It’s been so long. I’ve been so slack. I’m so sorry.
But hello world, or should I say: small-proportion-of-people-who-are-actually-reading-this. I’m back. And yes, part of the reason for my absence is my love for adventures and desire to see and explore every aspect of our beautiful world.
I have recently been lucky enough to go travelling, back to the tropics where my family spends a lot of their time. And while I was there, I realised that not only is travelling exciting, beautiful and breathtaking, but also grounding, full of new discoveries and at times a little risky.
So with my crazy vacation still fresh in my mind, I have decided to give you my best advice based on my own experiences, so that you are fully prepared to elope to wherever, whenever.
- Packing. Ah yes, both my most hated and most loved aspect of travelling. I am always filled with insane outfit inspiration and excitement when packing for a trip away. However, I often find myself wishing that my suitcase adapted a Tardis-like form, and could fit a room full of clothes inside what appeared to be a small and scruffy suitcase. I have always overpacked, and never learnt my lesson before now. This trip though, I finally bit the bullet, and chucked out a shit load of t-shirts that I tried to squish in. I left the country with my suitcase less than half the weight than usual and instead filled the extra space with three different cameras, on which I got to take some epic photos. So all in all, it’s so worth it. I came home with my memories set in hazey film and a whole lotta room for duty free and holiday scores. Fill your bag with the bare essentials and only things that are climate appropriate. Don’t overthink it. It’s highly unlikely that there will be a snowstorm in Bali.image source
- Airports. Always be early. I can’t stress this enough. You do not, I repeat do not, want to be that stupid looking woman sprinting across the international terminal, coffee and oversized carry -on bag in hand whilst they announce your name over the speaker, notifying you that “everyone on board is waiting for you.” Yes I have been this person, and yes, it bloody sucks. After missing a flight last year and spending a great deal of time being bored out of my brain once the free wifi expired, I vowed never to repeat this mistake again. Ever. So all I can say, is that I learnt the hard way. Give yourself plenty of time when travelling internationally (I’m talking a good 1-2 hours) you’ll be less stressed and besides, it’s an excuse to spend more time (and money) in your favourite duty-free stores.
- If your flight duration is longer than 8-10 hours, it is highly important that you sleep. Jet lag’s a b*tch and honestly, sleeping pills are well worth it. Don’t binge on movies, or you’ll lose an extra day of your holiday when you can’t get out of bed until four in the afternoon. image source
- Hydration is another thing that can really make you feel awful, even when travelling to your dream destination. Drink consistently as lack of humidity in the cabin plays a huge part of making you dehydrated and gives you a horrible headache. Not what you want on arrival.
During your stay:
- Take a tone of photos. I brought my polaroid, film camera and GoPro and do not regret the extra weight. Don’t spend every waking hour behind the lense, but if you see a rad sunset or get to experience a new culture, snap away.
- Be impulsive, be spontaneous. Don’t fill up your days with generic tours which drive around contrived, tourist-ridden areas. Ask around, get some local knowledge, discover things for yourself. Sometimes just being, relaxing and appreciating your surroundings is enough to excite your soul, far more than treading where a million tourists have already taken multiple selfies and brought tacky souvenir t-shirts.image source
- Experience and immerse yourself in the new cultures. This trip away, I organised some volunteer work to undertake in a school in one of the islands. It was the most third world but grounding thing I have ever experienced. Don’t just go on holiday to take, stay in expensive resorts and isolate yourself from the heart of the country’s true soul. Volunteer, talk to the local people or even try and learn some of their language. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, I can assure you that it is incredibly rewarding.
- Give back. Another really important one for me. Wherever you are going, city-scapes or isolated islands, try to always give back to that place. Stay in locally owned hotels or resorts, buy fresh produce from the people there, choose your souvenirs from handmade market stalls. Some places you visit rely on tourists to generate enough income, so do some research before you go and you will feel so humbled that you are not only having an awesome trip, but the local people are better off too. image source
- Talk to strangers. Yes, this is probably a terrifying concept for some. But as I’ve learnt from my last trip, by just starting a conversation with travellers like you, can lead to awesome new friendships. Experiencing a new place with new people has got to be one of the best things we’ll ever get to do.
- Upon leaving, reflect on your trip. Be grateful. Take something away from it. Always travel to learn and explore new things. It can change you in amazing ways.