The Time I almost Died, White Water Rafting

‘Do one thing every day that scares you!!!’ They said.

I’ve spent my entire life being pretty tame. I once even cried the whole way down an abseiling wall. I’d always liked my feet safely on dry land… Until I travelled. Travel pushes you to your limits. So, whilst in Bali I decided to push the boat out and try white water rafting.

Our guide, a slim, young Indonesian man gave us a quick briefing and explained that when he shouts ‘boom’ we need to duck to avoid fallen trees etc. I recall him saying that if we fall in the water it was ‘bye-bye’, and then he laughed. This didn’t exactly fill me with confidence.

He helped me into the boat with my friend and two Australian teenage boys. They were half my age and lived on the opposite side of the world. In every-day life, we would have absolutely nothing in common. Yet in this hour, smashing through the speeding waters in the jungle, they would become my family.

The start of the rafting was gentle, our boat softly pondering through the waters. Giant, powerful cliffs surrounded us and there would be the occasional family sitting on the banks, farming or making clothes. I could hear rattle snakes and cheerful bird songs. Then things started to speed up…

We each had an oar to help row, but naturally were using it to splash as much water as possible at the passing tourists. The world passed by quickly, my eyes were struggling to keep focus on danger, whilst trying to spot potential water-fight warfare. The rocky, green cliffs were whizzing past me in a hot blur. I believe this is where the ‘fight or flight’ syndrome kicked in… Adrenaline started pulsating around my body. My clothes were soaking wet, my finger nail bent right back and I bumped my helmet-covered head on a rock-wall. All the while, I felt no pain.

A collection of boats had gathered, stuck at the top of a small waterfall in the direction we were headed. Our pathway was blocked except for a large rock protruding from the centre of the waters. We ricocheted from several boats and at high speed slid up the rock and became wedged. Before I even knew what was happening, I felt myself in mid-air, violently flung from my boat. I was face up, watching the sky distance itself from me, aware that beneath my body was a sheer drop into harsh, rocky waters. I wasn’t afraid or worried, I guess it all happened too quickly for anything resembling emotion to settle in me.

In that second, the guide (who was half my size) grabbed onto the shoulder of my life-vest and a large chunk of my hair and pulled me effortlessly back into the boat. He actually saved my life. I couldn’t stop laughing and hugging him.

On my next visit to Bali, what was the first thing I did? Booked myself onto a white water rafting session.

How to Get an Extra Holiday for FREE and Avoid Long Layovers on Connecting Flights and What Exactly a ‘Transit’ or ‘Stopover’ Means.

How to Get an Extra Holiday for FREE and Avoid Long Layovers on Connecting Flights and What Exactly a ‘Transit’ or ‘Stopover’ Means.

Some people will know a little about this. I know that many others know nothing at all, I hope this post helps all of you in some way in your future travels.

When you are travelling super duper long haul, there is only a maximum amount of distance one flight can take you due to fuel restrictions etc, so it’s very common to take a connecting flight to your destination. Sometimes these flights have 2 or more ‘transits’. A transit is basically when you remain airside at an airport in any given destination, without clearing immigration, awaiting boarding your connecting onward flight. This means you have booked the entirety of your journey on one ticket and any checked luggage will be sent through to your final destination for you, and you just need to change aircraft.

More often than not, flights with one or more transits are much cheaper than flying direct, so this is a great way to save some coins if time is on your side.

So, you may often find amazingly cheap flights that involve a connection time at an airport of over ten hours. This is often because of busy dates and limited availability on the flights with good connection times. Take note;

  • This can be excruciatingly dull and you can easily spend what you saved on the flight cost actually inside the airport.
  • Officially a ‘transit’ is only a transit if your connection is under 8 hours. This means you may require a transit visa for 8 hours and 10 minutes, incurring more fees.
  • Anything over 24 hours will certainly require a visa, if required in your stopover destination.

So basically, if you are only considering doing a long transit to save a few pennies, I would say it’s not worth it.

BUT… There is a much better solution. 

  • Be flexible with your dates. Moving your outbound date by just one day could shorten your total journey time by many hours and free up availability in your perfect connecting flight.
  • Abuse the situation and swap your awful long transit to a stopover!!

What is a stopover, you ask?

A stopover is a planned break in your journey. For example, say you book a flight from London- Sydney, with a transit in Dubai. Your luggage will be checked from London to Sydney and in Dubai, you change planes. What you CAN do is actually book a flight to Dubai, stay for a few days and then fly onwards to Sydney. This means you will collect your hold bags at Dubai, clear immigration, leave the airport and return to check in again for your Dubai – Sydney flight. * Please note that all ticket rules vary and whilst many airlines offer this free of charge, some will charge a small fee and there will likely be a small airport tax increase. 

So, if you are flying through Dubai anyway, make the most and tick that country off your list.

Emirates via Dubai is just an example but this can work on almost ANY flight ticket with a transit.

Happy free holiday hunting!

Does love exist when a plane ticket does…?

Does love exist when a plane ticket does…?

  
It can take a huge amount of courage to commit to going travelling, either alone or with a companion. There is usually a catalyst to boost somebody to swallow whatever has been holding them back from booking their ticket to just go, be it a relationship break up, loss of job or another big change to shake things up a bit.

It’s very normal to plan to go travelling in advance to give ourselves chance to “plan” and save up some pennies. People I know have booked their flights at least 6-9 months prior to departure. So why is it that every, single time, we always meet what seems to be our perfect partner within this waiting period?! It has happened to everybody I know who has gone off backpacking.

My friend Jess met a boy who she was totally smitten with. They were the perfect couple, always laughing and so in love with each other. From day one he had warned her that he was planning to emigrate to Australia in a year and even though she said it was fine, deep down she had always hoped he would change his mind and stay at home to be with her. He didn’t. In fact, when it came to him booking his flight ticket, he made it clear he wanted to go alone. Neither of them wanted to end the relationship so they tried long distance for a while. After two months of him leaving, the relationship began to die and they ended it.

A man I know called Christopher who is Australian spent months planning a detailed itinerary to travel around Europe for a year, visiting every town and city he could fit in. He had saved up for over a year for this trip! He had some relatives living in London and as it was his first port of call, he decided to email them before and stay with them for a couple of nights. They threw a huge party and one of his relatives invited a female friend who he clicked with so much so that he decided to stay in London and not travel to any of the places in Europe he was planning to visit. This was 7 years ago and they are now married with children. 

Then there was my friend Becky. She had been single for about a year when she decided to take the plunge and go travelling by herself in South America. She planned it all months beforehand and was so excited. About a month before she was due to depart… She fell in love. He was her perfect man and they decided to stay together in spite of her travels. They didn’t know each other very well and it was very testing to their relationship being so far apart when their love was so young. Months later, she returned home, they moved in together and to this day they are still in love. 

So… Maybe all I need to do to find my perfect man is book a plane ticket?! 

I can save you wonga, £, dollars and dosh!

I have just helped my sister out with a complicated flight itinerary through South East Asia. She had struggled speaking to many of the mainline travel agents who struggled with her flight requests and itinerary and took hours or days to get back to her.

Within ten minutes I had priced up her trip for her and found her ideal, cheap flights and saved her and her partner a total of almost £1000.

I am not good at much in life, but finding flights and tailoring holidays is something I do extremely well.

If you need any free advice on how to plan your next trip, I would be more than happy to help. Travel is life and I like helping people better their lives.

Leave a message below and I will get back to you ASAP.

Cuddle Your Globe

Travel for free!!!!

Tips for making your money back when travelling: Travel for free!!!!