May Travel Updates from That Backpacker

May was a whirlwind and I seriously feel like I say this every month, but there was a one-week period in there where I had to take 7 flights (never particularly fun for someone who doesn’t enjoy flying!), yet I somehow managed to get by with very little jetlag to show for it.

This month I visited a total of 5 countries, 1 of them new to me, and a couple of cities that I had never been to before. I also drank more wine than I’ve ever consumed in my life, because hello South Africa. Now let’s roll back the tape.

Where I went

USA: Nevada

Canada: Toronto

South Africa: Stellenbosch and Cape Town

Germany: Nuremberg

Hungary: Budapest

May in review

A 3-day road trip through Nevada

Sam and I spent 3 days road tripping around Nevada and it was a blast! I don’t think I’ve done a road trip in the US as an adult, and the first thing that struck me was the scenery; there were some beautiful stretches of driving and far more open spaces than I was expecting. Sometimes we would drive 100 miles without seeing a town or a gas station in sight! Even though we only had 3 days there, we still managed to drive the Extraterrestrial Highway, visit Valley of Fire, and do some fun outdoorsy activities.

A week of wine drinking in Stellenbosch

I spent a week in Stellenbosch as part of the #Stellenblog campaign to help showcase this slice of the Cape Winelands, and I could have easily stayed there another week. You’d think that going from winery to winery would get a bit repetitive, but there are so many different wines and pairings on offer, that there was always a new experience to be had. My favourites were the wine and dessert pairings; we visited 3 different wineries where you can sample wine with cupcakes, chocolate and fudge. Yes, please!

Finally enjoying Cape Town with blue skies

Last time I was in Cape Town, it was only for a few short days and it pretty much poured rain the whole time except for one afternoon. This meant we didn’t get to see as much of the city as we wanted to. This time around, we gave ourselves a full week in the Mother City and jam-packed as many sights, tours and restaurant outings as we possibly could. The result was this video guide to Cape Town.

Staying in a mansion and exploring Nuremberg

After two weeks in South Africa, we flew back to Germany where we found one of the coolest AirBnBs to date: a private studio inside a 4-story mansion complete with a garden courtyard. Even though we didn’t get to explore the mansion (a family actually lives there!), it proved to be the perfect quiet setting to catch up on work. We also took a bit of time off to do some sightseeing around Nuremberg. FYI, if you’re ever pressed for time, this city can easily be explored in a day or two.

Love at first bite with Hungarian food

I love Hungarian food! I knew next to nothing about Hungarian cuisine before visiting, yet I feasting to my heart’s content. From bowls of goulash to hearty stews, and potato pancakes to crepes with rum, it was a very tasty visit. Also, if you ever find yourself in Budapest and you want a taste of traditional Hungarian food, I would recommend Kék Rózsa (Blue Rose) in the Jewish Quarter. They have mouthwatering dishes and large portions in a simple no-fuss setting; you come here for the food and not the decor. It kind of reminded me of the bodegónes in Buenos Aires.

Cool contests and travel opportunities

World Nomads Travel Film Scholarship 2017

World Nomads is at it again with another cool scholarship. This one is aimed at budding filmmakers in the travel sphere. The assignment is going to be all about capturing the stories of communities living in Kerala, so the video application involves interviewing an inspiring traveller and sharing a story of courage, kindness or acceptance.

A dose of wanderlust

Since I’m heading back to Kyrgyzstan (more on that below!), here are a few blog posts from my first visit to inspire a bit of wanderlust.

Horse Trekking and Yurt Living in Song Kol – A 3-day trek through a beautiful part of the country.

An Introduction to the World Nomad Games – It only comes around every two years, so it’s worth marking your calendar.

10 Kyrgyzstan Travel Tips for Adventurous Travellers – A few things to help you on your visit.

What’s next?

We’ve booked ourselves a modern AirBnB in Budapest where we plan to get caught up on all our editing (we’ve been filming a lot!) and then do some more filming around Budapest as well, because we can’t come all the way here and not pull out our cameras. I’m looking forward to visiting some of the baths, going to the famed ruin bars, and eating really well.

After two weeks in Budapest, we are going back to Kyrgyzstan! We were there last year to attend the World Nomad Games, but this upcoming visit is going to have even more of an outdoorsy focus with lots of hiking, horse trekking and yurt stays.

At the end of the month we’ll be back in Europe, but then it’s a matter of where next? We’re thinking maybe the Balkans?!

I’ll have a new travel update soon!