If I could I would quit my job and go travelling. And whilst I know that there are jobs out there that will allow me to travel and work at the same time, I don’t know if that is something I could do. Perhaps with time and research, it could become a possibility but for now, I like the fact that I have a stable paycheck which allows me to save and then go to the places that I really want to go.

So, in saying that I, of course, have a travel bucket list. Mutay and I sat down when we went to Edinburgh last February and came up with a master list of places that we want to travel too, and boy it was long.

I had a look at the Destination2 website the other day for some more inspiration because the world is such a huge and wonderful place, and ideally, I would love to visit everywhere. Mutay and I are looking to go to LA this year (hi, Nancy 😉), and I’m already planning to go to the Philippines next year in December. Hopefully, next year will be the year that I get to visit more places!

Without further ado, here is my travel bucket list for 2018.

Iceland

Every time I surf the web I swear I see adverts with deals to Iceland. Which, of course, increases the need to visit Iceland. Who wouldn’t want to see the Northern Lights? The Blue Lagoon? Go on a Puffin Express cruise? Go on a hot spring adventure? The closest I’ve been is a stopover in Reykjavik when I was flying to New York, but I want more than a stopover!

Hawaii

I watch a lot of Just Kidding News and they are always going to Hawaii. There is always a sense of FOMO whenever I watch the vlogs of them visiting Hawaii because it looks glorious. Gorgeous beaches, good food and from what I can tell the friendliest people. I want to be greeted at the airport with a lei. I want to visit the Volcanoes National Park, take in scenic views of Waipio Valley and soak in all the culture possible.

Dubai

My friend moved out to Dubai middle of last year and every time she posts a photo on Instagram my heart is screaming, “BOOK A TICKET. JUMP ON A PLANE. GO GO GO.” You can go to Dubai with Destination2 and from just looking around they have some really good deals, so it’s possible I’ll be heading there sooner than you think. I know a few people who have been to Dubai and have had such a blast! There are so many things to do like the Aquaventure Waterpark, taking a helicopter ride for some amazing satellite views or visiting Burj Khalifa, a mega tall skyscraper that would probably make me crane my neck like no man’s business.

Singapore

This country has been on my list for the longest time (most likely fuelled from a stopover I took when I went to the Philippines – notice how I’m always stopping over but not visiting?). I’m always seeing photos on Instagram of the Gardens by the Bay which looks so colourful and futuristic. They also have Universal Studios and I love a theme park and who wouldn’t want to stay at Marina Bay Sands and enjoy the world’s largest infinity pool?

What’s on your travel bucket list?

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London is one of the most expensive cities on the planet, and yet it still manages to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each and every year. But not all of these tourists and visitors are well-heeled travellers. So, there must be some ways you can visit London on a shoestring budget, right? There totally is, you just need to know where to look for some great deals and discounts. Here are my top tips, just for you!

Book In Advance

There are quite a few attractions that you have to pay to enter, such as Madame Tussauds, the Tower of London, and Westminster Abbey. Some are so expensive, you might think that you need a cash advance to pay for them all! But there is a way to get cheaper ticket prices – you just need to book in advance! If you book your tickets early through the attraction website, you’ll be able to get a percentage off the full price of a ticket.

Seek Out Free Attractions

But you don’t have to pay for every single attraction in London. There are some fab ones that are completely free and ideal for very limited budgets. The majority of galleries and museums in the city are free to enter, though they might have a special exhibition that you need to pay extra for. There are also lots of great outdoor spaces that don’t cost anything to check out, such as Hyde Park and Regent’s Park. You’ll also be able to watch the daily Changing of the Guards for free.

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Eat Away From The Beaten Path

Dining out in London can end up being very expensive if you stick to the usual tourist hotspots. But, if you are up for exploring away from the beaten path, you will easily be able to find some more affordable eateries. It’s also a good idea to eat at street-food markets as well as these are considerably cheaper than eating in a proper restaurant. There are various street-food markets around London but one of the most famous has to be the one at Borough Market. Some other great ones include the one at the Southbank Centre and Leather Lane Street Market.

Get West End Tickets On The Cheap

Going to see a theatre show at the West End is a must-do when you are in London. Unfortunately, though, some of the ticket prices can be eye-watering! Even if you book well in advance, you might find that the price of tickets is a lot more than what you are willing to pay. But there is one way to get very cheap tickets – you need to buy them at the last minute from one of the booths on Leicester Square. Sellers sell any remaining tickets at super discounted prices. You might not be able to get a ticket for your preferred show, but at least you can see something!

As you can see, a trip to London doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, and all budget travellers are made to feel welcome!

This is a collaborative post. May contain affiliate links.

I don’t think I could ever get tired of Paris. It doesn’t matter how many times I go, or how many times I visit the same landmark, or how many times I go to Disney – there’s always this sense of familiarity which makes me feel comfortable and I know that I can visit again and again.

Last November, my friend and I went to Paris for a few days where we also spent a whole day in Disney. You can’t really go wrong with a trip to Disney and it really is the happiest place on Earth. Don your Minnie ears and join me on a Parisian adventure!

Theme tune for this trip 💕

I think this will be my third post in relation to Paris. My last post was a detailed account of how to spend less than 48 hours in Paris – it’s crazy how many things you can cram in in such a short space of time.

If Disney is the main focus of your trip then I would suggest staying in one of the hotels near the Disney area. If you have £££ then definitely check out the hotel in the park itself. As we are only young 20 somethings still trying to establish ourselves in the world and don’t really have moolah like that, we stayed at Vienna House Dream Castle Hotel

British Airways do really good package deals and ours only cost around £200 – that’s flights and hotel. We also had breakfast included, which is definitely a bonus. When I’m booking packages, I always like to look for the hotels that have breakfast included just because it can save you so much more money. You can fill up your belly in the morning, then you just have to grab a light lunch and save your money for dinner.

Again, I booked our Disney tickets through Attraction Tickets Direct. You only save a couple of £s booking through them, but it is still cheaper than booking directly with Disney. Also, they have e-tickets, so no waiting around for the post hoping your tickets come on time! The website also offers deals on tickets for attractions in other major cities, as well. 

Our hotel had a free shuttle bus to/from the hotel to Marne-la-Vallée – Chessy station, which made things a lot easier. Because of where the hotel is situated it isn’t that easy getting there – you can get to the station perfectly fine, but once there without the free shuttle bus you’d have to get a taxi, which is just extra £.

Disney, as always, was amazing. We got there early enough to have to queue and wait for them to open the gates. There’s always a feeling of happiness I get whenever I see the castle at the end of Main Street.

The day we chose to go happened to be the best day because we managed to go on some of the rides more than once because the queues were so short!

Favourite rides 🎢

  • Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast – I’m absolutely crap at this and my hand/eye coordination skills are questionable, to say the least, and yet I still LOVE this ride
  • Hyperspace Mountain – sorry, this will always still be Space Mountain to me. 
  • Star Tours – love how interactive this ride is!
  • Hollywood Tower – this makes your heart drop out your butt, so really not for the faint-hearted. My friend said she thinks a little boy fainted on the ride when we were on it 😭

The highlight of the day was definitely the Stars on Parade and the Disney Illuminations. We managed to get a good view of the parade as we were sitting down at the front, and gosh! You could feel my happiness all the way from Paris to Timbuktu.

I loved seeing all my favourite Disney characters dancing and singing (I attempted to sing along until I realised that it was the French version of the song 😅)! The fireworks were out of this world and standing there taking it all in with delicious hot cocoa was definitely the best way to end the day at Disney.

Just before we flew back home, we spent our last few hours in Disney Village and exploring the shops. I may have spent a stupid amount of time in the Lego store…

I reckon the next time I go back to Disney, I will definitely be wearing a Princess dress because if little kids can do it, why can’t I? And don’t tell me it’s because I’m not a little kid.

We only spent a couple of days in Paris, but still snuck in a lot of sightseeing. We started off by taking the train into central Paris and getting off where the Louvre is located. Unfortunately, the day that we visited the Louvre there was tarpaulin over it so we didn’t get its full glass glory. 

From the Louvre, we wandered through the Tuileries Garden – I have no idea if it was the same goat that I saw when I visited back in 2016, but nevertheless, there was a goat right next to the statues munching on grass. 😂 We need to appreciate the number of statues there are of people who look like they’re having a crisis. Falling down and all sorts.

The Tuileries Garden led us to the magnificent Luxor Obelisk. This is a 75ft high Ancient Egyptian obelisk and I craned my neck so much to try and take it all in. It is an extraordinary landmark and it definitely stands out. Next to the obelisk is the Fontaines de la Concorde, which are stunning as well. Good architecture is like eye candy to me.

You can’t visit Paris without visiting the Arc de Triomphe, no matter how cheesy and touristy it may be. We only saw it in passing, but I managed to capture a photo whilst standing in the middle of a crossing with lots of traffic. 📸 The things we do for the ‘gram, eh?

Our next stop was the Eiffel Tower. I think I’ve been up the tower a grand total of 4 times now and it never ceases to amaze me. The views are breathtaking no matter what level you end up on. Although the very tip-top of the tower can get crowded because it is quite small, the views are definitely worth it. 

StorytimeWe eavesdropped on a couple arguing. I say arguing, more like the man was popping off at the woman whilst the woman was standing there sulking. I caught him saying things like, “It’s not about getting the most expensive ticket”, “You have been miserable this whole trip” and “You say sorry, but you don’t mean it.” *sips tea*

Our last stop was NotreDame Cathedral, which brought back memories for both of us because the last time we had both visited the cathedral was back on our year 8 trip. That was god knows how many years ago. We went to check if the little park was still there and it was! It was relatively unchanged, just missing a few things but wow. We couldn’t believe it.

We also went inside the cathedral as it was free entry. I’ve mentioned this in a few posts, but I really like cathedrals and the insides are always so stunning. Especially the stained glass windows. 😍

Overall, it was a nice little getaway. It always is great to just go away for a few days, take a breather and then return back to normal life.

 

Notes

  • If you get your Disney tickets through ATD, then you get a percentage off food/drink/merchandise at Planet Hollywood and Earl’s Sandwich
  • Choose to go to Disney when the kids are still on break. During the week is definitely better too. We unintentionally chose a day just before they put up their Christmas decor, so it was extremely quiet. As we leaving to go back home, we saw floods of people coming through because of the Christmas and it being a weekend.
  • I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: a travel card is so much more efficient. I use Revolut now! You can use their app to check the balance, easily transfer money from your own account and send money to other people, as well as being able to freeze your card in case you lose it and other additional security features. You also get a notification when you’ve made a transaction straight away. I still carry cash with me, but I love having this card as well. Plus it’s contactless!

 

 

 

 

 

This year for myself and Mutay’s birthday trip we decided to head to Dubrovnik! Keep reading to find out all about our adventures.

Flying Out ✈️

I just need to point out that Monarch is stingy when it comes to their hand baggage allowance. You’re allowed 10kg, however, you can only have one small suitcase that measures 56 x 40 x 25cm or two bags that add up to that measurement. There’s no room for movement. Usually, with cheap airlines, you’re allowed your small suitcase and then a backpack. Also, the legroom is atrocious on their planes and I don’t need much cause I’m a short ass but man.

The flight was smooth, though, and we landed in Dubrovnik on time. It took us ages to leave the plane though because our bags had to be put somewhere else cause there was no space. Once we came out the airport, however, our driver was waiting for us to take us to the hotel.

We arrived at Hotel Adria and already were impressed with how nice the hotel smells. Check in was easy and we made our way to our room, which had a spectacular view from the balcony. The room itself was really nice! We ordered room service and decided to chill out on the balcony with our rose gold prosecco we bought at the airport. The view was amazing, the food was so-so but the company was perfect.

Dubrovnik Walls 🏛 Buggy Safari 🚜 and Pub Crawl 🍻

Continental breakfast always throws me off because 1. There are so many options and 2. Some of the options are a bit questionable. Par exemple, vegetables and pie? Anyway, the rest of the breakfast options were good and we managed to snag a table by the window so we could have breakfast with a view.

After breakfast, we headed to our first destination, Pile Gate which is the entrance to the Old Town. We explored the Old Town, which is really quaint. We stumbled across St. Blaise Church where they were holding a mass. I wasn’t expecting it though, so felt super awkward walking in mid prayer.

We also found a spot called Buža after spying a sign that said cold drinks with amazing views. They weren’t wrong, even though I initially thought it was click bait. The service was a bit slow but definitely worth a stop on a hot day!

We somehow ended up at the Ethnographic Museum where we bought a 1-day Dubrovnik Card which allowed us free entry to some museums and the Walls of Dubrovnik. We were more interested in seeing the Walls, so we headed there next.

The Walls are probably Dubrovnik’s most famous feature. They surround the city and overlook the sea – you will definitely need to visit here for some amazing views.

Honestly, it felt like I was climbing the Great Wall of China again and my heart felt like it was going to burst out my chest at any minute. It was so worth it, though! The views were spectacular and the weather was amazing. After the Walls, we decided to grab something to eat, at a restaurant called Dubravka where I had a delicious lasagna bolognese.

We had to rush at this point because we had to get all the way to Srđ Hill! The Uber we ordered took so long, we had to cancel it and order another one and then that Uber had to make a pit stop to fill up his gas and we ALMOST didn’t make it, but I’m so so glad we did because the buggy safari was THE best part of the day.

For about an hour you get to drive a buggy through the hills and fields of Dubrovnik! Honestly, it is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had despite it being a little scary as well. We got to see ex-mine fields, fortresses, and an amazing 360° view of Dubrovnik, including islands and mountains. Absolutely stunning views and I would definitely recommend this activity for all you adrenaline junkies.

After the safari, we headed back to our hotel to freshen up before heading out on a pub crawl.

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It all got a bit crazy, I can’t lie. With unlimited drinks for an hour in the first bar, I think you can guess what happened. Before I’d even finished one drink, I’d somehow appeared with more. Somebody needs to stop me. It was so much fun, though, from the bits I can remember and SOMEHOW we managed to make it to the final club – although, we didn’t stay long according to Mutay.

/Welp/.

We made it back to the hotel, though! That’s a plus, right?

Full Body Scrub 💆🏽 Candle Massage 🕯 & Rest 😴

So, the next day was a complete write-off.

We were in no fit state to do anything. Which was a shame, but nevertheless we still managed to drag ourselves to the hotel spa and indulge in a full body scrub and candle massage.

Definitely needed!

The full body scrub was so good – it felt like she was scrubbing my sins away. I also somehow sustained an injury on our night out (don’t ask me how) and so had these big scratches on my right foot, which did start stinging after everything.

The candle massage was really good, as well! They use a massage candle that melts into a warm massage oil. It smells amazing and left my skin feeling smooth like butter. The massage part was so relaxing and after the treatment, we shuffled back to our room to sleep.

We eventually left the hotel to find a pharmacy and grab some dinner. We stopped by Taverna Nostromo where I had a yummy beefsteak on a bed of arugula with potatoes, cheese sauce and BBQ sauce.

The rest of the evening was spent watching Let’s Eat on Netflix, which has made me want to eat all the Korean food.

Pebble Beaches 🏖 Kayaking 🚣🏾 & Game of Thrones Tour ⚔

This was our last full day in Dubrovnik so we were determined to make the most of it. Our first port of call was to find a company that offered kayak tours – you’ll find loads of them just outside Pile Gate. Most companies will offer you a 2.5-3 hour tour including snorkelling, food and an experienced guide.

Our tour wasn’t until 1 PM, so we had some time to kill. We were originally going to go to Banje Beach but the uber driver we had told us that basically everyone and their mum goes there, so he suggested Copacabana Beach as it is much quieter.

He was definitely right, and we got the chance to splash around in the sea and relax on the sun loungers (for a fee, of course). I was hoping there would be sand beaches, but it was mostly pebbles. Nevertheless, it was definitely nice to get some downtime and not feel like crap anymore.

We got an uber back to Pile Gate (after a whole lot of kerfuffle because the driver apparently couldn’t get down the road to the beach, although our driver going to the beach managed to…?) and we missed our kayak slot, but luckily we managed to catch the 1:30 PM slot.

Kayaking is HARD, guys. Honestly. I got some serious #armgainz after our tour. Initially, it was difficult to get into and we ended up being so behind from the rest of the group, but we eventually got into a rhythm in the end. The tour was so worth it, though, and the views were amazing and we were surrounded by beautiful, sparkling water. We stopped off at a beach where you can go snorkelling or cliff diving, of which I did neither because ya girl’s wig is new and I don’t want to ruin it!

After the tour, we headed back to the hotel for a quick shower before heading back out for the Game of Thrones tour. We left this until the end of the trip, as we felt it would be the perfect way to end our holiday. Our tour included a cruise on the Adriatic Sea in Karaka, which was a boat used on GoT (fangirl cries). We also had the opportunity to cosplay, so I got to dress up as Danaerys. It actually reignited my love of cosplay and I can’t wait until October for Comic Con as I’m planning to go as Gamora!

After the cruise, we were split into three groups and had a walking tour around Old Town. We got to see where Cersei had to do the walk of atonement, where Sansa escaped from the men that tried to rape her in season 2 and we also visited King’s Landing. It was a lot of walking, but it was SO good and very informative. We ended the tour at King’s Landing and after ending back into the Old Town we stopped off to buy a few souvenirs.

I also managed to find the burger spot we passed on our pub crawl and had a delicious burger, which was definitely needed after all that walking! Whilst walking back through Old Town, we spotted a display where they were giving out roses to everyone. It was super cute and apparently every year this artist gives out 100 roses to Dubrovnik. I tried to Google more about it, but couldn’t find anything, unfortunately.

Wrapping Up 👯

Our flight wasn’t until 12:30 PM but it still didn’t leave us time to do much. So we grabbed breakfast and basically chilled in our hotel room until our driver came to take us to the airport.

The driver was kind enough to stop halfway (even though he said he was running late) to let us take photos of the amazing views. Oh, to have sunny weather all the time is a dream.

I need to go back to Croatia, ASAP. It was honestly one of the best trips I’ve ever been on and there was so much to do whilst we were out there. I definitely want to do the island hopping that they offer as I’ve heard amazing things about the islands, especially Lokrum Island. I also want to visit other parts of Croatia, like Split because apparently, it’s not as expensive as Dubrovnik.

I had so much fun whilst I was out there and will forever treasure the experiences and memories I’ve created. ❤️

I turned 25 last Monday and I’m still shook because I have no idea where time has gone. I swear it was only the other day that I was celebrating my 18th birthday by having a debut (complete with pink dresses, 18 roses and candles and a whole lot of cheese). Nancy reminded me today that she’s been following me since I was 18. That’s 7 years, guys. Half way to 50 and I’m pleased to say there are a few things I’ve learned along the way, so here are my 25 things I’ve learned in 25 years.

  1. Learn to love yourself before getting into a relationship. I think I’ve mentioned this before in a different post, but I feel the reason my previous relationships never worked out is that I never truly took the time to love myself. I still have a long way to go, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned then it’s definitely this.
  2. Trust your instinct. If it seems too good to be true, or if your stomach is doing that churning thing – get out of there, girl.
  3. Self-care is important. It definitely goes a long way, especially towards your mental health. Taking time for yourself will help maintain, protect and improve your well-being.
  4. Do not judge a book by its cover. This one speaks for itself, tbh. Basically, there will be people you meet in your life who you will judge, but try not to be so judgemental. You’ve no idea what that person is going through to make them the way they are.
  5. Stop apologising. Just be unapologetically you.
  6. Boys aren’t everything…
  7. … But food is.
  8. Writing is therapeutic and is the outlet for my soul. Without writing I have no idea where I’d be. I’m so glad I have this creative outlet to let all my emotions out. 
  9. It’s okay not to be okay. You do not have to be happy every single day and sometimes it’s okay to have a down day. Acknowledge it. Embrace it. Learn from it.
  10. Travel. Travelling has truly made me appreciate the world that we live in. It has also made me thankful for the things that I have and the fact that I have the ability to visit amazing places year on year.
  11. My mother is always right. I mean.
  12. Support those who support you. It’s a two-way street! 
  13. Say yes to going out. Not everyday Netflix, you know. There have been a few work occasions where I’ve actually said yes and found myself having a good time!
  14. Life is too short to hate. It’s a very draining emotion, honestly. Just be kind.
  15. Save, save, save. I’m not gonna lie, you’ll most likely be poor in your 20s but if you save even a little bit, it goes a long way!
  16. It’s okay to cry. Sometimes you just gotta let it out.
  17. Everyone has their bad days. Yup! You can’t constantly be upbeat 24/7.
  18. Don’t compare your life with others. In an age of social media, it can be very easy to look at other people’s lives and wonder why yours isn’t as fulfilling as theirs looks, but that’s the keyword: looks. Everything we put on social media is a glossed version of what our lives truly are. So focus on yourself!
  19. I will never love anything as much as I love reading. How could I? It’s so easy to slip into another world and escape for a few hours and not worry about anything.
  20. Laughter is essential. Life can be exhausting! Laughter and good company can cure that.
  21. You gotta werk. Nothing in life is free, so if you want something you gotta werk for it. It’s all worth it in the end, though.
  22. You are who you are because of the people you surround yourself with. So you see that toxic person in your life? You better cut it.
  23. Failure is okay. Because before you can succeed, you have to fail – success will be all be sweeter that way, as well.
  24. Take loads of photos. Honestly, do it. Think in a couple of years you can look back on those photos and remember fond memories.
  25. Gratitude. I am thankful that I have reached the grand old age of 25 and I have the support of my friends and family and I’m actually doing okay. 👍🏾

Last little tidbit of wisdom: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own