Travel Bloggers of the Month: Stefan and Sebastien

Travel Bloggers of the Month

Jusz Travel is putting the spotlight on Sebastien and Stefan from Nomadic Boys as Travel Bloggers of the Month! I love these two because I find the photos on their blog to be hilarious and their articles not only helpful but also entertaining.

S and S is a gay couple from Europe who found themselves adventuring in Asia.

“We quit our jobs and London life in June 2014 to eat our way through Asia and plan to make travelling a long-term lifestyle,” said Stefan Arestis. “We started Nomadic Boys in November 2013 as a platform to record our travel experiences and make fun of ourselves as we ate our way around Asia. Nomadic Boys has since translated into a brand that has grown exponentially over the past year, particularly among the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community.”

The Nomadic Boys has earned the trust of their readers due to their consistent hard work in providing travel articles with a “touch of humour”.

“We write destination guides, food and adventure stories always with a touch of humour. We have a strong relationship with our followers who trust our opinion and follow our travels to find inspiration for their future journeys,” said Arestis. “The main two things we both love are picking up recipes from each country we visit and trying to meet local gays and gain their point of view of the gay scene.”

For the full interview with Sebastien and Stefan from Nomadic Boys, continue reading below.

03 Stefan and Sebastien at the Puu Jih Syh Temple, Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo, August 2015
In August 2015, Stefan and Sebastien visited the Puu Jih Syh Temple in Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo.

1. Tell us something about yourself not many people know about you?

We are gay couple, Stefan and Sebastien. We quit our jobs and London life in June 2014 to eat our way through Asia and plan to make travelling a long-term lifestyle.

Stefan, 33 is a former lawyer, of Greek Cypriot origin, born and raised in London. Sebastien, 33, is an IT geek, originally from France but moved to London to work in the finance industry. London is where we met.
2. What is your blog called and what sets it apart from other travel blogs?

Our blog is Nomadic Boys. We started Nomadic Boys in November 2013 as a platform to record our travel experiences and make fun of ourselves as we ate our way around Asia.

Nomadic Boys has since translated into a brand that has grown exponentially over the past year, particularly among the LGBT community.
3. Why should people check out your travel blog?

We write destination guides, food and adventure stories, always with a touch of humour.

We have a strong relationship with our followers who trust our opinion and follow our travels to find inspiration for their future journeys.

08 Learning to work as a team. Inle Lake, Myanmar, January 2015
The Nomadic Boys at Inle Lake in Myanmar in January 2015.

4. How long have you been blogging?

Since November 2013.
5. Why did you decide you want to be a travel blogger?

Travelling and cooking were the two things we had in common from the outset. Sebastien was on the verge of leaving London and Stefan had hit a lull in his legal career and was looking for something new. We talked about moving to new places long term and earning money along the way to fund this and to make long-term travelling a new lifestyle/career.

In around 2012, we agreed to go for it and start by eating our way through Asia. So, we started planning and saving up and set 2014 as the year we would be financially ready to leave London.

We set up the blog before we left London in June 2014 and has become our baby.
6. What is the hardest part about being a travel blogger?

We learnt that you can’t just keep travelling as you need time to stop and work on the blog. This is actually a good thing. We have to travel slowly, factoring many “admin days” to just work on the blog and planning ahead. The blog has been a welcome weight on our shoulders through our travels that keeps us on our toes, just like our baby, it’s our project, our baby, but constantly needs to be mothered.

14 Do we look like brothers!! Posing at the City Palace of Jaipur, India, October 2014
The couple posing at the City Palace of Jaipur, India in October 2014.

7. And what is the best part about being a travel blogger?
The blog has been an excellent way to keep a record of our travels. It’s great because it forces us to be more involved with our travels, such as what we are eating, when and why was a particular building built and making a strong effort to meet locals.

The main two things we both love are picking up recipes from each country we visit and trying to meet local gays and gain their point of view of the gay scene.
8. What are the top three things you always bring with you in your travels?

The nature of travelling has really changed over the past decade. In Stefan’s first backpacking trip to South America in 2005, there was no blog, digital camera, smart phone, etc… Now however:

– Laptop: in this day and age you can’t be a successful travel blogger without a decent laptop to work on. Stefan adores his MacBook Air and Apple-hating Seb gets anything non apple.

– Smart phone: this goes hand in hand with the nature of travel blogging and needing to keep social media active and engaged. Apps like Instagram only work on smart phones. Googlemaps has also been a god send in our travels. Stefan’s an Apple geek, Seb on the other hand hates everything about Apple and get whatever Samsung releases.

– Camera: a decent camera to take high quality photos and videos is a must for our blog posts and any sponsored projects we undertake. We swear by our Panasonic TZ60. This is the only piece of technology we agree on and is our other baby.

10 Striving to make this a long term lifestyle. Sebastien struggling with the altitude at 5,000 metres during our Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal, September 2014
Sebastien struggling with the altitude at 5,000 metres during the Nomadic Boys’ Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal in September 2014.

9. What is the craziest thing you’ve done while traveling?

We did the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, which was a two-week trek around the Annapurna Himalaya mountain range, culminating at Thorong La Pass at 5,416 metres high.

This trek really tested our limits, particularly the effect of the high altitudes where breathing problems and headaches started to kick in. Not to mention the freezing cold. Absolutely loved it though and remains one of the highlights of our trip to Asia.

Oh and trying balut in the Philippines. Not that was really testing our limits!!
10. Do you have another travel blogger you get inspiration from? Who is it and what is the name of their blog? (include link) How does this person inspire you?

When we first hatched the idea to make travel a long term lifestyle, Stefan Google searched what other former lawyers did with themselves and stumbled upon Jodi Ettenberg of Legal Nomads.

At the time, she happened to be in London and we met up with her. My god she was extremely inspiring and to this day we see her as the Mama of our travel blogging experience. We were delighted to meet her again recently at TBEX Asia in Bangkok. She’s huge of course, very popular blogger with a massive reputation, yet despite this, she remains so humble and still the endearing sweet person we met in London all those years ago.

11. Share to us your favourite travel hack?

Instead of booking a hotel via Booking.com or Agoda, contact the hotel directly and offer to book with them instead of the third parties. They will usually give you a discount because this will save them paying out the commission they will have to pay, which is passed on to the customer.

27 Spa lovers ritual at The Four Seasons, Langkawi island in Malaysia, July 2015
Spa lovers ritual at The Four Seasons, Langkawi island in Malaysia in July 2015.

12. Where was your last travel destination? Tell us all about it!

We spent 17 months eating our way around Asia and now we’re back home for Christmas in cold Europe, my god do we miss it! Nepal and Mongolia were our highlights for scenery, Sri Lanka and Borneo for wildlife and the Philippines and Indonesia had the best beaches.

Our heart is still in Thailand, which has it all. Bangkok is an excellent base for gay travelers, affordable, a huge gay scene around Silom Soi 4 and 6 and some of the best food in the world.
13. Where are you going next? What are you most looking forward to on this trip?

We plan to visit Latin America in 2016 and possibly North America. We’re still working on the planning but this is what we’re aiming for. Unlike Asia, the Americas are far more developed with regards to their gay laws, so will have a lot more to offer for the gay traveler.

The Nomadic Boys are all over the internet! You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and Pinterest!

All photos in this post are provided by the Nomadic Boys.

12 Another food fight about to break out, Sandakan, Malaysia Borneo, August 2015
The couple about to have a food fight in Sandakan, Malaysia Borneo in August 2015.

Street Art Snaps: Reykjavik

Location: Reykjavik, Iceland

REYKJAVIK

Reykjavik is a small city, so getting around by foot is tolerable and stumbling upon street art is no surprise. I think these photos show how much talent there is in Reykjavik! I mean look at that elephant!! And that lion! And that lady with the mask! Some of their street art also serves a purpose. For example, that street art depicting how to tie a tie. 🙂1472_10153940420768217_5255174040938595494_n 12439539_10153940421193217_2314758573238725936_n 12524069_10153940420913217_797982337095402320_n 12549066_10153940422563217_5065288815221071822_n 12552920_10153942769978217_4113997145013499478_n 12592293_10153940402398217_4387215599287792945_n 12592774_10153940400603217_3758321048029710072_n 12631301_10153940410823217_819838774886895922_n 12631492_10153940402058217_2889146919994954195_n 12642803_10153942773408217_8119511629398239035_n 12642856_10153940400153217_9175605742441962617_n 12642877_10153940420808217_9103598704874623680_n 12644734_10153942769823217_2452456034909963877_n

Budget Breakdown for My Four-Day Trip to Iceland in January

 

BUDGETThis is a complete budget breakdown of my trip to Iceland for four days from January 24 to 27, 2016.

Iceland’s currency is called the Icelandic Króna or ISK. Based on my research, “the Nordic currencies such as the Danish krone, Swedish krona and Norwegian krone that participated in the historical Scandinavian Monetary Union, the name króna meaning crown comes from the Latin word corona ‘crown’.”

Before leaving for Iceland, here is a breakdown of my expenses:

CAD$659 – Edmonton, Canada to Keflavik, Iceland roundtrip flights and three nights accommodation (no breakfast included) at Hotel Reykjavik Natura
CAD$44 – Roundtrip airport transfer with Flybus
CAD$256 – Four-hour snorkel tour at Silfra with Iceland Excursions including hotel pick up and drop off
CAD$307 – 12-hour glacier hike and northern lights tour with Icelandic Mountain Guides including hotel pick up and drop off
CAD$96 – Blue Lagoon admission including hotel pick up and drop off
Total: CAD$1,362

Currency conversion: CAD$1 = 95.97ISK (As of May 12, 2016)

January 24 Daily total: CAD$96.38 (9,250 ISK)

CAD$17.71 breakfast buffet at KEX Hostel (1,700 ISK)
CAD$16.57 food-pasalubong (1,590 ISK)
CAD$4.17 toothpaste and postcard (400 ISK)
CAD$3.13 two postcards (300 ISK)
CAD$9.38 Hallgrimskirkja entrance fee (900 ISK)
CAD$38.87 dinner at Roadhouse: donut burger and brownie milkshake (3,730 ISK)
CAD$6.56 bottled water (630 ISK)

January 25 Daily total: CAD$96.78 (9,288 ISK)

CAD$8.74 beer (839 ISK)
CAD$40.43 dinner at Laundromat Cafe (3,880 ISK)
CAD$22.91 wool socks (2,199 ISK)
CAD$9.90 two pretzels and one madeleine at Sandholt Bakery (950 ISK)
CAD$14.80 noodle soup with chicken at the Noodle Station. It was sweet and very vinegary. They will ask if you want it spicy. I wanted beef but they ran out. It was good but not the best I had. (1,420 ISK)

January 26 Daily total: CAD$30.22 (2,900 ISK)

CAD$30.22 breakfast at Hotel Natura’s Satt (2,900 ISK)

January 27 Daily total: CAD$118.32 (11,355 ISK)

CAD$6.25 bag (600 ISK)
CAD$24.28 lunch at airport (2,330 ISK)
CAD$63.46 books (6,090 ISK)
CAD$20.16 chocolate and mini Brennivin (1,935 ISK)
CAD$4.17 magnet (400 ISK)

The grand total of my expenses for my Iceland trip for four days is CAD$1,703.70. Looking back at it now, I am so surprised that my Iceland trip is SOOOOO CHEAP! I mean if we only take into account the flights, hotel, food for four days without doing any of those tours or buying any unnecessary trip souvenirs, we can get by with spending only about CAD$850 for four days!!

Travel Video Diary: Seeing the Northern Lights for the first time

My brother and I went to Iceland to go chase the Northern Lights, hike a glacier, take a dip in the Blue Lagoon, and admire the beauty of Iceland’s waterfalls. This video shows our journey starting in Edmonton and flying to Keflavik! For more travel video diaries, subscribe to my Youtube channel. :) (This is a travel video diary for January 23, 2016)

Why Nevis Should Be On Your Bucket List In 2016

If you’re starting to think about vacation destinations, the Caribbean island of Nevis should be a strong contender. It’s located in the Northern part of the West Indies and is one of the least populated islands in the region. It’s a beautiful place that has so far been left undiscovered by the masses. Thus, creating a laid back and luxurious vibe that is unlike anywhere else in the Caribbean. If you want a tranquil vacation with gorgeous beaches, few tourists, and a rich historical background, you’re in for a treat. If you need more reason to visit Nevis in 2016, here are some highly compelling reasons.

pexels-photo-30906-large
Click on photo for credit.

It’s a great place to scuba dive

Whether you’re an expert or just want to try something new, Nevis is a fantastic location for scuba diving adventures. You can discover underwater wildlife hiding in the coral reefs and shipwrecks. There are also caves and caverns that are just waiting to be explored. The most popular diving spot on the island is the Booby High Shoals, which is located between the narrows of Nevis and St Kitts. It’s a 40-foot dive that is full of life with stingrays, turtles, and even nurse sharks. It’s a hub of activity that will make any other dive you’ve experiences seem weak in comparison. If you’re looking for a place to learn more about life under the sea, there is nowhere better.
It’s got a rich heritage

If you enjoy finding out about the history of a place while on vacation, Nevis will not disappoint. With the Horatio Nelson Museum and the Museum of Nevis History, you can find out about the island’s past. You can also visit St Paul’s Anglican church, the botanical gardens and the ruins of plantations and estates. The capital city of Charlestown also has a historical feel. With Georgian-style houses lining the streets it’s hard not to imagine what it was like during the British colonial period. Should you want to extend your trip even further, there is also a wealth of real estate on Nevis that you might want to consider. That way you can be surrounded by the beauty and history of the island every day.

It’s the perfect place to unwind

Relaxation is what most tourists are looking for from a holiday destination, and Nevis does not disappoint. With its glorious beaches and crystal clear waters, there are plenty of places where you can sit back and relax during your stay. The island is also home to a number of award winning spas such as the Four Seasons resort spa. You can have facials, massages, and a whole range of treatments to make you feel completely at ease. Some of these establishments also offer perfume blending and yoga sessions. You’ll have never felt so relaxed in your entire life.

The island of Nevis is a destination you are bound to fall in love with and you’ll never want to leave. From its geographical wonders to its Caribbean attitude, its appeal is never ending. So why not add it to this year’s bucket list and discover it before everyone else does?

 

*This post contains affiliate links.

Travel Video Diary: Lucerne, Switzerland to Paris, France

My Contiki European Magic tour group travelled from Lucerne, Switzerland to Paris, France! We were pretty much in the coach all day but when the coach finally rolled into Paris and I saw Parisian cafes and the Eiffel Tower for the first time, I just died. It was a dream come true. I instantly fell in love with the City of Love so much so that I wanted to kiss my seat mate for the trip. For more travel video diaries, subscribe to my Youtube channel. :) (This is a travel video diary for August 1, 2015)

Road trip hacks to make your journey easier

roadtrip
Click on photo for credit.

Everyone should take a road trip at least once in their lifetime. It provides you with a unique way of discovering new places and meeting new people. There are no rules, but it’s worthwhile following a few simple steps to ensure you get the most out of your trip.

Have a Loose Plan

It’s a good idea to plot your route and have a loose plan in place before you set off. Don’t be too rigid, though. That’s one of the best things about road trips. You never know where you’ll end up and what you’ll see.

Take a few unscheduled stops. Have a break from driving for a few hours and try something different. Guided tours, like the great ocean road tours, are a great way to get to know an area. They provide you with expert knowledge of a locality.

Pack Carefully

When organizing your trip, pack carefully and choose a luggage that is not too cumbersome. Remember, everything will need to fit into the trunk, including any food, etc. If you’re staying in hotels each night, you won’t want to be lugging around a heavy suitcase. Remember to keep a bag for dirty clothes so that you can deal with them separately.

Never leave valuables in your trunk overnight.

Bring a Road Atlas

It’s fine to take along apps to help you follow your route. Take a road atlas as well. If ever you lose your phone or access to GPS, you will still be able to find your way. Make sure you have the latest edition.

Bring Music

Bring lots of music with you for the journey. When you’re driving for hours on end, it’s good to have something to listen to. Bring a few CDs, as well as your MP3 player, just in case. In years to come, when you hear those songs, they will remind you of the trip.

Podcasts also make good listening. Load up your MP3 ahead of time with some interesting shows.

Bring Cash

As well as your debit cards and travellers cheques, make sure you have some cash. This is in case of emergency. Also make sure you have some coins available for toll booths.

Phone cards are also a good idea if they are available in the areas you’re visiting. They provide a good backup to cell phones.

Ask the Locals

Don’t always rely on guidebooks. Ask the locals for their advice on what to visit and where to eat. It’s likely they will know some interesting places that are off the beaten track.

Share the Driving

Share the driving and map-reading duties to vary the journey. If you’re not so hot on reading a map, brush up on your skills before you leave.

Bring a Spare Car Key

Don’t forget to bring a spare car key. Chances are you’ll need it.

Learn How to Change a Tire

If you don’t know how to do this already, learn how to change a tire. This is a skill that everyone should have.
Remember to not be too rigid when planning your journey. Have fun. Be spontaneous. And see where the road takes you.

*This is a submitted post.

Travel Blogger of the Month: Curtis Engler from The Wanderscribe

SHININGThe Wanderscribe‘s Curtis Engler is this month’s Blogger of the Month and he invites everyone to check out his blog and become part of his crazy adventures!

“The best reason to check it out right now is because it is so new and still growing,” said Engler. “Readers can be a part of my adventure in real time from the very start, sharing the moments with me instead of reading a lot of it after the fact. I appreciate input and outside creativity also, so now is a really good chance for them to be a part of the creative process as well.”

Being fairly new to the travel blogging world, Engler said his biggest struggle “is trying to be authentic.” He works hard to be different from other travel bloggers on the world wide web.

“The world is shrinking more every day and there are so many great travel bloggers out there, but I am really trying to bring something new to the table,” he said.

For the full interview with Curtis Engler from The Wanderscribe, continue reading below.

1. Tell us something about yourself not many people know about you?
I may not look “the type” but I’m actually a huge Jazz and Blues fan. If the soul needs work, those two genres can get the job done!

2. What is your blog called and what sets it apart from other travel blogs?
My blog is called The Wanderscribe. I guess what really sets me apart is that the writing extends beyond the website and social media. I’m a freelance writer, as well as an avid personal writer, and I just kind of thought the name was fitting as it all builds up for a novel. At this time I’m still really digging for a unique niche, but I believe that will evolve organically over time.

3. Why should people check out your travel blog?
The best reason to check it out right now is because it’s so new and still growing! Readers can be a part of the adventure in real time from the very start, sharing the moments with me instead of reading a lot of it after the fact. I appreciate input and outside creativity also, so now is a really good chance for them to be a part of the creative process as well.

4. How long have you been blogging?
Unofficially forever haha, but The Wanderscribe made its debut in May 2015.

cliffs of moher
Curtis at Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.

5. Why did you decide you want to be a travel blogger?
I’ve had gypsy feet since I was a kid, so naturally I love travel and being on the road and I also love to write. Combining the two and turning into something just made sense.

6. What is the hardest part about being a travel blogger?
The hardest part for me right now is trying to be authentic. The world is shrinking more every day and there’s so many great travel bloggers out there, but I’m really trying to bring something new to the table.

7. And what is the best part about being a travel blogger?
I love meeting people and networking. I’m hungry for knowledge and as I’ll always be trying to learn and improve, working with other bloggers and the readers is invaluable to me.

8. What are the top three things you always bring with you in your travels?
A laptop, lots of socks and underwear, and Maurice my travel monkey. I’ve forgotten him a couple times (sorry, buddy) but more often than not he’s always in a pocket or a bag or something. He’s seen almost as much of the world as I have.

sand boarding at the Sahara Desert
Riding the sands at the Sahara Desert.

9. What is the craziest thing you’ve done while travelling?
As of right now, probably my impromptu rock climbing adventure. I’d never been before. I could barely climb a step ladder a few years ago, and a couple guys I met while living in a small village in Ireland were climbers and left some gear hanging out the side of a cliff face the day before. They asked me if I wanted to gear up and try and get the stuff out, so without thinking I said okay and got most of it out. I was in jeans and running shoes that were very unsuitable; no helmet or nothing. Not the smartest way to start learning to climb, but definitely the craziest.

10. Do you have another travel blogger you get inspiration from? Who is it and what is the name of their blog? How does this person inspire you?
I pull inspiration from a number of bloggers, but the big one I guess would be Nomadic Matt. He’s so incredibly successful and really dialed in to his niche and his readers, with so many great articles and experiences. Great writer also! The guys a legend and I’m a huge fan.

11. Share to us your favourite travel hack?
Socks, socks, and more socks! I just can’t stress that enough. If you’re on the move a lot and may not have access to a washing facility you burn through socks fast, especially if you’re wearing heavier boots. Don’t get caught without a pair, you’ll regret it. I promise.

12. Where was your last travel destination? Tell us all about it!
My last destination was Ireland, but I’ll definitely be back. I definitely have unfinished business there.

at Castell de Montjuïc in Barcelona Spain
Curtis checking out the Castell de Montjuïc in Barcelona, Spain.

You can find Curtis Engler on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

All photos (except for the first one) in this post are provided by Engler.

The Benefits of Having Your Own Motor Home

Having your own motor home could mean big changes in the way you travel and spend your spare time. You’ll have something you can use to get away at a moments notice right there waiting for you. A bit like your own private jet, except you can take this out on the road wherever you like! Here are just some of the benefits of having your own motor home:

Enjoy More of the Great Outdoors

With your own motor home, the main benefit is enjoying more of the great outdoors. You can set up camp wherever you like, whether it’s close to home or across the country. You won’t have an excuse when you have a travel trailer on your doorstep!

Take Home Comforts Wherever You Go

Some people aren’t bothered, but some are real homebodies. It can be hard when homebodies want to travel but know that they are going to miss the comforts of their homes. Worry no more! With your own motor home, you can take your home comforts wherever you want to go. You’ll feel at home and be able to explore the world at the same time. How amazing!

Complete Freedom

With your own motor home, you get complete freedom. Stay where ever you like, for however long you like before packing up and going somewhere else. You’re in total control of your travels this way, and there’s no better feeling.

Convenience

You can’t deny that having your own motor home on the driveway is really convenient. Had a bad week at work? Go camping for the weekend and get back to nature. You’ll return like a whole new person!

Plenty of Different Motor Homes to Suit You

There are so many different kinds of motor homes available. There’s always going to be one that suits you. Whatever size you need, whether your group is big or small, you’ll find the perfect model.

Family Bonding

Taking your family in your motor home is one of the best ways to bond with them. It’s like a travelling hotel room! Many people take all kinds of games and entertainment to play, and families find that they get to know one another better on these trips. The sense of adventure you get as a family can’t be beaten!

Affordability

You will have to pay for your motor home, but when you compare that to the money you could spend on flights, things begin to seem all the more affordable. Over time, you could save a lot of money on your travels by investing in a motor home now.

Green Travel

Motor homes are far more eco-friendly than airplanes. Every time you take a trip in your motor home, you can proudly say you’re travelling the eco friendly way.

See? There are so many benefits to having your own motor home, you just can’t beat the sense of freedom you will get. Bonding with your family, taking home comforts with you and making it better for the environment are all big bonuses! If you have any thoughts on having your own motor home, leave a comment below!

*This is a submitted post.

Travel Video Diary: Venice, Italy to Lucerne, Switzerland

My Contiki European Magic tour group travelled from Venice, Italy to Lucerne, Switzerland! When we got to Lucerne, we went up Mt. Stanserhorn and then we checked in at Jail Loewengraben, a jail hotel! We also went on a cruise at Lake Lucerne. For more travel video diaries, subscribe to my Youtube channel. :) (This is a travel video diary for July 31, 2015)

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