Categories
Oceania Reviews

How much would it cost to go to Australia for two months?

People often ask me how much I spend during my travels. Each person has their own way of traveling, therefore the travel cost will always be relative. However, two months should be enough to make a few assumptions, and during the whole trip I kept record of all my spendings. But, how much does it really cost to travel in Australia for two months?

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Europe Reviews

What did I pack for Iceland?

This year was amazing, and at last I checked out of my bucket list one of my travel dreams, this trip to Iceland! No, I didn’t see the Northern Lights, at least not with my bare eyes… (more about this in another article). But it was a trip that taught me a lot about loads of things, even how to prepare a bag and the trip itself.

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Reviews

Review: eBags Slim Packing Cubes

For a while that I’ve been doing reviews of how I pack my luggage when I travel, and recently I wrote an article about my trip to Australia where I used for the first time this amazing thing that are the eBags Slim Packing Cubes.

First impact

When I received the first three cubes, the first thing I thought was that I threw money away for no reason. They are way smaller than I thought they are, and I thought they would be pretty useless considering their size. When I got home I decided to try them, so i folded a few t-shirts to see how many I could fit inside each cube…, I was really surprised that they have way more space than they look like, I managed to pack 5 t-shirts inside a single cube! Really compact, and without reshaping it into a cylinder either, almost perfect parallelepiped.

Review: eBags Slim Packing Cubes
Review: eBags Slim Packing Cubes

Packing

What better way to test these cubes other than jumping from hostel to hostel for the period of two months? I think I already traveled a bit, and one of the things that annoyed me the most was really to keep my bag organized so that I wouldn’t have too much wasted space. During those two months those cubes proved how a great investment they were, I never had to care much about packing or keeping my bag organized, because the cubes would do it for me, all my clothes were folded all the time and always organized. I needed underwear? I just had to take the cube where I had my underwear, and if that cube was under another one? No problem, I just had to move the upper one without messing with the tidiness of my bag. Simply amazing, sometimes I even threw the cubes to my bed so that I could choose what to wear, and in seconds everything was inside again, compacted and organized!

Different ways to use them

Using these cubes to keep your clothes organized is probably the best way to use them, however I also used them to keep my camera cables, accessories and computer cable together inside the same cube, so to avoid losing any of them. In this case, being compact isn’t the advantage as you can’t compact something that is solid, but it is a great way to keep things organized. Way easier to find that USB cable that you need for the GoPro, and less chances to lose it as well. We just need to make sure we won’t put things in different places and everything will be ok.

Backpack with eBags
Backpack with eBags

I also used another cube for the toiletries, and again, being compact isn’t an advantage here either. Though, it is perfect to take all your shower products with you at once and always having them together. The cubes have a small handle to carry them individually in a more easy way.

Details about the cubes

  • These in specific, are longer, which means they aren’t real square cubes but parallelepiped.
  • They have two zips so that you can close it from both sides.
  • One of the corners has a net, so that you can peak inside without opening the cube and know what’s inside.
  • They are washable, but not impermeable (don’t forget about the net).
  • They have different colors, perfect keep your bag organized (I have 3 blue and 3 black ones)
  • They have a small handle from the side.
Content that fit in 6 eBags
Content that fit in 6 eBags

Opinion

Basically, the first impact was a bit scary, but it became love at second sight! These cubes are more useful to keep your things organized rather than compacted. No vacuum compaction, nor any other kind of compaction technology. The goal of these cubes is to make your life easier to pack and unpack your bag, faster way to pack everything inside with less chances of leaving things behind, having everything in the same place even if you chance the position of your cubes.

Do not travel without Travel Insurance!

I highly recommend World Nomads, travel insurance oriented to travelers. Well detailed before the unexpected happens!

I tried several different ways how to place them inside my bag, some ways worked better than others, but that also depends on your bag’s format. I also noticed that having lose items inside the bag affects greatly the way you should place your cubes inside. But in overall I never had any issue with packing, I don’t think I could have a better opinion about this travel accessory.

Categories
Europe Reviews

Reviewing the hostels and B&B where I’ve stayed in Scotland

Once upon a time I used to surf couches, but now it seems like just another fairy tale… I still love the concept though, but nowadays I am more into hostels. Those times when I was hooked to couchsurfing, the main reason was the experience and contact I had with the hosts, never for the fact that was for free. However, my last experiences were way too impersonal, even as a host. Nowadays I prefer to pay, and take my chances, I might or might not meet people who I get along with, and to add to that, there is also less responsibilities, as I am not staying at someone’s house. And that’s what we ended up doing in our trip around Scotland.

Categories
Reviews

2014 Review and 2015 Goals

Unfortunately the blog has been quite inactive, against what I planned last year, but surely I can’t postpone this post! Every year I write the previous’ year review and a few goals for the following year, I’ve been doing this for a few years and here I am again! It’s time to review 2014!

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Asia Reviews

2013 Review and 2014 Goals

I have done these reviews and goals for a while, it is nice as a self-slap in the face and / or to see how things went good. Not that I try to follow my goals religiously, but I like to think of them as a path to follow, that some times it decides to take one or two unexpected turns. So, refreshing my last year’s post, these were my goals for 2013:

Categories
Europe Reviews

A short overview of Killarney town

The weekend of November 23rd/24th I spent in Killarney, I’ve passed through the town a few times but never actually stayed a whole day there. I did it finally, the town is the start/end of the Ring of Kerry Route and it should be properly appreciated.

Categories
Europe Reviews South America

2012 Review and 2013 Goals

I don’t write for a while…, a long while…, and this has to change. So, first goal for 2013: get my blog back to life!

I am doing this “reviews” for the past years, and reading my last review and goals, I surely need to do more and planning is not one of them. I think I still plan too much considering the amount of things I (don’t) do.

About 2012, I still want to learn or do something that pay me the bills, or at least let me travel and pay for my travel addictions. It’s easy to say “freelancing”, but harder to do it. I love my current job, and now that I have more free time I should invest it in other ways rather than pubs 🙂

FAIL! However, I don’t regret failing with this because the reason was not only the pubs, but the people I’ve met! Thank to these new friends that were such an important part of this year.

But I am going to get this “old” goal back to life, so second goal for 2013: Learn or do something that pays for my travel bills.

About the volunteering, I won’t do it in 2012 for sure, probably small projects or campaigns like the Movember one. Volunteering is still a life goal, but I am sure that I won’t be able to do it properly in 2012, I want to take 4 or 5 months off for that and since I just got a new job that I really like, I’ll postpone it a while. Probably I’ll do it in 2013, who knows?

I knew I couldn’t do it in 2012, and I didn’t. Movember is still Movember, and I can only support this cause (maybe I should also consider taking my health more seriously). This year wasn’t half the fun, and probably in 2013 I’ll collaborate differently (but still with the mustache).

Learning Spanish! I don’t know why I never did this before in a very serious way! I know some Portuñol, I have the advantage that the Portuguese grammar and vocabulary are really quite similar with the Spanish one, and with a good level of Spanish I’ll have almost half of the world as an easy “target” to conquer!

FAIL! Damn it! I am getting depressed now! However, due to my new (and great) friends, I am getting better with understanding French. Maybe I should invest in french instead of spanish, no? I am not going to make a goal of this this time…

Travel! That’s not a goal, it’s rather a lifestyle 😀 Until now I only have one big trip planned, to Peru, but I am looking forward for bigger days in Ireland because I want to explore deeper that country. I don’t believe I’ll do another big trip in 2012, maybe to Greece with my parents (if I manage to convince them…), but nothing more than that. But well…, already thinking about 2013 😀 Planing travels is really addictive 😀

Ahhh, another big fail! Regarding Ireland, not about traveling.

Peru was awesome, and I need to get back to describe the rest of the travel on this blog. I also went to Greece, last-minute decision and extremely spontaneous! It was great to decided, ask for days off and book flights in just two hours! 5 days in Greece was sooooo few, and I knew it way before hand 🙁 Greece and the friends I made there have a very special place in my heart! I don’t know when, but I’ll go back to visit you guys again 🙂

I also been to London, for the first time, to visit a friend. I am actually going back to London in three weeks, weekends are not enough to enjoy that city properly, most probably I’ll go there more times (it is so easy to go from Cork).

And Portugal, this year just for weddings, three! What’s wrong with people, everyone getting wed now??? Well, still great to come back to Portugal and this time I managed to travel a little bit with my family as well, and see long time friends 🙂

However, this Christmas I stayed in Cork…, not alone though, I brought my parents here for the first time 🙂 My mom’s first flight! I didn’t take them to Greece, but I did it to Ireland. It was great to have them here and comforting at the same time, because now they know that I am actually really well here.

Sports, I need to do more sports…, I started with the gym a few months ago, but I’d rather do more outdoors. After March I might apply to kayak lessons, and keep doing hiking. I’ll try to organize one or two hiking trips, Ireland is quite nice for that.

Oh, no…, another huge fail! I actually kept going to the gym, this year I even changed gym twice…, but I also managed to “recover” those 8-9kgs I lost the year before…, this is definitely a goal to 2013! And I am going to go even further, I might even consider to attend to the Cork half marathon! (This is not a goal)

And I think that’s enough for goals, few but possible to achieve! Everything else is bonus 😀

Ah, so funny….

Well, goals are just good to keep us motivated, not to make us feel frustrated if we can’t achieve them. This year ended up to be one, if not the one, of the best years of my life! I achieved so many things that make me feel so good that I wouldn’t dare to write it down. For the first time on my life, I could do “magic” helping my parents and give them exactly what they were needing and they couldn’t do, money wise speaking. I traveled to a new continent. I did my first transatlantic flight. I went back to Greece, after several years just “thinking about that”. And much more other stuff. But regardless everything, the best was and it still is, the friends I met on this road.

I failed all my 2012 goals, but I achieved all those lifetime unwritten goals. Who cares about goals, if life can be so great anyway? I didn’t fail anything, I just didn’t do it yet 🙂

Categories
Europe Reviews South America

2011 Review and 2012 Goals

Last year I wrote the 2010 review and 2011 goals, which turned out to be surprisingly good therefore I’ll do again this year and see what happens.

Unpacking for 2012

Some highlights about 2010:

I’ll keep this goal, to go abroad, but now with a slight difference I won’t make such a big deal of it.

Considering that I am now working in Ireland, I can tell this goal was successfully achieved! The best part is that I really didn’t make a big deal out of it, it happened almost by chance. I tried unsuccessfully several times to get a job abroad and at some point it was more important just to change my job, when I gave up with the “abroad” idea this chance appeared and I didn’t let it go, again 🙂

Another thing that I want to change is my blog’s name, but for that I need that something changes in my life, something worthy.

Look Left looks like a name’s change 🙂 And I guess I can say that something really changed in my life! 🙂

I need to do something meaningful with my life such as volunteering and helping those that really need it!

Not yet…, but I was part of the Movember Team, I believe that’s a start 🙂 And I just realized that I never wrote about that…, shame on me! I should do that ASAP!

My goal for this year is getting a way of self-sustain and invest sometime to learn something that I can earn money working at home and anywhere, this doesn’t mean that I will quite my job but that I want to get a Plan B.

I totally failed with this one…, postponing it to 2012!

I will keep writing in English

Mission accomplished! This one was easy, and I believe I improved my English quite a lot 🙂

My feeling about 2011, before I (re)read the 2010 review and 2011 goals’ post, was that half of my year was again a total disaster…, but now I think that the whole year was a huge success! Every single step I did was in the same direction, even if I didn’t realize it by then, quoting Steve Jobs:

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.
So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

And I am already feeling like it!

A more deep review about 2011, despite the pre-set goals, 2011 was really another big year like all my latest years. In January I started actively searching for a new job, and because of that I gave up of some opportunities I had, it took me several months to get it maybe because of the crisis, maybe because of my lack of experience, maybe because of my CV. I don’t really know. Normally this kind of things leads to frustration, and at some point I lowered my goals and I decided  to”just move”.

May was the month that everything changed, and I say quite often that if someone told me in May that I would go to Peru in less than a year I would think that person was crazy or just trying to upset me…, and now I am preparing a trip to Peru in less than two months!

10th June, Portugal’s day and the day I left Portugal again! New country, still in Europe. The fourth country I lived in in less than 5 years! I am still amazed by how much my life changed, and eager to keep doing it! I’m only sorry for not starting this life earlier, because I am really loving being me just right now!

I miss my nephews’ birthdays, but as a present I brought them to Ireland, their first flight trip! Well, both are too young and they might forget about it soon…, but I was with them for at least a few days and that’s the more important thing.

In October one of the most important person of my life passed away, after almost three months it’s still hard for me to accept it…, but life’s goes on.

I am back in Portugal now, for Xmas and NYE, returning to Ireland today! Again, looking back I can say the year was a blast again! Some very bad things, some really good, but in general the good ones were the majority.

About 2012, I still want to learn or do something that pay me the bills, or at least let me travel and pay for my travel addictions. It’s easy to say “freelancing”, but harder to do it. I love my current job, and now that I have more free time I should invest it in other ways rather than pubs 🙂

About the volunteering, I won’t do it in 2012 for sure, probably small projects or campaigns like the Movember one. Volunteering is still a life goal, but I am sure that I won’t be able to do it properly in 2012, I want to take 4 or 5 months off for that and since I just got a new job that I really like, I’ll postpone it a while. Probably I’ll do it in 2013, who knows?

Learning Spanish! I don’t know why I never did this before in a very serious way! I know some Portuñol, I have the advantage that the Portuguese grammar and vocabulary are really quite similar with the Spanish one, and with a good level of Spanish I’ll have almost half of the world as an easy “target” to conquer!

World Map

Travel! That’s not a goal, it’s rather a lifestyle 🙂 Until now I only have one big trip planned, to Peru, but I am looking forward for bigger days in Ireland because I want to explore deeper that country. I don’t believe I’ll do another big trip in 2012, maybe to Greece with my parents (if I manage to convince them…), but nothing more than that. But well…, already thinking about 2013 😀 Planing travels is really addictive 😀

Sports, I need to do more sports…, I started with the gym a few months ago, but I’d rather do more outdoors. After March I might apply to kayak lessons, and keep doing hiking. I’ll try to organize one or two hiking trips, Ireland is quite nice for that.

And I think that’s enough for goals, few but possible to achieve! Everything else is bonus 🙂

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Categories
Reviews

2010 review and 2011 goals

In the beginning of this year I wrote a summary of what happened to me in 2009, a great year indeed preceded by a better year, 2008! Well, unfortunately I can’t say the same regarding 2010 and the name of this blog might give you that same idea.