Seven Months on the Road

seven months on the road - zentravellers at machu picchu

This is an exciting time for us here at Zen Travellers as we are now 7 months and half way in to our trip around the world!  When we first left home it was definitely exciting, but also a little bit nerve wracking.  Given that we were leaving our jobs and selling most of our belongings, that’s probably understandable.   Well, this big trip is still as exciting as it was at the beginning but the nerves have faded as we’ve settled nicely into a life on the road. The pages of our passports are a little more cluttered and looking at the map, we’ve certainly covered a lot of ground and seen a hell of a lot, including: amazing mountainous landscapes, deserts, forests, lakes, rivers, oceans, and more.

In addition to being mesmerized by incredible landscapes, we’ve been lucky to see a variety of rare and unique wildlife, and Thea’s lifelist of birds has exploded.  We’ve had some humbling experiences, scary situations, learned about different cultures, and met a tonne of amazing people along the way.  Most recently, we capped off the half way point with a 10 day cruise to Antarctica. This was truly an incredible experience to see a one of a kind place most don’t even dare to dream of visiting, and one that we’ll not soon forget.

Continue reading “Seven Months on the Road”

RTW Update – What to do in Beautiful Bolivia

The Summit of Pico Austria in the Cordillera Real

It’s been a while since our last RTW update about travelling through Peru so here is our post about what to do in Bolivia. The country blew us away with its diversity, amazing natural scenery, and super fun adventurous pursuits. We made friends with parrots and coatis at a wildlife sanctuary, hiked to our highest height yet, played with perspective on the world’s largest salt flats, and survived the famous death road among other exciting things. Bolivia is an incredible place to visit and somewhere we would love to explore again.

Continue reading “RTW Update – What to do in Beautiful Bolivia”

The Best Things to Do in La Paz Bolivia

La Paz Teleferico

La Paz, Bolivia’s administrative capital is a fascinating place.  Many people use it as the starting point for a trip to the world-reknowned Uyuni Salt Flats or a thrilling trip down the famous “death road”.  The city has a way of doing everything it’s own way and with it’s own unique character. Whether watching the ladies at Cholita’s wrestling fly, getting a bird’s eye view of the city from its one of a kind network of cable cars that soar above, or losing yourself in Mercado Lanza’s winding halls, La Paz is a delight to discover.  Read on for our recommendations on the best things to do in La Paz, Bolivia.

Continue reading “The Best Things to Do in La Paz Bolivia”

How we Saved for a Trip Around The World

Zentravellers on Huayna Potosi

We are currently 4 months and 5 countries into our 14 month trip around the world. By far one of the questions we often get is a resounding “HOW???!!”
In other words, “how on earth did you
save for your trip around the world?” Or my favourite, “you guys must be millionaires!” (HA!) Seemingly not many people can imagine quitting their jobs and living solely on savings for 14 months . Some ask how much we’re spending, other seem curious but are too polite and the social norms of not talking about money prevent them from doing so. So we’re going to put it out there – this post will detail how we saved for a year long trip around the world! In doing so, we hope to inspire others to let go of what may be holding them back from acting on the same dream.
While a trip around the world does not have to be as expensive as you would think, we don’t have our heads in the sand and know that it is going to have a significant cost. It goes without saying that taking a year off work without income and paying for flights, accommodations and food all costs money . In addition, we plan to do a lot of active adventures like hiking, cycling, and scuba diving, few of which are free. We know we can’t do it all but we’re not going to go to a country only to hang out in a hostel or city all day, we want to get out there and see nature and explore the great outdoors!
So, how did we save the money required to fund this exciting trip around the world?

Continue reading “How we Saved for a Trip Around The World”

RTW Update No.3 – All About Peru

Zentravellers at Machu Picchu

After an incredible 3.5 weeks in summer all the time Puerto Rico, and an awe-inspiring month in Ecuador that culminated with a blissful trip to the Galapagos Islands, it was time to move onto Peru. There we traded sandals and wetsuits for warm jackets and hiking boots. Indeed, we spent most of our time in Peru either hiking or recovering from hiking. We climbed to over 5100m in the wild and rugged Cordillera Blanca, moved through the ice-capped Salkantay Pass to reach the incomparable Machu Picchu, and walked down into one of the deepest canyons in the world. We also spent 2 weeks learning Spanish in the White City of Arequipa and sampled many delicious craft beers around the country.

In total, we spent almost 2 months in Peru and still are finding reasons to go back, despite spending half of our time there in less than perfect health…more on that later. But for now, Peru inspired us with its landscapes, delighted us with its tasty food and drink, and provided us with a glimpse into its rich history and culture.

Continue reading “RTW Update No.3 – All About Peru”

What is Immersive Travel?

A friend quizzed me recently on the differences between immersive travel and standard-issue travel. I said that immersive travel allows you to see a place for the values that shape its culture, while simply visiting a place shows you only the well-manicured, postcard version of it.  That makes sense though. If you are only travelling to a place for a short amount of time, seeing the highlights will be the best use of your time.  But if you have the time, or the chance to work or study abroad I highly recommend the experience. In doing so, you will begin to peel back the layers of a culture and learn to live real life in a foreign place which is an adventure in and of itself.

Touring San Cristobal Island, Galapagos

Sunset on San Cristobal

In continuing with our Galapagos Island themed posts, we recently spent a glorious 2.5 weeks doing land-based travels in the Galapagos which has been one of the biggest highlights of our 14 month trip around the world so far. We’ve covered touring the “main island” of Santa Cruz, as well as the largest and most rugged of the inhabited islands, Isla Isabela, so now that leaves us with beautiful San Cristobal.

Puerto Bazquerizo Moreno is the town on San Cristobal island and has a population of about 6,600 people which makes it a nice mix between the city-like feel of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz, and the sleepy fishing village on Isabela. The island features a small airport, naval base, university, the Galapagos Interpretation Centre and a natural history museum. It is also sea lion central so you will have no shortage of opportunities to get up close and personal with these hilarious animals.

Continue reading “Touring San Cristobal Island, Galapagos”