I thought I’d change the theme a little and do a post on some of the things I regularly get asked by family, friends and across social media platforms. So here goes:
I’ll start with the obvious one. Where have you been?
I was born and grew up in England so naturally I’ve seen a bit of my own country, there’s still plenty more I want to see mind you.
Beyond that I’ve been to Scotland, Wales, Portugal, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Italy, Greece, Australia and the USA. Some have been one time visits, some of those I’ve been to multiple times. The USA is my most visited country with 8 trips, however I’ll be making my 8th trip to Germany before the end of 2017.
This is probably my most frequently asked question and probably a good indication that I have a reputation for travelling. I’ve actually got three trips lined up at the minute but the next of those is to Madrid in Spain. It’ll be my first time in the Spanish capital – any tips are welcome!
How can you afford to travel so much?
There are a few factors to this and one of those are my lifestyle choices. I haven’t got my own place, a mortgage to pay, kids to worry about and so on. It makes traveling a lot easier when all of your money after bills is for yourself.
With that said whilst my lifestyle choices help, I don’t plan on stopping once I’ve settled down. Plenty of families and couples are able to travel too. Travel is much more affordable than you might think, particularly with the rise of budget airlines and accommodation.
I genuinely believe the only difference for those that travel regularly is that they’re willing to make it a priority and make sacrifices elsewhere within their lives. There really isn’t a right or wrong way to live your life, you should 100% do whatever it is that makes you happy. If you want the latest piece of technology, want to go out for dinner with friends or have to have that Sky subscription that’s absolutely fine but these are sacrifices travelers make to fund their travels. I’d love to replace my 12 year old TV but it’s the equivalent of a holiday. Whilst the TV works I’d sooner go abroad.
You might only make little cutbacks or savings but it all adds up. One less takeaway is that little bit closer to your next trip!
Where is the best place you’ve been to?
A tricky question. I’m always inclined to answer New York City when I’m asked this, however it really depends on what sort of holiday you’re in the mood for. I can’t 100% say NYC is better than a trip to Disney for example, you can’t easily compare the two as they’re completely different holidays and I loved visiting Orlando as a kid (I want to go back!).
Everywhere is different and makes it difficult to pick a favourite destination. You can even visit two cities in the same country and find that neither are anything alike.
NYC lived up to the high expectations though so I’ll go with that as a close second to London (which I still think of as home).
Where is the friendliest place you’ve been to?
Lisbon. I’d go back to Portugal in a heartbeat just for the people. There are friendly people everywhere you go but the Portuguese came across as extra friendly. Pretty much any accommodation review you see reflects that too – they are the perfect hosts! Go to Portugal!
Is there anywhere you wouldn’t go?
The short answer is no. I want to go everywhere. I think at a younger age I was a bit more wary about visiting certain places but the more you travel the more you realise how alike we all are.
In a world of “fake news” you also wonder how much Western influence has on telling me where is and isn’t safe to visit. Nobody seems to bat an eyelid when I say I’m off to Spain soon despite the huge conflict surrounding independence for Catalunya.
When you see groups / solo travelers who’ve visited every country in the world it does make me wonder how unsafe these places are but more importantly – “why can’t that be me?”
I can’t believe you travel on your own, how do you do it? Aren’t you nervous?
The first time was nerve-wrecking but it’s something I’ve got used to. My first solo trip was to Australia so having gone that far everything since has seemed a little less daunting.
Travelling alone and travelling with people both have their pros and cons. I think it’s good to be able to do things in your own company though and it can help your confidence too.
Traveling solo doesn’t necessarily mean staying solo anyway. Some of my best memories travelling have been on solo trips and making friends along the way. Where you stay and what you do whilst you’re away can always give you the chance to meet people.
How do you plan your trips and where you’re going?
There are so many different ways that my planning process begins. From a destination point of view, I think when you’re enthusiastic about travel you’ll find any excuse for a trip. I’ve traveled for such a variety of reasons. From the simple “Hey, let’s go to New York” to finding a gig to go to in another country, I’m even off to my first overseas wedding next year!
There’s a lot of fun to be had in the planning process but how it happens really depends why and who you’re travelling with.
If it’s a one stop visit then it’s easier to plan, for multi-city breaks it requires a lot more organisation and thought. If you’re travelling by yourself you can make a few more snap decisions, whilst travelling with others you require a bit more patience and compromise.
Even on a repeat trip somewhere it doesn’t necessarily mean the planning process is the same.
What websites do you use?
Skyscanner is usually my starting point for any journey. It’s a great website for flights, particularly if you can be flexible on dates and destinations. Kayak is another decent website for finding cheaper flights.
Accommodation I usually play pretty safe and Booking.com is one of my most used as it has such a wide range of properties on it. For hostels, Hostelworld is my favourite and AirBnB is also popular although I’ve yet to personally use the latter.
It’s also worth considering hotels and airlines that offer reward programmes. They can work out a little pricier but if you’re building loyalty points towards other perks or future trips it can be worthwhile.
I’m so jealous! Take me with you?
I thought I’d end on this. It often isn’t posed as a question, more of a joke-y comment but please always feel free to come! That’s an offer open to anyone reading this!
If you can’t make a trip, join me for my next or let’s plan our own! I’m never going to pass up the opportunity of more adventure or company to enjoy it with. Stop being jealous and come with me!!
Alternatively for those already travelling – take me with you! Haha.
Anything else you’d like to know? Just leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you!
All the best!