Hey guys, Alex here!
I'm a trained Chef with 10 years experience - turned world traveler. In 2015, I quit my job and spent the best 4 months of my life travelling around South East Asia and India, and am now working and living in "the most liveable city in the world" Melbourne, Australia to save up so I can continue my epic adventures!
My goal with this blog is to share with you guys unique stories, inspiration, travel tips and handy advice from my 3 passions in life: delicious food, a healthy and fit lifestyle, and adventurous travel. I hope that through this site, I can convince you to follow your travel dreams and to live the life that you love!
Find out more about My Story here.
April 28th, 2017:
January 10th, 2017:
October 10th, 2016:
This was the day I packed up my bags in Brisbane and started a new chapter of my life up in Bundaberg, working on a farm to complete the 88 days of required regional work so I could extend my visa to 2 years. For the 2 months I was there, while I wasn't working my ass off at a tomato packing shed, I ate healthy food, exercised, had heaps of beach days, but mainly just tried to save money.
My good friend and brother from another mother Luke, was in SEA at the time and we decided to meet each other in Bali on December 13th, to spend Christmas and New Years together since it had been over 2 years since we saw each other last.
October 8th, 2016:
Finally made a visit to the most beautiful city in Australia, Sydney! I was there for 8 days visiting my cousin from Scotland, and exploring around the different suburbs. Highlights of Sydney would include exploring Newtown, Watsons Bay, Manly Beach, the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, and attending the NRL 2016 Grand Final between Cronulla and Melbourne. Cronulla is a town close to Sydney and won their very first championship in the 50+ years theyve been in the league. Such an amazing sports event with over 84,000 fans in the stands!
September 28th, 2016:
Just got back from spending the past 5 days with a good friend camping and exploring around the largest sand island in the world - Fraser Island. You can read more about this epic trip that you need to experience once in your life on my Fraser Island 4X4 Adventure post here!
March 10th, 2016:
At the start of the month we made our to the land down under. Dana had a family friend in Brisbane who generously offered to help us out a little while we got back on our feet with finding work and a new apartment. I found a great job within a week at a functions center at a golf club 5 minutes from the CBD, which is where I would spend the next 6 months working, saving up, and enjoying living the city life in Brissy.
Check out my post on a Backpackers Guide To Brisbane here!
February 29th, 2016:
It was an incredible 3 months backpacking around SEA, but it was finally time for the "main event" of the trip - Incredible India! We had 30 day visas, so Dana enrolled herself into a month long yoga teaching course, while I planned to backpack my way through as much of India as I could!
I flew into Kalkota and spent 3 days there exploring all over the massive city, sleeping in the worst hotel room that I've ever seen, let alone slept in. It was a serious culture shock, even after the previous 3 months and considering myself an 'experienced backpacker'. I truly felt like a rockstar, I've never been asked to be in so many pictures in my life. At times, I literally had line ups of people asking for their pic to be taken with me! In the 3 days there I only saw 4 other foreign travellers, which is a huge difference compared to backpacking in SEA.
From there I took the overnight sleeper train to Varanasi, which was beyond incredible. I met heaps of fellow travellers and wandered around the town for a couple days, eating some delicious food, and buying the most amazing pashminas and blankets to send home as gifts. Oh, and the bhang lassis, can't forget about them! 😉
Then it was on to one of the wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal in Agra. I'm not even going to try to describe how impressive the Taj is, any word I would use would'nt do it justice. You just have to see it to belive it. So what are you waiting for? Go see it!
From Agra I decided to skip Delhi, based on fellow travellers recommendations, as the big cities are just simply too fucking crazy. I headed straight for Rajasthan, with stops in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, and Udaipur. Rajasthan is known for their unbelievably tasty vegetarian curries and thalis. You can read about my Camel Trekking in Jaisalmer here!
With only 10 days left until leaving India for Australia to start working again, I headed straight down to South Goa. I was told about the crazy partying that North Goa is all about, so I decided to head to Palolem Beach in South Goa for a more relaxing week in the sun. I stayed for a week in a private little hut, 30m away from the beach, attending yoga classes, and eating the most delicious fresh fish curries I've ever had the pleasure to taste.
Finally it was off to meet Dana in Mysore to be there when she graduated her class, and have a fun lunch with all her new friends. We cabbed it to Bangalore a couple hours away to await our connecting flight to KL the the Gold Coast, Australia!
January 18th, 2016:
After returning to Bangkok via direct train from Vientiane, we decided to take a new friends advice by checking out a town north of Bangkok called Loburi. It was known for their monkey temple, and endless fields of beautiful sunflowers. It was here where we decided to start this blog, which I have decided to keep going after Dana and I amicably decided to go our separate ways. Oh and did I mention the rabies vaccination that I had to get due to those damn monkeys? Yea that happened too.
You can check out our post on Lopburi: Your Guide To Thailands Best Kept Secret here!
January 15th, 2016:
If you ever plan on making your way from northern Thailand to Luang Prabang, you can either choose between the slow boat trip and the bus trip, and for the love of god, do not choose the bus trip!! We chose the bus as we were being careful with our budget, and the 14 hour suggested ETA sounded pretty good to us. Little did we know about the horrendously bumpy and dangerous roads that we were about to endure for the next 22 hours.
But, as all good things come to an end, so do all horrible things. When we finally arrived in Luang Prabang at 4:30 am, we checked into our room and caught up on some sleep. We spent the next few days exploring around the quaint little town, eating some delicious food and drinking way too much proper coffee at western prices.
Then we made our way down to Vang Vieng for some tubing and river boozing down a long and windy river lined with makeshift bars bumping house beats. Definitely the highlight of Laos!
Our last stop in Laos before heading back to Thailand on a fresh 1 month visa was Vientiane. We spent our time here taking it pretty easy partying wise, and spent most of our time getting day passes at different gyms around the city. My personal favourite is definitely Tar's Gym. You can read more about different gyms at our post here.
January 4th, 2016:
The first couple weeks in Thailand has been everything I ever though it would be and more! We first spent a few days putting around crazy Bangkok, then made our way up to Chiang Mai via train, since we had booked a week volunteering at an orphanage on the border of Thailand and Myanmar. It was a Christian orphanage, which is quite rare for Thailand, and we actually spent our Christmas with them, helping them with crafts, playing soccer with them, cooking meals, and carolling with them all around town on Christmas Day. I was asked to be a part of killing the pig that I fed scraps to all week, as he was the main event at Christmas Dinner which fed dozens of people. It was an experience I will never forget, and definitely influences my choices when grocery shop nowadays.
New Years Eve was spent in Chiang Mai, and was heaps of fun! Thousands of people throughout the night illuminated the sky with paper candle lanterns. When the clock hit midnight, literally thousands of lanterns were sent up into the air at once to bring in the new year. It was truly an unforgettable moment, and a great way to begin one of my best years yet!
Now off to beautiful Laos! Wooooo
December 15th, 2015:
After 2 awesome weeks exploring around Cambodia, it is time to finally make our way to Thailand (a dream of mine for many many years)! We spent a couple days in the shit hole of a city called Phnom Penh, which was actually quite fun, even with the aftershock of visiting the heartbreaking Killing Fields. From there we headed down to the beach towns of Kep, Kampot, and Sihanoukville. If you are ever in Kampot, make sure you stay at the Arcadia Hostel (10 min tuk tuk from the city)! Also, Check out my post on Rock Climbing in Kampot!
Then it was time to make our way to the Ancient town of Siem Reap and visit the infamous Angkor Wat and the Jungle Temple, Ta Prohm. I really wish we spent some more time exploring around Siem Reap and the other temples, but Thailand was calling!
November 30th, 2015:
28 amazing days in Vietnam later and its safe to say that I'm addicted to the feeling you get while backpacking. Everything from living life outside of your comfort zone, to experiencing different cultures, to tasting delicious new flavours and dishes, and to the friendships made with other travellers from all around the world, help to make backpacking so special and addictive.
We started out by spending almost 2 weeks in the north of Nam, spending most of our time in Hanoi while exploring all around the Old Quarter, and the expat scene of Westlake. We also made the trip out to Ha Long Bay where we took a romantic 2 day luxury cruise around the gorgeous bay. My personal highlight of northern Vietnam was our 3 day tour to Mai Châu, which is a budding tourist attraction, similar to Sapa but without the herds of tourist buses and touts begging for your money. I highly recommend visiting this beautiful little mountain town.
After a couple of amazing experiences ripping around on scooters, we decided to purchase our own bike and spend the rest of our visa riding down the east coast towards Saigon. We ended up riding to Da Nang/Hoi An and decided to sell the bike there and fly the remaining of the way, as we were cutting our visa really close (you do NOT wan't to overstay your visa). All in all, an absolutely epic start to our adventure. Can't wait to go back already!
November 3rd, 2015:
After 10 months of saving up and dreaming of the day, a sudden change in plans due to the El Niño weather system that was due to hit South America (our original planned trip), and it was time to say bye for now to friends and family back in Toronto, Canada. First stop on our epic 5 month South East Asian adventure: Hanoi, Vietnam!
Sunrise at Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Hike Macchu Picchu, Peru
Travel to all 7 Continents
Ride a camel through a desert, India
Take a ride in a hot air balloon
Scuba Dive: Open Water Certification
Scuba Dive: Advanced Open Water Certification
Scuba Dive: Rescue Diver Certification
Scuba Dive: Master Diver Certification
Scuba Dive: Instructor Certification
Stand in awe in front of the Pyramids
Sunrise at the Taj Mahal, India
Travel to all of the “7 Wonders of the World”
Snowboard down the legendary “Japow” on Mount Fuji
Road trip through every state in Australia
Bungee Jump off the Kawarau Bridge, New Zealand
Sleep at Everest Base Camp, Nepal
Get Baked in Amsterdam
Wave to the Queen at Buckingham Palace, England
Hike the Milford Track, New Zealand
Stage in a Michelin Starred Restaurant
Raft in the Grand Canyon, USA
Complete an Obstacle Race
Witness an Erupting Volcano
Climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Swim with Whale Sharks
Cage dive with Great White Sharks, Australia
Witness the Northern Lights
Sit on Trolltunga, Norway
Ride the Trans-Siberian Train from Moscow to Beijing
Ride a Motorbike down the coast of Vietnam
Explore the Yucatán Cenotes, Mexico
Visit Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina
Scuba Dive in the Galapagos Islands
Walk along the Kakum Canopy, Ghana
Swim in the Devils Pool at Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe
Attend “La Tomatina”, Spain
Hang Glide over Rio de Janeiro
Visit Hobbiton, New Zealand
Walk across the Trift Bridge, Switzerland
Walk the Mt. Huashan Plank Walk, China
Take a Dogsled Tour
Swim in the Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Swim in the Blue Grotto, Capri
Watch the Sunset over Uluru, Australia
Drive the Great Ocean Road, Australia
Swim in Crocosaurus Cove, Darwin, Australia
Eat, Sweat, Travel seeks to create a community of healthy, inspired explorers. As such, I enthusiastically encourage your comments and questions! However, I am not responsible for any comments made by contributors in the comments page. I will exercise the right to moderate and edit comments, which are deemed to be offensive or unsuited to the subject matter of this site.
Questions or comments? I’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact us via email at alex_kioul [at] hotmail [dot] com. I read each and every email that I receive! Please know your kind messages are always appreciated! Due to an extremely low volume of emails (ha ha!), we will most likely respond in a timely fashion! You can also connect with me on Instagram: @eatsweattravel
My story begins 28 years ago in Markham Ontario, roughly 30 minutes north of Toronto. I was lucky enough to be brought into this world by the most loving and caring parents I could ask for, and to be given such a smart and beautiful little sister to grow up with.
My Mum immigrated to Canada when she was 21 from Scotland, and my Dad is from Greek & Macedonian heritage, but was raised in Canada. I believe I got my love for travelling and exploring the world from my families’ bloodline. My parents were generous enough take my sister and I along on vacations to the Caribbean, many trips over to the UK, and an epic 3 week cruise around Scandinavia.
Thinking back to when I was growing up, I still have very strong memories about certain dishes my Mum would cook for my family, and watching the original “Iron Chef Japan” on the Food Network before the channel has turned into the joke it has become. I believe these are the main factors which pushed myself to attended Niagara College to study Culinary Management. After an amazing 2 1/2 years and graduating amongst the top of my class, I decided to move out to the culinary hotspot Vancouver with a couple of my best friends. I spent the next 6 years of my life working my ass off at some of the most respected restaurants in the city, honing my craft by working along side some very talented chefs. I can’t thank them enough for helping to mould me into the Chef I am today.
I decided to leave Vancouver back in October 2015, to go travelling around South East Asia and India, and was the best decision I have ever made. I was feeling very fatigued from work, and after 8 years working in the high speed environment of busy restaurants I felt I needed a break from that life. I have learned so much more about myself in the past couple years, than I have in the last 10 years. I have learned the true meaning of being happy. I now know what I want, and don’t want out of life, and most importantly – how to be even more comfortable in my own skin. I have also learned so much about food and healthy cooking through taking cooking classes, and taking notes from different culinary experiences I have enjoyed throughout my travels.
This blog is for everyone out there that is looking for tried, tested, and true advice about the wonderful world of travelling, and everything it entails.
Feel free to follow me and my adventures on my Instagram account @eatsweattravel, and hashtag #eatsweattravel for a feature!
I’d love to connect with you!