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Friday, 20 July 2018

Why I Love Solo Travel



Solo travel isn't for everyone, and if you had told me this time last year I had travelled solo, then I wouldn't have believed you.

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Thursday, 19 July 2018

HELLO TWENTY ONE!



Hello 21, well hello 21 from two weeks ago. Twenty was a great year, and I will always look back on my first year of my twenties as something very memorable indeed. It was one of the first years that I didn't set myself any goals for the year ahead, and just took the year as it came. 

Twenty allowed me to take my first solo adventure; more to another country; and, find a new hobby. It was a year where I jumped well and truly out of my comfort zone, and into a new zone where I am honestly happy. 

Although I still have no idea what I want to do with my life, but I still have one more year of university to discover what I want to do in life, twenty opened my eyes to new experiences, which some may say is better than figuring out what you want to do in your life (career wise), as you have begun to figure out more about yourself. Trust me, solo travel allows you to that. 

Twenty one is a year where I want to set goals for myself, but also have a realistic plan on how to achieve those goals - although mainly related to university and work. However, I also want to cherish my friendships more whether that's new or old, continue to make new friends, and be more open to new experiences instead of spending my money on stuff I don't really need. I want to get back into outdoor sports, but also focus on the things that make me happy.

I will look back on TWENTY with fond memories, but since the 5th July 2017, here are a couple of my personal highlights from the year I entered a new decade. 

1. Going on a plane by myself, not once, but six times. 

2. Joining Cheerleading in Canada, which I probably wouldn't have done without the three girls who had already done cheerleading at their home universities. So Thank you. 

3. Organising the travel, and accommodation for our February Reading Week break to Montreal and Quebec City.

4. Going to LA by myself, and asking strangers to take photos of me - Hi pink wall in Melrose and the girl that basically gave me a mini photo shoot 

5. Passing my year abroad. Well I think I have passed anyway, and if so that's grand even though it doesn't count to my overall degree score. 

6. MOVING TO CANADA. 


Thanks 20, it truly was a memorable year. I'm looking forward to what 21 brings, except from hopefully finishing my degree, I hope it will be my favourite year yet. 


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Sunday, 24 June 2018

HOW TO PLAN A 4 WEEK TRAVELLING TRIP // My Canadian Road Trip



So you have some time off of work, or you are on break from university, and you want to go on a little travelling experience?


Travelling is a great experience, but planning even 4 weeks worth of travelling can be hard, confusing, and time consuming. From finding flights, accommodation, activities, and even where you want to go. From personal experience, I know how hard it is to plan out what you want to do, and where might the best places to stay, or where has the best activities.


First things first … Where to go?


The world is your oyster, and you can literally go anywhere, but maybe for a four week trip try and keep your destinations fairly close together. You may have an idea of one specific thing you really want to do. That maybe you want to go to the Canadian Rockies, or one of America’s national parks. Take that as your basis and work around it.


I knew I wanted to go to Banff, and explore the Icefields parkways, but didn’t see much point of just going there for a week, with the cost of flights, and basically being on the other side of the world.


Can you find any tours?


If it is a particularly activity that you want to do, or a tour of national parks that may not be safe to do by yourself, then try and find a tour.


By having a quick google search, or searching on STA, you are bound to find a tour that fits your need. You can go for cheap tours, tours that last the whole month, so you have nothing else to worry about, or tours that start and end in different places were you can extend your time abroad.


When travelling Canada, I found a tour that departed and ended in Vancouver. This then gave me time to explore Vancouver for a week, and head for a tour of the Canadian Rockies for a week.


Most tours also include accommodation, breakfast (sometimes, if staying in hostels that provide free breakfast), and most activities which you are probably saving money on.


So you have found a tour / a place you know you want to go to, but what about getting there?


Flights are probably going to be one of your biggest costs. Check skyscanner, or other flight comparison websites to try and find the cheapest flights. However, watch out for extras, whether that maybe choosing your seat, a meal on board, or even paying extra for check in luggage. All of which can add the price up, and it maybe better to go for a slightly more expensive flight.


Where to go next?


The best thing to do, is to look at a map. See where you are in the world, and look for other cities or places of interest nearby.


When in Vancouver, I knew I was near Vancouver Island, so I planned one day in Victoria. I also looked on a map and saw that I was relatively close to Seattle, a city I would probably never visit if I wasn’t going to Vancouver. I then looked further down the west coast of America, and realised that San Francisco was also not that far away.


After looking on a map, I then took to google to work out the travel costs.

Greyhound is a great option for travelling around Canada and the US. I was luckily enough to find a greyhound ticket for $20 between Vancouver and Seattle.


Again, unless you want a 14 hour greyhound journey then look for either trains or planes. The best option was a flight between Seattle and San Francisco, and only cost me $75 USD plus an extra $25 USD for one checked in suitcase.


So you have got there, but where to stay?


If you are on a budget, or travelling by yourself then you best bet is a hostel. Now, hostel do have some sort of bad rep, but don’t judge them before trying them. Hostelworld.com provides a place to search for hostels, like searching for hotels. I always like to re reviews before booking to make sure the hostel is in a safe area especially when travelling by myself. It is also a good idea to check out if the hostel has any organised activities. Most do, and most will take you to places you either wouldn’t do by yourself, or to places you wouldn’t think of going to. A lot of the time you only have to pay for local transport, which will only set you back a few pounds.


For four weeks worth of travelling it is best to set yourself a skeleton. Make sure flights, travel, and accommodation are booked, but the reality is you can book a lot of other stuff in other countries. Whether that is a day trip, or finding a restaurant to eat at.

From personal experience planning out using a spreadsheet is one of the best ways. It is also handy to spend to other people, especially your parents who are probably worried sick.




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