When you visit Lençois Maranhenses National Park, do you also go to São Luís?
While travelling around the Maranhão State (where the Lençois are) I met many fellow travellers, that where not planing to stay more than a day @ São Luís , or just went there to catch a plane or bus to keep on travelling. After spending around 5 days in São Luís, I thought it  was a pity travellers didn’t spend more time in this charming city with it’s lovely historical center (called Reviver), long sandy beaches and long Reggae nights.

Where to stay

If your plan it’s to stay in a low budget hostel, with share rooms, and meet other fellow travellers there’s only one option in Reviver: the HI Hostel Solar das Pedras (35 R$ per night with breakfast, without AC). This hostel is really basic and there is not really a nice common area where you can meet other travellers, but let’s face it, is very cheap and it’s very central located. There is another hostel which is located in the San Francisco neighbourhood:  Tijuana Hostel 40/50 R$ without/with AC). If you prefer to stay in a Pousada in Reviver and have more privacy, there is the Portas da Amazônia (from 115 R$ with breakfast included) which is very nice and super good located.

old town_ sao luis

What to do

In São Luís there are many things to do. You can visit the museums for free and learn more about the northeast Brazilian culture, go to the beach, and if it’s windy, it’s possible to go kite surfing. If you prefer to go shopping, you can walk along the “Rua Grande” which is full of shops. In the nights, you can join some really cool reagge parties on the Reviver streets. From São Luís, is also possible to do a very nice day trips to Alcantara (info coming in the next post)

casas azulejos

MUSEUMS
They are all free in São Luís, and all of them offer a guided tour in Portuguese which are really good.

Casa do Maranhão: it used to be an abandoned port warehouse, but after the rehabilitation it became an exhibition gallery for local artists. Go in to see which artist is exhibiting, and visit this nice building.

Centro de Cultura Popular Domingo Vieira Filho: this rehabilitated mansion now houses a collection of all the costumes and dresses that the locals wear for each celebration, like Mumba Meu Boi, Tambor de Mina, etc. They are really colourful and original.

Museo de Arte Sacra: This small museum is next to the Catedral da Sé @ Avenue Pedro II. It contains some sacral paints and sculptures. The best thing here is the view from the above balcony of the cathedral (both buildings are connected) and the view of the Av. Pedro II.

Casa do Nhõzinho: in this house they have a large collection of native Maranhão people art crafts, cloth & necklaces, fishing nets and all kind of daily life useful crafts. The house is really nice and the view from the upper levels it’s beautiful.

Museo de Artes Visuais: this museum offers a nice collection of tiles in the first floor. In the upper levels they have paintings from local artists. The tiles are really worth a visit, as well as the views from the upper levels!

azulejos_saoluis

BEACHES
To go to the beach you will need to take a bus from “Terminal Praia Grande”. Bus 403 goes to Praia do Calhau and Praia do Caolho (around 45 minutes ride, the bus stop it’s across the beach, you won’t miss it!),  bus 701 goes to Praia Olho d’Agua (get of on the end stop). As it was windy when I went, there were people practicing kitesurfing. All these are really long beaches where you can go for a walk or swimming.. They all have “barracas” where you can order food and a nice coconut water to refresh yourself. Fish here is also very good and not expensive at all!

olho d agua beach

NIGHTLIFE
São Luís is known as the reggae capital of Brazil, that means that there are a lot of reggae bars and parties. The most famous reggae bar is “Bar do Nelson“, in the San Francisco neighbourhood. During the weekends the parties here are really good. If you prefer to go for some drinks and hear reggae  in the Reviver neighbourhood, bars like Senzala, or Cafofinho da Tia Dica put music on the streets and a bottle of beer (600 ml) is 8 or 9 R$. There is also the Bar Chez Moi that is very good on the weekend nights.

fiestas juninas_sao luis

SHOPPING
If you are in a shopping mood you can visit the local Central Market located at the end of Av. Magalhães de Almeida (10 minutes walking from Reviver). Here you might find fruit, vegetables, fresh fish, meat, as well as restaurants with local food and shops with all kind of products for the household. Here you might find very cheap hammocks!!!

central market
If you are looking for art crafts and souvenirs, you can try the Feira da Praia Grande, located in the Reviver neighbourhood. Here you can also find restaurants with local food.
The long pedestrian street Rua Grande, it’s also full of shops, mostly cloth. It’s really worth walking down this bustling street to have a real Brazilian shopping feeling!

Getting there & around

I flew from Fortaleza to São Luís, I was lucky I found a flight ticket for 125 R$ with AZUL airlines, just one week before flying. Many people think, that buses are cheaper than planes, but in Brazil it’s better to check every day the flight prices because sometimes you find super offers, like this one! (the airplane was cheaper than the bus… and only 2 hours flight, instead of 24 hours bus ride!!!!). At the airport you will find a tourist office where you can get some information and a city map. To go to the city, there is a bus that goes from the airport, and leaves every 20 minutes (the rides is 2,60 R$ and it takes 40 minutes). If you stay in the bus, you will arrive to San Francisco neighbourhood (the “new” city center). If you want to go to Reviver, you have to get of @ “Praça Deodero” and from here you can walk 20 min through the shopping & pedestrian street Rua Grande, or take another bus, any yellow bus, that stops @ “Terminal Praia Grande” (you will see the list of places where the bus stops, on the side of it, or you can just ask the driver). Get out there, and you will be next to the river and to the Reviver neighbourhood. All accommodation option are just 5 minutes walking from here.

If you arrive to São Luís by bus, from the “Rodoviaria” you can take a bus to “Praça Deodoro” or “Terminal Praia Grande” just from outside of the bus station.

Useful information:

Brazilian Real exchange rate today (30/07/2015):

3,30 R$ = 1 USD
3,60 R$= 1 EUR

Some words in Portuguese that might be useful during your stay in São Luís, as well as the map of the city!

rodoviaria: bus main station
Reviver: the name of the historical center of São Luís
rua: street
praça: square
praia: beach
mercado: market
rede: hammock
azulejos: tilha
pousada: hotel
cafe d’amanhã: breakfast
mapa_centrohistorico(1)

When I decided I was going to Brazil, I had two things in mind: doing kitesurfing and visiting the Amazonas!!! So I started searching for flights and to investigate with which places could I start the adventure. I finally got a flight to Fortaleza with GOL (which was really a great company, even though is a low-cost), but I wasn’t planning to stay in the city, my idea was to go to Jericoacoara and spend some days there, exploring the area.

In Fortaleza I spend one night @ the coolest hostel in town where you can meet other fellow travellers and get a FREE welcome caipirinha: Full Sail Hostel (30 R$ per night a bed in a dorm), and early the next day I took a bus (around 7 hours ride, 55 R$) from the main bus station heading to Jericoacoara.

The bus ride was really comfortable, I forgot how good are some bus lines in South America, where you can stretch your legs and sleep… Even though the road was a little bit rough (if you plan to travel around the Northeast, you will have to get use to it! All roads here are kind of rough) after around 6 hs ride we got to Jijoca. In this little town, I was informed that I had to change buses, because to arrive to Jericoacoara, you have to go over the dunes on the beach (no roads!)… and with a normal bus it’s impossible. We changed to a bus which is called “jardinera”. I have to say the last hour ride was amazing! A real adventure to be able to arrive to this marvellous town literally “middle of now where”.frentcar_jeri

When I finally got to Jericoacoara, after some many months of dreaming about it… I couldn’t believe I was there: tiny beach village, next to the sea, surrounded by dunes & ocean, with sandy streets & alleys to stroll around, protected form the wind, and full of nice restaurants & pousadas (yes… that’s all they have in Jericoacoara, 1 pousada next to the other, and a restaurant every 2 pousadas!).

Nowadays Jericoacoara is very popular, not only because of it’s windy season for the kitesurfers, but also for the travellers all year round, due to it’s charm, so it’s inhabitants mostly live of the tourism… I think the few fisher boats at the beach, are ” the perfect setting” for the sunset pictures!

trekking pedra furada

Where to stay

As I was travelling alone, I decided to stay in hostels with share rooms so I was able to meet other fellow travellers. In this category there are 2 really good and cool hostels which are also very close to each other: Jeri Arte Hostel & Villa Chic Hostel (both offer dorms as well as private rooms with/without AC). The prices changes depending if it’s high or low season starting from 30/40R$ a bed in a share room without AC (low season). The breakfast from the Villa Chic was just fantastic, and Jeri Arte Hostel had the best Chill Out area: was perfect to hang around reading a book, uploading pictures to your FB or sharing some beers with other fellow travellers while resting on the hammocks.

If you prefer to have your privacy there are a lot of pousadas with single/ double rooms which also offer great breakfast and are very nice. The prices can go from 65 R$ per person a night in a double room (Pousada Jeri Paradise) to 1.300 R$ a night (Essence Hotel… with your own pool on the balcony and sunset views!). The best thing of the accommodation in Brazil, is that they compete to see which one offers the best breakfast, and believe me many of the places do a great job: fresh tropical fruit, fresh juices, bread with butter & marmalade or cheese & jam, home made cakes, tapiocas with scrambled eggs… the variety of food that many places offer in the morning, is just amazing!!

What to do (Without money!!)

Jericoacoara is a beautiful town and many of the activities there require money: day trips, surfing & kitesurfing equipment rentals, etc…. but there are also a few things you can do, that are for FREE, and are really worth it! Here some of them:

– Trekking to the “Pedra Furada”: 2 Kms away on the sea side by the beach you might find a huge rock with a big hole, this rock is called “Pedra Furada”. The best track to get there is through the beach: you walk to the main beach”Praia Principal”, and go until Club Ventos, there you will find a path that takes you to the next beach “Praia da Marhada”. Cross these beach, and on the end you will see a path going up a hill, follow this path for around 20 minutes, until you arrive to the rock, you will see it from the hills. The path is really well marked, you can’t get lost and the views are stunning. The best time to go there is for the sunset (from the main beach is around 40 minutes walking). To go back to town, take the path that goes over the “Serrote” which is only 20 minutes walking (check the map below for details!).

pedra furada

– Sunbathing @ the beach: “Praia Principal” is really good to sunbath and go for a swim, or SUP as well as surfing when there are waves, but the sun is really strong in the Northeast so be careful, and try to be on the shade and/or use a lot of sunscreen. The “Praia Marhada” is much nicer, but there is no shade at all (I think there are only 3 palm trees!), and in the afternoon during the windy season, it really blows here. It’s a perfect beach to go in the morning and watch the surfers. If you plan to do the trekking to the “Pedra Furada” the beach there is also beautiful, and almost empty, but there is almost no shade here, too.

playas_jeri

– Sunset from the dune: next to the main beach you will see a big dune, this one is called “Duna do Pôr do Sol” (sunset dune). Every afternoon starting at around 5 pm you will see that many people starts walking up the dune and get a sit on the first row to enjoy the sunset from one of the best spots in Jericoacoara (the other one is from the Pedra Furada). This is one of Jericoacara rituals: enjoying the sunset every afternoon. You won’t regret any of them, they are all just breath taking.

sunsets_jeri

– capoeira @ the beach after sunset (not on Sundays): when the sun goes down, on the main beach you will see a group of locals that start playing the drums and singing while dancing capoeira. Is really a nice small show worth watching. It last for around 1 hour, and starts with the sunset. You won’t miss it, you will hear the drums!

What to do (with money)

– Buggy day trip to Lagoa Paraiso & Lagoa Azul:  if you are in Jericoacoara, you can’t miss this day trip to the lagoons! You can book it from your pousada or just get a buggy from the street. They pick you up @ 8:30 am and you spend the day visiting these amazing lagoons with the buggy (which is super cool!!!). In the lagoons, there are restaurants where you can have a drink or lunch while enjoying the hammocks in the water!! It really feels like paradise!! Take the camera with you 🙂

Price: between 180 R$- 350 R$ depending on the season, per Buggy (max. 4 persons) If it’s low season, try to bargain the price!!!

lagoa paraiso

– Surfing, SUP, windsurfing or kitesurfing: if you are lucky and you have waves, rent a board and go for it! Ride the waves of Jericoacoara (the cheapest rentals are the ones on the main beach, but they don’t have many boards (20 R$ for 2 hours a surf board). The ones with more board options are next to the beach @ Rua do Forró, and are a little bit more expensive). SUP boards are more expensive: from 30 R$ per hour. If it’s windy go kitesurfing or windsurfing!! Club Ventos has a rental, as well as a beginners course  for kitesurfing (1000 R$).

Where to eat

As I mentioned before, in Jericoacoara there are a lot of restaurants! Good ones, bad ones, expensive ones, cheap (ok… not that cheap) ones. You can have from Japanese Sushi to Italian Pizza, as well as a typical Brazilian dish. One of the restaurants which I liked the most was Dona Amelia: they offer plates for 20 R$ which include meat, salad, rice, feijão and farofa!!! They also have the amazing ananas fulled with shrimps, rice and coconut milk sauce, as well as many other local dishes (some days of the week, they have live music!). If you need some fresh as well as energy to go surfing, there is a very nice place on the main beach that serves “açai na tigela”(from 12 R$): Naturalmente Restaurant. The typical one comes with granola and banana. Really tasty and refreshing! By night is also very popular the Samba Rock on the main square, which has daily live music. If you feel like having some take away, there is a woman that has a stand with home made food (from 5 R$ a portion) across the main square. She is there daily from 5 until 10 pm, and the food is really testy! On the main street “Rua Principal”, next to the market, you will find the “Padaria Principal” that offers a daily buffet for 12 $R the dish (you can serve yourself once, and feel the plate as much as you want!). If you are staying @ the Villa Chic, they have a BBQ, and you are allowed to bring people from outside the hostel until 10 pm, so go for it, and use it, you can get the meat, drinks, and salads @ the market on the main street.

food jeri

Going out

After a hole day of trips, trekking, sun and water sports, you still have the possibility of going out for drinks and dancing afterwards! @ the Dumundu Bar you can get a 900 ml caipirinha for 15 R$! In the Dona Emilia, twice a week they have forró night with live music (entrance around 15 R$). During the weekends you will find a party going on @ the end of “Rua Principal” on the beach. All the small caipirinha stands get around a DJ and everybody dances here until 2 am (is free entrance). In Jericoacoara there is every night a party going on: it could be live music, as well as a forró night or electronic music by the beach. The town is so small, that everybody know where will be the party that night! Don’t miss them!

How to get to Jericoacoara & getting around

To arrive to Jericoacoara you can take the bus from Fortaleza (from 55 R$, around 7 hs ride) as well as a 4 x 4 transfer (you can get it organice with your accommodation). The price is around 400 R$ per car (max. 4 persons). If you are coming from the Lençois Maranhenses, there are a few options:

Option 1: Going from Barrerinhas over Paulinha Neves- Tutoia- Parnaiba- Jijoca- Jericoacoara (around 2 days bus trip, sleeping one night @ Tutoia). The most adventurous option.

Option 2: Going form Barreirinhas to São Luis by bus (Cisne Branco bus line, 44 R$), then to Parnaiba (Guanabara bus line 85 R$) and from there to Camoicin (Guanabara bus line, 22 R$). Then the bus to Jijoca finishing @ Jericoacoara (Fretcar bus line, 24 R$). Here you spend the night in the bus from São Luis to Parnaiba and takes 2 days if you go non stop. (I also did this option spending one night @ Parnaiba and another one visiting Camoicin!)

Option 3: Get a 4 x 4 transfer to Jericoacoara! This is the fastest option if you don’t have enough time to take buses, etc…

Getting around Jericoacoara is very easy: the town is so small, that you can walk everywhere. Don’t take any high hills shoes, because all the roads are sandy.

Useful information:

!!!THEY DON’T HAVE ANY ATM’S IN JERICOACOARA SO TAKE ENOUGH CASH FOR YOUR STAY THERE!!!! (many restaurants take credit cards, but not all of the hotels accept them…)

Brazilian Real exchange rate today (23/07/2015)

3,22 R$ = 1 USD
3,52 R$ = 1 EUR

Some words in Portuguese that might be useful during your stay in Jericoacoara, as well as the map of the town!

Passeio: trip
Pousada: hotel
Praia: beach
Forró: a type of Brazilian music you will dance in Jericoacoara!
Lagoa: lagoon
Caipirinha: An alcoholic drink which is made of cachaça, sugar, ice and a fruit (the typical one is with lemons, you can also have it with kiwi, anana, etc…)
Padaria: bakery
Prato feito: typical Brazilian dish which has a type of meat (or fish), rice, pasta, feijão and farofa
Feijão: a sauce made of beans that is served normally with rice
Farofa: it’s kind of a thick flour which is served with feijão and rice
Pôr do Sol: Sunset
caixa electrônico: ATM, or something that they DON’T have in Jericoacoara, so just forget this word and take enough cash
mapa jeri

#getinspired

#travelwithmery

 

Ilhabela… as the name says: “Beautiful Island”

After so many months of preparation and planing this trip, finally the journey begins and the first stop is Ilhabela. This was the chosen island where my friends and I decided to spend a relaxing week after 4 days of non stop partying at the Tomorrowland Brazil 2015 festival. When we decided we were going to this island, I googled “Ilhabela” and thought: let’s do it! this is paradise (try it! you will be amazed).ilhabela - general

Ilhabela it’s just wonderful! It’s a very nice place to scape the bustling city of Sao Paulo, just a few hours away with car or bus. If you arrive to Brazil and have to spend some days in Sao Paolo, don’t hesitate to visit Ilhabela. The island is really green and and its climate is humid. Most of it is a National Park, which is full of waterfalls and it’s surrounded by very nice beaches. The west side of the island is where all the towns are,  and on the east side is the National Park. 

green ilhabela

When we googled “Ilhabela”… we just thought about how nice this island was, but not about the rainy season… so it happened that we had rain during almost all our stay there. Despite of it, we still could visit many parts of the island (by bus) and go to many beaches so if it happens to you too, no worries, you will be still able to see and enjoy most of it!

The North Part of the Island

Above from the “balsa” (ferry boat) is the North part. Here you might find the main town “La Vila” with most of the shops and restaurants. The beaches of this side are not as wonderful as the ones on the south, but they also have their charm. Praia do Jabaquara is the best one. To get there you will need to walk for a while after the bus end stop. If you feel like doing some trekking, you can go up to the “Pico do Baepi” which is a little bit hard, but the views are stunning. Once you are up there, you can walk a little bit more, and visit the “Cachoeira do Bananal“… if you still have energies!!

On the North side of the island is where most part of the accommodation options are. We chose “Pousada Perequé” (around 110 R$ per person), which is located between the ferry boat port and “La Vila”, 2 minutes walking from the Perequé beach. I highly recommend this pousada: is very good located, super clean, comfortable, has a pool and last but not least: it offers the best breakfast ever with home made cakes, a variety of tropical fruits, fresh juices, and fresh pastry (breakfast in price included!).

pousada pereque

La Vila has a few restaurants where you can have a nice dinner after spending the day @ the beach, or after doing some waterfall trekking: Copacabana beer, which is located in the Rua do Meio. This is a nice restaurant that offer from pizza to very good seafood. For lunch they offer everyday  a different dish for 25 R$ + drink (great deal!). Next to this restaurant, in the corner you will find Brasilierinho, which has kind of the same menu and similar prices. If it happened that you are in the city center for lunch, there is a nice restaurant that offers “home made” food: Cheiro Verde. They have 4 or 5 different daily dishes, and they are all 20 R$ + drinks. This is a place where locals go and the food is really tasty. If you prefer hamburgers, and you are still in the center, go to Borrachudo Sanduicheria: they offer a full range of burgers, even with shrimps! They are not bad, but they are not the best ones of the island, and they are a little bit pricey. You will find the best burgers @ Hell’s Burgers. This is a truck that only opens @ night and is located next to the Perequé beach, in Rua Armando da Silva Pinto. They offer a nice selection of hamburgers with different sauces and ingredientes, definitely the best burgers in the island!

For lunch if you are @ the beach, you can have nice seafood at the beach bars, but in the rainy season, they were all closed 🙁

The South Part of the Island

When heading south, after passing the ferry port, begins the “South” part of the island. Here you might find really nice beaches starting with the “Ilha das Cabras” beach, across the Cabras island. In this beach you can go snorkelling and swimming to the island, which is very close! Also “Praia Grande” and “Praia do Corral” are on this side of the island. These beaches are all reachable with the bus from the Ferry Port bus stop. The best beach on this side of Ilhabela is “Praia do Bonete” (ranked in the Top 10 beaches of Brazil by The Guardian). To get here you have to walk from Borrifos around 13 Km or take a boat. If instead of the beach you prefer to do some trekking, here are also the following waterfalls which are reachable with the local bus: “Cachoeira das 3 Tombos” and “Cachoeira do Veloso“. Both are really nice and really worth visiting.

cachoeiras ihlabela

The East Side of the Island

On this side of the island, you will find the “Praia dos Castelhanos” beach, which is beautiful even when it rains! To get here you will cross the island with a 4×4 through the jungle. It’s really worth visiting this area and doing the day trip! Once on the beach, there are a couple of trails which are very good. One takes you up to the “Cachoeira do Gato“, which supposed to be the best waterfall from the island, and I have to say it’s really impressive. There is also another trail, that it takes only 10 minutes and is on the opposite side of the beach, from where you can appreciate Praia dos Castelhanos from above. I was supposed to do this one too, but a big storm arrived, and we had to leave. On the beach there are bars where you can get nice food and drinks.

praia dos castelhanos

Getting around

When you arrive with the “balsa” to the island (which is free of charge for pedestrians, and leaves every 30 minutes from São Sebastiãn)  you have 2 buses lines (3,40 R$ per ride): one goes north (until La Vila, or Pontas das Canas) and the other south (until Borrifos), which makes it very easy to move around without a car. To be able to cross the National Park and visit the stunning beach Praia dos Castelhanos you will have to get a 4×4 tour. They charge between 60 and 90 R$ per person (depending on the season and how good you are bargaining!!!) and you can spend the hole day there. They offer this tours everywhere, even in the Pousadas.

On the North part of the island, you will find a long bike lane starting @ the port. You can rent a bike near Praia Perequé (from 40 R$ for the hole day) to move around. Going by bike to the south part it’s a little bit dangerous because there is no bike lane!!!

Useful Information:

Brazilian Real exchange rate today (15/07/2015):

  • 3,13 R$ =  1 USD
  • 3,43 R$ = 1 EUR

Some words in Portuguese that might be useful during your stay in Ilhabela, as well as the map of the island!

  • balsa: ferry boat
  • ilha: island
  • rua: street
  • praia: beach
  • cachoeira: waterfall
  • trilha: trail
  • pousada: hotel
  • cafe d’amanhã: breakfast
  • ônibus: bus

Mapa-Ilhabela-PQ

#getinspired
#travelwithmery

 

10 things you should keep in mind while packing!

Finally that great moment you have been waiting for months arrived! Only a few hours before that flight takes you to your next adventure… and you don’t know what to pack!!!

Yes, it happened to me, too. I think everybody struggles when they what to put all their favourite summer  cloth inside one backpack for their next adventure, and obviously, it doesn’t fit!

I thought that before we start talking about destinations, paradise beaches, amazing cities and other unforgettable places… we pack our suitcases & backpacks!

Here I tell you the 10 things you have to keep in mind while packing, it doesn’t matter if it’s a week trip, a month or an year!

11209393_1599132017010159_7848103684399317184_n

1) Which kind of suitcase or size should I take?  If it’s a weekend trip or a week (and it’s summer) you should be able to put all your belonging in a hand luggage. It will make your trip much easier: airlines won’t loose your luggage because you can take it with you and you will be able to move around very easily because this suitcases come usually with wheels. If you are doing a longer trip where you will be visiting may places/cities, you should better take a backpack from maximum 50/60 litres: its much easier to move around than those big suitcases with wheels… believe me! Not everywhere you go, you will find a suitable surface to drag them comfortably.

2) When packing, almost all the clothes (or at least 90% of them) should match with each other. In this way you make sure you will use everything you pack and if it’s dark and you have to get dress on a hurry… you might be matching as well! Also dresses are great! They only need to match your havaianas!!!

3) Even though you are heading to the summer, always take with you at least one  long sleeves T-shirt/shirt and a pair of pants/leggings to wear in the flight or bus trips. Flights as well as buses (boats, etc) always have super power AC’s on, and you might freeze. If you want to travel comfortable, always take something to wear with you.

4) If traveling around Europe you need to keep in mind the amount of liquids you are allowed to take in your hand luggage: only 100ml packages and a maximum of 1 liter. If you are traveling for more than a few days, I recommend you to buy shampoo, body lotion, sun lotion, etc upon arrival so you know you will have enough for your hole trip, and you can still travel light with a small hand luggage. The States  as well as Australia and South East Asia also have restrictions when you want to carry liquids in your hand luggage. In South America  there are no restrictions!

5) Even though nowadays all smartphones can take great pictures, if you have a camera, take it with you! The pictures might be much better (better zoom, night pictures option, etc) and you can leave your phone in the hotel and forget about WhatsApp for a while. There are also great waterproof cameras for those who spend their holidays @ the beach, underwater or doing water sports. Also GoPro’s are a great option for those adventure trips and action sports. Don’t forget to pack charger (adapter if needed), and if posible extra batteries as well as an extra memory card!

Waterproof cameras: a must in your backpack!
underwater camera

6) Important documents you should pack: don’t forget your passport and/or ID. It’s very useful to take copies of your passport/ID, in case you prefer to leave the original one in the hotel and take a copy with you. Depending on your destination, you should pack your vaccines certificate. For the ones with travel insurance, check before leaving what you have to do in case of an emergency, and keep a copy in your bag. For the ones that did reservations before, is better to check how to get there and print a map to take with you, not always is free WiFi available. Don’t forget your drivers licence if you plan to rent a car, motorbike, etc. If possible, try to do your check in online, to save time lining up @ the airport.

7) It’s always useful to take some of the medicine you need when you have headaches, stomachache, allergies, etc. If heading to tropical countries, check out which medicine is recommended to take in case of typical deseases happening there like diarrhea, etc.

8) Love reading? Always carry a book with you, at least one!  If you take a book with you, once you finish it, you might have the opportunity to exchange it with another one you haven’t read. In some hotels or B&B they have shelves where you leave a book and take a new one!

9) For the nature lovers ones heading to the mountains check out which technical equipment is required before going there, for sure in decathlon you might find everything you need to be prepare for storms, wind, cold & hot days all together!!!

10) How to pack! Yes, this is always our main question, how do we feet all our stuff into our suitcases, backpacks, etc..

Well, I follow once this video, and I have to say this guy is the packing God!!! This technique is great, watch out all the things he can pack in his bag… and believe me I tried it out, and it worked!

So now, that everything is packed… it’s time to go the airport and enjoy the trip!

#getinspired
#travelwithmery

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know if you ever had this feeling, but it used to happen to me, that some days I felt like my life wasn’t complete and I didn’t know why: I used to live in Barcelona, one of the best cities worldwide (no doubt). I had a very nice apartment for myself located in the city center, in the Gothic neighbourhood.
I had the best friends ever (still!!)
I had a nice job and a nice boss… I was traveling abroad, not working long extra hours, and earning well…
But still… I felt my life wasn’t complete. I didn’t know what to do to change this bad feeling, so I began searching a new job, maybe even changing cities if it was necessary, I like when I have to start from zero in another place: looking for an apartment, getting to know new people… but somehow this plan didn’t work. I was helpless.. I wasn’t happy and didn’t know why..but the days kept on passing, and nothing was changing. 
Things to do before leaving: eat all your favourite dishes … and as much as you can!

While feeling like this, the idea of changing my kind of job came to me (bye office jobs)! Even changing continents (bye bye Europe)! Actually what came to my mind was  changing my way of life and becoming a nomad.

As I wrote before, to become a nomad there are certain things you might do before saying goodbye to your actual “non nomad” life (Nomad as a Way of Life. Part I).

So now I thought I’ll tell you what you should think about, when you are “getting started” to begin this new way of life. Once you decided how are you going to spend your time while traveling (apart of traveling around, of course) there are many things you have to do before leaving your home. Here is kind of the “to do list”:

  • buy your one way flight ticket… this will be your “key date”
  • gather strength, and quit your job (Tip: leave some days/weeks between your last working day and your “key date” to say goodbye to everyone and do all the “to do’s” before leaving)
  • if you are renting, quit your flat contract. If you own a flat, rent it!
  • get a doctor/dentist appointment for general check outs to leave your home super healthy
  • get all the tropical vaccines at least 1  month and a 1/2 before the “key date” (when needed)
  • search for an accident insurance for abroad. World Nomads is very “traveler friendly”
  • start selling all your stuff. Wallapop is a very useful tool for this
  • start packing… is going to be hard to put all your belongings in only one backpack
  • quit your cellphone contract (some companies give you the chance to change to pre-pay and you can keep your number)
  • give a power of attorney of your bank accounts to someone else, in case you loose your credit card, etc
  • get a new passport, some visas required a full page
  • look out if you need visas, and get them in advance (they can take up to a month, depending on the country)
  • if you plan to have a blog during your trip, start designing one some weeks before. WordPress is very good and there are many tutorials in You Tube to get started
  • organice a nice farewell party to show your people how much you are going to miss them while being abroad, and let them know, that you DO expect their visit!
  • eat all your favourite food as many times as possible before leaving
  • keep telling your parents you are going to send them WhatsApp’s everyday to let them know that you are alive! :)p


I think this is all I’ve done before being able to be right now, sitting  on the terrace of
Cumbuco Guesthouse… feeling the cooling night breeze… and the most important… feeling FREE.

#getinspired
#followyourdreams