Category: Travel

Most Recommended Bucket Lists for Passionate Solo Travelers

Travelling around the world is one of the best dreams. It is easier said than done though. Especially when you are always surrounded with piled of works and responsibilities on daily basis. However, you can make your own bucket list and check them all when you can make time. Obviously, you cannot just spend your time working all day and night without a rest. Giving yourself time to enjoy a well-deserved vacation is worth it. It will make you return full of positive energy because all stress is left behind on your vacation. 

Top bucket lists for passionate solo travelers

Travelling solo is exciting because you can do whatever you like without worrying about what the others like. You don’t have to discuss anything. You can even go travelling without planning it thoroughly and just go with the flow. However, make sure to have your bucket list ready. Your passion of travelling should be fed properly. If you like travelling solo more than anything, here are most recommended destinations to go.

Most Recommended Bucket Lists for Passionate Solo Travelers

Morocco

This place is the best for vacation. Marrakesh is a great city in Morocco where you can make the most of your vacation. There are many spots you can venture to such as magical gardens, market, palaces, and historical, elegant mosques. This is also a place where you can pursue inner peace to relieve some stress and retrieve positive energy. This is also favorite place to go for Muslim travelers because there are plenty of elegant, beautiful mosques to visit.  

Denmark

It is also a great place for solo traveler who want to truly enjoy their time being alone. Copenhagen is a great spot to stay at during your vacation in this country. You can visit some reconstructed villages as well as the remains of 1,000 years old castle. If you are history enthusiast, visit some remarkable museums especially those which are dedicated to the notorious raiders in the past. The Round Tower Observatory is one of the most recommended spots to visit during your time in Denmark. 

Read More: Recommended Places to Travel for Coffee Lovers

Vietnam

This is one of the most popular travel destinations in Asia. There are many aspects of tourism that make this country popular amongst international solo travelers. Its distinctive culture is just one aspect of many that mostly attract tourists. You can also join a festival of colored lanterns on every 14th day of each lunar month. You will see the sky is full of colorful lanterns. Hoi An is highly recommended spot to visit, not to mention that they have the best foods to enjoy during your travel. 

Kenya

This particular country is full of wilderness. This is a great destination for passionate, adventurous solo traveler. You can also go for backpacking because the mood just fits perfectly. Nairobi is highly recommended spot to visit since it is energetic, modern city where you can make the most of your vacation. This place is where you can enjoy the wildlife as much as the nightlife. This city is lively and enjoyable for international visitors. 

Scuba Diving Vacations: What Beginners Have to Do

The combination of idyllic holiday destination, a handful of beach time, and wonderful aquatic life makes scuba diving vacations so appealing, even for beginners. Scuba is practically a holiday for true escapist. It’s where you can forget all the busyness of the upper world, packed roads, and crowded attractions. Scuba diving holiday take you to plunge into an entirely different world. A world of blue where you could only hear the sound of the waves and the bubbles. The world under where chromatic corals gets very lively with swarming fishes, pelagic, turtles, and other wild oceanic creatures. If you are a total newbie to this, don’t worry. Here’s how to do your very first scuba diving vacations. 

Scuba Diving Vacations: What Beginners Have to Do

Get your certification ready

Have you been enrolled on dive lesson prior to your dive vacation plan? To have a holiday under the water, you will at least need a Padi Scuba Diver certification. It’s a certification that give you permission to dive maximum 12 m depth with a mandatory companion from a dive master. However, you would want to have at least a Padi Open Water certification to play it safe. This certification allows you to dive in an open sea until maximum 18 meter depth. To dive deeper than 18 meters, you would need an Advanced Open Water Diver, but beginners rarely have this certification until they get a handful of dives under their belt. 

Don’t have any certificate yet? Join a try diving

Some people don’t have any prior knowledge of diving at all and they want to jump on diving holiday because of the alluring underwater pictures they see on Pinterest and blogs. If that’s you, it’s totally okay! All you need to do is contacting a local dive centre in your destination and join their try diving program. Try diving is absolutely perfect for beginners who want to have a scuba diving vacations. You can test the waters, get a grabs on how scuba diving work, and learn the basics. 

Find a scuba diving vacation for beginners with dive center

Being a beginner on diving holiday means you don’t have many experiences on arranging a scuba trip. Joining a scuba diving vacations arranged by a dive centre is the easiest way for beginners. Go online! There will be a lot of great dive centre on your destination. The dive centre will provide everything you need. You can get the try diving there, rent a gear, and get accompanied by dive master. They will also pick the right dive site that’s suitable for beginners like you!

Read More: Komodo Diving Liveaboard: Is It Backpacker Worthy?

Rent most of the gears

It’s exciting to enter the new world of scuba diving but you need to hold off the temptation of buying everything right now. While it’s good to have wet suit and scuba mask that fit right to your body, other advanced gears can wait. Avoid buying something big like BCD, regulator, or dive computer until you get a handful of dives on your belt. Wait until you know what you’re looking on a gear. For a a beginner scuba diving vacations, renting the equipment from your dive centre will be enough. 

Brave Enough To Try Dark Tourism?

There is always new trend in tourism especially in global scale. There is always new interest between travelers who love travelling all around the world. One of the trends in global tourism is dark tourism. This term popped up after the Dark Tourist, one of Netflix shows gained popularity. Dark tourism is related to travel that has association with something tragic, eerie, disastrous, creepy, or taboo. There are also people who are a bit skeptical and wonder why interested in visiting such places. Well, the answer might not be too different from the reason why people watch horror or thriller movies. There’s such an adrenaline rush when you are faced with those darks vibes. 

Destinations for dark tourism

If you are also adrenaline junkies who happen to be a fan of travelling as well, dark tourism can be an exciting experience. As for those who are not fancy of those dark vibes and places, might as well avoid this type of travel because there is no guarantee what kind of effect you will experience. 

Ground Zero – New York City

This is where you can visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. This is a place to commemorate people who died on Sept 11, 2001, during terrorist attack. The twin towers is where the attack happened. It was the tallest building of the WTC in New York City at that time. It was also one of the most traumatizing events in the world especially in the United States history. You can visit the site where there are exhibits, documentary screenings, as well as tributes. 

Also read: Indonesian Food for Buffet Catering Bali

Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant is next destination for dark tourism located in Pripyat, Ukraine. This place has creepy vibe with its tragic story of the past. It was once a humble city. However, it became the place of the worst nuclear disaster in the history. This has become a ghost town since it has been abandoned in 1986. It was when the reactor number four exploded at the Chernobyl power plant. The atmosphere was filled with radioactivity, resulted in 30 deaths and more later on. There had been illness caused by the radiation and contamination. This city was reopened in 2011 but only visitor at age 18 above can visit. In this city, you will get to see a ghost town with its empty markets, apartments, restaurants, theaters, etc. the city was once occupied by 45,000 people. 

La Noira – Chile

It is a small, abandoned mining town nestled deep in the desert of the Northern Chile. In this mining town, you will get to see the scariest, creepiest cemeteries. It was once a humble town. However, it faced hardships in economy which made people living in it lived in miserable condition. There were various accidental deaths for adults as well as children. The dead were buried in a cemetery nearby. The creepiest thing is the shallow graves where you can clearly see the skeletal remains. The cemetery has become the top spot of dark tourism here because it gives off creepy, eerie, horror vibes. 

What Should You Do When Visiting A New Place

Exploring a very new place for you can be daunting but exciting at the same time. For those who are not used to travelling around new places, this can be new thing to experience. Of course, travelling to new place means you need to plan ahead. Your safety is your priority no matter how drawn you are to the place. Sometimes, you are interested to visit a place because of the hype from the others who visited it. Or, you might also heard a place being mentioned somewhere. No matter what the case is, make sure to do a little research so at least you know what to expect for smooth travel. Surprises are great but you don’t want to handle with the unexpected especially if it’s going to give you bad experience.

Tips to truly enjoy visiting new places

Every travelers must have their own agenda when travelling. There are those who focus more on exploring the culture by visiting galleries, exhibitions, etc. there are also travelers who focus more enjoying the vibe of the surrounding. If you are visiting a new place, here are some tips you can do to enjoy it even more.

Travelling to  A New Place

Experience new place by foot

Exploring new place by foot is one of the forms of the art of slow travel. This is how you can truly explore every details of the place in a good way. You will also be able to see things in various perspectives this way. 

Visit local market

Doing this, you will get to know more about the daily of the locals. Most locals usually spend their morning buying groceries in the local market. You will be able to learn more about the locals. Their language, foods, social culture, and many more. This is also great opportunity to buy some affordable souvenirs. 

Eat in the local restaurants

Exploring the foods can also be done by eating out at local restaurants, or other places where the locals eat as well. You will get to experience the real thing including what kind of foods are the favorite of the locals, how they interact with each other, as well as homey vibe. This is a simple thing to do to enjoy your first experience in a new place. 

Read More: How Traveling Can Change Your Life

Join a festival or celebration

It is possible that you are lucky enough to visit a place where they hold a ceremony, festival, or other special events. If you are this lucky, don’t miss the chance to join because there are so many things you can learn especially their culture. This can help open your mind into different perspective. You can even participate in the event if the locals allow you. This sure can be a forgettable moment you gain from visiting a new place. 

The main point of visiting a new place is to not hesitate in exploring. Do not hesitate to interact with the locals if you want to get used to the place faster as well. The more you enjoy the place, the easier for you to learn many valuable things for your life. 

The Best Benefit from Komodo Liveaboard

The Komodo National Park rises as a new haven for passionate wildlife explorer and scuba diver enthusiast every year. The park comprises of 20+ small islands spread on the Flores Sea, situated in the eastern border of Indonesia. The land is rich with golden savannah fields and wild animals; counts on deers, water buffalos, horses, wild boars, and endemic birds. Two of the islands, Komodo and Rinca Island, are the home of the notorious Komodo Dragons, the only dragons you could find in the world. The water offers one of the best dive experience, with blooming corals and teeming fish. You could choose between day trip and liveaboard to experience the richness of the park. While both options are widely accessible, we think liveaboard provides best experience for Komodo exploration, and here’s why. 

The Freedom of Not Thinking Anything

Have you ever travel without thinking about which train to take, what destination come next, and which route to decide? Unless you are a backseat passengers or arranged tour participant, probably not. A lot of our time on travelling is spent for navigating the maps and moving between destinations. Komodo liveaboard liberates you from such hassles, and that’s one of the best thing that comes from the package. Some liveaboard operators let you to arrange your own itinerary before departure. You only need to enjoy the journey as somebody do all the navigations, while still maintaining independency. 

Rich Wood Interior Like No Other Liveaboard Ships

One of the best thing of sailing in liveaboard is the chance to relish in all-wood interior! In the world where most ships and cruises are made from lightweight composite materials like aluminium, carbon fibre, and fibre-reinforced plastics, it’s such a rare thing to see ships made almost entirely of wood. It’s like going back to the era of the pirates—or living off your own “Carribean Pirates” fantasy. The traditional designs is equipped with modern facilities and cosy rooms. Expect to see queen-size beds, air conditioned saloons, showers, and reclining patio seats.  

Opportunity to Choose from Budget to Best Komodo Liveaboard

If you go to Labuan Bajo, the port town of Flores and the gate to the national park, you’ll see abundant choices of liveaboard. From budget liveaboard with shared rooms to the best liveaboard Komodo in the luxury lines, you have plenty to choose from!

Read More: The Best Scenery to Have in Komodo Cruise!

Pay Once for All Access to the Entire Park

A huge plus of sailing with Komodo liveaboard is the advantage of staying inside the park for the whole time. That gives you lots of valuable time to visit more destinations and reach more secluded beaches. Taking the day trip means you have to go back to the starting point each day, spending a lot of time to just reach the next destination. Liveaboard could continue the journey from the last point it’s anchored on the night.  

More Dives Opportunity than Day Trips

Liveaboard gives you the rare chance of early morning dive and night dive. This is simply something you can’t have on day trip!

Recommended Places to Travel for Coffee Lovers

You can enjoy a cup of coffee anywhere and anytime. You can even make it yourself. However, it is a also a great idea to travel to places where you can enjoy the best coffee.

Enjoying coffee is like enjoying art. That’s why you can always go to places to find the best coffee that is worth travelling for. Coffee has become an obsession for adults.

Travel destinations for coffee lovers

Besides, there are many benefits of drinking coffee such as increasing the level of concentration, hyping up your mood, and maintaining your skin health.

Travel destinations for coffee lovers

Keep in mind that there are different varieties of coffee in the world. Every country usually has different type of coffee as well. They also have unique story of coffee consumption and culture that might draw your interest.

Recommended read: Boat Charter Komodo: Re-defining “Hidden Paradise”

Therefore, visiting some places with rich history of coffee can be a good idea. You can put it in your bucket list for your next travel ideas.

Indonesia

This is a country with rich culture diversity. When it comes to coffee, there are different varieties you can find in this exotic country. Indonesia has been producing coffee.

There are Sumatran coffee, Javanese coffee, Torajan coffee, and many more. Every region has their own way variety of coffee.

They also have different method to serve coffee. You should try authentic ways of the locals in serving coffee. It is rich with cultural value that it is not only about drinking a cup of coffee.

Japan

Another country from Asia that is worth travelling for when it comes to coffee. Japan might not that popular when it comes to coffee.

However, this country has unique flavours and roasts deserve a try. Coffee culture in Japan is quite different from other countries. There are also skilled and experienced baristas in Japan who are ready to serve you the best coffee they can make.

Enjoying coffee in Japan is truly worth travelling. Plus, Japan is a unique country with rich culture that can always fascinate you.

Australia

This is one of the most passionate when it comes to coffee. You can always find trendy cafes serving quality coffee with rich flavour.

Melbourne is one of the most recommended places to enjoy a cup of coffee during your visit. Australian culture when it comes to coffee gives off relaxed and chic nature.

Thus, enjoying coffee in Australia is far from boring. It is soothing and relaxing. If you are planning to visit Australia, make sure to pay a local coffee shops a visit if you want to enjoy authentic coffee made by talented baristas.

Turkey

Coffee culture in Turkey is also rich.

The locals take different approach to coffee. There is a lot of history and science of coffee you can learn when visit this country. So drinking coffee is not only about artistic approach here. They also prepare coffee differently from other countries.

Coffee is usually served in colourful, unique mugs. You also have to keep stirring your coffee regularly as your drink to make sure you can taste the best flavour.

What Make Scuba Diving Holidays Are the Best For Beginners?

Scuba diving holidays for beginners are one of the recommended travel idea among many for those who have thirst of an ocean adventure in the depth. By going under, it may one of the best way how you can improve the quality of a trip you are on.

But, we have to be honest and to realise that scuba diving is not only providing us the best travel experiences—but for the worst case—it is also dangerous.

Just like the two sides of a coin, scuba diving is also containing the beauty you have never seen and experienced before along with things you may never wanted in life.

Things that make scuba diving holidays for beginners becoming the best travel idea ever

Specially for the beginners that have not been started their scuba diving adventure before, you don’t need to worry about giving it a try. I know that you are concerning about your safety when going under, but that’s actually what other divers are concerning of as well and they keep on doing it until now.

What make the scuba diving holidays for beginners are the best travel idea?

The only thing you can do to answer whether or not this kind of traveling is for you is to start planning about where your first scuba diving training will be.

Read also: How A Surf Camp Trip Can Really Boost Your Health?

Others than that, I still have some things to say about the best things that can happen to you if you are started to think about the scuba diving holidays from now on as the beginner. Here’s are why:

  1. Start learning about scuba diving at the sea is important but not necessary. I think you have been knowing that scuba training itself can even be started at the pool, right? So, you are worrying too much if you think that you will be under the surface and “something” can happen to you or whatever you are worrying right now. The thing is that, the only monster that comes and get you may your own mind itself, not else. So, you are safe!
  2. It is healthy and it is a way to make friends, too. Scuba diving is a sport, so, it is super crystal clear that what you are going to do is also contributing to your own health. And, this kind of holiday can also be your sociable affairs with the other new scuba divers as well. Later, you will find that you are getting healthier and you have some new friends to share the holidays experiences. This is one of the best part why you’ll falling in love to scuba diving.
  3. An endless silent beauty. One interesting thing that make the best out of scuba diving holidays for beginners compared to the other travel ideas is the fact that you are spoiling yourself with the beauty of underwater without any disturbing noises from the crowd as you can find on the land. The only limitations are your body in tolerating the cold water and the air supply. That’s all. Therefore, scuba diving itself is not only the way to spend your holidays, but it is truly an adventure of finding the beauty in the world.

There are more things that make scuba diving holidays are what many of us especially the beginners will need. But for the three things that I just mentioned, I think they are all seem to be undeniable.

And to start to experience all of those best things, you will need to find the best scuba diving for beginners training centre or simply the relevant travel package. Feel free to choose which one suit your the best as well.

How to Travel in Style and Still Comfortable

Lots of travelers suggest to travel in comfortable clothing. It is necessary so that your body won’t be in pain throughout the journey. However, taking care of your look is also important especially when it is part of your lifestyle. For some people, taking care of how they look is part of their routine they can’t just leave even for travelling. Besides, travelling with stylish look is still possible without reducing the amount of comfort. You just need to know how to choose the right clothes so they will look good on you without making you feel uncomfortable at all. 

Travelling in style and comfort

Travelling cam cause some hassles and inconvenience especially when you are having a long haul flight. It is seriously unpleasant thing because you have to sit for hours in limited space. That’s why you need to wear comfortable clothes so the long haul flight will be more bearable for you. Here are some tips to travel in style and comfort.

How to Travel in Style and Still Comfortable

It is highly recommended to avoid wearing jeans especially the tight one. Jeans look stylish and all but they can make you feel uncomfortable for a long haul flight. Your skin can get irritated and your muscle will easily get stiff and cramped. Tight jeans are also not good for your blood circulation. Thus, jeans’ buttons can also make you sleep in uncomfortable position because they can get in the way. There are other type of clothes you can wear but still can make you look stylish and comfortable but jeans are not one of them.

Avoid wearing tight boots or high heels for a long haul flight. You can wear comfortable flat shoes. However, it is highly recommended to not wear sandals or flip-flops. Don’t forget to wear socks to protect your foot. Even if you don’t wear them when leaving your home, you can wear them during the flight. 

Choose clothing with comfortable fabrics that won’t irritate your skin and are breathable. Cashmere, jersey, cotton, and viscose are great options of fabrics you can wear. Besides, they also look good. You will still look great in those type of clothes without reducing the comfort. You can also choose some elastane or polyester if you don’t want your clothes to wrinkle after the flight. 

Bring stylish carry-on bag that you can use to put all your necessities but still look good. Choose a bag with soft materials that won’t irritate your skin when you carry it. You need to make sure that the strap of the bag is comfortable. There are many bags with great fashion look you can choose but still offering the same function. 

If you want to look stylish, wear some accessories such as beanie, hats, sunglasses, or scarf (depending on the season you travel). Those are common accessories but work effectively to make you look more stylish. However, avoid wearing too many jewelry because they are not necessary. In fact, expensive jewelry will only attract criminals to harm you. 

The Best Scenery to Have in Komodo Cruise!

The Komodo National Park is a total embodiment of rare heaven on earth. Not because of palm trees, nor of the resorts. In fact, these remote set of islands are very scarce on those typical “tropical paradise”. Komodo is everything rugged, raw, and wild. And that’s what makes it so special. Blue waters, turquoise lagoon, soft beaches, and undulating savannah hills form an authentic, otherworldly destination for us to indulge with. Here’s a way to get the best and the fullest of what Komodo can offer: hopping on Komodo cruise ship and set to sail for several days.  

Don’t let this stunning holiday pass. In this article, we have compiled the best thing to enjoy onboard the cruise while sailing this gorgeous frontier. 

The Best Scenery to Have in Komodo Cruise!

Mind Refreshing in Komodo Cruise

it’s your first time stepping up in the Komodo cruise! After cramming your luggage to your assigned cabin, take some time to just relax and enjoy the cruise facility. Head to the deck, lie on the sun beds, done your sunglasses, and let the salty wind blows all your worldly worries away. Take a short nap—or sip some fresh fruit juices—while the boat is heading to your first destination. 

A Pleasing Stroll on Fishing Village

Do you want to have lobster for your first dinner? If yes, head to the Mesa, a charming little fisherman village with friendly neighbourhood. The lobster here are the best! Just imagine having a fresh lobster that’s still alive when you buy it for the first dinner in Komodo…

A Hike in Sebayur Kecil 

The sun is still high, and a hike to Sebayur Kecil is perfect to fill your day. Prepare to get lost among vast savannah fields. The Sebayur is absolutely pretty with yellowish grass covering the entire hills! It’s also a great place to snorkel in its protected lagoon. You can find rich, vibrant corals brimming with clown fishes and thousand other marine animals under the clear turquoise water. Should you wish, you could skip the next destination and enjoy a spectacular sunset in one of the hills. 

See Your First Sunset with the Bats

Sunset in Komodo is totally majestic. The sky in this rare earth displays a stunning show: gradients of pink, orange, blue, and red pale slowly turns into violet, before getting into dense purple. However, the show could be a lot more dramatic when you watch it from the Kalong Island. Right when the last ray of the sun swamp in the horizon, thousands of bats flies from the Kalong Island, screeching, hunting for foods in the neighbouring islands. You gonna watch this wild nature show from the Komodo cruise.  

First Sunrise in Komodo Cruise and Do Yoga

Rise and shine! It’s your first sunrise in this national park, and it’s best enjoyed from the cruise. Wake up early and relish in the tranquility of the morning. Watch how the surrounding islands slowly wake up from the long sleep, gleaming in reddish glow in the dawn. When the sun has fully rise, set aside some time to do yoga with the instructor—it’s very relaxing! 

Summer in Gili Lawa Darat

Summer in Gili Lawa Darat

Located in the northwest of Komodo National Park, Gili Lawa Darat is perfect to spend the day! It has everything—gorgeous savannah landscape, sandy beaches, and snorkel/ dive spot. If you wish, your Komodo cruise could set up private beach lunch in one of the secluded shore!

Read More: Boat Charter Komodo: Re-defining “Hidden Paradise”

Walk with the Jurassic-esque Komodo Dragons

It’s everything you’re waiting on. After all, what’s the point of journeying with Komodo boat trip if you can’t meet the prehistoric dragons? 

Reaching Pink Beach with Komodo Cruise

After a session with the dragons, head to the Pink beach. It’s one of the pinkest sandy shore of the only seven pink beach in the entire world! The hidden beach is only accessible by the boat, and arriving there is like entering a fairytale fantasy. 

Sunset in Padar

Padar Island, the most famous island in the entire Komodo! It looks like straight out from the Jurassic Park sets with its jagged hills and steep volcanic mountain, surrounded by four crooked bays. Prepare to have amazing panoramic galore! Padar island is perfect for both sunrise and sunset—get bathed in golden sun before getting back to the cruise. 

How would your dream Komodo exploration would be? 

Documenting Your Travels to Preserve The Memories

Travelling is fun and all especially if it’s something you’ve always wanted. Living a busy life is not easy so you deserve a break. Travelling to places you have dreamt of is something you can afford between your hectic days. To make it more memorable, you need to preserve the memories by documenting them. You can use your own creativity or use your passion to do it your way. The memories of travel you preserve can remind you of your free and happy time. Thus, you can look to them whenever you feel deflated with your workload. It can make you stay motivated to work and earn money to travel again.

Recommended ways to document your travels

The memories of your travel can be used as a story-telling tools. Memories are priceless because time cannot can’t rewind. Even if you can reenact the same scene in the same place, the mood and experience come out differently. That’s why you need to document the memories of your travel while you still can. Here are some recommended ways to do it:

Be more creative in taking pictures

You can take selfies in touristy places all you want. However, it might look monotone few years later when you look back at them. Thus, you can use more creative way to take pictures during your travels. You can take the same pose in every place you visit. The pose may look the same but the background is different. Or you can try making sequence of photos to show gradual process of your travel.

Make your personal journal

The travel journal you have doesn’t have to contain a writing or story. It can be a doodle, Polaroid, or simple sentence which can remind you of the trip later. You can also make your own journal to make it look more personal that people won’t be able to buy in any place. Decorate your own journal and it is better to use quality paper so it has better durability.

Make your own travel video

You don’t have to be in a film major to make travel video. You can learn how to take quality video so you can document your travels well. Do it your own style because it is your travel experience. You can choose to take video of yourself or your surroundings during your travels. You can also choose to narrate the video or make it silent. Make sure to take video that you will enjoy later. It means, you need to take every shot in certain focus.

Turn your travel memories into personalized postcards

This may sound too much for some people but it is worth it because you can keep the postcards or send them anywhere you want. You can download the app to make personalized postcards. You can choose particular memories of your travel to be documented and turned into precious postcards. It is fun to do especially because you can surprise your friends or families. This is one of the most unique ways to document your travels.