The Best Luxury Destinations in the UK

The Best Luxury Destinations in the UK

The United Kingdom should be at the top of your list regarding luxury travel. While it may lack the sun and sandy shores of locations like Los Angeles and Dubai, it certainly makes up for it when it comes to opulence and refinement.

This region is home to various cities that each cater to the unique tastes of its visitors. From the busy streets of London to the picturesque buildings of Bath, the UK is home to destinations that embody extravagance at every turn. This article will explore which UK cities best exude a heightened sense of grandeur. So, whether you seek world-class shopping experiences, high-end accommodations, or marvelous dining options, the cities listed below promise an unforgettable journey into luxury travel.

The Charming Countryside Retreats of the Cotswolds

The Charming Countryside Retreats of the Cotswolds
The Charming Countryside Retreats of the Cotswolds (CC0) via Unsplash

Nestled in the heart of England, the Cotswolds beckon with their rolling hills, honey-colored stone villages, and unparalleled charm. Explore lavish country estates like Barnsley House or Dormy House, where timeless elegance meets modern luxury. Indulge in spa treatments, fine dining, and the tranquility of the countryside.

Regal Experiences in Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh - Luxury destinations in the uk
Edinburgh – Luxury destinations in the UK via Unsplash

Head north to the Scottish capital for a regal experience in Edinburgh. Stay in historic castles turned luxury hotels, such as the Balmoral or the iconic Edinburgh Castle. Immerse yourself in the city’s rich culture, dine in Michelin-starred restaurants, and enjoy panoramic views of the city from Arthur’s Seat.

London’s Posh Pleasures

No article exploring the most luxurious destinations in the UK would be complete without paying close attention to its capital city, London.

Known worldwide for being a central hub of commerce and culture, London is the place to be if you seek upscale experiences and luxury travel. To get things going, starting with a stroll down Bond Street is preferred, especially if you want to indulge in retail therapy. Bond Street is home to some of the world’s most prestigious fashion houses, including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany & Co. 

Oxford Street, London, United Kingdom
Oxford Street, London, United Kingdom (CC0) via Unsplash

If this doesn’t quite quench your thirst, visiting Harrods is a must. As we’re sure you’re aware, this much-loved department store perfectly embodies luxury shopping, where you’ll find a wide range of designer goods, incredible delicacies, and beautiful home furnishings. 

After a long day of shopping, we’re sure you’ll love unwinding in one of London’s luxurious hotels, such as The Dorchester or The Ritz. Explore world-class museums and galleries, and indulge in gourmet dining at Michelin-starred restaurants scattered across the city. London has the most restaurants with Michelin stars in all of the UK.

To take things to the next level, you could consider arriving and departing via private jet charter. This mode of travel is perfect for those seeking the ultimate blend of luxury and convenience, bypassing much of the hassle associated with London’s commercial airports.

Seaside Splendor in the Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye in Scotland
Isle of Skye in Scotland via Unsplash

For a more remote yet equally luxurious experience, head to the Isle of Skye in Scotland. This breathtaking island offers rugged landscapes, dramatic cliffs, and luxurious accommodations like the Kinloch Lodge. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature while enjoying the comforts of high-end amenities.

Savor the Views of the Lake District

The Lake District is often considered a luxury travel destination, appreciated for its stunning landscapes, upscale accommodations, and a range of refined experiences. It is renowned for its breathtaking scenery, with picturesque lakes, rolling hills, and charming villages.

The Lake District in the UK
The Lake District in the UK via Unsplash

Luxury travelers can enjoy the tranquility of the natural surroundings and take part in activities such as private boat tours on the lakes, guided hikes, and exclusive access to scenic spots.

Luxury travelers can partake in exclusive activities, such as private boat charters on Lake Windermere, helicopter tours offering panoramic views of the region, or bespoke guided tours tailored to individual preferences.

Visitors can explore historic homes, such as Beatrix Potter’s former residence, or enjoy art galleries and museums showcasing the region’s rich history and artistic heritage.

Channel Island Serenity in Jersey

Discover the serene beauty of the Channel Islands with a visit to Jersey. Stay at luxury resorts like Longueville Manor and revel in the island’s stunning landscapes, sandy beaches, and gourmet dining. Jersey offers a peaceful escape with a touch of glamour.

Soak in Manchester’s Culture

Source: TimHill via Pixabay

While Manchester might not be the first city that springs to mind when considering luxury travel experiences, the city has come leaps and bounds in recent years thanks to the vast amount of external investment.

Manchester is now home to a vibrant cultural scene and cosmopolitan atmosphere, emerging as one of the UK’s leading destinations for luxury travel. From extensive shopping areas to stunning boutique hotels, Manchester offers many unforgettable experiences for high-end travelers.

To get a taste of what Manchester offers regarding its thriving cultural scene, you should visit Spinningfields, which has quickly become one of the go-to areas for top dining experiences. In Spinningfields, countless upscale restaurants and cocktail bars serve everything from contemporary classics to international delicacies. The 20 Stories is just one example of what you’ll find: an incredible bar and restaurant where innovative cocktails and gourmet cuisine await.

Finally, the accommodation in Manchester is home to a little bit of everything, so you’ll be sure to find something that perfectly matches your taste. From the boutique King Street Townhouse to the stylish Hotel Gotham, countless options provide a heightened sense of luxury within the city’s limits. If you want something quieter, consider staying a short way from the city, in the lush green countryside surrounding Manchester, at somewhere like the Mere Golf Resort & Spa in Knutsford.

Boutique Bliss in Bath

Source: falco via Pixabay

Bath, with its Georgian architecture and Roman Baths, provides a quintessentially British luxury experience. Stay in boutique hotels like The Gainsborough Bath Spa and enjoy the city’s natural hot springs. Explore the historic sites, unwind in the thermal baths, and savor exquisite cuisine in this UNESCO World Heritage city.

Located within the rolling hills of the Somerset countryside, the much-loved Roman city of Bath is known far and wide for its timeless charm and elegance, which is why it’s such a popular location for travelers. Bath is best known for its Roman baths and incredible Georgian architecture, which makes it perfect for anybody wanting to indulge in a luxurious escape away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. To have a stay to remember, you could visit the Thermae Bath Spa, where you can unwind in the rooftop pool and receive treatments inspired by ancient Roman rituals.

If you want to indulge and use some of your hard-earned money for a rewarding purchase, you can’t overlook a trip through Bath’s charming streets. You’ll be sure to discover countless treasures and locally-made goods there so that you won’t be short of souvenir options for those back home. As you might expect, a city of Bath’s stature and reputation is home to many luxurious hotels, so a stay somewhere like The Gainsborough Bath Spa or The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa should be near the top of your list. 

Planning Your Trip

From the dynamic streets of London to the rolling hills surrounding the city of Bath, the United Kingdom is home to a handful of genuinely luxurious destinations perfect for travelers wanting that little bit more. From world-class shopping experiences to delicious dining options and relaxing spa treatments, these cities will surely provide an unforgettable taste of luxury.


PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you.  We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

7 Exciting Water Sports You Should Try in 2024

7 Exciting Water Sports You Should Try in 2024

2024 has just begun, and it is time to start planning your adventures and apply for paid time off from work. If you’re adventurous, I’m sure you want to try something new, so let me give you some ideas.

Do you know the human body is 60 percent water? And even then, some of us are strangely scared of water activities while others are totally water babies. If you belong to the first group – know that it is completely normal to be scared. Maybe 2024 is the year for facing your fears.

Kitesurfing in Zandvoort, the Netherlands
Kitesurfing in Zandvoort, the Netherlands

Water sports are a fun way to enjoy the water while benefiting your health. Besides strengthening your core muscles and burning some calories, water sports minimize the risk of chronic illnesses.

Water activities like swimming and snorkeling are perfect for those with arthritis. Participating in water sports also enhances bone density. They also minimize stress, depression, and anxiety, enhancing your mental health.

Most beginner water sports include excellent aerobic and anaerobic exercise, boosting endurance and stamina. These sports also work for various body types. Discussed below are four exciting water sports you should try in 2024.

1) Wakeboarding

Wakeboarding - watersports to try in 2024
Wakeboarding – watersports to try in 2024 [CCO] via Pixabay

Wakeboarding is a thrilling water sport where a rider stands on a wakeboard and is towed by a wake boat. It integrates elements of waterskiing, snowboarding, and surfing, providing a fun and unique way to enjoy the water. Wakeboarding is done using several pieces of equipment, some of which aren’t the most affordable. They include:

  • Wakeboards: There are four wakeboard types based on rocker design, including continuous, hybrid, three-stage, and five-stage rockers. So, choose based on comfort, your height and weight, and other elements
  • Wakeboarding boat
  • Life vest
  • Wet suit
  • Helmet
  • Wakeboard line

2) Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)

Benagil Cave Guided tour: It is a 2-hour kayaking tour that leaves from Benagil Beach. Benagil Kayak Rental: If you have enough kayaking experience, then you can rent the kayak and do it yourself. But be careful of the rocks at the entry of the cave. SUP to Benagil Cave Beach
SUP to Benagil Cave Beach

You know how some sports are automatically regarded as “cool”? SUP is one of them. It’s all about standing on a large, stable board and using a paddle to propel oneself through the water. The paddleboard is similar to a surfboard but is typically larger, wider, and more stable to provide better balance.

The first time I tried Stand-up Paddleboarding (SUP) was on Achill Island in Ireland and then the second time was to reach the Benagil Caves of the Algarve in Portugal. Both experiences were completely different because it is easy to SUP on a lake but difficult on the sea. After this, I visited a nearby lake in Germany to practice a few times.

This is exactly why Stand-up paddleboarding has gained popularity – its accessibility to people of various skill levels and ages. It can be a relaxing activity for those seeking a peaceful paddle on a calm lake or an adventurous experience riding waves in the ocean.

Also, SUP is also used for fitness and yoga, with some enthusiasts incorporating yoga poses onto their paddleboards for an extra challenge. I’m a Yoga teacher but I didn’t have enough confidence to do a Yoga pose on my SUP in Germany.

3) Kayaking

Relaxing on our rented kayak on Lake Bohinj, Slovenia
Relaxing on our rented kayak on Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

How can I make any watersport post without mentioning kayaking? It is easy, relaxing, fun and adventurous. Also, you can do it solo or with a friend.

Kayaking is a popular water sport you can try when on a vacation near a lake or sea. It’s a great form of exercise, and based on your interests and abilities, this water sport can be leisurely or fast-paced and quite physically challenging.

One of the best things about kayaking is that you can bring your drinks and snacks with you on the kayak (preferably in a dry bag) and make a picnic out of it in the middle of the water. That’s why, Kayaking usually results in people developing a great appreciation for the natural spots along the coastline.

Just be mindful of the trash and rubbish and bring everything back with you to the shore. Also, remember to bring comfortable and perfectly fitting life jackets to enhance safety.

4) Surfing

People gathered to see surfers riding the big waves of Nazare
People gathered to see surfers riding the big waves of Nazare

We all know about surfing, and how much fun it looks. Guess what, it isn’t easy at all. But hey, we all have to start somewhere.

Surfing is a dynamic water sport that involves riding waves on a surfboard. Surfers paddle out to the lineup, where waves break, and then catch a wave’s momentum to ride it towards the shore.

Fun Fact: Did you know that surfing sport has ancient roots? Polynesians practiced wave riding centuries ago, but it gained global recognition in the 20th century.

Portugal’s Nazare is a famous surfing destination because the largest wave that was ever surfed was recorded here, and new records get created here every year or so.

5) Flyboarding

Flyboarding - coolest water sports
Flyboarding – coolest water sports [CCO] via Pixabay

This is actually the coolest one – it involves using a water-powered jetpack attached to a personal watercraft, allowing participants to hover above the water and perform acrobatic maneuvers.

Flyboarding is an exhilarating watersport that combines elements of jet skiing, snowboarding, and acrobatics. Invented by French watercraft rider Franky Zapata in 2011, flyboarding has gained popularity worldwide as an extreme and visually spectacular activity.

Here’s how flyboarding works:

  1. Strapping In: Participants wear special boots that are attached to the flyboard. The boots have nozzles underneath that expel pressurized water.
  2. Connection to Watercraft: The flyboard is connected to the watercraft by a long hose. The operator of the watercraft controls the water pressure and directs it to the flyboard.
  3. Taking Off: As water is forced through the boots, the rider experiences upward thrust, lifting them out of the water and into the air.
  4. Maneuvering: The rider can control their movement by shifting their weight and tilting their feet. Skilled flyboarders can perform a variety of tricks, spins, and flips.
  5. Safety: The tether to the watercraft ensures that if the rider falls, they are immediately back in the water, ready to try again.

Flyboarding is known for its combination of excitement and accessibility. While it may seem challenging at first, many people can learn the basics relatively quickly. The sport has also evolved with competitions and events showcasing the skills of professional flyboarders who push the boundaries of what can be done in the air and water.

6) Bodyboarding

Bodyboard - like surfing
Bodyboard – like surfing [CC0] via Pixabay

Bodyboarding is a fun water sport suitable for ocean enthusiasts and adrenaline seekers. It’s among the least costly and simplest water sports and requires the following essential equipment:

  • Bodyboard
  • Fins
  • Bodyboard leash
  • Wetsuit
  • Rash guards

When looking for a bodyboard, it’s important to consider the following factors:

  • Width
  • Length
  • Tail shape
  • Material used

While a wide board offers easy paddling and more stability, a narrow one provides more control and speed. The wave types you’ll be riding are another major consideration when looking for the right bodyboard. To do wave riding with more control and confidence, it’s important to master basic techniques, including catching waves, paddling, turning, and body positioning.

7) Snorkeling

Snorkeling in Coron Island, the Philippines
Snorkeling in Coron Island, the Philippines

We all know about Snorkeling, and chances are that you would have tried it already. If not, then 2024 is the year that you need to go for it.

Just in case you don’t know, snorkeling is an underwater sport, that involves swimming along the water surface while enjoying the underworld. One needs snorkels to ease breathing with your face submerged by water, swim-goggles (for clear vision underwater), and not a “must-have” but swim fins help to move with more control.

Perfect snorkeling areas are temperate, warm seas, with clear water, nearly no currents or waves, and lively marine life. To make the most of your snorkeling experience, consider:

  • Improving your swimming skills to ensure safety in the water
  • Practicing
  • Enhancing your breath hold technique to optimize your time underwater

To conserve your air when snorkeling, take deep breaths to help keep your heart rate down, allowing you to relax while saving energy.

Closing Thoughts about Trying New Water Sports

Not every kind of water sport is fun for all, so pick something that makes you feel good, and don’t push yourself to a point that it becomes stressful. Yes, movement is good for the body but pick something that makes you feel good mentally too. Besides being fun, water sports are great for your physical and mental health.

Remember: it is always better to stay safe. My husband suffered from an injury when he had a cliff-jumping accident in Puglia, Italy. I was also supposed to jump from that spot but my intuition told me not to. Since then I always say that yes, it is good to do something that scares you but don’t push yourself into a situation where you hurt yourself.


PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you.  We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

13 Romantic Holiday Ideas for Couples of All Ages and Interests

13 Romantic Holiday Ideas for Couples of All Ages and Interests

One of the best things that you can do with your partner is travel together. When you do so, you get to know them really well because you discover their personality on a deeper level. After all, travel is the best relationship test.

If you are in a relationship and are looking to deepen it, then this is a post that you would want to save for your anniversary, honeymoon, or even Valentine’s Day. This is based on personal experience because I have been with my partner for around 10 years and we have often traveled together.

Here are thirteen romantic holiday ideas for couples of all ages and interests.

Cruise

Cruises are romantic because they provide a unique and picturesque setting, with the vast expanse of the ocean, beautiful sunsets, and the calming sound of waves. Many cruise ships are designed with romance in mind, offering amenities such as fine dining, couples’ spa treatments, and intimate spaces for relaxation.

So with that thought, look for a luxury ship like Icon of the Seas to embark on a romantic cruise or sailing trip that includes a stop at picturesque towns along the way. Explore different destinations, enjoy onboard amenities, and share unforgettable sunsets from the deck.

Keep in mind that a cruise might not suit you or your partner if you don’t like to restrict yourself to one place. In that case, read on.

Romantic City Break

Romantic things to do in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Romantic things to do in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Not all cities are romantic but are. Choose a historic city known for its cultural richness. Explore museums, art galleries, and historic landmarks, and dine in romantic local restaurants at night.

It is easy to find a romantic city in Europe because many have charming riverfronts and canals. Pick a city like Paris, Amsterdam, Venice, Prague, Porto, or Venice to name a few. For inspiration, see my post about romantic things to do in Amsterdam.

Stroll along cobblestone streets, enjoy canal-side cafes, and immerse yourselves in the romantic atmosphere.

Wellness Weekend

Isn’t relaxing and getting pampered always fun? Even more so when you can do it with a partner.

Pamper yourselves with a wellness-focused holiday. Choose a spa resort, practice yoga together, and indulge in relaxing treatments for a rejuvenating experience.

There are certain destinations all over the world that are famous for wellness holidays for many budgets. A few examples are Douro Valley (Portugal), Saint Tropez (France), Kerala (India), Koh Samui (Thailand), and Santa Elena (Ecuador).

Hiking & Adventure

San and I OD-ing on nature in Piccoli-Lavarone, Italy
San and I OD-ing on nature in Piccoli-Lavarone, Alpe Cimbra, Italy

The thrill of doing something adventurous and somewhat scary together does wonders for building deeper relationships.

Sure, this may appeal more to outdoorsy couples but I suggest it for everyone, plan an adventurous holiday. Options include hiking in national parks, zip-lining, or kayaking for a unique and thrilling experience.

If you are new to adventure, pick something easier like a small hike that ends on top of a viewpoint where you can enjoy the beautiful sights and the thrill of conquering it together with your partner.

Northern Lights Winter Wonderland

Experience the awe-inspiring Northern Lights together. Choose a destination near the Arctic Circle for a chance to witness this natural wonder.

If seeing Nothern Lights is out of the budget for you, you can just head to the mountains for a romantic retreat. Whether it’s a ski resort in winter or a cozy cabin in the summer, the mountains offer a serene and picturesque setting.

Beachfront Holiday

The romantic Lake Bohinj, Triglav National Park, Slovenia
The romantic Lake Bohinj, Triglav National Park, Slovenia

Beach Holidays are always romantic, especially if you manage to find a beachfront resort or an overwater bungalow. Relax on a beautiful beach with your toes in the sand, take long walks along the shoreline, and enjoy sunset dinners by the water.

You can throw in a little adventure and snorkel in crystal-clear waters or even explore the nearby areas on a kayak together. After all this, unwind in a luxurious resort.

You don’t have to necessarily pick a “sea beach” but also consider lake beaches. While sea beaches are stunning there’s something more mysterious and romantic about lake beaches depending on how pretty the lake is.

Road Trip

Us with our van in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Us with our van in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Speaking from personal experience, a road trip is an amazing option for a romantic trip especially if you want to combine it with camping.

Don’t limit yourself to starting the road trip from your place of residence, instead, you can fly to the country of your choice and rent a car to do a road trip there. (as long as your driver’s permit is valid there)

Make a fun road-trip playlist to play in the background as you explore scenic routes, charming towns, and natural wonders. Enjoy the freedom of the open road and countless possibilities about stopping wherever you want.

Hot Air Balloon Ride & Cave

Sunrise with Balloons in Cappadocia, Turkey itinerary
Sunrise with Balloons in Cappadocia, Turkey itinerary

This is a destination-specific idea because there is one place on earth where you can enjoy an otherworldly landscape, enjoy a hot air balloon ride, and even sleep in a cave! I did this and this place is real. I’m talking about Cappadocia in Turkey.

Imagine the feeling as you float up in the sky in a hot air balloon together. Even better when you can enjoy panoramic views of the landscape while sharing a romantic moment high above.

Cappadocia is massive with around 10 towns and many villages, but if you do decide to go there then head to Göreme.

Historical Castle Stay

Our Room inside Svojanov Castle, East Bohemia
Our Room inside Svojanov Castle, East Bohemia

Stay in a charming castle or historic mansion for a regal experience. Many castles have been converted into luxurious accommodations, offering a unique and romantic ambiance.

I did stay in a few, one of them was called Svojanov in the Czech Republic and it was on top of a hill. Another one was in India and called Neemrana Fort.

It is easy to forget the real world if you decide to stay in a castle. Svojanov castle in the Czech Republic even had a funny horror tour that was the highlight of our stay.

Music Festival

Boom Festival in Portugal
Boom Festival in Portugal

This point comes from personal experience because I’ve done this a lot of times with my partner. Find a festival that’s of your favorite music genre, pick a location that’s interesting, and make it a reality.

I feel it is my duty to inform you that music festivals aren’t always super easy because you have to usually camp, use dixie toilets and camping showers – but honestly, that adds to the adventure.

You can make it all easier if you go there in a campervan but staying in a tent with a loved one is also loads of fun.

Wine Tasting Getaway

Us in Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany
Us in Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany

What’s the most romantic alcoholic drink? Somehow it is wine. If you love wine then I have a really good suggestion for you.

Visit a picturesque wine region and indulge in wine tasting together. Many vineyards offer romantic accommodations, stunning views, and the chance to explore local wineries.

The one and only vineyard that I have visited with my partner is Rüdesheim am Rhein in Germany and I highly recommend it.

Culinary Journey

Immerse yourselves in a culinary adventure. Choose a destination known for its food. Take a cooking class together, and savor the local cuisine.

Places such as Bologna in Italy and Chang Mai in Thailand offer experiences where you can not only experience a new cuisine but also join a few cooking classes.

Vintage Train Journey

An adorable local couple enjoying the door seat - train ride in Sri Lanka
An adorable local couple enjoying the door seat – train ride in Sri Lanka

Embark on a scenic train journey on a vintage or luxury train. Enjoy the beautiful landscapes while traveling in style, complete with gourmet dining.

Train journeys are romantic, even more so if you pick a famous route with amazing scenery. If you can afford it, then pick Switzerland’s famous Glacier Express. Now this is something you can do in many countries. I have done this in Serbia, India, and Sri Lanka to name a few.

Final Thoughts Romantic Holiday Ideas for Couples

Speaking from personal experience, I have a tip for you – when it comes to making a holiday extra special and romantic then forget about trying to do everything. Focus on little things and each other to make this time memorable.

10 Pictures That Prove Just How Insanely Gorgeous Cancun is!

10 Pictures That Prove Just How Insanely Gorgeous Cancun is!

Ever heard of Cancún? It’s a beach destination on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula that’s famous for it’s paradisiacal beaches and is also known as the Mexican Caribbean. Cancun is a very popular travel destination for Americans because of its close proximity.

So what makes Cancun so special? These spectacular pictures of Cancun will answer your question. It may just look like any other Caribbean beach destination but as you scroll further, you will fall in love with it.

10 Spectacular Pictures of Cancun

Pretty Beaches

A white sand beach in Cancun, Mexico

A white sand beach in Cancun, Mexico – Photo by claudinerivest [CC0] via Pixabay

Cancun doesn’t have a shortage of pretty beaches with 21 kilometers of pristine white sand and turquoise blue water. The beaches of Cancun will spoil you for you for life.

Beach in Cancun, Mexico

Beach in Cancun, Mexico – Photo by EmilianDanaila [CC0] via Pixabay

Mayan Ruins

Starry Night at Chichen Itza Mayan ruins near Cancun, Mexico

Starry Night at Chichen Itza Mayan ruins near Cancun, Mexico – Photo by Walkerssk [CC0] via Pixabay

It’s not everyday that you can find a spectacular beach destination where you can also see Mayan ruins. Yep, Cancun is one of those few places. Cancun is sometimes referred to as El Mundo Maya, which means the getaway to the Mayan World.

El Ray - Mayan Ruins - Cancún, Mexico

El Ray – Mayan Ruins – Cancún, Mexico – Photo by Mariamichelle [CC0] via Pixabay

Cenote

A gorgeous Cenote near Cancún, Mexico

A gorgeous Cenote near Cancún, Mexico – Photo by Matcuz [CC0] via Pixabay

Cenotes are natural swimming pools or sinkholes that are formed when groundwater is exposed after the collapse of limestone bedrock. They’re more than 6000 cenotes in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, and you can visit one on a day trip from Cancun. The closest one is 2.5 hours drive away from Cancun and its near Chichén Itzá Archaeological Site.

Cenote San Ignacio near Cancun - Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Cenote San Ignacio near Cancun – Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico – Photo by darvinsantos [CC0] via Pixabay

Fauna

Colorful Macaw in Cancun

Colorful Macaw in Cancun – Photo by AngieToh [CC0] via Pixabay

Cancun isn’t just about beaches, but is an amazing destination for nature lovers as well. From unbelievably gorgeous tropical birds like Macaws to exotic reptiles like iguanas – expect to see a lot of beautiful animals here.

Iguana in Cancun, Mexico

Iguana in Cancun, Mexico – Photo by Brendan_tuohy [CC0] via Pixabay

Xcaret – Paradise in Paradise!

Xcaret Cancun, Mexico - Spectacular pictures of Cancun

Xcaret Cancun, Mexico – Spectacular pictures of Cancun -Photo by Mariamichelle [CC0] via Pixabay

Xcaret is a park complex that’s located in south of Cancun. It is a paradise in itself and you will get to see a lot of things in just one place – underground river, beach, Mayan village and several archaeological sites.

Cancun has an amazing nightlife & Private Beach Parties

10 Gorgeous Photos of Cancun, Mexico

Private Beach Party in Cancun – Photo by Sasint [CC0] via Pixabay

Don’t you just think that beach parties are the best? Guess what – Cancun is a very popular party destination and is famous for it’s amazing nightlife. Lonely Planet has even published a detailed article about Cancun‘s best bars and nightlife. Most of the bigger and international parties occur in Cancun’s Hotel Zone and the usual entry price is around $50. The entry fee sometimes covers a few drinks too.

Have you ever visited Cancun and have a few amazing photos to share? Comment below and let us know. Share these spectacular photos of Cancun with a friend who’s trying to decide his travel destination for 2018.

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us reduce the costs of keeping this site active. Thanks for reading!

11 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

11 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

I’m not lost. I know where I’m going.

Yes, I’m alone. Doesn’t mean I’m lonely.

You think I’m gutsy? Thanks – feels good.

No I’m not traveling solo to nurse a broken heart. (But that’s a good idea).

No, I’m definitely not running away from anything.

No, I’m not rich, I know how to save.

Yes, I’m an Indian girl and I travel solo.

A little scared but excited, I hopped on a plane to travel solo back a few years back. My first hour was painful because I was frightened.

WTF, am I crazy to be doing this? 

Shit, what if something happens to me?

The guilt of having lied to everyone in my family made matters worse.

Sorry Mom, sorry Dad, I should have been honest with you that I was traveling alone.

In the course of the next hour I became extra vigilant of my surroundings and suspicious of random people who innocently glanced at me.

All of a sudden, it dawned on me that I was about to embark on one of the greatest adventures of my life and I should make the most of it. In that instant, my excitement ate my fear and I was ready to conquer the world!

It did turn out to be one of the best trips of my life, even though it was a little short.

It’s always nice to see a solo female traveler, but for me, it’s bloody AWESOME to see an Indian solo female traveler.

Why? Well, because we’re rare.

We grew up in a society where it’s unheard of a woman traveling alone. We live in a country with a high rate of crime against women. Obviously safety is always a concern. Oh and check this post about what exactly will happen when you travel solo for the first time.

I want to introduce you to 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo… Badass!

 *****Drum Roll*****

01 | Namrata Das Adhikary (Scattered Maps)

Namrata Das Adhikary - 10 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

Namrata Das Adhikary – Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

Hailing from a city of extreme contrasts, Calcutta, I have always been a fan of extremities: Madness and solitude being my prime aspirations.

In 2014, when I first made it to the Mount Kun base camp all alone, I couldn’t obviously believe it. It was not my first visit to the mountains, nor my first time with the snow. Yet, everything felt strangely different. I was in a strikingly surreal landscape, with a few adventurous locals and some likeminded travellers to give me company. My mind was as white as the snow surrounding me- reflective of thoughts, with my warm senses helping me acclimatize my body to the subzero temperatures. We started our trek from Gulmatongo (110km. from Kargil), the serving base camp for the ascending peak. However, due to extreme climatic conditions in December, we had to extend our days in order to cross the Suru river over a slippery, ice-covered footbridge. What I received in the end was a magically changed vision of inner myself: I come, I see, I conquer.

Solo travelling has given me a friend. I’ve learnt to befriend myself in the most difficult of all situations. The world is definitely not big enough!

02 | Sushmita Haldar

Sushmita Haldar - 10 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

Sushmita Haldar – 11 Indian Girls That Travel Solo

I wanted to travel and lack of company was not a good enough reason not to. As a woman you have to be cautious, but once you learn to follow your intuition you would know when it is fine to drink at a bar and sing with the locals, when a stranger genuinely offers you help, and when you are making a friend.

Each trip has helped me to find myself a little more – whether it was a trek to the mountains, exploring Bhutan with the locals, scuba diving in the Andamans, backpacking around Europe or trying to figure out what is it about USA. I won’t say solo traveling is always fun. Sometime you feel lonely and miss home. You just need to accept it and wait for another day. What it won’t be is regret. You will soon discover the community of fellow travelers. Each travelling for one’s own reason. Each trying to find one’s way, each unique with a different insight on life.

I have met many female solo travellers in the last one year, unfortunately hardly any Indian. All I can say, it may seem scary at first, the unknown, but a few trips, and you would wonder why you waited so long.

03 | Anisha Victor

Anisha Victor - 10 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

Anisha Victor – 11 Indian Girls Travel Solo

I was born in Allahabad, raised all over the county (yup I’m an Army kid) and now l live in Bombay. (Sorry we call it Mumbai now). As clichéd as it might sound but I did not choose travelling, travelling chose me.

I recently decided to revisit Rajasthan on a solo trip. Convincing my parents surprisingly was not a problem. I hopped on the cheapest flight I could find to Udaipur (BTW Tuesdays are the best days to book flights. You can thank me later) as going solo means there’s no sharing cost. I started from Udaipur and traveled north to Ajmer and Pushkar from there I headed west to the beautiful city of Jodhpur (where I stayed for two years as a baby) and finally to Jaisalmer and San. I took state run buses to travel from one city to another – which was so much fun. I was sandwiched between two people most of the times but after a point it didn’t bother because they had interesting stories to tell.

I was skeptical about the entire thing because of safety issues but my doubts faded with every passing. Although people were very warm and welcoming but every time someone asked me about myself, I would make up stories! I was a newly wedded on my honeymoon, I was a second year college student on a field trip or a newly commissioned army officer posted in Jaipur. I thought it was funny!

The only problem I faced was when I had to use the loo and look out for my luggage. But who knew travelling solo could be so liberating. I’ve come back with experience, stories, a tan too and an appetite to just go and explore more…see more and travel more.

04 | Raksha Nagaraj (SoloPassport)

Raksha Nagaraj - 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

Raksha Nagaraj – 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

I am an Indian girl who loves to travel solo. My mantra is what Derek Walcott said ‘I read, I travel and I become’. Solo travel to me is like meditating. It provides me the control to calm my mind & bring stillness in my life, with an opportunity to do the most passionate hobby that I have – “travel”. Drama and I get along very well. All my travels have to be a tad bit dramatic. One such dramatic incident was during my first solo abroad trip to Dublin, Ireland. The lesson I learnt during this travel was that in Ireland, the bathrooms do not have water outlets on the floor and that they are carpeted for a reason. How did I get this knowledge? Well, by flooding my beautiful duplex service apartment on the first day of arrival.

Each of these dramas are ingrained in my heart as fond memories and experiences. These experiences make my life richer and better. And as they say “Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away”.

05 | Priyanshi Singhal

Priyanshi Singhal - 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

Priyanshi Singhal – 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

My journey started when I opted to study architecture.  My wanderlust was further fueled by continuous site visits and educational tour. I had no one to travel with, so I decided to pursue my passion alone.

My first solo expedition was the Rann of Kutch followed by Mandvi and Bhuj. I decided to explore Mandvi on my own by walking. After walking for miles, I stopped to rest and realized I had reached a graveyard! I opted to stay in a family run guest house, who showed me with their generosity and showed me around. My next solo trip was to Varanasi. To my surprise, the locals there started treating me as a foreigner and soon I realized it was because the only people that were travelling solo there were not from India. I met a local Tibetan there who showed me Buddhist Monastries and Sarnath town.

06 | Pankti Shah (www.crazywanderer.com)

Pankti Shah - 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

Pankti Shah – 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

Brought up in a very small village in Gujarat. I never stepped out of my home since childhood. Traveling was a scary stuff for me from childhood to teenage. I just had a dream cradling in my mind, I wished to explore the world. My travel expedition began after my marriage. With support of my husband and parents in law, I started travelling solo.

Rishikesh the Indian city of Yoga was my first travel destination. After my first solo travel experience, I was bold, confident and independent. Until now, I have traveled all major tourist destinations in India. Some of the Indian states I covered are Gujarat, Kashmir, Leh Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Kolkata, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Orissa, Maharashtra, and Punjab.  I am sharing my travel experiences and solo travel stories via www.crazywanderer.com

07 | Aditi Roy (My Dream Travels)

Aditi Roy - 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

Aditi Roy – 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

I am a 30-something solo female traveler and yes! I am an Indian (against all odds). In December 2013, I decided to give up my “stable job” and travel the world. I set up a blog to document my experiences even before I told my mother what I had planned. It took me a lot of courage and rephrasing of my so-called “I want to travel around the world – solo” speech. I can never forget what my mom said to me after I was done explaining everything (took me a few hours) – “Don’t die and don’t get AIDS”.  Thus, I started my first ever solo travel mission. In the past few years, I have travelled majorly around India (without getting killed or raped or molested or robbed) and I have loved every bit of my journey. I have met amazing men and women and children along the way, and heard brilliant stories. Last year, I took my first international trip and volunteered at a school in Chiang Mai for 5 months as an English Teacher. I was the first Indian expat in Chiang Mai (everybody said so!) and I seriously wish more Indians would know about the concept of Volunteering just as much as I would love to see more women travelling freely and extensively.

08 | Sahithi Pulivarthi (Just A Girl Who Travels)

Sahithi Pulivarthi - 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

Sahithi Pulivarthi – 11 Indian Girls Who Travel Solo

I’m a 20 something traveler from Andhra Pradesh. I have travelled to 17 states of India. Travelling opened up my mind. It made me realize that I really don’t need much money in life to be happy and life is all about experiencing different cultures and meeting different people having nice conversations. I don’t even think about getting settled. I want to travel around and experiencing life in different countries.

09| Priyanka Bhattacharya

Priyanka Bhattacharya - 10 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

Priyanka Bhattacharya – 11 Indian Girls That Travel Solo

When you can’t see a way out of all the chaos, when it no longer makes sense. ‘You climb a mountain…’.  Trekking to Savitri Temple was one experience that really helped me clear my mind, as when I came back I couldn’t recall the chaos, felt like I lost it along the way, it definitely worked for me. It doesn’t look like much but the route to the temple is quite troublesome, regardless I can assure you this the view is worth all the struggle, the temple is bestowed with spirituality beyond bounds. So when nothing makes sense or you are in chaos…Climb a mountain. People often ask me, ‘Aren’t you worried when you travel alone?’ and believe me when I tell you this, it is one of the weirdest questions I come across, the answer is obvious who isn’t? But the thrill of it gets you going, the yearning for adventure gets you going, the possibility to make it yet another wonderful vicinity makes all the worries worth it.

10 | Shubhra Sharma

Shubhra Sharma -10 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

Shubhra Sharma -11 Indian Girls That Travel Solo

My solo first trip was when I was only 26 to visit my dad in China. Over the years, I have traveled solo quite often and have realized it is not just travel that makes you a different person – it’s what you go through during your travels that make you into a stronger person.

On my second trip to China, my return flight got cancelled. With 30-40 minutes to spare, Air China gave me another flight and asked me to check out my luggage and check it back in. I literally ran from one point of the airport to the other only to find out that my bag had been taken to Lost & Found. So spent another 15-20mins trying to find my bag and then ran to the gate to catch my flight which thankfully I was able to. These are the experiences I enjoy more as they teach me lessons on human behavior and how much strength I have to either accommodate myself to a situation or to fight for my rights. I ALWAYS believe my gut instinct. I don’t talk to everybody (old people and kids only) as friendliness, especially coming from a young woman, can be misconstrued very easily and I have made enough mistakes to know what to do now and don’t.

11 | Amrita Chowdhury (altertrips.com/blog)

Amrita Chowdhury - 11 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

Amrita Chowdhury – 11 Indian Girls That Travel Solo

My first solo trip was to Paris. I didn’t know the language, didn’t know the city and had to place to stay when I arrived. On the first day I was very aware and super careful of everything, since I’d never traveled alone before. I couldn’t understand what the shopkeepers were saying. I walked down Blanche on my own, and a Frenchman with a thin mustache who was all dressed-up, caught hold of my arm, whispered something and planted a kiss on my lips! And yeah, I understand, many women in my place would have freaked out. I was just stunned for a second. And burst out laughing when he just winked and walked away!

Don’t you think they are awesome? Let’s spread this post and encourage other girls to travel solo too!

 

The world definitely needs more Indian girls who travel solo.

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11 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

11 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

This Guy is Traveling the World on a Bicycle and you NEED to read his story!

This Guy is Traveling the World on a Bicycle and you NEED to read his story!

This Guy is Traveling the World on a Bicycle and you NEED to read his story!

It was a Sunday evening and as always, Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village was crowded. San and I stood on the main road as we tried to decide where to go next. All of a sudden, he pointed at a lone cyclist in the middle of the walking street and said “look at all those flags!”. We looked at him and then at each other and thought the same thing.

Is this person traveling the world on a bicycle?  

I knew at that instant that I HAD to speak with him. I rushed towards him and stopped him on his way. Thankfully he was not annoyed but smiled at my curiosity (maybe he was used to it). A quick chat confirmed our suspicion – he was traveling around the word on his bicycle! I told him I wanted to write a story about him on my website, and he agreed to meet us later that week for a meal.

That’s how San and I met Mike Roy, a cyclist who’s traveling the world on his bicycle.

On the agreed day, we met Mike in Dilli Haat. San and I had prepared a few questions but we threw them aside and spent the entire evening talking, eating and drinking. Mike became our friend that evening and will most likely be for a long time.

Anyway, I finally got to interview Mike and here are is HOW he’s traveling the world on his bicycle. This is his story: 

DP: Tell our readers about yourself.

I’m 31 years old and was born in the USA.  I moved to South Korea to teach English after college and have been working, traveling, and volunteering in Asia ever since.  

I’m into cycling (obviously), travel (obviously), the environment, farming, foreign languages, philosophy, anthropology, veganism, and lots of other stuff.   

 

Around the World on Bicycle - Mike Roy

Traveling the World on a Bicycle – Mike Roy

DP: When and where did you start your journey?

In the summer of 2012 I did some practice rides in South Korea, where I had been working, and then on August 14 of that year a Korean friend and I put our bikes onto a ferry and sailed from Incheon, South Korea to Dalian in Northeast China.  That was day 1!  I made it to Chennai somewhere around day 1000 and am still going! 

DP: How many countries have you visited on this journey so far?

Up to seventeen countries depending on how generous you are with the counting.  South Korea, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Nepal, plus a day each in Hong Kong and Macau, a couple of hours in Tibet, about thirty seconds in Bhutan, the coast of California in the USA,  and a day each on longer layovers in Turkey and Qatar.  It’s been a total of about 33,000 kilometers so far.  

Around the World on Bicycle - Mike Roy

Traveling the World on a Bicycle – Mike Roy

DP: What inspired you to do this?

Quite a few things – one was that I hosted some cyclists through the Couchsurfing website while I was living in Korea; their stories and photos made cycle touring sound really incredible, and they were both such normal, friendly guys that I got the idea that maybe I could do it too. 

Another was that I met a Korean friend planning to leave on his own cycle trip just when I was finishing a contract there and considering what to do with myself next.  I might not have had the courage to start an intercontinental cycle odyssey if I hadn’t had a companion at my side at the beginning. 

The fact that cycling doesn’t contribute to our planet’s environmental problems is also a major consideration for me.  I travel because I want to know the world and experience the various cultures, cuisines, and landscapes it has to offer, but it seems to me that traveling by planes and other vehicles that contribute to global climate change is actually quickening the destruction of those very same things. 

Something that’s kept me cycling long after the original inspiration faded from my memory is that it offers such an amazing travel experience.  You’re so independent, you can go wherever you want, whenever you want, without making any arrangements at all, and you don’t need to worry about whether or not you’ll be able to find a hotel or a restaurant as long as you’ve got your own tent and stove.  This frees you from some of the annoying stuff about travel, like having touts always trying to get your attention, and also keeps you away from the more dangerous spots like train stations and bus depots.  Even better, it brings you through all sorts of “in-between” places that most tourists never get a chance to experience.  People in villages everywhere are almost always extremely friendly and giving, even if there’s a significant language barrier.  It’s really a heartwarming thing to experience.    

DP: How did you prepare for this?

One of my Couchsurfing cyclist guests recommended I read the “Adventure Cycle-Touring Handbook,” so I bought the second edition and read it all the way through.  Now my own stories and tips are published in the third edition!

There are also plenty of websites out there with lots of info for cyclists.  Crazyguyonabike.com is one.  Individual cycle blogs, including my own, www.threeruleride.com also offer up good info. 

In terms of physical preparation, I hardly did any.  Cycling was already a big part of my life, so I just kept pushing my boundaries further and further.  First to work, then to downtown, then to across town, then to the next town over, then for a weekend loop, then for a week around one of Korea’s islands…I kind of became a cyclist without ever intending to.  Now I can ride 150km or more in a day and still have the energy to hang out with new friends after. 

Mike Roy - Traveling the World on a Bicycle

Mike Roy – Traveling the World on a Bicycle

DP: What resources do you use?

I do use my smartphone quite a bit. 

  • The GPS is extremely useful since it works without a cell signal or a WIFI connection. Maps.me is a great offline maps application.  Google Maps tends to be a little better with the details, but you’ve got to have a local SIM and a data package to use it, which isn’t always so easy when you keep crossing borders. 
  • The Couchsurfing and Warmshowers hospitality sites both have apps that I use to find hosts in bigger towns and cities.
  • Various messaging and chatting programs to keep in touch with friends and family.
  • A compass app to make sure I’ve got my directions right, an altitude meter app so I know how far I’ve climbed on any given day, and a level app so I can measure the slope of whatever mountain I’m climbing.
  • It’s really nice to have a Kindle or another e-reader, since you can carry as many e-books as you like without taking up space or adding weight.
  • I’ve also got my laptop for blogging and entertainment, an old mp3 player with really good battery life, a flashlight for when I’m camping or riding in the dark, and a UV water sterilizer pen for when I can’t find filtered water anywhere.
  • I also carry my own spork, pocket knife, chopsticks, straw, camping pot, and Tupperware so that I don’t have to use disposable silverware or plates when buying snacks. 

DP: What do you do to make money on the road?

There’s a saying in the USA: “a penny saved is a penny earned.”  I have hardly earned any money on this trip, but I do a lot to keep my spending low.  I camp, Couchsurf, or sleep at temples as much as I can to save on hotel costs, eat local food at simple restaurants, do my own laundry by hand, repair my clothes and bike myself, and in general try to prioritize experiences over possessions.  Bicycle travel is naturally pretty cheap since you don’t really have space to accumulate lots of clothes or souvenirs, and you don’t need to pay for entertainment since it’s so much fun to ride through the great outdoors and experience local life along the way.   I also spend a lot of time volunteering; working alongside locals is a great way to make friends and learn about their lives, and at the same time you usually get your accommodation and food for free.  It’s also a nice excuse to get off the bike for a week or two, and a good way to give back. 

Traveling has so far cost me about $10 per day – that’s for food, rooms, bicycle parts and repairs, visas, everything.  I did a pretty good job of saving my salary while working in South Korea, so as long as my expenses stay low I can keep doing this for another few years. 

Around the World on Bicycle - Mike Roy

Traveling the World on a Bicycle – Mike Roy

DP: Do you have any interesting stories that you want to share with our readers?

I have three years of blog posts for anyone who’s interested!  Cycling gets you into all sorts of fun situations, like road trips with a bunch of Chinese students trying to cycle to Tibet, or camping during a storm at the rainiest place on earth, or having a Buddhist monk get me drunk on Jack Daniel’s. 

Around the World on Bicycle - Mike Roy

Traveling the World on a Bicycle – Mike Roy

Out of all the moments that will stick with me long after I’ve finished my cycling, one experience in Laos is pretty special.  A friendly kid on a bike caught up to me while I was making my way up pretty hefty hill.  We chatted over the course of the long climb and at the end he invited me back to his village.  All the adults were out working in the fields, so I just played with the village children all afternoon, rolling tires around, chasing chickens, throwing my Frisbee.  At one point about ten of the children, including a naked two year old, led me through the back of the village to a small river.  They played in it without any supervision while I sat on a rock and observed.  A few minutes later, they all started gathering flowers from the banks and took turns bringing them to me, mimicking me every time I went “Awwww!”at their sweetness.

DP: What were the most beautiful / scariest / difficult terrains / destinations on the way?

Beautiful – So many places.  Jungles, forests, plains, mountains, rivers, oceans, farmland, small villages anywhere….just being on a bicycle makes you so much more awake to the beauty all around you (so long as there’s not much traffic). 

Difficult terrains – I’ve come up against the Himalayas a number of times now – first in southwest China, then in the Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, then in Nepal, now in north India.   Big mountains are always tough because of the long climbs, high altitudes (low oxygen), cold weather, and bumpy roads, but the scenery is so spectacular that it’s always worth it.  Plains are nice for the first day but boring after that. 

Around the World on Bicycle - Mike Roy

Traveling the World on a Bicycle – Mike Roy

Riding in the hot season in Myanmar and Thailand was also pretty difficult.  Sometimes the air temperature got up to about 45C, and the temperature of the road surface got up to 62C!  My friends and I had to stop riding for fear that we’d melt our wheels. 

I haven’t really been scared at all this whole time.  Sometimes it can be a little nerve-wracking trying to find a place to camp once the sun has gone down, but so far things have always worked out well.  There’s always a field or a temple or a friendly family willing to help me out.  

DP: How often do you get to meet your family back home? How do they react to your nomadic lifestyle?

This is one of the hardest things.  My parents came to visit me in Thailand after I had been on the road for a year, and I flew back to the US to visit them just recently, after a total of 30 months or so on the road.  We do email and Skype pretty frequently.  I also feel like if I were living in the USA, which is such a big country, the chances are pretty low that I’d get to see them more than once or twice a year.  At least this way we get to meet up in new places and go on some adventures together. 

My parents and friends have been remarkably supportive – reading my blog, publicizing it, helping me find hosts, soliciting donations of money or goods.  I think everybody has a bit of an inner vagabond that makes them want to support people on crazy journeys. 

Around the World on a bicycle - Mike at Annapurna

Traveling the World on a bicycle – Mike at Annapurna

DP: Have you even fallen in love while on the road? If yes, how do you deal with it, knowing the fact you don’t end up staying in one place for a very long time. Would you be open to the idea of her joining you on the road?

Definitely.  As a matter of fact, I’m going through this right now.  Finding a way to make relationships work while on the road is much more challenging than cycling up and over a mountain pass.  The former takes a lot of thought and compromise, while the latter just requires shutting your brain off and pedaling for a few hours. 

I have often dreamed of having a partner join me on the road, but there are so many obstacles for people who come from different backgrounds.  Cultural obstacles, financial obstacles, practical things like passports, visas, and even the plain availability of decent bikes.  Plus, even if you could solve all these problems, it’s only a very small minority of people that would be willing to take on the challenges of bike travel, even after having gotten close to someone who can’t shut up about all wonderful experiences it leads to.  

It looks like for the next month or two I’m just going to put the cycle away and stay somewhere volunteering together with my special someone.   Maybe seeing this article online will convince her to hit the road with me afterwards, though…

DP: You have crossed many countries since the time you started. Is there any particular destination that made you feel “at home”?  Where did you stay the longest?

Traveling the World on a Bicycle - Mike Roy

Traveling the World on a Bicycle – Mike Roy

After so much time in countries other than the one I was born in, I feel pretty “at home” everywhere.  Korea was actually my home for five years.  China was nice because I had a year-long visa and was able to put in the time and effort to learn the language, which always leads to an easier, deeper, better travel experience.  India and Nepal, where I’ve spent nearly a year and a half, are also pretty special in this regard – though in this case because so many of the locals speak my language, rather than that I’ve learned theirs.  But everywhere else, too, Couchsurfing hosts, churches, temples, friends of friends, and random individuals open up their doors to me and invite me in for a meal or a rest, language barrier or not. 

Plus, my bike is my home!  I don’t own anything aside from it and the 25kg of luggage I’m using it to carry.  It’s got my tent, my clothes, my electronics, and my journal.  All of it is always with me, so home is anywhere I park myself for the night.   

DP: What’s next? Do you have your next destinations in mind?

Well, I was planning on returning to Sadhana Forest, a reforestation project in South India , and staying for a year as a long-term volunteer.  They do really great work planting trees and introducing travelers to a very eco-conscious way of life – living in simple huts, cooking vegan meals, using only solar power, composting and recycling food waste, recycling just about everything.   I want to give at least a year of my life to supporting them. 

However, at the moment, those plans are on the back burner.  I’m letting someone else take the lead for a little while.  It’s a different kind of adventure.    

DP: What advice do you have for new travelers?

Get out of your comfort zone. 

You don’t need hot showers, cushy beds, or banana pancakes to be happy.  Try to adapt yourself to local life as it is rather than searching out things that are similar to what you’ve got at home.  Opt for small homestays rather than hotels.  Volunteer.  Do as much independently as you can, rather than letting travel agencies take the reins.  Be honest with yourself about what you enjoy and are interested in!  It’s ok not to care too much about those famous “sights,” which only make up only a tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of what there is to experience out there.  Get a bicycle and go!

DP: You’ve named your journey the “Three Rule Ride.”  Can you explain what that means?

Three Rule Ride

Mike’s Three Rule Ride

Yeah.   I feel that it’s important not only to be kind to all the people that I interact with directly, but to do what I can not to damage their environments or future wellbeing by any of my actions.  So, I’ve given myself three rules to abide by while traveling (though I lived by them in Korea and in the USA as well). 

First is “No Gas,” meaning that I try to do as much of my moving by bicycle as possible and minimize my use of fossil fuels. 

Second is “No Meat” – I stick to a vegetarian or vegan diet everywhere it’s possible, both for the good of animals and of the environment. 

Third, “No Trash.” 

Few of the countries I’ve passed through (including my own) have really satisfactory ways of dealing with all their trash, usually just dumping it on the side of the road or burning it out in the open.  Knowing that this is the case, I decided several years ago not to buy bottled drinks (including water), not to buy snacks in plastic wrappers, to repair stuff rather than replace it, and in general to reduce the amount of waste I generate as much as possible. 

It might sound strict, but actually I think following these rules has in many ways increased the quality of my experiences.  I wind up learning more of local languages in order to search out exactly what I’m looking for, going out of my way to find vegetarian restaurants, and wandering deep into local markets in search of that one guy with wholesale peanuts.  It’s not as convenient as just popping by the nearest convenience store, but it’s a lot more rewarding. 

Around the World on Bicycle - Mike in Myanmar

Traveling the World on a Bicycle – Mike in Myanmar

Meeting Mike tremendously inspired San and me in many ways. We love how he is not in a hurry to check off destinations off any list. He takes things slow, spends times with the locals, learns about the culture and tries to help others as much as possible.

He cares about the environment and volunteers wherever possible to make a difference. We met him at a time when we had just quit meat but were on the verge of falling off the wagon. However, listening to his reasons to be a vegetarian made us more determined. We hope his story inspires you too!

We encourage you to follow his travel blog Three Rule Ride on Facebook, and subscribe to him on his website. If you like this story, you will LOVE this interactive page where you can see his journey.

Did you enjoy reading how Mike is traveling the world on a bicycle? If yes, you will LOVE to read how Piya created GOTG Club and travels the world!

Mike is Traveling the world on a bicycle

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A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sonal Kwatra Paladini

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