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A Place that Tolkien Fans Must Visit: Hobbiton in Tauranga, New Zealand
08 Aug 2017PLACESBY SweetEscape

If you are a fan of The Lord of the Rings, or LOTR for short, you may have already known that Hobbiton exists right here on Earth since 1999, in New Zealand to be exact. It is the set for The Shire, which is where the Hobbits live as seen in the LOTR trilogy and the Hobbit movies. As of 2002, the place is open to the public with guided tours.

SweetEscape in Tauranga

There are generally two main tours: Hobbiton movie set tour and evening banquet tours. The tour around the movie set takes 2 hours around the lush pastures of The Shire. You will be escorted around the set with a guide who will explain how the movie magic was made. You will see Hobbit Holes, the Mill, and visit the world-famous Green Dragon Inn, where you will be served with a complimentary Hobbit Southfarthing beverage.

SweetEscape in Tauranga

The evening banquet tour is held around dusk beginning with a guided tour around the site. At the end, you will be escorted to The Green Dragon Inn with a complementary beverage and then to a dining room to be treated to a banquet feast.

SweetEscape in Tauranga

The magic doesn’t end there! After dinner, your guide will take you back to The Shire for an adventure under the moonlight. You will walk through illuminated paths while carrying handheld lanterns to see the village come to light.

SweetEscape in Tauranga

Of course, the journey wouldn’t be complete without taking photos. You must take photos under the sign of Hobbiton (to prove you were there!). How about taking photos of the Hobbit holes? See how many you can count around the area – there are lots! The lush green pastures of the village and the hills are breathtakingly beautiful.

SweetEscape in Tauranga

Start planning your visit. Who knows, you might spot a hobbit there!

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7 Things To Do Before 2019 Ends
03 Dec 2019IDEASBY SweetEscape

SweetEscape is an on demand photography platform. Tired of hearing the overused new year, new me slogan from your circle of friends and acquaintances? Believe it or not... we are too! It's great and all in the sense that people would like to change within the new year (hopefully) for the better. But think about it, why wait for the new year to improve yourself as a person? At least, SweetEscape would like to (if we may) propose that improving, re-vamping and enhancing yourselves shouldn't be a yearly thing - if anything, it should be an everyday thing! "What? Are you serious?" You're probably asking. Life is short, escapists, and it's definitely too short to not make any changes in our lives so that we better ourselves for others as well. With that said, here are 5 things that you could do before the year finally ends:

by Bruna for SweetEscape in New York
by Bruna for SweetEscape in New York

1. Give Your Home/Personal Space A Fresh New Appeal - Declutter Your Life

As humans, we don't stop growing throughout our lifetime. The things we enjoyed doing when we were younger may differ from the things we now enjoy, and that's because we don't get any younger. Perhaps you adored your toy/figurine collection when you were in your teens, and was your number 1 prized collection in your entire room. Or maybe, you were the type to hang posters of your favorite bands and role models on the walls of your room, much like that of a late 80's or early 90's teen bedroom. Surely you've gone a long way from there, and if you haven't transformed your room that much... now is the perfect time to do so! Rearrange your furniture, or maybe even Feng shui it up - it won't hurt! You'll feel a thousand times better in a freshly organized room.

by Tina for SweetEscape in Rovaniemi
by Tina for SweetEscape in Rovaniemi

2. Get Rid of Old/Worn Out Clothes - New Wardrobe Time!

A whole year is a long time, 365 days long to be exact. When the same clothes are worn repetitively even over a period of 1 year, they can still become over-worn if worn too often. It's now time for you to, if not get a whole entire new wardrobe, re-vamp your closet and outfits. Do your clothes still fit properly? Are they still wearable in the times ahead? Can you still see yourself wearing your current outfits? If you answered no to all or most of them, then chances are that you need to toss them in the bin and purchase new ones. For future reference, go shopping for clothes that are more durable and timeless - that way, you wouldn't need to re-vamp your closet too often (hopefully). If your closet is mostly filled with bright and youthful colors, then try to balance it out by adding more neutral colors to your collection of items.

by Freddie for SweetEscape in Melbourne
by Freddie for SweetEscape in Melbourne

3. Throw Out Items From The Past - Time To Move On

Have a careful look of your belongings, and recall whether were personally purchased or given by a certain person in the past. Perhaps you were in a committed relationship that just didn't last, and that's totally fine! People grow together while some just grow apart instead. In the case that you still have those belongings from your previous partner, or simply any item that brings back memories of your time together - let those items go and head on to a new chapter of your life. It could also be items that remind you of a certain time way back when, and perhaps you were a lot happier then than you are now. Having those items could really make you stuck in the past and eventually hinder you from moving forward. You wouldn't want that, would you? SweetEscape believes in you!

by Albert for SweetEscape in Kyoto
by Albert for SweetEscape in Kyoto

4. Give Thanks, Share With Those In Need

One of the most important things people tend to forget, is to pause for a moment and reflect upon what they have received in life. Often times we would forget about the things we have in life, and even the little things that matter are often missed. We don't blame you, life can get really tough at times... and during those times it's especially hard to sit back and be thankful for perhaps anything. Clear your mind and start from the smaller things. Do you have a roof over your head? Put aside the fact that your toilet is often clogged, or that your wooden floor is not the kind of wood that you prefer. Be thankful that you actually have a home - be thankful you aren't homeless! Do you have access to enough food and water on a daily basis? Then that's another simple thing to be thankful about. Remember, start with the little things. You'll be surprised as to how fortunate you are compared to many lives out there.

by Zhanna for SweetEscape in Zermatt
by Zhanna for SweetEscape in Zermatt

5. Review Your Failures, Learn From Them

For as long as we're living on this planet, we will be making human errors - and it's inevitable. Mistakes aren't bad because you're expected to make them to be able to grow as a person. The more mistakes you made, the more you learn to avoid repeating the same mistakes again. If you have siblings, you probably have memories of their toddler days. Babies are curious beings, and chances are that you and your siblings were as well. Perhaps your parents told your kid sibling to not touch fire, but as expected, they did anyway. What happened next? Your sibling screamed in shock and pain, and your parents would give them the "I told you so" reaction. After this incident, we would like to believe that your sibling never repeated that same mistake again.

by Alina for SweetEscape in Paris
by Alina for SweetEscape in Paris

6. Take A Solo Trip Somewhere

Growing up is hard, we'll give you that. But adult-ing is even harder! Think about it, first it's the school, then your first job, afterwards fall in love with your special someone, but you forgot to learn about taxes, then you'd have to learn about taxes, and don't forget the bills - electricity, water, and your groceries. We're not even half way done listing all of the adult-ing activities, but you generally get the idea. Since adults live such stressful lives, it's necessary for them to relieve from stress, de-stress and escape from the usual burden-some routine. Not to mention, adult lives seem to attract so much nuisance and irritating people almost on a day-to-day basis. For you and yourself alone, you should remember to take some time for yourself. In this case, we suggest for you to take a solo trip somewhere nice and serene where you can be free of all of your worldly problems for just a little while. It'll help you refresh your mood before the end of the year and beginning of a new year.

by Bruna for SweetEscape in New York
by Bruna for SweetEscape in New York

7. Release/Let Go of Negative Feelings, Grudges And Resentments

Last but not least (pay very close attention to this one) is you should release all feelings of anger, grudges and resentment towards anyone who have wronged you. It ain't easy, we know! But the thing is, having all of those pent up negative emotions are far from good for your mind, body and soul. You might not realize it now, but you'll slowly start to see how everything unravels as you prolong those feelings within you. If you'd like to let go of those negative feelings, try activities such as yoga and mediation. They're highly beneficial for your well being. If that happens to not be your cup of tea, then you could start a journal of all the things you feel. Trace it back, and find out why you feel those things. Once through, ask yourself, "Is all of this anger worth my time and energy?". Chances are, the person whom you have pent up emotions towards have long forgotten about their bad deeds to you, so why waste your time? They too, will get their taste of life later on. Life is short, don't waste it on negativity!

by Yunika for SweetEscape in New York
by Yunika for SweetEscape in New York

Doing something special before the year ends? Whether it’s a little solo trip somewhere beautiful, or as simple as spending some time with those in need, book a session with SweetEscape to capture those memories for you. SweetEscape connects you to thousands of local professional photographers in more than 500 cities around the world, so you can capture every moment and get beautiful photos directly to your devices in just 48 hours after your session. This holiday season, capture more with SweetEscape's JINGLE DEALS, where you can get sessions starting as low as USD 50! Download our app, book your session today and let's #MakeLifeMemorable!