Posts

,

Powerplay – Whitsundays

Whitsundays

The 74 Whitsunday Islands lie between the northeast coast of Queensland, Australia, and the Great Barrier Reef, a massive stretch of coral teeming with marine life. Most of the islands are uninhabited. They’re characterized by dense rainforest, hiking trails and white sand beaches.

Located just off Airlie Beach in North Queensland, a palm tree filled, tropical living, Australian town south of Cairns.

I was lucky enough to head out with Powerplay. A boat I chose out of a collection of different tours around Whitsunday island.

It was a more chilled out type of trip, with a smaller group of people.

18 guests, 3 crew.

Spending an unforgettable 2 nights and 3 days doing all my favorite things – Adventures, activities, sunbathing, meeting people, discovering new places, eating yummy food and of course, watching those perfect Aussie sunsets.

Despite working on boats in the past and numerous occasions catching ferries, water taxi’s and just loving the water, I had never experienced living on a boat like this and would highly recommend doing it.

I didn’t have much idea on what I was in for.

Having few expectations, heading to the pier with an open mind and of course, solo, I was ready for a new adventure.

Arriving midday, a small bag packed, I headed to the boat.

For me, and I suggest anyone else, the trip should be concentrated on the experience of staying on the boat. Waking up on the water, having your evening hot chocolate floating on the ocean, listening to your favourite music with new friends watching the sunsets in a unique spot around the famous Whitsunday island. Spending your day sailing through the glorious Great Barrier Reef.

It’s more than a snorkel trip or how many drinking games people want to play, it’s the experience of staying on a catamaran sailing the Whitsundays, and it was fabulous.

Being able to dive into the middle of the ocean first thing after waking up and sitting on the front deck with your morning coffee, I loved it.

 

What to take?

You don’t need much stuff with these trips.

A change of clothes, swim wear, a warm cozy jacket and comfies, basic toiletries and your camera is more than enough.

Maybe a pack of cards or a book if you like to read.

Day 1

The group mingled and settled on the boat on the way to our first stop. We went through a few things for the next couple of days and our adventure was underway.

I was sligtly skeptical to being the only solo traveler as I noticed lots of couples however I was made up to have some other solo backpackers as well as a mixture of diverse and fun travelers from all over the world, we all got on super well! Going solo is always a great way to meet people! Read more on all posts in regards to solo travel, here!

The weather wasn’t quite on our side, so we stopped to head out on the paddle boards. A slightly cloudy sky, music blaring, we all had a laugh.

One of my favorite things about the boat was the sound system. They played quality music throughout the trip which totally added to the fun.

As the weather was a little disheartening, the cards came out, a cheese platter and snacks were made for us and music, beers and banter carried us through the evening.

Throughout the trip, the food was top notch.

As a fussy eater, I have never expected to overly enjoy a lot of planned food on trips.

Our lovely host Immy cooked up amazing, fresh, tasty food throughout the entire trip. It was certainly a massive part of the experience that stood out for me.

For any backpacker cooking basic meals for yourself, you’ll be in for a treat.

Served up for dinner that night was marinated chicken, hot potato bake, sweet potato mash, tuna noodle salad, salad and all the sauces, dressing and seasoning we needed. Sounds good right?

Cheesecake for dessert.

Everyone ate plenty and was highly satisfied with all the meals we had.

You’ll have plenty of time to chat, chill out and just enjoy the experience of being on the catamaran in the middle of the great barrier reef.

Day 2.

A very early start out on the water, it was time for breakfast, coffee of course and to check out the beautiful Whitehaven beach.

Waking up the sound system on, the sun starting to peep out and a yummy breakfast served, I was ready to start exploring.

Waking up to different toast with all the spreads, fruit salad, yogurt, different types of cereals, bacon and eggs, hot tea, coffee, hot chocolate and loads more, it was a breakfast fit for a king.

Staying right next to the Island, we were on the beach first thing. The group headed on over and we were left for some serious playtime.

Heading back to the boat for another yummy lunch made my Immy, it was time to eat, chill and set sail to our snorkeling spots, plus our new home for the night.

The journey over to our next stop was awesome. Everyone sunbathing on the front deck with the latest songs booming over the catamaran boat as we sailed through the breathtaking landscapes, it was the perfect afternoon.

Having the options to snorkel or paddle board once we stopped, we spent the next few hours out in the deep blue ocean just enjoying the fabulous weather.

Cyclone Debbie certainly has changed things, and I know the snorkel experience won’t be the same for a while however the boat have lowered their prices since the disaster. It’s truly heartbreaking to see the terrible effect it has left but everyone is working hard to get things back to normal.

We still got a chance to meet Trevor. A beautiful, huge, dark blue fish. He won’t hesitate to come and say hello!

We spent the rest of our day chilling out and enjoying a sensational sunset. With nachos and cake put out for us to nibble on, coffee and tea were available, everyone was pleased with the evening.

Dinner was made for us, the beers came out, the stars were out, and it felt like a perfect end to another day of Aussie adventures.

We got the bbq going on the back of the boat, and we had a fabulous buffet served up for dinner.

The evening was the time once we had docked to just chill, chat, have a few drinks and the whole group hung out until late.

Day 3

Home time. *Sad face*

It was a super early start but straight in the water for me. We managed to watch the sunrise which was ideal.

6am out on the water and Ben managed to catch this of me out admiring the sunrise.

We had our breakfast once again all freshly made and laid out for us to enjoy. We spent the morning just hanging out enjoying the views and our final time to hang out as a group. We all got on so well so exchanged information and some of us made plans to go out that evening.

The whole experience was exceptional. Despite the on boat jacuzzi not working which was a real shame, I will never forget the experience of sailing the Whitsundays on a spectacular catamaran with a great bunch of people from all over the world.

 

I will remind anyone, regardless of whether you have previously suffered motion sickness or even travel sickness, it can get rocky, the waves may possibly be choppy and if you’re someone with a very weak stomach, it may be something to reconsider.

I have never felt sick from a boat, until the first few hours.

It may be worth buying a few motion sickness tablets just in case and not drinking too much the night before.

Don’t worry, you quickly get used to the motion.

Thank you to the three staff members on boat for the hospitality, fun, knowledge and looking after all of u so well!

You can book your trip with Powerplay by clicking here!

I went through Gypsy Travel! Highly recommended. Richard will help you with all things Australia so make sure to give him a message!

,

The honest truth on how I afford to travel

‘But, how do you afford it?’

A question I get at the start of every conversation regarding my travels.

I’ve been on the road for a while. I’m 22 and spent the last three years traveling extensively through Europe, Asia and Australia.

I’ve done and seen A LOT.

Vietnam

*10 minute read

Forever on the move, exploring new destinations, living a fulfilling and exciting life.

Guess what, I’m not stopping anytime soon.

Tokyo

There are many assumptions about my lifestyle. We all assume.

This has to cost right? Of course, it does.

I will start with one thing.

I do not have any secret travel funds. I do not get paid to travel. I have no unique qualifications, no hidden help. I’ve not won any money, nor have I received an amount of money or any other financial help for whatever reason.

I finance my trips myself.

Despite the odd birthday or Christmas, I may receive £100 from my parents which I put towards my travels.

I want to travel. I want it badly, so… I make it happen.

If you are so determined to do something, 9 times out of 10. You can.

I have a lot less money than you think. A lot less.

There is a difference between happiness and having money. Some of the happiest people I have ever met have the lowest amount of money yet the ones with hundreds and thousands of pounds sitting in their bank, are the loneliest and miserable.

Traveling made me realise it’s not about how many fancy drinks I can have sitting on the beach, or how nice of a hotel I can find. Nor is it about finding the best restaurant in all of Indonesia and shopping whenever I want. That isn’t what travel is about.

It’s about finding the happiness in simple things, feeling grateful for the life we have. To create enjoyment from meeting people, seeing new things. I find experiences I love without breaking the bank.

I’m happy and surviving on sometimes the bare minimal. I have to make choices on what will enable me to travel. To create a life that right now, I am satisfied with.

Me: Food, Accommodation, Transport, Experiences.

People at home: Bills. Rent. Petrol. Tax. Transport. Insurance. Phone contracts. Memberships. Food. Shopping. Going out. Clothes.

Imagine if I turned it back around…

‘How do you afford to get your nails done every week, that must cost heaps’

‘How are you affording those new trainers, did your parents help?’

‘You must be loaded going out for drinks every weekend’

‘Where do you get all the money for all those new clothes every week?’

‘Having the latest iPhone will have cost a bomb’

‘You got a new car, but how an earth can you pay for that’

Once you escape paying for things you don’t actually need, you realise how much it amounts up too.

Even paying for parking for the day can cost £10. That’s 3 nights in a hostel in Thailand.

No one questions things like buying clothes, going out for drinks, getting your hair done and simply paying for big phone contracts.

Money

I left home with £4,000 ( $7000 AUS) on 26th November 2015. Getting on a flight from Manchester to Bangkok on my own. I had worked hard. Prioritized saving and worked three jobs.

Bangkok 2015

I had a flight into Australia for whenever I was ready and that was it.

It’s now 3rd July 2017 and I’m still going.

Osaka 2017

I’m writing this while sitting in Osaka, Japan in a funky coffee shop feeling grateful for my experiences.  Going through the ridiculous amounts of photos I’ve been taking over the last couple of weeks experiencing the crazy Japanese lifestyle and exploring one of the most unique destinations I have ever been too. I’m happy, healthy and completely satisfied with my life.

Indonesia

Read more on my first year traveling the world solo by clicking HERE

I have not been in the same place for longer than 3 months since I was 18. I have a constant desire to explore.

The honest truth

If you really want to travel, you’ll make it work.

Let’s quit any bullsh*t.

I hear never-ending excuses to why people don’t travel.

People have secure jobs, mortgages and rent to pay. Commitments they feel obliged to follow.

I knew for a while I needed to travel the world, so from early on, I made the decisions to not overly involve myself within things that would stop me leaving – From jobs to relationships, contracts to commitments. I was careful with what I got overly involved in.

It’s not possible for everyone and I do understand commitments need to be made, however, I am talking about how I afford to travel. If you are looking to head off on a long term adventure, have a think about what you can break away from. I’m writing a post on easy hacks for long term travel here.

Working

Like everyone else, I work for my money. Working at certain points of my time in Australia, where the hourly rate is double as to what I was earning in England. I had to save my money I earned on the farm in Queensland and when I popped home for Christmas, I was working some crazy hours back at the cocktail bar.

Again, it’s getting the balance. I have never had a life where it’s only been focused on work and saving money. Work to live, don’t live to work.

Living basically

Despite a rich life with the experiences I have, the people I meet and the things I do. I live basically.

This was my home while I was living in Pai for a few weeks. £2 a night. This was luxury living as I was used to large shared dorms.

and this was my view….

When I travel, I often get little privacy, choose the cheapest accommodation which depending on where I am in the world, it could be anywhere between £1-£20.

I RARELY shop. I make use of what I have.

I’ve had the same pair of shoes for years and when I eventually really needed to buy some, I got fake converse from a Bangkok market and I love them.

God knows how many times I have worn the same outfit.

I almost never get taxi’s. Don’t have uber, use public transport everywhere or simply walk.

I barely drink alcohol.

I don’t overspend on things I don’t need.

Use my toiletries carefully, barely wear makeup so don’t need to repurchase anything.

I have no phone contract and had the same old mobile device for years.

If I do buy any clothes, for example when I arrived in Melbourne during winter, I went to the charity shop and spent $20 on jumpers.

It’s getting the balance.

£3.3o for a delicious iced mocha and vegetable toastie in the middle of Pai, North Thailand.

I spend my money on experiences.

On things I need to survive and get me to new destinations, and I am happy with that.

15,000 Indonesian rupiah for my boat over to Lombok

That’s less then £1 / $2 AUS (The same price as a packet of Oreos)

It’s not always easy or convenient, but that’s what traveling is really about. Making it work.

Finding the cheap & cheerful.

I spend time exploring new cities and towns with my camera. I spend quality time with people simply hanging out on the beach or playing cards. Things that don’t cost just to ‘do’.

Convenience.

People pay for convenience. Taxi’s to save the hassle.

Eating out instead of cooking. Paying for someone to take us places, show us things instead of finding out for yourself.

People pay for things we want, rather than what we need.

I have definitely spent my money on some really stupid sh*t in the past.

We pay for a life we feel we deserve filled with unnessacary and over priced things.

We pay for ease.

I sacrifice certain things to enable me to travel.

Walked an hour with my rucksack to save on a few pounds, slept in rooms with no air con and no fans in horrible humidity as it’s the cheapest option.

I normally eat street food, avoid any type of tour our travel agency as it’s always things I can do myself, for a lot less money. I’ve slept in dorms with over 20 people, people I dont know. Use a bathroom that the entire hostel uses’.

Like mentioned, I get little privacy, but as it’s the cheapest option, I can’t complain.

I’ve couch surfed, volunteered and hitchhiked just to save a little bit of money. All this saving adds up, and it’s all part of the travel fun.

Flights

Flying is the most expensive part of our travels. Once I am over in a country or continent, I can easily get around by cheap buses, night buses or affordable domestic flights.

I find the cheapest flights and transport, even if it takes double as long.

People want a flight that works around them and if you’re short on time then this limits the options. Some have a limited time to travel however I will take a longer route and take minimal baggage in order to save money.

Sometimes, I don’t overly have a destintion in mind, just look for the cheapest flights on Skyscanner on the cheapest dates.

There are perks of having no plans. I can work around prices.

I still need things to be convenient occasionally. I have booked my own room, payed too much for a cab just to get me somewhere and paid for the internet when I could have gone without.

Again, it’s getting the balance.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

I treated myself to a Christmas starbucks and a tuk-tuk to the airport when I headed home for Christmas. I had payed for my flight home and back to Australia with the money I had made from working on the banana farm in Queensland. I deffo deserved this coffee.

Taking risks:

I booked my flight to Japan while I had $700AUS / £500 in my account during my East Coast trip in Australia. I was waiting for my tax rebait to come through and just had to hope I would get it back in time.

I made it to Japan.

I booked my flight leaving Australia into Indonesia with less then $300 / £200 in my bank.

I made it to Indonesia.

I left Asia and entered Australia to start my working holiday with $200AUS/ £120 to my name.

Byron Bay, Australia

I completed my full first year in Australia.

I got on a flight to Singapore with less than $400AUS / £250.

I had a blast in Singapore on my last few days in Asia

Some people could say I was stupid, I don’t have any major back up’s or savings.

I’m lucky to have friends & family to bail me incase of a serious emergency or get me home if I really needed too. I am lucky to have a family to head back to for when I get home. For that, I am grateful as many people don’t.

I had to trust it all worked out. I had to make it work.

Costs

This meal I shared on the idylic beach on Gili Air, Indonesia cost 150,000 rupiah. That’s £8.

This private beach bungalow directly on the beach cost 300,000 rupiah, which I shared with a friend. 150,000 each is £8.00 (Which was our treat for our last few days together)

My bike rental in Kampot, Cambodia for 24 hours cost £2.50 (Insurance included)

This yummy latte in a coffee shop cost £1 in Cambodia

This scuba dive on the paradise island in Malaysia cost £20

This incredible day cost me nothing

This meal in St. Kilda, Melbourne cost £2.50 / £1.70

My cat cafe experience in Bangkok cost me £4. That’s with coffee and cake included.

My motorbike taxi over over to Khao San Road across the capital city cost me 50p. Less than $1AUS

So many things are cheaper than people think.

Things are free. Yes, free.

Sunsets on the beach with my new furry friend – FREE

Wondering Brisbane – FREE

Checking out the street out in Penang, Malaysia – FREE

Meeting the wild wallabies on Magnetic Island – FREE

Checking out the views over Tokyo – FREE

Exploring Melbourne – FREE

Discovering abandoned Bokor City up in Cambodia – FREE

Meeting the locals and exploring the rice fields in Hoi An, Vietnam – FREE

Blog work

I received a few tours while I was in Australia in return for some blog work. This included a $500 AUS skydive over Mission Beach, Australia.. for free.

A Whitsundays tour on an amazing catamaran boat sailing over two nights which would have cost me $400AUS, a few surf classes and other bits and bobs. I guess hard work does pay off.

Whitsundays, Australia 

 I’m happy with fewer things. Less convenience, basic living. Experiences over belongings.

It enables me to travel and that is the richest I can feel.

, ,

5 ways to think if you really want to travel

Traveling is done in all sorts of ways. Short term, long term. Group, couple or solo travel. You could trek, fly, sail, catch trains or just drive across to different destinations. Anyone can travel.

If you’re really seeking adventures, you’ve caught the travel bug, you need to explore or just crave traveling the world, like me, I wanted to let you know in the ways I think, hopefully they may help.

 

 

I’m not trying to change your thought process, nor am I telling you what’s right and how you should think. I simply strongly advise a few things on the mindset of travel.

If you are serious about pursuing long term travel, or even just fancy backpacking some new destinations this year, here is what I think.

You need determination, an open mind, accepting a challenge, knowing its not all going to be easy peasy.

Have drive in yourself.

It’s designed to test and teach you, to open your mind to the rest of the world. No bullsh*t.

 Enjoy everything

Sometimes you just have to take things for what they are. See the good in everything and just enjoy yourself. There is no point finding fault. Keep your mind open and positive.

No, unfortunately this isn’t possible all the time, if only however try and keep a strong mind from the get go. Focus your attention on the good stuff that’s happening. Take in the moment.

While traveling you will see a variety of different things and feel many emotions.  Enjoy even the bad times, one day, they won’t seem all that bad. Let your life just work itself out and go with it. Trust me, it makes it all a lot easier.

 

Listen to your gut

Everyone should listen to their gut however when you travel, especially on your own, you have to listen and trust yourself.

It’s important to value your own thoughts and opinions as well as others. Try and feel a vibe from someone and be honest with yourself about situations.

As much as i’m really not trying to sound like some life guru, or even just your mother, seriously.. learn to listen to yourself. You have to be able to make decisions, make choices and be active on your own.

 

Do what you enjoy and do it with passion

I’ve always been quite strong in regards to what I want to do and why.

I’ve always been able to pursue what it is I love doing through massive amounts of support and self determination. I’ve had no hidden help or secret funds, just passion.

Traveling, dancing, photography, having new experiences, learning, blogging, bartending, exercising, socialising and simply going out for brunch are some of the simple things I love doing.

Guess what, I live my life doing that.

Whatever it is you enjoy, go and do it.

 

Get your priorities right

This really got me when I started working abroad at 18 in Crete.

I really learnt was was important to me. My family & friends who sustained their love and time. The people that genuinely wanted to support me in all sorts of ways.

I needed to decide what I wanted to spend my money on and what I didn’t.

I had to decide what I wanted for myself. I didn’t want to spend my time and money on booze or belongings. I wanted experiences and flights, adventures and new friends.

When you travel, you learn what your priorities are. You see the world at such a large scale you really how insignificant you are to the whole world.

Try and focus on what it is you really want for yourself.

If you really want to travel, you’ll make it work.

 

Be active

Monday morning dive • Malaysia

There is so much to do going on in the world. We all need to be able to chill, relax and rest, I’m all for that never the less go out and do things.

Legit, just get up and go explore. The fulfilment of experiences over belonging is unexplainable.

Spend your money on experiences and make memories. Not everything has to cost a lot.

 

So there we are. My 5 ways to think if you really want to travel. These are just my thoughts and opinions and any feedback is welcome!

Like this read? Make sure to check out my 18 helpful tips to traveling alone by clicking here!

,

Traveling with Scoliosis

Scoliosis – a lateral curvature of the spine.

14625504_10153796975912751_2044980600_n

Traveling and scoliosis are two very important things in my life and with very little on the internet about the emotional and personal side to scoliosis, I decided to write about it.

Chilled Saturday morning in Cairns publishing blogs! Not a bad spot to be doing 'work' ✌️

I have a double curvature like an S shape around 58degrees & 63 degrees.

fig-1-luhman-ais-pre-op-ap-x-ray scoliosis-x-ray

Just to get an idea of the curvature.

b4a04e3afafe11dc00f375a84684cc58

Everyone with Scoliosis has a different curvature, at different stages in the their life with different personal stories. The pain can vary from person to person and I can only write from my experiences and story.

A little on the beginning.

I was 14 when my ex boyfriend noticed my back wasn’t quite even. I spent hours in the mirror that evening doing all sorts of moves and positions. He was right, my back wasn’t quite straight.

After research, scans and appointments at the hospital, I soon got diagnosed and signed to a surgeon to talk about the future possibilties.

14658202_10153796975932751_1786622720_n

I was petrified.

I’d never even broken a bone, never rushed to the hospital or suffered any major problems and I was being told I need life changing surgery for a major condition.

I had two major curves classed as serious however they are not life threatening and won’t cause any internal damage.

Options were limited.

A brace wasn’t an option as the curvature was already too severe and I didn’t have too much growing left.

The first X-ray my parents and I had seen, well, none of us could believe it was even possible that was me.

My dad couldn’t believe his daughter’s spine could be so, curved.

14608172_10153796975862751_529449472_n

As I was training for dance school surgery wasn’t an option.

Surgery

spinal-fusion-1

A very long, intense procedure screwing rods into each vertebra down my spine and attaching metal rods and screws to hold my ‘new’ straight back in place.

There are several approaches to scoliosis surgery, but all use modern instrumentation systems in which hooks and screws are applied to the spine to anchor long rods. The rods are then used to reduce and hold the spine while bone that is added fuses together with existing bone.

00287-master-4

After many chats and discussions, tears and concerns, my family and I were slightly against the process and decided to just focus on my dance and healthy future.

It was one heck of a recovery process which would have included full-time constant care and a very intense year of getting back to normal life. I would then have many restrictions on my back movement and miss out on certain things in life.

Exploring the ruins of the Angkor Wat Jungle temple. Siem Reap, Cambodia

Exploring the ruins of the Angkor Wat Jungle temple. Siem Reap, Cambodia

As years went on and turning into an adult, it’s been a world wind of feelings towards going ahead with the surgery and scoliosis in general.

0462a925f085cd6d12938694d9242935

When I finished my dance training the truth of my scoliosis was more of a reality.

I knew I wanted to travel the world once I did my first season abroad in Malia.

DCIM100GOPRO

I had things I wanted to do, experiences to have and future plans for myself, I didn’t seem to have the time to take a year out of life for surgery.

I only have a certain amount of time before surgery will almost be pointless. As my back tightens and stiffens once I’m fully grown, it’ll take longer to recover and have less impact on the movement of my spine.

426399_10151290596227751_1157822851_n

I started traveling the world when I was 18. We had family trips to destinations including India, Canada, Thailand backpacking with the parents and my younger sister, I’ve had the travel bug ever since.

Travel involves long flights, random places to sleep including the airport floor.

DCIM113GOPRO

Uncomfortable coaches, sharing cabs and tuk-tuks and quashing into packed buses.

dsc_2867

Heavy rucksacks and all different kinds of exercises including long walks with my rucksack.

983784_10152235367972751_4997880544796872101_n

This can’t be good for my back?

.. but how can I go ahead with the procedure?

However. I’m then left with this crazy curved spine. A condition that no professional dance company will take too seriously. A condition that will give me all different kinds of problems throughout my life.

964ce8f4e9b55df759ecf5b08a14e84eI’m now 22 and currently traveling around the world, solo.

I’m incredibly happy and free.

DCIM106GOPRO

Catch up with my last year traveling the world solo by clicking here!

My surgeon told me before I left to start a world trip, to concentrate on the certainty. Travel.

tumblr_nbaqc8zjmy1rxwrzxo1_500

I am having unforgettable experiences, unteachable lessons, a new friend everyday.

I am determined to travel.

DCIM107GOPRO

Wait, I need to carry my life on my back.

Lots of walking, hard wooden beds, heavy luggage. Long journeys and little comfort.

I’m now even stacking boxes and bananas for my second year visa work.

16kg boxes of bananas being moved onto pallets for 8 hours each day. Packing up to 5,000 boxes a week on my own.

Straining back? Hell yes.

Wouldn’t anyone have a sore back?

What helps me travel with Scoliosis?

 I travel with a teddy, however, any small pillow or head rest is great to take the pressure off your back. Sometimes even resting a piece of clothing in the middle of your back takes away pressure on long journeys. My teddy, ‘Grumpy’ is a great neck rest and of course, a great comfort to me.

Asking for an extra pillow at hostels, hotels or an planes can help for extra comfort and support.

14657334_10153828392477751_5634010492338402655_n4 hour trip to Cairns/ Australia

Due to scoliosis, I do suffer pain and discomfort. I do get back ache and my back looks uneven and unbalanced all the time. Having a few tablets of Anadin or other pain relief can help take the ease out of the real discomfort however I very rarely take any form of tablets or pain relief. I have found personal ways to reduce discomfort which works for me.

medical_cannabis_packaging

If you suffer from discomfort after sitting for too long during flights, let the airline know and they may offer you some extra space or somewhere to stretch out. It’s important to be able to stretch your back out as it easily stiffens, I find discomfort gets worse if I am sat for too long.

If you are on long journeys, make sure to move and stretch around or if walking for long periods, remember it’s okay and rest. It’s always time to stop for a coffee right?

img_1755

Clothes. So of course, clothes can look uneven on my upper half and certain tops & bras just don’t sit right. There are clothes I feel extremely uncomfortable wearing, but doesn’t everyone? I try and buy clothes that don’t draw too much area to bumps and curves.

I find when traveling there are loads of cheap, beautiful baggy and loose clothes that are easy to pack and look great wondering hippy towns and idyllic beaches. As the weather is pretty humid in so many parts of the world, light and baggy clothing is always great to have and sold almost everywhere.

img_1339

40degrees checking out Penang’s street art // Malaysia

When those bikinis come out, I have no choice but to reveal my back.
There is nothing I can do about the way my back looks. Some people say they really can’t notice it, to me, it runs through my head constantly.

DCIM115GOPRO

As scoliosis affects your entire skeleton, posture is important. Avoid sitting crouching over yourself. Yoga is a great way to help stretch out your back and engage good posture throughout out your life.

I find the more you know about the balance of muscles around the spine and the way your body will move differently to others, will help understand how to help the discomfort. I know lots of people who take part in physio to understand the way the body will move differently and work on certain muscles as they will be uneven.

scoliosis-help

The older I get and the more I travel, the less I concentrate on my scoliosis. The less I actually overly care about the way I look, and in some way, what anyone thinks about me.

Spent my Friday volunteering on a friends farm. Getting to ride around on a quad through the outback was pretty awesome!

I have found personal ways of my own to keep my back comfortable however, I have never needed much special treatment or extra care. My dance training has helped with my posture, I keep fit and healthy to protect my bone strength, cut out the booze and don’t smoke cigarettes.

I can still do everything I want to do.
I’m not sure for how long, maybe until I’m 30,50,70. I do suffer from discomfort no one else understands.

Understanding that with or without surgery it will always be a big part of my life. I may look at things differently over time.

4ce68ba2057673d5762aefdb196f3e15

It can’t stop you doing anything, epecially if you are determind.

img_0097

There are lots of different ways of improving life with scoliosis, lots of groups and worldwide meetings on dealing with Scoliosis. Don’t be afraid to talk about it, it makes you unique. It’s good to open up about it and get the support you need.

tumblr_nvnurmsdlk1rn7id3o1_500

There are hundreds of people undergoing surgery, starting there first few weeks in a brace and also, like me, just getting on with life with the condition.

Let me know your story and your tips!

DCIM108GOPRO

,

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.IMG_0033

1. Every penny counts

This was just something I knew I had to realise the second I started traveling. If I was at home and something cost an extra 20p, I would pay it. If I knew I was probably being slightly overcharged for a cab, I would still pay it. If someone needed to borrow afew $. I wouldn’t bother asking for it back.

This all has to change.

I dont mean turn into a stingy b*tch. Backpacking Asia really taught me the true meaning of value. I was paying $1 for my dinner. This doesn’t mean everywhere will be cheap and of course, make exceptions but keep track on how much things should cost.

Try to watch every penny you spend. It all adds up. The only reason I only managed to travel as long as I did was because I so careful with my money. I wasn’t spending my cash on things I didn’t need too.

I was walking to save myself on $2. I was always going for the cheapest accomadation and argued with taxi drivers over 20p.

I never had a daily budget or allowance, I just spent my money wisely, most of the time.

DSC_2989

2. Walk/ Hitch hike

I first tried hitchhiking in Malaysia, and it was worryingly easy. I would suggest doing it with someone and keeping your wits about you however so many people are happy to give you a lift, they are going that way anyway.

It’s as easy as standing there, putting your arm out and thumb up. On the first few times I was a little unsure but once I spoke to the drivers, it was the first time for them also. Some we had great conversation, others we just sat and they dropped me right off where I needed.

It’s a very easy way to save money.

Walking. Most of us have legs. Use them. Taxi fee’s can add up. If it’s possible, walk. You never know what you will see!

3. Things are free

DCIM106GOPRO

Unfortunately great experiences cost a lot of money however, you can find many free options that you can’t beat. Great company is priceless, beaches are free and you can never go wrong with a game of cards.

I love photography and sunsets and it doesn’t cost me a penny to find a lovely spot with my camera and watch the world.

DCIM104GOPRO

4. Couch surf/hammock/tent/Car

There are lots of other options other than hotels & hostels.

Lots of places offer tents and some camping zones. I meet loads of people camping out or even just hanging up a hammock for the night. All around Australia people live from their cars or camping equiptment.

Couch surfing is free and a great way to meet people but always watch out for dodgy accounts and make sure it’s safe & genuine.

DCIM101GOPRO

A dalmation, iced coffee and a hammock.

5. Dont go buying

Seriously. Don’t go looking for things you don’t need. Every country I went, every little town or island, they had some sort of beautiful markets or awesome traditional shops. I wanted things. I wanted to buy. Shop. Purchase. I couldn’t.

IMG_1702

I didn’t need any of those things. I occasionally needing to rebuy toiletries, and found a few beautiful wall hangings I had to pick up.

During the 6 months in Asia, I definatley picked up a few bits. A passport holder from Chiang Mai, a dress from Pai, some sandles from Hoi An were just a few things however all in all, I was never going out to shop.

I was limited for space in my rucksack and the more money I spent on stuff, the less I could travel and have all these experiances. Most importantly, I needed the money for food & accomadation.

6. Cheapest option

There are normally lots of different options other then the first one shown. The more you travel, the more travel hacks you will pick up.

You will know the cheaper airlines and sites. Make sure to compare flights, look at trains and over night bus’ instead of planes. Find deals on accomadation and share transport are just a few ways to keep things cheaper.

I still have a lot to learn, let me know yours and comment below.

7. Cut the booze

DCIM101GOPRO

A cold chang in Blue Lagoon // Koh Phi Phi

So a lot of you may hate me for this.

I cut out booze. Not completely, but I rarely drink.

Without going into it, I prefer Bob Marley to David Guetta.

The amount of money I found people spending on going out getting pissed, which there is nothing wrong with, never the less, if you are looking to cut down on the extra spending and start budgeting. You’ll skip the booze.

For two bottles of Chang beer in Thailand, I could afford a hostel room for the night. Doesnt take a genuis to work it out.

I am all for having fun and these are some of the best years of your life, crack open that beer on the beach however keep an eye on how much spending it may amount too.dsc_0235-2

Saigon at a rooftop bar // Ho Chi Minh

8. Cook with others

You’re staying in hostels? Homestays?  Sharing kitchen space? Cook together. We all have to eat, dining out in South East Asia is very cheap however if youre traveling for a long term or even just enjoy cooking your own food. A massive bag of pasta, sauce can cost 20p if there a few of you eating.

Everyone is always after saving some pennies so mention it to people and I am sure other people will also be keen. Cook in large portions if you’re on the road. If you’re driving through a country, store cheap food options if accesible to a kitchen.

img_1962

Bbq’s in Australia

These are just a few ways to save money!  Let me know yours below!

DCIM106GOPRO

Visiting the abandoned casino @ Bokor City // Kampot, Cambodia

, ,

10 tricks & tips on moving to Melbourne

Thousands of us come to Australia.

Some to work, travel, find a new way of life or simply want to settle short term.

As-map

Melbourne. Victoria.

Stylish, arty Melbourne is a city that’s both dynamic and cosmopolitan, and proud of its place as Australia’s cultural capital. Its stately Gold Rush–era architecture and a multicultural make-up reflect the city’s recent history, while edgy street art, top museums and sticky-carpeted band venues point to its present-day personality.

Melbourne is best experienced as a local would, with its character largely reliant upon its collection of inner-city neighbourhoods. Despite a long-standing north–south divide (flashy St Kilda versus hipster Fitzroy), there’s a coolness about its bars, cafes, restaurants, festivals and people that transcends the borders. The city centre has meanwhile reinvented itself with chic laneway eateries and rooftop bars opening in former industrial buildings.

Sport is also crucial to the fabric of the town, taking on something of a religious nature here. Melburnians are passionate about AFL football (‘footy’), cricket and horse racing, and also love their grand-slam tennis and Formula One car racing.

  • Lonely Planet

 

I recently moved here after 6 months backpacking Asia. It’s cold, civilised and pretty cool. Chilled vibes, quirky cafes, endless entertainment, sport central and just an awesome place to be.

IMG_0575

Known for being the best city to live in; I came to give it a go.

maxresdefault

I wanted to share with you some of my tips & tricks for moving to Melbourne.

1. Use Public transport.

 

CroppedImage1280400-ResizedImage34068-ptv

 

Melbourne has a decent public transport system. Despite everyone obsessed with Uber, and espresso martinis, the tram system is pretty efficient.

As confusing as it can be at first, pretty off putting coming from Asia, it’s the leading transportation around the city. Almost a 24 hour system, reliable, it’s something to get used too and get to know.

MM01

2. Get Gumtree.

Don’t have it? Get it? Don’t know what it is? Search it.
Or just click here.. Gumtree au
gum
Many jobs are posted daily with job vacancies, business’ hiring and lots of work advertised.
You can post your own ad if looking for work People will be able to contact you through Gumtree if interested.
Not only that but it’s a great place to look for accomadation or to buy something. Everyone seems to be using it so don’t miss out!

3.  Use social media & it’s benefits.

Almost everyone has social media, I have even seen random little Cambodian villages on facebook. Social media has many negatives however there is one massive benifit when it comes to traveling.

Get on those social media pages. Join the groups, read the blogs, search Instagram. There are some great Facebook groups here to help with lots of information on backpacking Australia, living in Australia and more. These pages are designed to help find information and help you engage with other people also moving and living in Melbourne.

Search #hashtagged places in the city and see what is going on. I always find lovely little coffee houses by having a ponder on Instagram. Click here to follow @_littletravelbird on Instagram and see what new places I have been finding.

Mid week brunch

4. Saving?

Melbourne has something constantly going on. I am sure it is possible to save, I have too, however there is a lot going on. Melbourne is revolved around eating out, hidden hippy bars, vintage shops, the best places for coffee and so much more. Constant entertainment and great sport activities, theatres and shopping, arenas and stadiums, Melbourne is a very active city, make use of it!

 

8cGEyR9Mi

If you are coming to seriously save some dollar, maybe think of somewhere else to settle. With an income and some budgeting, anyone can save with the right priorities, however Melbourne is such a vibrant city with so much to do, enjoy it!

Pizza night

Pizza night in the city

 

5. Find a house share

Everyone all over Melbourne is in a house share, whether you are a backpacker, student, professional or just a travel bum, a house share is normally pretty affordable, a great place to meet people and an easy way of living. Find the area you want to live in, with ads for accommodation constantly on Gumtree or on Facebook pages, you will have no problem finding a room!
I have a good friend living in St. Kilda, where I was crashing when I arrived. I now have an affordable cute little flat in St. Kilda with 5 others. It is easy, convenient and affordable. If you don’t have anyone to stay with, hostels are a good place to head to first to meet people and get to know the area once you’re here.

6. Do your RSA/Permit/Visa research

Most places have restrictions on who can work where and for how long. For us British, it is ridiculosuly easy to come over to live & work down under. For other countries, the rules and regulations can be different so check the conditions of where you are from.
To work and live over here in Melbourne, you will need a working holiday visa. These are easy to get hold of and can use them up to 12 months from applying. It will cost around £230/ $500 AU. This gives you a year in the country which you can extend to two years if you do 88 days of agrictulture work.
You can’t bartend without an RSA. Hospitality is a big deal in Australia, especially in Melbourne. Bartenders need to attend a short RSA course. For those wanting hospitaity work, look at getting it booked and out the way. It’s easy and means you can get work straight away. Employees wont ask for it until you have been working with them for 3 weeks but it’s a good idea to get it done. Each state in Australia will require a different RSA.

7. Get an income.

It is easy to be busy enough with exploring the city. I could spend endless days down by the beach, wondering the streets of Fitzroy, drinking out on Chapel street or finding the best resturants in the CBD but Melbourne focuses on great entertainment, food and drink, live music and sport.
There is a lot going on and things to do and see. If you are looking on moving to Melbourne, get your self a job and have some sort of income!

8. Be prepared with the weather

IMG_0432

Melbourne is known for the random weather. Wake up to the sun beaming and clear blue skies and by the evening it can get pretty rainy and miserable.

The photo above was taken on a ridiculously wet and dull saturday day in the middle of winter, while I went to get the tram to work, this was my view of the sunset.

The weather is constantly changing so come prepared. I flew in from Asia on the 1st June where winter was starting. Despite being used to 45 degree heat, it can get very cold.

I am currently living in my hat and scarf, needing to keep the heating on. Depending on what time of year you come to Melbourne, always be prepared. Melbourne is south of Australia and can get some of the coldest weather!

Despite being in the middle of winter at the moment, it is still an improvement on English weather!

Morning beach run

Morning beach run

9. City life

Melbourne is a major city.

You won’t be in the country side, or close to the desert. Instead, are loads of suburbs filled with awesome streets filled with independant buisness and local cafes. Despite the CBD being a great place to explore, make sure to spend lots of time exploring the suburbs.

 

 

Places like hippy Fitzroy, flashy St. Kilda, Prahan, Brighton, South Melbourne and more are my favourite places to hang out.

 

DCIM113GOPRO

10. Make use of the coffee culture

Melbourne is known for the epic coffee scene. With some of the best coffee, baristas and places to drink them, embrace it all. Give the coffee shops a good chance and explore what Melbourne hospitality has to offer!

There you go. There are so many interesting and funky places in Melbourne. Despite suffering from one big culture shock coming from Asia, Melbourne has not let me down! These are just my opinions & tips, any feedback would be appreciated.

Happy traveling.

-Little travel bird

, , ,

You really want to know how much?

Over and over I get asked the same questions and comments.

How much is it costing you? How do you afford it? I cant backpack as I dont have the money too. You must be spending loads.

Traveling costs money. Of course it does. Almost everything we do costs something.

DSC_1994

To travel and experience. We pay…

 but that’s not the point as much.

It’s turns more towards the value.

I spend nothing compared to what I would in England. Despite being an a huge budget, we live well.

How's your Monday morning? #breakfast #coffee #pastry

Im hanging out on beaches, drinking way too much coffee in boutique coffee shops. Not too mention climbing up in the jungle finding waterfalls, diving, sipping smoothies on beach bars, wondering hectic cities, sunbathing in fancy resorts, finding fun hostels, living on remote islands, eating out every day and of course tons of other things.

I’m learning new things, seeing the word, making memories and meeting so many fascinating people. Read more

, ,

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.

Instagram • _littletravelbird

Twitter: @littletravlbird

,

Why I blog.

Why do you do this? What’s it for? What do you get for it?

No I don’t get paid. Yes I love it. I don’t have to do it and I gain a lot from it. simple.

It’s more a question of, why wouldn’t I blog?

 

It all started when a very good group of friends mentioned starting a blog one evening and decided to look into. Now here I am.

Getting paid.

acf7763f-9190-4bd1-8e69-ae99293596d0

Number one. I think I can speak for a lot of travel bloggers out there but it doesn’t really start like that. I’m not in the mindset with the ambition to get paid for this, however it would be utterly fabulous to have a career from it or even be able to earn some pocket money, however it’s not why I do it.

I write for myself.

It started when I was receiving a volume of questions about where I travelled and how. I was one of the few people in my area who flew off to work a season at 18 and I guess it stemmed from there.

 

One of the biggest reasons is purely for my own satisfaction.

I love being able to write and then take a step back and look at what i’ve done. I am able to view my stories and experiences in a different way. It’s like a little reminder of what i’ve been doing. I can piece it all back together in such a lovely way and its an easy way to share my stories.

It allows me to document my travels, easily share with friends and family and whoever else is interested. Think of it almost like a travel diary.

There is a huge bloggers, backpackers and travel comunity out there! From forums, groups, meetings all over the world. It’s so fun to be part of this awesome community which helps me understand more about traveling the world in all sorts of ways.

Time consuming.

It did surprise me how much time it took to do everything. From the writing to the coding, the format, the promotion of the site etc! It all takes time and effort and I can now see why successful bloggers get a lot of help! Thank you to my lovely friend Chris for all the help for my site!!

original_NOTHS_Notes_on_My_Travels_2_Sizes_B

I feel as though it’s quite a positive way or socialising, connecting with a passion of mine. I try and remain a very positive person and will do my best to never put any negativity on other people. I find I don’t portray my life in a bad way despite on what may go on. Again, this is a positive blog on real life travelling from myself.

A fishhhhhh

A fishhhhhh

My aim is for this blog to help me understand more about travel, the world and me as a person. To also connect better with other backpackers and travelers all over the world with the same passion we all share. My biggest aim is to show, help and explain how easy traveling can be. Many thoughts and perceptions of this planet and backpacking, hostel living, modes of transport and affordability are wrong.

Despite this remaining a positive blog I will be writing about real life situations and experiances.

Interested in my not so positive experiance. Want to know how I almost died and the ocean almost got me. Click here to read more!

 

Feedback!

One of the most positive and rewarding things I get from the blog is helping others. I’ve had so much incredible feedback about certain blogs that have helped people to book interrail tickets, flights, hostels and just to get up and go travel.

The amount of comments I get in a positive light helping other people with tips, advice and genuine talks of travelling and working abroad has been amazing. Ive had some incredible feedback from all types of people and by the looks of things, already helped people go off and travel. When I receive comments and responses like this, it really makes me want to work harder on the blog and help others.

I learn a lot from other bloggers, my readers and it really helps me see more of what goes on between backpackers and other travellers.

Any feedback is welcome and it means a lot to get responses from friends, family, fellow backpackers and other readers!

Socialise

As those who know me know I’m a huge social buttery. Having lots of different friends is important to me, meeting other people is a huge part of my life.

Blogging is just another great way to socialise. Especially with whatever category you blog about. I have already interacted with some awesome travellers around the world and if it can help me meet others while travelling then why the heck not! Since creating a twitter account, it looks like I might already have some new friends to meet the other side of the world!

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

Follow me on Instagram, twitter and Facebook by clicking here! If you are ever in the same city as me, wherever that may be, make sure to give me a shout and grab a beer with me!

Facebook   Instagram   Twitter

Facebook-Instagram-Twitter

 

Having a travel blog has also improved my hurrendous english skills, shown me more in regards to writing, photography, blogging and opened up my knowledge to reviewing, WordPress, social networking and more!

 

I mean who doesn’t want their own site. haha, ok maybe not everyone but who knows where it’ll take me!!

I am determind to put the work into this site and have good hopes for the future!

29*c and lying in a hammock listening to soft jazz, going through all my photos and spending the day blogging. I have a Dalmatian dog to one side and a iced tea thai coffee the other. It's the little things

29*c and lying in a hammock listening to soft jazz, going through all my photos and spending the day blogging. I have a Dalmatian dog to one side and a iced tea thai coffee the other. It’s the little things

 

Like the blog? Make sure to check out Am I scared? Click here.

 

 

,

GoPro Hero review

After thinking what I could get, without blowing too much cash, to capture photos & videos a little better than an Iphone, I came across the magnificent world of GoPro.

The last couple of years GoPro has now found it’s way into most travellers backpacks. Known for being a small, easy, wide lense, fast paced action camera, we are all loving it.

With some great promotions and a wide fan based around the world it’s hard to miss the updates in the GoPro world.

I wanted one.

I felt as though I needed one, however, which? I was pretty new to the whole lense crap and megapixles and footage editing malarky.

After research online, which ended up confusing me more,

I ended up going for the GoPro Hero 3+ silver. Price: £230-£270

The Hero 3 is now split into three different colours — starting with the White Edition,the Silver Edition, and with the black edition at the top of the range.

goprohero3plusI felt this was suitable for me. I wasn’t exactly planning on depending my career on these photos and videos. I wasn’t even 100% sure what I was going to be using it for exactly but I knew if I wanted to capture some great footage while travelling. I had to get my hands on one.

This particular model was pretty up to date, the new wifi feature (without remote) and improved lense sitting between the entry-level White and top-of-the-range Black Editions.

So far, I love it! I have been unfortuantley let down by certain feautures however pleasently suprised by others.

So, a little bit about the GoPro Hero 3+ silver..

Details:

  • Pro-Sumer grade low light performance
  • 1080p Video Resolution
  • 11MP Camera
  • Wifi

Click here to shop GoPro Cameras.

What I love about it..

The wide lense is just incredible. It managers to capture everything! If you want a close up of something, you literally have to take the photo directly infront and right up close to the person/object.

Without the waterproof casing the camera is little and light and perfect just to pop in your pocket or bag. The waterproof case adds a little bit of size but still remains pretty small and light for such a camera.

70mph over the Mediterranean ⚓️

70mph over the Mediterranean ⚓️

 

Example Live

Example Live

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The biggest thing I want to highlight for those who don’t know, for this camera and the hero 2 + 3, you cannot see through the lens. Everyone is used to being able to see what photos you’re taking. You don’t really need to know with the GoPro. It will more then likely capture what you need, if anything you need to be even closer to what you think. You just need to play around to know what types of angles to take things as the tiniest change in slant can make a difference in the photo. If you connect the camera to the GoPro app you can see what the camera is taking through the app.

My biggest let down is the battery life and ease of managing memory. battery life photo

The battery is relativley decent but considering this is an action camera with most buyers needing lots of footage at events, day outs and backpacking, I find the battery life was not as good as I expected. Battery can die pretty quickly considering the price and quality of camera. Especially if your wifi button is on and your camera is constantly in use I would say you have about 2.5/3 hours of use.

 

The battery (the same one used for the Hero3) is accessed through the back panel, which is also where you’ll find an input for use with GoPro’s LCD Touch BacPac or Battery BacPac. GoProHero3BlackEditionThe camera’s left side has Micro-HDMI and Mini-USB ports and a microSDXC card slot that supports capacities up to 64GB. There is no 3.5mm audio-in for an external mic, but a Mini-USB-to-3.5mm-audio-in cable is available.

There is no charger included for the camera, just a Mini-USB cable for charging via computer or USB wall adapter if you have one. GoPro offers a two-battery external charger, but again, you’ll need a USB wall adapter or a computer to supply the power. Otherwise, since you’re charging in-camera, you’ll need to plan ahead if you want to carry additional batteries. You’ll also need a microSD card up to 64GB for storage.

 

Managing the memory is a little more difficult then I hoped. You can only delete the last photo or video taken or all of them. Luckily this GoPro has the wifi device, which means I can connect my phone to the camera which is fucking awesome. I can manage a lot more on my phone and see the lense, including deleting whatever I want. The wifi is simple to use, all you need to do is download the GoPro app. I can even manage the camera while the camera is out of my hands. Never the less, this isn’t always possible while jet skiing over the mediterian sea or jumping out of a plane at 5,000 feet.

I get numerous comments on the quality of the camera. I actually do change the colour and contrast before I upload them, sometimes on my phone or instagram just to intensify the colour and shadows.

I don’t know how people travel without them. Beautiful wide lense camera managing to capture the moment perfectly. They are small and easy to use and has some great equipment to buy extra helping you capture the photos and videos suitable for you. The biggest decision is deciding how much money you want to spend on the camera as it can vary on price as they go from £100-£500.

I recommend doing plenty of research and getting one before you travel. Even if you don’t travel these cameras are a great piece of equipment to have!

Mumford and sons. Insane. #leedsfestival #randl2015

Diving-Scuba-Mask-with-GoPro-Hero-3-Mount-0

 

There is so much equiptment you can buy for them, some sillier then others. Some just damn right clever. Click here to view extra equipment you can buy!

I am looking to purchase the wrist strap and selfie stick before I go away. Let me know what you have or what you recommend and comment at the bottom of the page!

9e0b7175-42c8-4277-a18f-6f5e805ec0dd

 

The camera comes in a waterproof housing that goes to depths of 131 feet (40 meters); the Hero3’s dive housing was good to 197 feet (60 meters). If you don’t need the camera to be dust- or waterproof and would like a bit more audio to reach the built-in mono mic, you can swap out the standard backdoor for the skeleton backdoor case.

 

 

I actually think that the camera takes better photos underwater!

GoPro hero 3+. I love you. #water #GoPro #greece

GoPro hero 3+. I love you. #water #GoPro #greece

 

Some of my favourite photos taken by this fabulous little camera

Instagram: leahcolex

I have the best job in the world. @maliaboozecruise

⚓️⛵️ #greece #travel

Venturing into the sea with my GoPro at sunset.

My friend Jordan and I venturing to a quite beach for a swim during sunset.

11334488_124640281206392_1534545565_n

11820594_1003968286321778_1620914367_n

Perfect evening in the sun drinking beer, listening to Alt-J live. Loving life #leedsfestival

Like this? Make sure to check out ‘My top 8 travel tips’

,

Am I scared?

Are you not scared? You must be brave! What if?images

 

I thought about writing this blog for a while, what encouraged me was when people started to question about how I felt. Friends, family, strangers who I would speak to seemed to express modest concern to the trip.

You know it can dangerous, what if, what if, what if…. blah blah blah. Primarily, are you not scared? My answer… YES.

Of course I’m bloody scared. I don’t know the languages, I don’t know what I will end up doing, who i’ll meet or what’s going to happen. I’m travelling to a foreign third world continent, alone, with one backpack and no plan.

I’m excited, anxious, eager and tremendously nervous.  Am I still doing the right thing? Yes.

It’s a pretty terrifying trip not knowing what I will be doing or where I might find myself but this is the fun of it.

What’s the worst that could happen ey?

6a026dd01cde7f751b2e2d63587d802c

 

We do things everyday in our lives, the comfort of our own home that have risks and dangers. I can’t think of every negative or problem that could happen other wise i’ll never do the trip. Most people have worries and concerns of things that they occasionally see or hear in the news. Life throws all unexpected situations at us and asking yourself ”what if” is just an unnescary anxiety. It’s not needed. I am staying realistic, positive and hopeful for my trip away.

 

Travelling to third world countries with a different language, currency, culture has its risks. I am needing lots of vaccinations and tablets. In Asia things are not as clean and the hsyringeealth services are next to nothing compared to Europe. I am currently getting all my vaccinations I can. Click here to see what I am having to travel to South East Asia. I will be taking lots of safety precautions and making sure I am as healthy as I can be before the trip.

Click here to find out what you’ll need for your trip. A helpful site I use a lot!

I know some of the risks and dangers with these countries, I won’t always be in the safest parts of the world around the nicest of people. I will sometimes be vunerable especially as I’m technically going solo and a young female. I have already thought about these however a lot of danger can be prevented with common sense.

 

Leaving home for a long period time, not knowing when I will be home is a strange feeling. This is all part of the trip I guess and is a big one for us all.

Leaving our home comforts, close friends and loved ones. I have such awesome friends and family and leaving them will be hard for me. I know people may not be 10885007_10152448279887751_1502479316437182355_nhear when i’m back and I have thought this all through. I am currently trying to spend time with everyone who means something to me. Part of the reason I flew home early from my time in Greece this year was so i gave myself enough time to see my friends and family and enjoy England.

 

Knowing that all I will be taking is a backpack for however long actually makes me feel pretty sick. I want my straighteners and laptop, I want to bring my gorgeous dog and my big amazing double bed and all my friends and family.

As mentioned in other blogs it’s the sense of not carrying un-needed excess baggage, literally.

Think of the freedom.

Here in the UK most of us are spoiled with expensive electronics, luxury gifts we receive and fancy cars and houses we work for.

As much as I love the flash lifestyle and nice things it’s not needed. I’m going to leave all this behind and take with me only what I need. This will be hard for me but it’s going to be an experience and its part of the backpacking and travelling lifestyle. When I travelled Europe with just a backpack and then came home to see all these belongings I felt quite saddening. What made me feel as though I needed so much?

Way too much doggy love

What’s important to me;

I want my friends and family to trust and support me, I need some money in my bank account, a good mindset and i’ll be sweet.

To me, my top priority is my health and finances and i can imagine yours would be too. I just want to know I can safely travel and see and experience as much as possible.

I want to go on a journey of different cultures, engaging in all different kinds of people, trying interesting foods and experimenting on local traditions all around the world. I feel as though it will make me the person I want to be as I grow older. I feel that when I do eventually settle down for a family and career that I know what’s out there. I know who I am, I’ve experienced phenomenal once in a life time experiences and can work in a career that I know is right and destined for me.

 

travelling
ˈtravəlɪŋ/
adjective
  1. (of a device) sufficiently compact for use on a journey.
    “a travelling clock”
    portablemobiletransportablemovabletransferable, easily carried, easy to carry, conveyable, travellightweightcompacthandyconvenientmanageable;
    rareportative
    “a little travelling clock”

Travelling ‘alone’ isn’t for everyone and for me, I have doubts and worries about being solo. I know deep down I will hardly be alone. We live on a planet with billions of people, how can I be alone?

Travelling Europe I managed to meet such awesome people! All it takes is to say Hey, simply ask a question or introduce yourself. We are all human, what’s the worst that can happen?

Heres some of the characters I met around Europe.. hehe.

10710681_10152300044522751_1832847655289127848_n

10660322_10152249023302751_5278822112946790641_n

Well thats a tad embarrassing. Wearing the same outfit in Italy and Prague. Life of a backpacker ey..

So yeah, to conclude this. I am worried, I am scared and I do know the risks. There will be risks with everything you do in life and along as I’m wise, use my common sense, stay out of trouble, keep fit and healthy and keep positive the trip will run as smoothly as possible. I will get homesick, I will have off days and want to leave. I may get ill or have some trouble but it’s all a learning kirb and part of life I suppose. Im excited and ready to see the world.

cropped-11379769_1633484493536617_1839166968_n.jpg

-Little Travel Bird

If you like this, you might also like ‘Backpacking alone’. Click here to read.

,

Affordability

So the biggest question I get is, ‘How do you afford this?’

money_2121224b Lets get one thing straight, priotiries.

What you spend your money on is entirely up to you. Whether it’s car insurance, protien and gym supliments, trainers, makeup, fine dining, cigarettes or a messy weekend on the town.

I spend my money on flights and saving for backpacking.

I like my nice things yes, but I just try to make the most of what I have. I get bus’ instead of taxis. I eat out when there is offers, I drink at bars where I know staff who always kindly give me discounts. I don’t have a car to save on money and currently living at my parents house while i’m England, despite never actually spending time in the house.

Either way, home life always costs a lot more then travelling. Rent, bills, we all have to pay them.

One thing I enjoy about living and backpacking to other places is that the cost of living is next to nothing compared to England.

You get so much more for your money elsewhere. I have found doing things is so much more benifical then buying something new. I become overwhelmed with the amount of belongings I have when I come back from being away. I am so happy living out of a rucksack or suitcase exploring new places and meeting new people. I don’t need things to make me happy anymore.

I want to spend my money on living.

My moped, insurance and petrol, rent for my own apartment on my own and gym membership at a 5 star resort came for a month came to the same price as living in a four bedroom flat in Headingley, without bills.

Travelling is not as expensive as you think.

Once I was done at dance school I made the decision to move to headingley with friends. For the first time, I was paying council tax, rent, bills, travel, gym, phone bills, transport, food, etc all out of my own pocket.  I was working full time just to afford my out goings with a little extra to go out and treat myself. I was pretty disgusted at how much I was having to work at 19 years old just to live with a roof over my head, eat and have a mobile phone.

I was living a fun life, having my own place and going on lots of nights out, but this came at a cost, a cost of a lot of working and budgetting.

I now try and distant myself from shopping and over priced unneeded items, instead I think of how much money that could be towards a flight. It almost becomes a little obsessive. I keep comparing the cost of things at home to the cost of things when abroad and it’s a little scary to realise how much money we can waste in England on such small habits.

Like I said, it’s all priorities. It’s how hard you want to work for your money and what you want to spend that on. Sometimes the thought of living ‘reality’ with a full time job, own house and a car, living in the same country doing the same things everyday becomes the norm.

Nothing is impossible and if your priotities are on travelling and exploring other countries, you will be able to do this.

IMG_4536All my belongings ready to travel Europe. This was my bed for the night on the ferry from Greece to Italy!

Want to know more about budgetting while backpacking? Make sure to check out ‘How to budget when travelling’

, , ,

When it’s time to go home

You talk about traveling or working abroad but what happens when it’s all over.

coming home 1

Working a season abroad are some of the best times of your life. That hassle free, fun and crazy summers. Making so many incredible new friends and memories, but what happens when it’s all over?

All good things must come to an end.  Unless you have a reason to stay over winter, we all have to catch a flight back to our home life. Part of us can’t wait. Fresh bedding, a hot powerful shower and seeing our family and friends.

The first two weeks of arriving home in 2013, after my first year in Malia, I was devastated. I felt so low and lonely and no one could understand. How could they know how I felt. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy as larry to return to see everyone, nevertheless, a part of you has been left behind.

I had met people I felt I could call family. I couldn’t just hop on my little ped and drive down to the strip to see everyone. I wasn’t 30 seconds from the beach where I could just watch the sunset with a pint of mythos (and blackcurrent of course) and just relax.Pint of mythos on the beach. Perfect Sunday.You spend your summer wondering how things have changed back home. Maybe some one has moved house or job, some one has got engaged or you know someone who is now expecting a baby, but, nothing changes. You realise it’s you that’s changed.

Maybe not in the way you dress, or your hair, but what does on in your head.

Sometimes you can feel more lost in your hometown then you do when you’re abroad.

This is why I think once you have traveled or worked abroad once. You just want to continue exploring.

That’s why it’s called the travel bug.

Before you know it, your sat back on your couch or in your car. Back in the miserable weather thinking it all felt a dream. Where had the last few months gone. It feels like yesterday you got on that flight ready for a summer of your lifetime. You think of all the people you’ve met, the hilarious memories and crazy nights. The places you’ve visited and the things you’ve done. However, you’re now back home. It can take weeks to get back into the flow of home life however there always seems to be a slot. You walk down your main town street the next day and everything continues as normal.

Yesterday you were 3/4 months into a season abroad in the sizzling sun without a care in the world. You have all these mental and wonderful memories and no one knows.

The day I got back to Leeds in 2013 at the very end of August, I was walking down Briggate, the main shopping street in Leeds city Centre. I had not seen one of my most visited places in months. I was fresh meat, I was back, yet everything was carrying on as normal.

Your friends are excited to have you back. You are happy everyone is happy and healthy. Your glad to see everyone but they don’t understand. They don’t understand the misery you feel. You feel alone because you’re used to be constantly surrounded by people. Your back in your comfort and yes, this feels beautiful but part of you is left over abroad.

You’re the shiny new object. You have a tan, a million stories, new habits and workers jokes. You have experienced things people never will. Maybe witnessed things you wish you never had, done a few outrageous things and have created this unbelievable summer. It then passes. Life carries on and we are back to what we are supposed to call reality.

The questions then come. When you getting a job? What’s your plan? You getting a boyfriend? All you can think about is the experiences you’ve had. You just want to hold on to them.

In other blogs, I mention about appreciation while working abroad or travelling. One of the main things I like to emphasise is the nactual feeling of appreciation. Click here to read ‘5 things working abroad really shows you’

I find that while you’re away you start to appreciate the things you have at home. How lucky you are to live in such a modernised and clean country.  You change as a person without even realising. Sometimes it might take us to get home to realise how lucky we are, nevertheless, I also find sometimes it takes us to get home to appreciate the lifestyle us workers live. The little rules, the countless lazy days and numerous nights we don’t even know what day it is.

We talk about the harcoming home 2d parts while we’re away – finding jobs, making real friends, staying safe, learning social norms, misreading people you think you can trust – but these are all parts you get through. All of these lows are erased by the complete highs you experience.  – Kellie Donnelly

 

 

 

11358985_1442588212717746_253369081_n

, ,

5 things working abroad really shows you

When someone flies off for a season abroad it tends to be for certain reasons. Young, single and ready for a heck of a good time.

  In the three years I’ve done lived out in Malia, I have had my fair share of some crazy nights out, messy day sesh’s, embarrassing moments and a lot more. Working a season abroad comes with many ups and downs. It comes with a lot of careless, easy, hassle free time.

We get away from England to spend our days living in the scorching sun, going out every night, lounging around pools and sunbathing on beautiful beaches with friends.

Other then learning how to party, drink, tan, get sloshy, day sash, drive a moped, order the best gyros and get over your shit tattoo here’s a few more things you may learn..

11335582_505641989590031_291486146_n1. How to budget.

You work for little money, and spend little money. That’s just how it works, unless you’re in Ibiza of course. Sometimes you don’t know how much you will be earning at work or even when you’ll be working next. I have walked away from work with 5 euros, sometimes I’ve walked away with 100. Working commission really varies on your income and learning how toEUROSOS spend this is naturally something you’ll find yourself doing.

Some jobs have a set wage but before you know it, few drinks bought and a fuck off size of pizza eaten, you’ve spent bloody half of it.

Little things all add up. Petrol, toiletires, laundry, water, food, days out. It all sounds so basic and obvious but surprisingly enough, this is new for a lot of people. These little things add up and really show you how to budget your money.

 

2. Appreciation

So the obvious. The amount of times I would do anything for a hot shower, to sleep in a large clean double bed. Be able to get a pint of water from the tap without wanting to puke.

Not only are us guys from England, or places like America or Australia lucky to be able to have such luxuries like clean tap water, constant flow of hot water and incredible clean and quick health services but I mean appreciation for your home life.

For me personally, I have a very supportive and close family but I have always been very independent and not overally family orientated. Always keep myself to myself and enjoyed the privacy. However, once you’re away from home for any reason, even leaving for uni or moving cities, when your living in a different country away from all you comforts and people that deeply care for you, it can become challenging. Despite the constant flow of exciting days and busy nights there is a lot of time to think about home.

Being away from friends and family is sometimes what we all need and I know plenty of people who come and work a season abroad get away from home life but in reality, it’s our lives. It’s where we feel our most comfortable and living in Greece for summer has definitely turned me into a different person purely for the fact of realising who I have back at home and how lucky I am.

You end up appreciating having your own room with a cosy bed, having constant hot water. We might not appreciate the weather or the expenses of certain things back home but working a season really can show you exactly how lucky we all are.

3. Learning to adapt

This is necessary in more ways than one. Learning to adapt to the heat, the independency, the culture, the currency, the different laws and rules. I feel as though many people think working a season abroad limits us to a British tourist filled strip. Let me tell me your wrong.

Living in the scorching heat is pretty new for a lot of us workers. Especially if you are coming from the UK. Living in the hot sun constantly can get pretty tough. Keeping yourself hydrated, living around all the bugs and mosquitos. Boring as this may sound, and I’m all for wacking the baby oil out and sacking the water off for a pint of mythos, remember where you are and what’s going on.

bug x
Not only is the weather different from home but the way everyone lives. The crazy ped driving. For those guys reading this who are currently working a season abroad will know how crazy these locals drive around. Not too mention those wafty tourists on the quads racing about. Anyhow, each town or country anywhere around the world has slightly different expectations and laws. Even just certain things we have to do out of respect. These places might be English spoken destinations but be prepared to adapt to the local rules.

4. What’s out there
So yes, Malia is a british tourist party destination and trust me, lots of partying goes on but, BUT, there is a lot more out here, or wherever you’re doing a season. Involve yourself with places other than the strip. It really shows you how incredible these villages and towns are. Find out what is around you, talk to the locals, do some research and loose yourself in other places. Make use of the clear blue beaches and breathtaking views from the mountains. During my seasons abroad I always keep finding beautiful places that surprise me. There is always so much to do, so go do it. The world can be a cruel and scary but it’s bloody beautiful.

My favourite time of the day #sunset

5. Make yourself number 1

This may sound a little strange but this is what my auntie said just before I left for my first season abroad and I will never forget it. It basically means make sure you look after yourself. Back at home, we all like to put other people infront of us. Make sure others are happy and please, never loose this, this is always a great quality to have. Nevertheless, when you leave to work abroad you have to make sure you keep yourself as well as possible. Even little accidents can take weeks longer to recover, or scars and cuts take longer to heal. It’s a little easier to have accidents and become ill out in these places. Ped accidents, drunken incidents, sunburn, chest infections, the lot. The aircon, tempreture, bad water/ice can make us have awful chesty coughs. Keep yourself number one and try and maintain a relatively good diet and well being. We all want to make it home in one piece.

 

Like this? Make sure to check out ’13 things every season worker will understand’ by clicking here!