kevin hodgon iceland

A life Journey Going Nowhere - Now Travelling The World

I want you all to know me a little better. You all know “Kevin’s Travel Diary” but none of you really know Kevin (me 🙂 ) so I’m going to tell you lots about me, so you can learn who this guy is behind this travel blog. You already know about how my love for travelling began, but now we will go deeper into the life of me.

I’m going to take you on my journey of life.

So where to start? We know my name’s Kevin and travels my middle name 🙂 . I have travelled around 80 countries and I have this huge passion for travel. My first passion whilst travelling is to learn and understand about different cultures, the how and why everyone lives in different ways. I like to learn about the local way and understand the different ways of doing things. Culture is a strong part of people’s everyday life. By understanding different cultures it opens my eyes to different views, values, humour, hopes, fears and even loyalties. I find it stimulates my mind and forces myself to see and think in different ways, it helps me understand there is more than one way of doing something.

Time for me to really open up……

Now, a step back in time….. When I was at school I struggled to learn, I was never the type of person to sit still and listen to teachers, this was no fault of the teachers, perhaps it was more because I didn’t understand what and why I was being taught what I was. I was the terror that would disrupt the class, don’t get me wrong I wanted to learn, but I just couldn’t get to grips with the way I was being taught. Rather than being taught a different way, I was just told that I wasn’t worth the time and how I’m going nowhere in life. This, of course, set me up for my life failure, well it would have if I wasn’t as strong-minded as I was.

My behaviour got worse and worse at school, until, they couldn’t control me any longer. They would suspend me for weeks at a time. (I always knew I wanted to work as a hotel manager as I thought it would enable me to travel the world and stay in lots of different hotels). How wrong was I. Well kinda…..

Each time I was suspended I got myself a job in catering, I worked in a total of 9 different establishments before I found my first real job on weekends. I still had my troubled life at school and still getting sent home for weeks at a time. I very quickly worked out that every time I was sent home from school I could attend work and get paid. (I don’t condone or recommend you do this). This, of course, fuelled me more to get sent home from school so I could earn more money. Eventually, the school had enough of me and I left at 15, that was it, my destiny was to fail…. Not under my employers watch!!!. The owner of the hotel I worked for saw me as a project and took me under his wing. He knew I wanted to run a hotel, and it was his hotel, that he wanted me to run. For the next year, I worked school hours for £2.00 an hour and learning my education under my new employers. My education changed and I started to learn about business, rather than academics which I think slightly explains my grammar.

My 16th birthday came and I was free from the education system, I was quickly offered my first promotion at 16, I was to become a function supervisor looking after all the weddings. After a year I had saved enough money for my first holiday which was in Majorca. At the time, travelling at 17 years old was not allowed without the consent of parents. My parents were away at the time of booking so, a quick forged letter from my parents (sorry mum 😂) I was on my way to Majorca and the feeling of freedom was where my true love of travelling began.

About me
Kevin's Travel Diary

After my first holiday alone in Majorca I learnt the meaning of freedom, ok, it wasn’t quite backpacking S.E Asia (more of a 5 star resort) but the feeling of doing what I wanted, when I wanted had definitely won me over.

Still under the wing of the owner along with my first promotion, I learnt the necessary skills to further my carrer. Alot of hard work, every hour under the sun and around 6 managers later, I finally got the job I always dreamed of. Hard work finally paid off! Anything we desire is possible!

With the promotions came a huge paycheck which of course sent me packing on my next adventure. (Although back then my job paid my travels, I now get paid to travel) This time the adventure sent me to Tunisia, my first true experience of Africa and learning about a different culture. Again I never backpacked here, and I stayed in an all-inclusive resort, but I was never shy to get out and about and visit the local town and take in my new surroundings. I remember so clearly booking a tour from town to go on a jeep ride up the mountains to see a local village. I was more interested in the jeep ride, that was until I arrived at the local village. I was first greeted by a local and his camel, the local shoved something in my mouth and told me to stand still.

Ermmmmm……….

Camel kiss…..

A kiss that made me fall in love  😍😙

ok no…… not with the camel ……..

But with this strange culture of feeding camels. How cool would it be to own a camel? Well, that is almost the norm for a lot of locals in Tunisia. After exploring their village, trying homemade bread, and understanding a different way of living it was at this point that I fell in love with the culture and wanted to explore different ways of living. A love that has never left me, even down to this day.

It was soon after this holiday that my terror years past, I think it was due to my holiday, it opened my eyes to different beliefs, morals and of course ways of living. I had a lot of money coming in due to my promotion, and gaining a sense of sensibility from travelling alone at a young age, I decided to put my money to good use and buy my first home. Yep, 18 years of age and I managed to convince a mortgage company to loan me the money to buy my home. A home that I still call home today, a small 2 bedroom home that is a stones throw from the famous sand duned beach of Camber Sands.

After buying my home, I had enough money left to save for my travels, a new found passion that kept me on the straight and narrow. I was keen to take another trip and learn about other cultures around the world.

Next up was turkey, a new culture to explore….

On the bus journey to my hotel, I was surprised to see the locals smoking a bong, “what a bong?” I thought. “Yep, definitely a bong” I answered myself. Wow! Were they really smoking a bong and using drugs in the middle of the street? Was that aloud? Omg, how exciting! I quickly dropped my bag in the hotel and headed in the direction of these bong smokers. I never wanted to take drugs but I did want to learn about another culture, especially one that allows this in the middle of the street. After speaking with the locals, I learnt that it wasn’t a bong, it was, in fact, a Nargile aka shisha (hookah). Something that is part of the Turkish culture dating back to the 17th century. It became an important part of society and was used as a status symbol.

After joining the locals for a nargile or 2 I was then offered a traditional Turkish shave. I thought “why not”. I was a young man and the locals thought it would be funny to mess around shaving me with the largest knife you’d ever seen. (See picture) I think they were trying to scare me and have a laugh amongst themselves, the problem was, I wasn’t scared and found it rather amusing. 😅 Either way, it was a cool local experience and eventually I was given the true traditional shave. After my shave, I was then directed for a traditional Turkish bath, but I’ll save this story for another time 😁.

Over the next couple of years many holidays passed, (Spain, Greece, Morocco and Bulgaria to name a few) new cultures were learnt.

Then……

At a very young age (20) Along Came “Porsha” my first and only child. She is the little adventurer that pops up in some of my pictures every now and then. She too, like me, loves an adventure and has so far been to France, Belguim, Netherlands, Spain, the main 4 canary islands and India. It’s very hard to leave my little-loved one at home whilst I travel the world but she fully supports my travelling, and really enjoys receiving lots of postcards from everywhere I visit 🏝.

After my terror years pasted, I was left with a big hole that needed filling. That’s when travelling introduced me to some adrenaline sports. Stay tuned and next time I’ll share about my travels which fueled the adrenaline inside me, which later became my hobbies leading me to seek out …………..

camel kissing
kevin hodgon
High boat jump

From a young age, I learnt to scuba dive and have now dived over 200 times in more than 30 countries. My 2 favourite places have to be Mexico and the Maldives, closely followed by Egypt.

Fishing is another favourite of mine but I’ve only ever fished in England and Thailand.

A past time hobby of mine is go-karting, this was my first take on adrenaline and this hobby certainly was the start to me becoming a bit of an adrenaline junky.

The feeling of speed adrenaline….. Speeding around a track reaching up to 60mph certainty gets my heart pumping. When I was in Bulgaria I went down to a karting track and felt the “need for speed”. In fact, it was here that I learnt I was a natural and was asked by the circuit owner if I wanted to take part in a race later that evening. Of course, I did! I hung around with the track owner all day, helping out in return for preparing me for the race ahead. I entered the race and finished 3rd. After a great finish, I continued with this sport and went on to win many more races. I no longer kart as I have now found kitesurfing, a height adrenaline.

Kitesurfing, another hobby that came from my travels. This hobby started in Egypt, I didn’t learn to kitesurf in Egypt, I learnt to wakeboard. After I learnt to wakeboard it was something I wanted to keep doing. With no wakeboarding at home, I learnt to kitesurf instead, this was the sport that could fill my adrenaline needs. After lots of crashes, practice and many fails I learnt to jump! Hello, height adrenaline!!

Adrenaline has become a part of me now and I always try to seek different types of adrenaline during my travels. That maybe speed, height, nerve or even fear factor adrenaline, I just love the feeling.

Fear adrenaline is what lead me to hand feed wild Hyenas in Ethiopia. I watched a t.v show called “Planet Earth 2” and watched this crazy guy in Ethiopia hand feed wild Hyenas. I just imagined what the adrenaline would be like, next thing I knew I was on a flight and ready to feed these huge wild beasts. This was one experience that got my heart pumping with nerve adrenaline. I arrived at the slaughter, in pitch darkness and met the Hyena men. They started to call the Hyenas. I stood there watching in such amazement as they called me forward to hand-feed these animals. When I got closer, he asked me to kneel next to him, he held some meat above my head while the hyenas fed from his hand, just inches away from my face. I could feel the warm breath of the hyena, breathing down my neck and I can hardly express in words what I felt. But it was at this point that I felt the neck of a hyena rub against mine and for the first time I really appreciated the sheer power of these animals. I was then handed a piece of meat, my moment had come, the reason that led me here. I held out my hand and waited for the Hyena to come and feed from my hand. As it got closer, I feared for my life and dropped the meat, I realised how easy it would be for these wild animals to eat me instead. Hyenas are the second largest land predators in Africa and have the most powerful jaws. I built up my courage and attempted it again, this time with success, a wild hyena sneaked around the back of me and took the meat on offer.

The adrenaline from fear and nerves are definitely what lead me to these amazing locations.

One day I was speaking to my friend about my travels, and all the places I’d been. I then made a joke about wanting to visit Somalia. A joke that became very real. A few days later a lot of people asked if I was really going to Somalia. Going along with the joke I replied yes of course!. Before I knew it, I was going. This definitely ticks all the adrenaline boxes.

kart racing
hand feeding hyenas
kevin hodgon

It is true that my bizarre travels, to places like Somalia came around after a joke. I spent 5 days in notorious Somalia. oh, I might go to Somalia, then that joke became real as word got out. Now I have to go!. Oh while I’m there I’m going to meet pirates, another joke that word got out, so I had to make that become real too. Yes, it all started as a joke! A joke that I knew would get my heart pumping with adrenaline.

One of the most surreal and eye-opening experiences was walking across no-man’s land from Ethiopia to Somaliland. As you walk from border to border there are no guards that can assist you, you are all alone. Well, if it wasn’t for the 500 locals swamping you trying to assist you to the unknown. The unknown where you could get shot in the head or kidnapped quicker than you can sip your bottled water. From the ambush perfect swamps around Kismayo in the south, the warrens of Mogadishu, to the pirate dens of Bosaso on the Gulf of Aden. The whole country is a breeding ground for warlords, pirates, kidnappers, bomb makers, fanatical Islamist extremists, freelance gunmen, and idle, angry youths with no education and way too many bullets. What was I doing walking across this border? Unknown to me, but walking this border was the safe part of Somalia and in fact altho not reconsigned is different to Somalia.

Just imagine the feeling of sitting at the roadside with a man and almost half a million dollars. Ok, I didn’t count it but see the picture! A lot of money. Yep, I sat with the big boss man and enjoyed Somalian tea (the best tea ever) this man, who at the end of the day, leaves his money at the roadside covered with a small bit of tarpoling. Is this man crazy? No security, no guards! Wow, this was the start of an incredible experience.

It’s true that I went in search of pirates, I was taken to a remote bombed out, shot down, derelict fishing village in the middle of nowhere, no one around. The experience of seeing this alone was immense. This was it, the meeting point, to be kidnapped? to seak out what I came here to see (pirates).

I waited….

and waited….

and waited….

Maybe they were scared of me 😊after a long 3-hour wait, out came two guys with what I will describe as tea towels around their head. Only seeing their eyes as they walked towards me screaming no photos, no photos. They had their ak47s under their arms, bullets around their neck and the biggest machete I’ve ever seen.

I would like to say we had a nice chat, but that would be lying, I’d like to say I enjoyed meeting them, but that would be lying, I’d like to say I wasn’t scared, but that would be lying, especially when they ask me about what insurance I have, what house I live in, do I have family and wife. Netherless, I did it, I met some pirates, but the biggest question that still holds over me, were they really pirates. The answer to that is….. I don’t know, I do genuinely believe they were, they claimed to have kidnapped 4 people in total. If they weren’t, then still, I was brave enough to at least hunt out these pirates, live and tell the tail.

Mogadishu never failed to impress either, one day I’m on the beach playing football with the local kids, watching the fisherman walk past with their large sailfish catch on their heads. Then the next day I’m running for cover as a terrorist decided to blow up the market. I was metres away from the scariest experience I ever wish to encounter. Stood outside my guest house watching the locals go about their day and all of a sudden a big explosion happened before my eyes. As I stood there in disbelief, scared and confused my guards grabbed me back into my guest house for a swift exit to safety. (I don’t always condone doing the things I do) but in 20 years from now perhaps you too can enjoy climbing small mountains in Somaliland, swim in the Gulf of Aden in Puntland and enjoy luxurious beaches in Mogadishu. Somalia really does offer it all. 😀

So how about North Korea? How did that come around?. Well, I was at my girlfriend’s parent’s house for dinner after I got back from Somalia and her brother made a comment, “where next North Korea? Lol”. I went home that night and my brain got ticking with excitement. “North Korea” could I? Is that even possible? I quickly learnt that if you pick a big event in North Korea, entry is easy. I picked their Pynonngnag Marathon, I could claim that I can run 😊. Next thing I know I had organised for myself to join a tour heading for North Korea to run their marathon in just 8 weeks. Needless to say, he is banned from making comments again. I trained hard for 8 weeks but sadly 5 days before my trip I dislocated my hip. Oh no! Treatment in China made a 10k run doable and I finished in the top 100.

kevin hodgon
somalia
kevin hodgon

So North Korea came around after an evening with my girlfriends family. To my surprise and no doubt yours, North Korea is doable and very easy too. So my entrance into North Korea was aiming to run in their Pyongyang Marathon. After I booked the tickets training had to begin, I took my own approach for training which was going really well, that was until I dislocated my hip just 5 days before I was due to run. My tour of China before entering North Korea enabled me to learn about different treatments. A few treatments made a 10k run in North Korea doable and I finished within the top 100. North Korea is the most surreal country I’ve ever been to and by far the most interesting because of the strict regime. Whilst in North Korea there are a lot of “do’s” and “do not’s”, such as to listen to your guide, bow and show respect to the statues of their leader, and do not take any pictures of anything without your guides permission. A trip to North Korea will leave you amazed and not just for the huge architectural buildings that seem to be empty.

Running has now become a part of me and I’m hoping to take this new passion to as many countries as I can. My next par-taking in a Marathon is in Iraqi around October time. If you’re a keen runner then why not join me?

I’ve really enjoyed sharing a little about Kevin to all of you and I really hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little bit more behind this blogger.
When I first started this blog some of you will perhaps remember that it all started as a personal diary for myself (which it still is) and I would tell you all how my grammars not perfect and I do make spelling mistakes and how I’m a standard guy travelling the world on annual leave. I started a diary, and a dream to get paid to travel. A dream that I never thought would become real, until now.

As I travel more and more and get paid to visit amazing countries worldwide, I know others would also love to do the same. So I’ve started a private group on FB called “Forucksake lifestyle”. It’s going to be a community of like-minded travellers and those that want to travel, where you can find out exactly how I fund my adventures, find answers, recommendations and products to help you in your future travels.

north korea marathon
great wall of china
north korea group shot

So where next for Kevin’s Travel Diary? I have 2 answers for this one.

1) I plan to start a company running tours, where other bloggers will join you, on these tours you can also speak with other bloggers on how to become a successful blogger, learn to take Instagram worthy pictures or just join a fun tour, meet new friends and get the best out of travelling…..

2) As above, I am starting a new group that will show you and teach you how to become a successful blogger and how you too could travel the world and get paid. Now, I’m not going to tell you I earn 250k or even 100k, I won’t even tell you I earn 50k and in fact far from it. But what I do earn is enough to enable me to travel for free and also offers of being paid to travel.

My blog may not be the most successful out there, earn the most money or have the prettiest pictures. But my blog is living proof how a normal guy can go from a terror child to getting paid to travel the world, and living a life I love.

If you would like to join my new group and learn all about blogging then head over to https://m.facebook.com/groups/862084477311489 where I will teach everything and even walk you through the first steps. Always wanted to blog but don’t know where to start? I’ll help you with that. Don’t know how to build a website? I’ll help you with that. Don’t know SEO? I’ll help you with that. Don’t know, don’t know, don’t know? I’ll help with all that too.


Méo

Street Art in Reunion Island

If you haven’t heard of Reunion Island ever in your life, I can’t blame you, we are far from being in the top 10 of travel destinations. Located in the Indian Ocean, right between Mauritius and Madagascar, Reunion Island is a little French paradise known for its beautiful landscape and its very rich/mixed culture. Nonetheless I’m not here to present the island through its sunny beaches and wild nature like any other travel blog would, but rather by taking a different approach : local street art.

In Reunion Island you can’t miss the street art, and if you ever set foot on the island you know what I’m talking about. From walking into the city, to lying at the beach to driving back home, you can always spot pictures/tags/graffiti somewhere.

The most popular drawings on the Island are definitely the Gouzou, painted by the famous artist Jace. Those little yellow anthropomorphic characters are everywhere and easy to spot : on walls, on bridges, on street signs, electricity boxes … Sometimes funny, sometimes political, the Gouzou became a real emblem of the Island since their first appearance in 1992. A great way to entertain your road trip is to search for them and take a few pictures (in a safe way of course, don’t leave your car in the middle of the road just to take a picture). And if you’re interested in them, I guess you’re lucky because you don’t even have to go to Reunion Island to see some Gouzous, Jace went all around the world to paint them : New York, Thailand, South Africa, France, Bali … more than 25 countries ! And he has a few art books, you can check out online.

Gouzou paperplane

Whether they are legally painted or not, Reunion Island has many street artists well known among art lovers and amateurs. To admire them you sometimes have to go off the road and wonder to places you never thought you would stop by, this is a great way to visit the Island ! It’s also a great way to have a road trip full of adventure : who would have known I would have to go down a tunnel and wait for a herd of goats to pass just to take some pictures ? From the artist Sept, to Gorg One, to Pandakroo, to Méo … you will never be bored, it can be a political statement but mostly it’s just a great way to enhance the landscape.

Not only a playground for locals, street artists from France have come to leave their footprint on Reunion Island. For those who know Jef Aerosol or Jerôme Mesnager, you will be happy to spot their art on the road.

Street art is not only a display of lines and colors to form a nice landscape but an invitation to think and criticize a specific subject. Whether to mock advertisements, raise awareness to discrimination, acceptance or even to protect nature, art can be a real statement in itself. Street art is a great way for Reunion Island’s artists to express themselves and lucky for us, the island is one big canvas.

About me : Hello, I’m Steven ! I’m a french student working for the online blog of aFabulousTrip, a smart travel search engine. I grew up in Reunion Island and this place will always have a special place in my heart, for its beauty and for all the incredible memories it gave me.


protect yourself from mosquitoes

How to protect yourself from mosquitoes while traveling

How to protect yourself from mosquitoes while traveling

You don’t want dodging mosquito bites to become a full time job whilst you are on summer vacation – and you certainly don’t want to expose yourself and your family to the risk of acquiring deadly diseases like malaria, the Zika virus, and West Nile virus, especially if you are traveling to one of the more exotic locations in the world. Follow our expert advice on how to protect yourself from mosquitoes while traveling, and your holiday will be all the better for it. Read on to find out more.

Wear insect repellent

Sometimes the obvious answer really is the right choice. By far the most effective way of preventing mosquito bites to you and your loved ones, is to apply an effective insect repellent to all areas of exposed skin. These repellents come in the form of sprays, lotions, gels and creams – many of the modern ones are also residue- and odor-free – so there are plenty of options there for those of you who want to avoid the messiness associated with these products. The most powerful repellents contain DEET as their active ingredient, however this substance is considered by some to be toxic to humans (as well as the environment) – fortunately there are now many alternative, ‘natural’ insect repellents out there on the market as well – with active ingredients ranging from citronella and eucalyptus oil, to picaridin. However, these repellents are not as potent or long lasting as DEET-containing products, so it is up to you to decide whether the trade off in protection is worth your while.

protect yourself from mosquitoes

Wear proper clothing

Another good buffer against mosquito bites is thick, sturdy clothing. When heading outside into mosquito-dense areas during your holiday, be sure then to don thick, long sleeved shirts and pants; try also to tuck your pants into your socks (which should be equally thick!), and your shirt into your pants. You can also purchase special fabrics that have already been treated with insect repellent – very useful if you don’t fancy applying the stuff to your skin – though they may not be the most fashionable threads around!

Use mosquito netting

This is absolutely vital if you are sleeping outside at night. Hang some mosquito netting around your tent or hammock. You can even spray it with insect repellent to give yourself an added layer of protection. And even if you are sleeping indoors, placing some mosquito netting around your bed will be a smart move. Because not only you are an easy target for mosquitoes when you’re sleeping but mosquitoes also have a way of finding their way into the house, even when all the windows are closed.

Avoid peak mosquito times

Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn, so try to avoid being outdoors during these periods of the day. Plan out your activities so you beat ‘mosquito peak hour’.

Wear light colored clothing

Did you know that mosquitoes are drawn to dark colored clothing? It’s true! This is thought to have something to do with the contrast between the shade of the dark clothes and the color of the horizon at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active – but whatever the reason, if you want to minimize your exposure to mosquitoes whilst on holiday, then wear lighter colored outfits. Your best bet is actually to wear neutral, or pastel, colored clothing – since very BRIGHT colors will attract wasps and other insects.

Don’t accessorize

As well as being drawn to dark colored clothing, mosquitoes are attracted to the sweet aroma of deodorants, perfumes, after shaves etc. So when you go on holiday this summer, be sure also to steer clear of the cosmetics! And you should be able to enjoy mosquito-free travels.

protect yourself from mosquitoes

Guest post, Author Bio

Karen Thompson is the main editor of InsectCop.net, a mosquito and insect control advice blog that focuses on helping people get rid of pests in and around their homes. We believe that to win the war against pests you must first win many smaller battles by eliminating them step by step. And on InsectCop we help you learn just how to do that!


Sri Lanka guide to visa travel

Sri Lanka Visa Guide – Things You Need to Know

Sri Lanka Visa Guide – Things You Need to Know

One of the things that worry travelers is the visa requirements for entry, but like all things good with Sri Lanka, the paperwork requirements are minimal, and the visa process is hassle-free. The Sri Lanka visa process is simple, and you can even finish the entire process online, get it done at their consulate in your country, or you can even choose to get your visa stamped on arrival at your port of entry. The costs are nominal, and the approval turnaround times are pretty fast.

visa travel in Sri Lanka

Apply online

Technically you are applying for an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) rather than a Sri Lanka visa, and the visa itself is given at the airport. All it requires is a fully filled application form to be submitted on the ETA Sri Lanka website, which can be accessed at https://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa. Choose your preferred language option, hit the Apply tab, fill up the online form, pay the required fees online, and you are done. Processing typically takes two business days, after which you will be notified whether your application was accepted or rejected. Accepted applicants are entitled to enter Sri Lanka within three months of the date of issue of the approval. There is no need to print out the emails you receive on completion. You just present your passport at the airport and they add the visa, no additional money required.

Types of Sri Lanka ETA Visa

There are four kinds of visas on offer by the Sri Lankan government currently through ETA. These are – ETA tourist visa with a double entry that is valid for 30 days; ETA business visa with multiple entries and a validity of 30 days; ETA single entry transit visa that allows a stay of up to seven days, and an ETA single entry transit visa with a validity of up to two days. Charges vary depending on the type and it is advisable to check their website for the latest charges.

Sri Lanka visa

How do you apply for a visa to Sri Lanka offline?

You can submit your visa application and payment at Colombo International Airport on arrival. Currently, a fee of USD 5 for a tourist visa and USD 10 for a business visa, in addition to the visa fee charges are levied when you apply for a visa on arrival. The visa-on-arrival does offer flexibility to the traveler but if it can be avoided, it is better to get a visa approval beforehand. This is just to avoid the long visa stamping queues at the airport.

You can choose to submit your visa application in person at the Sri Lanka Overseas Mission situated in your country at least two weeks prior to travel. If you come personally to their visa offices, please do not transfer money to the bank, but pay cash to the cashier and obtain a receipt.

You can also submit visa application by post at least five weeks prior to travel date. Please include passport, necessary documents, and proof of payment by way of a photocopy of the bank transfer. If the passport and documents are to be returned by mail, a self-addressed envelope with required stamps should be included with the application. Applications sent without a stamped return envelope will be retained until the applicant collects them personally.

Sri Lanka visa travels

Requirements for visa application

Duly completed visa application form with signature is necessary. Please clearly write applicant’s name, address, and telephone number. A valid passport with at least one unused visa page is required. The passport should be valid for six months from the date of your arrival in Sri Lanka. Along with your application, to include a copy of flight booking or cruise-ship reservation. A detailed travel itinerary in Sri Lanka is required to be submitted with the application form. If hotel reservations are not done, the names and addresses of planned visits/overnight stays will be enough.

Who does not require a Visa?

Nationals from Singapore, Maldives and Seychelles do not need a visa under the bilateral agreement. Anyone else is required to have a visa for entry into the country.

How to extend a short visit visa?

A visitor wishing to stay for more than 30 days in this lovely country may apply for an extension. The short visit visa may be extended up to 90 days from the date of arrival at the first instance and a further period of 90 days at the second instance. Please check their website for details on procedures and fees.

Sri Lanka travelling


online tutoring

Why online tutoring is the best to do while traveling

Why online tutoring is the best to do while traveling

If you have a travel bug roaming inside you that won’t give you a chance to stay static for long in one place or engaged in one profession, then you definitely be in that category of those who believe even the world is not enough to be their home. But it’s a question of earning a livelihood also. It’s a dilemma whether to listen to your heart or your brain. Well, you can just arrange your backpack and be ready for your trip as there are enough opportunities to earn even during travel. If you don’t have sufficient budget to support your travel plans, then you must find an option of earnings during your travel days.

education online tutoring

Earning money while on the tour will give you an opportunity to travel longer and experience more things along the way. Online tutoring can be your first preference as it provides ample opportunities for earning as well as a chance to be attached to a noble profession. It is also excellent for those who want to roam around the world but want to perform their social duties at the same time.

Of course, there are numerous other ways to earn while traveling like writing blog, working as a travel guide, software developer, and tax consultant and so on. But teaching is definitely the jewel of the crown. With access to internet almost everywhere, it has become easier for travelers to earn money from online teaching while seeing the world. Depending on your skills and how much time you are willing to give, it is not impossible for you to fund your travel expenses no matter how long you want to travel around. That being said, let us look at some of the wonderful vistas that online tutoring could open up for the avid traveler.

tutoring

Different classes same time

Unlike other online professions, teaching can give you the excellent opportunity to access many places and different communities at the same time. You don’t have to devote all your time to a single client. You can run your virtual classrooms with different groups in different time zones simultaneously. Smaller specialized classes are more likely to have enough students to be feasible. You will find ample time to enjoy your traveling.

No emergency situation

You don’t have to face any emergency in this profession unlike say traveling medical advisors or online legal consultants. That allows you to move freely without any fear that an emergency situation may crop up anytime. Just follow the routine set by yourself and get enough time for leisure. In case you are engaged in an interactive online class, then also your devoted time will not be more than the stipulated time. You can always answer the queries of your students at your convenience.

Opportunities throughout the year

Online tutoring offers students flexible timings and since you would be scheduling classes ahead of time, you have the opportunity to plan your itinerary accordingly. Whatever your travel plan, you can also schedule your course timings accordingly. In addition, the best part is that you can choose to tutor in your field of expertise. The demand for tutoring is there in every conceivable subject area. So, if you are a music buff, you can choose to teach a global audience about different schools of music. If you love cooking, host remote cooking classes. If you are a DIY fan, tell people the charm of getting things done by themselves. And then the demand for tutoring is year-round. There are no seasonal variances unlike say opportunities of being a farmhand in a foreign country, the demand for which is purely dependent on the sowing and reaping seasons.

online tutoring

Skill development

Many online tutorials provide facilitators and trainers opportunities for skill enrichment in areas such as providing feedback, problem-based learning, handling problematic students, and decisive thinking. If you are in between travels, then also you can enjoy the opportunity of self-development and pick up niche skills, which are in demand. Especially when it comes to learning pedagogy, there is an acute dearth of people who can structure adult education materials appropriately. You getting to tutor people online also mean that you pick up those nuances, the methodologies of delivery that are apt and you could use those skills to offer educational consulting services.


I Have Been Nominated for a Liebster Award

I Have Been Nominated to receive Liebster Award

It is always nice to receive rewards, having a reward on the shelf or in the virtual world of blogging is as meaningful as each other. The virtual award is a sign of appreciation and recognition of bloggers by other bloggers. Not only does the award encourage new bloggers to continue to write, it also a sign of recognition by fellow bloggers.

My blog has been nominated to receive the Liebster Award by Katie and Jake from Untoldwanderlust budget world wanderers and ESL teachers. They both have a passion for exploring new and exciting destinations all over the world. On their blog, you can follow their adventures to discovering the Earth’s astonishing treasures. Thanks a lot to Katie and Jake for recognising and nominating my blog and sharing this great Liebster award.

Katie and jacks questions.

As Katie and jack nominated me I will now answer their questions, here goes…

1. Why do you travel?

I travel for the feeling of being free, the ability to do what I want whenever I want to or to simply be able to do nothing at all. I travel knowing that I have the ability to discover new things, those new weird and wonderful things that I can’t find back home. I travel for the adventure and the ability to create my own day’s adventures. I also travel to give myself a better understanding of different cultures and religions of the world, and of course to meet new people.

2. Where in the world do you really want to visit? Why?

There isn’t just one place I want to visit, I simply want to visit everywhere, I really wish there was a way to visit every country and every Island in the world, but of course, that is not possible in one’s lifetime. There are so many incredible things in this world to see and discover with my own eyes.

3. What are the top 3 things on your bucket list?

At the top of my list is to see the Northen lights,  this has been a dream for sometime now. I have travelled all over Norway, Sweden, Finland and I’ve just got back from Iceland and I’ve still not seen those Northern Lights! I would love to see wild tigers, I am a big fan of big cats, lions and tigers are my two favourites and it would be a dream to see some tigers in their own environment. How cool would it be to go cage diving with great white sharks?

bucket list bungee

4. What tips would you give to someone for taking a long flight?

Sleep! I get asked this one a lot, and to be honest, I don’t have any tips. I sleep better on a plane than I do in my own bed, (yes very strange and no, no joke!) I always fall asleep before take off and only wake for meals and then fall asleep again.

5. What is the most valuable thing you have lost whilst travelling?

I have never lost anything! But when I was around 12 years old my parents lost me in Tunisia. We went out for a day trip and on the return to the hotel I fell asleep, as my family jump off the bus and went into the hotel restaurant for dinner, my brother asked where’s Kevin, like the movie Home Alone my mum screams KEVIN!! My dad rushed outside and to his fear the bus had left! My dad jumped into a taxi and shouted to the driver ”follow that bus”. When the taxi got to the end of the road there was no sight of the bus………. Needless to say, they found me and it was around this time when my love of travelling began, what an adventure :-).

6. What has been your worst experience whilst travelling?

Hmmmm, I could use the above but  I think the worse has to be when I was travelling in Somalia, Mogadishu and a terrorist attack happened about 100 metres in front of me. This was a scary time, unfortunately, people lost their lives.

7. Have you ever worked abroad? What did you do? If not, do you ever plan to?

I haven’t worked abroad, I have been offered a few times to run hotels abroad but I have never fancied it. I hope to one day teach English in Thailand.

8. What advice would you give to someone who wants to travel?

Book that flight already! The world has so much to offer and it caters to everyone. Think of something that would be an incredible experience for you, do a little research and make it happen. The world is an amazing place and can make all dreams come true.

9. Where is your next destination?

Next stop is Singapore in January, after Singapore, I plan to travel all over SE Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Philippines, Cambodia and wherever else the wind blows me.

10. What are your top things to see/do when you visit a new place?

Experience the culture and try new foods, these are the two main things I first seek out.

Kanchanaburi thailand

My favourite travel blog is: The poor traveller

This blog has a great offer of budget travel destinations, I find this as one of my go-to blogs when I’m travelling to a new destination. I always travel on a budget and The Poor Traveller has great guides to make sure I am travelling on a budget.

Now to share more of the Liebster Award love…

As I have been nominated for the Liebster Award, I think it is only right to continue to share the love and nominate other bloggers who I would like to show appreciation and recognition to for their incredible work. Here goes…

  1. https://www.arwtravels.com/
  2. https://travelplugged.com/
  3. http://iamdanelson.com/
  4. http://singhruby.com/
  5. http://thebeautraveler.com/
  6. http://roadsandroutes.com/
  7. https://rondoview.blog/
  8. http://veggievagabonds.com/
  9. http://passportsymphony.com/
  10. https://www.evansatlas.com/

The best part of this award is looking at other blogs. You all have great blogs that I enjoyed looking around and even learning a thing or two, so thank you 🙂 .

And here are my questions for you…

  1. Where was your last destination?
  2. Where is your next destination?
  3. How often do you travel?
  4. In one sentence describe what travel means to you?
  5. What is the shortest trip you have taken away from your home country?
  6. What is top of your bucket list?
  7. Your remedy for feeling lonely on a trip?
  8. Are there any trips you have regretted?
  9. The one place I must visit before I die (convince me 🙂 )
  10. According to you what is the one thing I should do or keep in mind when travelling?

Liebster Award Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it somewhere on your blog.
  3. Write a 150-300 word post about your favourite blog (that is not your own). Explain why you like the blog and provide links.
  4. Respond to the questions provided by the blogger who nominated you for the award.
  5. Nominate 5-11 travel blogs that you feel deserve the award.
  6. Ask nominees 10 questions you would like them to answer on.
  7. List these rules in your post.
  8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post.


mens hair care

Cool Tips for Men to Keep Their Hair In Style In Hot And Dry Conditions!

Cool Tips for Men to Keep Their Hair In Style In Hot And Dry Conditions!

As the sun sizzles and dry winds blow, our crown of glory becomes more vulnerable than ever. It is essential to keep those innocent tresses protected from the outdoor ravage of hot and dry conditions that can leave the hair frizzy, dry and brittle. Men need to be careful, especially when they travel to countries with the hot and dry weather. Here are some valuable tips to keep your hair their glossiest best, even if you live in dry, desert-like climate. If you do fail to take care of your hair, not to worry as there as plenty of places for a hair transplant.

hair care tips

Regular cleansing

It is essential to get rid of that environmental debris from your hair and scalp, especially if you live in hot and dry windy areas. Depending on the kind of hair you have and your references, use a good quality shampoo with a clarifier such as a peppermint oil or tea tree oil. Always use a moisturizing conditioner after washing to avoid excessive dryness.

Deep Conditioning

The hair gets dry and tangled in hot and dry environments. You need to give your hair the strength and moisture with extra deep conditioning. Look for a deep strengthening treatment that carries a protein conditioner and moisturizer. That will keep the hair soft and well-conditioned.

Hydrating your hair

It is essential to keep that dry and thirsty hair in hot conditions well hydrated. When you are in a dry climate, drink lots of water that is good for your body, skin and of course, the hair. A well-hydrated body and a nutrient-rich diet are great for healthy hair.

travel hair care

Protection from Sun

It is essential to safeguard your hair from the damaging rays of the sun, especially when you are outside. So, use UV protection products for your skin as well as hair. Make it a daily regimen and do not step out before applying those products. Wear a hat if possible.

Go for natural products

It is a great idea to massage your scalp and hair with coconut, avocado or olive to provide additional moisture. These natural treatments are successful when treating dry hair. It would add to the benefits if one warms up those oil before massaging. One should leave the oil in the hair for a couple of hours before shampooing.

 Some more tips

If living in hot and dry conditions, one should avoid shampooing too often and with hot water. Keep away from too much sun exposure and excessive blow drying, or those alcohol-based styling products. Use the right hair styling g products. For example, use a nylon or boar-bristle brush that allows the oils to distribute evenly down the hair strand.

The crowning glory is meant not just for the ladies, but hair is important for men too. Men are used to limited hair care, and the neglect can only lead to worse results for the hair particularly in hot and dry conditions. A little bit of extra attention and care, plus healthy moisturizing can turn them from dry, dull and lifeless hair to healthy and lustrous.

hair care


Win A Free Three Night Stay To Cologne With Flights

Congratulations to the winner Thelma Lovisa. 

The winner has now been contacted via email and I’m waiting for a response

Thank you to everyone who entered, please stay tuned as I  run a lot of competitions throughout the year.

Win A 3 Night Christmas Break to Cologne

Competition Time for you and a friend

The giveaway will be for the following

3 nights stay in a beautiful 3-star hotel for 2

2 flights from London Gatwick on 18th December to Cologne.

2 flights from Cologne to London Gatwick on the 21st December.

In order to be part of this competition, you must follow all of these simple rules

You must share THIS article on any social media website (Facebook, Twitter etc.) (Share buttons are at the bottom of this page, make sure you share on public mode so it can be verified)

You must comment on one of your favourite posts on Kevin’s Travel Diary.

You must sign up to Kevin’s Travel Diary

The winner will be chosen at random on the 11th December 2017 and will be notified by email.

Every year, the city centre of Cologne is touched by the magic of the festivities in the run-up to Christmas. When the Christmas markets in Cologne open their gates, millions of visitors from around the world delight at the goods on sale.

You will be one of those visitors! I will also work with the winner and provide you with a great itinerary to ensure you see all the sights and things not to be missed!

Terms & Conditions:
You must be able to travel on the given dates, they can not be changed. There is no cash alternative to the prize & spending money is not included. No transfers or transport is included. It is just flights and accommodation.
Accommodation is in a Double Room for two sharing a double Bed.
Flights are included in the prize, but only on the dates stated above.
Holiday insurance is not included and must be purchased before travel.
The prize is strictly non-transferable, non-refundable.
Competition closes 11th December 2017. This competition is for over 18 years of age only.
One entry per person and each person must follow each competition rule to be included in this giveaway.
Kevin’s Travel Diary is not responsible for any mishaps that may occur during your time away, nor will Kevin’s Travel Diary be held responsible for your time in Cologne.


platformms for bloggers

6 Easy Ways To Start A Travel Blog

6 Easy Ways To Start A Travel Blog

With the latest technological advancements coming into play, travelling has never been so easy. You can book a flight, purchase a tour or make a hotel reservation in just a matter of seconds. The emergence of travel apps, social media platforms, and gadgets has pushed this #wanderlust trend.

But along with the travel trend taking the spotlight in this generation, travel blogging has also become a popular thing these days. In fact, you don’t need to be a professional writer to become a travel blogger because all you need is a travel story to tell.

If you’re a travel enthusiast who wants to hop on this craze, here are some blogging platforms/apps where you can channel that inner blogger in you. No websites, no domains, and no hosting expenses but just plain travel blogging where you can share your stories with the rest of the world.

1. Track That Travel

Whether you’re a casual blogger or someone who’s starting to build a brand, Track That Travel is the perfect travel blogging platform to share all your stories. It’s 100% free and they have a rewards system that allows users to earn as much as $100/blog. Rewards are sent directly to a user’s PayPal account once a threshold is reached.

You’ll even have your own profile where you can connect your social media accounts and you can also keep track of your statistics with their analytics dashboard. The platform is still young and there could be more opportunities to grow like having an affiliate program where users can make more money through ads. But overall, this platform is a good start for anyone who just wants to fuel that passion for blogging.

Track That Travel Sample Profile

2. Travelbook

This platform is more of a booking website but you can also document your travels here. The only problem is that you can’t write about your adventures but you can share pictures and videos on your profile.

Basically, whenever a user posts about his/her adventures, website visitors will see them and they’ll be able to book a trip through your profile. However, Travelbook doesn’t offer monetization opportunities for now since it’s still in Beta Stage. The only upside is it’s free and its user interface is very convenient for people.

Travel Book Sample Profile

3. Atameo

Atameo is a combination of a social media platform and a travel blogging platform. A user’s profile is laid out in a timeline where he can update his whereabouts in real-time. You’ll be able to connect one destination to another and even upload pictures, videos, blogs, and music along with it.

For example, if you’re travelling to Europe, you can link the hotels, restaurants, airports, and other stopovers you’ve visited in chronological order. There are no monetization opportunities but it’s a very neat platform and they have an app version of it so it’s pretty handy when you’re on-the-go.

Atameo Sample Profile

4. World Nomads

World Nomads is a travel insurance website but users will also be able to blog on their site as well. You won’t have a profile but you can register as one of their contributors and write just about anything that’s travel-related.

There is no analytics dashboard or monetization opportunities for this platform but it does have a forum where you can connect and ask travellers from all over the world. You won’t be able to scale your blogging career here but it’s a good site to establish connections and just share your adventures.

World Nomads Home Page

5. IQplanner

Just like Travelbook, IQ Planner is also a booking website but the only difference is that it has an affiliate program where users can earn up to 70% commission. How it works is that whenever a user blogs about his/her travels, it will be featured on the website then visitors would be able to book through them.

Your profile would look like a timeline where all the details of your trip are laid out. Your blogs basically look like an itinerary that people can use on their own trips. This platform is perfect for casual bloggers and professional bloggers since it does have a decent compensation system.

IQ Planner Sample Profile

6. Photler

This platform is a website builder just like Wordpress and Blogger, however, it’s less complicated because of its drag-and-drop features. You will get a 7-day free trial for all three plans once you sign up and you need to upgrade your account once the trial expires to avoid losing your content. Once your account is upgraded, you will have more storage and you can have a custom domain of your own.

Photler targets the photography community which is why its user interface is very visual. The website templates highlight photos more compared to text. Its main goal is to provide photographers with an online portfolio/marketplace where they could sell their work.

Photler Sample Profile

If you’re planning a trip, make sure you document those awesome adventures of yours with one of these platforms. Be a travel ambassador in your own way and let the world know how fun it is to travel.

Author Bio

Jestan Mendame is a freelance travel blogger and copywriter. He loves to blog about the places he’s been to and one of his main goals is to explore all of South East Asia. Follow him and his adventures on weduit.fun.


Travel with Kevin's Travel Diary

Travel with Kevin’s Travel Diary

When a hobby you really enjoy is slowly becoming your profession, then you can say you are a happy and fulfilled man. Travelling is my hobby and has been many years and I truly believe it will never be too much for me (at least I hope so). After circumnavigating the Globe and visiting numerous countries all over the world I decided to start a travel page called Kevin’s Travel Diary. The page has been going for more than a year and I have constantly kept it updated with my latest adventures. It seems people started to like it and the number of followers has constantly been growing.

Click here to travel with Kevin

So What’s Next?

All of this has made me think about the future. With more than 30.000 followers on my blog and a vast experience in traveling all around the world, I started to wonder: What now? Is this all or can I do something more? Well, it would be a shame to be satisfied with the current state. That is not me, I am the type of man who always wants more adventures and more possibilities. If it was different then I would probably never go to all of those places I have actually been to. It would be enough for me to visit just a few places and I would never have gone to destinations such as North Korea, Somaliland, Harar, etc. Then it hit me, I could help people discover the true beauty of going on a journey!

I want to travel with you Kevin, book here

Kevin A Tour Guy?

Well, yes and no. Being a tour guy is a great call and an awesome experience. But I can’t imagine myself waiting for the tourists at one location and telling them the same story 100 times. No, that is not me, I need something more dynamic. So I have come up with an idea: instead of waiting for the people to ask me for a tour I would approach them and invite them to travel with me. It would not be a usual tour of a couple of hours but a complete 7-day adventure.

You’d make a great tour guy, I’m booking here

Come travel with Kevin’s Travel Diary

Those ideas lead me to a unique travel brand called Fare Voyager whose vision of how voyages and tours should look was exactly the same as mine. They want to create unique travel experiences with a strong, social impact and mission. You would not just travel to a country or a place but also socialize and interact with local communities. The best part of the story is that 10% of all of the profits from these tours are invested as a support for poverty alleviation projects. Luckily, they are always open for experienced adventurers with a clear vision. All I was supposed to do now is to find a cool destination.

I’d love to travel with you, book now

Indonesia Here We Come

My choice was Indonesia, a country I admire for its beauty, amazing culture and interesting history. The tour length is seven days and the schedule of activities goes like this:

 

Day 1:

The day you arrive in Jakarta, get ready and get plenty of rest for the week ahead of us. Of course, you will be picked up from the airport by the Fare Voyager team.

Day 2:

Wake up early, grab breakfast – (you will need your energy for the adventures that lay ahead). After breakfast, we are going to the airport to catch a plane to Yogyakarta.

We will arrive early afternoon, then we head straight to Sambisari and Prambanan Temples. These are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, they are perfect for the true explorer. A chance to see some of the most magnificent historic structures in Asia.

Later in the evening, our event-packed day will continue with a night hike and climb up Mt. Merapi. It is an all night hike that will allow us to watch the beautiful sunrise from the summit. The following day, we’ll head back to Yogyakarta.

Day 3:

You’ll return to Yogyakarta at around 11 pm and have the rest of the day free for relaxing or exploring.

In the evening, we are going to the Ramayana Ballet. Based on an ancient Hindu love story, this performance is staged against the silhouette of Prambanan Temple. Another impressive view and an incredible experience.

Day 4:

The 4th day is definitively the hottest part of the tour since we are heading to Goa Jomblang Caves. You have to be lowered 60 meters over the edge of a cliff into a deep sinkhole to actually reach it. After that, we will have to continue our trek for another 50 meters underground to eventually reach Grubug Cave.

Day 5:

On the last day in Yogyakarta, you will be one of the privileged few to watch the sunrise from the top of Borobudur Temple. Also, you’ll visit the water palace of the Sultan of Yogyakarta and the Kraton Museum. After this, we will head back to the airport and back to Jakarta. Once we are there, there will be enough time for you to enjoy the rest of the night at leisure.

Day 6:

Wake up in the morning for an early breakfast at 7 am, and then have a private, 1-hour education session with our influencer (who happens to be a very nice guy called Kevin). I (the nice guy called Kevin) will teach you about one of the many skills gained during the years of roaming around our beautiful planet!

After this session, we’ll be transported to a local NGO and volunteer for 6 hours with the organization! Learn about what they do, build friendships with the kids, and teach them about health and the environment.

Day 7:

Your day is free, and many of you will depart back home in the evening. If you are sticking around, I will hook you up with some local tours that will get you better acquainted with Jakarta.

That is the schedule of a really, really cool and noble trip to Indonesia. Nice country, nice people and a very cool guide are all you need. So there is not much to tell about the idea except for this: Be cool and Come travel with Kevin’s Travel Diary!

When is this tour and how do I book?

The tour dates are 6th – 13th January 2018

You Can book here

So what does this cost?

The cost of the tour is $1450 (around £1130)

What is included?

Almost everything,

  • Domestic Return flights
  • Breakfast lunch and dinner each day
  • Accommodation
  • Entrance to the caves
  • Entrance into the Ballet
  • Entrance into all the temples
  • Airport transfers
  • Transportation
  • Hike
  • Volunteer work with an NGO
  • You’ll also get assistance with booking your international flight with the Fare Voyager flight expert
  • A chance to compete in our competition and win $200

Yes, I’m definitely coming on this trip. Book here

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Days until we travel