This Is Why We Love Village Hopping

Village hopping near mountain northen India

What Is Village Hopping?

Village hopping is an excellent way to discover small villages and get more insight into local life. You might wonder, what exactly is village hopping? And what are the benefits of trying it out?

Village hopping means to discover villages for a shorter period, from a few hours to a few days. Sometimes it includes visiting several places during one day. It is a way to get a glimpse of local life but also a way to get some adventure.

Being Spontaneous While Doing Village Hopping

True adventure while traveling includes being flexible, spontaneous and let curiosity guide you. When doing so, you will meet interesting people, see new places and create memorable days. Village hopping offers it all, with the unique charm, closeness to nature, and local life. It doesn’t have to be a small village, suburbs or the outskirt of a city can also have a smalltown vibe.

These places can often be found in the more remote end stations on metro lines or buses. It is a refreshing feeling to step out of the bus and having a fixed plan on where to go. A fun and exciting way to explore a new area is to follow your gut feeling or go after visual clues. Some example of visual clues can be a mountain, a walking path or a house that looks interesting. If you spot something you are curious about, let that be your direction. During your way look at things you find interesting, notice small details. In most cases this approach is safe, but be aware of where you are in and the current situation. Not all countries have the same security and if not village hopping is better to avoid.

Interact With Locals and Learn About the Culture

Smiling is a universal language, most people respond and smile back. Being kind can open up for conversations, making new friends and get closer to the culture.

From earlier travels, village hopping has led us to amazing experiences. Some of them are making new friends, sharing a cup of tea and learn about local plants. This lets us see coffee plants, black pepper trees, and pineapple plants in the backyard of new friends.

We have also joined many different local festivals, for example, the women’s day in Laos, when a few local women invited us to join their celebration. It all happened because we got curious, followed the sound of music and then found their place. We didn’t talk much since we didn’t share a common language, but for sure it was fun to dance and laugh together. Meeting people like this helps to stay humble, feeling connected, and increase tolerance. Our cultures and beliefs can be different, but in the end, we all want to be safe, happy and have a good time.

Get Some Perspective by Slowing Down

Village hopping is not only about connecting with people. Sometimes, it can be about getting a bit of perspective, a place to think or connect with nature. Spending time in green areas and slow down helps to bring harmony into life, making it easier to be in the present moment and enjoy life. I like to find a sit under a tree, strolling around or go to a local café and observe daily life.

 

Village Hopping Is for Everyone

This travel approach is for everyone to apply, no matter your age, travel experience or language skills. There are many adventures waiting ahead or you! By being spontaneous, open and trying something new is a great way to invite adventure into your life.

31 Days To Connect With Nature

picture of nature, title, 31 days to connect with nature

 

1. Feel the structure of the trees
Walk to a green area in your neighborhood and find a place with trees. Feel the structure of the trees, leaves and rocks with your hands. Look at the colors and the pattern of the surroundings. Take some deep breath, notice how it feels.

tree in a park

 

2. Look up into the sky
Go outside for 10 minutes, look up in the sky. Focus on the colors. What color can you see? Look deep into the sky and focus on what you can see. Can you see any birds around in the trees, roofs or far away? Can you hear them sing?

sky and a bird


3. Connect though e
xercise
Do some exercises outside such as take a walk, bike ride or a run. Choose an area where it’s less stressful and you can feel relaxed. If you live in the city center it there might be some streets with less traffic and where you  can go-
cycles in the woods

 

4. Write a list of green areas close to where you live
Spend 10 minutes to write down what possibilities you have to connect to nature in everyday life. What green areas do you have close to your home? ( E.g a park, forest, national park, walking path, some green areas in city and so on.)feel a bit more relaxed.
Write down everything you can come up with. Later when you need to calm down you can visit some of these places.

noteblock and pen

 

5. Make sure to get time to visit the the places
Go and visit one of the areas you wrote down yesterday :)!

taking action, jumping

 

6. Bring a book and find a nice spot
Bring a book and walk until you find a bench where you want to sit. Take 15 minutes to just sit down and relax while reading a good book.

a book next to the sea

 

5. Do some cloudspotting
Go outside, take 10 deep breaths. Look at the clouds in the sky. What do they look like? If it’s cloudy you can probably see different shapes in the clouds and come up with what it looks like?
If it’s rainy/ snowing look what it looks like when the water/snow falls on the ground, feel how it feels when it hits you, and smell how it smells like. :)

clouds

 

6. Bring a cup of coffee/tea/ smoothie 
Bring a nice cup of coffee/tea/ smoothie and go for a walk while enjoying the drink, the exercise and the surroundings. Focus on all the green areas, plants, flowers, trees and bushes you see. Do you recognize any of them?

smoothie

 

7. Spot animals outside
Get fascinated of all the animals that you meet outside, look for squirrels, ants, beetles, bumblebees, cats, dogs and so on.
If you like animals and do not have any allergy you can ask a dog owner of it’s OK to pet his/her dog:)

bumblebee

 

8. Pick berries or fruits
Do you have any berry bushes in your areas or any fruit trees? Are there any public ones where you are allowed to pick your own or a place where you can pay and pick your own?
What kind of fruits and berries grows in your area/ country?
Go out for a look and bring a fruit/ smoothie with you to enjoy.

berries

 

9. Listen to  sound of water
Are there any places where you can walk along a beach, river, lake or see some water, perhaps even a water fountain? If so go there and sit for a while. Listen to the sound of the water and if you want feel it with your hands.

small river

 

11. Feed some birds
Bring some bread and go out and feed some birds! Look at the variety of their colors and patterns and how they interact with each other and their surroundings.

a man feeding the birds

 

12. Sit under a tree
Choose a favorite tree and sit under it and close your eyes and take some deep breaths.

book and glases

 

13. Discover the area with your camera
Bring your camera and try to be curious, take pictures of what makes you happy outdoors. Maybe it is a dog, a flower, a nice sky, your walking shoes or a friend you are walking with?
purple flowers and shoes

 

14. Take a longer hike /bicycle trip
Consider taking a longer bicycle trip/ hike. Pack some food and drinks and you are ready to go! Don’t know where? Walk and investigate new places in your city.

autumn in the woods, hiking trail covered in yellow leaves

 

15. Whatch the sunset
Note what time its sunset. Decide to go out/ look through the window at that time to see the sun.

sunset


16. Listen to a audiobook or podcast while enjoying nature

Bring your cell phone and listen to an audiobook, podcast or music while walking / sitting on a bench and enjoying being surrounding by nature. Choose any media that makes you happy. Feel how you connect with nature by simply just getting outside :).

bench


17. Try Geocashing

Have you ever tried Geocaching? If so find what caches that’s close to you. If not, download the app geocaching and get a username. Search in your areas through the app to find new places.
geochashing coin pirate


18. Have a picnic or a BBQ

Bring food for a picnic or BBQ! Choose some of the places you have written down before at day 4.

picnic

 

19. Do some outdoor exercise
Do some kind of exercise you enjoy outside: walking/ running/ orientation/ biking/ canoeing/ skiing and so on.

snow landscape next to sea

 

20. Watch the stars
Wait until its dark and look if you can see any stars or the moon. Are they any? Do you know any star sign? Maybe you want to learn some stars/ signs? Takes some minutes to look at the dark sky and what it might show you.

milkyway

 

21. Go out for a walk in the early morning
Notice, does it feel different? In that case how? Pay attention to how this will affect your day.

sunrise


22. Discover what kind of trees you have in your area

Go out and see what kind of trees you have in your areas. Can you recognize any? If not can you ask someone or Google?


23. Visit a park with a friend

Decide with a friend to visit a park together.

parks with cherryblossom

 

24. Brings some flowers to your home
Consider if you want to have some more flowers in your home. Walk by and visit a flower shop if you want. Or just take care of your flowers at home and give them some water.

simple yellow flowers in a vase

 

25. Do some planning while being outdoors
Find a nice place and do some planning and thinking outdoors instread of doing all planning indoors.

yellow jacket, notebook and pen outdoors

 

26. Go outside for 10 minutes and notice how it affects you
How does it affect your mood and feelings?

holding hands sunset

 

27. Take photos on how you connect with nature during one day
Take photos of everything that relates to that connection, for example: do you eat vegetables, look at the flowers, enjoy the sun?

vegan breakfast

 


28. Pick up trash from the nature

Do something good for nature and pick up three things from the ground and put it in the trash. Notice what a good deed you did! Enjoy a cleaner place to leave behind.

 

29. Give away something to second hand
Do you have something you don’t need any more that someone else might use? Think about how much giving away things for second hand connects you with nature and other people.

 

30. Listen to the birds and focus on your breathing
Notice if you are stressed or not. How does this exercise help you?


31. Choose your favorite activity and do it once again

Congrats your final day!! You have done a lot of things to connect with nature. Since this is your last day of this challenge you are free to choose your favorite exercise and do it again:)!

How To Behave in Singapore

 

Singapore is known for restrictions and fees on behaviors that are not allowed like jaywalking, bringing a durian (fruit) to hotel or metro, chewing a gum or drinking water in the metro and lots more.
In January 2016 they seem to have a campaign on how to behave on the metro and created cute and funny characters, here are two of them, HushHushHanna and BagDownBenny:)

Singapore standupstacySingapore Bagdownbenny

Alternative Things to Do in Porto – Discover Narrow Allyes and Street Art

Are you searching for something fun, interesting and alternative to do in Porto?

If that is the case we would highly recommend preparing for a long and nice day of discovering Porto by foot. It’s is amazing how many charming, narrow alleys there are and such unique houses with lovely tails, mixtures, hens, and everyday life is going in here. You will never know what unexpected might be and surprise you around the next corner.

Our other recommendation would be to discover Porto’s amazing Street Art. The first week in Porto had so much eye candy to offer that we had to share it with you guys. It’s amazing how huge urban cities can almost turn into art museums, or at least turn out to something like a small art gallery. The atmosphere of a city can become so warm, empathetic and colorful with just the creativity of someone expressing their feelings in the public domains. This picture from a telephone booth that someone decided to tell a story and create something mystic with, just lovely!

We decided to start sharing more from our journey of interesting things we stumble upon and will share it both here and on Instagram. Hopefully, we can come with inspiring and interesting perspectives from Portugal and around the World:)