Treveliving level 80: steep Life hacking from an experienced traveler




Guest Layfhakera – Olga Kostyuk . Of herself, she said: “I live in travel.” Indeed, the geography of her movements around the world is impressive: India, Nepal, Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Belarus, Ukraine, New Zealand. Today Olga will share their experiences with you. Why travel ≠ journey? What you need to know when traveling with children? Should I go to India for spirituality? How are the “strange New Zealanders”? This is not only an interview with Olga Kostyuk.Travel and Life – travel and extreme

In English, there is a term travel. On the Russian he often translated as “travel”. This implies something extreme, full of adventures. For many travel – so look for the lost Atlantis, constantly struggling with dangers.

But travel – it’s more calm concept. Often it’s just a trip and just life. When you come into the country and try to understand its culture, the local residents.
Life hacking experienced traveler

Travel – it’s not always an extreme

My first trip took place in 2009. I lived in Moscow, rented an apartment and worked as a freelancer. Friends offered to go to Goa, to work with Russian tourists. I agreed because I had nothing to lose. If something did not work in India, I would have easily returned to the habitual way.

I never thought that I would be treveliverom.

But in Goa, I met my future husband – Brian. This began my, or rather our, travel.
Life hacking experienced traveler

Olga and her son Jasper
Asia: In Search of Spirituality

It all started with India. Before meeting with me, Brian has been there several times. My acquaintance with the country took place in Goa. But just as Moscow – Russia is not, and Goa – not India. This is a Christian state, a former Portuguese colony, and it bears no resemblance to the rest of the Indian region.

We were four times in India. Every time I came with some kind of dream. And each time it came to pass. They say the gods in India closer to the ground. But despite this, I am skeptical about the people who go to Asia for spirituality.

I think everything is much more prosaic. In Asia travel, because:

there is cheap (people, half living in Bali, can not afford to spend as much, for example, in Germany);
there you can feel the “white man” (no matter how you’re dressed, “Rolex” on your hand or Fenichka of macrame, you still smile and treated with deference);
it is fashionable.

To attain enlightenment, to find answers to the main questions of life, is not enough just to visit one of the Asian countries, the national dress in clothes and shaved bald.

Life hacking experienced traveler
Buddha with his disciples, Lumbini, Nepal

Life hacking experienced traveler
Candles in a Chinese temple, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Life hacking experienced traveler
Amritsar, India

In addition, in Asia, many sacred things turned into an attraction. For example, there is a city – Varanasi. One of the oldest cities in the world, having to Hindus the same meaning as Mecca for Muslims. In Hindu cosmology is the center of the Earth. For Hindus die in Varanasi – a great honor. The body of the deceased are cremated there – this is a special ritual. But because of the huge number of tourists all this has turned into a farce. It is necessary to be in a place where ceremonies are held as flies directly to you people and offers to attend the burning of his aunt. Of course, for the money, and he is not a relative.
Strange New Zealanders

Pokolesit around the world (after Goa was Russia, Moscow and St. Petersburg, then Belarus, then India, then Nepal, Thailand …), we arrived in New Zealand. It is the birthplace of Brian. This is a wonderful country!
Life hacking experienced traveler

Olga Kostyuk, “New Zealand – an amazing country!”

It affects not only the beautiful nature, but also the attitude of New Zealanders to life. They all somehow very simple. For example, to record the child in kindergarten, you go and record. No certificates and queues.

On the phone and internet can do almost everything: connect a new company on electricity to the home, pay bills, transfer internet, phone and TV-plate to the new address.

In a city where we now live, only five thousand people, but here: two big supermarkets, four kindergartens for children from 0 months, seven or more bars, three banks, several restaurants and a dozen cafes, even a travel agency there!

Simplicity and communication between people. Will you come to the store – is sure to be asked, how are you, talk to you about the weather or the last match of rugby. All with a smile.

After the birth of her son Jasper few months we lived in Belarus (it’s my home country). There I helped my mother. Then we returned to New Zealand, and many people asked me: “How do you cope with the baby?”. But here it is possible to raise a child without any help and keep up with everything, because everything is much simpler: Do not spend your time in line at the bank, walking inquiries or to “come back tomorrow.”

In my blog, a series of posts about “strange New Zealanders.” I am talking about a fairly everyday things. For example, about how they throw and dispose of garbage. I hope readers understand that the word “strange” to the New Zealanders I say with love!
Life hacking experienced traveler

Olga Kostyuk, “I want a decent life for all people on the planet”

I was once reproached for worshiping the West. But when I write a blog about how well in New Zealand, I hate to say this, that life in the former Soviet Union is terrible. I just want to show how it is possible and, in my opinion, should live. I want my mom was going with friends in a cafe just for a chat, and not on some very special occasion. I want to grandmother did not consider shameful to leave the house to walk independently if it can not. I want a decent life for all the people not the planet.
Visas and route

Every journey begins with visas and documents. Moreover, sometimes the visa availability is determined by the following country trip. For example, we went from India to Nepal, where I was trying to get a New Zealand visa. It did not work – go to Thailand. Once we decided to go to Istanbul to issue the Indian visa.

Information about visas and documents be sure to check the official website of the Embassy.

No forums and blogs in this case may not be a reliable source. Information is changing faster than updated posts. In addition, an article in the blog – a personal experience of the traveler. You may have other conditions, and yet there can be completely different.
Visa-free country for the Russians in 2015

Life hacking experienced traveler
Ship “Picton”, South Island, New Zealand

Life hacking experienced traveler
Rice terraces, Bali, Indonesia

Life hacking experienced traveler
Kaikoura, South Island, New Zealand

When the issue is solved with visas, you can plot a route. Where to go, what to see, when it starts and ends with the tourist season – information about the country we derive from Lonely Planet, Wikitravel, and other online resources.

Include in the route as a tourist and non-touristic places.

Many shun popular attractions. But I think that to go to India and see the Taj Mahal – is silly. This is a really big place. Therefore, paving the route, we alternate tourist towns with more calm.

Do not try to grasp the immensity.

A time to travel around Thailand and Turkey all possible, but is it necessary? Our trips usually last a few months. We are not trying to go round the whole country immediately. On the contrary, choose one region, state or county. For example, we have two months went by Western Ukraine. We do not like to travel fast. At least in one place – for three days. Come, rest, spend the night and then quietly issleduesh city. I think the only way you can feel the atmosphere of the area.
Flight and accommodation

Flights are usually the most expensive part of the trip. But there are some ways to save.

Buy round-trip tickets. It is always cheaper than one-way ticket.
Buy your tickets in advance. Optimally – 2-3 months before your trip.
Vary the date of departure (sometimes advantageous offer falls not on the selected day and 2-3 days later or earlier).
Use loukost. In Asia, especially a lot of them.

Everything you need to know about loukost
Life hacking experienced traveler

Olga Kostyuk, “Buy tickets at both ends”

Gradually, you will also learn how to navigate in the prices of various airlines. So, in our experience, Lufthansa is never cheap – we do not even look at the tickets from her.

With regard to search engines tickets, it is better to use different (Skyscanner, Kayak and others) and to compare offers.

But book accommodation through web services are not always rational. Descriptions of hostels and hotels may be outdated or does not correspond to reality.

In addition, much depends on the country. In India, we never book the accommodation in advance. Guesthouses in Indian cities are usually located on the same street. We come and look at the site, number of suits us or not. In the Carpathians, I book accommodation by phone on the eve of departure for the new city. On the South Island of New Zealand, we traveled by car to the tent. Stayed in cabins: if the weather was good, spent the night in a tent – if not, take a house.
Life hacking experienced traveler

Exploring South Island
Luggage and food

We travel with backpacks, therefore, collecting things, I always keep in mind that I have to wear them myself.

If you do not put a “gorgeous dress” in a previous trip, do not be fooled – you do not wear it in the next.

Even if you do not take something out of the right clothes, you can always buy on the spot. In Asia, things are cheap, and in countries such as New Zealand, many second-hand.

Indispensable in our luggage laptop, camera, flashlight and compass. The latter is not to navigate in space, and to choosing accommodation, to determine whether in the sun room.
How to pack a small backpack

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Bandipur, Nepal

Life hacking experienced traveler
Olga’s husband Brian and his son Jasper beach “Waihi”, North Island, New Zealand

Life hacking experienced traveler
Rotorua, North Island, New Zealand

I find it hard to understand people coming, for example, in Thailand and eat in Russian restaurants or personally cooked soup. Neither is any other there is nothing bad. But!

Full immersion in the culture of the country is possible only if there is a national cuisine.

Rules for the choice of places to eat in Asia.

Go to the local food gradually. For European stomachs Asian food is often too sharp.
Do not neglect health insurance. She will gain if, God forbid, happen food poisoning.
See how many people within the institution. The more visitors, the better the food.
Notice how in the facility clean. “Litmus test” good hygiene standards – toilet.

Life hacking experienced traveler

Olga Kostyuk, “Go to the local cuisine gradually”

Of course, after several months of curry in India like sausage and black bread.
What food is not enough Russian abroad

But there is, so to speak, “international” products. For example, a pizza. Her cook everywhere, though good. If you get bored by the “home” food, eat a similar product – feel better.

When we live in New Zealand, I cook local food. Asks her husband about the traditions and recipes on the Internet looking for. New Zealand cuisine is simple: steaks, stews, vegetables, bread, wine, meringue with ice cream and so on. Everything is prepared quickly and easily. Sometimes’m doing a variety of our menu by Belarusian and Asian dishes (after spending so much time in Asia, we would love spicy food).
Travelling with children

Our son Jasper 15 months, we travel with him almost since birth. When we went to the South Island with tents, he was only three months.

The most important thing when traveling with children – do not be afraid. Firstly, the world quite kind to children. Before the birth of Jasper, I think a lot of annoying children. But it is not.

The button “Turn off the child” is the parents.

If the plane parents want to drink whiskey, watch movies and play computer games, the child will demand attention and disturb others.
Life hacking experienced traveler

Olga and her son

Secondly, the likelihood that the baby will pick up some infection, slightly higher than the sick in his hometown.

Traveling with the child, put his interests first.

My dream is to see the whales. When we went to the South Island, had such an opportunity: they sell tours, where ships carry to watch whales. But children take only three years, and Jasper was three months old … I could go alone, but decided to wait until his son’s third birthday.

If a kid is naughty, it means he needs something: yes, change a diaper, sleep, play. Is that you, an adult, can tolerate a couple of hours until the end of tour. Child’s needs to be met in the here and now. And it’s not about to indulge, it’s about what the baby is five months hard to lie in a wet diaper and child per year is difficult to sit quietly in a wheelchair and within an hour had a book-baby. Be flexible and move freely with Jasper helped us a good stroller: it is easy to fold, does not take up much space and can travel anywhere. For example, you have come to the cafe, the child wanted to sleep. Baby Sling not save, will either embrace or go to the hotel, and the stroller will help you solve the problem of sleep.
16 useful tips traveling with kids
Life hacking experienced traveler

Jasper – young traveler
Freedom and travel

Travel and freedom – related concepts.

I believe that travel around the world on the money my parents – it’s wrong. If you wish to travel to work. Who? The mass of options. I quite successfully engaged in the travel journalism, self-published on the Discovery and other big names. Now have a blog, lead the group in social networks.

You can work remotely: freelance web design lessons on Skype and others; and also in place (massage, dancing guide and so on). But, in my experience, to combine work and active travel difficult. Sit on the beach with a laptop and sip a cocktail, as in the picture – it does not happen. So either kopish and leave for a few months on a journey, or settle somewhere and work there, slowly exploring the neighborhood.

Therefore, any journey begins with financial freedom.

In this journey and give freedom. First of all, freedom of thought and expression. Broadens the mind and refuses to stereotypical thinking. But it seems to me, traveling give something more …
Regain your children’s emotions!

Once in school, we laughed out loud with a friend, someone from adults shouted at us for it, and the cleaning lady, watch the scene, said:

Laugh, laugh, girls grow up – so will not be filled.

As a child, all the emotions are bright and sharp. All first time, all sincerely. Time passes, and you stop laughing at 100%, 100% surprised, enjoy 100%. Blunted emotions. You look at a beautiful sunset and think, “Yeah, cool ….”

Travel enliven emotions return their sharpness.

Again notice how beautiful sunset or mountains covered with snow. Re sincerely rejoice like a child.

Therefore, I wish you all not to be afraid to travel. Regain your children’s emotions!

Life hacking experienced traveler
South Island, New Zealand

Life hacking experienced traveler
Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Life hacking experienced traveler
Pokhara, Nepal

Life hacking experienced traveler
Mukachevo, Ukraine

Life hacking experienced traveler
South Island, New Zealand

Life hacking experienced traveler
McLeod Ganj, India

In this case, go to this or that country without his mental baggage. Hindu or Thais who pours you a beer or cleans your room, do not care how much you are cool (or cool) at home. Embark on a journey in order to know and not to impose. Relax and be yourself.
10 Life hacking from Olga Kostyuk

Do not confuse the adventure and travel. Enjoy the ride itself.
Do not look for spirituality in some place. Look for it within himself.
Check the information on the documents (visas, passports, etc.) through the embassy.
Walk on the trodden tourist routes, but do not forget from time to time to turn away from them.
Country-specific: housing and food are very different.
Use every opportunity to save on airline tickets.
Do not take a lot of things.
Do not be afraid to travel with children, but put their interests first.
Do not sit, no one in the neck if you want to travel.
Leave your house foundations – to explore the world with a clean slate.

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