Istanbul has gone through a few hardships of late but it’s an amazing city to explore that is buzzing with culture and flavours making a visit to this beautiful capital city of Turkey most enjoyable.
Istanbul exists over Europe and Asia, divided by the Bosphorus strait and connected by two suspension bridges.
The European side of Istanbul is considered the old city because of its historical significance and you’ll find most of the famous tourist attractions here. The Asian side is more residential, with high street shopping, markets and nightlife.
Here are just 10 of the many top things to do in Istanbul:
Sushi is of course one of Japan’s most famous exports. For lovers of fish, sushi is a beautiful way to enjoy the fresh delicate flavours that only seafood can provide. I love fish and I love sushi, but what if you don’t like fish or sushi? Japanese food has something to offer everyone, pretty much all of which is tasty, some a bit weird, but you’ll be sure to enjoy an amazing adventure of food in Japan.
Japanese food is probably the most palatable of all Asian foods to the west. Simple fresh flavours seasoned with salt and sugar to boost umami. Japanese food is perhaps the Italian cuisine of the Far East in terms of highlighting the flavours of the natural ingredients rather than overpowering them with herbs and spices (although you’ll probably find a bottle of 7 flavour chilli powder – Shichimi containing chilli, sansho, orange peel, black sesame, white sesame, hemp, ginger, and nori) on most restaurant tables for those after a healthy spicy kick).
Japan is a wonderful place to have a food adventure and experience amazing tastes and flavours. Here are some great food options to try in Japan other than sushi.
Thank you so much to Global Debauchery for nominating us for the Liebster Award after less than two months of launching our travel blog. Also thank you to Travel Experia who nominated us for the Liebster Award shortly afterwards.
As is customary for the Liebster Award that celebrates up and coming blogs we have been asked 11 questions so that we can share a little bit more about ourselves.
We will also nominate some great new travel blogs that are doing a sterling job inspiring people to travel. We’ll ask them 11 questions so they can share their personal views and experiences on the wonderful world of travel.
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.
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.
Travel planning can be exciting, and the travel blogs like the ones we’ve listed in our Travel Links page are excellent inspirations. With many travel websites available, research can be time consuming so we’ve listed the best travel websites we’ve found that have been the most useful for the more functional aspect of travel planning and research, i.e. travel transportation, accommodation, and destination guides. Some are general and some of these travel websites focus on regions we are focused on next e.g. India and South East Asia.
Travel Transportation Websites
Rome2Rio is excellent for travellers planning the best way to get from their departure point to their destination. Plot in two destinations and Rome2Rio will provide various air, land and sea transportation options with timing and cost estimates. Brilliant for travellers planning for the fastest or cheapest way to travel and excellent for planning the order of your itinerary to find the most efficient travel routes.
Depending on who you speak to, there are around 200 countries in the world, some say 196 if you aren’t China and include Taiwan. I’m a few behind Sacha having not visited anywhere in Australasia and there are definitely more countries to visit compared to the number of countries already visited. The number of countries is a bit of a misnomer given that the larger countries have so many different cultures within them, but now I’m starting to sound like a sore loser.
So what lessons have been learnt on these travels so far? We list 10 travel hacks and travel tips that make our travels so much easier.
With around 200 countries in the world it’s always hard deciding where to go. Sacha has a rule when we travel (which I sometimes try to argue against) that we shouldn’t visit a country that we’ve already been to. In this case it was pretty useful as it eliminated around 30 countries. I eliminated Europe because we’ve seen a lot of it recently on our shorter travels and I was after a bigger culture shock.
It came down to a toss up between the natural beauty of Central America and the multifaceted culture of Asia. Asia finally won mainly because Sacha has always wanted to do the various golden triangles in India and Vietnam-Cambodia-Laos, the opportunity to teach English, and also because of our heritage.