Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts

Why it’s O.K. to not want to visit again

Ruins in Cyprus

As you may have heard, I didn't exactly fall in love with Cyprus when I went on a Villa Holiday with the girls. Now, I'm not saying I hated every second of it because that would be far from the truth. It's just not my favourite.

Unlike some of the girls, I have never been to Cyprus, Greece or Turkey so I really had no idea what to expect from that side of the world. I only really know what I've seen in History books and movies. Plus, none of us bothered to do any proper research before we arrived. After several years of wanting to visit, I was really excited so it was a shame to be so underwhelmed.

Boats in a harbour in Cyprus

There aren’t many places I have visited where I felt no desire to go back. With Cyprus, it felt like I was doing something wrong because I have heard so many people rave about it. Sure, we were there off-season and we didn’t really know where to go and explore, but at the same time, it was all a bit ‘meh’. I had a great time at some points, but I don’t miss it at all.

So far this year, I’ve been to two countries that I definitely want to see more of so it’s almost like Cyprus is the let down of the bunch.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are many reasons that could be why I didn't enjoy it as much as I imagined. I'm not blaming the country at all.

Temple Ruins in Cyprus

As we were there on a blogger trip (NOT being ungrateful here, at all), half of one of our days was spent with activities of the resort. A resort I could NEVER afford in my wildest dreams. It was very much forced fun with golf and tennis, which we made fun, but definitely not something I look for in a holiday. It made the day feel a bit forced. Like we had to have fun. We had to enjoy resort life, even though I'm the kind of person who's more than happy to go camping in a field.

View from Aphrodite Hills Resort in Cyprus

Because we went in the off season so the weather was unpredictable. Sure it was a lot warmer than back in London but we seemed to go on one of the only weekends in the whole year where there wasn't blazing sun. It wasn't exactly bubbling or bustling with people either. At times, I felt like we were the only ones on the resort! I'm sure this would have been entirely different at the height of summer but I'm not sure that would have made me feel any better. The British Expat area we passed with its Red Lion pubs made me feel uncomfortable. Like some of the magic that could have been in Cyprus had been sucked away and replaced with a mini British replica to stop people from feeling homesick.

Most importantly, I didn't feel inspired by Cyprus. It was all very beige. The blue seas were a beautiful contrast but from where we were (and the weather) we couldn't really appreciate them. We only really popped to the sea to visit Aphrodite's Rock on our way to the airport on our last day.

The beach and sea at Aphrodite's Rock in Cyprus

The whole point of this isn't to slag of Cyprus, not at all. In fact, I have had conversations with so many people recommending areas to visit that may be more my style of travelling, or simply to go at a different time of year. My main reasoning is how it's OK if I'm not too fussed about going back. As much as I look forward to seeing all the new places and seeing as much of the world as I can, there are a couple of places I will always go back to. Cyprus doesn't feel like one of them though and I don't feel like I should be bothered about it.

I have had a couple of people say 'oh, you should really give it another go', but I really don't want to and that's OK. You shouldn't force a relationship if you're not happy, just like you shouldn't just keep going back to the same place in the small hope you might end up liking it eventually. I wouldn't want to waste money on something I'm not going to enjoy either. Although I know it doesn't matter how much you spend on a holiday, you always don't want to just throw money away (essentially).

Give me new adventures and new places to fall in love with instead.

Standing in the ruins of the Tombs of the Kings in Cyprus

Nerding about in Oxford


How many people do you know who will take a day off work just to run around Oxford in Hogwarts robes? Just me? Oh, ok then. I'm cool with that.

As part if my 12 in 12, I'm trying to see more of the UK as well buggering off to far off countries. There's so much more than the usual beer gardens, streets and sights I see every day. Oxford is one of those places I have always swung through on my way to other events/places, never really spending an hour or two. It's home to so many literary inspirations that a Pilgrimage had been on the cards for a long time. All I needed was some fellow nerds, a couple of wands and robes.

The inspiration behind the door to Narnia

Many people already know that Oxford is essentially 'home to Hogwarts' in a way but it's also the inspiration behind the Shire, Lyra's home and the start of the journey to Narnia. Basically everything I love. As we're ridiculously unorganised people sometimes, we booked our travel on what felt like the ONLY day there wasn't a free literary walking tour happening so we mostly survived off Google Maps and finding our own way to things.



Out first stop of our nerdy adventure was to sit where Tolkien and C.S. Lewis used to meet, the Eagle and Child.

The Eagle and Child is a nerd's dream, even if the pub as a whole leaves much to be desired. You're not there for a 5 star meal and beautiful surroundings. You're there for the geeky decor and banter with the bar staff. You'll have a great time even if one of the toilets does overflow while you're there. It's all part of the charm, really! Just make sure you do what we didn't do and check the opening times, Otherwise you'll be those losers hanging outside an empty pub for half an hour...

Just being there made me beyond excited for my trip to New Zealand later in the year. Especially after I saw this sign.. something I quote far too much for my own good!



I guarantee you, I will say this at least once in Hobbiton, even though they don't serve pints in the Green Dragon.

LOL
With Oxford being as small as it is (in a way), we walked everywhere and managed to find everything we wanted to see as well as other little bits we weren't looking for, such as the inspiration behind the door to Narnia (above) and stunning architecture every where. The only REAL thing on our list was to pay a visit to Christchurch university. We wanted to go up those stairs, huddle in the cloisters (despite Umbridge's Educational Decree number 26) and hang about in the Great Hall. in robes. Looking awesome. I have no idea how many tourist pictures we're in now but they all LOVED us... and copied our poses.


There are a lot of things we didn't get to do because we were disorganised and ran out of time. If we had arrived a wee bit earlier, we would have been able to get to Christchurch earlier and therefore wouldn't have had to pick between the Colleges. Bodleian Library is still up there on my list now so I guess I'm just going to have to go back soon. Jordan College from His Dark Materials, (called Exteter College in real life) is still up there but getting lost in the streets of Jericho has finally been ticked off.

Oxford is a magical place and I'm going to stop just using it as a stop off point and try and see more of it, especially since it's practically around the corner. If you want to be a nerd like me and take your own visit to this literary heaven make sure you:

Book tickets in advance

The queue to get into Christchurch was HUGE and it was raining. If you book in advance you can skip ahead

Actually make a plan

We ran out of time. One day with no plan wasn't enough to see everything we wanted to

Do a tour but also make your own

We resorted to Google to find out some things but if you manage to get there on a day when the Literary tours are happening (i.e., not on a Bank Holiday) you'll be able to find out so much more than we did. At the same time, make sure you get yourself a little bit lost and enjoy the beauty if the city. Take a moment to look up and around you.

Get there early

Don't make our mistake, guys. Get there early or spend an extra day if you want to do everything.



Things to do on a weekend in Prague

exploring the grounds of Prague Castle

It seems like bloody forever ago that I went on my first 12 in 12 trip! Especially considering I booked everything back in September... After years of wanting to go and going through a touch of Instagram envy, I finally got to experience this pretty city for myself, with one my favourite person in the world too!

From the second we were in our taxi from the airport and driving down the hills and winding streets to our hotel, I had already decided that I was in love with Prague. A journey down was fill of bright colours, some tired looking buildings (which I love). It really doesn't take much to please me, does it?

We stayed in Praha 5 at the NH Prague City hotel which was roughly 20 minutes from the airport and a walkable distance from the Old Town. That part isn't the prettiest of neighbourhoods but the hotel itself was lovely. I was mostly excited about the cable car between the two different parts of the hotel, but I was devastated to learn that it was out of service when we arrived. Bloody refurb.

Spending a weekend in Prague can be easily done, obviously depending on what you want to do! Personally, I felt the two days and a bit we had there weren't quite enough, there's a lot we missed and I really wanted to do ALL THE THINGS. If you're going for around the same time, here are a couple of suggestions. But there is so much more.

Try the local brews

Czech Republic is well known for its pilsner, but there's also a growing craft beer scene. I actually had one of the best beers I have ever tasted in the Three Roses pub in the old town. All the beers they sell are brewed in the pub itself and there's even a little family tree of everything they have ever made as well as the person who made it. 

It was our favourite place to go for a quick pit stop between tourist-ing and the staff are so friendly. They made you feel at home in a way and were full of jokes all the time. I 100% recommend it to all beer fans out there.

Tasting locally brewed beer in prague
This is not the Vienna Red but it's still pretty tasty

One little thing, though. We noticed that the menus didn't have percentages on them so LORD KNOWS how strong the beer we were drinking was. No wonder we felt tipsy most of the time!!

Also, bars and pubs run on a tab system so try not to make a tit out of yourself like I did and think you pay in rounds...

Goulash for days

Not gonna lie, I lived on it. I know it's the ultimate cliché when tourists visit Prague but it has been one of my favourite dishes for a while so I loved having it in the place it was born, if that makes any sense whatsoever.

Traditional Goulash in Prague

As with every where, it can be difficult to tell which restaurants are obviously tourist traps (like all the Angus Steak houses in London...) and which are local specialists. The gem we found on our last day was Restaurace Mlegnice right near the Old Town Square. There were queues out the door at one point and we ended up sharing a table with two other couples. The food was the best I'd had all the weekend  so it's no wonder it's on Culture Tip's best restaurants in Prague list. (note, this is also how we found out about it...) 

Catch the Changing of the Guard at Prague Castle

Yes, I know. not exactly everyone's kinda thing and we all know and we Londoners occasionally laugh at the swarms of people who hang around outside the gates of Buckingham Palace, but I do love a bit of Pomp and Circumstance and a Marching Band. 

Prague Castle Changing of the Guard


The actual changing of the guard happens at 12pm but it can get really busy so don't be surprised if you have to queue to get into the castle afterwards! 

Actually go in to the Castle Grounds

If only for the architecture, it's worth a visit. Gary and I weren't too fussed about going in to the actual castle, we were more than happy to just wander and #LookUp.

For one thing once you finally get to the castle, the view alone makes those bastarding steps absolutely worth it. 

Prague Skyline

I mean, look at that.

Within the Castle Grounds, there's way more to do than we had time to. This is mostly due to us sleeping through our alarm and not arriving in the time we planned. There the St. Vitus Cathedral that we only saw from the outside... parts of it were under refurbishment and the one part that was open to the public had the world's biggest queue!

St Vitus Cathedral Prague

St Vitus Cathedral Prague Castle


There's also Golden Lane which was top of my list to see. It's one of the oldest parts of the castle and from what I've seen online, it's just so cute.

I can't give you a personal opinion on this one or any of the pretty photographs I planned to take... we didn't get to go. This is reason #86767907 we'll be going back to Prague. If only for the Instagram.

Visit Charles Bridge

View of Charles Bridge from the river


Possibly one of the most popular spots in Prague, it's constantly busy. When Gary and I arrived on the Friday (at Golden Hour, BOOM) it was rammed. We decided to get there a little earlier the next day but it was STILL busy. We went a long it anyway and I took as many pictures as I possibly could. My one recommendation for you would be to get there at bum fuck early. 

Charles Bridge Architecture


For more things we wanted to do but didn't get to...

The Astronomical Clock

The one thing I wanted to do and it's UNDER REFURBISHMENT!! A large portion of the clock and Tower itself is being reconstructed until June 2018 and parts of the Town Hall will also be closed.

My heart broke when I saw the Scaffolding all over it so here is an advanced warning to you, you might not get to see it. 

Painted ceiling of the Old Town Hall in Prague
#LookUp

For one small stroke of luck, Gary and I were still able to actually go UP the tower and in to the Town Hall. It wasn't the same but still very pretty and once again, delivered on stunning views over toe Old Town Square

Prague Old Town Square


The Jewish Cemetery

When I was researching places to go and things to see, this was pretty much near the top of every list. However, we arrived a little too late. The Cemetery and Synagogue close early on a Friday in preparation of Sabbath the next day. As we left again on the Sunday, we didn't have time to re-arrange our visit.

All around it are a bunch of antique shops and Jewish bakeries (all were closed for us) so if you get to go yourself, let me know where the best places to go are!


 If there's one piece of advice I could give you about visiting Prague, it would be to realise that everywhere is really easy to get to so make sure you get yourself lost. You never know what you're going to find down any cobbled streets. See all the things, drink all the beer and have all the food. Have the BEST time. Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to start looking up flights so I can go back. 

A snapshot from Prague

Prague Castle

When I was a teenager, my favourite band was AFI (they still are one of them...) and my favourite song was Silver and Cold. Back in the day when we all used to watch music videos on the actual TV rather than YouTube, I was in love with the music video for Silver and Cold and decided after I had seen it from the very first time, that I HAD to go to Prague and stand where Davey Havok did. 15 years later, I hadn’t really changed and finally did it!!

For gifts for Gary, I try to get him more experiences, rather than just ‘stuff’. Don’t get me wrong, I still buy him geeky memorabilia because I know he’ll enjoy it, but at the same time, I want to see more of the world with him. What with him being my favourite person and everything.

For Gary’s last birthday, I got him a little weekend trip to Dublin so we could drink all the beer. For anniversary last year, I booked us a holiday to Prague, so I could be Davey Havok and we could drink all the beer. Slightly for me, and more for him.

Charles Bridge Prague

I’ve wanted to see more of Central and Eastern Europe since I went to Bucharest with the girls, but Gary has been to SOO many places on my ‘I want to go there’ list because he is of the age of all the stag do’s. It was a struggle trying to find somewhere he hadn’t been so I started dropping suggestions about Prague earlier on in the year before I finally booked it in September.

Other than the little emo in me (THERE YOU GO, GARY! I BLOODY SAID IT AND I KNOW YOU’RE READING), there was so much drawing me to Prague and not just how I’m constantly inspired by the people around me who had been before and loved it.



I love clocks, there’s a big bloody famous clock in the town square.

I love architecture (part of the reason I live in London) and the whole place is absolutely gorgeous.

I love walking and getting lost, this is very easy to do in Prague... Seriously. I lost count of the number of times we walked in completely the wrong direction.

Visit Prague

Looking back on it, it was a far cry form my trip to Cyprus the following week with more walking over three days than I generally do in a week. I already miss it. There's something magical about the city that I can't really explain. It's a far throw from London (still busy though) and for me it always felt self and welcoming. The people we met were ridiculously friendly and I have found my favourite beer in the whole world.

Our trip to Prague was short and sweet and I will be going into more detail of everything we did in the less than 36 hours we had there. For now though, just know that Gary and I loved Prague so much, we're already planning a trip back.

Prague bridges

A Villa break in Cyprus



I've said it before and I'll say it again. I really don't understand how to relax properly. Until recently, I never really took holiday from work unless I had somewhere to be, and whenever I go away I have to make sure I rush around and see all the stuff. Normally, I'm just as tired (if not more) when I get back than I was when I left, which I'm sure is not the point of taking a holiday.

Villa Holidays had never been something to consider when planning my various jaunts and trips away. I have done all-inclusive experiences before with family and found that it all started to feel restricted and confined. I would get bored just sitting by the pool for the 10th day in a row because you couldn't really leave the resort (depending on where you go). I know it's such a first world problem... but that's the way I am and I LOVE to explore, rather than just sit.. However, after the hectic couple of months I've had, a weekend in a villa with the girls is just what the doctor ordered.

James Villas Cyprus

Our gorgeous villa in Aphrodite Hills Resort was by far the best part of our holiday as I didn't feel exactly inspired by Cyrpus itself (more on that to come). When we arrived we all felt that it was very uniform and VERY Desperate Housewives and was such a massive contrast from other places we have stayed. Nothing like the Hostel from my first girls' holiday, that's for sure. A 5 bedroom temporary home with our own garden and a private pool. What more could you want?



Sadly, lounging by the pool in gorgeous sunshine wasn't exactly on the cards for us as we had planned. For a country that sees over 340 days of pure sunshine a year, we had exactly one day of it over our weekend. Although the odd blue sky could be spotted between the clouds, we mostly had to deal with wind and much greyness. However, when the sun did arrive, we got to experience much more of what the resort had to offer.

Aphrodite Hills Resort Cyprus

I am not sporty at all. My P.E. teachers at school knew I was a lost cause so eventually just gave up on me. But, when you're staying on a resort with all the facilities, it would be such a waste to not experience them for yourself. On that one Sunny Day we had, we were treated to our own Tennis and Golf lessons.



I've considered picking up a racket before, especially since we have free tennis courts around the corner from my house, and I really didn't expect it to be as much fun as it was. I was absolutely AWFUL and can't imagine myself signing up to Wimbledon in the future but I hit the ball a couple of times, giggled until my ribs hurt and had more fun 'doing a sport' than I ever had before.


To me, golf is the most boring sport in the world. I haven't changed my mind on that and the concept of a sport where the whole point is to do less of the sport than other people completely baffles me. But seeing 8 NON sporty girls on a driving range with people who actually enjoy trying to hit a ball really far, was definitely memorable. I'm sure we annoyed people.

If I thought I was bad at Tennis it was nothing compared to golf. I kept missing the ball, couldn't hold the stick (yes, I know it's not really called a stick) properly and if I did hit the ball, it rolled away very sadly and was far from souring through the skies like the other girls / the instructors. I was just useless.

See for yourself. I don't even know what's happening here:


Worn out, a tad sweaty and ravenous from all the physical activity, we got to experience more of what the resort had to offer. From exploring the full range of accommodation, trying local brews and lunch at one of the many onsite restaurants. The reward I needed for doing the stuff, I'm sure.


I have to admit, the whole experienced surprised me. It's made me realise that sometimes it's OK to just be. You don't need to run around until your feet hurt and spend endless hours researching the best places to eat and drink. Sometimes you just need some of your best girls, a card game and some prosecco. Sometimes it's OK to do nothing but eat sit and laugh at each other. And it's actually quite nice.








*Disclaimer: our stay at Aphrodite Hills Resort was free in partnership with James Villas. However, all other travel costs were our own and all words are mine.

Come on 2018, let's do 12 in 12

Completely unrelated picture.

You know what's hilarious... when I originally wrote that title, I put 2017. Because I am stupid and, as I'm writing this, it's that weird bit between Christmas and New Year where I don't know what day it is, who I am or what the hell is going on... Typical, eh?

So, 2018 is going to be a bit of a big one.

It's the year I turn thirty.

Yes, the big 3-0. The one with the baby face is going to (supposedly) be an adult. It feels weird.

Next year is going to be the year of seeing and doing. Mostly seeing. Since I left uni, I have pretty much just worked. It took 6 years for me to go on my first proper holiday for ages and I now spend most of my time planning things I want to see. So I'm going to do it.

I have seen a lot of people doing 12 in 12 and have been desperate to do it myself. I'm not talking about 12 trips away to exotic destinations though, I don't earn enough! BUT I will be having 12 little trips. Whether that means a weekend in Bath, it counts because I have never been there.

We have a couple of things already in the pipeline which is awesome. But I do have another 9 that I need to plan. At the moment anyway.

Where am I going

As with most people, January is pretty much going to be a write off while we all recover from the Christmas induced poverty and the dreaded five week month. It's going to be SO HARD.

In February though, I have TWO WEEKENDS booked, one after the other. Yay for me!

Prague

Picture from Charlie, Distracted 

I have wanted to go to Prague for, like, ever. When I was a teenager, it was because AFI filmed the video to Silver and Cold there and I wanted to stand where the beautiful Davey Havok stood.

I'm not going to lie, I'm still going to do this. Now as I am wiser in my years (lol, no) I want to go because it looks absolutely gorgeous. I want to ride along the river, admire the architecture and see THAT CLOCK.

Picture from Charlie, Distracted 


And drink cheap beer. All the cheap beer...

I booked the trip for Gary's anniversary present so I really hope he enjoys it as much as I do. If not... oh well. I win *laughing crying emoji*.

Cyprus

Another Bangarang weekend on Holiday. Yay!! Thanks to James Villas, the girls and I will be jetting off for a spot of winter sun. At the moment, we don't really have a plan about what to do other than RELAX but knowing us lot, the group chat will turn into mini itineraries and top destinations. I know there are vineyards so we'll inevitably end up in one at some point. 

All I know right now is that I am very excited and cannot wait. We will have the best time. Again. 

New Zealand

We have no definite plan for this one yet, Gary dropped the bombshell last week! It's going to be our one BIG TRIP and we're going to start all the planning (with spreadsheets, coz I love a bloody spreadsheet) in January. At the moment, I have mostly been looking at the best times to go, and June is looking promising.

As far as I know, because it's the other side of the world it isn't exactly going to be hot, but I really don't care. New Zealand has been on my Bucket List since I first saw the Lord of the Rings and all of Charlie, Distracted's posts on it have filled me with such Wanderlust. The root plan is to spend time with friends who moved back over a couple of years ago and we only really speak to now on drunken nights out when we get them in Skype. Top of my 'I MUST DO THAT' list is obviously Hobbiton. I mean, why would you not?

We're thinking of around 2 weeks, we can spend a week with friends on the South Island and seeing things around there before we hire a car and shoot off on our own adventures. But we'll have to see. 

The North Coast 500

This is my plan for the birthday. I love Scotland, it's part of me and will always feel like home. If you haven't heard of the North Coast 500 yet, it's pretty much like Scotland's version of Route 66. 500 miles driving around gorgeous and cold coast lines and stopping off in random places in between. It's another one we need to plan properly but I'm hopping we'll actually be on the road for my birthday, 30th October. It's also Gary's birthday in October but because he's not having a big milestone, I get to be a little bit selfish, right?

Also, question... As we'll be staying in lots of places I have never been to before, would this count as one of my 12 in 12? Or multiple? Thoughts on a postcard please.

Where I want to go

Germany

The only place I have been to in Germany is Stuttgart as a stop off point for our awesome drive to Italy when I was 16. A bloody long time ago now!

There are so many places in Germany I want to go to that I don't know where to begin but I think I'd like to see the Christmas Markets for my Nanna. As you may know, my Nanna passed away in 2016 (the WORST year) and she bloody loved Christmas and I want to do something for her.

Whitby

Ahhh, the home of Dracula. It's far from exotic but there is a goth festival. I'm a proper bookworm so always love wandering around places of Literary significance. Just like Oxford, the home of the Chronicles of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, His Dark Materials and the  Lord of the Rings.

Bath

Already mentioned this one in passing but it's definitely somewhere I want to go to. I also have friends nearby which is handy. 

Somewhere random in Wales

I *have* been to Wales. My Uncle is in the RAF so we used to go and spend Christmas with them in Cardiff. But that's it. 

I really want to see more of that beautiful place and Gary and I have discussed going camping there together. Will probably be a summer activity so I don't get too cold.

The Peak District

Driven through it many times, but have never actually been there. Maybe it could be a stop off for the night before we hit the North Coast 500? That's definitely an idea.

Bordeaux

I LOVE France. I used to holiday a lot there when we were kids and two years ago, Gary and I went to Nice and had the best time. 

Really, I mostly want to go to Bordeaux for the wine. That's what it's famous for! Plus, it gives me the perfect opportunity to polish up my very rusty French.

Back to Paris

I'm considering this one of my 12 in 12 because last time I went was with an ex boyfriend and I really want to experience it with Gary and have better memories. Plus, I don't think he's been before.

When I last went, we had 2 days in Disney Land with 2 days in 'Proper Paris' and there's so much I didn't get to do or see. Like visit Montmartre, pop by Oscar Wilde's grave (and try REALLY hard to give it a sneaky kiss)... be a proper tourist down the Champs-Élysées and see the Eiffel Tower lit up at night. Pretty much all the things.

A flying drive through visit... on that same drive to Italy when I was 16


Amsterdam

I mean, it's not exactly far, is it? Skyscanner is an absolute blessing with return flights from £40 and there's always the train from St Pancras. No excuse not to go really. Plus, it looks awesome.

Budapest

Another cheap one east ways that's been on the list for years. After going to Bucharest last year, I desperately want to see more of Eastern Europe and that's not just because it's cheap AF...

Budapest Mini Adventures
Budapest parliament building from 12 Awesome things to do in Budapest by Milly

If I keep going, this list will be absolutely ENDLESS but here's a snapshot of destinations I think will actually be achieveable for my attempt at 12 in 12. It'll probably all change when I see bargain flights or train tickets somewhere but I am determined to do this thing and have the best 30th year full of adventures.

Why going on holiday with your friends is the best thing you'll ever do


2017 has clearly been the year of adventures and exploring. Sure, I haven't been away as much as some people I know but it has definitely been a lot. For me anyway.

I still have my trip to Scotland with Gary to look forward to which is nice and we're going to *hopefully* spend a couple of days away over my birthday. This year has mostly been about me and the girls.

With three little trips away with my friends under my belt, from weekends in Bucharest and Cornwall to a day trip to Whitstable, just me and Leanne. I have decided that hollibobs with your friends is just amazing.

Beaches in Cornwall

I love going away with Gary but there is something different about going away with your friends, even more so when you're all bloggers!

When you travel with your friends, it's an entirely different vibe. There are a bunch of you who want to do different things meaning more adventures to be had and itineraries to be planned. Or you can just wander around being perfectly happy in each others company. Whatever suits you!

I've mentioned before that my girls are like a little family to me and it brings me so much joy that even though we're all so very different, we're also like minded, this is what makes travelling with them makes them even more awesome.

visit bucharest


Through travelling with friends, you'll get to so more of one place, whether it's because someone wants to eat at a particular place or someone else wants to see a particular old thing. You make sure there's enough time to do at least one thing everyone wants to do.

There are also the giggles. The 'in' jokes that will just appear. Like, did you know R Kelly was the greatest artist if the 90s?

You'll also find out more about each other, how someone may not be a morning person (me) or how someone has never tried Cornish Ice cream (Jasmin)

weekend in cornwall


As a little blogger-only one, you'll also be sure to get the very best content. Because we all love photography so much, what should be a 20 minute walk can easily turn into an hour. You want to spot the tiniest details of everything, find the perfect door to have an outfit taken and have at least one person spot the opportunity for the perfect candid. Just another way we support each other completely.

A lot of people worry about going on holiday with friends. I mean, you'll be spending more time in close proximity with each other. What if someone falls out? What if that giggle you thought was cute actually becomes irritating AF? Well, none of these things have applied to me. I was so happy to explore with my best girls and most definitely will again.

You take a whole new experience away with you and new memories that you'll look back on forever.

A few hours in Whitstable

smashleighjayne

I have really been missing the sea. I'm hardly a beach person at all, as in lounging around in the sand for hours on end, but the smell of the sea and the sound of crashing waves really makes me happy.

Leanne is always one to spot a bargain and managed to get us day tickets to Whitsable for a whole £10 thanks to the South Eastern Hidden Gems promotion. I'd never been to Whitstable and actually couldn't point it out to you on a map because, dear lord, am I rubbish at geography... I kept getting it confused with Whitby. Both begin with W and both are by the sea...I think Whitby is by the sea?

Smashleighjayne

The ever wonderful Erica had been very recently and her Postcards from Whitstable post filled me with glee. I couldn't wait until I was exploring the coast in the sunshine, Instagramming all the things, eating all the seafood and obviously eating all the ice cream. Ever the optimist, I chose to wear a summer dress and sandals because if you have sunshine thoughts there will be sunshine, right? Nope.



It HAMMERED IT DOWN. And it Hailed. Our weekend was no where near as sunshine and picture perfect as Erica's but it was still awesome.

we arrived in sunshine, then it started to rain. Our only real plans for the day were to eat oysters so we took refuge in the Whitsable Oyster Company restaurant right by the sea. We got their last table, ordered 2 different types of oysters (The Casino Oysters were my favourite), Scallops, Mussels AND CHIPS. Despite the rain, thank god I was wearing a floaty dress...

Smashleighjayne

Smashleighjayne

These things are famous for a reason.

The Oyster thing was pretty much the only thing we had planned for our trip to Whitsable. Other than that, we just wanted to Instagram all the things. The weather really wasn't on our side though and due to their local Festival that day, we just knew we weren't as lucky as Erica.

Smashleighjayne


Every time we passed the bright pink Wheelers Oyster Bar there was ALWAYS a car parked outside, we had to duck into two different pubs to stay dry (at least I got to try a local beer, my favourite thing) and the journey to the castle plan was quickly abandoned WHEN IT STARTED TO HAIL. IN AUGUST.

Smashleighjayne

Smashleighjayne

Being by the beach regardless of the weather made me far too happy though. I plan to go back so I can sit in the sunshine, and breathe in the sea air. I'd love to hire one of the beach huts and just spend a weekend being my happiest. Plus, ice cream.

smashleighjayne
THIS MELTED EVERYWHERE