Is it just me, or has anybody else ever thought that some of the hippies you meet while traveling can be pretty hypocritical? I’ve been thinking about this for some time, and while I’m not about to write off every single traveling hippy out there, this post is definitely directed at a couple of those ‘deeply spiritual new age hipsters’ jetting around the world right now.
I’ve wanted to write this post for a while, but swayed away from the idea of offending people on a platform that we’ve worked so hard to please people with. But, you can’t please everyone in life, so the least we can do is stay true to ourselves. And so here it is fellow hippies, strap yourself in for this truth bomb!
The Hypocrisy of Hippies = Hippyocrisy
I think I’ve invented a word. Well, I’ve Googled it, and I didn’t find much, so I’m just going to claim it. It’s called HIPPYOCRISY, and I’m seeing it everywhere I go around the world! Before I explore this, let’s get back to the roots of this word ‘hippie’. According to a very opinionated and definitely misrepresented Google search on the term ‘hippie’ this is what you get…
“A person of unconventional appearance, typically having long hair and wearing beads, associated with a subculture involving a rejection of conventional values and the taking of hallucinogenic drugs”
So, to be a hippy you can’t show that you’re conforming to conventional values. But, what exactly is conventional these days? Any form of ‘non-stereotype’ takes effort, so just own the fact that you’re trying to be a hippie, or a hipster, or a nerd, it’s ok, I’m not judging you on that part. I could get stuck into a lot of stereotypes or subcultures, but I’ve just focussed on hippies this time.
There’s also nothing wrong with trying to look like a hippie while you’re traveling, or whatever the look it is that you’re going for. Dress how you want, I’d never judge people on that. What HIPPYOCRISY is all about is a person who will dress, act and preach a certain lifestyle to be trendy, and can’t live up to the hype! Hypocrisy is all around us, and nobody is perfect, but there seems to be a lot more of these wandering wannabes traveling the world right now.
And let me add, in many senses of the definition I consider myself a hippie. As a global vagabond, vegetarian and humanitarian, I’m just wandering this earth passing on knowledge about the simple life. I don’t need a lot of fancy items in my life (pretty much everything packs into one backpack these days), but I also don’t need to preach about my body’s positive energy as I eat a bag of mushrooms and wear tie-dye to be an environmentally and animal friendly compassionate guy.
So What Is Hippyocrisy?
Rather than a definition, let me give you an example of some hippyocrisy at its best!
Christine and I are taking a ferry trip from the incredible Kong Rong Island in southern Cambodia. As our ferry lazily glides across the water towards the mainland there are bunch of these ‘non-conventional’ ladies sitting across from us. Dreds, long ripped baggy pants, more necklaces and bracelets than Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and they’re talking about this new age mumbo jumbo. Everything they’re saying starts to get me thinking; “hey they’re the real deal”.
As they start to dig into some really deep convo a couple of them pull out cigarettes and light up (no I’m not even going to get stuck into them about supporting a multinational corporation that promotes death… too easy). The story goes on and the cigarette dwindles down to the butt. One girl in particular who seems to running the ‘guidance session’ satisfactorily concludes on a point, but not before stubbing out her butt and throwing it over the edge into the ocean.
WHAT? Was she serious? Polluting the word with her contradictions and non-degradable cigarette butts, am I alone in thinking this is madness? Forget the fact that she’s just committed Hippyocrisy in the highest degree, but why in this day and age are people still thinking it’s ok to litter? It’s beyond me!
Other examples that really piss me off are as follows:
The ultimate wanderer, living out of a backpack without a care in the world. Probably watched Into The Wild or The Beach a few too many times. Lands on a beautiful pristine island and sets up camp, when its time to continue life’s journey, gets up and leaves all their rubbish behind! HIPPYOCRISY… and a tool!
People who preach to me about balancing my Chakras, finding my positive energy, and how their body is a temple, but then they smoke two packs of cigarettes a day. Sorry, that’s HIPPYOCRISY!
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself on your travels, but don’t tell me you’re off on a deeply spiritual journey of enlightenment while sitting in a bar every second evening. HI-HI-HIPPYCRIT!
A Growing Trend
Unfortunately this example of Hippyocrisy isn’t an odd event along the backpacking trail. Being scrubby, letting your hair get matted, accumulating bracelets, taking lots of drugs, partaking in retreats… these are all growing trends among some (definitely not all) backpackers these days. There’s nothing wrong with all of this, we even enjoy a few. Each to their own I say, but if you’re going to start taking up a new trend, at least pick a couple of the most important convictions and stick to them.
What To Do If You See A Hippycrit?
If you see a Hippycrit, or any form of Hippyocrisy please act now! You are not alone in this battle against the nasty Hippycrits taking over the world. If something looks Hippycritical, please speak out. We have established a hotline at 1800-NO-HIPPYOCRISY or you can visit our newly developed website at www.nomorehippycrits.com for more information. This is PSA brought to you by Jules and Christine of Don’t Forget To Move.
Am I alone with this idea? Or have you seen a few of these Hippycrits floating around on your travels? Drop us a comment below or find us on Facebook and Twitter!
So you’re going to Southeast Asia, congrats! You’re about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. This region has so much to explore, from the gorgeous white sand beaches to the lush waterfalls to the vibrant backpacker scene. But now comes the inevitable question, what to pack? Packing for Southeast Asia isn’t easy. Depending on the length of your trip and what activities you’re planning, you’ll probably need a wide range of clothes, shoes and accessories. After spending months traveling around this region, I’ve collated the ultimate girls packing list for Southeast Asia:
Basic Packing Tips for Southeast Asia
Roll your clothes to make them more compact. It also helps eliminate creasing.
Keep heavier items on the bottom to keep the weight off your shoulders as much as possible. This is CRUCIAL if you’re traveling with a backpack.
Definitely grab some packing cells. They help you organize your clothes in smaller bags, so packing your big bag is a breeze! They things are life-savers! Otherwise your bag will end up one jumbled mess of clothing.
Always follow the golden rule: Less is more. When you’re lugging your pack across a border crossing in the hot sun, you’ll be grateful.
Best Backpacking Bags for Southeast Asia
Choosing a good backpack is important for being able to pack efficiently and feel comfortable carrying around your life on your back. I’ve had an Osprey Ariel 55L which was great and now I currently have a Gregory Deva 70L pictured below.
I recommend browsing backpacks on Amazon to get an idea of what styles and brands you may like. Then visit REI or another backpacking store in person and try on bags to get a good feel. They can put sandbags into the backpack so you can feel what it will be like fully packed. This thing is going to become your best friend so you want to make sure it’s a perfect fit!
If you do want to purchase online, here are some bags we recommend:
This is a great, durable backpack for long trips. With tons of pockets and spaces to fit all of your big and small items, it comes at a great price point too. My favorite thing about this bag is that it has a drawstring at the top to pack, as well as a zip on the front to lay the bag on its straps and pack like a suitcase. This small feature is invaluable when you realize the one item you need is at the very bottom of your backpack.
If you’re buying a backpack for the first time, give thought to what size you really need for your trip. Sizes come in liters, but bigger isn’t always better. Packing for Southeast Asia is relatively easy because the climate isn’t that varied. There are also many options for shopping in the region, so you can really get away with packing a limited amount. Having a smaller backpack may seem silly when you can just buy a bigger one and not fill it, but having a compact backpack will make it so much easier to move, especially when walking or on public transportation. This 55L pack from Osprey is a great women’s pack that will make sure you don’t buy too many souvenirs.
REI is always a good choice when you’re purchasing outdoor gear. As a co-op, they have an amazing membership program and incredible return policy. They also have unique technology in their backpacks, like their REI Uplift Compression which pulls the weight of your backpack up and in, making it easier on your shoulders. After walking around with 65 liters on your back trying to find your hole-in-the-wall hostel, you’ll be glad you have that technology!
Best Day Packs/ Carry-on Bags
There are all sorts of carry-on bags out there, from big sturdy backpacks to those little day packs you can squish into a ball. Base your choice on how much stuff you plan on carrying on a day to day basis (such as camera, sweater, water bottle, etc.). Here are our favorites on the market:
You may have seen Herschel bags explode on the bag market a couple years ago. These bags are sturdy, dependable and super stylish. They have a variety of day packs from drawstring to zip up to strap closes.
Having a versatile day pack like this one from Zomake is super useful for day trips like hikes or beach days. It’s foldable so you can easily toss it in the bottom of your big bag and pull it out when you need an extra day pack. And it’s only $16 on Amazon!
This basic canvas bag may look like a simple weekend bag, but it’s actually super useful. As you can see from the photo, there is a slot in the back of the bag to easily slide it on to a luggage handle. I can’t tell you how many purses I’ve had tip over as I try to balance them on my wheelie bag. It’s big enough to cram all your stuff in, but compact enough to fit under an airplane seat!
This drawstring backpack is made of water resistant nylon perfect for any time you may get caught in a light shower. It has plenty of pockets to keep your stuff organized. Plus it comes in lots of cute colors!
Best Tops For Southeast Asia
Real talk: Southeast Asia weather is like being in a perpetual sauna. It’s hot and it’s definitely humid – morning, noon and night. I’ve found that the best type of clothing for this weather is made of thin and loose fabric. You’ll live in tank tops and t-shirts. The brand Everlane is perfect for this climate. I have a couple of their loose fitting shirts and a couple of their tank tops. The fabric is light and super breathable, but stylish and good quality. I have a few other tank tops in the mix because they are perfect for this weather. I also brought a few t-shirts to avoid the painful shoulder sunburn, especially if we’re out for the day cruising on the back of a moto or island hopping in a speed boat.
Here are some of my favorite tank top and t-shirt options:
If you want to have a special date night or are just feeling a bit extra and want to dress up for an Instagram photo, this gorgeous floral maxi is perfect!
Best Bottoms For Southeast Asia
I’ve applied my strategy of packing lightweight clothing to my bottoms, as well. I have 3 pairs of comfortable running shorts for working out and lounging around. I have one pair of jeans, which seem impractical but you may experience cooler climates like in Northern Thailand or the Philippines and there’s nothing comfier than a pair of worn-in jeans. I also like to have a few of skirts with me for nice dinners or nights out.
I highly recommend one pair of light cotton pants, (which you can easily buy there, especially if you want a pair of the infamous elephant pattern backpacker pants) and a pair of leggings because what girl travels without a pair of leggings? They can be dressed up, dressed down, used for PJ’s or even for going on a run (okay, that last one is probably not going to happen, haha). But seriously ladies, a good pair of leggings is a travel necessity.
A great pair of lightweight shorts are perfect for a day out exploring. As much as I love a cute pair of denim cutoffs, they’re just not cut out for Southeast Asia weather. I find that running shorts, especially moisture-wicking ones, are the most comfortable and breathable!
These adorable little yellow shorts are perfect for standing out in the Southeast Asian jungle. Rayan isn’t the best for humidity but its a thin material so it’ll keep you cool in the heat.
Me & My Tevas, told you they weren’t that bad!
Best Swimsuits for Southeast Asia
If there’s one thing that Southeast Asia has a lot of, it’s beaches. From undiscovered Koh Rong Samloem in Cambodia, to party backpacker heaven Koh Phangan in Thailand to the gorgeous Kalanggaman Island in the Philippines (our personal favorite), you’ll find yourself on a whole lot of beaches. Believe me, you’ll want a few swimsuits. I find that a mix of one piece and bikinis are good to have. You never know when you’ll find yourself on a modest beach and want to cover up. On the other hand, you may find yourself at a raging pool party in Bali and want to show off a little skin!
My absolute favorite sweater is my Patagonia fleece. This thing is incredibly soft and I’m actually excited to get to cold weather so I can bust it out again. If you’ve read Jules’ Guys Packing List for Southeast Asia you’ve probably noticed him mention his fleece. Yes we have matching black Patagonia fleeces, but I promise we aren’t going to turn into that couple.
A lightweight shell rain jacket if you’ll be traveling anytime around the rainy season.The thing about Southeast Asia is that it’s always hot and humid, even while it’s raining. A thin jacket like this one is better in hot weather than something made of Gortex or another thick material.
A simple, lightweight hoodie can be nice to travel with to grab when you’re just feeling a bit chilly, like an air conditioned bus or plane. Its also nice to fold up into a pillow when you need an impromptu nap.
Best Shoes for Southeast Asia
For shoes I like to keep things simple. I pack one pair of flip flops (which you can easily buy in SEA), a pair of Teva sandals, one pair of dressier sandals, a pair of sneakers and a pair of hiking boots if we’re planning on doing a serious trek.
I know, Tevas are so ‘middle aged American tourist.’ But Tevas are so comfortable and these are actually pretty cute. And I promise I will never wear them with socks! Teva has a million styles to choose from so you can have your pick!
If you’re planning on doing any of the bigger treks around Southeast Asia (hello Everest!), you’ll want to make sure you have a comfortable pair of hiking boots before you leave home. This will be a lifesaver on the trail and you’ll want to make sure you have a pair that fits you really well beforehand.
Best Hats For Southeast Asia
Not everyone is a hat person, but I strongly encourage you to bring at least a baseball cap for Southeast Asia! The sun is strong and you’ll want something to protect your face when you’re wandering through Bali’s rice terraces. Here are some of my favorites:
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After more than a decade of backpacking you’d think I have my packing list down to a tee, but once again I found myself frantically sorting through all my options when it comes down to organizing my bag for backpacking South East Asia. As a guy packing for Southeast Asia you’d assume it to be easy; board shorts, singlets, couple of shirts and your favorite party shirt, but to maximize your space there’s a little more thought that should go into your planning.
So how do you pack your bags for a year on the road? In a nutshell, its a combination of research and past experience. I had the experience, but now I needed the research. For the first time ever I actually sat down and did some forward thinking on the climates we were going to be traveling through. What I found was pretty consistent across the board for Southeast Asia weather… hot and humid, with a decent chance of rain.
With that in mind I started to look for light, breathable clothes that wouldn’t weigh me down and take up too much space. Finally I was starting to put a little thought into my packing list. This time I swore I was going to be more planned and prepared, as opposed to rushed and unorganized.
In the past I’ve been known to just throw anything into a bag and hit the road. I’d choose style over practicality, and comfort over space saving. But those days are over, and I’m here to share with you the best packing list for men traveling to Asia.
Best Tops to Pack
1 Patagonia Micro D Fleece
1 Patagonia Torrentshell Rain Jacket
3 Button Down Shirt
Most of the weather in Southeast Asia is hot and humid, so I’m not really going to need too much cold weather gear. In saying that I have still packed a couple of items to combat the odd cold night, and the very frequent downpours during the rainy season.
I’ve gone for a super lightweight black Patagonia fleece as my only warm upper layer. To battle the rain I’ve got a light breathable Patagonia shell jacket to keep me cool and dry. This is definitely going to be handy during monsoon season in the Philippines. (I feel like a bit of a walking advertisement for Patagonia, but I honestly just love their gear!)
For other tops I’ve thrown in a couple of breathable cotton t-shirts, some singlets and my favorite party shirt, knowing that I don’t need much because Southeast Asia is a mecca for cheap disposable clothes at every stop along the way. If you’re tossing up whether to bring that extra t-shirt or shirt… don’t! I’ve probably got one too many to be honest, but when going away for the year it’s nice to have your own clothes sometimes.
Pants to Pack
1 Patagonia Cotton Pants
5 Board Shorts
1 Running Shorts
I’m definitely bottom heavy on this trip, as I’ve packed a lot of different styles of shorts. I’ve only opted for one pair of long pants, choosing a pair of light cotton pants from Patagonia (in case I need to go anywhere classy). The rest are are all board shorts with pockets.
Board shorts are the definite winner on the backpacking checklist for Southeast Asia. They have so many practical functions; light to wear and pack, quick to dry and never need ironing. You can take them for a run, then jump in the beach and let them dry off as you walk home. Jump in the shower and wash them with yourself and then hang up to dry. You’ll never need to pay someone else to wash them.
Even though you can get cheap knock offs of most shoes I’ve gone for the originals on this trip, because sometimes you can’t substitute quality. I’ve packed the mandatory Havaianas thongs (or flip-flops to you non-Aussies), a pair of light Nike Free Runs and some Teva sandals.
Free Runs, or any other shoes with that light, compactable material are great to travel with if you like to stay active. I know they’re not the best work out shoe due to a lack of support, but they sure beat packing your heavy cross-trainers.
And the Teva sandals. Let me stop your trail of thought by saying, I get it! I used to think Teva’s were only reserved for Americans, like it was something you could only buy if you worked for the Peace Corp or in a summer camp, but boy was I wrong. These are by far the best addition to my traveling checklist. As someone with flat arches, my Teva sandals offer way more support and comfort than rubber flip-flops ever could. With a handy clasp buckle to clip on and off and a neutral color scheme, I like to think I make them look stylish, even if your first thought is middle-aged tourist with knee high white socks.
Other Stuff on the Backing List
1 Baseball Cap
1 UV Buff
5 Pairs of Jocks
3 Pairs of Socks
As a guy traveling Southeast Asia there aren’t as many nifty accessory options. As a girl, you’ve got so many more options in multifunctional and beautiful patterned shawls and colorful sarongs (For a full list be sure to check out Christine’s Girls Packing List for Southeast Asia). What do guys get… hats. Rather than purchase some of the cheaper knock-offs I brought along a couple of things from back home. My SF Giants hat to represent along the way, and a super functional Buff (High UV Pro).
If you’re not familiar with Buff headwear you should check them out. They’re extremely well suited to the hot, humid and sunny regions of Southeast Asia to protect you from the heat and cool you down. They also have an SPF 50 factor to limit the suns harsh UV rays from penetrating straw hats and the like.
I’ve also got some socks and jocks, but not too many. Everything you’ll need is here and a quarter of the price if you need to buy something along the way. I’m on a wash one, wear one rotation at the moment with the jocks, and I haven’t even brought out any of the socks I packed.
So there you have it, my year long list of accessories and clothes for Southeast Asia all summed up beautifully in this short post. This is basically me for the year, bar a couple of purchases along the way to restock my ratty clothes that will inevitably wear down and fall apart. It might seem like a few things, but considering I’m living out of a backpack for the next year it really isn’t a lot. My whole life packed into a 70L backpack and hauled onto my back, trudging through the excitement of backstreet Bangkok, hiking the uninhabited countryside of Cambodia and popping in for a swim with turtles in the Philippines.
Last word of advice, pack light and be prepared to add to your clothes selection after seeing how cheap some of the stuff is in Southeast Asia!
What Should I Have Packed?
There aren’t too many things that I missed along the trip. When it comes to clothes a lot can be bought over here. There are definitely a couple of gadgets and gizmos that I might have included, but you can check out that post to see all the little extras we missed.
What Should I Have Left At Home?
Probably just the quantity of clothes. Everything we packed was handy, but we probably just packed too much. My rain jacket was useful for all those rainy days, but it didn’t get a massive workout because when it rains the best thing to do is just get under cover. T-shirts, shorts and shirts are in an abundance and if you don’t pack as many items you’ll have a little more room to pick up some fun travel souvenirs along the journey. I definitely should have cut back on those and as a result I ended up ditching a few along the way.
The first time I ever opened Photoshop to edit some photos I stared blankly at the screen for five minutes, tried to click a few buttons and then closed my laptop in defeat. Having never been particularly tech savvy I just didn’t know where to start! To me it looked more like a space station command center than a photo editing program, and my initial reaction was ‘it’s just too difficult’.
But like all things in life, you have to at least give it a crack before you can give up. So I sat myself down one afternoon with a beer and some new found confidence, and tried again.
Editing travel photos in Photoshop doesn’t have to be a massive mission. Instead it should be a fun and exciting journey to watch your great travel photos become even greater. Editing travel photos for publication is something everyone does, or at least they should do. There’s no shame in admitting that your photos look better once edited, so as a budding photographer or blogger this should be high on your agenda of things to learn about.
Before You Start Editing
Before I talk about editing travel photos in Photoshop, there’s just one golden rule! Don’t ever your new photos edits over your original photo. NEVER CLICK SAVE! There might be no turning back and you could be stuck with those changes.
Once you’re done with any edits always be sure to click ‘Save As’ or ‘Save As Web’. You want to leave the original photo file as it is, and you don’t want to save any permanent edits that can’t be undone. You never know when you might want to go back and make some changes. Specifically once your Photoshop skills improve.
An even better alternative is to make a duplicate copy of the file, and tinker around on that. Once you’ve opened your photo file go to Image–>Duplicate. A pop-up box gives you the option of naming it something different, or just calling it ‘copy’. Now you can play around with the duplicate without the worry of accidentally saving over your file.
Another handy function that might come in use, especially if you make a lot of edits that you’re not happy with is Revert. Found in File–>Revert, this function takes your picture back to its original state. If you’ve made a million and one changes and just want to get back to the start without going step by step, just hit Revert to take you back. Now you can start again!
An unedited raw shot of the beach. Notice the faded sky, bland colors and lack of pop!
Same photo using the ‘Color Balance’ function and a few other edits, Contrast and Vibrance. (Over exaggerated color used for example).
Same photo once again with a Black & White adjustment layer, some Smart Sharpen, a bit of Contrast and Levels work and a Color Balance adjustment layer.
If you’re a newbie like I was, get ready to utilize the extensive range of resources on the internet. I can’t tell you how many YouTube videos I’ve watched over the last year that taught me how to create awesome black and white portrait pictures, or how to use functions like Levels, Curves, Layers, Smart Sharpen, Color Balance just to name a few.
It might seem like a stupid Google search request to ask ‘how to make photos black and white in Photoshop’, but let’s face it, there are much worse search responses than that. I mean just start to type ‘how to make…’ into Google and see what you get. A tutu, French toast, a paper plane and money are some of the top results! No question is too embarrassing for the internet.
Once you get familiar with the layout of Photoshop you’ll naturally start to spread out and experiment with more editing functions. Just sample everything! As long as you’ve made a copy you can go to town on your picture. Open up a couple of different styles of photo (portrait, landscape, beach, colorful, etc) and see how each change looks on each particular photo.
You’ll find that certain pictures work better with some changes than others. Some good beginner ones to check out under Image–>Adjustments are Vibrance, Brightness/Contrast, Color Balance, Hue/Saturation, Black & White and Shadows/Highlights.
A couple of easy edits using Vibrance, Contrast, Smart Sharpen and Saturation.
Using a Black & White adjustment layer first, then altering the Levels on the Background Layer. Next is Smart Sharpen and Highlights.
Stick With It
Photoshop can be incredibly complicated. As overwhelming as this feels for beginners it leaves a lot of room to grow and continue to develop your skills. When you’re just starting out, it can be frustrating to go into Photoshop with a vision, but not understand the steps it takes to achieve that vision. With a bit of persistence, however, you’ll soon learn the capabilities of each tool. As you continue you’ll find your Photoshop skills rapidly improving and your photos becoming better and better.
Your photos are often the most tangible memories you have from your travels. It’s an easy way to show your experiences to family and friends and a reminder for yourself just how incredible your adventures were. With a bit of Photoshop editing, your photos can turn into beautiful pieces of art and accurate reflections of the visuals of your journey.
Did you find our beginners guide to editing travel photos helpful? What tips and tricks would you like to learn next? Drop us a comment below or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter!
And just like that we’re staring down the end of the year. Can anyone else believe this? We’re almost closer to 2030, then we are to 2000! For many people (definitely us) that’s gotta make you feel old!
As another year wraps up Christine and I take a look back at our top moments from 2014. Compared to the last few years we’ve had on the road it hasn’t been as eventful, but it’s been an important year to really solidify our life together, our careers, our blog and our future travel adventures. As always we give thanks to everyone who has been a part of the journey, from both home and afar. Here’s a look at our best moments of 2014.
Being Re-united… Twice!
After spending everyday together for the first two years of our relationship we were suddenly forced to experience distance apart. During 2014 there were two occasions when we separated for periods of two month times. The first when we were anxiously awaiting Christine’s Aussie visa to arrive, and the second when she ducked back home for a few important weddings. They say ‘absence makes the heart grow stronger’, but in this case it’s an understatement.
Re-Commencing our Studies
It took a few years on the road to work out exactly what we wanted to do with our lives, but there’s no denying our hearts are set solidly on development work. After spending a good chunk of our time working for small grass-roots organizations in Latin America we’ve decided this is where our future lies. At the moment we’re almost half way through our Masters in International Community Development, and we’re pumped to see where this will take us.
We just love Melbourne, and it’s hard not to when it offers such a diverse combination of culture, music, food, nightlife, sport and activities. For Christine everything was new and exciting, and for me it’s even been fun being a tourist in my own hometown. We’ve found quirky little restaurants, sourced out free gigs, experienced all types of festivals and made some awesome new friends along the way.
Developing Don’t Forget To Move
Just because we’ve been grounded for most of the last year, doesn’t mean we’ve completely stopped traveling and working on the blog. We still had so many places to write about upon our return that we spent the first six months catching up on old articles. In the last six months in particular Don’t Forget To Move has really got off the ground, especially considering we we’ve had so many other commitments to juggle this year. At 15,000 followers and 10,000 page views a month we’re pretty happy though. 2015 should see an even bigger bump in these numbers!
Booking our Next Trip
So we slowed down a bit this year in terms of travels, but it’s all because we’re gearing up for the next adventure! Two years on the road takes its toll, financially, physically and mentally. A year break to save cash and focus on other areas has done us a world of good. In less than a month we’ll be back on the backpacker trial working our way through Southeast Asia. We’ll have more to report in the New Year!
And speaking of our next trip, we’re also happy to announce that we’ve secured an internship in the Philippines working for a development organization called Philippines Communitere. At this stage we’re planning on six months in the middle of the year, but hey, our plans are always flexible and we might just decide to stay longer. We can’t wait to share with you all the awesome work that’s happening on the ground. And this will also give us a great opportunity to write extensively about the Philippines!
At the moment we’re busy planning away for next year. And it’s been so fun! Late nights have turned into even later nights as we pour through the extensive resources out there about Southeast Asia. We’ve also planned out our travel gear a lot better this time and bought some handy gadgets that will make our backpacking experience even more enjoyable. All these and many more will be posts over the next month as we prepare to leave on yet another long-term backpacking trip!
Tell us, how has your year? What have been your best moments of 2014?
One of my favorite ways to fulfill my wanderlust cravings, next to perusingPinterest and impulsively buying a plane ticket, is watching travel movies on Netflix. And lets face it, if a movie isn’t streaming on Netflix, I’m probably not watching it. Netflix has such a great selection of travel movies and documentaries. The only problem is, you can spend hours just browsing to find the right one.
After many hours on the couch I’ve narrowed the hundreds of titles available down to the best travel movies streaming on Netflix. And just to clarify, this post has not been sponsored by Netflix, we just love their site!
Amelie is one of those movies you can watch over and over. It’s such a whimsical little French classic that’ll never get old. The story, adorable without being cheesy, is based around a quirky and endearing young waitress who finds purpose in doing random acts of kindness for her friends and neighbors.
Her overactive imagination brings a playful touch of magic-realism to the Parisian landscape. If you weren’t interested in traveling to Paris before, the shots of Parisian rooftops punctuated only by the Eiffel tower will definitely change your mind.
Set in New Zealand in the 1980’s this sweet, and at times heartbreaking, film is one of the best I’ve seen in a while. Eleven year old Alamein, known as Boy, lives in a house with his grandma and a gaggle of adorable young siblings and cousins who are just about the cutest kids you’ve ever seen.
Boy daydreams that his absent father is off adventuring the world, but when it turns out he’s been in prison for 7 years and is just returning home, Boy has to deal with the reality of who his dad really is. The acting is superb and during the quieter, more contemplative scenes, the dreamy New Zealand landscape takes center stage.
A movie in which Michael Cera plays a backpacker hell-bent on taking the infamous Latin American hallucinogen San Pedro, while traveling through Chile. He heads on a road-trip with three Chilean brothers to find the plant, and an uninhibited hippie comes along for the ride. Michael Cera plays his role as the arrogant, pseudo-free spirited backpacker perfectly. Anyone who’s backpacked the gringo trail through Latin America will recognize this type of traveler immediately.
This documentary follows 85 year old Hiro, one of Japan’s most hailed sushi chefs. Jiro runs an incredibly unique, world-famous sushi restaurant located inside the Tokyo subway. Despite its humble location and small size, the restaurant has been given 3 Michellen stars and is booked out months in advance. This movie is guaranteed to not only give you a serious sushi craving, but inspire a foodie trip to Japan.
Have you been wondering to yourself where Emilio Estavez went? No? Me neither, but I’ll tell you anyway. He’s taken a hand at directing this lovely moving starring his father, Martin Sheen. In the film Estavez attempts to trek the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in the north of Spain, but tragically dies along the way.
His father, an uptight homebody, goes to collect his remains and decides to finish the trek, spreading his son’s ashes along the way. It’s a really moving story and a reminder that travel can be truly life-changing, at any age. The north of Spain is a stunning backdrop and it has cemented for me that the Camino is one of my top goals for Europe.
This confronting documentary examines the lives of sex workers in three developing countries; Thailand, Bangladesh & Mexico. Although not exactly the dreamy wanderlust movie that will have you packing your bags immediately, this non-judgmental, raw film reminds audiences that there’s a darker side to most tourist destinations.
As a traveler it’s important to note the realities of the places you travel to and remember that even if a place feels like a carefree paradise, the locals may be experiencing a very different world.
This movie follows Raul, a young man living in Havana, Cuba, desperate to immigrate to the US. When he is accused of assault his dream of fleeing the country soon becomes an urgent reality. He plans to make the 90-mile journey to Miami with his best friend, but is torn between his close bond with his sister and his only escape. If you’ve had an interest in visiting Cuba, do yourself a favor and see this movie. It does a beautiful job capturing the intensity of life in the capital city.
What are the best travel movies that inspires wanderlust for you?
Whether you’re a long-term, short-term or weekend traveller, when you decide to go off exploring a new city or country you almost instantly become a different person. A person with their eyes open and their ears to the ground. Suddenly everything seems different, and you start to notice small things that you’d usually rush by in your day-to-day life back home.
The more time you spend in these foreign places the more you learn about them. From places to eat deliciously, sleep comfortably and watch live music, to cheap activities, fun local culture and the best spots for a sunset. Backpackers gather around hostels at night digesting the day’s events and the mysteries of the city.
“However ask them about their own own hometown and they’d have to think about it for a while…”
As you meet other travellers your conversations begin to center around the unique ways to enjoy your new temporary home. You all share your tips and take turns uncovering the secrets you’ve unlocked. It’s an awesome way to truly understand and learn about your new surroundings. Most travellers we’ve met are pretty similar. They could tell you the best place to score a cheap bed, discover a delicious meal or find free activities to do in the most random places around the would. However, ask them about their own hometown and they’d have to think about it for a while. Some might even struggle to answer.
And while I’d like to think I know a fair bit about Melbourne, there’s also a hell of a lot of stuff that’s new to me. I mean, I probably don’t need to worry too much about things like hostels, but in terms of hidden eateries, secret art openings or sweet underground live music events, I’m pretty much out of the loop. And that’s because I’ve never needed to know, I’ve never needed to explore and make the most of it. And most people are the same for their hometowns.
“Having a new pair of eyes on your old tired city can open you up to site you’ve previously overlooked.”
That’s why taking a walk around the city with Christine is so exciting. Sometimes I forget that this is all new to her. All the amazing things that Melbourne has to offer are second nature to me, but absolutely incredible to a first timer. Melbourne has iconic sporting, music, art and food culture. Every month in Melbourne is celebrated with some form of festival, and it always feels like something is going on. Here’s how you can find the best your hometown has to offer:
Host a Couchsurfer
Having a new pair of eyes on your old tired city can open you up to sites you’ve previously overlooked. Travelers have a way of finding the fun and exciting in the most mundane places. Host a couchsurfer or other traveller for a drink or coffee (or give them a couch to crash on!) to get a valuable outsiders perspective.
Hit Up Your Visitor Center
Information at visitor centers around the world changes, but at the least they’ll have city maps available for some self-guided tours. At their best visitor centers have local staff dedicated to assisting all your inquiries. They’ll know exactly what’s going on in the city and how you can get involved. Be sure to ask around for upcoming events or activities.
You may feel silly searching your own city, but sometimes all it takes is a quick Google to see what’s going on. Visit the tourism board websites for your city and see what’s on. Also, check out blogs, news and any other online content you can find that’s promoting events happening around the city.
Walk a Different Path
Got a usual bar, lunch hangout or restaurant you frequent? Throw caution into the wind and mix it up. Read your local food guides and see what’s up and coming and check it out. Take recommendations from people you talk to and actually follow up on them. Talk a walk outside your normal route.
Using these tips to feel like a tourist in your own area will help you appreciate what many of us take for granted. Being a backpacker in your hometown may not seem like the most exciting adventure on your bucketlist, but if you’re between trips or saving up money for your next travels, it can be a cheap and convenient way to feel like a traveler again!
Have you ever been a backpacker in your hometown? Drop us a comment below or find us on Facebook and Twitter!
This will be the first year of my life that I won’t be home for the holidays. A surprising fact, actually, considering how much of the past 4 years I’ve spent traveling. Somehow I’ve always managed to tumble back home after months on the road, just before Thanksgiving, slightly tanned, sun-bleached hair, exhausted and so ready to be home. Then, after a whirlwind holiday season of dinners, get-togethers and much-needed family time, I’d be off again re-energized for my next adventure.
“It’s not the same over-commercialized holiday that I hate to admit I love back home.”
This year is going to be a bit different. This year I’m in Australia, some 8,000 odd miles from home. The long trip to California is too exhausting, both mentally and physically, not to mention expensive. I wish I could jet home for a long weekend, but its just not going to happen.
The warm weather here has been a sort of mirage, allowing me to trick myself into forgetting about the holidays. We’re gearing into summer here and although the shops downtown have a random collection of decorations and the grocery store plays the occasional Christmas song, it’s not the same over-commercialized holiday that I hate to admit I love back home. Instead of bundling up to go Christmas shopping, sipping hot chocolate around the tree, Australia is donning their sun gear and hitting the beach. This transition into summer has allowed me to blissfully ignore the fact that the holidays are actually approaching.
That is until my mom sent me a photo of my 3-year-old cousin sitting in our favorite café back home, a big Christmas wreath hanging in the window behind him. That one photo was enough to send a sharp pang of homesickness right through me. And I finally had to admit to myself- I won’t be home for the holidays this year.
Luckily I’ll be having Christmas with Jules’ beautiful and welcoming family. And honestly, Christmas in a sundress, BBQ-ing in the backyard, sipping chilled white wine doesn’t sound too bad. Thanksgiving is going to be the tough one. Thanksgiving dinner is always held at my parent’s house. Aunts and uncles come out from the woodwork to celebrate being together. This year my cousin and his family are coming out from Colorado. There’s always even a few orphaned strays that get thrown into the mix. The more the merrier.
The day starts early with my mom working tirelessly, baking and mixing and mashing. There’s always a few turkeys cooking at once, one always ends up burnt (it’s tradition). Another is slowly lowered into a deep fryer in our driveway by my dad and brother while we all secretly pray the whole thing won’t explode. The boys play beer pong in the garage while the women gossip and sip wine inside. There’s always a mad scramble as we realize our 4 o’clock dinner has turned to 5 and then 6:30. We eat until we’re stuffed and almost forget but always remember to go around the table and say what we’re thankful for. It’s pretty much the perfect holiday.
“A whole decade of laughs, leftovers, toasts, games and some of the best damn friends I could ask for. “
But Thanksgiving doesn’t end there. The day after is Second Thanksgiving. This small tradition of our few close high school friends reuniting for a thanksgiving feast during college breaks has now turned into 30+ people crammed into my friend Corey’s dining room and living room. This is the tenth year in a row we’ve had this event. A whole decade of laughs, leftovers, toasts, games and some of the best damn friends I could ask for. A proud Second Thanksgiving veteran, I’ve been to this event every single year since the first. Until this one.
But I’m not going to sit here and feel bad for myself. It’s not called Sadgiving, its called Thanksgiving. And even though I won’t be home this year, I have a whole lot to be thankful for.
I’m thankful that I have been able to be home for so many years to celebrate the holidays. I’m thankful that I have the best family I could imagine waiting for me whenever I do and that I’ve had the same supportive group of friends since freshman year of high-school (or earlier) and that we’ve added some truly awesome additions since then. I’m thankful our bond is strong enough to keep us continuing our traditions well into adulthood. I’m thankful that even though I can’t be home this year, I have such an incredible boyfriend who is putting together a dinner party American-style to celebrate T-day here! And I’m thankful he has such a supportive family who has whole-heartedly taken me in and will be a lovely group of people to celebrate Christmas with.
Sometimes it takes a bit of distance to really appreciate everything you have. Travel has always given me perspective on how lucky I’ve been growing up where I have, with such a great support system. Next year when I’m able to celebrate the holidays back home, I definitely won’t be taking it for granted. Happy Thanksgiving!
So you want to quit your job and go travel? You want to escape the paralyzing constraints of the 9-5 world, but you’re worried about the ‘what if’ scenarios. What if I can’t get another job? What if it all goes wrong? What if I regret it?
Well how about I give you one more ‘what if’ to consider. What if you sit on your butt your whole life, too scared to make the changes you want, and then you wind up regretting the opportunities you should have jumped at? For me it’s that what if that makes my decision a little easier as I prepare to quit my job for the third time to go off traveling again.
I’m not here to convince you, but if you do want a little more convincing here’s a couple of extra reasons!
You’ll Get Another Job
Yes you may have worked hard to get your last job, so it sucks to quit, but it’s totally possible for you to do it all again. Jobs might be hard to come by, especially if you’re building up a career, but you might even experience something on your travels that leads you in a new career direction. If you’ve got to start again, at least do it with no regrets and some kick ass stories to tell.
Work Overseas and Travel at the Same Time
If you’re still worried about re-securing a job at home, and you don’t have quite enough money to travel long-term, why not look for work overseas? Education, health care, construction, hospitality, banking… every country around the world has jobs in these professions. Some countries more, some countries less. Working overseas is also a fun way to gain a new perspective on your career. It shows you areas of your job that you might not have dealt with back home, and it makes you even more skilled upon your return… if you do!
Gain Valuable Life Experience
Now more than ever the world is interconnected through sport, art, politics, economics, business, among many other areas. Spending time overseas and experiencing the world tells potential employers a lot about your life skills. Determination, resilience and cultural tolerance, just to name a few. Just think, if an employer asked a question like “tell me about a time you accomplished something difficult”, crack out that one time you hiked solo through Central America with nothing but a backpack, some broken Spanish and a gutful of adventure. See if they’re not impressed!
Life is Short
Now this isn’t meant to be a pessimistic view, but in the broad scheme of things it’s undeniable. Life has gone on for millions of years without us, and is likely to go on for millions of years after we die. Why not make the most of this short time we have! If it’s something you want to do… do it!
Ask For Leave
One last resort. Your job might love you so much that they put your position on temporary hold. Some jobs can do this easier than others, and some jobs might just take you back once you’ve returned anyway. Always remember to leave your current job on good terms; you never know when you might be back knocking on their door.
So there you go, it’s time to quit your job and go travel! And if I haven’t convinced you yet… send me a message and I’ll keep trying! We’re headed to Thailand in February 2015, and you’re always welcome to join us!
Have you quit your job recently to go traveling? Drop us a comment below or Facebook message and tell us all about it!