Day 21 – Our flight with AirAsia from Denpasar gets us to Singapore smoothly just under three hours. We pick up our backpacks and in our shorts (slowly learning from our mistakes) and make our way with the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) to our temporary home for the next three days, the Coziee Lodge in the Kallang neighborhood. We arrive a bit early and have to wait for a little before we can check in so decide to indulge ourselves into the local cuisine around the corner. Different smells, a different language we don’t understand, and different currency, the Singapore Dollar. Not too much later we check into our dorm room which we share with a few other travelers. We all have our own ‘coziee’ pod. We hop back on the MRT (two-minute walk which is super convenient) and are ready to discover the touristy spots of this city-state. Continue reading Singapore Along
If you were impressed with Lake Tekapo, then you definitely will be stunned by the beauty of its bigger sister, Lake Pukaki.
The drive around the lake is very scenic and deserves some stops. While you are driving and if the weather permits it, you will see Mount Cook appear.
One of them is Peter’s Lookout along Highway 80 (also known as Mount Cook Road). From here you can take a bunch of postcard photos but make sure you save some space and batteries for your next stop, Mount Cook Village !
We survived our first night with the three of us in a two person tent.
The summer is noticeably gone with much cooler temperatures at night. We wake up to a grey sky morning at Mc Gregor Lake, which is only a short drive from Lake Tekapo.
After our breakfast at the lake and getting a full tank we were ready to drive up to the rooftop of New Zealand, Mount Cook National Park.
So the Grand Road Trip of 2016 has begun.
During the next six months I will be travel from New Zealand up to Mongolia and back.
It will be a roller coaster adventure filled with beautiful scenery, diverse cultures, meeting new people, trying new foods and go wherever your heart desires to.
The adventure started last Thursday when I finished my job in Franz Josef Glacier. My friend Lotti and me left our little home away from home behind after working here for the last three months.
Destination : Christchurch !
A lot of driving on the first day but we had places to go still. The route went from the gloomy roads of the West Coast over the majestic surrounding of Arthurs Pass down to the meadows of Canterbury.
There we picked up our missing member of the new tripod and set course to Lake Tekapo.
A little after sunset we arrived at our campground at Lake Mc Gregor. We put down our tent for our first night camping. While setting up our tent we got attacked by a swarm of mosquitos. We dived into our tent and fell quickly asleep.
Now we all savoured our christmas left overs and drank all of our champagne bottles it is time to reflect on what is ahead of us. A new year, a new chance to make great things happen.
With all the fortunes and mistakes of 2015 added to my young life, this is what I learned from last year traveling.
1. Life is short, Live a little
Don’t put things off for later. Travel while you are young and free. Relationships, a house, kids… It can all wait. These factors will influence your decision and you know you are just putting things off and that gap year to South America might never happen.
2. You can always depend on the kindness of strangers
I have been amazed sometimes by the generosity and kindness of strangers. You barely know them and they take you in, help you out and leave you with an unforgettable experience. It teaches you as a traveler (with some common sense) that there is still a lot of good in this world.
3. Disconnect from your phone, connect with the moment
Every one of us want to connect with people back home. You want to let them know about your adventures, want to see your niece grow up, want to Skype with your best friend and all of that is great and necessary. But sometimes you might miss out on a great conversations or beautiful views because your eyes are glued to your phone screen. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great thing to stay in contact with people back home but try to limit it to when you get to when you are by yourself or select some moments during the day to do all of that.
4. Travel at your own pace
Especially when you travel with others, understand that every person travels at its own pace. Don’t get upset if you are an early bird and your travel buddies like to sleep in. Take this moment as an opportunity to create some alone time or meet other people or catch up with people back home.
5. The best plan is not to have a plan
Plans change constantly, especially when you are traveling. Don’t try to get too worried about where you want to travel next or in the next few months while you are traveling. You might meet a great new travel partner in the bar tonight or get an off the beaten path insider tip from a local you meet at the harbour. Be open for constant changes, they are a good thing.
6. Sunsets for life
Everybody has a bad day, or some bad days. Life comes with ups and downs. And when you travel, those ups and downs are intensified. You get some extreme highs and might get some extreme lows when you are running out of money, get sick or feel lonely … Don’t worry. You are not alone. Every traveler goes through this stage on his/her journey. But remember. Sunsets are for life. If you miss today’s one, there is always another one tomorrow
7. You win some…
Traveling is great fun ! It opens your horizons to the ultimate. It is a joyride on a road that is paved with awesome adventures.
You will meet people with amazing stories which will sometimes be so close to your own story (not including the crazy cat lady you met at the bus stop). The experiences you will gain during your travels will be something you will tell your grandchildren one day.
8. And you lose some
While being on the road, be sure to lose some as well.
This goes for anything in life.
You will lose money, your sense of time (what day is today?), your socks (trust me on this one), friends from back home and who you met on the road…
It is all part of life and they often teach us some very valuable lessons.
9. Stay Unstuck
While traveling through the Canadian Rockies last summer I met a girl who decided to quit her job in British Columbia and set course for the East Coast to look for a new life with her boyfriend she was going to pick up in Calgary.
We had a great conversation about staying Unstuck in life. Whenever you feel trapped or not happy with what you are doing… just get yourself out of it. You always have a choice.
10. Make good stories
Your life is a good big old book. And you are the writer of your chapters. Some will be good, some will be bad. Some will be long other very short-lived. But make the stories count. It’s all about the stories we have to tell. So make them good.
A new year to tell them – So jump behind your computer, and book that ticket out of your home town. If you are bad at making decisions, drinks some beers and go sit behind that computer again. It surely helps you making a decision about what you really want.
Go travel, go explore – it doesn’t matter if it’s far or the next town. As long as you put yourself out of your comfort zone.
Go meet people, share stories, make memories.
Happy New Year.