Monthly Archives: March 2010

Thom and Sean Travel the GLOBE

This week is an exciting DOUBLE DOSE with the travelling duo – Thom and Sean from the UK.

I met Thom and Sean via their great posts on Twitter and by xploring their awesome blog, http://www.thomandsean.com. These two certianly know how to write. I can’t wait to follow the guys as they travel around the world and eventually arrive in Australia to party with me!

Here Thom and Sean reflect on their home country, England and share the best with you.

1.      Name

Thom and Sean

2.      Occupation

Theatre technician (T) and photographer (S)

3.      Country of Residence

Currently the United Kingdom

4.      Country of Origin

United Kingdom

5. Website

http://www.thomandsean.com

6.      Why do you love Travel?

I think for us it’s the opportunity to meet new people and experience new things, trying out the world and seeing what else it has to offer.

7.      Favourite place in your home country and why?

Sean: I think the favourite place that we both share is Brighton.  It’s a seaside town (technically a city) on the south coast of England and it is brilliant.  It has gorgeous Georgian architecture, friendly people, lovely little shops and vintage interestingness and then there’s the beach.  Although not a sandy beach but a pebble beach it’s still fantastic.

Thom: Definitely agree with Brighton, it’s a damn lovely city. I’d probably throw in Chester too. It’s where I went to university so holds lots and lots of good memories for me. The town itself is quite small and easy to get around but holds loads of interesting shops, pubs and restaurants within the (Roman) city walls.

8.      Best place for tourists to visit in your country?

If you accept that London is a given for every tourist, which it should be because it has so much to offer, then we would recommend WHERE????

Thom: I guess it depends on the tourist! The UK has got so much to offer and can cater to pretty much any taste! If you like the countryside and fancy yourself a bit of a rambler then head up to the Lake District and Northumberland or down to Cornwall and Devon. Both areas host stunning natural beauty spots and the very best of the English countryside!

If you’re a history buff, your in luck – we’ve got shedloads of it. From Tudor houses Roman ruins you could pick pretty much any town or city and have something to look at. For me, Edinburgh would be the pick of the bunch simply for the castle alone.

If you like you nightlife and consider yourself very much a city-based tourist, then it really does have to be London. Huge, sprawling and crowded it may be but you could spend weeks here without running out of things to do!

Sean: I think I would recommend London, you can’t avoid it, but once you have I’d pick somewhere like Bath, Bristol or Manchester. London gets a lot of stick from the rest of the UK for not being a true example of British life. So, mix it up and visit somewhere outside the south east of England.

9.      What other country would you live in if you had to leave your country?

Thom: Difficult one to answer this. I’d probably go for Australia. Good climate, good beer and good people. What more could you need?!

Sean: The United States. The older I get the more I appreciate the liberty and freedom of the USA. Also, I like the eccentricity. I know I’ll love Australia but I don’t know if I can live that far away from everything else that I know? Part of our year there is to find out if we can!

10.  Best travelling experience anecdote in your own country?

Sean: When me and my friends were 16 we went on a mini-holiday to Bristol where we were going out to celebrate a birthday (bear in mind the legal drinking age in the UK is 18). We walked through all of Bristol trying to find a guest house with vacancies and we finally found one that we named Toad Hall. There were statues, pictures and toys of frogs EVERYWHERE. The landlady was something out of a Hammer Horror Film who insisted: “NO MONEY, NO KEY, NO MONEY, NO KEY”.

Suffice it to say we told her we would go and get cash, at which point we legged it! We found a new hotel and 10 or more years later we still chant ‘NO MONEY, NO KEY!’

11.  Favourite activity when around your city?

Thom: Going down to the Greyhound Racing track in Wimbledon and putting on a few bets! Such a fun night out and very easy to pick up.

Sean: Photography. London is just absolutely amazing for photography, there is every conceivable kind of back drop or setting and I know that I’m really going to miss that flexibility and inspiration once we’ve left.

12.  Do you feel you know your country well, or is more exploring of your homeland needed?

Thom: I’d certainly like to do some more exploring as you can always learn something new about a place. Saying that, I think I know the country quite well. As a kid we couldn’t afford to go on family holidays abroad so I’ve been to many and varied places in the UK.

Sean: I definitely need to explore the UK some more, I’ve still not been to Northern Ireland (or the Republic) and the last time I was in Cornwall I was a baby. I think I’ve got a fairly good handle on my country though. The south is hard and stuck up and the north is soft and friendly. Luckily for me I like stuck up and I like friendly!

13.  Any warnings for travellers visiting in your country?

Thom: Um, not that I can think of. It’s a very safe place. Of course, city’s and towns have there dodgy areas, as they do anywhere, but nothing major springs to mind.

Sean: The UK is expensive, I think Japan is one of the only countries more expensive than the UK. You won’t get value for money I’m afraid. Visit now though because the £ is barely worth the paper it’s printed on so it won’t seem so bad!

14.  Must see movie featuring your country and Why?

Thom: Withnail and I. Possibly quite dated now, but a very very funny film. And very British.

Sean: Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The British are a sarcastic bunch and also quite leftfield in their comedic tastes. If you can’t get the sense of humour then a visit here is going to leave you stranded.

15.  The best book to read before visiting your country?

Thom: I honestly can’t think of a single book that’s worth reading set in this country.

Sean: Probablysomething by Dickens or Shakespeare (technically plays not books)

16.  The must eat dish or delicacy of your country?

Thom: The classic Sunday Roast. Roast beef, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, veg, stuffing, horseradish sauce and lashings of gravy. Perfection.

Sean: Yeah, Sunday Roast is the best!

17.  The top three sayings to make travellers stay in your country easier? E.g. How much? Too expensive or Hello.

Thom: Beer comes in pints or halves. “I’ll have a pint/half of lager please barkeep”

The Underground public transport in London is called the Tube not the Subway. (Sean: and it’s pronounced ‘Choob’ not ‘te-u-be’

Never try to use Cockney rhyming slang – you’ll just end up sounding like a tool.

Sean: If someone asks “You alright?’ when you walk into a shop or when you first meet it means hello, how’re you? It doesn’t imply that you look distressed or dissevelled. You should respond in kind: ‘Yeah, you?’

‘Quid’ is slang for ‘pound’, eg that’ll be five quid = £5.

‘A cuppa’ is what everyone calls a cup of tea – ‘I fancy a cuppa’, ‘do you wanna cuppa?’ British tea comes with milk and often sugar, if someone asks how you like it they’re not getting fresh. ‘One lump or two’ means one teaspoon of sugar or two!

18.  Best time of year to visit?

Thom: I’m a summer man myself. Always lots and lots going on over the summer – music festivals, fetes, outdoor concerts.

19.  The 4 words that best describe your country:

Thom: Eclectic, Historic, Contrasting and Innovative.

Sean: Old, quirky, sarcastic, beer!

Follow the guys on Twitter @thom_sean

or see their blog –http://www.thomandsean.com


TRAVELLING EUROPE – GUEST BLOG

We welcome David Clare, this weeks guest blogger.

David Clare writes a blog on Public Relations and Social Media. A completely different topic, but travelers can be business men too.

I am not that well travelled. I have gone on holidays, plenty in fact. I have gone to America, Spain, Turkey and Greece. But these were all holidays… did I really soak up any culture? No, I just soaked up the sun.

Of course now I have been to far more places, and not on holiday.

Last summer, in 2009, my friend and I went travelling around Europe, using an Inter-rail pass and staying in Hostels. It was a holiday I guess, but not one you would book with Thomas Cook.

I went to the following places:

Amsterdam (Netherlands), Frankfurt (Germany), Munich (Germany), Bled (Slovenia), Zagreb (Croatia), Vienna (Austria), Budapest (Hungary), Krakow (Poland), Berlin (Germany) and Prague (Czech Republic).

I’m actually quite impressed with myself, I remembered the exact order in which I travelled.

I shan’t speak of each place individually, but more so of what travelling did to me. Because it did change me.

I only travelled for one month. When I compared this to all the people I met when travelling it was nothing, my friends I made were travelling for 6 months, a year, 2 years and some could not really remember. They were real travellers, I was just on holiday… but not a Thomas Cook one.

The train rides were magnificent, looking through the window and seeing magnificent lakes, mountains, forests and all the scenery you would not see in England; not because it’s not here, but you don’t travel your own country. Let me illustrate this; one French guy I met said he had never been up the Eiffel Tower, I asked why not and he simply replied ‘have you been inside Buckingham Palace’.

I did not learn too much about the countries when travelling, but I did learn about the cities and the people. I learnt drinking songs in German, I drank Vodka like a Pole, I ate Hungarian Goulash. The culture in Europe is so rich, it makes you feel negative towards the UK. If it weren’t for the people I met who assured me the UK was just as rich, I would have subscribed to the negative thought.

The people I met were the highlight. Staying in a Hostel is the best way to travel. I have come across people who went in Hotels when they travelled Europe;  they did not meet anyone. I can understand why people stay in Hotels on normal holidays, but I don’t think I will ever again, until I have a family.

Hostels allow for travellers to mix. I met wild Australians, crazy Scots, hyper Canadians, cool Londoners, hippy Turks and one strange Spaniard… but he was still a nice guy. You hear horror stories of bags being stolen and people touching your feet while you sleep… all from people who have never travelled I am sure. The people are not like this, they are open minded, liberal and very ‘That 70’s Show’.

I had my best moments going on nights out with complete strangers, and having breakfast with my closest friends. This is what travelling is about. So don’t book it, don’t even Thomas Cook it! Pack a bag, get a train ticket and find a hostel. Meet people, soak up the culture and party in Europe.

I of course need to go to the Far East and Australasia, but I am certain Europe is unique. I really recommend just taking a month off and going for it. I also happen to like Thomas Cook, even though this article suggests otherwise!

—————-

Learn more about David at his website – www.theprview.co.uk

or follow on Twitter: @theprview


Courtney Crow- THE EXPLORER GIRL

Courtney Crow is the founder and operator of the amazing website http://www.explorergirls.com. I was lucky enough to find Courtney when looking for extra places to blog and how glad I am. Through this amazing travel website just for awesome, out there, adventurous girls, I have met some true friends.

Courtney is a freelance writer and photogrpaher. Her most recent posting was at the 2010 Winter Olypics in Vancouver. Meeting the likes of Shaun White and Torah Bright are just the part of a normal day for the adventurous Courtney.

Read about why she loves her home country the USA and make sure to check out the awesome website she has created for us travel lovers!

1. Name
Courtney Crow

2. Occupation
Online Publisher and Professional Photographer

3. Country of Residence
Australia
4. Country of Origin
USA

5. email/contact/ website
http://www.ExplorerGirls.com and http://www.CourtneyCrowPhoto.com


6. Why do you love Travel?

I love travel because it can open your mind up to all kinds of things…adventures, people and places. It’s the best way to learn more about the world and yourself. You always meet amazing and interesting people always along the way.

7. Favourite place in your home country and why?
Just recently I visited the Grand Canyon in Arizona and Monument Valley in Utah. I was blown away with the beauty of the landscapes. It was somewhere I had never been before and only seen in postcards. I went back to Utah to go ATV riding near the Zion National Park and again was taken back with all the beautiful terrain.

My other fave would be all the beaches…Florida, California and Hawaii!

8. Best place for tourists to visit in your country?
Now, I live in Australia and have for 8 years…I would say tourists who visit Australia have to go into the Outback. It’s somewhere people often skip because it can be hard to get to, but totally worth it. Uluru is just awesome!



9. What other country would you life in if you had to leave your country?

If I had to leave Australia I would consider moving to Canada. After visiting here for the Winter Olympics and living here for over a month I have seen so many great things about this country. The people are friendly and welcoming, the landscapes are beautiful and there are adventures all around us…snowboarding, heliskiing, dog sledding, hiking, biking, climbing, sailing….and the list goes on!

10. Best travelling experience anecdote in your own country?
People love travelling in Australia for the Great Barrier Reef, surf beaches in Sydney and along the coast lines and the Outback.

11. Favourite activity when around your city?
My closest city is Melbourne and when I’m there it’s all about shopping!

12. Do you feel you know your country well, or is more exploring of your homeland needed?
After touring around the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley I realised how much I don’t know about the USA and how many more places there are to explore…Yosemite National Park, Montana and so much more!

13. Any warnings for travellers visiting in your country?
When visiting Australia I would say just make sure you don’t travel into the bush or outback alone…it’s so vast and large and people can get lost and disappear.

14. Must see movie featuring your country and Why?
I would highly recommend ‘Australia’ the movie – it is a great tale about the history of Australia and shows some of the amazing landscape Australia has to offer.

15. The best book to read before visiting your country?
I would recommend ‘In a Sun Burned Country’ by Bill Bryson, because it tells you so much about Australia and it’s funny.

16. The must eat dish or delicacy of your country?

You must try Kangaroo! I know it sounds awful, but it free range and tastes really good!

17. Best time of year to visit?
Australia is best to visit in the summer, then you can advantage of all the warm beach days and hit the famous Aussie surf!


BEst BBQ Pork Ribs in Bali


14-02-2010

It does appear to be a recurring topic with me, that of BBQ Pork Ribs. Admittedly I love them and especially the mess you make when eating them. So I was delighted to find a popular lunch spot in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, for eating the delicacy.

NAUGHTY NURI’S WARUNG & NACHO MAMA Grill

See full size image

For Good Indonesian and Mexican Food.

(An unusual combination granted, but it works)

The cooking style on the open bbq at the front of the eatery reminded me of a fantastic place in Huasteca Potosi, Mexico where we had amazing BBQ chicken in a popular tourist spot.

The great restaurant can be found at Tromol Pos No. 219, UBUD 8-561, BALI, Indonesia. Situated amongst lush tropical plants on a quiet village type road, you can relax and enjoy your meal in peace.

Once you have finished with your meal and are suitably stuffed, you can waddle across the road and check out the UBUD Art Gallery and Museum with some traditional handicrafts.

Oh… I really should mention something about the ribs.

Cooked on an open bbq and coated many times in thick, gooey, sweet and tangy bbq sauce. Served on their own with Lime juice and an extra bowl of sauce, you will certainly be satisfied after chewing away at the meaty goodness.

I found it strange to be the only one at the table using my hands whilst the asian guests around me skillfully pulled the meat from the bone with knife, spoon and fork. I have to admit, I looked like some what of a cannibal gnawaing on the bones but I can guarantee I had the most fun enjoying the ribs.

Saucy, sticky and succulent. Naughty Nuri’s sure has some good ribs!

http://www.foodtravelblog.com/blog/balis-cuisine

Pictures taken from:

www.foodtravelblog.com

Save Money on Postcards

Why spend money on Post cards home when you can simply hold them up and take a photo?

You get a lovely picture of a place you visited and all for the price of a snapshot on your camera – i.e. free.

When I did this in Munich, Germany, another traveller near by caught on fast and started picking up the photos and holding them up for a quick snap. I’m not sure the shopkeepers will be too happy, but hey, that was some coin back in the piggy bank for more BEER!

Another helpful tip from the traveller Em


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