Why Travel Is About More Than Clichés And Selfies

Why Travel Is About More Than Clichés And Selfies

Exploration has driven humans to expand to new frontiers for millennia. The pull of the unseen and the unknown has been enough to convince intrepid travelers to give up the comforts of home and set out for the great beyond.

The problem is, the great beyond now seems to be filled with selfie sticks and tour buses.

travel tourists selfie sticks

I stood in line for my first passport at the not-so-tender age of 19 because I could feel the idea of travel weighing upon me. But never having left my home country, that same idea felt completely out of reach. The passport booklet, filled with its 40 pristine pages, was the essential first step to seeing the world that lay beyond the boundaries of my hometown.

To break in my new found freedom, I booked a trip to Italy. The 10-day tour took us from the canals of Venice, through the Renaissance streets of Florence, and straight into the picture-perfect ancient mishmash of modern Rome.

Everything was new, exciting, and borderline infuriating.

travel tourists tours crowd

Here’s why: around every corner was yet another line for yet another monument. The sites themselves were stunning, but being forced to wait behind throngs of tourists destroyed some of the grandeur.

Our attempts at dining sometimes fared no better. White-aproned hosts beckoned to us with tempting English language menus, but we left the red-checkered tables unconvinced we had really been served authentic home cooking.

We walked the cobblestones streets wondering if this was really what travel was all about – selfies and social media check-ins.

travel tourists food pasta

Following that fateful trip, I have since moved to Rome and stood in line at the embassy to add more pages to that same passport. On a plane or a train nearly every two weeks, I have realized that there will always be other tourists.

However, I prefer to leave them to the bucket list sites and chart my own path in every new city.

Dare to say yes

Travelling has taught me that a lot of the experience is about taking a risk and saying yes. Yes to the plane tickets, yes to the off-the-beaten track neighborhood, and yes to the invitations to see sites that are off the beaten path.

That was why I said yes to the lunch invitation from the front desk girl at my hostel in Marrakesh. One hour and one horse-and-cart ride later, we were watching her brother’s wedding video, sipping mint tea and eating couscous with her entire family in their 800-year-old Berber home.

Able to communicate mainly through pointing and smiles, it was one of the best meals of my life.

travel tourists morocco

Wandering through countries and continents, I have learned that I prefer to skip the typical guidebook must-sees and take a seat at the table. And food is undeniably the best gateway into a new city.

The dinner table is where you go to be nourished, but also where you can learn the norms of a new culture, including how to fare la scarpetta (sop up the sauce) at the end of your homemade pasta dinner.

travel tourists home cooked food pasta

The flavors on the plate in front of you represent the history and traditions of a given place. At the same time, each meal is a chance to simultaneously make very new and very modern real-world connections.

This simple travel tip holds true away from the table as well. I have found that the best place to feel the pulse of a city is at the market rather than at a museum. While you will find few Romans waiting in line at the Vatican, I guarantee you will find every local sitting down for a meal each day. The next step is to be invited to join them.

Social media (and selfies) keep us connected to home while traveling, but it is the unpretentious of act of eating that makes the experience of escape more unique.  That’s why my FOMO (fear of missing out) has more to do with tracking down a rare craft beer than it does with a major monument.

travel tourists tours colosseum

Plus, everyone knows that the best way to see the Colosseum is from a private dining room table.

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Tired of doing the typical touristy stuff? Go beyond clichés and selfies in your travels by dining in a home restaurant instead. 

Image credits: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Why Cocktail Lovers Should Head to Perth

Why Cocktail Lovers Should Head to Perth

We all know that Australians are no strangers to an alcoholic beverage or two, so when you find yourself in Oz you should do as Aussies do! If cocktail bars are your thing then Perth should be your next destination down-under so you can enjoy a Pina Colada under sunny skies. Here are some great reasons/excuses that cocktail bars make Perth a must-visit.

To Feel Like a Local

A night out in Perth will introduce you to all the locals who frequent famous Aussie bars. You can discuss the best things to do in Perth while you sip your minty mojito. At bars like Gramercy the staff even claim they know their regulars by name!

To Experience Something Different

The Times actually named Perth as “Hipster Heaven” in 2014 thanks in part to the slew of quirky cocktail bars that come in all shapes and sizes in Perth, including a bar made to look like a classroom for a back-to-school vibe. Thanks to the sun-drenched climate Australia offers you can make the most of drinking indoors as well as outdoors or in rooftop bars too. The growing number of cocktail bars in Perth mean there is more competition to serve the best beverages in a unique way for a great price- which is great news for customers!

To See the Skilled Bartenders

A great reason to visit a cocktail bar (or two) during your visit to Perth is to witness the trained bartenders in action! Sam Bygrave, editor of Australian Bartender is a regular to Perth because “Perth bartenders have to work harder than bartenders in the rest of the country because they’re so far away,” Bygrave says. “They put in the hard yards to cross the continent and go visit the best bars in Melbourne and Sydney, then they take the knowledge they get there and bring it back to Perth. The scene’s come on in leaps and bounds.”


To Taste the Specialist Spirits.

As with many cities worldwide, cocktail bars in Perth are choosing to specialise in single spirits, from whimsical whisky bars  to vodka-centric speakeasys. These bars are set apart from the rest thanks to their niche cocktail offerings. You can have confidence in the quality of the alcohol on offer and in the great night ahead!  

The local cocktail bar scene in Perth easily equals any you would find in a major metropolis like London or New York, but with the added benefit of Australia’s celebrated weather and friendly locals.


Images: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

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5 Travel Bloggers Tell Us About Their Favourite Destinations

5 Travel Bloggers Tell Us About Their Favourite Destinations

If you didn't know already, BonAppetour love to travel, but these travel bloggers have committed themselves to documenting their globetrotting adventures on wonderfully well-thought-out blogs. "Been there done that" is not just an expression for them- it's an exciting reality.  We wanted to ask the ultimate question to these intrepid travellers: Of all the places you have been to, what has been your number one destination? And these were their responses: 

Jo from Wander With Jo – Cape Town

Jo is an adrenaline junkie and an avid globetrotter. She loves to write and started putting pen to paper at a very early age by jotting letters to her penpals. Now, she writes on her blog and shares her travel tales with adventurists across the globe.

Cape Town, South Africa, is definitely one of my top travel destinations.  This lively place offers something for all kinds of tourists. Be it adventurists or peace seekers, spiritual travelers or party goers – The mother city happily accommodates everyone in its humble abode. 

There are a lot of fun activities which can be undertaken individually, with your loved one or even as a family. Climb or take a cable car to the top of Table mountain or enjoy the adorable African penguins in their natural habitat, you will not be running out of places to see or things to do anytime soon. 

Around one week in Cape Town is sufficient to see the top attractions but if you have time and want to slow travel or enjoy at your pace, I would recommend spending a month, at least.

Read more about Jo's travels on her site here, or get social with her on Facebook l Twitter l Instagram l Pinterest 

Eboni from Eboni + Ivory- Amsterdam

Eboni is based in London and blogs about a mix of Lifestyle and Travel topics over on her site Eboni + Ivory

 I am half Dutch. My mum and dad met in Amsterdam, but seen as my father passed away when I was very, very young, I have never felt the strong connection to Holland. That was until I went to Amsterdam.

I felt instantly at home in Amsterdam. This small, watery city is like no other place in the world. Like my blog name, this city truly encapsulates everything about an Eboni/Ivory personality; beautiful tulipsbikes with baskets and glistening canals make up Amsterdam’s sunny day. On the other hand, it’s no secret that Amsterdam is very well known for its seedy underbelly with a prominent cannabis culture and world-famous Red Light District, Amsterdam surely is a game of two halves! This all just entices me further and promises for an interesting visit!

It is completely possible to get to most places by foot. Pick a cental-ish location for your accommodation and explore by walking. I have never hired a bike, but I would leave that to the locals unless you’re wanting a quiet cycle through Vondelpark- it can get pretty dangerous if you're not a usual city-cycler. Trams can be fun, but the cost can add up after a while, and if the weather is nice, a walk along the canals is just so much better!

My must-do activity in Amsterdam is a ride on a tour boat. I love cities that have boat tours and Amsterdam is no different. Make sure you find a good deal online.

Read more about Eboni's travels on her site here, or get social with her on Facebook l Twitter l Instagram l YouTube

Jessica from The Travelista – Tuscany

Jessica has honed in on luxury travel blogging over on The Travelista. Check out her award-winning blog for posts about her luxurious adventures around the world. 

Of all the destinations around the world, Tuscany has a special place in my heart. It’s a place to discover a rustic slice of Italy without the hectic tourist crowds – and if you love Italian food, you’d be in the right place. The vineyards, romantic hillsides and breathtaking landscapes are enough to melt the coldest of hearts. Tuscany is rural escapism at its most fabulous.

I have fond memories of Tuscany as it’s the place me and my boyfriend had our first holiday, which we decided to name ‘The Tuscan Road Trip’. We flew in to Pisa and picked up our hire car. After checking out the famous Leaning Tower, we drove over to our rural base of Castello di Casole, a converted castle near to Casole d’Elsa. From here we took day trips to Siena and San Gimignano, before driving to Florence for the last few days of our trip. In the space of a week we squeezed in 5 incredible Tuscan cities, each one different from the next. It felt like a mini adventure and having our own car gave us a great sense of freedom.

Read more about Jessica's travels on her site here, or get social with her on Facebook l Twitter l Instagram 

Millie from Millie Goes – India

Female travel blogger Millie has set foot on 5 of the 7 continents and writes about her escapades on the blog Millie Goes.

India – the land of colour, festivals and spice! From its rich history to less than organised culture, there's a certain magic here that you can escape. This diverse country has quickly become one of my favourites; you really can have it all here! I've found that India has a little bit of everything, with peaceful Himalayan mountains full of yoga retreats, the hustle and bustle of the city, quite beachside towns and let's not forget the vast desert!

I guess the hardest part for me is to narrow it down to what I loved the most here. There's simply too much to list all in one place but I have to say one of Delhi’s hidden charms is that you can be in the busiest section of town, yet step into the nearest temple and within its walls is a beautiful silence. They've perfected the balance of respecting traditions of the past with the chaos of the present, something us Brits can't seem to get a handle on. Of course, we all know I’d be foolish not to mention their incredible food too!

Find out more about India from my Two Minute Guide to the country.  

Read more about Millie's travels on her site here, or get social with her on Facebook l Twitter l Instagram

Julie and Drew from Drive on the Left-  Ljubljana, Slovenia

Julie and Drew are American expats who currently call London their home. They write for all travellers, armchair explorers, wanderlusters, and those whose travel itch needs a little scratching on their blog Drive on the Left

Our favorite travel destination has to be Ljubljana, Slovenia. It is small and compact, with an adorable historic center, divided by the Ljubljanica River. Coffee shops, bars and restaurants line the river, making it the ideal spot for a coffee in the morning, or a glass of wine in the evening. We had a wonderful meal at Špajza, situated in an old, rustic home, and enjoyed a delicious burger and Slovenian craft beer at Pop’s Place. The Ljubljana market was phenomenal, packed with perfect produce, including lots of truffle-related products. For a little exercise, we walked up to Ljubljana Castle, with expansive views of Ljubljana, the surrounding lush countryside, and the Julian Alps in the distance.

Ljubljana is certainly not high on tourists’ radar, which adds to the appeal. It is large enough to offer plenty of activities for a long weekend, but small enough to explore thoroughly. With a combination of great food, friendly locals, dazzling buildings, and the natural beauty of the Alps, it is hard to go wrong in Ljubljana. 

Read more about Julie and Drew's travels on their site here, or get social with them on Facebook l Twitter l Instagram l Pinterest l YouTube

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5 Handy tips you must know if you are solo travelling in Barcelona

5 Handy tips you must know if you are solo travelling in Barcelona

Home to 9 UNESCO world heritage, it is no surprise that Barcelona welcomes 7.8 million globetrotters from all around the world as of 2014, and proudly acclaims its rank as the top 5 European countries to travel to. For thrill seekers who are planning a solo jaunt, Barcelona promises an adventure of self-discovery and self-indulgence that offers much liberation. To soften any turbulence during your expedition, here are 5 tips that are pulled together to make your trip a smooth sailing one.

1. Be accountable for your own safety

Armed with bulky luggage and disoriented in a foreign land, tourists make easy bait for quick theft. To counteract such unwelcomed guests to your pockets would be to plan well ahead your arrival. It is definitely recommended to schedule your arrival at a new location before the night falls so as to give yourself ample time to navigate your way to the accommodation and deposit your baggage. Also, while it is not uncommon that solo travelers are constantly on the lookout for cheap thrills, never risk your safety while practicing frugality. Flag down a cab if it is pitch dark to make sure that you are safe and sound for exploration the next day. 


2.  Be alert and instinctive

Instead of veering off from famous tourist attractions like La Sagrada Familia or Las Rambles that are hotbed for thieves, read widely on prevalent scams and pickpocketing techniques so that you are regularly in check for your valuables. It is always a wise decision to decentralize your money and place them in different compartments to avoid putting all eggs in a basket. There is no better advice than to listen to your instinct and intuition. If you feel that something is amiss, switch to safer routes and be constantly in the public. After all, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

3. Be solo but open to travel companions

While solo travelling does have its perks, having a travelling companion in your solo trip may be equally rewarding! Finding a travel companion would be a breeze if you are staying in hostels where virtually every person you see is a travel enthusiast and would hop on to any impromptu plan that makes a great addition to their to-do list. Another alternative channel would be to partake in bond activities that bring travelers together, providing a platform for you to mingle and share travel hacks with.

4. Putting on a disguise

Looking fancy is probably something you are not interested in if you are on a solo sojourn, and we suggest you swap those ritzy wallets and Swarovski phone cases to battered ones to lessen it as a target for wallet lifters. In addition, having a phony phone conservation on the cab with ‘somebody’ explaining your location, your estimated time of arrival as well as the car plate license would easily create an illusion that you are accompanied.  Acting as an effective protective measure against ill-intentioned cab drivers, you can be pretty sure that you will arrive at your designated location in one piece.  

5. Worry a little less, enjoy a little more

Perhaps it is your first attempt in embarking on a solo jaunt, and you are in a bundle of nerves. Instead of preoccupying your mind with scenarios and coming up with 101 ways your trip could go wrong, sit back and relax! As much as you have to be cognizant of your surroundings, tap on your identity as a solo traveler and take advantage of solo benefits! One of the luxuries is to be flexible with your itinerary and travel on your own terms, you can even abandon certain sightseeing spots for an afternoon coffee break. It’s your call!

Being a solo traveler is really a privilege that not everyone gets the chance to enjoy, and you certainly do not have to wait for someone to bestow you that entitlement. As the saying goes, ‘Travel is the only thing that you buy that makes you richer’. What are you waiting for? Start packing your bag and take a leap of faith! I promise you that you will not regret it.






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