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Photo backup: how to keep your memories safe

After learning the hard way, we share our tried and tested photo backup systems to help you keep your photographs safe

It was in the Cotopaxi region of Ecuador that we met Michael, a fellow backpacker who had spent the previous weeks on a surfing trip of a lifetime. Earlier in the day, Michael’s GoPro had dislodged from its extender during a jump into a waterfall and sunk to the depths below.

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How to build a campfire: a step-by-step guide

Our detailed and easy-to-follow guide on how to build a campfire will ensure you can enjoy a satisfying and safe campfire when camping

Many a man claims to be an expert firestarter – in the same way, many a man claims he does not need to ask for directions…

Is there really a best time to book flights?

News outlets periodically claim to share the best time to book flights. Is there such a thing and, if so, when is it? We ask an expert for answers

When it comes to the best time to book flights, Peter and I do very little strategising. We simply search online and book the first decent deal we see.

In the early days, we sacrificed time to save money, but as we’ve grown older and more financially stable, we’ve moved in the other direction. We’ll still endure an 18-hour layover if it saves us hundreds of pounds (like we did in Singapore this year), but will no longer sleep overnight in an airport to save mere tens of pounds (like we did in Chile three years ago).

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Addis Ababa walking tour: how to do it yourself

We venture out on a DIY Addis Ababa walking tour and share our insights into exploring the city

So to Addis Ababa, the final stop on our month-long Ethiopian epic. It’s not unfair to say that this rambling expanse of brown-hued avenues has little cheer or charm. Most tourists stop only in transit en route to the country’s better sights.

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How to shoot outdoor video on a smartphone

We share 12 practical tips, techniques and recommendations for improving your outdoor video footage

“You should do more video.”

This has become both a request and a rebuke from our friends and readers at Atlas & Boots. Admittedly, video has played third fiddle on our travels after writing and photography.

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Mountain etiquette: how to treat your guide

If you’re an adventurer dreaming of great mountains, familiarise yourself with correct mountain etiquette to ensure a pleasant experience for everyone

There’s a moment in Sherpa, the BAFTA-nominated documentary about Everest’s famous guides, where a western tourist asks “can you not talk to their owners?” in reference to the striking Sherpas.

It may have been an innocuous plea made in a moment of frustration but in the harsh truth of film, the question exposes an unsettling attitude to the guides that risk their lives to lead others to the summit.

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How to pack a backpack for hiking (with diagrams)

Knowing how to pack a backpack for hiking and camping trips will make expeditions of any length easier and more enjoyable.

I’ve written before about how to choose a backpack and why getting it right is so important. It should be noted, however, that even the best backpack in the world – poorly packed – can make a hiking trip frustrating at best and disastrous at worst.

Khmer chameleon: how to blend with locals in Cambodia

It’s become something of a mantra among travel experts, this call to “mix with the locals”. It urges us to learn the local language, to dress in local dress, to “do as the Romans do”.

It’s true that local interaction offers a more authentic experience, but how many of us truly engage beyond haggling at a market or talking to a taxi driver? With western pressures on our time, most travellers are lucky to even leave the tourist hotspots. With a little thought, however, it can be done.

We share on the G Adventures blog five local experiences that offer a slice of real life in Cambodia: https://www.gadventures.com.au/blog/khmer-chameleon-blending-locals-cambodia.

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Don’t Offer Papaya: announcing our new book

Our new book, Don’t Offer Papaya: 101 Tips for Your First Time Around the World, is available in paperback and on Kindle from $3.99.

As most of our readers will know, in August 2014, we quit our jobs in publishing and teaching and left the concrete streets of London for our first trip around the world.

With years of exploring already behind us, we thought we knew everything there was to know about long-term travel. Yet, somehow, we still “offered papaya” in Colombia, got a funny tummy in Tonga, fell off a bike in Bora Bora and broke down in Bolivia (in more ways than one).

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How to deal with a weak hiking partner

It’s safe to say that Peter is a far stronger and more experienced hiker than I am. On Cotopaxi, he bounded ahead at the front of the group while I shivered and stumbled at the back. On Matavanu, he kept me calm when I nearly broke down in tears. On Nevis Peak, he picked up trails to which I was blind.

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How to travel without ruining your career

Use our practical guide on how to travel without ruining your career

Our trip around the world was the best decision we ever made but it didn’t come without concerns. We both quit our jobs, Peter as head of department at a London school and Kia as product manager at Penguin Random House.

We knew we wanted a slower pace of life but also that we would have to find jobs once we returned to London. (Alas, Peter’s great plan to win the lottery hasn’t yet come to fruition.)

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10 travel skills to learn in 2016

We at Atlas & Boots are occasionally approached for our “expert advice” on travel. We find this in equal parts flattering and embarrassing. After all, what makes an “expert traveller” anyway? Is it just knowing how to pack well, where to buy insurance and how to collect air miles? Or does it run deeper than that?

We asked our readers what exactly constitutes an expert traveller. The resulting list of travel skills gives us – and our readers – something to aim for in the year ahead.

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Night hiking: how to see the world by moonlight

Night hiking doesn’t have to be a result of a poorly planned day hike; it can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience in its own right.

Before you go blindly marching off into the hills to thrash about in the dark before calling search and rescue on your smartphone (which probably has a flat battery from using it as a flashlight), prepare yourself with our guide to night hiking for a safe and enjoyable night.  

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How to make friends in a new country

If you’ve just moved to a new country then it can be hard to new meet people. We offer a guide on how to make friends in a new country.

Last year, I wrote about the challenges of talking to strangers on the road or in unfamiliar social situations. I shared five ways to break the ice and endear you to your newly acquainted.

One recurring question since then has been: how do I meet people in the first place? This is especially important when you’ve just moved to a new country.

7 expert tips for learning multiple languages

I’ve always thought of myself as an avid learner, someone who enjoys challenges and discovering new things. In truth, I’m only avid when I have a choice in what I’m learning. Ahead of our extended stay in France, I thought I would approach French with the same zest with which I studied Spanish.

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How to treat travel burnout

Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote a piece on how to avoid travel burnout. The steps described therein really helped us make the most of our time on the road. Step three was particularly effective (i.e. don’t plan more than 60% of your schedule). Between planning, travelling, writing, filming, photographing and filing external commissions, we would have fast run ragged had we not built in pockets of downtime. This worked well until we got to Bolivia.

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8 tips for travelling as a couple

After a year on the road and in each other’s pockets, Atlas and Boots share their top tips for travelling as a couple

I don’t tend to write about my relationship with Peter. We’ve been charting our year-long trip together but I’ve rarely talked about our relationship itself. As I explained in 7 things I struggled with in my first month on the road, this is partly because I haven’t always been 100% comfortable with publicly sharing our private moments.

More importantly, I haven’t felt the need to talk about our relationship. You don’t really when it’s right.

City life: how not to let it crush your soul

As our year of travel enters its final month, I find my nerves jangling at the thought of returning to city life. My hometown is a big, rambling jungle…

As our year of travel enters its final month, I find my nerves jangling at the thought of returning to London. My hometown is a big, rambling concrete jungle with few manners on display.

Ask me to describe a scenario typical to, say, Samoa and I would tell you how Samoans constantly swap seats and rearrange themselves on buses to make sure as many people as possible have a seat, usually even offering their own laps (see #4 of 5 surprising facts about Samoa).