How to Prepare Your Kids for Their First Camping Adventure

Photo of pitched dome tents overlooking mountain ranges.

Some of us have been going on camping trips ever since we were little kids. We only had a few responsibilities while others took care of us. The first time you take your young children camping, you quickly learn how much work is involved in getting ready. This guide will help you prepare your kids for their first camping trip, including where to stay, what to eat, and what to bring along.

Camping is a different dimension than the one you remember when you were a kid

Most families use camping as a way to create fond memories for generations. Children’s camping trips are the kind of memories that can be passed down through generations.

But camping with kids is an entirely different experience than your childhood camping trip. As we age, we appreciate the effort that goes into our youth’s seemingly uncomplicated family camping trips.

Some parents are so overwhelmed with the responsibilities of camping with kids that they give up before even setting up a tent. Parents often ask themselves many “What if” questions, such as:

  • Kids can’t sleep
  • They come across a wild animal
  • Hate camping food
  • They are not having fun

Following these guidelines will ensure that your trip goes smoothly. When everything is planned and prepared, you can give all your attention to your children without worrying about whether or not you forgot something. If you want to take camping with your family to a higher level, include the children in the preparations. This way, you inspire children to appreciate the outdoors and look forward to their next trip.

A family roasting marshmallows by the campfire.
Nothing is better than family stories before bedtime by a warm campfire

How to choose the best possible campground?

Before leaving, you should choose a campground and a spot for your family camping trip. Remember to prepare your kids for their first camping by picking a campground oriented for families and a suitable campsite.

After settling on a campground, it’s time to choose a specific spot. Throughout your visit, you’ll be resting there. If you want to have a great time camping with your family, you should be as selective about your campground as you would be when choosing a new place to live. For simplicity’s sake, you should ensure that the campsite is close to the bathroom; in case of night departures. Additionally, try not to camp too close to the water for the safety of your children.

Your first night at camp

A million possible scenarios run through parents’ minds when planning a family camping trip. But for every problem, there is a solution. And, as we mentioned earlier, things will be challenging. But that’s what makes it an adventure. It’s essential to pack the camping gear and bring your gear with you, and the rest of that you can compensate in another way. The necessary equipment includes sleeping bags, as well as pads, blankets, and sheets.

Men talking by a campfire about how to prepare your kids for their first camping.
Camping does not represent constant care for children; everyone should enjoy it.

Choose a tent that fits the size of your family

Tents are generally made according to how many people they receive. If you bring a tent for two people, it will be difficult for you. As an investment, you can buy a tent for three or even four people so that they can enjoy even greater comfort. Of course, remember things like sleeping pads, mattresses, or portable cribs.

Choose a camping bag according to the weather conditions in which you are camping

It is essential to choose the right camping bag. This means you choose a bag that suits the weather conditions you are camping in. For example, you will not take a bag for winter in sub-zero temperatures if you are camping in the middle of summer. Children can be nervous because of the heat, and if their sleep is disturbed, the nightmare begins for you.

When it comes to sleep, don’t be strict with your children. Let them stay up later than usual. Nothing is better than family stories before bedtime in front of a warm campfire.

Tent with an opened side looking at waterfalls.
If you want to prepare your kids for their first camping, pick a good camping tent and a suitable bag.

Tips for preparing and enjoying meals while camping

Camp meals are often simple and back to basics. Children usually love the simplest options. Don’t worry about what the child will want to eat on the camping trip. After an exhausting day where they run and have activities in nature, they will not be very picky when tired. If you want to play it safe, you can create meals ahead of time at home, so all you do at the camp is reheat pre-prepared meals.

Some of the most common meals you can take are sandwiches, meals you have already prepared, and snacks. When camping, children are always hungry. Pack healthy, high-energy snacks. Remember to bring water. Plenty of water. Due to numerous activities throughout the day, children will always be thirsty.

You can have a barbecue to give them an authentic experience during camping. This means you can arrange pieces of meat on sticks and place them on the fire. These meals are prepared quickly, and children love to lick their fingers after them.

It’s not a nightmare if you have to prepare your kids for their first camping

If you and the kids need a break, go camping and have fun. Since you made a plan, packed all your things, and showed up on time, you can enjoy it. Take in the crisp air, breathtaking views, and smokey smell of a bonfire as it drifts through the woods. It’s time for youngsters to use nature as their playground, school, and soccer field.

Join them in discovering the wonders of nature and spending time together outdoors. Simply said, camping is for everyone, not just the young. Everyone in the family can enjoy camping. No, it won’t be as carefree as when you were a child. Overall, if you follow up on how to prepare your kids for their first camping and put in the necessary preparations, you shouldn’t have any major concerns. To put it simply, the greatest is yet to come.

A Backpacker’s Guide to Australia

If you are thinking of heading to Australia you can be sure you’re not alone in your thoughts. Why wouldn’t you go? You get great weather, affordable accommodation, great paying jobs, and much more. It can be daunting to commit to leaving home and flying a day away. Keep reading to check out how to get yourself started on your Australian adventure.

Applying for your Visa

If you are planning on staying in Australia for longer than a year you’ll have to apply for a Working Holiday Visa (417). You can apply for your visa here. You will first have to create an immi account and once you’ve created that you can sign in and begin your application for your visa.

With the 417 visa, you can work short-term to help pay for your travels, study for up to 4 months, travel to and from Australia as many times as you like within the year, and do 3 months (88 days) of specified work in order to qualify for your second-year visa (462). The cost of the WHV 417 is
€330 (510AUD).

You can check your eligibility here. A few key things to note if you are Irish; you must be aged 18-35 years and you must have €3,000 (5,000AUD) and the cost of a flight out of Australia in your account when applying for your visa and upon entering. Usually, you get a response to your application within 24 hours. From the date your visa is granted, you have one year to enter Australia. i.e if you are granted April 1st, 2023 you have until April 1st 2024 to enter. Your 12-month visa begins on the date you enter.

Kangaroo on the beach in Gatton, Australia

I’ve Arrived, What Now?

There are a few things that you have to get sorted out when you arrive. Some of these things can take up to a week to process so best to do them as soon as you can.

Get an Australian sim card

Telstra was recommended to me by fellow backpackers and I have no complaints so far. Great coverage and plenty of different data plans to suit your needs. Make sure you bring a phone with you that is unlocked so you can use sim cards from other countries.

Open an Australian bank account

The four biggest banks in Australia are Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Australian and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC), and National Australia Bank (NAB).

The most common bank amongst backpackers is CBA. You can apply online here or head to your nearest branch to set up an account. Make sure to bring your passport with you as you will need identification. The bank will help you set up your mobile app and then they will post your card to you. This can take up to 5 business days to receive.

Apply for a Tax File Number (TFN)

You can apply here. You need a TFN to work. It is sent via post and can take up to a week to arrive. If you want to start working immediately be sure to sort this out sooner rather than later.

Open a Super Account

Super is basically a retirement fund. It is money put aside by your employer over your working life. If you are a temporary resident, you can claim the balance when you leave Australia. You must claim the balance within 6 months of leaving. A popular super account for backpackers is HostPlus. You can become a member here.

White sandy beach in Australia

Completing my 88 Days

As I mentioned before, you must complete 88 days of specified work in order to qualify for your second-year working holiday visa. This means that different forms of work can count towards your 88 days depending on what part of Australia you are in. You can check out the approved areas and industries for specified work here.

Completing your 88 days can be stressful. Some weeks you will work 60 hours over 6 days and other weeks you will only work 2 days. Although this won’t be great for the wallet it is normal and you shouldn’t worry too much about your 88 days. The Australian government said that so long as you attach 13 payslips where you worked whatever you could you should be approved for your second-year visa.

How do I find work?

There are multiple ways to try and find specified work. If you are looking to work on a farm with plants or animals you can call up the Harvest Trail on 1800 062 332. I would recommend completing your 88 days at the beginning of your visa. If you leave your specified work until the end of your visa you may not complete your days due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather, illness, or lack of work.

The Harvest Trail will help to guide you on what areas can supply the most jobs and accommodation but will not source a job for you. I recommend talking to fellow backpackers when you arrive and getting phone numbers for employers and for accommodation. COVID-19 has had an effect on regional farms so finding a farm to work on now is not as easy as it was before the pandemic. The time of year will also play a factor in what part of Australia there will be work and how much of it.

You can also look for jobs on Indeed, Jora, Workforce Australia, and backpacker job board. If you see a contact number on a website don’t hesitate to pick up the phone. Being eager to work in Australia is better and you’ll get a job before someone waiting on an email.

How do I know what is in season and where?

You can check out what is in season at this website for the time of year that you will be working.

A day on the farm in Australia

Apps to download

There are a few apps that you should download for your time in Australia. These apps range from accommodation to transport to casual working jobs.

  • Airbnb
  • Hostelworld
  • Domain
  • Flatmates
  • Homely
  • Realestate
  • Tenant App
  • Hostplus
  • Jora Jobs
  • Airtasker (Casual jobs)
  • Sidekicker (Casual jobs)
  • Mad Paws (Pet Sitting)
  • Uber

A Backpacker’s Guide to Cambodia

Zoe Kinsella

Cambodia was the one country on my travels that I was hesitant to visit. Whenever I met other backpackers it was always 50/50 whether they loved or hated it. They had regaled me with tales of how they had been robbed and I was petrified to go. My boyfriend and I decided it was better to wait until our friend had arrived so the 3 of us would go together. Strength in numbers and all that.

To say the state of the 3 of us when we landed in the airport in Phnom Penh would be putting it mildly. I had a decoy bum bag on the outside of my t-shirt and a secret money belt underneath.

I got a Tuk-Tuk outside the airport and drove 10 minutes to our hostel. I’m sure I looked like a lunatic clutching my backpack to my chest inside the Tuk-Tuk so nobody on a motorbike could swipe my belongings from me while driving. We had planned on a short visit to Cambodia. ‘Let’s go just to say we’ve been’ sort of thing. I look back and laugh now as I write this because Cambodia is one of my top two favourite countries in South East Asia.

Entry Requirements and Visas

Something for you to note. Before you can board any vehicle headed for Cambodia you need to have proof of onward travel i.e a ticket to show when and how you are leaving Cambodia. As a backpacker, with plans that are ever changing, it can be hard to decide how long you will spend in a country. To allow me the flexibility while travelling I used a site called for proof of my onward travel. This site lets you reserve a flight for roughly €15 and holds your ticket for 24 hours. You simply show this at the desk and the reservation expires after 24 hours. This will give you the freedom to travel without a deadline date. You will never be asked for proof on onward travel after entering Cambodia.

The visa process is super quick and easy. You will fill out a visa form on the flight and present it when you land. The visa fee is $35, you have to have this in cash as they do not accept card. USD is used widely in Cambodia along with their own currency Riel. They will not accept any USD that have a slight tear or look worn so be careful when handling your money so as to avoid being out of pocket. I have found while traveling that USD come in handy a lot of the time so if they won’t accept it in Cambodia you will be sure to be able to use it elsewhere.

The Route

When backpacking around Cambodia you will either travel from North to South or vice versa. There is an airport in Phnom Penh (N) and Siem Reap (S) which makes it easy to travel to and from other countries from Cambodia. I began in Phnom Penh as I flew from Thailand. You can also opt for a land crossing which is much more budget friendly. Once you are in Cambodia you will travel quite cheaply via bus, train or boat to the other destinations.

Phnom Penh (2 Nights)

A cell in the S21 prison in Phnom Penh
A cell in the S21 prison in Phnom Penh

I spent two nights in total in the capital and this was plenty of time. I stayed in Mad Monkey Hostel which is a chain hostel found in South East Asia. You can be guaranteed to meet plenty of other backpackers in these hostels as they are sociable and always have plenty of events on. It cost roughly $8 a night for a shared dorm.

I booked through the hostel to visit the S21 prison and the Killing Fields. These tours give you an inside look into Cambodia’s dark history – the genocide killings committed between 1975 – 1979 by Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge leader. This tour is not for the faint hearted but I would highly recommend going.

I booked my 3 hour transfer bus from Phnom Penh to our next destination through the hostel. Plenty of mini buses depart a day so you’ll have no issues booking one. The bus cost us roughly $10 and will leave you in the centre where taxis will be waiting for you with a fare as low as $3 to your accommodation.

Kampot (3 Nights)

Pepper plantation in Kampot
Pepper plantation in Kampot

I spent 3 nights in Kampot in Karma Traders backpacker hostel. The accommodation cost roughly $5 a night for a shared dorm room. They had events on every night like Taco Tuesdays, Burger nights and table quizzes. If you do stay in Karma Traders be sure to lock away your valuables especially if you are staying in one of their outdoor dorms that can be accessed by the general public.

Another accommodation option popular amongst backpackers is Arcadia. A sociable hostel located on the river that has a selection of water activities for you to try out.

There’s plenty to do in Kampot if you’re looking for an adventure. You can rent a motorbike from your hostel or you can hire a driver for a few hours to bring you around if you are not a confident driver. Check out a list of things to do in Kampot here.

From Kampot I planned on getting the 5 hour train to Koh Rong however, when I arrived at the train station the train was sold out. Be sure to go over a day in advance of your trip or book a train ticket online to avoid disappointment. The views from the train are breathtaking and it makes for a smooth, comfortable journey.

Alternatively, you can get a mini bus from your hostel that will drop you to the ferry point in Koh Rong. If you suffer from motion sickness I would avoid the minibus option as the roads are full of potholes. There is one stretch of road that should take 10 minutes to drive that takes an hour due to the potholes. Make sure to wear your seatbelt as you’ll be bouncing off the roof (I’m not even joking). The minibus seats 12 and it cost roughly $20 each.

When you arrive at the ferry port you will purchase an open return ticket for roughly $30. This boat will make two stops. First stop is to Koh Rong and the second is to Koh Rong Samloem. You can choose to do these islands in whatever order you please. I went to Koh Rong Samloem first but I would recommend going to Koh Rong first.

Koh Rong (3 nights)

Stunning beaches found in Koh Rong
Stunning beaches found in Koh Rong

There’s not a huge amount to do in Koh Rong and you can walk the entire island in about an hour. This was a great place to simply chill and recharge. There are plenty of lovely restaurants along the beach front that are super cheap, tasty and give generous portion sizes. A backpackers trifecta.

I needed a break from the hostel lifestyle so I booked a bungalow for our stay in Koh Rong. I would recommend your stay in Koh Rong overlap with a Saturday because there is a hostel called The Nest that runs a day festival called ‘Nestival’. They hold plenty of games similar to a school sports day with the inclusion of alcohol. It is a great day that helps you meet people and spend your day doing something different. You can opt to stay in The Nest hostel or stay in local bungalows.

I stayed in Happy Elephant Bungalows. My room slept 3 people, had a private bathroom, a porch with a hammock, fans and towels were supplied and it only cost $46 between three people. Absolute bargain!

Make sure to bring enough cash with you for your time on the Koh Rong islands as there are no ATMs on these islands. There is one restaurant on the entire island that will double as an ATM but charge you a surcharge of 10% to withdraw money. You also have to pay for your accommodation by cash as the entire island is run off of a generator.

Koh Rong Samloem (3 Nights)

One of the many lounging areas in Koh Rong Samloem
One of the many lounging areas in Koh Rong Samloem

You can get a quick 20/30 minute boat from Koh Rong island to Koh Rong Samloem. I recommend going to Koh Rong Samloem first as there are plenty more boat times going in this direction. You can get an early boat to arrive in Koh Rong Samloem early and have two full days on this island as I felt 3 nights was too long.

I stayed in Mad Monkey hostel for roughly $6 a night for a shared dorm. You will definitely experience the remote island life here. I stayed in a 6 bed dorm that is in a hut, there are a couple of fans in the dorm room and a hammock outside on each porch. Be sure to bring mosquito repellent with you for your sanity.

The hostel runs daily excursions and you can also get a daily boat over to the mainland as Mad Monkey is more remote than the other hostels. This does add to its charm. Mad Monkey have a bracelet payment system so you top up your bracelet by X amount using your card (again, you’ll incur a surcharge) or by cash. What you don’t spend on your bracelet will be refunded to you on your departure.

Another hostel option, located on the mainland of Koh Rong Samloem, that is popular amongst backpackers is Onederz. A dorm in Onederz is roughly $9 a night.

Siem Reap (5 Nights)

One of the temples found in Angkor Wat
One of the temples found in Angkor Wat

The journey from Koh Rong to Siem Reap is not one to be taken lightly. I began by getting a boat from Koh Rong island back to the ferry port. I had to reserve a time slot for my return trip. Once I arrived back at the port I hailed a taxi to drop me to the bus terminal for a sleeper bus to Siem Reap. This bus is advertised as a 10 hour sleeper bus it actually takes 15 hours. There are no single beds only doubles so if you are travelling alone prepare to have a bunk buddy. The beds are not your typical sized double, more like a large single so it will be a tight squeeze. The bus also picks locals up along the way so the pathways on the bus will be full of people and luggage.

I arrived in Siem Reap centre in the early hours of the morning and there were plenty of taxi drivers waiting. Don’t be afraid to barter with them as they tend to ask for double the going rate. Be sure to check how far of a drive your hotel/hostel is from the bus terminal so you’ll have an idea of what you’re happy to pay.

I stayed in Lub d hostel for roughly $6 a night in a dorm with a shared bathroom. The bathrooms in Lub d are sex segregated. I love staying in Lub d hostels as they are super clean, kitted out with everything you’d need, and the food on site is always delicious. Usually Lub d is a treat as they can be expensive to stay in, especially in Thailand, however, this was not the case in Cambodia.

Siem Riep was definitely my favourite place in Cambodia. You could easily spend 3 days in Siem Reap and see all you need to see but I wouldn’t spend less than that. I was located in the centre which gave me the freedom to walk most places. There is a bustling nightlife, amazing restaurants and plenty to do in Siem Reap.

The main tourist attraction is Angkor Wat – a temple complex and the largest religious monument in the world. You will also recognise it from the Tomb Raider movies. I booked my tour through the hostel so that transportation and a tour guide was included. You can purchase a day ticket or a multi-day ticket depending on your interests. This tour is a full day tour as you are up at 4.30am to make it to the temples in time for sunrise. Other tours you can embark on are to the landmine museum, national parks, dance and dinner shows and much more.

If you are thinking of heading to Cambodia as part of a backpacking trip across South East Asia or as a stand alone trip I would highly recommend it. You can experience Cambodia as a budget backpacker or a luxury traveller. The Khmer people are so friendly and helpful, the food is delicious, and the views are stunning. What more could you want?

7 Backpacking Essentials for Travelling

Zoe Kinsella

So, you’ve finally booked that flight and you’re heading off backpacking. Whether you’re going for 6 weeks or 6 months you need to figure out what backpacking essentials you need to pack. This should be an exciting time and not a stressful one so I’ve compiled a list of the must-haves for you. Sit back, click away and with OAS’s super quick delivery you’ll be ready to jet off in no time.

Here’s a list of 7 backpacking essentials for you:

1. Universal Adapter

This USB world travel adapter is a backpacking must have. You can charge up to 3 devices at once with the 2 USB ports and the plug socket. Not all plug sockets are the same in each country you visit so this all in one adapter will save you buying an adapter in each country you visit.

USB World Travel Adapter

2. Document Holder

Keep all of your travel documents at arms reach and together in a safe holder. This document holder is RFiD protected which means your cards cannot be scanned reducing the risk of identity theft. You can wear it as a waist pack or stow it away when it is not in use. 

RFiD Travel Belt Pouch

3. Bum Bag / Money Belt

A bum bag will be your new best friend while travelling. Think about it, you’ll be spending most of your days in your swimsuit so where do you keep all of your valuables? I would recommend a money belt for underneath your clothes if you’re travelling to any countries that have high theft rates. There have been cases where people’s bum bags have been torn from their shoulders as they are walking down the street so a more discreet bag will put you at ease.

4. Travel Towel

You’ll find that while travelling and staying in hostels some hostels will supply a towel but that is not always the case. Microfibre and softfibre towels are a Godsend while you’re travelling. Anti-bacterial, quick drying, lightweight and compact, what more could you want? 

5. Powerbank

Think about how much time we spend on our electronic devices. We read our books, book our flights, answer our emails, update our social media accounts and watch our favourite movies and shows on them. The battery on our devices can’t keep up with the amount of time we spend on them so a powerbank is essential. Travel days while backpacking can be excruciatingly long, I mean like 20 hours long. You could be left at a bus station waiting 3 hours for a bus with 50 others all crowded around 4 sockets. Do yourself a favour and get a powerbank – you’ll thank me later.

6. Padlock

This resettable 3 digit lock is perfect for keeping your valuables safe while you’re travelling. All hostels will have a locker for you to store your valuables in but they won’t have a lock for it. This lock means you use a code and don’t have to worry about losing a key. I’d get two locks if you’re backpacking for a few months as things tend to get left behind as you jump from place to place.

TSA Combi Lock

7. Packing Cubes

Imagine storing all of your clothes in your wardrobe in a heap on the floor. That’s what backpacking with a rucksack is like without packing cubes. Pack all of your clothes into 4 cubes to keep them clean and organised. Unfortunately, packing cubes are not available at OAS yet but they are coming soon and of course for the best value in Ireland.

There you have it. 7 backpacking essentials to pack for your next trip that won’t break the bank. Only at OAS, Ireland’s best value outdoor store.

Top 7 Must-Visit Outdoor Destinations in Ireland

I’m increasingly interested in outdoor destinations and parts of the country that I might explore on foot. I’ve taken a few road trips around Ireland and really enjoyed visiting the usual landmarks and attractions. My favourite experiences in Ireland have taken place outdoors and without any kind of entry fee – something that seems quite rare nowadays!.

In this blog post, I’d like to share with you some of my favourite outdoor destinations in Ireland that you might want to consider for your next adventure.

Top 7 Must-Visit Outdoor Destinations in Ireland

1. Killarney or the Dingle Peninsula in Kerry

📷 @endless_wander

For many tourists, Kerry represents their idea of quintessential Ireland. While I think that tourists are often misguided toward very busy places that feel overcrowded, I have to agree. Kerry is not only home to bustling villages with traditional music and food but also endless opportunities for getting outdoors. You don’t need to climb Carrauntoohil (Ireland’s highest peak) to appreciate the majesty of the mountains. Most of this scenery is easily accessed from marked trails such as the Kerry Way or the Dingle Way. There are lots of places to enjoy wild swimming, and Inch is fantastic for surfing with B&B’s everywhere in between. I was especially pleased to find so many campsites in this part of the country and a host of unusual experiences to encounter. My favourite islands include Skellig Michael, Valentia Island, and the Great Blasket Island.

Tip – Take an overnight trip to the Great Blasket Island. It’s permitted to wild camp on the island (You carry your own supplies) and there is also a small hostel.

2. Anywhere in Connemara, Galway (I love Leenaun)

📷 @real_adventures_connemara

I was first drawn to Connemara with hopes of walking alongside the old stone walls and fields that I saw in movies like “The Field” and “Far and Away”. I’m not sure how much of these movies were actually shot in the area. I was led to believe that Connemara was unspoiled in comparison to much of rural Ireland. The region certainly feels quite remote and primitive at times. There are interesting landmarks including the stunning Kylemore Abbey. If you would rather be more active you can go kayaking, horse-riding, and hiking.

When I walked around Ireland a couple of years ago, Connemara was one of my top three destinations. It really did feel rather unspoiled compared to many of the other popular areas.

Tip – I recommend taking a road trip through Connemara and prearranging some outdoor activities such as kayaking or a guided hike. You will find fantastic outdoor activity companies in the area through a quick search on Google. Leenaun is one of my favourite places to stay and located next to the beautiful Killary Fjord.

3. Inishmore just off the Coast of Galway

📷 @aranglamping

I’ve been to the Aran Islands quite a few times over the years. There are three different islands with Inishmore being the most visited. While I do think the other islands are more off the beaten path and even more authentic, there is just so much to do/see on Inishmore. For instance, there are many ancient forts to explore and some of these landmarks are without the busyness of Dún Aonghasa. The beaches feature pristine white powdered sands and the water is reminiscent of what you might find in the Mediterranean.

I spent a lot of time cycling from trail to trail on my first visit but decided to walk everywhere on my last visit. Either way, aside from the local pub, all of the attractions on Inishmore are outdoors. It’s true that some of these attractions require a small entry fee but not enough to take away from the experience.

Tip – Make sure to visit the Black Fort for a less crowded experience and use the hop-on/off minibus if you want to spend more time at each of the attractions on the island.

4. The Cooley Peninsula in Louth

📷 @carlingfordire

The Cooley Peninsula is best known for oysters and Carlingford Lough. It’s a place where groups (often school tours) show up for watersport activities – and for good reason! There’s a great adventure centre where you can rent kayaks or join regular guided excursions. For me, the Cooley Mountains are the place to be! There is a long-distance path called the Tan Trail (40km), whereas Slieve Foy offers spectacular hiking and panoramic views. The Cooley Peninsula, which is en route to Northern Ireland, would make an ideal stopover on the way to the Antrim Coastline/Giants Causeway.

Tip – Try the Molly Loop Walk (5km) which leads up into the mountains to an abandoned village from the time of the famine.

5. Malin Head on the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal

📷 @paesaggidirlanda

It’s not because I’m biased (I currently live in Malin Head) but because Malin Head is one of my favourite outdoor destinations in the country. As with the Aran Islands, all the “attractions” are to do with nature and within easy reach of each other. On a visit to Banba’s Crown at the very north tip, you can hike a rugged coastline, while taking in majestic views of the ocean. On Five Finger Strand, you can catch the sun going down from a beautiful stretch of beach. The “Little House of Malin” is another interesting stretch of coastline that also offers a nice little encounter with some local history. I should also mention the road to Malin Head is just as interesting as the Inishowen Peninsula. It is home to a lot more history and beautiful scenery than people seem to know about!

Tip – Rent a little cottage and spend a couple of days exploring on foot and walking around the very north tip in Malin Head. It’s rugged, unspoiled, and reasonably remote.

6. The Beara Peninsula in West Cork

📷 @cork_daily

I really love the countryside in Cork and the Beara Peninsula offers some of the most remote and stunning scenery in Ireland. If you fancy a road trip with lots of places to get outdoors, the “Ring of Beara” is perfect. It’s a rather short drive (4 hours) that passes many idyllic villages such as Eyeries and Allihies. As always, my personal interests lie within the natural attractions. Mare’s Tail Waterfall is thought to be the highest in the country and Healy Pass is also a special place. There are so many lesser-known looped trails on the peninsula and a trip to Dursey Island adds a little something different.

Tip – Hike a section of “the Beara Way” to really get off the beaten path. It’s a challenging hike and fairly remote but absolutely stunning!

7. Doolin in Co. Clare (Near the Cliffs of Moher)

📷 @dodphotography

Doolin is one of the most touristy towns in the country. Most of these tourists arrive for lunch and then disappear. It’s an ideal pit-stop on the way to the Cliffs of Moher. For whatever reason, most visitors don’t think to stay here overnight. I’m happy this happens because it leaves Doolin much quieter in the later afternoon and evening time. There is a hotel, B&B’s, hostels, and a great campsite just down the road from Gus O’Connor’s pub. I especially like to stay in Doolin. You can take a free shuttle to the Cliffs of Moher visitor centre and then walk these cliffs all the way back to the town.

Tip – Be very careful on the cliff walk. It’s not ideal for small children and rather scary in windy conditions.

I’m looking forward to visiting a lot more of Ireland but these are some of my favourite outdoor destinations in which the trails, mountains, and nature are always within reach.

Water Sport Activities for All the Family

Like ducks to water, Irish families are making a splash and enjoying water activities in increasing numbers this summer.  Maybe it’s the ‘staycation’ phenomenon. Maybe everyone is feeling more adventurous after months of tortuous lockdown, but whatever the reason, Irish families are making taking a plunge with water based Outdoor Adventures this year.   The range of organised water activities that are on offer is astounding. Surf schools, stand up paddle trips, diving and kayaking have all become more mainstream and accessible to all.  Of course, Ireland has never been short of water.  Most of it has been falling down on us incessantly.  But when the sun shines, we have the best lakes, rivers and seas for all kinds of watery fun! Families are embracing these opportunities!

water sport activities

Stand Up Paddling

Supping, or Stand Up Paddling is a really pleasant water activity for all.  Yes, you guessed it.  It is standing up on a board and paddling along!  A very gentle way to enjoy nature as you glide serenely along the lake or river.  There is no age limit. No huge physical demands and it is so much fun.  We have even heard of dogs who love hitching a ride on the paddle boards.  There are lots of places offering this unique activity.  It’s also good for social distancing! It is usually a calm, easy event, but supping can be done on any body of water from mild to wild.  So supping the waves of the Atlantic is available too for the more adventurous types.  Check out the best places to stand up and get paddling here.

Stand Up Paddling


Surfing was once the sport of a few tanned demi-gods and goddesses, who strode down the beach as Jack Johnson music played loudly in the background, to paddle out proudly and ride the waves like the bosses they were. It’s not such a niche sport these days.  Now the shorelines are full of surfers, young and old, in family groups, making the sport look genuinely easy and loving the waves.  Bodyboarding is a great starter for the younger ones and there are surf lessons to be had at any sea side that is lucky enough to have waves.   A wet suit can be hired, but if you like the sea, and you live in Ireland, it is not a bad idea to invest in one.  Not every day is a day for the swimming togs and a wet suit can make the experience a much more enjoyable one.  Check out our blog here on which wet suit you should choose.   And if you are wondering if the surf is up?  Check out this live cam from Strandhill Sligo before strapping the board to the car.

Surfing in Ireland

Wild Swimming

Yes, that’s the new cool term for swimming in wild waters.  It could mean the sea, a river or a lake.  Generally it refers to freezing cold swimming and those hardy folk who jump off the 40ft in Dublin, Salthill pier in Galway and lots of other wild windy spots.  The die-hard types who even swim when, and especially when, there is snow falling!   For the rest of us mere mortals, wild swimming means checking the lifeguards instructions, making sure it’s a safe place, a warm day and plunging in within our depth, to enjoy splashing each other and swimming in nature.   Buoyancy aids for kids are an extra safety precaution and will allow the young ones to appreciate the freezing cold waves even more.  At Outdoor Adventure Stores we carry typhoon brand, which we find to be great value and totally reliable.  Swimming never gets old.

Wild Swimming in Ireland


Kayaking is hugely popular in Ireland.  Some love the gentle paddle on a calm lake and others crave the wild white waters of Mountain Rivers.   Whatever your kayaking preferences,  the beginner sessions for  all ages, including the children,  are a relaxed and calm way to experience kayaking. Give it a GO!   Family kayaking sessions in Dublin are perfect for getting started, learning new skills and having a fun.  In no time, you will be hooked on one of Ireland’s fastest growing water activities.  Enjoy learning to kayak at the scenic canal location and the stunning Dalkey coastlines lend itself to sheer pleasure. But there are opportunities to kayak all over Ireland now and your outdoor adventure with a paddle awaits.

Kayaking in Ireland

Scuba Diving

The best scuba diving in the world may well be on your doorstep.  The famous marine biologist, diver, explorer, Jaques Cousteau once said that some of the very best diving was ‘at the northern side of the Dingle Pennisular, where the Atlantic meets the Brandon Mountains in exceptional beauty’.  No one will argue with him.  Ireland’s coastland and islands offer amazing diving experiences.  Scuba diving is another fast growing water activity.  Scuba Dive West in Galway and Baltimore Dive Centre in Cork, both report sell out classes this summer. It is not surprising.  The wealth of marine life to be seen just a few meters offshore is just awesome.  Check out these spots for the best diving.

Scuba Diving in Ireland


If you don’t fancy scuba diving, then why not try snorkelling.  It’s accessible to all ages, and relatively easy to do.   The trick is to find a nice easy spot to enter the water. Since Ireland has a rocky coastline, finding a safe place to snorkel can be a challenge. Avoid steep cliffs and find a walking path leading to the water. There are great snorkel friendly beaches on the west coast in County Donegal, Mayo, Sligo, Clare and Kerry. Equipment can be hired or purchased and snorkelling is easy on the environment and apparently good for your wellbeing too!  With over 3,000 miles of coastline, we have endless opportunities to lie face down peering at the watery underworld. Get more information from the professional snorkelers here.

Snorkeling in Ireland


With aqua parks, boat hire, canoeing and all manner of water sports to investigate and enjoy, it is possible for your family break to be less land/earthbound and more on the waves. However, safety should always be the first and last thing on your mind when taking wee ones and older ones out on the water.   Follow all the safety guidelines for each activity and for each geographical area.  Learn to swim competently and ensure that the more vulnerable family members wear lifejackets etc. 

Ireland’s love of water based activities is set to grow and grow as we all become more adventurous and enthusiastic about trying new things.   From swimming to diving and from surfing to water skiing  we will all be at sea! 

It’s not surprising, we do live on an island after all.  So dive on in and try something new this summer.

Water Sport Activities Ireland

Stop taking selfies and enjoy the view

Are ‘Selfies’ spoiling the adventure experience?

From Everest to Errigal the most common sight at every mountain summit is hordes of people posing for the standard selfie. Arms outstretched, selfie sticks hoisted and smiles fixed to faces that will be ‘beauty filtered’ for the best effect. A record of the moment captured forever in the hope of likes and approvals on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and the WhatsApp Group.  For those who don’t expect social media to follow their every move, there is a frustration in waiting for others to finish their uploads on a windy mountain top. All the while ducking and diving in case of unintentionally photo bombing someone’s shot. Selfies are normal behaviour in modern life. They are the go-to action at all events and attractions be they weddings, waterfalls, ice bergs, a cute calf licking a post or a particularly tasty burger.  There is absolutely nothing wrong in documenting life and sharing it  online, as long as there is a healthy balance between living the moment and recording the moment.  The question for us is whether the concentration on achieving that one great image is taking away from the enjoyment of the adventure itself?   Are selfies ruining the adventure experience for both the photographer and other trekkers?

embracing selfies

Ditch the Selfies and embrace the moment

Psychologists have a term for it. ’Selfitis’.  It refers to people who cannot stop taking selfies and posting them for others to see.  The American Psychiatric Association claim you are suffering from ‘selfitis’ if you are taking more than three sefies a day. Yes, that’s’ right, more than three selfie uploads constitutes an actual disorder.  Clearly, they have never been exposed to teenagers using Snapchat, when three photos a minute would be a fairly conservative estimate of postings. Linking the activity to narcissistic behaviour and a need for approval, there are warnings against overusing the selfie button.   This does not recognise that sometimes, the selfie shot it is motivated by a sense of wonder and awe, which may be shared for others to enjoy.  Taking selfies and sharing the beauty of your wonderful outdoor adventures has some positives.  It increases the appreciation for nature and encourages others to seek the enjoyment and experiences which are clearly so incredible, that they have to broadcast them widely.  But, a second screened view is exactly that and there is much you may miss when you narrow your view with the phone screen.  It is also good to put the phone down and experience the moment that you are in.   Just be there, without looking for the approval of, or the sharing of, that particular point in time, but just savouring it for yourself. 

dangers of selfies

Selfie Danger

Taking selfies on the trail can be distracting and at times, even dangerous.  Accidents while attempting to wow social media have included falling off bikes, plunging down waterfalls, being knocked off your feet by waves and attacked by wild animals.  More people die taking selfies than as a result of shark attacks.   Earlier this year, the phone case company interviewed a large group of self-confessed selfie takers and found that 41% of them had risked safety in pursuit of the ultimate pic.  More than 1 in 10 reported sustaining injuries as they struggled for the perfectly posed Instagram shot.  Those elusive social media Likes are more important than being safe.  Now dubbed as ‘silicide’s’, selfie deaths or fatal accidents that occur while taking that one iconic image are sadly on the increase.  In January 2019, a 26 year old Trinity College student, Anand Goel died when he fell from the Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare.  He had been observed taking ‘lots of selfies’ before he fell. During the inquest, coroner Isobel O’Dea told the court: “It is quite clear that Mr. Goel was taking selfies in what proved to be a very dangerous place.”  Selfie taking can change your perception of the space and landscape around you. Distorting the reality and causing mis-steps that can have tragic consequences. Safety should always be the first consideration before clicking that camera button.

selfie tourism

Selfie Tourism. Embracing the Phenomenon

Some tourist destinations have realised that the selfie phenomenon is here to stay.  It is part of modern day cultural behaviour. Tourist destinations are recognising this. Palm Beach in Florida have issued selfie maps of the best places to pose in peace.  A Selfie Trail for the narcissistic tourist to enjoy in safety and secure in the knowledge that their photos will be great (and the same as every other tourist to the region!). There have been proposals in Ireland for the introduction of ‘selfie seats’ in popular tourist destinations, like the Cliffs of Moher.  These seats would be designated safe places to capture the perfect selfie.   Other cities issue pamphlets on safe selfie taking.  The Russian leaflet advises some essential tips such as, never take a selfie while crossing the road and stay a safe distance from the roof’s edges!  So, just as tourist destinations are embracing the selfie phenomenon, all of us who enjoy the outdoor life, must adjust accordingly too. As we enjoy our amazing country and trek its hills and valleys, we must add selfie safety to the list of outdoor knowledge/ backwoods skills and keep an eye on our fellow travellers who may take unnecessary risks in pursuit of immortality on social media.  Say Cheese!

selfie phenomenon


Martin Graff Ph.D., 2018,
Are You Taking Too Many Selfies?“,

Discover The Palm Beaches, 2017,
“How to use the Selfie Trail in The Palm Beaches”,

Back to the Hills

It has never felt better to get out and about for Outdoor Adventure.  Our enforced time at home may have been pleasant but it is time to run for the hills.  The easing from 2km to 5km felt amazing, but now we are flying free again. We are unleashed to enjoy all that this great country has to offer in terms of thrilling treks, fantastic walks and amazing scenery.  At Outdoor Adventure Store, we have missed you all as much as we have missed walking, climbing, running and revelling in the outdoor life.   To celebrate our joint freedom and renewed appreciation for the world, we have generous reductions on many items in-store.  So, take this opportunity to treat yourself to some new outdoor equipment as you get back to the hills.

Hiking and Walking Boots

Before you invest in some awesome footwear, take a wee moment to decide what is best for your needs.  Consider which type of hiking, hill walking you plan to do and what kind of terrain it involves. This will be the deciding factor when it comes to choosing appropriate footwear.  A good pair of hiking boots is an investment in many years of comfortable trekking. Getting back to the Hills will be a charm with the right footwear.    Hiking long distances and upland trails comfortably and without blisters or wet feet while reducing the dangers of slipping and falling, is dependent on good footwear.    A good pair of hiking boots are optimised for ankle support on all terrains and will protect your feet from rocks and spikey trail debris.   The wrong shoes are simply not suitable and those who start walking in regular footwear, often regret their decision quickly.   It may be that the type of hiking/hill walking that you are planning to do, would be better suited to a walking shoe or sandal.  The important thing is not to get blistered and footsore.   Check out our blog on how to choose the right pair of boots for you, or call into the store to avail of the expert advice of our friendly staff.

Walking and Trekking Poles

Perhaps you are not as fit as you were prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, but this should not deter you from getting back to the hills with vigour and enthusiasm.  A good walking pole is not just an extra piece of equipment, it can be the difference between making the summit, and safely descending your favourite mountain with a smile on your face.  At Outdoor Adventure Store we have a fantastic range of trekking poles and hiking poles to suit every expedition, whether they are big or small.  For walking pole novices, we recommend the robust three-piece trekking pole from Leki .  Its adjustable safety strap and rounded supporting surface on the new Evocon trekking grip are particularly pleasant for a downhill climb.  The length of the poles should be adjusted to suit your height and the activity you are planning. Generally speaking, lengthen the poles for descents, and shorten them for ascents and the length for walking along flat or gently slopes should be around waist height.  To avail of our great offers on walking poles, see the range online or talk to one of our knowledgeable staff.

Trekking poles for walking

Baby comes too!

There is no reason why baby cannot come too!  Especially when we have great offers on all baby carriers.  One of our most popular models is the Osprey Poco Plus Child Carrier, a sturdy model that boasts the same innovated suspended mesh back system as some of our most comfortable hiking and backpacking packs. It also has essential sun protection. The rapid deploy Poco Plus Sun-Shade, with an UPF 22 rating it protects your little cargo from harmful sun rays, making the perfect shaded spot for an afternoon nap. When the weather takes a turn for the worse, deploy the integrated rain-cover.  See our previous blog on which is the best buy for you and your little one. 

hiking with baby


We truly cannot keep the tents in the warehouse this year!  Our unbelievable value in tents for family staycations or for solo travellers has seen an unprecedented amount of canvas sold since the lifting of restrictions.  But don’t worry, we have plenty of tents still in stock for your camping needs. RockNRiver have the very best in adventure camping packages for as little as €99.00, and if you are looking for some luxury at the campfire, the Vango range of tents has all you could ever need and more.

As we all enjoy our staycations in Ireland, with a reborn appreciation for alfresco living let’s do with the best equipment possible.  Whether we are camping with the family, hiking solo or climbing to the top of the tallest mountain.  Outdoor Adventure Stores have everything you need to make the experience a pleasant, fun and unforgettable. We have your back as you get back to the hills.

Best Travel Books Picks for Covid-19 Lockdown.

As the global Covid-19 puts a halt to our gallivanting on adventures and has most of us adventurous types straining on our virtual leash past the invisible 2km exercise zone,  we can still dream and plan of outdoor adventures to come.   Life has been put in perspective for us all.  So there is no better time to armchair travel with some of the best travel books of all times.  Here is our pick of ripping travel reads to transport you while on lockdown.

Mad Bad and Dangerous to Know- Sir Ranulph Fiennes

An autobiography, written in his 75th year by one of the most macho heroes of travel, adventurism and exploration to the world’s most dangerous and inaccessible places.  From the top of Everest, from Pole to Pole, to finding ‘lost’ cities, the world’s greatest living explorer is not known for taking the easy route at any time.  He lost fingers and almost lost his life, but throughout his entire life has never lost the enthusiasm for thrilling adventure.  Fiennes has been an elite soldier, an athlete, a mountaineer, an explorer, a bestselling author who nearly replaced Sean Connery as James Bond, and indeed, his writing does read like a ‘Boys Own’ Spiffing adventure at times. Live through his ambitious expeditions, extreme adventures and inspiring resilience from the comfort of your backyard hammock and start making plans for your next great escape.

Couchsurfing in Iran – Stephan Orth

For fans of Couchsurfing (the more altruistic and friendlier forerunner of Airbnb) and unusual travel with social and political insight, this book captures all of the most wonderful things about staying on stranger’s couches in a destination that most westerners would never choose to visit. Couchsurfing is banned and yet over a hundred thousand Iranians are registered with the portal.    Orth is a generous storyteller, sharing sights, sounds and emotions to give a fascination and gripping picture of life in modern Iran.  Stephan is the guest of 22 different hosts, travels over 8,400 kilometres in 62 days to discover the hidden Iran.  A bed roll, a haversack and a lot more optimism than most, this is a tale of travel adventures to the max.  From border guards to taxi drivers, we learn more about Iranians and the similarities of people everywhere. The tone is light and breezy, and this is a road that is definitely ‘less travelled’ as the author dispels myths about Iran in a gripping and fascinating read. 

Buen Camino – Peter Murtagh

This book is not a travel or route guide to the wonderful Camino, but rather is a spell bounding recounting of Peter Murtagh’s own experiences on the pilgrimage trail. Peter and his daughter Natasha stepped out on the 900 kilometre walk through the Way of Saint James, over the French Pyrenees and into Northern Spain.  What began as a gruelling physical trek quickly becomes a spiritual journey and a bonding experience.   Despite the hardships, they run with bulls, parade in a fiesta and meet a fine range of other pilgrims on the way.  For anyone who’s Camino journey was cut short this year, this book will keep the fires of adventure lit until you too can walk the well-worn paths to the Santiago de Compostela.  A warm and loving story of friendship, family, camaraderie and wonderful scenery too!

Epic Hikes of the World – Lonely Planet

What an inspiring publication.  It won’t just set you dreaming, it will have you salivating and mentally packing the rucksack.  Lonely planet asked over 200 travel writers to tell them about their most memorable hikes.  Many spoke of personal challenges, both physical and mental. One common theme was the connection that you can find when you hike a certain destination.  The words ‘Life Changing’ were used a lot.   This book brings 50 of the most inspiring routes, stories and adventures for you to enjoy from your armchair.   We may be staying put at the moment, but this wonderful collection will have you planning for a brighter future while living vicariously through the retelling of others.  

Nala’s World- Dean Nicholson

A Scottish man on a bike ride around the world.  His plan. Visit as much of the world as he can. Learn as much as he can.  Retell it in a book and on social media.  Cue Nala, the rescue cat that he finds in the mountains between Montenegro and Bosnia. An unbreakable bond that ensures Dean Nicholson is an overnight Instagram sensation.  Well, it combines travel, cycling, Scottish accents and … a cute cat. Win Win.  Experiencing the kindness of strangers, visiting refugee camps, rescuing animals throughout Europe and Asia, Dean and Nala are a dynamic travelling duo. The book, Nala’s World is on its way to the book shelves and in the meantime you can follow their adventures online and add your view to the over 20 million views of how they met.

Travel Book Recommendations for Lockdown

The troubles with technology while traveling

Zoe on the Road

Our Zoe Kinsella has headed off on her very own Outdoor Adventures! 

Having assisted all kinds of travellers to access the very best in back-packing gear, she took to the trail herself.  Currently backpacking through South East Asia, Zoe shares her thoughts, musings and travel adventures with all of us poor folk left at home.  Thailand brought beautiful beaches & clear blue skies and fellow travellers with their noses stuck in phones.

Enjoy the sun Zoe!

As I walk the white sandy beaches of Koh Samui, Thailand soaking in every ray of the 34-degree heat I can’t help but feel lost in the moment. My head clear, my worries non-existent and my heart full. I can’t help but think of how lucky I am to be here. As my gaze is pulled from the clear blue ocean to the droves of people resting on the beach, it’s evident that while I seem to be one of few lost in the tranquillity of the island, others are lost in endless scrolling on smartphones.  Ignoring those next to them, their conversations stagnant and with the occasional tilt of a phone to show the other what they are looking at in order to show that they are acknowledging their existence and not out rightly ignoring them. 

This had me thinking of my trip to Thailand 6 years previously when I used to call my Mam on Viber on my iPod Touch whenever I got to a place with half-decent Wi-Fi. There was no lying on the beach scrolling through social media. Mainly because you couldn’t connect to Wi-Fi and this was before you could get a sim with data on it for next to nothing. The sad reality today is that people seem uninterested in each other’s company until a phone is taken out for a picture or video to post on social media. And this, to make people feel as if they are missing out on the ‘fun’ or that their lives are inadequate. Feeling as if you’re missing out is far more prominent nowadays because of posting on social media. People have become so obsessed with getting that Instagram picture or video that will make others wish they were them. But, have we become so consumed with this façade? As I look around the beach groups of friends sit together scrolling through their social media pages, not acknowledging each other until one shouts “get in a video” and all of a sudden everyone is animated, laughing, singing, dancing, and looking like they’re having the time of their lives. Designed to spark envy. In reality, they are doing the exact same thing as those at home except they’ve spent a fortune to sit on a beach leeching off terrible Wi-Fi to do it.

When I envisioned traveling, I imagined people would be chatty, almost intrusive, but in a way that backpackers can traditionally be. Conversations without inhibitions or fear of rejection. Don’t get me wrong, these people still exist but it can be harder to approach others if their heads are buried in their phones. You cut yourself off from meeting new people and instead feel more connected to your phone. Think about it, when was the last time you went for a coffee or out for a meal by yourself and didn’t have your phone in your hand as an armour of some sort, and to make you look less sad for being alone? 

One thing that has stood out while traveling, is the extremes people will go to bring along their phones and cameras on excursions in order to document the whole thing. Waterproof cases, dry bags, and selfie sticks certainly have their uses in keeping these safe and dry till you absolutely need them. It seems as if nobody can live in the moment anymore, mentally capturing images instead of physically recording them. Visiting some of the world’s natural wonders and unbelievably beautiful sights can really reset your state of mind but instead of realizing how fortunate you are to be there, tourists queue up to take the same photo one after the other to boast about on social media. Put the camera down and enjoy the moment. 

Technology isn’t all bad.

Besides the aforementioned, it has many positives especially while traveling. From maps to Netflix, online banking to booking accommodation and of course being able to Face Time your loved ones or chat instantly on WhatsApp or social media, technology takes the distance out of traveling making it easier to spread your wings without the feeling of being homesick or not knowing if that postcard from home will arrive.

troubles with technology while travelling

According to new research published by the communications watchdog ComReg, Irish people spend 4 and a half hours on their smartphones daily and only 10% of that is spent talking. Balance would seem to be the key.  If you are a solo traveller or even if traveling in a group, why not set certain rules regarding phone time. Try to stick to set times where it’s okay to be on your phone guilt-free and others times where phones aren’t allowed.   Meal times, for example, although this means forgoing the ubiquitous pic of your meal!  The key to reducing the amount of phone time and increasing the amount of time you spend living in the moment, is to acknowledge how much time technology is spent second screening your experiences and how much is spent actually experiencing!   Why not make the facade a reality. Stop pretending to have fun and actually have it! Lose your inhibitions, leave your phone at home, make memories and capture each moment with your hearts.

As for me, I am about to leave this screen time and soak up the sun, the sights, the sounds and the wonders of traveling abroad.  Just don’t expect any selfies !!!