Chefchaouen, Morocco

If you haven’t been to Chefchaouen before, you are really missing out! Often referred to as the ‘Blue City’, this absolutely beautiful tourist destination is situated high up in the Rif mountains of Northwest Morocco and definitely lives up to its name! Hundreds of bright blue houses- painted by the Jewish refugees who lived there many years ago- are scattered amongst the winding alleyways of this charming little place which I was lucky enough to visit this month. Despite being a popular spot for tourists, I was surprised to find it wasn’t as crowded as I expected which I think may owe in part to the gazillion steps that you have to climb up and down to get a good look of the city. (note to self: make sure to pack comfortable walking shoes if you’re planning on going!)

What to do 

Chefchaouen is one of the most incredible places where you literally can just walk around all day long and still not tire of the scenery. Eating good (and cheap) food, sipping on mint tea and watching the world go by is really what life is about for me and theres no better place to do it than here. Thats not to say thats all there is to this city though. If you’re a hiking lover than I would definitely recommend visiting Talassemtane National Park in the Rif mountains. With 589.5-square-kilometre (227.6 sq mi) of vast green land, it is home to the last of Moroccos threatened fir forests as well as the Atlas cedar, not to mention some incredible birds. The park was created in 2004 and houses some of the smaller villages of El-Kelaâ and Akchour as well the infamous ‘God’s Bridge’, a natural formation of rocks which is shaped like a stone arch. If your legs can make it up the steep hill on the outer ring of the city, the Grande Mosquee, built in the 15th century, is well worth checking out. As is the ruins of an ancient Spanish mosque built in the 1920’s which sits neatly about two kilometres from the centre, overlooking the entire city. 

Where to eat 

Cafe Sofia, located just in front of the Hotel Parrador is rated the number 1 restaurant in Chefchaouen on Tripadviser and has a great menu for a super cheap price! We ate here on our first night in the city and although the food did taste really great, I wouldn’t personally have given it a five star rating. We both opted for meat tagine which was melt in the mouth delicious but sadly the service was a little rude (particular to Moroccan customers) and our meals took ages to arrive. Instead I would highly recommend Bab Kasaba which is one of the many restaurants lining the Kasbah- a busy central area of the city which really comes alive at night. The food here was outrageously tasty- particular their grilled meat platters and the lamb tagine. We managed to cram in what was pretty much a three-course meal for 107 mdh (roughly £8.50 all together) including two of the best mint teas we had! Aladin restaurant situated in the medina is also a great place to stop by if you fancy something other than the typical Moroccan tagine. With a few extra international meals, their menu is slightly higher priced than most other restaurants in the city but if you can get yourself a seat at the very top of the terrace, its well worth it!

Shopping 

You just can’t leave Chefchaouen without picking up a woollen poncho! If you’re visiting in the cooler months like I did then you’ll find loads of these quality hand made garments dotted all around the city however I picked one up from Bazar Hicham, where you can also watch them make it! Aladdin’s Abeula shop is located just north of the town square and is famous amongst locals and tourists alike for its colourful soaps, perfumes, shampoos and homemade oils. You can pick up a whole bag full of natural goodies for as little as £10! To the east of the medina, just before the waterfall begins you’ll find a leather shop run by a local man named Hassan. This is the best place to pick up all things leather- bags, shoes, clothing- you name it, he can make it. If you want something made from your own designs then take a picture of it with you and he’ll be happy to make it for a good fee (bargaining is recommended of course) however you might want to book it in wth him a few days in advance to make sure he has enough time to make it! In the eastern corner of place el Makhzen you’ll find a lovely spot for blankets, scarfs and handmade crafts which can be bought at fixed prices as well as numerous jewellery stores (if you love silver necklaces then you’ll love this little line of shops!).

Where we stayed 

After some thorough research (and I mean, crazy mad thorough research) we realised we had probably left it a little bit late (as usual) to find somewhere that would exceed all our expectations in terms of accommodations. Honestly, I could not believe just how quickly hotels and riads were getting fully booked in the weeks leading up to our trip. Luckily we managed to find a room at a lovely little place called Casa La Palma which was nestled neatly just 2 minutes underneath bab el mahrouk- one of the entrances to the city which is very high up in the mountains! The hotel owner Carlos is absolutely lovely and knows everything there is to know about the city and was quick to recommend things to do and places to eat. The rooms are slightly small but thats the charm of staying in a riad, but it was all about the views for me. If you stay here, make sure to get yourself up onto the roof terrace early in the morning or at sunset, those views over the city are breathtaking in every single way!  To find out more about hotel Casa La Palma, click here. 

Dubai, UAE

If you follow me on social media or know me personally, then you’ll know that I moved to Abu Dhabi a few years back and settled there for a while. In many ways, I still think of it as home. Perhaps I’m in the minority here but for me personally, I had never before been to a place where I had actively envisioned myself settling down for the foreseeable future. And believe me, I’ve been to a LOT of different parts of the world in my time and, despite falling in love with those little corners of the world, I couldn’t ever picture myself living there. For those of you who didn’t know, Abu Dhabi is only around 1 hour away from Dubai (or 40 minutes if you drive like a maniac, i.e., moi) and as a consequence, I spent a good deal of time frequenting the big city on weekends and evenings.

If you haven’t been to Dubai before, I would highly recommend it! For me personally, its one of those places that you just HAVE to visit at least once in your life. Trust me, you wont regret it.

Where to eat 

Dubai is one of those wonderful places where you literally can find ANY type of food at practically any time of the day or night. I’m not kidding, the amount of times me and my friends would return home at 2am after a night of partying and order a 3 course meal of freshly cooked Pakistani food is actually embarrassing. And the best thing? It doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re looking to get your moneys worth in the form of a top-notch buffet then check out Mistral at the Mövenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate. With everything from Mediterranean dishes to Japanese sushi, they’ve got it covered and all for a very reasonable price of AED 159 (£35) for lunch and AED 199 for dinner. With prices like that, its easy to see why it gets booked up very fast so I would highly recommend booking a table in advance, particularly if you are planning to go on a weekend. Ravi restaurant, on Al Dhiyafa road doesn’t look like much from the outside (or on the inside to be honest) but it serves up the most amazing indian and Pakistani food and is super cheap. Wafi gourmet in both the Dubai mall and Wafi mall is home to some incredible Lebanese food and, despite having a bit of a fast-food vibe to it, its actually super fresh and healthy. Try their falafel’s and grilled chicken salads for a taste bud explosion! If you’re looking for something high-end then I cannot recommend enough Kaleidoscope at the Palm, Atlantis. Specializing in Indian, Arabic, Mexican and Italian FOOD, this upmarket international buffet really does have it all! Prices start from AED 225 per person but it is well worth visiting, especially if you’re a buffet lover like me. Just make sure you come with an empty stomach!

Explore the desert 

As I mentioned in my post about Abu Dhabi, a desert safari tour is a must do! It really is one of the most fun and adrenaline-inducing things you’ll ever do. Popular to contrary belief, they don’t have to be expensive either. If you can grab yourself a copy of the Entertainer-Dubai’s number voucher book, then you can get up to half price off safari tours as well as restaurants, nights out and shopping. Using the Entertainer, me and 4 friends were able to get a desert safari tour which consisted of hotel pick-up, dune bashing, camel riding, shisha, henna, a HUGE Arabic buffet in the middle of the desert, under the stars and a belly dancing show to finish it all off, all for a VERY reasonable price. If you don’t want to buy a full Entertainer booklet then take a look at Dubizzle, as many locals tend to sell off their vouchers throughout the year, particularly towards the end of the year. Honestly, sitting under the stars in the middle of the desert with a belly full of arabic food is a blissful experience that you won’t forget anytime soon!

Shopping 

I think its pretty much common knowledge to everyone who’s ever thought about going to Dubai that is is arguably one of the THE best places for shopping. Like. Ever.
With hundreds of high street brands as well as plenty of designer stores, you can, quite literally, shop till you drop. Obviously, one of the most popular places to visit is the Dubai mall, which is also one of the easiest places in the world to get lost… it quite literally is, MASSIVE.
But the mall isn’t just for shopping, oh no no no. A long with a gazillions shops, theres also an indoor theme park, an ice rink, an aquarium, and a giant cinema as well as 200+ restaurants and cafes. Oh and theres a water fountain, a huge water fountain. If you’re looking for something with a bit more of an `cultural vibe’ then check out Global village, just off Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road. From November to February, there is an international shopping festival, jam-packed with food and clothing from all corners of the earth! Take a look here for more info on opening times and which countries will be participating this year. Handy tip- if you wait until the very last week of the event, you can get discounts of up to 60% on many of the goods! Deira Gold Souk is the place to be for all things gold but is also a great place to pick up local souvenirs too. You’ll find everything from gold jewellery to actual bars of gold- only in Dubai, eh?! Make sure to take a pit-stop here before leaving to grab yourself some gifts.

Sight-seeing

The most obvious tourist attraction that seems to stand out in Dubai is the Burj Khalifa, at 829.8 meters high, it is the world’s tallest standing man-made structure. Whilst the view from its 144th floor observation desk is definitely breathtaking and does make for some incredible skyline New York type photos, it still doesn’t cut it as my favourite attraction in the city. Instead, I absolutely fell in love with the lesser-known gem which is the Dubai miracle garden. This gorgeous spot is home to the worlds largest natural flower garden and has more than 45 million different species of flowers spread about its 72000 sq. meters. It has also featured in popular Bollywood films and cost an arm and a leg to create, an estimated $11 million in fact.
The Bastakia quarter of old Dubai provides a more rustic and traditional feel amongst the busy and rather manic modern city life. Built in the late 19th century for wealthy Persian merchants, its limestone walls have miraculously survived until today, or rather, they have been preserved very well. Im a sucker for all things history so I would recommend visiting the sheikh mohammed centre for cultural understanding and the Dubai museum if you go as its always nice to learn a little something about the county you’re in!

The Palm 

That giant palm tree off the coast of Dubai? Thats the Palm and it also to be THE happens to place to be on weekends. This man-made island is one of the largest artificial islands in the world and is pretty awesome indeed. The palm itself is home to numerous high-end hotels, bars, clubs and restaurants but my favourite has to be the Atlantis.  There is literally no end to the things you can do at the Palm, want to scuba dive with sharks? Check. Relax in a 5* spa? Check. Take a helicopter ride? Check. Slide down a GIANT waterslide on a rubber dinghy? Sure, why not? To take a full look at everything the Palm has to offer, click here. 

Travelling in the wake of a terrorist attack: tips on how to stay safe abroad

After last weeks large-scale terrorist attacks on the french capital of Paris, the British government have made several announcements urging european citizens against travelling due to fears over safety. Although the majority of the warnings were aimed directly at those planning to travel in and out of France, many other countries across Europe and the rest of the world have now been put on high alert of terrorist attacks with Western travellers being at a greater risk.

Despite the worries associated with travelling abroad at the moment, you don’t need to cancel your holiday just yet, you just need to travel smart. So, if you’re planning on holidaying in the near future or are now re-thinking your original holiday destination, take a look at my following tips on how to stay safe abroad:

BEFORE YOU GO

Check the safety of your destination

Before booking your holiday it’s always a good idea to check what the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has published about the country you’re planning to visit. You can do this by viewing the FCO’s official website https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice where you will find an up-to-date list of safety information related to all countries. This includes information and news of any political unrest and terrorism as well as the FCO’s official opinion on wether the country is deemed safe to visit. The website also offers users an email subscription which, if you chose to register, will send regularly updated travel news and advice through email alerts.

Plan ahead

Once you have chosen the country you wish to visit it is a good idea to identify safety points such as local police stations, hospitals and official buildings so that in the case of an emergency you know exactly where to go. It is always better to be prepared and know exactly where to find these places before you arrive in the country you can produce a rough ‘action plan’ of what you will do in the event of an incident.

Share your travel itinerary

Before you leave, its always a wise idea to hand over a photocopy of your travel plans or itinerary to a family member or friend. If possible, this should include your flight details, hotel or hostel address and any specific tourist areas you plan on visiting including the dates you will be visiting them. If (god forbid) something terrible was to happen, this will make it much easier loved ones to contact you and will equal benefit you. Do not however share your entire travel itinerary with everyone and their mum on Facebook, you never know how who will catch wind of it.

DURING YOUR STAY

Travel with someone

If possible, refrain from travelling alone and instead opt to travel with one or more persons to your chosen destination. As the saying goes, ‘safety in numbers’ and it’s certainly true when travelling into unknown territories in the wake of any kind of large-scale attack. Besides, having some company on your holiday will make for some fun times! If you absolutely cannot travel with someone else then I would highly recommend that you inform hotel staff where you are going when you leave your accommodation and when yo intend to return.

Stay connected

This is particularly important if your chosen destination ranks high on the terrorism threat list although it is still wise to stay connected with your family and friends at home when travelling to those deemed as low-risk countries. Utilise social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter and free apps such as Skype and Whatsapp to stay connected to your loved ones at home and let them know you are safe. Interestingly, Facebook have recently added a new feature to the site called ‘safety check’. The revolutionary new feature allows users who are in the country that has been hit by a disaster or an attack of any kind to mark themselves as ‘safe’ before automatically notifying their Facebook friends. Exercise caution though, as important as it is to stay connected to your loved ones whilst abroad, it is equally as important that you do not broadcast the specific details of your whereabouts 24/7 over social media as you never know who may be watching.

Stay mobile

If possible, keep your phone switched on, fully charged and connected to a cell network whilst abroad. If you are unsure how to do this or are worried about the costs involved with using your phone abroad then check with your local network provider for more information. In most cases, using your phone within Europe incurs similar charges to that of your home country. It is also useful to know the local emergency numbers of the country you are visiting and save them to your phone. Take a look here for a full list of emergency service’s numbers around the world: chartsbin.com

Stay in the loop

Practically every country in the world will offer news channels in either english or various other european languages so make sure you regularly tune in to your TV whilst abroad to keep up-to-date on any news surrounding both your home country and the country or region you are visiting. If you can’t connect to a TV then be sure to regularly check internet sites or download a news app for your mobile phone through the google play or iPhone app store. Take a look at the following suggestions and simply download for free: www.aljazeera.com, news.sky.com, play.google.com, news.bbc.co.uk

Passport

Taking your passport out and about with you on daily excursions can be quite risky and I would highly advise against this, opt instead to leave it in a security box in the hotel or behind the desk at hotel reception. There may however be times when you will need to show identification, especially if you find yourself in the throws of a crisis. Taking a clear and coloured copy of your passport around with you is a great idea and is something I tend to do with every country I visit.

Be vigilant

When walking around in public- in particular over-crowded areas or tourist hot-spots- make sure you stay vigilant at all times. Look out for any suspicious behaviour or noises and if you feel the need to report anything that seems unusual to police then go ahead and report it, you would be surprised how many terrorist attacks are foiled due to the vigilance of the ordinary public. Areas to be particular vigilant around include major hotels, restaurants, bars, events, concerts and embassies. Learn to recognise uniforms of authority such as the police, local army, ambulance etc so you know who to go to if needed. Speaking of uniforms, it is also a wise idea to think about the way you dress and try to blend in with the crowd. As western tourists are those who currently seem to be at the highest risk of an attack you may want to consider dressing in a way that will help you to blend in with the local crowds.

Stay in control

Finally, as much as we all love a good old tipple every now and then, a survey conducted by the ‘Know Your Limits’ campaign suggested that the average British holidaymaker consumes around eight alcoholic drinks a day, with more than a quarter of us drinking three times more than we usually would at home. After the recent events in Paris and the rest of the world for that matter, you may want to think twice about downing that extra drink as it’s better to be in alert and in control should a situation arise.

Abu Dhabi, UAE

In 2014 I went to visit my best friend who had moved to Abu Dhabi a few years back. Up until this point, I had never really heard much about the city and I still wasn’t 100% sure if people roamed around the place on camels or if they actually had car’s… Anyway, after getting over my initial shock that Abu Dhabi was in fact pretty much an Arabic America, I decided I kinda liked the place and so a few weeks later, I moved there (as you do).

 So, if you’re planning on visiting Abu Dhabi or are new to the city and want to get clued up on some nice interesting things to do, here are some of my recommendations:

Culture

The grand mosque a.k.a- Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque- was initiated by the late president of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and completed shortly after his death in 2004. It is said that he wanted to incorporate the cultural diversity of Islam whilst still maintaining modern values and art-that he certainly did. The mosque is beautifully and intricately designed with A LOT of gold detail. If you want to get some really amazing photos of this place, I would suggest you go at night when it is lit up in all its glory. The mosque is the city’s key place for worship on Fridays and during Eid prayers. If you decide to visit, do make sure you dress respectfully and not like you’re walking the swimwear catwalk as it is obviously a very sacred and religious spot. Visiting hours are from Saturday – Thursday 9am to 10pm and you can either walk around on your own or pay for a guided tour. If this sounds like the kind of place you’d want to visit then take a look here: grand mosque www.szgmc.ae/en/
.  Heritage village is another spot that offers a more traditional and cultural view of Abu dhabi. Run by the Emirates Heritage Club, the attraction is a reconstruction of a traditional oasis village, providing a glimpse of how life in the desert really was way back when noone had heard of Caribou coffee. Workshops are run around the village by craftsmen who demonstrate traditional skills such as metal work and pottery, and you’ll see lots of women weaving clothes. There are also plenty of stalls selling everything from traditional souvenirs to dried herbs and handmade soaps. Opening times are from Saturday to Thursday from 9am to 5pm, and Friday from 3.30pm to 9pm and entry is free. Visit www.torath.ae for more information.

Watersport’s

Despite being in the middle of the desert, Abu Dhabi DOES actually have sea (and quite a lot of it too) which means water-sports have become a popular activity in the city for locals and tourists alike. Watersports are not only really fun but are also a great way to stop yourself melting away in the blazing hot sun. Whether you just want to have a play around in the sea or you want to learn a new skill, there are plenty of places you can do so. Watercooled Club house is located at the Hilton’s Hiltonia Beach Club along the Corniche and offers an array of Watersports activities at competitive prices- I found them to be cheaper than most other places. The club offers everything from wake and paddle boarding, sailing, windsurfing, fishing amongst others. Visit www.watercooleddubai.com for more information. Yas water world also makes for a great day out with family or friends, with 43 rides, slides and attractions, prices start from 240 AED (around £40) for an all day pass. Take a look at yaswaterworld.com for more information. The park is open from 10-6 Monday to Friday although these times are subject to change during Ramadan.

Dining

If there is one thing us humans love to do, its eat. But Arabs take dining to a whole other level, which is probably why 33% of the population are now obese…. Nonetheless there are a whole host of amazing restaurants dotted all around the city serving up every type of cuisine from typical Arabic, Indian, Iranian, Pakistani, Philippine, German, the list goes on… One of my personal favourites is ‘Rosewater’ at Jumeirah Etihad towers which does an amazing International buffet and has won a number of certificates of excellence from TripAdvisor and Timeout magazine. And you’ll soon see why, not only is the food out of this world but if you can nab a table outside on a cool summer evening, the views alone are worth the nail-biting 200aed upwards bill. But we only live once and all that so check out www.jumeirah.com to book your table in advance. If you’re looking for a taste (and feel) of good old blighty then head to Abu dhabi city golf club which has a great selection of typical British grub for very reasonable prices. With a friendly atmosphere and regular events such as pub quizzes, sports shows and BBQ’s, this place quickly became a home from home for me. Visit adcitygolf.com to find out more. Flavours, Marakesh, Asia de Cuba, Lebanese Flower, Hakkasan, Chamas Churrascaria and Quest (which gives a great panoramic view of the city) are all also highly recommended to suit every budget.

Night life 

Although predominantly a muslim country and thus consumption of alcohol is technically illegal, the city has loosened up a little on its strict no-drinking ban to cater for its vast increase in non-muslim expats. You will find alchohol served in almost every resturant/bar and on various nights throughout the week, women can drink for free between certain times (yes, you read that right). If you’re looking for a few quiet drinks in a swanky spot with an amazing view of the city then Rays bar at Etihad towers is the perfect spot for you. Visit www.jumeirah.com for more information on prices and offers. Mcgettigans at Al Raha Beach Hotel and Resort is also a great spot for a more culturally varied hang-out but I would advise arriving early on Thursdays (the first night of the weekend) as it gets seriously rammed with half of the UK and Ireland. If you’d prefer to go all out and get your finest glad rags on then Yacht club at Intercontinental hotel, Rush nightclub on Yas Island and People by Crystal at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort are definitely worth checking out.

Prefer a quieter night?

If attempting to navigate your way around a crowd of lairy drunkards in your 6 inch stilettos ‘aint your kinda thing (nope, me neither) then why not take a walk around the city’s centrepiece. The corniche is known as one of Abu Dhabi’s main attractions and meeting points and at night you’ll find it full of families and fitness fanatics galore. Ever seen a burka-clad woman complete a full military-style fitness regime without dropping a single tear or sweat? I hadn’t either until I walked along this place at night. Stretching across eight kilometres of beautiful waterfront full of both public and private beaches, parks, cafés and restaurants, this place is perfect for unwinding after a long day of doing all those touristy things. If your legs are too tired to walk then take a look at the numerous spots along the way where you can rent out a bike for 40 minutes +, a great, fast and cheap way to explore this beautiful sight. At the end of the Corniche you’ll find the brightly shining Emirates palace, a luxury 5 * hotel and landmark showcasing palatial yet traditional Arabic culture (the place is literally dripping in gold and even has an ATM which hands out gold). Surrounded by 85 hectares of blossoming gardens and lawns, 114 domes that are 80 meters high, the palace comprises 394 rooms and suites and various bars. See www.emiratespalace.ae for more details. Finally, if you just want to sit back and relax whilst still emerging yourself in the Arabian culture, then head on down to one of the cities many Shisha bars. Al bateen Marina has some great spots for low-priced shisha with a chilled out atmosphere and if you’re looking for some great views then try Skylite lounge, Maï Café, Stars ‘n’ bars and Ess lounge.

Handy tip: If you’re looking to explore the city on a bit of a budget then I would suggest picking up an ‘Entertainer booklet’ which offers discounts on various sites, restaurants and bars and is valid for one year. The full price of a booklet is AED 395.00 but with an estimated saving of AED 278,000, its a pretty savvy investment. See www.theentertainerme.com for more info. If 395.00 is a bit out of your budget then take a look on uae.dubizzle.com (which is similar to the UK site gumtree or craigslist) or various buy/sell Facebook pages then you can purchase individual vouchers for a cheaper price- You’re welcome 🙂

Aberdeen, Scotland

I visited Aberdeen, Scotland’s third largest city a few years’ back with a friend. The city definitely surprised me with just how picturesque and historical it was, something I really wasn’t expecting, despite it being located on the North Sea coast and in close proximity to the Highlands. I think this is partly owed to the fact that all I had ever really learned about Scotland was kilts, cold, grey weather and bagpipes. Terrible, I know. However, Aberdeen has long been recognized as a booming city thanks to the oil industry and there is plenty to do if you’re thinking of visiting.

Where to stay

With Aberdeen homing a population of more than 228,000, you definitely wont fall short in your search for accommodation, but this city offers so much more than just your typical bed and breakfast. If you’re feeling adventurous then check out coastal carriage, a private and relaxing retreat in the countryside which offers rooms onboard its vintage rail carriage. Complete with a log stove, double bed and some cracking panoramic views of the Moray Firth, this takes your average nights sleep to a whole new level! If you’re searching for something more lavish but still want that quintessential Scottish vibe, then take a look at Ardoe House hotel & spa. Set amongst 30 acres of plush countryside and inspired by Balmoral castle, this hotel offers some incredible views across the River dee as well as modern rooms, a fully-equipped gym, indoor swimming pool and of course, a spa.

Sightseeing

Perhaps one of the most notable key points in Aberdeen is the St Machar’s cathedral, a 12th century Church of Scotland which still serves as a place of worship today. It is widely believed to be the home of the left arm of dissenter William Wallace. If you’re not familiar with the story of Wallace; he was executed in 1305 and cut up into tiny pieces which were then sent to different parts of Scotland as a warning. Pleasant, I know. The Maritime museum has won multiple awards for providing a highly educational and interactive insight into Aberdeen’s historical relationship with the sea. This place is great for history-geeks (like me) or for a family day out with the kids. The gardens at Balmoral castle are the perfect place to wander around in the summer sun. One of the official residences of the British royal family, (and the queens go-to holiday haven) this place is just beautifully plush with the most amazing gardens, farmland and wildlife. Open daily between April and July, it is well worth a visit. Dunnottar Castle- which now serves as a medieval fortress- is just a short bus ride out of the city, resting neatly atop of the rocky cliffs. The castle is widely recognized as being the hiding place for the Scottish crown Jewels when Oliver Cromwell invaded the country in the 1600’s. This was hands-down my favorite spot in all of Aberdeen and made for some incredible photos too. The university and king’s college of Aberdeen is quite magnificent. Founded in 1494 with a charter from King James IV, the university grounds include a large tower featuring a huge dome replica of Charlemagne’s crown. If you’re a whisky-lover, then you’ll most likely be in whisky heaven at the GlenDronach distillery, In between Huntly and Portsoy. This place has been making its signature whisky for more than 200 years and provides guided tours on how they are produced. They also offer tasting sessions so I would highly advise that you sufficiently line your stomach before going!

 

Eat like a Scotsman

Being the coastal city that it is, you can bet your bottom dollar that Aberdeen can serve up some incredible fresh sea food and there are of plenty of great spots to find it. The Moon fish cafe has featured in the observer food monthly awards no less than twice and had made quite the great reputation for itself when it comes to beautifully presented fish dishes and off-the-chart flavours. If its good old fashioned fish and chips you’re after then take a look at either Mikado express or Hass’s fish and chips which are both favourites with locals and tourists when it comes to quick and simple but tasty takeaway. If you’re looking for a more fine-dining experience with a higher price tag, then I would highly recommend reserving a spot at Tolbooth Seafood Restaurant near Stonehaven. This place is regarded as one of the best in the city when it comes to local seafood. From pan-seared scallops to braised beef, your tastebuds are truly in for a treat. Fancy a change from seafood and Scottish cuisine? Visit Madame Mews Thai café which serves up some of the best Thai food (outside of Thailand, of course) for a very reasonable price.

Shop like a Scotsman 

Head down to the international outdoor street market on Union terrace where you’ll find more than 70 stalls selling everything from flowers to handmade goods. Aberdeen country fair, which is held on the last Saturday of every month, predominantly sells goods from the northeast of Scotland. It’s a slightly toned-down version of the outdoor market but is definitely still worth a visit if you’re looking to pick up some unique Scottish souvenirs or try out the local food. If its recognizable high-street brands you’re searching for then head down to the Bon Accord & St Nicholas shopping center on George Street. But be warned- it can sometimes turn into the Sottish equivalent of Oxford street, particularly on weekends! Finally, if you really want to get into the typical Scottish spirit and nab yourself a kilt, check out Alex Scott & Co, who stock traditional Scottish clothing which can be custom-made and fitted just for you! 

All photos taken by Andy Fritzsche 

Phuket, Thailand

This blog post is about 6 years overdue but its better late than never! I went to Phuket many many years ago (or at least it feels like many years ago) a long time before I began blogging about my travels and an even longer time before Instagram had become incorporated into our every day lives. Thus, I don’t have a terrible large number of photos from my trip but I do have some incredible memories. Phuket is much more than just beautiful beaches; it is a peaceful yet vibrant town full of historical buildings, buzzing markets and stoic monks gracing the dusty pavements.

Beaches

Phuket is definitely home to some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. Patong bay beach resort is a popular go-to for hundreds of tourists every year, in particular the party-goers and with a very valid reason. With a huge array of bars, nightclubs and go go bars, this place can get seriously rammed at night. During the day however, the beach is slightly more relaxed although you’ll still find yourself surrounded by plenty of tourists. Kamala beach offers up a much more relaxed and tranquil environment and has some of the bluest waters I have ever witnessed. Just north of Patong bay, Kamala is a small fishing village surrounded by plush green forestry and surprisingly it has managed to maintain its status as a `hidden gem’. Suring beach, also known as the ‘millionaires row’ due to its luxury resorts housing celebrities from across the globe, proves to be very popular with tourists. With beautifully clear waters and some of the best restaurants in Phuket lining its sands, its not hard to see why. Its also a great place for water activities such as jet skiing, parasailing and surfing although make sure you barter with the prices where possible as you might get ripped off! Finally, Karon beach is another great spot if you love water activities. Karon is the second largest beach in Phuket and has more of a family-friendly feel to it, with a large golf course and plenty of activities for kiddies, it’s the perfect spot if you’re holidaying with youngsters.

Eat like a local

If you’re a fan of brightly colored fruits, big bowels of steaming hot noodles and freshly barbequed seafood then you will LOVE Phuket. Lock Tien is practically famous around town, with a steady stream of locals and tourists eagerly queuing outside at both breakfast and lunch time! It looks a little bit like an old-school canteen inside, no eye-catching décor or sea views but the yellow fried noodles with egg are the absolute bomb. Kopitiam by Wilai in Phuket town may not look like much from the outside but don’t let that put you off! They have a VERY extensive menu and were kind enough to cater to my not so spicy palate. Try the mango or coconut sticky rice, tofu stir fry, fresh sea bass or the sharp and tangy noodle salad if you can. If you’d prefer to take a break from the local cuisine for a while and hit up something more Western, then try Surf and turf by soul kitchen in Phuket town. With a mixture of French and European cuisine as well as some pretty amazing steaks and tacos, this if fine dining with a very affordable price tag. Pizzeria AGLI AMICI da Michele & Jimmy in Chalong has also received raved reviews for its authentic Italian pizzas. Wherever you chose to dine in Phuket, I recommend trying chicken satay skewers (my absolute fav), dumplings with either meat or vegetables and  khao thom- a kind of rice soup dish served with minced pork or prawn.

Shopping

If you get the chance, I would definitely recommend visiting Phuket town, which has some pretty incredible (and slightly bizarre) architecture! From colonial-style buildings to Buddhist temples and Portuguese architecture, the town center homes some crazy yet intricate designs. Every Sunday, the town hosts a market where you can find everything from locally-made clothes and food to souvenirs and sunglasses. The market is traditionally open from 4pm to 10pm however these times can change depending on the season. The town center quickly changes from a quiet and quirky little place in the day to a lot livelier at night, making it the perfect spot for a drink (or two, or three…).

Spa life

We all need a bit of TLC every now and then and I personally think there is no better way to truly show yourself some love than to get yourself a Thai massage! With so many different variations of the standard Swedish massage available and at such a low price when compared to the UK, you might as well make the most of it and get everything you can! Sweet Lemongrass in Patong regularly receives rave reviews from customers across the globe. Located opposite the Seeka boutique resort, Lemongrass offers professionally trained masseurs (who are also very sweet!) and a very good price (starting from just 11 for a full body massage). You can get everything from body wraps to herbal facials here. If you’re looking for something extra extra TLC (which also comes with a bit of an extra price tag) then check yourself into the Mandara spa at JW Marriott. With more than 40 treatments to chose from and extremely experienced staff who utilize techniques dating back more than 2,500 years, you will not be disappointed! Trust me, its worth the slightly bigger budget and you will also come out smelling like roses (literally).

Fes, Morocco

A couple of weeks ago I was sat with a friend, reminiscing over our fond memories of previous travels and dreaming of all the worldly places we were yet to visit when we suddenly found ourselves scouring the internet for cheap flights. 

Morocco has long been on my list of places to check out and it just so happened that the cheapest airline I have ever seen in my life- Easyjet- where offering flights for a measly £50 return! Too good an offer to miss out on, we booked our tickets without a seconds thought! One week later and we were both on the plane (more of a large tin with wings when you fly with Easyjet) to Morcco’s third largest city and former capital, Fes. 

The beautiful and vibrant city of Fes was founded in the 8th century and currently holds a population of more than 1.1 million people. Yet it is surprisingly lacking in tourists, most of whom prefer to frequent the hustle and bustle of Marrakech instead. So if you’re thinking of heading to this alluring North African country anytime soon and would prefer to see a quieter, more rustic and untouched side of the culture, I would definitely recommend you visit Fez. 

Here are 5 of my favourite things to do: 

Souk sports

Shopping at the local souk’s should become a recognised olympic sport! Throughout the narrow and winding uphill and downhill labyrinth of Talaa Kebira in Bab Boujeloud you’ll find hundreds of shops and stalls selling everything from typical arabic snacks, spices, cosmetics, souvenirs, clothes, leather bags and shoes… The list goes on. It’s also here that you’ll find some of the worlds most natural oils, like argon oil, in abundance. I would suggest that you buy a boat load of this stuff as it is impossible to track down in the UK and it’s bloody amazing for your hair, skin and nails. If you’re visiting the souk, be sure that you come prepared with a bucket load of patience and a good clear set of lungs to haggle your way to a bargain price for any goods you pick up. Act confident and have a set price in mind or those sneaky buggers will see right through it and you’ll end up paying double your money. Oh and be sure to remember how you actually got into the Talaa Kebira souk in the first place or you’ll end up getting completely lost like I did. 

Chouara Tannery

Hidden away amongst the ancient buildings and narrow, crooked passageways of the city’s old Medina you’ll find a vibrant cluster of stone wells each filled with a brightly coloured liquid. Chouara, the 11th century tannery, still operates in exactly the same manner as it did over a thousand years ago, producing everything from leather handbags to jackets which are typically sold in the nearby souks. Look to the sides of the stone wells and you’ll see the skins of cows, sheep, goats and camels hanging up, ready to be soaked in the a mixture of cow urine, salt, water and errrrm pigeon poo. For obvious reasons, this place was rather….potent, so much so in fact that on numerous occasions I had to stop myself from projectile vomiting. The workers though, clearly accustomed to tourists holding their noses and their stomachs in despair, kindly handed me and others a small sprig of mint to mask the smell. Standing from a balcony just above the tannery, admiring the spectacular ancient ritual was a once in a lifetime moment and I would highly recommend anyone going to Morocco to take a look at the nearest tannery. 

Tea and Tagine

If you visit Morocco without trying the local tagine then you’re not doing it right! This typical dish is traditionally made in a clay pot which has been placed on hot charcoal and left to cook slowly for a good few hours. The pot is usually filled with vegetables, dried fruit and meat of some kind, (generally chicken or lamb as pork is not consumed in most arabic countries). A small amount of liquid is added to the mixture which in turn produces the most tender, melt in your mouth meat you’ve ever tasted in your life. Unashamedly, I ate tagine pretty much everyday and although I tried a few variants including chicken and almonds and meatballs with potatoes, you can’t beat a good old lamb and vegetable tagine. It’s also surprisingly healthy and you’ll find that most places serve it up with thick, fresh bread or a side plate of light and fluffy couscous. You can find a mouthwateringly-cooked and fragrant tagine at pretty much every restaurant for around £5-10 for two and believe you me, they are big portions. Two of the best Tagine’s I ate were at Chez Rachid which has also been awarded a certificate of excellence and Cafe Laglali which was highly recommended on Tripadvisor. I must admit, I never really knew what all the fuss was about surrounding the whole mint tea shebang until I got to Morocco and tasted the real deal for myself. Turns out that s**t is out of this world!!! This highly addictive green tea is prepared with fresh mint leaves and sugar and you aint never tasted anything so sweet! You’ll find mint tea in almost every cafe and restaurant in Morocco and all at a ridiculously low price, averaging around 75p to £1 for a full pot for two. After a long day of walking around and negotiating deals with souk merchants there is no better way to unwind then with a warm glass of this stuff! 

View from the top 

If you can find the perfect spot, there are some absolutely breathtaking views of the city to be had, especially during the early hours of the evening when the sun is just beginning to set and the Islamic call for prayer begins. We stayed at Riad dar guennoun, a lovely, family-run Riad which provides a magnificent view of the city from the terrace roof and is open to guests (and possibly non-guests if you ask nicely) from morning till night. The owner, Juliet was also more than happy to make us some fresh mint tea to accompany our incredible sun set views. On a side note I would highly recommend this particular Riad to anyone, the staff were both friendly and accommodating to all our needs and they cooked us up the most amazing breakfasts! If you fancy a more top-notch view with an equally top-notch meal to accompany it then book yourself a table at either L’Amandier or La Terrace at palais faraj. With both being some of the most famous and in demand restaurants in the city of Fez (with both tourists and locals alike), you’ll likely need to book in advance to nab yourself a table at this exquisite fine-dining restaurant. As you can imagine, prices far exceed what that which you would pay at a local Moroccan restaurant but for this one-off experience, its well worth the price.

Hammam, man.

A ‘Hammam’, also known as a steam bath or sauna, is an ancient and integral part of Moroccan and middle eastern culture and has since become popularised in Turkey as well as numerous other European countries. As physical purification and cleanliness is one of the essential rituals of Islam, you’ll often find Moroccans visiting their local Hammam at least once a week for a few hours and having a good old catch up. Inside the Hammam you’ll find a steam room, a bathing room and a ‘cold’ room as well as a massage room, should you choose to use it. Upon your visit you’ll be asked to strip off (to your basics) so I would advise that you bring your swimwear if you don’t want to rock the disposable underwear provided. There are typically 2 types of Hammam experiences, the DIY option where you’ll bathe and clean yourself or the errrr ‘assisted’ option where someone will do it all for you. Be warned, if you choose the second option then you may be in for a bit of a rough ride as they take the whole ‘good old scrub’ thing very seriously. To the point you may even begin to shed a bit of skin during the whole exfoliation process! With more than 250 Hammam’s dotted around Fes, you’re sure to find one on almost every street corner and all at a relatively low price, ranging from £5-£30 depending on where you go. As a side note I would advise that you bring along some essentials such as soap, shampoo and a towel unless you want to pay for them upon entering the Hammam. Oh, and when available, I would suggest buying ‘sabon beldi’- a gooey black olive oil soap that usually comes in bulk, rubbing this stuff into your skin will leave it feeling softer than a baby’s bottom

Prague, Czech Republic

I went on a three-day holiday to Prague with a friend a couple of years ago. As we were both living in Germany, we decided to drive their instead of flying as we thought it would be better to have a reliable means of transport to get around the city too- turns out this was actually a bad mistake as the city is ridiculously confusing to drive around and they just love giving out parking tickets!

However, it was a breath-taking city, especially in the summer months when the historical buildings and modern architecture of this city literally gleams in the sunshine. I went during June when the weather was soooo nice but there were also a lot of tourists so you might want to visit out of season.

Here are 5 of my favourite things to do in Prague

Sight-seeing

The old town hall and the Orloj (The Astronomical Clock) are tourist favourites in Prague. The clock itself is so beautifully and  intricately designed thats it’s impossible not to want to take a photo, but you’ll undoubtedly be waiting a while for every other bloody tourist to move out of the way of your lens! Every hour on the hour from 8am to 8pm wooden saints appear from the trap doors on the clock and a medieval lesson in morality is enacted, I didnt have a clue what they were saying but it was fun to watch nonetheless! The church of St Nicholas is the most famous Baroque church in Prague and is thus heaving with visitors as is Charles Bridge, where you will find crowds of people leaving cute little notes on padlocks to hang on the wall. The imperial gardens are only open during the summer months but are so so beautiful, with marble sculptures and fresh smelling flowers everywhere. This place certainly didn’t feel like Europe, more like a tropical paradise, I absolutely fell in love with it and would highly recommend visiting. 

Eat weird-looking food that tastes surprisingly good

Czech food isn’t exactly what you would deem the ‘healthy’ option on the menu, unless your idea of healthy amounts to eating a whole cow and half a warburtons bakery. However, it does taste amazing and is good value for money. Some traditional czech food I would recommend: Kendliky (dumplings), which you will find in practically every restaurant and is super filling (so bring sweatpants). Goulash- a soup or stew of meat and vegetables (my favourite thing to eat in Prague but again, quite heavy on the old stomach) and pancakes and ovocné knedlíky which are dumplings filled with fruit such as apricots, strawberries and jam and loads of other sugary things.

Museum Kampa

If you’re a fan of modern, slightly weird art then museum Kampa is for you. Located in the unique historical building Sova’s mills close to the Charles bridge, the museum opened in 2003 and displays pieces from the private collection of Meda Mládek, wife of Jan V. Mládek. As this place is slightly off the beaten path it is generally a lot less busier than the more touristy parts of Prague so makes for a nice getaway spot if you fancy some more relaxed exploring. The park right next to it is also a great spot for picnics or just a bit of sunshine whilst you stare at weird naked statues like these: 

 

Jewish quarter

Josefov, Prague’s historic Jewish Quarter is home to a number of important synagogues such as the Spanish Synagogue and the Old New Synagogue s well as the Jewish cemetery. If you are a history geek like moi then I would recommend taking an audio tour or for a bit of extra money, a guided tour. 

Head to a beer garden

Beer gardens are dotted all around Prague, particularly in the Old town square and at the end of Charles Bridge. On a warm summers day or night they are a lovely, atmospheric place to be and are generally heaving with locals and tourists alike. I would recommend U Fleku, a huge beer house that has been serving up low-price beer for more than 500 years and is full of old-style wooden beer halls and tables. If clubbing is more you thing, then check out Sasazu or Retro, two huge nightclubs who have hosted some of the best DJ’s from around the world, including Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk. Entry fees are usually around £3.50 depending on the event and the drinks are very reasonably priced.

Bali, Indonesia

Gili Islands

If you’ve been to Bali or are planning on heading there sometime soon, its highly likely you’ve already heard of the Gili Islands. Known as the honeymoon or party islands (depending on which one you visit), the Gili islands are made up of 3 small and remote islands just off the northwest coast of Lombok, Indonesia. Of the 3 islands, Gili Meno, Gili Air and Gili Trawangan, I went to the latter with my amazing tour group! If you’re looking to party hard at night and learn how to scuba dive or surf during the day, then I would definitely recommend you head to Gili Trawangan. We crammed so much into our time in Gili Trawangan that I needed 2 days of sleep to recover! As soon as you arrive, I would advise you hire out a bike- a quick and easy way of getting around the island and exploring the beach by nights. You simply cannot miss sunset at this beach, its an unforgettable experience! Me and the Wanderlands Travel tour group also made a quick pit-stop visit to Gili Meno during a day out on the sea, diving with giant sea turtles. Although we didnt get to explore Gili Meno much, we did get the chance to have a lovely fresh cooked lunch of smoked salmon at one of the many beach front restaurants and it was clear to see that the island had an unbelievable relaxed atmosphere!

Sunsets

Speaking of sunsets… of all the places I’ve traveled to in the world, Bali has, hands-down the most magical sunsets I have ever witnessed! When sun sets at around 6.15pm, grab your camera and head down to the beach for a truly unforgettable view! I caught some of the best sunsets at Kuta beach, Gili Trawangan beach and Jimbaran beach. The latter being the most memorable sunset of all as myself and my boyfriend sat and feasted on fresh barbecued fish and rice as we took a billion photos of the deep pink sun. Alternatively, you can catch some amazing sunset views from the mountainous areas of Lombok, Ubud and kuta. I found that the best way to get to our chosen sunset-watching spot was via motorbike, a cheap and easy transportation method used by practically every local within bali! If you’re planning on staying for a week or more then I would highly suggest you get yourself an INSURED bike!

Food

With so many amazing, vibrant and fragrant options to chose from, meal times were something of a dramatic event for me (or should I say for my boyfriend, who had to put up with me refusing to go anywhere that didn’t have at least 3 types of nasi goreng on the menu!) Nasi goreng is pretty much the staple diet of the local Indonesian people, a quick, simple and cheap meal made up of rice, vegetables and a fried egg. Super filling and super addictive! If you’re a spicy food lover or you enjoy pushing your taste buds to the limit and will try anything from fried insects to shark stew, then head to any of the built-up warungs where you’ll find all that and more for no more than a fiver. Some of the best places we ate at were `Sunda Kelapa` in Tuban (literally amazing fresh cooked food for an absolute bargain price along with HUGE portion sizes!), Ayam Betutu Gilimanuk in Tuban, The open house restaurant in Jimbaran (THE best banana pancakes I have ever had in my life!) and the nightly food market at Gili Trawangan which had a huge selection of local dishes to chose from for an absolute bargain price of 40p per plate!!! Honestly, there are so many more restaurants I could name but I would be here all day and I’m kinda getting hungry….

Activities Galore 

Bali really does offer the best of both worlds for tourists looking for very different experiences. If you’re more of a relax-at-the-beach-with-a-cocktail-in-hand kind of holiday-maker then youre sure to find yourself In paradise. On the other hand, If youre more of the adventurous, watersports, trekking and mingling with the locals type, then you’ll be right at home too! Tour groups are a great way of cramming in a whole load of activities whilst making new friends and if you search right, you can nab yourself a real bargain! Tours can include anything from visiting holy temples and eating lunch at the island`s active volcano, trekking through the rainforest whilst monkeys swing overhead and visiting the local tribes in the mountainous areas of Ubud- and that’s all in one day! Check out baligoldentour.com for more information on the types and cost of tours within Bali. Alternatively, you can approach any one of the hundreds of tour stands dotted around Bali, where you can book surfing and scuba diving lessons or simply take a boat ride across to neighboring islands for a day of exploring, the possibilities (and tour packages) are endless!

Beaches

Unsurprisingly you’ll find about a gazillion beaches dotted all around Bali, some hugely populated with tourists and some not so populated ones (I like to call those the hidden gems). My all time favourite beach has to be Jimbaran, just outside of Denpasar in Bali. Before visiting, Id never even heard of it, in fact me and my boyfriend actually stumbled across it on accident whilst driving around on a frantic search for ice cream (like I said, when it came to find I was little demanding at times!). The beach itself is so clean and the sea is a crisp blue but the best thing? It wasn’t absolutely rammed with tourists, in fact during the day it was pretty remote. As the sun begins to set, it does start to get a bit busier but this is normally with more locals than tourists so it’s a great time to soak in some of the local life whilst you admire the sunset. As I said before, its also a great place to eat dinner and there are a dozen beachside restaurants that are lit up with some beautiful lighting displays at night. Some of my other beaches include sengiggi, sanur and Kuta Lombok which also had a fantastic all-you-can-eat buffet at sunset and a local band playing some cracking tunes!

The downsides to being a constant traveler

Whenever I share stories of my travels with friends and family (or the occasional random stranger if they’re interested), they always seem to provoke a similar response: ‘And you did that all by yourself? ‘Aren’t you brave’, ‘Didn’t you get scared?’, ‘Weren’t you lonely?’,’ Don’t you want a ‘normal’ life’, ‘When are you going to settle down and marry then?’. Given, the latter is usually from my Granddad who thinks at 25 my ovaries are soon to seize up and ill inevitably become a lonely spinster.

Anyway, this got me thinking. Obviously, I love travelling, I always have done and I can’t see that changing at any point in the near or distant future. There are an abundance of new things I have learnt and achieved in my life that just wouldn’t have been possible or attainable if I had chosen to stay within the UK. I have made countless friends across the world, pushed myself, both mentally and physically to the extreme and opened my eyes to a whole new way of looking at life. For every moment of this, I am truly grateful and will carry these memories with me for the rest of my life.

However, I can’t deny there have been a few downsides to my constant travelling too. For starters, the countless hours spent sleeping alone on airport benches because of delayed flights, language barriers resulting in some really uncomfortable and sometimes scary situations, homesickness, never really feeling settled. The list goes on but honestly? I wouldn’t change those ‘down’ times for the world simply because it has made me the person I am today.

So, if you’re a fellow traveler or you’re thinking of embarking on a travel adventure, here’s a few ‘downsides’ you can probably expect or relate to.

Relationship what now?

You know how it is, you’re on the go 24/7. One week you’re sat in a wooden hut eating sosatie with an African tribe, the next you’re playing table tennis with your new Australian mates in some hip, uptown New York hostel. (Okay, maybe not quite that extreme, but you get the picture). With your life being so unplanned, erratic and last minute, its hard to fit in a quick Skype call to let your family know you’re still alive, let alone maintain an actual, real-life relationship with someone of the opposite sex (or same sex if you’re feeling that too). This is all fine and dandy until you find yourself sat at a table (for one) in some shabby Italian cafe, crying into your pasta carbonara (for two) whilst surrounded by couples staring lovingly into each others eyes to the point where you can practically visualize what’s for desert (and no, it’s not on the menu). In other words, it gets lonely and you’re probably going to be single for quite some time and contemplate investing in a small brood of cats. But some sacrifices are worth it and you’ll thank yourself later when you finally settle down with that lucky someone and have about seven years of crazy travel stories to share.

Homesickness is a catch 22.

Sometimes the days just can’t go quick enough and when you’re missing home, time seems to drag on for an eternity. It’s normally at this point that you start to think about your friends, your family, your pets, real English bacon sandwiches, mum’s early morning cups of tea… all the little things that maybe you didn’t appreciate when you were there… And so it begins, the deep dive head first into the unavoidable swirling pool of homesickness. This, on some occasions has been known to end in an over-priced easy jet flight (bags, taxes and a cup of watery, over-strained tea not included). Yep, I’ve been there. The only annoying this about this is that when you finally make it home, you wonder what all the fuss was about. Nothing has changed. Everyone is still going about their daily routine, completely oblivious to all the wondrous sites your eyes have consumed and it can become very hard to ‘connect’ with those people who haven’t experienced this with you. This can ultimately leave you feeling a little out of place in the one place you thought you missed the most until you decide enough is enough and you’re catching the first flight out of there! And so the cycle begins again. As I said, catch 22.

You missed it kid.

Brothers 21st birthday? Check. Mother’s day? Check. First family reunion in 20 years? Check. Christmas dinner? Just about made it. Chances are, if you’re travelling the world, you’re going to miss a few key events. This is then made 10 times worse when your friends and family decide to start documenting the whole shebang on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, Linkedin and the frikkin BBC news….! Queue you simultaneously crying and laughing into your laptop at 3 in the morning in some dodgy run-down Thai hostel whilst your new Swedish roommates wonder if you’re bi-polar. (Yep, been there) Generally I use this time to reflect on all the great times I’ve had on my travels whilst also praying that everyone secretly had a really s*** time at said event without me. (everyone knows I’m the life and soul of the party they just don’t want to admit it).

Unsettled 

If you’re looking for that stable life, it aint gonna happen. Unless you’re big, brown, got 4 legs and eat grass heheheheh). You will be living out of a suitcase most of the time, temporary accommodation will take on the literal meaning of ‘temporary’. You will make friends just to part ways before making new friends again, you will have too much money and then no money, you will make plans only for them to be turned upside down and you most certainly will not feel completely comfortable wherever you are because it’s just not home. There will reach a point when you crave nothing more than a warm and cozy bed that you can sleep in on a regular basis, a bathroom that isn’t overrun with ants and shared with 20 other Russian models who shave their toes with your razor and a kitchen where you can cook a real meal instead of loading-up on taco bell every night. In other words, you will crave some form of security or routine. But the fact of it is, as long as you’re consistently on the move, security is something you will never really find until you settle in one place for more than a few months.

Travel bug

Finally and perhaps the most annoying thing about constantly travelling is that once you’ve tasted the sweeter things life has to offer, you begin to crave more and more. Suddenly a 9-5 office job just isn’t going to cut it for you, no matter how good the salary. Waking up to the same scenery every day gets boring, seeing the same people gets repetitive and your list of places to visit gets longer and longer. Unfortunately for most of us this requires working in a stable job for a while in order to save up a bit of money. Just remember whilst you’re slogging it out and wondering when it will all end: a whole new adventure awaits you so just keep pushing through whilst you plan your next adventure!