Have you seen the London from the Thames? Well you really should

So many great cities are always said to be seen best from the water. I’ve seen Venice, New York, Paris, Sydney all from the water so I have no idea why it took me so long to see the majestic London from the long and winding River Thames.

This week I righted my wrong.

The opportunity came along with some of my work colleagues as a change from the standard after work drinks. So instead of heading to a pub, we hot-footed it down to Westminster Bridge to go on the City Cruises Sundowner boat.

Now I didn’t really know what to expect. Obviously, a boat, that it would be touristy AF but also hopefully some insta worthy shots and a nice way to see the city. I certainly wasn’t expecting fizz on arrival, one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen or that we would be up dancing to the onboard performer on the boat. Just wait for more on that later.

We were booked with City Cruises and they do cruises throughout the day. The one we went on, however, was the Sundowner Cruise. Tickets cost £32 per person (adults and children are the same prices). You can generally get a deal on Groupon so do check there first. The cruise departs from Westminster Pier which is easily accessible from Westminster tube station. You depart at 6.15/6.30ish and are then on the water for 2 hours so getting back to Westminster in time for dinner and drinks. There is fizz/soft drink on arrival and canapes severed throughout. There is also a bar if you want to have further drinks throughout the cruise. If that wasn’t enough they also provide an entertainer who performs throughout the journey. Mainly pop songs but also covers all eras to cater for the mix of ages. The lady we had was brilliant and she had our group and some others up dancing around during the cruise. The processco may have also helped with the dancing. I swear some of the other guests probably thought they had boarded with a group of crazy ladies but most of them got involved with our shenanigans. We did get to make friends with one of the guests they were over from the US and celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. I’m sure when they booked their cruise they were expecting to be dancing around with us to Bruno Mars’s Up Town Funk.

The rain from earlier the day decided to disappear just as we boarded however it did mean that it was wet up top so for dry seating we did need to sit downstairs. The inside of the boat has lots of tables and its group seating. Had we not been such a large group we could have been sat and been able to chat with other guests. What we could do however was stand up top and take some photos (and drink some fizz) and watch the sunset then head back down below deck for some nibbles and a dance.

From the boat, we got to see so much of London and it truly is such a remarkable city. At the start of the cruise the London Eye was contrasted against the grey sky and by the end, it was a luminous red orb. Tower bridge looked postcard perfect before and after the sunset. You could see the Oxo Building, The Shard, St Pauls, Big Ben, red buses going over the bridges along the river, Londoners out on their evening runs, Canary Wharf and the super expensive homes along the banks of the river. I don’t think I’ve ever seen London look as beautiful as I did that evening.

The sunset decided to set just as we went under Tower Bridge making it the perfect silhouette against the sky. So quintessentially London. Seriously what is more London than watching the sunset behind the landmarks of the city, while on the Thames with wet puddles from the day’s rain around you and a Pimms in hand? If you are visiting London or even if you live in London I would 100% recommend doing a cruise like this and if your not sold yet then have a look at some of my snaps for further encouragement.

For more information on the crusie we did then check out this link below

Pin for later

5 places you must visit in North Carolina

What is the first thing you think of when someone says, North Carolina? For me, it the beach or the mountains. The first time I went to North Carolina, I went to the Wrightsville/Wilmington area. I spent all of 30 minutes there before my husband and I had to pack up and leave for a family emergency. I was amazed that North Carolina truly has the best of both worlds, the mountains, and the ocean. Currently, I reside in the middle of both of the two areas. Let me tell you it is so great to live in between, weekend trips are a must in our household. If you have never been to North Carolina, let me tell you 5 amazing places to visit if you do want to go. If you have been to North Carolina, but have never been to these 5 places I highly recommend them for you.

5 places to visit in North Carolina. Different Frame of Mind Blog guest post on The Wandering Darlings

1. Raleigh

I have lived in Raleigh for over a year now and love all it has to offer. The town is settled in between the mountains and the ocean. The city life is very fast paced, with plenty to offer. To get to the mountains it takes about 3 to 4 hours. The closest beach is Wilmington which is about 2 hours depending on where you are staying in Raleigh. There is North Hills shopping center, also Brier Creek shopping center which both have plenty of places to choose for eating and shopping. There are a few lakes in Raleigh, the picture below is Falls Lake. The best entrance to go to is located off of Creedmoor road. There are a few breweries and wineries located in and around Raleigh. The city is full of places to go and see, I still have yet to discover them all.

5 places to visit in North Carolina. Different Frame of Mind Blog guest post on The Wandering Darlings

2. Wrightsville/Wilmington

Wrightsville/Wilmington area is one of the most popular beaches in North Carolina. This is because it is the closest to the major city of Raleigh, North Carolina. This town has a lot to offer in ways of shopping, eating, and attractions. There is the aquarium that will keep you busy for hours. There is a battleship called USS North Carolina. I highly recommend going when it is not scorching outside due to it not being fully air conditions but they do have fans going. The cost of getting in is pretty inexpensive and there is always volunteers around to answer any of your questions. For a fun-filled adventure packed weekend, I would go here in a heartbeat.

3. Asheville

I spent less than a few hours in this town and it already had me hooked. Asheville is nestled in the mountains and is a cute town. The picture below is the entrance to the Biltmore Estate. The Biltmore is a bit pricey to get in but well worth the tour. The Great Smoky Mountains are located in and around Asheville. These mountains are breathtaking if you have never been, I highly recommend going in the fall when the leaves are changing. Asheville is a place I would go back to time and time again.

5 places to visit in North Carolina. Different Frame of Mind Blog guest post on The Wandering Darlings

4. North Top Sail

I have been to North Top Sail two times on our beach weekend trips. North Top Sail is one of the less crowded beaches in North Carolina. While you walk along the shore you will find plenty of seashells, shark teeth, and other various objects. There is North Top Sail, as well as Top Sail. My husband and I felt that North Top Sail had more to offer in the way of restrooms, places to eat and etc. If I am looking for a quieter beach to relax at, this would be the beach I would choose hands down every time.

5 places to visit in North Carolina. Different Frame of Mind Blog guest post on The Wandering Darlings

5. Outer Banks

Outer Banks or OBX as most call it is very popular. Most people in North Carolina continuously mention OBX as their vacation or weekend destination. There was so much do and see in OBX when I went, I am dying to go back. The lighthouse located on Cape Hatteras Island is huge. They recommend coming when it is not too hot outside, as the lighthouse is not air-conditioned. There are several beaches to relax on in the Outer Banks, some more popular than others. We took a stroll around the Pea Island National Wildlife Rescue. The views were pretty and the staff was so kind and helpful. I would definitely go back time and time again. There is always something to do in the Outer Banks.

5 places to visit in North Carolina. Different Frame of Mind Blog guest post on The Wandering Darlings

This post was kindly written by a lovely Wandering Darling- Ariel from Different Frame of Mind Blog. I’m sure you loved what you’ve read as much as I have so check out her blog and social with the links below for more great information and inspiration

Author Biography

Ariel from 5 places to visit in North Carolina. Different Frame of Mind Blog guest post on The Wandering Darlings

My name is Ariel and I am the creator of Different Frame of Mind blog. My blog focuses on travels with little funds, medical and psychological disorders. I was born in Kansas but currently, reside in North Carolina. I am married and have two wonderful puppies.

I am a bucket list traveler and have plenty to still check off. I have been on a cruise, traveled to 34 different states, swam with the dolphins and so much more since 2010. Join me on my journey on one of the social media links below.






Xoxo, Ariel

Creator of Different Frame of Mind blog

5 places to visit in North Carolina. Different Frame of Mind Blog guest post on The Wandering Darlings

Globetrotters- A Mindful Traveller

This weeks Globetrotter is the ever lovely Lorelle from A Mindful Traveller.

First, off she is one of my favourite bloggers as she has always been so supportive of my blog and I love having her a not only a reader but also a blogging friend. Secondly, she lives in my favourite city in the world and that always gets a huge thumbs up from me.

You can find so much on A Mindful Traveller from travel tips, destinations, road trips to food inspired by said travels. Food and travel what a match made in heaven!

A couple of my favourite posts from Lorelle include the two-part series of a road trip to Melbourne to Sydney. Reading these transported me back to doing sections of this journey so many times. I grew up smack bang in the middle of Sydney and Melbourne so we often stopped in Holbrook or Albury when going to Melbourne and then also would stop in Gundagai (although usually Maccas not the dog on the tuckerbox) and the Big Merino in Goulbourne when traveling to our grandparents a few hours out of Sydney. So many hours of my life have been spent going up and down that highway that it was a treat to read about. I also like these posts as they highlight just how humungous Australia is and show the rural landscape of southern NSW and Victoria which many tourists and travelers don’t always get to see.


Another post which has added yet another destination to my bucket list is this one about Cinque Terre. How gorgeous are those houses in the cover picture!! #instafabulous!

Lorelle’s blog is written in such a lovely style that makes you feel like you are having a cuppa with a friend and chatting about exciting travels and the experiences that you find along the way. Her tone of voice draws you in and it’s just a treat to take a moment and read her posts.

I love that I can introduce you to Lorelle from a Mindful Traveller.

Hi, my name is Lorelle. Wife, mother of two wonderful teenage children, beauty therapist and a passionate traveller, who lives in Melbourne, Australia.
My very first trip overseas was for my honeymoon in 1999 when I was 25 years old. From that holiday, my obsession with exploring and discovering different countries and cultures grew immensely. Travelling as a couple at first and then as a family was quite a contrast, and I learned to embrace these experiences. I treasure these lifelong memories created, as they are the essence of me and my life story.
I am grateful and truly blessed to be able to offer my children a different type of education and life experience through travel. Teaching them about the world beyond and to be accepting of others and diverse cultures is extremely important and I hope one day, they too, will be able to pass these valuable lessons on to others.
I have created this blog to share with you a little piece of my journey, through my life, my explorations and my love of food. These are my unforgettable mindful travels.

What do you enjoy most about travelling?
Travelling gives me the opportunity to discover and explore new and wonderful places in this world.
The one thing I enjoy the most about travelling is having the opportunity to share these lifelong memories with my wonderful family and expose them to our incredible world.

Why do you think travelling is important?
To travel is to open your mind! It’s so important to accept and educate yourself about different cultures and cuisines. While not only broadening our knowledge intellectually, travel also connects us emotionally and spiritually; a whole mindful journey.

Where are you off to next? Or where have you just come back from?
We have just returned from a road trip to Sydney for my cousin’s wedding. A short weekend break, however always a great time when visiting family.
Our next holiday is to Singapore.

What is your favourite photograph from your travels?

Hmmm, this is a hard one, I have so many!
I do love this one though, taken in Dolceaqua, Northern Italy.

Do you have a pre-travel ritual? If so what?
All those who know me well will tell you I am quite an organised person. So in regards to pre-travel, I have many to do lists that I have scattered everywhere throughout the house!
Packing is also organised the week of travel. I can never leave things for the last minute!

Who do you usually travel with?
Always my family. I never travelled alone or with girlfriends when I was younger. I have always travelled with my husband and now with our children as well…. who may not want to be travelling with us in the near future as they are getting older and will soon want to venture out on their own or with their friends!! That’s a whole new chapter right there!

If you were to give one piece of travel advice what would it be?
I would advise taking all documentation, we actually take copies as well and keep another set at home with my parents.
Also, be sure to have multiple outlets of credit. A diverse range of cash, credit cards, and cash passport cards are important, and we always split this between the both of us. Never does one person carry all the cash or cards on their own.

Tell us the most memorable moment you’ve had whilst travelling?
I have a few of these memorable moments, but the one moment that will always stand out is exploring Rome. We were on foot discovering the city labyrinth when we happened to turn the corner and the most amazing sight of the Colosseum greeted us. Truly amazing moment and one I will never forget.

Where is your favourite place that you’ve been to?
Paris is by far my favourite city in the world. We have been privileged to visit this glorious city quite a few times. I love immersing myself in everyday Parisian life. The beauty and charm of Paris captivates me every time!

Where was one place that didn’t live up to the hype?
For me, Barcelona did not live up to its expectations. I found the city to be very European, quite similar to Italy. I remember talking to locals and they had advised travelling further south to experience the “real Spain”. Unfortunately, Barcelona was our only stop in Spain, so our next adventure there will be to explore the rest of the country and maybe Portugal too.

Tell us one place/experience on your bucket list?
Sri Lanka. My parents were both born in Sri Lanka and some of my family are still there, so being able to visit this beautiful country is definitely on my bucket list. Hopefully one I can tick off sooner than later.

What is the one thing you wouldn’t travel without?
Well, we never travel without my daughters’ teddy bear named “Vodka”. You have probably seen him around on my blog! He has become part of our travelling family essentials! He is a well-traveled teddy bear.

Your go-to/or favourite book/film/tv series that always makes you want to travel?
Definitely reading and then watching “Eat, Pray, Love” always makes me want to plan another holiday…especially to Italy!

What can readers find on your blog?
Readers can find a variety of travel stories experienced through my eyes. I love sharing my knowledge and accounts of my families travels together. In addition to a travel post, I try to incorporate a recipe, which I cook, that links to that previous particular travel post. I love cooking and sharing my recipes as well.

Where does your blog name come from?
It didn’t take me too long to come up with this name. Being mindful is quite important and being able to embrace these experiences wholeheartedly really opens up your mind, puts life into perspective and demonstrates what the important things in life really are!

Do you have a favourite blog post? What is it and why?
My favourite post would have to be on Lourdes, France. Words cannot explain this Christian Holy Site. It was a very spiritual day for us there and one I will always remember forever.

Links to discover more
Face Book

Pin for later

Globetrotters- Mackinaw Road

This weeks Globetrotter is the Michigan gal Marta from Mackinaw Road.

I’ve never been to Michigan but reading Mackinaw Road’s about me page I could just tell it is somewhere special! I’ve been perusing all over their site reading up on what I can and found two places in Michigan that are on my hit list. Leland reminded me of the small fishing style villages of the British South Coast just more American (obvs). Charlevoix looks like a beautiful area with so many gorgeous boutique shops which I could spend alot of time and money in.

You will notice in the two posts above that design and shopping is included in their posts and also in reference to where is on the bucket list below (no spoilers here- you’ll need to read on) that traveling and design go hand in hand. We’ve recently written about collecting things (not just moments) when traveling and this really plays into Mackinaw Roads way of thinking in that picking on designs and items when traveling can help shape your home and daily life.

When checking out their site you’ll find as mentioned above Michigan Must visit and Travel inspired design but you’ll also find travel inspired menus, Island travel series, travel tips and lots of adventures in between. I would also recommend checking them out on Instagram the way Marta has travel inspired design and travel posts interwoven together just creates on fine looking Instagram feed!

So let me hand you over to Marta from Mackinaw Road

Hi, I am a Michigan girl with a big passion for travel. I am filled with fond memories of warm spring break vacations and summer road trips to the East Coast with my family. While I love where I am from I get a huge sense of restlessness if haven’t traveled in a while. I just love the feeling arriving in a new city, getting settled, discussing what to do, and wandering. It’s also just as fascinating to return to a place you once visited only to find so many aspects the same yet so many new things to discover?
To find out a bit more about us click here for our About me page

What do you enjoy most about traveling?
Traveling brings about a sense of rejuvenation and relaxation. I love learning about places when actually in the location- that kind of accidental information is the best.

Why do you think traveling is important?
Traveling helps us step outside our routines and see how others live. It helps us see what a tiny yet important role our lives play in the grand scheme of the world population.

What is your favourite photograph from your travels?

My favorite photo to date is actually taken only about 45 minutes from our residence. It is of my children playing at sunset on the beach and represents the carefree feeling I always hope for when traveling.


Do you have a pre travel ritual? If so what?
Does scrambling and taking a million trips to Target count?

Who do you usually travel with?
Almost always my husband, most of the time it includes our children, and yearly at least one of our extended families.

If you were to give one piece of travel advice what would it be?
Spend at least one day exploring without guides or Pinterest suggestions—just discover what you discover.

Where is your favourite place that you’ve been to?
Banff, Canada. I almost didn’t go and now know what a mistake that would have been. It has something for everyone- I can’t think of one person that I know that I wouldn’t recommend Banff too.

Where was one place that didn’t live up to the hype?
Grand Cayman. We had been to multiple islands in the area, several of which we would readily return to but this just isn’t one of them.

Tell us one place/experience on your bucket list?
I’m slightly obsessed with the Norwegian way of life and would love to visit to really feel what it is like there.

What is the one thing you wouldn’t travel without?
Aside from my husband and family, I haven’t gone on a trip without my Moment Lens for my camera. It is so much easier than lugging a big camera around (especially when I will inevitably end up carrying one of my children also) and takes great photos.

What can readers find on your blog?
Mackinaw Road (www.mackinawroad.com) has a little bit of everything- traveling with and without children, travel-inspired design, and travel-inspired recipes.

Do you have a favourite blog post? What is it and why?
I don’t have a favorite blog post- I just can’t pick a favorite because they all feel unique and special in their own ways. I’ve enjoyed completing my Island Travel Interview series and learning about islands that I have not yet been to. I’ve also found it to be incredibly fun to collaborate on various posts with other bloggers/friends for travel, food, and drink. I think that someday it will be fun to look back on the travel posts to relive stories and remember aspects of the trip that I may have forgotten.

To find more from Mackinaw Road check out the links below

Pin for later

Collect moments AND collect things

There is one of those travel quotes floating around the web that says ‘Collect Moments not things’. Totally cringy but also a fab little writing prompt for me as I don’t see the problem in collecting moments .. and wait for it… collecting things. Especially from your travels I mean is it really that bad to want a thing, memento, souvenir from where you have been?

I know this quote is trying to say that experiences, memories and moments are the best way to remember your travels and that buying a piece of tat from a souvenir shop doesn’t really compare to if you were to spend  your money on a bungee jump or a meal in a traditional restaurant.  In some respect, I agree. For me though as much as I like having the moment and memories I also like collecting things to bring home. Maybe I’m a  hoarder or maybe I just like the idea of having different bits of the world throughout my home and daily life.

Sometimes collecting things on travels isn’t just for yourself.  It’s also more than just bringing a gift back for someone special.  My best friend collects pencils and I always get her one from wherever we go.  A pencil with a funny topper or destination written along the side- wherever I go she gets one. It’s become a regular ritual I always get her a pencil and she gets me a magnet. My dad and his friend have an odd but kinda cool tradition. Whenever either of them goes away they collect a small rock from there and then mount it on a bit of wood when they get back with the date and location written on the mount. They have been doing it for years and both have a healthy collection of rocks from all sorts of destinations. They were maths and science teachers so it makes sense.

This photo is of me about 10 years ago riding a camel in Egypt. I was being led by a small child that was certainly not going to be able to catch me if I fell off or even control the camel if it took off. Thankfully neither of those happened.  I couldn’t tell you what the weather was like, how long we were on the camels for, what the little boy or camels name was, what I was thinking or feeling as these details of my memories have started to slip away to make room for new ones (think like in the film Inside Out). However, when I see this picture in its token Egyptian frame that I purchased whilst there, it prompts my mind to bring those memories back. It reminds me that I’ve ridden a camel and will never do so again, that they were big and smelly, that it was so scary getting on and off and that it was an amazing thing to do whilst I was in Egypt.  Also whenever I see this picture on the shelf at home I always think about the end of the film the titanic when they do a montage of Rose’s life in photos and there she is on a horse on the beach. This photo of my rocking the worst outfit with the worst hair on top of a camel in Egypt would totally be in my end of days montage.

It’s not just photos that do this but I have a tea towel from Portugal that whenever I use I think back to walking through Albufeira  Old Town in the afternoon shopping for ice cream and souvenirs or the soft toy Penguin named Alan with the knitted jumper we brought on Philip Island after seeing the fairy penguins come in and that the sale of this went back into helping knit jumpers for penguins affected by oil spills. Everything I’ve ever brought back has a memory associated with it that then makes me smile, cringe or go searching through the house for other bits I’ve collected.

Over the years I’ve dabbled in I Heart (insert destination here) t shirts, mugs, tea towels, money, photo frames, jewelry,  soft toys but the big three main ones for me are magnets, postcards and paintings/prints.

Magnets – the more the gaudy the better. Such a touristy thing to collect but I don’t care. We have them all over our extractor fan at home and will religiously buy one whenever we go somewhere new. We also now have friends get them for us when they go somewhere we’ve not been.

Postcards- Similar to the above I always buy them without the intention of ever sending them. I think one day I will do something creative with them. I’m sure Pinterest will have some ideas for me.

Paintings and prints- I try and buy these off street artists or in markets. Some are also obviously reproduction prints but I like the idea of having them hung up around the house so its like you get to be in all the countries at once. The Eiffel Tower on the same wall as a Venetian canal and the bright wildlife road signs of Australia.

I reached out to a few travel bloggers for their collectible of choice to show you it’s not just about gaudy magnets or lots of postcards. Some of these might even start you on a new holiday collecting tradition…


I love to collect different liquors from around the world. Whether it is what a country or area is known for, or an alcohol unique to them, I need to have a bottle! They remind me of the places I’ve been (and usually more than a few nights in said country), and afterward cracking the bottle is a great way to celebrate the big occasions!

Missy from The Journey Project |https://www.thejourneyproject.net/


I started collecting magnets when I was 18, after seeing a friend’s fridge covered with magnets of the places they’d visited. My first was a circular wooden magnet with a colourful bird from Nicaragua. Since then my collection has expanded massively to 59 magnets – all are a little piece of the world I’ve brought home from places as far flung as Denmark, Japan, and Zanzibar. My parents now always make a point to bring me back a magnet from the places they’ve been to as well! I love that every morning when I get the milk out of the fridge for breakfast, I get a glimpse of the globe staring back at me. One of my favourites is from Venice, with Italian flag colours and a tiny gondola dangling down.

Laura from One More Step Travel |http://www.onemoresteptravel.com

Shot Glasses

We were lounging and celebrating our honeymoon with glasses of champagne in Santorini when we instinctively decided that we are going to collect shot glasses from all the places that we visit henceforth. Since we love recalling and laughing over our favourite travel memories while sipping on some drinks once we are back, collecting shot glasses was probably our best decision ever! We have a cosy little bar counter at home and have done up a wall display to showcase all our shot glasses right above the counter. Whenever we host a get-together, all our friends are invited to raise a toast to their favourite or dream holiday destination from our selection! It’s so much fun to be able to actually use these little souvenirs than to just stack them up somewhere. Besides being very useful, shot glasses are generally found easily in most countries, are not very expensive and can spoil you for choice! We still remember visiting Stone Town in Zanzibar three times just to lay hands on the prettiest and most colourful hand painted shot glass of the entire lot! Here’s a small glimpse of our collection =)

Trailing Abroad |www.trailingabroad.com



Years ago I started collecting patches from each country I visited. For me, they were the perfect light-weight and cheap travel memento that doesn’t take up much space in my bag. But, they sat in a drawer at home because I couldn’t figure out how to display them in a way that would be a daily reminder of my adventures! For Christmas one year, my mom got me this piece of vintage luggage. It’s the perfect place for my patches! It makes me smile every day and now, because my friends know that I collect them, they always ask to see my latest patch!


This Big Wild World | www.thisbigwildworld.com


I love art and I love to travel, so what better than to pick up art pieces while traveling? Our home has a nice collection of paintings, sculpture, figurines and other knick-knacks that we picked while traveling to destinations far and wide. One of my favorite purchases of all time is this beautiful “door” that I picked up from a local store in San Juan, Puerto Rico that sells miniature door figurines modeled on actual doors in the city. You can also personalize it as I did!

Year of the Monkey |http://www.yrofthemonkey.com/


We love to travel cheaply and while pictures may last forever, we like something more substantial to remember our trip by. On our honeymoon to Puerto Rico, we picked up a handmade door and had “Casa Blanca” inscribed (in honor of our last name). That little yellow and purple door hung in our kitchen proudly! We decided that this will become our memento of choice on future trips!

We ventured to Italy next, where we found loads of various tiles for sale. We now collect small tiles from each city we journey. The tiles are handmade or used as part of home renovations because we want to support the local artists! Our tiles adorn our kitchen to remind us of the delicious flavors we sampled abroad.

The Wanderlust Dietitian | https://thewanderlustdietitian.com


I am a very conscious souvenir hunter. I do tend to document my travels through things and love my ever-growing magnet and mug collections. However, out of everything we bring home the one collection we cherish most is our authentic books.

We purchase books directly from the original place they were written! We love the authenticity and uniqueness of having a manuscript directly from its source. A couple of our favourite additions to our collection include the following:

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter – When travelling to the Lake District England, we popped into Hilltop Farm where Beatrix Potter lived and wrote the story and purchased the book right then and there! In doing so, our edition of the story sports an embossed stamp inside to indicate its authentic purchase at Hilltop Farm.

Another example is our recent purchase of the novel “The House of Seven Gables” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Written by the same author as the famed Scarlet Letter, when exploring Salem, we decided to tour the actual house of seven gables that inspired the novel and marks the location where the book was written. Inside the front cover, you will find in our copy a stamp stating we purchased the book at the famed location in Salem.

Other examples of our collection include:

Sherlock Holmes from 220 Baker Street in London (The Sherlock Holmes museum), The Ladurée Cookbook straight from the Ladurée café itself- home to the famous macarons, Paddington Bear straight from Paddington Station’s gift shop, Shakespearean book straight from Stratford Upon-Avon in the UK, and much more.

When we travel we need to be conscious of the items we bring home and the businesses we support. With purchasing books from their origin, we feel it is a special collection we won’t outgrow that will be loved in our family for years to come.

Fill My Passport | https://www.fillmypassport.net/souvenir-savvy-tips-conquer-travel-clutter/

Do you collect anything when you are away? Anything different or out of the ordinary? If so I’d love to hear so please do share in the comments below.

Pin for later

Globetrotters- Molly the Gypsy

This week’s Globetrotter is the delightful Molly from  Molly the Gypsy

Molly is soo similar to me in that she loves traveling and she loves the gram. She married these two together and created her blog around travel advice and stories and hints and tips on how you can step up your Instagram game.

I love that her favorite photo is of a lightning strike. I once spent a whole afternoon trying to get a similar shot but out to sea (as we were on a boat) and my aunty even said she would get me an iPad if I managed to catch it. Alas, my finger was not quick enough but Molly’s was so do check it out below.

My other half has mentioned a cruise holiday to me a few times but we were never sure which area would be best so this post here was so helpful. So nice to read an honest review on each place.

Another post of Molly’s I also enjoyed was how to score a hotel upgrade and going to try her tips on our next holiday Fingers crossed! Who knew it could possibly be as easy as just asking!!

So without further ado here is Molly from Molly the Gypsy

I started traveling as a child with my mother. She would take me on cruises or across the country. When my aunt moved her family to Italy it occurred to me that you could leave the country. Somehow it hadn’t occurred to me before that. I began international travel as soon as I could afford it and have never stopped. I’ve been to 36 countries and 49 US states so far, with so much more still left to see and do. I love to help others live their dreams and face their fears, which is how my Instagram and blog were born.

What do you enjoy most about traveling?

Cultures, adventure and people all fascinate me. I’ve always had an insatiable appetite for new experiences.

Why do you think traveling is important?

It’s easy to believe that the world is like you if you don’t venture into it. By exploring, you discover how many incredible different worlds exist within our own.

Where are you off to next? Or where have you just come back from?

I just came back from a drive through the United States. Next trip will be a cruise to Mexico (and maybe Cuba) for Thanksgiving.

What is your favourite photograph from your travels?

note-picture is coming!

All my life I wanted my very own lightning shot. Finally, off the coast of Greece, I was able to capture an INCREDIBLE shot showing several lightning strikes from two different storms in the distance. I used a slow shutter speed, so it captured several of them, including their veins. It’s my favorite!!

Do you have a pre travel ritual? If so what?

I pack light, pray and double check my list. I then always text my mom and bestie when I leave and arrive. It’s become a tradition.

Who do you usually travel with?

I use a TINY swivel suitcase (small enough to fit on even commuter planes) and a purse. That’s it.

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

Go. Just go. Don’t worry about the when, where, why, how, etc. The world is waiting for you and life is far too short to see it all. Just. Go.

Tell us the most memorable moment you’ve had whilst traveling?  

That’s rough. My life is filled with beautiful memories from all over the world. One of my favorite memories is walking the streets of Pompeii. I’d wanted to see it all my life and standing there, walking the road, sitting in the brothel, seeing the bodies and taking in the enormity of what happened was a life-changing moment for me.

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

Istanbul. The city is beautiful, the people are so friendly and funny, the coffee is incredible, the food is perfection and it’s the only city that spans two continents.

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

Niagara Falls. I landed at night and our taxi driver took us to the falls. I looked out and said, “Oh those are cute, but where are the real ones?” Those were the real ones. SUPER underwhelming. They’re pretty but SO little. I really expected them to be larger than life. They weren’t.

Tell us one place/experience on your bucket list?

I have only been to 36 countries, so there’s a ton more to see. A few I cannot wait to check off are Thailand, Barcelona, Cape Town, Sydney, Auckland, Prague and Auschwitz in Poland.

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

My inhaler. I’m an asthmatic and it’s literally the only thing I don’t go without.

Your go to or favourite book/film/tv series that always/ makes you want to travel?

Eat Pray Love and Tales of a Female Nomad are my super amazing, pro women, travel time books. I LOOOOOOOOOOVE them. I watch the movie all I can and wish they would make Tales into a movie as well.

What can readers find on your blog?

mollythegypsy.com was born of a love of both travel and Instagram. I LOVE that Instagram, unlike Facebook and the like, is just pretty pictures. I love how easy it is to follow people you like and to feel like you’re traveling the world with them. My blog is a celebration of that and helps people to either set up their own following, etc. or to find advice on best cruises to take or what to do in Puerto Rico.

Where does your blog name come from?

I’m Irish by descent, so being a gypsy or traveler is something in our blood. I’ve been described as a gypsy most of my life, so the name just kind of happened.

Do you have a favourite blog post? What is it and why?

I don’t. I think each one has a purpose and can help different people depending on their need. I try to ensure that my posts will be of benefit to someone.

To find more from Molly check her out here




Pin for later