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Being the girl that never stays.

Some might say I am brave, some may even say selfish. Maybe a little crazy or, simply intrigued at the world.

 

(3 minute read)

I could call myself a somewhat gypsy yet in reality, I just crave adventures and new experiences.

There’s an urge in me to meet people all over the planet and see for myself what the world has to offer.

I crave to witness all the different ways people live from all different ways of lives.

 

After life lessons you can’t teach by textbook, to learn things about myself in the most random and unexpected ways. I want to simply enjoy life.

 

 

Moving every three months since I was 18, I’m almost 23 and still going. Writing this on a one way flight up Australia’s East Coast with absolutely no plans and nothing booked when I land.

I’ve said my goodbyes, and I am off again.

 

For those at home, I‘m one of the few. When I’m backpacking different continents, I know I am among thousands of backpackers all over the world just after the feeling of freedom with a serious case of the travel bug.

I don’t need to follow the footsteps of modern world society or what my friends think is normal.

Go to uni, get a job, get a house, have my group of friends and just get on life. I need something different.

We are privileged.

I am able to have many choices in my life. I have a British passport. English is my first language. I have a home in England where family supports my choices. I have an education, a chance to act. Countless people, just don’t.

I realised I won’t be doing this for the rest of my life. I don’t want to.

Travel will always be involved with me whatever age. Whatever happens but I will want to settle one day. Have a base with a partner and they’ll be times where I will have to be at home, but for now, living out of a rucksack with an ever changing mobile number, address and new passport stamps becoming monthly, I’m satisfied.

 

I‘m on the go a lot and there is no stopping soon.

So, it’s really hit me recently how much I actually, never stay around.

Over Christmas, I let out a ‘Oh I need to get myself a boyfriend’ Truth is, I guess I would like one.

My friend replied.. ‘Maybe if you actually stay, you’ll find someone’

I’ve been thinking…

I’ve become so used to goodbyes, not getting too comfortable with people.

It’s becoming easy letting go of relationships and putting friendships virtually on hold.

Constantly packing minimal stuff and missing out important events at home. Not seeing people for months on end and this seems to have become the norm.

I’m getting used to not seeing friends and family and sometimes hardly being able to communicate.

I’m so used to saying goodbye and not having a clue when it’ll be until I see them again, which is now most people I ever meet.

I’m constantly packing my bags and hugging someone goodbye.

I’m seeing loved ones through a screen and sometimes struggle to crack the time zone sh*t.

I’m messaging people so I know what they‘re doing but i’ts turning emotions and experiences with people through a video camera.

I’ve become the one that never sticks around, forever on the move.

Knowing that saying goodbye to people, is never really going to get easier.

It becomes manageable. It becomes the norm to know I ain’t going to be able to around for long.

Even if I wish to be. I don’t always want to be on my own and had my fair share of experiences I crave having friends from home.

I want someone to come on adventures with me, I need to be around people who understand.

I’ve made a promise, and a lifestyle, something I am passionate about. It’s not all adventures and fun. It’s making memories with people you’ll never meet again. Knowing the relationships worth holding on to and seeing who still wants contact.

It’s being able to sometimes simply let go, know things aren’t going to be forever.

Never the less, it’s an adventure of the unknown, keeping an open mind and deep memories with the people that mean the most, it’s all pretty exciting, just not always easy.

The girl that never stays.

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19 things you should know before traveling Australia

Australia was never on the top of my list for places to live and travel. Seeking magical adventures and trying to get out my comfort zone, I felt more inclined to Asia & countries that were contrasting to what I was used too. After an unbelievable and magical 6 month trip around South East Asia, I […]

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The reality of Australian second year visa farm work

The reality of Australian Second year visa work

Sure most of us have heard about second year visa work.

13 consistence weeks on the same farm or 88 days of some kind of agriculture work to gain a second year visa in Australia.

Sydney #operahouse #sydneyharbour #travelsydney #wanderlust #nikon

Hearing numerous things regarding farm work, I had a good idea how it all worked, however I don’t think anything can prepare you for the real thing.

Almost everyone says, do it for the experience and boy is it one!

Still smiling despite reaching 43 degree dry heat. Considering I'm English and its November, I can't complain too much. ☀️

Still smiling despite reaching 43 degree dry heat. Considering I’m English and its November, I can’t complain too much. ☀️

 

In this blog,
I can only go off my experiences and knowledge, working on a banana farm as apposed to others all over Australia, never the less, I sure had a real Australian, backpacker, bush living, full time farm work experience and I’m writing this to help understand, inform and share this experience for me and many others!

New job role: Driving the tractor // 7am out in the banana paddys with the lads ☀️

Where?

North Tropical Queensland

4 hours North of Cairns, Lakeland.

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Four farms, one accomadation and 50-80 backpackers.

Family dinner // Farmlife

Sitauted far from much sense of normality, the closest city was Cairns, over a 4 hour drive.

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Home

The closest town was Cooktown, an hour drive north, around 15 years out of date, a basic town with only approx 2,000 as their population.

As mentioned in other blogs, travel tip, don’t have expectations. It’s hard not too especially when you already have loads of information however I never expected something quite like this.

Bush living #Australia #NorthtropicalQueensland

Bush living

Getting the job

After 6 months traveling solo around Asia, and just under three months living in Melbourne, I decided farm work was a favourable option.

Making calls to hostels and farms around Innisfail and others around Cairns, I wasn’t getting much luck. I had booked a flight up to Cairns as I wanted to be in Queensland.

Helpful places offering work; Gumtree. Facebook. Travel agents

Farm work is a pretty last minute thing. Jobs come and go and staff are normally needed asap.

On the Monday of leaving to Cairns, I called round more working hostels as last minute seemed to be the best option.

‘The job is yours if you are here by tomorrow’

Arriving past midnight, a few hours sleep at Gilligans and a 7am pick up I was off the next morning.

Here we go again. My rucksack & I can't stay in the same place for longer then 3 months. Melbourne, you have not let me down. The friends and memories I have from such an awesome city, but I have to continue my worldwide adventures. Heading to the outback. Melbourne, I'll see you soon. #travel #solobackpacker

Farm work tends to happen very quickly, there are so many people looking for work they normally want immediate starts, hence why last minute seems to be the best option.

When looking for farm work, try give yourself the flexibility to just get straight to the job.

Sometimes it’s a matter of constantly checking or work and just calling up and hoping there are places.

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Be aware

There are, like always, a few dodgy farms and people get messed around so it’s worth doing a little research on where you are heading or speaking to people in the area.

I’ve heard stories of travelers completing their time however not being signed off.

Unfortunatley, on most farms, no job is secure. Everyone is so easily replaced so incase of the worst, try not to leave farm work too last minute.

If you do leave or get sacked, however still want to continue farm work. You will have to complete 88 days to be signed off, which can work out a lot longer.

Bush life

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The nature and scenery looked like something from David Attenborough, legit.

(Fun fact: His favourite rainforest is in Queensland)

The farm and accomadation surroundings where just sensational. Miles of nothing but land. Wild wallabies, crazy insects, surreal surroundings and sensational sunsets, it was hard not to enjoy the lifestyle.

Friday's off. 35degrees.

Friday’s off. 35degrees.

Farm life is normally tough graft, easy living.

Long days, short weeks we all used to say on the farm.

Other then attending work and getting on with it, life wasn’t too stressful.

It’s a strange living condition as you live and work with the same people as there is no one else around. We felt like we were in the TV show, Big Brother.

Saturdays. Farm life.

Saturdays. Farm life.


Work

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13 weeks.

6.30am pickup.
Every morning 4/5 days a week.

Depending on which farm you worked on, was dependant on what bus you got and off you went for the day. Water, lunch, coffee, sun cream, hat, phone, go.

Checking out all the farms from up high in a tiny little plane! #Queensland #Australia #farmwork #fly

Checking out all the farms from up high in a tiny little plane!

Let me tell you, the fun of it all can ware off as the work gets tough.
It was go from day one and that was going to be it for the next 13 weeks. I kind of had absolutely no other option other then to get the heck on with it.

Pay was hourly, which I highly reccomend.

Comission work isn’t always great pay and there is no garuntee there is always enough fruit.

Rules

Girls in the shed. Guys in the paddocks.

There were particular about male and female roles despite being one of the only females to do a males job and I luckily got to work in the paddocks!

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There are jobs for guys in the shed, who will be named ‘shed bitches’.

There are a number of reasons for girls and guys having certain jobs.

A. Sexism. This is outback Australia we are talking about.

B. The heat is so intense, the guys are more reliable for work in the hot weather.

C. The cutting & humping are so physical, the height on the banana trees, and weight of some of the banana bunches do make it a ‘mans job’. End of.

Jobs:

Female – Sorting, Hanging, Stacking, Packing, Cutting and Weighing.

Sounds like some kind of joke. It’s not.

Male – Stacking, Humping, Hanging, De-hanging, Driving.

Shed life: No talking. No music. Nothing but machinery. We occasionally made small talk and had a little giggle. Almost got sacked my first few days for talking. I guess some things never change.

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Routine

You eventually get the hang of things. It takes a few days and thankfully help from the others, you get to know what to wear, what to take to work, how the days pan out etc.
You work out what time to get up at and how much sleep you really need.

After a few weeks you really get into a routine. As a backpacker always on the move, it felt wierd being back in my own little room and working long days.

Make the most of the routine. I used my time to loose some weight, get my fitness back, chill out, earn some money and still travel parts of North Queensland.

Escaped the farm for the day.

Escaped the farm for the day.

Girls. Forget the nice hair and make up. Think banana gunk, dirt, water, sweat and occasionally tears, you get used to it. Your clothes will get ruined, your shoes will have to stay at work and hats or normally requested or just needed.

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Lads. Think sweat, dirt and pure banana sap.

Either way. It’s thought graft.

It’s a pretty easy life in a way. As long you as you’re ready for the bus, get on it and get on with the farm work, there’s not too much to worry about. It’s an experience like no other and isnt supposed to be straightfoward.

It’s more of a challenge, mentally.

Long, tedious, repepative work. Treated pretty shit at times. Crazy tempretures and basic living.

At my farm, we had the same job everyday. If you sorted bananas, that’s what you did all day every day. I know a lot of farms mix it up however it can feel endless.

The lads and eventually me when I was put onto as the tractor driver, had to spend hours in the tropical scorching sun where it reached up to 45 degrees. I give it to the lads physically working out while cutting and humping the bananas, it’s fucking hot.

As much as farm work was challenging, I'm going to miss the crazy days, scorching sun, silly banter and unbelievable nature. #Bananafarm #Queensland #Farming

The job is a valuble spot and can very easily be suspended. I almost lost my job the last week of my farmwork purely as they had to cut down staff. I had backpackers on my farm getting sacked and sometimes there isn’t always full time work.

Each job is so easily replacable so it’s important to work hard. It’s easy to want to quit, have days where you feel it’s not worth it.

It helped spending time in Australia beforehand. Despite only living in Melbourne for a couple of months, it was enough for me to genuinly want another year in Australia at some point.

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It’s an experience like nothing else, full of lessons, memories, learning new skills, banter, nature and a different Australian experience.

 

 


 

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7 steps to starting your travels

Starting a trip can be pretty daunting. Not sure where to start, where to look first, what to book.

I get tons of questions from first time travelers or even just people unsure on where to start when booking the next big trip.

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I am going to make it short, sweet and simple.

Here are my 7 steps to getting that trip sorted.

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My first week in Bangkok

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Research & decide.

Where is it you want to go? What do you really want to see and do? Looking to work or just explore?

There are so many fabulous destinations and I know the feeling of wanting to go to them all, nevertheless, find out the places that fit your personal criteria and make a decision on where you will be going.

Maybe it’s exploring the wildlife in Africa, Interrailing around Europe or backpacking India. Driving around Vietnam, Camping in Australia or even skiing in Canada, the decision is yours.

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Find out if you need to apply for a visa or need to apply/pay for any entry requirments. Depending on where you are from and how long you want to stay in a country, there may be various costs. Take into consideration the time of year and weather seasons and conditions and current affairs around the world.

Book a flight

The first big step you should take is getting that first flight booked. This will really trigger the excitment and reality of you pursuing the trip.

Flights can be pretty pricey but once this is out the way, just focus on living costs/ spending money for the trip. I normally only book a flight and leave the rest for once I arrive.

Get saving

This is where you need to be strict. Start cutting down on unnecessary spending, think about the amount of money you are going to need. I never sacrificed too much to travel, I still wanted to live my life and do certain things however I barely drink, don’t buy myself new clothes and shoes and despite a rich life in the places I go and the people I meet, my outgoings are minimal. It’s all priorities, you just need to decide on yours.

If you know you are leaving to travel, you don’t need to be buying new shoes and clothes. Cut down the booze and put the money towards your trip.

I normally try and set a goal each month of how much I try and put away depending on my income. Work hard, play harder type thing..

Groups. Blogs. Pages.

If you are wanting to find out more about the places you are going too, If you’re traveling solo and want to chat to a few people, even if you want to read other peoples journeys, join the facebook groups and pages, read peoples blogs, just like you’re doing now! They are here to help.

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Vaccinations/Injections

Depending on the countries you’ll be visiting, you may need vaccinations. It can get pricey but check what you can get any on your local healthcare. For Asia I needed a Hep A booster, Rabies jab, Enchafilatus and Malaria tablets (Which I never even took). This did unfortunatley take a chunk out my travel funds including basic first aid bits.

Detatch yourself

If you really want that sense of freedom, you really want to get lost in the that real travel vibe, detach yourself from a lot of things. Slower the better but get rid of that phone contract, don’t have constant outgoings with the bank. Don’t attatch yourself to un-needed contracts, or even relationships. Be prepared to not have too many contracts or unnecesary bits. Certain friendships will fade and certain feelings may fizzle out, this is totally normal.

I ended my phone contract as soon as I could and stopped any direct debits for whatever I had.

Final preparations

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This is it. We are getting close now. Checked your healthcare, got any prescriptions, any visas needed beforehand? Got any copies of passports, important information? Got your camera sorted, currency changed? Any perticular equiptment you may need?

Think about the last people you need to catch up with, the last places you want to eat out and don’t hesitate to do everything you know you will miss.

Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.

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Vietnam & it’s coffee

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Coffee lover or not, Vietnam know what they are doing when it comes to coffee.

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They’ve hit the nail on the head with coffee and the best places to enjoy it.

With cafe’s dotted on every corner, secret coffee houses on every other balcony and some of the best drink choices, it’s hard not to spend endless amounts of time and money trying them.

DSC_0186Vietnemese iced coffee @  Halong Bay

I have just spent 6 weeks traveling Vietnam while backpacking Asia solo. Getting stuck in Hanoi doing very little other than drinking coffee, smoking too much weed, blagging hostel living, eating street food and most definitely finding new coffee shops.

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With French colonial architecture.

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Japenese lanternsDSC_0062

Vietnam locals DSC_0134

Asian ways DSC_0036

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and a generally crazy country,

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Vietnam is utterly insane.DSC_0087

Coffee is like a tradition. Coffee production has been a major source of income for Vietnam since the early 20th century. First introduced by the French in 1857, the Vietnamese coffee industry developed through the plantation system, becoming a major economic force in the country.

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One of the most popular coffee beverages is the typical iced vietnamese coffee.

Servied either on its own, with condensed milk or fresh milk, everyones drinking it. Normally drank after a meal served with either water or hot tea.

Typically the coffee is prepared in single servings in single-cup filter/brewers known as phin. Generally, the coffee is served tableside while it is still brewing. The use of sweetened condensed milk rather than fresh milk was first due to its availability and easier storage in a tropical climate. The condensed milk serves to sweeten the coffee as well. Long practice has led to this being the taste preference in the Vietnamese community.

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The coffee may be brewed onto ice for cafe da, or when had with condensed milk cafe sua da.

There is a lot more to coffee, though, than caffeine.

“Complex flavour chemistry works to make up the flavours inherent in coffee,”

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Ive tried coffee all over from Ho Chi Minh – Hoi An – Hanoi and more. Egg coffee, Coconut coffee, frappes, hot and cold.

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I’ve drank at some of the most beautifully decorated coffee houses, my favourites in Hoi An, of course!

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Some of the best places are filled with people sat out on the street,

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 I’ve found one of the best places in Hanoi, tucked up hidding behind a back alley through a local stall selling the most delicilous popular egg coffee for 15,000 dong. (40p)

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I have drunk at some of the fanciest little coffee boutiques houses sipping espresso

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and of course found my favourite vietnemese starbuck styled chain. Cong.

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I even found a Harry Potter themed coffee shop in Hanoi!

So what makes it different?

Vietnam take their coffee seriously. I have found coffee great all over Asia however lots of places do cheat. Not using real espresso or coffee beans. South East Asia

What should you have?

The main one. Hot or cold? This is a big one and there are so many different kinds. Depending on my mood and the weather and the option of choices, I try to vary.

How sweet do you like it? Condensed milk is a sweetner and I love it! You can get hold or cold fresh milk. I reccomend going french press.

If you are a coffee lover you will really be able to taste the difference in the traditional coffee. I find it a strong but sweet and a little bitter.

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Where to drink it!

Well. I may aswell give you my favourites if you’re in Vietnam!

My top choice

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The best hot mocha ive had in Asia. Hot, sweet, milky with a gorgeous smooth coffee taste! I added caramel of course.

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Good old Cong Caphe. I fell in love with this little chain. A beautifully decorated, communist themed, coffee shop was always perfect. Situated all over Hanoi, serving a wide selection of hot and cold coffees, teas, a few smoothies and a few other little beverages and snacks.

They are a quality-focused artisan coffee shop is a great place to drink/eat/work in a homey, unique Hanoian atmosphere. Cộng Càphê (which means Viet Cong in Vietnamese)  recalls the socialist era with humour and parody with its bare brick walls, dark wood handmade tables, propaganda posters and slight militaristic hint.

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8 easy ways of saving money while traveling

Cash. It seems to be the ultimatum between traveling or not. ‘I can’t afford it.’ Most people I know can afford to travel. The real truth is, it’s all about priorities. For those who are going for it.. I decided to write up some of my tips on saving money while traveling. 1. Every penny […]

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Am I in love already?

Am I in love already?

Yes yes and one big fat yes.
Wait? With a guy? Pffft. Don’t be silly.

Despite meeting a couple of awesome guys where there has been a connection. Unfortunately, no love there.

beach-cute-love-photography-quote-Favim.com-309168

North of Thailand, 3 hours up from Chiang Mai, up in the mountains lies Pai.

Backpackers paradise. Stoners dream. Food lovers heaven. Nature freaks second home. Hippy central and perfection.

It was love at first sight.

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I don’t really plan my travels. I just go with the flow and see what happens. I have a route in mind, however, I go off recommendations, what’s going on, who’s going where and simply wherever the hell I feel like going. My choice is limitless and it feels awesome.

‘You have to go to Pai Leah.’          

‘You heard of Pai? It’s ideal ‘              

‘Still up in Pai, I can’t leave’

So, after 5 nights in Chiang Mai, I book the crazy bus drive up the twisted mountain roads, 762 curves, around 91 miles on route 1095 and it was one heck of a journey. Not that I felt I was in a great amount of danger, but it is one mad bus ride. Don’t think you’ll get away with it as every drive is as ridiculous as the next. I was prepared from hearing stories, however, I was taken away by the insane views. Driving up to the bright blue sky staring out the window to see unbelievable views of the countless green mountains. Getting closer and closer to the clouds it felt pretty surreal. Luckily I traveled with three Hawaiian dudes I had previously met who I sat with and we kept each other company.

 

So where/what/who? Pai.
North Thailand. South East Asia.

Pai-1.8

 

Pai (ปาย) is a small town near the Myanmar border, about 146 km northwest of Chiang Mai on the northern route to Mae Hong Son. It lies on the Pai River. The town has thesaban tambon status and covers parts of the tambon Wiang Tai of Pai district. With a population of 2,284. slowly becoming one of Thailand hippy, backpacker destination.

What makes one tiny town so good?

I couldn’t imagine I would find such a perfect place.
A vibrant, quirky, relaxed, unique and fabulous town, Pai is different.

I found a hostel, unpacked and called my friend Luke who I met in Bangkok who also arrived in Pai the same day. We ventured out to the night market and it was love at first sight.

The market was filled with cheap local food. Unlimited stalls of noodles, pad-tai, pancakes, fried rice, fresh fruit and more. What I also liked was they provided western food. I don’t mean greasy pizza and burgers. But real fresh local wraps, sushi, cakes, crepes, salads, homemade beef burgers, endless fruits and smoothies. For less than £2.00 I indulged in fresh sushi, a scrumptious strawberry smoothie and Luke and I fell in love with a bakery where I paid 50 baht (around 95p) for a huge piece of chocolate and banana cake. Oops.

 

Surrounded by the lush green mountains filled with waterfalls and jungles this small town was becoming more and more ideal. A stunning stream of water flows down near the bottom of the town with unbelievably beautiful bungalow guesthouses surrounding the fresh fields.

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Due to the high demand of buisnesses a lot of the owners are also English and Pai is only growing with tourism which may lead to it getting a lot busier. You go because of recomendations however not everyone knows much about this surreal Thai village and most people find out about this surreal little town until you get out and start traveling and it’s always mentioned somewhere.

It’s the right balance.
Being on a tight budget I was worried this place would rinse me. So much to do, to see, to try, to explore. I was wrong. Again, it’s about getting the balance.

Dollar.imageWell, Thai Baht really..

I stayed at two different hostels over 6 nights. Costing around 180 baht (£3.45) (less then 7 australian dollars) for a 14 bed mixed dorm. Both hostels had wifi, a pool, one hostel had a puppy pit with new born bulldogs. A bar serving cocktails and food, a treehouse with cushions, hammocks and mattress, yoga classes, circus classes, warm showers, and help from staff for all sorts.

I’m spending less then £10 a day on my hostel, smoothies, iced coffee, fruit, some type of street food for dinner and sometimes petrol for my moped. Depending on which city and what else I want to do I may be spending more on certain activities but there is so much to do for free. So many stunning drives, waterfalls, mountains to climb and temples and large buddhas to see. The hot springs cost me £3, my weed cost £10, my ped was £2 a day and any thing else I was extra careful with budgeting.
Huge bottles of cold water from the small supermarket 7/11 is 14 baht (8p) and if you need to buy toiletries, toilet paper etc it’s also very cheap. A large bottle of Chang beer is around 60 baht in most places which is just more then £1. Yoga classes and mediation groups can be found for 100 baht which is just less then £2. Talented tattoo parlours offering traditional bamboo and regular guns can be anywhere and will be cheaper then back at home.

Most places I’ve visited in Thailand have similar prices however for such a marvellous town where I could easily see myself staying, it’s nothing campered to home.

Feeling comfortable travelling solo, despite making so many new wonderful friends, there were people about. Wondering around in baggy vests, oversized travelling pants, dreadlogs, riding around Motorbikes and scooters. Everyone was getting on with there adventures. I felt as though I could fit right in.

Who needs adults #hotsprings #thailand #pai #water #swim #nature

Who needs adults #hotsprings #thailand #pai #water #swim #nature

The air was mild but the humidity from the daylight sun was slightly warming. Currently it’s mid December and it can get quite chilly at night. Especially if you’re coming from Cambodia and Loas and places like Bangkok. Fortunately they sell second hand jackets and hats which is actual quite funny to drive buy and see everyone buying warm coats to drive around in at night.

From there is history….

During my stay:

I wake up everyday with no idea what I’m doing. Do I want to drive up through the secret twisty roads and take in breathtaking views, do I want to go lie by the pool and soak up the sun or shall I wonder around the town and treat myself to a fabulous Thai massage for £3.
How about meet up with friends for lunch for less then a £1 and chill together watching the sunset.

Do I head to a reggae bar and roll a joint or 4.

Sunset bar with these fellas. Loving life in Pai way too much!

Wonder around cafes and care for puppies and meet the locals.

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Sit sipping sweet coffee and treat myself to the huge variety or cakes and pastries at the local bakery or shall I just disappear someone quite and blog like I’ve chosen to do today.

One of my favourite things is to put my headphones in, roll a joint and lie in the hammock and meet friendly and interesting people from all over the world.

#travelgirl #goprothailand #goprolife #goprotravel #hammock #pai #thailand #world #asia

When you’re travelling you can do these types of things all the time.
Never the less, there’s something about Pai. The people, the atmosphere, the vibes and lifestyle is so mellow and positive. So convinent and easy it’s hard not to just settle here.

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Feeling so close to nature, yet managing to find hot showers, warm double bed bungalows, large cheap dorms. Having cheap but amazing foods or splashing out on fresh fish and cocktails it’s the perfect balance.

Meet fascinating people. Chill the heck out. Lay in the sun. Trek through the jungle. Swim in the waterfalls. Bathe in the hot springs, ride through the mountains. Indulge at night. Wonder down the stunning stream or just drink smoothies and lie in a hammock. Anything is possible and it’s bloody incredible.

Yes, due to tourists they have restaurants, bars, guest houses and souvenir shops. If you are looking for somewhere low on tourists this may not be the place for you however the people visiting are pretty low budgeting, backpacking, beer drinking, weed smoking peace lovers. I never felt like it was too busy and the places I hung out was just the right amount of people.

Climbed the waterfalls, smoked a J, drank a beer, slided down the waterfalls with the locals.

I have to continue my trip to my next destination and continue my journey but I will be returning. Whether it’s for a day or a month or a year. I shall be back.

Looking to travel to Pai?
My top places to go :

Sunset bar. •Night market • Mo pang waterfall •Earth tone • Hot springs national park • Edible jazz •

 

Been to Pai?
Comment below and let me know your recommendations on where to go.

Traveling to Bangkok? Make sure to check out my top tricks and tips for traveling Bangkok by clicking here!

 

Pai Canyon

Pai Canyon

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What traveling does to the mind. Part 1.

The mind.

The powerful seat of human consciousness. In control of our likes, dislikes, passions, worries.

It’s can do odd things, some we enjoy, some we dont. It’s just as important to keep the mind as healthy as the body.

Our brains determine the way we think, how we act and define who we really are.

I’m no doctor, no scientist and no one to tell anyone how they should think or what mindset to be in.

What I can tell you is that when you travel, see the world, leave your comfort zone and experience once in a lifetime opportunities and make unbelievably beautiful memories… That gives you one happy and positive mindset.

Whatever we do throughout are life, the experiences we build give us our intelligence and humour. Our faith and belief, our likes and dislikes and even our worries and problems. Most of us want to be the best person we can be. Some more to their chosen career, to their partner, their family, some to their faith and religion.

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During my current trip I have a lot of time to think, to appreciate, the take in and to explore different emotions. I’ve already met so many fascinating and different individuals from all over the world.

Thanks to these awesome guys for coming on the trek with me. All staying in the same dorm in the city, we just decided one morning to all go together. A farther and two sons from Hawaii and 5 elephants including a one year old baby running along with us. Glad I shared the experience with such humble and down to earth guys.

From locals living in small Thai villages with hardly any running warm water and just a small hut for the family. I’ve met business men from America, students from Ireland, doctors from Germany, bartenders from Australia, firefighters from Hawaii, crazy yoga guys from Canada and backpackers from all over.

Everyone I met has their own reasons to travels, their own stories, different backgrounds and exciting adventures ahead. There seems to be certain things that we all have in common. The mindset that travelling gives you.

Exploring the jungle in Chiang Mai. First time I've actually been alone since doing the trip. Watched the sunset up in the mountains and swam in the waterfall. Felt perfect

Where do I start?

The feeling of freedom, relaxation, appreciation, survival, positivity, strength, passion and of course wunderlust.

I knew I wanted to travel for years. It’s my parents I have to thank for the travel bug. My beautiful mother and farther. I was 9 when they took us for our first real travelling experience. Funnily enough it was too Thailand, where I’m currently writing this blog post. They took my younger sister and I backpacking around the beautiful country. Being a little girl left with only memories and experiences. We later did 4 weeks in Canada and also done a couple of weeks in all sorts of places from India -France. They gave me the travel bug.image

 

As as mentioned in other blogs I flew off for my first season abroad when I was 18 and this only enchanced my passion to see the rest of the world. I decided to start with Europe. My first big solo trip. Doing only 5 weeks around the continent was enough for me to realise
this is what I had to do. I wanted to visit everywhere, you name it, it would appeal to me on some way.

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So, back to basics. The mindset of leaving.

When you leave your hometown with a backpack and no real plans. It’s a strange feeling.

Personally, I felt excitement, hope, anxiety and strength.

No one wants to leave loved ones for a crazy amount of time. All of us want to keep our favourite comforts, whether it’s our bed, our pets, our car etc..

You have to leave everything behind and go.

It’s a pretty scary time, and majority of people who I speak to tell me they get nervous, they get homesick sometimes and question what life would be like if they just stayed at home continuing with there daily way of living.

Funnily enough this lasts till you get on that plane. Your survival mode kicks in, the excitement that this is really happening, the realisation you’re one of the few people at home who is actually pursuing there dreams. Your mind is strong. You need to keep this up.

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For those traveling solo like myself. You ask yourself whether you made the right choice going alone. Are you ready for this.

Let me tell you, regardless of where you go, who or what you leave behind, the worry and determination your experiencing. You’ll be fine. If you can get into the correct mindset or the feeling I’ve been mentioning. If you stay positive, calm, strong and healthy.. You can do anything.

During this trip my faith in humanity has been increased. Meeting people from all over the world in major capital cities, to tiny local communities up in the mountains. They want to talk, meet, help and get to know you. Watching locals work so hard to feed there loved ones despretatly working to cook or sell. I know risks and what can happen but I’ve actually felt pretty safe and comftable my entire trip. It feels like there is always someone to help you. No ones angry, no ones stressed or worried.photo_mind

Almost every single person I’ve met including the locals has been happy, relaxed and positive. They look at the better side of things, they tell you honest opinions with a lovely kind nature. People are going on with their lives doing what needs to be done. Deep down people just want to help and do what needs to be done. For me, this reminds me to be appreciative of my journey.

It gives me the mindset I want to have.

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Like this post? Check out ‘The truth about solo travel’ by clicking here!

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The truth about solo travel

Solo travel?

Impossible.

We live in a world with billions of people.

8/10 people are travelling completely alone. Exactly the same as me. One rucksack and a passion to explore. Some for less then a month, and some for as long as they can.

Travelling isn’t something you do. It’s a lifestyle.

When you’re at home preparing for the day you leave, sitting on that plane travelling to the other side of the world with no one but yourself. Reality sinks in, oh shit.

Am I really doing this?

There is a difference between feeling lonely and being alone.

Despite travelling ‘alone’ I’ve not once felt lonely the entire time. If anything, I feel like I’ve made so many brilliant friends and I’m constantly surrounded by outgoing and positive people.

I’ve travelled to different cities with guys I’ve met in my room that morning. I’ve gone trekking through the jungle with someone I met in a coffee shop. I went out with 17 people in Bangkok also solo in my hostel and it felt like we all knew each other for years. I am always with people and if im not, it’s out of choice.

Lady boy cabaret night with the family. #chiangmai #cabaret #hostelliving

There is something about the nature and social side of backpackers, either solo or in a group that is pretty magical. You just start a conversation and everyone is so friendly and open. I’ve met such incredible and interesting people who I get on with so well and the best thing is, i’ll end up seeing them again. Whether it’s some random street in a different city or even in the same dorm in my hostel in a different country. It’s so easy to bump into people in the most random
places.

Traveling isn’t for everyone, especially backpacking. Like I said before, it’s a lifestyle. A way of living. It takes you out of your comfort zone and devolves certain skills you can only gain from doing such trips. Living your life, with all your belongings out of one bag.

The mindset to travel is a different game altogether. You have to overcome the fear of being too shy to say hello. You have to get over the fact you’ll sometimes eat lunch or dinner by yourself. Learn that sleeping in a dorm with 15 other people that may not speak English isn’t too bad. Or where I’m currently writing this blog, on a tiny mini van heading from Pai to Chiang Mai, North Thailand, down a mental twisted and very bumpy 3.5 hour journey squashed in the back with a girl asleep on you isn’t all that bad. So I keep trying to tell myself.

A big one for me is that you learn not to judge. Travelling solo leaves you making new friends with everyone and anyone. It’s quite strange how such an natural feeling for any human being, quite a negative quality 99% of us have, somewhat disappears. Some of us more then others but we all automatically judge. What they wear, their style, the way they walk and talk. It’s natural, we all do it. We try not too and it might not be much of an assumption but part of using are eyes and brains together is ‘judging’ someone else.

Climbed the waterfalls, smoked a J, drank a beer, slided down the waterfalls with the locals.

For me and I can see many others, while travelling solo, let this go. We don’t have time to assume or create an idea of who might be in the bed above or who’s sitting next to you on your train through Vietnam, you’re more interested in their stories, their experiences. Where have they travelled and where to next. You meet them as them, for who they are without all the excess baggage home life can string along.

Some people love being solo and others hate it but one of the best things about travelling on your own is the fact you can do whatever the hell you want. No waiting around, no taking into consideration what everyone else wants to do. As selfish as it sounds, you only have to worry about yourself and when there’s so much to do in such incredible cities it can get pretty frustrating having to wait around and miss out certain things you want to do.

There are downsides to travelling solo however situations people expressed concern about, have not been an issue. Everyone is so friendly that anytime I’ve ever needed help or wanted some kind of advice or answers, someone’s always been there. Don’t get me wrong, I realize it won’t always be like this and I won’t always find helpful people. The disadvantages can sometimes suck, even just asking someone to take a photo or keep an eye on your stuff when you go to the toilet. You just want someone’s second opinion or need some advice from someone you know never the less they are such minor things.

45p to take me to Khao San from the river taxi

Most people travelling are here to have a good time, a fun time, a positive time and a real time.

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My top tricks and tips for traveling Bangkok.

Woah. What a city. Facinating, busy, hot and simply a magnificent capital city.

I decided to spend 5 nights here. Others thought I was crazy. Why? It’s so congested and constant, way too humid and traffic is an absolute nightmare. Most people tell me they couldn’t stay for more then 2 nights. Should that put you off? NO.

It’s your mindset, where you stay, what you do there and what you want to get from being in the city.

I’m not in any rush. I’m starting the trip of a lifetime in one of the craziest, largest and interesting cities in the world. Why would I want to limit my time there?

Theres so much to see and do. I easily could have spent weeks there so I settled for 5 nights. I kept in mind that I may suffer from jet lag or sickness that some people get after arriving in Asia, which luckily I didn’t. If I was tired or ill and was rushing to jump on a crazy night train for 12 hours, it wouldn’t be the most terrific plan. I settled straight away and was it was go from the moment I landed.

45p to take me to Khao San from the river taxi

Ok, most importantly, for solo travelers like myself, Bangkok is the perfect place to start. You will find most backpackers will fly into Bangkok and will stay for a couple of nights before heading off. It’s an awesome place to meet people and get used to the thai ways. I booked a 14 bed mixed dorm at Bodega Hostel, highly recommended, situated in Sukamvit 23 near Soi Cowboy. I actually ended up in a room with 13 other guys from all over and we had a blast!

Gutted our little group has all separated today but I'll see you all soon lads! #pranks #Bangkok #hostel

Scam Scam Scam.

 If you do some research you’ll know Thailand is known for scamming the heck out of tourists. It’s actually pretty clever how they go about it. Sly and sneaky. Don’t let them manipulate you! I will be blogging about popular scams and also sneaky little ways the locals will tell get more money from you. Do your research about popular tricks they play. The Grand Temple is always open, his friend’s shop that sells over priced suites is a waste of time, you pay taxi’s by the meter, you don’t need to pay for a tour of the city with your lovely, overly helpful and friendly tuk tuk driver. Use your common sense. Don’t fall for it.

Maps & Apps.

 Download maps.me on your phone. It will save your life. Using your GPS for free, even without wifi, data etc.. Shows you exactly where you are, routes to take and can direct you to almost anywhere.Luckily a guy in my hostel told me about it on my first day and boy am I thankful. Download it and use it wherever you are in the world. Bangkok is so big with everything spread out all over you’ll need this! Download app here..

Know where you want to go!

 You’ll be surprised at how little the taxi’s know. They’re great drivers, friendly.. most of the time and always will do their best to get you to your desired destination however most drivers don’t know what places are, including the Grand Palace. They’ll know Khoa San and a couple more but if you’re far away, you might need to direct. Again, the app maps.me will help you direct them. Taxi’s are the cheapest way of getting about, only get in if they use the meter! Tuk Tuk’s are the priciest, always haggle them down! Motorbikes are fun, quick and easy however if you are not a local they will charge you way too much. Just hop on the back, tell them exactly where to go and just pay when you get off. It should work out around 10 baht (18p) per 10 minutes you would have walked. If you can directions in Thai it will be a lot easier as they can’t speak or read much english.

Taxi taxi taxi

Be prepared with your belongings.

So your limited for stuff with the lack of space of weight while backpacking. However stressful being so limited with your rucksack it’s also a cool feeling of having so little. Giving you freedom and less to worry about. When your travelling, most of the time you will not know what you’ll be doing. I try and keep things pretty lastminute and random and don’t overplan. It will always work out. In the ‘tip’, you have to take around the correct stuff while out for the day. For girls, always have some kind of light, soft scarf/cover. If you decide to head to a temple or a holy place you have to be covered up. I normally carry around a pretty, light scarf. Even if you headed to a park or beach and wanted something to lie on. Keep some kind of footwear in your large rucksack that covers your heel and toe also. I have been wearing some simple while old converse and sometimes take small flip flops in my bag in the day.

When attempting to go to Sky Bar at the Lebua Hotel, they won’t let you in unless your smart/casual. Some of the guys I was with had to go out and get trousers or borrow jeans. Don’t let you being lazy or unaware waste your time and stop doing things.

Sky bar with an English, an ozzie and Dutch. #travel #backpacker #thailand

Do what the locals do.

Use there transport, eat where they eat, do what they do. Don’t be that unaware, naive tourist paying overpriced money for things you can do anywhere. It’s easily done, trust me, and theres no problem doing that but be prepared to waste money and not get the proper experiance of Bangkok. Thai street food is the best and so so cheap! Once you’re backpacking you realize how much ever 20p can make a difference. Get the water taxi, use the sky train, eat at local little stalls. It’s all part of the experience

Local Thai food restaurant

Don’t stay on Khoa San 

Khao San is where a lot of the partying is. I had such an awesome night here, awesome food, cool little stalls, loads of tattoo and known for being a number one hit for backpackers. I read somewhere that it’s best not to stay here. After some research I found a hostel in Sukamvit 23 which seemed pretty perfect for me, it was! It was a while from Khoa San however I could get there loads of different ways.

To be staying on this road is too much.

Khao San Road early evening yesterday

What are your and tricks? Comment below and let me know!

Just to remind you that these are my opinions and views. It’s not how to travel or what to do. Just how I have done it and my tips. Hope you enjoy!

Like this? Check out ‘backpacking, alone’ by clicking here!

Photo taken by Nikon. Bangkok City on Monday night. Unbelievably surreal experience

Bangkok City on Monday night. Unbelievably surreal experience. Sky bar.

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9 things you should take interrailing.

We all have those personal belongings we like to take travelling with us.

Ideally, we want to take everything however we know this isn’t possible.

Picking the right things can be difficult but here is my list of things I feel you 100% should take when backpacking Europe.

The Railway

Ipod/Music device

This is so important to me. Music can take you on a whole different level. It can show you distinct emotions, comfort you and let your mind run free.

611rsfQE5HL._SL1024_There will be times when you have hours and hours sat on trains or coaches, when babies are crying on planes and all you want to do is switch off and enter your own little bubble.

When I was inter railing I didn’t have a phone. I did have an iPad mini with soundcloud however the only problem was that I couldn’t listen to anything without wifi. The only music I had was BLINK 182 which luckily I love! Make sure you have some of your favourite songs already downloaded onto your music device. I had one song that when I listen to reminds me of my entire trip which I managed to play despite having no internet! Everytime I listen to the song it takes me back this amazing trip!

A good camera 

I cannot express enough how much every backpacker needs one of these. Please don’t spend your entire trip taking photos which is easily done, especially in places like Venice, Italy. As much as iPhones can take awesome photos i’m talking a step up from that. Maybe a GoPro or a Canon with a basic lense to capture your trip. I now have myself a GoPro Hero 3+ and I love it! Shame I got it after my Europe trip!

Click here to check out my GoPro review!

A bucket list

This trip is for you to experience once in a lifetime opportunities. Write down a bucket list and get it done.

What do you want to do? Where do you want to go. Don’t wait about. Go get it done and have fun.

Click here to see mine!your-bucket-list

 

Something cosy

Whatever the weather we all need something cosy. Weather you’re on a long train journey, got a few hours to wait for transport, not in the comfiest hostel bed or simply want to feel a bit more warm and cosy. You can interrail at any time of the year, most of us during summer time but we need to prepared. Sometimes you don’t know where you’ll be sleeping or what you may need it for but I seriously recommend a cosy hoodie. I like taking my little soft grey hat to feel a little more snug. If its a pair of cotton light trackies or a warm oversized jacket to wrap up in.

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Most hostels have safes. Some open by keypads of card keys but a lot of them you’ll need a lock. A lot of bunkbeds in hostels have a drawer under the beds to put your luggage in, again, to lock away. I recommend taking a reasonable sized lock with a pin number type lock. These will come in handy! Make sure it’s big enough as my lock was too small for some of the luggage storage. I am a pretty trustworthy person and backpackers have to have that trust with others in hostels but just for extra safety, taking a lock is always a good idea!

Lipstick (For girls)

This might sound slightly odd, but while backpacking you don’t have much luxury. Depending on where you are, what you’re doing and who you will meet its never nice to feel a little minging, especially for us girls. I managed to take some of my makeup away with me but you have to let go of looking your best all the time. It’s not possible.

Something small like a pretty coloured lipstick made such a difference to me when I was travelling. In the evenings on bar crawls and nice meals I didn’t have anything dressy to wear. I couldn’t even style my hair properly as I didn’t have my straightners and back at home I always wear perfume! I took my favourite branded MAC lipstick in colour ‘Lady Danger’. This just made me feel a little nicer on an evening or if I was visiting somewhere and wanted to make a bit more effort. Check out my post out soon on what products to take backpacking by clicking here.

Travelling extrasUnknown

These are must! I’m not talking the whole shebang but lets be realistic. You have very few things to take, you’re going to end up in all sorts of hostel rooms and sitatuions. You may end up on night trains or sleeping on ever night ferries like me. It’s all fun and part of the experience but you’re not laughing when you have the sunlight in your face at 5am after 2 hours sleep or a load of french girls getting up at 7am after a heavy night drinking in Budapest. I suggest talking just a couple of travelling extras. Earplugs will come in handy if you don’t mind wearing them.

Portable chargers

I actually didn’t have this when travelling. The only thing I had worth charging was my iPad Mini which I didn’t use that often. I defiantly recommend taking a portable charger, especially if you do take your phone or camera out a lot. I will certainly be taking one for my GoPro when I go away again.

Maps

I expect you’ll be visiting capital cities, even if not, some cities can be huge! It’s so easy to get lost in big touristy cities with your language not being the first spoken. Places like London, Berlin, Budapest, Prague etc do provide lots of tourist info and I’ve always found hostels are great for help however I really recommend taking your own maps. Before you get to a city, even if you have a look on google, check out where you are on the map. What countries are near you, where the city is in the country. This will help you planning your route and plans easier! It also makes getting around and understanding the city a whole lot easier!

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Like this, check out ‘Interrailing’ by clicking here!

Let me know what your travel necessities are by commenting in the box below!!