I just watched the sunrise from the highest platform of my super fun cat tower. A few minutes ago, I devoured a plate of white ocean fish mixed with salmon flakes! Can you believe it? Salmon flakes!
Seriously, what a wild ride my life has been. And I’m only 4 months old.
My name is Matcha, by the way. I’m this little domestic short haired cat from Bali and boy do I have a story to tell!
The First Day: Hungry and Scared
It all began when I was born I guess. It’s a bit fuzzy but I was born and suddenly, when I was only 5 days old, someone left me in the jungle in Bali. I could barely move and I was soon covered in grass, without food and trying to survive an intense rainstorm. It was rough. The storm eventually ended but I wasn’t feeling well at all. I was drenched, sooooo hungry and some bugs started crawling all over me.
All I could do was cry because I was really scared.
I don’t know how long I was crying but out of nowhere, I started to hear two voices nearby. I started crying more loudly, hoping they would hear me and maybe help somehow.
And they sure did. It’s still a blur but a very, very nice girl just scooped me up out of the jungle and put me in a little box. Then, this boy appeared with a cloth and put that in the box, which felt so soft on my belly. They started walking with me. I didn’t really care where we were going as I was just happy to be out of that jungle.
I was taken to a house for about an hour and then to some place called a ‘vet’. People were touching me, pulling bugs off of my skin, giving me milk and, honestly, I don’t really know what they were doing but it sure made me feel better so I just went with it.
Later on, we arrived back at that same house. And the same girl and boy started to take care of me. I learned that they were called Georgiana and Derek.
The First Month: A New Life
Georgiana and Derek didn’t seem too experienced, especially the boy, but somehow they managed to feed me with a bottle and even made a cozy place for me to sleep. They watched over me and made sure I was comfortable all the time. Even in the middle of the night they would wake up if I needed anything at all.
The days passed and I started feeling so much better. I did have something called ringworm but this girl and boy spent a lot of time on their phones figuring out how to get rid of that. They were determined! I even enjoyed the warm baths they gave me with that special shampoo.
At that age, I couldn’t go to the bathroom or eat on my own yet. So Georgiana or Derek would help me out. But sometimes I just didn’t need to pee or I just wasn’t hungry. The funny thing is that they always thought they were doing something wrong if I didn’t pee or eat. I found it quite amusing that they wanted me to pee so bad all the time! I don’t know how much they pee but I just didn’t need to go that much.
So, I was really tiny during that time. I was trying to figure out how to walk steadily and I couldn’t see very well. I did try to play with these cool toys they bought me and I started to stumble around on the grass. Although, I was quite content to simply let these two people rub my head and neck all the time. That was a feeling I had never experienced before and I must say, I loved it!
Georgiana and Derek were always doing something on these devices that had a screen and a keyboard. So the only way I could get them to stop and come back to rubbing my head was to cry a little. They fell for it every single time! It was such a simple trick.
Anyway, the next month was incredible!
The Second Month: Like a Dream
One day, we moved to this beautiful house in a different part of Bali. While there, I started to understand how to walk fast and even jump up on the bed and sofa. I could roam all over the place. Of course, Georgiana and Derek were always nearby and they wouldn’t let me out of their sight. I don’t know what they thought could happen…I mean, was some big cat going to attack me? Silly people.
They even started feeding me real food. I think it was tuna and it was so yummy! I also figured out that the box they kept filling up with these weird pieces of soy sticks was the place I was supposed to go to the bathroom on my own. First, soy sticks? Such hipsters! Second, I really don’t understand why they were so excited when I started using this tray. It’s just pee and poop but these two people were jumping up and down as if I had won an Olympic event. Am I supposed to cheer every time they go to the bathroom?
I guess I can understand their concern though when these little worms started to appear near my bum. Apparently, that’s not supposed to happen and before I knew it, I was whisked away to the vet again. I will tell you this…I am not a fan of the ‘vet’. It seems to be a place they take me whenever they don’t want me to be happy. But why don’t they want me to be happy all the time?
I don’t know. I just want to be happy!
Luckily, this visit to the vet was quick. However, and I can’t say for certain, I think my parents started slipping drugs into my food shortly after. I would taste this weird bitter flavor and the texture of the tuna was a little off. I’m not really sure what they were doing but they seemed to be quite secretive about it. At least those worms went away eventually.
Life continued and I became more and more attached to my family. They became more and more attached to me too. I learned how to do this thing called ‘purr’ and every time I did it, my family stopped whatever they were doing and showered me with attention and love. It’s another cool trick!
And when we all sat on the sofa, enjoying each other’s company, they would order dinner and I would try to eat it off their plate. That was such a fun game they played with me. It looked so real when they tried to shove me away from their food over and over again!
Then we would watch a movie sometimes. Georgiana really liked these scary movies and Derek really liked these dumb comedies. I would have been happy to watch a nice animal movie but they just weren’t interested.
Life was really great and I started to get the idea that I was going to be taken care of forever. Every time they moved to a different house, they took me with them. And every day, it seemed that their routine was built around making sure I had everything I needed to be comfortable and happy. While in that jungle at 5 days old, I never could have imagined that things would turn out this way!
Oh, did I tell you? They even bought me this awesome cat house thing. Wow! Three floors, rooms to sleep in, scratch posts to scratch and even a hammock! A HAMMOCK!!!
The Third Month: I’m a Princess
I was in that comfy hammock when, one day, Derek lifted me up, put me in my pet carrier and took me back to that damn vet again. I was pretty chill about it because, I don’t know, it seemed harmless enough overall. But this time, holy crap. They jammed some needle in the back of my neck and called it a ‘vaccine’. I was pissed off and quickly discovered that I can hiss and spit and make some serious noise that make these people afraid to do things like that again. Believe me, I used these new found skills because I ended up at the vet two more times for these vaccine injections!
They kept saying it was for some vaccine passport book and that I would need it to leave the country, but why would I leave the country? I’m a Bali cat. It didn’t make any sense to me.
Well, about a week later, they really surprised me good. I did have to sit in a car for about 3 hours but when I was allowed out again, ohhhhhhhhhhh. We were at some house right on the beach in a small town called Amed. It was surreal. I could hear the waves all day and listen to birds. I could run all over the place and jump around and have so much fun. They even let me outside every now and then. I would eat some grass, try to climb trees and just run through the bushes, free as those birds!
In the evenings, I would hang out in my cat house and relax. Right before bedtime, I would always play this crazy game with Derek. He would hide his hand under the sheets and I would try to find it every time he poked his finger out. It was wild! I could play that game for hours and hours. I don’t know what Derek’s problem was because he got tired quickly from this game but no way I was going to let him stop!
By this point, these two people were treating me like I was a princess. They even called me ‘princess’ all the time. But I guess they were just confused because I don’t really have any royalty in my blood. I wasn’t going to tell them that though!
This went on for 1 more incredible month!
A Week at the Vet
Eventually, our time in Amed did come to an end. And every time I try to think about the 3 weeks that followed, I have such a mix of emotions. It was an intense period.
Let me tell you about it.
One day, I didn’t feel very well and all I wanted to do was sleep. A couple of times, I tried to walk around but my legs weren’t stable at all. My family looked very concerned as I just curled up on a chair unable to move much.
Before I knew it, I was back at Sunset Vet, but this time was very different. Derek was there at first but suddenly, he was gone and I was in a cage in a strange room with strange people and a few other animals too. I thought maybe it would last a few minutes but I ended up in this place for 6 long days. During that time, I had to receive injections and an IV and these friendly but unfamiliar vets would check my condition every few hours. They said I had an infection and a muscle sprain, whatever that is.
The good news is that I started to feel better each day. The bad news was that I really, really missed Georgiana and Derek and I had no idea if I would see them again. By the 6th day, I was quite sad. I felt better physically but my life had changed so much, from a beautiful house on the beach with a loving family to this stale room where I wasn’t able to be free at all.
And then…I almost peed myself when I saw Georgiana and Derek walk into the room! I tried to play it real cool, occasionally sniffing their fingers through the cage to make sure it wasn’t a dream. I thought they had abandoned me. I don’t know why they were gone for so long. I suppose it might have something to do with the vets and the fact that my illness was cured but I don’t really know how this stuff works so I’m a little unsure.
Either way, they came back for me! And they took me to another house with palm trees and grass and flowers and plenty of space for me to be myself again. At this point, I knew for certain that I had a family forever!
The Fourth Month: I’m a Traveler
We spent 2 weeks at this sweet new place. Georgiana and Derek never seemed too thrilled when I would climb high into the thorny tree in the corner of the yard and refuse to come down for an hour, but I didn’t care. I was so happy again and I knew they would get over it every single time and still feed me my favorite food.
That’s why I didn’t get too stressed when suddenly, one morning, I was put back into my travel carrier and placed into a van, next to a cage that had a small dog in it. I was a little concerned that Georgiana and Derek were saying goodbye to me but I tried not to worry too much. A very nice man seemed to be in charge now and I could tell by the way they were talking that whatever was about to happen, it wasn’t going to last long.
I’m not really great with time but I’ll guess it was around two days or so when, just as I had expected, Derek appeared and we were together again. It seemed that we had left Bali though, so that was bizarre. It was my first time off the island and we were now in a place called Jakarta, staying at what Derek kept referring to as a ‘pet-friendly hotel‘. Anyway, we stayed at this hotel for 3 days and pretty much played the entire time!
Derek seemed a little stressed during this period but I tried to use my purring ability to calm him down. He also wanted to put this harness thing on me but I wasn’t happy about that and didn’t let him. I feel a little bad about it but I’m a cat after all and a harness just doesn’t work for me. I did let him put a small collar on as a compromise though.
On the third day in Jakarta, it was time to leave again as Derek started packing up. At this point, I was even excited. Where would we end up next? What a crazy life I was leading! I always seemed to end up somewhere fun and comfortable, as long as it wasn’t the vet.
So let me tell you about the next 40 hours!! 40 HOURS!
I was in this smaller travel case and we ended up at an airport. I was in disbelief, thinking to myself, “Now I’m going to fly? I’m a Bali cat and I’m getting to travel the world!!”
But I don’t know. If traveling the world always involves being on an airplane for 12 hours, then a 10 hour layover in another airport and then another 12 hour flight, I don’t need to do it all the time. There were also security checks and so many strangers around. I needed to go to the bathroom in odd, unfamiliar places as well and my system was all messed up because of the time changes. Oh, and I really didn’t enjoy being in that travel case for so many hours.
Then it ended. I don’t know what happened. Our second flight landed in a place called Miami, which I think is in a country called the USA. We then walked through the airport and then we were in a car. Nobody even asked me for my paperwork or why I wanted to come to this new country. I was shocked!
About 1.5 hours later we were in an apartment and I was free to move around again, just like that.
In one room, I had a new cat tower waiting for me, which is bigger than any cat tower I’ve ever seen! I had some great food waiting for me too. The space seemed comfortable to run around and play in and it really didn’t take me long at all to adjust. Derek is here as well of course! I must say, I like it.
Everyone seems to be talking about the ‘shitshow’ and some major problems with a virus in the area and lots of talk about politics but I don’t know, from my perspective everything seems quite calm and I’m having a ton of fun! I just want to play with my favorite piece of rope, eat some more salmon flakes and observe the world from my tower. Is that too much to ask?
And who knows what the future will bring? Will I travel more? Will we move to another house again? As long as I don’t need to visit the vet too often, I’ll take whatever comes my way.
I still can’t believe that only four short months ago I was crying in the Bali jungle, so hungry and scared.
I’ve been living the dream ever since, all because these two people happened to walk by at the right time and save me. Now I’m a world traveler and a princess and I have the best family on the planet!
VIDEO: Here’s a super cool video Georgiana made about my entire journey so far!
There’s no escaping the fact that everything is getting more expensive. With the increased cost of living, you may be looking for ways to reduce how much you spend on your upcoming trip to Germany.
To help out, I’ve come up with a few suggestions to keep costs to a minimum. Although this post is about visiting Germany on a budget, the tips can be applied to just about any popular travel destination.
There are some costs you can’t avoid when traveling, like the price of a visa or travel authorization. The good news is that, if you’re from a visa-exempt country such as the US, you don’t need a visa to travel to Germany for up to 90 days. The new travel authorization for Germany, ETIAS, won’t be operational until 2023 so you don’t need to pay these fees either just yet.
Most other travel costs, however, are under your control. Let’s have a look at some of the top tips for visiting Germany on a budget.
Eat at the Markets
The food you’ll find at German markets is both fresh and reasonably priced. It’s also often organic, so you know that what you’re eating is good for you! You’ll find traditional German foods like bratwurst, potato pancakes, and pretzels. You can also try something new—there are often vendors selling international cuisine at the markets.
If you have access to a kitchen, you can shop for local ingredients and cook up your own delish dishes without spending a fortune.
Stay Outside of Major Tourist Areas
Staying in a hotel or hostel outside of the major tourist areas is one of the easiest ways to save money while traveling. And, since all of Germany’s major cities are relatively safe, it’s not like you need to worry about your safety. There are plenty of options for accommodation in every price range and style preference.
Avoiding the most touristy areas is a great way to reduce your accommodation costs. Just make sure it’s not so far out that you’ll end up spending too much on transportation. Go for hotels and hostels that are within around 30 minutes walk of the main attractions and well connected by public transport to other areas.
Also, don’t dismiss budget accommodation. There are loads of great hostels in Berlin and other German cities that provide everything you need, especially if you’re going to spend most of your time out and about.
Find an Apartment to Rent Online
If you are unfamiliar with the city you are visiting, Airbnb is a great option for accommodation. In addition to having access to the amenities of a hotel (like a kitchen and washing machine), many hosts have been known to act as tour guides and offer suggestions on where to go out in town or what attractions are worth visiting.
There are many other websites that can help you find apartments for short-term rent in Germany. Wimdu offers properties ranging from apartments and chalets to farmhouses and tree houses throughout Germany—though some listings may require booking several weeks in advance if they’re popular during high season. The site includes vacation rentals from more cities across Europe including Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, and Frankfurt.
There are loads more options too, invest some time when looking for accommodation in Germany and it could save you more money than you think.
Use Public Transportation
Public transportation is a great way to get around in Germany. If you’re planning on visiting Berlin, the U-Bahn and S-Bahn are your best bets for getting around. They’ll take you from one part of the city to another quickly and easily—and it’s much cheaper than taking cabs every time!
In cities like Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, and Munich, trams are also convenient ways to get around.
Buy Your Plane Ticket Early
Booking early is important when looking for cheap flights to Germany. In general, the earlier you book, the more likely it is that you can get a good deal on your ticket.
Use flight price comparison websites to find the best option. Several low-cost airlines fly to cities across Germany. If you’re traveling within Europe, you can find cheap flights to Germany from just about any European city.
You may also be able to save money on museum tickets on discounted days. Many museums in Germany offer a reduced price for certain days of the week, as well as reduced admission for senior citizens and students. You can check the website of each museum you want to visit for a list of discounted days and special offers.
Finally, if you’re staying in hostels or hotels while traveling around Germany, ask them if they have any deals that will help reduce your costs while visiting museums.
Go on Free Walking Tours
Ok, so they may be called free walking tours but the truth is you’ll be expected to pay your guide a well-earned tip. Nevertheless, this is a really cost-effective way to get to known German cities.
Walking tours take you to all the major attractions and monuments. During a walking tour of Berlin, you’re likely to see Red Town Hall, Berlin Cathedral, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Brandenburg Gate, among other highlights.
Offering one of the most diverse varieties of landscapes and wildlife around the globe, Australia is nothing short of a dream holiday destination for nature lovers. The Oceanic country is home to over a whopping 500 national parks, each providing a unique experience for its visitors. Whether it’s sandy beaches, coral reefs, unique rock formations or lush rainforests – Australia, a big land with a big story – is guaranteed to take your breath away. So, if you are looking to explore some incredible nature, here are 4 absolutely stunning national parks in Australia.
If you are staying in Sydney during your visit in Australia, the Blue Mountains is an absolute must-see day-trip destination, around 60-minutes drive away. This national park is the perfect location for mountain biking and other adventure sports, while also perfectly suitable for peaceful hiking on its many historic trails.
The park is not called Blue Mountains without reason – covered in eucalyptus forests, the mountains reflect a unique blue glow every time they get direct sunlight, creating a truly magical feel. Besides the magnificent eucalyptus forests, the region is rife with other natural wonders, including grand landscapes, waterfalls, valleys, and charming villages.
This list would simply not be complete without Kakadu, the largest and perhaps most popular national park in Australia. Kakadu is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its incredible biological and ecological diversity. The national park is home to around 2,000 plant species, around a third of all Australian bird species and around a fifth of all mammals.
Only reachable by 4WD or a boat, the Kakadu National Park is a highly preserved and tranquil destination, surrounded by rocky landscapes and lush greenery. Make sure to visit the iconic Jim Jim Falls and the Twin Falls while there as well to witness the most beautiful sunset from the Nadab Lookout.
K’gari (Fraser Island)
Located at the southern coast of Queensland, K’gari is the world’s largest sand island and undoubtedly one of the most stunning national parks in Australia. The island was named K’gari by the local Indigenous people, meaning Paradise, and what better name to describe the beauty of the golden beaches and sand dunes, turquoise blue waters, champagne pools, subtropical rainforests and plentiful freshwater lakes.
In addition to the heavenly nature of Fraser Island, you may also come across a range of exotic wildlife there, such as dingoes, Swamp Wallabies, Humpback Whales, Echidnas, Sea Turtles, and a variety of birds.
Widely different from the ones above, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is famous for its natural beauty and cultural heritage. Located in the Red Centre of Australia, the park has been home to local Aboriginal people for thousands of years and holds a powerful spiritual presence, strongly felt by its visitors.
The two key attractions are Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, and Kata Tjuta, or The Olga’s. Uluru is a huge sandstone monolith which formed over 550 million years ago. The rock used to be a popular destination for climbers, however, in 2019 climbing Uluru was banned due to its importance for the locals. It is surrounded by Kata Tjuta, a total of 36 domed rock formations, which are particularly stunning to see during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset.
Prague is a beautiful city and it’s easy to see why 8 million people savor all that it has to offer every year. As well as the touristy city center highlights, the Czech city has nightlife in abundance. Whereas the Old Town is geared towards the tourists, the suburbs of Prague is where the action is, and where the better night spots can be found.
After you’ve checked in and upacked at one of the best hotels in Prague, it’s time to embark on a nighttime adventure!
Whether you’re here as a tourist or for business purposes, get yourself a metro ticket and head out to the districts of Holešovice, Smichov and Kárlin, and prepare yourself for a night, or several nights, to remember.
So let’s see what Prague has to offer in terms of nightlife.
Deja Vu Music Club
Prague is synonymous with partying and this spot, known for its cocktails and great happy hour, is a good introduction. It’s bustling but with a laid-back atmosphere, offers wonderful drinks at affordable prices and has a comfortable vibe for travelers and locals of all ages. Everything from the music to the service receives rave reviews from those who spend an evening here, creating an ideal spot to start the night before you head to the nightclubs later on.
There are no bells here but this hard rockin’ dive bar will lift your spirits no matter what night of the week you show up. Located in Smichov, Hells Bells has been rockin’ out and serving cold beer for as long as anyone can remember. It’s a cellar pub so it can be dark down there, but if you’re after riffs and good beer, then a visit to Hells Bells is an absolute must.
Many festivals happen in Prague and when they do, they frequently happen in Letná Park. The park is the highest point in Prague and offers fantastic views over the city as it was built near the edge of the Vltava River. Be sure to check the festival schedule while you’re here and if there is a festival taking place in Letna Park, it’s probably worth attending. The atmosphere is usually welcoming and energetic and it can be a great place to meet some local people.
At the very least, the park is an ideal spot to drink a quality Czech beer in the evening, whether there’s a festival or not!
U Zlateho Tygra (The Golden Tiger)
Sometimes, you have to go to the more expensive bars to get the full Czech experience. The Golden Tiger is one such place and after entering, you’ll immediately know that you’ll be drinking in the footsteps of giants. Indeed, this bar boasts that Bohumil Hrabal, one of the country’s greatest writers, enjoyed a few beers regularly at The Golden Tiger. Bill Clinton has also paid this bar in a visit. Famous for their pilsner, it’s also well-known for often being full so make sure you get there early and hopefully you’ll get to enjoy this unique pub.
Prague is truly full of excellent spots for nightlife. And taking a little trip off the beaten track, outside the main tourist center, is definitely worth your time if you want some memorable evenings out on the town!
Vacations are needed by all of us. In a world that is constantly shouting GO! GO! GO!, sometimes the best thing we can do is stop and slow down for a few moments. With a vacation, if done correctly, you can have that break and return feeling fresher and more rejuvenated. It’s important in order to avoid stress and frustrations building up to the point where it affects our lives. Nobody wants that!
One vacation option is sailing. It’s a cool idea for such a break for several reasons.
You Can Explore The World
Did you know that the ocean covers up to 70% of the earth’s surface? That’s a remarkable amount. But, for most of our lives, we’re stuck on land and apart from perhaps a trip to the beach every now and then, the ocean doesn’t play much of a role. In fact, for many of us, travel doesn’t play much of a role either, despite its importance.
So, with a sailing vacation, you can actually get out into the world a bit, in a different way. You can take advantage of the vast oceans and seas, explore destinations that you wouldn’t otherwise reach and travel at your own pace as well, all without the crowds and hassle of land travel.
For example, you could enjoy a sailing trip around the stunning islands of Greece or island-hop in the Caribbean. And those are just two of endless options that exist for a rewarding travel experience!
You Can Have An Adventure
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The purpose of life is to live it.” Embracing adventure is an integral part of living a full life.
While sailing, each day spent on the open sea is typically a day filled with adventure. Whether it’s spotting marine life, taking a swim in beautiful waters, visiting destinations you can only reach by boat or enjoying the true peace and quiet of being surrounded by the sea in all directions, it’s difficult not to feel the rewards of such a trip.
And if you want to learn the ins and outs of sailing during vacation, you could learn about rope knots, nighttime navigation methods, hoisting the sails and so much more to keep you busy.
Fill each day with new experiences and challenges and your vacation will be even better than you hoped for!
It’s Good For Your Health
When we think about health and wellness, we often think about spending time at the gym or following all kinds of self-help advice that’s currently trending. However, it’s important to simply remember a core idea – to treat our bodies and minds well. There’s a lot more to being healthy than spending thirty minutes on a treadmill.
With a sailing vacation, you have a chance to move your body and exercise your mind at the same time. And since you don’t have to force yourself to go to a gym, it will be far more enjoyable. You’ll actually have fun being out in the warm air, learning how to sail, swimming and again, using the mesmerizing, peaceful surroundings and variety of destinations you visit to clear your mind and focus on what’s important.
That’s the definition of health and when it comes to a vacation, the idea is to experience what is best for your body and mind and come back feeling better than before you left.
It’s Money Well-Spent
It goes without saying that travel and taking a vacation can prove to be quite costly these days. Airfare prices are up, hotels can be scarce, cars need to be rented and so on.
A sailing vacation actually takes care of some of those issues. The value can be remarkably high since your accommodation and transportation expenses, often along with food, are all wrapped up into one. You can simply enjoy the sea, and also the destinations you visit by picking out a few appealing activities before returning to your boat. As a result, expenses are quite reasonable for what you get with this kind of a trip.
Of course, you can also shop around when looking for an affordable yacht rental or sailing vacation so that you can find the best value option for you and your group. There is no shortage of options.
When you take a sailing vacation, it also comes with the kind of flexibility that other trips don’t often enjoy. You can have exactly the type of vacation you want to have – whether it’s slow and relaxed, action-packed or anything in between. You decide and with a yacht, you have the freedom to make anything happen.
Even better, being on a sailing vacation allows you the freedom to alter plans. There are no hotel bookings or flights to change if you want to suddenly do something different. It’s you and your yacht and you can travel as you wish.
When you wake up each day, you can decide if you want a day full of swimming and snorkeling or a wander through a town on a Greek island or a night out in a popular port city. Drop anchor, and make it happen.
You Can Bond With Your Loved Ones
Life certainly gets busy when we’re at home. As a result, our priorities often get all mixed up and we even find it difficult to spend time with the very people we want to spend time with. It’s just how life goes.
But another benefit of a sailing vacation is to get these priorities straight for awhile. Being together on a yacht allows you to reconnect with your friends and/or family in such a beneficial way. You’ll all be there on that boat, away from the noise and bustle of life of land, and as a result, you can focus on each other and the quality time you are spending together. Also, with the fascinating experiences you’ll be sharing in this unique environment, you’ll create memories that will only help to solidify and grow the bonds with each other.
Travel is back and hopefully you have a trip planned for the near future! If you do have travels coming up, you’ll most likely want to figure out a way to stay connected while overseas. Things are changing quite quickly when it comes to this topic but luckily, it’s now remarkably easy, and inexpensive, to travel with a constant data connection. It’s all about eSIM cards as they are definitely the most traveler friendly option that exists.
What is an eSIM?
An eSIM is different than your usual SIM card that you would insert into your phone. Usually, your cellular company provides you with a physical SIM card and once inserted into your device, you are connected to their network.
With an eSIM, there is no physical card. Instead, it’s 100% digital, enabling you to connect to a cellular network without having to put anything in your phone’s SIM card slot. In short, it’s software that you download and that installs directly onto your phone.
A good example is Holafly’s eSIM for Europe as it allows you to download an international eSIM so that you can remain connected to the internet while traveling.
Why you should use Holafly eSIM?
First, it’s easy to set up and use. As you’ll see below, it only takes a couple of minutes from the moment you purchase your eSIM until it is ready to be used.
Second, the value is hard to beat. What you’ll pay for a month of data with a Europe eSIM card is about the same as you would pay for only 3 or 4 days of international roaming offered by your cellular company at home!
Third, it offers extensive coverage for travelers. You can purchase an eSIM for an individual country or even an entire region, such as Europe or Asia. This ensures that you are seamlessly connected wherever you go on your adventures, without having to worry about finding ways to get online every time you cross a new border.
Advantages of using an eSIM to travel to Europe
Let’s suppose you’re taking a trip to Europe. With HolaFly’s eSIM for Europe, you can buy your eSIM online in about 2 minutes and choose a plan that suits your travels. You can choose a plan for an individual country or for all of Europe if you’ll be bouncing around. You’ll also find plans for 7 days, 15 days and 30 days, depending on the length of your trip.
Keep in mind, you’ll still keep your phone number from home. If you have a regular physical SIM card in your phone, nothing will change with your phone number. But with the eSIM, you’ll be getting your data connection through HolaFly’s network of cellular companies, which is much cheaper than if you use the data connection offered by your cellular network at home.
Then, as soon as you land in your destination, you’ll be connected. And you won’t have to worry about exorbitant international roaming fees or paying for the very expensive international plan that you your cellular company at home offers.
How do I purchase an eSIM for Europe?
As mentioned, it’s simple. Here are the steps to follow:
Check the box that says “Phones compatible with eSIM” to make sure your phone is on the list
Choose the plan that suits your travels and add it to the cart
Go to “Checkout” and pay for the eSIM
You’ll then receive an email with a QR code.
Whenever you arrive in your destination (or right before you travel there), you just scan the QR code with your phone and the eSIM will be immediately delivered straight onto your device.
Once this happens, your eSIM is activated and you’ll be connected!
Which devices work with the Holafly eSIM card?
There’s a long list of phones that are compatible with a Holafly eSIM card. Here’s the quick list but you can always check out the complete list of individual phones to make sure your device is indeed able to use an eSIM: Holafly compatible devices
All models from the iPhone XS, XR onward, including the iPhone SE 2 (2020)
From the Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra onwards
From the Samsung Galaxy Fold, Fold 2 and onwards
From the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and onwards
From the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and onwards
Huawei P40, P0 Pro and later models
Huawei Mate 40 Pro and later models
Google Pixel 3, 3a (some versions do not allow eSIM)
Google Pixel 4, 4 XL, 4a, 5 and later models
Oppo Find X3 Pro
Oppo Reno 5A
Motorola Razr (2019)
Motorola Razr 5G (dual SIM)
How much do I need to pay for an eSIM to travel to Europe?
The prices for an Holafly eSIM for Europe varies depending on the length of time. For the eSIM package that will connect you to fast internet in 40 European countries, here are the options:
5 days unlimited = $19.00 USD 10 days unlimited = $34.00 USD 15 days unlimited = $47.00 USD 20 days unlimited = $54.00 USD 30 days unlimited = $64.00 USD 60 days unlimited = $84.00 USD 90 days unlimited = $99.00 USD
Alternatives to Holafly eSIM to have a data connection in Europe
Of course, an eSIM such as Holafly is not the only way you can have a data connection while traveling in Europe. Here are some other options:
Roaming This involves simply keeping your phone on as normal when you go overseas. It’s certainly easy enough but you’ll end up paying a fortune as the rates your cellular company at home will charge you for international roaming will leave your jaw on the floor! To lower those costs, many cellular companies offer an ‘international plan’ which you can certainly use. However, these plans still cost much more than an eSIM. You can expect to pay around $10 per day (plus taxes) for such an international plan, so after 3 or 4 days, you’re already spending more than if you had an eSIM to travel to Europe, or anywhere else. Also, you often need to actually call your cellular company, wait to speak with customer service and then go through an activation process in order to set up the international plan.
Local SIM Another option is to purchase a local SIM card in each of the countries you visit. When you arrive, you can find a shop selling SIM cards and by inserting one into your phone, you’ll be able to connect to that network. It’s also quite common these days to find kiosks and shops at airports where you can buy such a local SIM card upon arrival. The main downside is that you won’t be connected as soon as you arrive in a new country as you need to find a shop first in order to buy the SIM card. Also, if you are traveling to multiple countries, you’ll generally need to buy a new SIM card in each country you visit instead of simply being connected automatically through one eSIM.
International SIM You can also purchase an international SIM card. This would be more like a traditional physical SIM card that you would insert into your phone. Several companies offer these international SIM cards and they can be a good option, especially if your phone is not compatible with an eSIM. In general, you would get the same benefits of an eSIM although the cost of data would be more expensive with a physical SIM card.
Final thoughts about Holafly eSIM card
The days are gone when having a data connection while traveling was difficult, to say the least. The transition from internet cafes to expensive local SIM cards to expensive international plans has finally landed in a sweet spot. With an Holafly eSIM card, you can have fast internet wherever you go, for a very affordable price.
As long as your phone supports an eSIM, it’s the best option to stay connected while on the road by far. And the fact that it takes only a couple of minutes to get connected is a huge bonus. You could be on your way to Europe right now, download an eSIM while waiting to board your flight and as soon as you land in your destination, turn on your phone and you’re connected!
*This sponsored post comes at an ideal time. I just used an eSIM while on my recent trip to Iraq and I wanted to share why this is the best way to stay connected while traveling.
Many major Canadian cities are fast becoming the most expensive places in the world to live. Ideally, you should travel to Canada before settling there for a significant amount of time, to get a feel for the place. But, for reference, you’re looking at at least $2,000 for a 80-square-meter apartment in Toronto, and you can double that if it’s a spacious place in the city center. Likewise, Vancouver is similarly priced, and whilst these cities have incredible amenities, the point of being a digital nomad is to be free from living in areas that we cannot afford.
So, when looking at flights to Canada, make sure you decide on the city that is right for you.
Halifax, Nova Scotia – Up And Coming
Halifax is on the rise, and whilst it used to be overshadowed by Vancouver, it’s soon becoming a wise alternative in the property market. Halifax has a decently-sized city feel to it when it comes to amenities and things to do, whilst its dense downtown is less easy to feel lost in than, say, Vancouver. It’s a small big city, in a way.
Halifax is cheaper than most of the big cities, but it is fast accelerating in prices, so you may not want to wait around. It’s currently around $1,500 for a one-bed apartment in the city. Because people are flocking here since the rise of remote work, it’s beginning to build a buzzing economy that has plenty of start-ups, making it ideal for networking and finding clients.
Ottawa – Affordable Big City
Ottawa is a great choice if you like a big city with plenty to do. With an average one-bedroom apartment costing around $1,600 per month, Ottawa is affordable for Canadian standards, given its 1-million population and strong economy. Often, the more affordable options in Canada have fewer things to do and less nightlife – but not Ottawa, it has it all. It’s a pedestrian-friendly and diverse city that has some great history to it.
Because of its cosmopolitan and progressive nature, Ottawa is popular and friendly towards immigrants. Much more so than say, Quebec, and it remains to have a very high median income and stable economy. Plus, you’ll meet tons of other digital nomads.
Edmonton – Cheap Big City Near Nature
Edmonton is the capital of Alberta, which lies in the midwest of Canada. Despite having almost a one million population, Edmonton is both very cheap and in the midst of amazing nature. With an average rent of $950 for a one-bed apartment, Edmonton is arguably the cheapest city on this list.
Although the city grid is fairly large, conservation areas and nature parks surround it. Elk Island National Park, Muttart Conservatory, William Hawrelak Park… The list goes on. And, despite the large city feel, Edmonton has one of the best bus networks in all of Canada, with 7456 bus stops. Usually in the US and even Canada, you can only have one of the two: Affordability and public transport. However, Edmonton offers both, making it ideal for the low-key outdoorsy types.