Category: Uncategorized

Richly Textured Portraits of Native Arctic Residents and European Explorers by Preta Wolzak

In her series Ma Petite Inuite and Everybody Needs A Hero, artist Preta Wolzak explores the parallel histories of people on the earth’s poles. Her colorful portraits are constructed of leather, embroidery thread, wool, and glow-in-the-dark twine, combined to depict faces of both the first people of the North and 19th century explorers of the South, including Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton.

Wolzak shares with Colossal that she uses her artistic practice to draw attention to the impact that tourism, manifest destiny, and climate change has had particularly on both the North and South Poles. Our exploratory interest in these seemingly far-off places has direct impacts on the people who live close to the Arctic and Antarctic.

Wolzak is represented by Rademakers Gallery in Amsterdam, where her solo show opens on May 24 and is on view until June 17, 2018. You can see more of her work on Instagram.


How to do the Philippines on a Budget (2018 Edition)

traditional boat in the Philippines
Today’s guest post comes from Will Hatton from The Broke Backpacker. He’s an adventurer and location independent entrepreneur who has spent a great deal of time in the Philippines. Sadly, I’ve only been to the Philippines once and it was just for a very short period of time. But it’s such a wonderful place that I want to feature more on this site so I invited Will to share his experiences on how to travel the country on a budget.

The Philippines is one of the most incredible budget travel destinations in the world due to its perfect white-sand beaches, enchanting seas, mesmerizing sunsets, friendly locals, and relaxed, tropical vibes.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel through the Philippines multiple times and have spent nearly six months exploring this amazing corner of the world. The country has everything, from towering volcanoes and pristine coral reefs to lush jungles, underground rivers, mammoth caves, and some of the most enchanting waterfalls in the world. You can snorkel around WWII wrecks, camp out in the jungle, and head deep within the earth through limestone cave systems.

And, on top of it all, The Philippines is ridiculously cheap!

Rum is cheaper than most soft drinks, and delicious Filipino foods like lumpias (fried spring rolls) or pancit (fried noodles), or halo-halo dessert (ice shavings, condensed milk, small chunks of sweet boiled kidney beans, coconut gel, and tapioca) are often less than a dollar. You can sleep in a hammock for less than five dollars a night in many hostels (or for free if you simply set up on the beach).

The Philippines is a country you can travel on for as little as $20 USD a day if you’re doing it on a broke-backpacker budget — and it’s possible to travel much cheaper than that if you really push it by hitchhiking and camping. Obviously, your budget can balloon, especially if you’re staying at luxurious beachfront resorts, eating out at fancy restaurants, and taking expensive tours.

the countryside in the Philippines

Here are some typical costs for backpacking the Philippines in 2018:

  • Dorm bed in a hostel: $5–7 USD per night
  • Public ferry ride: $4–6 USD per ride
  • Jeepney ride: 20–50 cents
  • Street food: $1–3 USD
  • Restaurant meals: $4–6 USD
  • Long-distance bus: $8–10 USD
  • Domestic flight: $40–70 USD
  • Local beer: $1–2 USD
  • 1.5L bottle of water: 75 cents
  • Island-hopping: $14–25 USD
  • Diving with whale sharks: $25 USD

Accommodation – Posh backpacker hostels can be pretty expensive in the Philippines, setting you back as much as $18 a night for a dorm bed. Luckily, there’s plenty of budget accommodation available once you are out of Manila; for example, you can find dorm beds for as little as $5 a night in Palawan. Most hostels include patchy Wi-Fi and air conditioning. Local guesthouses and shacks on the beach are even cheaper than hostels; you can sometimes score a shack for just $2 a night.

Food and drink – Street food can cost as little as $1 for a plate of tasty mystery meat. If you decide to eat in tourist-centric restaurants, prices will be higher with meals costing between $5 – $20 in most tourist-aimed restaurants. In Manila and other posh parts of the Philippines, you can end up spending a lot on food and drink, especially on a night out, so try to pregame (drink some beers on the street) before heading out for a night on the town. A coconut, for that inevitable hangover, will cost less than a dollar.

Transportation – Flights can quickly eat into your budget, so it’s best to stick to ferries if you are long on time but short on cash. There are pretty decent long-distance buses running across some of the bigger islands, such as Luzon, but inevitably you’ll end up on a ferry… It’s simply the only way to get to many of the islands.

Activities – The Philippines is one of the cheapest places in the world to learn to dive; a dive can set you back as little as $25 in some places. Snorkeling is even cheaper; you can hire snorkeling gear for $3–5 a pop on many beaches.

How much it costs to travel in The Philippines really depends on your travel style and where you go. Manila (especially) and Boracay are significantly more expensive than other parts of The Philippines and once you are out of the tourist hot-spots it’s relatively easy to thrive on a budget of $35 a day.

$35 a day will enable you to stay in a decent shared room if you’re splitting the cost with a buddy or a comfortable dorm in a cool hostel if you’re on your own. You’ll have plenty left over to eat in decent restaurants three times a day, get around by Uber and drink some beers in the evening.

You can go high or lower than that depending on how cheap (or expensive) you want to get with your accommodation, how much you drink, and how many Western meals you consume.

How to Save Money in the Philippines

traditional boat in the Philippines
The country is already super cheap to visit but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to cut your expenses even further without sacrificing too much comfort or local experiences.

Stay with locals Couchsurfing is very popular in the Philippines, and it’s a great way to meet people and save on accommodation costs. If you don’t fancy Couchsurfing, stay at a locally run guesthouse; they are often cheaper than hostels.

Keep an eye out for Air Asia sales – Air Asia is one of the cheapest airlines servicing The Philippines and has fairly frequent sales where you can snap up cheaper than normal fares – it’s worth signing up to the Air Asia newsletter to be kept in the loop on these so that you can pre-book all your internal Philippines flights next time there is a sale.

Buddy up – Most of the best activities are a lot cheaper if you can get a group together to split the cost.

HitchhikeHitchhiking is also pretty popular in the Philippines and a fantastic way to meet new people, have an adventure, and save some money at the same time. Hitchhiking does carry a certain degree of risk in every country but, in my opinion, The Philippines is one of the safer countries in the world to stick out your thumb. The big risk is drunk drivers so if you think somebody has had a few too many, don’t get in the car with them. (Matt says: I don’t know enough about the Philippines to say if this is also good for women too. Maybe some with experience can comment!)

Stick to food locals eat – There are plenty of tourist-trap restaurants that are very expensive. Avoid these and follow the locals — they know where the best value and tastiest food is! I like to ask hostel and guesthouse staff where they themselves like to eat – this is a great way to find hole in the wall restaurants aimed at local Filipinos with cheap pricing.

Camp – If you’re really on a budget, I recommend taking a tent; there are lots of epic places to camp, and nobody will mind. You can camp for free on many beaches in The Philippines and plenty of hostels will also let you pitch in their garden when they have one if you’re buying drinks at their bar.

General Travel Tips for the Philippines

busy Manila
Avoid Manila – Manila hasn’t got much to offer other than traffic, scams, pollution, poverty, expensive hotels, and midget wrestling. Your time in the Philippines is better spent elsewhere.

Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard to completely avoid Manila, as most flights around go through it. However, you can avoid scams while stopping over in Manila. The main scam concerns transportation to a different terminal in the airport and when leaving the airport.

If you have arrived at a particular terminal but fly out of another, use the free shuttle bus that runs throughout the airport.

There are no metered taxis in the arrivals section, only private transfers. This is where the majority of travelers get ripped off, as they jump into a car without thinking, overlooking the exchange rate and how much it will actually cost. It’s the Philippines, so it’s going to be cheap, right? Wrong. When I first arrived in the Philippines, I very nearly ended up paying $50 USD for a private transfer to my hostel in downtown Manila! Thankfully, I knew the exchange rate and how ridiculous that was so I didn’t use that taxi and instead caught a metered taxi.

If you’re trying to get downtown, take a public metered taxi on the departure level instead. The lines are usually quite long, but they tend to go fast, as there are tons of cabs in Manila. Just make sure that you take into consideration peak-hour traffic. Manila is one of the most congested cities in the world; sometimes a ten-minute ride can take up to two hours. So avoid the 5pm–10pm crazy rush hour(s) and plan accordingly.

Expect your flights to be delayed – I took about seven domestic flights and not one of them was on time. The weather can be a tad unforeseeable, especially during typhoon season. So expect delays and canceled or postponed flights in the wet season, which is from May to October.

Bring sunscreen – Sunscreen is three times more expensive in the Philippines as locals don’t wear it, therefore they charge an arm and a leg to tourists who desperately need some protection from the sun.

“What do you mean the ATM is out of money?” – My thoughts exactly. You should have seen the look on my face when I arrived in El Nido with no money and couldn’t get cash out. I had to wait two days until they restocked the ATM machine, and the line was huge! Apparently, it’s quite normal for it to run out of cash, as it’s the only one in town in this popular tourist destination. Moral of the story: always carry some spare USD or PHP with you in case the ATMs run out of money or you visit a small town, like Port Barton, where there are no ATMs.

Wi-Fi connections are limited – Wi-Fi in the Philippines is similar to finding a needle in a haystack. Your chances are pretty damn slim, especially if it’s raining. If you rely on the internet, the Philippines will be a nice vacation for you — away from the online world. What internet is available, moreover, is slow and sporadic. If you’re visiting remote parts of the country, don’t count on being connected at all. Your best bet is to purchase pocket Wi-Fi — the best provider I found was Globe.

Get away from the tourist crowds – If you really want an authentic Philippines experience, venture away from the typical tourist spots and backpacker meccas. Holiday hotspots like Boracay and El Nido are amazing, but it’s the less touristy places like Sagada, Port Barton, and Siargao that give you a glimpse of real Filipino culture, traditions, and ways of life.

mounds in the Philippines

Use Uber – Uber has now come to the Philippines and is a much cheaper way to get around cities than by taxi! In general, an Uber will cost you 30% less than catching a taxi.

Bring a portable battery – When you head away from tourist hotspots and major population centers, you may struggle to find reliable electricity. If you are hiking in Sagada or Kalinga, it’s well worth bringing a portable battery charger to keep your phone and camera charged up!


The Philippines is still one of Southeast Asia’s best-kept secrets and many backpackers don’t make it here. My time in the Philippines was truly memorable, I met a lot of incredible people, was blessed with a Kalinga tattoo by a living legend and had my first proper experience snorkeling. I hope to return to this epic land in the near future and take to the high seas, with rum supplies aplenty, to explore isolated islands by boat. The Philippines is my favorite country in all of Southeast Asia. Get there before the secret is out and the backpacker hordes descend!

Adventurer and vagabond, entrepreneur, and hustler, Will has been backpacking around the world for a decade and likes to explore truly wild places. He spends a fair chunk of time in Pakistan leading adventure tours; the rest of the time he is on the road or living in Thailand with his wife. He blogs about budget travel and online entrepreneurship at The Broke Backpacker and enjoys a cheeky smoke, a good book, and a perfect sunset to round off the day.

The post How to do the Philippines on a Budget (2018 Edition) appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.

Swarovski Crystal Sculptures by Daniel Jacob Immortalize Popsicles, Sneakers, and Other Pop Culture Icons

Artist Daniel Jacob began making art in Chicago in the early 1990s, channeling his ideas into sculptures and works on paper. After spending most of his career in business, he has returned to his love of art. His current practice experiments with crystals and stones to create pop culture-inspired sculptures of dripping popsicles, Air Jordan sneakers, animals, and elements of city infrastructure, like sewer grates.

Each of Jacob’s works begin as three-dimensional scans which are then sculpted into cast resin and finally topped by hand with hundreds of thousands of multi-colored Swarovski crystals. A few of Jacob’s sculptures are currently on view at the recently opened Nonfinito Gallery in New York through May 31, 2018. You can see more of the artist’s work on his website and Instagram.

Uplift: An Endlessly Rotating Stair Sculpture Powered by the Sun

Uplift is a architecturally-minded desk sculpture that slowly rotates using the power of the sun. The walnut work hovers inside a glass bell jar, powered by a steel and brass mechanism that allows the staircase endlessly rotate. The mesmerizing design was invented by friends Tom Lawton and Ben Jandrell, seasoned inventors who spent the last two years optimizing the technology behind the spinning object.

The first generation of Uplift sculptures are currently produced by the pair in Lawton’s home town of Malmesbury, UK, and are being funded through Kickstarter. You can see more of Lawton’s inventions, like this motion-activated running light he co-invented with Jandrell, on his website.

Mesmerizing New Collages by Lola Dupré Distort the Human Form into Gravity-Defying Shapes

For Satellite Journal / Photography and styling: Tre and Elmaz / Model: Genevieve Welsh

Collage artist Lola Dupré (previously) continues to create mind-boggling manipulations of photographs in her surreal style. The Scotland-based artist cuts images into thousands of shards and arranges them to create her intricate collages. In rearranging the photo fragments, Dupré adds unusual elongations of faces and limbs, multiplies eyes and mouths, and bends bodies in defiance of gravity and anatomy. Her work is often commissioned for magazine editorials—included here are several examples of recent projects. You can see more of the artist’s surreal creations on her website (where originals are for sale), as well as on tumblr and Behance. She also shares her process on Instagram.

For Satellite Journal / Photography and styling: Tre and Elmaz / Model: Genevieve Welsh

For Satellite Journal / Photography and styling: Tre and Elmaz / Model: Genevieve Welsh

Diptera / Photography: Denef Huvaj

For Le Mile Magazine / Photography: Alexandre Felix / Model: Nala Luuna Diagouraga

For Agapornis Magazine / Photography: César Segarra / Styling: Laura Mata / Model: Salva Lopez

Reinvention of the Soul II – Anticlone Embodied for Glassbook / Creative Director and Model: Sade English / Photographer: Warren King

For Eye Republic Magazine / Photography: Lisa Carletta / Model: Bee

Charlie I

Emmanuel Macron

New Psychedelic Tattoos Splashed with Neon Detail by Joanna Swirska

Wrocław-based tattoo artist Joanna Swirska, aka Dżo (previously), produces nature-based tattoos through her own psychedelic lens. In one work a crystal-studded snail inches across ombre leaves, while in another, a ginkgo tree sprouts from the palm of a poised hand. Human forms are often overlaid with plants or animal motifs, such as her Frida Kahlo tattoo above which features the detail of a deep red bird mask inked across the painter’s face.

Dżo initially studied painting, and made her switch from canvas to skin about five years ago. You can follow more of her recent work on Instagram, and buy prints and other merchandise based on her tattoo designs from her online shop. (via Cross Connect Magazine)

Ten Reasons to Visit Australia

Coastal view in Australia
Australia is one of the most remote countries in the world and, ironically, one of the most popular places to visit, especially among backpackers and budget travelers. Because of its distance from the US, not many Americans tend to visit Australia. The flights are long and expensive, and when you only have a few weeks of travel, wasting a few days flying probably doesn’t make sense to a lot of travelers. Nevertheless, here are a few reasons to save up your vacation time and brave that long venture across the Pacific:

The Great Barrier Reef
the beautiful great barrier reef fish
One of the most famous reef systems in the world, the Great Barrier Reef is world renowned for its abundance of marine life and world-class diving opportunities. When I was there, I saw turtles, sharks, vibrant coral, and beautiful fish (even a fish pooping, which was as weird as it sounds). It was everything it was cracked up to be. You can spend one day or a few diving this reef. Though everyone leaves from Cairns, leaving from Port Douglas will get you to less crowded dive spots.

Read more about diving the Great Barrier Reef

the Sydney Opera House
Known for its famed opera house and harbor, Sydney also boasts an incredible bridge, great parks, delicious food, lots of free stuff to do, and amazing surfing. Whether you go to Manly Beach or hang out with everyone else at Bondi, Sydney’s a place to relax in the sun and enjoy the water. Darling Harbor has a number of good restaurants and great entrainment venues, and the Chinese Garden is quite relaxing. For a night out on the town with colorful locals, there’s nothing like King’s Cross.

Read more about my 15 favourite things to do in Sydney.

uluru at sunset
You wouldn’t think that a giant round rock covering eight kilometers of land would be breathtaking, but it is. The wind-blown cuts throughout the rock make it look like a wave of sand climbing over the desert. The iron in the rock produces amazing shades of red and orange during sunrise and sunset. While you can climb Uluru, be forewarned that it is a sacred area to the people of this area. Oddly enough, they allow visitors to scale the rock, even though they don’t like it.

You can take tours here from nearby Alice Springs.

a typical Australian BBQ
Aussies do a lot of things well, and one of the best is throwing a barbecue. The Aussie barbecue is a serious tradition, and most parks and public areas have at least three barbecue pits. In fact, I don’t know what Australia would be without a barbecue. There’s nothing better than a beautiful warm night, a few good beers, and some grilled-up kangaroo to make you love this place. Barbecuing is a great budget friendly option too!

Read more budget tips on Australia.

australia wine country
Australia has some great wine regions, which include Margaret River near Perth, the Barossa Valley near Adelaide, and the Hunter Valley near Sydney. There’s a lot of good wine to be tried while in Australia, especially shiraz and pinot noir. You can take day trips to any of the wine areas from the nearby major cities or simply take a trip to the wine store and get drunk in the park…while having a barbecue.

Learn about why wine tasting is one of my favorite things to do in Sydney.

Western Australia
beautiful western australia
This is my favorite part of Australia. It’s truly beautiful, with its large expanses of outback and white sand beaches that stretch for miles without a soul in sight. I’m glad a lot of people don’t visit Western Australia; otherwise, it could end up like the East Coast — crowded and overbuilt. Karijini National Park puts Kakadu and Litchfield to shame, and Coral Bay and the Ningaloo Reef are even better than Cairns or the Great Barrier Reef. I love it here.

Read about the time I got stuck in the outback

beautiful perth
Sydney and Melbourne get all the attention, but Perth can hold its own against these two heavyweights. There are great beaches, one of the world’s largest city parks, surfing, and nearby Fremantle, where you can have Australia’s best beer (Little Creatures). Perth is a city filled with young people and has the vibe of a city in motion that’s just coming into its own. Don’t forget Sunday drinking sessions at the famous Cottesloe Hotel.

Read more about traveling in Perth.

surfing in australia
Australia may not have invented surfing, but it might as well have, given how ingrained it is in Australian culture. The best surfing is on the East Coast, and there are a million places where you can catch a good wave. You can head to Sydney and places like Bondi Beach, but I find the best surfing is up in Queensland. I personally think Noosa is one of the best places to surf because there are waves for both professionals and beginners.

Read more about Broome – a great place to surf.

Beautiful Beaches
the best beach in australia
With over 50,000km of coastline, there’s no way this country could exist without beautiful beaches. The ones on the East Coast are far busier than the deserted beaches on Australia’s western coastline. But with so much to choose from, you’ll always find a spot to relax by yourself. My favorites include Coral Bay, Cable Beach, Noosa, Manly, and any beach in Perth.

Read more about my beach paradise: Coral Bay

Lush Jungles
cape tribulation jungles
One day I’ll settle down, and when I do, it’ll be in some lush, tropical place. Maybe Queensland will be that place. Here you’ll find one of the oldest continuous tropical rainforests in the world (it dates back to the age of the dinosaurs!). There are great places to go hiking, tons of wildlife and birds (watch out for crocodiles, though), and some really nice rivers and swimming holes to cool off in. If you really want to get away from it all, head far north to Cape Tribulation, where it’s just you, the jungle, and some ocean.

Go for a jungle walk in Cairns.

Australia has way more to offer than just these 10 things. I could probably think of 365 reasons to visit Australia (Vegemite not being one of them!). But we get drawn to countries for certain reasons, and these are what draw me back again and again to the wonderful land down under.

For more information about Australia or to plan your visit, read these other articles:

Book Your Trip to Australia: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight to Australia by using Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite search engines. Start with Momondo.

Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel in Australia with Hostelworld. If you want to stay elsewhere, use as they consistently return the cheapest rates. (Here’s the proof.)

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. I never ever go on a trip without it. I’ve been using World Nomads for ten years. You should too.

Need Some Gear?
Check out our resource page for the best companies to use!

Want More Information on Australia?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Australia for even more planning tips!


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