Author Archives: Milda

Cappadocia + Vacations = ?

Cappadocia, area full of mountains in the middle of Turkey. The land where the weather is hot and dry all year round, but way hotter in the summer. Place known for beautiful trails, stunning buildings in the mountains, amazing vacation opportunities and of course hot air balloons.

Whichever attraction you’re most drawn to, you have to plan: nice hotels if you’re looking for a slow and calm vacation, comfy accommodation and trails to walk on if you’re up for active leisure, transportation, things to do and many other details.

Hot air balloons are #1 tourist activity in Cappadocia

Hot air balloons are #1 tourist activity in Cappadocia

All of this is way easier with the TrailSmart app. Download offline maps, turn the connection off and just go for a long long walk without fear of getting lost. Everything is there for you on your smartphone – all the information you may need in order to plan and enjoy.

So whatever kind of vacation you are looking for, Cappadocia is the versatile place that can help you have everything in one place.

P.S. Check more pictures from Cappadocia while you’re waiting for the trip: http://bit.ly/2f5yD8P

Mountain city or city in the mountains - it's your call.

Mountain city or city in the mountains – it’s your call.

Morning routine

Depending on a trail you’re taking, time of the year, place you’re staying at and many other things, your morning routine might have to change a lot from what you’re used to. Waking up really early or having a long slow morning; waking up from the bright morning sky or the others walking and talking; cooking yourself or stopping for that fresh croissant – there are so many details that might differ.

However, since you’re the one going on a hike, you’re the one making the rules. If you don’t like to wake up early, go on a hike in late spring or early autumn – this way you will avoid summer middays’ heat and will be able to walk all day long. If you hate cooking breakfast, order bigger dinner and take the rest for take out. Or just stay in a hostel which offers breakfast. If you hate being woken up by others, buy earplugs or get a private room. Even better – camp if it’s possible. But I cannot promise you won’t be woken up by fauna, haha.

You are always in risk of being woken up by animals if you're staying in a tent.

You are always in risk of being woken up by animals if you’re staying in a tent.

Adjusting to the new environment is difficult to everyone. Especially if it’s unusual, irritating and you’re not a morning person.

But there’s only one cure to this – planning. Check the weather, popularity, accommodation, cuisine and plan accordingly.

You might have to wake up early and stop in the middle of the day due to the heat.

You might have to wake up early and stop in the middle of the day due to the heat.

Oh and also, forget the inner grumpy cat at home.

 

P.S. Find the pictures here:

http://bit.ly/2u0dl3l

http://bit.ly/2f4yVgx

Take your dog for a long, long walk

Perfect couple for an adventure.

Perfect couple for an adventure.

Have you been wondering where to leave your dog once you leave for your big adventures? Dog hotels, friends, parents. Ask for a favor, hope for the positive answer, buy the food and take care of your pet in advance. And just imagine that dog face when you’re saying goodbye.

The cutest companion one could expect for.

The cutest companion one could expect for.

There’s a way you can avoid all of that. Well almost all of that – you would still have to take care of the dog. But have you thought about taking the pet with you? If you can’t wait for the adventure, just think how happy your dog would be surrounded by nature, highlands or mountains, never ending fields of grass and unseen fauna.

Who will be happier about your trip - you or your dog?

Who will be happier about your trip – you or your dog?

And the best part about this – you wouldn’t even have to carry the stuff of the dog – just buy the cute backpack for the dog!

Some dogs can carry more than others though.

Some dogs can carry more than others though.

P.S. Find all the great pictures here:

http://bit.ly/2eM4w6c

http://bit.ly/2eMdXmt

http://bit.ly/2v6aLZL

Solo adventure

Have you been planning your trip? Looking for the right backpack, comfy boots, nice accommodation, cheap tickets, perfect trail. And also looking for the perfect companion – the person you’ll be sharing the adventure with. And sometimes the person is only you. Just think about it – nobody to adjust to, to talk to, no complaints to listen to. Just pure alone time with your thoughts.

And now you may think it is scary. But I bet you’re brave enough. It is the perfect way to get to know yourself better.

Just check few videos of solo hikers for inspiration.

 

 

Communication is the key?

Everything around you is based on communication – it is the key, right? Constant emails at work, number of group chats on Facebook, Whatsapp, Viber – you name it. It seems that if you turned your phone off for a day, you’d be lost. Not following the current events, gossip and work matters – this might sound frightening, but if you need rest from your duties, maybe you need rest from communication as well?

It’s harder than you think: wi-fi zones are everywhere around you, mobile carriers offer the best roaming deals and hiking without Google Maps is just scary. But it shouldn’t be.  You just need to download TrailSmart app and an offline map of the trail you’re going to hike on. And it’s done – you’re ready for a refreshing offline hike.

Oh, but with your connection off the communication is not. You’d be surprised how many topics there are to discuss with your companions and with yourself!

Telephone. Do you really need it every minute? Try turning it off.

Telephone. Do you really need it every minute? Try turning it off.

Thank you for the picture, Ruth.

http://bit.ly/2uXaKWX

 

How to trick your girl into going to the United Kingdom

The football season is starting soon. And if you actually call the game football, you probably follow the Premier League (English football league) as well. Wanted to go see a game but your wife/girlfriend/lover did not think so? I know the perfect way how to trick her into that!

Plan your amazing hike on the Cotswold way. Describe it as: our romantic getaway from the city to have new adventures and get to spend more time together and know more about each other. Show her some pictures of villages that look like Downton Abbey scenery. Book the nice B&B. And coincidently find the flight to the city your team plays at to be the cheapest one. Oh, and there’s a game happening just the day you land. It would be such a shame to miss it.

"Baby, doesn't it remind you of the series you were watching? Downton Abbey? Wouldn't it be cool to see something like that?"

“Baby, doesn’t it remind you of the series you were watching? Downton Abbey? Wouldn’t it be cool to see something like that?”

Don’t thank me, go plan the trip.

Check TrailSmart app if you need some help – we have it covered.

"Honey, I can't wait. It's going to be sooo romantic!"

“Honey, I can’t wait. It’s going to be sooo romantic!”

 

P.S. More pictures to show to your girl can be found here: http://bit.ly/2sjvjeE and http://bit.ly/2uH9Sm3

Your mark on the world

Everyone wants to leave a mark on the world. Be the world your family, friends or even entire planet. And you can work on it on your regular life – be a nice person, be brave, be innovative. Just act the way you’d like to be remembered.

But once you leave your home and go exploring, leave a different mark: tips and inspiration. Write your name on the tree, because you want to. Leave small notes in all the log boxes you can find. Try to help with your words.

The simplest way to leave mark is the walkers log box. But you should try more ways.

The simplest way to leave mark is the walkers log box. But you should try more ways.

And with your actions! Help your new fellas from the road: share the knowledge you have, strength, good words, company, patches for blisters or simply sips of water.

Act the way you want to be remembered. And you never know, maybe you will leave a good mark on your hike friend’s life forever.

 

P.S. Download the picture here: http://bit.ly/2tzfxcI

 

Avoid planning fever: plan&chill

Once you decide to go on a trip you may end up in planning fever: too many questions and not enough time. Best deal on tickets, nice accommodation, things to do and see, packing list and so many other questions will pop up every day until you have everything planned. Your other option is going with the flow, only buying the ticket and hoping for the best. Both of the approaches have some drawbacks, so the best way to plan would be by doing both. Here are some tips you could follow if you want to plan&chill:

  1. Tickets. Here you must choose which one you value more – time or money and stick to it. Of course, 23 hours layover in some small airport is not a thing you’d enjoy the most, but maybe it is worth it if you want to stay at your destination longer? Also, if your layover is this long and you can choose the city where you change the planes, make the decision after checking how far is the airport from the city centre. It is always nicer to go sightseeing for at least few hours than sit on the airport floor.
  2. Local events. If you want to avoid cities full of tourists or locals, check for popular events in the area around the time you’re coming. You might want to see how everything looks like, but in some places you may want to avoid those as it might get too loud and sometimes – unsafe. Also, it usually affects housing prices.
  3. Accommodation. If you’re not sure about the accommodation you’ve chosen, how long you want to stay there or what’s the availability, the best way is to contact the hotel/hostel/host directly. Don’t forget that usually locals work there, so they might help you with more questions that you have (events, transportation, currencies, etc). Also, you can pretty much feel how the place is managed from the conversation (or lack of it). Just please, don’t expect receptionists to answer ALL of your questions about the country. TIP: contacting directly might help you get a discount as the accommodation would not have to pay commission for booking systems.
  4. Things to do. Some research about things you want to see is a must. Scroll through TripAdvisor, look over some travel blogs, get the basic opinion about places you want to see, have a shortlist. But keep it simple. You can always change your mind once you go to the country, allow yourself to stay longer in a museum/city/park you enjoyed and just wander around for few hours. Some of the best places are unknown.
  5. Packing. Again, it depends. This time – on your preferences of fashion, light/heavy packing, comfort, etc. If you’re going on a long hike, there’s definitely a video from somebody that was there already with the tips about packing – check it! If you’re going for fashionable trip – you probably know your sources about packing.

Well, the last tip is to enjoy the planning. That’s the fun part. Learn few facts about the country. But if you don’t – no worries. You have internet everywhere, so just follow up while you drink coffee in a small beautiful restaurant you’ve found travelling.

Plan&chill. With tea (or beer).

Plan&chill. With tea (or beer).

P.S. Thanks for the pic, Edna: bit.ly/2rEYSFE

 

Stereotypical Turkey

Turkey has so many stereotypes about it. You might think it is only meant for going to an all inclusive resort as there are so many of those there. Or maybe you were thinking it is unsafe to go there because of the political and social unrest. I would not be surprised if you never even thought of going to the middle of Turkey to enjoy spectacular mountain views instead of warm and sunny beaches.

The truth is that even though some stereotypes about Turkey are there for a reason, the goal of your trip should be to enjoy all of them and visit places you never expected you would. Instead of booking a 5 star hotel, stay with locals in the middle of the country. Why not Cappadocia then? Unexpectedly old city built literally in the mountains. Also, rather than going on ordinary excursions you can arrange one yourself. Just pack a backpack and start hiking around as there are so many things to see and everything is perfectly convenient for the tourists. This is why Turkey actually is a tourist destination.

Try googling Cappadocia. Hot air balloons are one of the most popular things to do there. But is it a bad stereotype?

Try googling Cappadocia. Hot air balloons are one of the most popular things to do there. But is it a bad stereotype?

If you still want to have a vacay on the seashore, try the Lycian Way. Trail is located close to Antalya and Kemer, some of the most popular cities for tourism. Just walk along the perfectly designed trail and see all the best that Turkey has to offer, including the stereotypes about friendly and hospitable people, interesting old culture and other good.

You cannot have an opinion about the Turkish eyes without hearing their story from a local in Turkey itself.

You cannot have an opinion about the Turkish eyes without hearing their story from a local in Turkey itself.

Also, I hope you haven’t forgotten that we are always here to help. Just download TrailSmart to you phone or tablet and read all about the trail you want to take. The best feature about it is that you can modify it for your needs – skip a section, take an off-trail road, walk it beginning to end or the other way around. Oh, and it is FREE.

 

P.S. find these beautiful pics here:

http://bit.ly/2uyjEe4

http://bit.ly/2tgZ7L6

To pilgrim or to hike?

You’ve probably seen pictures from Camino de Santiago. Usually if a person decides to do it, he/she will share that information with you on any (every) social network. Part of the pictures will be full of deep self-realisation vibes, pilgrimage experience comments and other existential matter. Others will simply post beautiful views with even more beautiful Instagram filters. Of course, there are some posts in the middle.

The two categories described are so different due to how people see themselves: pilgrims or hikers. It would seem that all the pilgrims are hikers. But could all the hikers be called pilgrims? From the historic perspective one would consider pilgrims as people travelling to a holy sacred place. Meanwhile hikers are just walking in order to reach their final destination without emphasizing the place itself, but rather the experience from the way there.

But does the distinction still exist in the 21st century? The holy place for pilgrims is definitely still as important as it used to be. Yet if you stop thinking about the place and shift towards the action itself and the pleasure it brings, you can surely view the final “destination” (of satisfaction you’ve been seeking for) as holy and sacred, just as the city or attraction for the pilgrims.

Anyways, since less and less things have a clear definition these times, we probably shouldn’t stick to strict names for one or another. As long as you’re walking, cycling or using any other means of transportation in order to be happy and explore, you are a pilgrim and you are a hiker. The name makes no difference.

 

Call it what you want, but it would be better if you decided after seeing it yourself on Camino de Santiago.

Call it what you want, but it would be better if you decided after seeing it yourself on Camino de Santiago.

P.S. Picture is waiting for you here: http://bit.ly/2uZzGec