Patterns of Journey for travelers who likes the ‘sense-of-discovering’

Dear readers,

since the COVID-19 outbreak started off, most of the ordinary businesses for the tourist industry were forced to disrupt its activities, now after three months of such a pandemic outbreak, each Country of the globe is considering to re-open some activities by categorizing it into a number of phases, however so far nobody knows whether the corona virus will be defeated any time soon.

Let’s assume we will get soon over the ‘COVID-19‘ tunnel, for our future travelling challenges we may want to consider a new pattern of exploring journey which puts us out of the so-called ‘comfort-zone’ 🙂 For instance: during one of my past travels I met a Swedish guy “Tariq” who ventured to travel all the way from Sweden to Malaysia by a cross-trail bicycle, it took him approximately nine months to get through by taking several stops in many Countries in-between, even it may sound extreme this is a great example of an ECO-friendly and riveting globe trotting 😉 of course this choice does not fit everybody, it involves us to have a strong mind-set as well as a very-flexible attitude.

In this regard, we can identify three categories of travelers out of the comfort zone:

  1. Temporary traveller
  2. Medium-long term traveller
  3. Permanent traveler

Let’s pick up the first category which is likely the one concerning most of us:

First of all I would classify as a temporary traveller whoever travels for 30 days maximum, here since we perceive the time-pressure, we are supposed to know what we want get from our short ‘adventure’ by excluding any unnecessary thing as much as possible.

In order to achieve this, we need to set up a structure which helps us to decide what it is for and where we can do this and that, e.g. if we are in for the outdoor sports, then we would be focusing on where and when you could get the most of it, we would be neglecting unrelated activities such as nightlife. Short-term travel might look like over-planned because of the narrow time frame, however if we carefully focus our attention on few activities we can still have a room for some creativity, perhaps some of us may be asking, how can we?

In this regard, I am glad to share with you a draft plan that I prepared before travelling to Vietnam earlier on 2019, I used to make such an itinerary plan for 15 days, so it falls under category 1. (use the bottom horizontal scroll bar to display all the other days)

DAY/StagesFri 26th Apr.Saturday 27th AprSunday 28 AprMon 29 Apr.Tue 30 Apr.Wed 1 MayThu 2 MayFri 3 MaySat 4 MaySun 5 MayMon 6 MayTue 7 MayWed 8 MayThu 9 MayFri 10 MaySat 11 MaySun 12 May
1Regiojet bus Bratislava —-> Vienna airportFlight Bangkok —> Ha Noi 7:45am – 9:35am
by Thai Airways
Check-out at the hostel and morning photo-tour (free improvisation)If Sapa, then the challenge will hopefully be: http://sapaochau.org/sapa-trekking-and-homestay/sapa-trek-and-tour/trekking-tours/off-the-beaten-track-2-day/Off-beten trekking tour part 2Morning arrival at Ha Noi: Stay at Ha Noi or further bus to Cat Ba island?Fulld-day Jungle trekking tour in CatBaFull-day of kayaking around Lan Ha Bay by exploring the floating villagesBus back to Ha Noi, transfer to Hai Pong?
Or 1 more day by chilling in CatBa island?
Back in Ha Noi with a booked accommodationBooked plan to visit Hoi An:
VietJet Internal flight Ha Noi – Da Nang
Full-dive tour around Hoi An, and/or visit to the nearby islands?Ck-out from the Hoi An resort and transfer to the Da Nang airportHa Noi city lifeAs previous dayFinal good-bye dayArrival of inbound flight scheduled at 7:35am Vienna airport
2Flight Vienna – Bangkok 2:35pm – 5:35am (+1day)
by Thai Airways
ETA for Ha Noi: around 11:00am2pm: Bus to Sapa? Or to Cat Ba island? http://greensapabus.com
https://catbaexpress.com/bus-hanoi-to-cat-ba.html
1st full day of off-beaten trekking path tourEnding time: 5pmIf CatBa, then estimated arrival after 11am and check for a last-minute accommodation.Ref. https://www.asiaoutdoors.com.vn/kayak.htmlImprovised soft tours/chilling
time prior to the forthcoming planned flight transfer to middle-Vietnam
Ck-in at a booked resort with poolPhoto-walking, small shopping, chilling at the resort and more.Fly back to Ha Noi. Booked accommodation for the next 3 nihtsPhoto-walking, small shopping, wellness, chilling time, etc.As previous dayAs previous day
PS: need to by a suitcase to carry extra new gadgets bought over the last 3days?
3Ck-in at the booked hostelNo accommodation is bookedas aboveNight bus back to Ha NoiAfternoon time in CatBa:
check and book for jungle trekking tour and for a kayaking trip for the two upcoming days Ref. https://www.asiaoutdoors.com.vn
Trekking ends by 5pm.Kayaking ends by 5pmOverview approaching visit at the city centre of Hoi An UNESCO heritage, full of colorful lights, traditional shops and Cafes.Afternoon time: start of grand-finale with pure improvisation what-to-do and where to goIf so, there are still few hours till 5:30pm to do so 🙂
4Ha Noi overview sightseeing*For Sapa accommodation might be provided by the tour agent http://sapaochau.orgas aboveSleep on the busChlling/sleeping time to get back in a shapeEvening time: (Post-)Sunset photoshooting?One more sunset shooting session?Sunset shooting session in
Ha Noi?
Photoshooting session by the sunset as well as at night5:30pm: deadline to transfet to Ha Noi international airport.
5Get to Sapa O’Chau branch to know details about the off-beaten trek in SapaEvening stroll in Sapa to check the poor ppl villagesSleeping at the planned homestay by the tour agent at half-way of the tourIf stay in Ha Noi, then chilling time and decide what and where-to nextTrekking dayKayaking and evening chil-out around CatBa townChill-out/motorbike tour
(if CatBa)
Photo-walking/chill-outThai Airways flight to Bangkok scheduled at 8:45pm
6Evening chill-out
treno 4/g a sett)
Bratislava –> Vienna airportHa NoiHA Noi –> Sapa? Cat Ba island?Sapa O ChauSapa -> Ha NoiHa Noi? -> CatBa island?CatBa islandCatBa IslandCataba//HaI Pong/Ha NoiHa NoiHa Noi -> Hoi AnHoi An/Islands
nearby
Hoi An -> Ha NoiHa NoiHa NoiHa Noi (final day) – departure back to EU
Ha Noi -> Bangkok -> Vienna
Draft itinerary plan for northern and central Vietnam 2019

It might look cumbersome, however it isn’t 🙂

From this practical example, you might notice several activities which are related to the place you want to explore, i.e. Sapa area is mostly for hiking and trekking, alternatively the town of Sapa offers SPA and other chilling activities, in both cases you may want to include the photography as a hobby 🙂 Besides that, you can break each single single day into sateges, maximum 6 stages would be enough for not making it too cumbersome; some of those stage can be left as a ‘jolly’ so that you would be deciding on the spot about what to go for 🙂

When it comes to the ‘medium-long’ term journey the things are different, we do not need for such an accurate itinerary plan, however we still need to know where we want to go and what we want to do as basic, in this regard I would pick up as example the 37-days journey which I experienced in 2018; here, since my core focus was to enjoy the nature, I came to the decision to dedicate a full month travelling around Indonesia, after that I spent the last 7 days in Kuala Lumpur and then in Singapore, yes just seven days were worthy since the city life was the second concern of my journey 🙂

To be fair, this is a kind of journey which requires some time to make our own research and possibly get inspirations by some locals we meet by chance in our living country, it will help us a lot, for instance, before travelling to Indonesia, I had a chance to meet two indonesian women in my living town, I mentioned them about my travel plan and since I wanted to travel first to Java for 14 days and then move to Sumbawa for just 3 days and finally to Flores for 11 days, they nicely managed to persuade me to cut out 3 days for Sumbawa and I spent three more days in Flores instead.

As a result, I got more than enough time to enjoy a motorbike tour across Flores, if you wish to read more just refer to this article: https://theblogofeggiamp.wordpress.com/2018/05/31/flores-the-conservative-face-of-indonesia-with-surprising-people-on-the-way/

One hint I want to give you is that if you are travelling in a not-so-developed country, you will benefit a lot from renting a motorbike because you will have more space for the improvisation and more chance to discover some unbeaten spots 🙂 For your convenience I have embedded a screenshot about what was the motorbike tour I did on the way to the east (I could just fit 10 stops on it, in fact I did more)

10 Key-stops in Flores

Finally, the permanent journey is something which we know when we start but we don’t know whether or if ever ends, honestly in this kind of journey I can’t be helpful because so far in my life I haven’t experienced one, however my guess is that all we need is just answer the following questions:

  1. What is your mission?
  2. How do you want to be globetrotting?
  3. How do you want to live?
  4. What are your expectations out of it?

If you are able to answer these questions above, it likely means that you are ready to take the challenge! Based on my personal experience with the temporary and medium-long term travel, I venture to say that such a journey should be experienced as a backpacker (at least as you start on it), secondly you shouldn’t plan anything in advance but you’d rather go on the spur of the moment which mean pure improvisation, it should be journey which often (if not always) put ourselves out of the ‘comfort-zone’.

Perhaps before taking such a challenge, it could be advisable to experience a one or two-months journey, however each of us in the world have a different life attitude, so even the one who never traveled in his/her life and is going for the first time might succeed his/her mission and have something meaningful to teach or share with other humans 🙂

Having said that that, I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments on such three patterns of journey as well as feel free to suggest your ideas 🙂

Giuseppe

Czech Republic: wine-surfing on the viticulture hills of Palava with Grand Finale

The autumn has come and it’s time to enjoy and talk about some great things to do in a geographic area located in the region of South-Moravia which is not-so touristically advertised.

The idea of such a great trip came from a Slovak guy Michal who is a dedicated guide for arranging guided-tours for hiking trips mostly in Slovakia. Considering that I used to live in Czech Republic, I was aware of about where we’d have gone for such a trip, so I joined his idea without thinking twice.

We were thirty of us altogether and we organized as small groups to arrive at the planned meeting point in Mikulov at a guest house where we all gathered and enjoyed a potluck-style dinner with BBQ and obviously some wine as  a welcome party phase.

The day after we started our challenge at a good morning time by first getting on a bus which the organizer booked only for us since altogether we were thirty people, it dropped us off close to the beginning of a hiking path which gets through the Devin hill shown below in the snapshot of the map:

Since the hiking trail wasn’t that long and intensive we got plenty of time on the way so that we decided to stop by a ruined fortress (4th landmark) which was a key-viewpoint since from such a spot we could take some great pictures of the surrounding scenery with the Palava lake, here below I show you two pictures to impress you with an idea:

All the way from Klentnice to Pavlov took us approximately two hours by counting that altogether we had three breaks in-between. The hiking wasn’t struggling on the purpose of the wine tasting session for which we got prepared by having a chilling lunch at a small typical Czech restaurant.

Winesurfing_n

Since I consider myself very cautious with the consumption of alcoholic beverages at this stage of my life, I decided of saving my energies for the wine tasting by not going for any pint of beer before that, moreover the mixture of alcoholic drinks is well-known as the mother of all bad-asses stomachache as well as headaches, so let’s be wise for one time: wine with wine and beer with beer! 😉

Soon after, we were done with the lunch we slowly walk to the small downtown of Pavolov where we found this funny small square with spreaded  pumpkins on the grass

Pavlov itself is the hearth of Palava and it’s pretty common to likely find private individuals who sell Burčák (Czech version of Must) every fifth metres, it’s the result of the partially fermented wine grape and it’s very sweet; so while walking up to the street we identified one advertised with a portable backboard and since we had still a gap of time before enjoying the proper wine tasting we stumbled into it, the owner, an old guy, turned up and served us with that on the glasses, the price is pretty inexpensive 20CZK for 2dcl, here again unlike many others did, I still resisted to such a sweet temptation and I waited for the proper wine instead, however if you never tried it don’t hesitate to go for it, I used to enjoy it on my past wine trips, just lately I’ve become a picky guy 😀

When the tasting time came, we got into the cellar of the winery and they offered us a taste of six different wines of which four were white wines and two rosé wines, some of those were kind of dry and some other a bit sweet. We were provided with a small set of appetizers as well as some water with lemon slices in order to clear off our mouth from the taste of the previous wine, for each of the six tasting sessions the owner provided us with some notions about the fermentation process. Our six tastings went quite fast, however the owner gave us the left wine of the opened wine bottles to let us to smoothly complete our entertainment. Here below a summary slide-show of our wine tasting:

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I was pretty satisfied with the tasting so that before leaving I decided to buy a selected bottle of white wine (Ryzlink vlašský) to bring home to be enjoyed for future culinary dinners 🙂 Among other things the selling price of 160CZK(about 6€) was out of questions pretty affordable. If you want to know more about the winery you can check it out at http://www.vinarstvitopolansky.cz/

After our first wine challenge was done, we were headed straight back to our accommodation to have a rest and get ready for our second challenge in the evening which the organizer called it as “The Grand Finale“, Yes, indeed, another accurate selection of white/rosé/red wines was waiting for us, provided with proper food which consisted of not only just appetizers but also plenty of cabbage soup and Czech goulash in honey sauce.

Obviously, we all were in a mood of completing the wine day celebration as much great as possible so everybody of us get read on time with the wine-drinking mood 😀

Personally, I have to admit that I have become quite a moderate drinker and knowing myself I preferred to give up enjoying just after 10pm, considering we started our 2nd challenge around 8pm. The food itself was pretty enough to fill in our stomachs but be careful of not filling your stomach just with appetizers, ensure you enjoy the wire with a proper meal instead 😉

The most interesting thing of the “Grand Finale” wine session was the fact that owner of the winery took us up to the rooftop terrace of the winery to tell us some history background of Mikulov as well as some legends, the funny thing was that the owner not only could also speak Slovak and Polish but also he ended up making some jokes out of those legends he told us which were mostly referred to the relationships between men and women during the middle-age. Of course I’won’t drill down on it now 😉 Just you need to lively experience it! Just check out https://www.penzion-mikulov.cz/ (Vinny Sklep Barta).

To sum it up, such a wine-surfing trip is worthy as long as is properly organized with a good balance between outdoor activities and chilling time, just drinking from the early day time is not a recommendable practice, so have first some physical activity and then chill-out, our health is to be respected as best as we can!

I hope I have given you enough hints to enjoy your future wine trip!

Everybody is welcome to leave any comment and/or ask for recommendations!

Eggiamp