Tuesday, 31 December 2013
Thursday, 26 December 2013
Saturday, 23 November 2013
Thursday, 21 November 2013
Tuesday, 19 November 2013
Saturday, 16 November 2013
- Give yourself time to pack - One of the biggest mistakes I've made in the past is leaving packing to the last minute. This is fine when you're going away for the weekend but if you're headed somewhere for a few months you really do need to give yourself time to think about what you need to take. Before a big trip I start packing a week or 2 in advance, I'll start by just throwing things I think I'll need into my bag but as leaving day looms closers it's best to spend one full evening sorting out your clothes as those are the items that take up the most room.
- Edit, edit, edit and then edit some more - The first time you pack you will inevitably pack way too much stuff which is why it's important to give yourself time to edit. As much as we'd all like to look fabulous when trekking through a jungle this really isn't the time to be showing off your finest garments so put back the 10 dresses you had packed and bring along 2 that you can wear all day, every day instead. I know it's hard but you have to be brutal. When I was in SE Asia for 3 month I took 1 pair of trousers and leggings, 2 dresses, 2 pairs of shorts, a few t shirts, 1 jumper, a waterproof jacket, 1 set of trainers and sandals, minimal underwear, a few accessories, 1 hand bag, a small wash bag / first aid kit and a travel towel. This doesn't sound like a lot but most hostels provide washing facilities which are usually free to use yourself or cost very little if you get someone else to wash your clothes.
- Don't over pack, you will need the extra space - One of the best things about travelling are the cheap markets and you will no doubt want to buy yourself souvenirs and maybe a few gifts for friends and family as well. Therefore it's really important to have space in your rucksack so you have somewhere to store the stuff you buy. You can always post stuff home but trust me this is more hassle than it's worth so best to leave a trip to the post office as a last resort. When I was in Thailand I bought an enormous bed quilt. Fortunately I just had enough space in my ruck sack (due to my minimal packing) as it would have cost a fortune to send home. My ruck sack was completely full for the rest of the trip but I knew I wouldn't buy anything big so it was fine.
- Separate your stuff into little bags - I kept my clothes separated into different bags inside my ruck sack. 1 bag for underwear, 1 bag for t shirts and shorts, 1 bag for dresses, 1 bag for chargers/electronics etc. This made packing and unpacking my rucksack really easy as I only had to worry about a few small bags rather than lots of individual clothes. I kept the small bag with my pjs and wash stuff at the top as it was something I had to reach for everyday. Little things like this don't sound like a big deal but they really do make the whole packing process easier and faster. If you arrive at a hostel late one night the last thing you want to do is spend 20mins rooting through your bag looking for a toothbrush!
- Embrace second hand book shops - This won't apply to everyone, especially e-book users but I love reading as many books as possible when I'm travelling however they take up an awful lot of space. To stop myself getting loaded down with paper I would buy and sell my books in second hand books shops. Not only are these places cheap but they're fun to spend a bit of time in and you can often pick up great travel advice from the people who work there. In SE Asia there are second hand book shops everywhere and the general quality and choice is excellent. After a visit to a few you will start to see a trend in what books they sell. Almost every shop I went into had copies of The Beach, Life of Pi and The Alchemist which are all great travelling reads.
Sunday, 10 November 2013
It's safe to say that this is the weirdest house I have ever lived in. Firstly, I should explain a bit about Coober Pedy...
Coober Pedy only exists because opal was found here in 1915. If opal was not found, it is unlikely that Coober Pedy would be lived in today. The temperature can reach 52 degrees in summer and -3 degrees in winter. There can be sand storms and amazing thunder and lightening storms. It's not a place you would usually choose to live.
Opal is found by digging holes in to the ground and tunnelling along opal seams. In 1915, miners would live in their mines because they discovered that no matter what the temperature was outside, it will constantly be 23 degrees underground. Once this was discovered, people continued to live underground to this day.
I called my underground home, my cave and I feel like you should listen to The Cave by Mumford and Sons whilst you read this post. As you can see from the top picture, my house was built in to a hill and did not go in to the ground like many people would expect.
My cave was once backpacker accommodation, which is why it is full of bunk beds. I spent most of my time living here alone but I did spend some time living with some lovely friends.
My cave was certainly an experience and I'll miss it so much.
Thursday, 24 October 2013
Monday, 21 October 2013
- Research E V E R Y T H I N G - Moving to New Zealand is a big, big step and it's not something I thought about lightly. I researched almost everything I could before I started on the process, It may be a bit different to me as I am going there knowing someone and being able to live with someone but it's basically the same start. I'd say the best way to start researching and working out if moving to New Zealand is the right thing for you is to read other peoples stories. Blogs are a great way to start. Reading Emma's blog actually made me really think about the whole situation and the things that could go wrong; it was a really good insight to the whole moving thing. So I'd say that is a good way to start as it's not all happy times while travelling, things can go wrong.
- NZ Ready Account - Another tip is to set up a NZ ready account. I'd never heard of this until I started researching visas and jobs out in New Zealand but it's really helped. First off it asks you some basic questions on what you're planning to do etc and then calculates everything you need to do before you leave for New Zealand. It puts it into really helpful bullet points as well which can be ticked off when you're done (which is very satisfying haha). It also put into groups for you so it starts with '6 months before leaving', '3 months before leaving' and so on, very handy if you're an OCD person like me and wants to do everything and anything to help me get ready AND in order.
- Be Prepared with Packing - I started sorting packing out around 2 months before hand, taking pictures of outfits I liked so I could remember what things to pack and sort out my wardrobe. Throwing away anything that I didn't need so I don't leave my room in a mess for my parents haha. It may be different to other people as I am leaving for 2 years but even if you are just travelling to New Zealand for a couple of months packing will probably be on of the hardest parts. I am dreading it but at the moment I am thinking truthfully what will I need over there. Be sensible. Do you really need that many shoes? Probably not. I keep trying to remind myself that you CAN buy stuff out there it's not like the stuff I pack will be it for 2 years. So I'd say start early. Maybe not the actual packing but definitely start organising and thinking thoroughly what kind of things you need and write lists. Lists are a god send.
- Remember and Consider Travel Insurance - I am putting this one in here because right this second I am have a little freak out about travel insurance. I am saving literally every penny and every penny is needed for me to get £2100 which is the amount I have to have to be allowed into New Zealand. Now that's fine I will get that BUT I didn't take into consideration travel insurance and its very hard to find one that is under £100. £100 of money that I really need in my bank, so all I'm going to say is if you're saving money as desperately as me try and think about travel insurance and maybe you wont be as stressed as me. At the moment it's looking like Travel Supermarket is my best bet with 12 month cover for £102. Like all my other tips I'd say research as much as possible as thats the best way your going to find the good deals.
- The Last Few Weeks Before You Leave - I have 4 weeks until I leave. All I am going to say is treasure every moment you have. I am taking pictures of everything and anything to remind me of home and my family as I know when I get to New Zealand I will be stupidly home sick. I am trying to make the most of my hometown before I leave and doing things I haven't done before. So yes, last tip is treasure the last month/weeks you have left.
Wednesday, 9 October 2013
Tuesday, 8 October 2013
Saturday, 24 August 2013
Saturday, 10 August 2013
Looking through my blog, I've noticed that some of my posts aren't as upbeat as I'd like [this one in particular]. I recently come across this quote - "Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit, talk about your joys." - and so I thought I'd look for the good in the bad.
- I hated my job in Perth for a Sales and Marketing company BUT... I met some of the most amazing people and life long friends. I got to travel to Bunbury, Albany and Geraldton, which I may not have done otherwise. I gained so much confidence and learnt about the importance of body language. I tried something new. I have a new job type to add to my CV.
- This same job left me broke BUT... I learnt how to budget and stretch my money further. I discovered the true meaning of generosity. Somehow, there is always money for cheap beer and goon. I rekindled my love for wondering around supermarkets, even if it was to look for the cheapest food. I realised that I spend a lot of money on things I don't really need.
- My health took a bashing BUT... I now know I'm allergic to wool. I have felt the importance of fruit and vegetables. I have learnt to take my anaemia more seriously. I have experienced a visit to the doctors in a different country, so I won't be as worried if it happens again. I have mastered the art of peeing in to a pot.
- I hated my job in Coober Pedy for an Opal Mine and Museum BUT... I got to learn about opals. I got to buy opals with an awesome discount. I learnt a bit about mining. I got to experience working underground. I got over my fear of talking in front of large groups of people. I will be featured in a programme on the BBC, hitting your screens in September. I tried something new. I have a new job type to add to my CV. I got to save a massive amount of money. I met a great, life long friend.
- Boys have hurt my feelings BUT... They were good friends at one point. I have many happy memories with them. I didn't hide away from my feelings, like I usually would. Life is about learning from your mistakes. I learnt a little more about myself. I reminded myself that I can leave if I don't like a situation, I don't have to put up with bullshit.
Whilst travelling, you will experience so much more then if you were at home. I won't lie, sometimes is can be tough. But there is always a silver lining to every situation, no matter how hard you have to look for it.
[For more Travel Tips; click here]