Dublin out and about for 3 days

As a city boy when I go away I want to be in nature…so it might seem strange going to Dublin! You would be wrong however, within a 40 minute bike ride you can be in some truly spectacular nature.

My suggestions for a long weekend in Dublin’s nature by cycling ( a must!):

  • Route 1-Howth coastal walk. From the city centre head to Clontarf Road where it’s just one long road to the Howth coastal walk, along the way you’ll see some amazing coastal views. When you get to Howth Balscadden view point park your bike and then just follow the coast for the epic sights
  • Route 2-to Bray. Similar to Howth this is a cycle route along the coast but this time head up to Bray. From the city centre head to Rock Road. Then it’s just one road along the coast taking in the sights until you can’t cycle anymore
  • Route 3-Dublin mountains. There are a number of trials on the mountain. I would personally suggest doing one of the Ticknock loops. I personally did the long loop as the views were amazing (See photo). To get here can be a little tricky. Look for Ticknock Road and off it you will see a marking on the map called biking.ie. This is the place to park your bike and the start of the trial. In essence once you find the trial keep to the left and you will do a loop, around 14km.

Top tips- get a bicycle with a very good seat and bring snacks… you are going to need the energy.

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Introverts and travelling

A friend of mine has decided to make the best decision and take some time off to do some extended travelling. We are both natural introverts and therefore we need to put some strategies in place.

So this blog is for my fellow introverts who are worried about going solo travelling.

  • Be you– so first and foremost be true to your personality. You are going to meet a lot of extroverts-great for them! Don’t try and copy them-were not good at it.
  • Find purpose– it can be hard for some introverts to speak to strangers (although it gets really easy the longer your travel on your own) so find a commonality. There are a few strategies here: do community work like my friend, consider a group travel trip, join group activities and/or speak about possible trips/activities in the area, I have created so many new friendships by asking have you done X and ended up doing it with them.
  • Recharge-remember to take ‘me’ time. Introverts energy and best ideas come when we take some time out. I personally find getting into nature and hiking by myself essential.
  • Change-brace yourself for a series of different friends. It natural for us to find a few people and build deep connections. This can be dangerous as you need to keep moving forward and getting the best out of your journey.
  • Just say no– there will be some strong extroverts who will naturally want to take charge. Just remember this is your adventure so if you don’t want to do something don’t be worried about saying no.

Introverts please write in if you need some advise based on my own persoanl experience.

Seville…time to eat

If you want old, cultured, feisty and amazing food Seville is the place to go.

Seville is the Capital of the Southern Andalusia’s region and not an obvious choice for me as a city without good hiking trails. However I am glad I listened to my Spanish friends as Seville has become one of my top choices for food around the world.

The way to explore Seville is just to wander and get lost taking in the stoned pathments, the golden yellow bricks and the tiny Calles. I’m not going to make any specific recommendations on places to visit in this article as their is a wealth of material.

However I will recommend that you hop to different food spots eating Tapas:

  • Bodega 2 de Mayo: Red Tuna with Oil
  • Casa Ricardo: Croquettes
  • La Flor De Toranzo-Montaditos: Roquefort and black pudding sandwich
  • Alvaro Peregil-Montaditode Pringa: Pork sandwich with the famous Seville Orange Wine
  • La Sal Calle Doncellas: The Chocolate Truffles are to die for.

My top tip is just have a dish or two in each place so you can eat all day whilst exploring the City.

Barcelona…a wee guide

In my experience cities can often have two major effects; they can drain or energise you. Barcelona makes you feel like the Duracell bunny.

Stroll out after a siesta around 9ish (yes life starts late in Barcelona) hit up Carrer de Blai for some tapa, strike up a conversation with locals and see where the night takes you. I know it sounds hard, especially if you are on your own but its the best way to experience Barcelona. If you want to do a little cheat go on to the couchsurfing app and there are loads of lovely locals wanting to grab a drink.

So I personally would just suggest wondering around and seeing where it leads. However I know my readers like little tips, so here are my favourite spots:

  • Bunkers Del Carmel-for a great view of the city head here for sunrise. There’s nothing quite like a Barcelona City sunrise (sunset tends to be more social and crowded).
  • Sagdrada Familia– I don’t usually recommend mass tourist paid spots, but Sagdrada Familia is the exception to the rule. It is a truly marvellous architectural delight, and has become my number one Cathedral.
  • Parc de Monjuic-As readers know I love nature and this is the closest you really get in Barcelona. With the winding pathways its another chance for a great view of the city.

If it doubt just get to Barcelona… You won’t regret the decision.

 

 

Barcelona-first impressions take two

Hola Chicos its Barcelona time.

I have been in Barcelona now for three days, I will write a little guide on what to do whilst here shortly but wanted to give some initial thoughts.

Personally Barcelona is one of my favourite European cities. I have been finding it hard however to quantify why! On paper Barcelona in itself doesn’t have anything particularly unique, don’t get me wrong there are plenty of amazing sights but nothing that truly stands out. The people again are amazing but there are a couple of countries that I prefer. So I have come to the conclusion its the combination of the ethos, the cool architecture, the glorious food and chilled people.

So how best to experience Barcelona?

Daytime: Go to a high point like Parc de Montjuic find something in the distance that looks interesting and head in that direction. Barcelona is great city to get lost in and as you never know what’s round the corner.

Night time: Its all about food and fiesta. Two tips here don’t go to dinner before 9pm as places you would want to go e.g places local go to will be empty and make sure to strike up a conversation with locals to find all the best spots.

Back to reality one week on…

I have been back in the UK now three weeks; in that time I got three job offers and accepted one, got over serious jet leg, reconnected with friends and lost my tan…. This last week I had my first week back in London being a working man.

So how was it and has anything changed because of my year adventure?

Lets start with what’s the same:

I went for a reasonable paid corporate job, has the potential to be very stressful, largely working with the same type of people and Londoner’s still don’t smile.

So what has changed:

Worklife: my perspective is firmly routed in that my work life if very different to my personal life. How has this worked in my first week:

Hours worked on my first week: worked my exact hours and took a lunch break to connect on a social level with colleague vs. two years ago first in/last out and no lunch break.
Home time: Didn’t bring my laptop/phone home with me vs. two years ago had my work phone on 24/7.

The point? work will always expand or contract with you. Consider what your own limits are and work to keep to them.

Homelife: I want a homelife that is about sociability but also about calm. For me this has a few elements finding a home that is shared with people who want to become friends, being out of the chaos of London by being in a quiet area but with transport to be in the thick of it, being within walking distance of work to reduce the stress of commutes. So in the first week I have been searching for a houseshare to meet these needs.

The point? It can take a lot of trial and error to get the right homelife. I have got it wrong a number of times. Don’t feel stuck if its not working for you make a change.

Social life: For this week its been about re-establishing relationships, but also about starting to take advantage of London in the form of trying to new things.

The point? re-establish your relationships and take advantages of everything your area has to offer. I know its winter but your getting no younger.

So how was my first week back? It was good I feel like I am heading in the right direction to keep this content feeling. I realise that I need to work hard to keep things on the right side but I feel confident I can do it….i’ll keep you updated.

What’s your next adventure?

This is part 2 of the places around the world I truly love. Check out part 1 here

Cathedral Cove, New Zealand: One of the first places I truly fell in love with. Its remote, has the natural beauty that makes New Zealand such a special country and is truly peaceful.

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Copenhagen, Denmark: if you ever wondered what a place full of beautiful people is like head here. Copenhagen is a perfect weekend gateway-its cool, a little funky and has some great food markets.

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Great Oceon Road, Australia-Victoria: this was towards the end of my journey and I started to feel a little travel fatigue until I came here. Some of the best natural oceanic formations I have seen.

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Budapest, Hungary: Europe has some truly amazing architecture. In my opinion the best in the world. To find the best of the best head to Budapest. Take in the amazing sights in the morning, head to the bathes in the afternoon and finish with a river cruise at night-perfect.

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Interlaken, Switzerland: If I am forced to choose my favourite place in the world then Interlaken has my heart. What can I say but WOW. Everything is just beautiful from the buildings, the hiking, the world class views and the friendly locals.

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Where will your next adventure be?

 

 

What’s your next adventure? The world in photos

I have been back in England for a week now from the most amazing 11 months (30 countries) of my life. I have finally sorted through my photos and wanted to inspire your next adventure.

Plitvice Lake, Croatia-For an amazing hike to a range of fitness levels no place does beauty like Croatia.

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Mt Taranki, New Zealand– Are you fit? Then Mt Taranki is the one for you. An extremely difficult day hike but once you climb past the clouds its pure serenity.

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Gibbon Experience, LoasStill a big kid? then this is for you. Spend your days ziplining through a jungle and your evenings sleeping in giant treehouses

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Rome, Italy– For the history lovers there really is no place like Rome.

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New York City, USA– Not my favourite city, but one that has to be done once in your lifetime.

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Waya LaiLai Island, Fiji– The friendliest people on the planet. There’s no better place on the planet for a relaxing time.

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Rotorua, New Zealand– If you can get over the smell of Suplher and want something a little different then this is the place for you.

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Srebrenica Genocide Memorial, Bosnia– For something different check out this memorial. Its interesting but extremely sobering, so not for the faint hearted. Make sure to fully explore Bosnia afterwards as an amazing country.

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Want to know more about any of these locations then check out my guides or ask me a question in the comment box.

 

Sydney….some hidden gems

To be honest when I got to Sydney I wasn’t particularly impressed. It felt like any generic medium sized city in the world. It probably didn’t help that I loved Melbourne so much and was making comparisons.

However the fact that Sydney is a Coastal city gives it some absolutely lovely walks especially in the Aussie summer. There is a whole host of walks you can do but I would personally recommend a few:

Also for a good selection of asian food check out Spice Alley (BYOB as well).

Best of a year of travelling

So I have seen a lot in the last year. To round it all off I wanted to share the best of best with you. Peace out.

Best eat– Mary May’s Tea Room in Atlanta: Chicken pot pie with mac’n’ cheese followed by peanut butter cake with oreo crust
Best view– Interlaken in Switzerland
Best party town-Barcelena
Best drink-Dark and Stormy from Hamilton,Canada
Best hostel– Nomadas in Merida, Mexico
Best experience-Gibbon experience in Loas
Best people-Fiji they have the best rythym on the planet
Most tranquil place in the world-Top of Mt Edgmont (New Zealand) just after the ice.