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Paris, hell yeah….

So the grapevine says Paris is beautiful, so rightly or wrongly I had high expectations.

The verdict? Paris is a truly magical city and completely met expectations. When you stand on top of the Effiel tower at night (a must even if you don’t like tourist attractions) and look across the city in any direction you understand man made beauty.

What to do? I only had a day and half in the city but these were my highlights:
*Of course the Effiel tower at night.
*Notre Dame Cathedral I cannot overstate the amazing stone work and detail on this building.
*Louvre- Although a massive art gallery now this use to be a Royal home with three wings (the east wing use to connect to the queens palace, sadly destroyed now ).
*Museo De L’Armee- As an old country France has had a fair few wars so as expected the museum has a rich historical perspective.

Interesting but true… Due to parking issues around Paris a solution was developed where all cars park without handbrakes on to allow ultra close parking.

Need more proof to come to Paris, well here it is:

Notre-Dame

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View from Effiel Tower

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Louvre

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What is your favourite Paris spots?

Cambridge, UK- a flash visit

I have been briefly back in the UK until my next trip on 15 August, unable to sit still for more than 5 minutes what do I do? Explore, explore, explore. On the rare short’s weather day it was off to a city I haven’t been, Cambridge.

I admit that I was a little anti the UK when I left with BREXIT, the daily grind of London and the famous English weather. However I am seeing England’s beauty and Cambridge showcases why people should visit. With the cobbled streets, the amazing stone work and picturesque parks Cambridge is a must visit. In particular I absolutely loved punting and this is why….

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Solo travelling as a female?

I have been speaking to a few of my female friends about my travels. A response that I often hear is I could never do what you are doing as a female. Although I understand the worries (at least from a man’s prospective), the most adventurous people I have met while travelling have been female solo travellers.

I came across this interesting article and wanted to share it.

What a daunting thought? Even writing it now I have to ask myself ‘was I mad?’ but of course we all know that I wasn’t mad at all, in fact I was mad to have not done it sooner! Being a female solo backpacker has its many perks as well as raising a lot of […]

via Guide to female solo backpacking — Face Camera Action

Female travellers tell me about your experience.

Deciding whether backpacking is right for you?

As readers of my blog know in the past I always travelled very conservative at highend hotels, big suitcases with friends/family. I would have never considered backpacking was right for me, now I can’t imagine travelling any other way.

I came across this great article from the Partying Traveller which is worth a read for those considering different ways of travelling.

Over the past three years, I’ve been to over thirty countries, but it was only recently that I started backpacking. I was in Colombia on my first solo travel trip where I was tagging along with some backpacker friends I made and I decided that my mini suitcase was going to have to go. In […]

via Is Backpacking Right For You? — The Partying Traveler

For those in doubt dive in as you may surprise yourself.

Toronto,Canada-there and back again

My experience of exploring the lovely Toronto, Canda

Toronto is broadly split into several districts examples of these include the Entertainment, Old Toronto, Downtown and China Town. Each district like most larger cities has its own identity to fit most personalities.

Just like most cities its worth spending some time planning what you want to do. A big difference in Toronto however is the massive transient community both in terms of temporary immigration as well as travellers. The massive advantage is there is always people wanting to explore ( I personally use the couchsurfing App to
find locals).

My personal favourite spots:
– Around the Habourfront centre: there’s always varied activities happening in the summer from beach parties, to opera to the best of Canadian cinema.
– Around Kensington Market: plenty of cool restaurants and bars to explore.
– Around Queens Park/University of Toronto campus, some old (at least in terms of North America) and stunning architecture.

Let me know your favourite Toronto spots.

Montreal-is it Canada?

As most people know Canada is a federation, with a very interesting history worth researching. The reason I mention this is because Quebec, Montreal feels like a completely different Country. This goes beyond the language to the architecture, culture and even the design of the city. Having said that I equally loved my time in Montreal.

Tips

In my opinion Montreal can only be truly experienced through a bike ride around Du Mount Royal Park, along the docks of the St Lawrence river and around oldtown.

There are some great guides online, however the locals are very friendly so ask. These were a few of my favourite spots:
– Notre-Dame Basililica at night (Picture above)
– The view from Chalet Du Mont-Royal
– Eating Poutine at Poutineville
– Shopping at Mile End

How did you find Montreal? Tell me about your experience in the comments.

Lust in the city…does it last?

I recently did an article on the effects of forming a new ‘friend’ when travelling. At the time I was finding my travellers adventurous spirit being replaced with a desire to stay.

So what happened!

After spending an amazing few days with this ‘friend’ they convinced me to carry on and then come back. I ended up coming back and spending some more time with them. I was surprised to see a considerable change in my feelings. Although I was still having a great time the fire that made it impossible to think straight had quenched. I was ready to see it for what it was, having fun in the moment. I was now ready to keep having more adventures.

The point…

I did a part two of this article specifically for those travellers in the throws of lust. Before you commit to staying still spend some time away and then come back. Its often hard to see a situation clearly when in it. However if its right go for it, you only have one life enjoy it.

Tell me about your experience now in the comments.

Ottawa, Canada- they call me mister mellow

Before I got to Canada’s capital I was told it was a boring place, in fact one Canadian described it as “twattawa.” However Ottawa is one of the most unique Capitals I have been to because its so chilled/mellow. In today’s never stopping life the value of this in a city let alone a Capital cannot be underestimated.

Two more reasons that make Ottawa unique for a capital. First some background from a Canadian friend. Ottawa came about as a compromise of English and French Canada joining together, with each side wanting the Capital on their side. Ottawa strides both French and English former territories.

Reason One– So ignoring it ripping off of my own English Parliament- I have never been to one so accessible to its people. Despite Mr. Trump’s views, London is guarded and seeing how accessible this parliament is sums perfectly one of the reasons I love Canada. As a side note they have a free light show on Parliament Hill which is awesome.

Reason two– Ottawa represents a modern Capital. No matter where you are in Ottawa there is green space. This city encapsulates city life blending with nature. Another representation of Canada’s great ability for compromise and inclusion.

Friendship-whats it good for?

So this post is very different from my usual articles but felt it was worth a post. For all my life I have lived with the concept of quality over quantity. This extended to having a few good friends rather than lots of more shallow relationships.

I  have been recently let down by some of said friends and although I brushed it off as I do most things, secretly I was very let down.

One definition of friendship is mutual affection between people. Which made me think can you expect anything beyond this from a friend?

I think of the amazing people while travelling and have been reflecting on some personal characteristics. Do I get too emotionally attached to my friends? Am I too hard on people? In our busy mobile society are deep friendships worthwhile? Is my energy better spent on continually meeting new exciting people?

I think these questions beyond everything else I am learning will be the essential ones when rebuilding the life I want to live. Think of your own relationships, do they make you happy? do they add value? do you still want to be friends with this person?

 

4 months on….some useful travel tips

So I have been travelling for four months now…shit when did that happen!

I was considering doing a look back of my top moments but decided that’s a 6 month goal. I thought back to 4 months ago how excited I was but also scared, so I thought I would try and give some tips to would be travellers.

  1. Spend some time in the hostel– its tempting when in a new place to just get out and go, however invest some time in the people.  Its amazing what you can find out about a place and find travel companions.
  2. Couchsurfer– if your on a serious budget you maybe able to get a place to stay from fellow like minded thinkers. However the reason I mention this app is because it has a massive social element to meet up with travellers and locals to explore.
  3. Leave time to be spontaneous– as a previous hyper organiser I know how hard this can be but its worth it. Being able to live in the moment makes a big difference when travelling.
  4. Learn to love Apps– there are so many apps to help with travel. You can find a few of my suggestions here