On July 12th 2016, I left Nice, France complaining about how sunburnt I got while sitting on the beach, enjoying a beautiful day with my new Contiki friends. Two days later someone drove a cargo truck into innocent crowds celebrating Bastille Day. Talk about a wake up call to real world issues.
OANS! ZWOA! DREI! G’SUFFA!
Picture this: You’re in Munich, it’s midweek, approximately 8pm, and everyone is LIT AF
Exploring the world is an incredible experience, just keep in mind that no one talks about the ways in which becoming a traveller can ruin you. (Although I may be exaggerating a little bit)
Three cities in three days? Totally possible. Continue reading
Before even seeing London, I always knew I would love it. This city not only lived up to my expectations, but exceeded them.
The best part for me was definitely spending time with much loved family who live there, but it wasn’t only that which confirmed my idea to move there some day.
London is a city filled with hundreds of years of history. Monuments can be found around the corner, and the atmosphere is indescribable. I found London to be a welcoming place, maybe because I was completely open to everything that it had to offer as well. In London, we saw the London Eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Covent Garden (which isn’t actually a garden) Shakespeare’s Globe, South Bank, The Shard, The Cheese-grater, London Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, and Oxford Street. I felt like I was playing real life Monopoly.
During our time we also saw two Shakespeare productions at the Globe Theatre. We watched one of my favourite plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as Macbeth. If you are interested in theatre or literature, or are just curious about The Globe, I definitely recommend going to see one of the productions, it was easily one of the highlights of our time in London.
We also went to Oxford and Windsor. Oxford was nothing like I expected, probably because I didn’t actually know anything about it other than it was home to one of the world’s most prestigious universities. As for Windsor, I got quite jealous when I saw how well the Queen lives. By luck, the flag on the castle was raised whilst we were there, which meant that Queen Lizzie was in the building.
For summertime, the weather in London wasn’t the best, it was always jacket weather, except for the one day that we were in Oxford, but regardless I think it added to the atmosphere of each place we went to. I definitely recommend London to anyone who enjoys the city lifestyle and wants a trip that they can fill with historical sightseeing, culture immersion, and shopping.
Have you guys been to London? What were your favourite places?
It has been a mere three days since my return home from Europe, and although I was only gone for five weeks, it was enough to induce some serious post travel depression, which I assure you is real and frankly, it’s pretty horrible.
Restless doesn’t even begin to describe how I’m feeling right now. It is currently 10:27am Australian time and 4:27am Abu Dhabi time and I have been on this plane since 10pm. To say that I am absolutely DONE is an understatement.
On the bright side, in an hour and 39 minutes we should be landing at our first stop over before we reach London, and I am more than ready to get the hell off of this plane. Really, I shouldn’t complain, I got the window seat which is super roomy, I’ve got a killer playlist going, decent in-flight movies, and I conquered the entire Etihad Airlines Tetris leaderboard. It’s funny what you can get done in 14 hours.
Oh, did I mention I slept for maybe a total of 20 minutes? Yeah, I’ve gone a little more than 24 hours without sleep, I am so agitated that I am grinding my teeth and my butt is so sore from staying in the one place for so long.
I think one major thing that people forget to mention when they talk about the glamour and splendour of travelling is the ridiculously tedious trip you have before arriving at your destination.
I haven’t travelled in over three years, and I completely forgot about this part. I mean, that’s probably a good thing, right? that the holiday itself stuck in my memory and the discomfort didn’t, but let’s be real, this is not a fun time.
However, I feel that, from my experience, I can pass on some tips to those of you who have yet to travel, or have and still haven’t figured out the best way to go about enjoying the flight.
Firstly, do activities that will keep your mind buzzing. For me, this was playing Tetris and beating the high scores of everyone who has flown with Etihad this week, though it’s good to keep in mind that too much screen time will really strain your eyes, which is what happened to me, so I needed to take an hour or two just to listen to music and shut my eyes.
Secondly. test our your meds before you leave. My friend and I have sleeping tablets with us, but we haven’t taken them yet because we weren’t sure how it would affect us, and we don’t want to risk being drowsy in an unknown international airport when we’ve only got an hour to board our next flight.
Thirdly, when in duty free, make sure that you either buy a bottle of water or bring a bottle with you for the hostess’ to fill on the plane. This has honestly been my saviour this whole time, especially because I’ve taken sinus tablets to make sure my ears don’t hurt and it leaves your throat and nose super dry.
Fourthly, If you know that you have trouble flying, make sure you prepare yourself as much as possible. For me, the only trouble I have on flights is the pressure in my ears, which hurts so much that I could faint. Knowing this, I had a chat with a pharmacist who recommended I take sinus tablets as well as a nasal spray. Thankfully, I have had no discomfort and am super happy that I was prepared.
Some people also get anxious or experience travel sickness, and if you know that there may be a chance that it would happen to you, I 100% recommend talking to your GP or a pharmacist and asking their opinion on what you might be able to take on the flight to ensure you have a comfortable and pain-free trip.
I think that in any trip, the best thing to do is to be prepared for anything, and to make sure that you’re organised well in advanced. That means bags packed, carry on luggage sorted with the essentials, and a game plan. I’m all for spontaneity, but not then it comes to travelling. Make sure you know your luggage restrictions and that all of your liquids and gels are 100ml or less, and can comfortably fit into a clear plastic zip lock type bag.
For example, in my backpack I packed my laptop, my travel journal, travel wallet, meds, and my little zip lock bag. In the zip lock bag I put my favourite Maybelline Baby Lips lip balm (trust me, lip balm is a must on long flights), hand sanitiser, my LUSH Cosmetics bubblegum lip scrub, Victoria’s Secret Bombshell perfume, a Proactiv Solutions moisturiser (not my usual moisturiser, but it’s the only one I had under 100ml), as well as toothpaste and a toothbrush. Think about it, if you’re landing at your destination and are meeting up with family or friends, the last thing you want is to feel gross.
Another super important travel hack that Maddison and I have been trying to do is to avoid jet lag.
We left Melbourne at 10pm, and instead of sleeping after take off, we decided to stay awake as long as possible so that we can sync our bodies to European time. I had a short nap at about 4am, and have been awake since. We are due to land in Abu Dhabi around midday (5am Abu Dhabi time), and then we have another eight or so hour flight to London, which is where we will be catching up on sleep, because we land in the UK at 12:30pm London time. Sounds confusing, but I think this will work.
So, it’s currently 11am Australian time and 5:10am in Abu Dhabi, and we will be landing in about 20 minutes. The view from our little window is gorgeous, and I can’t believe we’ve made it this far already. This trip still feels so surreal, it still hasn’t hit me that In a matter if hours I will be in the city that I’ve dreamed about since I was 6 years old, with one of my best friends, getting ready to explore Europe. Exciting things are ahead, and I’m glad I can share it will all of you.
It’s no secret that if I found a briefcase with at least $15,000, the first thing I would do is go to the airport with an empty suitcase and move to London.
It’s okay, I’m not being completely unrealistic, I have family there and accommodation can be organised so it’s not a stupid idea, I assure you.
Lately, the wanderlust has been real and every time I shop, a motto runs through my head: “This would look awesome in London”.
With that being said, my “If I lived in London” shopping wishlist continues to grow every time I open a new internet tab.
PS: Don’t try to tell me that these items of clothing aren’t as cool as I think they are. I won’t listen.
I also have devised a list of 10 legitimate reasons why I should go to London.
1. I miss my family who live there.
2. I like cold weather.
3. I can experiment with fashion with desirable results.
4. I speak English.
5. British Pound Sterling. Have you seen how low the cost of living is there compared to Australia? (let’s forget about the crap exchange rates) MAC lipsticks are £16 compared to $36 AUD.
5. There are endless paid internships available in the fashion industry (I know this because I follow @fashionworkie on Twitter)
6. I love Shakespeare.
7. I’m studying probably the most versatile degree ever, London offers plenty of courses that co-inside with my degree (I have also looked into this with great detail)
8. I like British bands
9. I’m happy with the monarchal government (and it’s future leaders)
10. I can do the best British accent ever.
PS: This is all hypothetical, Mum…
I have a serious case of wanderlust and it’s not going away!
Knowing that Coachella is happening and i’m not there is making it worse, and so is watching any TV show that’s based in New York. Let’s not even get me started on my desperate need to go to London.
I just really want to travel the world and feel those emotions that I felt when I was away exactly two years ago. It’s been two years too long.
Due to my wanderlust I created this edit. It’s just one of those “if I were getting on a plane right now what would I wear?” edits. Yes, I would wear jeans, I could sleep in jeans if I wanted to.
Here’s to staying in school and the thought of dancing at Coachella.
32 AUD – missselfridge.com
1 070 AUD – thecorner.com
65 AUD – bluefly.com
89 AUD – stelladot.com
97 AUD – veryexclusive.co.uk
41 AUD – victoriassecret.com
185 AUD – selfridges.com
125 AUD – roztayger.com
Some will swear that travelling is the best experience that they’ve ever had. I second that, strongly believing that the experience of travelling teaches you so much about life, the world, and over all, yourself, how you make decisions and how you act as a person.
Sure, to dateI have only travelled overseas once, but the principle is still the same. You are exposed to some of the most amazing and different sights that you will ever see. You are thrust into a new world, forced to listen to and try to understand a different language, left to fend for yourself in an unfamiliar place. All of this sounds a bit confronting for some, but I personally crave the independence, lust after the experience and now have what seems like a permanent post-travel depression.
One thing that I did learn though, is that travelling can be extremely uncomfortable. If you’re anything like me who can barely sit still through a movie, let alone a 14 hour direct flight to your stop over before another 8 hour flight to reach your destination, then you’re going to want to prepare yourself.
On my flight to Italy, I was so uncomfortable because I couldn’t rest my head anywhere. They supplied small pillows and warm blankets but I just couldn’t get comfortable. So, from that I realised that a travel pillow would be my last Italian purchase. On my way home, I slept the whole 14 hours from Rome to Dubai, I slept 5.5/6 hours from Dubai to Singapore and the whole 7 hours from Singapore to Melbourne. Why? I was too comfortable not too.
One thing I did learn as well is that hand luggage has to be easy, manoeuvrable and as big as the hand luggage allowance. On my way there, I used a country road duffel bag and a medium sized hand bag. The hand bag was perfect for my iPad, a book, my phone, my iPod, my passport and tickets. The country road duffel bag had my Dr. Martens (to save space and weight in my suitcase), another two books, a jacket, two cosmetic bags (A fairly large one and a smaller one) and my hair straightener. To carry this on my shoulder and arm for the two hour stop over was hell. It was so heavy, so bulky and so uncomfortable that I actually made myself angry. Either pack better than I did or use one smaller bag that forces you to leave some unnecessary items behind. Which brings me to my next point…
Do not over pack. This was my crucial mistake that drove me insane and put a hold on my shopping dramatically! I packed so much that out of my 30kg luggage allowance, I could only bring back 10kg worth of stuff! Do not make this mistake. I did not need three books, two jackets, two hoodies, four scarves, seven t-shirts or four different pairs of jeans. Washing machines exist, so do sinks and soap if you are really desperate.
You need to pack the essentials. So, for my stylish readers, here is a personalised list of essentials that you should bring with you when travelling:
- Before you can pack, you need the perfect suitcase: I recommend a hard case four wheeler. These types of suitcases give you optimum space, is lightweight, compartmentalised, manoeuvrable, and very safe.
- Toiletries. What ever you use at home, bring with you. Your local supermarket should sell travel bottles that can be filled to the amount requirements of your country. In these travel bottles put your face wash, moisturiser and toner. Buy the travel sized hair products, toothpaste and don’t forget that deodorant is a must!
- You need an essential jacket. No matter the climate you are travelling to, a jacket is a must. Whether it be a classy leather jacket, an adaptable denim jacket or a warm anorak, be sure to remember to pack one.
- Jeans! Jeans are timeless and most never go out of style; an international style statement for the ages. They’re comfortable and versatile, making them perfect for your next adventure.
- Basic Tees. You need at least two basic t-shirts as they are the perfect supporting piece to any outfit. To play it safe, always pack either a white, grey or black tee. They enable you to layer up at night and are easily accessorised during the day.
- Your best friend: The Little Black Dress. Make sure to pack one that fits you well and always looks suitable on you, no matter where you go.
- A staple blazer. Look at the blazer this way; it can be worn over anything and can be dressed up or down depending on where you’re going.
- Always, always pack flat shoes. The best shoes you will ever travel in are Converse. I bought two pairs with me, a white pair and a purple pair. They will easily, comfortably and stylishly get you through your long day and into the night. For more dressy events, a pair of slip on flats or sandals will do the trick.
- Accessories: When I travelled I bought with me heaps of long necklaces, bangles, and statement collar bone length necklaces. No matter where you go, accessories always put the perfect finishing touch on an outfit and no one deserves to be left without.
- Last, not least but definitely a travelling must: Comfortable leggings. You can fly in them, walk in them and participate in what ever you have planned while wearing them. Make sure they’re good quality and are in no way see-through. Leggings can come across as trashy and can easily become a fashion mistake if you can see your underwear underneath.
Depending on where you are travelling to, make sure you’re accustomed to their expectations of travellers and tourists. You do not want to offend the locals or get yourself into any unwanted and unnecessary trouble.
Most of all, don’t get caught up; you want to remember everything you do, everywhere you go and everyone you meet. Make sure to enjoy yourself, stay safe and trust your instincts. It is up to you to make sure that you are in the best position possible to make the right decisions in a foreign country so look after yourself and have fun!
For more information on how to be smart traveller, for further travel advice and for traveller’s information, please check out http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
For international readers please find out your version of the smart traveller guide provided by your government and department of foreign affairs.