Featured Posts Travel Tips

The Best Way to Transfer Money Overseas with Transferwise

As a traveler, I often have to transfer money overseas. I spent last year in New Zealand on a working holiday, so I had to transfer money back and forth between my New Zealand bank account and my home bank account multiple times.

At first I was really nervous about the whole process. I didn’t know how to transfer my money safely, and I didn’t know how to transfer it without paying high fees. As a backpacker, every dollar counts, so the thought of paying $50+ just to move my money from one country to another was out of the question. I searched the internet for the best way to transfer money overseas, and I found a way to do it that I’m really happy with.

I came across Transferwise before flying from the U.S. to New Zealand. It seemed like a great option, so I tried it out. Of course I was still nervous in the beginning, but now I trust the service 100%. I’ve used Transferwise a few times now, and I’ve been so happy with my experience.

Keep reading & scroll to the bottom to get a FREE transfer up to $500

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A Quick Guide to Oamaru, New Zealand

Explore 19th century Victorian architecture in Oamaru, New Zealand. Walking through Oamaru's historic district takes you right back to the Victorian era with preserved limestone buildings & cobblestone streets.

Oamaru is mostly known for a few things: the blue penguins, the Victorian architecture, and the Steampunk culture.

This seaside town is located on the Eastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island, between Christchurch and Dunedin. Most people visit mainly to see the blue penguins return to shore in the evenings, but Oamaru draws a lot of attention for its architecture as well. A local limestone was used for most of the commercial buildings in the late 19th century, and many well-preserved Victorian-era buildings still stand today. This Victorian setting has become the perfect place for Steampunk artists and enthusiasts to gather.

Outside of the three main draws of Oamaru, there is still plenty to see and do. Wandering through the Victorian Precinct is a lot of fun, and it’s a chance to pop into some interesting shops and see the local galleries. There are some beautiful parks and gardens, as well as hiking trails nearby. It’s a great town to spend a day or two on your way down the east coast.

Here’s a quick guide to help you plan your stay in Oamaru, New Zealand.

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15 Things to Do in Grand Teton National Park

I've spent a lot of time in Grand Teton National Park so I compiled a list of 15 of the best things to do in Grand Teton

A few summers ago, I lived and worked right outside of Grand Teton National Park in Jackson, Wyoming. I spent a lot of time exploring the park, hiking the trails, and stopping at every scenic overlook on the map. There are so many fun things to do in Grand Teton National Park, and I’m glad I was able to experience most of it.

Grand Teton is best known for its namesake mountain range, the Tetons. Once you’ve seen the jagged ridgeline of the Tetons, you’ll recognize it instantly in any photo. People ski nearby in the winter, but summer is an even better time to see the Tetons. Grand Teton is a popular spot for climbing, mountaineering, and hiking.

Among the many things to do in Grand Teton National Park, you’ll find serene hiking spots, historic buildings, incredible viewpoints, and an abundance of wildlife. This park is definitely an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts and those who enjoy biking, walking, and climbing.

However, if you don’t have much time to spend in the park, you can still see and do a lot. There are plenty of things to do in Grand Teton National Park in just one day. Maybe you don’t want to do a big hike or gear up, but you can still check out all of the sights and cool spots around the park.

Most of these are easy stops off the main park road.

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Featured Posts Travel Inspiration

Travel Reading List: 8 Books I Read in New Zealand

I love to read when I travel so I put together a list of the books I read while I was in New Zealand

What you read while you’re traveling can have a big impact on how you perceive the place you’re visiting.

I didn’t read nearly as much as I would have liked during my 10 months in New Zealand. Considering I spent a total of 6 months in one place, I really could have read a lot more. Actually, I ended up reading more when I was moving around and staying in hostels than I did when I was sat still with a job and my own place.

I read quite a few good books during my time in New Zealand so I wanted to share some of those with you guys. I love reading when traveling, and reading about traveling, so I’m planning to write a lot more about books here in the future.

Here are the 8 books I read while in New Zealand and what I thought about them.

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Photo Diary

Oamaru Historic District: Victorian Heritage in New Zealand

Explore 19th century Victorian architecture in Oamaru, New Zealand. Walking through Oamaru's historic district takes you right back to the Victorian era with preserved limestone buildings & cobblestone streets.

The town of Oamaru isn’t on the main backpacker trail around New Zealand. It’s not a big city, there’s no nightlife scene, and it’s generally a pretty quiet place. I heard about this seaside, South Island town in passing, but it was only mentioned for the penguins. However, the name stuck in my head.

Back in December, I was looking for a place to stop-over between Christchurch and Dunedin, so I did a quick search for ideas. After seeing a few photos of the Oamaru Historic District, I knew I wanted to add it to my itinerary.

If you read my post about Art Deco in Napier, then you know I’m really into architecture. I couldn’t give a lecture on it, but nothing inspires me to take out my camera like a beautiful building (except maybe a well-placed cactus). Oamaru’s Historic District is the town’s original commercial center, where original Victorian buildings still stand.

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Places of Interest

Steampunk HQ // Oamaru, New Zealand

Steampunk HQ is a gallery & museum in Oamaru, New Zealand. It's dedicated to the steampunk style, which is inspired by Victorian era technology.

Oamaru, New Zealand is mostly known for its beautiful Victorian style architecture. The white-washed buildings and old warehouses have been preserved in the Historic Precinct. As you walk the cobblestone streets, you may believe you’ve actually been transported back to the 19th century. All of this makes it the perfect setting for Steampunk.

Because of the Victorian architecture, Steampunk culture has flourished in Oamaru. Artists and enthusiasts gather here for a little taste of 19th century England. Steampunk artists show and sell their work in local galleries, and you’ll find plenty of Steampunk fashion and costumes in the shops.

Steampunk HQ, a gallery established in 2011, is the center of it all. It’s the best place to get a taste of steampunk culture and find out what it’s all about.

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