3 Reasons Why You Should Explore Portugal

Anyone who reads or hears about Portugal probably immediately thinks of beautiful beaches underneath breathtaking cliffs, spectacular surfing and delicious Pastéis de Nata.

Portugal is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination. The country is experiencing a tourism boom, in fact – and there are good reasons, as this land on the western edge of Europe has so much to offer. Here we look at three of the reasons why a holiday in Portugal is definitely worthwhile.

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Summer, Sun & Beaches

Despite its relatively small area (92,212 square kilometres), Portugal has one of the longest coastlines in the world. Overall, the Portuguese can dig their feet in the sand over 3,000 kilometres. The popular holiday islands of Madeira and the Azores are part of this, of course – but even on the mainland, coastline is everywhere. A drive from Faro in the south to Viana do Castelo in the north is particularly recommended, and it provides a comprehensive insight into the culture and beauty of Portugal. You can experience this adventure even during a short break – by car, for example, you can complete this trip in less than seven hours.

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Last summer I went on a two week holiday to the famous Algarve Coast in Portugal. We went to new beaches on the Algarve daily and explored the beautiful Algarve area that has so much to offer. (Read more in my travel guide articles about that trip!)

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Many Possibilities to Explore & Adventure

Holidays are very important, giving us the opportunity to relax and escape from everyday life. At the same time, however, we also want to develop ourselves. We don’t want to spend all of our time just lying on the beach and drinking cocktails – we also want to experience the country that we visit. Portugal offers many opportunities for this, catering for a range of interests. After all, the country combines beautiful landscapes and beautiful beaches with a rich and distinctive culture. Whether it’s the big cities like Porto or small places on the edge of the streets – visitors will always find new corners and new opportunities to develop themselves.

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That’s why Portugal is also the country of road trips. To appreciate it fully, the western side of the Iberian peninsula should really be explored by road. The good news is that the roads of Europe are now safer than they have ever been before – in 2013, the EU even set itself the target of reducing road deaths by 50%. True freedom and opportunities do not appear at the hotel pool, but out there on the road.

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If you want to experience the real Portugal, you have to do this in contact with the Portuguese themselves. It’s highly recommended to visit one of the many local wineries, for example. You can buy fine wines for little money directly from the producer, and they often have special offers too.

As well as testing the local foods, that are not as known as Italy’s pizza and pasta but just as mouthwatering. The sweet little pastry cakes ‚Pastéis de Nata‚ can be found at every corner and taste like heaven to me.

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Lisbon

No list of Portugal’s highlights is complete without a mention of its capital. This beautiful city is spread over several hills overlooking the Rio Tejo, rewarding the explorer with breathtaking panoramic views at every turn. Whatever you’re looking for – whether it’s history, culture, or an exciting range of bars and cafes – you’ll find it in Lisbon. If you want to escape the tourist crowds, the cobblestoned streets of Alfama is the area of Lisbon for you. Chat with the locals here and relax, watching the world go by. This is the real Portugal.

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I visited Lisbon for two days myself last summer and got a general overview of the beauty it has to offer, but I am already keen to go back and explore more! The city is also very famous for great vegan cafés and restaurants, that I want to try myself as well as wandering through the beautiful and colourful streets.

Besides Lisbon, I am also super keen to visit Porto! Another beautiful city in the northern part of the country that I’ve heard many great things from.

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Have you been to Portugal yourself? Where have you been & what do you recommend? Is it on your bucket list? 

 

Back in the Blogging Game – Selbstzweifel in der Online-Welt | Gedankenchaos

It’s been a long while seit es hier auf dem Blog etwas von mir zu lesen gab und das hat nicht nur etwas damit zu tun, dass ich die letzten Monate meiner Reise voll und ganz genießen wollte, sondern auch viel mit Selbstzweifeln, Unsicherheiten und nicht-genau-wissen-was-ich-hier-machen-will.

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Ich glaube das kennt jeder mit einem Blog, YouTube Kanal oder nicht ausschließlich privatem Instagram Account. Man kommt manchmal in Phasen in denen man alles in Frage stellt, egal wie viele Follower, Leser oder Zuschauer. Warum man sich diesen Stress antut, die ganze Arbeit, die Selbstkritik, komische Kommentare oder Kritik und einfach dieses „Extra“ worauf viele andere Menschen in ihrem Leben auch gut verzichten können.

Seit über drei Monaten habe ich das alles hier für unbestimmte Zeit einfach mal sein lassen. Einfach nur mein offline Leben gelebt, genossen, ausgekostet, um zu schauen, ob ich etwas vermisse und ob ich wieder Lust darauf habe weiter zu machen.

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Anfangs war ich noch fest davon überzeugt bald wieder zu schreiben und zu posten, aber es zog sich immer weiter und weiter hin. Bis ich feststellte, dass ich es nicht mehr so wichtig finden möchte ob ein gutes Bild bei einer schönen Location entstanden ist und mich auch nicht mehr zwang irgendwelche Ideen umzusetzen oder Momente einzufangen nur weil ich wusste ich würde mich später, beim schreiben eines Posts, ärgern, dass es dazu keine Momentaufnahme gab.

Fotografieren tat ich deshalb trotzdem gerne, aber ohne bestimmten Hintergedanken. Einfach um später zurückscrollen zu können und in Erinnerungen zu schwelgen.

Ideen schwirrten trotzdem in meinem Kopf und Notizen machte ich ebenfalls. Aber ich schrieb nie komplette Texte oder arbeitete irgendwas an meinem Laptop. Ich wollte erstmal wieder Inspiration sammeln und wieder richtig Lust auf Schreiben bekommen. Und genau dieser Wunsch wurde durch meine ganzen Unsicherheiten und Zweifel immer wieder aufgeschoben.

Ich wollte es mal wieder perfekt machen, gleich wieder richtig motiviert durchstarten, regelmäßig dabei bleiben und irgendwie auch etwas an meiner Themenwelt ändern, da sich auch meine Interessen etwas verschoben hatten. Aber ich wusste nicht wie genau ich mir das vorstelle und bevor ich mir nicht sicher war, wollte ich gar nicht anfangen. Ich habe lieber erstmal weitergegrübelt, Pro- und Con-Listen in meinem Kopf erstellt und mir den Kopf zerbrochen anstatt einfach zu machen.

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Eine weitere Sache habe ich dann auch noch über mich lernen können: ich bin ein mitteilungsbedürftiger Mensch. Nicht in der Hinsicht viel Aufmerksamkeit in einer Gruppe zu brauchen, sondern ich rede einfach gerne, tausche mich mit Leuten aus und mag es vor allem über Themen zu diskutieren die mich interessieren. Meinen Horizont erweitern und lernen. Und das war auch der Grund weshalb ich meinen Blog gestartet habe. Als Austausch und Anregung mich mit Themen zu beschäftigen. Meine Gedanken loszuwerden und mit Menschen darüber zu sprechen.

Und das ist es was mir auch die letzten Wochen und Monate am meisten gefehlt hat: Gedanken und Ideen umsetzen und dabei kreativ sein und mich weiter entwickeln.

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Komischerweise war ich gerade dann letzte Woche zum Entschluss gekommen es erstmal zu lassen. Einfach, weil ich mir so unsicher war und ich mich mit dieser Unsicherheit und den Selbstzweifeln nicht selbst dazu überreden wollte wieder anzufangen. Wenn ich es mache, dann richtig und mit Herz, Liebe, Mühe und Freude dabei. Aber dieser Entschluss hat mich dann irgendwie doch nicht zu der erhofften Erleichterung und inneren Ruhe gebracht, wie ich es dachte.

Gestern erklärte ich dann jemandem meine Situation und meine Unsicherheit und den Grund weswegen ich gerade so unsicher war. Das wirkliche Problem sind nämlich meine eigenen Gedanken und Erwartungen. Das ich es gedanklich einfach zu Ernst sehe und mir dadurch selbst zu viel Druck aufbaue. Perfektionistisch.

Und er sagte dann: „Aber das ist ja eigentlich auch ganz gut“ und diese Sichtweise scheine ich gebraucht zu haben. Die Erinnerung, dass es doch gut ist sich selbst eine Aufgabe zu geben, eine Arbeit, seine Zeit sinnvoll zu nutzen. Auch einer der größten Gründe weswegen ich diesen Blog begonnen habe. Weil ich es liebe etwas Sinnvolles zu machen, produktiv zu sein.

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Das schien mir gefehlt zu haben: Ich hatte vergessen warum dieser Druck, die Arbeit und Mühe, der vermeintliche „Stress“ doch auch positiv ist und ich das mag. Vor allem wenn ich ihn sogar selbst in der Hand habe. Ich muss nicht diese Selbstzweifel haben nicht gut genug zu sein, nicht „perfekt“, nicht genug. Das hängt alles ganz allein von mir ab.

Und scheinbar habe ich diese offline Zeit gebraucht um mir über einige dieser Sachen klar zu werden. Das es nicht immer MUSS. Ich MUSS keinen Stress haben, MUSS mir selbst keinen Druck machen und MUSS einfach auch meine eigenen, manchmal zu hoch gestellten Anforderungen nicht erfüllen.

Ich DARF machen was ich will, worauf ich Lust habe und was mir eben Spaß macht, wo wann und wie ich möchte. 

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Schreibt mir doch gerne mal, was euch dazu im Kopf rumschwirrt. Lasst uns uns Austauschen, uns gegenseitig helfen, Tipps geben oder auch einfach nur unsere Gedanken loswerden!

Family Travel on the East Coast of Australia | 3 Weeks from Cairns to Sydney

I enjoy travelling alone on the other side of the world by myself (mostly) and it’s very rare that I actually get homesick for my family or friends just because I am having such a great time.

But after my first three months in Australia and my not so great time in Perth I was so so happy to finally be able to hug my parents again and spend time with my family.

They visited me for three weeks over Christmas and New Years and we got to spend three weeks together travelling from Cairns down to Sydney in a Mobilhome and celebrate New Year’s in Sydney together watching the fireworks over the Harbour.

It was a wonderful time and I am really glad I got to spend Christmas with them and experience a different way of travelling through Australia as a family (instead of as a Backpacker)

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So we started in Cairns and had an amazing day trip to the Great Barrier Reef to go snorkelling. It was amazing how many big and colourful fish you can see and I was so impressed. The underwater world is just so beautiful and we really need to put an effort into saving it.

We could already see the damage humans cause to the reef. First of all the mass tourism that goes to the Reef day by day and also the climate change and the warmer water that makes the corals die.

That’s why we decided to go to the Reef with „Passions of Paradise„. They advertise being an eco-friendly tour. Not too many people on board (in comparison to others), great food, two beautiful snorkelling/ diving spots (without any other boats there) and they do reef education as well. I really liked and can recommend it and they are honoured with being eco-friendly, but who knows if that‘ actually accurate. But it is certain, that they have to be better than most other companies and if you don’t want to miss the Great Barrier Reef experience, you should go for them!

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The next day, we got our camper and started our road trip.

Travelling in a Mobilhome with 4 adults

We already did several Mobilhome trips, but at that time my brother and I haven’t been fully grown adults and in Canada, for example, we also had a bigger and more practical Camper.

So when we got our little home on wheels we were all a bit shocked how this adventure is going to happen because the Mobilhome scene in Australia is not as advanced as in America and our camper wasn’t as big, practical and comfy.

But we made it work and in the end, we got used to it but were also excited to finally sleep in proper beds again.

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Our first stop was Townsville but we didn’t see much of that city because we spend our day on Magnetic Island. A beautiful island only a few kilometres from the mainland and actually Paradise.

I made a vlog that day and showed you a bit around. We visited many beautiful places and shot some amazing drone footage and the prettiest sunset. Have fun watching!

Afterwards, we went further south to Airlie Beach from where we went on a three-day sailing tour through the Whitsundays.

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We had a wonderful time living the always-barefoot-and-bikini-life and it made me dream of doing a bigger sailing tour one day. I just really enjoy the boat life!

So we had two nights on the water and lot’s of amazing views, snorkelling, stand up paddling, yummy food and obviously visiting Whitehaven Beach. Sadly that day it was a bit rainy, but we still had such an awesome time.

I am also currently working on another short video with drone footage from the sailing boat and underwater shots from the Great Barrier Reef – so stay tuned for that and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel!

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With my parents, I obviously also had so much great food! I could finally buy and try all the cool vegan stuff in the supermarkets and we went to so many awesome restaurants and cafés.

I already have a Sydney Food post up, sharing all my favourites with you from the official vegan food heaven city.  And there is also a Sunshine Coast Food Guide planned as I got to try so so many restaurants living there for three months.

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In the Cape Hillsborough National Park just south of Airlie Beach, we watched the sunrise and Kangaroos on the Beach.

Before we had a beautiful afternoon in Noosa and a lovely evening/night in Brisbane.

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Byron Bay had to be a stopover as well obviously. I just love the spirit of this place and even though it was really crowded and touristy, it was still beautiful.

You can find all my Byron Bay Highlights in this post! Including food, beaches, walks, horse riding on the beach, where to stay, shop etc.

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High Season Travel

Christmastime is summer, summer holidays and high season for travellers from all around the world & Aussies in Australia. But we have to say that besides the really big hotspots (Byron Bay, Noosa, Sydney for New Years) it wasn’t as crowded as expected and especially when you are already used to Europe in summer and holiday time it was only average crowded.

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Campgrounds

We usually always had our campgrounds prebooked and for some spots, it was definitely necessary but not for all and sometimes we were surprised by how empty the campgrounds were.

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With a stopover in Port Macquarie where I’ve already been once with my cousin before we headed to Sydney.

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From Cairns to Sydney in 3 Weeks

Our schedule was really tight because my brother only got three weeks off from school. But my mom still wanted to make the most of it and travel along the whole East Coast. That meant a lot of driving and many days we spend more time on the road than at a place. But then we also wanted 3 days to spend in Sydney and we did a sailing tour through the Whitsundays for three days as well.

Afterwards, we can now say that we would have prefered to not drive the whole way and rather drive from Cairns to Byron Bay and then fly to Sydney to have at least a few more days to actually do something.

We had many different stops along the way but often not as many as we would have liked because there are so many beautiful places and that’s why I am really glad I am able to do a few things more in depth because I have more time here in Australia.

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I had an awesome time travelling with my family. Living the camper life, experiencing travelling Australia from a family point of view, daily family breakfast (one thing that I miss a lot about home) and obviously just spending time with my loved ones.