Amsterdam in July…

Last July a few friends of mine decided to book a last minute trip to Amsterdam. I’d only been to Amsterdam once before for a few hours on a ferry trip, and to be honest I wanted to travel as much as possible last year…so I just thought why not!

There was 6 of us altogether, and it was the first time I’d been on holiday with a group of friends rather than just one friend. Normally I’m a bit hesitant about travelling in groups, just due to the fact that you have to accommodate to what everyone wants to do. But to be honest this wasn’t an issue for us at all seen as everyone wanted to do relatively similar things anyway, which made things a hell of a lot easier.

So we stayed for three nights in Amsterdam at the Camp Inn Hotel, which was a great hotel which also offered bike rental which was ideal to get around Amsterdam. It was room only, which was perfect as it allowed us to check out what food Amsterdam had to offer, and it really didn’t disappoint. Inside the city centre, Amsterdam basically accommodates all food lovers. Theres pastries, pizza, spaghetti, sandwiches, burgers…you get the idea. Not to mention the coffee there is amazing!

Obviously we didn’t just go for the food aspect of Amsterdam, so we had just three days to fit in as much of Amsterdam’s culture as humanly possible. We went to the museum of prostitution, the sex museum, we went on a tour at the Heineken Experience, Amsterdam’s Ice bar, the red light district, and of course we popped into a bulldog coffee shop. Oh I almost forgot we also took a leisurely bike ride through the streets and along the canal…which meant nearly getting run over by a tram (when in Amsterdam eyy).

Overall the trip was pretty amazing. We didn’t get to go to the Anne Frank house, but it’s definitely on my bucket list. Either way I’ll have to go back at some point, as Amsterdam has so much to offer. Hopefully there are more group trips are to come too! Oh and the weather was pretty good too!

Advertisements

Travelling Alone

This time last week I had arrived in Portugal, after travelling alone for the first time. Before setting off I was pretty worried. Worried about having a panic attack, as there were certain things that had triggered them off before while travelling. But after all that I ended up getting to Portugal and back with no panic attacks at all. To say the least I am so proud of myself. To be able to do all of that alone and not have any problems definitely made me feel good.

The one thing that really seemed to make a difference is that when travelling alone, more people began to strike up a conversation with me. It was so nice having people helpful and kind at every turn, even something so small as getting my bag and passing it to me really meant a lot. Then getting onto the plane I even got chatting to another first time solo female traveller, which again was really nice to know that I wasn’t alone in the situation. Even when I arrived into Portugal I noticed there was a difference, not just from staff like the driver to the hotel giving me advice on the best places to go, but even the locals just making chitchat.

As a planner I did a lot of research before setting off, like I would wherever I went even if I was with others. But I think this did help as it made me more prepared, especially in case anything went wrong. Maybe that just me being over-cautious, but I’d rather be extra prepared. Heck I’m that prepared sometimes that on the last night I even quickly totalled up all the cost for staying there a couple of extra days…I know how to find a deal!

Overall though I honestly had an amazing time travelling by myself and would recommend for anyone to at least try it once…I’m even considering booking another trip again soon. On the down side there’s no saying that next time I won’t have a panic attack, but at least for now I’m just proud I did it.

<a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/18272089/?claim=e7f59up2kb8″>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Packing…

Okay so basically I’m off to Poland in 2 days, and this is the most unprepared for a trip I’ve ever been and to be honest….it upsets me. So to avoid any more procrastination I’m basically going to write a list on a blog…in the added hope that it means I won’t forget anything for the trip.

But before that here’s a few details! I’m going to Krakow with my oldest friend for five days, our aim is mainly to soak up the history of Poland with Auschwitz being at the top of our list. We’ve rented an apartment from a man off Airbnb which will be a new experience for me, so I hope it goes smoothly. It’s located just outside the city centre which means we will be doing quite a bit of walking (which I like anyway). And I’ve been keeping an eye on the weather which seems to be varying between 2 and -2 degrees celsius so some warm clothes will be essential as I’m cold majority of the time anyway. Ok so let’s start.

Toiletries:
Toothbrush (Obviously, can’t get anywhere without that)
Toothpaste
Deodorant
Perfume (Not a necessity but I like to smell like a flower)
Shampoo (Aussie, only the best)
Condition (Aussie again, I’m slightly obsessed)
Shower Gel (Shop and Glory…duh!)

Clothes:
2 Hats (you may be thinking two hats for five days, tad excessive, but I already took out one hat!)
6 Pair’s of socks (you never know when you’ll need a spare pair!)
‘Lady garments'(undies)
5 Jumpers (Can’t be wearing the same one twice when I bought some nice one’s just for this trip!)
3 Pairs of Jeans
2 Pairs of thermal leg wear and tops (Hey I already said I get cold…)
1 Pair of gloves
1 Scarf

Shoes:
1 pair of walking boots (Again we will be doing a lot of walking, duh!)
1 pair of trainers (In the hope that one day it won’t be snowing)

Extras:
Make up bag (To attempt to look pretty)
Jewellery (Everyone needs accessories)
Tissues (I don’t know what will happen at Auschwitz emotion wise)
Camera
Krakow Guidebook (Ok so I’m prepared to some extent)
Important Documents

Ok so that could be without doubt one of the most boring blogs…or if your off to Poland during winter, you know, that could actually have been quite helpful. Anyway at least I’m packed now! Let the Poland adventures begin!

Wrapping Up 2016

So another year has come and gone and I was thinking about all the things that have been new to me in 2016.

Firstly this year has been the first time I’ve left the country four times…which I’m hoping to do again if not better next year. But its honestly been great! In the last few years my anxiety’s got the better of me while flying but I’m hoping the more I do of it, the better I’ll get.

Next up…sort of cheating because it which links to the first one but… I went to Amsterdam twice. It was somewhere I wanted to tick off my travelling list and it just so happened that the opportunity arose to go twice. I went with the first time with one of closest friends and the second time with a group of friends. Both very different experiences, but both equally amazing. I think I’d definitely go back.

This one isn’t a good thing really but 2016 was the first time I got food poisoning…and the best bit about it? I gave it to myself. Yup that’s right. I am a cooking genius apparently! Basically I’ve learnt that I should be very carefully with rice and salmon. Lets hope that was a first and last.

Back to a positive now, I rejoined a gym. This was and is a difficult one for me as I hate working out. The last time I went to the gym was during University and that lasted all of about a month. And when I say a month what I really mean is I had a membership for a month, and I actually stepped foot in the gym around about three times. This time round I’m actually going! I’m also starting to see some improvements…at least I was before the christmas holidays. Back to it tomorrow, let the pain commence!

Speaking of pain, onto tattoos. In July for my birthday I decided to treat myself (that’s right I bought myself presents) by having two tattoos done in one sitting. To be honest I was quite proud of myself. I had one done on my ankle and one on my ribs, and I thought they’d hurt more than they did. These weren’t my first tattoos, but everyone I’d spoken to said that the ribs was one of the worst places you could get a tattoo due to the pain. Psshhh whimps I say! Heck I might even do that from now one, rather than just having one done at a time.

Returning to the travelling side of the year, I also visited a few more places in England I hadn’t seen before. Last year I decided that I would try to see more of England because I thought it was stupid that there were all of these great cities within driving distance, that I’d never even been to. So I went to Liverpool and Manchester. I only stayed at each for one night but there’s still loads to see. I might even have to return this year.

Onto spending dollars. I’m sad to say that this year I started a very unhealthy addiction… which is spending money on shoes. I don’t know how it happened as I’ve never been madly interested in footwear, but I know it wasn’t my fault. On the one hand I’m learning more about footwear brands, which is good because I’m like a grandma when it comes to what’s in fashion. But on the other hand my bank account hates me for it…I can only hope it was a phase.

Onto the last one…because let’s be honest I’m rambling now. 2016 was my year of being completely single without dating. Now this wasn’t really planned, I just wasn’t that interested or put in any effort. I don’t regret it though. A whole year without hassle or drama. A whole year to only think about myself. Don’t get me wrong, sure having someone is nice. But this year to myself was great!

Anyway roll on 2017! 365 new days, 365 new chances!

10 I’d love to visit! ✈️

This is going to be a really brief blog, just because I feel like I talk about travelling wayyyy too much. So I’m basically just going to list a place and a reason or two why I want to go.

  1. Rome – The history, and the romance I think the two combine just make it a dream destination.
  2. Berlin – Again the history, mainly the Berlin wall. I think it would just be incredible to see where the divide was created, and of course the museums. Also I wouldn’t mind going around christmas time to go to the christmas markets.
  3. Krakow – I know all of these seem to be linked to history but I’d like to go here because It’s easy to get to Auschwitz, but also I’ve heard the city is beautiful and cheap!
  4. Paris – another city of love (sad I know), but I always planned to go here since I did french at GCSE! And I love pancakes. And I secretly want to know just how big the Eiffel tower is…
  5. Ireland – this one is for a few reasons. It’s partly because if how pretty it looks of P.S I love you, partly because of the titanic museum up in Belfast, partly because i imagine it’s scenery is quite similar to Iceland but with trees and less volcano’s and partly because I mean the Irish accent…come on!
  6. Miami – one thing you’ll be pleased to know is that this is in no way history related. This trip would basically be for the sun and adventure…and by adventure I partly mean rollerblading along the beach boardwalk…because you know…why not!
  7. Canada – basically when my granddad was in the RAF he was based here for a while, so it’d be nice to see some of the things that he saw while he was there.
  8. Budapest – I honestly just think it would be interesting to see the culture of this place, on photo’s it looks incredible!
  9. Rio – this would mainly be for the carnival, it just looks amazing!..a once in a lifetime experience as some would say.
  10. Maldives – does this really need a reason? I mean haven’t you ever seen a photo? 😮 (If you haven’t there’s one linked to this post!

Well that’s my brief list…where would you like to travel to the most?

What’s changed?

So it feels like we’ve only just started  2016, and we’re already into June! JUNE!! What’s going on?? I swear the days go faster as you get older (yes I’m only 22)…anyway this blog is basically a catch up on what’s new and what’s changed with me since we hit 1/1/16.

Okay so let’s get the boring stuff out of the way. Health wise…I’ve put on weight 👎🏼 I’m drinking more water which is good. But I’m also eating a lot more. I get bored! When I’m bored I eat. Or that could just be a excuse…I do love food. Also sadly I don’t want to ‘work out’, I have no need, no desire. But thankfully I am trying to embrace my more flabby current body, as in reality this is probably the best it’s going to look during my life…unless I start going to the gym of course.

Next on the agenda is Education. I mentioned in a different blog that I’d done a photography course with Shaw academy. I really enjoyed this and went on to do two other courses, which were good…but now I don’t know what to do with myself. I don’t see the point in doing anymore courses until I decide which direction I want to go in. I really need to make a choice about what I’m doing with my life, but right now I guess my minds on other things.

One thing I know I’m doing right is travelling. I’m trying to travel as much as I can this year while working alongside. When I’m here I just feel lost, as if I have no purpose. Everything just seems so mundane and boring. I seem to have twitchy feet as they say. I just need to get out and get moving as much as possible right now. It’s awkward in a sense…

The final thing to really cover in this is relationships I guess. I realised the other day that I’ve been single for just over a year now. In some ways it’s great, no one depending on me. Time to myself whenever I want etc etc. But at the same time I really need to get out there a bit. I feel like I’m becoming a social recluse which I hate! So I’ve started dating. Ahh it’s just confusing to be completely honest…but at least I’m trying. 😬

Best advice I’ve ever been given…

So recently travelling’s been on my mind a lot. I’m seeing more and more people jetting off to just explore somewhere they’ve never been. Because of this I’ve been thinking about when I could go, and therefore I’ve been talking to more people about it.

Now the only people I’ve really spoken to about it to are people who I’m friends with, or people I strike up a conversation with in the cafe where I work. Out of everyone I’ve spoken to in however many years I’ve had this dream, there’s always been one thing in common. This is company. These people have always had someone with them, mainly friends or even family. Now this is great, I’d love to do that…hell I’d probably prefer to do that in regards to the safety issue but this is a problem.

The problem is… with my group of friends…there are two categories. They either have no interest in travelling or they have either already done it or have already everything out to do it. Which leaves me with the option to go it alone.

I don’t mind the idea of being alone travelling because I like to see the benefit to both sides of everything. For example with this, I’d see exactly what I wanted to see without having to take anyone else desires into consideration. I also feel that I would learn a lot from the experience personally, as I believe in finding/discovering yourself when travelling (which some people will laugh at the idea). Plus travelling alone pushes your boundaries by making friends out of complete strangers.

Anyway so onto the advice…today while I was clearing a table (cafe life) a woman struck up a conversation with me. It was a short conversation, but this lady was very easy to talk to…so even though we were only speaking for about 5-10 minutes I learnt a lot!

We talked about her situation. How she used to live quite close to me but then after her husband passed away at quite a young age, she couldn’t afford the house alone, so she had to move. She had spent 26 years with her husband, she had no family left now. But she was happy, content. We spoke about my situation. How I’d been to university, now living back at home with my parents with a performance degree I do nothing with and a dream to travel.

This sparked something. She herself had been travelling. 29 years ago, she set off to Australia alone and it was only when she was waving her family goodbye the realisation sinked in. She was doing this, and she was doing it alone. She talked with so much enthusiasm and insight. She said she never regretted it for a moment, and if she hadn’t of gone she would have never met her husband. As I was just about to return to work, she said…just go. Go live and explore, if it doesn’t work out at least you’ve tried it and you can come back home but just do it…take a chance.

“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.” – Lewis Carroll