How to shoot outdoor video on a smartphone

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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.

Mountain etiquette: how to treat your guide

mountain etiquette lead(c) Dominikmichalek | Dreamstime.com

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.

How to pack a backpack for hiking (with diagrams)

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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.

Don’t Offer Papaya: announcing our new book

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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).

How to deal with a weak hiking partner

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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.

How to travel without ruining your career

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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.)

10 travel skills to learn in 2016

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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.

Night hiking: how to see the world by moonlight

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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.  

How to make friends in a new country

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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.

How to treat travel burnout

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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.

8 tips for travelling as a couple

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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).

15 hitchhiking tips for newbies

There is no mode of transport more maligned than hitchhiking. Get over your fear with these top hitchhiking tips from experienced travellers

I hate hitchhiking. Perhaps it’s the retiring Brit in me but I hate the sense of embarrassment when I am refused, and the sense of imposition when I am accepted.

I hate the feeling of placing a request at the feet of strangers and expecting them to say yes. I hate the awkwardness of small talk and the permeating feeling of indebtedness. If I could help it, I would never do it.

How to find a good camping spot: a guide

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While there are some things that you simply cannot plan for when camping, knowing how to find a good camping spot is essential

When I was young my Dad would tell a “funny” story of how he took my mother camping in Wales for the first time. They pitched in a dry riverbed and went to sleep cozy and comfortable after a hearty meal.

Alas, in Wales the weather is prone to change and so they awoke in a riverbed which had now become a river. My Dad would chuckle while he told the tale. My mother would look on far less impressed to say the least. They don’t camp much anymore.

Cartagena in Colombia: 26 dos and don’ts

Cartagena in Colombia: the very name has an aura of old-world romance; of steamy hot days, winding city roads, and crumpled treasure maps.

Its charming architecture and interesting history certainly didn’t disappoint, but it was a baptism of fire after six months in the Pacific.

We quickly learned that there are two rules governing the streets of Colombia. First, do not offer papaya. Second, if papaya is offered, someone has to take it. They don’t mean papaya in the literal sense of course; it’s a byword for your valuables.

How I overcame my fear of spiders

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A ripple of skepticism snakes through my body. I close my eyes and slow my breathing, determined to give John a fair chance. His voice is soft, lulling me into a state of calm. After a few minutes, he begins his chant: “From this point forward, you will be calm, relaxed and at ease in the presence of spiders.” I try to absorb his words, to internalise them, to really believe them.