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Australia Food Travel

The best restaurants in Cairns

While visiting Cairns I found some great places to eat. Setting aside Australia’s relaxed attitude about pretty much everything, we serve up some pretty good grub.

La Fettucina – Italian

This place was by far my favourite restaurant. I decided to put my faith in the waiter, and ask for what she thought was the best dish on the menu, I weas not disappointed.

She recommended the Amatriciana, a delicious combination of tomato, bacon, onion and chilli.

It was the most amazing pasta dish I’ve ever eaten in my life. Paired with the Nero red wine, it complimented the pasta dish perfectly.

La Fettucina make their pasta fresh daily.

Ochre – Australian

Ochre has a unique menu, utilising native Australian bush tucker, they create explosive flavours that complement my mouth perfectly.

With the atmosphere and unique dishes, this was a worthwhile experience.

Their tasting platter is the best way to try multiple dishes on their menu without paying a fortune.

The Davidson plum mousse, macadamia pacoca, lemon myrtle and coconut ice-cream, shown below, was my favourite dish on the menu.

Kanpai – Japanese 

This is a gorgeous sushi restaurant with a tranquil theme.

If you’d like an evening out undisturbed, Kanpai have a self-service system for both food and drinks.

The service was prompt and they were willing to make changes on request.

Please note it may look like a massive floppy dildo in my hand, in fact it tasted delicious.

My friend decided it would be funny to request 2 servings rolled into one.

Regardless of the size and girth of my sushi roll it was tasty.

Prawn Star – Seafood

This unique restaurant is located right on the water at Marina Point.

If you’re willing to leave your table manners behind when you step on the boat, this is the place for you.

Experience typical Aussie dining, find a seat, order your meal and shout when you need another beer. The seafood was good value for money and the novelty of dining on a boat is fun.

Sweets Planet – Desert

This is a cute little Korean sweets cafe in the middle of town.

This was my first time trying Bing Su and it was refreshing, with a subtle sweetness.

I loved “The Little Prince” paraphernalia decorating the cafe, if you haven’t read the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, I highly recommend it.

Bali Food Travel

Canggu food and coffee scene

Fresh juices, smoothie bowls, vegan options, as well as traditional Balinese cuisine.

This tiny beach town used to be a calm escape from the craziness of Kuta and Legion. I’ll admit, it can still be very calm, however, there are some main areas that are now bustling.

I have always loved the food in Canggu, it has never let me down. These are a few of my favourite places to eat.

BETELNUT CAFE 

Betelnut Cafe is becoming one of the more popular cafes’ in Bali, known for its Nagabombs and Nagabowls.

It is located fairly central to one of the main areas, and has a rustic cafe scene.

Stop in for breakfast, it’s one of my most favourites.

IN THE RAW BALI

This is where you will find some more delicious build-your-own smoothie bowls.

The options for fresh cold pressed fruit juices, smoothies and snacks are endless.

This is the place to go for your raw food fix.

NUDE CAFE 

Nude is a day-to-night cafe, with quality organic tastes and friendly vibes.

They have delicious breakfast, super salad bowls, wraps, burgers, coffees, juices and smoothies.

It’s the perfect place to catch the first morning light, with a view over the rice paddies.

LA LAGUNA

A magical restaurant to visit, and one of the best locations in Canggu to watch the sun set.

After dinner, take a wonder down to the beach. Or walk through their gardens and have a tarot reading done.

DANDELION

Dandelion is a cafe, restaurant and shop all in one.

They serve a variety of traditional Balinese dishes, and you can choose to eat inside or outside in their beautiful garden.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get to spot some of the pet rabbits hopping around.

Also, check out my post on where to stay in Canggu.

Motivational

Movies to inspire wanderlust

We all lose motivation sometimes, myself especially when I start to feel stuck, and haven’t travelled for a while.

Which ironically, that is how I am feeling right now.

So I’ve been watching a few of these to inspire me. While I am stuck in my homeland, during the wet season, with little to do.

I hope you enjoy my list.

  1. Given

I chose this movie to be my number one because I absolutely adore it, and it truly is worth the watch.

This movie brings out our inner child and reminds us to look at the world like we used to.

I love how Given describes the world and reminds us just how beautiful it is.

Synopsis: GIVEN is the story of a legacy that takes one unique family on an adventure from their home in Kauai around the world. Told through the memories of a child, Given is the simple, yet powerfully contemplative story of a unique family legacy come full circle.

  1. The Art of Flight

Whether you are a snowboarder or not, the cinematography in this documentary is enough to inspire me to want to see more.

I am not a snowboarder, and I have to say I really enjoyed this one.

You get to see the beautiful views of Austria, Alaska, Canada, Patagonia, Aspen and Jackson Hole.

They also have a second documentary called Fourth Phase; although, I think The Art of Flight is by far the best.

Synopsis: Two years in the making, “The Art of FLIGHT” gives iconic snowboarder Travis Rice and friends the opportunity to redefine what is possible in the mountains. Experience the highs, as new tricks are landed, and new zones opened, alongside the lows, where avalanches, accidents, and wrong-turns strike. Immerse yourself in a cinematic experience as Brain Farm and their arsenal of filmmaking technology capture the culture, wildlife and scenic landscapes the riders take in along the way. Join in the ride as the creators of “That’s It, That’s All” completely rewrite the formula for action sports cinema with “The Art of FLIGHT.”

  1. Amelie

I have absolutely adored this movie since I was a child.

This French film will show you the beauty that Paris has to offer, what it’s like being a local Parisian, as well as the adorable quirks of Amelie.

The gnome’s adventures are just as inspiring. This is a French film with subtitles.

Synopsis: “Amélie” is a fanciful comedy about a young woman who discretely orchestrates the lives of the people around her, creating a world exclusively of her own making. Shot in over 80 Parisian locations, acclaimed director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (“Delicatessen”; “The City of Lost Children”) invokes his incomparable visionary style to capture the exquisite charm and mystery of modern-day Paris through the eyes of a beautiful ingenue.

  1. Wild

I loved the honesty of Cheryl Strayed’s story, her life before she decided to walk Pacific Crest Trail, as well as the mistakes she made while walking it.

It was relatable, even the most experienced people make mistakes, and I loved that the most about this movie.

It inspired me to get out of the house and go for hike.

Synopsis: Driven to the edge by the loss of her beloved mother (Laura Dern), the dissolution of her marriage and a headlong dive into self-destructive behaviour, Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) decides to halt her downward spiral and put her life back together again. With no outdoors experience, a heavy backpack and little else to go on but her own will, Cheryl sets out alone to hike the Pacific Crest Trail — one of the country’s longest and toughest through-trails.

  1. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Although Walter Mitty doesn’t travel to all of the destinations he imagines, they are just as inspiring.

Reminds you that life isn’t always about the 9 to 5, and there is so much more out there.

This was the movie that inspired me to want to see Iceland.

Synopsis: Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller), an employee at Life magazine, spends day after monotonous day developing photos for the publication. To escape the tedium, Walter inhabits a world of exciting daydreams in which he is the undeniable hero. Walter fancies a fellow employee named Cheryl (Kristen Wiig) and would love to date her, but he feels unworthy. However, he gets a chance to have a real adventure when Life’s new owners send him on a mission to obtain the perfect photo for the final print issue.

  1. The Way

Another movie about a gorgeous hike through France and Spain, which gives you a glimpse at some of the beautiful towns in between.

This one is quite sad but inspirational at the same time.

It reminded me about some of the amazing people I’ve met while travelling, and that life is short so make the most of it.

Synopsis: “The Way” is a powerful and inspirational story about family, friends and the challenges we face while navigating this ever-changing and complicated world. Martin Sheen plays Tom, an American doctor who comes to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to collect the remains of his adult son (played by Emilio Estevez), killed in the Pyrenees in a storm while walking the Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of Saint James. Rather than return home, Tom decides to embark on the historical pilgrimage to honour his son’s desire to finish the journey.

  1. Last Cab to Darwin

I just had to add this one to the list. This movie takes me home, it reminds me of my grandparents. It even has a snapshot of my hometown.

With the Aussie humour, and the people, this movie is sure to make you cry as well as jump in the car and go for a drive.

You get to see the beautiful and quirky scenery we have here in Australia, from Broken Hill to Darwin.

Synopsis: When Rex, a Broken Hill cab driver, is told he doesn’t have long to live, he sets out on an epic journey to Darwin in a bid to die on his own terms.

  1. Wolverine

I know this one might seem out of place. The first time I watched this movie was just before my first trip to Japan.

Although Wolverine is the star of this film, if you choose to look past the man and all the action, you’ll find yourself lusting over the beautiful Japanese culture and scenery.

Synopsis: Lured to a Japan he hasn’t seen since World War II, century-old mutant Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) finds himself in a shadowy realm of yakuza and samurai. Wolverine is pushed to his physical and emotional brink when he is forced to go on the run with a powerful industrialist’s daughter (Tao Okamoto) and is confronted — for the first time — with the prospect of death. As he struggles to rediscover the hero within himself, he must grapple with powerful foes and the ghosts of his own haunted past.

  1. The Bucketlist

If this movie doesn’t inspire you to write a bucketlist, see the world, and experience something majestic, I don’t know what will.

Edward and Carter show us some of the amazing scenery in France, India, China, Africa, Nepal, Egypt, Hong Kong and the North Pole.

They see the world, experience new cutures, drive a Shelby Mustang, and skydive together.

For more skydiving inspiration check out my post here.

Synopsis: Billionaire Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) and car mechanic Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) are complete strangers, until fate lands them in the same hospital room. The men find they have two things in common: a need to come to terms with who they are and what they have done with their lives, and a desire to complete a list of things they want to see and do before they die. Against their doctor’s advice, the men leave the hospital and set out on the adventure of a lifetime.

  1. Whale Rider

This movie shows you some of the beautiful landscapes of New Zealand, the native animals, life in a small town, and the Māori culture.

I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t enjoyed this movie, it’s a must see if you want to see what New Zealand has to offer.

Synopsis: Only males are allowed to ascend to chiefdom in a Maori tribe in New Zealand. This ancient custom is upset when the child selected to be the next chief dies at birth. However, his twin sister, Pai (Keisha Castle-Hughes), survives. At age 12, she enlists the help of her grandmother (Vicky Haughton) and the training of her uncle (Grant Roa) to claim her birthright. But to break with convention, she’ll have to do the impossible: win over her ultra-traditional grandfather (Rawiri Paratene).

  1. Braveheart

This movie is a classic that I hadn’t seen since I was a child.

Braveheart was shot in both Scotland, and Ireland, and shows some of the gorgeous scenery and castles.

I visited Trim Castle during my trip to Ireland, which was one of the places the movie was shot.

Definitely worth the visit to experience, and feel the history around a castle that is more than 800 years old.

Synopsis: Tells the story of the legendary thirteenth century Scottish hero named William Wallace (Mel Gibson). Wallace rallies the Scottish against the English monarch and Edward I (Peter Hanly) after he suffers a personal tragedy by English soldiers. Wallace gathers a group of amateur warriors that is stronger than any English army.

  1. Under an Artic Sky

Another documentary, but well worth the watch, just to see the cinematography of the northern lights and views around Iceland.

Although I am not a surfer I enjoyed this one. It has fuelled my hunger to experience the northern lights.

Synopsis: Surfers travel to a remote corner of Iceland in the middle of the winter to find perfect waves. A few days in, the worst storm in decades comes through, turning their trip into a life-threatening situation.

Food Lifestyle Travel

Coffee of the World

I absolutely love coffee, and one of the best parts about travelling is trying all the different coffees of the world.

These are just some of my favourites so far. I know I will continue to add to this post the more I travel. Check back in for updates.

1. Greece

Try a Freddo Cappuccino or Freddo Latte in Thessaloniki, Greece.

2. Thailand

Some sweet treats with a delicious coffee – Chiang Mai, Thailand.

3. Bali

Delicious organic coffee at Nude Cafe in Canggu, Bali.

Get yourself an amazing smoothie bowl, and fresh coffee; at In the RAW, Canggu, Bali.

4. United Kingdom

Find some of the most delicious macaroons, and sweets at Ladurée; Harrods, London, UK.

5. Vietnam

Experience real Vietnamese coffee. One of my favorite places to go is Trâm cafe in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. However, you can find this coffee all over Vietnam.

6. Australia

I absolutely adore the coffee at Besser Kitchen and Brew Bar in Darwin, Australia.

Their food is also ah-mazing!

I had to put these guys on the list, flowers for breakfast and some of the best coffee in Melbourne at The Kettle Black.

7. Japan

This coffee can only be found in Straw Hat cafe in the Studio Ghibli Museum in Tokyo. Hence the hat decor on the coffee.

This place was cute and a must for the Studio Ghibli fans. Admittedly it was a little over crowded and the wait time is quite excessive.

Lifestyle Travel

Lessons learnt – first time traveling

1. Let your bank know you’re travelling overseas

This is one that is easily forgotten, and the most important.

It’s not fun when you travel overseas, and the ATM swallows your card. You may be lucky enough to only be locked out of your account, and still have your card, but, then you have the headache of overseas phone charges to reinstate your access.

So always notify your bank when you’re travelling, you can do this through your online banking or visiting you bank.

2. Always carry a pen

Trust me! You will thank me when you get to skip the huge line for the 2, to 3 pens they provide at airport security.

When you’re trying to get through border security at some ridiculous hour, or when multiple flights have landed at the same time.

The last thing you want to do is wait even longer than you have just for a pen.

3. Exchange some cash

Not everybody does this, and if you’re able to confirm that there is a currency exchange at the airport, then you don’t need to exchange money beforehand.

I will always exchange a little cash just in case, to cover a taxi ride or something to eat.

Many of the smaller airports don’t actually have a currency exchange, so it’s always good to check. 

 4. Bank fees and travel cards

I have spoken to a lot of people who don’t bother when it comes to bank fees. Others haven’t been aware of it, and some only ever use cash.

It is a good idea to find out what fees your bank charges for using your card overseas.

An alternate option is to get a travel card. You can load money onto a travel card through bank transfers, although, this usually takes a couple business days to go through.

You can pick these up at post offices, travels agents and even some airlines have them incorporated into their loyalty programs.

5. Unlock your phone

So many phone providers advertise great plans for overseas travel and international phone calls.

So far, I have found them all to be expensive. I’ve always found the best value for money in buying a SIM card locally. Especially when you need data for maps, and staying connected with home.

Most large airports now sell local SIM cards, and assist with setting them up on your phone.

6. Don’t buy pretty passport covers

When I first started travelling I was unaware that it’s actually a requirement for border security, in all countries to see the front and back of your passport, to confirm its authenticity.

After I’d reached my third airport in Europe I tossed my passport cover, because, it just became a nuisance.

Don’t waste your money, unless you’re willing to take it out, each time you visit airport security.

7. Always pay attention to Where your Luggage Is

While travelling with newbie travellers I’ve realised that, even though it’s mentioned repeatedly at the airports, not everyone is aware that you can’t leave your bag unattended.

It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your luggage when people are handling it, or where possible, avoid allowing someone else to handle your luggage. Unless they are airport security or staff.

Call me paranoid but have any of you heard about Shappelle Corby?

I know we are all unsure whether she did it or not, but, if you don’t keep an eye on your luggage anything could happen.

You don’t want a federal officer interrogating you at an airport, because, you left your luggage unattended.

8. Smart traveller

Smart traveller is a handy website to become familiar with, it will provide you with advice on the safety or risk of particular countries, and advise when any major event or catastrophe has occurred.

For travellers that are Australian citizens. You can also use this website to register your travel dates, and provide your emergency contact details, to assist in the event of a catastrophe or major event while you’re overseas.

9. Vaccinations

As well as looking after your health, some countries actually won’t let you enter unless you’ve had certain vaccinations.

You can look this up online, but the best way to know what vaccines you need, is to go and see your doctor.

Your doctor will be able to tell you the health requirements, and risks for your travel destination.

 10. Visa Requirements

You should always check if you require a visa for any country that you travel to.

Depending on your citizenship this will vary for each traveller.

I usually do this by looking online for visa requirements. When applying for a visa, always make sure that you are on that country’s government website.

Alternatively, if you’re unsure there are visa assistance services, or if you’ve booked through a travel agent they will be able to assist.

Most countries will either have a basic visa for travellers on holiday with a return flight, or you can just get your visa on entry into the country.

Health Lifestyle Travel

The Ultimate Post Travel Detox

The more I travelled, the more I found myself finding it harder and harder to get over that jet lag, avoid sickness when I came home and just found myself completely exhausted. I started asking around and a friend of mine introduced me to some amazing detox products. And a bonus for me was that they aren’t tested on animals, they have a responsible and sustainable approach and their packaging is both BPA free and recyclable. Which ticks all the boxes in my book.

During our travels we tend to absorb a lot of toxins; especially in Asian countries or when travelling through industrial areas. I found the polluted air in Hong Kong, the dust and exhaust fumes from tuk tuk’s in Thailand or even places like the London Tube were causing me to feel horrible by the end of my trip. Then I started detoxing and I have never felt better.

The Benefits of Detoxing

  • Reduce selling from the constant travel, sitting down and flying.
  • Boosts your immune system.
  • Assists to avoid sickness after travelling.
  • Helps to get over jet lag faster.
  • Boost your energy levels.
  • Assists with your digestion, especially after eating plane food. You all know what I mean.

What you need to do to Detox

Eat Clean

  • It is recommended but not required to reduce Gluten, Dairy and Fried Foods for the best benefits while detoxing.
  • Try to avoid white grains and starchy carbs where possible.
  • Eat more fresh produce. Foods such as asparagus, artichoke, lemon, tumeric, beets, ginger, cabbage, garlic, avocados and parsley are all great to help the body detox.

Lifestyle changes

Extra gentle exercise, if you aren’t already exercising. It is only recommended to do a little more than what you already do. Such as walking, you can do this by trying to keep up you 10,000 steps a day. Yoga and pilates are also great while detoxing, and helps to stretch out those kinks after flying. Intense exercise is not required.

The Detox (The Best Part)

Mineral Drink

  • Your body needs minerals, they are important for building strong bones, teeth, blood, skin, hair, nerve function, muscle and for metabolic processes such as those that turn the food we eat into energy
  • It is sourced from the Alpine Moore Biomass in Austria.
  • Because trace minerals get taken out during the refinement process of your foods this this is a simple and effective way to include plant derived phytonutrients in the diet.

Green Qi – Super Greens

  • This product contains Spirulina, Chlorella and Kale. It blends marine greens with fruit and berry extracts, herbs and grasses to help you balance your diet.
  • It assists to alkalise and detoxify your body.
  • It gives you loads of energy!!!
  • Great for when you don’t get enough vegetables in your diet. I even like to travel with this one where I can to help keep me going and boost my immune system.

Super Symbiotic Probiotic

  • Your gut microbiome can be thrown out of whack when you consume alcohol, too many processed or fatty food, antibiotics or even oral contraceptives.
  • This probiotic is 80 times stronger than other products available.
  • Microbiome gut bacteria needs to be in check to assist with healthy digestion, especially after you have been binge eating or subjected to plane food.
  • Probiotics can also assist with weightloss, mental health, increase energy, improve your skin and help your immune system.

Antioxidant

  • Curcumin, grape seed and ginkgo work with your body’s natural systems to help remove excess free radicals.
  • It counteracts the effects of free radical oxygen molecules by giving up an electron, effectively neutralising the potentially damaging molecule.
  • This one is fantastic when you have been travelling to countries with loads of air pollution.

Multivitamins and Botanicals

  • A great addition to your diet when your dietary intake is inadequate. However you should not rely on this to replace a balanced diet.
  • Assist with your energy levels, loaded with your B vitamins.
  • Helps to boosts your immune system.
  • Can assist with maintaining health normal blood with folic acid and vitamin B12.

Liver Health

  • Assists with cleansing your liver of fats.
  • Assists to detox your liver, especially after you’ve been drinking a lot of those cheap cocktails on your trip.
  • Helps your liver to metabolise and balance your hormones.

Anti Inflammatory

  • This product contains celery Seed extract.
  • A fantastic natural supplement to assist fluid retention, especially after you have been flying.
  • Helps the bloating and inflammation in the digestive tract.
  • Also assists to improve stiff sore joints and gout.

If you find that you don’t need a full detox there is also the option to buy products individually and do a mini detox. Or  you can choose what products will benefit you the most. The mini detox consists of your Mutivitamins and Botanicals, Green Qi, Probiotic and the Mineral Drink. You can find these amazing products if you follow the links below; when you use promo code 518948 you will get a sweet discount or $$$ dollars to spend on your first order which is awesome!

See the following links for each country that Modere ship to; Australia, USACanadaUK and EuropeJapanHong KongKoreaTaiwan, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore

I hope this information was useful, please feel free to get in contact with me if you want support, or more information.

I would love to hear how your detox journey goes.

Happy Detoxing friends.

Art DIY Tours Spain Travel

The Dali Theatre Museum in Figueres

If you’re interested in art, surrealism or you are inspired by Salvador Dali’s work I highly recommend visiting his Theatre Museum in Figueres. You can get to Figures by the Renfe Train which takes about 2 hours from Barcelona. Barcelona is a beautiful city and a piece of architectural art in itself, but Dali’s museum is unlike any museum you would have ever seen before and is worth the trip. If you don’t want to stay in the beautiful city of Figueres, you can easily spend a day here and make your way back to Barcelona.

This museum is an amazing museographical model created by Dali’s specific design to enhance the semantic possibilities of his creations. It is a space that is full of impressions, authenticity and provocations that manage to captivate the interest of all of it’s visitors. The Dali Theatre Museum opened it’s doors in 1974 and was the location of the first Exhibition of Dali’s life. It was only fitting for him to build his Museum here; in his hometown and place of birth.

When you arrive at the Figueres Renfe Train station you will find it very easy to make your way to the museum, it is also quite hard to miss the stunning geodesic cupola pictured above. There are street signs that help direct you and I recommend getting there earlier as it is common to get stuck in the long lines.

Wonder around the city if you have time, Dali’s sculptures are also scattered around the city.  If you are lucky enough the local street market might be running, selling some amazing foods.

As you walk into the museum you will be greeted by the impressive central Courtyard is the old stalls section of the Theatre. It is dominated by the vertical installation and imposing Cadillac called Rainy Taxi. From the courtyard going up the ramp we reach the space under the Cupola.

As you work your way through the labyrinth you will come to Treasure Room upholstered in red velvet, this room contains some of the most important works in the Dali Museum.

You will then be lead through to the Fishmongers’ crypt where you will pass the feather collage on paper, Head of Beethoven (1973), a large work created by throwing live octopus on paper. Also exhibited is the Christmas Card series produced for the Hoechst company and the series of jewellery that Dali designed. The last room in this section is the crypt overlooked by Salvador Dali’s tomb stone where he is entombed.

Following this you come to the Mae West Room, this is one of the most popular in the Theatre where you can take in the three dimensional creation of the Face of Mae West apartment scene. Here you will find installations from floor to ceiling almost a forebear of popart.

Moving to the Second Floor we find a collection of engravings, continuing through to the spiral stairway displaying the Dior fancy dress.  Third Floor we can visit the Masterpieces room collected from different periods and by different artists displays with deliberate chronological disorder. Walk through the corridors and you will find more sculptures, paintings and silhouettes of the characters that appear in his oil paintings.

This will bring you through to the Palace of the Wind, Salvador Dali has a special fondness for this room as it was here in 1919 that he has his first exhibition at fourteen years of age. Sharing this room with two other painters if it dominated by the impressive ceiling painting from which it gets it’s name.

Torre Galatea, the last section in the museum is a more austere space and more in line with typical museum conventions. This is where you will find the optical illusions room. You will also find the shrine room which Dali intended to avoid natural light to create mystery by covering the windows with fabric.

Jewels is the new rooms of the Theatre-museum that displays the collection designed by Dali. The room has been deliberately darkened and each jewel is paired with a splendid preparatory drawing. “The pieces adorned the jewels, were created to please the sight, extol the spirit, awaken the imagination and express convictions. Without a public, without the presence of spectators, these jewels would not fulfill the function for which they were created. The spectator therefore becomes the final artist. Their vision, their heart, their mind; which are fused and captured with greater or lesser understanding that creators intention; gives them life.” – Salvador Dali.

 

 

Blogging Lifestyle

How to Start a Travel Blog

Step 1. Find your Niche

These are a few of the tips I have picked up from the pro’s during my journey to creating a website.

  • Be specific, make sure that your audience know what you are writing about.
  • Identify your passion.
  • Try to narrow down within this passion, find a specific niche or a couple to combine.

For example, I write about lifestyle art and travel and incorporate those into the topic of travel. You can be more specific and focus on solo travel, travelling as a female/male, luxury travel etc. It’s up to you.

  • Try to research gaps in the market, this will help to make you unique.

Step 2. Brainstorm a Killer Blog (Domain) Name

To keep things basic, your domain name is the unique address of your blog/website on the internet. Your www. address, for instance mine is www.serendipitouswanderlust.com and it will be my unique identifier for as long as I pay an annual fee to keep this address. I will talk about this fee in the next couple of steps.

Tips for your domain name;

  • You can either use your own name, a brand, your niche or some of these combined, it’s up to you.
  • Try to relate it to travel or your niche in some way.
  • Try to keep it easy to remember and easy for your audience to type into their browser.
  • Think about the long term, this is how you will always be identified.
  • Check it’s availability, you can do this by going to SiteGround. Nevermind the prices that you see here, this is just to check that your domain is available for you to use. If you follow my link below you will get a sweet 50% discount on your hosting price.
  • Google your name to see what comes up, you can also use the website KnowEm to see if it comes up on any social media network. I highly recommend doing this because you will want to use social media websites to monetize your blog.
  • Check that there isn’t already a Trademark for that name here.

Step 3. Buy Your Domain and Get a Good Hosting for your Travel Blog

This is where your blog will live, on a remote server where all your information is saved.

An investment will be required if you want to work towards earnings. The investment is generally quite affordable, I pay $14.95 a year for my domain and $4.95 per month for my hosting. If this is going to be a hobby or you don’t think you will have the motivation to maintain a website I would suggest free platforms such as Tumblr, wordpress.com, blogspot or blogger may be better suited. However these free platforms do have a lot of disadvantages, such as;

  • Free platforms are not search engine friendly, if you tried to search for a particular topic or focus wrd you will find it very hard to locate your blog through search engines.
  • Domain names on free platforms are often quite long, also making it harder for readers to find you.
  • You will not be able to place your own ads on these websites, which means you will not make any earnings. However the platform will put their own ads on your blog.
  • Free platforms have little to no plug ins and themes. Themes and plug ins make your website look fancy and professional.
  • Your website can potentially be deleted at any time if the platform feels that you have violated their site terms.
  • Free platforms are not always user friendly especially when it comes to trying to add a theme when it is possible to on a free platform.
  • If you want to look into advertising brands, affiliates and partners, a free platform does not look professional. This also means no earnings.

My website is currently located on the SiteGround server and I can say that their customer service is amazing! They are extremely beginner friendly, any small thing that you need help with they can assist. Trust me I needed a lot of help to begin with. They have a really great chat service and they have always been quick to respond.

Step 4. How to Set Up your Domain Name and Hosting (with SiteGround)

If you use the link below or click here you will get a sweet 50% off on the normal hosting prices. You can then follow my steps below to sign up  to SiteGround if you need help.

Web Hosting

How to Set Up Web Hosting with SiteGround (CLICK TO EXPAND)

1. Choose your Hosting Plan.

SiteGround has three plans:

StartUp Plan

The Start Up plan is perfect for people who want a basic plan for one website only. You can always upgrade your plan later if you choose to.

GrowBig Plan

The GrowBig plan is a great value for money offer, including the option for multiple websites and the SuperCacher that greatly improves the WordPress and Joomla website speed.

GoGeek Plan

The GoGeek plan is perfect for people with e-commerce and larger sites, or more geeky development needs like staging and GIT integration.

2. Choosing your Domain

Here you can now choose to buy your new domain that you chose above, or sign up with an existing domain. If you already have a domain or you are looking to transfer your hosting SiteGround have a free website transfer which is great.


3. Review and Complete

Unlike many other hosting providers the advertised discount applies to any of the initial periods chosen during the sign up process. This means that even if you choose to go with their 12 month plan, you will still get the 50% discount. Quite often other hosting sites will provide a discount but only to the longest period which is usually 36 months. I do however recommend you make the most of the discount on a 36 month plan if you can afford. When it comes to extending you will get a discount however it will be much less than 50%.

Step 5. Install WordPress

WordPress isn’t the only online open source website creation tool to choose from. However it is my preferred and it is one of the easiest to use for a beginner. I am talking about wordpress.org not wordpress.com which is the free platform version. If you’re interested you can also consider Joomla. Or if you are looking to build an online store Magento or PrestaShop might be something that you want to look into. For now we are going to look at how to install WordPress.

How to Install Wordpress (CLICK TO EXPAND)

1. Sign into SiteGround and head over to you account.

2. Go to your cPanel. This is a little redish/orange button that takes you to your control panel for your hosting package.

3. Select the Wordpress icon under the auto installers bar.

4. Then select the install now button.

5. Customise your settings. Generally you can leave your domain protocol to the standard setting, https protocols are for secure sites. If you have any trouble with this section SiteGrounds support are great if you get stuck.

Make sure the correct domain is selected. This should be automatic. Leave the “In Directory” option blank.

It is recommended but not necessary to change your site name, site description, admin username and admin password. I created a custom domain email which I used for my admin email. If you're interested in learning how to create your own domain email leave comments.

6. Once the form is completed, select install.

7. You have now installed Wordpress. If you head back to your SiteGround "My Account" tab, then select "Go to Admin Panel" button to the right of your domain. This will take you to your Wordpress account and this is where the magic happens. If you have any issues with these steps SiteGround support is always available.  

Step 6. Pick your Theme and Customise Your Site

There are a lot of free themes out there on the interweb which do the job, especially if you are starting out. However they tend to limit your ability to customize and generally don’t look as pretty as some of the ones that  have been designed for purchase.

You can find free themes on WordPress.org which you can choose t0 follow this link or it is much easier to got to you “appearance” tab on your wordpress account/dashboard. Then select “themes”, from here you can search, select and activate the theme that you would like to use.

Currently I use a Station Seven theme which cost me $59 AUD. If you want to know where to find more themes both free and purchased you can have a look at some of the links on my Pinterest board.

Once you have your theme selected you can look at adding plug ins for things like the slideshows that are in some of my posts, the world map in the footer of my website or the expand and retract boxes that you can see in this post. If you want to learn more about plug ins, leave me a comment and I will write another post about plug ins more detail.

Step 8. Create your Basic Content

About Me Page

Introduce yourself and try to be authentic to you. This is where you will attract people to want to follow you.

Contact Details

This can show your email and social media channels or whatever form of contact that you choose. Or you can opt to put up a form using the plugin Contact Form 7.

Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, or Terms of Use

To protect your rights and affirm your protection from any liabilities as an online blogger; you can find a sample of this on my blog or you can decide to look up various other travel bloggers and have a look at their Disclaimer, Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Sidebar

Depending on where you set your side bar it will generally sit to the right of your posts, however it can sometimes be set to the left. To control the contents that appears in your sidebar go to your “appearance” tab and select “widgets”.

Step 9. Secure Your Name on Social Media Sites

This step should be easy as we already had a look at your Domain Name availability across social media sites. It is a good idea when you are ready to launch your blog to register your Name across social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Youtube and Pinterest. This will help to attract more traffic to your website.

Step 10. Start Creating Your Content and a Way You Go…..

I am not going to tell you what I think you need to put here. You know what to do and you know what you want to say. So go for it. I know your blog is going to be amazing.

I would love for you to share your link with me once you’re up and running so leave a comment or send me an email and I will come and check it out.