Aug 3rd, 2015

If you surf the internet today there is one thing you can find everywhere: 

Blogs - or more precisely people blogging about their travels. 

Travel blogs are an excellent way to research a holiday, but how do you sort through the vast piles of chaff to get to the good stuff? 

The staff at Hiking New Zealand have chosen 6 of their favourite travel blogs to get you started. Read through the "About" section to meet the personalities behind these blogs:



1. Nomadic Matt

My name is Nomadic Matt and I’ve been travelling the world since 2006. Growing up in Boston I was never a big traveller. I didn’t take my first trip overseas until I was 23. Outside a cruise and a college trip to Montreal, I had no travel experience. After college, I got a job and the standard American two weeks a year vacation. I wanted to use that time to travel. After all, it was vacation time, right? So for my first trip overseas, I went on a tour to Costa Rica. That trip changed my life.

From that moment on, I was hooked.

But like most Americans I only had two weeks of vacation per year and I didn’t know any of the genius ways to save money and travel longer. A trip to Thailand in 2005 changed that. In the wonderful city of Chiang Mai I met five backpackers who showed me that I didn’t have to be tied down to my job and that I didn’t need to be rich to travel. I went home, finished my MBA, quit my cubicle job, and in July 2006 set out on an adventure around the world. 

My original trip was supposed to last a year. I didn’t come home until 18 months later. At home I quickly realised that I couldn’t go back to working in a cubicle and three months later I was on the road again.

2. yTravel Blog 

We caught the travel bug 16 years ago and have been travelling on-and-off ever since. It’s our absolute passion to help others follow the same bliss. And we’ve been changing people’s lives on this travel blog since 2010.

Allow us to introduce ourselves. We’re Caz and Craig Makepeace, a married couple from the Central Coast of Australia, but we like to call the world our home. We’re serial travel addicts and have lived in 5 countries and had adventures through 52. Life is about accumulating memories, not just possessions, and now we’re creating those precious memories with our two daughters as we road trip around Australia. If you’re looking for a place to fuel your desire for travel and a little push to help you believe you can do it, you’re in the right place.

3. Legal Nomads

Hi. I’m Jodi Ettenberg. Welcome to Legal Nomads.

This is my vaguely chronological account of living and eating my way around the world.

In 2008, I quit my job as a lawyer and took off to travel for what I thought would be a year. I had saved up working at a law firm, and I wanted a place to post photos and share crazy stories so that my friends and family could follow along from afar. Legal Nomads was born.

Along the way I realised I did not want to return to the law. Instead I kept travelling to the places that left me wide-eyed and smiling. I found myself deeply addicted to noodle soup. I met wonderful people who taught me about places they love.

Over 6 years later Legal Nomads remains a place to tell stories. It has also morphed into a bigger site, housing resources for world travel, tips for eating street food in the form of my book, and hand-drawn typographic maps of delicious meals. More than anything it is about connecting to others through food and learning.

4. Adventurous Kate 

My name is Kate McCulley and I travel the world for a living. I’ve been shipwrecked in Indonesia. I’ve taken a boob to the face in Istanbul. I’ve hit on Jon Stewart in New York City, which got me subsequently mocked on The Daily Show, and I’ve been an extra in a really, really bad German movieThat’s my life. If there’s an adventure available, I’ll go for it — and even if I end up punched in the face and bleeding from the eye (yes, it’s happened), it will make a good story later!

I’m a 30-year-old girl originally from the Boston area. After four years of establishing a career in online marketing and a lifetime dreaming of travelling the world, I decided that it was time to make it happen. In September 2010, at the age of 26, I quit my job to travel Southeast Asia for six months. Six months turned into three years across more than 50 countries.

In Southeast Asia I worked on developing my website along with building a freelance work portfolio. After returning to the US in May 2011 I realised that I was making almost enough money to support myself full-time. With a little ramping up, I wouldn’t have to go back to a conventional job. So I ramped it WAY up — and I haven’t looked back since.

5. Wandering Earl


Aloha! My name is Earl. (Actually, Earl is my middle name, but that’s what everyone calls me. Derek is my first name.) 

My Life as a Permanent Nomad

On December 25th 1999 I left the USA for a three-month, post-graduation trip to Southeast Asia. It’s now been over fourteen years and that trip has yet to finish. The adventure has involved over 85+ countries (view the list here) on 6 continents, work as a Tour Manager on board cruise ships, two years in India, experiments with meditation, muse-creation, mountain-climbing and movie acting, volunteer work, an inappropriate amount of time on tropical islands and eating inappropriate amounts of street food, a two-day kidnapping, being placed on the US ‘terror watch list’, teaching English in Asia and a fruitless search for a pair of sandals with sufficient arch-support for my flat feet, among many other things.

It was exactly three days into my first trip back in 1999, as I celebrated the Millennium at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, that I became inflicted with an untreatable addiction to world exploration. So addicted in fact, that the thought of returning home literally made me sick to my stomach. Therefore, without any other option, I made a decision to change paths in life. Instead of going home to follow my original goal of becoming a Sports Agent, I now embarked on a mission to transform myself into a permanent nomad so that I could continue my travels, and more importantly continue learning from those travels, for as long as possible. 

The only problem was that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and I only had $1500 to my name. As any good problem-solver would have done, I ignored this one fact and worked on creating a solution anyway. Miraculously, and perhaps with the help of some determination and refusal to accept anything less than the achievement of my goals, I eventually managed to create the nomadic life I envisioned.

Ever since, I’ve spent my time constantly travelling around the world, always in search of that eye-opening, first-hand education that only travel can provide. I don’t travel to simply check countries off a list. In fact, as a permanent nomad, I have little interest in the actual sights that a particular destination may offer, instead preferring to focus on the human interactions and lessons learned along the way.


And when I combine the rewards that such travel provides with the fact that I can pack all of my possessions into my one backpack and hop on a flight to anywhere in the world on any given day, perhaps you can see why I don’t plan to give up this exhilarating lifestyle any time soon. To learn more about my travel philosophy, check out my “New Breed of Explorer” page!

6. Young Adventuress


Wander (wan·der)  / ˈwändər, / verb (no object): to ramble without a definite purpose or objective; roam, rove, or stray. To go aimlessly, indirectly, or casually; meander. (with object) To move or travel slowly through or over (a place or area). To walk or move in a leisurely, casual, or aimless way. Origin: Old English wandrian; related to wend and wind.

I think if there is any verb in the English language that describes me best, it must just have to be this. In fact, it is so meaningful to me that I have that quote tattooed on my ribs, right next to my heart. I am a twenty-something self-proclaimed wanderer, travelling the world in search of my next big adventure. I have been living in Córdoba, in sunny southern Spain for the past year “teaching” English in a small elementary school in a little village called Espejo (that’s right, I worked in a place called Mirror that even had a castle, fairytale much?). This consisted less of teaching verb tenses and vocabulary and more of trying to prevent my kids from eating paste and taking their fingers out of their noses. But hey, I got paid to colour, play games, and live in Spain. No complaints from me!

I first fell in love with Spain (and Europe) and discovered my love of wandering 5 years ago when I studied abroad for a year in Salamanca, and during which time I backpacked around most of Europe (minus Finland and Liechtenstein). Since that glorious year I have done everything in my power to come back. I spent a winter in Rome, studying ancient architecture and history, a spring break in Peru, and another summer in Madrid, researching in the National Library and then travelling around the UK, Slovenia and Croatia. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that 9 to 5 jobs and cubicles are not for me, so as soon as I graduated from my wonderful college in New England (Mount Holyoke), I filled my big backpack again and flew back to Spain for a year in Córdoba!

Now I am living in New Zealand.

New Zealand really is the most outrageous country I’ve ever visited. Seriously, I don’t understand how one tiny nation with only 4 million people can be so pretty! It just isn’t fair! I am constantly amazed and astonished everywhere I look here, and I feel so privileged to have been able to call New Zealand home.

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