Six Top Tips to Stay Safe During Travels

Getting an injury, being robbed, getting sick, and other unfortunate circumstances can ruin your journey. Therefore, observing some practical travel safety tips is wise to prevent or counter glitches.

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Watch your Dressing

How you dress can make you an easy target for robbers and scammers. If you are going to a new place, do not make it obvious that you are a visitor. Instead, do your research and try to dress like the locals.

Some destinations and countries have laws regarding the dressing code. Therefore, it would be best to familiarize yourself with the laws of a new destination. Furthermore, it is wise to dress conservatively if you visit a conservative country for respect’s sake.

Note Down Emergency Contacts

Before you go on a journey, remember to save important details that can help you out of sticky situations. For example, you may not have the time to contact relevant people in the face of calamity. You may also be too anxious to act on your own.

Record contacts in places that other people can easily access. For example, you can write them on a card, laminate them, and then keep them in your purse. As you note the contacts, you also note how to make your travel impactful.

Learn Tactics of Self Defense

Learning the basics of self-defense is crucial for your safety. However, you do not have to apply them in all situations, so you need to discern when and when not to be defensive. For instance, do not resist if an armed robber wants you to give them money or belongings.

It would help if you only used force when your life is in danger, and there is no other way out. In addition, you can carry pepper spray to use for defense except when using commercial airlines. 

Set Aside Emergency Cash

Hide some cash in secret places among your clothing or belongings. Then, you can leave some emergency cash with a trusted friend or relative if you lose everything, including the hidden money.

A secret credit card and dummy wallet can save you a great deal. Have a dummy wallet with some money to give in a mugging scenario. For the credit card, do not carry it alongside other cards.

Use Safe Transport

Avoid travel mishaps by using reliable transportation companies. Get recommendations from relatives or friends who have used the services or check online to see reviews. If you lose your travel buddy due to the action or misaction of other people, contact a wrongful death lawyer who offers legal assistance to represent you in court.

Avoid Posing in Risky Places for Likes

Influence from social media has led people to take risky selfies. For instance, getting too close to wildlife or standing at the edge of a cliff to pose. Do not try to get more likes at the expense of your life. In addition, don’t ignore posted signs and cautions.


You cannot always avoid risks. However, you can mitigate them. Now that you have a wind of staying safe go on your journey and practice them. You will enjoy your journey more knowing that you are prepared to avoid danger.

Ways to make money while travelling

Most people, when asked, will tell you that their dream is to travel the world, which makes it one of the most famous dreams out there. The biggest problem with this dream is that it is no cheap hobby to have. What if there was a way that you could make some money while being on the road? Having a job that allows you to work remotely will benefit you in this regard, and it will also give you something to do for those rainy days when sightseeing is not an option. Here are some jobs that you should consider if you plan on doing some traveling.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

Freelance Writer

Do you have a way with words? Do you love writing about a variety of topics? Then you can make money while traveling the world with your talent. Freelance writing is the practice of writing while making money. You can either work on your own or work for a company. As a freelance writer, you produce copy that a client needs. You can make up to $50 for a 500-word article depending on who you are working for and your experience. 

Social Media Manager

If you use social media as a life support system, this will be the perfect opportunity for you. A social media manager is the person in an organization that monitors, filters, and measures the social media presence of a product, service, or individual. The only thing you need is a trustworthy laptop and WiFi. This is the perfect way to make money for those social media celebrities who also love travel. 


People also take pictures of places they have never been to, something that inspires them, and also people that bring them joy. Most of these elements are photographed by someone who is traveling. If photography is one of your many passions, consider making it your job while on the road. A lot of companies are in desperate need of excellent photographers that can capture the perfect image. When you are traveling, you have many opportunities to photograph images that a company will pay for. 


If you own a truck that you use to travel with, then this is a good alternative that might grab your attention a bit more. While traveling, you can visit for thousands of driver delivery jobs that are posted each day. This type of job will definitely not produce any dull moments, and will allow you to travel and earn money at the same time!

The list of remote jobs goes on and on, all thanks to the pandemic that shook the world in 2020. These few jobs mentioned above are merely to show you that there is a solution for every problem. It would be best if you did a lot of research on all the possibilities out there to find the one that suits you best. It is hard to think of a better lifestyle to make money while you travel the world.

Exploring a New City? Be Sure To Include These Items In Your Daypack

Whether you are a traveler, or a digital nomad, exploring a new city can be one of the most enthralling activities. After all, they tend to be jam-packed with famous sights, captivating vistas, and even delicious treats that will excite your taste buds. However, if you want to have the best time during your explorations, you must not forget your daypack. In fact, to stay comfortable for the entire day, be sure to fill it with the items suggested below. 

Lightweight waterproof jacket

One of the most critical items to include in your daypack is a waterproof jacket that can be thrown over your current outfit. With that in mind, be sure to pick a lightweight one, so it doesn’t take up too much room in your pack or is too heavy to carry around. Also, make sure that it has a hood, so you can carry on exploring even if the heavens do open. 

Reusable water bottle – filled

You must stay hydrated when exploring a new city, which applies whether the climate is warm or cold. With that in mind, be sure to take along your reusable water bottle, and fill it up before you leave your accommodation.

Stainless Steel Refillable Water Bottle by inchiostro and paper

You can even get use apps like the one at to get information on where free drinking fountains are in each city. Something that means you can fill up your bottle and stay hydrated even as you wander around. 


Once again, whether the weather is hot or cold, you should always include your sunglasses in your day pack. It’s always worth investing in a decent pair, too, as these will offer much better protection to your eyes. 

Of course, if you wear glasses already, you may be tempted to go for constant lenses and then use cheap highstreet sunglasses over the top. However, it’s a much better idea to invest in a proper prescription pair of sunglasses like the ones you can get from and then swap these out for your regular glasses when needed. After all, you don’t want to have to deal with a content lens emergency while you are out and about in an unfamiliar city and have no place to properly wash your hands before you stick your fingers in your eye.

Mini First aid kit

Also, in every daypack, there should be a small first aid kit. Such a kit should include plasters, paracetamol, and disinfectant wipes to treat basic, minor injuries. 

It’s also a smart idea to include items such as a pack of tissues, wet wipes, and even sunscreen wipes in your first aid kit. Then you can clean up or top up your sun protection while you are on the move without having to take a lengthy chunk out of your day. 


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Finally, an item that your daypack should always contain is a spare pair of dry and comfortable socks. These can then be used in case of wet feet, sweaty feet, or blisters. Issues that are, of course, common to those of us that avoid city explorers!

Lanzarote Complete Travel Guide – Part 1 – The Storyteller Blog

Lanzarote is a unique island of unusual and spectacular beauty. In this Lanzarote Travel Guide, you’ll discover its incredible nature, dramatic landscapes, black sand, red volcanos and intriguing local culture, which all make this island an ideal destination for your next holidays. Don’t miss the second part of this guide which will be online later this week!

I rarely accept press trip offers. They are exhausting and ridiculously rushed. And I also rarely return to a destination I’ve already visited. But when Jet2 invited me to Lanzarote, I had no doubts. I visited Lanzarote over 10 years ago, so I was really curious to see if and how it had changed. And a Jet2Holidays to the Canary Islands was the perfect occasion to see it all, once again.

Below, you will find all the info to plan your trip to Lanzarote, including some local tips and hidden treasures I had the opportunity to visit during my month on the island.

Lanzarote Travel Guide

In this complete guide to Lanzarote, I will cover the followings:

  • Getting Started: Practical and General Info
  • What to see and do in Lanzarote (part 1)
  • Food in Lanzarote
  • Sleep and Dream in Lanzarote
  • Books + Movies about Lanzarote

Lanzarote’s guaranteed sunshine, a short flight time from London and the relaxed attitude of the locals has been attracting travellers for decades but without turning into a crazy tourists hotspot.

Lanzarote, a fascinating volcanic island just off the coast of Africa, features year-round sunshine, traditional villages, gorgeous beaches and a lot of outdoor activities, like surfing, volcano climbing and wine tours.

And, differently to the other Canary Islands, Lanzarote’s strict building regulations have saved the island from high-rise hotels, leaving space to the traditional villages, valleys and history.

Getting Started – Lanzarote Travel Guide

When to visit Lanzarote

Less than 80-miles of Ocean separate the north-west coast of Africa and Lanzarote. Its location means that you’ll find year-round sunshine, with temperatures rarely dipping below 16 degrees. Summer is hot but a constant breeze keeps temperatures manageable, while winter is perfect if you love sports and travelling offseason.

Practical Info

  • Currency – Euro
  • Time Zone – Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT)
  • Language – Spanish, but don’t worry, most people also speak English

Getting around

  • Airport: The UK is well connected to Arrecife Airport, in fact, Jet2 flights directly to Lanzarote. You can easily and stress-free book your Jet2Holidays from London Stanstead.
  • Public Transport: With no trains and limited public transport, the best way to explore Lanzarote is by hiring a car. You can either get one at the airport or from the city centre. If you are interested in great car-rental deals, leave me a comment below and I will get in touch with the details of the cheapest rates on the island.
  • Taxis/ Ferries: There are taxis on the island, which run on meters.
    There are also ferries that connect Lanzarote with La Graciosa, Fuerteventura and the other Canary Islands.

Basic Spanish

As mentioned, the local language is Spanish, but like anywhere else in the world, it is good to learn a few words of the local language. So here are a few handy phrases to get you started:

Hola – Hello
Buenos días – Good morning
Buenas tardes – Good afternoon
Buenas noches – Good night
Por favor – Please
Gracias – Thank you
Adiós – Goodbye
Sí – Yes
No – No

What to see – Lanzarote Travel Guide

So what to do on a volcanic island on top of lying on the beach working on your tan? Here are some ideas!

1. Timanfaya National Park

This National Park was created in 1730 after one of the largest volcanic eruptions in the history of humankind, which lasted for six years and completely destroyed several villages. Today, the Mars-looking Timanfaya National Park is a 20 square miles of lava beds, volcanic cones and the Mountains of Fire.

Head to the visitor’s centre to book your tour as you cannot access this area without a guide since it’s a protected area.

🌵Secret Tip: If you opt for the official tour, arrive after 15:00, when the crowds have eased off, the weather is cooler and you get 20% off the entry price. Grab a window seat on the right-hand side of the bus for the best views.

Cost: Adult €10. Children under 12  €5 (under 7 go free)

2. Jameos del Agua

Another of Manrique’s artworks, and a truly spectacular one. Jameos del Agua is a subterranean cave network that reaches the sea water and includes the world’s only cavernous auditorium.

🌵 Secret Tip:  Book tickets in advance for the Jameos Nights like screenings and concerts (Tuesdays and Saturdays).

Cost: Adult €9.50. Child under twelve €4.75 (under sevens go free).*Bargain hunters should arrive 15:00 – 19:00, when you get 20% off your entrance fee.

3. Cueva De Los Verdes

Another incredible sight in this tiny island and one you don’t want to miss! Cueva de los Verdes is a lava tube which lies within the Monumento Natural del Malpaís de La Corona, a protected area of the Canary Islands. 

🌵Secret Tip: Go to the end of the tunnel for an incredible surprise. Scary!!!

4. El Golfo

This is a half-submerged cone of a volcano, which over time has been eroded by the sea. At the foot of the crater wall is Lago Verde, a half-moon-shaped striking green lagoon filled with volcanic minerals and micro-organisms which give the lake this incredible green colour.

Here, you’ll also see a beach of black volcanic pebbles which gives a striking sight to the blue of the Atlantic Ocean.

5. Cactus Garden

Whether you have a minimalistic-MarieKondo style, a boho vibe or a hipster vision, I am pretty sure you also have 1 (or 10) succulents at home.
⁠The Cactus Garden was the last of the many works César Manrique, the island’s favourite child and artist, created. Back in the 70s, Manrique found the site of an old disused quarry and a mill and immediately thought of giving the space a new life turning it into a cactus garden, so well before cactus were considered cool – when you talk about being avant-garde! It took him over 20 years to complete the #JardínDeCactus which was inaugurated in 1990, two years before his death.⁠
Manrique’s botanical amphitheatre is unassuming from the outside – as most of his sites are – but once you are inside, you’ll embark on a slow-paced journey on paved paths surrounded by more than 4500 specimens and 450 species of cactus from the five continents. ⁠
Check the amazing succulents I’ve found on my gallery here Now swipe right to see the amazing succulents I found at the @cact_lanzarote and let me know which one is your favourite. ⁠

Food & Restaurants in Lanzarote

Wherever I go, I always want to try the local food. Whether is pho in Vietnam or curry in India. I have to eat what the locals eat. And in Lanzarote, I made no exception. Here are some of my favourite dishes and restaurants.

  • Cactus Burger at the Cactus Garden Restaurant
  • This dessert at the La Cascada del Puerto:
  • soup at the Jameos Del Agua Restaurant
  • Codfish “Encebollado” (traditional pickled sauce) at the Michelin-starred restaurant, Lilium
  • chicken cooked over the heat of the vulcano 🌋at the El Diablo Restaurant
  • this incredible dessert at the Amura Restaurant

Sleep and Dream in Lanzarote

Seaside Los Jameos

Located in Los Pocillos, Puerto del Carmen, the Jet2HolidaysSeaside Los Jameos Playa Hotel is strategically placed by the ocean as well as to explore the rest of the island.

This 4-star hotel features 530 air-conditioned rooms (it’s a true maze inside) and a stunning entrance hall (pictured above).

Massive thanks to Ana Sanchez, our guide and now a friend who led us around the island with incredible patience and knowledge.

Hope you enjoyed this Lanzarote Travel Guide, if you did or need further info about Lanzarote, leave me a comment below! Anytime is the right moment for a Jet2Holidays to Lanzarote!

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Kerala India, Human By Nature

Whenever I close my eyes and think about my two years travelling around the world, I immediately recall images from Kerala, India. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when I say that India is my favourite country in the whole world. After visiting forty (40) countries in my life, I still believe that I belong there. And India belongs to me.

Beautiful Nature

There is no place like India, no country is so colourful, lively and diverse that can compare. It’s a strong statement, I know, but the more time passes the more I crave for India and its people.  When I close my eyes to go back to my time in India, there is one image that immediately comes back in front of me. It’s one of the tea ocean in Munnar. The green, rolling fields of tea up, up, up to the sky.

There is more than the green colour of tea that puts Kerala into a special place in my heart and it’s because of its people. There is also the magic of the smooth backwaters around Kochi where an extensive network of canals in the jungle transports you back in time. 

From the tea hills to the backwaters, passing by Varkala and its gorgeous coast. Popular with local and international tourists, Varkala is a magnet for those looking to relax, do yoga, get an Ayurvedic massage in palm trees and ocean view a setting.

Beautiful Humans

Humanity, the power of nature, the possibility of inclusiveness and the magnificence of ordinary lives. All of this belongs to Kerala.
Here, in the deeper south of India, is where a new way of life has evolved, very distinct from the rest of the country – a way of living that involves a clear interplay between nature and humanity. Here, people act in close connection with each other and nature.

Its history of centuries of colonialism led to Kerala to become a well-made melting pot where the most diverse ideologies, faiths and cultures can co-exist like no other place.  

Stories from the past, bequeathed from generation to generation, emerge in any conversation you have with the locals, all the food you eat, photograph you take.

In fact, if all around India, I was welcomed as a long-distance relative, throughout Kerala where I spent almost a month, the people were like family. Truly, Kerala is where I was welcomed in the locals’ homes for supper, where I was offered a bed when I forgot to reserve a room, where I was taken for lunch where the locals go.

Beautiful Kerala, India

On the international traders’ map for more than 3000 years, Kerala’s coast was a busy port for the Romans, the Arabs and the Chinese. Back in 1498, Vasco da Gama arrived at Kappad, and Portuguese, Dutch and English colonialism followed suit. Fast forward a few centuries and you’ll discover that Kerala is a very young country, only created back in 1956 from the former states of Travancore, Cochin and Malabar. An open-minded approach and international attitude have allowed Kerala to become one of the most progressive states in India, with the nation’s highest literacy rate.

The beauty of Kerala for me comes from its landscape diversity which includes almost 600km of gorgeous beaches; a slow-paced network of jungle backwaters, the tea-covered hills and its wild elephants and of course, its people.

It is my strong belief that people, regardless of their race, religion and background, are united by their permanent search of the divine. Some believe in God, others in gods, in the energy, past and future lives and heaven. Despite the differences, what unites the human race, among other things, is the need for connection. That feeling of being part of something, of being here for a reason.  Of being part of one big family. And the place I felt this the most in my entire life was Kerala.

Kerala India, Human by nature

After exploring and enjoying the frenetic and frenzy northern states, I was in search of calm and silence. I was told by my Indian friends that I didn’t need to go very far. They told me that Kerala is almost like an island, detached from the Indian chaos. They were right. Kerala is a soul-soothing state which thanks to its untouched nature is able to cure the body and the spirit of the fatigue of travelling.

The green lung of India, Kerala, god’s own country was where I felt more connected with nature, people and perhaps the gods too. 
Probably because of its spectacular diversity or maybe because of the smile of its people.

I still dream of Kerala. And I dream often about going back. 

Check these other articles of mine about Kerala:

Sponsored: Kerala Tourism

Underrated Things to Do in Auckland

Auckland, new zealand

A mention of New Zealand often conjures up images of breathtaking mountain views, stunning lakes, and other beautiful natural scenery. That’s why my guide to the country’s North Island lists beaches, lakes and islands among the must-see stops when visiting. Now it’s time to talk about the things to do in Auckland.

Yet one part of the country that tourists may not see enough of is Auckland – ironically, the country’s most populous city. Plenty of visitors pass through, but because New Zealand is a country better known for its country and coastline than its cities, Auckland isn’t typically the main attraction. And though the North Island guide referenced above did cover some attractions (like the Auckland Museum), the city has plenty more to offer. Below are some of the attractions you don’t always hear about, but which are worthwhile.

Underrated things to do in Auckland:

Eat Around Food Alley

One of the best things about New Zealand is its cultural diversity, and nowhere is this better manifested than in Auckland’s Food Alley. Also, one of the cheapest places in the city to grab a bite, Food Alley has offerings ranging from plates of Malaysian Mee Goreng and Chinese clay pot rice, to assortments of Asian beer to wash your meal down with. Though there are newer, shinier food courts elsewhere in the city, Food Alley’s unique blend of cultures makes it one of the places you should make sure to check out. 

Food Alley

Bowling At Dr. Rudi’s

Contrary to what you might expect given its name Dr. Rudi’s isn’t a clinic-turned-bowling alley. Rather it’s a bar (the full name is Dr. Rudi’s Rooftop Brewing Company), well known for its beautiful view of Viaduct Harbour and the fact that it has a free bowling alley inside. With two lanes open for anyone on a first-come, first-serve basis, Dr. Rudi’s is certainly a one-of-a-kind stop on the New Zealand bar scene, and can offer a good combination of a night out drinking and a bit of active fun. 

bowling at Dr. Rudi’s

Pay A Vist To SkyCity

With the advent of advanced internet gambling, much of the casino world has migrated to digital formats. The gambling scene in New Zealand is no exception, with the country’s top casino games having become very popular for their combination of convenience and quality. At the same time, however, in-person casinos are far from eradicated, and Auckland’s SkyCity is still thriving as a casino and entertainment centre. Even beyond it in-person casino games, the venue offers classy restaurants, theatrical performances, and access to some of the finest hotel accommodations in the city. If you need a break from the outdoors or just want some convenient amusement all in one place, keep this oft-overlooked option on your list. 

Auckland by night

Check Out Silo Park

Dubbed as “One of the city’s best-kept secrets“, Silo Park is a waterfront location that always has a few interesting events going on. Whether it’s through an edgy exhibition or an outdoor movie screening, Silo Park always gives a taste of the city’s culture. Not to mention expose you to a fun-loving population of locals and travellers alike. Plus, events aside, the park makes for a nice place to relax if you just want to hang out. 

Enjoy A Show At Academy Theatre

Though it is essentially a movie theatre, Academy Theatre stands out because of its mission to promote the world’s best arthouse and independent films. As an added bonus, it’s also conveniently located right next to Central City Library, another attraction in and of itself for culture lovers. Between the two, you can enjoy a very nice few hours out in the city. 

Want to read more about New Zealand? Check the articles below.
New Zealand: A Visual Journey around the South Island
New Zealand – A step-by-step itinerary around the North Island

4 ways your smartphone can revolutionize your holiday

smartphone for your holidays

The use of smartphones is currently a hot topic. Do we use them too much? Are they causing damage to society and the way we interact with each other? It’s fair to say there are valid points for both sides of the argument. A lot of the focus is currently aimed at the negatives, but what about the improvements they have made?

Smartphones have taken great steps to make our lives a whole lot easier. Whether it’s syncing your family’s schedule or keeping in quick and easy contact with friends across the globe, there are always new opportunities to make the most of your phone. For one thing, organising and enjoying your holiday has become so easy!

1. Best offers

There are many websites out there that are designed to ensure you get the most out of your money. Discount codes, last minute deals, locals renting out apartments – you name it, you can find it. Whilst many still head to their local travel agents for great holiday deals, there are now other quick and easy ways to source them. It’s not just holiday bookings either, but days out and meals out too. There are many 2 for 1 offers or similar that can be found online with just a simple search.

A lot of travel options and attractions now offer discounts if you book in advance. Some of them have to be booked 24 hours or more in advance, whereas others just need to be booked before you get to the gate. Most places also accept proof of ticket/voucher purchase on your phone, too, rather than having to print them out. This means you can make the most of these offers when you’re already out and about, and keep them all together in your pocket. Easy.

2. Ease of booking

This leads us on to the ease of booking. Did you know, for example, that 87% of people in India book their entire trip through their phones? The majority of young people will also book their trips through their phones rather than seeing a travel agent face to face. It gives you a lot more opportunity to compare destinations and offers, and book the combinations that work best for you. It also means there’s less chance of being persuaded to pay for add-ons that you don’t need!

Travel insurance has become incredibly easy to purchase, too, with the many comparison sites you can find online. Put in your exact requirements, and find the policy which works best for you. Simple. In fact, you’ll find that a lot of holiday packages will give travel insurance as an add on, meaning you can buy it all together in one place.

3. Navigation

Getting a bit lost on holiday is all part of the fun right? Wrong? If you don’t fancy carrying maps around with you, download a digital navigation map instead. Some of them eat a lot of data as you go, but apps such as Navmii allow you to download your maps in advance so that you can track your journeys without succumbing to high-cost data-roaming charges.

smartphone for your holidays
source: Navmii

Many navigation apps also allow you to see what’s nearby. If you’ve gone on holiday and you’re stuck for something to do (perhaps the weather isn’t that great, for example) open up your app and see which attractions are nearby.

4. Language barriers

Language barriers are (almost) a thing of the past when on holiday. There is now a range of helpful translation apps available. Whether it’s speech, text, or images, you can now translate them into your own language with ease. You can also find text to speech translators. These allow you to input what you want to say, and your phone will automatically translate and speak it for you. It will then translate what is said back to you!

Whilst some argue that holidays should be enjoyed without a smartphone, it is easy to see just how much they can help you to make the most of your trip. You just need to consider your usage of them and ensure that they don’t prevent you from truly taking in your holiday destination. Don’t miss out on experiencing the world because you are too busy looking at your screen.

And you? Do you make the most of your smartphone while you are away? Do you let your smartphone revolutionise your holidays?
Let me know in the comments below!

Instagram #GameOver?

instagram hiding likes

Two days ago, researcher Jane Manchun Wong discovered and shared on her Twitter account the Instagram hiding likes internal prototype. Basically, a new Instagram where likes are hidden to the public. In the same week, Lush, the cosmetics giant, has decided to leave Instagram (and the other social media platforms) to focus on opening up a direct conversation with its community. It’s been an intense few days at Instagram HQ, I guess.

Instagram Hiding Likes: for real?

I don’t know if the two things are connected, but in a way, I think they are. Think about an Instagram where numbers were hidden. Imagine that the number of likes a post had before you’d seen it wasn’t there. Imagine you wouldn’t know how many followers your favourite influencer / blogger / brand had. Would you like their pic anyway? And would you follow that person? How much of what we do on social media is a response to what others have already done?

instagram hiding likes

In the screenshot, the number of likes a post gets would only be visible to the user who posted it. Everyone else will just see one username of someone who liked the post accompanied by “and others.” Obviously, there were mixed responses on Twitter and beyond. Influencers are freaking out about their positions, while brands wonder how they can now find the real influencers.

Instagram Hiding Likes? For real?

The PR people at the photo-sharing app owned by Facebook, was quick to confirm to TechCrunch that ‘We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get.‘ They also added, “we are exploring ways to reduce pressure on Instagram is something we’re always thinking about.” Perhaps, Instagram (and Facebook?) will finally address the validation culture spreading issue (“I am not worth as much as that person as I have fewer likes/followers”), since it’s clear that teenagers, as well as grown-ups, are suffering by the pressure of social media competition.

Being an influencer without the metrics

Being an influencer is mainly based on those metrics, the numbers (real or bought) you can show brands to actually get a free stay in a 5-star hotel or a £10K picture to promote the launch of a new product. Can influencers exist without numbers?

If their engagement is hidden, then it would be harder if not impossible for brands to find them. Is this why Instagram has launched the new Creators account? Perhaps. We don’t know yet. Or maybe it’s simply to clean up the app from fake influencers and wannabe-famous?
Perhaps it’s time to go back to real marketing, where conversion matters more than a heart or a POD’s comment. Maybe brands, inspired by Lush, should invest more time in building their own community rather than wasting time on built-up audiences of ghost followers and fake profiles.

Is this the end of Instagram?

Lush clearly stated that they “are tired of fighting with algorithms, and we do not want to pay to appear in your newsfeed”. Oh! I so agree. Like Lush, in my little micro-world, I’ve built my community from scratch, from 0, curating my gallery day after day, year after year (it’s been 8 years now!!!), Instagram’s peeps put me on the now-dead Suggested User List twice and I do not want to pay to appear on the newsfeed of people who’ve already chosen to follow me.

I followed the Instagram rules, I’ve built a strong community wherever I went. Back in London, I used to host and gather dozens of strangers for brunch and photo walks. I even took the format to Milan, Tuscany India, Australia with me during my 23-month trip around the world. I hosted several free Instagram & photography workshops (now all my workshops have a price tag, #sorrynotsorry). All for Instagram. And my community of course.

I don’t know if it’s a smart marketing move, but I love Lush’s bold move and I 100% agree on their new commitment:

Let’s spark passions, and stop chasing likes.

What about small brands/entreprenurs then?

Well, my Instagram workshops always start with this sentence:

We are here to build your brand. First thing we build your community, then we think about your Instagram. Instagram is an instrument, not your goal.

Like Lush, I never paid for advertising. Not for the Storyeller at least (I do run campaigns for my clients). I’m not an influencer nor a brand. But even if I were, I wouldn’t want to pay for being seen by you. And honestly, I believe that Instagram hiding likes could be the only way to save this platform from an implosion.

If you chose to follow me, you have the right to see my posts regardless.

⁣⁣I have the right to be seen by you.

Without paying.

Maybe it’s time for all of us to realise that the Instagram era is over and to go back to what’s really important?

Are you for or against Instagram hiding likes? Are you thinking about leaving Instagram?

Let me know in the comments below and join the debate on my stories!

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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.


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?


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.


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.