I’m ready to kick ass in 2017!

travel_stockholm_text

In 2016, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel over 82,000km, spread over 33 flights in total. I hope to go on more adventures and see even more of the world in 2017!

Here’s an old photo of me strolling through the streets of Stockholm, Sweden. I’m excited for my plans for 2017 and can’t wait to share it all with you! Have an amazing 2017, full of travels and adventure.

Your friend,

Pete

Magic Update: Houdini and the disappearing elephant

In 1918, Houdini made an elephant disappear in New York. What if you reversed the concept and applied a modern touch?

I’m filled with joy right now as my new project has officially begun. Rather than making something rather significant disappear, I’m looking at reversing the methods to make a sports car appear live on stage.

Will keep you all updated!

elephant houdini 1918

Yours magically,

Peter Paxx

Blog Update: I’ve connected with readers from 20 different countries!

What country are you in right now as you’re reading this post?

As I continue to look for that next destination to visit and tick off my bucket list, I’m really honoured to have now had readers visit the website from 20 different countries. If you are reading this then I am truly thankful for your time. Remember, if you see a post that you like or know someone who might, please share it with them via Facebook and Twitter.

countries visited peter paxx

Please continue to share with me ideas and what you’ll like to see next and help me colour in the map.

Your friend,

Peter Paxx

Would you pay to go to a theatre show, and get a free hotel night stay?

After a great response from my earlier post about paying $27 for a bacon and egg breakfast, and getting a free hotel room here, I decided to share with you another way to score bargain deals when travelling to shows and events. I’m a big fan of theatre productions and magic shows and I always find time to visit a theatre when travelling abroad. It’s one of the attractions that hotels and resorts promote in order to bring guests into town.

What do hotels do to ensure they have their rooms booked, and theatre seats filled?

Hotels and resorts around the world do everything to lure in tourists and visitors from all parts of the globe. One common way, is to bring shows, especially musicals, plays and concerts to the hotel theatre(s). Of course if the acts are big enough and the guests are flying abroad to attend these shows (money for the resort!), then chances are the guests may also stay at the same hotel or at least dine-in and use the services of the hotel (more money for the resort!).

With this in mind, tourists have the opportunity to find show packages that stretch their travel dollar further. These packages come in many forms, but try searching for Show and Stay deals for any shows you may be interested in, and in many cases you will find a bargain deal that includes the hotel stay with the show tickets.

How did I use this idea to get a free hotel room?

Just recently, I was invited to attend Superstars of Magic, playing at Resorts World Genting Highlands. Genting Highlands is a beautiful resort area, perched 1,740 metres above sea level, amidst the Titiwangsa Mountains. Tourists come in from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the theme park, restaurants, casino, shows and for the refreshing mountain air.

With any show that comes to any town, tickets need to be sold, and seats filled – in any case, the show must go on. Considering I was already willing to pay for a ticket to the show from the show website, I decided first to look for package deals that included accommodation.

And voila!…First World Hotel were offering the following:

-A “Superstars of Magic” Deluxe room

-2 x Tickets to Superstars of Magic

The price: the cost of two tickets to the show! In my head, that worked out to be a free hotel room! Remember, I was going to need tickets to the show regardless.

Considering I was close to booking the tickets to the show separately and directly from the show website, I’ve now found the tickets and a hotel room included for the same price. You might we wandering how hotels can offer such deals, but remember, regardless of whether the seats are filled, the show must still go on. The act is already in town (and paid for), so why not lure guests to your hotel, and fill the theatre seats at the same time.

What theatre shows or musicals are you next considering and going to?

Do a search for “show and stay” package deals and you might also score yourself a free hotel room. Of course not every show will have a bargain hotel deal, but it’s definitely worth the time it takes to search.

genting highlands

Speak soon,

Peter Paxx

How would you spend $9 today? 9 ways to spend $9 around the world. (Part 1)

 

In a world filled with bills, mortgages and credit card debt, we often forget how far our money can go. I’m often asked how I am able to save and fund my travels and the truth is seeing the world is not stereotypically expensive. In many cases, I’ve been able to spend less than I would at home, per day, in an exotic overseas location.

How much do you spend daily?

It might surprise you but I encourage you to work out how much you spend on an average day, just to cover basic expenses. Include subway and bus fares, parking, petrol, coffees, lunch (cost of buying ingredients if you make your lunch) and the cost of your dinner (whether you cook or get takeaway). Remember these costs are just your basic costs to survive. Don’t worry about adding your bills, rent and mortgages as these will most likely still cost you while you travel abroad.

Depending on where you live and your daily habits this could range from $20 to $100 for most people. For myself, the biggest cost for me, surprisingly, is my coffee (I have a caffeine addiction and need a few a day!).

Whatever amount you came up with I’m pretty sure you could stretch it pretty far in some cool exotic locations. Granted, you will need to find a cheap airline ticket first to get there but in some cases, the cost of travelling is so cheap it works out better even if you were to include the ticket price. This is especially true for longer holidays away.

I’ve always been passionate in sharing with others that travelling and seeing the world does not need to be expensive. I’ve travelled on a budget of $25 a day in Thailand and loved every part of it. This included accommodation, food and the occasional Thai massage! Of course, this is on the extreme side of things and a budget of $30-$50 is a bit more comfortable.

All it takes is a reminder that you can do so much in many places of the world with less money. More importantly, it’s the memories you will bring back.

How would you spend $9 today?

Here is a list of some of my favourite experiences (and favourite dishes) from my travels all adding up to a total of $9:

 

Cambodia:

$2 – Bed and private shower. While travelling in Phnom Penh, I found a hotel that had cheap rooms advertised for $3. It was after midnight when I arrived and the owner offered me to stay at $2!
$2 – All-you-can-eat-Curry
$5 – Tuk-Tuk motorbike ride to visit the temple of Angkor Wat during Sunset. $5 to see one of the coolest ancient temples in the world?

tuk tuk angkortemples of angkor
(Temples of Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia)

 

Germany:

$5 – Bratwurst and Sauerkraut – Berlin
$3.80 – Currywurst – I just love my curried sausages and bun!

$0.20 – Yoghurt – YES 20c for fresh yoghurt in a Frankfurt supermarket.

currywurst berlin
(Photo Credit: http://www.top10berlin.de)

 

Philippines:

$9 – a 2-hour boat ride in Boracay, Philippines. First of all, you’re on Boracay Island. It is paradise. Next, you’re on a boat island hopping between islands and snorkelling near coral reefs. Find me a better way to spend $9!

boat island hopping boracay

snorkelling boracay

(Photos: Boracay Island, Philippines.).

 

Thailand:

 

$8 – An hour long massage in Thailand. No trip to Thailand is complete without a traditional Thai massage.
$1 – Banana and Nutella Pancake! A staple in every backpacker’s journey and found on almost every corner in a touristy Thai town.

 

nutella pancake
(Photo: http://www.heatherandscott.ca)

 

Japan:

$7 – All day metro ticket in Tokyo. I spent a whole day just exploring by monorail and taking in this out-of-this-planet city.
$1.20 – Onigiri from 7-eleven! The cute triangle rice and seaweed wraps, found in all 7-Elevens, on every corner of Tokyo.
$0.80 – Tempura dish in an alleyway restaurant. Tempura is usually an expensive delicacy outside of Japan.
tokyo train ladies
onigiri tokyo

(Photos: Train Station and Onigiri, Tokyo.)

 

Indonesia:

$9 – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and a Beer! Bali, Indonesia. All your meals sorted for a day. I sometimes pay $9 just for a beer in Australia.

 

Estonia:

$9 – 5 x Beers in Tallinn, Estonia. I just remember the medieval ceramic beer steins. There was beer; and roasted rabbit.

old hansa estonia

(Photo: With my Estonian friends at Olde Hansa, Tallinn, Estonia)

 

Vietnam:

$2 – Pho in Vietnam. The delicious rice noodle soup, found on every street corner.
$6 – Water Puppet Show in Hanoi. A must-see in Hanoi.
$1 – Banh Mi – The famous French-Vietnamese meat and salad baguette. Spend $1 to have the original banh mi while you the enjoy the madness of Ho Chi Minh’s traffic.

 

water puppet hanoi

(Photo: Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre http://www.hanoilocalguide.com)

 

Australia:

$9 – The cost of two coffees. Last but not least, how could I not mention the overpriced coffee that I can’t keep away from at home in Perth, Australia. The problem is, I don’t stop at two.

All the exciting experiences and food I’ve shared above costing $9 or less should hopefully inspire you to consider that next trip overseas. Find that bargain airline ticket and go see how far you can stretch your $9!

 

Your Friend,

Peter Paxx

6 reasons why getting lost is good for you, especially when you travel.

When was the last time you got lost?

It is harder these days to actually get lost. Smartphones, GPS navigation, and the abundance of WiFi hotspots means that we are only mere seconds away from finding our current exact location. Even those who are bad at reading maps can rely on turn by turn navigation. Those of us who can’t read a compass can rely on Google Maps to find north. Some of us even have portable cameras that can tell us where we are the moment we take a photo. I think it’s great what technology has done for us, but I am still such a fan of a fold-out map. Not only does it allow me to mentally work out my coordinates, but physically holding up a new map of a new city is like being lost for the very first time again, and it’s a good feeling. Here are 6 reasons why getting lost is good for you:

1) You are forced to talk to more people:

When we travel we are naturally forced to talk to more strangers to get recommendations on a good place to eat, or get a chance to learn a few words in a new language. When we are lost, unless our wizardry gadgets can help us, we are forced to ask for directions. That conversation can sometimes lead to getting to know a stranger on a more personal level, something we are often too busy to do during our daily grind. You become more humble when you are lost in a new environment and more willing to allow others to help.

hmong tribe sapa vietnam

(Trusting the guidance of the Hmong tribe, Sapa, Vietnam.)

2) Your senses become more alert:

I know when I’ve been lost overseas, all of a sudden the street signs become brighter and the subway station names leap off the billboards. The adverts on the buildings become more colourful and the smell of your surroundings all of a sudden exist. You can hear the train approaching from a mile away and feel like everything around you is intensified. Your brain has a primal need to decipher everything around you to help find direction and for a short period your senses have a superhuman effect. If you’re away from the city streets then like magic the grass is greener and vibrant, and the flowers have a stronger scent. You notice the small changes in the wind and the colour of the sky. Being lost awakens our senses and reminds us that we’re alive.

3) It forces you to live in the current moment:

The feeling of being lost takes you deeply and truly into that moment. It is the feeling of uncertainty – the “Where am I?” and this feeling is tenfold when you are abroad and in a never before visited city. Being in this foreign and unrecognisable place forces your brain to take in all the minor details. In your usual daily routine you are occupied with daily habits. Reading the newspaper, updating your status, checking your RSS feeds and adding to your calendar and planning around events. Our minds are often occupied with what’s next, tomorrow, yesterday and we are sucked into the stories of the lives of others. Being lost brings yourself into the current moment and gives you ‘me’ time, and in that moment everything else is less important.

green grass poland

(Me in someplace, Poland.)

4) It opens up possibilities:

If you embrace the feeling of the unknown then it will open up possibilities. Rather than not knowing which path to take, it is now “Which path do I choose?” Down one street could lead you to a hip little reggae bar where they serve $3 cocktails until morning, down another alley could lead you to a temple where the monks are peacefully meditating. The train station that you end up at could lead you home, or to a whole new place. On the flip side, it could also lead you to absolutely nothing, but that is the beauty and fun of open possibilities. The feeling that anything can happen and the spontaneity of it all is a refreshing sensation. Being lost reminds us that it is okay to accept that anything can happen and encourages us to embrace that.

5) You discover new places:

Your friends always share with you the newest coffee shop they’ve discovered, or the latest clothes store to open, the latest cuisine craze to hit restaurants or the latest underground bar. It is always fun to treat ourselves to something new and to find and share new experiences. Travelling and getting lost allows you to discover new places where you least intended. Being lost means you’ve taken the path less travelled and it will allow your curiosity to find that new special place.

6) You create memories that last a lifetime:

Through all of the above, you create memories that will never fade. Trust me on this. You will always remember the time you got lost. Your whole surrounding becomes important and vivid. It is like a dream that felt real, except it was real. You are either scared and want to get home, or are excited at what could be around the next corner. You will always remember the places that you discovered and the decisions that you made. We are so used to daily routines that the feeling of being lost gets forgotten. For many of us we are often glued down to our gadgets, confined to our desks and in most cases have adapted to routine. Create memories that will add chapters to your book of life.

finding white sand langkawi

(Finding paradise, on the island of Langkawi, Malaysia. 2010)

hakone japan

(Finding a little udon restaurant, while wandering through Hakone, Japan. 2013)

So here’s a challenge for you all:

Go and literally get lost; leave your phone at home, book that ticket to a random city, or hop in the car and just drive; and enjoy the sensation and feeling of the unknown. You’d either get lost and never come back, or come back with stories to share.

Come and Find Me,

Peter Paxx

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