VIDEO: Experience Bali with Jacob Laukaitis


My name is Jacob Laukaitis, I'm 21, and I consider myself a digital nomad, which means that I can work and travel at the same time. I guess you could call me a full-time traveler, since I rarely spend more than a month in one country. Having such a lifestyle includes balancing work with exploration and discovery of the unknown places. The formula I use is to do all of the work-related activities first, most of which is focused on the company I co-founded, ChameleonJohn.com, and only then go on to the fun stuff.

My latest adventure in Bali was actually my third time there, although it was just as exciting. During that time I drove a cool custom-made motorbike everyday, climbed a 3150 meters' high Mt. Agung, found an abandoned Boeing plane in the middle of nowhere and went inside of a massive abandoned hotel.


If you'd like to find out more about me or my travels, visit JacobLaukaitis.com or my Instagram page. 

Need any more reasons to check this awesome dude out? Ok then, here are a couple more >>>>>










Happy Travelling everyone and thanks to Jacob for sharing this amazing video and pics with us! 

Follow him >>  Visit JacobLaukaitis.com or his Instagram page.  

The Chianti Run in Florence, Italy

Even if you are only visiting Florence for a short period of time (I was only there for three nights), I highly recommend trying the Chianti Run as an activity for the afternoon.  



The bus collected us right in the centre and we enjoyed a 40 minute drive from there through to the outskirts of Florence, basking in the beautiful scenery of the Tuscan countryside. On the way out of the city to get to the Chianti winery, the tour guide on board the bus will give you a great insight into the history of the area, taking up the 40 min journey. 



Upon arrival to Castello il Palagio, we are greeted by an awesome host who invites you to a glass of white wine and some canapes. She starts explaining the history of the wines and you slowly immerse yourself in the ambiance of it all. The great hall is home to some of the largest wine barrels I'd ever seen and it was a great opportunity to ask about the process of making these wines at this point, some of which takes years to perfect. 




Once the tour of the cellar was done, we were taken to the tasting rooms where we were explained what wine was to be eaten with what food and in what order, to take complete advantage of how it all worked together on the palette. The tour included the tasting of 4 wines with chorizo, bread and olive oil and cheese, great Tuscan finger food. Absolutely Delicious!! 



Before returning to Florence we were taken to a small Tuscan town called Greve, one of the most famous wine villages in the area, where we enjoyed a nice cup of tea and got to witness how locals live daily, away from the bustling tourist crowds of Florence. 





You can easily book this tour via Viator and costs about £33 per person. It begins at 2:30pm and takes about 5 hours to complete more or less. Well worth the trip and great value for money. 



To follow the travels, please check out my social links! 


Top 5 Travel Experiences, and Top 5 Future Experiences by The Hungry Partier

Top 5 Travel experiences, and Top 5 Future experiences
Drew, The Hungry Partier in Cappadocia

First off, I want to say thank you to Shereen for letting me write a guest post on her blog!  This is always a fun and exciting opportunity for me.

Over the past 2 years, I have been living/traveling abroad and working as a full-time travel blogger.  I have visited 70 countries since 2012, mostly in Europe and Asia.  I was teaching English in Korea for 19 months while building up my blog, and now, I am working hard to sustain a lifestyle of travel. 

In this article, I’m going to talk about my top travel experiences in the past and some upcoming trips that I’m looking forward to taking.  I hope that by reading my article, you’ll get some new ideas for your upcoming travels.

And just so you know, it was REALLY hard to choose only 5 experiences, but I did my best.

Okay so here we go -- Please comment with any questions and let me know if you’ve shared the same experiences!

Top 5 Travel Experiences

1. Camel Ride around the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt


To be honest, Cairo wasn’t my favorite city, but the camel ride around the Pyramids was probably most exciting travel experience of my life. I just did it 2 weeks ago!  The camel ride was 2 hours long and I had a private tour guide.  He took me all around the desert and I got some incredible photos. 

I was even allowed to climb one of the smaller Pyramids which I had no idea was allowed!  I’ll never forget my experience there. 

Drew, The Hungry Partier in Cairo!

2. Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey


I also did this about 2 weeks ago (right after Cairo) and I was blown away by everything about this adventure.  Cappadocia is a mysterious land in the center of Turkey that is made up of Volcanic rocks that look like little mountains.  I was staying a Cave hotel (yes literally a cave in the rocks) and I woke up at 5AM to take a hot air balloon ride for sunrise.   

It was magical.  Just let the photo do the talking!

This photo of Drew, The Hungry Partier, is just too awesome to only have once in this post!

3. The Great Wall of China in Beijing


I was actually in Beijing for a 24 hour stop over on my way from Ho Chi Minh City to Seoul.  And luckily, I was able to get a FREE transit Visa, so I could leave the airport and explore the city! 

From the airport, my friends and I took a taxi about 1 hour to the nearest part of the wall called Mutianyu (which turned out to be the most preserved part).  We only had about an hour to hike up the Wall, but that was enough time to take it all in.  I am still awe struck by how perfectly constructed and long this wall is. 

How could humans even build this?

Drew, The Hungry Partier in Beijing!


4. 70 Kilometer Trek in Myanmar


I spent 2 weeks in Myanmar in January of this year.  This is my favorite country in Asia because it’s the most authentic and untouched.  But now that is rapidly changing because tourists can now easily get visas on arrival!

My favorite experience in Myanmar was taking a 3 day trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake.  Every morning, we woke up at sunrise and walked until sunset.  It was exhausting, but so cool to see life unfold in small Burmese villages! 

Drew, The Hungry Partier in Myanmar


5. Hiking Sri Pada Mountain in Sri Lanka


I spent 8 days in Sri Lanka in early 2014.  This was my first trip to a third world country, so it was one of the most eye opening trips of my life.

While I was in a historic city called Kandy, someone told me about a crazy hike up 5,000 stairs to the tallest peak in the country.  Without thinking twice, I took a train there and completed the 6-hour hike.  I felt like I could rule the world when I was finished!


Now that you’ve heard about my favorite past experiences, I am going to tell you about 5 things that I’m looking forward to in the near future!

1.  Going on an African Safari


It’s always been a dream of mine to go on an Africa Safari. I really want to visit Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Malawi!   I think I’m going to make this happen sometime in 2015.

2.  Backpacking Through South America


South America is the only continent (bestides Antartica) that I haven’t stepped foot on.  The closest I’ve been is Costa Rica – but that’s central America!

I am going to set apart 3-4 months for an epic adventure around South America that will include Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina and Chile! I am conversational in Spanish, so this trip is just calling my name.

3. Island Hopping in the Caribbean


I’ve been to several Caribbean islands such as The Bahamas, Haiti and St. Maarten, but that was before I was 16!  I didn’t have the same appreciation for such a trip when I was so young, and obviously my perspectives are much broader now.

The countries that I’m burning to visit are Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Bermuda and Aruba!

4. Siberian Railway through Russia


Russia is a place that I always wanted to go, but the only thing holding me back has been the visa.  It’s very hard and expensive to get.   I’ve extensively traveled throughout Eastern Europe, and I know how to speak basic Russian, so I really want to do go there. 

I heard that it’s inexpensive to take a Siberian Railway journey (from West to East) over a few weeks.  That sounds like fun!

5. Visiting the “Stan” countries


Central Asia is another region that I haven’t really visited (other than Georgia, Armenia and Turkey).  The Stan countries have always fascinated me because they are very off the beaten path.  The countries in specific that I’m referring to are Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkeminstan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Thank you for reading about my travel experiences!  I encourage you to contact me or comment below with any questions or thoughts that you have :)




A massive THANK YOU to Drew for taking the time to organise this for us! For those of you wanting to read more about his adventures, please check out his site here: The Hungry Partier ... you won't regret it, it's full of awesomeness!

To catch his adventures LIVE and to travel with Drew make sure you add him on SnapChat (@Drewbinsky) - currently travelling through Ukraine! Saving me from my current 9-5 worklife one snap at a time :D 



Top 3 things to do in Casemates Square, Gibraltar



Casemates Square, surrounded by bastion walls and once a square used for public executions it is now the entrance to Gibraltar's shopping district. Used for special events such as National Day and throughout the year for shows, festivals and nightlife, this place is definitely worth a visit if you come to Gibraltar.  


1. Enjoy Mediterranean culinary delights from a wide range of cuisines

From pizzas to pub grub to fish & chips and spanish tapas, there is always something for everyone. Try out The Square Cafe for typical spanish raciones, Cafe Solo for the most interesting salads and delicious pasta dishes and try out The Little Rock for some Sunday roast and its amazing pulled pork burger. 

2. Enjoy some duty free shopping and take a break in the square's coffee shops

Need some sort of electronic or looking for products to add to your make-up bag? Gibraltar has a history of shopkeepers and traders dating back to 1800's when new trade was brought in via the port. Its best buys includes perfume, jewellery, electronics and cosmetics.


3. Visit the Gibraltar Crystal 

Right at the entrance of Main Street, visit the Gibraltar Crystal and watch these glass blowers at work creating a range of delicate pieces you can get as souvenirs of Gibraltar. 



Casemates is also home to several special events held throughout year, such as National Day (10th Sept), May Day (1st May) and New Year's Eve celebrations (31st Dec) and becomes quite the sight when most of Gibraltar's population congregates in this square to celebrate these wonderful holidays. 

More so, throughout summer it is home to the annual Summer Nights programme, which this year is on Thursdays and Saturdays. Enjoy summer nights which hosts a mix of talents on show, from local dance groups to X-factor and BGT contestants. Always something for everyone, with bouncy castle, small market and face painting for the kids. 


In Gibraltar today? Head to Casemates square for a relaxing afternoon spent with loved ones. For more news and information on summer nights, check out their facebook page here 


Things to do in Gibraltar - For First Time Travellers

Gibraltar hosts a vast array of historical, cultural and gastronomical wealth of information. It sits at the southern part of Europe and is home to around 30,000 people. If it's your first time travelling to Gibraltar, I suggest you try and experience a bit of all of these aspects that make Gibraltar unique. 


The Rock of Gibraltar - Eastern view 
My top picks are:

1. Visit the Upper Rock Nature Reserve. 

You can spend as much or as little time as you want in the nature reserve depending on how you plan to visit this treasure on the Rock full of flora and fauna features for you to enjoy. At 426 m above sea level, you will enjoy seeing truly breathtaking views of Gibraltar, Spain and Morocco. 


Gibraltar - Europa Point and Morocco in the distance
In my opinion, I suggest you do not miss these places of interest and attractions: 
Great Siege Tunnels - A fantastic network which immerses you into a Gibraltar through the siege 
Apes Den - A tourist favourite, seeing these guys in their natural habitat
St Michael's Cave - This wondrous place will leave you mesmerized. Also used for concerts and special events 
WWII tunnels
Princess Caroline's Battery - For great views of the Rock and beyond  
Moorish Castle - To view the Moorish baths and views of the Old Town


Gibraltar Barbary apes at St Michaels' Cave
There are various routes you can take to visit the nature reserve. Some as follows: 

Walk it - if you love nature treks and have time to wander then try walking the reserve. Some parts are quite challenging  (426m ascent challenging), but it is definitely a great way to visit all the sightseeing spots mentioned above. Entrance ticket to the reserve will cost you £10.00pp and £0.50p entry for walkers. 

Take a bus tour - if you are pressed for time or don't fancy walking, try a Gibraltar Rock Tour. There are various companies in Gibraltar that organises them to include Blands Travel, MH Blands and Parodytur or flag down any standard white taxi you see as they also conduct private tours of the rock (max 8 persons). 

The standard bus rock tour takes about 1.5 hours and visits Europa point, St Michaels Cave and the Apes Den, some can extend it to include the WWII tunnels. I know I also mentioned the Great Siege tunnels and Moorish Castle on my list above, these can only be done trough a private tour of the rock which you need to clarify that that's what you want to the above mentioned companies when you contact them.  The tours are wonderful as you get a great running commentary by the driver guides on the history of Gibraltar. 


Europa Point - Sirkorski's monument 
Hop on the cable car - a 6 min cable car journey will take you to the Top of the Rock station, the highest peak in Gibraltar. At the top station, you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea overlooking the sea across Europe and Africa and if lucky, get to see the monkeys too, outside of the Apes Den. A great place for taking in the breathtaking views of Gibraltar and the straits. 

2. Visit Gibraltar's shopping district - Main Street 

From high fashion stores to electronics, perfume and cosmetics, Main Street is home to a series of VAT free stores which millions of tourists enjoy over the year. 

To enjoy some fine cuisine, head to Casemates square (entrance to Main Street) where you will find a range or bars and restaurants to suit your taste. Want to visit Albert Hammond's restaurant here in Gibraltar? Head over to The Little Rock


Main Street, Gibraltar

3. Go on a Dolphin trip 

Capture these awesome mammals in their natural environment, leaping out of the waters in Gibraltar's bay. There are two companies that organise these trips Dolphin Adventure (the Yellow boat) and Dolphin Safari (the Blue boat). 

Enjoy a 1hr trip across the bay to see the dolphins and also beautiful views of the rock from afar. 


Marina Bay - Dolphin Trip collection point

4. Visit the Gibraltar museum 

Located in the heart of Main Street it is home to a vast collection history and natural history artefacts from Gibraltar through the ages, going back to the origins of the Rock through the Jurassic period around 200 million years ago. 

There is the Neanderthal and Great Siege exhibits and a wonderfully put together 15 min video introduction to Gibraltar. It also houses Moorish baths (part of ongoing archeological work in the area). 

The Museum is located right next to the Bristol Hotel and you can get there by walking through Main Street or grabbing a taxi this hotel. Entry is £2 per adult and is closed on Sundays and public holidays.  

Archaeological excavation at entrance to Gibraltar Museum, with night illumination, AquilaGib

Come and visit this fantastic place, great warm weather now in summertime and always something to do! 

Ben Nevis Trek - The Five Commandments for Survival

We did it! We made it to the top of the UK's highest mountain - Ben Nevis, Scotland. We took part in a charity event held by Macmillan cancer support group this past weekend, July 11th 2015 and it was the best and worst challenge we had done to date! 

Shereen & Dylan before the Ben Nevis Trek  

#TeamMacmillan preparations at Fort William

Love adventure and want to try something new?! Get in touch with #TeamMacmillan and make it a worthy cause! They were incredibly well organised and trip included bus transfers to and from Glasgow, experienced guides from Charity Challenges, dinner before setting out and the breakfast of champions on your return after the descent! 

Here are some tips we recommend to anyone wanting to conquer this beast: 

1. Thou shalt NOT forget your waterproof jacket or trousers 

The absolute biggest mistake we made was not to take waterproof trousers. We ended up getting hypothermia stage 1, nearly 2 because of it. A good pair of waterproof jacket and trousers means the likely rain you'll get on the mountain won't seep through your warm clothes. We did three quarters of the trek soaked and it wasn't a good way to experience it. 

Never. Forget. Waterproofs. 


At the Summit of Ben Nevis - Wind, Rain & Snowy conditions


2. Thou shalt stick to the path and listen to your guide and never say you can't. 

Our guide was called Phil and he knew exactly what he was doing, which is always comforting when you don't know what to expect up there. 

Listen to your guide as he will give you great advice on how to keep warm and on how to keep putting one foot in front of the other to get to the top. 

There were 10 of us in the group and our guide made sure we all made it up there as a team and got back down as a team. He literally cured our hypothermia with extra clothes and warm drinks he gave us. 

Never say you can't. Because of the really cold weather conditions up there, there was a point we decided we wanted to turn back. Then we remembered why we were doing this and really pushed through. 


3. Thou shalt make sure you have a full kit 

In our experience, these are some essential things you need for this: 
- boiling orange juice in flask 
- two pairs of gloves - one for the ascent and new warm ones for the descent

- dry clothes - for after the trek and for the mountain 
- waterproof bags - to put everything in so your electronics and extra clothes don't get wet. 

- head torch - if you are doing this at night, it's essential. At one point I thought I could hear waves crashing against the mountain, on our descend when the sun had risen, my waves crashing turned out to be a waterfall! 
We recommend one that can adjust angles, so that you don't shine your light straight into people's eyes. 

- thick socks, really thick socks 
- good walking shoes 

- first aid kit 
- food and energy supplies, mix sour and sweet nibbles 

- go pro camera / waterproof camera - you don't want to get up there and not be able to cherish the moments. We took a go pro as it's waterproof and actually survived the -2 degree weather conditions we got at the top. 


4. Thou shalt admire the beautiful views

Somewhere in between heaven and earth you have landscapes you only thought possible on lord of the rings. Take in these sights as this is what made the trek completely worth it for us.  

Sottish Highlands

Weather clearing up after sunrise on Ben Nevis - image does NOT do scenery justice

5. Thou shalt take pride in reaching the top 

Not everyone makes it to the top, at 1344 meters in difficult weather conditions, battling wind, rain and snow. So make sure you enjoy reaching the top. 

Don't be too harsh on yourself if you reach the top and not see anything. The chances of you getting a good clear sky up there is 1 in 5! On the way down, the views are amazing and these photos do not do it justice. 


At the Summit on Ben Nevis

Completing our Ben Nevis Midnight Challenge

I totally recommend this hike to anyone and everyone that loves a bit of adventure and the outdoors. It's tough and took us about 9 hours, starting at midnight. I suggest you go with a guide if you want to do the challenge at night like we did. Have a look at Hiking @ Macmillan on Facebook to make it a meaningful challenge and also to make it a team challenge as we undertook this with about 130 other people! Absolutely fantastic!! 

#TeamMacmillan organising our dinner and breakfast for the entire group for Ben Nevis Trek
  
Completing the Ben Nevis Midnight Challenge with Macmillan Cancer Support on July 11th 2015
   
Anyone still wishing to donate to our cause (Macmillan Cancer Support, UK) please do so here:
https://www.justgiving.com/shereen-dylan/

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE!!

Where to Eat in Gibraltar? Try The Little Rock Cafe in Casemates Square


Lying in the heart of Casemates square lies a tiny gem of a restaurant called The Little Rock Cafe. A true testament to the words "gastronomy at its finest". To give you a bit of history and to be able to fully immerse yourself in The Little Rock Cafe, let's start with its location ... Casemates Square was once used as a space for public executions many years ago and sits at the beginning of Gibraltar's now main retail hub, Main Street. Casemates has been transformed into a leisure area where restaurants, retail shops and cafes now house a vast array of treats for all tastes.  

The squares chambers themselves were once military barracks which were transformed into the restaurants that now serve the place. The restaurant gem in particular is our friendly and favourite The Little Rock Cafe!

The Little Rock Cafe has just undergone some refurbishment to it, aesthetically and on its new menu, now being served daily. Some of the new and tasty features to it look like this: 



Our favourite one in particular has to be the slow cooked (8hr!) Pulled Pork Burger. The meat is exquisite and just melts with each bite, its incredibly filling and a wonderful delight! 




The Little Rock Cafe is a popular restaurant with the locals and it is even able to host various types of events, from birthdays to baptisms, it can cater for 100 people inside and a further 80 people on their terrace.... it can even be closed exclusively for you for parties of 50 people or more! 




If you are in Gibraltar and stuck for a place to eat, head down to this place to reel in a bit of Gibraltar's history as it proudly displays some of the memorabilia of one of its famous owners and world renown artist - Albert Hammond OBE - you won't be disappointed! 

For further information on The Little Rock Cafe, check them out here >>Website  Facebook Contact

Visiting the Spanish city of Leon - What to See & Where to Eat

Leon is one of those cities that your heart falls in love with and can’t forget. A city that you wished you had discovered years ago and will go straight onto your ‘Top cities in the world’ list.


It is a humble city that boasts only 130,000 and the city used to be a separate Kingdom and holds all the wealth that a kingdom should. The cathedral is one of the greatest I have ever seen. Unknown for it’s beauty and outshines the most famous cathedrals in the world.



With it’s incredible architecture that is a cross between old Spain and antique Paris you will fall in love with the buildings, the shops and the infinite amount of places to stop for memorable coffee.



You will see many flocking from Madrid to enjoy the huge array of boutique shops that this small city offers with a train that only takes 2 hours from the centre to the centre.
If you like old cities with culture bursting from its seams, a huge array of shops to empty those pockets and incredible places to eat, then Leon is a city you need to discover.

Places to visit:
León Cathedral
Plaza de San Marcos
Gaudí's Casa de los Botines



Places to Eat:
Valenciano for Churro and Chocolate
Mona Lisa – Beautiful setting and the cheapest place for breakfast in the city
Casco antigo is where you go for late night  drinking among the old buildings.

La Masera Bakery – For the best fruit brioche in the world




Dylan's good friend Samuel Hextall tells us all about this beautiful place and how you just need to go visit it once in your life! 

Have you ever travelled here? Tell us all about it!