Interrail 2018

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to go travelling. But I think the first time I heard the word ‘interrailing’ was in my first year of university…however with my mind on other things, I never took the time to really look into it and do my research and eventually put it that word to the back of my mind.

Anyway as soon as uni was over I started to look into travelling again as a whole. Europe was always the main goal to begin with. Italy, France, Germany, Prague, the wonder and beauty of the places…right on my door step. The way I’ve always looked at it is that with living in Europe myself, I might as well seize the opportunity and explore the wonders that have been given right in front of me. When I first imagined going travelling in Europe I imagined and planned on doing it as a road trip with someone I was close to…but like I’ve said in a previous blog our dreams have to adapt to survive. 

So when I came out of my last relationship I once again looked into going travelling, but this time on my own. I pretty much already had a route laid out due to looking at it in the past, but this time I decided to look at alternative ways to get around in Europe, which is where interrailing came into it. I initially looked on the Official Interrail website to get an idea of the prices I would be looking at paying and the different ticket types there were. At the time the ‘Youth ticket’ was aged 18-25, and with me already being 24 I made the decision to go just before my 25th birthday (this July), just so I could get it cheaper. So It was decided I would be leaving in June ….(of course after I’d decided this, they changed the youth ticket age up to 27…but what can you do).

So the next thing on the list was to see if anyone I knew wanted to come with me…however the problem with being 24 and single is that most of your friends are in relationships and already saving for their own house or just for their future in general. Which you know is understandable, however I wasn’t going to let the fact that I’d be going on my own put me off the idea. At the end of the day this is the only thing I’m certain I want to do with my life right now, and if I have to do it alone…then that’s the way it will be. There’s a quote somewhere that says something like “in life you can only rely on yourself” and it’s true…so why not take the plunge…even if it does leave people talking. A woman going travelling alone 😮 how will you do that? Aren’t you worried? What if this happens or that happens? Well Barbra things happen everyday, the only difference is that the sun will be on my face when it happens and I’ll have actually been living my life. Shocking I know! The audacity!

Anyway I won’t go on too much in this blog, I’m sure there will be many more to follow, including a packing list and hostels I’ll be staying in, how I’m actually feeling about it all etc. So stay tuned!

“Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you can be responsible for it. You have to invest in yourself, or no one else will.” – Stacey Charter

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Happy New Year…

2017 was a year for many things. For me personally, the things that stuck out the most were the new adventures I took, exploring new countries I’d never been to . The relationships that took new levels and turned into some of those that I value the most now. Acknowledging fears, like the fear of letting someone close to me again and it destroying me…again. Tackling issues like overcoming anxiety bit by bit and overall growing some lady balls. Relationships ending, saying goodbye to those who really didn’t mean anything deep down and in some cases just wanted to use you. And finally learning to just say fuck it sometimes and take a step back so things can sort themselves out.
Overall 2017 wasn’t a bad year for me, but I welcome the new year and the opportunities that will come with it.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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!

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!

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

Bag Must Haves!

I’ve never been one of these girls that takes a bag everywhere with me, but nowadays it seems to be happening more and more. To the extent that I’m over prepared for any trip (even just to the shops). So I thought I’d do a ‘bag must haves’ blog…because why not. We may as well start off the year prepared, even if we don’t end it that way. Just as a little insight into women though, girls will always struggle when it comes to bags, mainly because of the size of them. Too small and we can’t fit anything in it, too big and you can’t find anything that’s in it. Anyway I’ll get on with it.

Item number 1: A purse. How would we spend money without this? Obviously we need this with us, shopping is what we do best…unless your trying your to avoid spending money at all costs…in which case leave it at home!

Item number 2: Keys. House keys, car keys, window keys (trust me they get everywhere). You need keys…unless you want your house robbed which you know some people might.

Item number 3: Hand cream. Because I have eczema I need to keep my skin moisturised and when I go out in the cold, my hands get the most damaged. The hand cream I have in my bag at the minute is the Soap and Glory hand food, which seems to be working.

Item number 4: A Diary. A lot of people don’t understand why I carry this around when I have a phone to put all my dates on…but anyone with a iPhone will understand how quickly the battery can go down. So why not go back to the olden ways and write it down instead?

Item number 5: Hand Sanitiser. Travelling, shopping, eating, there’s always germs,so why not.

Item number 6: Gum. Sometimes we need a bit of a refresher, so I always carry it around. Plus as soon as someone see’s it they want a piece. I normally have a pack in my car and people think its a free refreshment as if its a service I provide…safe to say it’s gone within a week.

Item number 7: A pen. You never know when you’ll need to write something down. Plus I mean I can’t carry a diary around without having a pen…that would just be silly.

Item number 8: Ivan the iPod. Everyone needs a bit of music in there life. Carrying that around allows you to escape when the world gets a bit much too. (Here’s a link for those who don’t know who Ivan is) Ivan the iPod Blog.

Item number 9: A thousand loyalty cards. We all collect theses, even for places we’ll just visit once in the hope we might return there someday and eventually have enough stamps for a free coffee.

Item number 10: Tampons. Come on, let’s all be adults here. Women bleed…better to have them and not need them. Even if they are a luxury item 😉

I’m sure over time it will just get more and more items in it…many useless. But that’s what women do 🙂

Ryan Gosling once told me…

Okay so he didn’t literally tell me this…he rather said it through his character on the film The Notebook…but it still applies!!! He said,

“You can’t live your life for other people. You’ve got to do what’s right for you, even if it hurts some people you love.”

This is something I think a lot of people need to hear. As humans we spend a lot of time not enjoying life as we are trying to please other people around us. Maybe that’s by doing a job you don’t love, living somewhere you don’t love, or the worst one being with someone you don’t love. No matter what the situation, it can apply. For me this is travelling, as I’ve said over and over again. I could get a better job, be on more money, eventually move out, get a better car, and overall a better life. But right now…that isn’t for me (as silly as that sounds).

I want to get out into the world and explore every inch of it, or at least as much as I can. I need to do that for me. I need to experience it. I need to be free…at least for a while. Sometimes we get a little too wrapped up in what we are ‘supposed‘ to do, and not what we ‘want‘ to do. So my aim with this post is to attempt to encourage anyone reading to do what’s right for you! You have your whole life to please other people, but right now “do you, for you”.