THE BALI SWING

PLAYGROUND FOR ADULTS

Before I jumped on a plane to Bali I’d already seen pictures of the Bali Swing on Instagram. However when I asked about it while in Ubud, it turned out that The Bali Swing was not known by everyone. You can use a swing in Bali on various spots, yet my aim was to swing above the gorge as seen on pictures, not just somewhere in the middle of the rice fields. And so I jumped into a taxi that took me to The Bali Swing, located just about a 30 minute drive from Ubud. Upon arrival I found out that it had only been opened a few months earlier, so it wasn’t a coincidence that not everyone yet knew about it.

GEIERLAY HANGBRUG

MUST DO IN GERMANY

Looking for a something fun to do in the German Hunsrück region? Then definitely consider the Geierlay suspension bridge. This suspension bridge in Germany is located in the Hunsrück just a three-hour drive from the Dutch-German border. I visited the bridge three times in recent years, the last time I even was completely alone. Below you will first find my original report and photos from August 2016, followed by updates and tips that I added following my second and most recent visit in May 2019. Enjoy reading!

10 TIPS FOR FIRST TIMERS

TRAVELING IN NEW-ZEALAND

For nature that is. Most of us come to New Zealand because of the amazing landscapes and I will never forget what was written in the guestbook of the hostel I stayed in Auckland after arrival in my first trip. It said ‘please go to the South Island as soon as you can!’. Of course, we had unfortunately booked a return trip from AKL meaning we had to return up north and leave the South Island behind at some point, which made me ache to go back. The second time I went to New Zealand, I flew out of Christchurch, so your trip definitely ends with a bang of truly stunning nature.

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Things to do in Oregon

Things to do in Oregon + route suggestion

Welcome to this in-depth article on with the best things to do in Oregon! This state on the west coast of America is still relatively unknown and that is a shame, because it’s filled with awesome sights and beautiful nature. Think of bustling Portland, Crater Lake National Park and the famous Oregon Coast where rugged coastlines and endless sandy beaches dominate the landscape.   After years of dreaming about a roadtrip in Oregon, a few years ago I made a two-week trip through the American Pacific Northwest. I had been to the more touristy part of the United States before (Yellowstone, Utah, Grand Canyon) and had heard from locals that I “really had to go to Crater Lake because I would really love it”. And so it happened. I booked a plane ticket to Seattle, picked up my rental car, and went on vacation to Oregon and Washington State.   I’ll start this article with the top Oregon attractions. Then I’ll share my route suggestion for your Oregon trip and finally I give you my general tips for travel in the United States for non-Americans. Have fun reading and inspiring!     Things to do in Portland Although Portland is not exactly small by Dutch standards (the number of inhabitants is over half a million), it’s by American standards. The high-rise buildings that you find in other cities on the west coast of America (Los Angeles, Seattle for example) are missing here and that makes it a bit cozier. One day in the city is enough to give you a good impression of Portland and its sights.   One of the best things to do in Portland are the Pine Street Market, the Rose Garden (with a view of Mount Hood), the Street Art with “Keep Portland Weird” and of course the various food trucks. As I was in Portland on a Sunday, many of these food trucks were unfortunately closed. If you are going to Portland especially for these, I highly recommend that you plan your road trip in Oregon in such a way that you are not in Portland on Sundays.   Where to stay: The Society Hotel     Mount Hood Mount Hood is a 3.429 meter high stratovolcano located a short drive from Portland. In the summer it is a popular area for hiking and other outdoor activities, in the winter there is skiing on the flanks of this volcano. You can visit Mount Hood for a day from Portland or go there for a longer period of time. I spent 24 hours there and went on several beautiful hikes, including one on the famous Pacific Crest Trail, which passes close to Mount Hood.   It is also nice to have take a seat at the terrace at the Timberline Lodge. This historic lodge has become famous for being used for the movie The Shining. Confusing, because the hotel as it is called in the movie is The Stanley Hotel which is in fact located in Estes Park in Colorado. I also vitisted that one, but I found it a huge disappointment to be honest.   Would you like to read more about Mount Hood? Then check out this article about 24 hours in Mount Hood and the surrounding area.   Where to stay: Cooper Spur Mountain Resort     Crater Lake National Park The highlight of my Oregon trip was my visit to Crater Lake National Park. Ever since I saw the first photos of this special natural phenomenon, I knew I wanted to go to Crater Lake one day. And so it happened. It even made me so emotional when I arrived that tears came to my eyes when I first saw the bright blue Crater Lake.   Crater Lake National Park is about a five-hour drive south of Portland and due to its elevation, you can only visit snow-free for a few months of the year. Even during my visit at the end of July, there was still snow in many places and several hiking trails were still closed. So August is definitely a better option!   For Crater Lake National Park, 24 hours is also sufficient to get a good impression of the park. I visited the Rim, hiked to the highest point in the park (Mount Scott) and visited The Pinnacles. You can find all my tips for your visit to Crater Lake here.   Where to stay: Crater Lake Resort   Be sure to check out the video I made about my visit to Crater Lake National Park:     Columbia River Gorge Also worth a visit is the Columbia River Gorge. This wide river valley is the natural border between Oregon and Washington. You can cross it over the famous “Bridge of the Gods” at Cascade Locks, the point where Reese Witherspoon ends her adventure in the movie Wild.   The Columbia River Gorge is particularly known for its beautiful waterfalls and is a popular place for Americans to celebrate their holidays. This ensures that most waterfalls are peak pressure in the summer and that sometimes you cannot even park at the waterfall of your place. In the Columbia River Gorge there are no less than 18 waterfalls that you can visit, of which Mulnomah Falls are the most famous. By the way, I did not visit this one myself because of extreme crowds. Instead I went to some smaller waterfalls.   You can visit the Columbia River Gorge for a day from Portland by rental car. Please note that there have been serious fires in the Columbia River Gorge in 2019 and that nature is still recovering from this. As a result, it may not be possible to visit all tourist spots or they may look different than the internet suggests. Nature is still in the recovery phase here.     The Pacific Coast The Oregon Coast is one of the major things to do in Oregon. The rugged coastline is ideal for a day or two. Special places include Cape Meares and Cannon Beach. You can get a breath of fresh air on the beach, gather driftwood or enjoy a campfire. Keep in mind that there is often no last minute availability on the Oregon Coast. I spent half a day looking for affordable accommodation (not found) – even all the campsites were full. In the end I spent the night in my car on the border of Oregon and Washington, not really recommended. Book in advance!Boek your accommodation on the Oregon coast in well in advance!     Het dry interior While the coastline is predominantly moist and green, the Oregon interior is relatively dry. I discovered this while driving north from Crater Lake and driving through arid landscapes. I camped with a beautiful view of the Oregon and Washington volcanoes in Redmond, in the middle of the desert. A beautiful sunset made it a complete desert experience.   Where to stay: KOA Culver Redmond     Oregon road trip in 9 of 10 days Most travelers spend about a week to a week and a half in Oregon. I have therefore compiled the following itinerary for you:   Day 1. Arrival in Portland Day 2. Free day in Portland Day 3. Visit the Columbia River Gorge by rental car Day 4. Drive along the Oregon Coast Day 5. Drive to Crater Lake National Park Day 6. Free day Crater Lake National Park Day 7. Drive to Mount Hood via Redmond Day 8. Free day at Mount Hood, return to Portland at the end of the day Day 9. Return rental car or departure to Washington   If you want to continue to Washington State with highlights such as Seattle, Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park, check the 14-day Pacific Northwest itinerary that I made for a tour of both states.     General tips for your Oregon journey – Do not forget to activate your credit card and bring your pin code. In America you can hardly pay with a debit card and almost everything is done by credit card. Tip: change the pin code at an ATM in your home country to the pin code that you also use with your bank card, then you will not be able to forget it! – Although I really enjoyed my tour of Oregon, I found it very busy in most places and sometimes had to search a long time until I found an available place to stay. Therefore, book your overnight spots during the high season (June to August)!   Conclusion and disclaimer I hope you found this article about things to see in Oregon trip helpful. If you have any questions and / or comments, feel free to leave them in the comments. This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase or make a reservation via such a link, I may receive a modest commission at no extra cost!  

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saving for te araroa

Saving for Te Araroa – my saving plans and expected costs

As promised, I’ll take on my journey filled with the preparations for my Te Araroa hike for the next year and a half. Although it is still unclear whether New Zealand will be open by that time (in October / November 2022), I do assume that travel will be possible again by then.   Besides the fact that New Zealand must be open to tourism by then, there are two things that are necessary to make this trip: time and money. Fortunately, time I have as an entrepreneur, but not yet enough money. That’s why I made a savings plan for this trip, which I will share with you in this blog. So to hopefully inspire you to chase your dreams and to show you how you can make a big goal a little smaller and more achievable in such a way. Enjoy reading!   How much does hiking Te Araroa cost? I started researching how much it would cost to do Te Araroa, but didn’t find a ton of information about it. The Te Araroa website itself has a recommendation of approximately NZD 7,000-10,000 for a period of 5 months. On other blogs I read completely different amounts. So I find it difficult to estimate. Since I have of course traveled through New Zealand before, I checked my old spreadsheets with costs.   During these trips, I only traveled on a budget so much. I bought and / or rented a car, went out for dinner once a day (usually for lunch) and sometimes even stayed overnight in luxury hotels. I spent an average of NZD 100 per day.   Regarding the above, I assume that I should be able to need a little more than half of this during Te Araroa. Because I I’ll camp lot of the time and/or spend the night in (free) mountain huts and will eat out less. So I’ve estimated the average amount Te Araroa website mentions, or NZD 8.500 – which roughly equates to € 5.000 – or € 1.000 per month in spending in New Zealand.   Flights and insurance Then there are costs for flight to New Zealand from The Netherlands. I find it difficult to estimate how much that will cost me because the world is of course in crisis at the moment. It remains to be seen what flight prices will do. In recent years I have been able to book a return ticket to Auckland for less than € 1.000, so I am assuming an amount of € 1.000 for a plane ticket for this trip.   I already have travel insurance for my work and I count it as business costs, for which I set aside an X amount each month as those costs. So I do not charge any extra costs for that, but I include them in the costs that I will continue to have in the Netherlands.     Cost for gear I expect to be able to get all the gear I expect to need through my various websites and my work. So I did not charge any extra costs for this. I have not yet thought about which gear I’ll take with me, that I will look into at a later stage in the preparation process. In addition, items will of course be broken and/or lost along the way. I make a separate budget for that.   Costs in the Netherlands during my adventure Then there are the costs that still remain at home when I’m not there. Think of rent (I’ll keep my cabin in the woods and will most likely share the rent with my partner), my health insurance and other insurances. In addition, of course I have various business costs such as keeping my websites up and running, insurance, etc. I have estimated that the costs in the Netherlands will be between € 1.000 and € 1.200 per month.   Fortunately, I have been working very hard over the years to create ‘passive income’. This is income that you generate without directly doing any counter-service. Think of the advertisements you see on this site and the purchases/reservations you make through my sites. Either way, this income comes in every month, whether I’m out hiking or not. I do include two side notes:   – I’ll spend 1 day a week on the trail blogging/creating content and checking whether all my sites are still up and running. I cannot stop all my projects for 5 months. That is a choice I made when I became an entrepreneur and I still fully support it. So I don’t see it as an obstacle. I’m still thinking about exactly how I am going to do this. So bring your laptop or not? Buy a VPN or not? To hire a virtual assistant or not? I will study this further in the coming year and keep you posted about my decisions!   – This amount is based on an average from the pre-corona time. Since no one can predict how things will go in the coming years, I have based the expectations on an average from the past. It remains to be seen whether this is feasible and I cannot say anything about it now. However, my intuition tells me that it should definitely be OK like tis.   In other words: I’ll pay all fixed costs that “remain” in the Netherlands from my passive income. So I don’t have to save extra for it.   How much should I save? And now the key question… how much should I save? With the aforementioned 5.000 euros in costs for the trail and € 1.000 for the plane ticket, I expect to need at least € 6.000. I expect to leave in October or November 2022 (I will go further into this another time), which means that from March 2021 I have about 20 months to start saving. This equals an amount of € 300 per month.   This is of course a considerable amount and I have been thinking all winter about how I could generate this. Because my fixed costs have gone up considerably from January 1, since I moved to my own house, I had to recalculate a lot and withdraw money from my savings account because I hardly have any income due to corona. I’m not going to elaborate on that, but the bottom line is that I have the following ideas to save the amount together.   1. Cancel subscriptions. I canceled my Canva Pro and Spotify Premium. This saves me € 30 per month.   2. Spend less money on groceries. I hope to save around € 50 per month with this. I’m already going to budget stores such as Lidl and Jumbo, but I don’t want to compromise on the quality of my food. I still eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, avocado and I buy meat, fish and eggs mostly organic. It doesn’t feel right for me to cut back on this as well. By the way, I only eat meat once a week lately so that’s a huge saving as well.   3. Sell my e-book “10 steps to a more adventurous life”. I wrote an e-book for adventurous women in January and February. After deduction of VAT and costs for my payment system, I am left with € 9 per sold book. One third of this goes to the podcast costs I make (website, fuel costs to interviews, Soundcloud, etc.) and the rest, or € 6 per book, goes to my Te Araroa fund. I expect to sell about 10 books per month, or € 60 per month.   4. I got into crypto. I won’t elaborate on this in detail because I am not an expert and do not have the ambition to fully keep track of exactly how I do that. However, I have gathered a group of like-minded people around me who provide me with good advice in the field of crypto currency. I use Bitvavo for my crypto coins and check daily which crypto is best for me to buy / sell. This takes me some time, but consider it a hobby. Having a purpose with your crypto suddenly makes it a lot more fun.   I realize that I could earn more with crypto, but I also partly use crypto for other investments that I want to make in the future. So I only transfer a small part of my crypto profit to my New Zealand account.   Total to save per month: – Savings subscriptions: € 25, – – Savings groceries: € 50, – – Sale e-book: € 60, – – Profit from Crypto: € 100, –   Total: € 235,-   This is still not enough to reach € 300 per month, but there are some new developments that I’ll tell you more about in a next article. This will allow me to get the right amount together on time. More about that in the next blog!   Conclusion and disclaimer for saving from Te Araroa I hope to have given you an idea of how I want to pay for this trip without doing extremely weird moves and to continue living my life as it is now. Got questions? Comments? Drop them down below!   This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase or make a reservation via such a link, I may receive a modest commission at no extra cost to you.  

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What to pack for Iceland in the summer

Although Iceland is a destination that can be visited all year round, the majority of tourists visit Iceland in the summer. I have been to Iceland six times in the summer (and four times in the winter) and what I always remember is that it’s actually always relatively cold in Iceland. When I look back at the photos I took during those travels, I never really wear just a t-shirt, but always a warm jacket or sweather and long pants. Don’t be alarmed, but the average temperature in Iceland in summer (July and August) is between 10 and 13°c. This may require some creativity with packing for Iceland because it might not be the regular things that you take with you on a summer vacation. That’s why I have compiled this packing list for Iceland in the summer for you, based on years of travel experience in Iceland. Enjoy reading!   Are you going to Iceland in winter? Then check the Iceland winter packing list here     About Iceland in the summer Let me start this article with some more information about Iceland in the summer. As mentioned above, the average temperature on a summer day is not very high. Occasionally the Icelanders have peaks of 20 and 25°C, but this is quite exceptional. I can remember just one day when it was warm enough to go out with a t-shirt.   What makes the wind chill in Iceland somewhere between cool and cold is the strong wind that is often blowing. This usually means that the temperature is very low as it feels. A day without wind is quite rare in Iceland, especially on the coast and in the highlands the wind can blow very hard. Fortunately, there are plenty of hot springs in Iceland to warm you up on cooler summer days.     Packing list Iceland: a warm jacket A warm and especially water and windproof jacket is really indispensable to take to Iceland. I have been wearing Fjällräven’s Eco Shell for years (see photos with red jacket in this article) and it keeps me protected from wind and rain. If you do not have a budget for an expensive jacket, then the coats from Decathlon are recommended. However, the difference in quality with a jacket from, for example, Fjällräven or The North Face is considerable. If you plan to buy a good jacket just for this trip, Decathlon will suffice. If you want to last longer with your jacket, invest in a quality brand.     Sturdy boots Sturdy walking shoes are really a must. They do not necessarily have to be ankle high boots, but should at least have a good profile and be waterproof. You are guaranteed to get wet in Iceland at some point during your trip and nothing is more annoying than wet feet during your walk or excursion. In addition, many trails to sights are uneven and you walk on beaches, lava fields and other uneven landscapes. There may also be ice and snow in the interior until well into the summer. Sturdy shoes are therefore a must. In addition, I usually bring a pair of sneakers for when I’m not on the road and a pair of slippers for during your visit to the hot springs.   What to wear underneath your jacket As mentioned, your footwear and your jacket are the most important, but what you wear underneath also needs some attention. I myself am a fan of wearing multiple layers, so that you can always put on or take off something extra when you get cold and / or warm. For my upper body I have the following with me as standard:   – 1 Icebreaker Thermal Shirt (has been around for 10 years and I use it on literally every trip I take!) – 1 Kari Traa merino base layer shirt – A fleece sweater of your choice   The first two pieces are made of merino wool which keeps warm but also absorbs. Wool dries quickly so if you start to sweat, you will not have a sticky back or something for the rest of the day.   In terms of pants, you can best choose what to wear. I often get the question whether ski pants are sufficient and I think that is certainly an option, but to be honest, my ski pants are quite bulky and that doesn’t make me happy if I have to wear them all day. That’s why I wore my Fjällräven leggings last time. Usually I also have jeans with me for good days. Good rain pants are also really indispensable.   Scarves, hats, mittens Finally, I definitely recommend that you bring a hat, scarf and gloves or mittens. I don’t have any guidelines for this, as long as it’s warm. If, like us, you are going to do the Ice Caves & Lava tour, for example, it is useful to bring waterproof gloves because you regularly crawl over the ground and it is nice if your hands stay warm and dry. Tip: also bring a few sets of hand warmers for cold moments during the day! I never wear a scarf myself, but actually always a merino buff: one of the best investments ever if you ask me and at least as practical as a scarf because you can also use it as a hat, for example.   What else to pack for Iceland in the summer Furthermore, I always take the following with me, but that of course depends on your own preference: – Bikini and lightweight travel towel for the hot baths – Underwear (just normal because I’ve already adjusted the rest of my clothes) – Toiletries – First aid kit – Travel guide to Iceland – Electronics + chargers – A book (tip: read Arnaldur Indridason’s thrillers during your Iceland trip!) – A daypack -> think for example of the waterproof Fjällräven Ulvö Rolltop     Icelandic clothing Would you like to buy something Icelandic? Iceland has some very nice outdoor brands, but you should start saving because it’s not very cheap. The most famous brand is 66 North, I personally think this is a beautiful brand with fine clothing that generally lasts a long time, including a fleece sweater and gloves. The sweater I’m wearing on the cover picture is from 66 North and I’ve been wearing it for more than 10 yers now. A lesser known brand is Cintamani, their clothing is recognizable by the orange logo. Then there are Zo-On Iceland (I have a lovely warm down jacket), Ice Wear and a few smaller brands. You can buy these clothes everywhere in Iceland, but the best prices can be found at the outlets just outside Reykjavík. The 66 North outlet can be found at Faxefen near Reykjavik, the Cintamani outlet can be found in Garðabær just outside Reykjavík.   Conclusion and disclaimer This was my article on what to pack for Iceland in the summer. Hopefully it will help you prepare for your Iceland trip. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them via the comments section below. This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a modest commission, of course at no extra cost to you!  

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HIKING INSPIRATION
Paklijst Wandelvakantie

Everest Base Camp Trek or Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Let me start by saying that both treks are tough and should not be underestimated. If you have no experience in trekking, you will have to carry lots of stamina and willpower in order to make it to either basecamp. It’s not easy but not impossible either. Which of the two is the most difficult is hard to say and really depends on various factors. If we look at altitude, Everest Base Camp Trek is definitely the most challenging reaching 5.364 meters above sea level. If you decide to trek via Gokyo, which I strongly recommend so you won’t have to hike the same route twice, you will have to cross Cho-La Pass which is even higher and reaches as high as 5.420 meters. Annapurna Base Camp is located at 4.130 meters above sea level, meaning you need less time to acclimatize.

Hiking in Europe: 12 of the best hiking trails

Iregularly have discussions with friends about whether you have to travel far away (= outside of Europe for me) every year. Not only because of the flying embarrassment that seems to be on the rise, but also because there are plenty of nice walks in Europe. You don’t always have to go far to see beautiful landscapes. Need inspiration? Then read on in this article with the beste places to hike in Europe, from north to south. All trails have been made by myself so I only advise you from my own experience, as you are used to from me. Enjoy reading and hiking!

The best hikes in New Zealand

The good thing about hiking in New Zealand is that it can be done from anywhere as there are numerous of trails all over the country, whether it’s close to the city or far away from civilization. In addition to my old post, I will also add more information about the best multi-day hikes in New Zealand as well as shorter hikes that can be done by anyone. Enjoy this list with the best hikes in New Zealand!

Safe solo hiking as a female: my tips and tricks

When planning to hike a long(ish) track, it’s wise to figure out as much as you can about the trail. What the distance is, how to get to the start and end and what the current trail situation is. Many of these things can be found online nowadays and by doing some research beforehand you can avoid unpleasant surprises along the way. Such as not carrying enough drinking water or having to make a river crossing. But also there may be ferries that are not running on certain days or the bus service you may need could be limited on certain days. All these things can be found out well in advance.

Voedsel tijdens meerdaagse trektochten

The best hikes in Tasmania

We found another hiking paradise and it’s called Tasmania. Located on the opposite part of the world for us, we spent a month here, exploring what Australians call ‘the Apple Island’ by foot and by bike. We knew that Tasmania had some pretty spectacular scenery to offer but we kept on being surprised over and over again by the diversity of this place. One day we’d stand with our feet in the sand on some stunning beach and the next day we’d be in a rain forrest discovering the prettiest little waterfalls. When you are going hiking here, there is no way you will get disappointed. Here is our selection of the best hikes in Tasmania!

A guide to things to do at Crater Lake National Park

For me, a visit to Crater Lake National Park had been on my bucketlist for many years. Being from The Netherlands it’s not nearly as well known and popular as other US National Parks such as The Grand Canyon or Yellowstone National Park. However, after hearing about this place from a friend, I knew I wanted to go here one day. I kept on googling Crater Lake National Park year after year, at some point I knew it was my time to head on another trip to the US and go for it. And so I finally got to visit Crater Lake National Park after wanting to go for such a long time.

ABOUT WE12TRAVEL
Hi! Welcome to We12travel (‘we want to travel’)! My name is Antonette. I’m a world traveler, writer, and lover of being outdoors. When I’m not traveling, I live in a cabin in the woods in The Netherlands. I spend my time hiking The Veluwe, the largest natural area in our country, which also happens to be my back yard.

On We12travel you will find everything you want to know about outdoor traveling, nature and hiking. From the best outdoor clothing to the greatest multi-day treks in the world, and everything in between. I’ve been inspiring readers from all across the globe since 2011 and am the leading Dutch outdoor and hiking blog ever since. I help you in your search for beautiful hiking destinations, preparing for your trek and planning your trip in nature.


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