I recently had this video shared to me from friends in England, who happened to have friends involved in this car rally through Myanmar (Burma). My friends know Myanmar is high on my bucket-list of must see places and knew this would interest me. Bagan in particular, with its many temple spires, looks simply awe-inspiring.

Fancy an adventure? Then enjoy this 6 mins trip through some stunning scenery of Mandalay. Travel through jungles, pretty countryside, villages where people are going about their every-day lives, bustling markets, waterways, temples and if you’re car enthusiastic, you might even enjoy seeing many of the vintage and collectors cars which participated.

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Oman has been on my bucket-list for quite some time. It seems to be one of the more relatively peaceful countries in the middle east and offers a feast of cultural experiences, landscapes, historic castles and forts. I recently tracked down a long lost cousin and turns out he has a placement in Muscat. We connected in the social media space including Facebook and I am being tempted with his gorgeous photos of the region. It’s so good to see him taking the opportunity to get out and explore and mix with the locals, Bedouins and all!

So when I spied this magnificent sunset over the Gulf of Oman, I had to beg him (not really) to allow me to share it here. I’m a sucker for the middle east, deserts and a stunning sunset!

Sunset over the Gulf of Oman

Photo courtesy of Dale Bode who is currently working in Muscat. Lucky, lucky man!

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We have been enjoying a very mild, balmy spell in Melbourne given the time of year it is. The past 4-5 days have all been above 20C, well above the May average and so we decided we really had to make the most of this! So yesterday we jumped in the car and headed to the Yarra Valley. The first stop was the historic homestead and museum of Mont de Lancey in Wandin North. Funny enough my grandparents once lived around the corner on a rhubarb farm but I don’t ever recall visiting this place while they were there. With plenty to see around the property, the gorgeous ‘Savoia’ cafe to enjoy afternoon tea (which we did!) and gaze out to distant mountains of the Great Dividing Range, it really was a tranquil Autumn afternoon. We finished up at St Huberts winery drinking a nice glass of Chardonnay among the Autumn leaves. :)

Mont de Lancey cottage

Mont de Lancey shed

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Abroad and broke?Running out of money while abroad is every traveler’s worst nightmare. The situation can be horrible enough to put a dampener on even the best laid plans.

In order to avoid running through all the cash set aside for a trip in a few days, it is advisable for travelers to draft a realistic budget. This budget will enable an individual to have an idea of how much cash to set aside for the trip, keep track of expenses and to choose the most cost-effective means of travel, food and accommodation. A travel budget makes it easy to regulate spending and allows individuals to make the most of the cash they worked so hard to save.

Running out of money

Several situations can result in a loss of funds whilst abroad. The most common include being robbed of all cash, ATM cards and other documents, overspending on food, accommodation or travel costs, local exchange rates that are higher than expected, ATM failure and medical emergencies while traveling.

Although being abroad without funds presents a difficult dilemma and can be downright debilitating, it does not necessarily mean that a trip has to be terminated. The most important thing for vacationers to do is to keep their wits. Though dire, the situation does have solutions.

There are various ways in which individuals can get cash back into their pockets when they find themselves broke in a foreign country. Being aware of the potential solutions would make it easier and less stressful to deal with the scenario, should it arise.

How to survive

The first step is for the individual to analyze the situation with a clear and open mind. Being broke abroad can mean one of two things: that the person has completely exhausted all funds that they had or that they have sufficient funds but lack access to them.

Solving these two problems requires slightly different approaches:

  • Seeking temporary local work

This solution is ideal if the traveler is completely broke and has no reserve cash. No matter how remote or foreign a place is there is usually some opportunities to earn money for those who find themselves broke. For instance, such individuals can earn money through bartending, washing dishes, serving or busking on the streets. Some can even earn decent cash by teaching English as a foreign language.

  • Cash transfers

Another solution to salvaging a doomed trip is by receiving a cash transfer. This is a viable option for those who have temporarily lost access to their cash. Nowadays there are a variety of firms, such as Trans-fast, offering reliable, secure and fast money transfer services. The travelers can ask their friends or relatives back home to transfer money to them. They can then pick up the remittance in cash or they can have the funds transferred directly into their bank accounts.

If all else fails, vacationers still have the option of asking their local embassies for help. Most embassies can loan money to their nationals abroad to cover the costs of getting back home.

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