I used to say that I had a love hate relationship with this Indonesian island, but things changed: I am totally in love with this little green paradise! Due to its popularity the island went through massive changes the last years. The first time I decided to visit Bali was in 2010 and back then it was not at all a favourite: I got sick, it rained all the time and traffic was horrendous!
Have you always been dreaming of tiny islands, deserted beaches, limestone cliffs and dramatic sunsets? It was in 2008 when I found El Nido Palawan for the first time and this year I had the chance to come back to this exotic paradise. El Nido Island Hopping should be on every travellers bucketlist.
If you are going on a trip to Bali and you want a slice of real island life then please visit Nusa Penida. In this blog post I tell you everything you need to know when you travel to Nusa Penida and while reading and looking at the pictures you will understand why this was one of the best places to visit in Bali. All the highlights, amazing places to see, things to do, where to stay, instagram spots and even Nusa Penida itineraries will be be discussed. Also if you decided to do a Nusa Penida day trip (not recommended) I can give you some tips. Enjoy this fabulous island before mass tourism takes over!
When looking for things to do in Bali I am sure you put Ubud on top of your list. This village just an hour drive North from the popular beaches in the South is perched in and between rice fields and is where you will find the authentic Bali feeling. Ubud is a popular spot for travelers that want to get a slice of the real Bali. It is the artistic and cultural center of Bali, but over the years drew the attention of nomads and spiritual people as well.
A survival trip in Sweden, one week on a self guided canoe expedition! Peddling from island to island in the Swedish wilderness. That sounds like the ultimate travel adventure, right? Something I had definitely never done before, so when I got the chance to join The Canoe Trip to Sweden I didn’t hesitate and signed up for this adventure travel trip.
As if my jet leg alone was not enough already to get me sleepless nights in Ho Chi Minh City. The morning after my arrival in Vietnam we had to meet up in the Lobby of the Grand Hotel Saigon at 04.00 in the morning for our trip to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. We were about to travel to Quang Binh Province to check out all the tourist spots in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. It wasn't my first trip to Vietnam, but it was my first time to this part of the country.
It is the most asked question on my social media channels for sure! How do you afford to travel for so long? Understandable! My Instagram profile literally says how many days I have now been continuously on the road and as of March 2021 that is 3,000 days. So how to afford to travel the world? This is my story...
Travelling is not only about the destination; the journey is sometimes just as incredible! This famous quote was definitely applicable to my trip to Raja Ampat. If you have read my blog Sailing through the Raja Ampat Islands with Mutiara Laut you know how I ended up on this amazing luxury sailing ship and that I had the time of my life.
With so many tourists visiting this tiny island, Bali is notorious for its traffic. This was one of the reasons I seriously did not like it when I first visited and that was back in 2010. The traffic back then was horrendous. Trust me it got even worse over the years, but I do love the island nowadays. How is that possible? Just avoid the overcrowded touristy areas like Seminyak and Kuta and you will find some truly magical places this island has to offer.
Just recently, I got a phone call from Sara, the co-owner of Balkan Campers. She invited me to travel around Croatia in one of their funky VW campervans, which they are renting out. I was very sorry that I had to turn down this adventure, since my plans are already elsewhere this season.
However, the project and their concept was so attractive that I really wanted them to write us more information about Balkan Campers idea and about road tripping in Croatia with an old school VW bus! Here is what Sara (the owner) told us.
Story of Balkan Campers
Tom: Hi Sara! First congratulation for the project. Vans look amazing. When and how did you come to an idea about the project?
Sara: My boyfriend Nejc, who first founded the company, took a gap year for traveling 10 years ago. When he reached Australia everything was expensive and then he found out about Wicked campers. They were renting out old school vans with graphite motives and paintings. He fell in love with the idea of traveling with an old school van and he decided he will try to do the same in Croatia and Slovenia. That is how a passion became a life style. Nowadays we rent out 25 campervans available for pickups in Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro and Italy.
Tom: So you guys are only renting out VW campervans? Why is that so?
Sara: Hehe, we have only one exception – we are renting out one cool small campervan Nissan Datsun. We named him Bonsai, because it is from Japan. He is the only outsider in the family of VWs. Otherwise yes, we are in love with VW campervans. Especially VW T3. It is something special to drive these vans on regional road. People wave at you, you are happy, time slows down. That is what we need nowadays right?
Tom: That is a fact, hehe. When I checked your website, I saw that you have also some newer vans. Which one are more popular old or new?
Sara: Yes, we have more than 10 VW T4 models, few VW T5 models and even a VW T6. This one is the youngest in our family. I would say people choose modern vans more often because they can do longer trips. For old school campervan you need a bit more time. But after people return from a roadtrip with old school vans, they sometimes cry when they have to leave the van with us. I swear this is a true story.
Tom: haha..I can imagine that, yes. They really look amazing. You told me that you deliver the vans to different locations throughout the region. How does that work?
Sara: We offer different options for different camper vans. For example, we have three vans parked in Montenegro, where we can deliver them to Podgorica for zero extra costs. We have one van parked in Rijeka, Croatia, where we also deliver with zero costs. We have more than 15 vans, which can be delivered to Zagreb, Split, Pula, and even Dubrovnik – all in Croatia. We have also several vans parked in Slovenia, which can also be delivered to Ljubljana or other places with zero extra costs.
Besides Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro, we also deliver to Venice and Trieste in Italy.
Camping in Croatia
Tom: You built a very nice network of vans. Congratulations. If we move to camping now, what would you recommend to people traveling with a van to Croatia.
Sara: First of all, if you have a chance come for a roadtrip in May, June, September or October. These months are the best, because there are no crowds, the weather is mild, prices are lower, you don’t need to make any reservations in the campsites and more.
When we travel with a van around Croatia, we usually find small, simple, family owned campsites. They are always the best, because they are still cheap and wild. This is how the camping should be. Good website to find this kind of campsites is: Avtokampi.
You can also use apps like PARK4NIGHT or iOverlander. Both apps are very useful.
Stay connected when traveling to Croatia. Get yourself a local prepaid sim card or an e-sim card. Check out my complete guide for staying connected when traveling to Croatia.
Camping in other Balkan countries
Tom: Besides Croatia, what is your favorite country to roadtrip in your region?
Sara: I come from Slovenia, so my favorite countries to roadtrip are Croatia and Slovenia. I love the combination of crystal clear ocean and sea vibes of Croatia and mountains, lakes and green forests of Slovenia.
I also love Bosnia because it is so close but so exotic. People are so nice there and it is much cheaper than here. You can also do a lot of free camping there. But also Montenegro is amazing..you need to try and see all of these countries. That is why we are called Balkan Campers. Because we would like to show people our region, which is safe, friendly and truly breathtaking.
Tom: Thank you so much Sara for all these useful info for people looking for an adventure on their next trip to the Balkan. Keep doing what you love to do and I hope a lot of people will enjoy a trip with Balkan Campers in the future.
Everyone has that one trip in his mind that he dreams of taking once in his life. Some will never even turn their dreams into reality, but when it comes down to travelling there is always a way to make it happen. Sailing the Raja Ampat islands of West Papua was one of those trips for me where I kept on saying some day. That day lately became reality as I set sail with the Mutiara Laut to explore my number one destination on my bucketlist.
Welcome to the island of witchcraft and natural healing. This bewitched island is an off the beaten path destination in the Philippines and magical in many ways. A Siquijor tour is a great experience for every adventurous traveller. This lush green mountainous islet lies South of Cebu and East of Negros and can best be reached by boat from Dumaguete.
Nepal is a place of extreme environments and extreme weather which can change at any moment. What to pack for Nepal varies depending on where you plan to go. Therefore it’s always a good idea to do some research before you travel to Nepal to ensure you have the right gear on your packing list.