An Aussie living in the UK. Not quite the cliche you would expect

The Wandering Darlings- how I ended up in the ukAn Aussie living in the UK. Pretty cliched really, however, the story of what got me here isn’t your run of the mill gap year tale.

I’ve now spent a 3rd of my life living in England and to be honest I’m really not sure when or if I’ll be heading back to my island home anytime soon. Over the years I could have racked up some pretty good frequent flyer miles but alas foresight wasn’t my strong suit. I’ve flown backwards and forwards from Australia to England almost 20 times.

Most Aussie’s will venture to the UK as part of a gap year before Uni or for a year out after Uni to enjoy the last of their freedom before a working career prevails. It’s the perfect base to explore Europe, live in London, try and meet the Royal Family and wind up some poms about the cricket. Usually, the time living in the UK lasts for 2 year which is the common visa length, however, some just end up embracing the grey dreary weather and the way of life and stick around for a bit longer. This is me.

The most common question I have been asked (and still get asked) is ‘Why are you here when you could be in Australia’ and it’s a fair question Australia is paradise but the real answer is-  I was always meant to end up here.

So I promised above that mine isn’t your run of the mill moving abroad story so hold onto your hats here it comes…

When I was young (much younger) my parents took part in an international teacher’s exchange which meant that they swapped jobs, cars, houses and lives with a family in England. They went to our small town in the Snowy Mountains in NSW and we came to their home in Somerset in the South West of England for a whole year and here is the kicker- this is where I now live- in that very same village. Some 25 years later.

I was 10 years old and my life’s path was in motion and I had no idea.

My sisters and I went to school, we made friends, we got to live in a two-storey house, we even got cute English accents. We loved our life in this foreign country.

My parents also made friends and when it was time for us to move back to Australia we all kept in touch. As it was the 90s this was mostly through being pen pals! We had some of these friends come out to stay with us and the relationships remained as strong as ever. One set of my parent’s friends had a daughter my age who was my best friend so it was great that when they came to visit our friendship remained and still does.

We then, when I was 16 ventured back to the Northern Hemisphere as a family and went back to our little village home. We all caught up with our friends and also made new friends. I had my first pub and clubbing experience. I was sucked into the British life then and there and wanted so much to stay and live in England. My friends back home in Australia even knew after this trip that I would always end up back in England.

While I was in my final year at school my best friend from England came to stay with my family for 3 months and then when it was time for her to head back I packed my bags with her and started my gap year back in the village. I worked in the local pub, made an even wider set of friends and fell for a few boys (standard). I embraced my English life wholeheartedly. I didn’t have any Aussie friends or family around and weirdly felt at home.

Sadly by being on a gap year before uni meant that I had to go back home AGAIN. I didn’t want to at all and I remember my parents telling me that when they picked me up I was miserable and just complained about how bright and sunny Australia was (silly girl- I totally wouldn’t do now).

For my 21st birthday, I went back again for a two week holiday. I just couldn’t stay away. Then when the time came for me to finish my degree, there I was back at the airport with my blue suitcase ready to move to England till I was done living there. That day just hasn’t come yet.

I am still friends with those I went to school with, I have other friends who I call my school friends but never actually went to school with them, I’ve made friends who are now considered my family, I have history in the village and can remember when the florist was actually where the old swimming pool was, I play ladies football for the village and actually feel like a local. When people would tell me how brave I was to move abroad  I always thought I wasn’t actually that brave or adventurous as I  was just moving to my second home. Which is actually a pretty awesome feeling to have. One of my favourite quotes at the moment is.

‘You will never be completely at home again because part of your heart will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place’  Miriam Adeney

I often wonder if my parents didn’t do their exchange would I have still ended up here. Would my life have been on this path anyway or would I have never made it to England? I do find it funny that I’ve basically moved to the other side of the world to live in a village so very similar to where I grew up and all I wanted to do growing up was to move out of our small town to a big city.

Life is a funny old thing and you never know with the decisions you make where they will eventually lead you. I’m just pretty damn lucky my parents took the gamble and brought me here to my home away from home all those years ago.

Do you have an interesting tale of why you ended up living abroad but would love to hear your stories if you are a fellow expat so do leave them in the comments below or get in touch?

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The Wandering Darlings- how I ended up in the uk

Globetrotters- Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown

This week for our Globetrotters we are off into the cosmos to meet Natalie from the Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown.

Now I love a creative blog name and Natalie’s blog is one of the best I’ve come across. What is even more interesting than the name itself is the story behind it. You can read all about here and I completely agree that naming a blog is just like naming a child (although I haven’t experienced that just yet) you want it to be a goodun that stands out.

Natalie has been blogging for almost forever and you can tell she has mastered her craft over the years just by looking through her site. From a long list of companies, she’s worked with to informative and well-written posts. There is literally something for everyone who is looking for information and inspiration on their next trip.

I’ve always wanted to explore the south of America and Savannah has been high on my list so this post just makes we want to get there even quicker. The buildings look stunning and the tree lined streets are ones I want to wander down. For gems like the post above you can find even more destinations covered.

I’ve recently written a post about my travel loving parents and it was so great to read that Natalie travelling buddies are not only her husband but also her two children. Kids of parents who love travelling in my eyes will have the best childhood. The adventures, the stories and awareness of the differences within the world is something you only get by going somewhere new. They are two lucky little kiddos having Natalie as their mum.

I’ll stop jabbering on now and hand you over to meet the wonderful Natalie.

The wandering darlings Globetrotters- Comos Mariners destination unknown

Hi, I’m Natalie, a former college professor who combined my love of learning with a desire to see the world to create my travel blog, Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown. Since starting my blog in 2010, I’ve discovered a secret apartment at Hampton Court Palace, flown in a World War II-era DC-3, stood in the shadows of inspiring buttes at Monument Valley, and crept inside an Iron Age burial ground in Ireland.When I’m not travelling with my husband and two young kids, I can be found exploring my hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, sewing, or reading contemporary British fiction.

What do you enjoy most about travelling?
I love that every moment is a new opportunity to learn something. As soon as I step out of my hotel room when I’m in a new place, I’m bombarded by new sights and smells, all waiting for me to dive in and explore. That fresh, new environment is what I crave when I’m not travelling!

Why do you think travelling is important?
Having your thoughts and perspectives challenged is incredibly important to becoming a more well-rounded person, and travel puts that at the forefront. If you’ve never been away from the comfort of home, and you’re suddenly placed in a foreign country, it’s overwhelming and scary, but it forces you to ask big questions like “What is my place in the world?” and “How can I better myself through what I’ve learned here?”

What is your favourite photograph from your travels?

The wandering darlings Globetrotters- Comos Mariners destination unknown
This changes on every one of our trips since I always come back with new photos! My current favourite photo was taken on our recent road trip through the Western U.S. I’d always wanted to go to Monument Valley, so being in this incredible place with my husband and two kids was a dream come true. Fun fact: our 4-year-old took the picture! Perhaps I have a junior travel blogger in the family?

Do you have a pre travel ritual? If so what?
Getting ready for a trip with a 4-year-old and an infant is very different than how I used to get ready pre-kids. Nowadays, my pre-travel ritual is all about frantically throwing things into a suitcase a few hours before we have to leave for the airport and hoping that everything we need somehow makes it into the mess!

Who do you usually travel with?
My favourite travel buddies are my husband, Landon, and my two kids, Britton (my 4-year-old daughter) and Gibson (my 8-month-old son).

If you were to give one piece of travel advice what would it be?
Plan as much as you can, but know that you’ve got to be flexible in the moment. When making our itineraries, I give us more stuff to do than we can ever get to each day, so that way we have options when it comes to our sightseeing. Some days, we’ll get up and want to go to a historic palace for a tour, while other days, we choose to explore a local park.

Tell us the funniest story or a mishap from one of your adventures?
When I was a senior in college, my sister and I both went on a study abroad trip to the Bahamas. Our destination, Andros, is so sparsely populated, that our class flew on two tiny charter planes to get there, and the pilot of the plane I was on had to call ahead to the airport to make sure they’d cleared all of the cows off of the runway before we attempted to land! Once we landed (without hitting any local wildlife), we went through customs, got our baggage, and got an introduction to the island…all in the one room airport. I love going to (really) off the beaten path places since there are guaranteed adventure ahead!

Where is your favourite place that you’ve been to?
It’s a three-way tie between the Aran Islands in Ireland, the Dry Tortugas off the coast of Florida, and London, England. We were the only non-locals at a Gaelic quiz night at a pub in Inishmore which was the perfect way to experience what life was really like on the Aran Islands. I love to snorkel and scuba dive and the Dry Tortugas are gorgeous! (Plus, Fort Jefferson has stunning ocean views AND an incredible history, which is my perfect travel combo). And London was where I studied abroad in college, so it is like my second home!

Where was one place that didn’t live up to the hype?
I always get weird glances when I tell people this, but Paris did not in any way live up to the hype. At first glance, you’d think I’d love it since it has gorgeous architecture, a deep history, and a rich arts scene, but I didn’t enjoy my time there at all. I might go back eventually to see if I can find out what people love about the city, but I have many, many other places to visit first.

Tell us one place/experience on your bucket list?
I REALLY want to go to Machu Picchu, Peru, and Angkor Wat, Cambodia. I’m hoping to check one of those off of my bucket list in 2018!

What is the one thing you wouldn’t travel without?
I am super near-sighted, so I always travel with a few extra pairs of contacts and my glasses. I would hate to get in the middle of a trip and lose a contact or two and not be able to see a thing for the rest of it.

What can readers find on your blog?
I focus a lot of the nerdy side of travel: historical and literary sites are my jam! Since I have 2 kids, I also write about family friendly spots that we visit and the products that make family travel easier. You’ll also find general travel posts about packing, our cruises, itineraries, and the like.

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

Before I started travel blogging, I worked as a college literature professor. I am deeply in love with all things literary, so my favourite blog post focuses on the ties that New Orleans has with American literature.

To find more from Natalie please check the links below.

Blog
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The wandering darlings Globetrotters- Comos Mariners destination unknown

Globetrotters – Gin & Lemonade

This weeks Globetrotter is the hilarious Lorna from Gin & Lemonade.

Like myself, Lorna is an expat. Hailing originally from the U. S of A she is has been residing in bonny Scotland for many years. We’ve bonded over shared expat stories, love of travelling and putting our thoughts and ideas down on a computer screen. She is utterly hilarious with her writing style and it always feels like I’m reading notes written by a friend when I read her words. She is literally loving life and that feeling jumps out of the posts.

Another thing which you will learn quickly about Lorna is that she always travels on two wheels. Like always. As a wheelchair user, she is rolling her way around this globe. I can imagine that it’s probably not the easiest in all parts of the world but that doesn’t stop her from getting out exploring new places and on the plus side she doesn’t have to carry the suitcases.

One of her recent posts which I loved (and will possibly steal the idea to do a similar post myself) was her top 17 Travel Memories. I don’t think mine could ever match some of hers. Thankfully I didn’t have to learn the hard way that a bidet isn’t a sink for small people.

Lorna’s been blogging for donkey’s years and checking out her blog won’t just give you posts about travelling, you can also find lots of stories about love, life and reading. There is so much to discover and all of it is coated with her fabulous style. Once you’ve had a read you will be hooked.

So let me introduce you all to Lorna.


Hi, I’m Lorna, a 30something American living in Scotland for nearly 25 years. I write, I read and I live quite happily with my husband, our daughter, lots of books, a few fish, and computers called Hemingway, Truman, and Frank. I’m a wheelchair-user fuelled by coffee, humour, and passport stamps. I’ve been blogging at Gin & Lemonade since 2010.

What do you enjoy most about travelling?
I love the excitement of going somewhere new, getting lost somewhere new, eating somewhere new, drinking coffee somewhere new. Traveling is an adventure and a clean slate where anything can happen.

Why do you think travelling is important?
I’m a huge fan of shaking up routines and looking at life and all things from different angles. Filling up notebooks with new words. Traveling, anywhere, helps me do that.

What is your favourite photograph from your travels?



This is my husband and me on the Barcelona end of our Bruges and Barcelona honeymoon. I love how relaxed we look, after all the wedding shenanigans. I often flip back to this photo when I need peace from other shenanigans.

Which is your favourite type of travel/holiday- sun, snow, sea, city, mountains, country?
Can I have a little bit of everything? Seriously, I enjoy where ever I go. That said, now that my family and I live in the country, I have a new appreciation for vibrant city trips.

Who do you usually travel with?
I went on some epic journeys with my Dad as a kid. In my twenties, I travelled alone or with at least one friend. These days, my best travel buds are my husband and our three-year-old daughter. And our travel-mascot George Bailey-Penguin.

If you were to give one piece of travel advice what would it be?
Be open to anything. Get lost. Look up. Write it down. That’s more than one, but I can’t count!

Tell us the funniest story or a mishap from one of your adventures?
I fell off a toilet in Pisa, Italy. I wasn’t even drunk. And I’ve made all the jokes so you don’t have to.

Where is your favourite place that you’ve been to?
I have several. I love Florence and Prague. And Bruges. And Norway. And Edinburgh and Seattle. And New York. I told you, I can’t count.

Where was one place that didn’t live up to the hype?
PARIS. Except for Shakespeare & Company Bookshop.

Tell us one place/experience on your bucket list?

I’d love to take my husband and daughter to see penguins in New Zealand. Or Antarctica. As for me, I’d like to go to New Orleans. And see more/all of Italy.

What is the one thing you wouldn’t travel without?
My wheelchair. My family. My notebook(s).

What can readers find on your blog?
I write about life, love, travel, and books. All on wheels.

What is your favourite post on your site any why?
I’ve been blogging for 7 years in August. My favourite is still A Path of Pebbles,
where Neil and I decided to get hitched. By mutual agreement. Or something. You’ll also find passport stories on my post, Dude, Where’s My Passport?

To find more from Lorna check out the below

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Globetrotters – Digital Travel Guru

You guys are in for a treat with this weeks Globetrotter- Elizabeth from Digital Travel Guru.

I came across the Digital Travel Guru on their Facebook page earlier this year and have loved getting to know Elizabeth and her site. She is so supportive of other travel bloggers and even runs a travel blogging group to encourage interaction and collaboration between like minded bloggers. I love anyone that is building others up and helping get everyone working together. You would think by the layout that they have been around for years but the blog only started late 2016. The design is spot on and so easy to navigate. I’ll leave links below and I can’t recommend enough that you head over to check them out.

Elizabeth is like a kindred spirit in many ways! Passion for photography, travelling, visiting historic places and a huge desire to see and share so much of the world. Total #girlcrush. She also loves sharing stories and q&as with other travel bloggers on her blog. Similar to our Globetrotters series she has her featured blogger series and takes great pride in introducing her readers to other bloggers who will help give them inspirations on what to see and do when visiting places around the world. I’ve included some links below. We both love being inspired by others so it seemed only right that she got involved with our Globetrotters series. You may also see us pop up on their site shortly.

A couple of my favourite posts include 20 Amazing things to see around Bali and 25 Travel Blogging idea and 20 Inspirational travel bloggers. I think if I had stayed in Australia for my 20/30s then I would have made it to Bali but alas it remains on my bucket list and this post induces some serious wanderlust. The 25 Blogging ideas and 20 inspirational travel blogger is such a good post that I have it bookmarked for when the writer’s block creeps in we also feature on the list of inspiration travel bloggers so another reason this one is a fav.

Oh and if you are scared of snakes maybe skip over the travel misshap questions below.

Without further ado let me hand you over to Elizabeth the Digital Travel Guru.


Hi, I’m Elizabeth and I run and manage Digital Travel Guru, which I launched late last year in 2016, the blog is still very new as it has taken me some time to understand word press and various other things you need to know about running a blog. I was encouraged to document my travels and photography by friends and family, also because I was helping many people plan their trips and itineraries.

Digital Travel Guru is travel blogging site that focuses on 360 travel I cover all aspects of travel on it. To date, I have travelled to over 40 countries and still have a bucket list a mile long. I love historical places and tropical beaches. My big passion is writing and photography. I am also planning to start doing travel droning and developing my YouTube travel channel. I run a Travel Bloggers Club with a friend and fellow travel blogger from Creative Travel Guide, which aims to help Travel Bloggers network with each other and with engagement on their sites. 

What do you enjoy most about travelling?
I have been travelling since I was a child with my parents and I have previously lived in Asia and Africa. Currently, I live and work in London UK, but I have plans to move to Asia later in the year. What I enjoy and have always enjoyed about travelling is seeing new countries, meeting people, experiencing cultures, trying out new foods and learning about how different people live. My favourite of them all is visiting historical sights such as temples and of course exploring and finding beautiful beaches. One of my passions is photography, so I love destinations that offer good photo opportunities such as (street photography, ancient building, portrait’s of people and scenic views).


Why do you think travelling is important?
I think travelling is important to understand people, which links to my profession in psychiatry, I just love finding out about people, their traditions, their cultures and ways of lives. I think travel has helped me do my job better as it involves working with people from many cultures and countries. Travelling is important to give you a greater insight and understanding of how life is lived in other places and to develop greater awareness and understanding of the world and people in it.

What is your favourite photograph from your travels?



Photography is my passion, and I am constantly learning and developing my photography skills. One of my favourite photographs is of Mount Batur in Bali, which is an active volcano and a sacred mountain according to Hindu beliefs. Mount Batur is located in Batur village, Kintamani District, Bali, Indonesia and it is 1717 m above sea level, the highest mountain in Bali.

Do you have a pre travel ritual? If so what?
Well, yes, I have a few LOL. Prior to booking my flight and before my actual flight.

Before booking a flight to a destination I do the following:
Plan and research the destination.
Putting together a rough outline of all the places and things I want to do.
Check the weather of the destination and what season it is.

Before my actual flight:
Check passports + copy of boarding pass and e-ticket
Check cards + money
Check I have all my gadgets (laptop, cameras, chargers)
Check my accommodation booking confirmations
Ensure I have things I need for my flight such as (warm cardigan, mini size toiletries, comfy socks, spare set of clothing, and a book)
Check I have my phone
Weigh all my luggage

Who do you usually travel with?
I have travelled solo and with friends and family, as well as with my partner. Mainly solo and with my partner at present and I usually meet friends and fellow travel bloggers if they are in the same place as me.


If you were to give one piece of travel advice what would it be?
Plan and research your trip as much as you can before you go, so you have some sort of idea what you want to do and see when you get there, it saves a lot of planning time once there, also check with the locals once you get there, for off the beaten track places. This I always feel maximises my time once in the destination and allows me to see and do more.

Tell us the funniest story or a miss hap from one of your adventures?
Having a SNAKE in my suitcase in Koh Samui, Thailand, that was definitely a big mishap as I am terrified of them. I was staying in a beautiful pool villa with views overlooking the jungle, and I went out one day and left a door open by accident. When I came back that evening, something said to me there was a snake or some sort of creature somewhere as I usually act on my instincts, so I started looking for snakes and creatures around the villa, as I realised I had left the door open.

Anyway, I didn’t find anything and I went to sleep. The following day I was checking out to move to another part of the island, as the villa owner was assisting me to put my suitcase in the car I rented, he said to me I have a story to tell you, he disclosed to me, he said as the cleaners were cleaning my villa the day I left the door open they saw a snake in my suitcase and had to carry my suitcase outside to take it out, while I was out, very scary.

Another funny story was I was in a rush one day in Bangkok and needed to book a flight to Koh Samui but instead, I booked a flight to Surat Thani (Koh Samui is also known as Surat Thai district) and I thought it was the same thing whilst rushing. When I was on the plane and about to land I thought hold on I can’t see the sea lol, then realised I had booked and taken a flight to the mainland this was many many years ago. I was still able to go to Koh Samui that day via a taxi and then a boat, it was actually a good experience in the end as I got to see, a different part of Thailand, however, it added 6 hours onto my journey. I still laugh about this till today.


Where is your favourite place that you’ve been to?
This a hard one to answer. I’ve been to some amazing and beautiful places, for me I have my favourite places in and around Asia, but in terms of a tropical paradise, with secluded beaches, crystal clear turquoise sea, and amazing scenery it has to be Seychelles. I spent two weeks here just driving around the island, exploring beaches, driving in the mountains, trying out local foods, and island hopping.

Where was one place that didn’t live up to the hype?
Difficult to answer, as I always try and find good things about a place, but once I booked a last minute trip to Sharm El Sheik In Egypt, and I really did not like the place and could not find much to do there. Some of the scenery was nice and the sea, but I’m more into cultural activities and experiences and it was one place that I could not find any historical places and sights to see. Plus I got an awful tummy bug there which just made me dislike the place even more, as this was something that is apparently very common there, so, all in all, I was not really impressed.


Tell us one place/experience on your bucket list?
I really want to go to the South Pacific Islands like Fiji. I love tropical destinations and the sea, these islands look spectacular and so beautiful. My bucket list seems to never end!!

One experience on my bucket list is to visit Machu Picchu in the Andes Mountains in Peru. Mainly due to my love of historic places, the views here look so beautiful and the history fascinating.

What is the one thing you wouldn’t travel without?
The one thing I need with me is my phone, at least you can still snap your memories or video them with your phone if you have nothing else or for emergencies and to keep connected with everyone also for maps and to checked saved notes of where I want to go as well as making my blogging notes on.


What can readers find on your blog?
You can find my blog at www.digitaltravelguru.com come and say hello. My blog focus on the 360 travel, so in essence, I cover everything from reviewing places abroad to doing interviews with bloggers for my featured blogger section, travel guides, travel resources and a lot of photography.
I am constantly changing and developing my blog site, so it’s work in progress, I am looking at adding travel videos to my site in the future and some other types of travel content such as drone videos.

Do you have a favourite blog post? What is it and why?
My favourite blog post is a recent one on Bali. Here is the link:

To find more from the Digital Travel Guru see below

Blog  links to check out

https://digitaltravelguru.com/interview-jeremy-noronha-think-travel-lift-grow/
https://digitaltravelguru.com/interview-with-runwaymarina/
https://digitaltravelguru.com/history-of-koh-samui-island-Thailand/

Pinterest
Website
YouTube
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
Travel Blog Club
Email- digitaltravelguruinfo@gmail.com (if you want to guest post or be interviewed for The Digital Travel Guru site please send Elizabeth over an email)

Travel Loving Parents

My parents have recently retired which, when they are still in their very early 60s/late 50s is really bloody early. I had like 5 mins worrying about what they would do with this new found freedom of the daily grind then I realised they are going to be even busier now than ever before.

You see my parents don’t sit still.

They get involved, they travel, they give back to the community, they find new places, they see different sides to places they already know, they challenge themselves.

I spoke to them last weekend and mum reeled off a list of everything they have planned till Christmas and every month they have something exciting planned in. New places, new experiences and new adventures and that on top of everything they have already done this year I just don’t know how they ever had time to work before.

Being the offspring of such inspiring, caring, empowering, sometimes cringy, overly energetic, life loving parents I wanted to write them a little letter…

The Wandering Darlings
The parents

A letter to my travel loving parents,

As I sit here in my lounge room on the other side of the world from you I think about how I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. Not because you created me (ew that’s a bit weird) but because you brought my sisters and me up to be adventurous, fearless, inquisitive life loving women and more importantly you brought me to this little village that I now call home all those years ago. You set my path in motion over 20 years ago and none of us would have ever expected the decisions you made then to have had such an impact now.

You took us overseas before we even knew there was another side of the world and although you had to wait till your 30s to see outside of Australia we got to see it before we even hit our teens. We now know to do this you needed to sell the house, that the opportunity to do it happened at a really unideal time and that you were both scared about having to leave your families behind with little to no way to contact them with three temperamental little girls. The world was a different place then and it was either too expensive or the technology hadn’t been invented to keep in touch like it is now.

In doing what you did then and what you continue to do now, you taught us so many lessons. Seeing as you both are teachers seemed kinda adapt. Lessons such as an awareness of other cultures and religions, how to get to the airport way too early, how to not tackle roundabouts when driving on the opposite side of the road, how to be respectful of others beliefs, random acts of kindness especially when travelling speak volumes, how to be polite when eating new local cuisines, how trying to speak a different language with a thick Aussie accent is extremely hilarious and how to enjoy and relish the moment of being somewhere new.

 

They love a rail trail!

I want to thank you for bringing exchange students into our lives. From our ‘sister Sophie’ when we were much younger to our ‘brother Hannes’ who helped fill the void for you when we all left home. We learnt about the world and other countries from having them in our life. We not only had them become (and still are) part of our family but we also became a part of theirs. I love how you are actively involved in rotary exchanges to help give other young adults the chance to explore a different culture and way of life. The way you help others is so inspiring and I only hope I can do something similar if I’m fortunate enough to have children.

 

Thank you for being involved in community projects and especially The Tumba2Kokoda Project that takes students in our small town on one of the most exciting adventures of their lives. The months of training, fundraising and organisation that you commit in itself is enough but then to do the trek along the Kokoda trail 7 times with the students must be one of the most rewarding things you do.

For always having a camera on hand to capture our moments and filling the spare room with more photo albums you could ever imagine. My obsession with photos started from you Dad! As much as we joke and laugh that you’ll make a ‘blurb book’ when you get back from a trip we know the value of having those photo books and love the stories they’ll continue to tell years from now. Mum, you have always been my biggest blogging fan you helped me, critiqued my posts, liked my photos, fixed my spelling and guided me on my own corner of the internet.

Thank you for being the type of parents that my friends make comments like ‘ can’t your parents just have a relaxing holiday’, ‘your parents go to amazing places’ It gives me something to aspire to. You don’t sit still you keep going and keep pushing to see more of the world.

Thank you for the long drives to Grandma and Grandpas every summer holidays, the long camping trip around Europe when all we wanted to do was stay at home with our friends. We learnt the joys of ‘boot picnics’, how to make friends and communicate with other children when we didn’t speak the same languages and that you don’t need to always get on a plane to have an adventure.

For making friends wherever you go and then actually keeping in touch with them. You did this long before Facebook and email were around to make it easier.

For having the type of holidays that push you outside of your comfort zone. Hiking in Nepal, exploring India, cycling through Croatia, solo travelling to England. You’ve shown us that you’re never too old or too scared to give something a go.

Thank you for not stopping my sisters and me when we got on all those many planes taking us away from you to let us continue our next steps in the world. I now it was and is still hard but thank you for being the parents that know you raised us to make the right decisions, to learn from our mistakes and to know who we are and that it’s ok to be whoever we want to be.

Thank you for now not crying until I’ve gone through the departure gate when we say our farewells. It’s funny how saying goodbye never gets any easier even though we have done it more times than I can count. The horrible goodbyes make the G’days so much sweeter.

For helping at times to fund our travels but also saying no and making us work 3 jobs to make the money ourselves. We know to have and enjoy something we need to earn it. Travelling isn’t an expectation or right it’s a privilege and that is a lesson I will always be thankful that you taught us.

I am who I am because of you and I am where I am because of you. For sacrifices, you made years ago and sacrifices you still make now and for that, I will always be so very grateful.

You are the best role models a little traveller and young (well kinda still young) woman could have.

‘At rejse er at leve’

Much love,
Your favourite daughter


My mum is also a blogger and you can find her at www.debs-world.com she blogs about lifestyle, fitness, family and her and dads travels and you’ll find some hilarious stories over on her blog. So do check it out if you want to read more about these wonderful humans.

Globetrotters- I Dream of Travel

 Isn’t ‘I Dream of Travel’ such an awesome name for a travel blog!! Everyone dreams of travel at one stage in their life so it’s super relatable. Lisa is the dreamer than runs I Dream of Travel and I’ve had so much fun getting to know more about her and her site.

Whilst I Dream of Travel is still a newer site it’s got a great layout and fabulous content. You can also tell from the headings that there is some super exciting content still to come. So get subscribing!

My other half is a huge music fan and has been desperate to get to Memphis for as long as I’ve known him. Lisa’s post has given us some great inspiration and I love the inclusion of bars and restaurants. Defo want to check out that speakeasy!
She has some posts coming soon about Savannah and Chicago two cities I know next to nothing about so can’t wait to read more!

Reading others advice is one of my most loved parts of this series and Lisa’s is one of the best answers we’ve had. I love her insight in how every trip comes in three stages and most importantly you need to pay attention to all three. Usually, we see the planning and post trip as the annoying or sad part but really they are just as important as the physically going away. It really is such an awesome piece of advice for travellers.

Here is the lovely Lisa from I Dream of Travel 


Hi, I’m Lisa! I started out my adulthood as a young, single high school social studies teacher. Therefore, pretty poor. Therefore, pretty rooted at home. Long story short I ended up a wife and a mom, with a job that had me frequently travelling all over the country. While I still find myself a wannabe world traveller, I’ve also come to realise there’s so much to discover right here in my home country. So, for now, I’m making the most of that (with a few international trips sprinkled in here and there)!

What do you enjoy most about travelling?
While I thoroughly enjoy the journey (researching and planning), what I enjoy most about travelling is exploring the unknown. Crazy, since I do a whole lot of research and reading before even the most mundane of trips. Despite all of the planning, I always end up feeling overwhelmed when I travel. But in a good way. No amount of reading, watching, listening or planning can prepare you for what it’s like to actually be somewhere you’ve never been before. How cool.

Why do you think travelling is important?
Travelling is important because of the memories you take home with you. You can keep those for a lifetime. I first thought of this in regards to my children- their material possessions were quickly outgrown or just didn’t last, but they loved to talk about our trips. The same is true for adults. It’s the best money spent.

What is your favourite photograph from your travels?



The is one of my favourite travel pictures because it represents travelling with my family and also just having a carefree spirit when it comes to travelling. It’s my son Parker jumping into Lake Ontario. We literally just pulled over so he could jump in!

Which is your favourite type of travel/holiday- sun, snow, sea, city, mountains, country?
This small beach town girl loves a trip to the city. No, the mountains. Wait, the country…

Who do you usually travel with?
Everyone. Throughout the year I’m fortunate to have the occasion and opportunity to travel with my husband, with my family, with my mom and/or parents, with work colleagues and sometimes I also get to squeeze in a trip with friends- sometimes girlfriends, other times couples.

If you were to give one piece of travel advice what would it be?
Every trip has three phases: before, during and after. Pay attention to all three parts. Plan well- learn the history, what do the travel sites say you should do, what to the locals actually do. Travel well- get up early, go all day, eat well, make time to relax and revive, and gather meaningful mementoes and memories. Follow-up well- organise your pictures and mementoes and update your trip notes and your social media accounts (and I don’t mean just sharing pictures- more later in my blog!) all before life gets too crazy again.

Tell us the funniest story or a mishap from one of your adventures?
Still not able to laugh at this yet, but here it goes. After an incredible family vacation in Toronto, Canada and the Niagara Falls region, we rushed over the border to the Buffalo airport only to find out we were at the wrong airport. Who knew little Niagara Falls had an airport? The airline advertised their flights out of Niagara/Buffalo (lesson learned). We took a very expensive cab ride to the correct airport. As we threw our licenses on the counter, the lady flipped her sign to “Closed.” She would not check our bags. We had to take them to the checkpoint and then to the gate. Problem is- you can’t take liquids through the checkpoint. So we had to leave our hundreds of dollars worth of wine from Niagara on the Lake area vineyards…and some Canadian maple syrup.

Where is your favourite place that you’ve been to?
Today I’d have to say Denver, Colorado, during the late fall. Snow on the mountains, still warm enough to hike. You get a little bit of both worlds- the city and the mountains. Downtown is full of local fun, yet Boulder, Colorado Springs and the mountains are all just within an hour or two drive. Ask me tomorrow and I’m guessing I’d say, Puerto Rico.

Where was one place that didn’t live up to the hype?
I almost hate to even mention it, because it really is a sweet place to visit. It’s Amelia Island, FL. It has a reputation for being a great girl’s weekend or romantic weekend getaway. There are plenty of gorgeous Bed and Breakfasts and horse drawn carriage rides, but it’s really a tiny little downtown. Not many restaurants and very little nightlife. We ran out of new things to do, eat and explore very quickly. But great for an overnighter!

Tell us one place/experience on your bucket list?
Paris. Sounds cliché I know. But it’s a bit more personal for me. My mom was a Navy brat and lived there in her mid-teens. I can’t wait to go with her and see all the places I’ve heard about my whole life- the off base apartment she hated (why couldn’t she just live in Military Housing, Petit Beauregard with her friends?), the commissary (Bel Manoir), the site where Paris American High School was, the teen club and all the places she went to when her and her girlfriends snuck out and took the train to downtown Paris.

What is the one thing you wouldn’t travel without?
My list. All that research, reading and planning I do- it goes into a list on my phone. I try to sort it in a logical order based on where I will be, when I’ll be there and around reservations, appointments or other scheduled events. I save addresses, phone numbers, operating hours, etc. Don’t want to waste time floundering around unsure of how to get somewhere, or show up too early or too late to a destination.

What can readers find on your blog/Instagram?
I just started a travel blog/site: idreamoftrvl.com. While it includes a blog, my plan is to include so much more- my research secrets, travel tips and destination itineraries. And of course travel photos! I also post travel photos to my Instagram account: idreamoftrvl. I try to include insight to travel experiences and why followers might want to check them out when they find themselves there. I’m also on Twitter @idreamoftrvl sharing articles that align with my travel style and goals.

You can find more from Lisa here.
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Globetrotters- Nomad by Trade

I just love the tag line Kris from Nomad by Trade has –  ‘A travel blog for the kid at heart’. It just draws you in to want to find out more about her blog! We all just want to be a kid at heart, don’t we?

From featuring posts of her interstate travels to international adventures to exploring Disney. There is something for everyone on Nomad by Trade. I really like how everything is categorised on the site- Leisure travel, Evening tourist, Tips, Disney and Michigan Love. Really mixes it up and is a nice change from having everything listed as destinations. It also makes you want to find the gems of information listed in these categories.

I’ve mentioned more times than I can remember that Iceland has long been on my bucket list and it seems every Globetrotter we’ve had recently has been to Iceland. Cue – huge amounts of jealousy!  Kris has recently explored this magical country so has so much Iceland content that I’ve been scouring her blog for lots of insight and planning advice for when I do finally get myself over there. My favourite post (there was sooooo many to choose from), however, was this one as a huge photography lover and someone who would sell her left arm to see the Northern Lights it is such practical advice to make sure you get that dream capture of this beautiful phenomenon.  Her amazing picture of herself, mum and sister is a winner and you’ll get to see it below.

Reading Kris’s answers I love how open she is especially when describing her blog. She knows her voice, what to share and what she wants to say which is so important when creating your own space in the blogosphere.  We can all get a bit bogged down in comparing ourselves to others especially other travel bloggers who seem to have it all travelling the world.   But like Theodore Roosevelt once said  ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’. To know yourself and be true to yourself is what every blogger should do. Kris epitomises this and is something I really respect.

All links to Kris’s blog and social channels will be listed below and I can’t recommend enough that you head on over to check them out.

Let me hand you over to Kris


I’m Kris and as a frequent business traveller, I hop from one city to another throughout the United States. As a lifelong traveller, I’ve been to five continents and 45 US states with a goal to hit them all someday. When I’m not travelling, I’m likely to be on Pinterest planning another trip or cuddling my dog, Artoo.

What do you enjoy most about travelling? 

I love exploring new places more than anything else. There’s no better feeling than stepping out of an airport in a new city full of things to do, foods to try, and sights to see.

Why do you think travelling is important? 

I think travelling is the best way to create positive global relationships. Going out and seeing other countries and meeting their residents firsthand is the best way to eliminate misconceptions and ignorant stereotypes. You learn so much about other cultures as well as your own that it’s hard not to come back wiser.

What is your favourite photograph from your travels?  

I love this shot of my mom, sister and me in front of the Northern Lights that I took with a mini tripod and self-timer in Iceland. The Lights were spectacular that night and I got the idea to have us stand really still in front of them. We’re a little blurry because I was using a long exposure, but it was just SO cool.

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

I’m an obsessive planner. I spend weeks or months researching attractions down to their opening hours, admission fees, and addresses. I also try to learn as much as possible about the place I’m visiting ahead of time. If it’s somewhere where another language is spoken, I’ll learn a few useful phrases (“Do you speak English?” is key), figure out the exchange rate, and research driving laws and road signs if I’m renting a car.

Who  do you usually travel with? 

I travel by myself a lot for work, so I have a lot of adventures on my own. Lately, I’ve been travelling with my mom and sister a bunch because they actually get vacation/break time. I’ve also taken a couple of really fun trips with my boyfriend the last couple of years.

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

Just do it. Whether you’re going for a weekend trip somewhere close or booking a month abroad, it will be worthwhile. Set a budget for yourself and save if you need to, but make it happen. I promise that the new experiences will be more worthwhile than a new pair of jeans or shoes.

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

When I was in Iceland a few months ago, my mom made the car rental reservation and I never looked at the booking. She’d rented a small SUV for the week and said it was only about $400. That seemed fairly reasonable since I usually get weekly rates when I’m renting cars for work and they’re a touch under $200. We rented the car, had a blast on the trip, and returned it to the airport before our flight. The problem was that when she made the booking, she somehow only did it for one day. The daily rate was $400. we’d had the car for seven days at that point. I was a little queasy since I was supposed to be sharing the cost. Luckily, they negotiated with us and only wanted an additional $900 on top of the $400 we’d already paid, but it was still staggering. I’m still baffled by the fact that they hadn’t tried to contact us (or the police) when we kept the car for an extra six days, but I guess they figured we couldn’t take it very far on a relatively small island.

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

Probably Iceland. Despite the mishap described above, I absolutely adored every corner of the country. I’ve never seen so much natural beauty in such a small area. Every corner seemed to be more beautiful than the last, and our days and nights were filled with incredible sights. If Iceland isn’t on your bucket list already, it should be.

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

Nassau, Bahamas was pretty disappointing, as well as the whole cruise we were on. I love exploring new places and learning about the local culture and trying new foods, but Nassau felt just like a run-down American beach town. Our ship docked at the same time as two other huge cruise ships, so just getting off of the dock was an ordeal. We spent the day on the beach right next to the cruise docks with a commercial shipping centre to our left and a scraggly sandbar in front of us. It was far from the picturesque Caribbean scene I had imagined, and we ended up re-boarding the ship way earlier than expected.

Tell us one place/experience on your bucket list? 

I’ve been wanting to go to New Zealand for the longest time. Every picture I see there seems gorgeous and I love exploring nature. It just seems like the kind of place that I would love.

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

Aside from the obvious socks and underwear kind of stuff, my main necessity is my camera. I’ve always taken tonnes of pictures and I love trying to snap unique shots.

What can readers find on your blog? 

Lots of fun stuff! I’m really just an overgrown kid, so I try to write posts for grown-ups who like the same kind of goofy fun stuff that I do. I’m never going to be the picture-perfect travel blogger or Instagram star, but I love writing about things like ridiculous ice creams and posting pictures of my head on a giant Pez dispenser. It took me a while to find my voice, but now that I’ve figured out who I’m writing for (and it helps that my target audience is also myself) it’s a lot more fun.

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

It’s hard to pick just one, but I really like my post called “25 Pictures to Put Iceland on Your Winter Bucket List” It was nice to get a chance to show off some of my photography, and it’s one of my most viewed posts. I’m also really fond of a couple of Disney posts that I wrote. One is about visiting the parks solo, which I’ve done on numerous trips, and another about my favourite fireworks show that ended its 13-year run last month.

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Globetrotters- Its All Bee

Would you sit here? Bianca from Its All Bee is one brave adventurer sitting out on that ledge. Even looking at this sends shivers up my spine! But this is one thing I really admire about Bianca she will get out to see the world any way she can- be it climbing mountains, glamming it up in the Greek Islands, discovering hidden waterfalls or just exploring London on her days off. It allows other travellers to relate to her no matter how they travel and in return allows her to have a versatile blog with a huge amount of information to inspire that wanderlust!

I’ve read a lot of blogs recently centred around authenticity and how important is when you travel. Bianca also references this below in her answers and I wholeheartedly agree with everything she says. Her viewpoint on this is so empowering to read and I’m so glad I’ve been able to share this with you all. Travel is what YOU make it for YOU. It doesn’t have to mean a year long trip ticking countries off your list or finding the new ‘must visit’ destination on the other side of the world. It can be discovering something new in your area or even just staying within your own country. Travelling is about broadening your mind, growing, sharing and loving this beautiful planet.

I have long had Iceland on my list of places to visit and Bianca has just taken my wanderlust for Iceland up a gear with this post about a secret waterfall!! How amazing would this experience be? http://www.itsallbee.com/2017/05/sleeping-sound-under-secret-waterfalls-iceland.html Seriously get me on that plane now. There is a whole host of destinations covered on Its All Bee and you need to check out the interactive map. You can also find hotel reviews so you know the best places to stay and travel videos which help bring the experiences to life. Her easy to read layout and gorgeous pictures make this a top blog to get inspiration and practical advice from. I’ve put the links to Its All Bee and her social channels below so make sure you check it out.

Here is Bianca from Its All Bee

I’m a firm believer that travel doesn’t have to be expensive. It also starts right at home, so you will naturally find travel tips from both home and away on my blog. From my birth country in Zambia to my second home in London and as far and wide as Hong Kong, India, Namibia, Egypt and many parts of Europe. I love an off-grid adventure as much as I love getting lost in city alleyways. My blog is a gateway to all those seeking inspiration on exploring the world, whether in heels or hiking boots.

What do you enjoy most about travelling?
The ‘newness’ of it all. I love looking forward to new sights, a taste of new food. Aimless wonder through unfamiliar streets. All of this comes with the planning and researching of hidden gems mixed with maples meandering. As much as I would love to go with the flow, I am a planner so I need to find out where the best places for views are, what local delicacies I need to stuff my belly with.

Why do you think travelling is important?
Aside from learning about other cultures, foods and all that travel encompass, travel teaches you so much about yourself. From letting go of fears of solo travels to conquering goals like hiking up mountains, learning about and letting go of our biases to even finding the style of travel that fits you. Each trip is an opportunity to learn not only about a destination and its people but about you. So, yes I think it’s important and I hope I can pass on that message to others through my blog and my further offspring on just how important it is to see the world because you will learn so much more by experience than by reading about places.

What is your favourite photograph from your travels?



Oh, I have several favourites. Two contenders that come to mind are sitting on the edge of Victoria Falls(Zambia) and sitting on the edge of Trolltunga(Norway). My favourite between the two probably the most recent when I sat on the edge of the troll’s tongue by myself while my boyfriend sat on the other side waiting for my turn. I guess it might be obvious that I have a thing for heights. I thought I was going to chicken out of sitting on the edge but after telling myself to put my big girl panties on, it was on! After signalling to my boyfriend make sure he took a couple of shots, I shuffled my way to the edge and sat down. Long enough to take in the views and a selfie of course!

Do you have a pre-travel ritual? If so what?
Yes. I love a mani-pedi just before a trip. I travel for work a lot and it involves being away from home in some countryside location usually, with little to do nearby so when I book my trips I try to work from home the day before. Just enough time to pack and squeeze in a relaxing treat to get my nails done. Sometimes a little spa session for a relaxing massage is thrown in which has become a little habit I have no intention of giving up.

Who do you usually travel with?
I used to travel a lot with my sisters but not so much now these days due to schedules and distances between us. On rear occasions, I travel with friends unless I am travelling to see them as most are now spread across the globe. My partner in crime when it comes to travel is my fiancé who is with my on almost every trip. One of the reasons why my pictures now include me in them as I now have an insta-husband, albeit one resisting his job title and duties. He will grow into it. Resistance is futile! 😀


If you were to give one piece of travel advice what would it be?
Go! Travel for some is scary and for some, there is an air of the unreachable. If you want to travel that much you will find a way – like with anything else we want badly enough. Whether it’s working in exchange for food and accommodation or whether it means saving slowly and planning to travel someday or a quick and cheap weekend getaway. I am a firm believer that travel is not a privileged few. I work damn hard to find the time and money from a crazy work schedule to be able to get away and have that work-life balance. I have resisted the urge for comped travel for the majority of my travels. For almost every post you will find on my blog is because of hard work to make it happen. Travel is not available to just a small group people or group. It’s available to all. It also doesn’t mean you have to fly to Europe or a popular destination for it to be considered travel. Travel can mean exploring your own cities, countries which not many of us do enough of, as we are led to believe that it’s not travel unless it’s to the beach, or jetting off to some popular place with some insta-staged location. Without going off on a tangent, my advice is to just go. Travel budget or lux. Do it your way because it means being true to you and nothing brings more joy than living authentically.

Tell us the funniest story or a miss hap from one of your adventures?
With all the planning, I do you would think nothing ever goes wrong but there have been plenty of doozies. From missed flights to lost luggage to thinking that someone had already booked the hotel when actually didn’t. One of that comes to mind is doing a 10-hour drive from Botswana to Namibia. Having driven for hours and seen some amazing sights one of which was driving through pitch black roads to Windhoek and witnessing mountains lit up by columns of some 30+ lightning bolts all dangerous swaying in the wind to a tune of their own. It was just a beautiful sight and nothing I have ever seen. We arrived in Windhoek shortly after midnight and after driving around the city trying to locate our hostel for the night we finally stumbled on it. Only to find out that our booking had been re-allocated to someone else and they were now sold out. So there we were tired, in a foreign country passed midnight with nowhere to sleep. With 15% of battery on my phone left, I couldn’t have cared less what my roaming charges were going to be as I just needed a clean room with a shower in addition to getting rooms from my partners in crime before my battery died. After circling around the town and not finding somewhere to stay I managed to pull up my trusted Booking.com up on my mobile book something and with less than 10% left use that to navigate to where our hotel was. Any other time I would have happily slept in the car that night but after a 10-hour drive I was tired and sticky and slowing turning into a crazy irritable lady. All I wanted was a shower and a nice lay in bed before we embarked on another drive from Windhoek to Swakopmund, Namibia’s German inspired town. We finally arrived at the hotel just before my phone died but you can just imagine the stress. Had it been during the day I doubt we would have cared not having a place at a hostel.


Where is your favourite place that you’ve been to?
This is a tough one so I am going to go with a place that always comes to mind when I think of a list of favourite places. I love Italy and I have been sampling cities and towns for a long time. My favourite place is Lake Garda. I visited with my older sister having seen pictures of it from my friend’s Facebook pictures. We ferry hopped from town to town during our stay in Desenzano, one of the towns on the lake. It’s so beautiful! One of, if not the largest lake in Italy. Clean and clear lake water with cliff side towns that scream Riviera. One of the places many Italians come for summer getaways. Picture warm summer afternoons with jets skis and pedalo boats splashing around as the lake twinkles from sunshine, to tourists licking away at famous Italian gelatos and taking lazy walks around beautiful Italian paths lined with Italy’s famous cypress trees. I haven’t been to Lake Como yet, but I imagine Lake Garda can give it a run for its money. In fact, that reminds me I need to book a return trip.

Where was one place that didn’t live up to the hype?
This is a tough one because overall I have great travel experiences. If I had to pick a place I would say Sydney, Australia. It was an event-free trip but the city just didn’t really leave a mark on me. It lacked charm or character in my eyes. I guess from what I have heard and mixed in with what I imagined the city to be I was expecting to be wowed and I wasn’t. Would I go back? Probably not, but that’s not to say that I wouldn’t visit more of Australia. I would love to visit the Gold Coast, Urululu, Great Barrier Reef. I also had a great time in Melbourne.

Tell us one place/experience on your bucket list?
We could be here forever if I had to pick one item from my list to tell you about. I have yet to visit the Pyramids even though I have been to Egypt. I would say all-time would have to be visiting Antarctica or climbing Kilimanjaro someday. Adventure seeker at the core I would love to round off visiting all 7 continents with a trip to Antarctica.


What is the one thing you wouldn’t travel without?
Hmm aside from my passport and camera. I have grown rather fond of not wanting to experience places without my fiancé. I have learnt to let go of wanting to photography everything on a trip. It has taken some getting used to. I don’t know if I am alone in that in that blogging makes you look at everything as a potential blog post. It’s become hard to just experience it without wanting to capture it. So…I guess it’s not a thing but rather a someone I wouldn’t want to travel without.

What can readers find on your blog?
I like to think it’s a multi-faceted collection of travelogues of a gal fighting to find out what it really means to have a work-life balance. We are complex beings and like a variation of things to do so if you love city travel as much as you love off-grid adventures then I am your woman! You will find quick and dirty getaways for you and yours to mountaineering getaways where it’s you, mother nature and a star-studded sky with killer views. Somewhere mixed in are tips and tricks on how to find the places I have captured.

Do you have a favourite blog post? What is it and why?
Another tough one. I am still experimenting with different layouts for my pictures and collages, gifs and video. I guess one that comes to mind might be my Weekend Guide to Warsaw. One of few posts where I actually managed to get the blog post and video published at the same time. I have tonnes of video from travels but just the time it takes to edit images and video. I wish I had a twin to delegate some of the work to. I want to do more experiments with other forms of media like cinemagraphs rather than just have static images. There just isn’t enough time in the day to work and produce the type of content I want on the blog. I guess it’s one of the reasons why I decided to spend more time honing in on that craft but the downside is that you will see fewer posts on the blog than I used to produce in a month a couple of years ago. I just hope my readers will appreciate the effort and enjoy the creative side of my blog as they join me on my travels.

To find more from Bianca please check out the below links.

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Globetrotters – Fill My Passport

Cupcakes for breakfast – um yes, please!! This is something this week’s Globetrotter Janine from Fill My Passport loves and seriously what a way to celebrate the most important meal of the day. I’m sold!

Janine has an awesome blog Fill My Passport- which includes Fly Away Friday link ups (every other Friday), alternative guides of what to do that is a little different to the standard destination guides, Disney Guides, traveller stories, honeymoon planner and travel shop. It’s a one-stop shop for everything from inspiration through to booking. Also how cute is the name!!

We both share a passion for finding and telling untold stories from across the globe so I love that I’ve been able to include her within this series. We learn so much from each other and reading her answers below I love her take on her favourite place in that she has to do it by continents. I’ve not ever had anyone answer it like before and it’s an awesome way, to sum up your favourite places. Every continent is so different so it makes complete sense!

I’ve always wanted to go to Niagra Falls and loved this post with highlights of things to see and do. I always hear the discussion of which side is best to view the falls and from this post, the Canadian side sounds like a winner to me. https://www.fillmypassport.net/love-weekends-niagara-falls-ontario-reasons/ . It just looks like the most amazing place to see nature at its finest.

Let me hand over to Janine from Fill My Passport and all links to the blog and social channels can be found below.


Hi, I’m Janine and I am an active traveller who enjoys writing about my travels, uncovering untold stories worldwide, and eating cupcakes for breakfast. After being to 40 countries, this travel journalist felt it was time to put her adventures in writing to educate and assist fellow travellers. I currently live in Toronto Canada with my Aussie husband whom I met along the Seine in Paris while travelling, busily planning my next epic holiday in California this November.

Fill My Passport is a one-stop resource for travel guides, tips, tricks, Disney planning advice, and inspiration. We are currently morphing our niche further into a romantic getaway platform combined with alternative honeymoon destinations for that adventurous couple wishing more than an all-inclusive resort to celebrate their sacred commitment.
We hope our forum will inspire, appeal and encourage you to stretch your palate, book a ticket, sport the Mickey ears, and Fill YOUR Passport with as many stamps as possible.

What do you enjoy most about travelling?
I love uncovering untold stories and having life experiences unlike anything else. Every country has a story to tell; built history to learn; mysteries to discover. This is the joy of being on the go. Not to mention the sense of freedom away from the drudge of reality.

Why do you think travelling is important?
I think it is important for people to look and think outside the box/their community bubble to learn and become educated on the outside world. Cultures and people bring a variety of thoughts, rituals, fears, emotions to the world table and in order to understand the planet to which you live, you must immerse yourself with others different from yourself to truly understand differences from you and your life.

What is your favourite photograph from your travels.



This photo is of me walking across the death-defying rope bridge at Carrick-a-Rede Northern Ireland. I was scared out of my wits, especially when the dorks on the bridge thought it was fun to shake the sides or ignore the safety precautions of 15 MAX individuals at a time, but in the end, I did it, and have the experience under my belt to prove it!

Who do you usually travel with?
I travel mostly with my hubby. He is the best travel companion as he is so much fun, hilarious, and my safety blanket when I cry through rough turbulence.

If you were to give one piece of travel advice what would it be?
Be open-minded to everywhere and everyone you meet on the journey. They were placed on this path for a reason. When you must sleep on a dirty overnight train, think of it as a part of the adventure. When you see that woman at the café sipping a latte looking gorgeous and perfect for that inner photographer in you, take a chance and ask her to pose. Life is so short. Take the chances as if it were your last day.

Tell us the funniest story or a mishap from one of your adventures?
For some reason, luggage does not like me. I seem to go through it like dirty socks. The latest incident took place in Istanbul. My husband being a gentleman offered to carry my suitcase up the street across the cobblestones which are terrible for wheeled luggage. The handle snapped making it difficult to manoeuvre from then on. We searched and searched in Istanbul for a new luggage, resulting in dodgy encounters in the Grand Bazaar and terribly overpriced knock-offs. In the end, after a scary incident, I continued my journey with the broken luggage until reaching London where I splurged with a Kipling duffel that endured heavy travel until its demise a year later.

Where is your favourite place that you’ve been to?
This is a tough question as I firmly believe that no continent can be compared. I will answer this the way I usually do- by continent J

Asia – China all the way. The Great Wall took my breath away
Europe – Other than England where I lived for 2 years, I adored Vienna. I could eat Sacher Torte for the rest of my life while listening to Mozart’s minuet in the background.
Oceania – tough call, but I have a soft spot for Australia seeing how my hubby is from there.
North America – Ottawa, NYC, and Orlando as I’m a huge Disney nerd.

Where was one place that didn’t live up to the hype?
Thailand. I think because I got into a life-threatening accident tubing that it tainted my experience. Everyone raves about Thailand and it being the top nation for travel, but I was on the fence about it and don’t need to return. If I were heading back to Southeast Asia, I would rather seek new adventures in places like Borneo, Laos, and Cambodia.

Tell us one place/experience on your bucket list?
Oh boy, what do I choose to divulge? My list is growing every day! I would have to say a trip through South America. I would love to see the Galapagos, the Bolivia Salt Flats, Inca Trail, and Uruguay. That’s my goal for my 40th birthday which is in (cringe…) a year and a half…

What is the one thing you wouldn’t travel without.
I am a dental hygiene freak! I just cannot travel without floss, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc. I just saw my dad go through hell losing his teeth and I am trying to prevent this fate along with expensive dental bills for as long as possible!
On another note, I CANNOT travel without my Fraggles. Fraggle Rock from the 1980’s was one of my favourite shows created by Jim Henson and they just bring me joy and photobomb many of my pics!

What can readers find on your blog?
Fill My Passport brings city guides, romance tips, and Disney planning help to its readers. We are set to launch a product line soon which we hope will be a helpful resource for travellers and writers alike.

We give truthful accounts from experience and bring fusions of taste, romance and travel to our following. We strive to bring our romantic getaway niche to our forum as well as a detailed top-notch Disney planning section.

Do you have a favourite blog post? What is it and why?
I am very proud of my blog post “15 Reasons You Need to Visit Midland Ontario for Canada 150” as it is my stepdad’s hometown and truly resonated with the locals. It felt like every business shared the post and was passionate about the content! This article was so popular that they even mentioned that I needed to do the second installment so that post is coming soon to the blog J I am proud of it as a small town nearly 2 hours North of Toronto probably has not had much media exposure and responded so highly and passionately about my coverage of their hometown.

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Globetrotters- Emer There & Everywhere

Emer from Emer There & Everywhere is one gutsy girl. Packing up her London life to book a one-way ticket to Asia is a huge jump. And as you’ll read below it’s one she’s never looked back on. I don’t blame her. It’s every wanderlust (actually probably every persons) ultimate dream.  I love reading about people who have followed their itchy travel feet and gone in search of a long term adventure. Although technically I’ve done the same I always feel a bit of a cop out as the English culture isn’t really that dissimilar to the Aussie culture, but for Emer going from Cork to London to then Asia must have been a huge culture shock. Reading her posts and looking at her photos on Instagram she’s embraced it all and seen so many sights and experienced things that many of us only dream of. This is what life is all about. Taking risks, doing what you need to do, having fun and seeing the world.

I’ve been following Emer’s adventures for some time now and one of the posts I loved of hers is this one.  Two reasons why- 1) there is an AMAZING photo of the sun setting by Red Mountain Winery. Looking at this picture I feel completely transported to sitting on the hill drinking wine watching the sun set over the beautiful landscape. The atmosphere of that moment oozes out of the screen and 2) Inle lake sounds like a great place to explore. I’ve never heard of it before and is now one place I’ll be putting on my list.

She is now down in my neck of the woods at the moment, in New Zealand and I am loving her pictures on Instagram. New Zealand is a  truly spectacular country and with Emer’s style of writing, it’s going to make for awesome reading when she uploads her posts. Reading her posts really feels like you are listening to a friend tell you their stories of their travels and once you know Emer is Irish just try not reading it in your head in an Irish accent. Here blog is a great find and I’m so glad I get to share it with you all. 

So here is Emer from Emer There & Everywhere.

 

I’m originally from Cork, Ireland. I’ve always loved travel, but up until this year, I mostly travelled in relatively short bursts, as I’ve been living and working in London for the past 8 years. Having saved up a bit of money over the years, last year I decided maybe it was time to look at buying a flat in London because it just seemed like the next step. Only when I got to the point of viewing places did I realise that instead of feeling excited about the whole thing, I just felt worn out and stressed. Then I worked out that maybe the answer to not feeling 100% settled where I was in life was to make a change, not dig in deeper. So, I quit my job, packed my bags and booked a one-way ticket to Singapore. Nearly 5 months later I am in New Zealand with just my backpack and I haven’t looked back!

What do you enjoy most about travelling?

I love the variety. I like always having something new to do and see, people to meet, places to go. It’s a great way of getting out of your routine and doing something different.

Why do you think travelling is important?

 I think travelling is something wonderful and fun you can do for yourself, which is important for everyone to do from time to time. Aside from that, I think travelling helps us to learn a bit more about the world we live in. Travel gives you a chance to see things and meet people you never would otherwise, and maybe even view and understand the world in a different way.

What is your favourite photograph from your travels. 

 

Bagan. There are so many moments I’ll never forget about this particular trip, but seeing the sunrise and the balloons over the temples of Bagan was very special. I’d been fascinated by Myanmar for a long time, and it was wonderful to be able to go there. There is something about Bagan in particular that makes me feel calm and awestruck all at once, and this photo reminds me of that feeling.

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

Oh, that really depends… I absolutely love the mountains – give me a map and point me in the direction of a hiking trail and I am happy. But for me, you just can’t beat being near the sea. Whether it’s sunbathing on white sands with the waves lapping on the shore, scuba diving on a coral reef, or strolling along a windy seafront, the ocean just does it for me.

Who do you usually travel with?

I mostly travel alone! Sometimes I travel with family or friends, but I love the freedom and flexibility that solo travel gives you. I first took a trip on my own about 5 years ago before starting a new job. I had a few weeks off, really wanted a holiday and none of my friends were free, so I just took off to Hungary, Croatia and Barcelona and had the best time. Since then I’ve taken several short trips alone, but this current trip is the longest. I’ve been travelling for just over 4 months. I’m rarely on my own for long though; I’ve met lots of great people along the way and made some friends for life.

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

Try to do as much as you can on your own steam. Tour companies make their money by taking a commission and passing on extra costs to you for organising something you can often do yourself. Also, for every agency or tour operator involved, the provider of the service gets less of the overall fee. So if you book a hike and a homestay with a tribal family from an agency, through your hostel, with pickup from a bus company, that’s three parties getting a cut before you even speak to your host family.

Sometimes there is no choice – e.g. If you want to climb a glacier or go diving on the Great Barrier Reef, you probably need a tour company to get you there. But, usually, there is a simpler and cheaper way for you to do it on your own, and generally, you’ll be rewarded with a more memorable, enjoyable and authentic experience.

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

I’ve been fortunate enough to have avoided any major mishaps or misadventures so far, thankfully. Although, I did manage to drop my phone down a toilet in a hostel in Cairns recently. I was flying to NZ that day so didn’t have much time to dry it out. I was staying with a friend in Auckland, and when I arrived she offered me a bag of rice to stick the phone into dry it out. As I attempted to do this, I managed to spill most of the bag of rice all over her kitchen counter and floor. What a dream house guest!

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

That’s a really hard one. Just to pick somewhere NOT from this particular trip, I’m going to say Barcelona. It’s a city I’ve been to a few times, and I’ve always had a great time. It’s got beautiful architecture, great food, the sunshine, wine, a beach, hiking and fabulous music festivals. What more could you want?!

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

I feel like your time in each place is what you make of it, and I try not to listen to the hype and just go and enjoy my time as best I can.

 However, I will say that the one place that is totally different in photos compared to reality is Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Every time you see a photo of Angkor Wat at sunrise and think what a serene and wonderful moment that must be, know that there are about 500 other people surrounding the photographer, jostling for the perfect shot.

Tell us one place/experience on your bucket list?

Not really one place, but I’d like to spend some time travelling in South and Central America. I’ve only been to Argentina, so there’s a lot more to see! I don’t think I’ll get there on this trip, but I look forward to planning it when I get back…

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

A decent pair of running/walking shoes. I walk a lot when I’m travelling, and I try to get out for a run from time to time too. I find it’s a great way of keeping fit for free while travelling. Oh and a face cream with a high SPF.

 What can readers find on your blog?

It’s a personal account of my travels so far, with plenty of pictures and tips along the way. As a solo traveller, I think a lot of the posts will probably resonate most with people travelling alone, or thinking about it, but hopefully here’s something for anyone with a bit of wanderlust.

To find more from Emer please check the links below

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