Photo Journal – Bali

Sunset-Beach-Fishing

Bali Journal Quote

People often ask why we travel.

What is the purpose?

What is the goal?

This quote resonated with me because it basically sums up the reason Trav and I love to travel. We want to see new things.  We want to experience other cultures.  Transforming the way we view other parts of the world is important to us and hopefully changes us for the better.  This December, we spent three weeks in Bali and focused on soaking up as many experiences as we could.

Here are some of the adventures we had…

bratan-lake

//The fog rolling in at Lake Bratan//

We arrived in Bali during rainy season. The rain came almost every day, but during the interlude we hopped on the motor bike and hit the road.

tanna-lot

//above & below – The temple at Tanah Lot//

tanna-lot-2

After exploring along the western coast of Bali, we decided to move into the interior town of Ubud, which is a very popular destination for tourists and digital nomads alike. It can be quite crowded in Ubud so we took the bike and escaped at least once every day.

view-from-hotel-ubud

//view from our room//

Our first such excursion was to the temple complex of Gunung Kawi. The beautiful ruins of Gunung Kawi are well off the tourist path, which allowed us to leisurely take photos and wander around (while profusely perspiring in the humid pre-rain temps!).

River-and-temple-jungle Trav-walking-at-Gunung-Kawi

Gunung Kawi is about a 45 minute scooter ride from Ubud. It is nestled amonst rice fields and jungle. It’s well worth the drive to experience a more peaceful side of Bali.

gunung-kawi Trav-sitting-on-bridgeForest-and-Fresh-Coconut

//this guy saw an opportunity – fresh coconut for overheated tourists//

portrait-jungle-Gunung-Kawi

A trip to Ubud isn’t complete without visiting the Monkey Forest.

monkey-walking

The Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud is a cool reprieve from the overly touristed streets of town. The temperature drops as soon as you enter and the monkeys run rampant.

monkey-baby-banana

Some people have claimed that the monkeys are aggressive and recommend avoiding this monkey sanctuary altogether. We found that if we just paid attention to our belongings and didn’t provoke the monkeys, they left us alone.

Monkeys-on-bridge-x2 monkey-cleaning

//monkey cleaning//

If you head out of Ubud in any direction, you will likely find fields of rice paddies. One of the most striking spots is a few miles north of Ubud where you can see all of the terraced rice fields and hike through them.

rice-terrace-best

This is a very well know spot and therefore, quite crowded, making it almost impossible to take pictures without other people in the shot.

rice-field-2

We mentioned on instagram, that we had a secret spot for viewing rice fields.

IMG_3523.JPG

//view of our secret spot outside Ubud//

There was literally not another person in sight.

secret-rice-field

Except for this woman… who graciously let us snap a picture as she was hiking up the mountain.

woman-walking-close-up

Want to know where this secret spot is? Hint: you have to find this temple first.

Temple-secret temple-umbrella

Our last few days in Bali were spent back at the beach. Exploring the southern coast and eating fresh seafood BBQ in Jimbaran.

beach-bali-fish-netbeach-bali-fishing

beach-bali-bbq beach-bali-sunset-boats

Goodbye-beach-bali

Where are some of your favorite places to really immerse yourself and explore?

Pre-Trip Planning: How Much Research Should You Really Do?

Episode-132

What is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions?

Travel.

To help any of you who may have “More Travel” written on that list of things you’d like to accomplish in 2015, we’ve decided to help you plan your trip.

Heather joins me as we chat about our planning process – the more fun, research based side, for the more practical aspects of travel planning check out our Pre-Travel Checklist.

We discuss how we decide where to go, researching things to do at your destination, accommodations, tours, and how to conduct on the ground research.

What are you travel plans for 2015?

Right click to download this episode directly

Check out the entire library of EPoP Travel Podcasts on iTunes

Today’s episode has been sponsored by our friends at Tortuga Backpacks!

In This Episode:

  • 05:19 – Picking a destination
  • 08:45 – Google Flights Explorer
  • 10:48 – The differing costs of cities
  • 15:16 – Researching your destination
  • 20:00 – Planning your itinerary
  • 30:29 – Booking accommodations and tours
  • 34:51 – On the ground research

and much more!

Links from today’s episode

Recommended Listening

Leave a Review!

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    1. Click this link: Leave a review on iTunes
    2. Hit “View in iTunes” on the left hand side under the picture.
    3. Leave an honest review.
    4. You’re awesome!

Photo provided courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Frequent Flyer Bootcamp FAQ’s + Only 12 Hours Left to Sign Up

Frequent-Flyer-Bootcamp

I promised I’d remind you one more time, and so this is it:

Today, November 14th, is the last day to register for Frequent Flyer Bootcamp, and registration closes in less than 12 hours.

[bluebox]If you want to sign up, click here to join.[/bluebox]

Many of you have been emailing me asking a few of the same questions, so I figured I’d answer them in this email for everyone to see:

Bootcamp FAQ’s

1. When will Frequent Flyer Bootcamp actually start?

We will start Bootcamp next week. You’ll receive your first week’s worth of material on Wednesday, November 19th, and we will have your first Q&A session will be the following week. You’ll get access to the private Facebook group starting Monday, November 17th.

2. I’ve got a busy schedule the next month because of Thanksgiving/pre-Christmas/kids/work, etc. Is this an issue?

Not at all! The beauty of Bootcamp is that everyone can work at their own pace. You’ll get material each week for the next month, but if you don’t have time to review it all, don’t worry. It’s yours to keep forever and watch (or rewatch) whenever you like.

Also, if you can’t make a Q&A session, it’s taped and sent to you the next day, so you won’t miss anything.

3. Can my spouse or partner also participate?

Yes. If you have a spouse or partner that is interested in learning as well, awesome.

2 travelers are better than 1.

You can 100% share the material with them. We do ask that you don’t share the material with ANYONE else, though.

4. I’m new to frequent flyer miles. is this right for me?

Yes, we created extra course material after Session 3 specifically for people who are newbies that will walk you through each step from the very beginning.

5. I already understand a decent amount about frequent flyer miles. Is this right for me?

Absolutely!

We have added materials for newbies, but this course was originally designed to take intermediate people to an expert level.

You’ll learn all the tricks about how to USE and MAXIMIZE your miles, including how to find availability, what airlines to fly so you don’t get charged huge fees, and how to book stopovers, open jaws, and free one-way tickets.

6. When will you run Bootcamp again?

To be honest, I don’t know, but not anytime soon.

And next time we do run it, we are probably not going to have Q&A sessions and a private FB group.

This is, in all likelihood, the last time it will be run like this, at this price.

So, if you’re interested, I highly suggest you sign up now and get all the awesome material as well as lifetime access to the Facebook group AND the Q&A sessions.

7.  Can I see what other people who gone through FF Bootcamp think about it?

Sure!  Here’s a link to our testimonials page.

8. I need to make a minimum spend on my credit card…can I pay you in gift cards?

If you’re asking this question (and at least 5 people have), then you, friends, are the PERFECT candidate for Bootcamp.

You’re all about frequent flyer miles, and I’m going to help you maximize them to take trips of a lifetime, over and over again.

To answer the original question though, no, I don’t take gift cards, but I do take credit cards, and so this will help you meet a minimum spend!

———

Alright, you’ve had enough time to make your decision, and if you are interested, I do truly hope you join our already awesome group.

PS- If you missed yesterday’s post, it includes an awesome, FREE Pre-Travel Checklist for you in PDF format.

PPS- Remember, registration closes FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14TH AT 11:59 PM.

[bluebox] Join Frequent Flyer Bootcamp by clicking here. [/bluebox]

Confused About Frequent Flyer Miles? Help is on the Way!

Frequent-Flyer-Bootcamp

1.5 years ago, I kept getting the same emails:

“Hey Trav, I’ve earned all these frequent flyer miles, but I can’t figure out how to use them.  Can you help?”

Specifically, people kept saying:

  • They didn’t know how to find availability.
  • They were confused with the best ways to redeem their miles.
  • And their head was spinning trying to do the “expert things” like booking stopovers, open-jaws, and free one-ways.

So, 1.5 years ago, I did something about that.

I created Frequent Flyer Bootcamp!

As some of you who are long-term readers of EPoP already know, Frequent Flyer Bootcamp is one of my proudest achievements.

It is a project that I have put as much time and effort in to as anything else I’ve ever done, and it has been, by all accounts, a resounding success each and every time I’ve opened it up.

We’ve had people:

  • take year long honeymoons
  • book a trip to Petra and Angkor Wat, two of the world’s most incredible sites, on one ticket (and pay only $50)
  • and even had a family of 5 book a round the world trip to six, yes 6, different countries for $80 a person.

And those are just three of the hundreds of trips! 

(to see some more examples of Bootcamp trips, click here)

Now, I’m opening up Frequent Flyer Bootcamp one last time in 2014.

As always, we are taking only 30 people and the deadline is Friday, November 14th at 11:59 PM EST.  We do expect it will once again sell out.

Frequent Flyer Bootcamp <—- Click here for more info and to sign up

If you’re someone who wants to travel more…

…has read all about the free travel that I’ve gotten to do…

…heard people on other blogs and websites talk about dream trips that they’ve taken for mere pennies…

…and yet still haven’t done it yourself…

Then stop waiting around!

Seriously.

If you enroll in this session of Frequent Flyer Bootcamp, you’ll have the skills to literally start traveling by the time the calendar flips to 2015.

And because I believe so much in Frequent Flyer Bootcamp, as always, it comes with our $500 guarantee:

If you don’t earn $500 worth of free plane tickets as a direct result of Bootcamp, I’ll give you your money back, no questions asked.

That’s all there is to it.  If you want someone to guide you through the process of learning how to really use frequent flyer miles to travel more and spend less, then Bootcamp is probably for you.

[bluebox]Click here to sign up for Frequent Flyer Bootcamp[/bluebox]

EPoP Success: The Decision to Become Location Independent

Ep105

You asked for it, and you got it.

Today we start a new series of podcasts; EPoP success stories!

Tiffany and Chris have spent the last two years preparing the move to location independence so they could do something amazing.

They’re going on a year long (working) honeymoon!

Today we chat about the steps in the decision to become location independent, from transitioning to freelancing full time (Chris) and just finding anything that would work with their plans (Tiffany).

They share a story of listeners, just like you, who made it work for them. Will you be next?

This is part one of a two part interview. Join us again tomorrow where we chat a little bit more about the actual trip itself and some travel mishaps that made Tiffany shudder while recounting them!

Right click to download this episode directly

Check out the entire library of EPoP Travel Podcasts on iTunes

In This Episode:

  • Why the decided on a year long honeymoon.
  • How Chris transitioned to a full-time freelancer.
  • Searching for anything, and everything that was location independent.
  • The reaction of friends and family.
  • What they did about their home and pets while they travel.
  • The challenges they’ve experienced working from anywhere.
  • Their final verdict on Location Independence.

and much more!

Links Discussed in This Episode:

Win a $50 Amazon Giftcard!

The last survey went SO well, that we’re doing it again! Click Here to fill out our survey (it only takes 5 minutes, we promise!) and get entered to win a 50 dollar Amazon Giftcard! We’ll randomly select one person who answers our survey to win!

I Need Your Help

Chris and Tiffany are always up for making more friends. Click “Tweet This” below to share their story and to connect with them!

@TiffanyNoro & @OMG_Chris are our first @PackofPeanuts #travel success story to join the podcast as #DigitalNomads! http://bit.ly/1uSblne

Tweet This!

Leave a Review!

iTunes reviews are one of THE most important factors for podcasts. If you enjoy the show please take a second to leave the show a review on iTunes!

    1. Click this link: Leave a review on iTunes
    2. Hit “View in iTunes” on the left hand side under the picture.
    3. Leave an honest review.
    4. You’re awesome!

Making Pizza – Italian Style

Brick-Oven-Graphic

Italy and pizza… a synonymous thought in everyone’s mind. 

For the past two weeks, we have had the pleasure of staying in a beautifully renovated Tuscan farmhouse with the best hosts imaginable.

From the first night we arrived, David and Francesca made us feel completely welcome in “The Barn” of their Tuscan estate.

The second night, Trav wandered over to the main house to ask our hosts a question, and returned 45 minutes later with an invitation for an impromptu dinner.

During dinner, which consisted of “nothing special” according David, but in fact, was an incredible dish of ribollita, we were invited back again the next night for a very special Tuscan BBQ.

David-&-Fran-Tuscan-BBQ

During the BBQ, we inquired about taking a Tuscan cooking class, and David and Francesca said we could learn how to make our very own Italian style pizza at The Farmhouse since there was a beautiful outdoor oven right outside The Barn.

Perfect!

We made plans to cook the pizza a few days later, which would serve as Round 3 of our Tuscan eating experience.

Here’s how it’s done!

Making Pizza – Italian Style

The-oven

An authentic Italian pizza starts with local ingredients.

Mozz-and-Kitchen-Aid-Web

You MUST have tomatoes from Naples (which are canned and can be found in any grocery store).

David simply pureed a large can of crushed tomatoes and added a bit of salt. The result is fresh and slightly sweet.

tomato-sauce

The dough is made from special flour (that David procured so we have no idea where to find it), yeast, and water.

Italian-local-ingredients

David-and-Trav-Kitchen

After the dough is mixed, knead it together and let it rise for up to 24 hours (but two is enough).

Tomato-sauce-and-dough Kneading-Dough

At this point we went out to start the fire in the brick oven as it takes a few hours to heat up.

When the inside walls of the oven are white, it is ready for pizza!

Tomato-Basil

The best way to test the oven is to make focaccia.

While David claims “it’s only to test if the oven is ready for pizza”, the resulting focaccia, baked with fresh rosemary picked from the garden and sprinkled with olive oil and salt, is DELICIOUS in it’s own right!

Foccacia

Now that we know the oven is ready, creativity reigns as we make any type of pizza we can think of.

Heth-making-pizza

It is actually harder than you think to make a perfectly round pie.

David shows how the masters do it.

David-making-crust

Practice makes perfect and after making at least 10 pizzas, we are both confident that we can recreate this pizza at home.

Now all we have to do is build a brick oven.

(If any stone masons or construction experts want to make a trip to Philadelphia, we’ll gladly cook the pizzas for you)!

Brick-oven-Large

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