Thongs, flippers, slip slops…jandals? Perhaps you’ve heard the Kiwi term for the ubiquitous flip flop, but I hadn’t until I heard of Four Jandals, adventure travel blog of one of the worlds leading independent adventure travel blogging couples, Cole and Adela. (Phew!) They’ve been slipping and slopping, flipping and flopping, around the world since 2009.
“Our main goal is to inspire others to travel. And we do that by providing stunning photos, adventure travel tips and tales to help you step out of your comfort zone, in comfort.” – Cole and Adela, 2013
Sushi or pork roast?
Cole – Sushi! Hands down.
Adela – Definitely sushi.
Coffee or Red Bull?
Cole – Adela is stoked that I have found a passion for coffee in the last couple of years. We love finding cute independent coffee shops on our travels.
Wine or beer?
Cole – Beer in summertime.
Adela – But mulled wine in winter at the Christmas markets around Europe.
Suitcase or backpack?
We usually travel with just a carry-on backpack unless it is just a weekend away city adventure.
Night train or night bus?
Night trains all the way. They feel more comfortable and you can walk around if you need to.
Sleeping bag or bedding?
Adela – Either as long as it is warm.
Cole – I love my sleeping bag, but it has to be unzipped otherwise I feel trapped and tangle easily.
Window or aisle?
Works perfectly for us because Adela likes looking out the window while I usually boring and working next to the aisle.
Diarrhea or constipation?
Cole – While neither is pleasant, I am going with constipation because I would never wish the sickness I picked up in Marrakech on anyone! I lost 10 kilograms in 2 weeks. Horrible.
Malarone or malaria?
Luckily we have never had to take Malarone and haven’t traveled to many countries with malaria. Hopefully our luck continues.
tw: Why is traveling so important to you and how would you define your travel style?
FJ: “We like to think of ourselves as slow travellers. And we basically had to leave New Zealand in 2009 to North America because New Zealand is so damn far from everywhere else. We felt that there was no other option but to travel the world. There is no way we could have met so many people, tried new foods or experienced the various cultures if we had stayed there.”
Do you plan to travel indefinitely? Do you work while on the road?
“We are facing this exact dilemma at the moment. We both love to travel but New Zealand is home for us. Ultimately our plan is to settle in New Zealand, but it is just figuring out when that might be. Our Mums want it sooner than later!”
After looking around your blog, it seems you’re truly an adventurous couple, and each of you have had your share of spills. How do you deal with hospital expenses? Do you have insurance?
“NEVER TRAVEL WITHOUT INSURANCE! That is our one rule. With over 2 months of hospital stays between us in 3 years, we have realized it is a necessity. Especially with adventure travel.
Our biggest bills so far have been:
Coles appendix ruptured in America = US$66,000
Cole had internal bleeding after a snowboarding accident = US$25,000
Adela broke her collarbone snowboarding (4th day of the season) = US$15,000
“Luckily in all of those instances we had insurance and were fully covered. Maybe the moral for us is to stay away from snowboarding in North America!”
Is there anything that you dislike about traveling?
“We used to love the actual act of traveling to a destination by flying. Now we loathe it. We have caught too many planes in the last few years and if we can then we take public overland transport.”
What was the strangest food you’ve ever eaten, and what was the best?
“Haggis is the strangest food we have eaten but we actually LOVE it. It is so delicious and doesn’t matter that it is made out of sheep intestines.
And we cannot narrow down the best. We are huge foodies and we can’t choose between the food in Italy, Spain, France, Turkey, Egypt, and New Zealand.”
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were truly afraid during traveling?
“We have definitely had our fair share of scary moments. Usually it is adventurous situations we put ourselves in to push our own limits. But we have never felt unsafe. The closest probably came when we were driving across America. We parked in a truckstop outside Vegas and a crazy drugged up manic tried to break into our car while we were sleeping.”
Which three items do you not leave home without?
“Jandals, of course. As well as our eBooks and Coles cameras (of which he has 3).”
What is your favorite place in your home country or city?
“Mount Maunganui is our favorite place without a doubt. It has everything to offer in New Zealand from surfing, diving, mountain biking, incredible beaches and the weather to go with it.”
Do you have favorite travel blogs that you read regularly?
We like to branch out and discover new blogs all the time but we do have a few favorites such as Hecktic Travels, yTravel Blog and Finding the Universe.
Mountains, beach or city? Beach. Unless its winter then head to the mountains.
Couch-surfing or guesthouse? Ashamed to say we have never couch-surfed.
Cockroaches or rats? Rats… I guess.
Skiing or surfing? Surfing. Skiing. Surfing. Skiing. Both?
iPhone or Android? Android.
Travel tool you find most useful: Camera. Can’t have memories without images.
Postcard or emails? Love postcards but rarely send them.
How do you inform yourself about your next destination, and how do you prepare for the trip?
“Cole used to be a big planner and we had all the Lonely Planet guides and books on destinations. Now we are very last minute and often use Google to search and read as many blogs as we can.”
Your latest discovery on the Internet?
“Definitely not the latest discovery, but the latest obsession is Instagram.”
The best breakfast in the world is…
“Any café in France with fresh croissant, coffee and orange juice.”
What is on your bucket list and where you will your next trip take you?
“We really want to cycle around Eastern Europe this summer through countries like Greece, Croatia, Bulgaria and Poland. That may be our next trip although we might be speaking in Dubai before then at a conference.”
If you could recommend three places our readers must visit in their lifetimes:
“Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand is left off so many travelers itineraries when they visit. Such a shame as everyone raves about it when they do get there.
So many people are still scared to visit Egypt. We went while there were still demonstrations and never felt unsafe. So much history and culture to experience there.
America. Yes it may sound stupid but how many Americans can honestly say they have explored their own country? We drove 18,000 kms across it and want to go back so badly! There are so many amazing National Parks, coastlines, mountains and deserts that rank very highly in our favourite places. You don’t know how lucky you are to be able to travel around your own vast country without a passport.”
Blogger name(s): Cole Burmester and Adela May
All photos by Cole and Adela of Four Jandals.