Why Everybody Should Travel Solo.

Everybody knows someone who has travelled parts of the world by themselves and raved about how immense it was, or maybe you have. If you haven’t, common thoughts on those who have done it include :-image

‘are they mad?!?’

‘weren’t they afraid?’

‘didn’t they get lonely?’

‘wouldn’t they be worried about making no friends and having nobody to talk to?’

‘will they be safe?’ – especially for young females!!

These are all common worries that would have gone through the minds of the people who did the solo travelling. For me, it was when I got on the plane by myself at the start of the journey. I thought I was mad. I had never been able to eat alone in a restaurant and yet here I was, in an aircraft heading to South East Asia, completely alone for months without a soul in the world to keep me company.

It is something so many of us do, despite our loved ones begging us not to go and convincing is it is a dangerous and we are crazy.

As children, we are protected by our parents / guardians and kept under their wing. We do as we are told and at school / college we spend every day following instruction. Some people commit to a long term relationship very young and therefore are filling a role with expectation. Therefore it is only natural that we do not know who are in life. How many of you can honestly say that you KNOW who you are?

Once you step off that plane into a new life in a totally different world, there is something so exhilarating about the fact that you can recreate yourself as you wish and nobody in your life knows a thing about everything you do in these coming, precious weeks. Every experience you have is just yours. You will experience things, feel things you have never dreamt of before and meet people who will touch your life forever. I found that solo travelling actually changed the way I viewed certain things in life, it made me less rigid and more open, miles more confident in talking to people I don’t know. These attributes have helped me in my personal life and successful career in healthcare. Would I be where I am today if I hadn’t have been ‘crazy’ and had the guts to go abroad for months by myself? Possibly not.

Solo travelling makes you into a newer and better person. Are you crazy enough to do it?

Travel for free!!!!

Okay so we can’t literally travel for free, but if you are savvy enough you can end up earning enough during your travels to almost pay for your entire trip! Here’s how;

Tax free shopping! Almost everybody knows this but not everybody makes the most of it. You cave up to 80% off of the cost of tobacco, alcohol, perfume and make up in airport duty free, max it out on your travels!!! Obviously do not exceed the permitted amounts or risk facing the consequences, but there is a lot of money to be made of saved by purchasing what you can from duty free.

Buy fabric! I am a dressmaking fanatic so when I went to India I spent around £300 on fabric which is a lot! Cramming it all into my luggage was the most challenging part! The value of said fabric here in the UK would be around £1000. I was purchasing it for use at home but if I wanted to sell that back here it alone would pay for my trip. This can also work with clothes and fashions; you c an buy this in bulk and ship it back home anywhere and set up your own mini business!

Buy art! Many Asian countries are huge on art! Bali in Indonesia is a good example. You can easily purchase beautiful oil paintings on canvas for as little as £2-£3 which you can bring home frame it (do this yourself on mdf if you are able as it’s much cheaper than going to a framer) and you can sell this artwork and make money from it. Personally I can’t bring myself to separate my travel artwork from my walls, but the option is there!

Buy treatments! If you are a fan of beauty treatments and massage, work out how much you spend a year on this. Could easily be £200. If you hold out and splurge on treatments in Thailand or similar you are likely to save around £190.

Buy clothing! The USA is fantastic for purchasing fashionable clothing at massively discounted prices! They have an abundance of clothing outlets and malls with designer clothes and footwear up to 40% cheaper than in England. Pack lightly on the way out..

There are many other ways of purchasing  goods that can eventually pay for your travel, you may even make a profit and have an incredible journey along the way.

Travel is a life long investment.

Combatting a fear of flying!

It may be unusual to write about fear of flying on a happy travel blog, but this is a very real problem! I have come across many individuals who struggle to fly or simply will not get on a plane because of this fear.

This is also a fear of mine. A few years ago I became slightly obsessed with the TV show – ‘Air Crash Investigation’ after a few bad experiences on flights then my fear of flying began and I reached the point where I did not want to fly. I clung to my seat during the flight and I couldn’t stand up as I was convinced the aircraft would lose balance if I walked around on it. Every time the plane touched down at its destination it felt like a crazy miracle and I had been saved!! This for me seemed rediculous as I will go to theme parks, water rafting and boats / trains do not make me uncomfortable in the least. Being that travel is my favourite thing in life, this was a problem I had to solve.

I read books and purchased hypnosis DVDs. The two main things I took from this was that the noises you hear during take off and landing are perfectly normal, as are strange movements of the flaps off the wing etc. There is no such thing as an ‘air pocket’, if the plane drops suddenly, this happens!! Just relax. For me, understanding HOW the aircraft actually lifts off the ground and into the sky was the best way to calm my fear. I have studied the basics of aerodynamics during my lifetime, none of which could offer me any real comfort. For me, the best ‘scientific’ explaination I could find to understand how flying works was this simple paragraph;

Imagine you are driving in a car, either as the driver or passenger, and you are travelling at a very high speed. Pop your arm out of the window and make no effort to hold the tone in your arm, just relax it. You will find that the air will actually hold your arm up whilst you are in motion.’

Go ahead, try it, it works! You obviously have to be travelling at a certain speed for it to work. This is how pilots determine how fast an aircraft needs to be travelling down a runway before it can lift off, just down to the size and weight of the plane.

This next bit may sounds rediculous but what I did next to help my fear was accept that a plane crash may happen to me. The fear of it happening was causing me far too much anxiety when weighed up the realistic and highly unlikely possibility of this event ever happening to me. Once I accepted a crash was possible, it no longer seemed like a terrifying omen. Also, working in the Ambulance service and being in the face of death on a regular basis stops it being so scary.

Something to bear in mind if and when anxiety kicks in is that your fear of flying is irrational. In fact, any fear of anything is irrational. In this instance it is literally the fight AND flight syndrome.

The final and by far, the best thing I did in combatting my fear of flying was to book a flight to Australia and South East Asia, by myself. Facing the fear really did help me in this sense. Travelling alone makes you more independent and your inner child gets tucked away.

Give these a try for yourself if you, too struggle with this fear! 🙂

*SECRETS OF THE TRAVEL TRADE* – tips on how to find and book the best and cheapest flights (from an insider!)

Cuddle Your Globe

Here I am revealing the top secrets of the travel agent / airline ticket industry. I hope you find this useful when you come to purchase your flights!

There are three different types of airlines:- Charter, Budget (low cost) and Scheduled airlines.

Charter flights are usually operated by a package holiday operator and operate a slightly flexible schedule; usually seasonally / once a week e.g, and include the likes of Thomson, Thomas Cook and Monarch and are aimed at holidaymakers.

Budget, or Low Cost flights operate usually a bit more frequently but can still be seasonal (depending on destination) and include Ryanair, Easyjet, Wizz Air, Jet Blue or Virgin Australia etc. They are no frills and low cost and you have to pay for lots of hidden extras such as airport check in and hold luggage.

The third type of flight is scheduled flights; these are the main carriers who…

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Well Done to The Best City in the World 2015!!!

A big congratulations to the worlds best city 2015 after also winning last year, voted by tourists for Travel + Leisure magazine…. Kyoto in Japan. Japan is on most people’s top ten list of places to see during their lifetime, but what is so great about Kyoto that has topped the likes of New York City, Barcelona, Siem Reap, Cape Town and Dubai??

Could it be the wildly colourful gardens scattered all over the place with impossibly beautiful plants?

Could it be the artistic and quirky architecture and buildings this incredible city has to offer?

Or perhaps it could be the abundance of stunning Buddhist temples, shrines and palaces that scatter Kyoto that attract tourists to this vibrant city?

Kyoto once was the Capital city of Japan and the temples and gardens that remain today were once owned by aristocrats and emperors. Some you can actually explore today, although sadly many have been destroyed over the centuries. If you are doing a whistle stop tour of this fabulous city, there are bicycle and walking tours, cooking classes, Nijo castle, many many shops and restaurants, Geisha girls for entertainment, markets and food tours.

Kyoto has just gone to the top of my list!!

#TravelLeisure  #travel  #bestcity2015  #ttot