Honduras has a lot to offer right from the start: If you begin your trip in Guatemala like us, then you will most likely pass through the little town of Copan. That’s where one of the most important Mayan cities was built. Today, you can admire the well-preserved ruins and walk around on the former city’s area. Read here how to get from Guatemala to Honduras by bus. But don’t copy our style, we found ourselves in a mildly bewildered situation when we arrived at the border…
We should have done some more research before we started our trip from Guatemala to the Honduran border. But who could have known that the public transport system runs only until 6:30 pm! We could hardly believe it when the friendly Immigration officer told us that there were no more buses or taxis at this hour (7 pm!!) It was especially annoying, because minutes before, we politely waved away a very insisting Tuk-tuk driver…had we known that he was our last option for that night….! Yes, we even thought about walking all the way to Copan that lies 10 km from the border! But to be honest, the combination of too much luggage and the fact that is was already dark outside and little lighting on the street made this a bad idea. On top of that, came the friendly reminder of the officer that it was a rather unsafe way to take….
All we could do was sit and wait, hoping it would not be for the rest of the night. Only two hours later, we got lucky: a lonesome car appeared from the Guatemalan side! We stopped the car after it passed through border control and asked the driver to give us a lift. Done! The driver let us hop onto the loading zone of his pickup truck and took us to Copan. Relieved that we did not have to spend the whole night in the middle of nowhere, waiting for the next bus in the morning, we got to our hotel in Copan…exhausted but happy!
The next day, early in the morning, we went to see the Copan Ruins. It is the main attraction of Copan. The main entrance gate lies about 1 km away from the town centre. You can easily walk there or hop on a Tuk-tuk. Contrary to my personal weather preference, we were told that the unusual cool temperatures were doing us a favour. Usually, it is a very humid and hot place to visit as this ancient Mayan city lies in the middle of the jungle. But with clouds out, we had the perfect climate to stroll around undistracted and could fully enjoy the amazing architecture of this former civilisation.
Inside the park, shortly past the entrance gate and before we arrived at the Pre-Columbian ruins, some ‘Guacamayos’, the national birds of Honduras, were flying around freely above our heads. These beautiful and colourful birds that I had only known from zoos or inside cages were so delightful to watch in their natural habitat. It was a very cheerful moment and it seemed like they were enjoying their attention very much, as they curiously stared back at us and sat still for the million photos that we took 😀
After this highlight, the ruins were almost boring. Just kidding! They were very impressive too and, of course, we gave them, at least the same amount of attention as the birds… The ruins’ construction dates back to 427 A.D. which gives me the chills: such a long time back!!! In that time, the Maya leader ‘Yax Kuk Mo’ came from the area of Tikal (which is in today’s Guatemala) and arrived in the Copan Valley. With his arrival, a dynasty of 16 rulers began and turned Copan into one of the greatest Maya cities during the Classic Maya Period. Today it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
Here are some more historical facts: It is said that the main period of Copan (like other bigger Mayan cities), was during the Classical period, AD 300-900. During that period, the Mayas made some significant achievements in mathematics, astronomy and hieroglyphic writing. These become evident when analysing their way of building: today’s archaeological remains reveal the three main stages of development in Mayan culture, during which evolved the temples, plazas, altar complexes and ball courts that can be seen today. The Maya civilisation inhabited the Copan city until the early 10th century.
Today the Mayan city of Copan has one main complex of ruins which includes the Acropolis and important plazas. Then there are several secondary complexes that surround the main complex. You also find many sculptured monoliths and altars. On the risers of the Hieroglyphic Stairway Plaza there are more than 1,800 individual glyphs which constitute the longest known Mayan inscription. There is some restoration work at the moment, so some of the statues and stone walls were covered or under a little tin roof.
You can easily spend 2-3 hours walking around the whole area. Of course, if you take a tour or go with a guide, the time varies and may be even longer. If you are planning your trip to this Honduran highlight, check out our post about ‘Where to stay in Copan during your visit to the Mayan Ruins’ for a very comfortable stay in Copan!
How was your visit to the Copan Ruins? Did you have a hot and humid climate when there? What other Mayan sites have you visited or would you like to see?
The challenges of a full-time traveller and digital nomad
Sometimes I think about how easy my old me used to navigate through everyday life. All I had to worry about was my job and what I would want to do afterwards or during the weekends. Today, every day looks different and I constantly have to organise every single day: where to sleep, what to eat and where to go next. Of course, this is one huge part of the travel fun and why I love being a full-time traveller! There is no one else to blame but me for the sometimes very exhausting and never-ending task of travel planning. Here is how life as a full-time traveller looks like… with all its facets, the good and the bad ones.
So, the real challenge of being a (digital) nomad is probably to become bad-ass in time-management, organizing and prioritizing things in everyday life. And this can become a really tough one, especially if you’ve decided to become a travel blogger on top of that! You then also have to cut out some time to write about all the things that you’ve just ticked off your sightseeing list. But don’t you worry, it’s all doable! Helpful sites like JetsetterJobs give you nowadays at least the option to search for local jobs in one place – one point on my to-do-list has become less stressful thanks to that! And then, there is always the advice: Just sit back and relax every once in a while!!
When I have these moments of exhaustion, I tell myself to remember how it was before I started to become a full-time traveller. And that puts me quickly back into perspective. Back then it was a lot worse than now because usually, the constant feeling of being exhausted would not go away. So I’ve decided to look at it that way: I think, it’s a natural reaction to feel exhausted every now and then when you are doing some serious travelling. But I know by now that I would miss the road a lot more than my sofa and blanket which I usually imagine in those weak moments. What I am trying to say is that you have to be organised no matter what you do in life, even if it’s “JUST” travelling.
Plan your trip ahead of time!
It’s one big piece of learning that I can share with you after having travelled full-time for four years: make a travel plan before you start. If you invest this extra bit of time in front of your computer before you leave for a new destination, you will save a lot of time and money when you get there! At least try to get an idea about the accommodation prices, so that you can negotiate confidently on arrival. We don’t always book ahead but knowing the average price helps a lot in order to not accept foolishly high prices that mostly get offered to people who arrive with their luggage in their hands….
Then try to think about what you want to do and what not when you get there. Keep in mind, everyone has a different taste. So when you read about “must-sees” in guidebooks or on travel sites, be sceptical…It sometimes really only means that there was a passionate writer behind that list. In the end, you need to decide for yourself and choose the things that personally interest you the most. Skip that church or museum if you’d rather spend another day hiking in the mountains, for example. When you travel full-time it’s so much more worth to go slow and see half of the things in one place in order to really enjoy your stay. No regrets skipping things!
A Typical Day in a Life of a Nomadic Travel Blogger:
In case it sounds like a nomadic lifestyle is pure fun and all about non-stop sight-seeing, there is an intent to describe a typical day. Although it’s not very easy to do so, there is hardly one day that looks like the other…
WAKE UP! I usually get up between 7 and 8 o’clock in the morning. This might sound obvious but I still put it out there: We all have to get out of bed! That’s right, no matter what we do in life, we all have to get up and make it happen. If you are a nomad like me, your time is under your own management and sleeping in is a no go (with some occasional exceptions of course J). But sleep-ins only mean that you are losing time to achieve your goals. So, nope, get up and exercise and afterwards, you deserve a big breakfast.
LET’S GET SOME WORK DONE: Around 9am I open my computer and spent a couple of hours online: answering emails, being active on preferably all my social media accounts, checking house sitting options for our next destination(s), browsing volunteering positions and trying to find a perfect route with stops in places that are of interest to us; I try to skype and keep in touch with as many friends and family members as possible. Apologies for this part, I sometimes suck in keeping up with my email correspondence, but I do love and miss you all!
LUNCHTIME: Later on comes one of my favourite parts of travelling: go out to find some local food. I love to get to know different flavours and I am always interested in typical dishes from the places that we visit.
PLAY HARD/WORK HARD: The afternoon and evening is usually the time for exploring, going to the beach, doing some sight-seeing or simply more working on my online projects. It really depends on where we are. If we, for example, stay for more than one or two days in one place, we usually use this part of the day to get to know the location or do some sort of typical activity there. In the case of a longer stay, we usually spend our afternoons and evenings working. Yep, that’s right!
Are you made for a nomadic life and travel full-time?
You never know before you try it! Isn’t that a saying? Here is the thing: Before I started out to travel the world, I had no idea that there was such a thing called ‘Digital Nomad Lifestyle’. Only after a bit of researching for options to keep travelling and after meeting people on the road, I realised that there is already a huge community of people around the world that live according to this (new) concept of living. I had no idea how ‘normal’ it sounds to some people who have already been following this lifestyle for some time. I’m so naive sometimes! And I would go as far as to say that this alternative way of thinking will be a new era and has become a new standard of living for a considerable amount of people. It is connected to the fact that the internet gives us the opportunity to work from anywhere in the world. And why not do so if you can!?
Here is a list of the Top 10 Digital Hotspots according to DNX Global:
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND
HO CHI MINH CITY (SAIGON), VIETNAM
GRAN CANARIA, SPAIN
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
SAN FRANCISCO, USA
Open-minded and creative people who work online and let go of certain paradigms that they were taught by society, take the decision to live a life according to their own terms. Especially people who love to travel embrace the fact that there are certain jobs where it doesn’t matter where in the world you are. This is a big movement, I believe, and I think it will revolutionise the entire work/career standards. Actually, I think it is already happening, considering that there are co-working spaces around the world that are built especially for Digital Nomads. Conferences, Seminars and Workshops attract a huge crowd in many places around the globe. If you consider working remotely while travelling the world, check out the following two pages where you find events to connect with like-minded people and companies:
Honestly, I don’t know. Perhaps it all will have to come to an end one day. I like to think about it differently though. Perhaps also because I no longer feel like I would ‘fit in’. Home seemed to be the only option, it was a safe place where all made sense. Everything far and unknown sounded always a bit too far and too scary. Society used to be familiar, standards used to be acceptable and the ‘common way’ made perfect sense to me. But this all turned upside down. Today it sometimes scares me more when thinking about going back to a ‘normal’ life than packing my bags again without knowing how the next destination looks like.
Ever since I bought that one-way ticket though and decided to travel full-time, I feel happy. I am chasing the sun because I hate the cold and I am addicted to seeing what else is out there. What helps me a lot when I have a moment of exhaustion, is to appreciate the wonderful and unique moments that I get from travelling. Every time when I see the ocean, climb a mountain, visit thousands of years old monument or look into the eyes of smiling people from different countries, I feel rewarded. In these moments I tell myself that I would not want to change a thing in my life. They get me going and show me, that I am doing exactly what I love the most in life.
I am fighting for this alternative road that I chose four years ago. I’m convinced that one has to choose the life that makes the most sense to oneself, no matter what others say and no matter how challenging it sometimes can be. But for all you wanderlust souls out there: Keep moving, as long as it keeps you being moved every once in a while!
Happy Travels to you all! And share this article if you know someone who would appreciate it! Thanks!
This post is going to be a review about our hostel in Playa del Carmen, but it is also about traveling and electronic music. Since 3 years I have been traveling with a passionate electronic music fan, perhaps now it’s time to introduce my travel buddy and partner in life before I start with my review:
So whenever there is a concert on our way, he is the one who leads the way. Last Sunday we travelled to Playa del Carmen to see a DJ from London, Laura Jones. We stayed right where the concert took place: Hostel 3B.
Here is my review about our stay at Hostel 3B in Playa del Carmen:
First of all, it’s the staff that makes this place a very nice place to stay. Everyone is super-friendly and helpful and it feels like visiting friends when you arrive. For a long-term traveller like me, this is something really important that I appreciate a lot. It’s nice to feel welcomed, so that you’ll be able to relax and feel comfortable and that’s what happened at Hostel 3B!
Accommodation: My room
The hostel offers different room types that you can choose from: 2 female dorms, 4 mixed dorms and 5 private rooms. The hostel’s slogan is ‘Chic & Cheap’ and they stand by their word. It’s a very stylish place to stay and the price is ok for a touristic hotspot like Playa del Carmen. The dorms are between 16-20 USD depending on the season and privates range from 50 to 67 USD. My room was for girls only with 8 beds. It was a very spacious, clean and friendly room with an ensuite bathroom with shower. The beds are big and have comfortable mattresses. I really liked the room.
The highlight of this hostel is for sure its lounge area. Every Sunday they organize concerts in their rooftop bar that has a swimming pool. The entrance is free for hostel guests and open for other people too. This makes it a bit messy when it comes to the fact that everyone has access to the hostel’s facilities and you can literally access all areas. The good thing is that the rooms have locks, so no one can enter your room without a key. Also, the lockers are big enough to store all your valuables in case someone enters.
Events: Rooftop bar with swimming pool
It’s a great international audience that you’ll find in Playa del Carmen. That’s why most locations have no problems in organizing events with famous DJs from around the world. Hostel 3B has it’s own event location on top of the building. The lounge is called SOS Lounge and organises great music events on Sundays. We took a video from that night with DJ Laura Jones. Here is the link to my YouTube Channel: Click here to watch the short video of the party.
Playa del Carmen is the ‘Ibizza’ of Mexico – a hotspot for parties and concerts with musicians and DJs from around the world. Especially in December and January many international artists come and attract thousands of people from around the world. One major event takes place in January, the BPM.
Facilities: What you get during your stay
Like in most established places, Wi-Fi and breakfast are the basic standards that you will also find at Hostel 3B. The internet connection is good if you are on the bottom or at the rooftop lounge level. It doesn’t work in the rooms though. The breakfast includes coffee, fruit and toast. It’s basic but and similar to most of the hostels that we have stayed so far in Mexico.
There are two areas to hang out during the day: the entrance area that is connected with a small kitchen where you can prepare your food. And the rooftop lounge area that is open during the day if you want to take a dip in the pool or relax on the sofa beds.
The area: Playa del Carmen
The hostel is located in the central area of Playa del Carmen. If you want to read more about the area and the things to do in the surrounding area, check out my blog post about ‘Day-trips from Cancun’.
• Clean and trendy rooms/facilities
• Friendly staff
• Wi-Fi and breakfast included
• Free events on Sundays open to the public
• International DJs
So, whoever is looking for a place to party and meet people from around the world in a nice and friendly ambience is perfect at Hostel 3B. I would go back!
DID YOU LIKE THIS REVIEW OF MY HOSTEL IN PLAYA DEL CARMEN? Have you been to Playa del Carmen? Feel free to like, share and comment on it!!! Happy travels, y’all! 😀
Ok, let’s face it: in order to become a successful travel blogger, you need to invest some time! But that’s true for everything in life. Good things take time to ripen. Is blogging not your thing? Then check out if teaching English might be your way to become a location-independent digital nomad.
Back to blogging though.
I am writing this post after only three months of blogging. Yep. I know what you’re thinking, she’s a newbie and already gives other people advice!? But, before you start, I think, I did a few things right because I already received two Awards in such a short time! Woohoo!
The first one was in September when I got nominated for the Liebster Award. This award is from bloggers who nominate other bloggers if they think they’re awesome. And the second one was even more surprising: I opened my mailbox and found a message from Tripedia that I was amongst their Top 10: Best New Travel Bloggers! Wow!
And this made me write this post in order to help you to become a successful travel blogger too! So let’s dig into it!
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7 Tips On How to Become a Successful Travel Blogger:
Love what you do!
First of all, if you want to become a successful travel blogger, you should really enjoy writing and love whatever you do. If you are not 100% satisfied with the result, don’t publish it. Better wait for a day or two, then go over it again until you are happy with your result. You should be proud of your blog posts because if YOU are enjoying them it will show in your texts and most likely someone else likes them too!
Go out there and write about it!
I know what you are thinking, this is obvious if you love travelling and want to become a successful travel blogger. But even though this sounds very basic, it is a very important thing to keep in mind: don’t start a blog and then after a while become lazy and stop writing about your adventures. All the initial work you put on your site to get your blog started would be for nothing. So keep your content flowing!
Use Social Media
Every successful travel blogger uses social media to support their website. I mainly use Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and Twitter to get traffic to my blog. It’s great to connect all your posts and share them on your different social media channels. With services like Hootsuite or Buffer, it is easy to schedule posts and share your content on different platforms at the same time. This is really helpful and saves you a lot of time! If you want to learn how to strategically use social media marketing to drive traffic to your blog, join my Facebook group for support, encouragement and networking!
Read, read, read but produce your own content!
The more you read other peoples’ blogs, you will learn how blogging actually works. It’s a great way to get inspired and apply one of the infinite options out there to your personal style. Just make sure that you never copy and paste someone else’s content. This is not only bad for your Karma, it is also bad for your site’s Google ranking and will not make you a successful travel blogger. Google will only rank pages high if they have original and relevant content! Of course, you can (AND SHOULD!) share also other people’s content, watch this video on how to schedule curated content!
Know your audience!
If you want to become a successful travel blogger, make sure you find a niche and focus on whatever makes you special. I write for people that are sick and tired of their 9-5 work-life routine and want to turn into digital nomads. For my audience, it is obviously interesting to know how to save money while travelling, what helped me to break with the conventional lifestyle and which longterm travel tips I have, so they won’t ever have to go back home (if that’s their aim).
Let other people see the world through your eyes
The best part about blogging is really that you can dedicate your time to what you are passionate about. I love the fact that I found a way to travel the world and it was way overdue for me to put these stories on “paper”. I know that it is not for everyone or my way might seem extreme to most other people, but everyone finds it exciting and I am happy to share what I see out there in the world. When I tell other people about my travels and about all the wonderful places that are on this planet, I feel a special energy! And it is great to hear that my story is for some people an inspiration. This motivates me every day when I get up and it keeps me going with what I am doing right now.
These are just a few blogging tips from a successful travel blogger like me. Make sure to subscribe to my blog if you haven’t already to get more news and updates on how to be able to travel full-time and work remotely. Good luck and happy blogging!
Did you like this post? Let me know down below in the comments if you have other tips on how to become a successful travel blogger? Why and how did you start blogging?
Not done reading yet?
If you are interested in the digital nomad lifestyle, check out this post on the must-have gadgets that I can’t live without!
And if you like to connect with other digital nomads, make sure to grab a ticket to one of these digital nomad events in 2018!
For more tips on how to start and how to maintain a sustainable travel blog and digital nomad lifestyle, visit my resources page!
A cheeky headline, huh?! I know! But you must admit that this is probably true for almost everything in life. At least, I had that feeling over the past few years before I started my digital nomad life. I found taking action to be key if you want things to happen and live a happy life. So, when I set off in 2011 to discover the world, I eventually found my passion in life: travelling. But moreover, I realised that the freedom to go wherever I wanted WHENEVER I wanted became my big obsession. This led to a chain of actions that I took which made it possible for me to still be on the road today – after more than 6 years! Check out my post on how to earn a little extra as a digital nomad, and now, sit back and get inspired if you need that last push to finally start to live your dream too.
Why should you live your dream too?
When I was in elementary school, my parents were asked to go see my teacher one day. At the age of 9, I refused to copy the specific technique my teacher showed us in art class. According to mini-me, there was a better way of holding the brush in order to get more beautiful sprinkles. He didn’t like that response and complained about our conversation with my mum. I remember her proud face when she came back home from that meeting with my teacher. She told me that he was not amused by her response either when she said that ‘Julia has her own way of doing things, always has and always will’. My mum was right back then…it’s the one characteristic that seems to be consistent throughout my life so far.
After quitting my job in 2011 and when I had sold almost all my belongings that wouldn’t fit into my backpack, I remembered that day back in art class. No one really thought it was a great idea that I took a break from my so well-established career at the age of 28. In fact, I left one month before I turned 29, which meant that I had only one year left before the magic number 30 would bring the big changes to my life that everyone was talking about. Well, I guess it’s true the 30ies have brought big changes to my life. But I can clearly say that they were for the better. For people who stay in one place their whole lives, it’s hard to understand that age doesn’t need to be a bad thing.
To be fair, ever since I had crossed that magic border of my 30’s, I must admit that I got more and more excited when I saw little babies…perhaps the only difference for me is that I began to imagine how this little mini-me would be most comfortable on top of my backpack! Check out my post on how my life has changed since I have become a mother.
Anyways, I had mixed feelings when I said goodbye to start my journey in 2011. No, it was actually sheer panic when I set off and didn’t know what to expect. At the same time, I felt that it was the right thing to do. Somehow, I felt that I was starting a completely new chapter in my life. It was the excitement of leaving everything behind and facing a whole new unknown world. My parents (again) were the least surprised when they learned about my new plans. Perhaps they were not amused about the idea of their daughter travelling around the world by herself, but hey, they kind of always have known that they can’t expect me to NOT do it my way ☺
So, I left with the plan to return 6 months later, but I never did…
Pictures say much more than words. So here is a list of reasons why I am utterly happy about my decision to live the way I want to and why you should contemplate doing so too… Take it with a grain of salt though, I had a lot of fun to put this list together! Perhaps too much!
WHY YOU SHOULD BE TRAVELLING AND LIVING YOUR DREAM TOO:
You get to meet really interesting people…
You start thinking in other dimensions…
You get to hang out in pretty nice places…
You’ll leaver your comfort zone to discover new places…
…then again you find rocks to lean on…
You’ll become a lot stronger from time to time…
…probably because you get to eat your favourite food whenever you want to…
…or maybe because you get to kiss magic snakes…
And finally you realise that you can actually live your dream if you dare to!!!
Am I doing it right? I don’t know, honestly. But I do know that you can live your dream eventually if you stop waiting! With this blog, I not only want to share my experiences with you but I also want to show that there is not only ONE way to live your life. Because when I started to make my plans, I was fighting against conventional thinking patterns, prejudice and other people’s opinions.
Just do it: Smile. Jump. And start to live your dream.
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Did you like this post? What are your thoughts on this topic? Are you already living your dream? Let me know in the comments below!