Browsing Category

Uncategorized

Carnivalrio
Uncategorized

The Most Popular Festivals Around The World in February

Summer is still a long way off, but with all the holiday rush behind us now, February is still a great month for that short & sweet vacation. What’s a potentially awesome thing to do on a vacation during this time of year? Go to a festival! There is no shortage of festivals happening worldwide this time of year. Joining in on a city’s festivities will give you a more immersive cultural experience in a very unique and exciting way. Here, we’ve picked out some of the most popular festivals around the world that take place in February.

Pack your bags; we guarantee that this list will fuel your wanderlust. 

Rio Carnival, Brazil

The Rio Carnival Festival in Brazil is also known as the “Celebration of Life,” and it takes place throughout the whole country.

The festival is famous for parading colorful floats surrounded by drummers, dancers, and singers all dressed in elaborate costumes. This festival unites the country into one big, colorful party, and is considered the biggest carnival on Earth, with 2 million people celebrating in the streets each day.


Boliviafestival

Carnival of Oruro, Bolivia

Celebrated in the city of the same name, the Carnival of Oruro is a 200-year-old religious celebration held annually that showcases folklore dances. The festival is on UNESCO’s list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The festival was initially an indigenous festival, but was later converted to incorporate Christian beliefs.

Diablada is the leading traditional dance of the festival. With 10,000 musicians and over 20,000 dancers, the festivities can last up to 20 hours nonstop.


Artdeconz

Art Deco Weekend, New Zealand

After a horrible earthquake in 1931, the city of Napier is now rebuilt in its famous Art Deco style. Every February, the city is filled with people dressed in Deco style riding on old, classic cars, providing the perfect backdrop to this unique festival and attracting visitors from around the globe.

This festival celebrates the “rebirth” of the city after the devastating earthquake.


Yukonsleddogs

Yukon Quest, Canada

The town of Whitehorse, a famous 19th-century gold mining town, is the finish line of the annual Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

The race starts in Fairbanks, Alaska, running along the Yukon River. The Yukon Quest is considered as the “most difficult sled dog race in the world,” with some even calling it the “toughest race in the world”—in some ways tougher than the notorious Iditarod—primarily because of harsh weather conditions and the difficult trail.


Newzealandwinefield

Marlborough Wine Festival, New Zealand

The Marlborough Wine Festival boasts the most successful and longest-running wine festival in New Zealand.

The festival showcases over 200 wines from 40 different wineries and also features New Zealand’s leading performers, who provide entertainment for the festival.


Lakelouiseicesculpture

Winterlude, Canada

The Winterlude Festival, started in 1979, is run by the Department of Canadian Heritage. The Winterlude Festival boasts a 7.8-kilometer skating rink, the largest one in the world.

They also have a huge snow park, the Snowflake Kingdom, with several snow sculptures and ice slides. Another famous site is the Crystal Garden, also known as the Confederation Park. This site features ice lounges, musical concerts, and also hosts ice-sculpting competitions.

Across the Crystal Gardens, you will find the Rink of Dreams, an ice-skating rink that hosts dance parties, interactive art displays, and skating shows throughout the duration of the festival.


Sapporoarches

Sapporo Snow Festival, Japan

The Sapporo Snow Festival is an annual celebration held for seven days in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost prefecture. The main sites of the festival are Susukino, Tsudome, and Odori Park.

As one of the largest winter events, this festival is also known for its distinctive style. Back in 2007, 2 million people visited Sapporo to join in on the festivities. This festival also hosts an International Ice Sculpting Event where, in 2008, 14 teams from different regions around the globe took part.

The snow festival started as a one-day event back in the 1950’s, when high school students built snow sculptures in Odori Park.


Mardigrasparade

Mardi Gras, New Orleans

This world-famous festival is celebrated for two weeks before Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent for Christians.

This event is known for its colorful and lively parades lined with colorful floats. There are several parades that march each day (if the weather permits). The largest and most elaborate parades happen during the last five days of the celebration. Many events occur in the final week of the celebration throughout New Orleans and its surrounding communities.

Social clubs, called krewes, organize these events and the parade routes each year. People aboard the floats toss throws to the crowd below. These throws vary from colorful beads to inexpensive toys. Sometimes, even lingerie is thrown!


 Wherever you travel, taking part in festivals like those on our list will definitely spice things up on your adventure. Not only will you have a better trip, you will also undoubtedly have a deeper connection with the place, the local people, and their culture.

Whether you’re partying in New Orleans or cozying up in some classy hotel in the city of Napier, a rich, unforgettable experience is guaranteed.

Eiffeltowerparis
Uncategorized

The Most Romantic Cities Around the Globe

Traveling can be fun and exciting. Traveling with your significant other can make the whole experience a lot better. Walking down a cobblestone road hand-in-hand, sipping coffee from an overlooking balcony, or sharing a kiss at a beautiful garden, the possibilities are endless.

Here are some destination ideas for a romantic getaway with your special someone this 2018:

Québec City, Canada

Québec City is easily one of the top romantic destinations in North America.

With a distinct European charm, this city is great for couples looking for perfect photo-ops. Cobblestone streets lined with the beautiful architecture of galleries and boutiques make for that ideal romantic stroll. If you get tired of walking, you can go from point-to-point with a lovely carriage ride that can also take you to one of the city’s many restaurants.

If you travel to Québec City during the winter, you and your S.O. can head to the Place D’Youville for ice-skating. And of course, the jewel of the city, the Historic District of Old Québec, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site brimming with that traditional charm.

Frontenacquebec

Bruges, Belgium

Want a real-life fairytale experience?

Bruges is exactly that.

The old cobblestone streets are lined with picturesque bistros, boutiques, and chocolate shops. Strolling along the canals while looking for beautiful swans, riding a horse-drawn carriage, or touring the narrow streets and squares are perfect activities to do with your significant other.

You should also take your S.O. to the historical medieval center, another UNESCO Heritage Site on our list. After doing all that, climb 366 steps up the Belfry for an incredible view of this magical village.

Brugesbelfry

Istanbul, Turkey

If you’re looking for a romantic getaway in a historical city, Istanbul is definitely for you.

Istanbul is full of historical landmarks like the Hagia Sophia, a former Christian basilica converted to a mosque when the Ottomans took over; the Topkapi Palace Museum, former home of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire; and the Basilica Cistern, an ancient underground waterway.

After exploring Istanbul’s history, you can take your S.O. to the modern part of the city, the Beyoglu district. Along the Bosphorus Strait (a body of water that separates Asia and Europe) is the perfect place for strolling with your S.O. and where you can watch the sunset sky as it changes color.

Istanbul

Marrakesh, Morocco

If it’s an exotic getaway you and your S.O. are looking for, Marrakesh will suit your taste.

When scouting for a romantic destination, Marrakesh probably won’t be the first to come to mind, but the exciting and lovely adventures that can be had here can enchant any couple, from watching the snake charmers, to exploring the local markets, to taking refuge in charming hotels called riads.

The landscapes in Marrakesh are also guaranteed to take your breath away, with majestic views of the Atlas Mountains and the vastness of the Sahara Desert.

Marrakeshmorocco

Buenos Aires, Argentina

If you want to take your loved one to Buenos Aires, you better get your dancing shoes ready, as this is the birthplace of tango. A multicultural city, Buenos Aires is for the couple who love art.

Take a tango class in La Boca, a district in the city that’s full of colorful eye candy.

Take to the streets with your S.O. and appreciate the charming architecture of the old buildings or shop at the small, lively local markets. After having dinner, head to a bar and dance the night away with your loved one.

Caminitobuenosaires

Kyoto, Japan

Peace and tranquility – these are what await you and your S.O. in Kyoto.

At every turn, you can get an Instagram-worthy picture with your loved one. The cherry blossom trees (in full bloom during the spring), the beautiful temples, the Kyoto Botanical Gardens, and even the verdant open spaces can give any couple lasting memories of this romantic getaway.

Kyoto1000arches

Venice, Italy

Featured in several Hollywood movies, Venice is one of the first to cross your mind when thinking of a romantic destination.

And why wouldn’t it be?

This beautiful coastal town is sure to captivate any couple. The narrow lanes, the old charming bridges, and all of their surrounding beauty will make your romantic getaway a memorable one. And of course, a trip to Venice wouldn’t be complete without a gondola ride down the famous canals. And after catching a beautiful sunset, end the day romantically with a candlelit dinner at one of the city’s many restaurants.

Venicegondola

Vilnius, Lithuania

The city of Vilnius in Lithuania is the perfect destination for that quick romantic getaway.

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the old historical center of the city is filled with picturesque cobblestone alleyways, perfect for that ideal leisurely stroll with your S.O. Marvel at the Baroque architecture of the buildings as you and your special someone visit the Verkiai Palace, another historical landmark in the city full of gardens and lakes you and your S.O. can explore.

Uzupis, an area adorned with bohemian art, is another must-visit location in Vilnius and perfect for the art-loving couples out there.

Vilniuslithuania

Paris, France

We’re pretty sure anyone would agree that Paris is made for lovers and is one of the most romantic destinations in the world. Explore Paris through the cobblestone streets of Montmartre as you and your S.O. marvel at the breathtaking views of the “City of Lights”. Cozy up with your loved one in a romantic French restaurant which, if you’re lucky enough, could be a reservation for one of the private rooms of the famous La Pérouse restaurant.

And, of course, a romantic getaway in Paris wouldn’t be complete without a tour of the world-famous Eiffel Tower, where thousands of brave souls have asked that life-changing “yes or no” question. The Eiffel Tower is even lovelier in the evening, when it is lit up in all its glory.

Eiffeltowerparis

Rome, Italy

Brimming with old-world charm, Rome, without a doubt, is one of the best romantic destinations in the world. Walk down the historic streets hand-in-hand and take in all the awe and beauty of Rome’s architecture.

If you and your S.O. are into sweets, head to one of Rome’s gelaterias to sample the delicious gelato they offer. If you’re the artsy type of couple, head off to the Borghese Gallery, where they feature pieces from world-renowned artists like Caravaggio, Raphael, and Bernini, to name a few.

After all that walking and sightseeing, couples can rest and relax in the Borghese Gardens, with its lush green plants and verdant landscapes. To wrap up your day, dine at a classy Italian restaurant like The Library for a very memorable, romantic dinner.

Romecolumns

All these cities can make for a memorable romantic getaway. But the beauty of each city mentioned above isn’t really what makes it special. It’s the love shared by couples that really makes it a memorable experience. Whether you’re at a temple in Kyoto or riding a gondola in Venice, it’s the special moments that you share with your special someone that truly make the destination special.

Backpack and Clothes
Uncategorized

Choosing the Right Travel Backpack

More than just a vessel, the travel backpack is the quintessential piece of gear for seasoned long-term vagabonds, digital nomads, and solo adventurers the world over. Because it’ll be your constant companion as you explore lands unknown, it really pays to do some in-depth research to see what options are available on the market today and what will best suit your needs.

What features should you look at when you’re trying to choose a travel backpack?

Size and Fit

Just how much do you want/need to carry with you?

Obviously, since you’ll have your backpack on your shoulders a large part of the time, a pack that is too big and heavy will wear you out. Most backpackers are somewhere between the minimalist “ultralight” travelers that pare down their essentials into a single 20L bag or those that are OK with carrying extra items like camping gear in a 75L-80L pack half their size. The vast majority go with a bag between 35 to 45 liters – right around maximum carry-on size for most airlines.

A second point is the backpack’s fit – like trying on a new suit or pair of shoes, you want to make sure the backpack’s shape and weight distribution is comfortable on your back for a decent period of time. This is especially important if you’re not looking at hiking packs that are specifically ergonomically designed for long treks.

If at all possible, see if you can try out the backpack before you buy it. Trying to lug around an uncomfortable backpack for possibly months on end will make your trip seem never-ending, and not in a good way.

Purpose/Functionality

Aside from work backpacks and more student-oriented school book bags, there are a few other broad categories of backpack available on the market, including:

Hiking packs

Choosing a Day Packs

  • These are designed for holding larger outdoor gear and withstanding rugged outdoor adventures

  • Since users are expected to carry hiking packs on their backs for long periods of time, their components (straps, frame, etc.) are usually more ergonomically designed and so are more comfortable

  • Most are over the maximum carry-on size – 55L and up – so you’ll need to check it in if you’re flying

Below are our favorite backpacking packs for the 2017 season, from ultralight bags for minimalists and thru-hikers to comfort-oriented options for weekend warriors and extended trips.


Daypacks

Choosing a Day Pack

  • Smaller bags/backpacks frequently used for streamlined urban transit or brief wilderness outings. Holds just enough for a few core essentials of your choice plus some goodies.

  • Lightweight and low-capacity, so they’re ideal for a day of activities around the town or short outings (hence the label “daypack”)

  • Usually under 25L in size

  • Not likely to be your only bag unless you’re an ultralight backpacker or on a short trip

Bottom line, never underestimate the value of a good travel day pack on a trip. While there are many brands and price points to choose from, these versatile day packs are perfect for any active vacation or urban travel if a backpack is more your style.


Travel Backpacks

Travel Pack

  • In recent years, many backpacking brands have begun producing backpacks that are great for traveling and also function well as luggage

  • A travel backpack is optimized for air travel and maxes out at the carry-on size limit; usually 25-45L in size

  • Easier to pack/unpack because they open up like a suitcase, compared to hiking packs in which everything is loaded/unloaded from the top

Voted, the best carry-on travel backpack by Wirecutter, the Tortuga Travel Backpack is also our top choice when choosing a travel pack.

Features

There is no perfect catch-all backpack that’s perfectly suited for everybody. Therefore, the best backpack for you depends on exactly what you want out of said backpack.

For example, do you take your work on the road? Perhaps you’d like a bag with a dedicated, secure laptop compartment. Do you like camping while you travel? Having a backpack with enough space for a tent you can pitch anywhere will likely be worth the extra cost in check-in fees for you.

What all should you look at?

Security

Walking through the streets of a new city, sharing a hostel dorm with twenty strangers, or finding yourself possibly thousands of miles away from anybody you know: the inherent risks involved in traveling call for taking certain measures to keep you – and your stuff – safe and secure.

Nearly every travel backpack nowadays is designed with strong double zippers, allowing you to deter potential thieves with a locking mechanism.

Travel Backpack Ergonomics

Proper Backpack Fit Tips

Anybody who’s carried something uncomfortable for more than five minutes knows how much a well-designed backpack can enhance a trip – and how much an uncomfortable backpack can ruin one.

Make sure you’re 100% committed to and head-over-heels passionate about the backpack you choose, as it’ll become your trusty traveling companion that you carry through each new city.

Check for features like padded straps, a chest strap, or a hip belt. These may seem trivial, but they go a long way in helping distribute the weight across more of your body and lighten the stress on your back.

Like I mentioned earlier, the surefire way to know whether a backpack fits you well is by going to a store where you can physically try them out before purchasing them, something you obviously can’t do shopping online.

Compartments

There’s a happy medium when it comes to compartments.

You might swear profusely trying to easily locate your stuff in a pack full of nooks and crannies. But it is good to have a few dedicated spaces for things like laptops and other valuables, or important documents like passports that you may need to take out quickly. Water bottle holders are also nice.

Extras

After figuring out the big stuff, whittle your way down to the minutiae – any seemingly minor design and logistics considerations that significantly affect the backpack’s performance.

One thing you should check is the material of your bag.

A great backpack doesn’t need to be waterproof, but it should at least be water resistant in case you find yourself caught in the rain. Another thing to consider is the style – this boils down to preference, but a more inconspicuous-type backpack may help make you look less like a foreign backpacker who could be an easy target.

A great travel backpack constitutes not only features that suit your needs and travel style, but also one that is durable and intelligently designed – equipped with comfort and security features that hold up to a variety of situations, whatever corner of the world you may be in.

Love of a Lifetime
Uncategorized

The Love of a Lifetime

The way it makes me feel. Like Im not alone when I am, like I shouldnt care that I dont know what certainty lies ahead, so I dont.
The way it makes me feel. Like for the first time I am me, in all my true essence, like no matter what happens tomorrow, this moment is all that I am concerned with and finally I live in it, I live in that moment.
The way it makes me feel. With her gleaming hills and wondrous earthlings, walking, talking, breathing, feeling.
I see an all forgiving atmosphere that welcomes all and succumbs to the hope of a more humane tomorrow.
The way it makes me feel. Naturally, loving, wholesome and free.
An inner guide to me. I dont fall because it holds me up, I rise with her each day, as the fog rolls through, my heart does too. And I know that with each day given in this feminine, holistic, emotionally enriching city is a gift.
The way it makes me feel. Like when your riding your bike really fast and you slowly start to let go of the handle bars, straightening your back and raising your arms, you soar like an eagle, as you scream into the open air with pride.
Pride. The way it fills me with pride. For myself, for those around me, for the city of excelling love.
The way it makes me feel. Infinite.
Thats it, thats the word The way it makes me feel, Infinite.

Traveling Cross Country
Uncategorized

A Cross Country Change

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls. Joseph Campbell

On the 21st of last September, the day after my 22nd birthday, I was sitting at my couch surfers home in Austin, Texas. Hung over and hurting I had not much hope of accomplishing much that day besides feeling sorry for myself differing with an overwhelming feeling of complete and utter happiness and contentedness.

I still remember pulling out my leather journal, turning the pages to my next blank canvas and finding the words to create what feelings I had in hopes of one day, re-reading them, and remembering, if not (hopefully) still living those words.

A few days ago, I found that page, amongst others, lingering through my fingertips, the words awaiting me, like I knew they would, that feeling still lingers, and that means, that last September, above every thing else, I knew that the moment I experienced the other day was only yet to come.

I wrote about timing. About serendipitous moments. I wrote about the things that can happen when you learn to trust in your decisions, and you take the plunge to get to where you need to be.

Today, I am where I need to be, and today I will write again about what that can be like for us all. To be right where you need to be.

So for those of you who dont know, in one of my last blog posts I wrote about a flight I was suppose to get on to fly me across the country to Western Australia (from Sydney). I ever so reluctantly missed my flight for confusion flooded my mind of who I was, what I was doing with my life, and who I needed to surround myself with.

A week later I realised that who I was, continues to be created every day, what I am doing with my life is nothing of the typical, certain type, and who I needed to surround myself with is people who would help me in creating that person that is evolving every day, and more than anyone else, I needed to surround myself with well me.

My flight may have been missed but in this day and age, you come to realise that missed flights are irrelevant and not fun to dwell on and a new flight, is still as thrilling and experimental as ever.

I packed my backpack once more, I bid farewell to those I loved, and I once again set off for a new adventure. This time the adventure led me to a shiny new state in my OWN country. Something I had dreamed of doing for a while, and something that I believe, we should all experience. To better understand our own land, our own heritage, and for like any other reason we travel and move around, to experience the unknown.

We all want to fly to Asia and try living in Northern Thailand teaching English, or try a semester abroad in the US, maybe a summer in France or a snow season in Canada. But so many off us never really stop to consider that maybe our own country could fill that void of excitement and wanderlust we crave so much, that our new adventure, could be to stay.

If there is one thing I am good at, it is timing. I might miss a flight here, change directions there, but my timing is a damn thing of beauty.

Since arriving in WA and settling myself down for the coming winter months in the beautiful south-west of Margaret River, life could in no way be better (except maybe if I could score a full time job). For whatever reason, I could feel that universal pull, grasping at me, whispering in my ear, plain as day and clear as night, and I listened, and what extravagantly wonderful things have happened from listening to my intuition, to trusting in my decisions.

Prevelly Beach, WA

Here are some reasons why moving cross country will be the best decision you ever made;

  • A fresh start is always encouraged Whether your stuck in a dead end job, your lost in the world (or maybe your just lost in your own head), youve gone through a bad break-up, or youve just had enough of your routine, a fresh start is a way to kindly state out with the old and in with the new. But fresh starts dont just have to something that comes to one in a negative situation. They can come at any time in our lives, when we need them, for you as your singular self, or perhaps with your significant other, a best friend, or your whole family.
  • A thrilling adventure For travellers who have returned home, life can quickly become dull. Youve just come back from this ultra magnificent trip of a lifetime. Youve had an excruciatingly awesome experience in the middle of the desert in Central America involving Ayahuasca and discovered the meaning of life, then you continued to Spain and walked the Road to Santiago, alone yet never so compelled and driven. Now your back to reality, to real life. Your parents are still with the, So now youve seen the world are you FINALLY ready to settle down and study?, and your friends, though they mean well, somehow just dont get your new spiritually awakened self. The only thing left for you at your home town is your old room and home cooked meals from your mum whilst this is probably one of the most comforting, lovely things after a long voyage, youll soon start to crave the next adventure. The next adventure is a new place, in your home country. And, you know as well as the next person, that after that venture is through, your mum will still be waiting at home to cook you your favourite childhood dish, with arms open and loads of love.
  • You get to create your identity For me, one of the hardest things to go back to back home, is that 16 year old stigma that lingers on all those I grew up around. Although you and those around you have evolved, there is still that younger version of yourself that people you grew up around connect you with. They still see you as that young girl or guy walking the streets of your home town looking for trouble. There is something so unsettling about this, that over the years has time and time again thrown my emotions for a loop. People dont mean to do it, but sometimes you will pick up on a comment that makes you want to scream. This can be especially apparent with parents. When you move to another part of the country you get to leave that stigma behind. You get to be you, in every true essence of yourself.
  • Youll have more time for yourself This is a no-brainer. You move to a new place, you slowly ease into new acquaintances, new friends. This leaves you with time to yourself, to refuel, get in touch with your new surroundings, and maybe even discover or rekindle a past love for something you use to have no time for.
  • New areas to explore For me, moving across from the East coast of Australia to the West is a huge cultural difference. Australia is SO vast and extravagant. Each city, each town, each forest different to the next. Being in Margaret River has so far allowed me to rekindle my love of nature. And because I am new to the area, I have find myself so much more inclined to go out there and discover it all. I know I can do this in Sydney as well, but moving to a new area is moving to a new playground The world is quite literally your oyster.
  • Job prospects broaden Never thought youd be cleaning houses to get by? Working as a volunteer instead of paying rent? Creating your own business to support yourself? Well now is the time to try it out! And why not, you left your old job, (or maybe you got a transfer!) and now you have endless possibilities of ways to support yourself!
  • Youll be the new girl/guy Its fun. Especially in small towns or areas you stay prompt in. No one knows who you are or where you came from, your a mystery!
  • You never know what could be waiting for you on the other side Sometimes the grass really is greener on the other side! But youll never know unless you try right? You will never see what wonderful things awaits your arrival unless you go right ahead and do it, and when you do, youll be surprised (I know I was) at what you have opened yourself up too.

So that is my top pointers of reasons to get out of your comfort zone without crossing oceans or at least to many oceans.

Theres a whole world of opportunities out there, I advise you grab hold of them.

You might think its a mistake, but it could just be the best mistake of your life.

And if its not a potential mistake, well then, it may just be the best decision you ever did make.

Travel Regrets
Uncategorized

10 Regrets You’ll Wish You Didn’t Make

Im no pessimist, I am lucky enough to have never suffered depression and I consider myself a fairly healthy human, but like everyone, I do have my ups and downs through out my life.

I have a tendency to act upon almost every situation I can grasp, impulsively. Right before my mind locks the decision into my head I have this huge wave of contemplation erupt inside me, and many a times it has almost stopped me from doing what I have really wanted to do. But the better half of me, the more exciting, adventurous, scared to hell part of me comes out and grants me the ability to go right ahead and take that crazy risk.

Having said this, yes there has most definitely been times, when I have backed out of decisions I have made.

Shortly after backing out of them I find myself confused and questionable. Ill sit by myself somewhere, usually where I can connect myself with nature, and question the decisions I have made.

We are driven to do certain things and in acceptance with this, we yes, are all meant to be doing these things we have decided upon. We are all meant to be here, for one reason or another. We are all meant to achieve the goals in life we are thrown, and in accordance, I do believe (as corny and generic as it may sound) that everything happens for a reason.

Regrets are a funny thing, we say we regret a decision we have made, say we would have done it differently had we been given another chance. But what if

What if you decided to stay in one place, as opposed to move on to the next even though that was your original plan. Would you have met those people who ignited a joy inside of you that you had forgotten you had?
Would you have gone skinny dipping that night in the ocean, surrounded by others like-minded to you, freeing yourself of any collateral you may hold, even if just only for a few minutes?

If you had the chance to do something over, think about it, question yourself three times right now and ask, would you really do it again? What would it lead you too? What would disappear from your memory had you have the chance to change it?
Best out of three.

A few days ago, after having travelled up the coast of NSW in a car with two friends, I found myself in Byron Bay. A town I hold dear to my heart. I had three ultimatums. Stay in Byron Bay, find a place to live, get work and live the simple life I love in an enchanted area. Jump on my pre-booked flight to Western Australia, to meet a dear friend in the small community town of Margaret River, to of course, live with her and find a job. Or, head back to Sydney, to where I had a potential full-time job already lined up, in a field of work I have been dying to get into.

As I pondered on the decision I needed to make I thought not of what good would come out of them, but what opportunities I would miss if I pick the wrong one.

That afternoon, with only a few hours to define my decision (the flight to WA was the red eye out of the Coolangatta airport in the Gold Coast) I hitch hiked back from Byron Bay to Ballina, where I was staying.

The man who picked me up was one I will think of fondly for ever. In his late 40s, Byron local, had his surfboards on his roof and his fresh fruit and veg in a hand woven basket he sat on my lap.

I spoke of my options, and he spoke of the past decisions in his life that have led him to where he is today. A wise old owl, but something he said to me, right as I was getting out of the car stuck to me like white on rice.
He said, Trust in your decisions.

That night, I made the first decision I have ever really come to regret… Now, days later, I see the good that has come from my decision. But I battled in my head up until about 24 hours ago on what I thought, would shape the rest of my life (I can be a little dramatic sometimes).

That night I missed my flight to WA I sat in bed with one of my best friends who I have spent the last 2 months traveling with world with, Shea. Together, we thought up 10 regrets that to many people in life make.

I guess in hindsight, having only one major regret in my life, at the age of 22, is okay. I am vowing now to never again have any regrets of what I have stated below.

10 regrets youll wish you didnt make:

  1. Not booking that flight you desire so bad This one for me is a no brainer, I am all about impulse flight booking. You have your whole life to lead a 9 to 5 job, if that is even what you want to do (ugh, personally I cant think of anything worse). Is quitting your retail position or your full time barista job at your local cafe really going to affect your resume in the years to come? Plus! Who know what opportunities could present themselves when discovering new places.
    If you see a cheap flight, or you are inclined to head somewhere you have always desired to go, then act now, before you find yourself older, with more commitments, and reluctant to experience the world due to some sort of bitterness that has evolved over time from not letting yourself create your own destiny.
  2. Turning a flight you have previously booked down Ok so I might be all about the impulse flights, but I am also known to redirect myself after booking said flights, and finding myself forfeiting the money I paid. Its what I do. Ask anyone that has met me through my travels, a bunch of them will reply with, Oh yeah I was with Nat when she was supposed to get on that flight to LA from Mexico City… We spent the night on the rooftop of our hostel instead. Though I have not yet learned to just WAIT to book flights to the last minute whilst I travel, because who knows who you could meet the day off, and decide to stay based on someone you have known for less than 24 hours, I have only ever regretted not getting on one flight. Like I said, that flight to WA.
    My regret was followed by confusion on how, after so long of being so sure of myself, of the decisions I make, I couldnt be sure of this. And why my decision, secretly between you and me, was semi based on the fact that if I was to stay on the east coast of Australia, maybe, just maybe, I would get to spend more time with someone I am truly fond of.
    If you book a flight, you have booked it for a reason. It is understood, of course, that life does indeed happen whilst your making other plans, so sometimes flights need to be cancelled. But dont find yourself on the tarmac at the airport because you are frightened of whats ahead of you, because that is the greatest adventure of all.
  3. Letting your shy ego get in the way of finally making you happy Relationships. When it comes down to romantic relationships, Ill admit I know not much of them. However, what I can relate too, is how many of us can finally find someone we can correspond with, someone we connect with, and be too scared to show a romantic interest due to thoughts of rejection and disconnection, have you do tell them your feelings. Up until recently I spent a lot of my time chasing after the wrong people for me, I gave up on that and since then have found real connections (especially through travel) with the men I have come across. Having said this, I am all to familiar with once finding some one I truly care for, and can see a possibly blossoming relationship with, choosing to wither away in hiding because my shy little ego gets the better of me. If you can relate to this, I think the time has come that we all stand up and say fuck it, lets do something about it! Because when it comes down to it, what do we REALLY have to lose?
    A moment of rejection? Yes. Followed by possibly sitting around with a couple of our best friends asking, Why doesnt he see me that way?!? Yes.
    After about 24-48 hours of this we stand up, we get dressed, we walk outside, and we go on with our lives. We are no longer wondering, questioning the What ifs?. Youve probably had a couple epiphanies since confronting him, or her, and you quite possibly could be even surer of yourself, not to mention stronger, having confronted someone you didnt want too!
    When it comes down to it, they are only as human as you are, and who knows, they could be just as scared as you of the rejection you could leave them with. Maybe they are just waiting for you to make the first move Get on with it would you!
  4. Sharing too much time with others, and not with yourself I am a naturally social being. I love being around others, friends, family, and going on adventures with people. I have no problem with dissolving any awkward or quiet situation into the opposite, and I strive when in a group related activity.
    But man oh man, I LOVE my alone time.
    Since I started traveling alone when I was 19, my relationship with myself has blossomed extensively. I have found myself In NYC by myself going to see my favorite bands alone. I have found myself at bars in San Francisco, completely alone, but of course, only leading to making some of the greatest friends I have today from it. I have quietened my mind with the time granted to myself on a farm in Arizona, and hiking trails through Spain would have only meant us much to me as they do because I was entirely alone, and utterly content.
    I have learnt to be alone in nature, in crowds, at home and far from home.
    Being alone, giving yourself time to breathe, relax, reconnect with yourself, and your surroundings, is SO important.
    Some of us need to learn to how to be alone, some of us may already know and just need a little reminder every now and then. A lot of us may be uncomfortable with our own company, you need to over come that and like I said, take the chance to reconnect with yourself. Whether its taking a 20 minute walk through out the day by yourself to reflect on your emotions, or listening to your iPod full blast out on the deck.
    Making time for yourself can lead you to so many wonderful things, new hobbies, realizations and ideas, and of course, what is more important that a loving relationship with ones self?
  5. Saying no to that ridiculous living arrangement Youve had to move out of your home, due to too much rent or too little a space.
    You find yourself questioning how youll survive. Youve crashed a little while on a couple of friends couches and now you have been given with a few ultimatums you never thought youd see yourself in.
    For instance, option one is a caravan in a caravan park. You think of how trashy it is, youve seen Julie Cooper in her trailer trash park when she hits rock bottom (Yes, I totally just made an OC reference, its a damn good show). You turn the caravan down straight away, there is no way you are dealing with them rednecks or bogans. But think about this.
    If you had your own caravan, youd be paying significantly less, you have your OWN space as opposed to paying triple the price and living in a shoe box with 5 other people. You are also more likely to become pretty community based. How many of us can say we know the names of both neighbors on either side of us? It seems to be a dying thing, especially in cities, of knowing who we are sharing our neighborhood with, and I feel there is something quite saddening about that.
    Another option is moving back home with your parents. You have grown up excessively since you last lived with them and you do not want to have to deal with curfews Surely they wont fall into old habits and give you curfews now your older right?
    But just think about all the free delicious meals youd get? All the laundry you wouldnt have to deal with because lets face it, even though our mums say its annoying, shes over doing your laundry, youre not a kid anymore. THEY LOVE IT! They have their babies back at home if only for a little while. May as well milk it hey?
    I myself have found myself spending the night in some pretty crazy places, and I have lived a couple of months here and there in homes I thought I would never find myself in (we wont mention the time I was 18, had nowhere to live, which resulted me and a friend living in a drug dealers studio a couple of months). But you know what, each of those crazy situations, silly sleeping arrangements, I laugh at now, and they have made me who I am today. Exit your comfort zone and realize, to make your life work, maybe youll have to give up your usual nice bedroom for just a couple of nights, or maybe even months, to make something else work for you.
  6. Finding you havent packed enough underwear and socks in your backpack/suitcase This one explains itself. There is nothing worse than traveling and 3 days into your 3 months trip, realizing you only packed 3 pair of undies and 2 pairs of socks. I dont care what anyone says, YOU NEED MORE THAN THAT! Made this mistake to many times.
  7. Snoozing your alarm when you have places to be REGRET! I have found myself in Thailand, Cambodia, Spain, the US, Mexico, in fact pretty much most, if not all countries I have been too. Ready to go in the morning, alarms at the ready that 5:30 alarm for that 6:25 sunrise.
    I walk down to the common room of my hostel the evening before, everyones having a couple of drinks, they ask me to join. Oh why not? I say, just a few before bed THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FEW BEFORE BED WHEN AT A HOSTEL!
    I have missed many a day trips, sunrises and sometimes even sunsets due to this. Instead, I have spent most of these days in bed feeling sorry for myself.
    Take advantage of where you are and if you have places to be, take a night off drinking, or even if your just tired and you snooze just to get a few extra winks of sleep. DONT! You know your alarm with just keep snoozing and youll get fed up and turn it off and miss out on that day trip!
  8. That time you wanted to quit your job but didnt I am not going to linger on this one. All I will say is; Life is too damn short to be in something that is making you unhappy. If you have an itch that you should quit your job, look, you probably should. If you need to find a new one before doing so to support your lifestyle. Then do that. I bet youll be surprised how quickly you can find something new!
  9. Listening to your rents Ok, this one totally depends on who you are, how close you are with your parents, and how wise they both are.
    I know generally all our parents want what is best for us, it is true. But you need to make your own path, your own rules. Your mum and dad are always there to guide you, to help you. But you are your own human, and you need to make your own life, every single person around you will influence what decisions you make. Obviously your parents are a huge part of that influence, but it is up too you and how much you will LET them influence you. I do not always see eye to eye with my mum and dad, but I do know, that they see life to a different extent than me, and I take into consideration everything they say because I know they are saying it because they love me, and they want me to be happy.
  10. Sitting on the beach instead of swimming in the water So your drunk, or your sober. You have just made a group of new magical friends and you all decide, in your wonderful charismatic, eccentric atmosphere, to run down to the beach do you can all go skinny dipping. Youre in your home town, or perhaps your on a beach in Asia, or possibly at a picturesque beach in Portugal. Everyone else is laughing and screaming the lyrics of some generic song, and you are on the sand minding every one else clothes. Get up, get undressed and run into that ocean!
    Being naked is the most natural thing in the world and we are far to obsessed with what we put on our bodies. A couple of minutes of pure wholesome ecstasy shared between wonderful people in a beautiful setting is what we need more of in our lives, and besides, who has ever regretted going skinny dipping? It is, and will continue to be a favorite pastime!

So there you have it folks, I hope this has inspired you in one way or another.

Writing this blog post has helped me just by re-evaluating the past few months and connecting myself with my surroundings of being home!

I hope you have all had a wonderful Easter! I am off to, for the first time in a really long time, find myself a more permanent place to live. 😉

Writing About Love
Uncategorized

If I were to write about love

If I were to write about love, you would come to understand that I am yet to have discovered it in that of the sense of romance.

I myself, have never experienced that essential, undying, ludicrous, romantic love that we all connect ourselves to when we stumble across it. In dire hopes that we won’t be left behind in it, that later on in life it will not hurt us but only continue to nourish and flourish upon us. We all know though, that at one point or another, that love will cause us so much pain we won’t think it possible to go on.

But that, that is not the love I would write about. Yet. As my knowledge in it goes only as far as what lust I have felt, and what happiness has come from different beings in my life that have entered it sharply, vividly, and left with an impact.

I wouldn’t necessarily call these relationships lust. Confusion is involved yes, an utter urge to have them around to complete my existence, yes. But lust some times will portray a negative outlook and that is not the image I would like to portray.

These are the words I wrote a few days ago. I thought them accurate and was content with the fact that, although I am an extremely romantic notional human, the words above described that real love has not yet entered my life.

I saved my work to come back to it at a later date. Today, searching through all my old journals that were stored away, and my two newest journal members from the past 8 months that I added to these piles, I realised that this accusation I have made about myself, is far from true.

Reading through the people I had met and the places I had seen took me back to what I felt when writing them. What I felt, what I still feel, is pure love.

What do I write about when I write about love? Who have I written about?

If I was to write about you now what would I write? How handsome you are with your quirky, shy mannerisms.

When I think of you I smile, and I think of you often. My heart stretches forward and reaches out, but you are nowhere to be found, not in the distance I would like you to be in. I cannot hold you, I cannot feel your breath on my neck, the way you breath making the little hairs on my body stick up and I bite my lips because you make me nervous, but in a good way, oh such a wonderful way.

I wonder how you are doing, if you think of me and what you think about when you do.

Do you think about the stories that are yet to unfold between us?

About the adventures of us, that has really yet to have begun.

I see us riding off into the distance on your motorbike, with San Francisco looming close behind us yet as we drive, our blood pulsating what seems right through me to you, the city that introduced us gets smaller and smaller and soon it is only a speck in the wee distance behind us, and now, we look forward to what is ahead of us.

There are nights we camp hidden in the desert, off the beaten path but not to far from the road that we will continue onto the following day. You next to me, our bodies keep us warm but its only mildly cold anyway because in these visions, when I see you, us, Summer has only just ended, and so, the warmth still lingers. Other nights, we’re in the woods, in cabins. Forest is surrounding us and it’s a little colder. Sometimes we spark a fire and other times we take hot showers to illuminate the frost that has started to surround us. I cook, and you talk to me while I do, lending a hand here and there.

Later on you read, I read… we both read our books, that take us to another place and just before I completely fall through to the realm of dreams you slowly take the book away from my hands, and you guide me to your body.

To me, writing about you is writing about happiness, fondness. How happy I was when I find myself around you. How happy I am when I think of you.
I’m not really sure what kind of love our relationship will evaluate too but I am sure it will be some kind of love, and if it ends, nothing but humble memories will captivate my head when I speak your name.

I guess that in its own way is already love.

I am no professional on the subject of love. But who is?
A lot of people say it is better to have lived and felt the pain you feel, then to not know of the subject that caused you that pain in the first place at all. I agree.
Because as hard as it is to breathe in the air every day, not knowing when I will see you next. As hard as it to accept even that my home, the only place I have EVER felt at home, is somewhere in the far distance, waiting for me to arrive once again, each time a little older, with that gleaming smile across my face, but somehow foreseeing that it will never be as soon as we both want it to be. I could never imagine not knowing about the city that stole my heart. And I shudder to think of a world where I missed out on experiencing all of earths minerals and oxygen with you.

To me, love is freedom. Love for yourself, your true self. Allowing yourself freedom. Love for those who make you feel free, and who help you in one way or another, manifest your freedom into your reality… And the love you find in a place or a time, finding that special place. That place you had been dreaming off, that allowed you to finally truly be free.
Love is that city that created me.

Grenada Sunset
Uncategorized

The Wholesome Granada

A couple of nights ago I was sitting on the roof top of my hostel in Granada, Spain, with a bunch of new friends that, for the past week, have become like family to me. There was about 10 of us up there; Germans, New Zealanders, Lithuanians, Americans etc

We were crowded around the small terrace, huddled under blankets and keeping close for extra warmth. One guitar getting passed around as we sung the classics and listened to those who, so musically talented, could bring tears to your eyes from their own words they have turned into music.
I looked around at my surroundings. I saw one of my closest friends from Australia sitting beside me, I saw my new tightly knit family smiling, singing, some with their eyes open, some with their eyes closed.

To me, this was a perfect moment of clarity. I felt humble, whole, loved and enlightened. You could feel the connection pulsating from one soul to the next, nothing needed to be said about it, it was just so.

Last night me and 3 friends, new and old, decided to indulge ourselves in some afternoon tapas.

We set out from our hostel to the lively late Saturday afternoon streets of Granada in search for some cheap, delicious food.

After finding a small pub with vegetarian options we sat down, ordered sangria and started chatting.

Nora, one of the first girls I met in Granada started talking about how perfect the night on the roof was.

From this we started talking about the love we have come across in our travels, and how Granada has over and over again, given us so many of these moments filled with so much love and beauty.

Happiest little Vegemite in Granada.

Nora told us one of her favorite moments in Granada. She was at a party at her friends house. She walked into the kitchen and saw two of her friends. One cupping the others hands, looking at each other with so much adoration, and speaking words pure to each other. This moment, for Nora, was another one of those that fills you to the bring with an overwhelming abundance of gratitude.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling a somewhat deranged. I realized that it was my last night in Granada. I was planning to hitch hike to Valencia, a city north from here. Valencia was to be my pit stop to Barcelona, a way to shorten the road between Granada and Barcelona.

For the first time in a long time I felt truly heart-broken to have to leave a place that I have fallen head over heels for.

As the day went on I found myself conjuring up illusive ideas in my head of how to stay in Granada longer.

My emotions were running along side a roller coaster, I thought it would be best to write it out. I pulled out my journal and as I unwrapped the leather string that ties my journal shut, a tiny piece of paper that I thought I had lost a few weeks back fell out.

It was a fortune I had received from a fortune cookie. Not only was this the only fortune cookie I have ever received that has had any kind of significant meaning to me, but it is one that came to me through a very special person. A boy I met in San Francisco, who I of course have written about in my past posts, and who I will forever remember.

I remember cracking open the cookie and pulling out the note, looking at Steven as he asked me to read it aloud.

As the words left my mouth I felt the connection that drove me to him, to San Francisco, and to my own being. I felt clarity.

The cookie reads; You never hesitate to tackle the most difficult situations.
The truth in this fortune is accurate, and having this fall into my lap last night I was reminded that with each difficult situation, a good bye, running out of money, a disagreement or whatever it may be, it is no situation that you cant overcome.

I was reminded to live in the now, and everything else will follow.

Now, obviously, these moments come to those not only who travel, but to all. No matter how small it is, you can see something, feel something, and for a minute or two, you feel nothing but complete and utter content, happiness.

One moment of clarity, enlightenment, spiritual connection, or whatever you would like to call it, can give you so much. It can change the course of your life.

So don’t let them fall at the waist side. When they are happening, stay conscious, take it in, and appreciate the wonderful world around you.

As for me, I think Ill stick around Granada a little while longer.

Hitchhiking
Uncategorized

The Dos and Donts of Hitchhiking

Traveling through this crazy world I have set up camp on many a road to broaden my horizon to my next destination. But as an anonymous source once quoted, Life is a journey, not a destination. I certainly agree with this quote, as much as each destination you visit is a part of your journey, the journey in itself will influence you in extraordinary ways.

Getting from one place to another can be trying, it can test your limits and make you border on insanity. We have all had those flights we have missed due to turning up to the wrong airport, or having your boarding gate close 5 minutes prior to your arrival. We have all had those rookie bus tricks with mental drivers, or a ferry ride in rough conditions, or a road trip gone horribly wrong and finding yourself 2 hours out from the road your meant to be following.

These things make your stronger, you want to cry at the time, your frustration has been put to the absolute limit and you question why you left your comfort zone in the first place, but fast forward to how ever long later when you are reunited with your family in your home town, or lazing on a beach in the tropics, and it all becomes clear, that no matter what stress you are put through getting there or getting home, its worth it.

Hitch hiking has been my primary mode of transport the past 6 months. I have stood in the sweltering heat in the middle of summer in Arizona with my thumb out, sweating and thirsty wondering what the hell I am doing by myself, in quite literally the middle of nowhere. From one extreme to the next, I have stood on the side of a ride in Holland, with a native, in December, trying to hitch a ride before the snow starts to set in. It has tested me, but I have gained so much from these experiences.

If you choose to hitch hike, there is a couple of courtesy tips you should know, some Dos and Donts. Here are some that I travel by when hitching cross countries.

Do  Take water and snacks. There is nothing worse then waking up at 5AM, heading out onto the highway where you are surrounded by nothing but concrete and cars, and realizing that as well as not having had any breakfast, you have left your water and snacks at home. You never know how long you are going to be on the road for, or in a car for. Snacks and water especially, is a MUST. Dont catch yourself out in the heat with no water on you. My go to hitching snacks include; multiple apples and bananas, muesli bars, nuts and cans of chickpeas.

Dont  Dress promiscuously. OK, this one if mainly for the ladies. Putting yourself out on an open road is already a bit of a risk, minimize your risk by dressing accordingly. Its better to be picked up covered as opposed to picked up wearing a short skirt thats blowing in the wind, and a shirt that shows more of your chest than the fabric itself. I understand if its the middle of summer and you dont want to wear jeans or leggings out in the heat, so just put on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, and above all, dress comfortably.

Read the directions and directly you will be directed in the right direction. Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

Do  Know where your going. If you only have a vague idea of the direction your aiming for, how do you expect the people who are kind enough to pick you up to be able to help you get closer to where you need to be. I dont carry a map when hitching, but it is a good idea. I usually write down in full description in my note book that I keep in my bag, where and how to get to where I am heading. I also usually open up google maps on my iPhone and screen shot a couple of photos of the route I need to take.

Dont  Refuse an invitation. If someone stops for you, and they are heading even just a couple of kilometers down the road, take them up on their offer. All you can do is get a little closer to you destination, plus, they might move you to a better hitch spot.

Do  Listen to your gut instinct. Call it intuition or maybe just a hunch, but you feel it, its there, and you have it for a reason. Trust you body. If a car pulls up, winds down their window and asks where youre heading and you get a negative or weary reaction, kindly thank them and decline their offer. Putting yourself out there in this world is a great thing, but you must be a good judge of character, and be able to feel your way out of some situations. I may be a little naive, but I pride myself in being a good judge of character and I also dont lack common sense. These skills have gotten me safely from A to B around the world, with only a few minor problems that in the end, I have obviously worked through and learnt from. 😉

Dont Be rude. Show the proper etiquette and practice your politeness. If someone has taken the time to pick you up and help you on your journey, odds are they are interested in your life. Tell them your story and listen to theirs. Know what lines not to cross, and befriend the silence. You wont be speaking every minute of your road trip, and thats ok, learn to be silently comfortable, its a beautiful thing.

Were all mad here. The Cheshire Cat, Alice in Wonderland

Do Be prepared to lose your mind. Especially if you are riding solo. You may be on that road for hours on end, watching cars go by and cursing them as they do. Youll talk to yourself, make up games in your head, create new lyrics to old songs and maybe even shed a tear of frustration. Your not alone, we all go a little mad sometimes. Standing on a road waiting for a ride can be daring and mentally dangerous sometimes, know that when you come out of it, you will be mentally gratefully. Going just a little insane can be a quite eye opening.

Dont  Worry about a thing. You have made it this far, and the world is with you. Your universe is looking out for you, and we are after all, all but one. Humans are incredible things, its our instinct to help each other out, its in our blood. That is a pretty wonderful thought. Have your wits about you and dont lack your common sense, but you know as well as I do, with that wonderful positive energy you set out on the road, to follow through with your journey, will bring you great experiences. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

Happy hitching!

London Sightseeing
Uncategorized

6 Penniless Ways To Keep You Occupied In London

So we all know that London is undeniably one of the most expensive cities in the world.

In fact, recently, London over took Hong Kong as being the most expensive city to live and work in.

It is said to be twice as pricey as living in Sydney. To me that is just insanity, Sydney is already hard enough to get by in, and we are getting paid quite literally twice as much as what any 20-something-year-olds in London are getting paid.

I take my hat off to all of you crazy Australians who come to London, especially those with minimal money, and start a life here. After getting paid $22.50 an hour as a casual in Australias entrepreneurial supermarket Woolworths, I cant imagine starting up a shitty 12 hour job in London getting paid minimum wage.

Having said that, London is an incredible city. I was surprised and taken aback at how quickly I started to like London, especially because coming back to London was something I initially did not want to do. You may have to deal with grumpy women and men aging from 18-50 plus through peak hour on the tube, and wear multiple layers during winter just to enter a pub and have to strip back down to a t-shirt and jeans, but this city sure does have something about it that keeps pulling me in.

Maybe its the fact that this International city has all kinds of independent human travelers from every centre of the earth, people who come here as a pit stop to enter Europe, inspired people who come here for the opportunities that perhaps Sydney, New York or Tokyo may not be able to offer their career, and people who, having been sick of their day-to-day life back home, book a one way flight to London in hopes of something fresh, something a little more exciting and eccentric.

Whatever it is I have really enjoyed my past week here, being a traveler, traveling on literally nothing, London to me was a gate way to becoming super thin as I wouldnt be able to afford to eat, and a harsh haven of bitter cold that I would come to resent it for.

Instead, I have eaten an abundance of food and I have been walking around wearing less than what I was in Germany (which to me is heaven in itself). It may be cold, but my Aussie thick summer skin has started to evolve to the European winter, and I may be broke, but I am definitely not going without food and water.

Who said being a broke traveler in London had to be expensive? Here are some ways to explore the city and enjoy your time in London without spending a dime.

1. Walk

Ok I know right now its Winter. But that is no excuse not to walk here and there, youre traveling, youre in no rush to get to work. Put on an extra layer of clothing and get out and enjoy that hour walk to Camden, or the London Bridge! After all, the cold weather probably means you havent been doing as much exercise as you should be anyway. London is a beautiful city to get lost in, and people, although they might seem a little bitter, can be super helpful and friendly, I doubt anyway would be rude to you if you walk up to them with a smile on your face and your radiating that positive energy out from you from walking the streets of a new city! A brisk walk every day will also help with your blood circulation, which in winter can go a bit astray. Getting your body moving and your blood circulation flowing will help your immune system fight off any nastys that try to invade you over winter. It will help all those fluids and nutrients in your body flow the way they are supposed to flow and it will help your body proportion the heat you so desperately need. As well as that, it will get rid of any toxins you may have throughout the body (beer and wine to name just two).

2. Museums (but especially The Natural History Museum)

If you think you dont like museums, think again. Londons Natural History Museum has something for everyone! I have been there twice in the past week, spent easily over 4 hours there, and I am still going back for more tomorrow. It is so much fun, so interesting, and completely free! The Natural History Museum is open from 10:00AM to 6:00PM. I am not a big museum girl, I dont really understand modern art and I have such a short attention time span that I just cant concentrate long enough to take anything of museums in, but when entering this museum, my eyes as big as a fishes, my attention span grew and I was that of a small child in a candy store. I have never been so enthralled in a museum before. If you get to this museum and you feel its not for you (very unluckily) then take appreciation to the architecture of the building. Inside you will find that each terracotta tiling that that rises up to the ceiling of this beautifully built building, has different animals and plants creeping and carved up them. Snakes slither up the sides as well as birds flying towards the top. The building was first opened in 1881, it is a historical landmark in itself without even looking at what it holds inside of it.

As well as this museum you can also add the Science Museum, National Gallery, National Maritime Museum, Tate Museum and the Imperial War Museum to the penniless pleasures of London.

A little monkey creeping up the Natural History Museum

3. Dumpster Dive

Yes, it is what you think. Dumpster diving is a fun, vibrant way to get yourself some food for free! Think about how many sandwiches Starbucks make each day and dont get eaten, how many bakeries bake fresh pastries every morning that they can only sell until they close that night. How many fruit and vegetables come in and out of our super markets everyday, they get bruised or a little battered and are seen as unfit fruit to feed us (they can be kept in freezers for months and shipped half way across the world but if they fall on the ground for less than 5 seconds they are trash, how can you justify that?). Dumpster diving, or dumpster searching is a way to minimize waste and it wont put a dent in your bank account! In London, my usual way of Dumpster diving, (going to the back of unspoiled bins of big co-operations and swimming through their bins for goodies) is a little hard as most super markets here have a inclosed area where they have their waste. However, London is home to many a Starbucks, Pret-A-Manger, Eat, Costa, and hundreds of bakeries. If you are aware of what time the one you are closest to closes, you can usually gain a few not even day old pastries or sandwiches from behind the store! Sometimes you can even go in and politely ask them if they are about to throw out their food, would they mind giving you some to take home. This of course doesnt always work, employees can be scared to get in trouble from their bosses, or bosses can be reluctant as they dont want a law case on their hands, but if you never ask you shall never receive! There is a whole community of people all over the world who get food from alternate, creative ways that are non-cost affective, support a minimalistic lifestyle and provide freedom of food for thought whilst supporting our environment instead of hurting it. For instance, some of these people are known as Freeganisms. There are websites to help you sort through some trash and to help you start a life of Freeganisming. Try looking on trashwiki.org or freeman.info for some inspiration on getting creative with feeding yourself and others. Also, there is a wonderful collective called Food Not Bombs, an all-volunteer run community that collects food that would other wise go to waste, and feeds it to others. They are world-wide and anyone is welcome to join the movement to help collect, cook, feed and eat. I am going to one of their free lunches this Friday! Like their page on Facebook to hear more about them or read about them here: foodnotbombs.net or alternatively on Wikipedias page foodnotbombswiki.

4. Drink some tea and get to know the locals

I cannot even express how much fun I have had the past week, sitting on the couch, at the table or lying on the floor, drinking copious amounts of tea, with the three girls I have been staying with in London. There is something about London apartments/houses. They are so quaint and architecturally different to those of what I have back home in Australia, you look out the frosted window and you see that grey British sky with a little bit of blue seeping through, the birds are still chirping and depending on where you are, you can faintly hear the tube passing by, making its way around the city. Herbal Tea is a part of my every day life, but since being in Europe and especially London, tea has become my savior. There is just absolutely nothing better than sitting down with good company, a cuppa in your hand, and chatting about well absolutely anything! From how everyones day was, to what is next to come in each others lives, to (and yes Ill admit it) a little bit of guilty pleasure gossiping. A free event for all, a great way to warm yourself up and connect with those in your life around you, whether its reconnecting, or connecting for the first time, tea can open you up to those around you.

5. Pubs and bars

Who says you need to go to a bar and spend a stupid amount of pounds on your beer. The pubs in London are those of that as well as being a way to keep out of the cold, are also a cultural kind-of thing to do. AND! Usually the pubs have a whole range of board games for you and your friends to sit down and enjoy! Last night I spent a good hour and a half asking my friends questions from Trivial Pursuit. We were tempted to play Guess Who, and give a few card games a go but we had to meet a few others at another pub that was to full and loud to play any games.

Its such a great way to pass the time, next time you go out have a few drinks (if youre a drinker, for me this isnt an issue, as I no longer really drink besides perhaps your casual glass of red every now and then) at home before heading out, so that when you get out you dont have to waste so much money on alcohol Or alternatively, just dont drink!

6. London Markets

The London markets, a great day event that will leave you full from all the free taste testers, and inspired to create some delicious new meals of your own, or maybe start up some new crafts. I LOVE markets, it is a dream of mine to make my way around the world selling the crafts I create and the food I make. So for me, markets are a great way for inspiration and I usually get so caught up with whats around me it pushes me to create new ideas and plans on how I am going to construct it into my life. My favorite markets are usually those you find at small festivals or country towns (If you are ever in Ireland and find yourself near West Corks countryside, ask about the markets that get shipped each weekend to the different small county towns that lie near the waters edge, they are MAGNIFICENT), but Londons markets are really something else! My favorite are the Camden Lock markets. I love Camden, it is my favorite area in London, I have met some of my favorite people in Camden there and had fabulous times by my self, and with others. The best bit about the Camden markets (for me) is the vast range of food stalls they have, every thing you could imagine, made fresh in front of you, catering to all, from vegan sweets to meat galore. Ethiopian, Brazilian, Italian, Turkish, English, French locals of London, cooking their authentic food for you. Just walk through and grab some testers, it will take you about an hour just to pick what you want to eat, you dont want to make the wrong decision!

There are also the Brick Lane flea markets in East London, which are every Sunday, these markets are filled with vintage clothes, little knick-knacks and antiques that you can bargain down. Columbia Road Flowers market, a lively, colorful market are also located in East London, situated close to Brick Lane and are also every Sunday!

The Portobello Road Market has been around since the 1800s here in London, located near Notting Hill. I am yet to go to these, (I will be going this weekend) but have nothing but wonderful things about it!

Walking through London with my loves to a pub for some free board game fun!

There are always things to do and see that can cost you nothing! There are so many ways to explore a city, you dont have to necessarily spend money to do these things. Get creative and learn to research what to do. Youll be surprised how much is actually for free! Check out the London locals page on Couchsurfing as well, that is a great way to discover free events and like-minded people to hang out with! London may be the most expensive city in the world for some, but with some perseverance you can make it possibly even the cheapest you have ever been in! All it takes is an empty wallet and a little bit of character 😉

Happy exploring!

A little note Apologies for how little photos I have on this post! Havent been keeping track of my surroundings with my camera the past week!