Tag Archives: travel

Why I HAVE to travel and why some people just don’t get it

seaEver since announcing my plans of jetting off next year, I’ve spoken to a lot of people, friends and family, who are all very excited for me. But on the flip-side, I’ve also heard from a few people who don’t seem to understand why I feel the need to jet off to the other side of the world when I have a good job, a long-term partner and friends and family all around me here. I’ll be honest, when these things were pointed out to me, I just gaped at these people and just replied, “You don’t understand.”

It’s become clear to me that there are two main types of people in this world – the adventurous and the cautious. I think that we all have elements of both in us, but at varying levels and it just depends on which way your own personal balance tips. I would never argue that one is better than the other because we need a healthy combination of both for society to survive – without the cautious we could all be dead, likewise without the adventurous, we might never have flown to the Moon. But, I do think that the two extremes find it very difficult to understand the life the other has chosen. For example, I have chosen to up sticks and go travelling alone, leaving everything behind me. Sure that could be seen as a big risk, I might not find a job when I return, I might no longer be in a relationship and I might have nowhere to live. BUT, I feel I would regret it so much more if I didn’t go. I know that there are many who would not understand why I want to do this because it is not something they would consider doing.

I understand because I know so many people who have done the complete opposite of me, the ones who started families and set up homes, got married and settled down instead of taking the university and work route that I followed. I really admire the people who have done this, mainly because I am impressed that they have felt so strongly that this is the path they wanted to follow and because they felt ready for all of this. At nearly 24, I certainly don’t feel ready for any of that, especially when it comes to raising children, but I am so impressed by those that do. This is what helps me to understand why they feel so surprised by my decision, because I know that I felt exactly the same when hearing about their plans. Neither is right or wrong, just different.402843_10151043139357617_1461972852_nSo why do I feel the need to travel? Here are my reasons:

  1. I want to see the world, to taste and experience everything out there. I want to learn and meet people and see things I never knew existed. I know I must satisfy this curiosity or I will always wonder.
  2. To escape. As my wonderful friend put it, like she, I just need to quit life for a bit and to take a break from it all. I’ve been constantly working and in education since I was five-years-old and I want to give my head a rest.
  3. I need space to figure out my next move, both career-wise and geographically.
  4. I will regret it for the rest of my life if I didn’t go.
  5. Who says that travelling won’t help my career and will lead me into a new path? It might mean I go into travel writing or even leave behind writing altogether if I am so inspired.
  6. I miss having time to read and write. Between my job, festival work and blogging, I have no real time to really get into reading a book like I used to at university and I miss it. I miss having no distractions.
  7. I want to get out of my home-town and experience something different. I want an excuse to leave that doesn’t mean moving away immediately.
  8. I need to leave my job – I feel I have progressed as much as possible in my current job and think that the only way to go further is to leave and start afresh elsewhere.
  9. I have been saving for a really long time, but never knew what for – now I want to have that rainy day where I splash out on the best experience of my life.
  10. I really, really want the chance to do something completely by myself. I have never really been alone, I have always been surrounded by friends, family and my boyfriend and this is my way of proving to myself that I can cope.
  11. That amazing job that is out there waiting for me will still be there a year from now, or another one will be in its place – the opportunity to go travelling might not be there.

Why do you feel you HAVE to travel the world? Or what is it that keeps you at home?


Tips for the aspiring traveller


Me and the man in Ireland, near Waterford

Since announcing my travel plans for next year, I have been talking to countless friends and family who have all either just finished their gap year or are about to embark upon it – some were even messaging me excitedly from the side of the world to share their tips and recommendations. I’m so pleased I know so many people who have been travelling and in the same areas I plan on visiting because that means that outside of the guidebooks, there is a wealth of information for me to pick through from real-live experiences had by people who know and understand my tastes. I can judge the recommendations based on the tastes and preferences of my friends and family which helps me understand better which parts I’d be happy to skip and which places I simply must visit.

Throughout all this talk, I keep getting given tips on things to look out for and ways to approach travelling, all of which are very welcome and are a big help as I plan my route around South-East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. I found some of these tips so helpful that I wanted to share them with my readers, some of whom I know are also planning their travels and others who are just in the daydream stages. I feel that these tips, from experienced travellers who have learnt first-hand, are valuable to anyone planning a trip – whether a weekend break to Paris, a two-week holiday in Greece or backpacking around America.

ireland 1

Hiking amongst the heather in Ireland

Here’s the top tips I have been given by fellow travellers:

  1. Throw yourself into absolutely every experience. Never say no, unless you don’t want to, get out of your comfort zone and push your boundaries by doing things that you wouldn’t normally do at home.
  2. Don’t obsess over money – yes you need to budget and make sure you spend wisely, but don’t let that prevent you from doing the above and enjoying yourself. Spend wisely the rest of the time so you can splash out on an elephant trek or white-water rafting experience.
  3. Don’t let your travel buddy dictate your experience. If you’re with a friend or in a couple, don’t be afraid to say no to some activities and go off and do your own thing, don’t be afraid to explore opposite sides of the country and meet up later. Likewise, don’t limit your experience by spending all your time with one person, get out and meet people at every opportunity.
  4. Solo travellers must not be afraid of being lonely or not meeting anyone. Everywhere you go you will meet like-minded individuals and make friends, many of them also travelling alone.
  5. Use your time the way YOU want to. You cannot be on the go 24-7 for months on end, you need some downtime to really appreciate and enjoy the country you are in. But just like staff in overworked offices at home, you can get burned out on the road too and it is important to have days of lazing by the pool as well.
  6. Try everything – similar to number one – but  in terms of food. Don’t shy away from local cuisine, it is a huge part of the experience and a little spice never killed anyone.
  7. When preparing for your trip, don’t plan every detail, give yourself a guide of where you would like to go and what you would like to do, with an estimate of how long you will spend in each area – but be prepared to drop it all if an opportunity arises – don’t be afraid to go off the map.
  8. Shop around for flights, accommodation and activities – there is always somewhere cheaper and be prepared to barter to get the price you think is right.
  9. Capture every moment with photo, video, blogging, any form you want – even just in your mind’s eye. Just make sure you remember everything and everyone.
  10. When packing, get all your clothes and money together. Then half the clothes and double the money to keep going as long as possible.

Have you got any more top tips you would like to share with me or other travellers? Share them below in a comment.

Stargazing on NYC’s High Line

IMG_4969Having now visited New York several times, my family and I have now had the opportunity to explore slightly off the beaten track. Having seen all the main sights and been to a few shows, we now have the time to check out some of the lesser known sights or to join in activities in newer parts of the city. One of these is the newly-opened High Line which is “a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side.” It wasn’t high up on our list of priorities until my sister spotted that they were holding amateur stargazing sessions on Tuesday evenings.

nyc1After reading that, we couldn’t resist and joined the Amateur Astronomers Association for their Tuesday night session at the West 13th and 14th Streets section at dusk. Amazingly, despite New York probably being among the worst cities for light pollution – this section of the High Line was actually dark enough to see loads including a beautiful view of the New York skyline. An amazing way to see the city and certainly one experience I haven’t had before.

One of the astronomers had come along and, using his own equipment and own time, had set up two telescopes to look at different sections of the night sky. One of these was focused on the Moon, and was so clear you could make out individual craters, and the other on Jupiter, which was particularly clear on this night. Both spectacular views and amazing to have the equipment available to look up close at them, and for free! It was also amazing to have an expert on hand to answer questions about the equipment, planets and stars in sight. I managed to spot Sirius – the brightest star in Earth’s night sky – which was just beautiful and on such a clear night barely seemed the billions of light years distance from us it must surely be.We had a brilliant time and despite it being a late decision to go along, it turned out to be one of the best things we did on the holiday, and certainly the most memorable for the whole family. If you live in New York, or plan to holiday there soon, definitely try to check it out!IMG_4970

What have you spotted in the night skies? Have you been along to one of these sessions?IMG_4971

Part 2 – Sightseeing in New York City

IMG_4855The sightseeing continued over the following days with a lot of walking and making sure we took in as many of the sights we hadn’t seen before as possible. We couldn’t resist popping along to Madison Square Gardens even though we were unlucky and were unable to get tickets to any games – devastated! We would have loved to have gone to a game, but made do with checking out the building itself.IMG_4856We were keen to check out the markets and made sure to head to Brooklyn Flea Market which was lovely in the sunshine as we shuffled through old records, vintage clothing, jewellery, junk, food and much more. We were also hoping to head to Chelsea Market at some point and luckily stumbled across it when walking on the one rainy day of our trip. Of course we headed inside to take shelter, but it was also great to check out the market stalls and the different foods on offer including red velvet truffles, a lush wine cellar and spice/tea market. There was also an incredible fish market with all kinds of fish, sushi, lobsters and much more for sale including freshly prepared garlic snails! IMG_4887IMG_4889                IMG_4888Another highlight while down in Chelsea was the visit to the gorgeous puppy shop with puppies of all shapes, sizes and cross-breeds for sale at prices skyward of $1,000 – some even on special offer at $2,500! We just popped in for a cheeky play with the puppies, some of whom were loose and playing in the shop – so cute! I absolutely loved playing with the puppies and seeing them all, but after we left I felt a bit sad for them because others were cooped up in containers and desperate to get out and play. Plus I realised that these puppies are only for sale for a short time, while they are cute, then they are just given away and deemed worthless – not nice really. Hope I gave them a small bit of happiness by playing for a while even if I couldn’t give them a home!IMG_4865And finally, one of my personal highlights was visiting the apartment building that was lived in by Carrie Bradshaw in one of my all-time favourite TV series – Sex & The City. One of those series that really helped my generation fall in love with New York City – between this and Friends it had our heart, hook, line and sinker. So I was really excited to see the steps that Carrie famously tottered down in those huge, gorgeous heels of hers and to stand on them myself, albeit in my trainers because this was one hell of a day of walking!IMG_4879

Have you been to visit any of these sights? And are you a Sex & The City super-fan like myself?


Part 1 – Sightseeing in New York City

IMG_4961The trip continued with loads of sightseeing, shopping and exploring The Big Apple – some parts that we had visited before and others that we were discovering for the first time. My favourite was visiting the New York Public Library – somewhere we had walked past at night previously and been blown away by the majestic building, but had never been inside. This time I insisted I had to go and visit the books – just to say hi!IMG_4963It was one of the most beautiful buildings I have seen in the city and well worth a look inside, if you think the outside is stunning, you must see the entrance hall. This followed by a trip up the staircases, through the study rooms and into the main rooms which are lined with books and filled with those who are attempting to be dedicated to their studies while we all stare at them and wonder if they are really just on Facebook. IMG_4962I couldn’t resist picking up a few books and flicking through them. I just happened on a very strange section that seemed to combine food and fantasy with recipe books and food directories lined up next to the dictionary of imaginary places and books on fairies and how to find them (that’s the one I have in my hands).IMG_4966Outside, we caught a peek at the Empire State Building and had to grab a picture from a distance – we did the trip up to the top on our first visit so certainly didn’t want to hit the queues again, but you instantly remember the incredible views from the top. An amazing way to see the city and well worth doing, but once you’ve been in those queues once, you will not be doing it again!IMG_4965Around the corner, another of the city’s most majestic old buildings that really takes you back to times gone by when the city was filled with stunning pillared buildings like this, with ornate decoration instead of the metallic, shining skyscrapers. Grand Central Station is just such a lovely building, really magical and almost makes you wonder if another entrance to Platform 9 3/4 is waiting inside with the Hogwarts Express puffing out steam.IMG_4964I love standing inside and watching as New Yorkers bustle about to catch their trains, while tourists snap pictures and take in the beautiful arched roof decorated by star signs. My mum also mentioned reading about being able to whisper in one corner of the main room with another able to hear the whisper clearly from the other side of the building. We were keen to try but couldn’t work out where you were supposed to whisper!

Don’t forget to check out part two of my sightseeing pics tomorrow! In the meantime – Tell me about your favourite sight in New York below?


Restaurant review: Fear and food – a lethal combination

edit 4With the constant opening of new restaurants across the city, New York foodies and tourists are always looking for the latest flavours, the place that pushes the boundaries of everyday grub and something with just a little more wow-factor. As a result, loads of entertainment-related restaurants have opened up with cabarets, live music, comedy and all sorts of entertainment. Some do it well, others less so. The problem is that so many restaurants, both in NYC and over here in the UK, put either full emphasis on the food, or the entertainment and the other is done rather half-heartedly, or, worse, they are both done badly. So when we spotted the Jekyll & Hyde Club, just off Times Square, we couldn’t resist finding out if it really was all that – or just a bit of fun.

edit 1The outside of the restaurant was what caught our eye when on the way back to our hotel one night and we had to stop and chat with the scary looking chap outside in his top hat and tails. We checked whether we would need to book for one of the following nights and were told just to turn up and prepare to be scared.

After having been to Disney in both Paris and Florida, plus theme parks like Alton Towers when they have had special events, I’ll be honest and say that we were expecting it to either be really good entertainment with average food, or really cheesy entertainment with average food. We didn’t go there expecting a gourmet meal and we weren’t even convinced the entertainment would be that amazing. How wrong we were!

edit 2Don’t worry, I won’t be giving all the shocks and surprises away. But here I just want to give you a taste of this incredible restaurant – the decor alone speaks for itself! We were led into the building – with a choice between the scary or the regular entrance – of course we chose the scary one and make sure you do as well! After being led through a series of small rooms – all of which came alive in unique ways – we were a bit giggly by the time we reached the restaurant and didn’t know where the next surprise would come from.

IMG_4933A walk round the restaurant showed us the whole room was filled with unusual items hanging from the walls, spooky portraits with eyes that followed you, crazy Siamese twins, huge elephant or mummy heads, skeletons and much more. It was an astonishing sight and there was so much to take in. In front of us, as you can see from the top picture, was the main stage where the mad scientist brought Frankenstein’s monster back to life before our very eyes in one of the many dinner shows.

IMG_4934Throughout our meal, and the evening, the walls and statues around us would unexpectedly come to life to talk to the customers, play music, as spiders scuttled across the paintings or blood dripped down the walls. There was even a robot behind my dad who nearly made him choke on his dinner when it started doing “The Robot” dance! So funny! It was just spectacular and so well done, plus all of the staff were thoroughly involved and in character the whole time which made it all the more spooky and magical.

edit 3Now for the food – the bit you’ve all been waiting for! We all dug into the best burgers that I think we have ever had in the city throughout our four trips over there. We didn’t expect to be overwhelmed by the food at all, but these gorgeous hunks of juicy meat smelt divine and the flavours were just perfectly combined. The quality of the meat made them all the more delicious, which always seems to be of such a better standard everywhere than it is in the UK.


I went for the barbecue burger – with a delicious bourbon barbecue sauce, plenty of cheddar, bacon, grilled red onions and salad. Wow – I normally wouldn’t go for a barbecue burger because I often find the sauce overpowering, but this bourbon sauce sounded so tasty I couldn’t resist. It was so tasty it is making my mouth water to even write about it, and served with these home cut French fries – just perfect. My mum went for the steakhouse burger to get her fix of the blue cheese crumbles after a burger she ordered elsewhere with them turned up without. She said it was worth the wait and she reckoned it was one of the best burgers she had ever had and the home-made steak sauce tied it all together. My dad went for the California burger which came with avocado and cilantro mayonnaise – it smelt lush and he certainly enjoyed it. The food was just perfection and washed down with delicious wine and local beers – all the other customers seemed to be enjoying their meals just as much. I think if I went back, I could definitely have to try a steak – I’m sure they would have been just as juicy and delicious!IMG_4926We all left with a big smile on our faces and we knew it was well worth the trip in. The night was made all the better thanks to the amazing staff and our lovely server (whose name I sadly have forgotten but I remember she was from Alaska!) who kept us entertained and well stocked with food and drinks all night. She was so lovely and friendly, chatting to us about what we had been doing on holiday and about her plans to visit London. Service like that really makes a meal out and we all really appreciated it – plus the amazing outfits they were wearing and all those involved in the shows. All of the staff worked hard to keep up the spooky atmosphere and you could tell how much they enjoyed their jobs.IMG_4935A truly awesome restaurant, not at all cheesy, and definitely one to make sure you visit when you next go to New York. It’s also great for birthdays or parties – if I ever spend a birthday in the city, I will be sure to head back!

Have you ever been to the Jekyll & Hyde Club? What did you think?

Back in the Big Apple and it’s a sight for sore eyes

10172670_10151979965742617_2022132837779848396_nAfter months of waiting and planning for my family trip to New York, we finally touched down at JFK and were launched straight into holiday mode! We flew through security (pardon the pun), although the alarms did start going off as my fingerprints were scanned (eek!) and quickly grabbed our bags, eager to dive into the Big Apple. Jumping into a classic yellow cab, we sped out of the airport and along the highways towards Manhattan, giving us our first taste of the crazy driving that I absolutely love. Definitely something I have brought back with me, I was almost dizzy from trying to predict the driver’s next move as he jumped into any available space and edged his way through the traffic. I have to say I really prefer the way Americans drive – I wouldn’t give up the gear stick for anything – but I like their efficiency. They just focus on getting there as quickly as possible and aren’t frowned upon for using their horns to tell people to move – I hate how British drivers are so afraid of using their horns to tell people when they do something wrong or dangerous – that’s what they are there for! Sorry, I digress…

1017163_10151979965342617_3151856071614876702_nI was sitting in the front seat next to the driver, and yes I tried to get in the wrong side of the car at the airport – whoops! After the long flight, I was glad he wasn’t a chatty driver as I was more than happy just to take in my first glimpses of the big city, especially when we went over the bridge and got our first amazing view of the New York skyline – just perfect despite the mist surrounding it. It always takes my breath away to see that sight again.



I was also enjoying the gorgeous old school soul CD that the driver had popped in, with his dreads and cool manner he sang along as we came over the bridge and through the city to our hotel, the Hotel St James, just off Times Square. As you may have read in a previous post, we were made so welcome by the lovely staff on reception who spotted mum’s birthday badge and instantly went out of their way to upgrade our rooms.


The hotel was lovely, clean and comfortable. It actually looks nothing like the pictures on the website – which don’t do it justice – and is really nice. A perfect base for anyone on holiday and looking to explore the city – you are seconds walk from the centre of Times Square and a five-minute walk from the subway station. You’re also just a short walk from the best shopping in the city, some of the amazing sights and Central Park. One of the best deli’s I have found in the city is right next door – really recommend the smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels – and it is surrounded by loads of great restaurants including an amazing grill restaurant opposite! The hotel staff were so kind and loaded us up with maps and information for our trip, after unpacking and having some birthday cake with my sister, we headed out into Times Square to see the bright lights!

10170891_10151979965637617_7722635128611760455_nI always feel so excited when I stand in Times Square – it just epitomises the ‘bright lights bigger city’ with all those flashing signs and adverts everywhere, the random people dressed up as Disney characters or drugs, people trying to sell you tickets everywhere and just the hustle and bustle of it all. There’s so many people in such a small area of New York, you can’t help but feel you are really in the thick of it all and I always have to take a second to breathe it all in. Wow. Yellow taxis racing through the centre of the square, wafts of burger and steak smells coming from the restaurants, huge queues outside Planet Hollywood and Hard Rock Cafe, and all different accents around me expressing their excitement.

I’m so pleased that each time I have been to New York with my family (Four times now – I’m so lucky!) we have found deals to stay in the streets close to Times Square – it really is the best part of the city because you are only a few minutes away from some of the most incredible parts. I always love to imagine what it would have been like there 50-100 years ago. I know that not everyone will agree because many others prefer to avoid areas like this – but I think it is hard to avoid tourist traps in New York without missing out on a great deal. I’m really looking forward to sharing everything else that we did during the week we spent there with you, I’ve got lots of photos!

What’s your favourite part of New York? Do you love or hate Times Square?


What kind of traveller are you?

boatSo many of us love to travel, but we all have our own ways of doing it. No two travellers are the same, and perhaps that is why so many choose to hit the open road on their own. We all long to see different sights, experience different things, eat and drink different flavours but this often means that we will have completely different experiences when visiting the same country. I guess a lot of it depends on our priorities when travelling, while some might just be looking for some sunshine, a beach and a bar, others are looking to immerse themselves in the local culture at the markets or souks, then there are those who want to view all of the top sights to see, and there are those who want to view the country in more unusual ways, by trekking or travelling across it or staying with local families.

There are so many different ways of travelling and I have to say that I vary between all of these, there are some countries, like Malta and Italy where I have explored the sights and thrown myself into the local culture. While holidays to Florida and New York have been more about hitting the beaches, seeing sights and heading to Disney World. I’ve also had the experience of travelling to my father’s home country of Mauritius and while seeing all of the sights, I was given a tour by my uncle who has lived there all his life and attended loads of family and spiritual events, including a wedding, that really gave me an insight into the culture and traditions that I might not have had on holiday.

cocktailI think I’ve found from my experiences of travelling that there are just a few main types of traveller- which category do you fit into?

  1. The Culture Vulture – the original traveller is all about history, culture and everything that separates their destination from their home. You’ll usually find them walking around the markets first thing in the morning, travelling on the buses with the locals or checking out the churches/temples during services.
  2. The Beach Bums – the ones who look up the beaches first when choosing their destination, they refuse a skiing holiday, or one that would take them away from their sunbathing and rarely plan activities or trips to other parts of the country. Spain, Egypt and Turkey’s resorts are a big draw to our sun-worshippers despite also offering a lot of culture if you venture past the hotel walls.
  3. The Party Lovers – these guys plan their holidays around epic party sessions at Ibiza clubs or festivals across the world. Their suitcases are filled with teeny bikinis and day-glo paint, and they usually travel in packs with matching t-shirts.
  4. The Spiritual Types – it doesn’t matter whether they are on a religious pilgrimage, finding their spiritual home, finding themselves or even the gap yah lot who are trying to find themselves, they are all the ones who are searching for something. They could be wearing the standard hareem pants or they could be smart and in a suit, but one thing they all have in common is this need to find something bigger than themselves.
  5. The Busy Bodies – the ones who can never sit still for long, constantly itching to move or try something new and push themselves to the limits. These ones are usually travelling for a challenge and they can be found trekking through the jungle, along the Inca Trail or the Great Wall of China. They will be the ones abseiling down a cliff face, jumping out of plane or skiing/snowboarding down icy peaks.
  6. The Business Traveller – this one takes travelling in their stride, barely blinking at eye at yet another plane journey, not even looking up from their book. Often these guys are living in hotel rooms, bustling from one airport to another, and the shine of travelling has worn off. They rush around making connections and never have time to really experience a place. Although, there are some who travel for work and love it, who are those experienced travellers with the sleek and efficient bags, who glides past security and baggage collection.
  7. The Detached Traveller – of course in the age of smartphones and tablets it is impossible not to notice the travellers who experience the world around them through a screen. These are the ones whose first instinct is always to snap pictures and videos of everything around them before really looking and seeing what is going on. Although we are all guilty of this to an extent, these are the ones who sadly spend all their time trying to capture the city or country and end up not really knowing what it is all about.
  8. The Adventurer – this is the one I am looking forward to being next year on my own solo travels, the one who just grabs a flight to another country and proceeds to travel around with no real plans, who changes their plans in an instant after making new friends and who is open to all new experiences, drinking it all in whether it is sunbathing on a beach, climbing a mountain or eating bugs.
  9. The Safe Traveller – this is the one I feel sorry for. I’m talking about the people who go on holiday to exactly the same place every year for 20 years and never own a place out there or travel beyond the town. The ones who go on holiday, are surrounded by gorgeous local food and choose to eat chips and a kebab. The ones who make no effort to integrate or explore the culture because it is easier and safer to stay in their hotel and sunbathe by the pool. This is not travel.
  10. The Hopeless Traveller – these are the ones who never have much luck with travel, miss their flights, they get ill the day before they are due to go, their hotel is overbooked or they loose all their luggage. They seem doomed to never make it without any problems and are always the ones whose names are called over the intercom. Despite all this, they always make it in the end, just not always to the place they intended.

markWhat kind of traveller are you? Can you think of any other travellers you’ve spotted – share them below.

What happens when your travels don’t go to plan?

rainMuch as we all love to travel and explore the world around us, the odds are that the more we do it, the more likely we are to be exposed to the risk of something not going to plan. How many of us have had some unexpected bad luck while on holiday after planning the trip for months – lost baggage, missed planes or Delhi belly? So unfair isn’t it? After all that time spent searching for the perfect hotel, the best priced flights and planning which sights you want to see. Sadly it happens to us all, and no matter how much planning we do, sometimes it just can’t be prevented!

So what was your worst holiday memory? I know I’ve got a couple of crackers that I still can’t believe happened to me, you have to laugh about them after because some of them are just so ridiculous! Here are my worst holiday experiences:

  1. Waking up in the middle of our first night in Mauritius to find a man had broken in through the bedroom window and was stealing all my valuables while I slept. This one was really horrible and upsetting, it was awful to know he had been walking around me while I was asleep and to think of his grubby mitts on my sunglasses, camera, iPod and the rest. It was even worse because he had left me with just me A-level revision books and exam papers just before my January exams. Forced to revise on the beach, but hey, it got me my results! And we moved the next night so that made things a little better.
  2. On the same holiday, a week later, I woke up and must have been bitten by a weird bug or something but my skin had reacted and my eye had swollen up! It was gross and I could barely open one of my eyes, this was on Christmas Day when we were meeting loads of the family at the beach for a big dinner and as mentioned above, my sunglasses were nicked. Great, cheers Mr Burglar! Luckily I managed to get a replacement pair from a shop and kept my face covered. Thankfully the day got a bit better when I had lobster for Christmas dinner.
  3. When I went to Zakynthos, Greece, with my family, I was just swimming around in the sea when  I put my foot down, on a bloody sea urchin! I can’t even describe the pain to you, or how bloody difficult it was to swim back to shore and hobble up the beach. My mum staggered along trying to carry me but we kept falling over. Luckily, we were staying in apartments attached to a Greek family’s restaurant and one of the family were outside as we arrived back there. We had planned to visit the doctors but sat me down, removed any trace of the urchin and poured a liquid over my foot – I can’t remember what it was but my foot felt instantly less painful and within six hours looked almost normal! My hero.
  4. Morocco was easily the worst place I have ever been on holiday. Now I know this doesn’t apply to everyone and some people really love the country – I too love the idea of the country but the reality is somewhat different for my family, as is repeatedly the case in Muslim countries. I have found that on holidays to both Turkey and Morocco that the men just seem to have no respect for women and that both me, my sister and my mum are constantly the target for seriously unwanted attention as these men leer at us and even follow us down the street. I understand and respect their beliefs, so I was certainly not dressing inappropriately, but it just seems like my mixed race family attracts the wrong kind of attention. That many of these men can’t deal with my white English mother walking down the street with a Mauritian man and two mixed race children. I hope that in the future I can visit the country and see a different side to it, but at the moment it just makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable and unwelcome.
  5. Then there was the standard caravan holidays when I was a kid – I’ll always remember when we went away to stay in one and were stuck inside it all weekend listening to the wind and rain banging away on the outside. I could probably cope with this a bit better now, but when you’re just a kid you need to run around and tire yourself out all day. I love reading, but I even got bored of that when I had finished reading all my books halfway through the weekend! Amazingly, since then I have actually camped all over the country and have never had anything but perfect weather!


Why not share your worst holiday memories by leaving me a comment below?

It’s not always about the destination, sometimes it’s more about the journey!

8103847155_1414a0ec7b_oI love to travel. Simple as. I’ve been lucky and my parents also love to travel across the globe which means I’ve been going on incredible holidays since I was just a baby. Despite this, the excitement of actually travelling never seems to go away, I get just as excited about the journey to my destination as I do about arriving and exploring. Clue is in the name, travelling is a big part of the travel experience, whether it is a road trip with your friends, settling in for a seven-hour flight with an in-flight movie, or catching the Eurostar. It’s that part that gives you the opportunity to daydream about the sights you will be seeing, the food you will be eating and the people you will meet over the coming days.

12886309_4f46dd7bb6_oThe journey to your destination is one part that always keeps the magic of travelling alive for me, I love any kind of travel and am usually the driver if my friends and I head to a festival or away for the weekend. I also love train journeys when combined with a good soundtrack, but it is plane journeys that really get me excited. I love airports and the way everything seems to be part of another world, a world where convenience rules and beyond the gate there are people who have arrived from all parts of the globe and about to set out on the next leg of their trip. It is exciting, a good opportunity to stock up on make-up and other treats in duty free, but also for one of my favourite travelling pastimes – people-watching! I find it endlessly fascinating to watch couples, groups and solo travellers going about their business in Departures and it certainly helps to pass the time for me after my dad insists we arrive hours before we are due to fly!

5336454900_d56e3cef08_bI’ve got travel on the brain this week because in just a few short days, I will be boarding a plane to New York with my parents. Our first family holiday in ages, we are heading out on my mum’s 50th birthday to visit my sister, who is already out there studying a semester abroad. This is the fourth time we will have been and I am more excited than ever before because now we have covered all of the usual sights and will have more of an opportunity to explore the smaller areas and make discoveries of incredible things, with the guidance of both our own experiences of previous visits and my sister’s top tips for where to go. I can’t wait to explore and to experience this incredible city once again and will be capturing the whole thing for you to read and check out my pictures when I return. Before I go, we’re having a few days of travel-oriented posts which I hope you will enjoy.

Also, if you have any recommendations for things to see/do/eat on my trip, please do share below!