.

2. Sanitize your hands with at least 60% alcohol as often as possible when water is not available.

3. Do NOT eat bush meat most especially bats, monkeys, gorillas, forest antelope and porcupines. (This is how Ebola apparently started)

4. Watch where you eat and don’t eat meat unless you’re sure of the source.
5. If you choose to eat any animal products make sure it is thoroughly cooked.

6. Avoid sharing clothes with strangers.

7. Watch out for symptoms of Ebola such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding around your neighborhood.

8. Avoid areas where an outbreak has been reported.

9. Report any unauthorized movement of corpses in your area especially those brought in from abroad.

10. Don’t touch or go near anyone who has been confirmed to have Ebola and if you absolutely must, then wear protective gloves.

I am disappointed that i won’t be seeing this amazing country that is Nigeria but i am even more sad for the number of people that are dying each day.

supernatural animated GIF

#Pray4Africa

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

tumblr_n57rjoraO51qdcle1o1_500

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.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHCYHldJi_g&w=610&h=343]

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

The Shocking Truth About Street Food in China

Damn, I didn’t know China put it down like that!

I love Asia, the culture and shopping is awesome. When i was in China a few months back and Taiwan four months ago, i explored the city and downtown by myself. I learn so much by just immersing myself in the culture and exploring- on my own.  There’s numerous street food vendors on the streets of China and Taiwan and i have to say, you need to have a strong stomach because the food IS what you would expect and the smell is absolutely mind boggling and stomach turning, especially Stinky Tofu.

Urban Enzo in China photo 2 photo 3Urban Enzo in Taiwan street food in Xiemending photo 4

So, i was on the internet recently, looking for good travel deals because i am really keen on visiting Beijing and Hong Kong. But then i came across this video. It basically warns people not to eat food from street vendors or fast foods in market places in Asia. Why? Because street vendors and hole-in-the-wall restaurants buy cheap, black market oil that’s been recycled from garbage. You read that correctly. Enterprising men and women will go through dumpsters, trash bins, gutters and even sewers, scooping out liquid or solid refuse that contains used oil or animal parts. Then they process that into cooking oil, which they sell at below-market rates to food vendors who use it to cook food that can make you extremely sick. And yea, I just threw up a lil bit in my mouth.

If you have the stomach for it, then check out this video clip:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zrv78nG9R04]

#LoneGirlTraveller in Europe

936444_10200777393854887_1742204109_n994844_10200850384559609_982310227_n 1002252_10200850294837366_422060709_n 1013602_10200829484077110_2131249473_n 1017319_10200813371514306_1673580107_n

In attempt to get away from the South African winter, and a desire to explore my new found independence and yearning to “soul search” amongst other things, it lead me to realise that my spirit needed to take a flight and explore the majestic wonders beyond our boarders.

I found myself saving all my small change, working long hours, giving up my social life, all because of the end goal that was so real, I could almost touch it. Then the day finally arrived, nerves, excitement, tears of joy and sadness to be leaving my loved ones, but at the same time opening the door to an amazing adventure. Mediterranean Europe!

29 June, 2 pm, It Is hot, I am in a foreign country, all I know right now is excitement and nerves. OLA Madrid, Spain. The need to change into my summer dress and sandals was too much to ignore. My first experience of Spanish cuisine came in the form of Paella (chicken, rice, and seafood) with JUGS of Sangria ( a fruit cocktail mixed with cranberry juice and some alcohol)  to wash it down. Expecting the sun to have set by now, much to my surprise I had to wait until 10pm to watch my first sunset in this beautiful country. Unbeknown to me Spain actually has a Royal Palace, majestic in all its rich history not to mention the art and furniture that was out of this world to look at.

My next stop was Barcelona, which later became my favourite city. My shopping experience in Barcelona cannot be matched, being that it is the shopping capital of Spain. Much to the appreciation of my limited budget, I happened to arrive just in time for the end of season sale which allowed me to splurge…A LOT.

Barcelona’s night life can be compared to Cape Town, on New Years Eve, Long street, Camps Bay, Clifton and the likes. I said Adios to Spain and Bonjour Avignon France. Yet, again we made it just in time for a monumentous event, Le Tour De France. As the sun set I made my way to the glamorous, romantic French Rivera, Monaco, the home of the rich and famous where the day to day car could be anything from a Rolls Royce to a Maserati . After a delicious dinner, in a classy eatery we made our way to the Monte Carlo Casino which has been featured in many Hollywood films.

With time on my hands, I strolled through outdoor markets, shopped at upscale boutiques (well, window shopped) and sun worshipped on the pebble beach.

I “hitched a ride” on a fairy to the Cinque Terre region (region of the 5 bays) and explored the colourful cliff-side villages.

Arriving in Pisa, Italy, on a scorching, hot morning. I made my way to The Leaning Tower of Pisa and took the ever iconic “Hold up the Tower’” photograph.

Heading to my final destination, Rome, I was privileged enough to visit the phenomenal Vatican City. I am not very religious, but I was overwhelmed with emotion upon visiting the beautiful Sistine Chapel and St. Peters Basilica.

When in Rome, I explored the “Eternal City” and tapped into the “La Dolce Vita” lifestyle. The Colosseum, is more beautiful in real life than in the movie Gladiator.

I made a wish and threw my coin in the famous Trevi Fountain hoping that one day I will find my way back to this enchanted city.

xoxox

By #LoneGirlTraveller

#AdventuresOfTheLoneBoyTraveller in Mozambique, Africa

#AdventuresOfTheLoneBoyTraveller Mozambique#AdventuresOfTheLoneBoyTraveller Mozambique #AdventuresOfTheLoneBoyTraveller Mozambique 62300_10151803024258980_2037967843_n 64400_10151803027343980_1493904462_n #AdventuresOfTheLoneBoyTraveller Mozambique
1001389_10151803053723980_1136974745_n 1003842_10151803023888980_952936204_n 1011345_10151803035078980_276875055_n #AdventuresOfTheLoneBoyTraveller Mozambique 1016411_10151803038543980_735638995_n 1075642_10151803191168980_116692248_n

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

#AdventuresOfTheLoneBoyTraveller Taiwan Edition – The Hashtag Drama

I am huge fan of travel and i am always dreaming about or planning my next trip. I visited China in September 2012 and since that trip i fell in love with Asia. I knew that i had to go back as the culture, infrastructure and shopping is unlike any other. I initially planned to visit Paris for my birthday but then decided to go back to Asia. I chose Taiwan as my next country to explore. With the “struggle” deeming so heavily over us all these days i pushed and did all that i could to make my dream of travelling again a reality.

I planned my trip and decided to use Instagram, Vine and Twitter to amplify my travel exploration by using the hashtag #AdventuresOfTheLoneBoyTraveller. I innocently just decided to use the hashtag to micro-blog and document my life. I had no intention to come across as braggadocio. I received a few pass along messages from friends about acquaintances who had a lot to say about this damn hashtag. I don’t get why people would be that narrow minded and so petty that an issue has to be made about my social activity on MY own personal platforms. Its mind boggling actually. I continued with my hashtag till the last day. I was not going to stop micro blogging about my travels.

Anyway back to my trip. I flew to Bangkok spent some time there and then flew to Taipei, Taiwan. I stayed at the awesome Regent Taipei Hotel for the duration of my stay. As with every city i visit, i like to explore by taking walks through the city- fully immersing myself into the way of life and culture. Taipei is brand central. All the elite brands are on every corner. From Louis Vuitton, Prada, Givenchy, Hermes etc. I spent most of my days touring the island. I visited Yeh Liu Geopark, Jiufen Vilage, Fisherman Wharf, Danshui Old Street, Digital Plaza, Shihlin Night Market, Taipei 101, Snow Mountain Tunnel, Suao Harbour, King Car Whiskey Distillery, Lanyang Museum. I also enjoyed the party scene at Rama Restaurant at ATT4Fun.

I also managed to check out Computex, the second largest Computer exhibition in the world. I copped me some pretty cool stuff from there.

I had an amazing time in this city. Asia has done me good yet again and it will therefore always remain the best continent on this planet for me.

Check back for some cool pictures i took….#Selfies In Taiwan.