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The Do’s and Dont’s of Darwin

Known as Australia’s only tropical capital city, Darwin welcomes visitors with the best weather, beaches, and activities every adventure seeker would love.   Perched on the very northern coast of Australia, the area doesn’t see the attention of its sister cities Sydney or Melbourne.  This lack of attention is actually a good thing.   It is one of the few places that live up to what you envision the land down under being.

Visiting Darwin was our first visit to Australia, we learned a few lessons from our visit.  We want to pass on a few of the basic do’s and dont’s for the area to ensure a problem-free and enjoyable vacation.   We want you to have the insiders guide when going to the northern territory of Australia.

Do Plan for Adventure 

Darwin offers visitors plenty of activities they can do from daytime to nighttime.   There are two amazing national parks within driving distance of Darwin: Kakadu and Litchfield.  Both are must sees for any visit to the “Top End.”  There are many tours that leave from darwin and take you to on a day trip.   The tour we elected to take gave us passage on a croc viewing cruise and a day swimming in the waterfalls of Kakadu!  There are many multi day camping excursions into the national parks if you wish to get a more involved adventure.   For the history buff, there are many World War II sites in Darwin.  You can take a harbor cruse that highlights the different points of interest.  There is also a WWII museum which has many interesting exhibits just outside of Darwin.

Kakadu National Park

Kakadu National Park

Once the sun goes down in Darwin, the fun continues!  We highly recommend visiting the Mindil Beach Sunset Market.  It lines the beach with art, food and fun vendors.  We absolutely loved just people watching along the path.  You can also check out the Deckchair Cinema for an outdoor film viewing while resting in a reclining chairs under the stars.

Don’t Overspend on Accommodation 

There will be plenty of things where you can put your money in, and accommodation shouldn’t be one of it. To fully experience the authentic atmosphere of Australia’s Northern Territory, consider signing up for a house sitting instead. According to a popular house sitting platform Trusted House Sitters, many homeowners in the area are in search for a loving home sitters to look over their humble abode including their pets while they are away. You get to stay in their homes for free, while enjoying the rest of your trip in Darwin. It will save you plenty of cash that you commonly spend on hotels or inns. This is highly beneficial for those planning to stay in the destination for a long period of time.

We stayed at the Bromeliad Bed and Breakfast and had a great time.  The innkeepers are so kind and will definitely help you make your visit to Darwin an enjoyable one.

Do travel with insurance

Whether you are traveling to Darwin from another Australian location or internationally, the need to have a travel insurance will be highly helpful to you, especially when going on a trip with your family. A typical policy, based on the information shared by this travel insurance guide, can help you avoid any travel risk, such as:

· Hefty medical costs

· Airline and accommodation cancellation

· Lost, stolen or damaged items

· Legal liability

The same article also showed the ins and outs of making a claim, when the need arises, making it easier for you in case an emergency strikes.

Don’t Visit During the Wet Season

Given the plenty of outdoor activities you can do in the city, the best time to visit Darwin is during the dry season, which lasts from April or May until September or October. It’s the most beautiful weather to get around the city with clear blue skies, warm days and balmy nights. During the wet season, you have to endure storms that sometimes led to cyclones and floods. The temperature is less humid as it gets close to the wet season. The wet season starts around October to November, but rain falls more between January and March. According to resource page Outback Australia Travel Secrets, the wet season may still work for travelers who are more adventurous and flexible as it’s the time when wildflowers are blooming and waterfalls are raging.

Darwin’s geographic location made it a highly popular destination for travelers in search of peace of mind without the need to leave the city life. We hope this post presented you with all the preparation and safety tips you need before going to the capital city of Darwin. Feel free to add more tips to this list, by leaving a comment below.

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Selfie of Love Contest

LouvreLove

 

Do you have the best couple travel picture?

Just in time for the upcoming month of February and Valentines day, we are searching for the best couple travel picture!

What’s in it for you?  You could win a dinner for two at your fave restaurant in the world!  (Basically, if you are selected as our Selfie of Love contest winner, we send you $50.  Not bad huh?)  In addition, the top 10 pictures will be proudly featured on our site!  Where 10 or so people will see them!  We are happy to link back to your site/blog/social media if you wish.

All pictures will be we be judged by a completely biased panel namely yours truly the Fighting Couple.  We are looking for couples that get out and see the world together!  Style points will certainly be added for location, originality, ect!

Just zing us a picture and tell us in less than 10 words where it was taken.  Send them to SelfieofLove@gmail.com

 

The fine print (sorry, we don’t look good in stripes):

1) Pictures must be travel themed and feature at least two people.  (No cat pictures allowed.)

2) Void where prohibited.  (Void is such a weird word…..Void.)

3)  All pics must be “tastefully” done.  (Ummm… no weird stuff, ok?)

4) Contest rules are subject to change.  (Unless Luci changes her mind….which NEVER happens.)

5)  Contest ends on February 10, 2016 at midnight MST.  (All good things must come to an end.)

5.5)  18 years old and above only to win.  (This is the most fun adults get to have…no kids allowed!)

6)  The expert judges at 1000 Fights will pick the winner!.  (There are no rules against crossing your fingers.)

7)  Submitting pictures to www.1000Fights.com means we can use them.  (We will use them in our post if you win.  Thats all.  We promise.)

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Our 7 Questions with Fins to Spurs

What if you could try another career? Even for a short time, would you try a different job just to see what it could be like? We would like to introduce you to a traveling couple that not only tries a new job every few months, but does it in another part of the world! Please meet Christine and Adam of www.finstospurs.com.  We put our seven questions to these two wandering workers:

Blog:  www.Finstospurs.com

twitter:  @finstospurs

Instagram:  @finstospurs

 

First off, tell us a little about yourselves?  How long have you been a traveling couple?  How did you meet?

We have been together for about two years now, most of which has been on the road!  We are from completely different backgrounds, Adam from a rural community in Nebraska, Christine from just outside Seattle, Washington.  We both moved to Kona, Hawaii to work on scuba diving boats and met while working at the same dive shop!  Our passion for adventure and travel drove us together and we quickly teamed up to start our latest tour of the world in August 2014!

Christien West, Adam Maire, Fins to Spurs, Nicaragua

Christine West, Adam Maire of Fins to Spurs in Nicaragua

1)   You two are on such an amazing adventure!  Tell us about one of your best and worst experiences?

He Said: When Christine and I were working as ranch managers in Nicaragua, one of the local ranch hands was incredibly talented, wanted to help in every way, but was very young.  At 16, Ariel was trying to learn as much as possible, but we needed someone who could not only work at the ranch but travel to other parts of the community.  Ariel needed to learn how to drive.  One of my favorite experiences was teaching Ariel how to drive a manual–in my terrible Spanish!  He was hilarious and joking the whole the time (I think?!) and we had a blast together!  The worst experience?  A 12-hour bus ride in the same area with “travelers stomach” in the dark on a bumpy road with a bathroom that had no light and a broken door.

She Said: Just recently Adam and I went to Ubud, Bali and visited a monkey sanctuary.  We are incredibly lucky travelers sometimes, and we just happened to arrive at the sanctuary as a MASSIVE celebration of harmony with nature and animals was beginning!  Hundreds of locals in formal dress were giving offerings, music was playing, the monkeys were excited and seemed to be so interested—it was amazing.  We listened, watched, were so overtaken by the beauty…all because our yoga class was changed and we had extra time that day.  Which brings me to the worst experience of Bali: Adam and I are extremely new to yoga and were trying some different styles of yoga in Ubud…it just seemed like the fun thing to do!  The class that we really wanted to try was cancelled, so we signed up for Partner Acro Yoga.  When we arrived, things were fine for about two minutes and then the next moment I saw people around us getting ready for what looked like a collective wheel-barrel race – one that we were losing!  It was all too much FAST—our hung-over teacher was late, the space was small, every move seemed upside down and WAY beyond our skills in life…We slipped out of class on minute 9 and ended up going to the monkey sanctuary!  Worst experience is never that bad J

 

2) If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be?  (this person can be living, historical or mythical?.)

He Said: Pretty much anyone who is hilarious!  Maybe Will Ferrell or Ryan Reynolds.  I just want to be able to laugh my though any mildly bad situation.  Will Ferrell is always so obscure that anything could be fun and I can really appreciate Ryan Reynolds sarcasm. If you know any other comedian that is usually pretty positive I am open to suggestions!

She Said: Oh I agree with Adam 100%. Being able to laugh is mandatory for me.  But my vote is more for Ryan!!

Adam from Fins to Spurs

Adam from Fins to Spurs

3)One of our fave posts is about your volcano hike.  Tell us, what it as exhausting as it looked?

He said: Oh my God YES!! I spent 6 years in the Infantry where we hiked EVERYWHERE with overloaded rucks.  I thought I was pretty tough but that hike nearly killed me.  Our guide was 7 feet tall and nearly ran up the mountain!  It is all straight up, very few switchbacks in the beginning and the first third is through loose, soft gravel.  We earned every foot of elevation we gained!

She said: First, the weather was everything! We were told it was going to pour rain all day so we thought we should bring double clothes. It never did rain, by the way.  We carried over 40 lbs. straight up that loose dirt and ash volcano!  I kept adjusting the straps on my backpack but I have so little experience, it was ALL so heavy!  It was insanely awesome, I would do it again, but way less in the pack.

traveling couple Guatemala

Acatenango, Guatemala

4)  If you had to eat one last meal, what/ where would you eat?

He said: I try to eat every meal like it is my last, I usually finish half of Christine’s food too!  I love Indian and Thai food so much but my favorite is Mexican.  When we lived in Guatemala, Christine made these killer smothered burritos that were the size of a small dog, all in our little apartment.  I would have to make that my last meal but I would eat it on any beach with a GREAT sunrise and a Black Butte Porter!

She said: You know, I spent two years teaching in Istanbul, and Turkish food was introduced to me by my students.  I liked it in the beginning, but then over two years I grew to LOVE IT!!! I would have an Istanbul street food feast with pide, doner, yogurt, lahmacun, sutlac and all with raki! Yum!!!

1000Fights:  YUM!

5)  What advice would you have for a couple that is considering following your path and working around the world?

He said: GO and DO IT!! We aren’t trying to sell quit the 9 to 5 or permanently abandon your current job, just take a little more time off, find a job or volunteer opportunity, and travel!!  This life isn’t easy.  We don’t have the stress of normal work but a job is a job.  Whatever the job is you still have co-workers you don’t love and long hours.  We just want everyone to know that you can stay longer in these locations and learn SO much more about them than just a few days here and then moving on to a new location.

She said: I think my advice would be to start slowly.  I started working abroad when I was 19 years old as a bartender in England.  Your first job abroad is rough, then you finish that one and you think, that was SIMPLE AND FANTASTIC, so you do it again.  You take more risks, you challenge yourself with more languages, locations and different types of jobs…it gets more and more adventurous.  As a couple, you will do this together!  Your experiences get more memorable, more life changing, more inspired.  Is you ease into this process with your partner, maybe starting with vacations combined with work/volunteer opportunities, your relationship has a chance to be EVEN CLOSER, with this completely different experience as something only the two of you really know about.

traveling couple

Fins to Spurs at Karon Beach, Thailand

6) If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

He said: Our lack of care for nature.  If humans don’t stop using up our resources we are going to wake up one day with no Earth to call home.  The shark finning and destruction of coral reefs is forever changing our oceans for the worse.  We recently hunted one of the species of rhinos into extinction just for its horn and another species only has four left… in the entire world!  Global warming is destroying our poles year after year and spreading FAST!  The human race is going to have to unite to conserve what little bit of nature we have left!

She said: If I could “solve” one thing, it would be living in extremes.  I wish people could live with more balance.  For example, the internet is great, it has the ability to forward education for people who would never otherwise have access. However, people can’t spend ALL DAY online.  Go outside!!  See other people in real life!! Eat, smell, and see other places!  Or food: I absolutely love amazing food, but you can’t eat everything and anything all the time.  The goal in my mind to live a balanced life, integrating more patience into every activity in your day.

 

7)You knew it was coming….What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?

She said: Travel is tough sometimes.  Adam is my favorite travel partner in the world.  No question.  However, our rare disagreements do happen.  I remember when we finished 9 months in Central America, our flight flew through Seattle, my hometown that I hadn’t been to in years.  And we only had two hours in Seattle before we flew to Alaska, but in this airport there is an Ivar’s, the BEST restaurant for clam chowder in the world.  I WANTED THIS CHOWDER!  I was dreaming about it for more than a few weeks.  So, when we arrived in Seattle, we bee-lined to Ivar’s.  But when we got there,  Adam wanted all this other stuff like fish and was spending WAY too much money and we had this tense moment over the food (it was stupid)…and because of the fight…I didn’t want my precious chowder anymore.  It was a fight over the bowl of soup…medium or large.  It was an argument over  $2.  It’s hard to understand, but after 9 months of spending, it seemed like too much.  I guess that’s travel for you, you sort of lose it all (your mind) and gain it all at the same time!

He said: In my defense, I wanted the large bowl of soup so she got enough, and I could finish what she didn’t want.  It was really more about 24 hours straight of flights, car rides, and fast food that really put the stress on the situation.  I still feel bad I ruined the soup for her.  We really do get along pretty well, but we both HATE being cold.  On the few occasions we have worked in the cold it has become the blame game and a small spat.  You know, the typical: “working in the snow was YOUR idea!” and “That’s it!! You NEVER get a say in the job choice again!!!”  A warm coffee and a heater and it all just goes back to normal!

Now those two know how to fight! We are very impressed. A huge thanks to our friends Christine and Adam for graciously answering our 7 questions.  Give their blog a follow!

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The Fighting Couple’s Holiday Gift Guide

The trouble with travelers is they are so hard to shop for!   The Fighting Couple comes to the rescue. We have put together the perfect gift guide for your wandering colleagues. Trust us, a few of these items under the tree will have your traveler beaming like they just avoided a long TSA line!

The Perfect Pillow

Travelers are always dreaming of the lovely locations they have visited. Their homes are filled with pictures of the Colosseum in Rome and selfies at Machu Picchu. Ok… maybe that is just us… Regardless, the first stop you should make on your traveler shopping quest is to Finch and Cotter for a Custom Travel Pillow.   There you will find a great selection of travel themed throw pillows. We get lots of comments on ours! It lists all of our favorite places. We can’t count the number of conversations that have started when our friends looked at the pillow. Each destination is a memory to us. Be a traveling friend’s hero! Simply start your customized pillow by listing at least seven of your favorite destinations.   Finch and Cotter can make custom pillows in a week! How cool is that?  Facebook: Finch & Cotter

Pillow talk

A Little Pillow Talk

The Traveling Pouch

Travel these days takes a bunch of stuff: Passport, ID, itineraries, phones, Visas, boarding passes, ect, We have found the perfect solution. The Leather Travel Wallet from House of LH.   This handsome and useful travel folder keeps all of your travel goodies sorted and organized.   They are the perfect size to handle your cards, papers and even a special pocket for your passport. There is even room for one of Mike’s spreadsheets! This handy item is a must have. They are handmade out of real leather so they are tough enough to hold up any traveler’s demands.  Bon Voyage!

Leather Travel Wallet

Leather Travel Wallet

 

The Tough Bag

One of the most embarrassing situations we have had while traveling was our trek into the Amazon jungle in Peru. We were trekking novices. We showed up at the river bank with our roller bag suit cases. (Don’t do this.) Did they get wet? Yes. Did our clothes smell musty and river-ery? Yes. Were we happy about that after a week in the jungle? No. Since then, we have discovered the Dry Duffel from Lewis N. Clark. This handy bag looks small, but it is huge! There is plenty of room for your entire trip’s wardrobe. The best thing? It’s completely water-resistant. This bag is perfect for trips where weather can be an issue. Headed camping or in our case “glamping”? This bag is going to be your new best friend. While you are on their site, they offer loads of great stocking stuffers. We highly recommend a toiletry pouch. It is one of those TSA friendly bags that every traveler covets. Twitter: @lewisnclarkgear

Dry Gear Duffel

Dry Gear Duffel

 

A Tale of Two Cities

Just because you are traveling does not mean that you have to look scroungy. The challenges for every traveler is what to pack? You want to pack light, but you still want to look good. Actually, you want to look better than good, you want to look fabulous. One of the requirements we have for our clothing is that they serve more than one purpose. We give you the Book Scarf from Storiarts   Not only does this little number make you look smart, you actually are smart! Each scarf displays a passage from a classic novel. Luci picked the Tale of Two Cities, which is her favorite book. Again, this is another perfect conversation starter. These are easy to pack, easy to wash. and can be worn with different outfits. The perfect compliment to your traveling wardrobe.  Twitter:  @storiarts

book scarf

The Classic Book Scarf

The Gnomes

One of the hardest parts of being a couple on the go is the times when you are apart. Yes, we miss fighting with each other.  Both of us travel a lot for our day jobs. Recently our friends at Gnoments asked us to give a Gnoment a try.  Ok… at first we were a little bit skeptical. A talking gnome is a little out of the ordinary. I am sure the TSA agent that went through all of our unmentionables was wondering why in the world we were smuggling gnomes?   So this is how it works. With your smart phone, you create a message, pictures, or even a map for your loved one. Next step, hide your gnome when only your lover will find it (suitcase, briefcase, car, ect). Once they find the little gnome, they scan it with their phone and up pops your message. Cool huh? This is the perfect gift for couples that spend time away from each other.  Twitter: @gnoments

They created a little video on how it all works:

The Perfect Print

The traveler’s home is a museum of their adventures.   We are always looking to surround ourselves with inspiration from our previous adventures.   We recently added a new print to our “palace”: A World Travel Map Print from The Oyster’s Pearl.  The thing we love about this little shop is that it is run by a husband and wife team!  (Wonder if they fight?)  Their work has been featured in: Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, Southern Living, Country Living, Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine, Buzzfeed & more!  They can do custom prints of just about any state. Isn’t that cool?  What we love most about their store is that everything is custom designed.  We love gifts that are personalized just for us.  Be a winner this season and have something unique made for your loved one.  Twitter: @theoysterspearl

Adventure print

Follow your own adventure!

Aren’t these some amazing ideas? This time of year is a wonderful season for friends and family. A thoughtful gift to your traveling loved one will mean more than you know. A word of warning. Many of these items are handmade and are in short supply. We strongly encourage you to not delay your order. We would love your feedback on any and all the items above!

A number of the items listed above were supplied for us to review. Does this affect our honest review and impressions? Not one bit. Happy Holidays!

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