Weekend Adventures – Stourhead

I’ve fallen into a Jane Austen novel and I don’t want to come back to the real world.

This picturesque place is Stourhead, located in Wiltshire, England. It is part owned by the National Trust and has firmly risen to the top of my favourite places to visit in South West. The whole estate is like walking through a glorious painting.

With our newly acquired National Trust passes we were looking forward to a day out exploring and obviously taking copious amounts of photos. The Estate is made up of the house, gardens, lake and King Alfred’s Tower so there were lots to explore.

We started with the house. Henry Hoare was given the house in 1721 and it was in his family for over 200 years. The last heir gave the property to the National Trust just before he passed away. There are several rooms on the ground floor that you can look through and they include lots of family heirlooms, stories and artworks. My favourite room in the house was the library. It was so large, light and, full of old books. Which I guess is what you would expect from a library.It also has an awesome carpet!!

Whilst the house was beautiful and very interesting the real winner here is the lake and gardens. I mean look at the place it’s like being transported to a secret haven or enchanted forest.

I always get so surprised how green England is in the summer. In Australia it’s always dry, brown and so very un-green! Here it’s like 50 shades of green across these stunning gardens. I can only imagine how breathtaking it must be in Autumn.

The lake here is man made and the gardens have been crafted to take people on a journey and to resemble Aeneas’s journey into the underworld. It’s constructed like a living piece of art and there are lots of vantage points that carefully capture the buildings and monuments against the landscape.

Reading up on the gardens they are said to follow Alexander Pope’s concept called ‘genius of the place’ which means the spirit of the place needs to consulted when designing the garden. Its principles are used in garden and landscape design to this day. Whatever it is it works with these gardens so well. You feel like the garden has a spirit of its own!

The buildings and monuments around the lake are gorgeous both against the landscape and up close. You can find the Pantheon, Temple of Apollo, Bristol High Cross, the bridge and the 200-year-old grotto. As soon as you get to one of these you see something on the other side of the lake so want to go back over to explore again.

One thing that you won’t get from my words or photographs is the smells. I wonder when the scientist will finally work out smellogram. There is so many flowers, huge touch the cloud style trees (oak, birch, Laurel)and a vast collection of Rhododendrons.  We even saw a ghost or handkerchief tree which had flowers (or leaves!) that looked like white handkerchiefs. My better half also made friends with some confident ducks and ducklings.

               King Alfred’s tower is just down the road from Stourhead (still on the same estate) and it’s a commanding structure. On the weekends/bank holidays, you can climb to the top. I thought I was fit but those stairs were a killer!! Getting to the top was a huge reward as you could see for MILES! We could see Glastonbury Tor and all over the Wiltshire/Somerset fields. It was one of those moments when you realise just how big the world around you is.

I can’t recommend Stourhead enough and I really can’t wait to return later in the year to see it in the autumn. It’s a truly lovely place and my only regret would be that we didn’t take a picnic (so make sure you do!)  to sit and have lunch in style. Obviously, I would have also liked a Mr Darcy style man to come out of the water,  wet white shirt and looking all brooding but that might have been asking a bit much.

Stourhead is located in Wiltshire. For a day pass it is £17.60 for an adult and £44 for a family. Both of these prices include gift aid. There is also a charge at the car park however if you are members it is free. The house is open from 9-6 and King Alfred’s tower has limited opening houses (and a small charge). More details can be found here https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stourhead

Like this property then you should also check out these places in and around the South West.

Montacute House

North Devon

Jurassic Coast


Newark Park
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Globetrotters- Northern Aussie Mum

This week’s Globetrotters is another from my beloved homeland.  We’ve had lots of Globetrotters but none like Bryony who travels with her whole family, including the dog! Meeting so many different travellers is my favourite part of this series. It shows there is no cookie cutter shape of what a ‘traveller’ is and that it works differently for everyone.

Bryony and her family are planning to head off around Australia in a bus later this year and this just sounds amazing. I am soooo jealous! Imagine the memories they will not only have but also be able to share together.   I their post about why you should pack up and take your kids travelling and sums up all of the benefits both for the children but also for the whole family. You can find it here  My parents took my sisters and I overseas when we were all under 10 years old  (think they were a little crazy to do so!) and that has always had a such a huge positive impact on our lives. Showing your children a different part of the country or the world is an amazing gift to give and one that will last a long time.

You can find a whole host of information on their blog from great places to visit with kids, the planning stages of their trip, tips to travelling with children and other posts on parenting, craft and product reviews.

I can’t wait to keep up to date with their travels around our Island home and see the amazing adventure they are going to have. Blog and social links will be below so make sure you check them out and get following.

Let me hand you over to Bryony from the Northern Aussie Mum…

My name is Bryony and I started blogging when I first became a full-time stay at home mum this was when our youngest son was about 4 months old. Originally it was a creative outlet however it soon transformed into a family travel blog as our plans to escape the daily grind and travel Australia with our 2 boys – now aged 3 and 2, and our kelpie cross dog – Bobby.

What do you enjoy most about travelling?

Everything! And something different every time we do it. Sometimes it is marvelling at the wonders of a natural beauty or a manmade structure, sometimes it is the simple feeling of being free – not having to be anywhere, in particular, speaks wonders to the soul! Sometimes the highlight is finding a brand new red wine to taste, or hearing a great story about a region from a local. Mostly it’s just how lucky it makes me feel.

Why do you think travelling is important?

It helps you realise the important things in life. Not work, or bills, or pressure. It’s about spending time outside, in the moment and amongst your thoughts – where you not only get to hang out with your loved ones but you get to meet yourself a bit more and figure out exactly what it means to relax and enjoy. I think it’s also important to define the word ‘travel’. For me it means exploring – if you don’t get a chance to get overseas then go and explore your own backyard – if you scratch the service you’ll find a hundred things to do and see around you that other people are travelling miles to see!

What is your favourite photograph from your travels?

Impossible to choose just one – not because of any emotions attached to my photos but because I take about 200 photos a day so have an incredibly large database of shots on my computer that I still need to sort out! The one I have chosen is from a bushwalk we did in Cairns. I love it because it was travel in our back yard – and we got to enjoy it with our dog Bobby who is a huge part of our travel team. When travelling with pets you are definitely limited but it takes you off the beaten track and makes you find these amazing spots that are even more enjoyable for the extra effort!

Which is your favourite type of travel/holiday- sun, snow, sea, city, mountains, country?

Australia! Hopefully all of the above – we have no one ideal that we always head towards – for me the old adage rings true – ‘a change is as good as a rest’.

Who do you usually travel with?

Anyone who is willing! Friends, family, pets, tour groups!

If you were to give one piece of travel advice what would it be?

We’re still learning so definitely not sure we’re in a place to give advice just yet – but what I have learned so far is to take only half as much as you think you will need. The kids won’t need toys and you’ll find somewhere to wash clothes along the way so don’t need to pack an outfit for every day.

Tell us the funniest story or a mishap from one of your adventures?

We once missed a flight by 24 hours as we thought that a flight at 00.05 on a Saturday was a flight late on Saturday evening! (yep we forgot that as soon as the clock hit 00.00 it was Sunday already!)

Where is your favourite place that you’ve been to?

We will always be looking for it!

Where was one place that didn’t live up to the hype?

Not found anywhere yet – sounds a bit cheesy but I honestly believe you make your own experiences – you can have as good a time on a local park as in Sydney Harbour.

Tell us one place/experience on your bucket list?

I’d love to see the Northern Lights one day and do a canal boat around Europe. (probably not at the same time tho – I’m not sure that’s geographically possible!)

What is the one thing you wouldn’t travel without?

The kids and the dog!

What can readers find on your blog?

A light hearted and informative view on travelling with kids and a dog, plus everyday parenting info – coming soon our guide to healthy family eating on the road.

To find more the Northern Aussie Mum hit them up here


14 Facts Every Traveller Should Know…

  1.  The journey is always just as important as the destination. Yes in a strange way those 6 methods of transport and 30 odd hours of travelling is just as important as that picture perfect beach you end up on.
  2. Ask and more importantly listen to others on where to go and what to see. Read blogs, search Pinterest, read travel guides, ask friends in the flesh (or on social media), read reviews, lust over snaps on Instagram and get inspired by others. Recommendations from others might set you off to some place you’ve never heard or even let you find your new favourite place.
  3. Do you plan your life down to every minute or every day?- no. So you shouldn’t do the same with your trip. Have a rough plan but leave a bit up to chance you never know where you might find yourself or who you might meet.
  4. It’s ok for not every part of the trip to be amazing or as you expected it to be. Don’t dwell on it just let it go (try saying that without pretending your Elsa).  You don’t want it to ruin your overall adventure.
  5. Everyone looks shit after being on a long haul flight. The cankles, the dry skin, the greasy hair, dried drool on your chin (ok maybe that’s just me)  it’s ok. Sadly it’s unlikely you’ll be papped at the airport so don’t dwell on your post flight style.
  6. As Theodore Roosevelt said  ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’. Don’t compare yourself to that girl on the beach who is a bronzed toned goddess or to that traveller you met in the bar that’s been to more countries than you or has a better picture of a temple in Thailand. You are you and this is your journey. For everyone you compare yourself to there is someone who is probably using you as their compassion. 
  7. Stay in contact with home. Sadly the world is changing and it’s not always as safe as what we once perceived it to be to explore all four corner of the world. Our news headlines are dominated with evil people trying to test us and while you are off exploring, people at home will worry about you. So check in with them. Thankfully with technology the way it is you should be able to connect fairly easily.
  8. Take photos – lots of them just remember that everyone isn’t going to want to see them when you return. You will though. A month, year or 10 years later you’ll be thankful for every photo Even that awkward selfie you took where you tried to take it  to look like you weren’t taking a selfie as you didn’t want everyone else there rolling their eyes at you. Future you will smile and be able to be transported back to the trip so suck it up and take all the pictures and selfies you want. 
  9. Go away with your girlfriends. I love going away with my family and with my better half but what I love most is holidays with my girls. If you’ve not been on a girls holiday then grab your BFFS and book up a trip. It is the best thing you can do!
  10. Get lost. In a good way. I can assure you will find something you would never expect to find.
  11. Marvel. Be in awe. Appreciate the world. A sunset, a beautiful church, a street performer captivating a huge crowd, a waterfall wherever you end up take a moment to marvel at just how amazing this world is. 
  12. Similar to the above take a moment without your phone and camera.  Slightly contracting myself for point 8 but… trust me sometimes you just need to put down the phone and look up. See the world with your eyes rather than behind a lens or through a tag in on Facebook.
  13. Labels suck. Who cares if your tourist, a traveller, a nomad, or if you are travelling halfway around the world or only going to the next town over to explore. It really doesn’t matter you are getting out there to see another part of the world and broaden your own viewpoint. There is nothing better than that.
  14. Have the best time you possibly can!

Annual Bloggers Bash Awards 2017

Something pretty awesome happened this week!

I was nominated for Best Overall Blog in the Annual Blogger Bash Awards (ABBA). When I first saw the acronym I thought they got me confused with an ABBA fan blog site.

Yes seriously.

Yes little old me.

IT’S CRAZY!! Cue excited jumping up and down.

The awards are made up of several categories ranging from Hidden Gem to Best Book Review blogger to Best Overall Blog. Each category has a whole host of awesome blogs and it’s amazing that I’m in the same nomination lists! Talk about being in great company!

The awards are announced at the Annual Bloggers Bash on June 10th in London and details can be found here https://sachablack.co.uk/annual-bloggers-bash/ 

So not only is the short list full of amazing blogs to discover but you can also vote for your favourite in each category!! You don’t need to log in or even leave an email address so super easy. Well, easy voting process, trying to decide who to vote for is the hard part!

Obviously, I’d love your vote but no pressure choose your favourite and show the blogging community some love.
Voting closes 12 pm on June 2nd on this date and all the nominees (including links to their blogs) are listed here just click your vote and it all goes to the organisers. The list of all categories can be found below. Get ready to discover some brilliant blogs covering a huge range of topics.

I’m so chuffed about being on the shortlist. When I first started blogging I thought it would only be my family reading my ramblings but it’s continued to grow and to get listed in the nominees is just the icing on the cake.
So thank you so much for reading, following,

commenting, sharing and of course for the nomination and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for June 10th!

Globetrotters- Wanderers Hub

Travelling is pretty awesome especially when you get to experience it with the person you love most in the world. Prerna and Harsh from the Wanderers Hub get to do just that. Lucky sods!

I love their answer regarding why travelling is important and how it not only rejuvenates the soul but also makes you more tolerant. If only more people opened their mind to travelling and seeing new cultures, meeting people from different walks of life and seeing the world from a different viewpoint to what they are used to. This is a message we all need to get out there.

One of my favourite posts from them isn’t a destination post as you would expect but a post about interesting wanderlust words. Most of these I’d never heard of! Have a read here and see if you’ve heard of them. I’m going to see how many I can get into conversation this week. Now for the destination link I loved reading about the beautiful Bhutan which has long been on my bucket list. Check out the post here and don’t blame me for the wanderlust that will entail.

So happy Sunday all and let me introduce you to Prerna and Harsh …

Hi we are Prerna and Harsh and we are Indian travel bloggers, who run a travel blog called Wanderers Hub. We met in school, fell in love, dated for years, and then got married in 2015. Despite Harsh having a full-time job and Prerna being an entrepreneur, we both fetch time from our busy lives to travel as much as possible. With our itchy feet we are always on the hunt for offbeat places which we can present with an interesting series of photos. In fact, we focus on making a genuine connection with our audience rather than just cluttering the internet space.

What do you enjoy most about travelling?

Travel helps build and strengthen relationships. A quick sun-and-sand getaway or a week-long beach break helps ignite the spark that lasts long even after we are back home. Then there is this feeling of conquering a new territory. The idea of trying new food, watching the sun set from a different zone and sleeping in a different world – it gives a sense of accomplishment.

Why do you think travelling is important?

Travelling changes our conceptions of conventional. It’s so amazing to see the world from a unique perspective. Simply put, travelling is an eye-opener. Getting a free new take on life by seeing how people in the other part of the world live is simply fascinating. Plus you are able to leave all worries back at home and step out of your comfort zone. Travelling rejuvenates the soul and makes a person more tolerant.

What is your favourite photograph from your travels.

This one kind of makes us nostalgic about encountering the most romantic sunset of our lives together. It gives us warm fuzzies! 🙂

Which is your favourite type of travel/holiday- sun, snow, sea, city, mountains, country?

We both love beach holidays!

Who do you usually travel with?

We travel with each other and no one else. Rarely, do we go for family trips as our parents themselves are keen on exploring the world at their own pace.

If you were to give one piece of travel advice what would it be?

Travel often; travel with an open mind and an open heart. That will help you experience different cultures, religions and people in the best manner. Celebrate life and don’t forget to strike conversations with random people you meet on the go.

Tell us the funniest story or a mishap from one of your adventures?

It happened during Tigers Nest trek in Bhutan when the weather got changed drastically and it perhaps started raining. Since the slope was extremely steep, we couldn’t move properly. It got worse when the entire stretch became muddy and we could see so many people slipping here and there. We took our chances and started trekking down slowly, much to our dismay. I slipped really bad the first time and in a fit of rage, threw the bottle I had in my hand, which landed on another person’s head. That was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. But I slipped again and again and again! Needless to say, I was a dirt sack by the end of the trek. Now when we think of it, we have a big laugh about the entire episode.

Where is your favourite place that you’ve been to?

So far Bhutan. That country can have a numbing impact on your senses – it’ll leave you awestruck!

Where was one place that didn’t live up to the hype?

Dubai was a bit overhyped, I believe.

Tell us one place/experience on your bucket list?

I have heard a lot about Fiji and it definitely is on our bucket list. We’re looking forward to exploring Varanasi next week and Switzerland in August this year.

What is the one thing you wouldn’t travel without.

Sunscreen, for sure!

What can readers find on your blog?

Readers can find a perfect melange of travel and lifestyle on our blog. We’ll take them through the exciting journey of finding offbeat places, secluded beaches, and all those hidden streets in a country they’d love exploring.

Find more from Wanderers Hub here






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Should I stay or should I go? 

Don’t get excited family members reading this. This isn’t a question for me. I’m not coming home………  just yet.

I’ve spent a long time living in the UK with little to no face to face contact with others from down under. Well very little in the flesh, I’ve obviously spent a lot of time face timing friends and family. The last 2 years however my antipodean circle has widened. I hired 3 southern hemispherians (pure coincidence I promise!) and another girl from NZ joined another team within our department.

It’s been great they know what milo is, say words funny like me, help share the pain when Australia plays England in the cricket/rugby, share funny videos that our British colleagues just wouldn’t get, spend too much time in walkabout and they just sound like home. They were all there about the age I was when I first came over and whilst they all have completely different situations, plans, lives and loves they have started to have to make some big decisions about what happens next like I did many years ago.

Last week we were sitting in the sun drinking 1 too many proseccos discussing living abroad and the decisions that come with this at each stage of creating a life on the other side of the world.  I’ve lived away for 10.5 years (or 11.5 of you count my gap year) both times I had an ancestry visa due to my grandmother being born in England (hilariously she’s from Birmingham and her name is Sheila) and that allows me to have 5 years to live and work in Great Britain. I was lucky most Aussies don’t get that opportunity and the best they get is 2 years.

My 2 friends are in this situation and both of their visas are up before the end of this year. Talking to them about what they are planning to do was so different yet so similar to what I thought, felt, spoke to my friends about when my own visa was coming to an end.

For me, I never ever considered not applying for residency when my ancestry visa was due to expire. I don’t remember calling my parents to discuss it or ask their opinion I knew in myself that I wasn’t ready to go yet. I wasn’t ready to leave my friends, my boyfriend, my career or the life I had here. Because I had a 5-year visa I had been home most years and when I didn’t make it home my family had all been out to visit or stop in to see me on their travels through Europe.

Talking to both of my friends who are sadly a bit younger than me and they are so much more conflicted. They both have friends, boyfriends, jobs and more countries to tick off their lists but also long to be home with their families and not ready to commit to a life in the UK. They’ve spoken to their parents at length and luckily one of them is able to apply for her own ancestry visa but the cost of this is much higher than when I got mine all those years ago so it puts extra pressure to fund that and support two lives whilst being out of the country as the application is processed. One thing that stuck with me was one of their parents could tell they weren’t ready to go back to a land down under and even said ‘your adventure isn’t up yet’.

It’s hard being away from your parents and family but as I’ve learnt and experienced no matter how far away you are from them they just want to you to be happy.
My other friend has to leave the country when her visa expires. She doesn’t have the option of another one. The decisions for her are different as well as her and her partner need to work out what it means for them in the long term. If they continue togethere but long distance or if he makes the journey over with her. Falling in love abroad is really tough!
My one piece of advice was so not to stay here for a boy (or girl). I love my fiance dearly but I’m here for me and not him. This is the independent women in me coming out -Beyoncé would be proud. Falling in love is really hard when you are away. The problem is if you stay for them to run the risk of it all going tits up and then you are here for the wrong reasons or worse could end up resenting them that you only stayed for them. It puts a weird balance on the relationship. The relationship should, of course, be considered when making a decision to stay but in my opinion, it shouldn’t be the sole reason. See normal couples who are both from the same country don’t have to worry about this sort of thing.

For both of my friends, I don’t know what they’ll do. If they’ll stay or if they’ll go. I don’t think they even know for certain yet.  But one thing we all agreed on is that living and working abroad is one of the best things you could ever do. You grow so much as a person, you see the world through different eyes, you meet amazing people, you learn more about yourself, you develop a deeper love for your homeland (and weirdly the junk food of home) and most importantly you realise just how much crap you can accumulate over the years when all you arrived with was a suitcase!

Globetrotters- Lost Not Found

Candiss from Lost Not Found and I have two things in common, probably more things but two for certain, and that is we both love to travel and we both love photography. Her blog is full of wonderful stories and pictures from her adventures and her Instagram account has photographs that share her experiences more than words ever could. It’s a match made in heaven.

The best part of reading other travel blogs is finding new destinations to visit and seeing places you’ve always wanted to visit come to life. I’ve always wanted to go to New Orleans. The music, the buildings, the smells, the sounds and the southern charm. This post from Candiss literally makes me want to book up a flight right now and go get absorbed in the atmosphere that you can see without even being there http://www.lost-not-found.com/french-quarter-festival-2017/ It just looks like SOOO much fun! I love that you can be an armchair traveller just by reading someone else’s words and seeing the world through their eyes.

You need to check out Candiss’s blog but you also need to make sure you check out her portfolio tab as the photographs are STUNNING. I am a huge sucker for beautiful photographs and these are next level. I’ve included all links to Candiss’s blog and social channels so you keep up to date with her stories, tips and some serious travel inspo.

Handing over to Candiss…

Hi, I am a native Californian and ex-fashion industry professional, I decided a year ago to ditch the high-stress life I was living for 6 1/2 years in NYC and return home to focus on photography and travel my two true loves. I have been to 21 countries in the 5 years I have seriously been travelling (most of those while still working full time) and I hope to add plenty more in this new chapter of my life.

What do you enjoy most about travelling?

I enjoy experiencing cultures that are different than mine and growing and learning about our world and myself through these experiences. I also enjoy catching up with my lovely friends that are scattered around the world as well 🙂

Why do you think travelling is important?

I think travel is important because it takes you out of your comfort zone and forces you to reconsider your preconceived notions. The more people you meet and listen to the more you realise how similar we all are throughout this wide world of ours.

What is your favourite photograph from your travels?

My current favourite is one of the first shots I took in Cuba. It is from the inside of a restaurant and all you can really see is through the window with the pale coloured walls on the opposing side of the street and a blur of an old American car driving by.

Which is your favourite type of travel/holiday- sun, snow, sea, city, mountains, country?

My favourite type of travel isn’t so much type of place as experience when there. I love travelling anywhere where I am privy to a local perspective of the place.

Who do you usually travel with?

I have generally travel by myself between destinations but meet up with friends along the way as I am lucky to know people all over or have friends that want to meet up! More and more though I am travelling purely solo and enjoying that perspective as well.

If you were to give one piece of travel advice what would it be?

Just go, there will always be reasons that now is not the best time but just do it because you never know what life may throw at you in the future.

Tell us the funniest story or a mishap from one of your adventures?

Oh, there are quite a few haha, but one of the most annoying mishaps was in Morocco. I let my friend buy our return train tickets from Tangier to Marrakech for what I thought was the right day but it turned out they were purchased for the wrong day. Instead of riding the overnight train in a relatively comfortable sleeper car we were stuck in an 8 seat compartment. After much confusion with where our seats actually were, there was thankfully only us and one other girl but it was an uncomfortable ride, to say the least!

Where is your favourite place that you’ve been to?

This is a hard one but it would have to be the island of Kyushu of Japan. I went to a few different cities and the countryside and everything about it was magical. It doesn’t hurt that almost everything I ate on that trip was AMAZING!!

Where was one place that didn’t live up to the hype?

For me, this will always be Paris. Maybe my first experience there being a really really stressful work experience spoiled the whole place but I’ve been back 3 times since and I still just don’t get the attraction to it. Sure it’s pretty but Paris just has never had a hold on me…

 Tell us one place/experience on your bucket list?

There are so many! The ultimate would probably be visiting Bhutan but the next one I plan on checking off the list is a month in Vietnam (hopefully in October!)

What is the one thing you wouldn’t travel without.

My camera equipment! As a photographer, I would forgo most things to make sure my gear is with me to document my travels.

What can readers find on your blog?

Lost Not Found is a focused on telling stories of travel through narrative essays, high-quality imagery, and practical destination guides.

Follow Candiss here

Globetrotters- Wanderlusting Hippie

Anyone that has a stuffed toy as a travelling buddy gets a big yes from me. Christina is the face behind the Wanderlusting Hippie and was kind enough to share her travel insight for this week’s Globetrotters.

The Wanderlusting Hippie is a blog for young travellers on a budget. As you will read below Christina’s goal is to show people you don’t have to be rich to travel the world and follow your dreams. I recently read this article Heartbreak you’re not a traveller without ithttps://wanderlustinghippie.com/2017/04/05/heartbreak-youre-not-a-traveler-without-it/ and straight away I knew this was a blog I wanted to follow. I could TOTALLY relate. Then reading through Christina;s answers below I could see the passion she has for travelling and for people to see the world I couldn’t wait to share with you all.

The fun part about these Q&A’s is learning more about everyone’s journeys where they have been, their bucket lists, where was good and where wasn’t so good. Whilst it was a little hard to hear my homeland didn’t live up to the hype it just reminds me that the places that didn’t live up to the hype for me could have been the best place for adventures for somewhere else. By connecting with others and hearing stories from other people just keeps opening up the world even further and I think that’s amazing.

I’m sure you are going to love following Wanderlusting Hippie as much as I do and be sure to check her blog for travel tips and inspiration and follow on Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date with where she is in the world. I’ve put all the links below so you get there in one easy click.

You are in for a treat. Let me introduce you to Christina,

Originally hailing from Florida, I’m a beach girl at heart, but have been suffering from an incurable case of gypsy fever for the last 5 years. I’ve worked in marketing for many different companies across the US before making the decision to go global. I’m also the author of Wanderlusting Hippie, a travel blog for 20-something solo budget travellers.

What do you enjoy most about travelling?

The part I love most about travelling is getting to see and explore new cultures that I was clueless to before. I love learning other customs and traditions and how other communities of people interact. I also love when foreigners get so excited to practice their English with me. It feels amazing to help someone master a skill like learning a new language!

Why do you think travelling is important? 

Travel is SO important because it helps you grow as a person. It teaches you to value what you have and it unlocks a part of yourself that you may not have been able to access if you stayed in the same little hometown you grew up in. If I would have stayed in Niceville, the little Florida town I was raised in, I would probably spend my time complaining about an Uber driver talking to me too much when I didn’t feel like talking. Since I have taken the opportunity to travel and see other cultures, I realise how truly lucky we are to even have something like Uber exist in our everyday lives. Perspective.

What is your favourite photograph from your travels?

This photo was taken at my one of my favourite spots in Bali. I’ve always been a big fan of hookah, and there was an Italian cafe across the street from my guesthouse in Seminyak that had hookah for about $2 US. I lived in that guesthouse for 3 weeks, and I would walk over to get hookah and a coffee every day…and just people watch. They had an outside patio that faced all the action, and I loved taking my laptop there to work. It got to the point that they started to get my favourite hookah flavour ready when they saw me walking up! So this photo brings back amazing memories of the energy of the city that I got to sit and watch every day.

Which is your favourite type of travel/holiday- sun, snow, sea, city, mountains, country?

Being from Florida, I prefer to stick to my mermaid roots and be by the sea. Although I do love getting to experience new terrain with every new adventure! I love city life too, the energy of a city really motivates me…so when there is a destination that has both, you’ll be sure to find me there.

Who do you usually travel with?

Journey. This is my travel buddy! I’ve had him since last year and he’s been everywhere with me!

If you were to give one piece of travel advice what would it be?

Always pack a backup change of clothes in your carry on! At least one pair of undies, clean shirt, pants, and a toothbrush. You never know what issues you might run into.

Tell us the funniest story or a mishap from one of your adventures?

When I was in Italy (inland from Venice) I waited at the bus stop for an hour…in the middle of December! It was about 30 degrees (-1 celsius) and I was shivering like crazy. Finally, a young guy came along and had to explain to me, all in Italian, that the bus was in fact not running that day. He spoke NO English and I knew NO Italian…but we made it work!

Where is your favourite place that you’ve been to?

Although I fell in love with the spirit of Venice, Italy the one place I would love to go back to is Bali. There is something about the sunshine (told you I’m a beach lover) that just brings such a happy energy to the community!

Where was one place that didn’t live up to the hype?

I hate to say it…but Australia was a bit of a letdown for me. I did only get to experience Cairns, so I’m sure other parts of AUS are amazing. When I travel, though, my goal is to experience cultures very unlike what we have in the US. Australia is very similar culturally, so it was not exactly all that I was looking for in my travels. I could, however, see myself living there one day…since it’s not SO wildly different.

Tell us one place/experience on your bucket list?

Portugal has been a recurring theme in my life as of late, so I definitely want to go there. Ibiza is also towards the top of my list.

What is the one thing you wouldn’t travel without?

I try to not become too attached to “things” as I know they can be gone in an instant. But there is a book that I always try to have 2 copies of at any given time. It’s called, “Many Lives, Many Masters” and it’s a book that is very meaningful to me. I’ve met quite a few people along the way who the book could positively impact as well. I love to give away my extra copy when I inevitably run into the person who needs to read it.

What can readers find on your blog?
Wanderlusting Hippie is a blog full of tips and inspiration for 20-something solo travellers on a budget.

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Why you should explore North Devon

My sister and brother in law were visiting the UK for a family wedding and whilst there were over they came down south to spend a few days with us.  As they have seen quite a lot of Somerset (where we live) we decided to take them even further south and headed to North Devon for a sisters and hubbies long weekend break.

Devon is in my top 3 favourite countries in the UK. It’s green rolling hills, wind turbines, breathtaking coastlines, big open spaces and quaint seaside villages all just make it dream destination within the UK.

I’ve always loved when  the journey to a place is just as fun as the destination and the drive to Woody Bay was no different. Our route was almost all on A roads which meant we got to drive through the villages, we could see the coastline changing with every mile we got closer and we also had to go through the Exmoor National Park.  We stopped off in one of the look out places to admire the Exmoor heather and ponies and of course take lots of pictures. Growing up whenever we drove to the coast (which was a casual 6-hour drive!) we always had a competition on whoever saw the ocean first meant they got the first ice cream. And whilst it was a rather chilly day we weren’t going to skimp out on the tradition and stood there in the spitty rain, with coats on eating our ice creams.

We were staying in Woody Bay which is just outside of Lynton and Lynmouth which are two twinned villages. Lynton is at the top of a cliff and joined with Lynmouth by a funicular railway. Basically a vertical train. It’s still got all of the charms of the 19th century when it was built to help connect the two towns. I loved the harbour in Lynmouth with all the boats sitting on the mud whilst the tide was out.   Both villages had lovely little pubs and a lot of chippies because fish and chips are obviously a must by the sea.

We had a theme for railways on this trip as we also went to the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway and travelled on a steam train on a short track through the rolling hills. This has been a restoration project for volunteers within in the area and whilst there is only a short section of the railway operational it amazing to see how it’s been lovingly restored. The stations, the train and the museum all take you back to yesteryear. We really enjoyed this and it felt great experiencing something people have put so many hours into bringing back to life.

There is a lot of great accommodation options and we stayed in the best Airbnb I have ever stayed in. I mean look at the view from the toilet!!

We were off the beat and track and the coast roads to get to our accommodation did cause a few white knuckles at times but the end result was worth it. We were so secluded that it was a little piece of paradise. There is low light pollution in this area so at night the stars were unbelievably bright. I don’t think I have seen the night sky so bright since being at my house  in Australia. Our host was super attentive and their flat was so well designed and styled. They had thought of everything right down to backpacks for hikes and even more importantly  wine on arrival.  The winner though for this place was the view. Especially at sunrise and sunset.

Down the road from the flat was a walk that took you right to the beach. Obviously pebbled we are in England remember. I don’t even know if I can find the adjectives to say how gorgeous it was. From waterfalls to huge boulders and sheer cliffs I could have spent all my days there.  My sister and her husband being the crazy ones that they are even got in the freezing, ‘September in England’ water and had a swim.

Other gems within this area that are worth exploring are Ilfracombe and Woolacombe. There was a  festival going on in Ilfracombe when we were there so it was a buzz with activity, people and bunting. The harbour area was really pretty and certainly worth exploring with lots of boutique shops and boats to look at. There is also rumoured to be the oldest operational lighthouse in the UK here on Lantern Hill. We could have spent even longer here and will be certainly going back to explore. I really want to do a boat trip to Lundy island which you can do from the harbour here.

We got  to Woolacombe late in the afternoon and did my favourite thing- we walked barefoot along the beach and even better this one was sand!. Way too chilly for a swim (even for my sister!) so we wandered up and down the beach watching the sunset.  This beach is one of the most beautiful beaches I have come across over here and can’t wait to get down there this summer. We finished off the perfect walk with wine and beers in a pub overlooking the beach. If it was a bit warmer it would have been just like we were in Australia.

North Devon is full of great places and I’ve only covered a small portion of what it has to offer in this post. I’ve put some links below where you can find more information and things to do whilst visiting.  It was the perfect long weekend break with my family and I can’t wait to go back and explore further.

More Information




Local sites




Trust Me England isn’t always grey and miserable.

So England gets a bit of a bad rep at times. Grey, dreary, wet, cold and just a bit gloomy. These are mostly things I hear or even say myself when speaking to friends and family back in the motherland.  I mean it is true there is no denying that. Winter albeit cosy indoors is long and grey and god forbid if we have a wet summer- everyone’s  off to the continent for some much-needed vitamin D. Luckily I didn’t move to England for the weather.

But and that’s a very big but – spring in the U.K. is gorgeous.

Wells, Somerset

Where I live in the South West the first signs of spring are the daffodils that seem to pop up everywhere. Little rays of sunshine right there on the side of the road.

Tulips at Montacute House, Somerset

Tulips dominate the garden flower beds in houses, parks and stately home.  Reds, yellows, mixtures of two. Sure it doesn’t compare to the Netherlands but it’s still so beautiful.

Then come the bluebells. We have some in the garden but they are nothing compared to the forests of them that spring up in parts of the UK. I saw my first bluebell forest this weekend and it was magical. Mother Nature is one sassy lady for creating a carpet of bluebells. The bluey /purple colour is so vibrant and against the green tree leaves it’s just like you are in a fairy den.

My friends beautiful little girl playing in the bluebells
Wrington Blue Bells , Somerset

As the bluebells start to fade the fields here start to turn bright yellow. Like the sun rays dropped out over the crops. Rapeseed fields dominate the landscape. I can’t stop smiling when I see these patches of golden yellow. I drive past many on my daily commute and they always, without fail put me in a good mood.

Rapeseed Field Somerton, Somerset

The spring colours are one of many surprising things I’ve discovered living in the UK. To be honest it may be the same back in Aus but I’ve just never really stopped to appreciate it. Which I guess most people do when they are caught up in day to day life and the familiar surroundings.

So if you find yourself in the south-west of the UK this time of year look out for the colours, marvel in the beautiful landscapes, stop the car and walk amongst the flowers and above all else remember England’s not always grey and dreary.

Appreciating the spring glory was inspired by reading Suzanne’s post here take a look at her beautiful photographs and wonderful words.