Uncharted Backpacker

Travel Knows No Borders

Stephen Gollan; Adventurer, photographer and travel bad ass. Exploring uncharted destinations to get you the latest info on how to get there.

Gunung Bromo and Kawah Ijen Travel Guide – Java, Indonesia

Gunung Bromo, Kawah Ijen, Java

In the far eastern regions of Java lie two extraordinary sites. The first is the massive volcano named Gunung Bromo. The second is the sulphuric crater lake of Ijen. These are two of the most impressive sites in Java, not to mention the whole of Indonesia. Sounds amazing, right? Well like most amazing places it comes with a catch. Bromo and Ijen and very remote places, making accessing here quite difficult and tedious. Transport from Yogyakarta can take up to twelve hours to Bromo and eight or nine from Bali to Ijen. The weather is also a major factor here, as clouds often cover up Bromo and heavy rains make Ijen hazardous. Apart from all these factors, witnessing sunrise at Bromo and the miners of Ijen will be an experience you are unlikely to ever forget.

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Gunung Bromo and Kawah Ijen Travel Guide – Java, IndonesiaGunung Bromo and Kawah Ijen Travel Guide – Java, IndonesiaGunung Bromo and Kawah Ijen Travel Guide – Java, IndonesiaGunung Bromo and Kawah Ijen Travel Guide – Java, IndonesiaGunung Bromo and Kawah Ijen Travel Guide – Java, Indonesia

Mount Hagen Show – Papua New Guinea

Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea

In the middle of it all, I pause. The hypnotic, rhythmic tribal war calls, the impossibly vibrant tribal warriors adorned in paint and birds of paradise feathers, and the incessant heat of the midday sun. In this moment of calm, you realize where you are, amidst this dazzling spectacle unfolding around you. I am so happy in this very moment. I spend my life in search of moments like this. As I begin to smirk, the pause ends and I am brought back to the present. Maybe you understand this, maybe you don’t, but all I can tell you is that at that very moment, in the middle of the tribal Mt Hagen show, I have never felt so happy to find such a raw example of human nature and being, here in Papua New Guinea.

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Do I Need Travel Insurance?

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance can be a confusing part of travel. Is it expensive? Is it necessary? These are a few of the million dollar questions everyone asks. Search online whether you need it or not and you will get multiple yes and no’s and numerous insurance companies trying to lure you into their grasps. With 80 countries explored and ten years of travel experience, Uncharted Backpacker can give you an honest opinion on whether or not Travel Insurance is really necessary! Read More

Do I Need Travel Insurance?Do I Need Travel Insurance?Do I Need Travel Insurance?Do I Need Travel Insurance?Do I Need Travel Insurance?

Lower Omo Valley Travel Guide – Ethiopia

Lower Omo Valley, Southern Ethiopia

The sharp look of a war paint covered Ak-47 wielding tribesmen enters my gaze. The deep blast of horns fill the air as women beg to be whipped with tree branches. The dust rises as the hypnotically chanting tribal groups continuously jump up and down. It’s an absolute shock to the uninitiated, a scene from National Geographic documentaries that you watched as a child playing right before your eyes. It takes time to take it all in, but when you do you are filled with a whirlwind of emotions. Who knew such a place on earth, so beautifully primitive and culturally shocking still existed in this day and age. This is the Lower Omo Valley, in Southern Ethiopia. Read More

Lower Omo Valley Travel Guide – EthiopiaLower Omo Valley Travel Guide – EthiopiaLower Omo Valley Travel Guide – EthiopiaLower Omo Valley Travel Guide – EthiopiaLower Omo Valley Travel Guide – Ethiopia

The Kalasha Valleys, Chitral – Pakistan

Gilgit and Chitral, Pakistan

When your mind finally clears, you feel it. It’s a feeling deep inside. It’s a feeling of excitement, nervousness, and a strong desire to delve deeper into the unknown. Here Jacob and I were, experiencing this very feeling, riding atop an old, rusty bus, crossing the remote Shandur pass In North East Pakistan. Our destination is Chitral, a series of mysterious valleys located deep in the Hindu Kush. As the warm apricot scented wind blew across our faces, and we marveled at the impossibly beautiful mountains, the feeling only intensified. This is exactly where I want to be.” It’s not often I say this to myself but, being in such an incredible moment, it seems plausible. This is Chitral, in North Pakistan.  Read More
The Kalasha Valleys, Chitral – PakistanThe Kalasha Valleys, Chitral – PakistanThe Kalasha Valleys, Chitral – PakistanThe Kalasha Valleys, Chitral – PakistanThe Kalasha Valleys, Chitral – Pakistan

Uncharted Backpacker

Traveling to over 80 countries and still on the road. Uncharted Backpacker is travel at its most extreme! Try riding public transport through Afghanistan, Living amongst tribes in Papua New Guinea and teaching English in war torn Libya.

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12 Tips How to Travel the World When You’re Not Rich

So, you’re not a superstar blogger who gets paid to travel, and you didn’t win the lottery or be given your grandma’s million-dollar inheritance. You work full time and have a deep passion for seeing the world. How do you manage to do this with a limited budget?
This is a question I get asked all the time. When I tell people I have traveled as much as I have, they automatically assume there is some secret bank account full of money that I don’t mention. The truth of the matter is that I work hard and limit myself from spending too much on material items. However, there are definitely some tips on how you can travel as much as I do with a limited amount of money. I have worked as a Lifeguard for ten years now to afford my travel!

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12 Tips How to Travel the World When You’re Not Rich12 Tips How to Travel the World When You’re Not Rich12 Tips How to Travel the World When You’re Not Rich12 Tips How to Travel the World When You’re Not Rich12 Tips How to Travel the World When You’re Not Rich

My Favourite GoPro Travel Accessories

I began traveling with the GoPro in 2013 on my second trip to India. Ever since then I have fallen in love with this mini action packed camera. Throughout my years of travel I have enjoyed using many of GoPro’s accessories, however, not all of them are created equal.
As a professional travel blogger, I can honestly tell you that the world of travel pairs incredibly well with this powerful little cam. I never leave anywhere without my GoPro anymore. Currently, I am using the Hero 4 Black Edition, GoPro’s top end model. But in the past, I have used many other of the models which also worked great!
During my travels, I have recorded awesome videos of diving with whale sharks in the Philippines, rock climbing to the rock-hewn churches in Northern Ethiopia, and motorbiking across the Himalayas over the world’s highest pass.

The GoPro is simply unmatched by other travel video cameras!

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Where Tigers Fly and Dragons Thunder – Paro, Bhutan

Paro, Bhutan

As you climb higher, past the ancient weeping cypress trees, across the bubbling stream that powers the giant prayer wheels, ascending into the clouds, you realize why this place is so sacred. Getting to Bhutan is a journey unto itself, but to take the trek up to Taktsang Gompa transports you to another world. Maybe all the talk about finding “enlightenment” or “oneself” has some credibility after all. This place would seem to indicate just so. Taktsang Gompa is an incredibly special location. As I climb through the clouds to a mystical Buddhist temple, I can’t help but thinking: This is Bhutan, at its most glorious.

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Where Tigers Fly and Dragons Thunder – Paro, BhutanWhere Tigers Fly and Dragons Thunder – Paro, BhutanWhere Tigers Fly and Dragons Thunder – Paro, BhutanWhere Tigers Fly and Dragons Thunder – Paro, BhutanWhere Tigers Fly and Dragons Thunder – Paro, Bhutan

Detour through Iraq: Kurdistan, Iraq

Iraqi, Kurdistan

For almost my entire life Iraq has meant war. From the so-called threat of weapons of mass destruction to the media constantly reporting about Bush senior’s gulf war grudge against Saddam. What the media and all those with preconceived notions of the country tend to leave out is the history, Iraq’s incredibly diverse people, some of the most beautiful landscapes in the Middle East. As I looked down a snow capped mountain valley from a medieval castle, it’s hard to believe everything I have heard and seen about this stunning nation. This is Iraq!

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Detour through Iraq: Kurdistan, IraqDetour through Iraq: Kurdistan, IraqDetour through Iraq: Kurdistan, IraqDetour through Iraq: Kurdistan, IraqDetour through Iraq: Kurdistan, Iraq