Visiting Italy? Here Are Some Tips to Help You Get the Most of It

Planning to visit Italy for the first time? Don’t worry, it can be daunting (much like any other country) but Italy is surprisingly hard for newcomers to embrace. This is usually because of the differences between how Italy is perceived in other countries and how it actually is. For instance, many of the meals eaten in Italy have similar names to dishes in other countries, but can be completely different once you order them. It’s for this reason (and a couple of others) that you should follow these first-timer tips if you plan to visit Italy.


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Study a bit of the language


A few phrases will get you far, but a brief understanding of the language itself will get you even further. There are many fantastic restaurants in Italy that won’t be translated, more specifically some of the lesser-known places that are further away from the tourist attractions. Since there’s no English menu, you’ll have a hard time ordering the right thing and you may even decide to tell the waiter that you want what the person next to you is having just because it looks nice. Make sure you brush up on your Italian language skills. If you plan to stay for a while, then consider a language course from an institute such as Ellci. It’ll help your language skills in the long run and there’s the added bonus of actually being in the country of the language you want to learn.


Embrace the local cuisine


Most people associate pizza and spaghetti to Italian cuisine, but there’s so much more to be had and you need to learn some of the dining etiquettes in order to get by in Italy. First of all, although there is no shortage of famous restaurants in Italy, most of them only open up during the late hours of the evening. For instance, restaurants usually start offering dinner meals after 7 PM. A full Italian meal comes in several different parts. There’s a starter, a pasta or risotto, the main course, a side dish and then a dessert. While this is the standard, it doesn’t prevent you from skipping one or two out. Also, try and be mindful of Italian customs, such as only eating spaghetti with a fork and always having it with wine, never beer.



Use public transportation


Most cities in Italy can be explored without the use of a vehicle, but they usually all have bustling transportation networks that can be tricky to get to grips with. However, while it can be slightly frustrating to navigate without much assistance, it’s actually the fastest way to get around and you won’t need to rent a car or a bike to move around. If you’re going to be in one city for a long period of time, then it might be worth learning the maps, understanding where the buses and trains go and also purchasing a travel pass in order to save money.


Remember to carry cash


While most of Italy accepts cards, ATMs are abundant and you’ll get by with carrying cash as opposed to just plastic. Just remember to exchange as much money as possible at the airport to avoid the premium currency exchange fees that you might run into.

Why You Need to Visit Sydney

If you want to visit a city you’ve never seen before, then Sydney is the perfect place. People don’t mention it as much as New York City, London, and Paris – and that’s a travesty. Here’s why you need to check out Sydney, Australia!



Culture! All the culture!


Sydney is incredible for those looking for somewhere that can provide them with loads of cultural art and education. The mix of European and Aboriginal ancestry replete in this city has resulted in has resulted in incredible museums, massive cultural festivals, and world-class theatres that mix both cultures. There’s something on all year round, so you’re not going to be stuck for things to do, regardless of when you go.



You like beaches? Sydney has beaches


When people think about Australia, they think of beaches. And the bulk of those beaches are in Sydney. This is no exaggeration; Sydney is home to two or three famous beaches; it’s home to about a hundred. So if you’re a fan of beautiful beaches, then you can definitely do a lot worse than visit Sydney.


It’s better than Melbourne


Okay, so maybe that’s a bit of an unfair statement. It’s not exactly something you can say objectively. But it’s important to know the differences between the two; Melbourne is to Sydney was New York City is to Los Angeles. Almost. Melbourne is much much of an urban, indoor-focused place than Sydney. Sydney has a bit more ‘oomph’ to it for those looking for something more adventurous. Plus, it’s easier to get cheap flights to Sydney than it is to get cheap flights to Melbourne. So there’s always that to consider!


Their fireworks displays are better than your fireworks displays


You think London has impressive firework displays? About 700,000 people attend London’s New Year’s Eve display, which is nothing to be sniffed at. But what about New York City’s famous NYE display. That’s easily a million people every year gathering to see those fireworks. Which must make NYC the ultimate “firework city”, surely? Nope. Sydney has the most technically-advanced NYE fireworks display in the world, and it brings in 1.5 million spectators every year.


Their parks are better than your parks


The parks and nature attractions of Sydney are some of the best on Earth. There are about 400 parks and open spaces in the city, filled with beautiful sculptures, exotic flowers, ad incredible natural water display. Seriously, NYC residents who visit this place will never love Central Park the way they used to. And yes, before you ask: there are koalas in many of these parks, and yes, you can sometimes give them a hug.



Amazing street art

The walls of cities tend to blur into one grey or brown mass. There may be the the occasional graffiti piece to liven things up, but it’s not usually very spectacular; it’s illegal in most places, so the graffiti is usually rushed and crude. But street art is widely embraced in Sydney. You’re not getting “quick-before-the-cops-show-up!” gang tags. You’re getting some of the best street art in the world, all over the city.

Escape Into The Mountains

We all live a pretty hectic lifestyle these days. Running around at a million miles an hour surrounded by thousands of people all doing the same. It can all get a bit much sometimes and you might feel like you want to get away from it all and get some peace and quiet. One of the best ways to do this is to go hiking. It might not sound that fun but trust me, once you get out there in the middle of nowhere and you can hear yourself think again, you’ll see the appeal. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the best spots in the country.


West Maroon Creek, Colorado




The whole state of Colorado is great for hiking. The Rocky Mountains offer a wide range of different hikes that you can go on, but the best one is West Maroon Creek. The ten-mile hike can be pretty tricky but it is manageable if you make sure you are prepared. The best time to go is in July, the weather is great and the whole area will be covered with beautiful flowers. If you are a bit unsure about whether you’ll make it, some of the local hotels of a shuttle service to take you back after you’ve completed the hike.


Tubbs Hill, Idaho



Tubbs Hill Beach - Coeur d'Alene, Idaho



There are lots of quality inn & suites in Coeur D’Alene, the town closest to the Tubbs Hill trail, so you can return to a comfy room after a hard day hiking the trail. The area covers 120 acres and there are quite a few different trails that you can take. The difficulties vary so even if you are an amateur, you should be able to manage some of the routes. You’ll find some of the best views in the country along the way, as well as some great lakes.


Harding Icefield Trail, Alaska


If you can handle something a bit less green, the Harding Icefield trail is one to see. It’s only a four-mile hike but the terrain will be difficult to maneuver. Along the way you will get stunning views of huge glaciers in all directions; there aren’t many places that you can see something quite as spectacular as this. However, be aware that the area is home to a lot of bears so make sure you don’t veer from the trail, there isn’t much anybody can do to help you if you get on the wrong side of a grizzly.


Precipice Trail, Maine



The Precipice Trail, Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine



The main attraction of the Precipice Trail in Maine is the sea views. We’ve all experienced a sea view from ground level but it’s a whole new experience when you see it from the mountains in the northeast. This trail in Acadia National Park is one of the best places to do it. This is the shortest hike on the list at under 2 miles but it is probably the hardest to conquer. It’s incredibly steep and it takes you quite high up so if you don’t like heights, give this one a miss.  

Travel Only Opens Your Mind If You Follow These 4 Rules

There is a common belief that those who travel often are more open-minded because they are used to interacting with a variety of new and different cultures. But, if you’ve ever come across a travel group in a foreign country, or in your own country, you know for sure that not everybody is ready to engage with new cultures. Some travelers prefer to stick together and point the finger at everything that isn’t like at home and laugh. As a result, it’s likely that they will not gain anything from their travels, except maybe for the pictures of new landscapes. However, if you want your travel experiences to elevate and change you for the better, you need to approach these with an open mind. Here are four handy rules to follow to make sure that traveling can broaden your horizons.


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#1. Empower Yourself To Discover Something New

If you want to discover something new, you need to put yourself in a situation where you can leave your routine behind and embrace a new culture. More often than not, solo travels often the perfect opportunity to develop new skills and find your path to engulfing yourself in a foreign culture. It is a matter of authenticity, as described in a previous article of the blog,, that you can’t fully recreate when you join a travel group. In other words, if you can’t bring yourself to live like a local, you will not be able to discover that the new culture has to offer.


Solo travel

#2. Don’t Judge What You Don’t Know

It is easy to notice the differences between your culture and the place you are visiting. However, it is more difficult to keep your open mind in the face of so many differences. Remember that being different is not synonymous with being inferior. People are no lesser human beings simply because they have habits that you’ve never seen before. While you should be able to notice the areas where the cultures differ, don’t indulge in judgmentalism. Instead, accept that the worthiness of things and people is not defined by similar it is to what you know.

#3. Get Inspired By Real Life

Travel guides are practical and very helpful, especially if you don’t have much time to spend in a new place. However, they rarely focus on the real life and the inspirational decisions of local people. They are good to show you the road to the closest museum, but don’t expect them to provide a gateway to everyday entertainment and inspiration for a region, like Black Buddha does here Receiving your daily dose of inspiration is a fantastic way to dive into the life outside of the travel guide book. Locals have passions, businesses, and tips to share. Step out of the touristic paths and discover what real people have to say about the place they live in.   

Singaporean Kue Lapis

#4. Don’t Be Afraid To Make New Friends

Traveling abroad means that you will meet new people. This can be scary for a lot of travelers, who feel anxious at the idea of meeting someone new. However, you need to first work on your mental attitude to meeting someone new. Keep a positive mind, and reframe negative thoughts into a more positive approach. Making new friends is one of the pleasures of travel. Don’t miss out on it!




Eeny Meeny Miny Mo… Choosing Which Balearic Island Is Best For You

A mere stone’s throw away from mainland Spain lies a cluster of four beautiful islands, known as The Balearic Islands. These islands, are very distinctive in style although are easily confused meaning it can be difficult to know which one best suits you and the sort of holiday you are wanting to go on.


Therefore today, we are sharing a description of each island to help you decide which one best suits you and your holiday requirements.


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The largest and most famous of all the Balearic Islands, Mallorca can sometimes be perceived as a booze-fueled, party holiday destination. If that’s what you’re looking for, then yes, you’ll be able to find it, however there is so much more to this island than the party bay of Palma.


The beautiful island of Mallorca is so much more serene, relaxed and authentic than its reputation gives it credit for.  Due to the island’s natural, mountainous slopes, the island makes for some fantastic hiking. Walking in Mallorca is wonderful as you are always surrounded by the glistening mediterranean sea and white sand beaches below.

Another distinctive feature of Mallorca are the stunning Almond trees you will find speckled around the island. Get a scooter rental and take in all the olive trees and vineyards that are also a big part of Mallorca’s heritage giving it a really rustic charm.


The elegance of the capital, Palma, surrounded by medieval walls is also a far cry from the crazy, party holidays many associate with Mallorca. The beautiful little villages dotted around the island are wonderful to explore as are the breathtaking views from the various vantage points throughout the mountainous roads that make up this unique and inspiring island.




The more relaxed and subdued, little sister of Mallorca draws in a very different type of holiday maker than the other three islands. Wild and unspoilt, Menorca grabs the attention of those looking for a bit of relaxation and rejuvenation.


With its many hidden coves, gorgeous medieval towns and dusty, offtrack sandy roads, it feels undiscovered and unspoilt, unlike many other European holiday destinations. Perfect for couples and families looking for a peaceful retreat in a beautifully tranquil setting.




Ibiza, is also usually tarred with the same brush of a party and booze destination. However again, it, is so much more than that. This chic and trendy island combines chilled beaches and beach bars with lashings of historical and natural beauty. Ibiza is an ideal holiday destination for both those looking to blow off some steam and also those looking to unwind and relax.


There really is something for everyone in Ibiza, from the stunning medieval city with its labyrinth of winding cobbled streets to its amazing beaches. Whilst the crazy nightlife side exists, the island as a whole is much more low-key, sophisticated and laid-back than people give it credit for




Formentera is wonderfully hippy and zen. Whilst Ibiza may get more attention than Formentera, it is a little paradise island getaway that offers a totally distinctive charm than all the other islands. The glistening, turquoise sea and powder fine, white sands that frame this island offers arguably the best beaches of all. The hippy markets are completely unique and the cosy beach bars are the best place to go to really disconnect from the daily grind.





Making Sure Your Summer Camping Trips Run Smoothly

With summer fast coming upon us, many of us are going to start looking toward the great outdoors, to the camping trips that’ll enable us to spend a few nights surrounded by nature, sleeping under a million stars, and enjoying a slower pace of life. While there’s much to enjoy from these types of excursions, it’s important that you’re sufficiently prepared. Take steps to ensure you have everything you need, as well as know what do when you’re there, and you’ll have a camping trip to remember (for all the right reasons).


Prepare for Pests

If you want to go camping when the weather outside is warm and fine, then you need to accept that there’ll be a few insects there that might compromise how much fun you have. Of all the insects that are ready to ruin a camping trip, none are as prevalent or as nasty as mosquitoes. It all comes down to which side of luck is on your side, but you might be spending your camping trip with a few hundred of these annoying insects! Best advice is to throw sage on the campfire, wear long clothing, and…try not to let it become too distracting.

Know the Basics

You’re heading out in the outdoors, and if you’re not staying a big campsite, then you might be you’re all on your own out there. That’s why it’ll pay to understand what you’re doing and be fully prepared. You’ll need a tent, sleeping bags and roll mats, enough water for the duration of your trip, food, and a light. That’s at the bare minimum: there’s always an opportunity to bring more! However, try not to bring too much stuff. It’ll only complicate things!

A Few Speciality Hacks

As we said in the previous paragraph: this is the outdoors, and you’re on your own. If something goes wrong, you need to how to act. Fortunately, most basic problems that you can encounter in the wild are easy to take care of – if you know what you’re doing, that is. Take a look at this website for a few useful tips on how to handle situations that could be troublesome. Elsewhere, you can make your camping experience run smoothly by introducing a few basic campground hacks into the equation. For example, fill a big plastic carton with water and attach a light: you’ll have a big lantern that gives a warm glow to your campsite. Also, need some kindling for a fire, but it’s been raining? Doritos (or other corn-based snacks) will work well.

Go With the Flow

You can’t prepare for every eventuality. When you take a few steps away from civilization, things just naturally become slightly more difficult. The most important ingredient, therefore, is your attitude! If you have a sunny disposition and throw yourself into the good and bad of camping, then you’ll have a good time. It might rain, you might be uncomfortable, but it’s only for a few days, so try to make the best of it.

The Best Places To Camp In The World

If you have a travel bucket list that doesn’t include any camping experiences, then you need to make some serious changes to that list! While camping might not sound particularly glamorous to most people, it is one of the best ways to reconnect with nature and enjoy the natural wonder of our earth in all of its beauty.

Now, you can decide on many ways to camp, be that in an old tent, a state of the art canvas or even glamp! (For some ideas on how to make your camping experience more glamorous then check out my post here). More importantly, however, is where you go and what you can do when you arrive at your destination. This is the fantastic thing about camping; you can choose where you want to stay!

I have gone through and found some of the best camping destinations in the world, which, you should be able to use as inspiration to add to your travel destination bucket list!

1) Yellowstone National Park, USA.

Photo sourced from Pixabay


You’ve almost certainly heard of Yellowstone National Park in the USA, as it is most known for its active super volcano!  Not to worry though as the last time it erupted was 640,000 years ago! Spread across the states of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, this national park is home to canyons, rivers, forests and hot springs, making it an ideal destination for adventure goers who are looking for a rich and varied terrain.

2)  New Zealand.

Photo sourced from pixabay


There´s a reason New Zealand was the setting for the ´Lord of the Rings´ films; it´s quite simply spectacularly beautiful. You can either choose to camp in a campsite with facilities or go for freedom camping and set up your tent in public sites, of which there are many in NZ. Mount Cook National Park is the country’s highest mountain and has some incredible views.

3) Outback Australia

Photo sourced from Flickr

Camping in the Australian Outback should be on your bucket list for sure. Watching the sunset at Mount Uluru is said to be one of the most breathtaking experiences in the outback! This is a place, which due to its geographical location, most backpackers or campers write off as too tough for camping. There are however plenty of ways to camp here, and companies which will help organize this trip for you. Make sure you prepare for this trip well and bring the right equipment,  best tactical flashlight and the right shoes for this terrain!

4) Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.

Photo sourced from Flickr



Situated in the southwest of Kenya, the Maasai Mara National Reserve is famous for being home to Masai lions, African leopards, and Tanzanian cheetahs as well as the Great Migration that occurs each year to and from the Serengeti. There are many campsites here which will cater to the specific needs of someone visiting a national park, particularly one which has so many wild animals roaming around!





5) Lake District, England

Photo sourced from FreeGreatPicture



Enjoy waking up to the magnificent scenery that the Lake District in England has to offer. Rabbits and sheep roam freely here and might just come and surprise you by their curiosity and friendliness! With so many campsites offering their services here, you won’t have to look too far for the right one to suit your needs. You can check some out here.