Bulgaria is located in the southeastern part of the Balkans. With that location, comes a tradition of phenomenal food that makes even the biggest of foodies blush. At one point in time, this region of the world was occupied by the Romans, Greeks, and Turks making it a crazy melting pot of Mediterranean and Arabic cuisine. If you love food and are wondering what do Bulgarians eat, here are some of the dishes you can’t leave the country without trying.
Bulgarian Baked Goods
Bulgarians love bread. If there is one thing you won’t have trouble finding at any point on your visit to Bulgaria it’s a delicious hunk of bread in many different forms and variations. I’ve personally seen grown men cry over some of these baked goods, so you shouldn’t be ashamed if you do the same after trying them.
This is possibly the most dangerously addicting food you will try in Bulgaria. Milinki is essentially little balls of dough topped with lots of butter and brined cheese.
Me in the wild enjoying Milinki heaven.
They are typically baked and sold together in sets of around 6. You may tell yourself that you’ll only eat one, but you’ll probably end up eating them all.
Banitsa is arguably the most Bulgarian of all the baked goods. Even though there are tons of different types of banitsa they are based on filo dough which is layered with a delicious Bulgarian feta and egg mixture. Varieties can differ based on the region, type of cheese, and even baking method. Incredibly addictive. Beware.
Kozunak is considered a dessert and traditionally made on Easter. It is usually made by taking three strands of dough and weaving them together. The Kozunak is then baked and topped with sugar and nuts. One of the things that make Kozunak unique, and even more delicious, is how flaky the dough is.
Bulgarians love their salad, and you can easily see that by opening up a menu at any restaurant. There are many different types that are both healthy (most of the time) and delicious, but here are some of the most famous ones.
If there is one thing for certain, it’s that it’s never hard to find Shopska salad in Bulgaria. Easily found in every restaurant or on the tables of home-cooked meals, it’s made of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, red onion, and topped with a healthy amount of Bulgarian feta cheese (which is many times shredded, creamy, and delightful). It doesn’t come with a “dressing” but all restaurants in Bulgaria have olive oil and vinegar on the tables so you can season your salad to your liking.
This salad is pretty unique and made by finely chopping cucumber and dill then mixing it into strained yogurt. The resulting salad is tart, salty, and very refreshing. You can also add some finely chopped garlic and top it off with walnuts if you want.
A “winter” variation exists which replaces fresh cucumber with pickles.
Despite its name, this salad can be found all over Bulgaria and is traditionally made in the winter around the holidays. It’s made by chopping the following ingredients in cubes: pickles, cooked carrots, cooked potatoes, peas (not chopped obviously), and best of all hot dogs. Yes, hot dogs. This is then all mixed into mayonnaise! While this might sound like an odd mixture you’re guaranteed to love it. Unless you hate mayonnaise…then it might not be your thing.
Bulgarians eat a lot of meat… like a lot. And there are tons of different types of meaty deliciousness waiting for you if you’re a true carnivore. Here’s what you need to try when you visit Bulgaria.
Kufte is the Bulgarian meatball, but with a little something extra.
Unlike most meatballs that are just meat, kufteta (kufte in the plural form) have a mix of chopped onions, parsley, eggs, and wait for it… soaked bread. The resulting “meatball” is not just a spherical hunk of meat, but a delicious treat that is loved by all Bulgarians.
Another secret ingredient used in the making of kufteta, and most Bulgarian meat dishes, is chubritza. Chubritza is a special herb mix which you can get only in Bulgaria. It has a strong, very distinct smell that you will later dream about.
There’s no great cuisine in the world that does not have a recipe for meat in tube form, and Bulgaria definitely lives up to that.
The kebapche is usually made from ground meat that is 50% pork and 50% beef along with a healthy sprinkle of cumin and chubritza. The mixture is then rolled into a tube shape and grilled. For the most Bulgarian experience possible, it should be grilled outside with lots of beer close by.
You can find kebapcheta (plural form) at many pubs and restaurants as meze – a type of food that’s eaten as a side to alcohol. You never order one, and you should definitely try dipping it in some lutenitsa, a type of pepper and tomato based spread famous in Bulgaria.
When translated into English the name of this “dish” is mixed meat, and it lives up to the name. If you want to get a taste of the entire gamut of Bulgarian cooked meats this is what you should get. It’s essentially a large platter with everything I’ve mentioned in this section and several more types of cooked meats/sausages.
So you should probably get it. Go crazy!
Bulgarian soups and stews
The name of this soup directly translates into “Stomach Soup” and it’s exactly what it sounds like.
This Bulgarian favorite is essentially beef tripe (stomach lining) that is chopped into cubes and then simmered in a paprika-infused milk broth. It’s then often times served with a healthy dose of garlic soaked in vinegar.
This may not sound like the most appealing dish in the world but it’s a must-try. It’s delicious and often times consumed in the early hours of the day when people are making their way home from the bars and need some strength to get them the rest of the way to their beds.
If the idea of eating tripe doesn’t appeal to you, don’t eat the chunks of tripe but just enjoy the broth. It’s one of the most flavourful and delicious things out there. Trust me!
Gyuvech is named for the type of dish that the meal is cooked in. Essentially a Gyuvech is a clay pot (it can be both large and small) that is bulbous, with a clay top, and oftentimes decorated with classic Bulgarian designs. Gyuvech is a type of stew that combines meat, potatoes, carrots, onions, and other veggies. There are many different types of gyuvech depending on the area of Bulgaria you’re in and the season.
Do you remember the Snezhanka salad from above? Well, this is essentially the soup version of the salad and beloved by all Bulgarians. It’s made by finely chopping cucumbers (never pickles), and dill, and combining it with a mixture of equal parts water and yogurt. The soup is then topped with olive oil, and sometimes garlic and walnuts.
This is possibly one of the most famous Bulgarian dishes and usually consumed during the summer since it’s served cold.
Whether its fluffy delicious bread in the morning or a shopska and Meshena Skara in the evening, Bulgaria has an endless array of yummy cuisine that is worth visiting and experiencing. When it comes to what do Bulgarians eat, I think it’s safe to say they eat well.
If you spend any amount of time in New York City you’re bound to take the MTA Subway a time or two. For those that live in the city, they can chew your ear off with all the crazy stories, people, and experiences they have had while underground on the subway. In this episode, we bring in our friends and colleagues to share some of their craziest subway encounters while living here.
About to visit New York City, or already here and need to quickly find a place to put your luggage? In this article, we’ll cover options for luggage storage in NYC so you won’t need to fuss with bags. Get ready to have the time of your life in the best city on earth.
We have this exact problem all the time when we travel the globe.
We get into a new city and want to go explore, but we can’t. We have an awkward amount of time where we’re left with our bags to lug around the city before check-in. Well lucky for the world, awesome companies have developed solutions that will help luggage storage in NYC be a breeze for you.
Luggage Storage Apps
Luggage storage has finally caught up with the times and now it’s easier than ever to shed yourself of your heavy burdens to explore a new place. Here are a few of our favorites and recommendations.
My favorite solution of all the storage apps would be BounceFull Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.. I just heard about this luggage storage app on one of my favorite podcast’s The Pitch. Their model is pretty cool and it’s super easy to use.
Just download their app and then find a local small business to drop your bags off at. It’s pretty simple and only $6/per bag/per day. Not bad if you think about all the lugging you’d have to carry alternatively.
They also offer a transfer service if you’d like to drop your luggage off at one location and have it delivered to another (say an airport or train station like Grand Central or Penn Station). This service is newer and really interesting if you’re like me and hate luggage lugging. Prices start at about $15 and go up from there for transfer. They have a $5,000 Bounce Guarantee so you can rest assured they are going to take care of your bags.
I’m a sucker for a nicely designed mobile app and website and of all the solutions on this page, Bounce wins the prize for this.
Because you rock, they’re offering 10% OFF to Life Nomading readersFull Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. so just click the link and it will automagically be discounted upon purchase.
Also available in New York City, this luggage storage app is competitively priced at $6/per day and extra days are charged at $4/ per day. No size or weight limits and free cancellations make it a very appealing solution as well.
Priced a bit differently but still offering a similar service is Luggage Hero. You can utilize them hourly for $1/hour or by the day for $10/day. This is great if you decide that you only need storage in New York City for a few hours as you will save a few bucks.
Be warned they do have a one time $2 handling fee and if you are using them for all day use I would recommend Bounce instead.
We’re just getting a little petty about the price at this point. Vertoe scrapes just under most of the others at $5.95 per item per day. If you’re trying to save every single penny for one more meal at Tortaria then I understand. Security seals, $5,000 in insurance coverage and all that is included with Vertoe luggage storage so you can rest easy that your bags are going to be OK.
Free New York Luggage Storage Solutions
If you’re staying at an Airbnb or a hotel there is a chance you could just give them a call or message and ask if you could get an early check-in. If your host isn’t able to do so, perhaps ask them if you could at least drop your bags off. Most times, if it’s a shared space with a live-in host, they will be more than happy to accommodate. It’s worth a try if getting to your lodging arrangements is just as easy as a bag drop-off location.
Hotel Bag Checks
This is terrible, but if you’re really on a budget and need to find storage for your luggage then hotel bag checks could be an easy solution for you. Even if I’m not staying at a hotel, often times I will just act like I am in a rush and ask if they could hold my bag for me. They will give you a tag and then when you come back, thank them graciously and woohoo you just saved money on luggage storage.
I do however advise that if you have some dollars to spare, tip the hotel staff.
If you’re anxious or worried they’ll call your bluff than this tactic isn’t for you. Instead, use an app storage solution like BounceFull Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.. Confidence is key.
Drop luggage off at a friend’s place
Think reaaaaaaaallllyyy hard. You must have at least one friend in the city that never sleeps. If so, give them a text and if you haven’t seen them in a while first inquire about their lives (eye roll). Then make the ask if you could drop your bag off for a bit while you explore the city. Who knows, maybe they’ll even show you around the city. If they don’t, no biggy, we have a tour for that! 😉
It’s no secret that with a city this big, you have plenty of luggage storage in NYC options at your fingertips. Don’t stress too much, you’re not alone and you’ll be okay. If I were you, I would suggest using an app service like BounceFull Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. or the hotel bag check hack, but at the end of the day be sure to choose an option that gives you more time exploring and less time stressing.
Have a great time in the city that never sleeps and best of luck getting rid of those heavy bags.
When we’re traveling, it can be easy to get a feeling of homesickness. But the bigger question is, what really do we consider a home? Is it the places we live, the people we spend time with, or the experiences we have? We dive into the topic of home and share some of our thoughts and personal stories as we try to begin to work towards how we define and view what “home” means to both Caroline and me.
What does home mean to you? (please send us a DM on Instagram or leave a comment below, we’d love to hear.)
If you’re curious what a smaller more high pitched Ian looked like referencing the audio of me as a kid. ^^
Caroline Lloyd: Now that we know Ian loves going, we’re sponsored by a laxative, a sponsor.
Ian Hoyt: We do have a pooping article that will link to since we did mention that you should read it. It’s about pooping while traveling.
Caroline Lloyd: Anyway, that’s why I’m a home body. I don’t know.
Ian Hoyt: Where you can stay regular
Ian Hoyt: Hey there, fellow nomads. This is Ian
Caroline Lloyd: And Caroline
Ian Hoyt: And this is the Life Nomading podcast.
Ian Hoyt: Hey there, fellow nomads. It’s Ian and Caroline and welcome back to another episode of the Life Nomding podcast. Caroline is making fun of me because I use my hands when I talk into the mic.
Caroline Lloyd: Conducting a choir over here when he’s talking.
Ian Hoyt: I’m conducting the podcast, dedication to the creative process. It’s episode number six, six weeks. I’m very impressed by us. I’m proud that we’re cranking out episodes and I feel like we’re getting better. I don’t know. Please let us know how we’re doing in a review on iTunes. Shameless plug.
Caroline Lloyd: Today we are really deep diving into a new kind of topic for us. Um, you know, typically we’re talking about traveling and all things related, but we’re dialing it back a little bit this week and we’re talking about home.
Ian Hoyt: They probably knew that by the title already.
Caroline Lloyd: You clicked on it.
Ian Hoyt: But yeah, we’re going to talk a little bit about what home means to us and what it means to travel.
Caroline Lloyd: So just I think to start off we should orient ourselves and say what home means to us because I think by this point in life we both realize that home isn’t a physical house, but much more than that. So Ian, what does home mean to you?
Ian Hoyt: Yeah, I think home is definitely not necessarily about the location as much as the people or as much as the combination of the two. You know, when I was growing up, I lived in three different houses, which I think is fairly normal for the average human in America. Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know.
Caroline Lloyd: I lived in the same house for my entire life. My parents still live in the house that I was brought home from the hospital to, which I think is odd for most people living in the U.S today.
Ian Hoyt: Yeah, and you know, it’s actually really kind of funny is I lived in three different houses, had maybe a little bit of a different upbringing just because I lived with my mom and my sister. My Dad had passed away when I was younger, so it was a little bit different. But what’s really interesting is every time we would move or think about moving, I remember distinctly that my mom would always be really concerned that my sister and I would be really sad to leave the house that we lived in and I always innately just thought that was crazy. I was like, mom, it’s, it’s a house. Like it’s whatever. Like sure you get used to the house you’re living in, in, in your room and things like that. But the things I remember are the intangible things, the things that didn’t revolve around the doors and the rooms, but the things that I did there,
Ian’s Mom: Wave to the camera. Say Happy New Year!
Ian Hoyt: From, you know, recording youtube videos in the backyard with Robbie, Robbie. Shout out one of my best friends.
Ian Hoyt: Robert’s potato eating contest in Alabama we are EXSCN and we’re going to be covering the Browns training camp first.
Caroline Lloyd: So those videos are still on YouTube. So please go look for them. They’re the best.
Ian Hoyt: I will give you extra Brownie points if you can find them on the Internet. So, um, but yeah, like recording videos in the back yard or playing in the snow in it was a different house than that one. So like the memories are what stick with me. It’s not about the walls. And so maybe that’s why I thought it was always crazy when my mom would ask that question. She still does today.
Ian’s Mom: Okay. Do you like your new house? Look over here buddy. Ian, look right here. Do you like your new house?
Ian Hoyt: If they were to move. We don’t live there anymore, but like she, she always brings that up. It’s like, no, I really don’t care about that. It’s about the memories and the things I did there that involved people. And activities and so I think that’s kind of interesting because I bow that with really how I view home in general now and it’s not so much about the location but the experiences that culminate in a similar area. So that’s kind of what I think. What do you think Caroline? What does home mean to you?
Caroline Lloyd: Well, I said that I lived in the same house growing up from when I was born until, I mean now my parents still live there.
Ian Hoyt: My question is, were you a baby in the room that you stayed at your whole life? Or did you change rooms at all?
Caroline Lloyd: Yes. Not my current bedroom, but like now it’s still. I have my things in the room. My bedroom was my baby room. It’s gone through several iterations. It was teddy bears and then it was Minnie Mouse and then it was very brightly colored and high school and now my parents have painted it a new neutral colors.
Caroline Lloyd: So when guests go in there they aren’t blinded. It used to be yellow. I don’t know why I chose yellow for my room.
Ian Hoyt: I could see that.
Caroline Lloyd: Yeah. But, you know, home is, I think, boils down to people and the feeling that people give you when you are around them and you care for them a lot. And also I think memories slash rituals or routines. I mean, I know that every time I go home I kind of get into the same routine, even like down to what I eat when I’m at home, when I fixed in the kitchen because my mom always buys the same groceries. I know what certain things I can make in the kitchen. Um, and you know, going to a certain coffee shops where I had a lot of memories growing up in high school or restaurants in the area. And you know, one thing that I really love is home videos because I think that totally encapsulates what home is. And all of your experiences and memories are recorded in a very timeless way, uh, to reflect back on.
Ian Hoyt: By timeless you mean super pixelated?
Caroline Lloyd: The date printed on the bottom right hand corner
Ian Hoyt: and a button that you can press on the recorder that does like the Auto Fade from one clip.
Caroline Lloyd: Oh my gosh. Yes. I have so many like home films like that to the point where it’s like ridiculous. My family, I feel like my parents basically just handed me and my sister’s a video camera when we first got it and it was a novel technology and we got really creative. My oldest sister Emily was like bossy creative director and would make these really embarrassing short films of me and my sister. Um, but I’m so thankful for that because they’re really fun to watch now.
Ian Hoyt: Yeah. I’m so thankful too because we get to watch them together.
Caroline Lloyd: Yeah. Every time I go home my mom has just transferred them all to dvds and we sit and we watch them. But don’t tell me you don’t enjoy those.
Ian Hoyt: They are very enjoyable, especially the pageant ones, but we don’t need to talk about that.
Caroline Lloyd: It is a scholarship program.
Ian Hoyt: Whatever you wanna call ’em.
Caroline Lloyd: Yeah. But for me, I think home is people memories and uh, routines.
Ian Hoyt: Yeah. I feel like we’re, we’ve got some similarities there then, so we’re not crazy. All right. So that’s kind of what home means to us. So with that being said, I guess another aspect of this is feeling homesick and where and when. So like Caroline and when have you felt most homesick, was there, is there a specific time in your life or a moment or a place that you can recall?
Caroline Lloyd: I think like the first inkling of being homesick happen when I was a kid at camp, you know, when you’re like, I don’t know, in a bratty stage of life or like people start making clicks and you’re like in a new environment and you just feel very out of place. Uh, you don’t have your normal group of friends and it’s a stressful time when you’re like nine years old and then, and that’s kind of like your first taste of it and then maybe you go away for like a longer period of time. I mean I spent like four weeks in an arts camp when I was in high school and while that was a long time to be away from home, even when I was like 15 or 16 years old. That is a long time. And I dunno, I think it’s like your first step towards really changing your life and I’m so thankful that I had those experiences at a young age because I feel like it enabled me to go on and, you know, not be afraid of going to college six states away from my home base and leaving to make entirely new friends.
Caroline Lloyd: I didn’t know anyone when I moved out to Texas. I didn’t know anyone when I moved to New York. Like I think it gives you the confidence to really change your life and start building something on your own.
Ian Hoyt: Yeah, I could see that a lot. That’s interesting. I feel like for me, I would have to say probably the first inklings that I really think I felt homesick because, you know, quite honestly I’m kind of weird. I feel really comfortable when I’m on the move and we can talk about that more later. But like college was definitely a moment when I felt homesick but not because I necessarily missed home because I loved the whole independence thing. I can do my own thing and like, you know, whatever. But I think it was just not being in an environment that I wanted to be in or that I thought I would be in. So I think there’s a complex there.
Caroline Lloyd: No, I think what you’re saying of being in an uncomfortable situation and pushing that towards more homesick than not because I do believe that there are places and people that you meet, that you spend time with that you immediately feel at home. And I think it’s the uncomfortableness of certain situations that propels you into feeling homesick.
Ian Hoyt: Yeah. And that’s probably why I felt that in college also. I just wasn’t my speed college. It wasn’t my thing. And so it made everything kinda weird. But ironically, like when I moved to New York, I didn’t feel homesick at all. I was super excited to be here. And although for the first few months it was just me kind of like navigating the world in a way. I still didn’t feel homesick. I don’t know how homesickness happens necessarily. Kind of weird.
Caroline Lloyd: I think we can boil it down to like homesickness is really craving a level of comfort that you are not in in that moment. I think there were definitely times when I had first moved to New York where I was sick or like things weren’t panning out exactly the way that I had thought and I was in a level of comfort that was a little bit too low in that leads to homesickness.
Ian Hoyt: On the inverse though, I feel travel sick a lot and I know that sounds funny, but I feel the opposite in a way. You know, like I have this sickness to get away and so I don’t know what you, the listener feel, but you’re not alone if you have that feeling. Now I’m not trying to sound cliche, but I really do have that feeling of like I always need to be moving and when I’m home too long and I’m not doing something, I’m not going to go see something. I get that travel sickness and that’s the only way I can name it because I don’t know what you’d call that. Travel sickness I guess.
Caroline Lloyd: Yeah. I think that’s a real thing.
Caroline Lloyd: So if we’re homesick, what are we homesick for and where do you feel most at home?
Ian Hoyt: Going back to what I was just mentioning, this is not a non answer. I feel most at home, typically when I’m going somewhere.
Caroline Lloyd: When you’re excited.
Ian Hoyt: No, not even the excited part. It’s the actual physical going, I love going to airports and I love going. I just love going and so like anytime that I can get, don’t get me wrong, I’m a walking contradiction because I’m a homebody in a lot of ways, but there is no better feeling to me then leaving my apartment and getting in an uber or getting in a car or get on the subway and going journeying to somewhere else. Doesn’t matter where, but the act of going is where I feel where I feel most in control. I don’t know why. I have no clue why, but it’s weird and that’s where I feel most at home if we’re being honest.
Caroline Lloyd: You know? That’s a really deep. That’s a complicated question, especially for me because growing up I recognize this about myself in a very early age. Like we’re talking like fifth grade here. I have a hard time.
Ian Hoyt: What kind of fifth grader or were you?
Caroline Lloyd: Well, I’m about to tell you I skipped fifth grade actually.
Ian Hoyt: Let’s all take a collective second to roll our eyes one. Alright, let’s go.
Caroline Lloyd: Yeah, but I think that plays into it. I recognize that at a young age that I didn’t attach myself to things or people really. I skipped fifth grade and change school districts even though I didn’t move, I left all my friends behind. Did the same thing in eighth grade when I went to high school, I graduated from high school and I chose a college to go to that was, you know, a thousand miles away in a different state where I didn’t know anyone.
Caroline Lloyd: And then when I graduated from there I came to New York and basically started over. So they’re jumping off points in my life when I pretty much picked up everything and just moved. So for me, I felt like I spent a lot of those years creating new homes for myself and I’m thankful for that now because I have pockets of friends scattered all over the country internationally as well and when I visit all those places again, I definitely get a sense of home because I invested a certain amount of years of my life in those places and those people. So that’s a very long winded answer. But I feel most at home when I can reconnect with a place that I invested time in and just for that brief moment of revisiting that place, it’s a nice overwhelming feeling of this is a home for me.
Caroline Lloyd: So this is a more complicated question I guess for you Ian, but have you ever encountered a place that was new that you immediately felt at home at?
Ian Hoyt: Not Complicated at all. New York.
Caroline Lloyd: That’s Different. I feel like a lot of people say that.
Ian Hoyt: It’s not a cop out. The answer is going to sound like a cop out, but I think it boils down to being a person that I just admitted that I love to go. I said it like a thousand times. I think New York is like one of the few places you can manifest that feeling every single day you’re here, whether it’s getting on the subway or just trying to fricken get from one block to another. I get that sense. I get that feeling anytime I’m here and that’s why I knew I needed to be here in my heart of hearts. So New York so happens to be where I live and it so happens to be you where I felt most at home, away from home and so now it is my home and that’s the best answer I can give.
Caroline Lloyd: I think I have to jump in here and say that I am the wise one in this conversation. No, I think that once you’ve lived here longer than what you have, it’s a little bit different and obviously New York wears and tears on people differently, but there have been several moments in my four or five years living here when I thought I was done because New York kind of burns you at both ends. I’m saying all of this to caveat with I think it’s important to leave where you are and get away to then return and have a new found appreciation for wherever you live.
Ian Hoyt: Yeah, definitely. I think the, going back to whole, the whole homesickness thing, I think getting away from your home base or where you spend most of your time is good to reimagine and to miss it. There’s an aspect of missing things that plays into this conversation.
Caroline Lloyd: Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Do you ever like travel and not pack a certain article of clothing and then when you get home and you open up your drawer, you find it and you’re like, Oh, I’ve missed this so much.
Ian Hoyt: Oh, absolutely.
Caroline Lloyd: I love that feeling. And then you try on that dress or those shoes and you’re like, Oh, I missed wearing these shoes so much.
Ian Hoyt: Yeah, I subletted for like a year and a half and when we finally moved all my stuff from home home, I was like, oh, I forgot about that. And I was like, Oh yes, like yeah, that’s where that t shirt was.
Caroline Lloyd: Yeah. As much as we talk about home being like a in tangible philosophical thing, like there is something really rewarding about like digging through your closet in your childhood home and finding like pictures that you drew in second grade and like old school notebooks with notes that you wrote to your friends.
Ian Hoyt: All my love letters that back and forth to my childhood girlfriends.
Caroline Lloyd: I need to dig through your drawers.
Ian Hoyt: They’re Probably like really ridiculous.
Caroline Lloyd: I love doing that and it’s contradictory to me as a person because I love going through things and like throwing things out.
Ian Hoyt: She, um, she’s the purger.
Caroline Lloyd: I know, but I’m also like, I’m such a sucker and a pack rat for all those stupid little notes and fun little things that you can go back and reminisce on
Ian Hoyt: For sure. But Caroline, what about yourself? Is there a place that’s away from your home that made you instantly kind of feel like, oh, that’s where I feel most at home?
Caroline Lloyd: I think there’s two versions of this answer and one is when you’re actually looking for a home and you get that feeling, that’s a very different thing than visiting a place and thinking, I feel at home here, so I mean obviously when you’re like looking for a new apartment or house shopping, you want to get that feeling of home right when you walk in and I’ve definitely had several examples of that. I mean when I was touring college campuses for example, you want to have that feeling when you walk onto a certain campus and you say, I feel at home here, this feels right. I think that’s the kind of like gut instinct, but to kind of divert from your answer, I think the more important question at hand is where have you visited that feels like home? And for me, I think that was, you know, just from like all of our travels, I would have chosen Vienna.
Caroline Lloyd: I think that I can talk about Vienna forever, but it’s just a lovely city and it feels the right tempo. I think there’s definitely a tempo aspect and I can get into that philosophy a lot deeper.
Ian Hoyt: Which is weird because it’s different than. It’s way different than New York.
Caroline Lloyd: Yeah, but it’s just like good speed with all the right aspects. I felt like, I mean I’m not going to like build a life there, but I felt in some alternative dimension I could. Yeah, but even that is relative because you know, maybe if I would have visited Vienna 20 years later in life, I wouldn’t have gotten that feeling. I think it’s just depends on who you are in that moment.
Ian Hoyt: And you’re gonna throw your arms up because it really is. It’s all relative to your life stage, what you’re trying to accomplish, your goals like home is who you’re with and visiting with, where you are in your life at that point. It’s going to change. I had a home with six other dudes in Columbus and now I have a home with a lovely lady and a roommate and the cat.
Caroline Lloyd: So that’s a little bit of a break from your normal travel information, but I think it is just as important to recognize a home base and an anchor when you’re traveling as it is to plan all the fun details. So that’s it for this week. We will see you here again next Monday and we know that this episode is a little bit different than your normal broadcast of travel…
Ian Hoyt: But let us know what you think. We’re always trying to push the bounds of what we can talk about on this travel podcast. We want to make it more intriguing to you instead of just lists of things you should definitely do. So, uh, let us know in the reviews on iTunes, you can subscribe to us on overcast, spotify, apple, itunes, any other podcast platform that you can find us on we’d love if you subscribed. And, um, we’re here every Monday.
Caroline Lloyd: So if you have thoughts or comments or questions, feel free to send us a DM on Instagram @ lifenomading. So until next week I’m Caroline
Ian Hoyt: And I’m Ian and go explore something. See yah!
Caroline and I had our first glimpse into what the travel industry is like when you pile everyone into a travel show and begin to see how one riverboat cruise can look just like the other across the aisle. While we learned a lot about what not to do in travel while at the show, we learned a lot of incredibly valuable bits from various speakers and panels about what we should do. We share that and more in this podcast episode.
New York Times Travel Show – this is hosted every year in New York City so we figured it made a ton of sense to make a weekend out of it.
Seth Kugel – a former Frugal Traveler for the New York Times. He shared a ton of valuable and interesting insights into this world of travel.
Ian Hoyt: You should see the visual I see right now of you like, huddling under the blanket because it’s so cold in our apartment and we’re on the floor in our room, and she’s holding the book under the blanket.
Caroline Lloyd: This is not “on a shoe string travel” it’s “on a shoe string lifestyle.”
Ian Hoyt: Hey there, fellow nomads. This is Ian.
Caroline Lloyd: And Caroline.
Ian Hoyt: And this is the Life Nomading podcast.
Ian Hoyt: Welcome back, fellow nomads. It’s Ian again.
Caroline Lloyd: And Caroline.
Ian Hoyt: And it’s another episode. I’m pretty pumped that we are able to keep this going.
Caroline Lloyd: Every Monday, we’re here.
Ian Hoyt: Every single Monday. And in this episode we’re going to recap a little bit about our previous weekend at the New York Times travel show. Now, I don’t know about you, Caroline, but it’s the first time I’ve ever been to a travel show or a travel conference. So we had a lot of interesting things we took away from that and I just want the listener to know, right off the bat, this is kind of an open forum. A fireside chat, if you will, recapping some of the stuff we learned. We realize that we’ve been in the travel world for the last few years, but we’ve never really known any of these industry terms or the people in the industry or the companies and in a lot of ways (and we’ll get to it more later) I think that’s actually a good thing, but we’ll get more into that later. So initially I kind of want to start the conversation with you, Caroline. What were some of the things, or at least two takeaways, or just how do you feel going into the travel show?
Caroline Lloyd: Well I didn’t really have any expectations, you know, just as a consumer basically the travel industry seems, you know, just as an open playing field, but as soon as you walked in to that big hall with lots of vendors lined up, you started to step back and realize, okay, this is pretty much an industry just like any other that capitalizes on these consumers.
Ian Hoyt: Which is so weird. It’s so weird to me because I’ve always envisioned travel as being this like open road, free playground to like craft whatever like thing or idea you have.
Caroline Lloyd: Honestly, just the fact that there is an industry around travel seems very odd like yes, travel should exist in modes of transportation, but now I was just looking down these rows of countries being represented by tourism boards and, quite honestly, a lot of businesses that I would talk to the people and walk away and still not understand what they did.
Ian Hoyt: For context, I mean, if anyone listening has been in a sales role or just in business in general. You know how when you go to a conference, you see the inner workings of how an industry works. I.E. Just how, for lack of a better word, kind of incestuous it can get, You know, this person is subbing out this with this person and that person is subbing it out for this person, and so on paper a consumer is taking some type of trip, but in reality, who knows who is actually operating it.
Caroline Lloyd: Those nice little ads that you get on instagram for trips; There’s a lot more business going into that then what you think.
Ian Hoyt: And then there’s this other silo, of like – I don’t want to say adventure travel, but I want to say the solo traveler or the person that is looking for the opportunity for coincidence and for the unknown and for what travel, typically, in my brain, affords you. And it’s not about money, it’s about what it affords you when you’re there, and your time, and your ability to kind of just be.
Caroline Lloyd: So overall, I think some things that we noticed were that the world is pretty cool. I learned about some places that I didn’t know existed. The world is also pretty small. I felt like there was a good representation of a lot of places, geographically speaking. I think we also learned that, like you said, everyone is kind of intermingled with each other in business practices. And I also really want to emphasize this, that there are many different ways that people travel.
Ian Hoyt: Yeah. And from that standpoint of, you know, a lot of people travel in a lot of different ways and in a lot of different spectrums. On the extreme side, the side that we’re definitely not familiar with is kind of a super luxury travel. Whether you’re with a group or not, this is just Bougie for Bougie sake and it’s not so much about experiencing maybe the local culture or really digging deep into like how a local lives or just like what it’s like to live in the place you’re going. I think the super luxury really kind of taps into the like, okay, we’re going to do this awesome thing. We’re going to stay at these awesome places and that’s where it ends.
Caroline Lloyd: We’re gonna eat and drink a lot and not really interact with anything that’s going on in the geographical area. So then there’s like medium luxury. So this is not just throwing money at the wall for an all inclusive resort, but a little bit more budget friendly. And this is kind of where I think group trips start coming into play. There were definitely some luxury group travel arrangements that were available to people, but it was still somewhat removed from the people and the place that you’re traveling to. And then from there we get into traveling pretty much on your own, not with a group. And from there, you know, there’s a medium tier and then there’s literally the shoestring budget which gets into backpacking and hostels and things like that. And that really was not represented at the show, which makes a lot of sense, right? Because it’s travel industry and the travel industry doesn’t want to talk about the thing called Airbnb or doesn’t want to talk about hostels as much as they do about hotels.
Caroline Lloyd: It was like a weird thing. I felt like no one wanted to say the word Airbnb. They were talking about Tripadvisor and like all of these other tools, but I felt a little bit of hostility towards Airbnb, actually.
Ian Hoyt: You know, I’ve seen this in different industries that I’ve worked in as well. And the same thing is true. I don’t want this to be an outcry for the industry, but I’m just saying they have this, known naivety like shield in front of their eyes.
Caroline Lloyd: I don’t think they were naive to it. I think they literally chose to ignore it. Moral of the story is things are changing and we’re going to see a big alteration in the travel industry as we know it. It already is changing, I feel like.
Ian Hoyt: People want choice. People want to explore on their own. They want the opportunity to discover, and I’m not trying to put words in every single person’s mouth because everyone has a different scenario, but when we walked in there, I definitely felt like we were kind of outsiders and I felt okay with it. I felt like, okay, I don’t know some of these industry terms. I don’t know these people. And while it’s great to meet all of them and know what exists, I’m really excited about kind of where we have positioned what we offer because it’s not knowing any of that. I like being naive to that.
Caroline Lloyd: I think we should also point out that of the people that were in attendance of this conference, a lot of the people were over the age of 45.
Ian Hoyt: Yeah. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Right? So there’s so many different levels of travel and I think the biggest takeaway that we got was actually going to talks and panels at the conference themselves, because then we were able to see some other opinions and learn more from people. And what I learned was there are no right ways to travel. You can have your opinions on what are wrong ways to travel, but everyone in different age groups with different missions in mind, they deserve to do what they want to do. And so just to hit home that fact, the 60 year old that wants to go on a river cruise is going to be much different than someone like ourselves that are, you know, mid twenties that want to maybe have a grittier, more exploratory mission in mind. And that’s okay.
Caroline Lloyd: Let me ask you something, because I don’t know your opinion on this. Do you think it has always been this way? Like do you think there are certain trends towards age eras in a person’s life? So like when we turn 60, yeah, a riverboat cruise sounds pretty nice. Is there a reason that everyone at that show is over the age of 45 because that’s what was represented in the vendors and that is what you naturally want when you reach that age?
Ian Hoyt: That’s a good question. I don’t even know. I mean, I know that historically I feel like we get a lot of stories and a lot of people that are in their twenties that want to do this quote-unquote backpacking or all that stuff.
Caroline Lloyd: That’s a new concept.
Ian Hoyt: Yeah. It’s not a new concept. Like you said, when you’re a much older you don’t hear about people backpacking through Europe.
Caroline Lloyd: Well, I mean, I hope that I will still be doing that when I’m that age. We met a couple when they were in Vienna from Australia, I think, and they were on a cycling tour. They literally had cycled some stupid amount of miles on their own just traveling the world and they were like 70, 60 years old? Awesome people that we met.
Ian Hoyt: Yeah. So I don’t know. I don’t know what the answer is. I feel like definitely like physical capabilities change. You know, if, if you have the quote-unquote travel bug, you’re always probably going to want to travel. And so I think just finding the mode of travel that allows you to do so.
Caroline Lloyd: But like at a certain point we’ll tap out of hostels.
Ian Hoyt: I don’t know, but I don’t think it’s fair for us to make that opinion because I think we’re also maybe a little skewed outside of the normal traveler.
Caroline Lloyd: We’re also naive because we were still in our twenties, so who knows? Anyone else outside of that age range, please comment, tell us young ones how it’s going to be.
Ian Hoyt: And then we’ll say it probably isn’t going to be that way.
Caroline Lloyd: So walking up and down the aisles of this show, we picked up a lot of brochures, a lot of stickers, a lot of business cards. So much paper. It’s very sad, but when you open up all these brochures, they pretty much say the same thing. I mean reading the copy from booth to booth, it was just… You are so flooded with the words just rearranged in different ways. So a couple of these examples, we have a lot of brochures over here to look through: “Go beyond. Experience, authentic, unscripted and unforgettable moments that will resonate for a lifetime.”
Ian Hoyt: “Making the world a better place.”
Caroline Lloyd: “A once in a lifetime experience.”
Ian Hoyt: “Have an authentic experience.” “Explore culture.” These are all things that we read booth to booth. And while some of that could be true, it was just frustrating because we knew, for the most part, these companies were just using it from a marketing standpoint and that’s okay.
Caroline Lloyd: But it also, at one point in time, came from an honest sentence. And we don’t disagree with that.
Ian Hoyt: We don’t disagree with the premise. And I think the big takeaway that we’re trying to say is we checked ourselves at the door there. We realize that, you know, if we’re going to use some of this copy, some of the things that they say. You know, we use some of the words in our Life Nomading advertising, but we’ve got to really believe it and we’ve got to really own it and make sure that it’s a part of every trip. Every person that were to come on a group trip of ours and anything that we do, we just were like, whoa. Like we can’t take these words lightly. These other people are using them and you see right through it. So if we’re going to use these words, if we’re going to use these statements, we have to make sure they’re genuine always.
Caroline Lloyd: So we went to a couple of talks during the show and some of them were really great. And one that we happened upon was the New York Times Frugal Traveler panel. And for reference, this is a column by the New York Times where they give a columnist a budget that’s fairly low for that region and they go and have to write about their travels while only staying on this budget.
Ian Hoyt: For example, I think the one they mentioned while on the talk was like, what $100 in Oslo for a weekend or something?
Caroline Lloyd: And the comment that was said on the panel was, that’s the price of a beer there. So they have to be kind of creative, but quite honestly that’s how a lot of people our age, students, backpackers are seeing the world. And I think there are a lot of benefits to traveling that way. You get into a lot of situations that you wouldn’t normally get yourself into. But kind of comparing that back to, you know, this kind of travel industry shtick that people were revolving around right now,. One of the panelists was Seth Kugel who we ended up buying his new book that just came out called “Rediscovering Travel.” And pretty early on, honestly, I’m not through the book yet. I am enjoying it slowly.
Ian Hoyt: We’re both very, very slow readers.
Caroline Lloyd: I just really want to take it all in and sit on it for a little bit, because it’s a new philosophical way of traveling that I think is true to our core, but when you say it out loud, it makes you take an outside perspective. But one of the really poignant moments in the first portion of his book is talking about how expectations are pretty high and after reading all of the copy on these advertisements for group trips and travel industry people, obviously, with those words, the expectations are set at a very, very high level. You’re going in wanting to have a life changing moment, and he says, “Anything short of a life changing epiphany would have been a disappointment and it’s pretty hard to have a life changing epiphany while surrounded by crowds, pretending to have life changing epiphanies.” And this goes really deep into instagram culture and like Tripadvisor reviews and how we set the bar so high on travel and how it’s contradictory in and of itself.
Ian Hoyt: Yeah, it was pretty powerful. He had his own talk after that talk, which we ended up going to because we just really appreciated what he had to say. And he really hit home a lot of the points he made in the book and we will definitely link to the book in the show notes if you’re interested. But anyway, going back to the point that you just made about that, I think that was really the biggest takeaway from his talk was a similar theme.
Caroline Lloyd: So basically the conclusion that we came to was travel started as this life changing capable experience and then the travel brand took hold of that and regurgitated it everywhere. And now people’s expectations are so high that either they’re pretending to have life changing epiphanies everywhere that they go or are just disappointed.
Ian Hoyt: And to that point, another aside would be Sarah, one of our members at Life Nomading. She actually had a conversation and there’s an article coming out that she wrote about that very topic when she was in Bali, and all these expectations that people put around Bali and how her and Mitko were just so kind of like disappointed, kind of stressed out, and just the expectations were so high. But the realizations were so low like there was such a gap.
Caroline Lloyd: And we could get so far into this, you know, and that that goes into reading articles before you visit a place, and visiting that place because other people have gone and you know, trying to plan out your trip and all of this stuff that goes into what you expect travel to be. And quite honestly, we’ve talked about this before, the best memories of travel are the serendipitous moments that sometimes in a moment feel miserable and then end up being the story that you tell all your friends when you return.
Ian Hoyt: In a very contradictory way, I really like to approach travel by setting the bar really low. Not having expectations, not having a bar of, oh, I need to see this, oh, I need to feel this way, and when you shed yourself of that. For example, we have a group trip to Bulgaria, no one knows about Bulgaria. We don’t set any expectations for you, but if you can go into it with an open mind with low expectations, I guarantee you’re going to be more open to experiencing whatever it is. We can’t control what you’re going to experience. We can’t control your feelings, but you can’t have those feelings or those opportunities to do things if you’re so focused on the stuff that you’ve got to see, the things you’ve got to go to, and the vibes you get, and the instagrams. You really have to set a low bar for travel, and that’s the only way you’re going to find a way to experience.
Caroline Lloyd: I mean, just a way to look at this: If you talk to anyone who has traveled within the past year and you ask them about their trip, sure, they’ll list off all the things that they saw, but the story that they will tell, and you kind of have to listen with an analytical ear, I guess, but the stories that they tell are normally the things that weren’t on their itinerary to begin with.
Ian Hoyt: I mean, for example, when I was in Quito, Ecuador, and we were doing a back country motorcycle, two day trip to Mindo. My friend and I were trying to find this waterfall. This waterfall that was on the map, on the guided map for the motorcycle thing. And we couldn’t find it and all sudden we just stopped with our motorcycles on the side of a road. At this gate we thought it was the waterfall, right? But instead it was this very old and very kind lady that did not speak a single word of English. And we just tried to ask her where the waterfall was. Right?
Ian Hoyt: And she was very confused and we pulled up Google translator and we tried to communicate and through very, very broken Spanish, we were able to gain entry into her property. And we thought we were going to this waterfall that was on the map, and instead we under the impression that we only had about 30 minutes to follow her down the side of this mountain to this, what we thought was the waterfall, right? We’re walking down and finally we get down this really steep side of a mountain. She’s running down it. She’s like 70. And we can’t keep pace because you’re at like 9,000 feet or whatever. Long Story Short, we get to that waterfall. And while it isn’t the waterfall that we thought we were going to the journey and meeting that person that was a local there in Ecuador that we would have never met and we would have never been able to see if we weren’t open to those opportunities. And that has been one of the highlight stories of my life. And we met her. We got to look at this waterfall, we thought we were under pressure and so we had to run back up the mountain because she left us down there and then when we got back she was like, oh yeah, you got like a couple of hours. And so long story short, what I mean by that is exactly that, like you have to be open to seeing and doing things outside of the plan.
Caroline Lloyd: So yeah, I like to think that real travel happens when your travel plans go wrong. To sum it up.
Ian Hoyt: And not to get so weird but like wrong is relative, right? Because wrong, is assuming you have a plan.
Ian Hoyt: So going off of that, I think the biggest takeaway is we really appreciate our time at the New York Times travel show. We were enlightened, we met some awesome people and we took a lot of information away from that on how we can make what we’re offering in trips better.
Caroline Lloyd: I think we should also just say we really did meet some really wonderful people, but mission driven organizations and really great places of the world that I hope that we can visit one day. And I think there’s a lot of good things happening in the travel industry right now, but the main takeaway is what we just talked about.
Ian Hoyt: And with that being said, now, we have put a lot of these things in place before we even approached thIS show for our trips.
Caroline Lloyd: On a personal level. We kind of travel with this mindset already.
Ian Hoyt: And we just realized that although we’re offering these trips and we’ve done trips in the past with small groups, we really want to take away a lot of the things we mentioned that we really believe in and integrate those into our trips even more. I.E. really hunker down and focus on the ability to have experiences on your own, and have more freedom and ability to be open to the culture and the world around you when you’re in a new place.
Caroline Lloyd: So whether that means you know, a lot of free or just allowing people accessibility into places so they aren’t traveling alone, because not everyone feels safe or comfortable traveling by themselves. We’re offering a group of like-minded people that are wanting to experience it as if it’s the first time they’re together.
Ian Hoyt: Yeah. So for example, we have an upcoming trip to Bulgaria that is available and it’s 10 days. And initially, quite honestly, we were going to include everything we thought you should do, but we’re going to actually pull that back.
Caroline Lloyd: Because why is it our decision to choose what you do while you’re in a new destination?
Ian Hoyt: And while, although we’ve always said, you know, if you want to stray away from the pack, go for it, you should do that. We’re integrating that even more into our quote-unquote non itinerary. So while though it’s a 10 day trip, we cover your lodging and your transportation. Everything else is kind of ad hoc. You do what you want. We’re going to be around there. We’re going to be doing our thing. Come along for the ride and experience what we experience, but maybe you want to go off the beaten path and that’s okay. We’re here to help facilitate, but mainly we’re here to cover some of those really basic details. Get you in a new place, give you some other people that maybe connect with or maybe not and let’s take it from there. We have a lot of different things and ideas planned and we’re going to do them ourselves and you have the option to participate or not at your choice.
Caroline Lloyd: Group travel for the single traveler.
Ian Hoyt: Yeah. Or the couple.
Caroline Lloyd: I really think, and we learned this from our trip last summer, we had so much fun with a group when we went with Mitko and Sarah, and honestly, wanted to share that experience and this is how we’re doing it.
Ian Hoyt: Yeah. And so if you want more details on that, you can obviously check out our website. You can find the Bulgaria trip more specifically at LifeNomading.com/Bulgaria. And you’ll see what we’re talking about there. We’ve dramatically cut the price to just cover the lodging and the transportation and some, a couple of dinners here and there for like the opening night and stuff, but dramatically cut the price so anyone can really get involved. And we’re only taking like eight people. So we’re going to keep it small and we’re going to have just a fun, fun time.
Caroline Lloyd: Super great shout out to everyone that we met at the travel show. Shout out to Seth for this awesome book. You should definitely read it if you’re into traveling or just, honestly, exploring anywhere in the world that you currently are. I think it gives a great view on how to be a constant explorer.
Ian Hoyt: Quite honestly, he’s an inspiration to both of us. I mean we learned so much in that you know one or two hours of just listening to him and reading the book and we’re excited to dig deeper into some of his philosophies.
Caroline Lloyd: If you could subscribe, we are on Itunes, Overcast, and Spotify. Leave us a review on itunes. That would mean a lot to us.
Ian Hoyt: And we love connecting with everyone. So please, if you’re listening to this, send us a DM on instagram @LifeNomading and we can kind of learn what your deal is with travel.
Caroline Lloyd: So that’s it. Until next time, we will see you here again. I’m Caroline.
I’m a walking tour guide, and quite honestly I hate taking my big backpack with me on every tour in New York City. In this Loctote review, I cover my thoughts on the simple yet powerful drawstring (or drawcord) rather bag that I take with me during my days adventuring around New York City.
At first glance, this can look like just another drawstring bag but upon closer inspection, you can quickly begin to see why this thing is advertised as such a resilient bagFull Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.. When I first got my Loctote in the mail on initial opening I was so stunned by the sheer quality of the bag itself. I knew it was meant to withstand slashing, but I wasn’t expecting such a thick and quality material.
“Woah, this isn’t your average light-as-air drawstring bag.”
That’s because it’s slash proof. The Loctote is made of a perfectly blended fabric that doesn’t rip when a knife slashes it. Get this, it’s actually being used for law enforcement clothing now! The straps also have a small cable in them that make it difficult to cut through. This is not your average, light as air, drawstring bag. This is something that you will buy and keep forever (unlike those drawstring bags that wouldn’t even make it through a week at summer camp).
“Woah, the inside is fancy.”
It’s lined, and there are pockets! There is nothing I love more than a pocket in a backpack. Quick access to your valuables and bonus, it’s RFID blocking, so not even electronic pickpockets will make it into your bag. Ask Ian, he’s fallen victim to this before. :/
“How does this work?”
I jumped right in pulling on this, tugging on that, spinning the combination lock, and quickly realized that maybe I should glance over that very detailed instruction sheet laying in the box. When I say detailed, I really mean detailed, and you may need that detail level to operate the custom Loctote lock. It allows you to program your own combination to something you’ll actually remember (thank goodness)!
The coolest part about the Loctote is how you can lock it and leave it. Once the bag is tightened, a cable pulls out in the front that has a small silver loop attached. If the cable is pulled out far enough, there will be two silver brackets exposed. The custom lock wraps through the silver loop and the two silver brackets on the cable. Lock it around a park bench, a chain link fence, anything that’s stationary, and go live your life without a worry in the world. It’s that simple.
I, personally, use my bag every day in the city. It fits all of my things, is easy to throw over my shoulder, and gives me peace of mind that in whatever situation my bag will be safe. You may think that some of the features are drastic, but they come in handy when you lock up your bag to throw a frisbee with your friends in Central Park.
A lot of times, I pile all of my things into my boyfriends’ backpack because I don’t want to lug mine around. I don’t have any excuses anymore with this bag. It’s a great size that’s in between a purse and a normal backpack: Perfect for a wallet, camera, and water bottle (which is generally everything I need in life).
All in all, if you’re looking for that perfect hybrid between a backpack and an “adventure around the city” type bag this will be your best bet.
Kicking off 2019 with a bang, we’d like to introduce the new and improved Life Nomading podcast! No longer a dormant trove of audio files, instead we’re back and we’re excited to be bringing you fresh travel episodes every single Monday morning. So tune in and spend some time every week with Caroline and me as we explore the world and share it with you.
In this episode, we give a rundown of what all has happened and what is currently going on at Life Nomading since the last episode 3 years ago. Buckle up, because we have plenty of exciting news to share.
Mentioned in this episode:
Mogli – one of our favorite artists when it comes to inspirational travel wanderlust music
Ian Hoyt: And she’s not kidding, we’re literally sitting on the floor. We have two microphones, different microphone, cardboard boxes, cardboard boxes. We have one glass of whiskey to offset the frustration of setting up technology. Just so we can record semi decent audio. So wherever you’re at, you can hear us
Ian Hoyt: Hey there, fellow nomads. This is Ian and Caroline, and this is the Life Nomading podcast,
Ian Hoyt: Hey there, fellow listeners. Welcome back to the Life Nomading podcast. It’s been awhile. It’s been about three years, two years since the last substantial episode has hit your podcast feed, so I’m pumped if you’re listening from the past life, but I’m even more excited if you’re a new listener. Excited to go in this 2019 journey with us as we reboot Life Nomading and bring some travel content and I’m not alone this time. I have a cohost and her name is Caroline. Caroline, how’s it going?
Caroline Lloyd: It’s going well. I’m excited to be here.
Ian Hoyt: Is it weird having microphones in your face?
Caroline Lloyd: Yeah, I’ve pretty much tried to avoid that at all costs in my life. Um, There’s a reason that I’m not a singer like everyone else in my family, so this is a step of bravery for me.
Ian Hoyt: And we are sitting on the floor of our New York apartment in Harlem because we can’t afford anything else
Caroline Lloyd: with mics propped up by cardboard boxes.
Ian Hoyt: Literally cardboard boxes. We had to throw the cat out because it was pawing at all the chords. But anyway, we’re here. Uh, we’re happy to have you. Thanks for listening. Uh, we’re going to make this quick. This is a quick little intro episode. Life Nomading podcast has existed before, but we’re new. We’re improved and we’re ready.
Caroline Lloyd: We’re going to be consistent.
Ian Hoyt: Consistency is key. Anyone that has gotten anywhere has been consistent in life. So we are going to be doing this podcast every single week.
Caroline Lloyd: New episodes dropping on Mondays for your morning commute to make them a little bit less miserable and you can dream about traveling the world on your way to work.
Ian Hoyt: And to that point Life Nomading has been in an evolution the last two or three years since I last graced you with a podcast episode.
Caroline Lloyd: Graced you with that lovely voice.
Ian Hoyt: It was still deep back then. I was still old enough to have a deep voice.
Caroline Lloyd: I feel like you were up playing it a little bit more like you’re. You’re not like going full radio host right now,
Ian Hoyt: Which is good. I hope not. I’m not. I’m trying to be authentic Yo, but here we are so we have this podcast, but Life Nomading is so much more than a podcast now. So Life Nomading started in like 2014 for context for me to write about my feelings about travel and life in general and people actually started to read it. People actually started to connect over it, not just with me but with other readers. We created a facebook group and then all of a sudden this community started to form out of thin air and I was pretty excited. People were connecting over this travel thing, this, you know, doing something different than the regular normal thing and so from 2014 to now it has evolved from being just a blog and a podcast to now we’re doing so much more and for example, this year actually, or sorry last year in 2018, we launched our first group trip to Iceland, a Life Nomading group trip is where we take about 10 people and we just, we plan it all and people arrive into this awesome foreign country they’ve never been to before and we do incredible things that are authentic to the culture in the country,
Caroline Lloyd: but it’s not your typical group travel, right? So it’s not just everyone piling onto a coach bus and you sit there all day and look out the window. You’re really truly experiencing things. You’re getting to know your fellow travelers. You are exploring on your own and you are testing the boundaries of who you are in this new area. This new country, so it’s really different than, you know, walking around with a tour guide with the flag on. So we want the group trip to be really authentic.
Ian Hoyt: Absolutely. And uh, I’m not going to ruin the itinerary or like what do we do in Iceland? You’re either going to have to go on that trip or b. Listen to future episodes to learn more about that. Uh, but what I can say is of all the people on that trip, uh, we got so many responses, hey, this actually changed my life, like this made me want to travel more or made me want to do x, y, z after this trip we can’t stop talking about this trip. And that was exciting to us because our whole mission at Life Nomading is to make group travel authentic. And so group trips have been great and we’re expanding those trips and we’ll talk a little bit more about that in a second. Actually, maybe we should backtrack even more. Let’s Caroline, who are you?
Caroline Lloyd: I have always wanted to travel. Um, but I’ve also been a very tight planner in life in my day to day activities. I walk around with a paper planner is still, I know that most people don’t even know this existed anymore. Um, but I had very clear cut timelines for my life and traveling, unfortunately, did not fit into that timeline. So, you know, I was following my life timeline pretty perfectly if I do say so myself. Um, and I found myself in a job that I had pretty much dreamed of my entire life. Um, and then I realized that I had accomplished it pretty quickly. I was pretty curious to travel again. So I quit my job in summer 2018 to take a two month trip with Ian.
Ian Hoyt: So also for context, we gotta we gotta set the stage for this pinnacle change that happened. Do you remember the night vividly?
Caroline Lloyd: We’re cooking dinner in your apartment.
Ian Hoyt: My sublet apartment watching Netflix and we’re watching some random.
Caroline Lloyd: You know, one of those like, like millennial generation, quit your job, travel the world, live in a bus, take your dog, live your best life, really inspirational indie music.
Ian Hoyt:Mogli, right? Yeah. Awesome music. We Love Mogli. If, if, if you’re listening, can we use your music in our podcast anyway…
Caroline Lloyd: So like I still, I can’t take off without playing that album because it just reminds me that I am off to a new adventure and that is just a pinnacle moment. Anyway.
Ian Hoyt: Music has so much deployed with adventure for some reason it’s Cliche, but we’re sitting there watching this documentary now mind you, obviously I have context, I’ve traveled, blah, blah, blah, blah. You on the other hand, you know you’ve stayed domestic. You haven’t really gone many places.
Caroline Lloyd: For context. I was looking for other jobs at the time, so I got to this crossroads where I could either continue applying and I think I was on like a second interview for a new job
Ian Hoyt: And you’re just hating it. You’re just not into it.
Caroline Lloyd: I didn’t realize it that I knew I wanted out of my job, but I didn’t realize that I was applying for jobs that would put me back in that exact situation two years down the road. And I think when I realized that that gave me the courage to, you know, make a drastic change in my life.
Ian Hoyt: And so we were watching that thing and did we book the tickets that day? Was it that day?
Caroline Lloyd: No, we were going to go to South America first and then we’re looking at South America for a really long time and we had grand plans of going for a full year.
Ian Hoyt: So we sat on the concept of dropping the grand vision was dropped everything and travel indefinitely, like a true, true, true, true, true nomad.
Caroline Lloyd: And I’m like there’s absolutely no way that we’re going to be able to do this. And I’m the type that’s just like, it works itself out, which we need to get back to you. We met in the middle, we met in the middle and things worked out a lot easier that way anyways, so we’re trying to figure out where to go, how to do this. And so Ian pulls in his expertise, friends Mitko and Sarah.
Ian Hoyt: Shout out to them. They’re also on the team.
Caroline Lloyd: So originally we were just asking them for advice or like, you know what, what to do, how to get started.
Ian Hoyt: Sarah was and they travel extensively together, which traveling as a couple, as much different than traveling solo. We sat on the idea and we realized that they were going to be in eastern Europe in the summer like they always are because Mitko, he is originally from Bulgaria and we’re like, why don’t we just go hang out with them? I think that’s Kinda just how I happened.
Caroline Lloyd: Well we didn’t ask. We politely were invited first and then we weighed our options and we accepted.
Ian Hoyt: So she drops her job. We have a logistical nightmare of finding like four sublets.
Ian Hoyt: We should do a whole episode of sub-leasing in New York. We don’t want to get sidetracked too much, but long story short, my biggest phrase in life is it’ll all just work out, which is cliche and really simplistic. But what happened?
Caroline Lloyd: So three subleasers later. We put our stuff in storage and we left for Europe for two months.
Ian Hoyt: We found three subletters at all different levels of subletting.
Caroline Lloyd: I had attempted to find a job that I could work remotely during the trip and ended up applying for jobs while I was on the trip, which still works out.
Ian Hoyt: It’s going to be another episode for sure on how to work and travel and just all that crazy stuff. But long story short is we spent the summer in eastern Europe, um, a majority of it in Bulgaria. And um, that’s actually where our next group trip is going to be for 2019. Uh, so that’s a long-winded way of explaining how we got from a blog, podcast to Iceland to Bulgaria to a new podcast and welcome. We’re excited to be here.
Caroline Lloyd: So we spent the summer in Europe and it was great and we’ll have episodes about that later. But one of the things that kind of came to us in a miraculous moment of realization was when we get to a new destination, new city or new country, the first thing that we would do on the morning that we woke up we went on a walking tour.
Caroline Lloyd: Now in Europe, a lot of the walking tours are free. They happen every day and there are just crowds of people that come to them and it gives so much context for the rest of your stay in whatever destination that you’re in, you know, the landscape where things are, you know, best areas for restaurants, history, culture. It was just so informative and changed the way that we interpreted what that city had to offer that we had to take a step back and realize that we live in a city that is, you know, a pinnacle city of the US. So after going on all of these walking tours in Europe, we wanted to start our own in New York. Now New York is not short of any tours or tourist attractions.
Ian Hoyt: I think they have like five, I think.
Caroline Lloyd: Yeah, I mean you can like to cover your basis. Uh, but we wanted to offer something different.
Caroline Lloyd: You know, we wanted to offer your things from a local’s perspective with the history and the context that you need, but really giving a true, authentic experience which aligns with what we do on our group trips. Yeah. So one of the ways that we made it really stand out and be authentic is that we started doing tours in our favorite area of the city, which is the Upper West Side. And after doing a little bit of research we realized that there weren’t any tours of this area, which is a shame because it’s very historical and it’s beautiful in a lot of people. Never even make it outside of Times Square. Right. So we launched our upper west side tour and then we also launched a midtown tour, which does cover a lot of the touristy sites, but from an experiential standpoint that is a little bit more authentic.
Caroline Lloyd: So we have two tours going on in New York right now and it’s really been eyeopening. I’m kind of relating back to where Life Nomading started with the blog. We’ve really started to see a community start to build. So within this community, we’re starting to, you know, make connections all over the world and it feels really great to share our city with international travelers just as we learn about their city when we’re traveling. Um, so it’s kind of reciprocal feedback there.
Ian Hoyt: We just want to be the vessel to be able to meet other travelers and we’re hoping that we can do that with this podcast, with the blog and with our trips and tours, we’re extremely excited to be back at it podcasting and above all else consistently every single week. On what day?
Caroline Lloyd: Mondays.
Ian Hoyt: Every single Monday we’re going to be here with new travel content, whether it’s interviews with industry experts, uh, whether it’s a new travel guide or hacking guide of some sort or other, or whether it’s just kind of a chronicle of our experiences in different countries and cities. We’re going to be bringing something new to you every week for your commute or for your walking the dog time and we hope that maybe it helps you push over the ledge that we pushed over ourselves and begin traveling more.
Ian Hoyt: So if you’re down for some travel content, you’re down for learning a little bit more about how to travel more in your life. Maybe this is the podcast to subscribe to. We’d love to have you. So until next time I’m Ian.
Caroline Lloyd: I’m Caroline
Ian Hoyt: And if you have any suggestions for us for future episodes, please email us at podcast[@]www.lifenomading.com. That’s podcast[@]www.lifenomading.com.
It’s no secret that the most comfortable way to sleep in a tent can be a hard task while out there adventuring in the world. Over the course of my tent adventuring days, I have found a few techniques and products that I have used to make sleeping in a tent as enjoyable an experience as humanly possible.
It’s also worth mentioning that cold and warm weather comfort are very different when it comes to staying comfortable in a tent.
How to Sleep in the Great Outdoors
When it comes to general knowledge about getting a great nights sleep in a tent I have a few pointers for you:
Be sure to choose a safe and level campsite.
If you’re unable to find a flat area to pitch your tent, be sure that your head is at least above your toes when sleeping. This ensures you don’t wake up in the middle of the night with headaches or worse.
To avoid a late night soaking, don’t forget to put the rain flyFull Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. above your tent to prevent the morning dew or worse a night time storm from getting into your tent.
Most Comfortable Way to Sleep in a Tent in Cold Weather
Being a midwest native I’m no stranger to a cold night.
That’s why I prefer to bundle up and prepare for a cold night over a warm one anytime. However, there are a few things to remember when preparing for the most comfortable way to sleep in a tent during the colder months.
Keep the base layer loose
Wear loose-fitting clothing for a base layer to allow blood to flow through your body during sleep.
Do a few light exercises before bundling up in your sleeping bagFull Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.. This allows for your body to generate more heat, especially on cold nights.
Be sure to have a good sleeping padFull Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. to keep you far enough away from the cold ground below.
Comfortable Ways to Sleep in Warm Weather
Admittedly, warm weather camping is the type of camping I find myself doing the most.
Whether it be in a campground or in the middle of a dessert, the mugginess of a warm weather camp day can really make sleeping in tents uncomfortable.
In almost any situation hydration is your friend. I’ve found that the difference between a miserably hot day and a bearable hot day can be directly attributed to how hydrated I’ve kept myself throughout the day. We’d also recommend you use a water filter if you’re grabbing water from local sources. Bad water could wreak havoc on your adventure. Keep it clean and run it through a filter.
It’s no secret that a powered fan or an endless supply of ice cubes could help in the warm weather environment. Although we know this could be a luxury to have in some environments, a rechargeable fan could be just the added amenity needed to make the warm weather a bit more enjoyable.
Warm weather, more often than not means bugs will definitely be bugging you during your trip.
Besides the obvious mosquito spray, we recommend you pick up some permethrin. PermethrinFull Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. is an insecticide that will kill many of your pests on contact. You can get the spray to use in covering your clothes and gear to protect a majority of your exposure.
Additionally, it’s recommended that you pick yourself up a portable mosquito repeller to give your sleeping radius some peace from those bugs.
Whether you’re adventuring in a winter wonderland or a hot dessert we hope you find some peace and quiet as you slumber. It sounds obvious, but the most comfortable way to sleep in a tent is a product of how well you prepare for your camping trip.
Be sure to judge accordingly and don’t try to skimp out on the small things that could make your sleep ten times more enjoyable.
We hope you have some exciting new camping and sleeping adventures, and as always comment below with any additional tips you have for a more enjoyable sleep in a tent.
If you’ve never done slacklining before, then let me tell you that it is a stimulating activity and has several health benefits associated with it. It is a fun sport that is portable, easy to set up, and a ton of fun. Buying a slackline can get tricky though due to all the different types of slacklining styles and rigs available. We have broken down the best slacklines for 2019 by all the different styles, to save you the hassle.
If you are a beginner slackliner, we covered that in a previous article which is a good starting point.
What are the different styles of slacklining?
As mentioned before, there are many types of slacklining with new styles popping up every day. Here is a quick snapshot of the styles.
Walklining is your standard slacklining. It just involves the basic act of walking across. While some may apply style and small moves into this type of slacklining it is nothing like trick lining, which is more active and involves more bouncing.
Tricklining is about busting out sick moves. It includes all sorts of tricks from spin moves to jumps and even flips. Thanks to the elasticity of the band, trickliners will alternate many times from landing on their stomach, knees, and feet. Tricklines are usually bouncier and made of a more elastic lining.
Any style of slacklining over water is considered waterlining. Any type of slackline can be used for slacklining, but there are specific waterlines. A waterline is specifically designed to resist the wear and tear that can happen to the line due to water.
Longlining is the act of slacklining with a very long slackline. Most slacklines are 25-50ft, while longlines are around 100 feet or 30 meters. It can involve all other types or styles of slacklining, as long the line itself is long. Due to the length, longlines usually have less tension and sag a little more as you walk on them. Due to this, fewer tricks are done on long lines but a popular move is swaying back and forth which is called surfing. The one downside to a
The one downside to a longline is that a ratchet rigging system typically cannot work, so you will have to manually rig it using a pulley system. This pulley system is more difficult to set up and not recommended for beginners
Highlining can be done with any type of slackline. Due to the height, it is typically done with a pulley rigged longline. This is for daredevils and thrill seekers. With a high line, it is always recommended to have a leash and harness in case you fall.
Closer Look at the Best Slacklines for 2019
Below we have a more in-depth look at each product.
Best Trickline – Slackline Industries Trickline
Has a high amount of reviews and is extremely easy to set up, taking no more than 10 minutes. Moreover, it is universal and can be used by kids and beginners – basically anyone interested in walk lining. If you are a beginner looking for a quality baseline that takes the least amount of time to set up, Baseline is the right choice for you.
Gibbons Slacklines are the highest quality slacklines available in the market and are known to be the most-bought slacklines in the world. The Gibbons Slacklines Surfer, for water lining, is fairly easy to set up and has high durability. Their customer support is quite responsive and they also have a slackline app for your mobile. Though it is quite expensive, it will provide great value for money in the long run. If slacklining is more than just your passion, go ahead and make the investment! Surfers would especially love this slackline!
The Slacklines Baseline has a high amount of reviews and is extremely easy to set up, taking no more than 10 minutes. Moreover, it is universal and can be used by kids and beginners – basically anyone interested in walk lining. If you are a beginner looking for a quality baseline that takes the least amount of time to set up, Baseline is the right choice for you.
The BC Primitive slackline is a good beginner primitive rig slackline that comes at a reasonable price. While rigging will take more time, and may be more difficult the result is more versatility. If you want to run your line shorter or longer it’s easier. It is a more manual approach that works best for longlining. It is the most expensive of all the slacklines we mentioned, but one of the best primitive slackline setups on the market for the price. Buy Now!
Now that you know all the basic types of slacklines available in the market, it will be easier for you to make your decision. If you are new to the field of slacklining, you should opt for the Baseline, as it caters to the needs of the beginners. However, if you’re tired of simply walking on the rope and are looking to perform some new tricks, the Trickline will be your best bet! So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and defy the laws of gravity!
Image sources: Featured image by Leio Mclaren – Unsplash.
Once upon a time, there were very few options for fresh drinking water when adventuring in far-off lands. You’d have to make a fire, boil the water in a clean pot in hopes you rid it of all the nasty microbes, then hope for the best. Everything has changed! That’s right, we’re talking about on-the-go water filters. When it comes to choosing the right water filtration for your outdoor adventures or for your doomsday preparation, there are plenty of options, but it really boils down to the Survival Filter vs LifeStraw.
LifeStraw has been a leading charge in the water filtration movement and offers many different water bottle and drinking solutions for a variety of different needs while you are on the go.
When you begin to compare the benefits of the LifeStraw versus the Survivor Filter, their variety of water bottles is one of the largest benefits to choosing a LifeStraw solution. When it comes to microbial filtration, however, the Survivor Filter does advertise that is filters down to .05 microns when the Lifestraw is a mere .2 microns. In a seriously dirty water scenario this could mean something, however, they both filter out an incredible amount of microns.
As you can see the LifeStraw does a pretty incredible job even in the most, dare I say, disgusting scenarios. From dark murky dirty water to clear and delicious the LifeStraw is able to transform your water instantly.
If the instant straw isn’t your on-the-go desire, they also sell an amazing amount of different water bottles as well that have the same technology as their classic LifeStraw does. Personally, my favorite looking one would be the LifeStraw Go water bottle solution.
A single LifeStraw is very affordableFull Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. and makes it a tough item to not pick up in your just-in-case scenarios. If you’re looking for something a little more professional I would say look onward to the Survival Filter below.
If fashion statements are what you’re going, look elsewhere. If clean water and reusable features are your focus than the Survivor Filter vs the Life Straw is your best bet.
With a threaded end to screw into any standard bottle of water, it makes this survivor filter straw extremely useful and forgoes the need to purchase a dedicated water bottle which saves you time and money!
Additionally, the Survivor Filter has three filters that can all be easily replaced so you won’t need to purchase a new straw once you have gone through its 264 (1000 liters) gallons of filtrations that it is rated for.
The only real downside of this straw, in my opinion, is the dark green color. When adventuring in wooded and natural landscapes I could see myself losing the Survivor filter straw pretty easily with its green color blending into its surroundings. This is where the LifeStraw outshines the Survivor Filter. With the blue color that the LifeStraw has, it stands out. Since fresh drinking water is kind of important for survival I’d say color can matter!
Survival Filter vs LifeStraw, Which One Should You Get?
While both of these filters are great and will help in times of crises, adventure, or just general outdoor activities it depends on if you are looking to utilize it on a more regular basis and if you are going to be in an area where the water may be especially “dirty”. If that is the case, I’d recommend going with the Survival Filter however the LifeStraw is an extremely affordable and useable option as well if you are looking for something to add to your go-bag.
Since both options are affordable and do a great job of filtering you’re hard press to go wrong choosing either. And if you’re like me and just drink water straight from Icelandic ice caves than either is better than none.