Who hasn’t ever dreamt of living in another country? Those who travel a lot have probably fallen in love with dozens of places. Imagining what it would be like to live there. The thing is; not all of us can leave our lives behind in our home country. Which is why so many people buy holiday homes instead. This means you can live abroad when you’ve got the time off work. While still renting it out when you have to stay home. It’s a win-win situation! Here are my top tips for buying a holiday home overseas.

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Get Researching

Where is it you want to buy a home? You need to do some pretty intense research before making a decision. While you may have fallen in love with South Africa, is it really the best place to buy a second home? You can find out a whole load of statistics about the area you’d like a holiday property in. Including what the weather is like, whether there is any crime and a whole lot more. It’s also a good idea to see how much people rent their properties out for, in the same area. You’ll then know how much profit you can make when you’re not there.

Find a Realtor

Next up, you need to find an agent in the area. They’re going to be the experts when it comes to properties in your chosen city. For example, BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors would be able to advise you on properties in certain US cities. Your agent should have excellent knowledge of the local property market and all of the amenities in each city. They will then be able to search for the kind of thing you want. Make sure you give them plenty of information on what you’re looking for. How many bedrooms do you need? Would you like a swimming pool? Does it have to be close to the airport? All of these things will ensure your realtor can find the best properties for you.

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Buy Your Holiday Home

You should have now been to see several properties in your chosen city. Or at least been sent photos and specs by your realtor, if you can’t get over there. It’s now time to take the plunge and buy that holiday home. Depending on the country you’re buying in, there may be certain laws and fees to take into consideration. Make sure you’ve accounted for these before signing on the dotted line. You now have your very own holiday home.

Renting it Out

When you’re not able to stay in your new home, you’re going to want to rent it out. There are dozens of websites that allow you to put your property up for rent. It’s a good idea to find someone you trust who lives in the area. They will be able to manage your holiday home while it’s being rented out. Meeting guests, organising cleaners, that type of thing. Don’t forget to pay them for their time!

Now all that’s left to do is enjoy your new holiday home. When it’s being rented out, you can use the money to save up for your flights. Book two weeks off work and jet off to live it up in your new house.

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There is one city in the UK that is full to the brim with history, culture and entertainment. No, it's not London; we're talking about Liverpool. The maritime city has gone from strength-to-strength since it was awarded the Capital of Culture 2008, as the title breathed new life into the city, with tourists flocking to Liverpool to join the buzz. So, if you are planning a trip to "scouseland" any time soon, here are 5 Liverpool landmarks you will want to visit...

1. Another Place

You can't visit Liverpool and not experience the beauty that is Another Place by Antony Gormley. Located on the stunning Crosby Beach, you will witness 100 cast-iron, life-size sculptures looking out to sea. The figures, which are based on the artist's body, are spread out along three kilometres of the shore and one kilometre out to sea. Whether the rain is pouring or the sun is shining, Another Place is simply breathtaking, day or night.

2. 30 James Street - Home of the Titanic

30 James Street - Home of the Titanic

30 James Street once served as the White Star Line's HQ, and so it was also RMS Titanic's port of registry. The design plans for the ship were stored in this very building, and it was here the captain and crew received their orders. The HQ's location was also the reason why the "Liverpool" lettering appeared on the ship's stern. The HQ now serves as 30 James Street - Home of the Titanic, a Titanic hotel that commemorates the ill-fated vessel and her passengers and crew. It's therefore the perfect place to stay during a visit, and you should be sure to book a table at 30 James Street's Carpathia Bar and Restaurant.

3. Mersey Ferries

You haven't experienced Liverpool until you've stepped aboard a Mersey ferry, which is the best way to view the city's iconic skyline. During your 50 minute journey, you'll see some of Liverpool's most celebrated, historic buildings, including the Three Graces, the Strand and the Pier Head. There is also a commentary played on the ferries that will explain the iconic sights that can been seen as you travel along the UNESCO waterfront.

4. Albert Dock

The Albert Dock is part of Liverpool's prestigious UNESCO World Heritage site. The world's first non-combustible warehouse system opened in 1846 and was a working dock until it closed in 1972. In 1988, it was opened to the public as a visitor attraction by HRH Prince Charles.
The Albert Dock now boasts some of the finest restaurants, bars, shops and museums in the country, including the Beatles Story, International Slavery Museum, Merseyside Maritime Museum and Tate Liverpool.

5. Liverpool One

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Liverpool One is the beating heart of the city, as the incredible open-air shopping and leisure district offers a multitude of luxury and high street stores, as well as independent boutiques. That's not all, Liverpool One also offers a diverse range of restaurants, cafes and a cinema. You can also visit Chavasse Park located at the top of Liverpool One, which hosts a variety of pop-up events each month.

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As a budding photographer/online blogger you want to capture the kind of images that will draw people in. Visiting particular destinations or traveling particular trip routes gives you the opportunity to take some amazing photographs.

To decide where you want to go to great photographs, ask yourself what you would like your subject to be.  If your subject is specific – polar bears, for example – that obviously limits where you can go.  However, if you have an interest in taking nature shots in general, start by visiting a destination like a national park.  Yellowstone National Park, for instance, offer an interesting mix of wildlife and natural sights, such as hot springs and waterfalls.  If you want to shoot a particular outdoor landscape think about the best time of year to visit certain regions – New England in the fall for instance.

If you want more tips on how to monetize your photography hobby and also see examples of great travel photography, look online for stock footage – the footage and video section of the Dreamstime website.

To get great photographs you have to have the right equipment.

The camera

An obvious starting point is your camera.  Starting out, you do not have to have the most expensive camera, by any means, and the level of technology that goes into a basic camera means that to begin with you can take some nice photos with a relatively basic model.  In any case, as you get more into your hobby and the possibility of making money from, it arises you will get a better idea of the type of camera you will need.  Starting out, use a camera with a full manual override over the automatic option.  A photographer should ideally known how to use manual focus.  Cameras with an option for previewing the depth of field and one with a good viewfinder display are other functions worth considering.  Other features worth investing in include a high continuous shooting rate, for action shots.

The tripod

Another piece of equipment to consider having from the start is a tripod, even an inexpensive one.  The chances are that your satisfaction with the photographs you are taking will increase once you begin using a tripod, especially if you have less-than-steady hands.  Additional stability for images can be gotten by using the timer function on your camera, along with the tripod.

Lenses

If you have a DSLR camera, it will have an option for allowing different lenses to be used on it.  Starting off, you ideally should invest in two lenses: a telephoto zoom lens and a wide-angle one.

To ensure that your photographs look as professional as possible from the perspective of customers, use the following tips:

  • Use editing software to touch up your photos but do not overdo it
  • Offer some images for free download to attract purchasers to view your portfolio
  • Join the forums on stock photography websites and add useful contributions of your own
  • Using your earnings, buy better equipment, including a better camera, and boost your chances of having more photos accepted to stock photography websites and selling more images

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As an avid traveler, you’ll probably agree that in order to see the most spectacular sights in the world, you have to work a little harder for your postcard moment. The mind-blowing views from the Blyde River Canyon don’t come handed to you on a plate and breathing in the mountain air of Hua Shan in China doesn’t happen without a grueling trek. That’s why people hike. That’s why people explore. And here, we look at 4 of the most challenging, demanding and dangerous hiking trails in the world; but the rewards will make every moment worth it.

Before you get going, always make sure that you have the necessary outdoor clothing and safety equipment – more info here.

1. Cliffside Plank Path, Mount Hua Shan, China

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This is not for the faint-hearted. Mount Hua, located near the city of Huayin in the Shaanxi province, is known for its long history, cultural and religious significance, and its stunning mountain top temples. But what some trekkers find themselves drawn to is the cliffside plank which resembles something of a death drop. As chilling as it looks, the plank is safe as long as you follow all the safety precautions. It’s the closest to the edge you will ever get on a steep mountain and the panorama will be totally worth it.

2. Vilcabamba Traverse Inca Trail

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The Vilcabamba Traverse is an alternative route for the famous Inca Trail. Designed for those with a serious thirst for off-the-beaten-path exploration, it will lead to some spectacular mountain top views and photo opps – and is much more of a challenge than the well-known Inca Trail. The hike can be anywhere between 5 to 13 days so be prepared with all the right equipment and clothing.

3. El Caminito del Rey, El Chorro, Spain

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This is said to be one of Spain’s most dangerous hikes and with some of the most narrow mountain pathways in the world, it’s no wonder. Broken bits of rock, thin metal beams and frightening vertical drops form this adrenaline junkie attracting mountain way. But if you want a view of a lifetime in a remote land, it could be worth the risks. Want to know how it’s done? Visit Expert Vagabond for the lowdown on traversing this treacherous territory.

4. The Maze, Utah

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Walking on your perfectly good two feet is simply not enough for The Maze in Utah; here you have to get down on your hands and knees, scramble around with all limbs in kinesis, squeeze through tight holes and wade through muddy waters. With only 2,000 visitors a year, The Maze is reserved for those with guts and gumption. The red rock labyrinth can be a dangerous place with falling rocks and unmarked paths. To find out more about this incredible destination, visit the Utah.com website.