Sunday, 19 December 2010

One week later...

I've been home for a week now and I think (or I hope) I'm finally over the jet-lag of doom, so I'd like to say just a few more things...

Firstly, I want to say a huge thank you to a lot of important people.

Every single person I've met over the past four months has contributed to making this the best experience I could ever have hoped for.

All the brilliant friends I've made along the way who have entertained, supported, educated and influenced me. All the kind strangers who were there to help me when friends and family were unable to, without even realising it. All the musicians (one in particular) who have inspired me to pick up music again after so long.

Thank you to my family and closest friends at home for encouraging and supporting all my decisions, no matter how ridiculous they may seem at the time. And for everybody who's been reading this blog and sending me kind messages. Thank you!

And finally, although it may be the end of this trip and this year- I definitely don't see it as the the end. In fact, now that I've had a chance to see what's out there I can't wait to escape cold London and get exploring again!

Expect big plans in the new year :) x



Sunday, 12 December 2010

Home.

16 weeks,
11 flights,
8 countries,
6 different time zones,
hundreds of unforgettable experiences,
one ridiculously long haul flight.

Home.


Friday, 10 December 2010

Paradise on the Yasawas, Fiji

Bula! From Fiji.

I've been struggling to find the right way to describe the Yasawa Islands in Fiji. The only two words that can possibly do it justice are 'Paradise' and 'Perfect'.
In fact, describing it isn't enough, you need photographic evidence to see the full extent of this place's beauty...

Nacula island. The day I arrived :)

After climbing one of the highest mountains on the Yasawas. In flip flops!

I was more excited than ever when I arrived here, firstly because it is the final leg of my trip (and one I'd been most looking forward to) but also because I was delayed by a full 24 hours in rainy Auckland and I was more than ready to get back in the hot sun again.

My days in Fiji have been spent relaxing in the sun, snorkeling through amazing reefs, visiting the villages, and (over) indulging in more delicious food that I ever thought possible.

Evenings here on the islands are relatively relaxed and it's been a great way to unwind after months of partying and late nights. Every night after yet more food there's always a chance to drink the local 'Kava' a murky brown liquid made up from grounded pepper tree roots mixed with water, and enjoy traditional songs while watching the sunset.

FijEnglish. Watch out for us on next years X factor...

The only negative thing about Fiji is that it's so far from home that I fear I'll never be able to return again!

I'm certainly dreading the 25 hour journey back to Heathrow that awaits me. Although I am incredibly sad that I have to leave paradise and finish this amazing journey, the thought of being reunited with friends and family on the other side is filling me with excitement and the butterflies have started already.

Next time I write I will be in England, AGGGHHH!!!


Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Auckland to Queenstown (And back to Auckland again!)

Well, everybody who said I couldn't do New Zealand in two weeks, thankfully you were wrong!

In just 15 days I've covered Auckland through to Christchurch on the Kiwi Experience bus, and back up to Auckland again in time for my flight to Fiji. *cue excited squeels*

I've had a brilliant time here and although I've spent no more than one or two nights in each place I've still managed to see and do everything I've wanted to which I am very happy about.

New Zealand is a really beautiful place, particularly the South island- which I preferred- with all its beautiful glaciers, lakes and parks. Quite similar to Tasmania in some places so obviously it was a winner for me!

Every view is a perfect post-card shot!

My highlights have been reuniting up with a friend in Auckland (who I'd met previously in Australia) and catching up over dinner and drinks at an open mic night in town. We even got up and had a little sing on stage with the local musicians which I thought was a great way to start my trip!

On the adrenalin front (as that's what we're all here for), there's been 'luging' down a mountain in Rotarua which was hilarious...

Waiting in the wings wearing my lovely and undeniably safe kids helmet...

You take a cable car up to the top, then race down a track in what is essentially a sledge for tarmac at about 40kmh. Great fun!

Then of course the skydive, which you can read all about here.

I also had the chance to climb the Franz Joseph Glacier which was an amazing (and grueling) experience. We hiked for eight hours on the rocks and on the ice and had so much fun climing the steep ice in our crampons and fetching hiking attire. Again the views were incredible and we couldn't resist stopping every now and then for a quick tourist photo moment.


National Geographic, eat your heart out.

And finally, one more thing New Zealand is undoubtedly great for... the partying!

Our Kiwi Bus at the Poo Pub in varying degrees of fancy dress.

It's been a jam packed two weeks and I will be sad to leave New Zealand, but I'm definitely ready now for some chilling and coconut drinking in the paradise that is Fiji! :D

Monday, 22 November 2010

Conquering the Fear

I DID IT! I never thought I could, but I did it.

12,000 ft through the air with nothing but my guide and a parachute; the greatest adrenalin rush you can ever imagine and the scariest thing I have ever done so far.
And the evidence...


I've always wanted to do a skydive as the thought of it both terrifies and excites me at the same time. I know how much of a coward I am as I don't even really like theme parks and I get motion sickness on pretty much anything that moves, so as much as I liked the idea I never thought I'd actually pluck up the courage to go through with it.

Thankfully, New Zealand is the perfect place for testing your limits and getting your adrenalin fix, usually for a cheaper price than the UK too.

As I only had one night in Taupo (Skydive central!) I only really had one chance to jump at the cheapest price and with people I had got to know through my Kiwi Experience bus. The weather was perfect, the price was just about affordable and the peer pressure was cranked up to the max! Within two hours of arriving in Taupo I was already at the landing site being zipped up into my fetching jumpsuit and hurried onto the plane we'd soon be plummeting from.

My guide was wonderful. He knew how nervous I was (probably by the tears I was fighting back, oh dear!) and he did everything possible to try and reassure me and calm me down. They did however make me jump FIRST and sit right by the door which was terrifying, but meant I had no real option of bottling it without causing a real hassle for everyone else on my plane (not to mention the shame I'd face!)

The minute we reached 12,000 feet the door was open and that was it, head back, deep breath, freefall. I couldn't even scream I was in so much shock at what had just happened. It felt incredible and indescribable flying through the air so fast, then opening the chute and feeling suddenly so calm watching the beautiful ground beneath me. Minutes later we landed smoothly on our feet and that was it, all over! My only words were: "Can we go again?"

Typical!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The journey continues... Melbourne to Tasmania

My god Tasmania is a beautiful place. I am so glad that I decided to book my ticket and see somewhere with the best views I've ever witnessed. Even just flying over the island in my crammed Jet Star plane I could tell this was going to love Tassie for all its lush green mountains and clear lakes, amongst a host of other things!

Getting to Tasmania provided me with a great little detour too, as it meant I had to fly to Melbourne first; a city I'd really wanted to see but thought I wouldn't have the time. I had a wonderfully relaxed three days in Melbourne sightseeing, tram hopping, market shopping and enjoying some time to myself.

I loved the cultural diversity of Melbourne, it has so much more to offer than Sydney with all it's back street markets and a busker on every street corner. Not to mention the hundreds of tucked away restaurants and little vintage shops. I was in heaven!

Three more excitable nights sleep and a speedy 50 minute flight and I found myself in Hobart, Tasmania, a beautiful city where everyone seems to know each other and everything is within a 20 minute drive.

My intended four day stay was, as expected, nowhere near long enough for everything there was in store for me. I ended up staying for two weeks and falling in love with all the lovely people around me. My days were spent living with The Colemans, visiting a beautiful 1960s shack out on the coast, touring local gigs with the Adam Cousens band, eating ungodly amounts of chocolate, and jamming with great musicians at every opportunity I could salvage.

The bay surrounding the Shack

More amazing views

Of course, my visit to Tasmania wouldn't be complete without stealing a glimpse of the weird but wonderful Tasmanian Devil! I was a typical tourist and got myself down to Bonarong Wildlife Park to see the devils and some Koalas and Kangaroos too.

Tassie Devil, and Sarah and I with a camera shy Koala!

I made some great friends and rounded off my trip with a really fun night dancing, drinking and saying emotional goodbyes at the Tasmanian Beerfest. As sad as I was to leave, I know New Zealand will be 'heaps' of fun (as they say) and hopefully I'll get to pay another visit back there some day soon :)

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Three Weeks on the East Coast

I know I'm a terrible blogger and it's been over 3 weeks, but it's been an interesting 28 days or so since I last posted. I've been keeping a separate diary every one or two days so I won't ever forget any of the fun things I've been doing.

I didn't feel too much like writing at the beginning because -I'm ashamed to say- I wasn't too impressed with Australia. I had just left a really great group of friends in beautiful, sunny Thailand in exchange for rainy and outrageously expensive Sydney. It took a few days for this to sink in and for my tiredness to subside, then I was able to start enjoying myself and exploring the city which, as much as I hate to admit it, just felt like London.




I knew I only had one month to travel up the East Coast before heading to New Zealand, so without wasting any time (or money) I decided to start on my Oz Experience bus tour up to Cairns. My main stop offs were Spot X- Surf camp, Byron Bay, Surfers' Paradise, Brisbane, Rainbow Beach, Town of 1770/ Agnes Water, Airlie Beach, Townsville and Cairns.

The first week of my trip was a bit of a wash-out for me. Literally. It poured down with rain and was freezing cold all the way up until Rainbow Beach. Although I tried not to let it dampen my spirits (sorry!) it was difficult because it spoilt a fair few surfing and sunbathing opportunities- and it meant I rushed my way up quicker desperately seeking the sun. Still, I did my best to learn to surf (and drink lots of goon) in Spot X and I was hooked from then on!

Things started looking up when I hitched a ride to Brisbane for one night with three kind fellows from outside my hostel. The Oz Experience bus only departs on certain days (very annoying) but I fancied a little road trip so it worked out perfectly. Thanks lads!


Harry, Jimmy and Darcy.


From then on the sun was shining and Australia was finally delivering like I wanted it to.
My best experiences were to follow, what with meeting my lovely friend Esther, camping on Fraser Island, and meeting two people from Tasmania who would proceed to have quite an impact on my next few weeks (even months) of travelling. More about that later!

Fraser Island is a beautiful sand island with loads of fresh water lakes, rivers and sand dunes. For three days I joined a 'family' of seven others to camp, drive, drink and explore on the island. Pure bliss!

My other favourite experience has to be spending a night on a ranch in 1770, rural Queensland. I never had myself down as much as a cowgirl (!) but I instantly fell in love with the way of life at Kroombit cattle station. We got to muster up goats on horseback, catch and brand goats, shoot clay pigeons, crack whips, lasso and, like all good cowboys, eat a LOT of beef.




Next I spent a few days relaxing on Airlie Beach and Magnetic Island deciding what my next move would be. As I mentioned earlier, just before Fraser Island I met The Tasmanians, two incredibly talented musicians who Esther and I had the pleasure of jamming with one evening.
The outcome of this however, is that I've fallen in love with the music and I'm now joining them for some of their Tasmanian tour next month to sing a few songs with them. It's fair to say that Australia is definitely getting better as the days go on!


Check out the Adam Cousens band here: www.myspace.com/adamcousens to hear some great songs and see tour dates! :)

Monday, 4 October 2010

The end of my Asian adventures

So here I am in Bangkok, in a 200THB a night hostel, at the end of a truly amazing 7 weeks in South-east Asia.

I haven't blogged much because I've been so busy rushing my way around trying to follow my itinerary which, on reflection, is nowhere near enough time to experience all of what I wanted to.

From eating bugs and visiting temples in Cambodia, to cruising through Vietnam and making great friends, to partying and tubing in Laos, trekking and exploring Northern Thailand and chilling out on the beaches down South, every day has been a new adventure and I have loved every second of it!

All my initial fears of missing home and being alone completely went out of the window when I started hitting the hostels and meeting some awesome people. I knew I would meet people around, but I had no idea I would make such great friends and even be lucky enough to travel round with some of them for over 2 weeks!


People always ask when you meet them, what have been your highlights so far? I find it the hardest question because (especially coming from boring England) everything I've seen and done has been so new and exciting that I can't imagine ever going back and getting on with my normal life! Still, if I had to choose I would say my top few (and it's mainly because of the people!) would have to be:

1.) Eating dinner with a local Cambodian family at their village with my tour group in my first week

2.) Taking the Hanoi Backpackers Ha Long Bay tour for 3 days and 2 nights. One night we slept on a big boat all together, the next day chilled on our own private island and Kayaked all around Ha Long Bay then camped on the island in our little huts by the sea :)




Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

3.) Jungle trekking and Elephant riding in Chiang Mai. I also finally got to prance around in my first (decent) waterfall there so I was very happy!

My friend Tim and I with our Elephant, Champu!

Tim, Adam and me in the coldest waterfall of all time

4.) Snorkeling in Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. Firstly, I have never been to a decent beach in my life, nor have I ever really seen much fish when snorkelling, so when I got to the Thai Islands I was so fascinated to see the water as clear as a swimming pool and huge tropical fish casually swimming around my feet!
I loved it so much I ended up spending over a week between both the islands. It was great to finally chill out and not be rushing somewhere, but it was also so much fun because I checked myself into Koh Tao backpackers hostel and instantly fell in love with everybody in the dorm! We had a great group of 8 of us, Dutch, German, Italian, French and English and we had a hilarious few days chilling and partying in the 'dorm of love'! *Pictures to follow*

There are so many best bits it's impossible to narrow them down! I will be very sad to leave Asia, but I am also massively excited for Australia and all that will come with it. So for now it is Good Bye Bangkok, and Hello flight to Sydney tomorrow!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Travelling top tips #1 Surviving Public Transport!

It's inevitable when you're backpacking that you will have to endure many, many hours on various different modes of transport, varying dramatically in comfort depending on your budget, and your location.

I've been travelling through Asia for three weeks, and so far I've been making my way around on everything from tuk tuks, motorbikes, overnight sleeper buses, long boats, fishing boats, bicycles, sleeper trains, minibuses, and even elephants.

Something most people (including myself) don't take into account when booking their travels is exactly how much time you'll be spending getting from A to B and how do you put up with such prolonged periods of time on public transport.

From all my long hours stuck travelling from place to place I managed to come up with a few handy hints on surviving public transport in Asia:

1.) Never assume that your arrival time will actually be the correct time. Five hours in Cambodian time is usually more like seven, especially if your bus breaks down which, more often than not, it will

Breaking down in the middle of nowhere in Cambodia- Fun times!

2.) Always make the most out of your hostel's travel services if they offer any. It saves you time and money getting to the bus or train station as they usually pick you up from the reception and organise any stop off's for you

3.) Don't expect that because you're on a 25 hour bus there will be a toilet. Do, however, expect that if there will be a toilet it will probably be a rather unpleasent experience using it

4.) Remember the essentials: Food, water, a jumper for the fierce air con, ear plugs for the dodgy local videos/karaoke tapes, an iPod (for the same reason) sleeping tablets, an eye mask, and a phrase book- particularly for Laos as guaranteed nobody will speak English

5.) Be prepared to pay a little extra for more comfort. On the train opt for a soft sleeper instead of a hard one, and sleeper buses are always better than seated as you get your own space and you skip paying for a night's accommodation so you save a few pounds as well!

A 12 hour sleeper bus in Vietnam

Getting spoilt by the local Vietnamese ladies on my train- they fed me up the whole way and tried to set me up with their sons!

Although it can be a massive drag spending so much time getting from place to place, it usually does turn out to be a fun part of the experience, and if you're travelling solo then it can be pretty good for meeting new people too :)

4 people on a bike in Vietman- always a good idea!





Monday, 30 August 2010

The culinary Delights of South East Asia

So it's been only 8 days and 3 different countries, but so far I've already seen so much and experienced a lot of crazy things along the way. Most of these things were involving food in some form or another.

I suffer from a lot of problems with my stomach, and I'm usually pretty fussy about what I put in there (no dairy, eggs, not too much gluten etc) so I knew travelling would be a bit of a struggle- especially in Asia- but I never like to miss out on things so I've been making sure I try and give everything a go.

Southeast Asian food mainly consists of rice, noodles, curry, vegetables and egg. However, I've been on the look out for something a little more exciting, so here's a few little delights I've sampled so far...

Appetizer
Red Ants


After a whole day of walking round Angkor Wat being bitten to shreds by lots of pesky ants, we decided it was time to get our own back. So for lunch we tried fried ants with beef and chilli.


It was a little creepy picking up a mouthful with my chopsticks then seeing all their little legs poking out when I inspected closer, but thankfully the beef was a good enough distraction and they went down fine. I even had a few more mouthfulls. I didn't enjoy picking bits of ants legs out my teeth a couple of hours later though when I had just about managed to forget about lunch!

Starter
Crickets



In England you might stumble drunkenly out of a bar and end up at the nearest kebab/chip shop. In Bangkok you get bugs.
After only my second night away I ended up at the bug cart with a friend weighing up our options on what we should go for, settling for 'a bag of crickets and a scorpian'. Standard.
Being the woos that I am, I couldn't face eating the scorpian so I opted for 2 (and a half!) crickets instead.


They were very crunchy (thankfully) and we doused them in salt and vinager to try and disguise them as best as possible.

Selection of Meats
Bat, rat and snake


Tonight we were taken to a little cafe in Chau Doc, Vietnam, to try some of their local food. Unfortunately I wasn't drunk this time, so I wasn't brave enough to try the snake, but from what I heard from the others in my group I wasn't missing too much. I think it was compared to 'A lump of chewing gum with a bone in the middle' Mmmmm.
Anyway, I ate a bat wing which was pretty decent to tell the truth, a bit like a spare rib and nicely barbequed so I couldn't see too much of what I was eating.
The rat was cooked in a similar way, but I wasn't so happy to eat it as I've had a couple of pet rats and I always said I could never eat anything I could have as a pet. Still, I was assured it was nothing like our cute Western rats, just the vermin you see crawling the streets at night instead. Nice.
Well I don't like to be rude and say no so I gave it a go and it just tasted like chicken, if I hadn't had known what it was I think I really would have liked it! Sorry rats!


Now I'm only looking for something for desert. Does anybody have any suggestions for me? :D


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

I made it!

Hurraaaah!

After all my emotional goodbyes at the airport, and nightmares when trying to sleep on my first solo long haul flight, I finally made it to Bangkok safe and sound on Sunday afternoon.

It's been a busy few days of meeting lots of different people, surviving on 3 hours sleep and having about 50,000 near death experiences on the tuk tuks in the city.

Bangkok is a crazy place, and I'm happy I got to see it with a lovely German girl and Irish guy I managed to befriend at the airport when we landed. We had fun people watching (counting the amount of ladyboys) and bartering on all the market stalls.

After only a day and a half in the city, I met up with my tour group for our 10 day Roam Cambodia trip with GAP Adventures.

So far we've spent lots of time either on buses or out sampling the local beers. Still no time for sleep!

We're off to see the Angkor Wat temple tomorrow morning at 5am(!!!) So right now I should be sleeping, but I'm too excited from our amazing evening we spent walking round a Cambodian village and eating with an amazing family there. They cooked us the biggest meal ever and introduced us to all their cute kids who were very fascinated by us 'tourists' (cringe!)

I have so many photos to put up, including evidence of me eating crickets (mmm :|) and all the great people I've met so far, but I think that will be next weeks activity as I've spent too long on line already I think!

Love to all the family and friends back home :) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx



Friday, 20 August 2010

The Final Countdown...

Wooooooo!!

I'm leaving tomorrow and I'm so busy saying all my goodbyes and enjoying my last few days with my favourite people I haven't had time to blog at all.

I'm currently drowning in a sea of lists and have lots still to do, but hopefully I'll be able to blog tomorrow at the airport to take my mind off being an emotional mess when I'm done saying goodbye!

See you on the other side :)

xx

Monday, 9 August 2010

Introducing... My new love


I borrowed this picture from here because I was too lazy to take my own. Thanks engadget.

Isn't he a beaut?

It's my new Nokia Booklet 3G! The kind folks at WOM World Nokia lent it to me because they had heard all about my trip and they knew this would be perfect for me.

They weren't wrong. Me an the Booklet have been joint at the hip since last week and so far I can't fault it, it's so light and compact it will be great for carrying round in my daypack. Plus the battery life is something crazy like 12 hours which, for lazy folk like me, is very convenient when you don't have to get up and put it on charge every couple of hours!

Oh, and it's a rather attractive piece of technology too, so I'm enjoying feeling rather swish pulling it out my bag and typing away whenever and wherever I want.

Also the 3G and WiFi connectivity will definitely benefit me when I'm off in random Vietnamese cafes and wanting to get on Skype to talk to the besties (and the mother).

Hopefully this means I can blog a lot while I'm away and update all my millions of photos when I take them. Hurrah!

Do you take a laptop or notebook away travelling with you or do you prefer to escape from technology altogether? Let me know if you have any tips on staying safe and blogging while away!

Monday, 26 July 2010

The best advice I've been given so far...

As you've probably gathered by now, this is my first real backpacking experience, so I'm pretty much clueless when it comes to, well, everything to do with travelling (aside from city breaks, I'm a whizz at those)!

Most of my advice has come through badgering ex travellers, looking online, finding travellers on Twitter, badgering them, even speaking to total strangers who look like they may be on a trip somewhere.

And, although I haven't actually left the country yet (less than four weeks to go people) I can still tell what advice is going to be the best for me, so here's what I've picked so far:

1.) Don't just rely on travel guides, speak to genuine people, read their blogs, ask questions, join forums, TALK TO EVERYONE! Ok you get my drift.

2.) Start a blog and a Twitter for networking. This helps massively with point 1.

3.) If you're female and this is something you've never done before, read this book:

High Heels and a Head Torch- By Chelsea Duke
It's so easy to relate to and has heaps of advice on pretty much everything you will need when backpacking- it even includes recipes for hostel cooking and a suggested packing list for your trip.

4.) Don't buy a top loader. Go for a travel pack instead so as to avoid taking everything out when looking for something which, inevitably, is going to be right at the bottom.

5.) Don't always get the cheapest thing going. I am terrible for doing this, I can't resist a bargain! But it's true in most cases, if you want quality then you'll have to pay that little bit extra for it. Make sure you allow for this when budgeting as it will make a big difference to your trip. This is particularly the case with walking shoes- A random guy in a hiking shop (buyer, not seller) practically jumped on me when he saw I was about to buy the cheapest pair of shoes going, thinking I wouldn't be doing much walking so what harm could it do? Anyway, he gave me a lecture about how the shoe would let me down when I needed it most, and if I wanted to 'preserve my feet' (eew) I should think about paying a little more and wearing them in for at least a week before I leave. Great advice, thanks random man!
My chosen walking shoes Hi-Tec Women's Quadra Classic Hiking Shoe

6.) Pack one nice outfit and keep it for 'best'. I'm sure this will be much appreciated when I've been wearing the same smelly khaki shorts for 5 days hiking, then I get the chance to smarten myself up and look reasonably presentable for one evening at least. If you look good you feel good, right?

7.) Chose an overnight flight and get some sleep. Chances are, if you can't sleep well on an aeroplane, you're not going to sleep well in a room of about 15 people all snoring, so you better get used to learning to sleep in all conditions. This is one my really helpful STA rep, Natalie, told me as she had done the same trip as me about a year before. All of my flights are at least 6 hours or something (I'm trying not to count!) and I've opted for mostly all night flights. The plan is to sit down, watch one film, eat the in-flight meal, take some natural sleeping tablets, then crack on the eyemask, ear plugs and sleep pillow and snooze the time away!
I need these!


8.) Relax, enjoy yourself, and take everything backpacking throws at you in your stride. I booked my trip to have fun and experience as much as I can do, so I guess this includes all the scary things too. It's all learning!

I hope you've found this helpful. Please feel free to share your best advice and let me know if there's anything that's really stood out to you :)

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The List #1

Everybody says travelling is the ultimate experience and I don't doubt that for a minute (hence why I booked my ticket) but it got me thinking, what am I most looking forward to?

Here's a little list I wrote out when I was daydreaming concentrating hard at work...

My 'Must Do' list:

1. Go diving with sharks.

2. Swim in a waterfall. (I say swim, but what I really mean is prance around scantily clad a'la Peter Andre, recreating the wonder that is/was Mysterious Girl)



3. Live with a tribe and do tribal things(?)

4. Learn how to surf. Properly.

5. Ride an elephant

6. Jump out of a plane (ideally with a parachute and/or experienced skydiver in tow)


7. Conquer my fear of heights by fulfilling point 6.

8. Run around in a monsoon

9. Eat kangaroo (just a piece will do me!)

10. Learn Fijian. Seganaleqa, Marau!


There are so many more random things I can't wait to do and some I probably can wait for! I'm open to trying out any new things (within reason) so if anyone has any great suggestions for things they'd love to see me try to do feel free to let me know and I'll add them to my 'Must Do' lists! :)


Monday, 28 June 2010

'Giirl put your rucksack onnn'

So, it took me 3 weeks, 4 shopping trips and countless cries for help on Twitter, but I finally got there and chose my bag for travelling!

For me this was one of the hardest things because I know I'm going to have to live out of it for 4 months so it has to be perfect (naturally!)

I only wanted to spend £70 max on my bag, so the Berghaus Jalan 55+15 was out of the question sadly.

I ended up getting this (slightly smaller and much cheaper) Eurohike 45+15 travelsack:




I'm still panicking that it's not big enough- look at that tiny thing! Still, I was drawn in by all its crazy functions and how much it expands! I won't go into detail because I sound like a sales person for Millets.
Hey maybe they'll employ me when I get back and I'm a jobless bum. Hmm.

Anyway, it's here if you want some specs: http://www.millets.co.uk/rucksacks/rucksacks/product/103421.html

I'm a rucksack whizz now thanks to @GapYearEscape and @JonChoo on Twitter. Cheers guys, hopefully I've got the right bag now :)


Money, Money, Money!

This is something that has been a constant issue ever since I decided I wanted to quit the day job, pack my bags and head off round the world.

Money.

I’m still only in my first ‘proper’ job since graduating from university so though I may be getting a fairly acceptable wage, I have no savings (or rich parents), I’m paying off my student loan every month and I travel into London every day which, although I’m still technically in zone 6, is a lot of money!

This, coupled with my uncontrollable addiction to shoes and ‘all things pretty’ means it has been rather a challenge to save for this trip. I had originally intended to have £5K total for the 4 months I’m away, but since paying for all the necessary tours and excursions (so I’m not a complete loner) and the ridiculously priced Malaria tablets and injections, I’m left with only just £4K.

So, as I’m a first time traveller and stupid looking for advice, I wondered if anyone else could advise me. Will £4,000 be enough to cover my accommodation, food and living costs while I’m away? I have an emergency overdraft just in case (I get mauled by an animal, decide to elope, see a nice pair of shoes etc) but I don’t really want to use it unless I have to! And I don't really want to end up like these guys...



Also, what’s the best way of taking this money about with me, ie credit card, cash card, travellers cheques etc?

Any help appreciated :)

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Welcome!

Well, hello again Blogger!

After a short but sweet stint as a fashion and beauty blogger on F.A.B, I've now moved to here to bore inspire you with tales from my four months travelling (see sidebar!)

Of course, as it's my first time on such a big trip and I'm ridin' solo, I'm going to have a lot to babble on about before I go so I want to use this as an outlet to meet other travellers, talk about their experiences, seek advice and just generally try my hand at something I've always wanted to do- travel writing!

I met some really lovely people through the beauty blogging community, and I know there's loads of bored/frustrated travellers out there like me, so I look forward to meeting you all on here, on Twitter (@Little_lost1) and maybe even around the world!

LL x