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What To Do In Udaipur In 2 Days | Rajasthan, India


what to do in udaipur

Udaipur! The City of Lakes and the official Venice of India. It can be hard to decide what to do in Udaipur when you only have a couple of days!

I’ve been to Udaipur 2 times and both times were just for 2 days and 1 night. I’ve compiled together a list of what to do in Udaipur in just 2 days.

There is a lot to see and do in Udaipur and you will feel quite busy but it is easy to fit in all of the main sites and attractions in 2 days. You’ll have plenty of time to soak in the royal vibes of the City of Lakes.

In between running around site seeing make sure you take some time to wander through the incredible streets along the lake near the city palace. Find all the beautiful nooks and crannies and get lost in one of the most beautiful places in India!

what to do in udaipur

1. Visit The City Palace

Visiting the City Palace is an absolute must when you’re in Udaipur!

It is SO beautiful! Get there as early as you can to avoid the crowds. You will want to take 10,000 photos and you don’t want too many tourists in the way!

This city palace is kept beautifully with grand gardens, intricately detailed architecture and stunning interiors in countless rooms.

It is colourful and extremely elegant.

Entrance is just 300 rupees and it is open from 9.30am – 5.30pm.

Bonus: This city palace is very professionally run. We didn’t get hassled by touts trying to sell us souvenirs or by tour guides once we were inside.

2. Take A Boat Ride To Jagamandir Palace

Jagamandir Palace is an island on Lake Pichola. If you’re like me and don’t have a spare $1000 to spend on a room at the famous Taj Lake Palace this is the next best thing!

You can get a boat ride from the City Palace every hour to the palace and return when you’re ready. Boats are constantly coming and going.

The scenic boat ride is relaxing and has amazing views of Lake Pichola and the surrounding buildings. The palace itself is really beautiful and has lovely gardens to walk around. You can even enjoy some icy cold overpriced Kingfisher overlooking the lake.

Tickets can be purchased from the same area you get tickets to the City Palace from. The price was somewhere around 500 rupees per person and 700 rupees after 3pm for sunset.

You also have to pay 30 rupees or so to be able to walk around the grounds of The City Palace.

I combined the City Palace and the Jagamandir Palace at the same time. We ended up having to run through the city palace to get to the boat on time! Give yourself plenty of time for the City Palace otherwise visit the city palace afterwards if time permits.

3. Eat And Drink Like Royalty

If you’re a bit boujee and have a luxurious experience in India, Udaipur is the place. This is particularly relevant if you’ve been travelling around India and roughing it for a long period of time! The luxuries in Udaipur are a breath of fresh lake air.

There are SO many amazing luxury boutique palaces turned hotels and guesthouses on and around Lake Pichola. You can either splash out and stay at one of these places or just go for a drink and food.

Jagat Niwas Palace

My favourite spot hands down is Jagat Niwas Palace. It is set right on the lake with the most beautiful seating area and gardens with views to die for. All your Udaipur Instagram dreams will come true!

This palace has been in the same family for generations. The owners were lounging around enjoying their incredible palace decked out in Chanel and Gucci. They were more than happy to let us pet their dog and share the history of their hotel with us.

The service here was impeccable and the best part is their prices weren’t anywhere near exorbitant. They were really affordable especially considering the scene! I recommend setting aside a good couple of hours to enjoy your time here. Better yet set aside 2 blocks of time, because you will want to go back!

Lake Pichola Hotel

Lake Pichola Hotel is another really nice place to go and feel like royalty.

It is a large hotel right on the lake. One of the things I love about this place is that you can go for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Enjoy the ground floor restaurant for breakfast and the beautiful rooftop for drinks, lunch and dinner.

The interiors of this place are truly inspired by Rajasthani Palaces and it feels very luxe. Think high windows & drapes, antique chairs, chandeliers, crisp white carved marble and intricately tiled ceilings.

You can enjoy their buffet breakfast for 500 rupees or order off their Alacarte menu.

The prices at Lake Pichola Hotel are a bit steeper than Jagat Niwas but nothing crazy and it definitely has the WOW factor.

4. Take A Stroll To Ambrai Ghat

Ambrai Ghat is on the other side of the beautiful ‘Venice’ bridges. Take a stroll across the bridge and turn left once you reach a road and continue past the Hanuman Ghat. Continue following the footpath until you find yourself at the Ambrai Ghat on the water.

This ghat is so beautiful! not only is the walk there so nice passing through some incredible palaces, but this spot has some of the best views of the City Palace, The Taj Lake Palace and the mountains. It gives you a panoramic view of Lake Pichola!

There are lots of stairs to sit on and cool street art to look at. If you have an extra night you can come here for a really chilled sunset.

The Ambrai Ghat is very close to Lake Pichola Hotel so you can combine these two activities at the same time.

If you’re on a budget wondering what to do in Udaipur that is free then this is it!

5. Go On A Gondola Ride Up To Shri Manshapuma Temple For Sunset

One of my favourite sunset spots in all of Rajasthan is from this temple so it is a must to fit in during your 2 days in Udaipur. You can take a quick gondola ride up to the temple for a small fee (always count your change- the ticket officers are rip-offs!).

Once you reach the top walk along the pathway to the right where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Lakes and the rest of the city. Keep going until you reach the first viewpoint of the lakes with the beautiful pink Rajasthani pointed barriers.

Continue along the pathway until you reach the temple, which is still under construction! Here you can walk out onto the balcony and enjoy the sweeping views of the lakes and layers of hazy mountains. You can even see the Monsoon Palace high on a mountain from here. Enjoy the sky turning red to pink and the incredible reflections from the water.

I did see there was a path that goes up there but I’ve always just caught the gondola which is handy when you are limited on time!

6. Visit The Royal Centopaths

The Royal Centopaths are the Tombs build for the Kings or Maharajas of that city.

There are Royal Tombs in every city in Rajasthan and I highly recommend visiting the Royal Tombs in each city you visit. They are incredibly beautiful, I mean the Taj Mahal is a royal tomb! When you visit these tombs you will feel like you have truly witnessed the best of Rajasthani Royal Architecture.

Another amazing thing about the Royal Tombs is that they are usually free or very cheap to enter and not many people seem to go as they are usually located just outside of the main city.

The Royal Tombs in Udaipur are some of the largest and most elaborate. They are sadly also not very well kept or maintained. They are located at the Ahar Museum, which you can search on google maps to find the location.

It’s a bit confusing finding the right entrance that lets you into where the tombs are. There is a gated entrance off the main road on the side which may be locked when you arrive, some ‘guards’ will be nearby to let you in.

There are no tickets to get in but they will ask for money for permission for you to take pictures! I recommend paying them otherwise they will chase you around and try and take your devices! Also, take your shoes off when you are walking on the tombs.

Take your time grounds, the overgrowth of plants, flowing rivers and never-ending tombs and you will see why this is firmly on my list of what to do in Udaipur! This place is very remarkable and well worth the 15 minute drive from Lake Pichola!

7. Pig Out On Unlimited Rajasthani Thali At Natraj hotel

Rajasthan is famous for its food. Think lots of oil, sugar, heavy spice and salt! It’s not for the faint-hearted but it is so incredibly delicious you have to try to indulge especially when you are in Rajasthan!

One of the specialities in Rajasthan is the unlimited Rajasthani Thali and one of the best places to enjoy this meal is at the Natraj Hotel in Udaipur.

Now, this restaurant is local and in the hectic main town of Udaipur away from the lakes and shiny palaces. You’ll be dining alongside hoards of hungry locals!

For about 250 rupees you can get unlimited portions of multiple curries, vegetable sides, chapati, rice and fried bread. As soon as you sit down someone will come and put down a big plate and lots of little bowls on top (all stainless steel of course). Multiple men will then start coming around and fill up your bowls with all of the food!

They will keep coming around and filling up your bowls until you beg them to stop!! They serve lunch and dinner.

Do yourself a favour and try this out, even if your tum is a bit upset afterwards its all worth it!

Since this is away from Lake Pichola and close to the Ahar Museum, it’s a great idea to do this after you visit the Royal Tombs.

Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

8. Enjoy An Evening At A Rooftop Cafe

There are countless rooftop restaurants and cafes in Udaipur where you can perch yourself for the evening with a drink and some food to watch the sun go down. Pretty much every hostel and hotel will have a rooftop cafe for you to enjoy as well!

I stayed at Bunkyard Hostel and their rooftop cafe is worth going to even if you aren’t staying there! I visited another rooftop cafe a number of times when I was there but it isn’t on Google Maps and I have no idea what the name is… but it is up some bright colour stairs labelled with food dishes right behind a fruit juice stall. Refer to black circle on my the map for the exact location!

Yummy Yoga is also another good rooftop spot to enjoy a meal! Some of the rooftop cafes have a poor standard of food so make sure you ask for a personal recommendation from people in Udaipur on where to go!

What To Do In Udaipur: Tips

How To Get There

You can fly, bus, train or taxi into Udaipur. It is very well connected to all of Rajasthan, Delhi and Agra. Use Redbus to check for private bus routes and book train tickets with an agent in advance! There is an airport in Udaipur as well making it simple to get to.

Catch an Uber, Ola or taxi long distances in India is very affordable so this is another option for comfort and convenience if you have the budget!

The cheapest option by a million miles is local buses where you can just go to the public bus stand to by tickets however this is also by far the most uncomfortable. It is always a memorable experience if you’re up for it!

How To Get Around

It is easy to get around Udaipur by tuk-tuk and Uber. But just note that Uber is restricted from picking you up and dropping you off in the main touristy part around Lake Pichola. The options are to either walk or pay a premium for a tuk-tuk.

It is also easy and cheap to hire scooters in Udapir if you are experienced and confident on Indian roads.

Keep in mind that the traffic in Udaipur can get horrendous due to big cars and narrow roads. Factor this in when you are needing to get to a bus or train!

Withdrawing cash in Udaipur

Like most places in India withdrawing cash can be a nightmare in Udaipur! There are a couple of SBI ATMs close to Lake Pichola and the City Palace. However, I’ve found these ATMs no longer work with my international card (Mastercard). The most reliable and convenient ATM for me in Udaipur is the Indusland ATM near Lake Pichola.

ATMs usually limit each withdrawal to 10,000 rupees ($140).

A lot of hotels, shops and restaurants in Udaipur are more high end so they will accept international credit and travel cards. However, the cheaper guesthouses and local cafes will only accept cash.

Get a prepaid travel card

Get a prepaid travel card before you go and save money on the exchange rate and ATM fees. If you are in the UK, Europe or Australia I recommend Revolut. You can open an app-based account in minutes. Hold and exchange 29 different currencies and spend anywhere with no fees in over 150 countries with a contactless MasterCard or Visa. I have used their online account and prepaid MasterCard for over three years and I love it. I have saved a fortune on fees.

You get £200 of free ATM withdrawals a month (only 2% after that) and the exchange rate they give is the market rate

You also will get individual GBP and EUR IBANs auto-savings, cutting edge budgeting and analytics, which is so useful I even use Revolut for all my transactions at home when I am not travelling.

There is also a Premium plan which offers exclusive card designs, overseas medical insurance, £400 free monthly ATM and unlimited FX transfers.

Revolut has a 24/7 live chat in the app so if you have any issues someone is there to help you with your questions. 

This post contains an affiliate link for Revolut. If you decide to purchase through these links, I receive a percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you

Now You Know What To Do In Udaipur in 2 Days!

So book those tickets and experience one of the most beautiful places in India that you will remember for a life time, even if it’s just for 2 days!

Are you planning a trip to Rajasthan? Check out my other posts on Instagram spots in Jaipur and the top things to do in Pushkar!

what to do in udaipur

The post What To Do In Udaipur In 2 Days | Rajasthan, India appeared first on Chasing Coconuts Travel.



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Australia’s wildfires are turning New Zealand’s glaciers red


One of my favorite parts about the mountains of New Zealand’s South Island is my proximity to glaciers. Growing up in suburban Virginia, I never really experienced mountains of this scale before – and now I’m hooked.

Living in Wanaka, the heart of the Southern Alps of New Zealand, and a peaceful lakeside mountain town, I’ve spent a lot of time in our neighboring national park – Mt. Aspiring.

Mount Aspiring National Park is a magical mix of remote high country wilderness, big mountains, and stunning river valleys. Home to over a hundred glaciers, it’s a place straight from the Lord of the Rings – literally. Every time I explore Mt. Aspiring, it takes my breath away.

But a new phenomenon has arrived in New Zealand – for the past couple of weeks, the smoke and dust from the unprecedented bushfires in Australia have arrived in New Zealand.

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

I was away from Wanaka when I started to see posts from all my Wanaka friends on social media about their cars coated with thick red dust. It seems the devastating effects of the immense wildfires in Australia have made their way here.

As hundreds of uncontrolled fires burn across New South Wales and the Queensland coastlines in Australia, the wind has carried the smoke, ash, and dust thousands of kilometers across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand.

For days our usually clear skies were hazy, a bizarre thing to witness.

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

As the sky turned an ominous yellow haze, the smoke blanketed towns all across the South Island before eventually clearing up a few days later as the winds changed.

We carried on with our normalcy and routines, luckily free from the horrors of fires (at present). But as I journeyed back into Mt. Aspiring National Park last Friday, I noticed something unusual.

Why did the glaciers appear to be red?

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

Hopping on a last-minute scenic helicopter flight with Wanaka Helicopters out to see the glaciers around Mt. Aspiring, I was fizzing with excitement as I piled into the front seat on one of those calm, spring mornings.

We’ve had a crazy amount of rain this springtime in Wanaka, so much rain in fact that the lake is high. Normally quite dry on this side of the mountains, everyone is worried the town might flood this week as more rain is on the way.

Right now is the perfect time for a scenic flight around Wanaka, and it’s definitely the most colorful time of year. The valleys are bright green with all of the rainfall, and there is still snow on the mountaintops. For photographers like me, we froth on these colors.

australia fire new zealand

As the snow melts and the mountains are pounded with massive rainfalls, hundreds of temporary waterfalls gush down from the glaciers in a scene out of a movie. It doesn’t look real.

Taking off from the Wanaka airport on a morning Amazing Aspiring scenic heli flight, conditions were just magical. No wind, blue skies, and warm air, spring was in the air, and I was itching to take in my favorite mountains again.

Zooming out over the town and down the iconic Matukituki Valley, I could see the river was pumping, and the lake was high, while the stunning peak of Mt. Aspiring twinkled in the distance.

And as we got closer and closer towards the first of the mighty glaciers, I pulled my sunglasses off to wipe them. Did I see things, or did the snow look, well, a bit red?

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

From far away, the glaciers looked almost dirty, a sooty look they often get at the end of a hot summer as the ice melts and rock tumbles down onto the ice in certain places. But it was springtime, and the snows were beginning to melt. What’s the deal?

Chatting with the pilot, I realized this phenomenon was tied to the raging wildfires plaguing the east coast of Australia. The recent westerlies brought a red haze and smoke across the pond here to New Zealand.

As the dust settled across the South Island, it coated our glaciers in a layer of red too.

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

How crazy is that?

While I’m no scientist, I wonder this layer of red will exist in the ice to tell the story of the bushfires in a thousand years? The same way we could see the ash layers from ancient volcanic eruptions around the world now?

Curious. Curious.

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

As a frequent visitor to Mt. Aspiring, and flying as often as I can around these big mountains I call home, it was unusual and exciting to see something rare and different. How crazy is it that we can see the impact of fires in Australia here in New Zealand?!

It’s pretty remarkable to see the impact of the fires from so far away.

Our glaciers don’t need any more battles as they are already truly endangered; it puts the impact of climate change into even more stark reality we can’t ignore.

This will cause our glaciers to melt even faster due to the obstruction of the ice-albedo effect – where shiny glaciers reflect energy into space. Someone correct me, but this is how I understand it to work; the red dust is now covering the usually reflective glacial ice, causing the glaciers to melt faster. Ah, science!

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

Cue the anti-climate change propaganda. Though I would be heartily surprised if there were any non-science believers still on my blog.

The higher temperatures caused by climate change allows for more dryness and worse fire seasons in Australia especially. Greenhouse gas emissions have a direct impact on increased temperatures, which equates to increased dryness.

Climate change definitely makes bushfires worse.

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

Nothing really puts into perspective both the immensity of our mountains quite like a helicopter flight. It shows just how fragile they are. Especially when you see the impact of something so massive here in New Zealand.

I want everyone to be able to experience the joy and euphoria that comes from these wild spaces. I want to preserve our glaciers for generations to come. It breaks my heart to see the devastation both directly in Australia but also high on our precious mountains here in New Zealand.

Good luck to everyone working hard to stop this.

Have you ever seen anything like this? Have you experienced the effects of wildfires before? I’m curious, share if you don’t mind.

australia fire new zealand

Many thanks to Wanaka Helicopters for showing me around my favorite mountains. Like always, I’m keeping it real – as if you could expect less from me!

The post Australia’s wildfires are turning New Zealand’s glaciers red appeared first on Young Adventuress.



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12 surprising things I learned while in Botswana


For the past couple of years, I’ve had the word “Botswana” scribbled on a note above my desk, a place that I’ve been longing to visit for as long as I can remember.

Ever since I was a little girl, I would rip out pages from my parent’s National Geographics depicting lions on the hunt or Jane Goodall with the chimps, my curiosity piqued; even then, I had the desire to travel to these places and experience their wonders for myself. A few years ago, I visited South Africa for the first time, and I was hooked.

I have been counting down until I could return to Africa.

My curiosity was and is immense for Africa, and was fizzing with excitement to return, this time traveling to Botswana with De Beers Group. Yes, those De Beers. The diamond ones.

botswana travel

botswana travel

While going on safari in the Okavango Delta in Botswana had been a dream of mine since I was little, deep down, I knew there was much more to learn about this unique part of Africa. I’ve been itching to dig deeper on my travels, and share stories and cover beyond the expected.

We all know that Africa is so much more than lions and gazelle. A complex and profound part of the world, I was eager to explore it through an entirely new lens – community, people, economics.

Almost as soon as I stepped off the plane in Gaborone, I realized that nearly all of my preconceptions about Botswana were off-base. But that’s why we travel, and I never forget that.

botswana travel

botswana travel

Botswana is special. Really special. And its uniqueness comes directly from something you might not expect – diamonds.

The cradle of humankind, the ancestral home of humanity, is right here in Botswana, and it is the people here who have made all the difference. Kind and welcoming, they have moved me tremendously. As I listened to their stories of how many opportunities they’ve had (thanks, in part, to De Beers Group and its partnership with the government of Botswana), I could feel the sand shifting beneath my feet of everything I thought I knew.

Botswana taught me so many things, and now it’ll sit firmly in my psyche as a place of exceptional education for me. Here are some of the most surprising things I learned while exploring Botswana – enjoy!

botswana travel

botswana travel

1.  Botswana is one of the world’s biggest producers of diamonds

While diamonds have been discovered all over the world, from South Africa to Russia, Botswana is undoubtedly at the heart of the diamond world. In fact, Botswana is one of the world’s largest producer of diamonds by value, contributing around 20% of the total world production of diamonds.

Botswana also contributes 60-70% of De Beers Group’s total diamonds, and diamonds count for nearly half of the government’s value.

Did you know that diamond revenues enable every child in Botswana to receive free education up to the age of 13?

botswana travel

botswana travel

2. The Okavango Delta is the largest inland delta in the world.

The Okavango Delta has topped the bucket lists of most travelers enamored with wildlife who dream of safaris in Africa.

Perched at the geographical heart of southern Africa, Botswana’s Okavango Delta is the closest thing to Eden left on the planet.

As crystal clear waters trickle down thousands of kilometers from wet highlands of Angola, they disperse almost finger-like out into the hot sands of the famous Kalahari desert. Here, classic Africa wildlife thrives in the largest wetland in the world.

Though right now the Delta is sitting in a drought, which is why it looks so dry.

botswana travel

botswana travel

3. The growing economy of Botswana is powerful

Fifty years ago, Botswana was one of the poorest places on the planet.

With only a couple of kilometers of paved roads, three secondary schools nationwide, and only one doctor for every 48,000 people, you don’t need me to tell you that the future seemed tough, and the outlook for many was bleak.

Then in 1967, a year after gaining independence, the first diamonds were discovered in Botswana, and everything changed. Instead of descending into chaos like you might have imagined (me), Botswana flourished.

De Beers Group partnered with the people of Botswana, setting up a 50/50 partnership called Debswana to mine diamonds. Not only that, but 15% of the whole company is now owned by the government of Botswana too – wow! So for the past 50 years, billions of dollars have been invested back into the economy here.

81 cents of every dollar from the partnership with De Beers Group in Botswana goes straight back to the country’s economy. In effect, the people of Botswana own part of De Beers Group. Let that sink in for a second.

Now, Botswana is considered to be an upper-middle-income country with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Its GDP has grown 500 times since 1960, and Botswana is in the top 5 countries with the highest increasing GDPs per capita. 

botswana travel

botswana travel

4. Botswana’s currency means rain

When 84% of a country is covered in a sandy desert, there is one word that reigns above the rest – rain or pula.

Pula is so significant to the people of Botswana that it also is the currency. After all, what is more critical here than rain?

Pula is also used as a greeting that means welcome, farewell, blessings, and cheers, among other uses. 

botswana travel

botswana travel

5. Botswana is home to the world’s largest African elephant population

Honestly, is there anything better than watching elephants in the wild? Especially babies?

Nope, didn’t think so.

botswana travel

botswana travel

6. It’s not a cheap tourist destination

Botswana is by far the most expensive country to go on safari in Africa.

Botswana is not the cheapest tourist destination to travel to. However, their policy is “High quality, low impact,” reducing visitor numbers by bringing in those willing to shell out for it. Appealing to those who want to enjoy a wildlife safari without the tourist crowds that are so common in many other national parks, Botswana is worth every dollar.

Conservation is vital in Botswana, and it’s been a global leader in a national commitment to protecting wild spaces. Approximately 38% of Botswana’s territory is protected as national parks, sanctuaries, reserves, and wildlife management areas.

Botswana has one of the highest conservation land ratios in Africa, with more than 25% of the land area set aside for parks and reserves to conserve the national heritage.

botswana travel

botswana travel

7. Botswana is the least corrupt country in Africa

Botswana is the least corrupt country in Africa, according to the findings of the annual Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index. Ranking 34 out of 180 countries, Botswana has consistently ranked high in terms of least corruption, outpacing even countries in Europe.

botswana travel

botswana travel

8. The value of diamonds in Botswana is both ethical and priceless

Diamonds represent up to a third of Botswana’s GDP and are an inevitable fact of life here. Botswana is peaceful, and all diamonds mined here are conflict-free.

Around 13,000 people in Botswana are employed directly through the partnership between De Beers Group and the Government of Botswana. With tens of thousands more supported through the supply chain of diamonds, and through the spending on employees and suppliers within the economy. In fact, around one in every 20 jobs in Botswana stem back to De Beers Group’s partnership with the government.

Even the first lady of Botswana was once an employee of Debswana, De Beers Group’s mining partnership with the government.

botswana travel

botswana travel

9. Zebras are Botswana’s national animal

Zebras were chosen as the national animal of Botswana for the most beautiful reasons. Seemingly harmless and lovable, they’re popular with the people of Botswana and are full of symbols for this unique country.

Zebras, with their iconic black and white stripes, signify the racial harmony in Botswana. These stripes join on the face of the zebra to form a diamond shape – remarkable given the role diamonds have played in Botswana’s development.

When Botswana became independent in 1966, the black and white stripes on the new flag were primarily influenced by the zebra, and the stripes were meant to represent the harmony between people of different races and ethnicities in Botswana.

botswana travel

botswana travel

10. Though maybe termites should be the national animal

Back in the ‘60s and ’70s, scientists discovered minerals from kimberlite, a type of rock that hosts diamonds, on the surface of the Kalahari Desert. But how did diamond minerals that dwell 40 meters below the surface of the earth come to see the light of day?

Termites dug them up while looking for water, building large mounds they call home. Termites led to the discovery of the Jwaneng mine – considered to be the richest diamond mine in the world.

Team Termite!

botswana travel

botswana travel

11. There’s no room for tribalism in Botswana

As I was flying from Botswana, editing photos, and listening to podcasts, This American Life started to share the most exciting story about Botswana’s progressive democracy. To combat tribalism, Botswana requires all civil servants to move to a different tribal area from their own for a few years. Holy crap! I’ve never heard anything like this.

While I’m far from educated enough to A. have an opinion on this and B. fully understand the nuances of something so complicated as tribalism in Africa, here’s the gist of what I’ve learned.

Post-colonial Africa is complicated, and a standard narrative is that after independence, ethnic violence ensues. When Botswana became independent 50 years ago, they were afraid that tribalism would rip the new nation apart so they did everything they could to create a feeling of one country and to avoid the patriotism of tribes, even forcing civil servants and teachers to live outside of their “tribal” areas.

botswana travel

botswana travel

12. Botswana is home to some of the kindest people

While in Botswana, I was always impressed by the kindness and friendliness of locals.

I saw and heard firsthand so many compelling stories from the people that live there. I learned so much about how diamonds have changed lives here. I could really see how De Beers Group has spent decades working on building a long-term positive legacy and creating a future for the people of Botswana.

The story of Botswana is fascinating, and the people are amazing. Now, when can I come back?

Did you know any of this about Botswana? What did you know about diamonds before? Are you Team Termite too? Spill!

botswana travel

botswana travel

Many thanks to De Beers Group for hosting me in Botswana, like always I’m keeping it real. All opinions are my own like you could expect less from me!

The post 12 surprising things I learned while in Botswana appeared first on Young Adventuress.



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Stocking Stuffers For Him & Her Under $15


Stocking Stuffers For Him & Her Under $15

Hey there!! If you’re in need of some stocking stuffers, you’re in the right place today. I think that compiling stocking stuffer ideas for my gift guide is one of my favorite parts of holiday gift guides. 🙂 You should be able to find a stocking stuffer for EVERY person on your list here!

ALSO, CHECK OUT:
Gift Guide For Her Under $50
Gift Guide For Him Under $50
Gift Guide For Parents Or In-Laws Under $50

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If you purchase something through my links, please know I deeply appreciate it. And feel free to reach out and tell me, too! 🙂 Thank you for supporting Coffee With Summer!


Stocking Stuffers For HIM & HER Under $15! Shop them here!
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Stocking Stuffers For Him

1. Native Deodorant – Native Deodorant is quickly dominating the paraben-free and aluminum-free deodorant market and for good reason! It’s great for men and women and is a great practical stocking stuffer. Price: $11.99!

2. Traveler’s Cocktail Kit – The Traveler’s Cocktail Kit comes in 4 different cocktail options: Bloody Mary, Moscow Mule, Champagne, and Old Fashioned (pictured above). This travel-sized tin contains everything he needs to mix a cocktail on the move or in flight. It’s $12.99!

3. Copper Stainless Steel Whiskey Tumblers – This 2-pack of copper whiskey tumblers is a great stocking stuffer for the whiskey-loving dude. This set is a steal at just $12.99 – grab it while you can!

4. Quilted Ice Scraper Mitt – For those who live in more wintery states, this is a fun stocking stuffer for any guy. It’s a cozy mitt that’s perfect for scraping ice off a car for quick removal. It’s only $7.99!

5. Burt’s Bees Lip Balm Pack (4) – Men need lip balm, too! Especially during the cold winter months. I always give my dad and Michael a pack of lip balm every year because it’s absolutely a necessity! This 4-pack is only $10.99!

6. 10-Piece Travel Grooming Kit – For the guy who’s always on the go, sneak this travel grooming kit into his stocking. It even includes a bottle opener! 😉 This whole set is $14.99.

7. Contigo Stainless Steel SNAPSEAL Travel Mug – Every guy needs a good, trusty travel mug and Contigo is simply the best. This travel mug holds 16 oz. and has leak-proof SNAPSEAL technology. It’s only $10.00!

8. Adidas Optimal Beanie – A beanie will always be a great stocking stuffer pick for the guys. This one from Adidas is a black/gray pattern mix. Grab it here for only $9.99 (50% off its retail price!)

9. Duke Cannon Big Ass Brick of Soap – For the hardworking man who needs some extra care for their bodies… grab them one of these Big Ass Bricks of Soap for their stocking. They have a ton of different scent options. It’s only $7.99!

10. Car Phone Mount – Everyone should have worry-free driving and this durable car phone mount helps with that. It fits most phones and is a steal at $9.99 on Amazon (Prime!)


10 Awesome Stocking Stuffer Ideas For MEN Under $15
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Stocking Stuffers For Her

1. Joico K-Pak Intense Hydrator Treatment – This hydration treatment from Joico is one of the best out there for dry, damaged hair. It’s perfect for any girl’s stocking! This is $5.00!

2. Luggage Tags W/Full Privacy Backs – How cute are these luggage tags? I saw them and knew I had to add them here. They come in a TON of different colors and pack-size options. The best part is that the backs of them have your information covered up nicely. This 2-pack is only $6.99 on Amazon (Prime!)

3. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Towelettes (Single-Packs!) – These are the best makeup remover towelettes out there and now they come in single-use packs, which is genius. They’re perfect for travel and they easily fit into a purse, gym bag, in your car’s glove-box… you name it. These are must-haves! This 20-count pack is $7.99!

4. The Body Shop Body Butter & Shower Gel Set – The Body Shop has some of the best products out there. Their body butter is my personal favorite. I have the strawberry scent and it. is. incredible! This set is only $9.00!

5. Essie Limited Edition ULTA Exclusive Kit – Nail polish is always a good idea for a stocking stuffer for the girls but this set is a need! It contains – Essie Nail Polish in color Fiji and their Speed Setter Top Coat. The kit is $15 and well worth it!

6. EcoTools Cleanse & Treat Mini Facial Kit – There’s nothing like a good self-care day and this mini facial kit is perfect for the girl who loves pampering. It has a deep cleansing brush (w/storage cap), an under-eye roller, and a textured face roller. The reviews are great and the price is $14.99! (Also buy 1, get one 50% off right now!)


10 Stocking Stuffer Ideas For HER Under $15
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7. 52 Lists For Calm: Journal – I’m a huge fan of Moorea Seal’s 52 Lists creations and this is one personally on my list! The 52 Lists For Calm is a journal to help soothe anxiety and inspire a peaceful life. Such a great gift for any lady! It’s only $11.89 on Amazon (Prime!)

8. Cozy Fuzzy Socks – Fuzzy socks are always a good idea for a stocking stuffer! Who doesn’t love fuzzy socks? This pack of 3 is an awesome find at just $12.99 on Amazon (Prime!)

9. An Interactive Guide To Hand-Lettering – Hand-lettering has grown increasingly popular over the past few years and it makes for a fun hobby. For the creative in your life, sneak this into their stocking. It’s $13.44 on Amazon (Prime!)

10. NYM’s Beach Babe Texturizing Spray – This travel size sea salt spray is a personal holy grail of mine. It’s perfect for the days you don’t feel like doing much with your hair but you still want some volume. This is just $1.94 right now.


Here's a list of affordable stocking stuffers for him and her! Check it out.
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AND THERE YOU HAVE IT! Happy shopping!

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The post Stocking Stuffers For Him & Her Under $15 appeared first on Coffee With Summer.





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How to be an adventurous traveler when you’re not all that hardcore


The older I get, the more self-aware I become, and the more comfortable I get in my skin. About. Damn. Time.

And after a decade of world adventures, I’ve come to realize quite a few things about my style of travel in particular. While I love adventure and exploring and trying new things, I’m not all that hardcore. Not remotely.

Sure, go ahead and laugh. The original “Adventuress” isn’t that much of an adventurer in the literal sense anymore. You won’t find me taking skydiving lessons, skiing off cliffs, or biking around the world. That’s not my style, and it’s definitely not been since I hit my 30’s.

What no one tells you about adventure travel

world adventures

world adventures

While the extreme world adventures that you might imagine don’t appeal to me anymore, that doesn’t mean I don’t love adventure travel. My definition of experience has just changed quite a bit the more I grow up.

It’s funny, to my hardcore adventurous friends, I’m super vanilla, but to a lot of people, I seem extreme. It’s all about perception!

Perhaps the biggest thing I’ve learned over the years is that adventure travel doesn’t have to be hardcore – it could just mean trying something new and exciting.

world adventures

world adventures

To me, adventure travel is for everyone, and it’s all about how you define it.

For me, I find much more purpose these days in taking on a big challenge on my travels, to test myself and sense of adventure, and then revel in achieving it. I’m not one for any big adrenaline rushes anymore or looking for quick thrills.

Give me a good old hike or session in the snow and call me happy. My world adventures are not stopping any time soon.

Here are some of my best tips for adventure travel when you’re like me, and you’re not really all that hardcore – enjoy!

How to be an adventuress

world adventures

world adventures

Take the plunge

Scuba diving can be a fantastic excuse to visit some of the globe’s best most scenic destinations. Recreational diving is one of my favorite past times, and I’ve been diving around the world, from right here in New Zealand to Bali and the Maldives. 

But if diving’s not your thing, snorkeling is a great alternative, and often heaps cheaper.

There are loads of tropical spots that offer boat trips to reefs and islands where you can see spectacular fish and reefs – just for inspiration, check out the Phi Phi islands and Koh Tao in Thailand. There’s the Yasawa Islands in Fiji, so many places in the Seychelles, and Hawaii, and last but not least, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsunday Islands. 

world adventures

world adventures

Sign up for a safari

If you’re a fan of wildlife like me, there is nothing better than going on safari. 

Traveling to safari lodges in Africa tops the bucket list of many and with good reason – it’s pretty damn amazing. The ultimate “softcore” adventure, most safaris take you around in a 4WD vehicle for game viewings, not requiring any serious physical strengths.

Of course, there are self-drive, walking, boating, and riding safaris, too, but the traditional way is usually in an old tricked out Landrover.

Having just returned from a few days of safari in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, my mind has been blown away again.

world adventures

world adventures

Catch a wave

If you’ve never surfed and thought you couldn’t, why not give it a whirl with some surf lessons. It’s quite the workout but super fun. 

Don’t worry about feeling silly – you’re bound to be learning alongside other first-timers.

Or, if you’re committed, consider a women’s surf camp – a great bonding experience and a different way to see a country. Good options include Bali, Australia, Hawaii, Portugal, India, Nicaragua, and Morocco. Women’s surf camps and retreats are becoming increasingly popular. 

world adventures

world adventures

Sail into the sunset

The very friendly sport of sailing is open to all levels of ability and can be done in so many areas around the globe.

For instance, in Australia, there’s a tradition on Wednesday afternoons where many yacht clubs invite would-be sailors to join them for a sail and possibly a race, usually for free.

Or if you’ve dreamed of sailing around gorgeous coastlines and dropping anchor at deserted islands, there are plenty of sailing holidays where you can do as much or as little as you like – check out the Greek islands, Croatia, Australia’s Whitsundays, the Caribbean, and New Zealand. 

world adventures

world adventures

Guided adventure trips

It’s one thing to have an idea for an adventure, then go out and acquire all of the necessary skills to be able to do it safely. For me, I much prefer to go on guided adventures with an expert, someone who has certified guiding experience, which can both show me a fantastic time and keep me safe as.

From rafting the mighty Landsborough River here in New Zealand to guided via ferratas in the Dolomites in Italy, there’s always a guided adventure to be had!

world adventures

world adventures

Stand up paddle-boarding somewhere special

Stand-up paddling, or SUP as it’s known, is one of the fastest-growing watersports.

After some initial wobbles, most people find they can stand up and begin paddling on calm waters – surf may take a little extra mastery. It’s a great way to get fit and explore a landscape (coastal and rivers) on water.

Doing it in a group makes it friendly, too, and I’ve often joined in on guided SUP missions while traveling. Check out your options in Australia, the Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Slovenia.

Here in New Zealand, you’ll find me out on the lake and coast on my Moana inflatable SUP board, which I love to take out and about.

world adventures

world adventures

Take a hike

Walking holidays are graded for all levels of fitness. Above all, hiking is great for solo travelers as you can get to know people in a relaxed setting.

The possibilities are endless from short hikes just about anywhere to more extended expeditions such as the Camino Trail that passes through France, Spain, and Portugal.

In addition to other hotspots include hiking New Zealand, Peru, Japan, and Iceland.

Active Adventures runs guided hiking adventures around the most beautiful parts of New Zealand.

world adventures

world adventures

It’s snow time

Never tried skiing or snowboarding, never fear – that’s what ski school is for.

Prepare to have fun and a few tumbles, with days punctuated with hot chocolate and spectacular winter scenery. It’s always ski season somewhere in the world. The US, Canada, Japan, Europe are all exceptional during the northern hemisphere’s winter, while New Zealand is the place to go from June to September.

If skiing or snowboarding isn’t up your alley, consider cross-country skiing in Scandinavia or Austria.

world adventures

world adventures

Hop on your bike!

Not fit, but love to pedal? No worries. Cycling opens up the world adventures to all.

There are cycling trips for all levels, from touring vineyards in France to meandering through the rice paddies in Vietnam. From tackling hilly rides in Sri Lanka, cycling is a great way to see the country and boosts your fitness levels too.

Some cities are bike-friendly too. Check out bike hire or have an urban cycling adventure on one of the free bikes offered in places like Geneva and Zurich. You can also take part in bike-sharing schemes in Paris, London, Dublin, Melbourne, and Mexico City. 

Now with the popularity of e-bikes, cycling holidays have never been more accessible – phew!

world adventures

world adventures

Guided expedition trips

If you don’t want to stick to one kind of activity, there are adventure tours that combine it all. From trekking, kayaking, cycling, temples, and wildlife, even with accommodation ranging from camping to homestays to luxury lodges. 

One of my favorite guided expeditions was to ride horses in Mongolia, a trip that truly changed my life.

A week in Cuba could see you hiking to waterfalls, taking salsas lessons, and soaking up the atmosphere in Havana. Or, if exploring markets, beaches, and temples is your thing, Cambodia or Thailand could be the go. Intrepid Travel has some great options, including trips just for women. 

Join an expedition ship to Svalbard, the Antarctic, or even New Zealand’s subantarctic.

world adventures

world adventures

There are so many world adventures waiting for you out there. In fact, there is something for everyone and every budget. It all depends on you.

From easy hikes in your backyard to a holiday spent on the high seas, adventure travel is out there. Rewarding and life-changing, I can’t get enough of it, and I enjoy watching my travels evolve as I grow older.

For me, the only question is, what’s next?

How do you define adventure travel? Are you a fan of getting out and challenging yourself when on the road too? What are your favorite world adventures – spill!

world adventures

The post How to be an adventurous traveler when you’re not all that hardcore appeared first on Young Adventuress.



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