1. Where are you going traveling?

A few weeks ago I announced on my Instagram that from January next year I am trading my Oyster card for my passport and going traveling for 9 months. It is something I have been planning for months and dreaming of for years so I can’t explain how excited I am to say it’s only a few weeks away now. I’ve received a lot of different reactions from people when I tell them I’m jetting off and a whole range of questions from “can I come with?” to “are you crazy?” which has sparked me to put this little travel blog to good use and answer some of those questions.

I know at this time of year the only thing on people’s minds is if a “ring for wine” bell is inappropriate for office secret Santa or where you can hide your box of salted caramel matchsticks so your nan doesn’t eat them all but I thought I would put my own spin on a christmas classic and do the 12 days of travel!

Everyday I will answer one a common question I get as a response to “I am going traveling” and hopefully it might help you if it’s something you’re interested in doing or just give you something to read as your partner tries on their 17th New Year’s Eve outfit possibility!

Today I thought we would begin with my story and the most common questioned asked: Where are you going travelling?

At the age of 22 I have been lucky enough to visit 3/7 of the continents this world has to offer so I thought for my first big journey out there alone I would try to tick off another 2 – Asia and Australia. I am going to be venturing on a group tour of South East Asia, stopping along the way in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. I chose to go on a group tour instead of venturing it alone for the simple reason of I found it all quite intimidating. Not only are they new countries to me, they are totally new cultures, weathers, cuisines and it all felt a but too much to face solo. Being in a group will allow me to experience everything but with a safety net of having my journeys and accommodation already sorted. I know that I won’t have much time in each town but I am seeing this trip as my taster session to then return in future years and delve deeper into places that I don’t want to leave behind.

Now technically this is where the first section of my trip ends as I have nothing else booked in after my group trip ends. That however is all part of the grand plan. I have never been away from home on my own for longer than a couple of weeks so I might finish my month off and feel like it is time to go back or I might have come down with a strong case of the travel bug and never want to go home. I just don’t know! That is why I have left it open to see who I meet, how I feel and just giving myself the total freedom to do whatever feels right for me. If I do have the desire to continue then I have my heart set on catching a flight over to explore the beautiful lands of Australia and New Zealand. Even though I have never been to either of these countries I feel much more confident doing them on my own as they speak English and have a culture that, I might naively be assuming, echoes that of what we have here in England. These familiarities make the task of exploring somewhere new thousands of miles away from home on my own a lot less daunting and a lot more exciting! My vague plan is to grab a greyhound bus ticket, stay in hostels and hopefully make some new friends along the way to continue my adventure with.

When the time comes that I have either run out of energy, desire or money (most likely the latter) then I will catch a flight back home. As the last part of my trip is so vague I have no real idea of when this will be but I have predicted around April/May giving me just enough time to get my visa sorted for my second trip. Camp America!

I think it has been roughly 4 years now that I have said I am going to apply for a summer at Camp America but this is finally the year that I have made it happen. I will be uploading another post a bit later on about the whole application process, but I am thrilled that it all paid off and I will spending next summer in the state of New York singing camp fire songs, teaching photography and living my best parent-trap-esk camp counsellor life! If that wasn’t enough, the visa allows another month of travel in America so I will be sure to put that to good use and potentially do a trip down the East Coast. As with my earlier trip I am leaving it all up in the air now and waiting to see who I meet and what other plans just fall into place.

If all goes to plan, then in October next year I will be back in my own bed reminiscing over the endless memories I have made all over the world and no doubt planning my next trip away. But for now, that is day 1 of my 12 days of travel done!

Merry Christmas and happy travels!

Go and grab another cuppa on me, Em x

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Starting a new Bullet Journal

Seeing as it’s time for the start of the new academic year, for me that also means it’s time to start a brand new bullet journal. This is always my favourite thing to do and I thought I would take you guys with me in a step by step guide on how to start a bullet journal.

For those who aren’t sure what a bullet journal is, (here is the original website explaining it in more detail) it is a form of diary that you can completely taylor to meet your own needs. It has a simple key system for tasks/events that you need to complete throughout your daily life and can be personalised however you want it to! You can be incredibly artistic with it or keep it as a plain list, whatever you prefer. Bullet journals can be used as trackers for water intake, meals, blog posts, how ever many dogs you’ve seen in a day – whatever you want! Here is how I personally set up my journal…

THE KEY journalThis is the formula that most bullet journals use. A task is shown by a dot then once its completed you cross it. If you don’t complete a task one day and want to move it to another one then you put an arrow next to the dot and if there is more information you need to add then draw a line under the dot and add in a note. If it is an event like a party or an appointment then put a circle around the dot and if it is something really important you need to get done then change the dot to a star. Simples.

YEAR AT A GLANCE journal5.jpg(I apologise for the change in colour for the photos I was using natural light on a cloudy day!) This page is basically a calendar. It allows you to see the whole year ahead of you, which is handy for making future plans. Last year I added a quote to the left page but this year I decided to use some decorative paper from hobby craft to add some colour.

FUTURE LOGjournal5 copy.jpgFor the next 4 pages I layout all the months with a small calendar and a lot of space underneath. This is where, throughout the year, I can add in future events/holidays/appointments/plans that I make as the weeks go on and need to jot down somewhere. When I go on to make my month at a glance spreads (coming up) I will check this future log of that month to see what things I have coming up.

MONTH COVER journal2.jpgFor the start of each month I will always do a bit of designing and give it a title page, so to speak. Sometimes I just write the name of the month, other times I will put in a relevant quote or image that I really like. This is another place to use decorative papers, washi tapes or stickers just to break your journal up a bit and have some fun!

MONTH AT A GLANCE journal3.jpgI find these pages to be some of the most helpful in my journal. To begin with I will always put a big calendar from the month that I can then fill with notes or doodles if I feel like it (plus it’s just really helpful seeing the whole month for when you’re planning things). Underneath the calendar I put a blog post and Instagram tracker so I can see when I’ve posted and when I’ve slacked throughout the month for an extra bit of motivation. On the right is where I put the information from my future log as well as birthdays and any holidays that I need to remember throughout the month.

WEEKLY SPREADS journal4.jpgHere is the part of bullet journaling that you will find yourself using the most. For my weekly spreads I use the right column to highlight any main events or key things that i get up to on those specific days. On the left I write things throughout the week that I need to do (like washing or food shopping) and cross them off as I go along. I have a section for urgent things that I have to do as well as a place to write a quote from the week (just for a sentimental thing really)! Some times I will end up with 2 weekly spreads over a double page but, seeing as I’m returning to university this week, I used the right hand page to make some lists of things I need to pack and buy so I stay a bit more organised.

And then my bullet journal is good to go! If you want to see some other ways of setting up weekly/monthly spreads here are my June and July (Disney) layouts. I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful if you want to start your own bullet journal.

Go and grab another cuppa on me, Em x

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Disney first-time bucket list

bucket listI would be lying to you if I said I have never been lucky enough to go to Disney World but what I will say is I have never wanted to go back so much in my life. Last time I went I was around 9 years old and even though I enjoyed it I don’t feel like I got the fullest Disney experience out of it. I may have gained a slight obsession with Disneyland since then and through countless blogs and vlogs have realised that there are so many aspects to it other than just the rides and meet-and-greets (even though they are still just as important). Therefore in preparation for the next time I am lucky enough to visit I have put together a list of all the must do things when in Disneyworld…

  1. TAKE A PHOTO IN FRONT OF ONE OF THE ICONIC LANDMARKS Disneyworld is made up of 4 main parks (Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios) which are hard to do all in one day so wherever you are take a photo in front of one of the main landmarks like Cinderella’s castle or the tree of life
  2. MEET A DISNEY PRINCESS Whichever princess you have decided is your favourite (mine is Rapunzel) try and get a photo with them! If you’re not a princess person that don’t be put off just trade out princess for whoever your favourite character may be.
  3. GO TO A CHARACTER MEAL This one I realise is quite an expensive option and often has to be booked in advance but what better way to interact and take photos with your favourite characters than over a delicious meal! Personally I want to go to The Crystal Palace to have breakfast with Winnie the Pooh and friends.
  4. TRADE A PIN Now pin trading is something that I didn’t even know existed last time I went to the park and in a way I can see why as some pins reach up to $60 when bought in the park. It is still however something that I really want to take part in and I think will be a great memory so an insider tip I have learnt is to go to your local disney store and buy a few pins from there initially that are cheaper and you can then trade when you’re in the park with other visitors and park employees.
  5. WATCH A SHOW OR THE FIREWORKS I think this one may be the most important for me as Disney is renowned for putting on a good show. Some of the most highly recommended were the Welcome Show, Fantasmic and the fireworks at either Epcot or the Magic Kingdom.
  6. TRY SOME EXCLUSIVE DISNEY TREATS This one all depends on your taste but I have heard that a dole whip is something you have to try! If you want to stay closer to your comfort zone why not try a tasty treat in the shape of Mickey mouse like a waffle.
  7. WATCH A PARADE This one speaks for itself really but what better way to see all of your favourite characters than have them float past you to the beat of a good-old Disney tune.
  8. RIDE IT’S A SMALL WORLD This one may just be on here for nostalgic reasons as I remember dragging my Grandma repeatedly on this ride but I think it has just become a classic part of Disneyworld!
  9. WATCH A MOVIE UNDER THE STARS I was debating wether or not to put this one in as I don’t think it is considered as one of the must-dos in Disneyworld. BUT the key reason why I imagine you want to go to Disneyworld is because you fell in love with the Disney films so what better to remind you of that than to watch a classic under the stars in the place where all the magic really does come to life.
  10. TAKE A FUNNY PHOTO ON A RIDE Whether you’re a thrill seeker and wants to take on the mighty Space Mountain or battling it out on Buzz Lightyear be sure to pull a funny pose for the camera to keep as a memory of your time there.

 

One last suggestion I have (that isn’t really a thing to do but more a thing to get) is to invest in the memory maker, all of your photos throughout your time at the park will be sent to you digitally which means you can enjoy your time completely knowing that all of your photos are taken care of.

Although it may be impossible to do all of these things in one visit it just gives you more of a reason to go back when you can

Let me know if you would like another one of these for each of the other Disney Parks 🙂

Go and grab another cuppa on me, Em x

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