Finland – Roadtrip to Lapland Chasing the northern lights on a budget

Traveling to Finland on a budget during winter can seem tricky, as sleeping in a tent or in the back of a car will most likely not be an option given the extreme temperatures. 

But if you don’t mind skipping the touristic attractions and Santa Claus village, then a wee road trip across the country will allow you to chase the northern lights, cross amazing landscapes, meet wild reindeers while keeping a relatively tight budget.

The best period to see the northern lights is between the end of September and the end of March, so winter is definitely a good time to visit Finnish Lapland.

Accommodation – Where to stay in Finnish Lapland

You can find a lot of cottages to rent on Airbnb or Booking for a very reasonable price, outside the main touristic cities. We decided to go as far up as…

jordan israel border crossing

Israel to Jordan | Border Crossing Guide

How to cross the Israel-Jordan border

When I decided to visit Jordan, it quickly appeared that flights were much cheaper to Tel Aviv (Israel) than Amman (now that Ryanair operates flights to Amman, this might not be true anymore, depending on where you are travelling from, but anyways its’ a very good excuse to visit both countries if you have the time to). 

Since the 2 countries are neighbours and quite small, I started looking into overland border crossing. Crossing the border between Israel and Jordan can seem complicated, but with the correct information it’s actually an easy process.

A bit of general information:

There are 3 border crossing points between the 2 countries:

– the Yitzhak Rabin Terminal/Wadi Araba Crossing, in the south, close to the cities of Petra and Aqaba

– the King Hussein Bridge (Allenby) Terminal, close to Jerusalem and Amman. It would seem to be the easiest…

Kodawari Ramen Paris, ramen bowl

Kodawari Ramen

Kodawari Ramen – a trip to Japan from Paris

When pushing Kodawari Ramen’s door, be prepared to get transported to Japan. This tiny restaurant, located in Paris’s 6th arrondissement will take you on a journey to Japan within the space of a meal.

First the setting. The decoration, recreating a Japanese dingy alley with suspended lanterns and Japanese posters, is worth the visit on its own.

I would recommend sitting at the bar opened to the kitchen, where you will see the cooks prepare the ramen bowls in front of you.

Let’s move on to the food. The house’s speciality, as you can guess by the restaurant’s name is the ramen, a big bowl of broth with noodles, herbs and meat. You will choose between 6 different versions, all very tasty, but the black sesame sauce one gets my preference. It is possible to add various toppings, tamago, a marinated semi boiled egg, porc slices, chicken…

The noodles are…

Tramway in Vilnius, Lithuania

From Vilnius to Kaunas

Lithuania, the southernmost country of the Baltic States, in North East Europe is a great destination for anyone looking for culture, medieval architecture, and not too many tourists.

Here is a guide of some of the things to do when visiting the capital, Vilnius, and Kaunas, the country’s second largest city.


Vilnius, the capital, is a charming city, quite modern and touristic compared to the rest of the country. Wander the streets of the city center and admire the nice building and all the churches, there is more than 50 in the city.

From the Sventaragio square, climb the Gediminas hill. On top of the hill, you will enjoy a panoramic view over the old town and city center. You can also visit the Gediminas castle tower, the entrance fee is 5€.


Kaunas, the country’s second largest city has a much more Soviet architecture, but you will…

Cocora Valley hike  How to get to the Acaime farm

Distance: 6.7 km one way

Altitude: 2770m 

Hiking time: 2h30 one way

Difficulty: easy

Equipment: hiking shoes or good trainers, warm clothes, sleeping bag

The Cocora valley hike will transport you from fields full of cows and wax palm trees (world’s highest ones), to a forest in the mountains in a few hours.

Arriving to the Cocora Valley

If you have your own car there is no specific difficulty to get to the Cocora village. If you don’t have a car, from Salento you can get in one of the Willy’s for a few pesos, they depart from the city’s main square.

The hike

Turn right after the restaurant « Bosque de Cocora », also known as “Donde Juan B” and you will be on the free entrance track.

The walk is easy and you won’t be climbing for the first kilometers, but the path can be very muddy on…

Istanbul Tramway Taksim

Three days in Istanbul

Even if you can’t stay for a long period of time in Istanbul, spending a few days in Turkey’s most important city will already allow you to immerse in its vibrant atmosphere. 

From the constant cacophony, to the super scary taxi rides, the magnificent scenery the Bosphorus shores offers and the great food, you won’t regret the trip.

Itinerary for a 3 days trip in Istanbul:

Day 1

Begin your journey by visiting the Sultanahmet Mosque, also known as Blue Mosque, in the Old Center. It’s probably Turkey’s most famous Mosque. The entrance is free.

I would recommend to come early, especially in the summer, as the line can get really long and you might be spending hours queuing in the sun. It is closed to non worshipers during prayer times, so plan your visit accordingly.

Don’t forget to wear covering clothes and for girls to bring a scarf of some kind to…