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Books, Random

Travel In Your Head

You can travel in many ways, in luxury or on budget and everything inbetween. And if travelling is one of your hobbies you try to get away as much as you can. Unfortunately my budget doesn’t allow me to travel 100 times a year, which is probably the truth for most people. But luckily for me there is another way to get away for a bit. By travelling in my head!

No, I didn’t go crazy and I’m also not sitting at home in my bikini with the heat turned up high pretending I’m on a tropical island somewhere. But I still travel to far country and strange surroundings regularly in my head; with books!

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European Rail Pass Discount Giveaway

Are you planning to travel around Europe with a European Rail Pass? Than this might be just the thing for you! Matt from Nomadic Matt is doing an awesome giveaway at the moment. He’s giving away discount vouchers for European Rail Passes. There are different vouchers with values up to $200 and all you have to do is leave your name and email (and obviously read the terms), which you van do here. Winners will be announced on July 13 so you don’t have much time left to enter.

What is a European Rail Pass?

If you’re thinking about travelling around Europe you should consider getting a European Rail Pass. You might not have heard of it yet though, so what exactly is it. The passes come in different varieties such as different amount of days, or different countries and areas. You could get one for just one country if you’re planning to go around one country in particular. Or even for many countries at the same time if you’re thinking about doing a big tour of Europe. There are also passes for different amounts of days you get to travel with it. Sounds pretty good right? You can find out more about these passes on

Money Well Spend (Elsewhere)

Since I’m going on a backpacking trip around Europe this October and plan to travel with a European Rail Pass, this give away is perfect for me and it would be awesome if I won. The money I don’t have spend on a railway pass can be very well used on more fun things along the way, like access to various sight seeing places amongst other things ;). It’s a very generous giveaway so I’m thankful to Matt for making this possible.

So if you plan to travel by rail in Europe, sign up, and fingers crossed, who knows, maybe you’ll win!

Railing With European Rail Pass

Image courtesy of Simon Howden /

Backpacking Europe

Less Than 90 Days – Backpacking

Backpacking Adventure

In less than 90 days Sarah will have arrived in The Netherlands and the European Backpacking Adventure can begin. We won’t be leaving to explore Europe right away, as I have a few days of work left at that time but that doesn’t make things less exciting.


The plan right now is to backpack around Europe by train and visit some beautiful cities like Paris and Rome and see stunning views in Austria amongst others. But hey, it’s not set in stone so things could change last minute. That’s the exciting part of backpacking, things can change in an instant and take a whole new direction. Adventures for sure!

Extra Adventurous or Trouble?

What makes this trip even more adventurous (or at least according to some, I’m not in the least bit worried about it) is that Sarah and I never met, at least face to face. We’re family and have spoken to each other a lot and it’s safe to say we have a lot in common and get along well. I’m convinced that this isn’t going to be an issue at all, because hey we’re WHANAU 😉

I still need to get a few things for the trip in the next few months but they’re all minor so that’s going to be a breeze. I even managed to fit my tripod for my SLR in my daypack without being it too heavy to carry so I’m seriously considering taking it. It might make taking photos at certain locations so much easier :). I do still need to get a remote for the camera. That’s one thing I’m sure off I’ll use a lot. Not only on the road but also at home when I find some free, so it will be a good investment.

Have you been to Europe and what would you recommend we really should see?

Image courtesy of Emptyglass /


Worst Trip So Far, Down Memory Lane

I have been travelling places for many years now, taking my first trip by myself to the UK at the age of 16. With so many trips to various different locations and with different people (or by myself) some are higher on the ‘good trips’ list than others. Which also means one trip has to be at the total bottom of the trip list. And it’s that trip dangling at the bottom of my list I want to talk about; my worst trip so far.

The title of this post might be a bit misleading because the trip itself wasn’t bad at all, but it was the accommodation and the staff that made this trip the winner of this dubious honour.

Worst Trip Luxembourg

Many years ago, when I was still in college, I took a 7 day bus tour to Luxembourg with one of my close friends. It was one of those organised tours where you travel with a group of people visiting various places while you stay in the same hotel every night.

Basically the reason we choose this trip was because a) we just wanted to get away from things in our summer holiday and b) we made a whole list of things we wanted to see and do and this trip offered nearly everything.

I remember getting on board of the bus and realising we were the only young people coming along. Everybody else there was elderly (meaning 60-65+ years old). You can imagine we had our doubts right then but shortly after we got on route we completely changed our minds. It was clear to us pretty soon that the elderly knew how to party. Seriously, they were so much fun to hang out with! You’d be surprised ;). Little did we know the company was the least of our worries on this trip, or that it would even end up being nominated for worst trip.

Our trip would lead us to Luxembourg, to a small town where we would stay in a hotel while visiting many places during the week. On the way up we visited Brussels, we went to see Luxembourg city one day and went to explore some caves during the week too amongst other things.

It’s been so long ago I can’t remember the name of the town any more, or the name of the hotel. But it was a very VERY small town with 1 grocery store and a brand new post office, a hotel and a few houses, and that’s about it.
The hotel itself was old, but it looked pretty decent. We would soon find out though the rooms were noisy and the hotel staff, especially the owners, where absolutely horrible.

Dinners were served in the hotel every night, and the only time we ate OK was the first evening there. From there on out it got progressively worse. While I’m all for not wasting food and resources, it goes too far to create soups and other dishes out of the left overs from the previous days. By about the third evening the food was completely unidentifiable, some where even suggesting they wouldn’t even feed it to their dogs. And to be honest, it really looked worse than canned dog food (and it smelled worse too).

Me, my friend and a few other people from our group decided to leave the food that evening for what it was and try to get something from the grocery store. Since it was such a small town, the store didn’t have much stock, so I ended up with grapes and chocolate mousse.

More people from our group followed or lead and went for dinner to the grocery store, leaving the dinner table at the hotel pretty empty. Even our tour guide noticed the bad quality of the food and the dubious things we were served so he made the last stop of every day after that to be at the local grocery store. I think they never had so many customers in at once, on consecutive days.

To make matters worse, halfway through the week, our tour guide had an official announcement to make in the bus. The owners of the hotel at noticed some of the cutlery went missing the night before (did I mention they counted the cutlery every night to make sure it was all there?) Apparently a fork and a spoon went missing, and they blamed our group. Surely it surprised all of us, mostly because we only came to dinner for the desserts and we all had our dinners from the supermarket. It was the talk of the day on the bus.

Not long after the announcement the tour guide received a call from the hotel. The missing cutlery had been found, they miscounted it the day before, so nothing was ever missing, they just can’t count 😉

I’m glad the company and the day tours made up for the horrible food and the horrible way we were treated by the staff. It made this trip bearable. Not only were we accused of stealing, we got snapped and yelled at while trying to buy drinks at the bar (and not just me and my friend, our travelling companions too) or when we had a question or request. And with no other bars or hotels in the area there was no other place to go.

The upside of this hotel; the rooms were clean! That I have to give them credit for…

Worst Trip So Far; In Hindsight

After reading this you might think I’m overreacting a bit, but when your tour guide tells you to file official complaints with the tour organiser, you know it wasn’t something to write home about (instead years later it’s worth a blog post haha)

The tour organiser must have realised something was wrong because after our official complaint we received a voucher for a discount on our next trip, an apology letter stating the years before this exact tour has been their most popular one but the new owners of this very hotel made them reconsider working with them again.

So many years later, I can really laugh about the whole debacle, I’ve never been accused of stealing anything (and I never have!), let alone stealing cutlery..
I also never lived a whole week on just grapes, chocolate mousse and the dessert from the hotel until then but there’s a first time for everything

All in all it’s still a good story for parties and birthday gatherings. And because it can still put a smile on my face so many years later, it wasn’t such a bad trip after all!

I’m curious to read about your worst trips so far, please feel free to share them in the comments.

Image courtesy of Dan /

Blog, Travel Events

London Bound

I haven’t even finished organising the backpacking trip in October and I’ve already got a new trip in the works. I’m going to London, baby!

I have been to London more times than I can count, and in truth, it’s my home away from home. There’s no one reason in particular that makes me feel this way about London but I just love being there.

This time around it’s going to be a short trip, just a few days. I’m going to attend a concert with my friend May and just soak in the city for a bit. It’s been over a year since I last been there and I miss it.

The trip is not until December, but it’s something I’m really looking forward to! Not just seeing the city but also hanging out with May 🙂

So London, get ready, I’m coming!