Tips for Taking Your Business Overseas

[Guest post]

If you’ve launched a brand that’s going well locally, taking your business overseas is probably a natural evolution.

Data released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) suggests that while small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) have traditionally limited their presence to local markets, there are some that are successfully taking the global path. Around 25% of all manufacturing SMEs now have a global presence, and around 20% draw up to 40% of their revenue from the international market. Give that the global market presents numerous opportunities, how do business owners take the plunge?

Brand Development

There is no dearth of entrepreneurs and business owners who wish to test international waters. However, not everyone is equally successful, even though the product or service on offer might be up to the mark. The main reason a seemingly great product or service does not get the attention it deserves is poor brand positioning. As a result, you need to focus on your brand’s story and how you plan to sell your wares before you actually make the transition to a foreign land.

Think Local While Taking your Business Overseas

Your product or service might have a great demand in the United States, but there is no telling if it will have a similar demand in another country. Understanding the local market is also important if you wish to avoid nasty surprises down the road. Some big businesses have learnt this the hard way, examples being Target’s performance in Canada and Walmart’s in China.

Instead to sticking to tried-and-tested markets such as Europe, Canada, and Australia, you may consider looking for markets where there is a demand for your offerings. For example, if you trade in dried fruits and nuts, the Indian subcontinent deserves your attention.

Bear in mind that your business might get affected by cultural differences. If such a possibility exists, determine what you might be able to do to bridge any probable divide. If entering any new market makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s best that you look elsewhere. The local competition that you might face also requires due attention.

Build an Effective Team

One common factor between some of the most successful people is their ability to build strong teams. This becomes particularly important if you plan taking your business overseas because you might not be able to interact with your overseas employees as much as you would like. Other than proficiency, the traits you should look for include trustworthiness and dependability. Make sure communication channels remain open and be appreciative of every team member.

Deal With Foreign Currency Exchange in the Right Manner

Taking your business overseas will
require that you deal in exchange of foreign currency. This can be when you
receive payments from clients or when you need to pay suppliers or employees.
While several banks give businesses the ability to make and receive
cross-border payments, they tend to fare poorly when it comes to
cost-effectiveness, speed, and convenience. Fortunately, several overseas money
transfer companies such as TransferWise, WorldFirst, and OFX provide suitable services for SMEs.

Conclusion

The international marketplace has shrunk considerably over the last two decades, prompting an increasing number of businesses to go global. As long as business owners do the required groundwork, there is no reason why they cannot succeed. If you think there’s any other aspect that needs to be considered, please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Author Bio

Jon works with iCompareFX as a researcher. The website lets its users run side-by-side
comparisons of the world’s leading overseas money transfer companies, while
also giving them access to in-depth reviews and special offers.

What to Pack for your Very First Walking Holiday

If you’ve known me and my blog for a while. You know I love walking and it’s one of my favourite things to do while travelling. Additionally, walking can be a fantastic way for you to get fit. If you are tired of the local scenery, then why not book a holiday that is packed full of exciting trails?

Waterproofs

Packing for a walking holiday can be difficult. You never know what the weather is going to be like, and you never know when it is going to take a turn for the worst either. If you want to stop yourself from getting drenched, then it is always a good idea for you to take some waterproof clothing with you. This can include a waterproof jacket and even some trousers as well. This will help you to stay dry, and it will also help you to prepare for any weather warnings. Waterproof clothing tends to be very lightweight and easy to pack, so you shouldn’t have any problems there.

Base Layers

Base layers are ideal for comfort. The weather conditions will determine how many layers you need to pack. As a rough guide, look up the average forecast for the country of your choosing, at the time you want to visit. For example, if you want to visit Nepal with Kandoo, then you will want a few short-sleeved tops. If possible, your tops should be made out of merino or yak wool. This is especially the case if you plan on wearing your base layers for more than one day at a time. Wool doesn’t smell as much as cotton, and it is much more breathable.

Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

Trousers and Shorts

Again, the weather really is going to dictate which option you go with. Your legwear needs to be super comfortable when you are out walking, and you don’t want the seams or the hems to rub against your skin. The fabric needs to be nice and breathable if it is going to be hot weather. It also helps to make sure that it has a high sun factor rating. Trousers that have zip-off shorts are great because they give you a lot of options when you are out and on the trail.

Footwear

Choose boots that are suitable for the terrain and the conditions that you are going to be walking in. It also helps to make sure that they are nice and lightweight as well. A specialist outdoor store is ideal for things like this, and they can give you as much support as you need when you are making your decision.

Annapurna Circuit, Nepal.

Day Pack

You need to have a small rucksack so that you can take all of your items with you. This is the pack that you need to carry with you every single day. If there is a chance of rain, then you need to have a waterproof cover for your rucksack as well, as this will help you to keep your items as dry as possible. Some of the items you need to take with you include a walking pole, water bottle (I love my reusable one from Jerry’s Bottle) and some food for energy. Things like cereal bars are fantastic here and you would be surprised at how much they can help you to stay energised when you are out and on the go.

Unique Experiences Which Travelling Affords You

Unique experiences travelling

However much or little you have travelled in the past, you can always travel more. And the more you do so, the more you will have a wide and varied range of unique travelling experiences to draw on and talk about with others. There are many experiences which travel can afford you which you might expect. But also a number which you might never have thought about, or which you just didn’t happen to question. In this post, I am going to take a look through some of the lesser-known experiences which you might undergo when travelling the world. No matter who you are or what kind of places you are visiting. Take the following as an inspiration for why you should go travelling as soon as possible. You will almost certainly find that it can work in this way.

Understanding People Better

We all know that travel is said to broaden the mind, but the specifics of how it does so are often not very clear. One of the biggest and most common ways that it does so is by allowing you to have a better understanding of people in general. This is definitely the kind of thing that you would agree is worthwhile. By getting to know people a little better in terms of how they tick and so on, you will find that your social life will greatly improve as well. So this is definitely the kind of benefit you want to focus on when you are going travelling. And of course, the more you travel, the greater your understanding of people will become, so that is yet another great reason to get travelling as much as you possibly can.

Falling In Love With A City

Sometimes the real result you get from travelling is to fall in love with a particular place. But this can be one of those unique travelling experiences which can change your life instantly and dramatically. It might be that you travel for many years before this ever happens. It might even be that it never happens at all. For me, it happened in London at the age of 17. It disrupted all my life plans. If you really do fall for a place, you might just stop there and look into finding a place to live. If you do that, it is always best to look into local sources like https://www.rumah.com/apartemen/dijual.This way, you know you are definitely going to the right place. Falling in love with a city can be one of the unique travelling experiences of your life.

unique experiences travelling
ph credits

Making Friends

Travelling has a way of putting you in touch with like-minded people. That in itself is a great reason to go travelling. And it has to be one of the best benefits you can expect from travel at all. If you’re really keen to make friends when you are travelling, you will want to think about spending as much time as possible socialising. This is the only way to really make sure that that happens. You should endeavour to go and seek the kind of experiences that you genuinely enjoy. In doing so you will be that much more likely to meet similar people who are likely to get on with you and vice versa. As ever, doing what you love is the way to meet people that you will like. This is definitely the case when it comes to travelling as well. You might find yourself making lots of friends, or just one close one – and in either case, it will certainly have been worth it. Read Adventurous Kate’s How to Make Friends While Travelling Solo. 

Building Confidence

It is hard to travel the world and not find yourself building some confidence, and for many people, this is one of those unique travelling experiences which really makes living much more worthwhile. It doesn’t have to be that you are particularly lacking in confidence, to begin with. No matter your starting point, you will find that by travelling you’ll become much more confident and for a number of reasons. To begin with, you obviously often have to put yourself out there in challenging circumstances when you are travelling. But it is also true that speaking to lots of different people you will probably find that you have to do that just to get by. It is a good idea to seek out this particular experience if it doesn’t seem to be happening. This means you are much more likely to lead a happier life.

unique experiences travelling
ph credits

Dealing With Money

You can’t exactly travel the world without having to think a lot about finances. This is something which you should remember when you are planning to go travelling in the near future. Bear that in mind, because you can actually utilise this as a great experience which travelling can afford you. That in itself is something which you are going to be glad of when you have travelled enough. Travelling forces you to deal with money in such a way that you can be sensible, and generally that will mean that you are much more able to look after your finances in daily life as well.

Read more about unique travelling experiences: 

3 Ways to Grow and Improve on Your Travels
Going Home after a long time…
No, travelling didn’t solve my problems

Turin – A visual City Guide

For some awkward reasons, Turin is one of the most underrated and unsung cities in Italy. While most travellers head to the famous Italian triptych Rome-Florence-Venice, Turin still appears to remain off the tourists’ radar.

However, going back to the city after 20 years, for me was an incredible surprise as the city has everything you can think of for an interesting Italian break or weekend away.

I live you with a little visual city guide to show a few of my favourite corners in Turin. But if you are looking for more specific info, details to plan your time in Turin, check now the EIGHT THEMED GUIDES I wrote about the city.

Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments below an don’t forget to get in touch if you need further info or help planning your trip to Turin or anywhere else in the world.

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

The Best Cities In Scandinavia

Ask somebody what Scandinavia is like and they’ll probably say cold and dark. But that’s not a fair representation of a region that has so much cultural and historical heritage as well as incredible natural landscapes to explore. If you’ve written off Scandinavia in the past because you don’t think that it’s for you, think again. There is so much to see and do, especially in the best cities in Scandinavia.

The Best Cities in Scandinavia 

Reykjavik, Iceland

If you’re put off by the cold then Iceland probably doesn’t sound that appealing to you, the word ice is right there in the name. But if you can get past that, you’re in for a treat if you take a trip to Reykjavik. The first thing to see is definitely the Northern Lights; this incredible natural wonder is visible in other countries but you won’t be able to see it as clearly anywhere else as you will in Iceland. If you don’t want to stay in one place on your trip, you can go on Iceland tours and see some more of the natural landscapes outside of the city as well. The thermal baths are a particularly popular attraction and they’re perfect if you’re getting fed up with the cold. You can also go on volcano tours or try your hand at fishing for salmon and wild trout. The food and drink in Reykjavik are amazing too, but it isn’t always what you might expect. There are some great traditional dishes but the best stuff are things like hot dogs, pizza, and beer.

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is a great city to visit because it offers a great combination of rich historical heritage with modern tourist attractions so you’re never left wondering what to do. The architecture in the city is simply incredible, which is why there are not one, but two UNESCO heritage sights in the city. The Royal Palace and the Woodland Cemetery attract millions of tourists every single year. The rest of the city is equally beautiful and you can easily spend a day wandering around the cobbled streets along the canals. While you’re there, make sure to head over to the Old Town area where you’ll find all of the museums and boutiques as well as some great restaurants serving delicious, traditional food.

Andoya, Norway

Norway is a great country with all sorts of great cities to visit but the best place to go for first-time visitors is probably Andoya. One of the things that the area is most famous for is the Andoya Space Centre which you can visit, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. As well as the space centre, you’ll find the best wildlife watching spots in the country at Andoya. Whales, in particular, are very prominent in the area which is why tourists flock to Andoya all year round, hoping to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures.

 

These are the best cities in Scandinavia to visit but it’s worth remembering that they can get pretty expensive so if you’re travelling on a budget, you might want to consider going elsewhere.

 

SaveSave

7 Reasons why you need to plan your Instagram game ahead

As much as I love my job as Instagram Strategist, it often takes over my personal life and other businesses and projects. Some people -including me-  don’t like the idea of pre-planning Instagram content. It was supposed to feel ‘insta = in the moment’. But if you’re using it for your business or your personal brand, you need to plan your Instagram game. This doesn’t mean that you are no more authentic or real, it just means that you put some thoughts ahead of time and can still carefully craft a feed that’s gorgeous to the eye as well as strategically planned.

All in all, it’s about having a clear direction for your Instagram gallery without leaving room for improvisation. In this way, you can increase engagement, sell more and reach new customers.

But WHY should you plan your Instagram?

1 – Specific Promotions & Events 

plan ahead your InstagramWhile launching my little stationery business last year, I quickly realised that launching a new product on the market and managing its Instagram strategy is oh-my so time-consuming. Especially if the business is a side business and while you are doing that you also have a full-time job, a family or whatever else. Planning ahead is necessary if you want to be ready for big sale events, new product lines, global festivities and so on. For example, if you know you’ll be launching your winter line in September, it makes sense to prepare promotion content ahead of time (the same is for influencers looking for partnership whether they are hotels, clothes or others – think about what THEY need, not what YOU want).

 

2 – Feed Consistency

Taking pictures every day is AMAZING. But coming up with photo ideas can be scary. Especially if you are running a business and/or trying to launch a brand.

So scheduling a day to take all your pictures is not only good for your mental health but also to keep your feed consistent both in terms of colour and vibe.So maybe you can put up a photo studio and take the pictures of all your new products in one session. The schedule them and have them ready.

 

3 –  Partnerships

Whether you are a small brand or an (aspiring) influencer, you know you can contact a potential partner the day before your promotion. Serious and busy influencers have their 3-6 (or more) schedule planned already and businesses might have a specific need just on certain dates.

4 – The right moment

As discussed here, it is essential to post when your audience is most active in order to get the most engagement. If you are going on holiday, it might well be that your schedule is different than your normal one, but it’s not the same for your audience which will most likely have the same routine. Timeliness is a super important element especially with the new Instagram algorithm, therefore if you miss the moment, your posts are almost useless and a waste.

To find your personal best time to post on Instagram, you can easily check this on the insights tab of your Instagram account like in the picture below. Once you know your best time to post on Instagram, you can create posts ahead and connect to the platform when you are meant to post.

5 – More time for Instagram Stories and IGTV

I still like to keep my Instagram Stories quite natural and unplanned. I know there are some people and brands who plan those ahead too, but personally, I like to keep those channel as the real connection with my life especially if I’m on a business trip or on holiday.

So, if by scheduling your posts, you free up time every day, you can then use it to share more on your stories and your daily life.  Don’t forget that Instagram Stories are a fun way to engage even more with your followers and have a real-time connection with them as well as stay on top of their mind, even when you are chilling by the beach and they don’t see your regular posts in their feed.

6 – Perfect Hashtags Strategy

If you plan your Instagram posts, you will also have time to find the right hashtags for them. You won’t have to rush at the last second using always the same ones with the risk of being banned by Instagram, but along with your captions, you will also have the key tags to add. (more about finding the right hashtags in a future article).


If you don’t use a planning app, you can also save them on a spreadsheet or on your notes app divided by category, so you can easily find them at the time to post.

7 – Unplug is necessary

While the holiday season is fast approaching, you and your brain will need to unplug. I find that every time I disconnect and let my mind free to wonder, I’m invested by tons of new ideas as well as energy. But remember, your Instagram can’t simply stop. There is nothing worst for the algorithm that disappearing from the platform even for just a few days, so JUST DON’T DO IT. Instead, plan ahead and maybe use some planning app to help you (next post about this coming up soon!).

Even without apps, you can use the draft function to save some posts on your Instagram app and have them ready when necessary. Obviously, if you are on holiday and really need to disconnect, you won’t be playing the engagement tips I’ve shared with you on this post, however, posting a few posts while you are away, you will show your audience that you are still there but just taking some well-deserved time off.

Do you now agree why is necessary to plan your Instagram game ahead?

Need more tips about how to plan your Instagram? Do you know that I will be hosting my first Instagram Workshop in Italy in September? Stay tuned and check the details here. 

Subscribe now if you don’t want to miss the next Instagram episodes and wish to receive my Instagram content calendar FOR FREE in my July’s Love Letter!


by @the_stortyeller 
Sabrina Andrea Sachs is an Instagram Strategist – among other things – and in the past three years, I’ve helped dozens of brands and people build and grow their Instagram presence. With my 85k (total) followers and over 6 years of Instagram experience, I will be hosting my first Instagram workshop in Italy in September 2018 while my Instagram course will launch the following month. 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

7 of the World’s Destinations That Are Better By Boat

There is nothing quite like being out on the open water, feeling the wind in your hair, and enjoying everything that the ocean (or a lake) has to offer. You get to enjoy a country or city in a really unique way and enjoy some amazing scenery as you go. But where are some of the best places to enjoy a trip by boat? Here are some destinations to add to your list.

The Grenadines

For a real ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ style of trip, then the ‘spice island’ in the south of the Caribbean is a great destination. The culture, views, and landscape are truly one of a kind, and sailing a yacht around the area is not to be missed.

Catalina Island, California

California isn’t normally somewhere that you would think about for boats. But Catalina Island, just over twenty miles from Los Angeles, is a true boating paradise. It is close to the mainland, but still far enough away that you can feel like you’re properly out at sea. Not only is it great for boats, but diving and watersports are popular in the area too.

Croatia

Croatia has become a destination that has grown and grown with popularity. It has even earned the nickname of the new riviera, so you know that sailing and boating is a must in the area. There are plenty of picture-perfect beaches, green lush areas, and some really cute and charming towns to explore too. So if you’re planning a trip, make sure you look up how to get a yacht charter in Croatia, as it is a place not to be missed, especially when it comes to the sea.

French Polynesia

There are five main islands that make up French Polynesia, with Tahiti being one of them. But with lush waterfalls, stunning lagoons, volcanos, and exotic marine life, it makes sense to see the area by boat. If could be a real-life Moana experience to enjoy and explore.

Venice, Italy

Can we even talk about boat trips and vacations on the water without mentioning the city built on water? Venice is a stunning spot, that is really unique and unlike any other. There are plenty of festivals to enjoy throughout the year there too. Though one of the more expensive places to go in Europe, due to its popularity, it should still be on your bucket list as it is truly wonderful.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

There are over 300 miles of waterways in Fort Lauderdale, so it is easy to see why it has been given the title of the ‘Venice of America’. It hosts an International Boat show, as well as having plenty of canals, rivers, and the Atlantic sea all close by.

 

Menorca, Spain

The smallest Balearic island is a little lesser known, but it still has plenty to offer those looking for water. There are plenty of secluded coves, as well as secluded beaches to explore. You can even get boats that travel to the nearby Balearic islands of Mallorca and Ibiza. So much tradition on the island too, so there are things to see and so on land as well.

Have you been to any of these destinations? And have you ever been on a boat trip?
Let me know in the comments below! 

Why Digital Nomads Are Singing Praises About Singapore…

Singapore has become South East Asia’s commerce capital. Companies from around the world are moving to Singapore to take advantage of its reputation as a networking hub. However, the city isn’t only for office-based business empires – digital nomads are now starting to realise that they can benefit from this city’s buzz too. Here are just a few reasons why digital nomads should give Singapore a go.

All year-round hot weather

Those looking for warm weather will find it all year round in Singapore. Due to its distance from the equator, Singapore has a climate that’s practically tropical. It does rain often, but it’s a warm tropical rain – you’ll never feel cold in Singapore. The constant heat means that when you’re not working, you can take the chance to work on your tan.

Singapore digital nomads

Many apartment complexes and hotels come with pools and there are many public pools to choose from too including water parks and city view pools giving you the chance to cool off. You can even head to Sentosa where there are white sand beaches (all man-made, although you’d never guess it from looking at them).

Luxury accommodation

Accommodation in Singapore can be a little pricey, but you’re guaranteed good quality living conditions for what you pay. Most of the population live in government owned apartments known as HDB flats. These are nothing like the public housing you’ll find in the west – their amenities are luxurious in comparison, they’re safe and secure, plus they’re likely to come with amazing views.

Singapore digital nomads

If you’re moving with family or sharing with someone else you may be able to consider a house for rent– you may even be able to find one with its own swimming pool. Alternatively, you could live out a hotel or hostel as some digital nomads staying short-term do.

Fast internet speed

When it comes to working online on the go, you don’t have to worry about internet connection in Singapore as you may do in many other countries around the world. Singapore has many public internet hotspots that you can use for free – simply look out for the Wireless@SG network when you’re out and about.

Not only is the internet easy to access, it’s also one of the fastest in the world. This makes it perfect for digital nomads – whilst you may find yourself desperately hunting for wi-fi in many countries around the world, you can feel more at ease in Singapore.

No shortage of coffices

If you’re the type of digital nomad that loves to work from a coffee bar, you’ll be happy to know that Singapore has no shortage of ideal ‘coffices’. In fact, there are many coffee bars in the city specifically set up for people to work from. This could allow you to work from a new café every day, giving you the chance to try out new coffee blends and constantly work in a new setting, keeping you always motivated.

On top of the city’s coffices, there are a number of co-working spaces that you can try out for a more work-focused environment. You may have to pay a small fee to rent a desk, but this may be no more than you’d usually spend on coffee.

Good transport links

Singapore also has a good public transport system, which makes it easy to get around and explore. You’re often best buying a Smartcard which can be used on all buses and trains across the city. You can pay a monthly or annual fee – you’ll pay less overall than were you to pay individually for each journey. Driving in Singapore is not recommended unless you really miss the freedom of having a car – there’s very little road to explore and car ownership can be expensive. Almost everywhere in Singapore is accessible via public transport and if you decide to cross the border in Malaysia, you’re generally best off hiring a car here rather than in Singapore as the rates are likely to be cheaper.

High levels of safety

The crime rate in Singapore is very low. There are really no bad areas – you can feel comfortable taking the backstreets in most parts of the city without feeling as if someone’s going to mug you for your laptop. That isn’t to say that Singapore isn’t crime-free at all and as with any city it’s always good to have your wits about you. Singapore has a lot of strict laws, but you won’t feel as if you’re constantly being watched by police as you may do in some cities – they’re there only when they need to be.

Delicious food

Good food is a perk wherever you happen to travel in the world. Singapore’s cuisine is very cosmopolitan, so is likely to appeal to everyone’s tastebuds. There are plenty of traditional Singaporean restaurants and street food stalls where you can enjoy South East Asian noodle dishes and curries.

Singapore digital nomads

There are also a lot of Western style restaurants if you’d like something different. On top of great places to eat, Singapore has great bars for when you want to unwind – the city is known for its cocktails including the iconic Singapore Sling.

The whole of South East Asia is on your doorstep

Singapore’s central location in South East Asia also makes it ideal for exploring neighbouring countries in the region when you’ve got some time off. Cross the border and you can explore Malaysia– it’s an hour’s flight to Kuala Lumpur, or a 6 hour bus ride if you want to do it on the cheap. Here, you can see sights such as the Petronas Towers and Chinatown. Also accessible in Malaysia is the town of Malacca, renowned for its Portuguese colonial architecture and temples. It’s also possible to head south from Singapore to Indonesia. You can take a boat ride to the island of Bintan, which is renowned for its white sands and beach resorts. Bintan is also a great place for trying out various water activities such as scuba diving and paddle-boarding, not to mention visiting an array of temples such as the Lohan temple containing nearly 500 statues.

Singapore Digital Nomads

Want to venture a little further afield? Bangkok is a two hour flight, as is Jakarta and Brunei. This could allow you to take a longer holiday and see a little more of South East Asia whilst still keeping Singapore as your base. Singapore is generally accepted as the most expensive place in South East Asia when it comes to cost of living – you won’t need to bring much spending money with you when exploring its neighbours. Make sure that you purchase a visa when leaving Singapore as many of the countries in South East Asia require one.

And you, have you been to Singapore? Are you considering the digital nomad lifestyle or are you one? Let me know in the comments below! 

SaveSave

Slovenia: Europe’s best hidden cycling destination

Slovenia best European cycling destination

Why is Slovenia Europe’s best-hidden cycling destination? Well,I didn’t expect it. In fact, I had no expectations at all. I like to explore places without having preconceptions and ideas in mind. But, let me tell you, I’m in love with Slovenia now. While you’ve probably heard of Bled Lake and the capital with the impossible name to spell and pronounce, you are probably in the unknown with the rest of the country as I was a week ago. Keep reading to find out

I just got back from my cycling ambassador experience around Slovenia and I’m ready to share with you some tips and tricks about this little country as well as a great cycling itinerary for my fellow bikers.

Slovenia Europe's best hidden cycling destination

DAY 1 – Welcome to Slovenia! Europe’s best-hidden cycling destination!

 Get to know the capital

WHEN WHAT
morning Arrivals to Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana
late morning Explore the city by foot and stop for lunch / late breakfast at Pritličje. One of the best cafes in town (also ideal for digital nomads)
16:00-19:00 Cycling around Ljubljana with the Moustache Tour guides
Dinner Ljubljana Castle
Notes I will publish a dedicated article about Ljubljana since there is loads to see and explore there and I don’t want this article to be too long!
Slovenia Europe's best hidden cycling destination

DAY 2 – Dolenjska Region – Explore Novo Mesto, the hometown of Tour of Slovenia Race  

WHEN
10:00 – 11:00 Arrive in Otočec 
11:00 – 11:30 Cycling: Otočec – Novo Mesto (7km)
13:30 – 15:00 Lunch at Don Bobi and tour of the city
15:00 – 17:30 Cycle Novo Mesto – Kostanjevica na Krki (26.5km) 
17:30 – 19:00 Explore the Venice of Slovenia and then relax by SUP-ping down the river along the village
19:30 Dinner
Overnight at Balnea Hotel, Novo Mesto
Notes & more info: https://www.visitdolenjska.eu/en/
https://www.facebook.com/VisitDolenjska

https://instagram.com/visitdolenjska/

Slovenia Europe's best hidden cycling destination

DAY 3 – Štajerska Region – North-East of Slovenia 

WHEN WHAT
8:00 Depart from Novo Mesto
10:30 Arrive in Maribor
11:00-15:00 Tour of the town and lunch at the Hotel Maribor
15:00 – 19:00 Afternoon at Pohorje Bike Park
20:00 – 22:00 Dinner at Gostilna pri treh ribnikih
Overnight at Ramšak Chateau Vineyard Glamping Resort*
Notes + Info https://maribor-pohorje.si/best-choice.aspx

https://www.facebook.com/VisitMaribor/

https://www.instagram.com/visitmaribor/

* I will soon publish a dedicated article about the gorgeous Ramšac Chateau – Stay tuned

Slovenia Europe's best hidden cycling destination

DAY 4 – Primorska Region – Mediterranean Slovenia – The coast 

WHEN WHAT
7:30 Transfer from Maribor to Piran
10:00 Arrive in Piran and tour of the city
12:00 -12.30 Cycle from Piran to Portoroz (3.3km)
12:30 – 15:00 Lunch at Oštarija Portorož
15:00 Visit to Fonda Fish Farm
19:00 Dinner at Hisa Torkla
Overnight at Stara šola Korte Guesthouse
Notes + Info http://www.portoroz.si/en/

https://www.instagram.com/portorozpiran/

Slovenia Europe's best hidden cycling destination

DAY 5 – Kranjska Gora Region – IMMERSE IN GREEN   

A must-try experience for any cycling visitor is the route between Mojstrana and Rateče, which runs along a well-maintained asphalt cycle path past several interesting abandoned railway stations, well worth taking a closer look at.

If for you cycling is synonymous with great exertion, adventure and adrenaline-pumping excitement, you may be the right person to tackle the ascent of the Vršič mountain pass, one of Europe’s most challenging road cycling routes.

You can also choose Bike park. The park offers three different trails – Downhill, Airline and Lunapark – whose names say it all about the styles of riding you can choose from. Featuring a 350-metre vertical drop, several kilometres of trails with varied surfaces, and all kinds of fun obstacles such as bridges, jumps and teeter-totters, the park has something for everyone who can ride a bike.

WHEN WHAT
8:00 Transfer to Kranjska Gora
10:00 Arrive in Kranjska Gora and pick one of the many cycling routes in the region
17:00 Chill by Jasna Lake with a book
Overnight at Hit Alpinea Kranjska Gora (Ramada Hotel&Suites)
Notes + Info https://www.kranjska-gora.si/en

https://www.instagram.com/kranjskagora/

https://www.facebook.com/KranjskaGora

Slovenia Europe's best hidden cycling destination

DAY 6 – HIKING or MOUNTAIN BIKING in KRVAVEC 

Timing Activity
9:00 Depart from Kranjska Gora to Krvavec Mountain Resort / Bike Park
10:00 – 13:00 Enjoy and go cycling cray at Krvavec Bike Park
13:00-14:30 Lunch up at Hotel Krvavec
Notes + Info http://www.tourism-cerklje.si/en

https://www.facebook.com/TICcerkljeNaGorenjskem

Slovenia Europe's best hidden cycling destination

photo credits: Nace Production

Slovenia: Europe’s best-hidden cycling destination

This is probably the first of a series of articles I’m going to write about Slovenia (if I’ll ever find the time LOL). There is so much to see and explore in such a small country and Slovenia is Europe’s best-hidden cycling destination. You can find out more in the links above and by checking the official Tourist Board website which is incredibly well-researched and written. Make sure to drop me a line via the contact form if you have any specific questions or enquiries – I’d be happy to help you plan your trip to Slovenia!

*

I was invited by the Official Tourist Board of Slovenia as the Italian/British Cycling Ambassador 2018 – all opinions above are mine. A special thank you go to Slovenia TO team, Vesna for planning everything incredibly well, Marusa for making sure everyone was happy in such a pressure-filled week, the filming crew and especially Lea, Sašo and Nace for their ability to make me feel comfortable in front of the camera. 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

3 Ways to Grow and Improve on Your Travels

Many people travel, at least in part, to try and solve their problems — to overcome the hangups and traumas which have been haunting them, and to discover a newfound sense of positivity and purpose in life. This is why I believe you can grow and improve on your travels.

While travel can certainly be an inspirational experience and can give you motivation and insight that can contribute to you making positive changes in your life, travel will not solve your problems and lead to transcendent personal transformation.

To enjoy such a transformational experience, there’s no substitute for doing work on yourself, whether that takes the form of getting a handle on your addictions, sitting in your apartment (or tent) and mapping out your goals for the future, or surveying and addressing any habits that might be detrimental to your overall success and progress.

Travel can be a perfect opportunity to commence this type of deep, introspective work, but it’s going to require focused effort and engagement on your part.

To that end, here are some things you can do while travelling in order to turn your trip from merely an uplifting and inspiring experience, to a life-changing one.

1 – Read

Take a selection of “self-help”, autobiographical, and inspirational books with you on your trip —  read them diligently.

When most people are packing books to take with them on holiday, they tend to focus on paperback romances and similar forms of light entertainment — often bought in the airport moments before catching a flight.

While there’s certainly nothing wrong with such forms of light entertainment, the kind of books that are likely to really help you transform your life, are of a slightly different nature.

Despite the bad reputation it has among some people, the self-help industry contains many books by many authors that may help to provide insight on how to deal with your issues. While some of the books you’ll encounter are bound to be scammy and unhelpful, there will be plenty that can offer you useful insights on how to manage your life better.

grow and improve on your travels

These could range from more business-centric books, such as Jack Canfield’s “How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be“, to the more psychological, such as Jordan Peterson’s “12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos“, or those specifically focused on getting you out of your comfort zone and into a place where optimal growth can occur — such as John C. Maxwell’s “15 Invaluable Laws of Growth”. Find the books you must read at least once in your life here

In addition to self-help books, it can be very useful — when trying to get your life in order — to read the autobiographies of people you admire for one reason or another, as well any books which help to raise your sense of positivity and inspiration in general.

grow and improve on your travels

Often, when we’re in a rut, looking to the examples of other people who have overcome similar problems, and succeeded in achieving things we admire, can be extremely helpful. Books such as The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho — which can help to revive your sense of awe and potential in life — can be no less important for their ability to pick you back up and motivate you to keep moving on.

While growth can stem from many different sources and avenues, books provide one of the greatest resources for self-development.

2 – Write

Journals often get a bit of a bad reputation, as people frequently see them as self-indulgent and childish. In this case, however, I am not talking about a book where every entry starts with “dear diary, you’re not going to BELIEVE what happened today” — but are instead describing journaling as a tool for serious introspection.

grow and improve on your travels

In fact, there’s nothing wrong with the traditional “dear diary, guess what” format, but the key to journaling for self-development is to focus less on petty gossip, idle thoughts, and social happenings, and to orient the journal around questions of mood, meaning, purpose, happiness, and growth.

A successful journal entry, recorded at the end of the day, should address issues such as; how you felt during the day. What thoughts you’ve had about your life in general. Which moments you think you acted properly in, versus those where you felt you acted poorly, and so on.

As the quote attributed to the ancient Oracle at Delphi runs; “Know thyself”. To change your life in a positive way, you need to understand how your mood and behaviour tie together day to day, and take appropriate steps to adjust unproductive or unfulfilling behavioural patterns.

On my little stationery start-up, you will find the perfect travel journal in the next few weeks. Stay tuned and make sure to buy a copy of this very limited edition.

grow and improve on your travels

3 – Make new positive habits

To say that our lives are just the sum total of our habits is likely pretty close to the truth. When all is said and done, it is those things that we do every day that shape the overall arc of our lives, and determine what kind of story we leave behind.

For this reason, introducing positive and empowering habits that bring us closer towards our goals, is not just a crucial method for achieving the kind of life we want — it might be the only reliable method for doing so in the long term.

grow and improve on your travels

The way this plays out, in practice, is that you focus on your daily habits and try to structure these in a way that is most likely to bring about success, rather than focusing too much on particular targets set for a certain point in the future.

An example of how this habit-based systems approach could work, for example, would be for you to focus on doing 20 minutes of exercise every day, rather than setting a goal to “be fit enough to run a 5k race in 6 months”. Since I was on the road, I’ve had this great habit of waking up at sunrise for 10/15 minutes meditation, 30 minutes yoga and then a 5k run. It’s been brilliant not only to keep me in shape, but also to fill my body and mind of positive energy for the rest of the day. 

The issue with setting a specific goal — particularly when travelling — is that much will be left to fate and uncertainty. Your daily habits, on the other hand, are almost entirely under your own control.

*

And you? How are you going to grow and improve on your travels?

Let me know in the comments below!
If you are ever in need of some help or tips about travelling for a long time, please use this contact form and let me help you have the best experience of your life!

SaveSave

SaveSave