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6 Reasons I Fell in Love with Indonesia 😍🐘

We Brits have a thirst for travel. Whether we’re backpacking through Australia and New Zealand, kayaking in South America, taking in a show in New York City, trying to navigate the beautiful chaos that is Tokyo or simply lounging on a beach in a mediterranean resort town like Cod or Gran Canaria, we do so love to get away.

Sure, we love our country, sure we’ve got some beautiful places on our doorstep, and perhaps we get a little bit edgy when we can’t get a “proper” cup of tea overseas. The struggle is real, as I didn’t have a proper cup of tea in 2 months because I was traveling! It’s doesn’t end there, there’s tons of home comforts we miss but fear not, sometimes brands just have different names (Data Label actually did some research on this! Definitly check it out before you sob about missing your favourite crisps whilst traveling #firstworldproblem). Before I digress…

The great thing is that the world is such a huge place that whatever our tastes, preferences or budget with the explosion in online travel even the most cash strapped of us can find a great place to holiday when we’ve had a little too much of the gloom and drizzle of dear old blighty. Every now and then, however we may fall in love with a holiday destination that is truly unique in its sights, sounds, tastes, scents, culture, politics and national identity.

Infinitely beautiful and exotic, Indonesia can be an intoxicating place for tourists to fall in love with. As a growing economic hub, many westerners travel to Indonesia for work, while its many gorgeous sights continue to draw tourists from all over the world. Whether you’re staying for the long haul or just for a fleeting visit here are just of the wonderful things about staying in Indonesia and why it remains one of my favourite countries in the world…

6 Reasons I Fell in Love with Indonesia 😍🐘 | UK Lifestyle Blog

Gorgeous scenery and wildlife

There’s absolutely no doubt that Indonesia is one of the most gorgeous places on the planet. Even if you’re staying in one of the country’s major conurbations like Jakarta, Surabaya or Tangerang, you won’t have to far to spend some time amongst lush greenery and breathtakingly beautiful views.

If you need to take a holiday in your down time you’ll find that you’re only a couple of hours from somewhere stunning like Kepulauan Seribu, the Thousand Islands where you can chill for a few days in a glorious overwater hut. It’s the perfect antidote to the cosmopolitan hustle and bustle of the nation’s capital, yet just a short two hour boat ride away. Animal and bird lovers will also find a plethora of gorgeous and fascinating wildlife. There’s literally nowhere else in the world where you can see a komodo dragon in their natural habitat.

Affordable and luxurious accommodation

If you’re used to paying the exorbitant rents of major cities in Britain like Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester or even London itself, you’ll likely be astonished at how affordable good quality, even luxurious accommodation is across Indonesia. Just take a look at this link and see for yourself; https://www.rumah.com/rumah-dijual/di-area-pakuwon-city-idji29033.

You’ll see a range of luxury homes at the tiniest fraction of what their equivalents would cost here in blighty. In fact, private rent is an estimated 74% lower than in the UK, while aggregate cost of living is estimated at just under 50% lower. If you’re planning on moving to Indonesia with work, investing in property or starting your own business, you’ll find that your opportunities are bolstered by great living at affordable prices.

6 Reasons I Fell in Love with Indonesia 😍🐘 | UK Lifestyle Blog

We stayed in this place, and it was $15 a night and SERIOUSLY beautiful 👆😱😱😱😱

Amazing street food

If you think you’ve tasted real Indonesian street food because you’ve been to Wagamamas or Tampopo, think again! Indonesia’s street food is legendary and oh-so-cheap. You’ll never have a bad meal while you’re there!

Try the rendang curry which can be made with meat of veggies, gado-gado for guilt free vegetarian deliciousness or nasi goreng (fried rice) and mie goreng (fried noodles) if you like your tastes simple and spicy.

Incredible coffee culture

If you have a passion for coffee, you won’t find a better place to indulge your habit. Coffee culture is absolutely massive all over Indonesia and while you may find all the familiar coffee chains in the big cities, the best drinking is to be found in the lesser known areas.

If you’re up for a trek in the Sumatran highlands you’ll find some of the world’s most legendary coffees including the kopi luwak coffee made famous by the film The Bucket List in which Jack Nicholson’s character is mortified to find that his beloved and expensive beverage is made from coffee beans that have been eaten (and defecated) by the local Indonesian mountain goats. While it’s not the most savoury of thoughts, it does lend the beans a unique flavour that all coffee aficionados should try at least once.

6 Reasons I Fell in Love with Indonesia 😍🐘 | UK Lifestyle Blog

Friendly and welcoming locals

The people of Indonesia are uniformly friendly, warm and compassionate, and pride themselves upon treating visitors as if they were their own guests. As such, you’ll find an extremely warm welcome wherever you go.

Whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure, take the time to read up on local traditions, customs, etiquette and culture and you’ll find yourself a firm favourite among the local populace. Also, don’t forget to take the time to learn a little Bahasa Indonesian, however, and you’ll find that people really appreciate it.

Vibrant art and culture

Culture vultures are often drawn to southeast Asia for its unique art and culture and Indonesia is absolutely no exception. Historically, the country has often been a trading post that bridged the far and middle east. As such, a wide range of cultural influences have shaped the art, culture, religion and politics of Indonesia.

While predominantly Islamic, the culture has also been shaped by Hindu, Buddhist and Confucianist influences to create a style of visual art, literature, music, dance and theatre that are unique and breathtakingly beautiful.

Check out the National Gallery of Indonesia in Jakarta (it’s on my bucket list!) to see a comprehensive overview of the nation’s art, culture and tradition or the Art1: New Museum to get a sample of some of the vibrant modern offerings produced by the nation.

6 Reasons I Fell in Love with Indonesia 😍🐘 | UK Lifestyle Blog

Whatever brings you to Indonesia, and however long you plan to stay for, you’ll find plenty to enjoy in this richly diverse country.

2019-02-11T01:13:39+00:00 February 4, 2019|Popular, Travel|

How to Physically Prepare for a Hiking Trip (+ 5 Epic Hike Ideas!)

Hiking can certainly be a lot of fun, especially if you love being outdoors and keeping active. However, it’s no secret that this adventurous hobby also requires a lot of preparation – and not just route planning.

While some trails can be tackled by beginners with little or no experience, others require a higher fitness level. Planning for these trips includes assessing your fitness level to ensure you’re in good shape before you set off.

We did a fair bit of hiking in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia and Italy our recent 2 month road-trip around Europe (and can you blame us?! Below is a photograph from one of our rest days when we were in Austria, just WOW! 😻). Planning on going hiking? Here are some tips on how to physically prepare for a hiking trip.

How to Physically Prepare for a Hiking Trip (+ 5 Epic Hike Ideas!) | UK Lifestyle Blog

1. Plansee, Austria. If you’re looking for untouched natural beauty, you’ll fall in love with Austria.

Plan before you set off!

Are you just starting out, and looking for something to “test the waters”? Maybe you’re a little more experienced, but looking to take things up a notch? Did you find your previous hiking trip a little too much, or perhaps a bit boring? 

Every hike is different, and the physical preparation will differ, too.

If you’re booking through an adventure travel company, you can always ask them what fitness level is required for the routes that interest you. They will often be able to help you assess if the trails of interest are suitable for you.

Know your fitness level ❤️

Assessing your fitness level before setting out on your first hike – or any hike, for that matter – is highly recommended. Not all days trekking will be the same, but that’s what makes it exciting!

If you regularly walk to work and back, play football on the weekends, and go to the gym three times per week, you’d be safe to class yourself as fit. More advanced trails are certainly on your radar, however, shouldn’t be underestimated.

Where a walk to the local chip shop is your primary form of exercise, you’ll need to better prepare your body!

How to Physically Prepare for a Hiking Trip (+ 5 Epic Hike Ideas!) | UK Lifestyle Blog

2. The Dolomites, Italy were truly epic! The Tre Cime di Lavaredo loop is perfect for beginners.

Get some training under your belt 

The obvious way to train for a hike is to get out and walk as much as you can. Anywhere you can reach on foot is an option – so ditch the car in favour of a walk to the local supermarket. In fact, carrying some shopping bags back from the shops will help you, too, as it is likely you’ll need to carry heavy bags with your belongings while hiking.

If hitting the gym, you’ll find that many treadmills feature an incline setting. For most people, these are simply a way of increasing intensity and adding “variety” to otherwise boring cardio workouts. For others, this setting offers a great tool to prepare for real-world hiking adventures.

Most treadmills max out at around 15% incline. This is pretty good, but if you’re looking to hike up demanding hills and mountains, you’ll likely want to try out a dedicated incline trainer.

An incline trainer is the same as a treadmill, however, is designed with a much steeper running deck. With incline percentages up to 40%, these are perfect for increasing the stamina needed for steep treks and mountain climbing. 

Although not cheap, you can easily save yourself some money by comparing gym equipment prices before you buy an incline trainer.

How to Physically Prepare for a Hiking Trip (+ 5 Epic Hike Ideas!) | UK Lifestyle Blog

3. Little further up… Glacier summit shot @ Gornergrat, Switzerland – Feeling on top of the world!

Keep hydrated on your hike

With so many variables to consider, it’s impossible to produce a definitive list of things to do while on your vigorous walk. That said, water and food are things we can accurately estimate.

Before setting off, you’ll no doubt have map of the route you’re taking. You should work out how many miles you’ll walk and calculate how long this will take.

Regarding hydration, a good rule of thumb is to drink a litre of water for every two hours walking. If it’s a hot day, with lots of uphill climbing, this should be the minimum you shoot for.

Remember, the more water you carry, the heavier your bag will be. For this reason, it’s important to accurately estimate how much water to take, to ensure an optimal fitness level.

How to Physically Prepare for a Hiking Trip (+ 5 Epic Hike Ideas!) | UK Lifestyle Blog

4. Views of Matterhorn from Riffelsee, Switzerland (Yes, that’s the Toblerone mountain!!) 🐻

Re-assess your fitness level after the hike

No matter how well you initially assessed your fitness level, or how much you physically prepared your body, you will now know the reality of how fit you are. Did you smash it? Was it a walk in the park (excuse the pun) or maybe it was more physically demanding than you imagined?

Those who found their most recent hiking trip difficult might add weight training to their preparation for next time. If you found it less demanding, you can aim for something a little tougher while having a “feel” for what areas you might need to address to ensure you’re at the right fitness level to tackle it.

How to Physically Prepare for a Hiking Trip (+ 5 Epic Hike Ideas!) | UK Lifestyle Blog

5. One of the most jaw-dropping hikes I’ve ever done, the Pragser Wildsee loop in the Italian Alps

Last but not least…

Physical preparation is an important part of hiking. When booking or planning a hike, ask experienced hikers and tour company advisors about the required fitness level.

Once you’ve shortlisted suitable trails, pick exercises to help you reach the right level: walk to the local shops if you’re a beginner; train on an incline trainer if you’re more experienced; and lift weights if you feel your strength needs improvement.

In addition to preparing you for the hike, these exercises and training methods will also keep your body in great shape for everyday life, too.

2018-12-14T23:57:43+00:00 December 15, 2018|Travel|

3 Tips for Planning the Perfect Winter Break

Now that summer is officially over, the winter clothes seem to be stocking up in the clothing shops, and not forgetting those Christmas gift boxes which are most definitely starting to make appearances! So what better way to shake those summer blues away than to get planning for the perfect winter break.

Whether it be a week away in the beautiful alps with an adventure filled skiing getaway, or something a little more relaxing like some Christmas shopping in London, here I’ve put together some of my best tips for planning that perfect, well deserved break.

3 Tips for Planning the Perfect Winter Break | UK Lifestyle Blog

Get in early!

It goes without saying that winter breaks, and city breaks in specific get booked up pretty fast! That’s not to say that once everyone has snapped them up that’s it, but some of the best prices and deals will be made now and in the next couple of weeks. So getting your booking in early is key to a successful and money saving break!

When it comes to booking a hotel, think outside the box, some of the most well known options will most likely be the priciest, but with the rise of things like Air BnB make sure you do your research. Getting a fully serviced apartment as opposed to a commercially well known and popular hotel could be a great option.

Plan your trips

Whether it’s a few days in London, or a week in Paris, planning your trips is crucial. City breaks are so popular during the winter which means that tours and attractions can get booked up pretty quickly. Take Winter Wonderland as an example, if you’re wanting to do some of the biggest attractions there and you’ll be going in peak Christmas season you’ll want to make sure you’ve got your tickets booked to avoid disappointment.

Don’t leave it too late to pack for your trip either. Nothing ruins a trip like being freezing cold. Superdry have put together a list of winter warmers, and I’m truly in love! Maybe I can treat myself to the Everest one!? 😍

3 Tips for Planning the Perfect Winter Break | UK Lifestyle Blog
Provided by Superdry

Compare

It goes without saying, but if you’re looking into deals around winter, the best thing you can do is compare. Compare hotel/apartments on different websites and check to make sure that there aren’t any additional voucher codes you could get your hands on. If you’re going further a field, check whether it would be cheaper to do your flights and hotel separately, or whether a package works out a much better deal.

Wherever you plan on going, make sure you plan! City breaks across the winter period are popular, but they’re also one of my favourite things about this season. Where do you plan on going this year?

2018-12-03T23:36:29+00:00 December 3, 2018|Post, Travel|
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