Cherry Blossom season in Japan is upon us for 2016. Cities further towards the south such as Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka are already experiencing first blooms of the beautiful Sakura tree and it will be time to have fun at Hanami outdoor parties enjoying the views of the Cherry Blossom trees in Japan.
Magic of the Cherry Blossom Trees in Japan
Whilst Cherry Blossoms live across the northern hemisphere including the USA and Europe, the Sakura is probably not as appreciated anywhere as much as in Japan. Last year we were lucky enough to see our first Cherry Blossom tree right outside our hotel which was on the edge of the lovely Ueno Park in Tokyo. Seeing it at night for the first time under the lights only highlighted the natural and beautiful brightness of the Cherry Blossom.
During the day tonnes of people were taking selfies in front of the trees whether they were tourists or locals. The Sakuras in Japan brought genuine joy and happiness to people everyday which you could see with the big wide smiles and eyes gazing at this beautiful example of nature. No wonder the Sakura is the national flower of Japan.
Travel and food go hand in hand. There is no more accessible way to discover a country’s culture, history and environment than food. We love travel and we love food. I love food so much I jacked in my nicely paid job in digital marketing to become a chef (or try to become a chef) at a lovely London restaurant. Maybe my dream job would be to be a chef travelling the world sampling the diverse flavours the world has to offer. In the meantime I’m still enthralled by travel cooking TV shows where chefs and presenters immerse themselves into local culture and cuisine. Here we round up our favourites and what we think are the best travel cooking TV shows.
Holidays in Iceland have always had a reputation for being on the expensive side, but with Iceland Air’s great flight and accommodation deals and Iceland’s depreciating currency we thought it was a great opportunity to visit the land of waterfalls, fire and ice.
With so much natural beauty to see and do outside of Reykjavik we pondered whether to take the many guided coach tours or to self drive to see the natural beauties around the Golden Circle and the Icelandic Southern Shores.
Researching the Iceland activities and tours we wanted to do, we calculated that it would cost £554 for two people. Pretty expensive, especially when you consider that most of the tours require you to be stuck on a coach for half a day.
We looked into hiring a 4×4 to do our own self drive tour, which surprisingly came out much less than the combination of tours, totalling £311 for 4 days hire including petrol via Thifty. Not only was it cheaper, but we would have more flexibility and could drive off in any direction at a whim (we did get stuck up a mountain though), and we wouldn’t be stuck on a slow coach for most of our time.
Located in Barcelona pretty much on the coast, Primavera always has a great line up featuring established superstars such as Brian Wilson performing Pet Sounds, Air, Animal Collective, Dinosaur Jr, Mudhoney, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, plus many up and coming artists.
This smaller US festival is so cool, it might be too cool for school, but another great line up this year including The Strokes, The Killers, Beck, Haim, De La Soul, Jamie XX, Eagles of Death Metal and more gets all the hip kids to Randall’s Island, NYC.
Being a digital nomad, working where ever you want and not being tied down to the same desk in the same office from 9-5 is the dream. Cost of living is a heavy consideration for digital nomads as well as other factors such as connectivity, lifestyle, and safety of a country.
We’ve put together a chart showing cost of living by country to show you where the cheap countries are to be a digital nomad.
Cost of Living by Country for Digital Nomads: Consumer Price Index Plus Rent Index
Click for full size
What does the consumer price plus rent index mean?
Unlike many other cost of living indexes, this data collected by Numbeo includes rent as a factor, a major cost for digital nomads.
The last stop on our whirlwind tour of the Baltics was Krakow, Poland. We caught the smallest plane ever from Lithuania (it even had propellers) and landed in Krakow via Warsaw. We were only in the country for a couple of nights so really had to condense the major things we wanted to see and do in this historical city.
Our main reason for visiting Poland was to see Auschwitz. We whole-heartedly recommend that everyone should go there, but we’re glad we went at the end of our two week trip through the Baltics.
We got to Krakow mid afternoon and the weather was hot, for some reason I never expected Poland to be a warm country so I was pleasantly surprised. We struck gold with our accommodation.
London is a great city to explore whether you’re a traveller, a tourist, or a local. However there is a lot of shit that people still continue to do or see in my lovely home city. If you’re coming to London I implore you to avoid the following, they are some of the worst things to do in London.
The Shit Guide to London
A busy street full of high street shops is one of the most visited “tourist attractions” in London. Why??? If you really want to shop for major brands that can be found pretty much anywhere in the world go to a more spacious and clean place i.e. Westfield. They have one in west London and east London, so there’s no excuse. Plus you won’t be tempted by the hundreds of tacky souvenir shops selling all sorts of crap with the Union Jack or Wills and Kate plastered all over it.
It’s just a bunch of advertising signage that lights up. That is all.