So, You Wanna Be a Travel Writer?


Have dreams of travelling around the world and getting paid for it? It’s certainly possible as we delve further and further into the digital information age, where all that you need is a wifi signal and a laptop. However, you will need to make some quite significant sacrifices in order to make it work, so here are some top tips on how to begin.


In reality, very few travel writers ever manage to make enough to live in the west  i.e Western Europe and North America. This is due to the amount of English speakers from countries such as India who can afford to write a 500 word article for 2 dollars because the cost of living there is so low. Quite simply, relocating to a cheaper country is almost essential unless you are lucky enough to have savings to live off.

But don’t worry, because the countries with the lowest cost of living are often the most interesting and fun to live in. In fact there are many still in Eastern Europe such as the Balkans, the Ukraine or even Turkey, while Mexico is great value and only next door to the US and Canada.

For those wanting to base themselves further afield, such as North Africa and southern parts of Asia, Morocco, Egypt, India or Vietnam are tremendously good value.

Be Smart And Bypass Visa Restrictions

Of course, you can always hop from country to country in a way to bypass visa restrictions. For example, if you spend your maximum amount of time in the Schengen zone you can always hop from Bosnia all the way down to Albania and then re-enter the Schengen zone when the 180 day exclusion period resets.

It’s also often a good idea to set up temporary bases so you can travel and write about the places around you. For example, if you want to explore and write about the Balkans, maybe base yourself in Sarajevo, or if you want to see more of Central America, Mexico is perfect. For South-East Asia you could go for Cambodia or the Philippines with their very lax immigration rules.  

Use Third Party Websites

When you are just starting out you can use sites that charge commission such as These ‘middle-men’ websites are invaluable when first starting out, because you can later use clients as references, and it matches you with suitable clients.

Accept Any Job When You Start Out

However, at first you will have to work for prices as low as $5 per 1000 words. This is difficult to begin with, but the more positive reviews you get from clients the more you can work your way up to jobs with salaries you can live and travel off of. When you have built a number of clients with positive reviews you can then use these as references to move away from third party sites, and work with clients directly without a middle man, so you will be earning more and you wont have 20% of your salary go on commission.

Begin Early

It really pays to begin this process before you start travelling and you are still in your home country with a job that you can fall back on if travel writing doesn’t work for you.

So these are some real top tips from those in the business. Travel writing all in all is a very competitive business at the moment, but if you follow these guidelines you have every chance of making it work if you are persistent.  

6 Harsh Truths Your Guidance Counsellor Didn’t Tell You About Careers After School


So you’re about to graduate from school – whether it’s college, university or high school – and you’re excited about seeing what’s next in terms of getting your first real job and getting into the working world. Well, we have some news for you! Things aren’t always what they seem and you might be walking into a world of unpleasant surprises if you think you know it all and will get that sweet 60k a year job right off the bat. Already shocked? Here are six harsh truths no guidance counsellor will have told you about careers fresh out of any level of school.

You Really Do Have To Work For It

Work? What’s that? You mean I have to get up at 6am and actually go and put in a full day of hustling for that sweet, sweet pay? You bet! Gone are the days of six or seven hour days and now, depending on the company and role you do you can be expected to do anything from 7, 8 or even 12 hour days. Rough, right? On top of that you have to factor in commute time, getting ready time as well as the fact you will have a lunch hour – and won’t be paid for that either, usually.

No, You Won’t Get A Company Car

Company cars are for winners, and you aren’t quite there yet. We really do mean that. No one gets a company car or a company credit card straight off the bat. Only people in certain roles in the business will get these privileges and even then, with the privilege comes a lot of hard work, dedication and time commitments needed to do the role to a decent degree to keep the role.

You Aren’t ‘Special’

Did your parents always tell you how ‘special’ you were? Did you get ‘participation’ medals in school? Well, the working world isn’t like that. You won’t get a boss who lets you casually have days off or leave early so you can work on your own side projects or you can go off on adventures with friends who are on holiday from their jobs or who are unemployed. If you want to ‘find yourself’, you will be finding yourself doing it on your own time, not the company’s.

You Won’t Win All The Time

Believe it or not, the working world doesn’t come with special participation prizes and pats on the back for doing nothing. If you think you can get by the same way you have been in school, you might be in for a surprise. You won’t always have a pat on the back for doing your job, doing it well or even doing it exceptionally well. Some companies do have great perks and accolade systems in which people do get prizes for jobs well done or for helping colleagues and going the extra mile, but like everything else in the working world, you have to work for it.

Your Boss Is A Lot Tougher Than A Professor Or Teacher

Think your science teacher is a drag? Wait until you have a boss! Bosses aren’t our friends and they’re there to make sure the job gets done, gets done right and the team generates the things it’s supposed to generate (income, customer service, tech support etc). Can you get along with your boss? Yes. Should you get along? Definitely! Is it possible to become friendly with the boss? For sure. Will your boss care about sparing your feelings when you mess up? Probably not, depending on the person. Some bosses will be far harsher than others when it comes to mistakes being made.

Even With A Degree, A Job Isn’t Guaranteed

Think you’ll walk out of University with a job purely because you worked for four years to get a bachelor’s degree? Think again. Jobs aren’t guaranteed just because you have a piece of paper saying you worked for it. Chances are you will have to take jobs in the beginning that are not related at all to your specific degree such as working retail or in offices until you find something relevant for your degree. Remember that sometimes experience is more valuable, especially in this day and age.

So if you’re just about to graduate from school and think that you will have just as easy a ride in the working world, these harsh truths will help prepare you for the world outside. Good luck!

​I Tried a Sensory Deprivation Tank – Flotation Therapy for Dummies


In our go-go-go world of stress, chaos, the need to impress, deadlines, workloads, family commitments and more, it’s no wonder more people than ever are reporting high levels of problems related to being overworked, overwhelmed and heavily stressed out. While many people resort to various ways to beat stress from engaging in hobbies, holistic therapies, yoga, meditation and more all the way down to drinking away their problems, there are a whole host of ways to get rid of stress – even temporarily. While colouring for adults has taken off colossally, another chill out therapy that has is the use of flotation tanks. But what is a flotation tank? How does it work? What are the benefits? Here’s a quick rundown for the flotation first timer.

What Is It?

Flotation therapy – often referred to as isolation tank therapy – is a process by which a soundproof, lightproof pod is filled with about a foot of saltwater in which you lay down and float. This eliminates light, sound, the sense of gravity (a large part anyway) and can help relax the body and the mind, helping you destress and release worry.

How Does It Work?

The therapy works by alleviating all outside stimulation so the body can truly relax. It’s said that once all stimulation has been removed and only the mind is left, it can wander and relax in ways it never has before, leaving people feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and truly relaxed at the end of a one hour session. Some people even report having near-hallucinogenic experiences, or being visited by beings from other dimensions. While this is up for debate, the one thing that rings true for everyone is just how beneficial the therapy is to beat stress.

What Are The Benefits?

Not only does the floating therapy remove stress and worry, but it also allows the body to fully relax, providing various muscular and skeletal benefits as well. Many of those who use floatation tanks say that the use of the therapy has helped with chronic pain and arthritis as well as other issues relating to pain management. When used in conjunction with other physiotherapy and pain management, a number of people find flotation therapy aids recovery or general management of pain.

Why Should I Try It?

Depending on your individual tastes and needs, flotation therapy can be a great foray into holistic medicines or therapies considering it doesn’t conform with any one ‘belief’ or way of thinking, making it the ideal alternative therapy to a whole variety of different people. Whether you suffer from chronic pain, fatigue, stress, overwork, depression, anxiety or any other malady that plagues the world today, having what some refer to as ‘a good float’ is sometimes all you need to set yourself right again.

So if you’ve been wondering how you can best begin to incorporate something new and beneficial into your life, consider starting with flotation therapies for any reason. From relaxation to helping with chronic pain and fatigue, flotation tanks and the use of the therapy has been helping people around the world get back in touch with themselves, melt away that overwhelming feeling and really relax. So what are you waiting for? Try one today!

How To Plan Business Meetings for People From Different Cultures


Inevitably there will come a time in almost everyone’s professional career where you attend an event or have to organise a meeting that will feature many different people from different cultures in one setting. It can be daunting to say the least, trying to ensure everyone is cared for and made to feel welcome, especially when it comes to keeping their individual cultural backgrounds and preferences in mind. But how do you make sure that your event or meeting meets everyone’s expectations? Here are some top ways to do so.

Start With Considering The Meeting Type

The most obvious way to make sure you plan the best meeting for all attendees is to consider the type of meeting you’re hosting. Is it going to be featuring guests from around the world or just people from within the company? This will help you in the following steps.

Consider The Location

Depending on the type of meeting – casual business, international business, international conference etc, will determine the location. Smaller meetings with many staff members of different backgrounds will most likely be able to be hosted within your building in a boardroom or similar location while larger meetings or conferences will likely be held in a hotel function room.

Plan Adequately

International arrivals attending your function or meeting? Take into consideration their arrival times and dates and plan the meeting around that. You don’t want a keynote speaker or integral guest being jet lagged or possibly having issues in terms of arriving on time due to delayed flights and more. Planning to have people arrive in advance if from out of town with a suitable ‘grace period’ between arriving and the conference/meeting will help keep snafus of this kind at bay.

Food Choices If Applicable

Having a multicultural meeting means being sensitive in terms of your food options to serve at the event. While you can’t possibly cater to everyone, you can ensure that most of your food options are good for vegetarians, Muslims and more. For example, if you know you will have people of certain religions attending (such as Jewish people) you can ensure there are platters of kosher specific food and likewise for Muslim people, platters of food that has not been prepared around pork products or is halal.

Address Language Barriers

Language barriers are one of the top things that can create confusion and frustration as well as misunderstandings, so prepare notes ahead of time for those who have English as a second language and ensure they are given adequate time to review them. This can make a nice welcome package to out of town visitors in their hotel rooms to help make them feel more prepared and ready for your meeting as well.


Some people will hold back from engaging in group discussions or sharing opinions out of a tradition in their culture to refrain from doing so in certain situations (or altogether). Some groups of people will be very outgoing and engaging. Try to balance the group by preparing icebreaker activities that will get everyone talking and engaging with each other and ensure everyone knows the value they bring to the meeting.

So if you’re looking for ways to make your next meeting work for everyone on the invite list, consider some of these great tips to help out of towners or those from different cultural backgrounds feel right at home.

How to Design a Fantastic Home Workshop


When it comes to doing up your house, you might be wondering what you should add to the home to make it even better and more convenient. While doing things like replacing interior or exterior doors can be a great way to freshen a place, there are a whole host of other things you can do to make it a true home with lots of great spaces to enjoy. For example, adding a workshop can be one of the best additions – even if it’s just one side of the garage dedicated to building and doing various workings. But how do you go about designing and building a good workshop for the home? Here are some tips you can use to start putting together the shop of your dreams.

Consider The Place And The Space

Depending on the space available to you in terms of room can determine the size and capability of your workshop. For example, if your space consists solely of just a corner of a garage, you might be far less likely to be able to work on huge projects like new kitchen cabinets or new doors. While it’s not a definite that you can’t do these things, it just depends what else the garage is used for and how much space there is available. If you have a backyard or large garden, it sometimes is worth making a small annexe which to house your workshop in.


Up next, consider the necessities of your workshop. What will you be using it for? What will you need to have for definite? Many workshops have a tool cabinet or wall, workbench or table and plenty of room for tools to be on the tabletop or bench to allow ease of access. Think about investing in wet/dry vacuum for your workshop that can suck up wood chips, splinters and more. After all, you don’t want any nasty little leftovers pricking your loved ones or yourself if you come through here at a later date.

The Work To Carry Out

What types of work will you be using your workshop for? This will help determine the amount of ventilation you will need. For example – if you paint a lot or use airbrushing you will want a space with lots of windows to open, with perhaps its own door to the outdoors so you can move projects outside when necessary. Will you be using a lot of screws, nails and the like? A metallic and magnetic worktop will be your best friend to keep these potentially harmful little bits from getting away from you!


A tidy workshop is a productive and efficient workshop and so having multiple areas for storage such as cabinets, cork boards, walls that can hold smaller tools and the like. Having a tidy workshop will help you be able to come straight in and get to work on projects, without having to tidy up first! Win-win!

So if you’re thinking about designing a great home workshop, hopefully these short and easy tips and suggestions will help you create the shop of your dreams! Good luck!

How To Pack Light As An Adventure Traveller


When you’re heading out on an adventure of any kind to a foreign land, it can be a hectic and daunting time, especially when it comes to packing. What to pack, what not to pack and all the other questions surrounding what should or shouldn’t go in your bag can overwhelm even the most stoic of travellers. That’s why we’ve made up this great, foolproof list of things you need to pack and how to pack light as an adventure traveller. After all, when you’re rushing from place to place the last thing you want is to be weighed down by huge packs!

Packing Do

One thing to definitely remember is to fold or roll clothing to maximise what you can carry. While carrying a lot of clothing isn’t always the best idea to keep weight to a minimum, rolling and folding what you are taking will help create more space for other things that you may want to bring or that you want to pick up along the way. Rolling shirts and underwear together then wrapping by putting them into pairs of tube socks on either end is a great way not just to make space, but also to keep your clothing organised.

Packing Do Not

Do not bring everything plus the kitchen sink. Okay, so you wouldn’t literally bring the kitchen sink, but all those little bits and bobs like jewelry, makeup, unnecessary luxuries and more will just weigh you down and make it difficult to move from place to place. Heavy bags can be a huge hindrance when you’re out on the road, so consider what you plan to be doing, where you plan to be going and go from there.

Plan Ahead

As mentioned, planning ahead is integral to making sure you actually have an idea of what you will need and what you won’t. Heading to South Asia – India, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia and the like? You will definitely be thinking in terms of trekking, monsoon-style rains, humidity and sun. You won’t likely need winter gear like parkas, boots or winter accessories, so why pack them? If you decide down the line that you want to head to a wintry climate, you can always get your gear either shipped to you or buy it enroute (often for cheaper than at home).

Little Extras

Inevitably when you head out travelling you want to bring a few things with you that you like to enjoy in your downtime such as books, painting gear, art supplies and more. While these are great to use on the road they can weigh you down so if you’re an avid reader, consider investing in a Kindle, Nook or other electronic reading device. Likewise, with art supplies carrying the minimum will be ideal. Perhaps consider carrying only one medium instead of many – for example only sketching supplies of which you only need a book of paper and some pencils.

So if you’re heading out on the road soon, consider some of these packing tips to help maximise space and lessen weight. It just becomes a hindrance on the road to have an overweight bag, so play it safe by taking only what you’ll really need!

5 Top Tips On Finishing The Year Strongly With Your Business


We all know that year end is a hectic time, what with Christmas already on people’s minds, New Year close behind plus all the other bits and bobs that need to be taken care of before then and you’ve got yourself one stressful time of year. While the holiday season always seems to be a great time to unwind, relax and generally celebrate a year well done, it can cause a lot of headaches for business owners. Here are five ways you can end the year on a high note and with strength so you can start the new year fresh faced, energetic and on a good, solid foundation of success.

Action Speak Louder Than Words

Having a plan of action to end the year on a strong base is a great starting point. Generally speaking as most companies work in quarters, your business should have had this drawn up (or at least begun to have drawn it up) in September as you entered the fourth quarter, but if not, there’s no time like the present. Look at what needs to be done and if you work with a team of colleagues, try to adjust responsibilities to those people best suited to get critical tasks done before the year end. This will help alleviate stress knowing that you’ve got the right people on critical jobs, even if they aren’t usually their areas of focus.


It can sound like the ideal way to get the big tasks done is to prioritise them over everything else, but the concept of quick wins is just as good and leaves more time for those larger projects that can be done over longer periods of time. Quick wins are often those tasks that literally take an hour or two, perhaps a day while the longer timed ones will take upwards of a week or more to complete. This is the same concept as with homework in school – by completing the easy, least time consuming first, you save yourself time and stress by getting them out of the way quickly.

Go For The Final Push

Rally the troops and have quick meetings every couple of days to check in on where everyone is. The key here is *quick*. No one needs to sit around for an hour long meeting when they’re under deadlines to get things done purely to have a check in session. Check in sessions shouldn’t be more than about twenty minutes in length, if that. Do a quick round table and see who is where, who may need more resources or help and identify those colleagues who are able to take on more tasks or assist in other areas in order to get critical projects done on time.


Finally, celebrate your wins. Even if you can’t get every single project done before the Christmas holidays, it’s worth celebrating another year and a year well done, even if you don’t meet that one target or you have that one outstanding piece of work. Happy employees are good and loyal employees so consider celebrating in style with a good end of year holiday party, buy them gifts and generally show that you care, you saw the work they put in and you appreciate them. This will help send everyone off over Christmas feeling appreciated and ready to rest and come back to work for you in January with more gusto than ever before.

So there you have a couple of ideal ways you can make sure your business ends the year on a high note and with a lot of residual energy going into the new year. It’s always important to celebrate your small wins – and your team – to ensure ongoing successes, however big or small your company is.

The Best Road Trips In Canada


It seems that Canada is frequently on the top of ‘to see’ lists of many people from around the world and for good reason. With some of the most stunning scenery available, friendly people, interesting cultures strewn from east to west and even into the north, it’s more or less a hugely unique place with more to see and do than you can shake a stick at. If it sounds like your place to be, check out these top road trips to take throughout the Great (not always white) North.


The Maritimes of Canada are probably one of the more unique parts. Featuring New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, the Maritimes are full of coastal regions with friendly people and stunning vistas. Top spots to check out include Terra Nova Provincial Park in Newfoundland, the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick and the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia. Terra Nova is known for its beautiful coastline and welcoming locals bringing in their local catches of the day. The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world with the ability to go to the bay floor at low tide – but be sure to pay attention to the tide warning signs! The Annapolis Valley is home to some of the most adorable communities in Canada with hippies growing grapes for wines and offering home stays to help on organic farms. Visit in the autumn for truly beautiful colours.

A Bit Of Culture

A bit to the west inland from the Maritimes is the area featuring Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and the like. This region houses some of Canada’s oldest history and most impressive architecture. Some report it’s like walking through the streets of mainland Europe in Quebec City, while others love experiencing the cosmopolitan vibe of Toronto. The region is also a great spot to base yourself to explore some of the Great Lakes or to head south to check out the impressive Niagara Falls on a day trip.

Wildlife Wilderness

For those who like a bit of wildlife and wilderness, Alberta is your one stop shop for both. Featuring Badlands, rolling hills, prairie ghost towns, rugged mountains and some truly unique settler-meets-first nations history, Alberta is a really good place to experience a bit of everything that Canada has to offer. Consider taking a road trip up the Icefields Parkway from Banff to Jasper for some of the most beautiful mountain scenery you can imagine with campsites along the way for those who want to stay a few days in either Banff or Jasper National Parks. This is also a great jumping off point to explore some of British Columbia – a stunning, mountainous province with some spectacular coastline of its own.

The Whole Thing

Fancy a challenge? Have about three weeks (or more) to do it in? Why not go all the way and drive from St John’s in Newfoundland all the way across to Victoria in British Columbia. This is probably the master of all road trips (aside maybe from the Australian Outback or Route 66 in the US), so it’s for those people who really fancy a long trip with a couple of challenges along the way. The best part though? You get to see literally the whole thing from coast to coast, east to west!

Honourable Mention: The North

While we mentioned just about everywhere else, the one place we didn’t mention is the north. While there doesn’t seem to be much in many parts of the north, it does have some truly unique and beautiful wonders that you won’t find down south. With nearly empty National Parks, stunning scenery and weird and wacky towns to explore, a trip from Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton or Calgary up the Alaska Highway to the likes of Tuktoyaktuk in the very, very north can be a great way to explore some of this untouched, raw beauty.

So if you’re looking to explore Canada but want to do it in a cool, unusual and exciting way, consider renting a car (or better yet, an RV) and travelling the country by road. Be warned though – some of the distances can seem daunting, so be sure to have lots of time to do what you want to do.

Things To Consider Before Buying A Home


Buying a home is often one of the most exciting times in life and can bring up a whirlwind of emotions, questions and issues. While it’s primarily exciting, it’s important to consider a whole range of factors before deciding definitively on a place to call your own after all the papers are signed. Here are the top things you should consider before buying a home.

Your Price Range

Price range is one of the biggest factors to consider when buying a home. Your price range will ultimately dictate what kind of home you can buy as well as, in some cases, where. For example, if you make under $50,000 a year, it’s highly unlikely you will be able to afford a five bed, detached new build in the expensive end of town. Price range will also dictate what kind of house you can buy – old, new, condo, duplex, two-storey, with or without garage and the like.

Lending/Mortgage Rates

This is a huge area where a lot of confusion can occur and while some rates can sound too good to be true, they probably are. Depending on your needs and price range, getting different mortgage types can be better than others. Many people prefer a fixed-rate mortgage, meaning that it has the same repayment amounts and interest rate for the entire period of repayment. A variable rate mortgage usually will have a period of fixed interest rates (usually the first five years) after which the interest rate and the repayment amount may fluctuate depending on the market. Both have benefits and downsides, so consider discussing with a qualified financial advisor as to which is best for you.


Fees when buying a house can come from almost anywhere and it’s a good idea to make a list of potential fees when considering buying. Surveyor’s fees and lawyer’s fees are just two types that often catch many first time buyers by surprise and can add potentially thousands onto an already high price, so be sure to do your homework and make a list of everyone you need involved in the purchase of the home.


While this one isn’t necessarily one of the biggest points to consider, it’s important nonetheless. Whether or not you have children will play a role as you will likely want a home in a safe neighbourhood, close to (or not close to) schools, with easy access to public transportation and more. A good idea is to sit down as a family (or couple) and make a list of the most important aspects of a neighbourhood everyone wants and then try to find one that matches as many of the collective points as possible.

So if you’re a first time buyer or you’re just looking for a new home and have already been in the game for awhile, these are some great ideas to consider when moving. While there are a number of other things that you can think of before signing on the dotted line, these are great starting points. So good luck on that new home, and enjoy the process as much as you can!


Fashion Advice For Doting Dads


Being a Dad doesn’t mean your style has to go out the window, and even though there will be times you feel like you just can’t be bothered to dress well or put on something impressive, there will be many other times that you do feel like wearing something nice. Fashion can come in all shapes and sizes – especially for men – from the socks you wear all the way up to full blown suits, jackets, ties and more. If you’re a Dad with a sense of style, here are the top fashion tips for doting Dads.

Declutter Your Space

First up, decluttering your closet is a great way to get an idea of what you have, what you need and what you really need to let go of. That old college sweatshirt may bring back some great memories of those times in the frat house with ‘the boys’, but do you really need to keep it around – especially if you don’t wear it? Probably not. If you love wearing it and it shows through its faded labelling, torn sleeves and more, then keep it for novelty’s sake or for wearing when you’re under the weather. Aside from that though, if you haven’t worn something in the last six months to a year, consider sending it off to the charity shop.

Buy Stuff That Fits

Nothing looks worse than wearing something that fits wrong, or worse yet, not at all. Baggy trousers are better left for the teens as are the band shirts, shirts with slogans and more. Okay, so not all band or slogan shirts need to be ditched, but unless you really have an edgy overall style, it’s probably best to lose the teenage clothing plan and go with more classic things that work with your body shape. Learn what shape you are along with sizes but remember that not every store stocks the same fit in the same size. What’s a large in one shop might be an XXL in another. Online it gets even more convoluted and you can expect to send things back a time or two until you figure out what your best size for online clothes are.

Buy Stuff You’ll Actually Wear

Back to the band and slogan style shirts. Will you actually wear them? Are you happy being seeing pushing your child around in its stroller with various things emblazoned across your chest – some of which could raise eyebrows? While most people will tell you to wear what you want and not to worry about what people think, it can be difficult. So keep discernment in mind. If you don’t mind being seen in an Eminem, Iron Maiden, Nirvana or Billy Idol shirt, then don’t worry about it. If you don’t want to lose that side of your identity entirely but you’d rather not be seen in public, keep the shirts for at home or pyjama wear.

Wear New Stuff For No Reason

Once you’ve bought a few great, new things consider wearing them for no reason. Those chino style trousers, that nice button up shirt wear just when taking your kids out for the day. Everyone will be impressed that a Dad can still take care of himself while taking care of the kids and your partner will appreciate the effort as well! It’s an all around win-win!

So if you’re a doting Dad that doesn’t want to lose himself in a barrage of bad fashion choices, consider these top ideas to help keep your fashion conscious self in the mix as you enjoy your children growing up. After all, parents deserve a little something as well!